Andrew Lloyd Weber Trashes The Internet As 'Somalia Of Theft And Piracy'

from the stick-to-the-music dept

Nathan was the first of a few folks to send in the news of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s quotes complaining about how the internet is the “Somalia of unregulated theft and piracy.” Funny. I thought Somalia was the “Somalia of unregulated theft and piracy.” Lloyd Weber seems to make the same basic false economic assumption that many other folks have made: believing that the only way to make money is through the direct sale of recorded music. So he bemoans the fact that sales are down, and immediately blames piracy and (of course) ISPs for enabling it. He doesn’t take into account things like how internet connectivity has actually made the market more efficient (which should lower prices) and the overall competition for entertainment dollars has increased greatly (while the music industry has done little to give people more reasons to buy). But, most importantly, he seems totally unaware of the fact that there are other business models beyond just selling recorded music. His claim that the music industry in the UK will be dead in 10 years is silly. Does he think that no one will pay him to write music for plays anymore? Oh… whoops, right there is a perfect example of a different way to pay for the creation of music.

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Comments on “Andrew Lloyd Weber Trashes The Internet As 'Somalia Of Theft And Piracy'”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Andrew needs to get back to producing

Who the hell is Andrew Lloyd Weber?

I know of an Andrew Lloyd Webber– he’s the jackass who brought us crappy songs from BoyZone (Universal), and songs from the crappy Madonna Film Evita under the Warner Label.

Don’t cry for me Argentina… err Andrew. Get back stage left and run the damned show.

Broadway Angel (profile) says:

Re: Re:

A large part of profit from musicals comes from merchandising. Tee shirts, posters, soundtrack albums, you get the idea.

After a show closes, few products continue to sell with the exception of the soundtrack recording. I have vintage albums from the original cast recording of Camelot, Bye Bye Birdie and other shows that have ceased being produced professionally.

So, piracy is a convenient excuse for why soundtrack sales drop and kill off the cash cow for shows. What they don’t mention is people buy the albums, rip them, then sell the hard copy. I pick up most of my soundtracks at flea markets now, for a fraction of the list price.

Nearly half of all musicals don’t make their initial investments back, except for the rare show that plays for over 5 years. Development costs, theater rentals, cast and crew, ushers, box office staff all take about 75% of the show’s gross income each performance. The bigger the show, the larger the costs.

And given that most Broadway shows don’t run more than 4 or 5 years (Phantom, Cats, Les Miz being the rare exceptions) any profit to come from most shows is the merchandising. Some shows don’t break even or profit until several years after they close. And the reason they finally do is because of the merchandise sales.

Anonymous Coward says:

Drums Please...

Where are you right now? Have you considered your fighting an uphill battle?

Look to your right and look to your left. What do you see? Above you, you probably see trusses with lights with various colored gobos on them, probably controlled by a DMX controller. Ahead of you, there’s empty seats, the pit is probably empty too.

What is your area of expertise? The Internet? Wow. Let’s talk about an IP addresses, because your an expert of everything internet.

Here’s a softball for you:
Let’s say your computer has an address of What subnet is it? Are you on a class A,B,C network? Can you provide an example of the other two network classes? Is a private address or not? Can you tell me how you came to that conclusion?

Just know being a tool has its rewards, which will be forthcoming.

JohnForDummies (profile) says:

Of course he’s right you know. Because before the internet, people had no way of sharing music with each other at all. Nope. Piracy and song sharing were created when Al Gore invented the internet.

What I don’t get is… what does Andrew Lloyd Weber have to worry about? Who wants to listen to his “music” anyway? His sales aren’t suffering because people are sharing his crap — his sales are in decline because the only people who care about him are dying of old age.

Jack Sombra says:

“The question that occurs to me is whether, in 10 years time, Britain will be a place that the Beatles could have emerged from”
Everytime there is some tech advancement that affects the entertainment industry some tool comes out and says something like this. First it was TV, then home video recorders now it’s the internet

Simple truth is some in industry will adapt and grow even richer, others will not and become part of history

Digital Sniper (user link) says:

Have your cake and eat it too!

It’s amazing how much people in the entertainment industry complain about down sales and piracy. The real problem is their business model which provides a focused point of sale at the register is under attack from the vast entity known as the internet. Instead of making $50 million dollars they are only making $20 million. WTFO?

If the masses want a cheaper product, you better get it to them or you will really endanger yourself. Now that the cat is out of the bag, you can either evolve or fade, just like Jack Sombra already stated. If he wants more money, find some alternate revenue streams and STFU.

BigKeithO says:

Re: Re:

But he didn’t say piracy was great… So, what was your point again?

Sheep? Perhaps just people with a similar viewpoint? If this blog and the people who comment on it are so stupid and offensive to you why do you comment on every single story Mike posts? Your comments have changed from something semi-intelligent to flat out insults. Why continue?

Weird Harold (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Read the posts Big Keith, it’s not a group of peoplewith a similar viewpoint, it’s a pile on. Someone kicked him down, and everyone else realized it was okay to kick him.

You may not like Andrew Lloyd Webber’s material (I am not a big theatre fan, but I can appreciate the difficulty in writing both a song and a story, at the same time), but you have to admit that he is one of the very successful writers and composers of our times.

The posters may not agree with his point, but telling someone of this stature to “STFU” and calling him a “total clueless dumbass” just goes to show to what level certain people are willing to go. Tar and feathers for those who don’t agree.

BigKeithO says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I’m going to have to agree with magnafides. This isn’t something specific to Techdirt or to this Andrew Lloyd Weber story, this is just the interwebs spreading their vision of world peace. 😉

Just venture on to any message board you choose, they are all the same. Don’t agree with a viewpoint? Well chances are you are going to get “tar and feathered” as well. Actually I am surprised you don’t know this WH, you get your fair share of abuse around here these days!


Re: Re: Re: Re:

> Read the posts Big Keith, it’s not a group of peoplewith a
> similar viewpoint, it’s a pile on. Someone kicked him down,
> and everyone else realized it was okay to kick him.

He’s the posterboy for what’s wrong with the performing
arts today. The REAL Broadway is in a serious tailspin
because of the flailing economy and this dufus wants to
go on a rant about record sales and piracy.

What an idiot.

He earned whatever pile-on he gets.

Anonymous Coward says:

A few years ago, I downloaded the soundtrack of Phantom. I liked the music, and the next time I was in New York, I saw the show. I probably wouldn’t have done so if I hadn’t been exposed to the soundtrack and grown to like the music. Without this so-called piracy, Phantom wouldn’t have made the money from my ticket purchase.

Kryss LaBryn says:

Twenty years ago I had my first exposure to ALW’s music when someone handed me a ripped (on cassette in those pre-Internet days haha) copy of the OLC Phantom recording and told me they thought that I’d really enjoy it. Did I pay for it? No. Was it pirated? Yes. Did it diddle his sales out of probably $35? Yes.

Would I have run across his work anywhere else? You know, I suspect not; I lived in a very small town and was a 20 hour drive from the closest city that his shows visited (and these day, I’m in an even smaller town, and six hours away). I mean, it’s not like his stuff gets a lot of airplay on the CBC.

But since I got that pirated cassette, I have been to see the show three times, seen “The Music of ALW”, seen “Cats” twice (and yeah, I enjoyed it; sue me, I grew up on “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”), and between the shows and the merchandising have spent at least a thousand dollars directly on ALW and his stuff.

So is piracy illegal? Yeah. But does it cost him money? Not necessarily, not necessarily at all.

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