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The Same Old Tricks

The total desperation of the music industry to maintain its great little money earning scam has reached new lows. It has been reported here that a private investigator is harassing people playing music in public areas even if their intention isn’t to publicly broadcast music.

For example, having music playing (even at a barely audible volume) in an office is technically an offence unless a public broadcast fee is paid (which varies from $155 to $2600 per year depending on the size and type of the premises).

One company which initially ignored the demand for payment but later agreed to pay is still being taken to court over the matter so it looks like the same old victimisation tactics are being used to make an example of one person or company which should then act as a deterrent to others, but I would have thought there were more important things for New Zealand’s courts to be working on than this.

The collections agency said the money goes to record companies and artists. Well yes, I’m sure that’s partly true, but what percentage goes to the artist? If its anything like other similar deals in the music industry its very little, but I’m sure the collection agencies and law firms are making a decent bit out of it!

With modern distribution channels like the internet there is little need for all the parasites which absorb most of the money we pay for music. I think if people knew the money was going to the artists and not to some multinational corporation they would be far happier paying for music and piracy would be reduced.

The Apple app store is a great example of how media (in this case software but I don’t see how that is fundamentally different from music) can be distributed cheaply with very little of the total price going anywhere except to the person who actually developed the material being sold.

The corporations can pretend as much as they like that they have the artists’ best interest at heart but we all know they are really only interested in maintaining their rather lucrative income stream. They know it won’t last and that’s probably why they are resorting to such extremes.

So I think the same old tricks the corporations are employing aren’t going to make them any friends and its more likely to accelerate their demise rather than help them.

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