When electronica musician The Flashbulb, (aka Benn Jordan), was approached after one of his gigs by some fans who told him how much they enjoyed his music, he was flattered. When they then went on to tell him that they bought his tracks from iTunes, he was less than thrilled.
Benn Jordan doesn’t have a contract with iTunes and he’s never seen a penny of any track ever sold there.
After investigating the numbers from the label, Benn discovered just how little the artist and label was getting compared to the profits made by the retailer. When he asked the owner of Sublight Records, (his label), about it, he was told to “leave it be”. Everyone else he contacted just ignored his calls and emails.
According to Apple, once a file is in the iTunes system, it can’t be removed or taken down for a year; a bizarre boast considering how flawed that logic is.
“So, who’s the pirate I should go after? A kid who downloads my album because it isn’t available in non-DRM format and costs $30 on Amazon? Or a huge multi-billion dollar corporation that has been selling thousands of dollars worth of my music and not even acknowledging it?”
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U2 manager, Paul McGuinness (right) has called upon Internet Service Providers to introduce draconian policies aimed at disconnecting file sharers, music pirates and other ne’er-do-wells. During the International Managers Summit at the MIDEM music conference, McGuinness also urged governments to ensure that ISPs kick back at the little guy.
He blamed the record companise for allowing “a range of industries to arise that let people steal music”, Silicon Valley companies that create marvelous devices but “don’t think of themselves as makers of burglary kits”, and governments who “created a thieves’ charter” by agreeing that ISPs are not responsible for what their customers get up to.
“If you were a magazine advertising stolen cars, handling the money for stolen cars and seeing to the delivery of stolen cars, the police would soon be at your door,” he said. “That’s no different to an ISP, but they say they can’t do anything about it”
Obviously the audience of music managers lapped it up.
McGuinness later went on to say that the majority of people who downloaded Radiohead’s “In Rainbows” probably did it through “illegal” services like BitTorrent and Limewire.
When are musicians and their management going to realise that their glory days are over? I’m not saying that they shouldn’t make money, but there’s making money and then there’s making money. I’m not bothered if they’re scraping together a few pennies for a hot meal and a bath, but when that meal is caviar and that bath is gold plated… then I get a tad annoyed.
I don’t want to be paying for a mansion that will one day be featured on “Cribs” or to fuel some coke-fiend’s habit. Successful, talented musicians make more than enough money to live a normal life; it’s time they realised that if they’re doing it for the money, they’re in the wrong industry.
Happy New Year!
What better way to start the new year than Radiohead doing a special new year’s eve video for 2007/2008?
In this hour long private taping, Radiohead performs all of the tracks from its newest album, In Rainbows. Other elements include poetry readings and diverse imagery created or selected by the band.
Star Wars Trumpet By Stacy Hedger
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