Professional Issues in Creative Media

Rip! My thoughts on the music industry

We watched a documentary called RIP! It was about music copyright and what it means in todays society.

Free music has been around for years. I used to stack books beside the radio so I could rest my phone against the speaker to record one song. I remember using Limewire. I suppose it was the equivalent of Napster at the time. Downloading music for free seems like a fantastic idea. Music in its essence is an art. A creative piece that should appeal to people on an emotional level.
So what happens when it becomes an industry?

I struggle with this controversial topic. Free music to be kept, edited, used is right. But making money from your hard work in the music industry is right. Suing people for using your music is wrong. But stealing others work and claiming it as your own is wrong.
I go back and forth about the moral and ethical implications nearly on a daily bases.
I download music, just like I did with Limewire, but don’t pay the artists. Then I sympathise with artists who feel their work is being distributed without their permission.

It is a struggle that constantly plays on my mind when I source my music.

In recent months I have switched to services such as Spotify and Apple Music. Brilliant! Problem solved.  I pay a small amount, €7 to €10, and listen to as much music as I want. I get my music, artists get their money.
But recent allegations show this method is problematic in itself. Artists get paid very little for each stream of their song. While this may seem like a petty problem for successful artists, the new young artists get very little reward for their work.

I don’t see myself thrown in jail for downloading the new Adele album. But I don’t think illegal downloading will ever be stopped. Streaming services was the first move to curb illegal distribution. But in a society of file sharing at the click of button, music will always be available to the masses. Whatever the moral cost.


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