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formandzen
 
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Sailing the illegal digital seas

13 August 2012, 15:20

So here’s a thought...and please note, before you read further that this is just a question I am posing to those that love music and movies. Whatever your taste is, whether it’s rock, Afrikaans artists, Kwaito, hip-hop or action, romance, Sci-Fi films. Also, I am expecting the obvious onslaught of trolls on this topic coming out of the woodwork like lost family members to a new lottery winner. So trolls, rather hold back and let those with an actual intelligent view take part, there are many ANC and youth league related articles for you to go play at.

Now, as a music and film lover myself, I am posing the delicate question of digital downloading of music, series and movies. Now before some of you fly forward toward your keyboards almost giving yourself whiplash, please take a step back and take it all in and give it some thought. I would also like to hear from anyone in the music and film industry.

I am not going to beat around the bush, I download music and the rest all the time, and if most of us are honest, so do millions of people. Probably you. What is your view on this, your reason? I also ask those of you who disagree with the practice, not to give you a chance to ramble on over everyone else, but in a constructive way voice your opinion. I am going to contradict my own article now, but I have immense respect for musicians and filmmakers, BUT, I have no respect for the fact that for many, many years now, the music and film industry has taken the pi$$ a little with the prices they charge for tickets, albums and DVD’s, almost taking advantage of our love for what they do. For example, regulatory bodies and the industry alike all harp on like a disgruntled politician on how online piracy is damaging the industry of music and film. I think not. Although we download movies and music, we hear how movie stars are getting paid MILLIONS for a years work on a big budget project, that’s more than a president of a average country gets a year, and same go’s for music artists, but not quite to that degree. But still, it’s more than a hefty sum. For musicians specifically, I think getting paid millions (the guys at the top of their game anyway) makes artists lazy to a point. Too often have I been a fan of a band from their first album (and happily bought it I might ad) and by their 3rd or 4th album, its all digitally influenced. No more real effort in their instruments. Yes, artists develop their style, but recently, it’s just easier to let a producer or sound engineer do most of the work. So why should I still pay top dollar? As for movies, with a big release, such as Avengers, or the new Batman film for example, I will happily pay the somewhat exorbitant cinema ticket price. If only to experience a great film as it should be, in the cinema. Then, when a good copy is out, usually only when the DVD or Blu-ray is released 3-4 months later, I will set sail on my pirate ship and go in search for a copy. And I know, with confidence, that this does not hurt the movie industry. Especially when films like avatar for example, made $2,782,275,172 at the box office…that’s over TWO BILLION…let that number sink in…I think they are doing just fine.

As for the music industry, yes, ill be honest, maybe piracy does dent the artists pocket a bit…minutely, but then why would artists still be able to release a 2nd or 3rd album? I’ll tell you why, because they will still make bucket loads of money. Loyal fans will be fans forever, even if they illegally download their favorite bands album, they will still pay top price to see them live. Just as I will, and that friends, is where the bands make their money. Not from albums, but from countrywide and world tours, often of more than 7 countries per tour with crowds of thousands…so again, I think they are doing just fine.

I think it is really insulting, and worse, very, very arrogant for artists to rage on about how music piracy is hurting them and the industry…you (the artist) are living in huge homes, driving more than 1 luxury car…and you whine that because some fans maybe cant afford or effuse to pay for your over-priced album and can download it, they should be locked up? Artists have forgotten that it’s about the love of what you do and the people that support you in thousands, if not millions.  Now, it’s just about the money…greed. It’s never enough. Your millions are never enough. And now the Internet is forcing the entertainment industry to up its game, especially musicians.

It’s like a photographer saying you have to pay to look at a photograph…you can buy it if you really love it, but he has it on his website. Are you going to charge people to look at your portfolio online?

So that’s about it, some of you might…no, wait, ARE going to say I have a stupid argument. That’s fine, but it is what it is. I will happily buy my favorite bands limited edition L.P, or favorite movie on Blu-ray, if just to have, and in turn add to their ever-expanding bank accounts, but for the most part, I am a fan. I love what you do (the band/filmmaker). I am not going to feel guilty for appreciating what you do…even if you lose a few bucks in the process.

And in closing, to quote Dave Grohl, lead singer of “The Foo Fighters”, one of the biggest bands in the world…

“ I think it’s a good idea because its people trading music. It has nothing to do with industry and finance, its just people that want music and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s the same as someone turning on the radio; it’s the same as someone putting a cassette in a cassette deck when the BBC plays a special radio session. I don’t think it’s a crime, its been going on for years. It’s the same as people making tapes for each other. The music industry is more threatened because of its worldwide web and it’s a broader scope of trading, but I don’t think it’s a horrible thing. The first thing we should do is get all the millionaires to shut their mouths, and stop bitching about the 25 cents a time they are losing.” –Dave Grohl

I could have just actually posted this quote…

Without fans, the film and music industry would have nothing. I think its time they have that written on a post-it in the studio… “Remember, the fans pay your salary.”

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