Friday, October 08, 2004

PETE BLEAT: It's not just Estelle 'I think I need a bit of a sit down' Morris and furiously masturbating BPI executives who are delighted at the news that download lawsuits are coming to the UK. The grand old man of British Pop, Pete Waterman, is very pleased, too:

Consumer groups have suggested the high price of CDs and the amount of time it took record labels to get to grips with internet piracy have forced music fans to turn to illegal file-sharing sites.

But Waterman, speaking at a press conference to mark the launch of legal action against 28 major online pirates in the UK, argued music prices had fallen in recent years.

"I've seen CD prices drop from £14 to £8. I'm certainly not getting paid £14 for a CD any more," said Waterman.

Presumably the reason you're not getting full price for your CDs any more, Pete, is that you've not made anything anyone's liable to want to buy since about 1981.

He said artists such as the Blur drummer, Dave Rowntree, were only able to claim file sharing did not harm CD sales because they already had millions in the bank.

"It's preposterous. How do they know that? The BPI isn't speaking on behalf of all the industry," Rowntree said earlier this year.

Waterman hit back: "Blur who? They're still going are they? EMI owns Blur's rights. I think you might find it different if you got all four of them in a room and asked if they wanted money taken out of their bank accounts.

"If Franz Ferdinand and Blur want to give their music away for nothing, that's between them and their record company. This is not the NHS. This is music, you buy it."

Here again, of course, there's the pushing of this idea that downloading costs artists and labels money; which makes the actions of the BPI seem slightly more reasonable than the truth: downloading is something people do on top of their usual music purchasing, not instead of; it's something which promotes music sales, not deflates them. The act of downloading (in most cases) doesn't take money from anyone, and this claim needs to be challenged every time someone makes it.

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