I really struggled with this discussion between host Paul Barclay, Phillipa McGuinness and Lindy Morrison. It was an hour of circular argument that really failed to address copyright or digital disruption at all. What it did do was highlight the central fact that artists don’t get paid. This isn’t new as Lindy clearly illustrates with tales of a career of dud deals, dodgy contracts and lack of protective legislation. Yet it’s downloading that cops all the blame, rather than sector that’s powered by exploitation. It’s the business of music that’s rotten - not the listeners, or the fans.
It’s the same old arguments of ‘theft’ and ‘freeloading’ that the topic of copyright seems to dwell on - both which are untrue and almost baseless. Sharing may breach copyright but it’s not theft. Nor are downloaders freeloaders - it’s proven they spend more on entertainment than any other section of society. How is downloading a song to sample any different from the historically OK instore experience with headphones in the corner? Seriously there is so much contradiction and incoherent argument that I’d suggest you just leave copyright out of this. It’s becoming a crutch for a crippled argument that no one is having. No one is disputing ownership, you’re disputing is who’s getting paid.
This whole thing keeps getting framed as being about copyright infringement- but it boils down to who’s not getting paid. And all the effort, whining and legislation about copyright simply reinforces the existing power structures and the status quo. It only ensures label and distributors make all the money. It does nothing to redistribute the wealth or address the inequality artists face in terms of getting compensated for their work.
Why not ask why a label gets to take 60% of every sale off the top. Why do they then get to take more to recover costs? Why is a performer offered little to no protection or payment?
Seriously, if you want to see digital disruption - use it to ensure fair compensation, fair ownership, fair representation. But let’s stop this copyright rot. Ok?
Source: Digital disruption and copyright