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I feel that too many discussions about music piracy ignore the role that corporate greed plays in perpetuating it.
For far too long, the recording industry was focused more on maximizing profit than on maximizing value. It tried to force consumers to buy full albums in order to obtain the mere handful of songs that piqued their interest. It also failed to make the investments necessary to develop artists who are well-rounded enough to make an album’s worth of good songs.
However, even after killing off both “the single” and “the deep cut,” the recording industry still wanted consumers to buy mediocre, overpriced albums. Naturally, consumers got tired of that gambit, and technology found newer, better ways of helping them circumvent it. This has been happening for decades.
Because music piracy isn’t by ANY means a new concept, I also feel that too many discussions about it devolve into generational warfare, in which the younger generation is dismissed as immoral and the older generation is dismissed as out of touch.
If there truly IS a generation of people who feel that music has little value, monetary or otherwise, then we must also ask ourselves who made them feel that way in the first place. Who created the RIAA? Who took music education out of public schools? Who left them with a broken economy?
I’m a 31-year-old musician with a full-time day job, whose employer had to nearly DOUBLE my salary before I could afford to buy my own instruments, let alone buy an album or two every week. People are BROKE, y’all, and bad music isn’t (and shouldn’t be) a priority for anyone who can barely make ends meet.