I found this story (a link to which was provided in a recent EM newsletter) to be very one-sided, feckless, and appalling. The fact is that many of the limitations that DRM imposes have come about as a direct result of "consumers" threatening the livelihood of musicians, songwriters, and music publishers by stealing their intellectual property at an alarming and accelerating rate. A recent survey estimates that only 5 percent of downloads are paid for. Another survey estimates that roughly $20 billion worth of illegal downloads happened in 2006. $20 billion! Think of all the income that songwriters and musicians lost because of those downloads. If music professionals can't make money by selling their music, commercial recording studios like mine will also fold. Who will want to spend thousands producing an album if they can't sell it to recoup their investment and make a profit?
Gigging aside, copyright protection is the cornerstone of a musician/songwriter's livelihood. An insidious campaign is underway to demonize and destroy copyright protection in the name of "consumer interest." If it succeeds, songwriters and recording artists will go the way of the Dodo bird. With all due respect, I find it alarming that EM, which should be championing the success of musicians, has essentially bought into arguments to do away with protections that ensure their livelihood. Without copyright protections, we have nothing. We'll all be locked into performing on street corners for spare change.
If that doesn't sway you, think about offering everybody free access to EM's upcoming premium online services. In the name of consumer rights.
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