Compulsory Music License

Last week, the lead singer for the band Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page decided to come out with the truth about music downloading pirates.  You know those pirates that download music off the internet for their own listening pleasure without paying for it?  Well the truth that Mr. Page would like everyone to know is that those pirates are fans.  Yes you heard correctly, fans.  Not pirates, fans of the music.

He believes that as fans they should not be punished for wanting to hear music.  He believes (as do I) that the artist should be paid for their works, but they should “get their music where their fans want it, not the other way around.”

This is a huge leap forward and I wish artists like Sheryl Crow would understand this.  People downloading music are potential customers, not criminals.  The industry really has it all backwards on this issue.  Instead of criminalizing your customers, find a model they like and will embrace.  The industry has the money, this is proven by the shere fact that they can sue so many people all the time.  Those lawyers cost money.  Money that could be used to find new solutions to new problems.

The industry has taken the stop-gap meaure to solving the piracy problem.  Their first mistake was making a big deal about it in the first place.  If they had not, there would have been a large percentage of people who would not know how to download music today.  Instead they basically told everyone in the world that downloading music was something anyone could do and as a result anyone did it.  Also, they are only compounding the problem because the more they sue, the more it angers people, and as a result they download more.  If they stopped suing folks and came up with a way to sell to these people, then they will become that much richer long term.

I honestly do not understand the logic behind the music industry’s madness, but if people like Steve Page continue to act in favor of alternative methods, then there might be hope for the industry yet.

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