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UK Recording Artists Support the Public’s Right to Download Free Music

Remember when you were a kid and going to the music store to buy a new CD was a highlight […]

Remember when you were a kid and going to the music store to buy a new CD was a highlight of the week? If you had a conservative Christian mum like mine, the CD’s artwork was scrutinized for the devilish and grotesque (obviously I was not allowed to own an Iron Maiden Album). But oh how the times have changed. For most, the thought of going to the store to buy a CD is a total waste of time. But it is also a waste of money and they take up vital storage space that any Londoner knows is a precious luxury in those small, cramped flats. But by accessing free music downloads @, you aren’t spending a single quid, you are freeing up storage space for anything other than CDs, and if you are a minor you don’t have to worry about your parents judging your music based on the art work. Besides, CDs are 30 years old. And who wants to carry a bulky portable device around on the Tube that can only play 10-12 tracks at once before having to be switched out for another? But what about your favourite recording artists, what do they have to say about downloading free music? Are you stealing money from their pockets by not paying for music? This article will address some points to consider regarding the impact that downloading free music has on a recording artist.

No Kitty! That’s my Pot Pie!

Love it or hate it, ‘South Park’ is a brilliant TV programme that went from making crude jokes about all walks of life, to evolving into a show that takes popular events in current news, and uses the tool of satire to weave their comedic golden fleece. If they take the mick out of you on ‘South Park’, then you know you have achieved success (the same applies to topics). In an episode of ‘South Park’ titled Not a Big Deal, the topic of free music downloads comes into pay (pun intended). Stan, Kyle and Kenny are going to start their own band, so they download free music to find the inspiration they need to get them playing. Helicopters soon swoop in on them, and they are promptly arrested for downloading free music.  When they tell the FBI that they didn’t think it was a big deal, the agent takes them to the home of Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. While observing him from a far, they see him moping by the spacious pool outside his mansion. The Federal Agent tells the boys that Lars is sad because of the impact downloading free music has had on his finances—he tells the children that now Lars must wait for another two months to buy his poolside solid gold shark tank bar because the downloading of free music has made him too poor to buy one now.

One point to this episode was to showcase the fact that recording artists are not suffering. So Brittany Spears had to sell her Gulfstream 4 private jet and get a Gulfstream 3 (the only difference is that the 3 doesn’t have a remote control for its surround sound DVD system) because people were downloading her music for free. It is not only funny, but also very true. CD sales are still up (I know, right?) and artists get most of their money from concerts and merchandising. In fact, last year it was reported that John Mayer made an estimated $300,000.00 per concert, as well as an additional 3-4$ per-head in merchandise sales. If a national tour has an average of 20 concerts on the books, do the math. They aren’t hurting.

What about UK Artists?

According to an article by The Independent Robbie Williams isn’t extending the fingers and shouting “sod that for a game of soldiers”. In fact, he is all for the downloading of free music by his fans. In addition to Williams, artists such as Annie Lenox, Peter Gabriel, David Gray, Fran Healy from Travis, Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason and Mick Jones from The Clash all believe that their fans have every right to either download music for free, or pay for it. Really, it is the greedy record labels that are making all the fuss. Them and washed up tools like Lars Ulrich whose blood once fed nourishment to the bellies of the recording label executive fat cats.

Download to your Heart’s Content

You have every right to utilize a free music download site to enjoy your current favourites, and to discover new ones. Just make sure the site really does offer FREE downloads, as many sites are using the term as a rouse to hook people in and get them committed to paying a monthly membership fee. Enjoy the music. You work hard and deserve it. In the mean time, Lars will just have to wait another few months to get his gold poolside shark tank bar. Poor knob.
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