Legal and illegal downloading: the world in a shambles.

“A creative person would prefer their music to be stolen and enjoyed than ignored. This is the dilemma for every creative soul: he or she would prefer to starve and be heard, than to eat well and be ignored.”

– Pete Townshend, 31st October 2011.

The never ceasing argument of illegally downloading music has been at the core of the music world for the past couple of decades. Artists find themselves very much in the centre of this shambles caused by the accessibility and the wonders of the internet, something that has both hindered and helped their development as musical artists. But who am I to present this argument to you; I’m damn sure we are all at least aware of the pro’s and con’s of file sharing. I shall pass this baton on to Mr Pete Townshend, whose article/lecture I had stumbled upon earlier today and had me reconsidering the whole thing again. Click here to read an article well worth reading, then come back here (:

There’s no denying we’re all a little guilty of some downloading; even the fatcats of record labels have surely done it themselves at some point in time. No saint is a saint. Having said this though, it is nothing but simply unfair to always be downloading music with zero contribution to the artist. Nobody willingly works for free!

But then again, you don’t want the majority of the money you supposedly pay for the music to go to the hands of those big bosses. This is the unfortunate truth though: the artist only gets a small proportion of what you paid for that album. But downloading it illegally would be even worse, surely…? THIS IS A CONSPIRACY!

I say: go to concerts. Buy t-shirts. Merchandise. Whatever. That way, you are directly supporting the artist rather than their record label. Unless you’re an indie kid and only listen to unlabeled bands, which is fair enough.

“Keep on going to concerts; keep buying your favourite bands’ CDs and merchandise. Never stop supporting music, because there won’t come a day when music doesn’t support you.”

– Hayley Williams, 15th November 2010

And what’s with all that Ofcom malarky? Sure, excessive illegal downloads should definitely be punished; I’m only saying that the law shouldn’t really crack down on someone who is downloading an album of an artist, seeing whether they like it or not, then hopefully going out to buy it if they like it rather than wasting a substantial amount of money on a record they might not even like. But they fear to try and get a taster of it because of silly laws that may result in a court case and a fine. We live in a fantastic world, eh?

Hush now, I do buy my own CDs too.

Also, just like the article says, big corporations such as iTunes are only out there to scam us all off. They are openly ripping open our wallets and robbing us in clear daylight. There are artists out there who are willing to post their music for free to get out there and become more known – let’s take the case of the band Canterbury, who posted their album for us to download, completely free and legally off their website. What does iTunes do? Sell it at £6.99. Now, I wanted the boys to receive some money for their work, thus I ended up donating some cash towards a purchase I was extremely happy with – money that went directly to them and not the money giants who are after the money. Because that’s what money giants do. They are after our money.

Go to concerts, chums!