Sunday, July 8, 2007

Due to the rather obnoxiously shitty nature of Microsoft Internet Explorer, I can't put titles on these posts quite yet. I'll have to get to a different computer to do that, so these are going to be a bit unpolished until then. Ugh. I die a little bit every day I wake up on my parents' couch.

Since I can't make lolpics on this woefully unhipped computer, today we're going to make a rant. I've got a good one too.

First, for some perspective, read this article about music licensing companies and their unquenchable desire to gobble up money.

FUCK ASCAP.

For those who weren't aware, ASCAP is a big group of asshats who've created and enforced stringent codes regarding the dissemination and performance of music written by artists under their wings. The group lulls in these artists with the promise of security and protection from legitimate loss of royalties (which has been a problem far longer than the digital download era), and then acts extremely aggressively in pursuing ANY use of the songs they have in their catalog. And that's how they make money. Lots of it. Make no mistake: ASCAP (though it's name evokes a much more egalitarian and noble organization) is a business run by profits. They claim that they are member-owned and member-run, but the board of directors is made up of ONLY writers and publishers. Essentially, folks who wrote jingles specifically to snag royalty checks. Now, in the modern era of music, these people are finding themselves remarkably out of fashion, since people are far more interested in listening to what the guy singing the song has to say than the prick who wrote that song for the soap commercial.

But the laws governing the use of songs were written a long fucking time ago, which is quite advantageous to the song-vultures. Since a hundred years ago (about the time these laws were last modified), there wasn't much possibility for widespread piracy of music. After all, how far could a song really travel without your knowing it? Music communities were very tight-knit, and the law was really just there as recourse in case someone should break what was already an unspoken part of the musician's code.

So now, in a world where the music industry's balloons continue to pop, the cornered publishers have gotten desperate. Check out this paragraph from the article:

Andrus said a friend of his who owned a restaurant that did not feature music
was contacted by a company looking to charge him because it owned the rights to
a Hank Williams Jr. song, "Are You Ready for Some Football?" The song preceded
every "Monday Night Football" telecast, which the restaurant carried on its
televisions.


So now if the TV plays a song in public that a licensing group holds domain over, that TV will have to pony up. In fact, i'm fairly certain I could be cited(simply because I don't think these groups have anything stopping them) for printing the lyrics to the hiphop songs I overanalyze. after all, those words are property of Johnny Bumfuck, and he needs my $0.0234 per word so he can feed his family.

The bottom line is: Download. Illegally. Do it a lot. The industry part of the music industry needs to have the fat trimmed immediately. There's simply too much lucrative shit going on in the biz and the only way to stop it is to take the money out of it. Because without the showers of money, the yuppie remora crowd will move on.

1 comment:

Faaip said...

As an independent musician, I endorse this post.