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Comments on: Happy Record Store Day! http://punklawyerblog.com/2010/04/17/happy-record-store-day/ An entertainment law blog with the independent scene in mind Thu, 27 Jan 2011 23:13:33 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.19 By: Larry McClurg http://punklawyerblog.com/2010/04/17/happy-record-store-day/#comment-3 Sat, 01 May 2010 20:28:49 +0000 http://punklawyerblog.com/?p=78#comment-3 REGARDING: Yes, the sales today pale in comparison to what they were at the peak of record sales (which interestingly I learned from the panel was from 1998-2000, the Napster years),

COMMENT: it just go to show that the recording industry hurt itself by persecuting open free trade of music aka Napster, et al., which often created a desire to own a better physical copy with a legitimate purchase. The equation seems obvious, peak of record sales is in direct proportion to peak of Napster free trade, 1998-2000, and the end of Napster free trade is in direct proportion to the dramatic decrease in sales of physical copies and downloads.

I want to concentrate on the artist, which more than likely is the copyright owner in todays situation. There are more physical CDs and mp3s and “pay to download music” sites now than ever before, but sales are still dropping off because once free trade was killed the industry, in disguise as the artist’s friend, regained control to take a disproportionate share of the artist’s money, unless you think 30% is not disproportionate. I think it is outrageous.

The truth is, once the song is on the server to be downloaded there is very little else for a human or the owner of the site to do. I know there are many sites with different policies, but I am talking about the major sites. Why should they continue to collect 30% from each sale after the initial robbery?. Software runs everything. In other words, once I am on the bus, should I have to pay the fare again at every stop?

I am not just speculating on how things are, I am telling you how it is. I have a physical CD and downloadable mp3 which is known on every continent thanks to it being pirated on physical CDs, and traded freely on the internet, and I have not raised finger to stop it, BECAUSE I COULD NOT BUY EXPOSURE AND PROMOTION ON THAT GLOBAL SCALE IF I TRIED! PHYSICAL SALES OF CDS AND MP3S HAVE INCREASED ON MY OWN SITE.

I wouldn’t use iTunes, or Amazon, etc if THEY paid me. Just because a song is on iTunes, etc doesn’t mean anyone knows it’s there unless you tell them the old fashioned way. iTunes, etc don’t advertise for you. YOU still have to do that. You will pay around $40 per year to put a single song on most of the major download sites, and Amazon, which will make a physical CD on demand for you and ship it anywhere. And I don’t think any of them will pay you until your account has a minimum of money in it. If your music is not setting the world on fire you may never see a cent because you haven’t enough to withdraw. You’ll have to sell almost 60 somgs just to break even,at your 70% share of a 98 cent sale. For the small wanna be without publicity, that’s a lot. Or maybe your song just isn’t that good, and nobody’s going to buy it, and you keep reinvesting the money into it year after year to keep it on iTunes, etc. The point is, everybody BUT the artist makes money from his song. The artist can’t even set the price of their muusic on the major sites .

As someone with my own download site and free software, I collect more like 97% or the money on each download sold and 85% of a CD sale.

The truth is, not much has changesd as far as “fairness” to the artist, just the way music is distributed and sold, which the “industry” still controls.