Interesting anti-iTunes website:

Discussion in 'Community' started by Brent Turbo, Aug 27, 2003.

  1. Brent Turbo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #1
    http://www.downhillbattle.org/itunes/index.html

    Very interesting stuff. As a musician, I've always been offended by the 5 major labels and their unbelievablly terrbile treatment of artists.

    This site states the truth -- most artists will NEVER see a penny from their iTunes sales, until they recoup ALL of the expenses incurred from recording and producing the album (100s of thousands of dollars, if the major label has their way), promoting the album (possibly millions of dollars), and sending you on tour. The label uses NONE of their own money to do this. Their 50%+ cut of the album sales goes to them and only them. The artists measly cut goes to pay back all of the expenses, and in a vast majority of cases, the artist winds up owing the label money at the end of the contract, or is forced into recording more albums (at a higher cost of production the second time around, since the first one "did so well"), so they lose even MORE money. It's fully retarded.

    I like the idea on this web site. Burn the album, and mail the artist 5 bucks. They'd have to sell 100 albums to ever see that much money, and the label probably wouldn't even let them keep it anyway.

    Also of note for the hip-hop fans, who do you think rents the mansions and expensive cars that all these rappers drive around in? The label! To uphold their image of being millionaires from the "rap game," while they really have no money, and no assets, and as soon as the label is done with them, they send them packing and ask for the mansion rent money back.
     
  2. rueyeet macrumors 65816

    rueyeet

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Location:
    MD
    #2
    The whole "send the artist five bucks" thing is a nice idea on paper, but then so was communism. Somehow I doubt that quite as many P2P users are as interested in the artists' welfare as they are in getting something for nothing. What you'd really see if that were implemented is a whole bunch of former rock stars getting fast-food jobs right next to their former bosses as everybody hops on the "music should be free!" bandwagon.

    I also doubt that the record companies wouldn't launch some sort of legal claim to the money should such an idea actually take off. Probably something about the artists violating their contracts by receiving money in payment for the distribution of the companies' copyrighted works--which the artists gave to them by contract. Gouging, greedy, unfair contract, but contract nonetheless. Cute little revolutionary screw-the-system demonstrations aren't going to clean up the massive mess the recording industry has become.

    Here's a question: If artists know they're getting so screwed, why do they keep signing these things? If they're so dissatisfied with their experiences, why do they renew with their labels? How's this for a revolutionary idea: All bands should stop signing with labels; those that are, don't renew the contracts after all obligations are satisfied. Sell stuff directly to Amazon, put up your own website, put together a front label solely for the purpose of getting the music up on the online stores. Go through CD Baby. Whatever; just don't deal with the labels.

    And why does this not happen? Not because Apple is propping up the system of oppression--but because the bands themselves sell out to the idea of wider distribution, and to the idea that they need the labels for it. "We want our music to be heard, and this is the only way that's going to happen," they say. Well, if all the bands out there who find they're getting a raw deal suddenly disappeared from all the traditional outlets, wouldn't the traditional outlets be lacking enough content to keep going? Couldn't new ways of doing the whole promotional thing be found?....yeah, I know, this one looks nice on paper, too. Still won't work if no one's paying for the music.

    Either way, consumers should be prepared to pay for the music they enjoy. And I feel that while criticisms of the music industry are valid, the way to combat the injustice isn't to irreversibly entrench in the minds of the public that music should be free. Because if you don't think that the largest percentage of people will skim over the whole voluntary donation thing, you're kidding yourself.
     
  3. Brent Turbo thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #3
    Quick reply to your long and thoughtful post.. I wish I had more time...

    I'm not suggesting that music should be free at all, but that the balance should be shifted to favor the artist over the record label. After all, the label is nothing more than a promotional vehicle for the artist. The label is in a unique position -- they'd be nothing without their artists, yet they make a disproportionately large sum of money, leaving the artists with very little (TLC, who sold 10 MILLION copies of "Crazy Sexy Cool" made a Cool $50,000 from the sales of that album to split between the three of them. That's FIFTY THOUSAND.)

    Some artists can thrive in the major label paradigm, and those are the ones who renew their contracts. Many smaller major label artists are suckered by slick A&R reps who, esentially, get them drunk and get them to sign a holding contract. Yes, it's stupid for the bands to sign, but the holding contract basically states that you're on hold with that label in case they want you to record an album. In the meantime, your band can't play live, record, or release anything until the label decides what they want to do with you. If you're on hold for a year, and you want to record an album and self-release it, get ready to call an attorney, and get ready to be broke. If you want to continue playing with that band, you HAVE to sign with the label, or break up the band and have a new line-up that's sufficiently different in the law's eye.
     
  4. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago
    #4
    OK, this site is stupid.

    Let me first say that I hate the Music Industry and the Record Labels as much as anyone. I realize that artists get screwed, and I'm an artist myself, so I have a special hatred for an industry that survives on the exploitation of its talent.

    The problem is that the techniques outlined on the site won't fix the problem. The site is suggesting that we fight the industry's control of music by taking away all of their money. Instead, the site suggests, we should give all of our money to the artists. What a great and novel idea! Or is it??

    Who pays for the considerable studio rental costs so the artists can record? Who pays the producers? Who pays to master the record? Who pays for marketing and boxing up the product? Who pays for distribution?

    THE RECORD LABEL!

    Sure, they are not fair, are completely bloated and wasteful and screw the artists over, but they still contribute A LOT to the proccess of making music. A record label (or something like one) is necessary for most serious and committed artists to get their music recorded and sold. While "the middle man" might be a bit less necessary in this digital age of cheap computers, allowing artists to record in their basements, there is no substitute for studio time and a good producer. And that doesn't even mention the cost/time that goes into distribution and marketing.

    So what I'm saying is that the record labels suck, but we need someone in their place. We can't take away all of their money, because then they couldn't do their job. Obviously the labels are taking too much away fro the artists, but they do provide a valuable service and deserve SOME money for that service.

    What we should be doing is trying to limit their power, streamlining the process (cut out the "fat" of industry to get more money to the artists), and demanding fairness to the talent that makes them so much money.

    I think the biggest problem the record industry has is that they are trying to force a nearly century old business model down our throats. They are spending *tons* of money to produce, market and distribute CDs, when the market is shifting away from that style of doing business. Rather than moving with the market, the RIAA is fighting it tooth and nail.

    But, again, there are more problems than that. Horrible contracts and an incredible amount of power are also very real concerns.

    However, we should learn a lesson from the RIAA's stupidity: work with the system, don't try to take it down! Don't try to destroy the RIAA, try to make them play by the rules.

    Taft
     
  5. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago
    #5
    Oh, and going after Apple for the iTunes music service is insanity. Apple is actually doing something good with their service: they are doing the tough negotiations necessary to make the RIAA enter the world of digital content.

    Without companies like Apple, the industry might still be resisting the move into digital content.

    Taft
     
  6. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #6
    This seems to be a problem with the record compaines, not iTunes itself. Wonder why he didn't go after BuyMusic, which is much worse? At least Apple doesn't buy from companies that don't give the artist ANYTHING! Go to Tazo's site to see what I'm talking about.

    http://www.BoycottBuyMusic.com

    Wonder what he thinks of this... Tazo?
     
  7. panphage macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    #7
    It is asinine for a recording company to own the IP rights for music unless said company WROTE the music (as is often the case with the flavor of the month like britney, Nsync, Destinies Child, what have you). Bands have the product the label wants, now they just have to figure out a way to work out a deal that rewards artists and not lawyers. The structure of the industry makes it a howling joke when the RIAA sues "pirates" to protect the artists. Yes, ilegal, yes, theft, stealing from the artist? Hardly. The RIAA already has that handled quite nicely. The only one benefitting from the status quo in the recording industry is the labels.
     
  8. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #8
    Until stores stop selling CD's don't attack the iTunes music store...only mac users in the US can use it, and that's a very small percentage of the music buying public.
     

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