Janis Ian writes what is sort of well known and obvious, but great to hear from someone like her.
It’s absurd for us, as artists, to sanction – or countenance – the shutting down of something like this. It’s sheer stupidity to rejoice at the Napster decision. Short-sighted, and ignorant.
Free exposure is practically a thing of the past for entertainers. Getting your record played at radio costs more money than most of us dream of ever earning. Free downloading gives a chance to every do-it-yourselfer out there.
Every act that can’t get signed to a major, for whatever reason, can reach literally millions of new listeners, enticing them to buy the CD and come to the concerts. Where else can a new act, or one that doesn’t have a label deal, get that kind of exposure? As artists, we have the ear of the masses. We have the trust of the masses. By speaking out in our concerts and in the press, we can do a great deal to damp this hysteria, and put the blame for the sad state of our industry right back where it belongs – in the laps of record companies, radio programmers, and our own apparent inability to organize ourselves in order to better our own lives – and those of our fans. If we don’t take the reins, no one will.
I wish some NZ would do the same, perhaps they have?