Radiohead's Manager: File Sharing Should Be Legal; It's Great For Music

from the so-there-you-go dept

This probably isn't much of a surprise given Radiohead's well-publicized experiment with letting fans "pay what you want" for its last album, but the band's manager has now said that he thinks file sharing should be legal (sent in by Ruby), noting:
"We believe file-sharing by peer-to-peer should be legalised. The sharing of music where it is not for profit is a great thing for culture and music."
Compare that to, say, Paul McGuinness, the manager of U2, who has been going on and on about how pretty much everyone other than the music industry (i.e., users, ISPs, Apple, software companies) is to blame for file sharing, and they should all be kicked off the internet if they don't pay up.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Tgeigs, May 6th, 2009 @ 2:15pm

    Notice the terminology

    Note the subtle difference the two sides tend to use. Anti-filesharing folks talk about "artists" and "the music industry", whereas here Radiohead's manager talks about "culture" and "music".

    Kind of gives you an idea of the motivation of the band, no?

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Poster, May 6th, 2009 @ 2:22pm

    God bless Radiohead.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2009 @ 3:04pm

    It's just PR. Radiohead's fans believe music should be free, so that's what Radiohead's manager says. U2's fans are douchebags, so that's what U2's manager is.

     

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  4.  
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    chillout, May 6th, 2009 @ 3:13pm

    to my mind...

    i prefer to pay for music i like and i also want to get paid for the music i produce. how else can i make a living by making music?

     

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  5.  
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    BillDivX, May 6th, 2009 @ 3:14pm

    I'm pretty sure...

    that the only person who is truly a douchebag is the one going around calling people douchebags. Douchebag...

     

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  6.  
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    Bamika, May 6th, 2009 @ 3:15pm

    I wonder if anyone has ever modeled revenue streams for bands of different levels of popularity if file sharing were legal, or if they used a shareware approach to music downloads, or charging say, $0.99 a track; and compared the outcomes with the traditional model?

     

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  7.  
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    Lee, May 6th, 2009 @ 3:19pm

    chillout: By making decent music fans will want to pay for including extra content with the cd's you can't easily reproduce? Simples?

    BillDivX: U2 fan, or U2 manager? hmmm...

     

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  8.  
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    Adam, May 6th, 2009 @ 3:30pm

    Thats because U2 sucks...

    Ok, maybe thats harsh, but but seriously, I don't know many people that actually ever owned a U2 album... they (like the washed up Metalica guys) need some revenue stream to sustain their lifestyle. I don't understand how U2 got so famous... I can honestly say I am all over the place musically and like some of everything, but I cannot see why U2 is popular other than a LOT of marketing (aligning themselves with companies that put them on TV and causes that get public sympathy). Radiohead, although not one of my favorite bands, come across as true artists who are all about their art in many ways.

     

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  9.  
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    ryan, May 6th, 2009 @ 3:30pm

    Re: to my mind...

    I think U2 is looking for customers.

    ..

     

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  10.  
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    Michael Long, May 6th, 2009 @ 3:59pm

    Concert Tickets

    And I'm of the opinion that concert tickets should be free. Why should people with money be the only ones that get to see the performers live?

     

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  11.  
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    Chris, May 6th, 2009 @ 4:00pm

    Re: to my mind...

    Real musicians make music regardless of whether they get paid or not. If you're only making music to make money, you're doing it wrong. I'd love to see a world where musicians couldn't make a living making music, we'd see who the real artists are real quick.

     

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  12.  
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    John, May 6th, 2009 @ 4:11pm

    Re:

    File sharing IS legal. Unless I missed something.

     

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  13.  
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    MadJo, May 6th, 2009 @ 4:25pm

    Re: Re: to my mind...

    *agrees*

    Chillout, no-one is saying that artists shouldn't be compensated, but if you are only in the music business for the money, you are in the wrong business.
    Music is about art, and expressing oneself. And if that makes you money I'd call that a bonus, but it shouldn't be the sole reason.

     

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  14.  
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    Mike (profile), May 6th, 2009 @ 4:25pm

    Re: Concert Tickets

    And I'm of the opinion that concert tickets should be free. Why should people with money be the only ones that get to see the performers live?

    Michael, you've bee on this site long enough that I would have thought you were better than to make trolling statements like that.

    Did you not read the actual post before posting your comment? It has nothing to do with what you think *should* be free, but what makes the most sense economically. Tickets are a scarce good (only so much room at a venue). Music files are not. This is basic economics. And you know this, because you've read the site for a while. Why make a comment that makes you look ignorant?

     

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  15.  
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    MadJo, May 6th, 2009 @ 4:30pm

    Re:

    Ever heard of Jonathan Coulton? I'd say he's fairly succesful.
    Even produced a song for a well-known game (Portal)
    And I hear that he could even quit his day-job, all because he gave away his music for free, or for whatever you wanted to pay for it. Allegedly making more money giving away his music, than he did writing software.

     

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  16.  
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    RPR, May 6th, 2009 @ 4:34pm

    Re: Re: Concert Tickets

    /agree. You are portraying yourself as a nüb.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    MadJo, May 6th, 2009 @ 4:34pm

    Re: Re:

    *addendum*
    And he came out of nowhere.

    Not to say that it will work like that for every artists, but clearly JoCo did not need a record label to gain traction.

    If it's quality, it will often come floating to the top.

     

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  18.  
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    TW Burger (profile), May 6th, 2009 @ 6:36pm

    Re: Thats because U2 sucks...

    I wouldn't say they suck, but I would say they are not the best musicians currently performing and are very much over rated.

    I am most annoyed that this Bono person (Paul David Hewson born 1960) keeps getting audiences with world leaders asking his opinion on important issues. He's a singer not a scientist or great thinker. He may have been cutting edge, political, and all about the music when "Sunday Bloody Sunday" was the opening track of 1983's War album but now he's just a rich guy attempting to get more.

    At first I was embarrassed by that South Park episode that made very crude fun of him, now not so much.

     

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  19.  
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    ShipiboConibo, May 6th, 2009 @ 7:35pm

    Re: to my mind...

    Not personal Chillout, this is just directed towards that general mentality... 'A Rant About The Music Industry and DRM'

     

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  20.  
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    Bobbias, May 6th, 2009 @ 8:23pm

    Re: to my mind...

    Why should you NEED to make money from music? Music is culture, it's expression. People write music not because they're going to get payed, but because they like music.

    If you join a highschool band, or some random garage band, you don't expect to get paid for writing music. You expect to enjoy yourself, express your opinions, and have fun. And THAT is what music should be all about. Money should not be an issue. Ever.

    Sure, it's nice to be able to support someone who's music you enjoy, but I don't believe it should be compulsory, because that person (if they really care about music) is still going to make music, whether it makes them money or not.

     

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  21.  
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    Kevin Carson, May 7th, 2009 @ 12:11am

    Not so fast...

    chillout:

    First: There are ways to make money off content besides direct sales of the content itself. The Phish model, for example, is to allow free distribution of the music and make money off live performances. Red Hat doesn't make money off proprietary software, but it makes money customizing Linux and offering tech support.

    Second: The desktop revolution has caused the cost of physical capital outlays for studio editing equipment to implode. Given that there's no physical cost of production--the fans burn their own CDs--webhosting is about the only overhead. So whatever revenue stream Radiohead gets is theirs free and clear; even if it amounts on average to less than a dollar per download via their glorified PayPal tip jar, that's still an enormous amount of money.

    And even when the marginal cost of reproduction is zero, there's still a considerable rent entailed in already having a hosting and sales apparatus in place. If you're just charging a dollar a download, and amortizing your webhosting overhead over a large number of sales, it's probably not worth it to someone else to offer downloads of the same music for 75 cents. Unless you get greedy like the record companies, you've probably got a pretty secure base.

    The biggest names will probably lose some money via the Radiohead or Phish distribution model, just like Microsoft would lose money by the Red Hat model. But fuck 'em. Most of the little guys probably come out ahead from the word of mouth from network culture.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2009 @ 4:27am

    Just one more reason to be sick of U2, the most pretentious band on earth. I can't even stand to listen to their good stuff anymore because Bono is so f**king preachy now. Note to celebreties: you wanna save the world? Go ahead, just USE YOUR OWN MONEY!

     

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  23.  
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    aljuk, May 7th, 2009 @ 5:28am

    Re: to my mind...

    @chillout - who says you're entitled to make a living by making music? Anyone can do it now, using any number of devices that make it easy. Are they all entitled to recompense?

    The point is, the model has changed. If you're going to stand up and play for my entertainment, if I think you're good enough I'll pay to attend. But if you think I'll pay for an mp3, think again. I'll download it free.

    I produce music too. I've been doing it for 25 years, with much success, commercial and critical. But I'm forced to accept that the model has changed - that's progress. Change too, or become obselete.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    John Raven, May 7th, 2009 @ 6:43am

    Silly IP laws...

    I am the author of quite a few iPhone apps. Currently, I have no clue if they are being pirated and passed around on jailbroken iphones.

    But realistically, I don't care. Sure, I'd miss the money, but the more copies of my apps that are out there, the more my name is out there. The more my name is out there, the better chance I have to sell future products. Sure, some people won't buy them - but let's face it, chances are, they weren't going to buy it anyway. And if they really can't afford it - well, they weren't going to buy it anyway. I prefer that they DO buy it, because that puts a greater value on the apps in their mind, which will make the apps more effective on a subconscious level.

    Still, I'm not expecting a free ride. I make apps, and then we work to continually improve those apps with updates and added features.

    Someone said, if you help enough people get what they want, you'll get what you want. These types of business models are proven to succeed. They may not get you the same results as some other business models, but in the end, everyone is much happier. The customers are happy and you're happy. A few lost sales aren't worth becoming a prick.

    John Raven, CHT, CSH
    Certified Hypnotherapist
    www.lehighvalleyhypnotist.com

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2009 @ 7:32am

    Re: Thats because U2 sucks...

    huh?

    While U2's music certainly isn't for everyone (whose music is?), their early 80s work is generally regarded as better than most and sold quite well. Since then...I dunno, the last twenty years (I stopped following about them after the Joshua Tree in 1987), in my opinion at least, they haven't put out consistently good material.

    I own their first 4 albums. Their subsequent albums I listened to, but didn't feel they were worth buying. Amazing how that happened well before the advent of file-sharing...I think that tells you something.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Raybone, May 7th, 2009 @ 8:48am

    Re: Silly IP laws...

    Well said John

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    yozoo, May 8th, 2009 @ 6:55am

    It is legal

    file sharing is legal?

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    DeKay, Jun 25th, 2009 @ 5:52am

    Not legal

    It's not legal to share copyrighted files like most music, videos and software without permission. In my opinion, it should never be legal.

     

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  29.  
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    Me, Jan 9th, 2010 @ 8:36pm

    Re:

    LOGICAL FallAcy

     

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  30.  
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    Ashley, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 12:45pm

    I think you are wrong.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Ducky, May 28th, 2010 @ 11:33am

    Re: to my mind...

    That's just it... Making music should be your hobby, not how you make a living. Find a real job, and make music for the sake of music, not to get rich..

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    djmasturbeat, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 8:22pm

    i love filesharing, tho i think there is nothing wrong with musicians making money. and i would certainly see someone make a living (not a killing) off of music, than, say, sports. Those guys are really overpaid if anyone is. and overthrow the US business-run guvmint while we are at it.

    commie world, baby.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Poop, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 7:04am

    Re: I'm pretty sure...

    So...you?

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Poop, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 7:21am

    Re: to my mind...

    Performing live...

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2012 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re: to my mind...

    People need to make a living, simple. Musicians make music not only for the enjoyment of it but also, surprisingly enough, to make money - it's a job. If you don't pay for music why should you then be able to enjoy it? You don't have a right to it, it's someones property to do with what they like, include selling it. Plus, if a musician does not make any money from what they do then they have to have another form of income, another job - same go's with recording engineers and producers - then you can say goodbye to the vast majority of professionally created content as people will simply not have the time or financial resources to be educated in music / practice / write / record. Your a fucking idiot living in a dream world. Grow up.

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2012 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re: to my mind...

    People need to make a living, simple. Musicians make music not only for the enjoyment of it but also, surprisingly enough, to make money - it's a job. If you don't pay for music why should you then be able to enjoy it? You don't have a right to it, it's someones property to do with what they like, include selling it. Plus, if a musician does not make any money from what they do then they have to have another form of income, another job - same go's with recording engineers and producers - then you can say goodbye to the vast majority of professionally created content as people will simply not have the time or financial resources to be educated in music / practice / write / record. Your a fucking idiot living in a dream world. Grow up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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