Sunday, 28 March 2010

Stay Free

''If I were (Radiohead singer) Thom Yorke and somebody came on that site and wasn't prepared to pay a penny when I'd just spent a year possibly in the studio producing and creating, I'd ask: 'Why do you want to have it? You place no value upon it, so why is it you would like to have my music?''
- Chris Morrison

That is the single most retarded argument I have ever heard (and there are a lot to choose from).

My girlfriend values my cock, but she wouldn’t pay £10 for a framed picture.

Price, cost and value are NOT the same thing.

Music can change lives*. That has nothing to do with how much a CD costs.

*I suspect Lilly Allen’s hasn’t.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

L.E.S. Artistes

Brian: I’m an artist.

Daisy: What kind of thing do you do?

Brian: Anger.... Pain... Fear... Aggression....

Daisy: Watercolours?

Brian: It’s a bit more complex than that.

- Spaced

At what point do you become an artist?

Is it when you book a gig? When you make some money? When you get a record deal? When you start being an arrogant, hypocritical fuckwit and telling other people what to do?*

Stop all this ‘us and them’ bullshit and take a look around at the billions of talented folks. You are not special.

You are not entitled to make a living from music and the Government has no obligation to protect your livelihood. The market is changing and if you can’t survive it’s nobody’s fault but your own. Stop being a little bitch. That’s how it goes in the real world.

*It’s when you buy your first pair of Cuban heels. Fact.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Mother and Child Reunion

Last night mumPUNK called me to rant about ebooks.

Why, she asked, do they cost as much as (if not more than) hardcopy books when there are no production, distribution or warehousing costs?

Why do they include restrictions that you would not find on a hard copy book (i.e. can’t loan to a friend, can’t use on more devices)?

Why can retailers remotely delete a book that a customer has legally purchased?!!

Finally she calmed down and concluded, ‘well, I guess publishers are pretty useless now anyway... authors can just do it all themselves’.

Well said. I guess the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Absolutely Free - Part 1


Why do I believe music will be free?

A can of coke costs about 60p. Of that 60p a few pence goes to whoever I bought it from, a few pence goes to whoever transported it, a few pence goes to the raw materials and a few pence goes to packaging. In the end, coca-cola will make very little profit (there was a period in the 40s where they actually made a loss on every sale).

In a competitive market, the price of a product falls to around the marginal cost (that is the cost of creating one additional unit). The fixed costs - setting up the factory, promoting the brand etc are not reflected in the unit price.

Apply this to music.

The marginal cost of one digital copy of an album is zero. OK, not exactly zero. There is some time involved and some bandwidth, but pretty much zero. Kinda like my chances of fucking Megan Fox.

Sooner or later the price of digital music will fall to meet the marginal cost. Zero.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Capital G

Trent Reznor. The very mention of his name is enouGh to Get my dick hard.

He Gets it. He knows where the music industry is headinG… and he knows because he has already been there. Years aGo.

These days he is just showinG off.

Check out his latest.

FuckinG Genius. Yet another perfect example of an artist makinG money by sellinG somethinG actually worth payinG for.

I want this one.

If you don't already know why Trent Reznor is Lord HiGh MiGhty God of All That Is Awesome (and seriously, if you don't, why are you readinG this bloG?) then this video is a Great summary.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Takin' Care of Business

I reckon that if I snuck up behind a record exec, drugged him, dragged him to an abandoned warehouse, shone a light in his face and asked him about the music industry… he would probably agree with pretty much everything that is said here and here and here and here.

These guys aren't stupid, they know the score. (Well, maybe)

So what's the problem? Why do they insist on suing customers, locking up the internet and screwing artists if they know there's a better way?

At the end of the day, these guys run companies. It is their duty to act in the best interests of their shareholders. Can you imagine standing up at an AGM and saying, 'hey guys, new plan, we're going to fire the vast majority of our staff, downsize the company and start taking a smaller profit margin on all business'. Um, fuck off.

It's classic innovator's dilemma. If they change to keep with the times they will end up undercutting their current business and losing a hell of a lot of money in the process. If they try to keep things as they are, they will end up losing out to upstarts.

So they've chosen option 3 - litigate the hell out of competitors, bribe the government into protecting obsolete business models and threaten to ruin the lives of anyone who dares live in the 21st century. Classy.

But at the end of the day I don't blame them. That's their job so no hard feelings.

(I am not quite so forgiving of the politicians).

So here's what I'd do (Mr Big Record Exec please feel free to 'pirate' this - but in return I want a job - or Pixie Lott's phone number). Start a small indie label subsidiary. Hand it over to some tech savvy youngsters and let them get on with it. Hell, set up half a dozen to see what works best. Then, as the indie label grows, gradually integrate the main label into it. Start with fringe artists and then move more mainstream.

Easy. Solved. Now I'm off to work on global warming.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

When Will I Be Famous?

'That's all well and good, but what about my brother's band who can't make any money because of piracy?'

Piracy isn't the problem. The problem is your brother's band is shit.

Tell your brother to stop being a little bitch, write some decent tunes and generate some buzz. Then we'll talk about piracy.


And that's why LawPUNK doesn't get invited to parties anymore.