Music/Video Piracy Down: People Now Prefer To Make Own Copies (Archived: Sept 2003)

Research on music and dvd industry sales released in September 2003 by US-based Forrester Research indicates global music piracy has fallen to new lows, with a significant proportion of all music and other content now obtained through direct download from the net or through personal  copying. 

However, archaic copyright legislation still allows corporate pirates to leech large profits from creative artists through hijack and inflation of the revenue stream, while preventing the artists’ proper reimbursement.

Glorified distribution networks have had a stranglehold on the music industry in recent decades, allowing thousands of parasites not directly involved in creative processes to ride on the back of musicians, singers, film-makers, writers, and composers. 

But new technological possibilities for a more equitable and efficient direct distribution system are limited by anachronistic legislation that actually subverts the relationship between the creator and the work, protecting the rights of nebulous corporate bodies to “own” material over and above the actual author/s.

Music ‘industry’ piracy means artists often receive less than 20% of the total revenue from their own work. In previous decades, musicians and musical groups were reliant upon larger entities to finance high quality recordings and substantial production and distribution, particular in the international sphere.

Over the period of the twentieth century, a massive edifice grew up around the creative output of musicians, exploiting their skills to fund the careers of a large number of associated personnel, from technicians to executives. To some extent their presence was a part of the necessary production costs under the strictures of the old technology, but current revenues are far in excess of any sum contrived from the calculation of a reasonable salary for the artist/s, and the costs associated with the work.

This large parasitic group of execs and moneymen is not now merely gratuitous to the production of music, but deleterious. Over time the influence of non-creative people over creative processes has denuded the cultural landscape generally. 

While employees are often expected to accept technological change, if gradually, even if it is to their detriment, multinational corporations and the pirate gangs that run them appear less willing to accept negative consequences

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