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Glenn McDonald: Warnings & Promises

TWAS 503: (Warnings and Promises)

Glenn McDonald—previously a self-described “apologist” for not downloading unlicensed music—posts an articulate polemic on why he now “steals” music; and, more importantly, how the Music Industry has lost its franchise on expecting the loyalty that had previously prevented it.

He provides several specific examples where old-school business practices (and new-school ignorance) have made it difficult to be an honest fan and to support the artist as one would like.

Worth reading through and sharing with anyone you know with a band or a label.

In a single year, not too long ago, I bought 1000 CDs, and most of them were yours. I continue to pay still. I bought two CDs this week, and will almost certainly buy more than 100 over the course of this calendar year. I have paid for legal downloads, as well. I have stubbornly forgiven you your trespasses against everyone you nominally serve, and kept supporting the idea of music as a Big Business. I have never condoned your numeric monopolies and tasteless denominator-lowering, but I support the dream of musicians being able to simply make music for their living, rather than operating themselves as a business, and somewhere far back in history that was what Industry allowed.

But I have also now started stealing your music. I haven’t stolen much, but I’m sure you will agree that the moral issue is not merely one of quantity. I have been one of the last independent apologists for a moral kernel, elusive now to perhaps the point of imagination, in your corrupt and desperate retreat, but now even I have given up. I still buy, but now I also steal. You have forfeited your right to my loyalty.

[via: Kottke]

TOPICS: Off Topic
Sean Harrop's picture

I think this guy is...

I think this guy is right on the money. I usually buy about 50 - 70 albums per year. I listen to 75% of my music on an iPod at work, an additional 15% listening to these CDs in my car, and 5% listening to my legally ripped collection of mp3 files on my home PC.

I've noticed that some record labels are now making CDs that require a software end user licence agreement (EULA) to listen to on a computer, and they can not be ripped into an MP3 or an AAC file. Hence I have no way to listen to these albums on my iPod. I don't believe in agreeing to a EULA to listen to these songs on my home PC, so I can't use these on my PC. And to pay $12-$15 for a CD that I can only listen for twenty minutes on the way to work or doing errands is crazy.

Why is the industry shooting itself in the foot by driving away loyal customers? I want to give bands like Velvet Revolver, Kings of Leon, and the Foo Fighters my hard earned money, but their record labels are not giving me a product that I find acceptable... A good old fashioned compact disk.

As a side note, I've been rocking my hipster for two months now and I love it. :)




An Oblique Strategy:
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