Unable to figure out a digital business model and about to be disintermediated out of existence, the record labels have started eyeing the revenue bands generate on tour. Once the exclusive province of artists, records labels now want a share of the cash that comes from selling seats and T-Shirts.
It seems that no matter how many laws the RIAA buys from Congress to protect the labelís profit, people are finally realizing that they donít have to pay $16 for an album that only has one song they want and instead they are downloading singles off the net. The trend that started with Napster has been accelerating and while there is some dispute as to how much declining album sales are due to the sluggish economy, bad decisions by the record labels and piracy, there seems to be little doubt to this author that record labels are doomed. DOOMED!! And the sooner the better I say. With the Internet as an advertising and distribution medium, why the fuck do we need record labels anymore??? A question which I have asked many times and to which I have never received a reply.
Personally, I stopped buying music the moment the RIAA had Dmitry arrested. I was already on the bubble after the RIAA paid for the passage of the Bono copyright extension and the horrible DMCA, figuring that if the RIAA was so willing to trample my rights as a consumer, then fuck them, Iíd just stop being a consumer. It was really a very easy decision to make and I havenít bought a lick of music since 2000. Not that there is anything worth buying these days.
Apparently Iím not the only one who stopped going to record stores (which have been closing all over my neighborhood lately). I suppose many out there would complain that all these pirates are stealing money from the artists, but youíre completely naÔve if you think that artists make any money from album sales. It is literally pennies on the dollar, if that much.
Of course, the RIAA and the record labels are aghast at this behavior (because, of course, it is "their" money that is being "stolen") and in a mode typically associated with dying reptiles they have started lashing out with an ever increasing death rattle. As the RIAA is threatening to sue Kazaa users, the palms of record label executives are beginning to sweat over the prospect of grabbing some of the tour money that artists make -- which is pretty much the only money that artists make in the music biz.
Which really fucking pisses me off. First the labels whine and moan about how people are stealing from the artists when they pirate music (money the labels basically stole from the artist that signed those incredibly unfair contracts). Then labels decide they can jump in and help themselves to a generous share of a bandís tour revenue.
WHAT THE FUCK??? Weíre stealing when we download and listen to a song one time. But it is OK for the record labels to just grab some money from a bandís tour, because... well, you know, because they can. EVIL FUCKING LYING HYPOCRITICAL BASTARDS.