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Legal Music Downloads At 35%, Soon To Pass Piracy 467

Posted by timothy
from the cars-surpass-buggies dept.
bonch writes "Entertainment Media Research released a study stating that 35% of music listeners are using legal download services, and that the percentage will soon surpass illegal downloads, currently at 40%. Slashdot has also previously reported on services like iTunes gaining in popularity over P2P services. "The findings indicate that the music industry is approaching a strategic milestone with the population of legal downloaders close to exceeding that of pirates," said Entertainment Media Research chief executive Russell Hart.'"
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Legal Music Downloads At 35%, Soon To Pass Piracy

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  • Sure... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @10:02PM (#12877902)
    But will the RIAA/MPAA stop bitching?
    • Re:Sure... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by RickPartin (892479)
      I think pissing on their customers has become more of a hobby rather than a necessity to protect their money. Once you have an absolute monopoly what else is there to do? How can you top that? Might as well use the power for something.
    • Re:Sure... (Score:5, Funny)

      by BlackMesaLabs (893043) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @11:26PM (#12878338)
      Short answer; yes, with an if. Long answer; no, with a but.
    • Re:Sure... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MightyMartian (840721)

      But will the RIAA/MPAA stop bitching?

      No, they won't. If legal download services came to completely dominate the market, the bright lights would simply try to extort more money from those services, and ultimately from the consumer, and thus would find in the solution to the piracy problem the seeds by which piracy can again become common. The root problem is simple. These guys just don't like people downloading music or movies, legal or not. They've made fortunes by controlling distribution (which

      • Re:Sure... (Score:3, Interesting)

        To expound on this, consider the following "add-ons" of a CD compared to an iTunes download.

        Physical pressing of CD
        CD label
        Cover art
        Jewel case and shrinkwrap/annoying security tape
        Shipping to stores
        Marketing and promos in stores
        Lossage due to damage/theft

        These are the bits that drive up the cost of CD's and also result in the RIAA being able to charge far more than the cost of the recording (as well as the cost of these line items, taken collectively). Even if you assume a 400% markup over cost for any p
    • Re:Sure... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ubergrendle (531719) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @08:45AM (#12879929) Journal
      No, but it sounds like its time to raise prices. They'll argue you're paying a premium to recover piracy costs + for the convenience.
  • so? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @10:02PM (#12877904)
    so what's the other 25%?
  • i did not rta but what is the other option besides "illegal" and "legal" downloads? (35% + 40% != 100%)
    • by MasamuneXGP (824006) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @10:04PM (#12877921)
      Apperently they have these things called "stores" that you can reach on sneakernet. Psh, it'll never catch on.
    • TFA doesn't make this clear. Can a download be neither legal or illegal? Perhaps, in the way they collected the data, they couldn't tell if these were breaking any copyright law. Probably, under the DCMA, these 25% are just terrorists anyway.
    • illegal downloads
      legal downloads
      not downloading?

      Some people do buy CD's at a store. ;)
    • It's actually 42%, they just won't admit it. Never be known the reasons will.
    • by G4from128k (686170) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @10:28PM (#12878068)
      This is a classic example of bogus statistics. The two figures have absolutely nothing to do with each other. The 30% of people using legal downloads might be mutually exclusive or totally overlapping with the 40% that use illegal downloads. The numbers need not total to 100% (and could total to more than 100%). At best we can conclude:
      1. No greater than 70% of music listeners download music (legal or illegal) -- i.e., as much as 30% of music listeners simply don't download music.
      2. No fewer than 40% of music listeners download music (legal or illegal).
      3. At most, 30% use both legal and illegal downloads.
      4. It's possible (based on this limited data) that no one does both illegal and legal downloading.
      In next month's survey, both numbers could go up or down since the survey does not ask "do you ONLY download music from legal/ illegal sources." Moreover, the survey provides no estimates of volumes -- illegal downloaders could be downloading 10X or 10X less than their legal-downloading counterparts. Or people that download legal music could be the biggest "pirates" and this survey would be none the wiser.
      • Statistics are usually nothing more than a marketing tool. They are simple and get a point across easily. But nothing is ever that simple. So many variables are in there like who paid for the study, how was it done, etc. But this never matters because once the statistic is out there everyone repeats it and the number becomes fact.
    • Why, In Soviet Russia, music downloads YOU!
  • I'm not surprised (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Spytap (143526) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @10:03PM (#12877912)
    It's just damn easier than dealing with all the shit from stealing.
    A buck a song? Genius.
    • ... the entire RIAA should be dragged out into the streets and paraded through town so we can jeer and throw rotten vegetables at them.

      In fact, they should make a national holiday out of it. There can be a big parade... and thousands of vendors selling rotten vegetables. Yea. That's exactly how I dreamt it.
  • For something as ethereal as bits on a platter, it hardly seems worth it to pay USD1.00 for a song. If I buy a CD for USD15.00, I get about 15 songs, so the price of the music is the same, and in addition I also get a nice case and a physical disk and liner notes.

    I would probably start subscribing to these "legal" music download sites if they were to stop gouging the buyers. Until then, I'll support my favorite bands by giving away samples of their music to my friends and buying t-shirts at their concert
    • For something as ethereal as bits on a platter, it hardly seems worth it to pay USD1.00

      I will sell you 100 gigabits for only 0.25 cents!

      Ofcourse, it will be random 1's and 0's with an occasional Goatse thrown in.

      You are not buying bits. You are buying someone's creativity. If you don't think it is worth it DON'T BUY! No one sticks a gun to your head and says "buy it".
    • http://www.allofmp3.com/ [allofmp3.com]

      Need more be said?
    • I tend to think of buying the average CD as paying a few bucks for a handful of good songs, and then a bunch of filler thrown in for free. Sometimes there are albums that are good all the way through, and those are an excellent deal.

      iTMS is nice because I don't have to pay for that filler, I can just get the songs I want. And compared to the way I view most CDs, a buck for a good song is a bargin.

      I do wish more went to the artist though. Or to Apple. Anyone but the label. Digital distribution cuts out a l
    • by paulbd (118132) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @10:55PM (#12878196) Homepage

      sorry, but you, along with so many other people, just don't understand how the music industry works.

      while it is true that record company executives do make out like fat cats, their income as a proportion of the overall revenue streams within the industry is small.

      the music industry, that is, the traditional music industry, is an exercise in massive cross-subsidy. That mega-hit by that obnoxious and relatively talent-free sex-toy-girl-thing? It helped pay for dozens of minor releases that will likely lose money. Occasionally, a genuinely talented artist will make a record that for some reason sells a lot of copies (the Koln concert release by Keith Jarrett is always a favorite example), but even then, that success makes it possible for the iconoclastic label it was on (ECM) to release dozens of CD's that cost them money.

      until you get this model into your head, no suggestions for an alternative system will make much sense. i say this as someone who attempted to set up a new label, released 1 CD by an incredibly talented group, and began to realize how it all works.

      • I call BS. Of the several bands that I have known who got contracts, all of them paid for most of their own promotions, and virtually every dime the record label paid out was listed as a loan to the band against any future profits. Virtually all of them eventually sold enough albums to pay back the record label, but when the royalty checks came in, they tended to be less than a dollar. I'm not buying that the record label losses millions on small acts that they are loosing money on.

        It was obvious that
    • by EzInKy (115248) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @11:01PM (#12878222)

      For something as ethereal as bits on a platter, it hardly seems worth it to pay USD1.00 for a song.


      That really is the big story here, isn't it. Ox07 is a just a number. 0x08 is another. String the two together and you get just a bigger number, 0x0708. In reality what you are actually paying for when buy digital music is the "right" to use big numbers that happen to resemble songs when processed by certain programs.

    • For something as ethereal as bits on a platter, it hardly seems worth it to pay USD1.00 for a song.

      Complain about low bitrates if you want, but give me a break on the whole "bits on a platter" thing. What the hell do you think a CD is?

      That, and for some reason I've had better luck preserving MP3s than actual CDs over the last 8 years or so...maybe I'm careless, but I've lost a lot more music to damage on physical CD's than I've lost to data loss on my hard drive. In fact, I have yet to lost any MP3s
  • Wishful Thinking (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ratso Baggins (516757)
    Unless people are downloading gigs from ITMS etc. - daily - then I can't see how this is anything more than wishful thinking (or reverse FUD?)
  • Music Exec (Score:5, Insightful)

    by puppet10 (84610) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @10:05PM (#12877927)
    Time to jack up the license fees on legal downloads!!! We'll make a killing at $4 a song!!
    • I don't think so. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Erris (531066) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @12:53AM (#12878673) Homepage Journal
      We'll make a killing at $4 a song!!

      I call BS on the survey and say it's a "we've already won" normalization propaganda campain. Telling "consumers" to shut up and be happy without the right to sample, share or even keep their music is what this is all about. The FUD and active warefare against file sharers will continue, but all of it is doomed to fail.

      The whole DRM thing is going to backfire soon. People are not really going to be happy with these services when their devices start to fail. It's then they realize they have lost hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of music they thought they owned but were in fact renting. They will envious of people who took the time to translate the music they had to free formats on free systems. None of the FUD is true for music and media on these systems which lack both complicated, error proned DRM schemes and easy targets for the actively waged anti file scorched earth warfare. I've got my music, it's backed up, I can easily move it and I can play it on as many devices as I want. Apple may take care of people with ITunes but "Works for Sure" music boxes are sure to crap out and leave their users flat.

      More importantly, there's still competition out there for the big three music publishers. Musicians don't like being screwed and know that's what they get from the cartels. The music industry killed mp3.com, but there are many other to take their place that will offer musicians and fans a much better deal. With Lessing creating an unambiguous legal framework, we can expect these services to be unassailable.

      The concentration of power enjoyed by music publishers was a freak of history and will soon go away. People have been singing and dancing for each other throughout human history. I suspect someone will notice a chimp singing to it's young one day and that it sounds better than pop 40. Music copyrights and radio have only been around for 150 years or so. Government regulation of airwaves and music publication created the cartels in those 150 years. Many people have made money off the scheme, but the technology has been obsolete and the regulations overbearing for decades. Laws which keep Girl Scouts from singing around the fireplace are clearly out of line. Laws have gone from reasonable promotion of artistic work and sharing of public resources to blatant anti-competition tools, which thwart basic human desires. In ten years, we will look back on this madness and wonder how anyone dared keep people from singing to each other or sharing digital files.

      Until then, visit places like Magnitune [magnatune.com] and sample the future.

      $4.00 for a canned performance? You must be shitting me.

    • Re:Music Exec (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Seumas (6865) * on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @01:11AM (#12878739)
      I've been doing more "legal" music "buying" than normal, recently. I will never ever pay $17+ for CD. That's ridiculous. But I did have an account with Rhapsody for quite awhile before I switched to Mac (they don't have a Mac client). They're a great deal. High quality streaming library of over a million songs for as low as $8.33/mo. And for $15/mo, you can dumb as much of it and play it on your portable devices as you want (as opposed to having to play it with their Rhapsody player on your PC).

      It takes a little effort to get over the mental hurdle of not actually owning the music you're paying for, but for the price of five or six CDs, I can access an entire world of music. And while they have some licensing issues preventing them from getting some albums/bands (no AC/DC for example), it's generally a pretty effective collection.

      Aside from that, I've also been using mp3search. Yes, I know it might not technically be legit, but for 10 cents per song and about a dollar an album, I'll take it over iTunes any day. Plus, it's real MP3s rather than AAC or other DRM crap.

      Some people say that people will never pay for music if they can get it for free. That's just not true. They're just not willing to pay $17 an album. Or perhaps even $10. After all, if I'm not getting physical media, liner notes, inserts, artwork, jewel cases and have to deal with DRM crap that makes using it on multiple machines and devices a potential headache, why do I want to spend almost as much as I pay for the real thing at a record shop? Give me a ton of selection, easy downloads, non-crippled content and very cheap downloads/fees and I'm with you. And so are a lot of people.

      Once the big boys are out of the way (RIAA members), there will be no reason for such high prices. An artist gets a buck out of a CD sale today - if they're extremely lucky. That's probably before they pay their agents or anyone else, too. So if you take the traditional distributor out of the picture, the artist can sell their MP3s online through iTunes or some other service for $2 per album and still be making more than double what they made under the foot of the RIAA distributors. And there's no cost involved. And they won't have anyone to share that $2 with.

      The only thing musicians will still need is a way to become popular. Today, it's possible to become big at just about anything through internet promotion alone. But even if you needed some sort of professional promotion, you could still engage someone for that and do traditional stumping for your band. At least you'll still have far fewer middle men to deal with in the end.
  • At last we are waking up to the commercials of downloading paid music.
    I believe this trend will increase in every sphere as most people get over the thrill of free or stolen music.
    The initial days have passed and more and more people are settling down to the regular method of paying.
    Yet there will remain first timers who will always want to go for the irregular path for a quick thrill.
    In a way life is getting more monotonous.
  • by tyagiUK (625047) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @10:06PM (#12877937) Homepage
    Given the level of integration between something like iTunes and my iPod, it is much easier (for me) to browse, pay, and download, music, rather than search for and obtain an uncontrolled copy.

    Provided you've got the cash means to do it, there's not really any excuse for not using "officially sanctioned", paid-for, download sources.

    All we've seen is the industry playing catch-up with a technology which took off much faster than they were able to keep up with.
    • by Black Parrot (19622) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @10:14PM (#12878003)


      > Given the level of integration between something like iTunes and my iPod, it is much easier (for me) to browse, pay, and download, music, rather than search for and obtain an uncontrolled copy.

      I think slashdotters have been saying for years that the problem was the music industry's (non existant) business model, and if they would make it cheap enough to download a song, people would pay for it.

      Also, presumably the % piracy is a function of the price, and the goal of the music industry will be to maximize (number_of_downloads * price_each).

      Of course, they could virtually eliminate piracy by pushing the price toward zero, but that's probably not what maximizes profit.


      • Also, presumably the % piracy is a function of the price, and the goal of the music industry will be to maximize (number_of_downloads * price_each).

        Which, BTW, suggests that RSN we'll see a hamfisted attempt at DRM-based region coding for music downloads, so that they can optimized that formula independently for the different economic regions of the planet.

    • by Mr2001 (90979) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @10:23PM (#12878047) Homepage Journal
      Given the level of integration between something like iTunes and my iPod, it is much easier (for me) to browse, pay, and download, music, rather than search for and obtain an uncontrolled copy.

      That's because you own an iPod. For someone like me, who only owns MP3 players and doesn't want to take part in Apple's vendor lock-in scheme, iTMS is quite a bit more hassle.
    • Provided you've got the cash means to do it, there's not really any excuse for not using "officially sanctioned", paid-for, download sources.

      Yah there is. I still don't use things like iTunes for music, because I want lossless files. I'm paying more per song because I'm not getting all the extra crap (which I admittedly don't want) but also not getting the same quality. Crappy deal to those of us that care.

      I generally buy used CDs. I keep a running list of about 20 pages on my Amazon wish list. When

  • by Japong (793982) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @10:06PM (#12877938)

    ... when Britney Spears appeared in those television ads telling me how wrong piracy was, and how it was stealing from artists like her.

    I mean: "We hit a little bit of reality, hardcore, after the first three weeks. But we handled it fine, and now things are starting to go really smooth. Before we got married we were on tour, and we were just like kids, ordering room service, saying, 'Let's go out tonight. Then, all of a sudden, you have this home, you have the kids [Federline's children Kaleb and Kori], you have to get the diapers, get the dog to the vet. It's this reality. Like omigod, I have to tell the maid to buy diapers and get the pool boy to walk the dog? Can't I just make out with Kevin all the time? Being married sucks."

    Poor girl... thank god the RIAA kept after the pirates who tried to rob her of her livelihood.

    Seriously though, good to hear that online music is working, but it still sucks that 60% of that goes to RIAA liscensing levies.

  • by pherthyl (445706) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @10:06PM (#12877943)
    Does allofmp3.com and similar services count as legal in this survey?

    It's apparently legal for allofmp3 to offer the music (in Russia), and it's legal for me in Canada to download it, but I somehow think that this type of service is not what they had in mind when they said "legal".
  • Hymn Gone (Score:2, Interesting)

    by WatertonMan (550706)
    Speaking of legal downloads, I notice that Hymn is now gone. The website doesn't respond at all. For those of you who know,

    Hymn was a program that removed the DRM from Apple's iTMS downloads. It was actually nice if you make a lot of mix CDs as you can quickly get past the limit on the DRM for the AAC files. They broke the original version of Hymn with 4.7 but I thought that a new version came out, hosted off in India. But now that doesn't work either.

    It's weird, as it seems to me that anyone pirat

  • Oh my god! (Score:4, Funny)

    by da3dAlus (20553) <dustin...grau@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @10:07PM (#12877946) Homepage Journal
    You mean actually EMBRACING new technology that everyone is using, is actually BENEFICIAL? Wow, that is such a novel idea!
    </sarcasm>
  • by fsterman (519061) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @10:08PM (#12877955) Homepage
    "who have pirated music," Not, "that pirate music on a regular basis." I wonder if the same goes for the legal downloads, have or regularly do. I have downloaded legally and found DRM a pain in the ass, and continue to get my shite from P2P and allofmp3.com.

    Also is that replacing illegal downloaders or is it gaining new users.

    I am not trying to argue anything here, but gauge the state of the industry.

    Sorry about the spelling, I have a Birthday celebration to attend.
    • by gorfie (700458) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @10:36PM (#12878109)
      I have downloaded legally and found DRM a pain in the ass, and continue to get my shite from P2P and allofmp3.com.

      I've been thinking about going to a legal downloading service but I hang back because I fear that the restrictions and proprietary formats will prevent me from...

      1.) Burning unlimited audio CDs for the car
      2.) Burning unlimited mp3 CDs for work
      3.) Buying any third party hardware player for the files I get from the service

      That's basically it... I want to be able to listen to a song I buy from home, in the car, and at work without requiring a specific player or proprietary software (I use a zero footprint mp3 player on my work pc).

      Is that possible with any of the legal services? I'd pay $1 per song...

      What if we treat it like licensing... if I buy a tune in the proprietary format and then download that same tune in mp3 format, is that really wrong/illegal? Would they really sue me if I could document that I owned each song I downloaded? I rationalized downloading Pearl Jam's Ten a few months back because my CD (bought in 92 I think) is so scratched up that I can't get a digital rip anymore.

      Thoughts?
  • by Hamster Lover (558288) * on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @10:09PM (#12877963) Journal
    Maybe this should have been a Slashdot poll. 35% download legally, 40% download illegally and 25%:

    - Rip from CD
    - Breasts!
    - Mentally reconstruct the music by "reading"
    the grooves on an LP
    - Record off the radio
    - Rely on the voices in their head for all their entertainment
    - Cowboy Neal
    • Maybe this should have been a Slashdot poll. 35% download legally, 40% download illegally and 25% ...

      The other 25% were involved in ongoing litigation, or were subject to the confidentiality provisions of a settlement agreement, and chose not to responded to the poll.
  • The other 25%... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Aioth (870942)
    are just ripping their own CDs, simple.
  • by DanteLysin (829006) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @10:11PM (#12877978)
    I am curious how this is measured. If an illegal downloader is being "measured" in this statistic, does that mean he/she is being "caught"? What about the silent masses illegally downloading music that is not measured?
    • Damn good point actually.

      If I am downloading a song that I already own. ( And I have done this ) isn't it fair use? Sorta?

      Am I being counted as not legal?

      --ken
    • "What about the silent masses illegally downloading music that is not measured?"

      What about the masses downloading music they already have licenses for so they can skip the burning step? Not every 'illegal' download is illegal.
  • VHS Tapes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ken Broadfoot (3675) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @10:11PM (#12877979) Homepage Journal
    People buy them, people illegally record on them too. So what? I think that the industry is happy with the fact that people are legally downloading stuff and now they should stop all the whining about the the other folks who don't, and get over it.

    You would think something like the VHS tape would destroy the movie industry. Just like downloading music has destroyed the music industry.

    Err.... wait a minute... it didn't!

  • and (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @10:13PM (#12877993) Journal
    And the RIAA will claim the drop is due to them sueing everyone.

    Apple will claim iPods and iTunes did it.

    Microsoft will some how claim they did something to help with Windows Media Player.

    Then more figures will come out saying the opposit and all statements will be withdrawn and more people sued.
  • Okay, great, a statistic. All of us are going, "now wait just one minute there..." and using our inane skills of deduction to whittle away all of its importance (like you can do with any statistic).

    So yeah, of course we know better, and this has a good chance of not being anywhere near accurate. So what? The rest of the dumb (er, non-nerd) public believes these statistics, at least on a subconsious level, especially the politicians! Let them believe that piracy is going down, that the paying markets are ta

  • It'd be interesting to know how they arrived at both figures. I mean if you come up with 40% as pirated, could one not give themselves that figure as an arbitrary target. Thus they can surpass it rather quickly and voila! "Efforts via our anti-piracy campaign, and the technology sector embracing legal downloads has allowed us to surpass piracy!"
  • ...While the percentage of users who buy music (I'm part of this group) may statistically pass the group who uses illegal p2p networks, what is omitted is the fact that, on average, p2p users download *way* more than someone like myself, or anyone else who uses iTunes (or insert favorite service here).

    I think it's a bit premature to declare music piracy dead. Apple and others have made great inroads in such a short time to curb illegal p2p usage, but I think that CD sales is losing out to online distro.,
  • by kronos7871 (894021) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @10:30PM (#12878083)
    Sites like http://www.audiolunchbox.com/ [audiolunchbox.com] Magnatune, eMusic and mp3Tunes are one main reason why this trend is happening. NO DRM, Oggs and sometimes even FLAC - I'd say that is one major reason for the shift. Smaller sites with less mainstream content that let their users actually own the files unrestricted seem to finally be catching on. RIGHTON
  • I'm one of those ones who downloads music and buys stuff that I think is really good(just to reward those really good artists). So where exactly do I fit into these statistics?
  • "The survey also found that 25% of 4,000 people interviewed said they were prepared to download music legally, up from 16% a year ago." (PCTalk [pctalk.org])
  • So 75% of all music listeners download music? More like 75% of everyone who ownes a computer, an MP3 player, and has a broadband connection downloads music. The rest of the world goes for long periods of time without buying any music at all, much less downloading it.
  • are those who download into their ears or recording device from radiob for free.... legally.
  • It's a LIttle Late (Score:3, Insightful)

    by illectro (697914) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @12:27AM (#12878599)
    This is little consolation for the plethora of legal music services which tried to get licenses from the music industry for years before closing up shop. Companies like eMusic, MyPlay and even Napster (after the first legal challenges) tried to legally sell music online years before Apple was showered with awards for it's 'innovative' music store. Many of the product and marketing staff at apple come from these companies, the tech staff who actually developed the technology pretty much got stiffed.
  • by werdna (39029) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @12:34AM (#12878620) Journal
    Give people what they want, and they will come. Free is nice, but nice is better! People want convenience, quality and convenience, and will pay for that.

    RIAA couldn't deliver the promise of the tech with their business model, so they instead tried to shut down the tech. Hopefully, SCOTUS won't permit that, and we'll know soon enough.

    Meanwhile, let it be remembered, you CAN compete with free.
  • by serutan (259622) <.snoopdoug. .at. .geekazon.com.> on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @03:08AM (#12879036) Homepage
    Very well worded bit in the article: ...the sense that unauthorized downloading is 'not fair on the artists,' suggesting that the industry's messages... are being communicated effectively.

    Yes, thanks to the industry's "messages" most people do have a sense that illegal downloads hurt musicians. But in fact it's the opposite. Most musicians don't make any money whatsoever from CD sales, because under a standard recording contract all the expenses of producing and distributing the little plastic discs get deducted from the musician's royalties, usually leaving nothing.

    Musicians make a living playing live performances, just like they did for centuries before recording technology existed. What they get out of CD sales is exposure, which translates to bigger and better paying gigs. They get that exposure whether you pay for the copy or not. The important thing for the musician is that as many people as possible listen to the music, because a certain number of them will eventually buy concert tickets. Controlling people's ability to distribute copies benefits only the record companies, not the musicians.

    Long-time musician Janis Ian wrote a couple very good articles explaining in detail how this works [janisian.com]. Here's an excerpt:
    "In 37 years as a recording artist, I've created 25+ albums for major labels, and I've never once received a royalty check that didn't show I owed them money. So I make the bulk of my living from live touring, playing for 80-1500 people a night, doing my own show... When someone writes and tells me they came to my show because they'd downloaded a song and gotten curious, I am thrilled! Who gets hurt by free downloads? Save a handful of super-successes like Celine Dion, none of us. We only get helped."
  • by jerde (23294) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @03:24AM (#12879075) Journal
    Hey! Music industry! TAKE MY MONEY! PLEASE?

    I would _happily_ pay $0.01 PER PLAY for songs I don't own yet, just to be able to listen to them. If you counted that money towards later purchase of that same song, all the better. (I.e. listen to a song 99 times, you own it.)

    There are plenty of songs I'd like to just hear in their entirety once or twice, out of curiosity. I don't want to BUY them... but I'd be willing to pay a small amount for the privilege.

    If only the oh-so-scared-of-piracy folks would learn that there are lots of people WILLING to part with their money for the right kinds of services...

    - Peter
  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @03:45AM (#12879134)
    35% of music listeners are using legal download services, and that the percentage will soon surpass illegal downloads, currently at 40%.

    So 35% of music listeners are using legal download services but are they doing so exclusively?

    It's all very well admitting to downloading, say, 10 legal tracks a month but are you going to admit to also downloading 100 illegal tracks per month from a P2P source.

    Most people I know with iPods have a small percentage (if any) of legally paid for music while the rest of their collection is taken from file-sharing.

  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @04:13AM (#12879200)
    1. Pay $10 a month for a decent Usenet account like Easynews.

    2. Search Usenet, if it's not there request it.

    3. Download it with an NNTP client or web browser.

    4. Listen to it.

    5. If you like it, buy the CD.

    6. If you don't, delete it - it's not worth the hard disk space.

    No spyware or nagware filesharing clients, pretty much untraceable unless someone goes through ISP logs & far superior download speeds to any P2P crap.

  • by Secrity (742221) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @07:28AM (#12879625)
    This means that the sheeple are either knowingly buying DRM'd music files or don't care enough to know that the files are DRM'd and that their use (and possibly their usable life) is limited. On top of this, the sheeple are paying about a dollar per file. THis is yet another example of P.T. Barnum being 100% correct about a sucker being born every minute (several per minute now due to the increased birth rate).
  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @08:59AM (#12880001)
    A few people in other threads have mentioned that musicians (specifically those signed to record labels) only make their money from live performance, not from CD sales. If this is the case, then it follows that legal downloads will kill "true" musicianship.

    Putting aside the manufactured boy/girl band claptrap or record company puppet whores like Britney Shite, real musicians and bands generally alternate CD releases and concert tours (in order to promote those releases).

    So, a band that is starting out after their first release probably gets a supporting slot on a tour with a more major artist - whereupon their set list is probably about 45 minutes long containing most of the songs from their first album and a few cover versions.

    Go forward in time after three or four releases and that same band is probably headlining their own tour, playing most of the tracks of their latest CD release intersperesed with the "firm favourites" from their earlier CDs.

    However, we're told by fans of legal music downloading is that they like downloading music because they no longer need to buy the entire CD but only the tracks they like.

    Now, that's fine for the manufactured pap artists that only ever churn out plastic chart single music but where does it put the *real* musicians?

    What onus will there be for real artists to go into a studio to record an entire album if the downloaders only like 3 or 4 of the tracks from that CD?

    How does that affect a band's ability to play live, to create interesting and good set lists for live performance?

    Believe me, there is nothing I hate more than buying a CD that contains two good songs and the rest being filler tracks but *real music* is about *albums*, not single tracks.

    If I buy a CD by an artist then what I am getting is a *snapshot* of how that artist was feeling at the time, perhaps the emotions in the songs on that album are influenced by external events that happened to that artist. And if I *truly* enjoy the music of that artist then I'm going to take that into account when I listen to that particular CD.

    What I'm really trying to say here is that I have albums in my collection that I deem as *classic* pieces of music but I probably play them maybe once or twice a year when I'm in the mood to play them - and at that point, I sit down in a comfortable chair in fromt of a good hi-fi and *do nothing else* but *listen* to that music.

    So let's not equate iPods and MP3 players to *music appreciation* because they are mutually exclusive. I use an MP3 player full of my favourite tracks when I work out in the gym - but only because it gives my mind something to focus on (away from the pain of working out) and because it covers the pop crap blaring over the gym speakers - but I am *not* truly appreciating the music at that time.

    Unfortunately, people who do *all* their music listening on portable players while doing something else and who do not buy entire albums will kill real music by real musicians that are appreciated by real music fans.

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