A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories

Where Should An Artist Be?

Megadeth’s “Dystopia” has 1,529,342 streams on Spotify. On YouTube, the audio clip has 1 million views and the video clip has 722K.

“Symphony Of Destruction” has 14,728,297 streams on Spotify. On YouTube there are a few fan created uploads that have around 4 million views, proving, once again, that fan uploads are good for the artist. They get paid from these videos as well. And the cumulative number on YouTube is close to the streams on Spotify, but it’s fragmented and quality varies.

“Hate By Design” from Killswitch Engage has 1,375,919 streams on Spotify. On YouTube 1,386,177 views.

Meanwhile, “My Curse” uploaded back in November 2006 has 14,730,324 views on YouTube and on Spotify it has 21,940,706 streams. Remember that Spotify launched in the US in July 2011 and it was first launched in September 2008. So on a service that has been operating for a shorter period and even shorter in the main US music market, it has racked up more streams.

This is telling me that once the promotion marketing run of a new song for Killswitch is over, the fans of the band gravitate to Spotify to consume their catalogue.

Now let’s go to Dream Theater’s “The Gift Of Music”. It’s got 938,792 streams on Spotify. On YouTube, the Official Video clip has 595,906 views and the Official Audio clip has 1,249,834 views.

However, an older song like “Pull Me Under” has 5,543,276 streams on Spotify and on YouTube, the official video has 4,193,933 views, the “Live At Luna Park” has 2,449,343 views and a fan upload has 1,591,017 views.

Dream Theater is a band with a small but highly profitable hard-core fan base that purchase the music of the band in CD, Vinyl or MP3 format. So the streaming stats of Dream Theater would always be lower than others because of that ownership perspective.

Bullet For My Valentine new single, “You Want A Battle” has 8,698,284 streams on Spotify and an older song like “Your Betrayel” has 21,322,709 streams on Spotify.

Meanwhile on YouTube, “You Want A Battle” has 4,166,841 views on the VEVO video clip and 1,009,159 views on the VEVO audio clip. “Your Betrayal” on the other hand has 30,619,555 views on the VEVO video clip.

Trivium’s new single “Until The World Goes Cold” has 5,249,262 streams on Spotify and the title track of the album has 3,055,965 streams. Meanwhile on YouTube, “Until The World Goes Cold” has 4,311,064 views on the VEVO video clip and “Silence In The Snow: has 3,533,303 views on the VEVO video clip.

Five Finger Death Punch’s new single “Wash It All Away” has 8,796,100 streams on Spotify. The lead off single from the new album “Jekyll and Hyde” has 19,147,912 streams and an older song like “Far From Home” has 24,575,975 streams.

Meanwhile on YouTube, “Wash It All Away” has 10,711,212 views on the VEVO video, “Jekyll and Hyde” has 17,718,384 views on the VEVO video and “Far From Home” doesn’t even rate a mention apart from some fan uploaded clips.

It just goes to show the artist and their label how the fans can take a song and make it as big as a single. All by listening.

One track that is killing it on YouTube is the clip to “The Wrong Side Of Heaven” which has 66,552,910 views.

Shinedown’s “Cut The Cord” has 9,251,338 streams on Spotify and their big hit “Second Chance” has 32,160,803 streams. Meanwhile on YouTube, “Second Chance” has 12,967,621 views on the video clip and “Cut The Cord” has 13,346,588 views.

So…

For an artist, you have no idea how your fans like to listen to music. You might want them to purchase a CD, but the truth is, each fan is different and you need to cater for it. The beauty of Spotify and YouTube is that songs that are not singles become as big as singles based on the listening patterns of the fans. Artists should take note of what the fans like.

And metal and rock fans are still loyal enough to purchase music when they like it but the days of purchasing blindly are over. I’ve streamed the new Killswitch Engage album to death. Eventually I will purchase it to add to my collection. but there is a higher chance that I would purchase a concert ticket first before I purchase the album. That’s just the way it is.

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A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity

Freedom With Streaming

I love freedom.

The freedom to live where I want, do want I want and when I want to.

I also love music and I also love to hear music wherever I go and when I want to. Today, there are a lots of ways to hear music.

  • to buy a digital mp3
  • to stream for free
  • to buy a CD
  • to pay for a streaming subscription
  • to illegally download it via P2P

Pre-Napster, the only way to hear the song you liked was to purchase the album or single it came on. Alternative methods involved waiting for the radio to play it and you dub it to cassette or you dub someone else’s original copy onto cassette or CD.

The big difference between then and now is availability. Did you know that Slash also used BitTorrent to release “Live At The Roxy”.

His reasons for it are real simple.

To allow people to access his music from any outlet they desire. He goes to Spotify to consume music and like many others, he still likes to have a physical copy in his hand.

I enjoy my music and I enjoy it a lot, however in the Eighties and early Nineties, I couldn’t enjoy it as much because I simply didn’t have enough money. Thank god that second-hand record shops became big business by the early nineties and it allowed me to purchase a lot of Seventies and Eighties LP’s that I couldn’t afford to purchase before.

Even though the clueless mainstream press always toes the RIAA and Record Label viewpoint that music is in dire straits, I say the opposite.

Look at how much money the labels are making from the various streaming companies who are paying a lot of money to license the labels catalogue. Here is a list of the top eight streaming companies out there;

  • Spotify
  • YouTube
  • Google Play
  • Apple Music
  • Pandora
  • Rdio
  • Deezer
  • JB HiFi (in Australia)

Each of the above companies paid the record labels a high license fee in order to have music on their service. They then pay the record labels (who are the major copyright holders) 70% of their profits for songs streamed. When you take into account that streaming services made over $1 billion in the US last year, 70% of that went to record labels. From the other 30%, the record labels took another cut via their licensing fee system.

Apart from streaming bringing in billions of dollars and putting a massive hole in piracy, it has also changed the way people view sales of music, the charts and every other metric associated with music.

The Top 40 once upon a time was a benchmark for what was popular. The metric used to judge popularity was sales. The view was that if an album or a song got into the Top 40, the artist would go on to become a household name. In 2012, the charts started to include digital sales and streaming. Streaming listens enable songs from the past to re-enter the charts, even though the band or artist who wrote it are retired or have departed this Earth.

Quincy Jones said recently that there is no music industry.

Maybe he meant to say that the record labels are making a lot of money from other avenues, however they are just not passing on those monies back to the artists and the songwriters. Maybe he meant to say that the recording industry does not have a monopoly on music anymore. In the end, the music industry as a whole is very much alive and well.

Quincy Jones also said that artists “can’t get an album out because nobody buys an album anymore.”

Umm, Quincy, or Gene or Paul or Yngwie, no one wanted to buy an album at all. All we wanted to do was to listen to music. Maybe he meant to say that people only want the best, so the concept of an album with a few good songs and a lot of filler is not working in 2015. Maybe he meant to say that instead of a handful of gated releases each week, in 2015, we have thousands upon thousands of albums released.

Quincy Jones said newer online distribution model’s don’t mean anything.

Maybe he meant to say that the newer online distribution models have taken away the record labels gatekeepers. With no filter in check, people are overwhelmed with noise. It’s a good thing and only the best will end up rising to the top. The fact that streaming services bring in over a billion dollars each year means nothing. The problem is the record labels. Those monies are just not getting back to the artists and the songwriters.

Quincy Jones reckons that selling 4.5 million albums today and thinking it is a hit record is a joke as he used to sell 4.5 million records every weekend in the 80’s.

Maybe he meant to say that selling 4.5 million records shows that you have an audience, people who care for you and people who will come and watch you live. The fact that people listen to the music over and over again is irrelevant to Quincy Jones. Yes, Quincy, that’s right, people streaming your music are just as important as selling 4.5 million records a week. Maybe he meant to say that I am so out of touch with what fans want, the only thing I know is sales and sales only.

I know that Quincy is not metal or rock, but his viewpoints echo similar viewpoints from Gene Simmons, Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul Stanley, Scott Ian, Duff McKagan, Kirk Hammett, Joe Perry and Roger Waters. You could easily change the name Quincy Jones above, with Gene Simmons, Yngwie Malmsteen and so forth.

Overall, being a musician is tough. It always has been and always will be. There are no overnight successes. Never have been and never will be. Ignore all the crap and make your own way. There is a lot of money to be made in music and it doesn’t just involve writing and releasing an album.

Remember back in the Seventies and the Eighties. Artists had to conquer their local area first, then their state, then the next state and so forth.

With the internet, artists have a global audience right off the bat. But the need to win fans city by city is still the same.

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Copyright, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Stupidity Incorporated

Stupidity just doesn’t seem to go away these days. Last month the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) promoted it’s World Intellectual Property Day with a slogan from a Bob Marley and the Wailers song called “Get Up, Stand Up”. WIPO’s theme was “Get Up, Stand Up. For Music”.

Did you know that a judge ruled against Bob Marley’s heirs a few years who sought to regain control of Marley’s copyrights from Universal Music claiming that Marley wrote the song as a work made for hire and thus Universal could keep the copyright, and not give it back to the Marley Estate.

Now “work for hire” means that an artist was commissioned to write a song to the exact specifications of the record label. Wikipedia states “work for hire” in the following way;

A work made for hire is a work created by an employee as part of his or her job, or a work created on behalf of a client where all parties agree in writing to the WFH designation.

I can’t believe how a judge would seriously believe that the record label at the time “Island Records” would have given the song titles to Bob Marley and told him the theme of what the song should be about.

Anyone involved in music knows too well that is not the case for at all. “Get Up, Stand Up” was written after Marley toured Haiti and the poverty that he was confronted with in that country.

As the Techdirt article points out, you have an organisation so dumb and out of touch with culture that it using a song from an artist that has been hijacked by the corporations who push for stronger copyright enforcement.

As far as I’m concerned, Bob Marley’s copyright MUST be in the Public Domain upon death. The public is meant to be the beneficiaries here, not the heirs and not the record labels.

Which brings me to the “Stairway To Heaven” court case.

You see I am not a fan of the heirs of an artist inheriting the copyrights of the artist once they die and I am definitely not a fan of the heirs of an artist suing others for money. We can all hear that Jimmy Page lifted the riff from the Spirit track “Taurus” and to be honest made a better derivative version of the Spirit track. For whatever reasons Spirit guitarist Randy California was cool with it and nothing happened. However the heirs are now challenging that.

What a sad state it is when a court has to decide on this and whichever way the court rules, the court is putting out the idea that one track is so original and the other is not. As a musician, trust me when I say that no song or riff is created in a vacuum. Each piece of music that comes out is a sum of our influences.

One final thing to add to my rant. When can the artists get it right when it comes to the music industry and recording industry references. Check out this quote from Ron Bumblefoot, the current guitarist in Guns N’ Roses.

”The music industry started to see their customers as their enemies and everybody suffered for it. Congratulations record industry – you’ve made a mess and you still don’t know how to clean it up.”

I always state over and over again, that the music industry is not the recording industry. They are two different entities. You see, the music industry didn’t see their customers as enemies, nor did they sue them, it was the recording industry that did that.

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Copyright, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

The World We Live In

I am over it.

I am over people like APRA/AMCOS CEO Brett Cottle calling on the Australian Parliament to offer legislative support to members of the creative industries.

I know from my own experiences APRA has been negligent for accepting dual song writing registrations on songs that I wrote and registered with them over ten years ago. They had the balls to call me up to ask me if I am okay with their negligence for accepting dual registrations and if I’m not okay with it, they can offer mediation to me to sort it out with the other party at a cost to be paid by me.

Yep, that sure sounds like a lot of support and respect from APRA/AMCOS towards the artists it is meant to represent. The truth of the matter is this.

Small time musicians don’t mean crap to these large organisations. All we do is generate a lot of money for them by playing live and by using our hard-earned monies to promote ourselves and get our songs on radio. Yep, APRA as a publishing and collection association collect those radio royalties (that we as artists worker our backsides off to get on radio) and those live returns from Club owners on our behalf.

They then hold the pool of monies for as long as they can before paying anything out to the artists based on a formula that no one can make sense off. That way APRA can double dip on the pool of money. They do that by earning interest on the large pool first and then they take out their admin fee.

So I am sick and tired at corporate entities that put out crap saying they are concerned about the artists. The music business and the movie business have consistently opted for legislation to combat piracy and when it comes to innovation they are continually dragged kicking and screaming into it.

The major record labels in the U.S killed off the 20 million strong membership of Grooveshark as it wasn’t legit enough for the record labels. Well guess what happened the next day. It was cloned and made available for users to stream music on.

Can we also make the distinction between the recording industry and the music industry?

They are two different categories. The recording industry is part of the music industry. The music industry at a high level also contains the live industry, the merchandise industry, the publishing companies, the collection agencies, the local clubs, etc..

So when I see people saying that the music industry cannot compete with piracy, it is totally a clueless and dumb statement to make.

I don’t see the live industry complaining because of piracy. I don’t see the merchandise industry complaining because of piracy.

Piracy is a recording industry problem. Actually I still find it hard to hear when people in the recording industry still complain about competing with piracy or pirates. People just don’t get it. The recording industry (and by default they acts on their roster) are competing against other products for fans/customers. It has been proven time and time again that if the customer sees value in the offering, they will pay for it.

There is a lot of money in the industry right now. “Blurred Lines” is just one song and it took in over 17 million dollars since 2013.

When it comes to music, I stream via Spotify for free and I buy physical CD’s from Amazon in the U.S or from the band direct. I never got into paying $1.29 or $2.19 for a digital mp3 of the song. However I do have a lot of mp3’s. When you buy pre-release albums from bands directly or via a fan funding campaign, you always get an mp3 version of the album. Amazon offers Auto-Rip and then there is the CD’s I purchased which I rip and put on my iPhone.

While ripping a CD is acceptable to an MP3 file is acceptable in the recording industry, the DVD I purchase is not allowed to be format shifted to an AVI file.

Torrentfreak is a website that I got to regularly to keep up to date on the latest issues around Copyright issues. So it’s no surprise to see that the MPAA is putting their hands in foreign policies. In this case, it was lobbying hard the UK Cameron government to not legalize DVD ripping. However the lobbying efforts didn’t pay off and the private copying exceptions became law in October last year.

Speaking of the MPAA, they are sure doing their best to keep their business model flourishing. Thanks to the Sony email hacks, the world know has official proof that the MPAA are offering grants to academics to write pro-copyright papers that can be used to influence future copyright policies.

As the article points this is nothing new for the MPAA.

Last November we revealed that the MPAA had donated over a million dollars to Carnegie Mellon University in support of its piracy research program. Thus far the Carnegie Mellon team has published a few papers. Among other things the researchers found that the Megaupload shutdown worked, that piracy mostly hurts revenues, and that censoring search engine results can diminish piracy. As expected, these results are now used by the MPAA as a lobbying tool to sway politicians and influence public policy.

So how is Brett Cottle from APRA/AMCOS or those stooges at Village Roadshow any different to the MPAA? All of these organisations profit from the creative works of others however they contribute nothing creatively.

In the end if copyright becomes too extreme, creativity will die.

Thank god in heavy metal and hard rock some common sense is prevailing when we hear similarities between songs. So far we haven’t had the court cases like “Blurred Lines” or the out of court settlements between Sam Smith and Tom Petty for the “Stay With Me” and “I Won’t Back Down” vocal similarities or the other out of court settlement between the song writing committee for Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” and The Gap Band’s 1970s funk hit “Oops Upside Your Head.”

Music survives because the creators are constantly borrowing, sharing, and reacting to the different connections the 12 notes in the musical scale offer.

“The Ultimate Sin” is a forgotten song in Ozzy’s solo career (even though Jake E.Lee does perform it with Red Dragon Cartel) and it was good to hear part of the vocal melody get resurrected by Five Finger Death Punch in “Life Me Up”. Yes, they are similar for those small sections and if anything fair use is the order of the day.

Hell, we all know that Avenged Sevenfold’s latest album “Hail To The King” references a lot of great metal albums from the past. What about Kingdom Come’s “Get In On” and it’s references to Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”. As I have always said, music is derivative.

It’s getting ridiculous how everyone is slapping copyright lawsuits on everything and the reason why that is occurring is that corporations own the copyrights. Hell, even George Clinton who has been sampled by every hip hop artist known, is fighting Bridgeport Music (a publishing company) to get his rights back. Basically at this point in time, George Clinton has NO royalty rights.

Yep, the person who copyright is designed to protect and the person who actually created the music has NO royalty rights to his music. And of course, in case you didn’t know Bridgeport Music was also one of the plaintiffs in the “Blurred Lines” copyright case.

But hey, Bridgeport Music, like APRA/AMCOS would lead you to believe that they are pushing copyright agendas for the artists and that stronger copyright is needed to combat piracy. On the other side of the fence you have a housewife from the fifties who wrote the lyrics for a song called “G.I. Blues” which was later turned into a hit song for Elvis Presley who is not credited as a songwriter because she didn’t pay the $25 copyright fee back in the sixties.

But, wait, according to the corporations who own the copyrights, the world needs longer copyright terms and stronger enforcement rights.

That’s the world we live in.

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Music, My Stories, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Booms And Busts

I don’t mind dabbling in the share market. And like everything in life, the share market is one of boom and busts. If you look at the share market booms and busts you can casually make a comparison to the recording industry booms and busts.

There are billions/trillions of dollars in the share economy while the recording industry is a billion dollar industry and when you add the rest of the industry that forms the music industry you see that music is worth a lot of money.

In share market investing, the usual story is that if someone has a great idea and makes some dough from it, then others will eventually find out about the idea and they will start to put money in, to get money out. So use this analogy for the music business.

When one-act becomes a success, the recording labels would go about and sign hundreds/thousands of acts that sound the same. The labels would also get their current roster of acts to produce music that is similar sounding to the “HOT” act. Three periods in metal music stick out.

From 1980 to 1983 it was the Judas Priest era for clone like acts. From 1983 to 1986 it was the Motley Crue era for clone like acts. From 1986 to 1989 it was the Bon Jovi, Whitesnake and Guns N Roses era for clone like acts.

What about streaming. From only a few streaming players in 2008  we know have a crowded market place. The early success of Spotify and Pandora leads to a monster called envy. This monster than leads others to want to get in on whatever else is in vogue. The latest to join the line of streaming services is the star-studded Tidal. Remember the last star-studded product launch in Neil Young’s PONO. Tidal is no different and the same fate awaits it because both services are about protecting the incomes of the better off artists and they have nothing to do about what the music fan wants.

If Tidal and Pono want people to pay for music again then their business model of putting music behind a pay wall is not the answer. As soon as you do that, P2P will increase again. Newspapers tried to put their content behind pay walls and guess what happened. People just went to websites who offered the content for free.

How do you think the Huffington Post became a large game player?

But as sure as night follows day, all booms come to an end, with a thud. The recording industry is not immune to it. In the share market investors turn to safe companies which pay a secured dividend. In music we turn to the acts that we know off. So those few companies/acts benefit a lot from our patronage.

Then, interest in the share market is renewed through mergers and acquisitions. Remember all of the mergers and acquisitions that have happened to the plethora of record labels over the past 20 odd years. The majors are down to just three.

Throughout it all, musicians still create and get on with their lives. You have the mega rich artist trying to stifle a genuine music business saviour in Spotify while in the meantime said artist is making way more money than any artist has in the history of music. You have wannabes complaining about digital payments. You have a public that 90% of the time cares about the stars and the artists who break through.

And then you have the middle of the road artists who are stuck in a world where the whole history of music is available to the fan and the music fan doesn’t have enough time to gravitate to them.

Sort of like Shadows Fall, Chimaira or God Forbid. All three bands came into my head space when an early 2000 issue of Guitar World was delivered to my mailbox that spoke about a New American Movement in Heavy Metal. So of course I had to check them out.

And all three bands are good. Each band has a definitive song. Being caught up in a cultural movement helped them out a little bit more than other bands however with all cultural movements only a select few end up rising to the top while the rest either fade away, dissolve or continue as middle of the road acts.

So you have bands like Lamb Of God and Slipknot moving into the Institution league. Killswitch Engage and All That Remains are two bands that come to mind immediately that are middle of the road acts.

Then you have Shadows Fall, Chimaira and God Forbid who decided to call it a day and move on. As guitarist Jon Donais (who is in Anthrax at this point in time) said in a recent Loudwire interview;

“Brian (Shadow’s Fall vocalist) was the first one to say, ‘I can’t go on tour anymore because it doesn’t make sense for me. I got kids and a wife’”. He needed to do something more stable because Shadows was always a crap shoot. We never knew what we’d come back [from a tour] with. We never became a headlining band. We were always a support act. I got so lucky. Shadows Fall was coming to an end and this opportunity with Anthrax came up. There just weren’t that many opportunities out there for Shadows Fall. It kind of fizzled out. People stopped caring, so we were all like, ‘Alright, what’s the point?’ We got along great and we loved writing music, but financially it was impossible to go on the road and come back with enough money, especially for the guys who have families. Two of the guys have kids. When you’re single you can go, “Alright, it’s just me on the line,” but when you’ve got a family, you gotta provide for them which means coming back with enough money so they can survive. The fun and games stop once you become a real adult.”

The fate that befell Shadows Fall, God Forbid or Chimaira is no different to the fate of many bands throughout the history of music. It is a cycle that keeps on repeating regardless the propaganda of the recording industry and the RIAA. It is a cycle of boom and busts.

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Copyright, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity

The Copyright Pension/Annuity

When I started to write my own songs back in the late Eighties, copyright was not even in my mindset. You see, when you start to do something creative you do it because there is a sense of fulfillment and a desire to create.

From my own experiences, I never sat down with my guitar and said to myself, “Gee, lucky for me, there is a copyright law in place that lasts my whole lifetime, plus another seventy years after I die, to give me an incentive to create”.

Those kinds of thoughts never enter the mindset.

Which brings me to today and how the very nature of what Copyright is has been hijacked by large corporations and greedy next of kins.

The whole “Blurred Lines” case is a joke. For the record, it is a crap song that made a lot of cash. So what we have is a jury deciding if a song sounds similar to another song and for them to decide that it does sound similar, it more or less indirectly infers that Marvin Gaye was so original that his song “Got To Give It Up” came out of some celestial vacuumed place that only Marvin Gaye had access to. However, everyone knows that is not the case. All artists are the sum of their influences.

And what a said state of affairs for Copyright. You have the heirs of Marvin Gaye, who haven’t contributed anything to the arts and are living off the proceeds of a stupid law that extends Copyright 70 plus years after death. There are millions upon millions of songs out there that sound similar, however once a song makes some serious cash, the knives come out.

What I took out of the court case and what bodes well for music in general is the amount of money the track made.

$5.6 million in profits went to Robin Thicke while $5.2 million to Pharrell Williams, $700,000 to the other writer T.I. and the rest of the $16.7 million in overall profits went to the  record companies Interscope, UMG Distribution and Star Trak. Since Napster, we have been hearing the same rhetoric from the recording industry and out of touch artists.

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are renowned for their viewpoints on rock being dead and piracy killing off any chance a new artist has of making some money. Scott Ian wanted to disconnect people from the Internet. Nuclear Blast want to shakedown people who downloaded the music from “All Shall Perish”.

Meanwhile the record labels kept the propaganda machine going that they just can’t make any money because of piracy. So here is just one song that has made close to $17 million dollars in profits. One song, remember that.

So it goes back to the same old saying, create something that people gravitate too and watch it make you money. There is a shitload of money out there if artists can create a great song that people gravitate to.

Actually speaking of plagiarism, listen to the “Funky Town” vocal melody and then listen to the verse vocal melody in Kiss’s “Lick It Up”. They are identical. Hell, the whole “Sonic Highways” album from Foo Fighters is a case of influences. Same goes for the whole “Hail To The King” album from Avenged Sevenfold. Let’s add  “Kill Em All” from Metallica which was more or less a rip off the NWOBHM movement. Subsequent Metallica songs afterwards would further borrow from other cult/unknown artists.

Recently Five Finger Death Punch lifted “The Ultimate Sin” verse vocal melody and used it for the “Lift Me Up” verse. Dave Mustaine did the same both musically and vocally by lifting “Children Of The Grave” and using it for “Kingmaker.”

Thank god that Dave Grohl, A7X, Five Finger Death Punch, Dave Mustaine or Metallica didn’t decide to let a Marvin Gaye song influence them, otherwise they would be in the courts as the well.

I think it is pretty safe to say a lot of songs sound the same regardless of genre. I see it more as a tribute than a rip off and to be honest in no way does the new composition take away from the original. For example, there is no way that “Something From Nothing” from the Foo Fighters takes away from Dio’s “Holy Diver”.

But when you have a whole copyright industry that makes money of the works created by others, you get a lot of bullshit happening, especially when a song makes a lot of money.

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Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Music Is Art, However The Price Point For That Art Ranges from $0 to ????? For Each Fan

The tech industry is excited about the music industry in the current day while others see it as a bad time for artists.

Which side is right or wrong is for another post. What I am getting out of it all are two very different arguments and experiences.

The techies see opportunities on a grand scale. They have introduced new revenue streams into the recording industry that did not exist previously due to the way fans started to accessed/get their music online.

The techies celebrate that they have created a direct to fan connection for the artists. People can now participate in the recording industry that previously couldn’t. Artists don’t need a record label however it can be argued that without the record label machine the artist more or less remains part of a niche. Their music can be up on all digital outlets without the need of a record label.

However, the artists, see a decline in revenue. I am sure everyone has heard the following comments;

“We made good money selling CD’s” or “Our music is worth nothing because of streaming” or “Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for.” The last one is from Taylor Swift in her Wall Street Journal Op-Ed.

Spotify is talking about competing and killing off piracy. Spotify is talking about adding a monetary value to the recording industry that was not there before. At no point do they state that Spotify is a substitute for selling CDs.

“Piracy doesn’t pay artists a penny – nothing, zilch, zero. Spotify has paid more than two billion dollars to labels, publishers and collecting societies for distribution to songwriters and recording artists.” Yep, that is what Daniel Ek said in his blog post response to Taylor Swift.

So what we have is the recording industry and misguided artists thinking about the “loss” and they keep doing what they did before which in the long run would end up hurting them more. What they forget is that without the public and the fans, they have no industry. So, yes I agree that music is art, however the price of that art differs from person to person and if an artist cannot cover all different price points then they are failing to service their customers/fans.

Seriously we are 15 years after Napster changed the rules of the game and we are still having the same conversation. The recording industry and misguided artists want us all to buy CDs again.

FAN: “But we only like one track.”
MISGUIDED ARTIST: “I’m sorry, but music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for, so hand over your one of payment of $10.”
FAN: “But I don’t want the whole album.”
MISGUIDED ARTIST: “How do you expect me to make a living if you don’t buy my CD’s. You fans are killing the music industry and the artists by not supporting us.”
FAN: “But I don’t want to own music, I want access to it. And all I am trying to change is the recording industry viewpoints. ”
MISGUIDED ARTIST: “I put my blood, sweat and tears into making this music and its important and rare and since rare things are valuable, you WILL pay for it.”
FAN: “No thanks, I will go elsewhere.”
MISGUIDED ARTIST: “But, wait a minute, I have my own download store available where I am selling MP3’s”.
FAN: “Are you serious, Apple stopped making the iPod and you are still pushing MP3’s.”
MISGUIDED ARTIST: “But”
FAN: “What stuns me is that you have failed to see that the game has changed. The past is gone, it is never coming back. You want me to buy CD’s and Apple doesn’t even have a CD/DVD/BluRay Drive on any of their computers. You want me to buy MP3’s when all I want to do is listen. No one wakes up in the morning and goes to themselves, gee, I wish I bought an MP3 or a CD today. We wake up in the morning thinking, gee, I would love to hear “King Of Errors” from Evergrey.”
MISGUIDED ARTIST: “But music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for.”
FAN: “Your job as a musician is to make music.”

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