The end of recorded music?

Yesterday in the Irish High Court, a judge ruled that there was no law presently available to him to force ISPs to cut off users who used the ISP bandwidth to illegally download and share music for free…not just a song or two but on a commercial basis. This is a very serious issue…and possibly the end of the recorded music business. It’s wrongly criticised by people who haven’t thought it through as being just about ‘fat cats at record companies, who ripped us off in the past, so sod them!’ The fat cats ripped the artists off too but in those days that route was the only option open to an artist or to a songwriter who depended on the artist to record his/her song. Now, even if you’re an independent artist putting out your own records on your own ‘label’, it’s hard to sell enough units to pay for the cost of recording. Those who shout, ‘Let them go out and tour and sell records at gigs’ etc ignore the fact that there are countless songwriters who are not performing/recording artists and for whom touring is not an option. The younger generation, who historically think everything should be free anyway because their parents paid for everything…Duh!…in short-sightedly championing free music have shot themselves in the foot. Even their own artists and songwriters can’t make a living from records any more. This is simply shop-lifting on an institutionalised scale. When an ISP allows its service to be used for this is it’s like setting up a ‘free line’ in a supermarket where you can just walk out with no checkout at the end. See Ya!
It’s mad, and the Government should realise this. The sooner we get a law to stop it the better. Those in favour say ‘Aye!’


  1. says

    I think you have to ask the question who is robbing who? Take the case of the recent Bob Dylan box set called Tell Tale Signs. There was a 2 cd set available at around £20 and a 3cd set with some extra live material and might I add, an interesting version of the lovely song, Mary and the Soldier at about £80. Where is the sense in that? Die hard fans get to shell out more than four times the cost for a few extra songs, Dick Turpin used to wear a mask for heavens sake. I assume that Bob somehow gave consent to this rip off and much as I admire the man for the music he gave the world, it can only lead me to assume that he is a very flawed human being like the rest of us.

    There was the same argument about how home taping was killing music back in the seventies and eighties. What seems bizarre to me is that back then, The Sony corporation manufactured hi fi stereos with twin tape decks. What did they expect people to do with these twin tape decks? Create copies of tapes of their own singing or talking? I think not! Remember this is the same corporation that now owns The Columbia Records back catalogue. The people that put that little logo “home taping is killing music” on the back of LPs back in the day also gave people the power to carry out the home taping… you really couldn’t make it up!

    Perhaps its Bill Gates and Steve Jobs fault for supplying us computers which make it easy for folk to download music. Maybe you could ask your record company to tap those two for some cash? Apparently Bill Gates has billions and spends it on rubbish like an authentic version of the Gutenburg Bible! How is that supposed to help anyone. Not exactly sharing the wealth is he?

    I personally think the only people who win out of all this confusion and mess are the lawyers. As the late Bill Hicks put it, any organisation that lives off fear has to create it in order to survive!

  2. Brian@irelandfavorites says

    Hi Paul, the it’s for free generation is now learning nothing is for free. What you gain in naive free taking or as you rightly put it institutionalized shop lifting, you lose in opportunity for gain. What incentive is given to the performer to record in any manner if the fruit of their labor is given away? The answer lies in using or finding a method which pays the artist and services the customer. Most people will pay for product they like if it is presented correctly. Sources such as i tunes charge for individual downloads and they seem to be forging ahead. I like individuals to be in charge of their own product but the large centralized depository of music in this download era is probably a necessity

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