Sunday, February 24, 2008

Enough is Enough, stop stealing our money

When should someone be allowed to steal your money? Should you have to pay for music downloading if you do not download music at all? Personally I do not think so. The song writers in Canada have proposed a $5 fee to be applied to your internet service bill to compensate themselves.

This brings back memories of the tried and failed iPod levy introduced in Canada. And yet again I am left wondering why in this new digital era are music companies and now music writers not adapting. For the last 8 years this group proposes sales have "dropped from $1.3-billion in 1999 to $704-million in 2006." Is this not a clear indication someone needs to change?

Essentially the idea of distribution adding to the cost of music is dead. Being able to download a track or album provides the record companies even greater profits. Additionally consumers are not idiots we know that companies want to give us less while charging us more. No package, no printed material, no shipping, no storage fees from logistics companies, no middle men (if you do it correctly) and you have pure profit, production costs aside of course.

Rather than charge us $5 consider spending all that money you are using to lobby the government and put together an effective business plan. A plan that benefits the customer while making yourself money through downloads eg: iTunes, and other online sites, about 100% of the music I enjoy listening too is not available through these distribution methods, so I am forced to buy a CD and rip it to my iPod. This is far less convenient than purchasing online content (with out DRM) to place on my iPod or my MiniDisk.

The infrastructure argument: this new form of distribution costs us money. Everything costs money, but digital distribution will cost you less money. What major company does not have an internet and intranet network these days. Personally I run a business and maintain my own web server, I am not a major corporation and somehow I manage to fit that into my own budget, and I don't charge my customers $5 more for them to view my web content, write down my prices, or even to send me an e-mail.

"80% of artists make 15000 or less a year"

This last point is particularly frustrating to me, and to most artists in any discipline. I enjoy making art and would love to work as a full time artist, but currently that's not realistic however, I work two other jobs to support myself. I understand that people need to make money but loving what you do is sometimes more important than the money you make. Take for instance Radiohead, they released a pay what you can album. I was ecstatic, free music, perfectly within my budget, but more importantly its someone giving something back. Someone who loves what they do and wants to show that they care, and that we the listener are important.

And finally to complete my point. This flagrant disregard for respecting the rights of Canadian internet users is shameful at best. If this tax actually gets passed whats next taxing people who hum or whistle a melody, do we tax a telephone user if music happens to be playing in the background, or even better maybe we should tax car radio listeners by the kilometer.

And to quote the Calgary Herald "It's not my fault that nine or 10 years after Napster, a proper system hasn't been worked out to compensate songwriters and recording artists."
... second source article (page 2)

2 comments:

Tenos said...
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Anonymous said...

I think we should tax people who come up with bad ideas like taxing the internet to compensate lower music sales. david@davidadambrown.com