While your Father was running his business, my father was running from police dogs and fire hoses in the deep south of the 1960's. So I guess civil disobedience runs in my family just as much as business sense runs in yours. Neither is less of a contribution to society. While the act of downloading music is a far cry from the courageous efforts of my Father's Generation, I hope it will have just as profound an impact on the Recording Industry Establishment. The recording industry is one of the most exploitive in modern history. Price-fixing, radio consolidation, and copyright extension the list goes on and on. Artists can at very best collect a minuscule share of royalties. File sharing benefits everyone. Instead of arguing all the minutia lets take a look at the most recent success story, The Arctic Monkeys. The band first put out demos for downloading on the internet in 2004. This month they were on Saturday Night Live. File sharing and so called "illegal" downloading has freed artist’s sense of creativity, lifting the pressure most feel from Record Labels to produce a manufactured commercial product. Remember Mrs. Jones's comment, "If these artists actually made full records that were good instead of just a song here and there I may buy one of them?" The point of me posting the Rock's Top Thirty Moneymakers list was that these artists make the majority of their money from touring. How can you be upset at me "stealing" from a group (the Recording Industry) that steals from these artists, in so many ways? When I download I am in fact not stealing, I am creating publicity and spreading a bands influence, based on the bands merits, not on Record Label marketing. Bands who tour and develop a grassroots following on the internet earn them by proving they're just more than a flash in the pan marketing blitz. The Arctic Monkeys prove this theory once again:
. . . widely expected to be one of the biggest releases of 2006 with thousands of copies pre-ordered, early versions of many tracks were already freely available to download from the band's pre-label demo CDs. On 5 January 2006, Domino announced the album's release would be brought forward one week to the 23 January "due to high demand". While the same thing was done with the release of Franz Ferdinand, there has been continued speculation that the move came as a result of the album's leak and the impact of file sharing - a controversial suggestion given file-sharing's part in establishing the band's incredibly large and dedicated fanbase.BTW: A note on downloading from Dana Mulhauser of Slate Magazine:
Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not became the fastest selling debut album in chart history, selling 363,735 physical copies in the first week. This smashed the previous record of 306,631 copies held by Hear'say with their debut Popstars, and is likely to be even higher once online downloads of the album are added . The record's first day sales alone - 118,501 copies - made it the fastest selling debut rock album, and would have been enough to secure the Number One chart position.
The Recording Industry Association of America has been bringing about 700 suits per month, but they're against uploaders—people who make music available for copying—and not downloaders.