I know, I know - Epic Broken Record. But at least I'm not going to bore you with where I stand on the subject, as I think that's been clarified on several occasions. What triggered this particular case of unrequested fission surplus is a feature in Saturday's Dagens Næringsliv, outlining how much CD sales have gone down over the last years, how selling downloads is just now becoming a player to reckon with, etc. In other words, things we have heard a gazillion and fifteen times before - no news there. What revs me up, however, are the blatant double standards and self-justifications which are perpetuated by the most ardent file-sharing protagonists. Specifically, it's stuff like:
"The record companies exploit the artists and only pay them a tiny percentage of the sales anyway, so we're really doing the artists a favor." Now why do these people have so much against math and education in general? If the argument is that the artists are being exploited and that they make way too less, how is illegally downloading their music going to remedy that? If an artist - that is; artist + manager + crew combo - makes ten percent of the sales from the first edition and perhaps a little more of the back end, then how would it improve the financial situation for the artist if the sum those ten percent are calculated from is significantly reduced due to people jacking the mp3's instead of buying the CD's? That's right - the artist also makes less, and the argument is void like the warranty of a 1991 Hyundai Elantra the second you drive it off the lot. Ten percent of less is not as much as ten percent of more.
"The artists should just put their music on the web and allow us, the fans to download it for a price hich more closely resembles what we think the product is worth." Yup; keeping up with a budget practice for an actual business - which is what the reality is for the decreasing number of artists who can live off of their music - becomes way easier when all your income variables are unknown. Good luck trying to apply this to other areas of life. The next time I'm at a guitar shop I'm gonna grab a vintage Gibson Les paul and leave what I think it's worth.......that would go over gangbusters. This applies directly to the personal income of the artists, so who are the fans to decide when an artist has made enough money, an argument which is brought up every time Lars Ulrich criticizes downloaders. Again, this would not fly in other areas of life. For example, I think that realtors and lawyers make way too much money. If they make any money at all, they make too much in my estimation. In order to ameliorate this, I would have to break the law but unlike what's the situation with jacking music, the odds of me getting busted are high. Besides, I'm thinking that if people get the choice between a) paying for a product and b) getting it for free while being anonymous over the internet, the fraction of the oppulation belonging to category a) is not going to be in the majority.