- For the last few years, top executives from all the major record companies have been giving interviews in which they criticize consumers for doing exactly what the execs have been doing for years – getting music for free. I was “in the loop” for a couple years, when I was writing about music for a free weekly, as well as a major daily newspaper, in Los Angeles, many years ago. And I can tell you – none of these characters paid for anything, ever.
The bookcases in their offices and their homes were (and are) filled with “product” that they receive for free as a matter of course. They would not dream of ever paying for recorded music, themselves, with very few exceptions. But now that the average consumer can download a ripped file from the Internet, you’d think it was the end of Western Civilization, from the way they talk.
The false piousness of their pronouncements on this subject really offends me. I assure you, back in the day, if somebody at Record Company A wanted a copy of the new LP by so-and-so and the such-and-suches, they would shout at the secretary to call their good friend at Record Company B and have it messengered over, with the fee for the messenger charged to the artist signed to Company B! Maybe it took a little longer than getting an mp3 off the web now, but my point is that they did not go down to their local record store and pay list price to nobly support the artist who they claimed to be interested in.
….The execs get free CD’s now, instead of the vinyl LP’s of 20 years ago, but you can still go to a used record store and see the blizzards of promos that come in right after a new artist is launched. I just wish that the execs – with their salaries, benefits and expense accounts -would have the least little bit of humility and stop their grandstanding.
But, when you think about it, if they were humble people they wouldn’t have gotten the jobs they have! And their wild-eyed accusations have proven to be an effective PR technique, to distract and cover up just how profitable their sales of little plastic discs are, and also masking the truth of those shelves that they all most definitely have, full of assiduously collected freebies. [ProSoundWeb.com]
I admit I have been somewhat protected from the realities of the marketplace because I get a lot of promo copies for free myself, but I am not the one bitching about “greedy” consumers “stealing” food from their children’s mouths.