Moses Avalon is one of the nation’s leading music-business consultants and artists’-rights advocates and is the author of a top-selling music business reference, Confessions of a Record Producer. More of his articles can be found at www.mosesavalon.com.
With piracy affecting all areas of commerce, why does it seem like only the music biz is whining? Well, because the mainstream media is only “reporting” about them and ignoring the massive extra-music industry support for SOPA. But why? Is SOPA really such a huge threat to media outlets’ revenue that they would sell out on a bill that is designed to keep themselves alive?
The other day I read a story about how the E-book trade is being rifled by piracy. The journalist postulated that the reason pirates have been ripping and burning E-books is because the public doesn’t want to pay the “high price” offered by Kindle, Nook, Kobo, etc. A reader posting in the comments section sympathized, hoping that the “fledgling” E-book trade would not be too badly hurt by piracy. Then a lawyer for a website that sells counterfeit designer handbags and is presently under indictment was quoted. He defended his client with intimations that the world is entitled to designer style without paying designer prices.
High prices causing piracy? Entitlement to quality goods and services? It all started to sound familiar. Where had I heard these defenses to theft before?
That’s it!! The music business! According to just about every paper and blogger, those bastards are charging $15 for one song. No, wait, it was $15 for 12-15 songs, but only one song is good, right? No, wait, it’s the record company’s greed that makes artists release only one good song on an album. Wait, I’m starting to get confused again, because someone smart once taught me that theft had little to do with the quality of content; people steal bad records too, right? (Britney Spears was one of the most illegally downloaded artists at one time.)
I thought theft was caused by a person not wanting to pay for something they perceive they have a need for, or a right to. Yeah, that rings true.
Now, can you imagine these same absurd arguments of “high price = theft” being printed about any other industry but music?