I was briefly listening to a talk radio discussion yesterday on illegally downloading music from the internet. OK, in general it’s bad and it’s certainly illegal. But there’s a side issue that came up that has always made me feel less than sorry for the record companies and even some artists who are the alleged “victims” of file sharing.
Let me personalize the issue a bit. I have some, let’s generically call them “albums”, which I have purchased in three formats, some combination of vinyl, 8-track, cassette and CD (I don’t yet own an iPod so for now I have not purchased any digital files). Fortunately, I’ve never found myself having purchased in all four categories, mostly because I never owned all that many 8-tracks back in the day. With each media form, I’ve paid again in full not only for the latest technology but also for the record company profit and the artists cut.
Now I understand no one held a gun to my head and I could have stuck with my vinyl and 8-tracks for those particular pieces of work, but it still stands that the record companies and artists are getting a new bite of the apple each time there’s and upgrade in technology.
I’m not sure where I’m going with this other than to point out that these same whiny music industry folks who forecast their own demise at the hands of the thieving file sharing community have been double, triple and quadruple dipping for decades now. Maybe the answer would be a hefty discount on the latest format if you’ve already purchased the music n another format. Of course, the way around that is simply add a new track to an “album” and, presto, new stuff = full price.
Oh, screw it. Here’s your $14.99, just give me the music.