Thursday, February 22, 2007

Virgin Killed, 1000 Employees Slashed

While some bloggers boast of a thousand downloads a week, it was reported "that as many as 1,000 employees will be laid off" at EMI, where both the CEO and vice chairman also lost their jobs as well as the president of Capitol records. Virgin Records has been shut down.

"The music industry is in free-fall," says Adam Shore, who runs the label that features such stars as Bloc Party, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Black Lips, "We have the best release schedule we've ever had, but we're less sure than ever that people are going to buy our records," because "sharing" bloggers have decided to give it all away. These are the same bloggers who would scream "scab" if somebody offered to do their job for free.

Music sales are down 40% from what they were before the mp3 download era, which is the equivalent of seeing a huge chunk of the arctic turn to water.

In the meantime, blogs with massive amounts of stolen music proudly declare they will re-up if their links are removed, that everyone should spread links around as much as possible to defeat any attempt by musicians to control their music, and praise any bloggers or torrents that give away entire discographies of someone's work. There are blog sites and forums that leech everything they can find in order to promote themselves (and get banner ad money) and they receive lavish compliments for their "generosity."

Pirate Bay: Kill the Musicians

You might remember the romantic image of pirates on the high seas. They boarded a ship, stole everything, murdered the crew and raped the women. What's not to admire?

Today we have "Pirate Bay," and other bit-torrent sites that enjoy raping musicians and watching people lose their jobs so they can own everything they want without paying for it. Best of all, they make money doing it.

Pirate Bay makes $75,000 a month in ad revenue. That means that while they bleed the music industry, reduce the royalties for the talented people who make music, and prevent so many artists from even getting a record deal, they profit.

This is like the anarchist who tells everyone the system sucks, while pocketing $75,000 for each lecture. It's like the communist leader who claims to be on the side of the worker while living in a palace and dining on caviar.

The rationale behind the action is a garble as insane as any madman ran from the Middle East: "To all intellectual property landlords: we are aware that Torrents might annoy you -- but contain your righteous indignation for a while, and think: we're only linking to torrents that already exist. Face it: your membrane has burst, and it wasn't us who burst it. Your precious bodily fluids are escaping."

Piratebay is saying that because they host a site where people upload illegal files, they can't be faulted, and that hard-working artists who created work and should be paid for it, should "contain" their "righteous indignation" while somebody else makes money off that work via banner ads, and while it's downloaded by people who would be very angry to take a pay cut because somebody thought THEIR work isn't worth the money they charge.

The Swedes who run Piratebay are delighted to be paid $75,000 a month for providing their service. They would feel more than "righteous indignation" if a hacker put their $75,000 a month in ad money into somebody else's Internet bank account. Then these pirates would weep like babies. They would ask for the law to protect them. They would say, "It isn't fair."