Today I want to talk about internet piracy and music. What is piracy? Piracy is the act of stealing an artist's work without any intention of paying for it. It all began about three years ago when a file sharing program called Napster came along. Napster has given us the chance to listen and appreciate artists we would never have listened to before. We have then purchased their CDs. Simply, Napster has benefited us and the artists. Napster provided a model that could be used by up and coming bands to distribute their music without the control and manipulation of the business. And that is the exact reason why the recording industry is bent on shutting down all peer to peer sharing programs.
The record labels and companies are basically there to distribute artist?s work, and they charge a lot of money for it too. The 273,000 working musicians in America make an average of $30,000 a year, yet the music industry is a $40 billion-a-year business.
Toni Braxton declared bankruptcy in 1998. She had sold $188 million worth of CDs, but she was broke because of a terrible recording contract that paid her less than 35 cents per album. She actually owed the record label money for music videos and tour equipment. Those 188 million dollars didn?t just disappear. Recording artists have essentially been giving their music away for free under the old system, so new technology that exposes their music to a larger audience can only be a good thing.
I increasingly despair at the state of our music industry - and I know I am not alone. 'Pop' music is reduced to a factory of adult artists dressed as children, singing candy-floss garbage. Sites like Napster bring much needed publicity to unsigned artists who work...