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Old 22-10-2009, 18:18
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: DAVEVILLE, Daveshire DA1 1VE
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As far as I am aware the only major market that did implement the blank media levy was Canada, but ever there the big media companies still go after those who fileshare. Putting a levy on someone's internet connection, or blank media, will not change a thing. The big music and film companies will just take the extra money, but still harp on about illegal downloads killing the industry etc. etc. etc.

I posted many links to musicians, independent film companies and other stuff on this in the Lily Allen is a Hypocrite thread. This is all about the big media companies trying to stick to outdated business models and retain complete control over distribution. If they had their way we would still all be buying vinyl or CDs (or VHS tapes and DVDs) and would not have even legal download services. Remember the trouble Apple had originally trying to get iTunes off the ground, even the RIAA/MPAA in the US were against it at first, and when they did change their tune they insisted on heavily DRM'd content. If it was not for the likes of Napster showing that there was a demand for digital downloads we would never have had iTunes in the first place.

It is, to me, absolutely abhorrent that the big4 music companies take 85% of the profits from music sales while sometimes bankrupting the very artists who make them the profits. Just Google Toni Braxton to see what happened to her, she had to declare herself bankrupt to protect herself from the record companies chasing her for huge debts. Modern record companies generally make an artists sign a contract that gives them 12-15% of the profits, while the company takes 85%. All well and good you would think as the record company pay for promotion, tours, time in the studio, production of the CDs etc. Well, yes, they do but they then charge the artists for this from their 15%. So if an artist becomes successful they end up heavily in debt to the record company who basically take their 85% for nothing in the long term because the artists end up paying for it all anyway. Of course the record company take a risk but that is still grossly unfair.

The record companies are not the wonderful things some seem to think they are. Again look at Edwyn Collins. He was with Warner Music, who returned all copyright in his work to him during his illness. HE owns all the copyright, but that did not stop Warner from getting MySpace to pull his music from his own pages citing copyright infringement. He also found out that they are selling HIS music illegally on iTunes and pocketing the profits while giving him nothing. Warner music are basically pirating his work on a huge scale.

The music industry as a whole is still growing, with spends on merchandising, tours etc. growing hugely in the last few years. The spending on music is changing but it is certainly not dying. The same is true in the movie industry, for the last couple of years the big Hollywood film studios have been announcing record profits from the big blockbusters, and cinema attendances up year on year.

Illegal downloads may be morally wrong but they are certainly NOT killing the creative industries. Both industries need to change, focus on supporting all of the legal download sites, prices that are low enough to encourage mass take up, stop making it difficult to find tracks from lesser known artists and independent film companies on the big download sites etc. Even many in the industry feel this is what they need to do.
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