More Musicians Realizing File Sharing Isn't Evil; Shakira, Norah Jones, Nelly Furtado Say It's Ok

from the figuring-it-out dept

A few different people have sent in the news that some more well known singers are saying that the industry is overreacting to the issue of file sharing. Sky News talked to three top female singers, Shakira, Norah Jones and Nelly Furtado, and found they all recognized that it was pretty much the natural state of the market, and it helped gain more exposure:
"I like what's going on because I feel closer to the fans and the people who appreciate the music. It's the democratisation of music in a way, and music is a gift. That's what it should be, a gift." -- Shakira

"If people hear it I'm happy. I'm not going to say go and steal my album, but you know I think its great that young people who don't have a lot of money can listen to music and be exposed to new things." -- Norah Jones

"If you love music you're going to make it anyway. You'll find an audience, and you may not make like millions of dollars but you'll make enough to have a house and a family and a car." -- Nelly Furtado
Looks like more and more musicians are realizing that fighting file sharing doesn't make sense, but learning to embrace it has tremendous benefits. Maybe, one of these days, the record labels will figure this out as well.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Ryan, Oct 21st, 2009 @ 3:25pm

    "If you love music you're going to make it anyway. You'll find an audience, and you may not make like millions of dollars but you'll make enough to have a house and a family and a car." -- Nelly Furtado

    Bingo

     

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  2.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Oct 21st, 2009 @ 3:34pm

    Re:

    Yup, I loved that quote. So much of the debate over file sharing is based on this weird assumption that a handful of popular musicians deserve to be exceedingly rich.

     

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  3.  
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    lavi d (profile), Oct 21st, 2009 @ 3:48pm

    Rebuttal

    Looks like more and more musicians are realizing that fighting file sharing doesn't make sense, but learning to embrace it has tremendous benefits. Maybe, one of these days, the record labels will figure this out as well.

    Ha ha! ahahahahahahahahAHAHAHAHAHHAHA! AHHH, AHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Mike, you're so funny.

     

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  4.  
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    You Are How Old?, Oct 21st, 2009 @ 3:58pm

    Can you find three male musicians to say the same? No doubt the rational female mind can figure it out. :)~

     

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  5.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Oct 21st, 2009 @ 4:00pm

    Norah Jones

    I'm a big fan of Norah Jones but have shied away from buying her music because she's with EMI. Hearing this makes me want to hunt down a show next time she's in the UK or find some way of supporting her directly that doesn't involve shipping overseas. I tend to find the biggest barrier to supporting a lot of artists is the lack of a donate button on their website. I guess major labels would pull the plug on that pretty quick if they did put one up.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2009 @ 4:05pm

    3 more totally evil people to add to the International Raporism Watchlist.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2009 @ 4:30pm

    Yeah well, Nelly Furtado is from Communist Canada so her opinion doesn't count. As for those other two, who cares what they think?

    God, you people will latch onto any old singer's point of view to support your unjustified stealing. "More and more musicians are coming out of the filesharing closet." Big deal.

    Why do you hate how we did things ten years ago so much? You make me sick.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2009 @ 4:33pm

    Re:

    I really can't tell if this is trolling, shilling, or sarcasm.

     

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  9.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Oct 21st, 2009 @ 4:36pm

    Re:

    "Why do you hate how we did things ten years ago so much? You make me sick."

    Why do you expect people to know what you are talking about when you post anonymously? Does the 'we' denote royalty?

     

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  10.  
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    www.eZee.se (profile), Oct 21st, 2009 @ 4:36pm

    And in other news,
    Lilly Allen realized what a twat she is and throw herself out of a window, the she also remembered she was fat and thus couldnt fit through said window.. to add insult to injury it finally dawned on her how fat and stupid she is when her people got her out of that room and... she was on the ground floor.

    I know you read articles here Lilly, since you also "steal" from here... and you know I wrote the truth above. Dont worry, you can change your nick, then come back and flame away. Nobody will know. Honest.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2009 @ 4:43pm

    Re: Re:

    It's all three baby. It's all three.

     

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  12.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Oct 21st, 2009 @ 4:49pm

    Re:

    Trent Reznor, Daron Malakian and Fat Mike. Also Stephen Fry, even though he's a writer not a musician.

     

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  13.  
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    bigpicture, Oct 21st, 2009 @ 5:31pm

    Record Labels

    "Looks like more and more musicians are realizing that fighting file sharing doesn't make sense, but learning to embrace it has tremendous benefits. Maybe, one of these days, the record labels will figure this out as well."

    The record labels have figured it out, it's the end for them, and they are fighting it like a cornered animal.

     

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  14.  
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    Lisa (profile), Oct 21st, 2009 @ 5:50pm

    Wait, what?

    "Looks like more and more musicians are realizing that fighting file sharing doesn't make sense, but learning to embrace it has tremendous benefits. Maybe, one of these days, the record labels will figure this out as well."

    Having a label to distribute your music would be pointless when it's already legal to share music over the internet. So how does a label benefit from this when they're no longer relevant?

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2009 @ 5:56pm

    Re: Wait, what?

    The labels could focus more on PROMOTING music and less on DISTRIBUTING it.

     

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  16.  
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    Lisa (profile), Oct 21st, 2009 @ 6:11pm

    Re: Re: Wait, what?

    "The labels could focus more on PROMOTING music and less on DISTRIBUTING it."

    Again, internet/radio/word of mouth/advertising companies take care of that. Actual record labels would be unnecessary.

    It's why they attack file sharing with such vitriol.

     

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  17.  
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    Ryan Diederich, Oct 21st, 2009 @ 8:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Wait, what?

    I agree, but you cant pump effort into a dead business. Think of all the bailout crap in the US, now imagine if the govt had bailed out Circuit City. It still would have gone out of business due to a poor model (too many employees to last thru a depression). Thus, the money would have been for naught.

    At this point, they are in a persistent vegitative state, hanging on by a thread...

     

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  18.  
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    SuperJeweler, Oct 21st, 2009 @ 8:06pm

    The first label that finds a way to promote file sharing as a means of distribution and earn an acceptable profit stands to gain a tremendous share of the market. Someone will, because the market demands it.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2009 @ 8:10pm

    Re:

    Of course, the beautiful thing is that artists have started to realize that the labels are being way too slow, and have started uploading torrents themselves.

    That's the beautiful thing about a free market: if someone doesn't want to adapt, someone else will.

     

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  20.  
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    Greasybaz, Oct 21st, 2009 @ 8:53pm

    Having already made their money mainstream pop artists like Shakira are in a very good position to give away music as a gift. As much as they'd love to give it away the rest of the musicians in the world have bills to pay.

    Sandwiches can be a gift too but I normally expect the girl in the shop to ask me for money in return.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2009 @ 10:02pm

    Mike, I have to say that this is another one of those "reach" things, where you are drawing a very significant conclusion, without the quotes supporting what you are saying.

    Each of the artists has said a different thing. Shakira has basically said "I have enough money, I don't care", Norah Jones hopes kids get exposed to more music, and Nelly Furtado isn't concerned about the economic implications, she is just happy to have a car.

    If you took away the money each of them made selling records, and took away all the exposure that each of them has gotten as a result of having a record deal, distribution, artist reps, ad money, tour support, and all those other things, I suspect their answers might be just a little different.

    Money changes everything.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2009 @ 12:46am

    "If you love music you're going to make it anyway. You'll find an audience, and you may not make like millions of dollars but you'll make enough to have a house and a family and a car." -- Nelly Furtado

    But wait, I thought artists could make MORE money by NOT selling copies? Why is this musician implying the opposite?

    Yup, I loved that quote. So much of the debate over file sharing is based on this weird assumption that a handful of popular musicians deserve to be exceedingly rich.

    A handful of popular musicians, actors, writers, directors etc SHOULD be exceedingly rich.

    The Beatles SHOULD be exceedingly rich. Stephen Spielberg SHOULD be exceedingly rich. John Grisham SHOULD be exceedingly rich. They provide value to many, many MILLIONS OF PEOPLE all across the planet. It's called "scale". This is what copyright helps to enable and what freemunists seek to destroy.

    Providing great value to millions of people around the planet SHOULD yield great rewards.

    Unless you are a socialist, or have taken a vow of poverty, I am aware of no legitimate counter-argument to this.

     

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  23.  
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    Chillienet (profile), Oct 22nd, 2009 @ 2:15am

    Re: Wait, what?

    I don't listen to much music so I can't comment on peoples buying habits but I do watch a lot of anime. I download fansubs and when I find a series I really like I go looking for a box set of said series to add to my ever growing collection. Having anime labels like Madman distributing anime DVD's is not pointless even though I share the same anime over the internet. In fact, Madman makes a lot more money off me BECAUSE I share anime over the internet. The label continues to be relevant and they continue to benefit.

    As I said I don't really listen to much music but I assume that big music fans would continue to search out hard copies of their favorite musicians in the same way I search out anime hard copies. Labels are still relevant, they are just not the be all end all of music.

     

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  24.  
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    Dom S, Oct 22nd, 2009 @ 4:53am

    Re:

    so which exceedingly rich person are you then?

    ultimately, NO-ONE should be exceedingly rich... there's your counter argument... moron

    at the end of the day, none of the people you have named, none of the people who complain about file sharing and not a single one of the MPs/gov't officials/lobbyists opposed to filesharing NEED the money they claim they are losing!

    to live comfortably you do not NEED to earn hundreds of thousands yet alone millions. its massively selfish to make out that a few thousand lost is a big deal when there are literally millions of people struggling to make ends meet when they work full-time to keep their countries economies afloat. This is not even counting the further millions of your fellow humans who live in poverty!

    Im f*cking sick of people like you posting dumbass comments without considering the rest of the world.

    Selfish, stuck-up and above all else GREEDY!

     

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  25.  
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    Dom S, Oct 22nd, 2009 @ 4:57am

    Re:

    why do YOU hate how we do things in the present?

    get out of the past decade and wake up to the present

    people fileshare, people will continue to fileshare and no-one can stop it!

    either the industry catches up or they lose out.

    tough sh*t

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2009 @ 8:04am

    Re:

    Masnick's Law.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2009 @ 9:05am

    Re: Re:

    Again, socialism is the answer.

    Let's not make any one musician rich, rather, let's have hundreds of thousands of musicians who work for minimum wage. That would be great, after all, production of music would be higher than ever.

    Yes, again, Masnick has pointed to socialism as an answer!

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2009 @ 9:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, isn't it the ultimate market argument? People with ideas and the guts to put them out there compete with others like them. The winner is the one who makes the best appeal to people's wallets.

     

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  29.  
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    Endy Daniyanto, Oct 22nd, 2009 @ 9:31am

    Value Before Reward

    Nelly Furtado implies that artists should focus on providing value through their art before they start to demand reward from it. This is the true nature of art - you give before you take. In the previous model, the paradigm shifted to one where you expect your audience to reward you before or at the same time that you provide value (if any), not after.

    You might call it natural selection. I call it decentralization - the independence of art is returning to the creative hands of the artist. Some are excellent at it, others not so. But would you fight change just for the sake of keeping status quo?

    The tendency shows what Shakira calls music democracy. My crap is not your crap. If I listen to your music via file sharing and think it's crap then no value to me. If I think it's good then value to both of us.

    We just need to learn to trust each other a little better.

     

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  30.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Oct 22nd, 2009 @ 10:18am

    Re:

    I have your counter-argument right here, pal:

    But wait, I thought artists could make MORE money by NOT selling copies? Why is this musician implying the opposite?

    Reading isn't your strong point, is it? If you take some time and really sound out the words, you'll understand that "could" doesn't mean "absolutely, 100% will". I know, I know, you think the masses should just hand over money for any old crap that's tossed at them, but that's not how the real world, or the free market, works.

    Furthermore, I *do* think that if file-sharing were accepted, there would be less Mega-super-ultra stars, but also way less still-needs-to-work-two-jobs musicians. More on that after I quote your next retarded comment.

    This is what copyright helps to enable and what freemunists seek to destroy.

    Strict Copyright doesn't help an artist-- *any* artist-- gain millions of fans. Talent does that. So why do we have Brittany Spears? Because the Labels have set up such an environment where you *needed* a label to reach that number of people. In fact, they used this environment to strong-arm artists into blatantly unfair contracts to rob them of their rights to *their own work*. THAT sounds like piracy to me. Back on topic, because of this environment, you were only exposed to the artists that the label wanted you exposed to-- the ones that were lowest risk, that sounded much like everyone else. In essence, a cookie-cutter cutout of the artists before. That is not art.

    Now that there is an easy, cheap, and quick way to spread your music/book/movie to literally the entire planet at once, these bloated incumbent middlemen are no longer required, so they villanize the method to make them obsolete, using the money from the unfair contracts they've forced artists into for decades. Now we can be exposed to a nearly unlimited number of new artists and judge for ourselves if they deserve to be compensated for their art, or if they are just a screaming monkey with a microphone playing power chords mindlessly.

    It doesn't matter if an artists has already made it big, or is just starting out-- the only people who are afraid of file-sharing are those without talent.

    Finally, a teacher does not reap any rewards if one of his students goes on to invent something innovative. A doctor does not reap rewards from everything accomplished by someone whose life she saves. A police officer that foils a burglary does not get a cut if the homeowner uses that not-stolen money in the stock market to make millions of dollars. Why, then, does a director deserve to keep getting paid for every viewing of his movie? Why does a pop singer deserve to get paid every time someone stumbles upon their music on Pandora? Why does an author keep getting paid every time Amazon Ctrl-V's an ebook and sends it to someone? IP Maximalists are not living in the real world if they honestly believe they are entitled to more money for doing absolutely, 100% no extra work. They had a good run, but it's a new age.

    Technology giveth and Technology taketh away.

    Do you copy?

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2009 @ 10:42am

    Re: Re:

    The future is going to drive the copyright maximalist absolutely nuts. I mean utterly insane. Take away their belt crazy. A rambling, babbling and raving lunatic of the highest order.

    One would pity them if not for their complete disregard for the future of culture.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2009 @ 1:33pm

    Okay "Dom S", lets take a look...

    ultimately, NO-ONE should be exceedingly rich... there's your counter argument... moron


    So, socialism. That's fine if it's your view, but I already had it covered.

    Im f*cking sick of people like you posting dumbass comments without considering the rest of the world...Selfish, stuck-up and above all else GREEDY!


    Ah ha! So you've taken a vow of poverty then? I only ask because if you haven't than you have no business telling ANYONE that they're greedy. If you aren't spending every extraneous cent you have on trying to help the MILLIONS of people who will starve to death this year...than YOU are greedy and the only difference between you and the millionaires is you don't have as much extraneous income. The gist, however, remains the same, you prefer to spend your extraneous income on your own selfish entertainment rather than donate it to people who actually NEED it. You are, at best, the lesser of two evils.

    Pot meet kettle, hypocrite.

    Reading isn't your strong point, is it? If you take some time and really sound out the words, you'll understand that "could" doesn't mean "absolutely, 100% will".


    I was being sarcastic and happen to agree with you. Unfortunately Masnick doesn't so you'll have to take that point up with him. He has said MANY times, that there is ALWAYS a way for ANY artist to make MORE money by NOT selling copies and instead use the theoretically wider fan base to buy other tangible items or services. Unless "services" includes prostitution I don't believe this to always be the case.

    Furthermore, I *do* think that if file-sharing were accepted, there would be less Mega-super-ultra stars, but also way less still-needs-to-work-two-jobs musicians.


    Again, from my understanding, Masnick seems to disagree with you.

    More on that after I quote your next retarded comment.


    It's funny you never actually do get back to this. Nor have you, in fact, provided a counter argument to my "great value should yield great rewards" stance. But you do manage to call me a "retard" like some fifteen year old basement dweller so there's that...

    It doesn't matter if an artists has already made it big, or is just starting out-- the only people who are afraid of file-sharing are those without talent.


    I disagree. I think even the most talented artists should be very afraid.

    As for your condemnation of royalties, they are an industry agreement in lieu of less front end money. They are a performance-based payment like bonuses in any other industry. It is akin to taking a bet on your own success. I think such a system is more ethical than what your average office worker receives, getting paid even if the project/company/quota completely shits the bed. An artist doesn't get royalties if no one buys his art. And just as an aside, your analogies were terrible.

     

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  33.  
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    Greasybaz, Oct 22nd, 2009 @ 1:56pm

    The Infamous Joe, I see your point about the current situation with record labels being broken. The bloated incumbent middlemen do still have a place in the world of digital distribution though as they lend musician the money to buy their equipment, studio time and advertising. In essence the record companies are increasingly becoming money lenders and they want to see a return on their investment. A lot of a time they'll loose their investment but every now and then they'll get a super ultra star who makes them a mint.

    Your teacher/doctor/policeman analogy is an interesting one. You describe the director, the pop singer and the author getting paid in return for a product they've worked on, investing their own time and money. The teacher, the doctor, and the police officer you describe would be making money from someone else's work/investment.

    If I found you a job as a software engineer would I be entitled to half your salary? Would you be entitled to nothing because you produce something that's digital and so can easily be copied? Or would you be entitled to all of your salary as you put in the work?

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2009 @ 2:25pm

    Your teacher/doctor/policeman analogy is an interesting one. You describe the director, the pop singer and the author getting paid in return for a product they've worked on, investing their own time and money. The teacher, the doctor, and the police officer you describe would be making money from someone else's work/investment.

    "Interesting" is a polite way to put it...

     

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  35.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Oct 22nd, 2009 @ 4:37pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Let's not make any one musician rich, rather, let's have hundreds of thousands of musicians who work for minimum wage. That would be great, after all, production of music would be higher than ever."

    That sounds more like a symptom of a competitive market than socialism.

     

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  36.  
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    rage against bullshit, Oct 25th, 2009 @ 2:21am

    'talent' should be rich?

    Why do people find it so normal for a few lucky "artists" to be exceedingly rich? It is worrying why someone that happens to be able to sing and is lucky enough to find the right promotors gets filthy rich while aid workers, nurses, people working for charities etc who really do something for MILLIONS OF PEOPLE are quite happy to lead a normal life (in terms of wealth)? Artists should earn their money just like the majority of people, by daily work which is in their case by entertaining i.e. giving live performances and bonding with their audiences. Making a record in a few weeks time, making a million copies and selling them for an outrageous amount of money is criminal. If this is not 'stealing' our money then what is... (and half of these monkeys can't even sing they use just the latest electronics to brush up on their 'talents'). Free File sharing should be accepted as the norm in the music industry. It promotes talent more than any add campain and makes art accessable for everyone. The entire music industry has been ripping people off for years. Now it's our turn to be ripping... Bye bye

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2009 @ 8:50pm

    Re:

    Replicating a sandwich costs bread and filling, replicating music costs nothign.

     

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  38.  
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    DDU, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 3:35am

    And we have to fight it!

    Fully agree with the points above, but we all need to band together, otherwise the filesharing proposals WILL be introduced. Bad news. They're unfair and unworkable. You can join our anti filesharing proposals campaign now and also sign our Number 10 petition.

     

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

  39.  
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    D. Johnson, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 7:39am

    Re: Nelly Furtado

    "If you love music you're going to make it anyway. You'll find an audience, and you may not make like millions of dollars but you'll make enough to have a house and a family and a car." -- Nelly Furtado

    That's pretty easy to say when you're an artist who is doing a little bit better than "a house and a family and a car" due to your high powered record company, complete with legal representation that makes sure you get paid when radio stations, tv ads, etc... play your song. If I were in that position, I too would be able to shrug off a "few kids file sharing my songs." For working artists, a few cds sold (as opposed to downloaded for for free) can make a big difference in the checkbook at the end of the month!

     

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


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