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What is the most fundamental nature of music? I tell you this : whenever we hear a song, we have every right to listen to it again because it is replicated in our minds, and thus we are free to reproduce the tune through any medium at our disposal.|
The issue of downloading music and "intellectual property rights" is a pretty big issue in the US right now.
What seems to be the case here is that record companies are ripping off smaller artists and making a lot of money through a small cluster of ultra-popular music e.g. hip-hop artists. That is the simple but true summary. The reason why there is lack of musical diversity in American airwaves is precisely due to this capitalist tactic.
It is hardly the case that when someone invents an original tune, disseminates for free it under a title and a name, and gets popular through whatever reason, that someone else will try to come up and claim the authorship of the song. For this reason, all music should be free. Why? Because the original artists are still respected through critical acclaim and the admiration of the maximum possible number of fans. The RIAA, a bunch of capitalist cronies, claims that it disrespects artists to download music without paying for it. Their line of thinking is wrong, because they rob off their clients more so through the corrupt system of "royalties" and "commissions" than any form of the absence of direct payment from fans could ever have.
When you download a musical piece from the Internet, it is considered two things, completely in their entirely different realms of interpretation: 1. Piracy (stealing) and 2. Sharing (communism). I prefer to interpret it as the latter, for the following reasons:
1. Throughout the OVERWHELMING history of human society, music in a non-recorded format (ear to ear) has always been free to listen and reproduce without permission. Yet, the authors of many classical pieces of music (e.g. Beethoven, Mozart) have achieved the greatest prominence and admiration known among ANY ARTIST in history.
2. The start of the 20th century marked technological advances at the height of U.S. cut-throat capitalism, which coincided with technological innovations such as Edison's phonograph, later to evolve into various different formats thanks to the collaborative work of many innovators. The record companies have taken advantage of the fact that music can be stored physically, as opposed to mentally, and so thus sought to make a profit out of it. They are the truly greedy ones. Music is still in shackles and chains, and remains to be liberated from this legacy.
3. The Internet is the one possible means through which such liberation can occur. Music can be produced freely, remixed, and distributed online without the need for obsolete massive record companies. Because of the uniqueness one can have with sound produced in the electronic medium, the authorship (if ever disputed) is always easily demonstrable.
4. If record companies were ever concerned for the well-being of the artists, they would dramatically lower the price of music or make it free, and seek subsidies from the government or the revenue gained from public events held by the artists themselves. This way, through the low price of music, they can achieve the true maximum popularity of each and every artist regardless of their initial popularity. But they choose to defend their foolish actions, disposing of numerous promising garage bands as liabilities and touting a few big-name artists in the name of capitalism.
5. The record industry was against taping the airwaves back in the 80's. You can see where that attempt went.
This is something that makes my blood boil. DOWNLOADING MUSIC OFF THE INTERNET IS NOT STEALING. IT IS SHARING.
Likewise, any artist who can manage to think for themselves would realize that becoming one of the big-name artists signing million-dollar contracts with record companies is very likely not going to become possible. So they should distribute their music across the internet, free from disrespect by these cronies, and free from the prison of copyrights and extant "intellectual property" laws. Make no mistake, however : having "rights reserved" should actually be encouraged as well, since it can protect against the assaults of those who dare to make a profit off other people's music. What particularly comes to mind here is the DMCA, but that should be reserved for a whole different discussion.
[ Last edited by soviet at 2006-4-14 11:14 AM ]