Sunday, July 22, 2012

"Music is contingent"

A wonderful article by Cory Doctorow that sheds some light on why people don't give a crap anymore about the entertainment industry's woes and most importantly, why they're not really woes anyway.


"Meanwhile, the recording industry has always had a well-deserved reputation for corruption and maltreatment of artists. From the recurring payola scandals that crop up every decade or so to the never-ending stream of stories about the bad deal musicians get, the industry has never been able to credibly claim that buying artists’ creations from their labels will end up enriching the artists themselves. No fan cares much about the commercial fortunes of labels themselves – if we care about anyone, it’s the musicians. When you learn that – to pick just one example – the labels only recently ended the practice of running secret ‘‘third-shift’’ pressings in the dead of night, CDs that were not on the books and that were sold without generating royalties for the artists, it’s hard to credit the idea that taking music without paying for it always harms the artists. Incidentally, the thing that stopped third-shift pressings wasn’t ethics or artists’ rights movements – it was the provision in Sarbanes-Oxley that made executives personally, criminally liable for balance-sheet frauds."

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