The hills have been alive with the curses and complaints of internet enthusiasts everywhere in the United States. The MPAA, RIAA, and any other media-related acronym have been properly vilified in nearly every public forum available. It’s only right, it seems the logical response to all the bullshit they’ve pulled lately, and for the bullshit that preceded that. In the endless internet bitchfest between consumer and corporation, some parties have been kindly excluded from any sort of responsibility, and I am here, at the behest of my own insight or stupidity, to rectify that. So, artists, will you please step up and take some fucking well-deserved blame for this shitty ass system?
Before I go any further, let me digress: I don’t personally begrudge any artists for doing what they feel is necessary to make a living; Not as long as I am using my time, intelligence and programming skills to make a buck for myself and a (presumably) larger buck for my employers. I GET IT. We all sell out to varying degrees for some or all of the following: money, security, happiness, food. I sold out long before your favorite artist did, and as long as you’re making compromises with your time / life / priorities / passion to put a roof over your own head, sitting right next to me in the compromised corner.
But yeah, artists: As long as you’re pursuing those contracts and signing those lopsided deals, whether out of ignorance, desperation or greed, you’re kind of helping to fuck this whole thing up. I know that a man’s gotta eat, but hey, maybe he can think twice about the guy that’s putting food on his table.
And I do understand, that putting albums on bandcamp, cobbling together whatever funds are necssaryto make ends meet and touring whenever their shitty jobs will let you is a hard, nasty life and there’s only so many Henry Rollins’ / Ian Mackayes’ / Jello Biafras out there. So maybe you artists really have little recourse than compromising your limited leverage (aka talent) and buying into a flawed system that takes full advantage.
But now that I have made your excuses for you, understand this point: the internet has opened up some great opportunities, but it’s not where it should be yet. And bullshit such as SOPA intends to keep it from flowering into the freer market the music and movie industries should become, the one where you make some better percentages, and your distribution is better, and you have control over more of your own stuff and your own life. As a concerned internet citizen, this is what I ask of you: fight the good fight where you can, give in where you should, don’t forget the struggle, don’t forget the streets, don’t forget your roots, and don’t sell out (too hard).