Friday, July 10, 2009

What is wrong with music today.

I'm listening at Nine Inch Nails on Spotify as I am writing this. I read this article before writing this as well: Trent Blogging on Music. Go on read it before you continue to read this.

That guy has quite a few ideas to be sure. I agree with some, and less with other of his opinions and ideas, but the most important thing is that he views the world as it is today and does his best to live in the real world. I respect him for it.

For let's face it, the RIAA and the giant music cooperations of the "past" is just not working out. Suing singles moms with kids for millions of dollars, if that isn't cruel and unusual punishment what is? Yes I've read the amendments. I urge all of you to read them too, and the basic laws of your own country if you don't reside the US of A. These people are not about the music, but about money, money, and money. They remind me more of the Mafia than anything else.

So is the solution to bring anarchy to it all and just demolish copyright? Or the other extreme (to which we are heading) some kind of 1984, Fahrenheit 451, DDR - type of world? No, not really. Neither is. We need freedom, and we need some form of basic cause and effect when it comes to what people put their efforts in. But the time when music sales could equal an insane lifestyle should hopefully soon be over. Do we really need another Britney Spears train wreck?

What we need is a digital marketplace for music. One actor that could make this happen really fast would be Apple. I consider their iTunes store offering a best of breed high end solution. I don't say you can't do better, I am saying nobody else comes close to them up until now. Their appstore for iPhone is just fantastic and very very democratic. For a license (about 100 bucks or maybe a bit less) and 30% of the profits anyone can publish their software through the premiere mobile device software service. I haven't seen anything that comes close.

What if Apple would open up/make it easier for any band out there to buy a license to publish their music on iTunes and decided the cost themselves? Ok this would wreck the 99 cent/song idea, but I think that is a good idea for large labels. Streamline the pricing makes it vastly much easier to manage. It might be a good idea to limit the independent publishers to 0, 49, and 99 cents though. For simplicity. And why 0? Because you want to build a fan base! If you are willing to spend silly amounts on pushing a band in the media, why not give away music instead? That way when you go out gigging new places people can have heard your music and when they see your poster they might think "wow, cool, I wonder how they sound live, maybe they play new songs as well, let's go there and bring all my friends!".

Also imagine being able to buy a recording of the very show *you* attended? I would love that. I wish I could have had recordings of all the shows I've been to. Even that one where #€)(#€(#% got to get onstage with Iron Maiden during Heaven Can Wait. I'd pay twice for it to be honest.

Which brings me to something possibly resembling a point. The solution is *NOT* to make new laws or use the legal system as a weapon against large portions of the population for such a minor crime as illegally *copying* music. For never ever is it stealing. The solution is to find new ways for people on one hand enjoy music, and on the other hand make money on it. Who knows, maybe a "Hidden Stars" edition of Guitar Hero and the likes could be the future? :)

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