Construx Cospiratorz: Frank DeSimone "Why People Steal Music"

3:03:00 PMConstrux Nunchux

Every now and then, either the Recording Industry Association of America or a record label comes out with a series of advertisements appealing to people's sense of morality against stealing music. If I remember correctly, they even had some artists trying to appeal to people (wasn't there a commercial where Britney Spears compared illegal downloading to stealing a candy bar from a store?) I'm not going to go on an ethical or legal rant about it. I'm not advocating a stance on it, and I do feel bad for the staff workers at record labels who lost jobs as a result of the trend. I just want to point out my observations as to why the record industry's decades of hubris led to this. First, when people were buying music like crazy, the record companies were unabashedly squeezing every nickel and dime from their loyal customers. How many times did they split up a band's greatest hits into an unnecessary multiple set greatest hits. I remember if you bought Queen's Greatest Hits on CD, you could buy volume I with "Bohemian Rhapsody" and separately buy volume II with "We Are The Champions." They sold them as a set, which was essentially the same, except those 2 songs were on the same freaking disc!!! Obviously, they separated the 2 biggest songs on the individual discs to squeeze another 15 bucks out of their customers. Second, if you ever bought CD's, this scenario surely happened to you (or at least parts of it): 1. You went to the store. 2. Sighed as you looked at the $18 price tag on the new CD you wanted that contained a whopping eleven songs. 3. Shelled over the cash anyway. 4. Started opening the package in the car, only to discover the cheap plastic wrap didn't come off in one piece, but in annoying little shards, taking forever. 5. You finally opened package to have the disc fall out, landing between the seat and the center console because the little teeth in the case were bashed in. 6. Maybe the cd works right after that, maybe its all scratched to hell. Third, if they aren't ripping you off with recorded music, they rip you off with the live stuff. "After fees and charges, your two $35 concert tickets comes to $108.75. They'll arrive at your house in an indeterminate amount of time. Or, for $4 more per ticket, you can print them yourself. That's right, use your own ink and you can pay us more money. Don't forget to pick up a generic T-Shirt at the show for $40. Thank you for choosing Ticketmaster." (laugh---the venue picked the ticket vendor, you can't comparison shop for first market even tickets) Finally, there's ITunes. For the folks out there who actually still want to pay for music in 2013, the record industry gouges some more. How many times do they have each individual song for download, save for the single? You gotta buy the whole album for that. And downloading the whole album doesn't work right either. If the album has duets, it separates the songs. For example, the soundtrack from the Rolling Stones concert documentary "Shine A Light" doesn't stay in order on ITunes. Songs 1-4, 6-9, and 11-14 go into your Rolling Stones queue. Song 5, with special guest Jack White, goes into a special "Rolling Stones with Jack White" group, much like the "Rolling Stones with Buddy Guy" group for song 10. You have to hunt through ITunes and rename the songs if you want the album to flow properly. If you want us to play by the rules, don't make us play hide and seek with the music we purchase! Again, I'm not making a moral argument. These are merely observations. And yes, the South Park episode "Christian Rock Hard" offered great satire into the situation long before I made my way onto the internets.

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