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

Music Lives Because Of Sharing and Copying

We all want to first and foremost SHARE something. If you go to Facebook, people are sharing their day and their lives. Go to any internet page and you will see people sharing photos, writings, music, opinions, stories, etc. And all the things that we share are all free. We do it for free.

However, the recording industry will say that artists cannot survive without being paid. What the recording industry is saying is that the recording industry cannot survive if they are not getting paid. Artists NEED to create. And there are artists who WANT to make money from those creations. And a few of them actually CAN make money from their creations.

As always, there are lots of bands created every day. Only a few survive. Only a few of them make enough money to live. And only a very little few of them make a lot of money. That has always been the same. We know of Motley Crue, but how many bands were there in L.A at the time? How many of them have we never heard of? We know of Metallica, but how many bands were there in San Francisco at the time? How many of them have we never heard of? We know of Accept and Bonfire from Germany, but how many bands were there in Germany at the time? How many of them have we never heard of? Get my point.

The difference now is that musicians can reach many more people and they don’t need a whole industry for that, and the industry is frightened about it.

Music will always exist along with people’s need to share it. The fact that we have music alive today is because it was shared and copied from day dot.

Music is about beauty and beauty has no real set price. For super fans, that beauty could be worth thousands of dollars in music, merch and concert purchases. For others, the beauty could be worth a few dollars and for others that beauty could be worth just the enjoyment.

If we listen to a song and we like it, we will listen to more songs. We could purchase a CD, we could download an album, we could purchase a ticket to a show or a T-shirt. Hell, we could even fan fund the next recording. That is how the fans build social communities around their favourite acts. They chat about them to another person. Then they share the music that they love. And once upon a time, there was no law forbidding this. Information was exchanged freely. However when the entertainment industry kept on growing, and when they kept on getting the governments to pass laws to give the industry a monopoly, that is when the repression began.

I bet no one has heard about Paulo Coelho. He is one of the best-selling authors and a few years back he decided to create “The Pirate Coelho”, an non-official fan page that allows people to download the full texts of his books in different languages. And guess what happened. He started selling more books now than ever. Guess you need to balls to try something that is unknown.

In bands, this is a difficult card to play because band members very rarely see eye to eye, so as soon as something goes astray there will be one band member that will start throwing the blame at another band member.

 

 

 

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

The Old And The New – Times Are Changing

MY MUSIC COLLECTION vs THE KIDS MUSIC COLLECTION

My Record and CD Collection

This is my record and CD collection along with the issues from Guitar World from January 1986.

My kids have all of this on their iPod’s and iPad’s.

THE PURCHASE OF MUSIC from RETAIL STORES vs INSTANTANEOUS

The Way I Purchase Music On Occassions

I took the kids to the “Record Store Day” two days ago.

They loved the record store and it was their second record store that they had visited ever. They enjoyed searching through the piles of records but hated the following things;

– the line up/wait to pay for our purchases compared to clicking a few keys and having it all happen instantaneous.

– the chance that what I wanted to buy at the Record Store Day could not be there or it could have sold out compared to having the history of music available at your fingertips without any issues. For the record, it was the last copy of the “Killers and Kings” single and the second last copy of the “The Illumination Theory” picture LP.

– that once they found a record that had a cool cover from an unknown act, they couldn’t hear it BEFORE they decided to buy it compared to what they do on-line with YouTube and Spotify.

– the price of the special edition releases. As a hobbyist/collector I paid $30AUS for the Machine Head “Killers and Kings” single and $40AUS for the Dream Theater “Illumination Theory” picture LP. My kids thought I was insane, spending $70AUS on two products, especially when a years subscription to Spotify is just a touch more and for that you get millions upon millions of songs.

MY BOOK COLLECTION and DVD COLLECTION vs THE KIDS BOOK COLLECTION

My Book and DVD Collection

In other words, Physical books vs The Kindle Touch.

If you are a business that is in the entertainment/arts arena that is still hoping on physical sales for profits, then your business model is challenged.

Research is constantly showing that in order to compete with piracy, sellers of music, movies and books need to have a “free music approach, targeted at young users and supported by advertisements along with a high-quality music offering to older customers, where they pay for downloads but with no visible advertising.”

The take away is this comment;

“Our research shows that consumers do prefer legal and ethical options if available but each age group has different ways of making this economically viable.”

I bet that comes to a shock to the traditional labels and marketing firms. The days of when music was only made available to people who had disposable incomes are over and have been for a long time.

Music consumption is now being driven by different age brackets. The 113 million streams of Katy Perry’s “Roar” is being driven more by the kids in the 4 to 14 age bracket than the 25 plus adults. It is the song of the young, their anthem, their “We’re Not Gonna Take It”.

It all reminds me of a song I once wrote called “Times Are Changing”.

I wrote it in 1993, just when Grunge finally made the hard rock movement a footnote in history for the next decade. And the song wasn’t about the death of hard rock, it was the about the power of a cultural movement enforcing a change that no one could stop. As the pre-chorus stated;

It’s a revolution in their eyes
Against society and its lies

Times are changing, re-arranging x2

Guess the times are constantly changing and they are changing even faster in the era of the internet. And when I compare the new to the old, the times have really changed.

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A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Record Label Innovation – Kill Music Service to Protect Old Business Models

What are the Record Labels worth without the talent? ZERO!

So what do the Record Labels do to their talent?

They treat them to a world of creative accounting.

They treat them to a world where they spend monies on DMCA takedowns and litigation to protect the old income streams, instead of nurturing new income streams for their talent. Throughout life, people are always looking for something new, however the recording industry believe in selling the same old thing in music. When something different comes out like Mumford & Sons, Adele, PSY and Imagine Dragons it triumphs in unforseen ways.

The whole approach of the Record Labels and the RIAA has been if they can’t control a business, their next best option is to kill the business off. Napster showed the music business what the fans wanted, however they killed it off and to this day, not one legal service has risen to offer what Napster offered, which was Community and Convenience.

There is a song called Red City on the new Stone Sour release, House Of Gold and Bones II. In the story line, our hero is in the clutches of the bad guys and the song Red City marks the beginning of the end for the main character. If the Entertainment Industries and their stooges get their way, it is the beginning of the end for the Internet and the opportunities it gives to creators.

Sort of like the lyrics in the new Black Sabbath song, End of The Beginning that states “rewind the future to the past”. That is what the Entertainment industries want. The past to return. That is the future they want.

Look at the recent behaviour of the one they call Prince. Even the Electronic Frontiers Foundation has inducted Prince into its “Takedown Hall of Shame”. To sum up, Prince has issued DMCA takedowns on six second clips of a Prince concert, on fan recorded concert videos of him covering Creep from Radiohead (which by the way he doesn’t even own the rights to the song), threatening to sue people for thinking of doing a tribute album to him and a takedown of YouTube video of a toddler dancing to a Prince song (which is in the Courts at the moment).

The reason why I am mentioning Prince is to show people what a misguided artist he has become. The labels send millions of DMCA takedowns each day and in a lot of cases they censor free speech under a copyright claim. They have even taken down their own websites. Universal Music Group even took down Black Sabbath’s God Is Dead YouTube stream from the Black Sabbath YouTube page.

When is the Recording industry and people like Prince going to stop complaining? When are they going to stop lamenting the passage of the good old days? When are they going to stop blaming the technologists and the fans for ruining their business models. There is a reason why Indie labels have claimed a large slice of music sales this year than the three majors. It’s because they are working on the outside, digging deep and finding those real stars, the real golden nuggets.

Music used to be cutting edge and it used to drive the conversation and the culture. These days music is just another consumable, ready to be consumed like milk. Musicians like Prince, Jon Bon Jovi, Jay Z and so forth are trying to get in bed with the Fortune 500. Where is it written that musicians must be rich? You create quality that resonates and connects, then you will be a star.

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