from the make-stuff-available dept
We received an interesting email recently from Bilal in Dubai, explaining just how difficult it is to purchase legal music online from the Middle East, and wondering why it is that the recording industry keeps complaining that not enough people are buying, when it does nothing to allow them to buy in large parts of the world:
I am a frustrated music listener, who is tired of hearing the music industry weep of low sales.
I’ve been living in the Middle East for the past 5 years, specifically Dubai, and apparently we are not worthy of buying music online as all the legitimate online music stores (iTunes, Amazon MP3, etc…) are not available in this region.
I don’t understand how the music industry claims that it’s suffering, and yet they forbid paying customers such as myself from buying their content. This region is not lucky enough to be part of the online music community, and I would like to know why. I always hear the answer that “the rights are not available”, but the record labels are the rights owners, they control the switch! I hate to pirate music, but I don’t have any other choice.
I’m guessing the answer has to do with the fact that the major labels likely have “sold off” the regional rights to third parties in these parts of the world. But it seems like they really should be doing something to get those services available globally. It’s pretty ridiculous that it’s so limited already.
Update: Worth pointing out: apparently iTunes did recently open in UAE, though its unclear how complete it is or why it took so long to open there. Update 2…. And, no. Turns out, despite the confusing article, the “store” in question is only for physical Apple products (iPhones/iPads). iTunes software is available but no music downloads.