Janis Ian’s article on the “Internet Debacle” is great. Here’s some straight hard facts to counter the nonsense coming from the recording industry.

“Every time we make a few songs available on my website, sales of all the CDs go up. A lot.” “In 37 years as a recording artist, I’ve created 25+ albums for major labels, and I’ve never once received a royalty check that didn’t show I owed them money.”

“This sort of thing is indicative of the way statistics and information are being tossed around. It’s dreadful to think that consumers are being asked to take responsibility for the industry’s problems, which have been around far longer than the Internet. It’s even worse to think that the consumer is being told they are charged with protecting us, the artists, when our own industry squanders the dollars we earn on waste and personal vendettas.”

“The NARAS people were a bit more pushy. They told me downloads were ‘destroying sales’, ‘ruining the music industry’, and ‘costing you money’. Costing me money? […] If a music industry executive claims I should agree with their agenda because it will make me more money, I put my hand on my wallet and check it after they leave, just to make sure nothing’s missing.” “Why buy records when you can learn the entire Top 40 just by going shopping for groceries?”

“I suspect Greene thinks of downloaders as the equivalent of an old-style television drug dealer, lurking next to playgrounds, wearing big coats and whipping them open for wide-eyed children who then purchase black market CD’s at generous prices.”

“If you think about it, the music industry should be rejoicing at this new technological advance! […] Instead, they’re running around like chickens with their heads cut off, bleeding on everyone and making no sense.”

There’s also the sequel article, “Fallout” where she expresses hope for the future. “I know that if enough people understand this issue, and vote accordingly, right will win. Legislation will be enacted that takes the will of the people into consideration, and favors their right to learn over Disney’s right to control.”

posted August 04, 2002 07:55 PM (Politics) #


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Aaron Swartz (me@aaronsw.com)