Friday, March 28, 2008

When Big 4 move towards online subcription services, please do not patronize them

Excuse me folks, this is one of my off-topic posts, but I just had to get this off my chest. -R.B.

We have read, on Conde Naste, that the Big 4 -- Warner Bros. Records, SONY BMG, EMI, and Vivendi/Universal -- are finally trying to get on board with selling music online on a subscription model, and that the person heading up this effort at Warner Brothers now says "I don't think we should be suing students and I don't think we should be suing people in their homes".

Well it's very nice to hear him say that, now, while his employer continues to bring new lawsuits, and to wreck the lives of innocent people, on a daily basis.

But I hope that when these idiots finally do open their subscription services, none of my readers will patronize them.

The lawsuit campaign is a campaign launched and managed by idiots, who have accomplished nothing except to hurt the lives of others while destroying their own companies.

We, the public, should remember what they have done, and not do business with them when they finally cave and beg the public to come back to them.

If you consider any subscription service, please be sure it's not one affiliated with, or even peddling the music of, any of those 4 companies or their labels (if you want to identify the labels to stay away from, that's real easy... go to the Index of Litigation Documents table of cases and look at the names of the record company plaintiffs. Here's a list: Arista, Atlantic, BMG, Capitol, Elektra, Fonovisa,
Interscope, LaFace, Lava, Loud, Maverick, Motown, Priority, SONY, UMG, Virgin, and Warner. As a matter of principle, we should never buy music from any of those companies.)

Please stick to independent music. Here's my partial list of places to get independent music online.

Thank you.


Keywords: digital copyright law online internet law legal download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie independent label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa independent mp3 cd favorite songs intellectual property


Anonymous said...

What, you mean I can't go up to them and say, "Oh, you have such a cute wittle music subscription service. Yes you do"

Anonymous said...

Ray, it isn't the first time they tried subscription services and it will NOT be the last time that they fail with them.
As long as it's with Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and crappy quality inferiour to CD it will have no huge success compared to the alternatives they whine about they can't compete with ;-)

I doubt that it is necessary to preach to the regular readers of your blog to stay away from "evil4", however its the joe average that has not yet heard of "RIAA" to not do business with them over what they might do at the moment with itunes if at all!

and have it as unvoluntarily fee on your isp bill jsut because their customers COULD download music (infringingly or not) will not work!
Next will be adobe or microsoft and demand such a "music tax" for themself since their product is being copied illegally too. No, that should not and will not work!!
"Evil4" must die and the artists must organise it themself in a fair way so that they get the money from loyal fans for good artistic work!

Share and enjoy! -- Douglas Adams

-- Richard

Anonymous said...

"Today, it has become purely voluntary to pay for music," Griffin told in an exclusive sit-down this week. "If I tell you to go listen to this band, you could pay, or you might not. It's pretty much up to you. So the music business has become a big tip jar."
Execs rarely understand the industry they try and control, and statements like this make it completely clear they do not understand the system.

Music is an art form. Art has never been about "getting paid," it's about expressing ideas. Music is background noise in a modern society. There will always be a street-corner musician, and a no-cover bar band. To think that all musicians should be paid by each individual that hears their song misunderstands the medium.

Money is made in music through marketing and "cool-factor." People buy your stuff because they like it. People hear about your stuff because someone else tells them about it, or they hear it in a free manner (on the radio). The easier access is to music, the more money the musician will make. It's a fact. As soon as you start restricting content, the less money you'll make - your teenagers won't be so willing to impulse buy stuff they've never heard.

Certainly, heavily marketed acts (your Madonnas, Christina Aguileras, and Justin Timberlakes) always will have a fan-base. But you can't rely on proven breadwinners in the music industry - not every record is a hit, and hits come from the most unexpected places. The music industry would be best to get involved in free, unrestricted music - lest the next Nirvana come from a free/unrestricted music company.

The only certainty in music is that people will always make loads of money, and people that were making loads of money will cease to make loads of money at the drop of a hat. The music industry better avoid the latter.


Jadeic said...

I would imagine, Ray, that we have all migrated already to non-RIAA (or over here in the UK non-BPI) product. Shame on you if you haven't - but if that is the case be not afraid. There is a vast amount of high quality music out there in independent label land. What's more if you follow the links that Ray already has on this blog they do come with gatekeepers who can steer you to music of your taste. You are not completely on your own out there! That said I do recommend that you take the plunge and listen to anything and everything critically and work at forming your own judgments on quality. It can be hard work but is most rewarding when you find a real gem. Then you pass on the good news to friends and family and in such a way are stars born.

When I get back to base on my own computer I will perhaps post some of the links / sounds I have found for your delectation.


Virtualchoirboy said...

In addition to OurStage, you should also check out MagnaTune. Wil Wheaton mentioned it in his blog the other day and I've enjoyed the background music since. While the artists do not get 100% of the sale, they do get 50%, there is no DRM and the company is very open about it's business model... NO MAJOR LABEL MUSIC!!! :-)

Anonymous said...

It is clear that the recording industry's overall goal is an unavoidable "entertainment tax" on every citizen, with the money going into industry - never the artist's - pockets. They certainly feel that entertainment is vital to every citizen, and therefore every citizen owes them a living. And once this tax exists, then they will be forever be pushing rates higher whenever possible.

In this manner they will ensure their revenue stream regardless of when things go out of copyright, or the rise of independent productions that don't require Big Music behind them any longer.

This does deserve to be fought at every level. To bad that nobody votes for their Congressional representatives based on their stance on copyright, or holds them accountable afterwards when they reverse direction after getting into office.


Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

One thing I've been meaning to do for a while now, and, like always, have been too lazy to actually do, is to write a letter and send it to the RIAA member labels that have artists I like. A rough list of the major points:
- I'm a major music fan
- I own roughly 100 CDs, many concentrated in only a few of my favorite artists, and am continually buying more
- I'm a big music evangelist, and frequently encourage friends to listen to/buy stuff by the artists I like
- Thanks to their law suit campaign, I will not be purchasing anything by labels that participated in the RIAA's scheme again, ever
- I would appreciate it if said labels would crawl into a hole and die as quickly as possible, so that their artists may sign with more hospitable labels (or publish independently)
- I will continue being a music evangelist, though from now on I will recommend only artists not on those labels, and actively discourage people from listening to/buying anything by those labels
- I will be sending letters to their artists directly, informing them of this situation and encouraging them to leave their labels as soon as possible so that I may resume spending money on them

Anonymous said...

If I could stand and applaud your efforts (and this post!) via the internet, I would. It is time for these companies to suck up to the consumers and apologize for their error.s

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that people will have a choice to accept it or not, if they tie the music payment in with your isp service. Most people will still want their internet connected.

This plan, by the way, was suggested way back when Napster first came along, so I think after all the years of hardship and ignorance, perhaps the music industry will need to apologize to Shawn Fanning!


raybeckerman said...

Dave, haven't you been reading my Liberated Music section?

Yes I know most present readers of my blog know not to buy RIAA products, but (a) I expect to have new readers today and in the future, and (b) I'm sure my readers occasionally pass along things to others.

Jadeic said...

Indeed I have read your 'Liberated Music' section, Ray. It has been a major source of new music for many a past month.

The thrust of my post was aimed at the trepidatious newcomer who may baulk at the idea that it is possible to discover music on your own. Thanks to the efforts of the RIAA, increasing numbers are emerging into a post-Adornian society where we are not treated as mindless cattle.

The excellent addition of OurStage is the perfect place to start honing your critical judgement across a huge range of musical styles - and it is FUN.

Let's get out there and spread the gospel guys...