Friday, December 01, 2006

Too Much Monkey Business

An interesting fact from singer/songwriter Tom Robinson's website: "A download on iTunes costs [in the UK] 79p per track. The Performer gets 7%, the Writer 8%, Credit Card company 9%, Apple 15%, and Record Company 61%". As Tom says, go figure.

Furthermore, the greedy record companies are always moaning about their supposed losses because of illegal downloads, but they can't even be bothered to make music they already own available to those of us who are actually willing to pay for it. There is plenty of good stuff that has never even made it on to CD: to name just a few, two albums by Loudon Wainwright III, one by Vivian Stanshall, two by Dory Previn, and one by Kate and Anna McGarrigle are only available if you are prepared to pay inflated prices on eBay for the original LPs or get someone who has them to run off a CD-R for you. (Obviously I'm giving away my musical tastes here.) Even one Bob Dylan album (admittedly his worst) has only made a brief appearance on CD, and is currently only available on cassette!

Viv Stanshall's widow and a group of his fans have been campaigning for years to get his album Men Opening Umbrellas Ahead reissued on CD. To sign an online petition to Warner Brothers Records for this, go here.

The music industry, movie studios and software companies also try to make you feel sorry for them by inflating their losses due to copyright piracy. The figures they quote assume that everyone who acquires a pirated copy would otherwise buy a legal one, which is clearly nonsense.

Update: (August 2013). The LW3, Dory, and (finally) Viv albums are now available on CD. But that still leaves other masterpieces like Bright Phoebus by Lal and Mike Waterson (a whole story in itself) largely unavailable. And I've done a later story on the missing Dylan CD.
Disclaimer - I get a small commission from Amazon UK if you buy the brilliant Stanshall CD through the picture link here.

1 comment:

Py Korry said...

I was under the impression that the artists get a bigger cut of the iTunes sales. Hmmm...