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Worms anyone? I just opened a can... or ECON 101 (Thait's Micro, kids) explained through file sharing

“Say Lyndsey, have you considered the impact this has on the creative process for these artists? Or the future of music? How will aspiring artists find the motivation to become something valuable to the industry if the product they offer is so easily taken from them? Will the future generations find themselves without Dylan's, Lennon's, Mercury's, or Vedder's?”

Hi Owen,

It's funny you should ask this, because I was thinking about whether I still agreed with myself this morning at the coffee shop I stop at on my way to work, and I had to had a little conversation with myself about how I finally felt. It went something like this.


"Self, have you considered how all those powerful, big name artists who aren't selling records might feel about P2P software?”

“No, Self,” I had to admit, “I haven’t. But I bet I don’t care.”

“That’s a little harsh, don’t you think,” I was taken aback.

“True, but they’re rich and powerful, like you said; and those people downloading music from their friends, well, most of them aren’t.” It was shocking to hear such rash and thoughtless words come from my own mouth! I had to keep going.

“Well, that’s not really fair. They earned that money through their creative talent.”

“That might be true, but thanks to P2P software, music lovers have far more access to artists they had never heard of before. Since the advent of file sharing the music industry has exploded with independent labels and artists using P2P to spread the word about what they have to offer. And we both know that when there is more music – or more of any product for that matter – and buyers have more choices, the marginal value of each musician goes down a little. SO, those truly exceptional artists might be making less money, but rest assured, they will be found through the quick disbursement of files online and social networking over time. And furthermore, in the days before file sharing record companies had way too much control over what we got to hear and what we didn’t. A performer who had better connections would often get more play than one who was less connected but more talented. That sucked for the Bob Dylan’s and Vedders of the 90’s. Why do you think late 90’s music was so bad? Would people have really been so ga ga over Brittney Spears and the Backstreet Boys if they had more choices? I think not. And how much money does a performer make from album sales anyway? 2% or something awful, right? Who cares! The more people know and love their music, the more shows they’ll book – that’s where the big bucks are!”

I was astonished.

“Well Self, I don’t really have a comeback for that right now. I’ll have to think on it. Is it all true?”

Then I got to the front of the line at Bauhaus Coffee and had to order so the conversation had to stop.


So Owen, that’s how the conversation went. If you want to help myself rebut myself I’d greatly appreciate any help you, or anyone else, could give either side of my argument…with myself.

(I’m so going to get fired for being schizophrenic)


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I simply believe it is not right. Not the way it is done these days...I mean, it's not like people make a tape for a good friend. No, they often share their stuff with millions of other users. Simply not right. Somebody creates something, and offers it for sale. Why should it be right to just take it?

Well, you know I only commented to take you further down that road. It turns out I agree. The late 90's were dreadful. The industry seems to be flattened now. You can go to MTV but they usually have trouble keeping up. The best artists seem to be on the small listener supported stations where the ear is to the ground.

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