Lily Allen, not the sharpest knife in the drawer

Music piracy is having a dangerous effect on British music, but some rich and successful artists such as Nick Mason, of Pink Floyd, and Ed O’Brien, of Radiohead, don’t think so. Last week, they told The Times that file sharing is fine. It probably is for them. They do sell-out arena tours and have the biggest Ferrari collections in the world. For new talent, though, file sharing is a disaster — it makes it harder and harder for new acts to emerge.

Lemmee see: she\’s saying that by reducing the cost of putting new music before potential buyers this increases the difficulty of putting new music before potential buyers?

Please love, go bake me a pie, make me a sammich or something, sing if you have to, but please don\’t try economic analysis.

10 comments on “Lily Allen, not the sharpest knife in the drawer

  1. Counter-intuitively, is it possible that she could be right? I don’t think she is, but previously known music cost money to download while new music was mostly free. A deccrease in price in known music might have the effect of reducing the incentive to try new music, cet par.

    As I say, I don’t agree with her.

  2. I think she is wrong: it’s still possible for musicians to make money, but the business of selling plastic discs is dead, and the record companies who insist on trying to make a dead business model work will disappear, just as buggy whip manufacturing did. The file-sharing genie is out of the bottle, but bands who are experimenting with other ways of making money are finding success – the Techdirt blog has many examples.

    If she was correct & it did make it more difficult for acts like her to break through, it would save people from having to explain the lyrics of her songs to their 10 year old daughters, which can only be a good thing.

  3. “They do sell-out arena tours”

    That’s the pooint – that’s where artists make their money now, not from the sale of disks.

  4. Let’s assume that anyone wanted to offer you a column in a newspaper, Tim – you’ve bemoaned before the fact that no-one seems to want to.

    Let’s further suppose that the column was widely ripped off and distributed around the world – unlikely, but stay with it – and that the end result of this was that the newspaper canned your contract and you became, as you are now I suppose, just another unpaid, hobbyist (hobby horsist?) blogger.

    How would you feel about the breach of your copyright?

    Tim adds: Pissed off of course: but we’re arguing from the other end of the logic here. I have been a columnist in a number of newspapers: The Times, CiF, Independent, Philadelphia Inquirer, Telegraph, even the Orange County Register. And all of those paying gigs came from the fact that I gave away my copy as a blogger as a method of proving that I could indeed write coherent (well, for a certain definition of “coherent” of course) pieces. My getting into newspapers and paying writing gigs (and that is pretty much how I make my living now) was precisely and exactly as a result of this new technology that allowed people to sample my wares without payment.

    My argument is not about copyright at all: it’s about the stupidity of the argument that lowering the cost of distributing the produce of unknowns makes it more difficult for unknowns to become knowns. One of the best exemplars of why that argument is wrong is, umm, myself.

  5. Indeed. Dan’s argument falls down because *it’s the complete opposite of what actually happens in real life, in all industries including music*.

  6. “The file-sharing genie is out of the bottle” … its certainly on loose at the moment, but governments will get it under control sooner or later.

  7. She’s simply saying the black market price (zero, once you have broadband) is a disincentive to legitimate investment. She’s correct.

    > “selling plastic discs”

    Or you could take another look at the black market, and observe both the demand and the propensity to pay. Then, instead of trying to stamp it (as in the War on Drugs, prostitution, your-moral-crusade-here) you could create legitimate wholesale and retail markets.

    Which of these words frightens you – is it “retail”, “wholesale” or “Market”?

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