It’s time for story Eight Million and Six-teen about how the record labels and the musicians they ostensibly represent no longer get on with each other. This time, we have a bit of a row developing over in the UK, where that proposed knock-people-off-the-Internet-for-file-sharing law is currently stirring division amongst the ranks. One on side, of course, you have the record labels who, in the year 2009, are still afraid of piracy destroying the music business (please note: that’s destroying the music business that made record label execs fat and happy; music hasn’t gone away, it’s merely changed, and change is death to the record label middle men), and on the other, the musicians who recognize that, you know, maybe suing the pants off your customers isn’t the best thing to do.
The labels insist that it’s easy for popular bands such as Radiohead or Nine Inch Nails to experiment with different distribution models, but you can’t turn around and promote Unknown Band the same way. That’s why the record labels are still Very Important. I mean, what kind of 18-year-old in a new rock band knows how to record music, and throw it up on a Web site? That requires teams of highly skilled, highly compensated professionals to figure out.
I don’t know, maybe one of our English readers can offer some sort of perspective here. How is the discussion playing out, if at all? Is there TV coverage, or magazine articles being written? Does anyone give a damn at all?
I have a solution to all this music piracy business, by the way: just ban music outright. No creating it, no listening to it, just gone forever. Now everyone’s miserable, but the problem is solved.