Art exists for the people. Itís a creation of the artist, but always with the intent for it to be received by someone else. It's put out there FOR the public. Sure, artists are people and they need to survive, but just because one song makes it as a hit, do I think a songwriter or performer should be able to coast on it the rest of their lives? Nope. Let Ďem get a day job like everyone else. I don't think athletes should get millions, either, and their careers are often just as short lived.
This "stealing is stealing" argument doesn't impress me (and that's not against you, Siren, hon, that's everyone who uses it). It's not about the "stealing." It's about the end of the exploitation of the public by the music industry. And itís got NOTHING to do with the integrity of the medium. Itís all about MONEY.
The IRONIC thing is that everyone I know buys MORE CDs because of Napster, not less. I know I do. I am MUCH MORE likely to get a CD if I like 2 or 3 songs already. 90% of the stuff I download from Napster I download because it is not available on a CD. The other stuff I mostly own. Am I the average Napster user? I have no idea.
But...I'll tell you something. When I buy a CD and I only like one song on it, there is NO record company, recording artist or songwriter who offers me 90% of the money back I wasted on that CD.
Record companies have been screwing the public out of money for years and the artists haven't moaned in protest once. The public has gained CONTROL of what they want to hear and THAT is what has the fat cows terrified.
Granted, the ones who will get really screwed are the ďlittle guysĒ wallowing in obscurity who write a few songs here and there. Dems the breaks. Those who toil in mediocrity always get the shaft when times change. Itís a cold, cold world, and itís a BUSINESS world. Donít get into it if you canít stomach the consequences. Theyíd probably be happier and better off as managers at the local K-Mart anyway.
I think the free system will go away, but I think it will lead to the mainstream availability online of paying ONLY FOR THE MUSIC YOU WANT. And THAT is where I'd like to get to. Let me sample a song and see if I want to buy it without having to pay for 12 other songs I don't like.
Do artists deserve to make a living with their art? Hell yes. As much as painters, writers, dancers, and any other performer. Sure.
But...if they only have "one" hit, should they be able to live off that for the rest of their lives? Should they be able to make zillions? Should they be able to force you to pay for 12 other songs because you want 1? That's not my call, but I'm not crying for them.
The entire recording industry has been stealing from the public for decades. The public has done something about it. How it ends up, I have no clue, but I think it will be a fairer system for both sides.
I do understand Siren's point. As a writer, I would be uncomfortable with someone making money off my writing without getting a cut. But, if I've already been paid for the piece at a price I settled on, that's the end of the story. If someone buys a book I wrote and then loans it to a friend instead of buying their own, that's just the way it goes.
There are enough people out there who will buy something honestly and support what they like without shafting the public. No, it won't make you Madonna, but you'll be able to make a living.
But for the recording industry to come out whining about "stealing" when they've been MASTERING the art of it for all these years (sorry about the pun)...it doesn't sway me. Sorry.