It seems like if you download music via Bittorrent or Limewire or any other leak site and it comes to talking about it, it’s a little like porn. You don’t like to readily admit that you partake. Porn and Music are the backbone of the internet. This isn’t a porn site so lets tackle the music acquisition question and what ethics issues might be at play.
First off, music acquisition: These days there are a few different ways to get music.
- Buying New CDs
- Buying Used CDs
- Buying Vinyl
- Buying Digitally (Amazon, iTunes…)
- Downloading Torrents or using other P2P software
- Downloading free MP3s from artist or MP3 blogs
Buying new CDs means the artist gets a small cut. Very small. Most CDs run $12-20. The artist is usually lucky to see $1 of this. Buying digitally, is this much better? If you happen to know what an artist gets from a $.99 MP3 please comment below. Downloading Torrents the artist see’s nothing but they might possibly gain a fan.
Is buying used CDs any better than downloading illegally? The artist doesn’t see anything from the second sale of a CD.
Secondly, bands and their take:
- There are those artists who don’t care how a future fan gets their music. The more people listening to their music, the more people out at their concerts (which they see a bigger cut anyway), the more people buying merchandise.
- There are those that don’t support illegal downloads saying that the fans are stealing from them.
- Then there are those who give their music away right from their website.
I’d like to throw a third topic in, management, promotions, labels etc. Moving forward do we really need these services? Sure, you need the infrastructure to get the music to the fans but there are lots of these popping up. Look at TuneCore who gets an artists music to all the digital distribution points. But let’s go one step further, let’s take digital distribution out of the fold and just have P2P access to music. No one profits from music. NO ONE! Is this better? Well, that’s up to the eye of the beholder. I like sampling thousands of different songs without having to take a loan out to do so.
One final point supporting torrents AND digital sales: The Environment. I think this is a move in the right direction, whether you pay for music or not. I’ve got 3000 CDs at home that I am slowly digitizing. But what the hell do I do with them? The used music store that I frequent is hardly buying CDs anymore. They are moving strictly to vinyl. Any advice? So moving forward I’m not buying ANY cds. My CD wall will slowly decrease as I get more hard drive space.
Your thoughts on music and where we are headed: