There's been a lot of talk about intellectual property and copyright, lately. Following the Pirate Bay judgment, everybody and their mother is laying claim to the restitution money. The problem is that only the four employees working for the Pirate Bay were sued for operating the website and not the company itself, leaving the transgressions of the company entirely out of the judgment. Does this stop people from wanting to reach their hands in the cookie jar? Nope. In fact, the RIAA is laying claim to a quarter of the 3.6 million dollar judgment. I'd like to arbitrarily lay claim to 900 grand, too, but does that mean I'll get it? Hell no, that would be ridiculous.
It's no secret that the excess of the Bush administration is quickly coming to an end and it seems that the entertainment industry is just now realizing it. Bummer, dudes. To drive it home, one of the higher-ups at EMI, one of the four largest recording companies in the world, has recently admitted that the industry is now entirely out of touch reality. How did they find themselves on a ship with no captain? By wiping their asses with every new and innovative distribution method that have been brought forth, including websites like the Pirate Bay. Bummer again, dudes. So now that the industry has to learn how to live within their means and find a way to win over their already very alienated customers, they're liable to do anything they can to make it seem like they aren't greedy bastards. I sense a very elaborate "the music industry loves you" campaign in the very near future. After all, the whole "we're going to sue all of our customers" campaign did not go over so well.
And who would have thought there would be a backlash from that? With all that incredibly bad PR over suing people that didn't even own computers or grandmothers for online piracy, I'd have no idea that people would view the industry in poor taste. And I'm not trying to defend piracy. I'm not. But there are certain business practices that the industry ha taken on that I don't necessarily agree with. Picture this: you get a letter in the mail that says, "Pay us five grand or we'll unleash our incredibly well-paid and effective legal team upon you. Resistance is futile. Have a nice day." How is anybody supposed to compete with that? Even if you've done nothing wrong, you'll spend who knows how much money defending your innocence. Either way, money is going to leave your pocket, and when it does, it's going to go to the music industry. There's very little stopping them from just mailing letters out to everybody in America demanding money.
As a photographer, the proposition of sending e-mails and letters to people demanding money right off the bat is utterly preposterous and threatening to sue in the initial conversation is not a very diplomatic business practice. The extremely reactionary practices of the industry has left a bad taste in a lot of mouths. All it does is send a message that the music industry no longer cares about its customers. Not caring about your customers is not going to make your customers care about you. Not to mention the absolutely abysmal state of Top 40 radio which only leaves me thinking, "Wait, haven't I heard this before?" It is as forgettable as it is unimaginative. So what's the motivation to purchase it? There isn't any.
My suggestion: start making music worth buying or find a different way to survive. Good riddance.
Currently in heavy rotation:
Crystal Castles - Crimewave [Crystal Castles vs. HEALTH]
M83 - We Own The Sky
The AKAs - Every Great Western
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