Piracy does NOT kill music

post brought to you by: dyson

Photo from the cover of DJ Shadow – Endtroducing

I’m about to step into controversial waters here and I’m OK with that. I’m going on record to say it: Piracy does NOT kill music.

If there were AA meetings for music lovers, I would probably have to attend one at least 3-5 times a week. “Hi, my name is Matt. And I’m a music addict.”

I obtain music in any way I can: streaming, iTunes, record stores, live shows, Amazon, online orders from labels, and yes, even the controversial music torrent sites.

Each source has it’s own purpose for how I can and want to gather music. If you follow me online, it’s no secret I am obsessed with vinyl. I spend money on vinyl weekly. But most of the vinyl I buy is because of A) impulse (7″ mainly) or B) because I am obsessed with the record and want to hear what it sounds like in it’s beautiful analog form and have that gorgeous physical object to hold in my hands. (also adding great decoration to my living room)

There are many ways to preview albums that I am fully aware of and use them frequently. MOG being the go to choice for me. But getting a preview from iTunes can give me enough of a sample to let me know if I am into the overall sound or not.

Part of the problem is that I spend a lot of my time in the car listening to music, a place where I can’t stream albums. So I end up wanting the physical copy. But most of the time it’s silly to go buy the CD when I most likely will go buy the vinyl or attend a show and buy the CD directly from the merch table.

Being labeled as a “stealer of music” really hurts. Albums I have produced, mixed, or engineered that have never been picked up by labels or distributed correctly can be found on many of these sites. HELL YEAH I SAY! The hard work we put into the record will be enjoyed by anyone who wants to get their hands on it. And in most cases, in multiple audio formats for your choosing. When I see 1,000 people have downloaded the album that’s sitting in boxes in a closet, I can’t help but grin from ear to ear.

I can state the obvious that there are so many reasons why NOT to do it, but it’s here to stay (for now). Sorry record labels. Forget your 1970’s model of distribution and realize you need to adapt. I am the customer and the customer is always right. So cater to me. I will selfishly obtain music in anyway that I want, paid or unpaid.

As proof of my point. The album of the week in the right sidebar (or found below) is one I spent months of my life working on. Go ahead and download it. I didn’t make a penny off of this record but am very proud of it. Hope you enjoy.

Jay McCarrol – Jay McCarrol by dirkler

2 Responses to “Piracy does NOT kill music”

  1. DCL says:

    Enjoying “Idiot Savant” very much, thanks.

    You are certainly correct that many of the newer ways music is obtained and shared (your term, Piracy, is vexed because of its broad and varying interpretations, including a habitual failure to distinguish methods merely discouraged from those patently illegal) does not kill music. Your logic is, however, flawed in several areas. First, it is not the music itself in danger from piracy but the livelihoods of those making and distributing it. Second, though it is laudable that you chose to share your music freely, you are able to do so specifically because you do not make your living from it. Third, though I am completely with you that record companies need to let go of nostalgic and atavistic attitudes and practices, record companies are made of of actual individuals whose livelihoods are at stake so that adapting is not simple or straightforward. Finally, I don’t agree that the customer is always right: if I am the customer of a lawyer in a suit there are things he or she may not advise me to do, provide false evidence, harass or threaten the opposing party, and if I do these he or she must report me, and the signal flaw in your argument is that since it is happening anyway the party it is happening to should just get over it. That’s not fairness or justice. I hope to be able to download and listen to your music, but at the moment the download is not working. I am enjoying your blog, however, and appreciate both your passion and point of view.

  2. Jeff says:

    Piracy doesn’t kill music, it just impedes the ability to make money off of music. The consequences of that are mixed. You put a lot of time and effort into the album you created and are willing to give it away for free. That’s awesome. But you also have a livelihood outside of the music. You aren’t depending on it to put food on your table. If you were, you might look at piracy in a different light.

    Frankly, your post comes off as a bit entitled. Record labels most certainly need to respond to changes in technology and contemporary expectations of customers. In many ways that’s what has happened. There are now numerous digital delivery services that afford inexpensive access to music in exceptionally convenient circumstances. Sign up for Napster and for a small monthly fee you’ve got a library of thousands of albums. Ditto for Rhapsody. If you want something specific, grab it from iTunes or Amazon with a quick click.

    As such, it’s increasingly difficult to argue in favor of piracy because there aren’t legal options to suit your internet-saavy lifestyle.

    Granted, I’m not going to shed any tears if Sony Records misses out of a few dollars.

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