This is why honest users pirate music

I’ve been an eMusic subscriber for years. It has been one of the few pretty decent legal music download services available to us South Africans. This morning I browsed to the page to see if some music that interests me is available there and this little page loaded:

EMusic licensing revelation

This licensing restrictions issue is why iTunes and Amazon MP3 are not available (legally, at least) to us South Africans. This is the music industry working overtime to preserve a business model that is rapidly becoming irrelevant except where the industry artificially constricts and shapes demand for its content.

Like many people who buy a fair amount of music, I don’t use physical media anymore. I have an iPhone, iPod Touch, my MacBook and all my CDs from back in the day are packed up in boxes somewhere. I listen to all my music digitally and while the audio quality isn’t as good as some might like, its perfect for me. The music industry would have me carry my CDs around with me and listen only to those CDs. That is utter bullshit and more appropriate for the 20th century.

When faced with digital alternatives to its current business models, the music industry points to piracy and how the artists are being raped by all these terrible consumers pirating their music. The artists are the music industry’s last priority, its all about making as much money as they possibly can and maintaining as much control as they can as the copyright owners. The artists tend to be screwed over by the labels who offer to sign them as if they would be anointed by some divine authority. In fact, very few artists actually benefit meaningfully from being signed. They would probably be better off developing their own distribution channels and marketing their music on more flexible terms.

When it comes to music piracy, the people who have no interest in paying for music never will. Those of us who really want to support the artists (in theory) or who don’t want to torrent music are prepared to pay but not for a stupid piece of plastic that is irrelevant to how we listen to our music every day. We want legal music download services with good quality music, at a reasonable price and for our devices of choice. The music industry isn’t interested in providing that [Update: change is happening]. So that leaves otherwise honest consumers frustrated and disinterested in supporting an industry that seems intent on fucking them. BitTorrent is just a few searches away and the labels lose more money.

Good job!

Paul
Enthusiast, marketing strategist, writer, and photographer. Passionate about my wife, Gina and #proudDad. Allergic to stupid

  1. yo do you know why paris and nicole part ways ? i think it was because paris was jelouse of nicole

  2. yo do you know why paris and nicole part ways ? i think it was because paris was jelouse of nicole

  3. I to WAS a long time user. Enjoyed discovering new and different music. I have to agree that the musicians are the ultimate losers in all this.

  4. The same thing happens in Brazil. I can’t even remember a decent paid music service around here. We have to rely on torrents because it’s nearly impossible to be a honest citizen and buy music due to the same licensing issues you have in South Africa.

    If we ever get iTunes Music Store, the Brazilian government will shove any kind of ridiculous taxes even though it’s digitally distributed and there are no stores or physical media/paper booklets involved. A 0.99 song could cost us AT LEAST 2.99. Torrents anyone?The music industry is narrow-minded and the last century model of selling music is long overdue. They think selling music for a ridiculous price is way better than selling cheap music for an audience 10 times bigger. Go figure.

    Excellent article.

  5. The same thing happens in Brazil. I can’t even remember a decent paid music service around here. We have to rely on torrents because it’s nearly impossible to be a honest citizen and buy music due to the same licensing issues you have in South Africa.

    If we ever get iTunes Music Store, the Brazilian government will shove any kind of ridiculous taxes even though it’s digitally distributed and there are no stores or physical media/paper booklets involved. A 0.99 song could cost us AT LEAST 2.99. Torrents anyone?The music industry is narrow-minded and the last century model of selling music is long overdue. They think selling music for a ridiculous price is way better than selling cheap music for an audience 10 times bigger. Go figure.

    Excellent article.

  6. I too am so frustrated by this situation and have long searched for an electronic delivery system that would provide a legal method of acquiring music in South Africa without jumping through a myriad of hoops. If only Valve / Steam would move into the music industry and deliver music at the click of a button! Sadly, after supporting CD shops for years I’m also going to follow the torrents route just because I have no other option to have instant purchase / delivery and availability of the music that is of interest to me… Hopefully some sod in the parliament reads this blog and the subsequent replies, and hooks up with one of the existing international music delivery systems to provide us with a proper service instead of blowing thousands on TV advertisements that will probably just be ignored by the majority of viewers anyway!

What do you think?

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