Wednesday, June 20, 2012

When illegal music download kills artists!

Below is letter explaining the suffering of music industry globally from repetitive copyright violations including illegal downloads from file-sharing internet websites. It is a reply to female intern who wrote post asking for making music available to fans.

The letter highlights the tragedy of 2 US based artists who lost their lives for losing the financial ability to feed themselves or get proper health care.
The letter explains how relationship of individial artist and record label (producer) is negotiated and managed.

It also shows how much money people are paying to get high-speed internet access, music-listening devices (iPad, etc), and server hosting (by file-sharing companies and investors) - while alomst NOTHING is paid to artists/label records.

According to statistcs from Digital Music Reprt 2012 issued by IFPI, about 32% of record companies revenues are derived from digital sales channels (iTunes, etc).
This clearly explain why it is important to consider having legal music CDs instead of illegal online downloads.

Below is just the part that highlights the tragedy of 2 US based artists who lost their lives for losing their financial capabilities due to revenue decrease associated with technological developments:
(URL of full letter is mentioned below at the end of this post)

"On a personal level, I have witnessed the impoverishment of many critically acclaimed but marginally commercial artists. In particular, two dear friends: Mark Linkous (Sparklehorse) and Vic Chestnutt. Both of these artists, despite growing global popularity, saw their incomes collapse in the last decade. There is no other explanation except for the fact that “fans” made the unethical choice to take their music without compensating these artists.

Shortly before Christmas 2009, Vic took his life. He was my neighbor, and I was there as they put him in the ambulance. On March 6th, 2010, Mark Linkous shot himself in the heart. Anybody who knew either of these musicians will tell you that the pair suffered from addiction and depression. They will also tell you their situation was worsened by their financial situation. Vic was deeply in debt to hospitals and, at the time, was publicly complaining about losing his home. Mark was living in abject squalor in his remote studio in the Smokey Mountains without adequate access to the mental health care he so desperately needed"

The letter is written by David Lowery and can be acccessed here:

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