I remember only a few years ago, when my album ‘The Last Adventure’ came out, and within a few weeks it was available on just about every file-sharing site for free. I did a bit of research, and found the album on 87 different sites and wrote to each one telling to remove the illegal content. Not only that – I also reported each site to the DMCA as they were full of obviously illegal content. What happened? Most of the sites took down my album. A load of other sites appeared. The DMCA did nothing.
I thought I was fighting a losing battle.
Downloads became the downfall of the music industry. How on earth would bands ever recoup the costs of producing music from hereon? And this seemed to mark the end for all manner of other creative jobs too. News blogs appearing everywhere reducing money for reporters; films and books being downloaded for nothing.
But things have changed after all. It seems that the big companies involved have finally got their act together to clamp down on opportunists. And it’s working. I did a search this week and found 2 sites containing some of my material, and this was an obscure remix EP of Latest Fantasy. Happy days!
Of course being able to download music, books, films, software, news etc has affected all aspects of business. And yes – it has generally brought down earnings. But on the whole I find it extremely positive. We can now enjoy instant access to all manner of media and at a much cheaper price than before. It cuts out postage costs, packaging, printing, all manner of admin, and we all benefit hugely. I am delighted that people can download my albums at a greatly reduced price if they choose to. Especially in these days where wages haven’t moved with inflation.
With the way things were, with file-sharing sites so easily accessible, it isn’t surprising that many people gave in to the temptation. Now, you have to know where to look. I’m told the younger generation still find ways around the system – after all they have never paid for music! But generally more people are playing by the rules.
So what are the rules now? Well most bands will give away a few downloads for free. Call it a trailer. We are the ‘try before you buy’ generation. And this is great! It means we can sample music. Take it away for a while and road test it. And then decide if we want more. Seems very sensible to me. Even the people I know who regularly seem to find film downloads which have fallen off the back of the digital lorry, buy the ones they particularly like. More people are subscribing to online newspapers too.
Personally I’m still a little old fashioned. I like my CD player and big speakers; to look at the booklet that comes with the music. I still fondly remember vinyl and have kept my collection. I read books – proper ones made out of paper. Though I totally understand all the benefits of a kindle, I have so far resisted. Perhaps it’s just a matter of time..
I do find it a shame that more people are now buying downloads rather than CDs, because I make such an effort with the artwork. But it’s not surprising is it? Art used to be something we had to go to galleries to see. We had to buy art books. I remember loving the Beatles chord book with all that wonderful pop art. So a vinyl record was a piece of art – visually and aurally. Now, we can look at a huge collection of art at the click of a button. Think of a theme, Google it, and there you have a never-ending selection of images. Well I love it! I can include a great picture with all of my blogs without having to get out the crayons or making a collage out of magazine cut-outs.
In conclusion, I’m embracing our brave new digital world. It gives us freedoms, knowledge and art at our finger tips in a way we’ve never experienced before. Imagine the internet just switching off…… for good…….
A few positive vibes:
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