Friday, August 31, 2007

On File Sharing and Music

Much has been written on file sharing and music and illegal downloads. I'll probably take some heat for saying this but I do think the music industry has a point. Most of the music I listen to isn't popular and some is downright obscure. I have music on in the background all the time. I think it's what keeps me sane sometimes. The artists aren't getting rich from it and the record companies aren't making huge profits from it. So... I own several hundred CDs, all purchased nicely and legally. The last album I purchased was Conrad Schnitzler's Trigger Trilogy. I certainly don't begrudge Herr Schnitzler what royalties he gets or Important Records any profits they make. I definitely enjoy the music when I listen to it.

What do you do when music isn't legally available anymore? What do you do if only 26 copies of an album were pressed? Yes, I'm serious. 26. Here is what I'm talking about.

Earthstar's first album, "Salterbarty Tales", has been out of print for 30 years now and is, according to guitarist Dennis Rea, impossible to find. No, I'm not aware of any file sharing site that has a copy. I'm not aware of any way to acquire that album at all. I would love to see "Salterbarty Tales" reissued on CD. I'd buy a copy. Ditto for the Eruption album that the Mutant Sounds blog I linked refers to. I'm not holding my breath that it will happen any time soon.

In cases like these I have no objection to file sharing. Nobody is being deprived royalties or profits. However, with the RIAA's heavy handed enforcement methods I'm more than a little reticent about downloading anything myself.

Music choices since last post:

Asmus Tietchens & Vidna Obmana
Jean Michel Jarré - En Attendant Cousteau
Genesis - Spot The Pigeon
Nychael Danna & Tim Clément - Summerland
Tangerine Dream - Rubycon
Kluster - Eruption

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