Saturday, December 1, 2007

Music Piracy

Stealing is illegal in all fifty states, whether it is a candy bar from the local gas station, a shirt from the mall, or music on the internet. Downloading music without purchasing it is illegal, immoral, and disrespectful to the artists who’re making the music. It prevents up-and-coming artists from establishing a profitable career, as well as threatens the livelihood of the millions of people working in the music industry.

Many may argue the Robin Hood analogy, saying that the artists make more money than they need to, but what many don’t realize is that the artists aren’t the only ones whose paycheck comes from record sales.

"A lot more goes into a CD than it may appear. The price of a CD doesn’t just go back to the record company. Everyone who works with me to record and distribute my music makes a living and supports their families from CD sales as well. It’s a big network of people from my co-producer, the engineers, my band all the way to assembly line people who help to manufacture the CDs and the truck drivers who get them to the stores. There are now legitimate websites that provide an alternative to illegal burning. I want to encourage my listeners to use these sites and to buy instead of burning illegally. On behalf of the team who works alongside me, we’d appreciate it," says Steven Curtis Chapman, a religious singer.

The following is a breakdown of the cost of a typical major-label release by the independent market-research firm Almighty Institute of Music Retail shows where the money goes for a new album with a list price of $15.99.
• $0.17 Musicians’ unions
• $0.80 Packaging/manufacturing
• $0.82 Publishing royalties
• $0.80 Retail profit
• $0.90 Distribution
• $1.60 Artists’ royalties
• $1.70 Label profit
• $2.40 Marketing/promotion
• $2.91 Label overhead
• $3.89 Retail overhead

Save the music industry – stop pirating! (Music piracy is any form of unauthorized duplication and/or distribution of music including downloading, file sharing, and CD-burning.)

-Lauren Matovina

1 comment:

Andrew Stone said...

Hey, congrats! You just latched on to the most out-of-date and ignorant view surrounding recorded music today!

Read this:

"A study of file-sharing's effects on music sales says online music trading appears to have had little part in the recent slide in CD sales."

You claim downloading "prevents up-and-coming artists from establishing a profitable career"... do you know anything about how a record is actually produced and distributed? When a major label signs an act, the contract stipulates that the bands personally see only an estimated $1 per CD sold, and they only see ANY money at all after their label recoups expenses for their advance, recording, marketing, music videos, other costs… something that only happens for like 1 in 10 records released to begin with. Its the U2s and Fall Out Boys of the world recouping expenses; those "up and coming" artists you refer to ARE NOT THE BANDS RECOUPING EXPENSES AND MAKING MONEY OFF THEIR ALBUMS, and are much better off giving their music away and hoping people come to their shows and buy a t-shirt... something many of those acts are catching on to, and doing.

Yeah, it sucks that the dudes manufacturing CDs won't have as many CDs to print anymore, but their manufacturing processes translate easily to DVDs and Playstation games, so they'll be fine.... and everybody else in that recording process is not going anywhere. Artists are still going to record, and the producers, studio musicians, etc are still going to get paid. And they aren't paid on scale, for the most part.

Ultimately, artists (and record labels) should be inspired to recored more GOOD music now. When they release a crap album with one hit (Soulja Boy comes to mind), nobody is gonna buy the fifteen dollar CD. They are gonna find it on Limewire, or iTunes. A track on iTunes is 99 cents, and the artist sees 10-15 cents of that, so when the labels put out a disk with only one "worthwhile" track, they are only hurting themselves and their artists.

The "music industry" isn't in trouble, anyways. Touring, merchandise sales, digital (ring tones especially) sales, and more are all up. Artists are making more money than ever. Its the "recorded music industry" that is in trouble, and most artists aren't even upset about it. There is a reason Radiohead dumped their label to distribute independently, as did Madonna, Trent Reznor... they see the value of using their recorded music as a loss-leading marketing tool vs an individual revenue stream.

Your view on all this is one that would have stood up in the 90's when everyone was blaming Napster. Its a new world now.