Major Canadian Musicians Say The Recording Industry Doesn't Represent Them

from the more-are-realizing dept

At the Cato Institute conference this morning (which was great, but on which I'll write more later), someone in the audience raised a question about a number of Canadian musicians standing up to the recording industry. Reader Mikester has submitted additional information on this, as it appears a group of top Canadian musicians have formed a group to show the world that the recording industry does not represent their interests. This was a key contention on my own panel this morning, that what the "recording industry" is doing is all about protecting "the artist." Unfortunately, it's increasingly looking like "the artist" doesn't believe that's the case. Specifically, the artists (including Barenaked Ladies, Avril Lavigne and Sarah McLachlan) are standing up and saying that suing their customers is a bad idea, digital locks are counterproductive to what they're trying to do and that cultural policy should really be about supporting culture -- not a specific business interest. This follows the news from a few months ago that Lavigne's own label is helping to pay for one person's legal representation after that music fan was sued by the RIAA. This is an important issue that is too often ignored: the recording industry is clearly trying to protect its own business of selling recorded music. They're not in the music business, and they're not about protecting the artist's rights. In fact, historically, the recording industry has a reputation (valid or not) of making it quite difficult for artists to actually make money. Having more musicians speak up and say that the views of the recording industry are not representative of musicians and are not about protecting the rights of musicians is an important step in this debate.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Josh, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 12:17pm

    RIAA/MPAA don't speak artists

    Here's what this coalition of artists has to say about issues...

    On DRM: "Consumers should be able to transfer the music they buy to other formats under a right of fair use, without having to pay twice."

    On P2P file sharing: "Fans who share music are not thieves or pirates. Sharing music has been happening for decades."

    On DMCA "the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act is one of the world's most draconian pieces of intellectual-property law."

    Members include: Sum 41, Blue Rodeo, Barenaked Ladies, Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan, Our Lady Peace and Sloan to name a few.

    http://www.p2pnet.net/story/8648

     

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  2.  
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    ehrichweiss, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 1:01pm

    I hate the cold but...

    Canada is looking more and more like a viable option every day.

     

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  3.  
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    Gabriel, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 1:02pm

    Re: RIAA/MPAA don't speak artists

    I am continually amazed at how we portray Canadians as being weak-willed and diffident, and yet they're far more willing to stand up against this sort of crap than any of us seem to be. Sure, the argument could be made that they're aware that their sales won't suffer and they won't win, but again, economics show that whether their music is distributed for free or via record companies, they'll make about the same amount of money, so that doesn't really hold water. The fact of the matter is that we are just more apathetic on the whole - more likely to say, "Oh, well, that's the way it is" and half-heartedly whine about it, then keep going with the status quo. More power to these bands (whether I like their music or not - some I do and some I don't) and their organization, and I hope that this sort of thing will start changing peoples' minds about Canada . . . though personally, I doubt it.

     

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  4.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Apr 26th, 2006 @ 1:04pm

    ::bells ring::

    You hear that US Artists? If my memory serves me correctly, the RIAA is pretty much a US plague. (correct me if I'm wrong).

    If Canadian artists can do this, why can't you? Stop sucking at the corporate teat for a few seconds (and you groups over there... yeah, STOP SUING YOUR FREAKIN' FANS!) and give some support back to those that support you.

    We're your fans here. We buy your stuff, go to your concerts, wear your logos and shirts. Who's going to be doing that when all of our disposable income is flowing into RIAA "settlements" (read: extortion funds)?

    Metallica... you guys were nothing until your fans gave you a following and a rep. And you're not the only band like that.

    A call to all US Artists:

    WE, YOUR FANS, NEED YOUR HELP!!! Stand with us, or stand there with noone listening to you.

     

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  5.  
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    freakengine, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 1:04pm

    Blah Blah Blah

    Didn't we get this same message when a buncha musicians testified on capitol hill way back when? This has always been the case, but many musicians don't speak out about it because *insert drum roll* like it or not, since they signed contracts with major labels, the RIAA DOES represent them, or at least represents them indirectly by representing the big companies they work for.

    Let's face it...the big labels don't ever like their big name artists. They'd much prefer picking up noname groups off the street and marketing the hell outta them, paying for radio play, and charging the artists for that promotional expense...that way the label makes the lion's share of the profits. Once artists gain some notoriety they can make demands - more money, more time, more whatever - and that cuts into the labels' profits.

    I have to say that the only message I'd really respect from a major label signee is the dissolution of their recording contracts and a move to direct distribution. Anything less, and their still a part of the machine and still reaping the rewards of the machine's insane business practices.

     

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  6.  
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    Josh, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Blah Blah Blah

    "I have to say that the only message I'd really respect from a major label signee is the dissolution of their recording contracts and a move to direct distribution. Anything less, and their still a part of the machine and still reaping the rewards of the machine's insane business practices." That's exactly what this group of artists did, they broke off from RIAA's Canadian arm CRIA so they can speak on thier own behalf at the government level. They want to prevent what's happening in the USA. If American artists can grow some balls and ethics, perhaps change can come about.

     

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  7.  
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    Dude, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 1:31pm

    whoopty freakin doo... some canuck artists make up a group, oooo, like that will intimidate someone? I doubt it. I am sure it made the few who stood up feel good about themselves. Bottom line: nothing changes, RIAA continues to rape file sharers (students and single mom's) while the artists buy more freakin Hummer's and Escalade's and eat up all the fuel.

     

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  8.  
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    Kelly, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 1:46pm

    Standing Up

    See this, that's Avril Lavigne singing for those greedy f*cks Metallica. Well, what she and these artists just did is end the show with a huge UP YOURS MOTHERF*CKERS

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Apr 26th, 2006 @ 1:47pm

    Dude's Comments

    "some canuck artists make up a group, oooo, like that will intimidate someone?"
    -Dude


    Did you not read some of the artists involved? Sarah "Lillith Fair" McLachlan, Avril "I have a marketable image" Lavigne, Barenaked "You'll never get our songs out of your head... ever" Ladies... These artists aren't just "some canucks"... they do have some clout in the music industry. If even more "more important" artists follow suit here, things can change.

    One thing's for sure. At least they're doing something. Sitting around moping about it hasn't changed anything.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 2:00pm

    Lots of people just sit around and whine a moan about the record industry or are too busy being its bitch to rock the boat. Succeed or fail at least someone is trying to make a change. To quote a famous Thundercat:

    "If I lost it wont be cause I gave up."

     

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  11.  
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    Richard, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 2:19pm

    Endless debates

    I'm not North American, but I've observed the following about Americans during my short stay here. While you're busy impressing yourselves with polite intellectual debates, domestic and foreign corporations are in your nation's capital buying away your rights and frolicking over the consumer traps they're laying. The person who remains unimpressed by the actions of these artists deserves every bit of what's been happening to your society.

     

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  12.  
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    Mark, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 3:06pm

    All US Bands?

     

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  13.  
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    Mark, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 3:11pm

    All US Bands?

    I hate that people tend to say that the record companies rule everything, but they just rule pop music. Jambands have been going around this forever! Every other band has a record label, and most let everyone download shows for free! This isn't something new except from the standpoint that it's pop music that is revolting. And there a lot more good canadian artists then these few laughable rock groups like Avril and the unserious BNL. You may see these artists and not take them seriously, but these aren't gimmick bands and there a lot more unknown bands that support this sort of thing.

     

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  14.  
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    Jacquie, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 3:29pm

    It isn't just artists of pop music who are taking a stand...this article is a result of what happened a few weeks ago when the "Six leading indie record labels have split from the Canadian Recording Industry Association over the group's recent proposal to the CRTC that includes changes to how Canadian music is defined." (cbc.ca)

    the artists in the above (avril, sarah and BNL) are all from Nettwerk...not the "specifically" before the artists name, that means it is also more than the pop artists

     

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  15.  
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    Stacy, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 3:34pm

    unfortunately in the US

    we have luddite moron artists like metallica over here that fuel the fire opposing progress, technology, ingenuity, etc..

     

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  16.  
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    Dude, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 6:41am

    "Did you not read some of the artists involved? Sarah "Lillith Fair" McLachlan, Avril "I have a marketable image" Lavigne, Barenaked "You'll never get our songs out of your head... ever" Ladies... These artists aren't just "some canucks"... they do have some clout in the music industry. If even more "more important" artists follow suit here, things can change. "

    I stand by my original "whoopty freakin doo"... Put some _real_ names in the list and then ya, maybe, but not them. Come on!!

     

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  17.  
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    Gabrielt Tane (profile), Apr 27th, 2006 @ 7:41am

    More comments by Dude

    "I stand by my original "whoopty freakin doo"... Put some _real_ names in the list and then ya, maybe, but not them. Come on!!"

    -Dude


    I don't know if this is how you meant it, but it sound to me like you don't think these artists are worth mention just because you don't like their music. I seriously hope I'm misreading this.

    You'd be surprised how much following is behind those bands you don't like. You may be just as surprised that there are more people out there that like the things you don't like as opposed to those that like the things you do. Your opinion (which I do recognize and respect) isn't the end-all and be-all.


    Me? I hate Avril. I'd love to do bad, -BAD- things to her for her whole "look at me... I'm all bad-ass and hard-kore" image... which is nothing more than a marketing gimmick. I can't stand BNL. I punch things (usually inanimate) when I have to hear their drivel. I do like Sarah McLachlan's music though.

    But none of that matters for this discussion. They are artists with recognizable names and a fan base. Which means they have clout. Which means their voice does have sway. This little stance isn't going to change anything overnight... but it does get things started.

    Name some "real bands", as you put it, who's voice would get things changed any quicker. Sorry, but it's not that simple.

     

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  18.  
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    weird, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 7:48am

    I don't know what they are trying to pull. But I do know this : I frackin hate canadians! Eh?

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 7:59am

    Re: I hate the cold but...

    True, Canada's too cold now, but give us a couple more years of backwards pollution regulations to heat that baby up. Maybe Bush is doing us a favor by warming up our frigid neighbor to the north.

     

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  20.  
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    ehrichweiss, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 10:07am

    Re:

    "I stand by my original "whoopty freakin doo"... Put some _real_ names in the list and then ya, maybe, but not them. Come on!!"

    Yeah, we should put YOU on the list cause YOU obviously are a "real" name, huh, Dude. I heard John Lennon was gonna sign up and George Harrison said he was right behind John....
    (mutters "moron" under breath)

     

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  21.  
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    Fazookus, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 2:07pm

    Canada

    I think Canada is kind of like the USA, except the people are smarter... and I say that as a USAer.

     

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  22.  
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    tks, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 3:50pm

    Re: Canada

    Canadians aren't really smarter,Fazookus, their society just isn't as mainstream oriented so it's easier for the views of the individual to be heard. I really agree with what the bands here are saying, the particular bands don't really matter to me ,(but I do have a weird affinity for BNL) But the concept that the artists are presenting is quite important. The way I see it, these are true music lovers and they don't want annoying digital lock issues as much everyone else.

     

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  23.  
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    Dude, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 10:52am

    "Yeah, we should put YOU on the list cause YOU obviously are a "real" name, huh, Dude."
    --ehrichweiss

    Oh, shall i post my home phone number and address so that you can come harrass me? Grow up punk

    I don't diminish the popularity of these pop idols, or whatever iconic title you may wish to give them, simply saying whoopty freakin doo, there are only a handful. Great, a few, when there are so many!! If this was so great and cool, every artist would join in.

    I think when you have more than a couple of big friggin names, you will have more results. Power in numbers, right? So, there are just a couple, sure, big name, big deal, there are only a small few.

    This will do nothing. Come back in April of 2007 and tell me WTF happened with this small collection of self serving morons who only want some more free friggin press because their music sucks moose droppings.

    Dude
    Yes, not my real name because we all know that musical zealots are a lot like serial killers and they develop relationships with idols that are not healthy and they generally go to extremes to find and punish you when you publicly make fun of there beloved trolls, er, canadian musicians.

     

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  24.  
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    Karen, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 1:17pm

    Dude (and I hate calling you that stoner name btw) re-read your last message, it's a waffles more than a little.
    First you claim you don't diminish the musicians and you only insult them because of their small number, and then you continue to do nothing BUT diminish them saying calling them "self serving morons who only want some more free friggin press because their music sucks moose drooping.".
    It also appears that you misinterpreted the poster who said (very sarcastically) that since you're a "real" name[in the music world] that maybe they should put you on their list. I hate to spell it out for you buddy, but he just meant that you could never have the kind of fame, popularity, and success in the music industry, that all of the musicians you insulted posess. by the way, I don't think that anybody would want to go through the misery of stalking you.
    so please...calm down.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Dude, May 1st, 2006 @ 7:46am

    Karen, if you are going to put me in quotes, make sure you get the spelling correct!

     

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