Cyber Piracy causes 10% slump in Music Industry, who will now retaliate!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Bruce Lindfield, Jul 17, 2002.

  1. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I was just watching a TV programme on the BBC, about stealing of music by downloading without paying and how this has caused a huge slump in sales for the Music Industry worldwide.

    They were saying that (together with the Film industry) they have decided it is time to stop it or there will be no money for the next generation of artist - no new music - they reckoned it could be the loss of 50,000 jobs in the UK alone!

    So there is a company who have developed software called "NetPD" (I think) which can track all "breaches of copyright" - i.e. downloading of copyrighted music. They can track this to the IP address of teh person downloading and they can then contact their Service Provider - they showed letters being sent to illegal downloaders,telling them to stop or have their IP address wiped. NO internet!

    The programme reckoned the next few months are crucial - with legislation in the US and test cases that could decide this issue for ever. Customers of filesharing could also become criminals, with penalties for persistent offenders, of up to 2 years in prison in the UK!

    SO - who will win - the cyber pirates or the industry?
  2. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    As far as I can tell, the recording industry is useless. I hope it falls apart because the way things work now, it's very unfair to the artists. The record companies are just out to make money and really don't care about musicians at all.
  3. submelodic


    Feb 7, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    If the industry is to survive, it needs to adapt rather than resist.
  4. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    Ciber pirates. We're smarter than them.
  5. 1. Say it with me, kids: "global recession." CDs are a consumer cyclical item and sales swing wildly with economic growth. When someone gets laid off, they're not going to get their kids 10 CDs apiece for Christmas like they did in the '90s. Look at CD sales in the mid-to-late '90s and 2000. They're completely out of proportion to figures recorded in any other era except the slight economic recovery of the mid-to-late '70s. The industry grew bloated on 'NSync selling 8 million units in a month.

    There are also secular factors at play: the products of the baby boomlet of the mid-'80s are growing up and becoming less receptive to boy-band pap, pop-rap (Eminem excepted), and most of all nu-metal. There are fewer 12-16-year-olds buying records, and they're buying fewer of them due to the aforementioned economic downturn. When Limp Bizkit finally comes out with a new album (God help us all), it probably won't even push 300,000 copies its first week, let alone the 750,000 that Significant Other did.

    2. I worked for Cornell IT last year. Filesharing was a big deal for us, and put a big load on network resources (Morpheus and KaZaA combined for 60% of the total university traffic before a hard limit was put on dorm throughput). But you know something? It'd be a cold day in hell before 90% of network admins would accept this, because they themselves are just as guilty. My boss admitted to downloading movies all the time. Some universities are raising the middle finger to the RIAA and MPAA and setting up their own closed filesharing systems so that students on campus can trade files freely; this is arguably within fair use, by the way, since it's possible for someone on even a 20,000-student campus to know, and borrow records from, a sizable portion of the student body.


    This effort is a red herring and a serious waste of the industry's energy, and it'll stop piracy just about as effectively as the War on (Some) Drugs has stopped marijuana. The music industry shot itself in the foot hyping nu-metal and boy bands, and it's highly doubtful that the Strokes or the Hives are going to pull it back to late-'90s levels. This is an industry that still hasn't figured out that 1995-2000 was a once-in-a-generation, maybe even once-in-a-lifetime, sales period.
  6. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Hm, several things:

    The losses of the record industry due to internet piracy are probably way lower than they want to make us believe.

    1. The numbers are THEIR numbers, we have no means to verify them. They probably "exaggerate" in order to drive their point home.

    2. The Golden Days when people ditched their LP catalogue and replaced them with CDs and thus creating good sales are over.

    3. Professional piracy (esp. in Eastern Europe and Asia) is probably doing more damage.
    I think the majority buys the same amount of CDs as ever. I do. Maybe people buy less because they have less money to spend. Example: This year for the first time the tourist industry in Germany suffered from a decrease in tourist numbers. People stay at home to save money.

    4. The record industry is destroying their own product palette. Bands are not developed anymore. Fast cash with boy/girlgroups is the name of the game now. People will buy their favorite band's records because they because they've becoming loyal fans over time. Fast food music/bands is quickly forgotten and you don't really need to buy it since it's being forced down your throat via MTV and radio anyway.

    I haven't seen that BBC feature, but most of what is probably discussed there or in the US would likely be illegal in Germany.

    Sorry, if it's a little incongruent - I'm a little tired and distracted.

    The whole thing is like a game of hare and hedgehog. One time the industry seems to win the game but there'll always be a way to put their efforts in vain.
  7. well, looks like p-mac said it all, i'm not needed here... :D
  8. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I think the Smug Bastard has it summed up pretty neatly.
  9. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I think Pete said it better than most of us can.
  10. MP3 does hurt disposable pump-and-dump bands. Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, every boy band and R&B diva-wannabe dressed like a hooker--that's what gets hurt by filesharing. But those aren't lasting revenues: the two-album wonder model is broken. A performer who can sell 5 or 10 million albums straight out of the gate is not going to be able to sustain that kind of momentum for more than one or two albums and is going to represent a huge loss when the label is pumping the kind of marketing necessary to sustain those sales into a second or third album that might not even make platinum. These losses may wipe out most or all previous profits from the performer's sales, as in the cases of Michael Jackson or Mariah Carey.

    Back to the point: MP3 helps true artists whose work doesn't necessarily lend itself to mass-market saturation. If you haven't heard Tortoise or Prefuse 73 before, and there aren't any eclectic, diversified independent record stores near you (the ones in all too many college towns sell nothing but whiny college rock or hippie crap), you're not going to want to drop $15 on an album and risk hating it. You're going to want to try before you buy. That's what MP3s are for.

    Thanks to downloads on Audiogalaxy which exposed me to a huge range of music that nobody I knew owned, I have purchased approximately $300 worth of slow-selling jazz and obscure rock CDs within the past six months alone.


    Are there kids who are pure pirates? Of course. It's highly doubtful that they would have purchased the CD in the first place, though. They simply do not represent lost sales to the industry, and it would take some very loose accounting--the kind that was fashionable all over the world in 1995-2000, not coincidentally--to say that they did.

  11. Casey C.

    Casey C.

    Sep 16, 2000
    Butler, PA, USA
    I think I agree with you there pete. and JMX made some good points.

    The music industry is really not thinking about this situation. As someone said, they should adapt rather than resist. The hackers will find away around this block. They always do. And once again, the biz will be out of some money. If they really wanted to make money, they would lower prices back to normal (no more than $15 for a single cd was nice) and sign and promote more bands. And they should avoid bands that will create trends. This new "punk" trend is just the "grunge/hair band" eras revisted as I see it.

    Another thing they should do create sites like that allowed people to discover new music.
  12. BigBohn


    Sep 29, 2001
    WPB, Florida
    Third that.

    Mr. McFerrin, you are an experienced and brilliant man. Thank you for your in-depth information and for the way you presented the information to us in a detailed and expressive style. Thank you. :)
  13. Well said, Mr. McFerrin. I agree and pretty much follow your same MO - look for obscure stuff, mostly jazz and indie rock, listen and if I like, then purchase at the store.

    P.S. Big props to Tortoise and Prefuse 73 as well. Check out some Octopus Project, Volta Do Mar and Boards of Canada - you might end up buying these too.
  14. I too bought a whole load of new stuff due to downloading first to check out an artist.

    ever since my local BBC radio station GLR went rubbish and turned into talk-oriented Londonlive about 4years ago there's really no other way for me to hear obscure, non-mega-unit-shifting acts or even big artists of the past -
    XFM, supposedly London's "Alternative" station plays the same 10 or so playlisted tracks every 2hours or less. they practically wore out "Last nite" by the Strokes.

    I think that mp3 downloads are particularly dangerous for record companies as if an artist's new album consists of 2/3 decent singles and the remaining 9/10 filler eg. IMHO Limp Bizkit's "Significant other" and Eminem's "The Slim Shady album" everyone will download just the singles.
    -if the album tracks are of good quality I'll go out and buy it, and get the proper artwork and correctly-levelled volumes of tracks plus save me the bother of downloading each track.
  15. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    The music I like isnt very popular,so i cant turn to the tv or radio to get into new artists.Im never gonna go put down $13 if i havent heard them yet.So i download a song,if i like them,then i give $13.I think alot of other people do this,therefore the record companies are also getting a boost.
  16. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Once again, Mr. Smug "Capitalist Lapdog" Bastard In Chief ;) has hit it on the head. I can say that I have dumped WAY more money into the coffers of record stores because of mp3's.

  17. Is metallica allowed to have another turn???? :rolleyes:



  18. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Music-related. Off to MISCELLANEOUS.
  19. Casey C.

    Casey C.

    Sep 16, 2000
    Butler, PA, USA
    Better not, I want the new album to be released! arrg!