Veteran Rocker David Lowery Talks About File-Sharing
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Entertainment Industry, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services, Movies, MP3, Digital Audio & Games
Founder of the Camper van Beethoven band in 1983, and co-founder of the Cracker (1990), David Lowery had an interesting reply on file-sharing in response to Emily White’s blog post.
Emily White argues in her essay that the 90’s generation is only expecting to download and stream music for free, but have no consideration into buying the work of artists.
“I’ve only bought 15 CDs in my lifetime. Yet, my entire iTunes library exceeds 11,000 songs,” she said.
“But I didn’t illegally download (most) of my songs. A few are, admittedly, from a stint in the 5th grade with the file-sharing program Kazaa. Some are from my family. I’ve swapped hundreds of mix CDs with friends. My senior prom date took my iPod home once and returned it to me with 15 gigs of Big Star, The Velvet Underground and Yo La Tengo (I owe him one).”
Reading her essay Mr. Lowery felt the impulse to respond and said:
“You seem to have internalized that ripping 11,000 tracks in your iPod compared to your purchase of 15 CDs in your lifetime feels pretty disproportionate,” he wrote on The Trichordist.
“You also seem to recognize that you are not just ripping off the record labels, but you are directly ripping off the artist and songwriters whose music you ‘don’t buy,” the musician added.
“It doesn’t really matter that you didn’t take these tracks from a file-sharing site. That may seem like a neat dodge, but I’d suggest to you that from the artist’s point of view, it’s kind of irrelevant.”
According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) the median wage of a musician is $22.39 an hour, summing up roughly $43.000 on a full-time job. However, there are many factors that influence the income of an artist, especially in this area. Lowery claims that the typical artist signed up with a record label earns around $35.000 a year in the U.S.
As for legal services such as Spotify, iTunes or Amazon, the Uniform Motion (an experimental band) from Toulouse made its homework and found out that Spotify pays the band with 0.0038 cents per song played, while iTunes and Amazon offer 30% of the sales (per unit), minus an annual fee.
On Wednesday Lowery said in an e-mail:
“We’ve been discussing putting together a guide to which technology/web companies are ethical towards artists.”
“And if they are not, explain how they unfairly exploit artists.”