Monday, May 17, 2010

P2P Bloggers vs. Record Company Execs

There are many bad things you can say about P2P sharing and the blog revolution that has swept like an ill wind through the corridors of big business record companies which are now lashing out in a fevered panic, trying to prevent the punters getting their ungrateful mits on music that was made for them.

Of course it's easy to villianize the industry, but what about the artists who receive little return on the profit their art and passion has provided?  When they have signed the rights to their vision they have an obligation to make good on the advance given to them to produce and promote their baby.  The record companies can act like a corporate version of 'Paulie' in Goodfellas sometimes.  They loan you some money and you have to make good on the arrangement...

"Someone uploaded your album before it was mastered?  Fuck you.  Pay me."
"Everyone already has a downloaded copy?  Fuck you.  Pay me."
"Oh, your album didn't get a good run in the outlets?  Fuck you.  Pay me."

An artist's passion becomes a commodity that must turn over a profit. 

With CD sales declining in the current economic climate and today's youth growing up in a world where everything is free and available on their home computers, how can artists earn a living?  Court cases have proven to alienate audiences and copy write protection is easily circumnavigated, so what is the point in sharing your vision?  Simply, that is what music is meant for.

As the internet has opened up artistic visions to a world wide audience and social networking sites offer an outlet for self promotion, the role of the record company is quickly becoming redundant.  No wonder they are scared, for now the artist has more control over how their vision is marketed and distributed. 

More and more artists are using the format of albums as a promotional tool, offering it for free to increase exposure and entice people into attending their live shows, which for a musician is where the real benefit is - not just financially, but also the instant gratification of hearing their songs echoing back to them from an excited adoring crowd. 

As we journey into the 2010s the best way to progress in the entertainment industry is to embrace the technology and use it to our advantage.  With home computers now capable of producing studio quality albums we can cut out the men in suits standing between our art and our audience and advance musically without accountants making us sound like the last group that went platinum.  We now have complete artistic freedom and we should use it.

Following this article I want to highlight a few Australian groups out there doing it for themselves and sharing their creations with the world for free.  Their generosity should be commended and rewarded wherever possible, whether it's by attending their shows, buying new releases or merchandise, giving the love back by leaving favourable comments wherever they are present on the web or sharing their music with a friend.

Thank you for reading and enjoy the gifts that follow.

Jah bless,

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