A whole bunch of you keep sending in Lilly Allen's MySpace blog post about file sharing
, and how she thinks it's bad and destroying the music industry. I'd been avoiding writing much about it, because I didn't think there was much to say. Despite claiming that she's not siding with the record labels, she repeats many of the myths that they spread, claiming that their financial troubles are due to piracy, ignoring the fact that even the economists who are employed by the music industry in her native UK admit that the industry is getting bigger
. The real issue is that where the dollars go has changed. Allen complains about the "young people" at record labels losing their jobs, but there are plenty of opportunities for them to go out and hook up with more creative labels or online music services. I have nothing against Allen, who I'm sure is sincere in her thoughts, but I think she's looking at this through a very narrow lens. In fact, at the end, she notes that she's about to head off on a big tour. I'd bet that an awful lot of the "kids" she scolds in her post who will be attending those shows found out about her via file sharing.
She did a followup post as well
, where she posts an email that Matt Bellamy from MUSE sent her, where he notes that:
My current opinion is that file sharing is now the norm. This cannot be changed without an attack on perceived civil liberties which will never go down well.
Unfortunately, from there he goes on to suggest that ISPs should just be taxed and hand over the money to musicians. Again, I can understand why musicians might think this is a good idea, but they haven't thought through the details, which suggest this is a a very bad idea
that will do a lot more harm than good. In the end, the musicians have to stop stomping their feet and demanding change, and start looking at the many, many, many musicians who have learned to embrace file sharing, by wrapping a smart business model around it.