Home Taping Isnt Killing Music - Greed Is.
Time to rant. So, apparently some bands and musicians are unhappy. Theyre lobbying to have an increase in the price of blank audio and video cassettes. Why? Because that old chestnut. Its killing music and their ah didumbs little profits are suffering.
Complete and utter bollocks. Lets look at some of the problems here.
The people that are complaining, are the ones that are actually making money. Theyre complaining though that theyre not making enough. Theres an element of greed there. But what about the logic behind this little concept. Now, I work with computers, and its alleged that there is strong logic within that discipline. Well, I work in it, so Id argue with that. But the logic here doesnt add up. Taping a CD is stopping a sale? Thats what the argument boils down to. So I think that as an argument its flawed. We need to look at the problem from a different perspective, like why is the person not buying the CD? Well, it could be that theyre uncertain if theyll like it, so they need to check it out first. And that could be linked to the other reason. They cant afford to buy the CD, cos CDs etc are overpriced. People arent going to risk spending the current price on a CD theyre not sure theyll like. So, if thats the case, how is raising the price of a blank tape going to change that. Oh, its 40p more for a blank tape. Damn, Id better go and spend an extra 8 or 10 quid instead for the CD. Uh, no. Its not going to happen.
We all know that CDs are overpriced. I mean, take the one with this issue. Im making nothing off it (yeah right Dave. No. Im not. If I was, Id charge you a fiver for an album). But it can be put together and put out, with the price of printing a zine put into the equation for 3 quid. And its all legit. The difference is, because Im distributing it and the way its done, Im avoiding all the pieces of shit that would take their cut. The production of the CD can be done cheaply. If I can do this, huge organisations and labels can. And so, instead of looking at how the profit margins are divided on the cost of a CD, the greedy artist instead tries to persecute the person who cant afford it in the first instance. The person who is already getting ripped off. Well dude, if we make it more expensive for them to listen to music, theyll automatically come to us more often. Why instead, dont they gather forces to address the issue of overpriced music. If they did that and brought the price in line with what it should be, then maybe more people would buy, or be able to afford to buy the CD. They should be attacking the labels, the government, the shops, their management and everyone else that takes huge cuts. I agree that many artists dont earn a great deal off an individual sale, and that should be corrected. But attacking the innocent party in this case is not going to help. Logic???!!!???
I mean, how can you justify a situation where HMV will charge 16 quid for an album that you can pick up in a decent independent shop for 10 or 11 (which is still expensive)? How? How is that justified? Its not. But when youre in the situation that the vast majority of people only have access to a HMV, or Virgin, or Our Price, then is it any wonder why people are taping stuff? Its a fucking rip-off in the shops. But see, its all a part of the industry and the industry is corrupt. Its the corrupt looking for someone to blame, but of course being too precious to be able to blame themselves. I mean, lets face it, do you honestly believe that any artist recording now has never taped, or had taped an album or CD themselves? No, neither do I.
And why is it that its the artists that are actually making money that are the ones to complain? I mean, does Jean Michel Jarre or The Corrs really need the money? Are they protecting the interests of those smaller artists who wouldnt get noticed. Yeah right. Duck cos theres a pork chop flying low overhead. Its greed.
Another thing. Isnt is a bit presumptuous to believe that tapes are only used for recording music? Yeah, it is. I use tapes for interviews. So, if I were to interview Mr Jarre or Les Corrs (ok, so I may be stretching the bounds of credibility here), then they want to charge me extra for the privilege of speaking to them. Arrogance.
And anyway, why is it that many, many smaller bands are philosophical about their CDs being taped. Philosophical I mean in respect of the attitude of well, if it gets more people to hear our music, then great. Levying extra money on this medium is going to harm that. You need to encourage people to listen to music, not discourage. And what of the bands that are recording demos, taping them, putting them out for people to hear. Trying to get a break. Doing it out of their own pockets. Hike the price and they can suffer. So in their own greed, theyre even affecting their own profession. Yes, artists dont get the cut they should. No, thats not the fault of someone taping a copy of a CD for a friend to listen to or who cant afford it. But boy are we the easy target. And of course, the musician has the added facility of being able to throw a little strop, pout for the camera and but dahling us.
Im not saying you should have a collection entirely of taped recordings, cos you shouldnt. Bands, especially in this style of music, do need your support. And if you can buy the CD, then you should. But in blaming taping for killing music, once more the music industry has got it wrong. Wake up. Look in the mirror. Ah you cant. Cos it breaks as soon as you look. The industry is that ugly. Go after the real villains instead of picking on the little man. Go on, be brave. Stand up for whats really right. And dont even start me on their crusade against the Internet. Im sure Ill have something to say about that soon!.