Musician's open letter, sung to Lily Allen

Sam sez, "An open letter to Lily Allen, explaining the facts around filesharing, sung to the beat of one of her tunes."

I love this -- it's a great mix of compassion, artist's manifesto, and humor. I don't know much about this Dan Bull character, but I like the cut of his jib.

Dan Bull - Dear Lily (Thanks, Sam!)


  1. Actually, if you’ve got one good line (“downloads don’t equate to sales”) and the rest is just posturing, fluff and redundancy, maybe you should just say the one line.

  2. Access to knowledge is a right.
    And the living core of democracy.
    Culture and Art and Music are no less important.
    Artificial Scarcity in a time of plenty then is a crime against humanity.
    Universal access to all information.
    No means testing for information access.
    The ruling classes seem to have forgotten all that is decent and wish to project themselves as a separate elite, powerful secret dealers and above the law – their fear was never terrorism but the unruly mob of their own citizens. They would have us eat cake.
    Make no mistake information and access to it is the war. freedom or corporate jackbooted rule.
    And the call is can you lay cable.
    The real btard pir8s, those ‘uploaders’ who rot in federal jails for daring to fight for retroactive implentation of Stallman’s laws of information freedom to the proprietary and cultural worlds.
    It’s not just mp3’s of crappy music.
    Its access to real information that changes your head and wakes you up and lets you know that people are dying daily for an oil pipeline from the Caspian sea.
    The same cultural doubethink norms, laws and devices that hamper music fans sharing will stop the dissemenation of information and those twittering free love joy share will end up in state basements explaining themselves again and again in locked rooms.
    It will stop the replicator in its tracks.
    The future will not be widely disseminated.
    Bush will return as though he’d never left.
    The choice for the age of Aquarius is the interstellar diaspora or immanantizing the Eschaton.
    I sold you and you sold me under the spreading chesnut tree.

  3. Nice one! I don’t like Lilly Allen but this cover is great! Does she kind of rap like this on the original too?

  4. Yes, I’m sure just the single line “downloads don’t equate to sales” would have been much more effective. Cory, maybe you should delete the post and replace it with this line?

  5. Yeah… are you missing the point or making a joke? If someone just posted “Dear Lily Allen, downloads don’t equate to sales” on a website, do you think it would really get much attention?

    Whereas the fact that Dan Bull put a lot of time and effort into writing and producing this has meant that the song is now hitting Digg, Twitter etc and it raises the point to a lot of people who might not other wise pay attention. I admit that in some cases the message can be lost in the delivery – how many people decide to do good works for charity after listening to U2 and Coldplay?

    You obviously get the message in this song, so why not appreciate it purely as a piece of music too?

  6. From Wikipedia:

    End of Music Career

    On 24 September 2009 Lily Allen commented on her blog, It’s Not Alright, to say that she has no plans to release new songs or tour again.[118][119] She wrote: “Just so you know, I have not renegotiated my record contract and have no plans to make another record. I do however remain a fan of new music, so this is not some selfish crusade.” She followed this up by stating that she no longer sees a future for her to make money in the music industry. “The days of me making money from recording music has been and gone as far as I’m concerned, so I don’t stand to profit from legislation. Except future purchases of previously recorded material.”

    She announced that she would be focusing on her performance in the theatre production called Reasons to be Pretty.

  7. Why not just skip major label dreck altogether? There’s oodles of music (some of it totally awesome) which isn’t produced by people on major labels which bypasses the whole problem of what is legal/not legal as many of the artists do seem to be of the “I’d just like my music heard” camp.

    It would make much of the copyfight argument irrelevent … which is good.

  8. Sure downloads equate to lost sales. None of you know it, though, as you don’t understand the nature of licensing. The sale is at the time of listening.

    In the case of a file sharer the “sale” is anytime, ANYTIME, you listen to the music unlicensed. Then it’s a lost sale. You can’t make cogent arguments if you don’t understand the nature of the beast.

  9. Agnot, you can’t convince people of something by spitting a single phrase at them. You need to construct an argument and employ rhetoric. There’s a good chance that they’re already familiar with the single point down to which your argument can ultimately be simplified. What you’re trying to do is change their minds and realise that they’ve been looking at the issue from the wrong angle.

  10. Brilliant. Tons of funny lines and maintained a great cadence, all while putting forth some of the most cogent arguments I’ve seen yet (and still managed to throw in references to Lily and her songs–especially love the “Fuck you” in the middle).

  11. Somewhere, in a plush bedroom in London, Lily Allen is watching this, in a pool of tears of confusion and loss.

    I wish her the best. (but I do think she was wrong wrong wrong. Sorry Lily).

  12. So because she can’t make money doing it (a laughable claim) she quits. Yeah, she’s reaaaal passionate about music.

  13. I get the impression that Lily Allen isn’t exactly hurting for money, or for an expensive education… I haven’t bought any of her albums, and I haven’t downloaded any of them either. So does that equate to a lost sale? Or is it just that she’s naff?

    Now if we could just get Robbie Williams to promise not to make any more music in an ill-informed hissy-fit. Oh, too late. Drat.

  14. Outstanding stuff, and with what, a three-day turnaround? Respect.

    Oh, and #10, put your stream-of-consciousness post through Microsoft Sam for a truly creepy Shamen-in-the-Singularity vibe. ;)

  15. Love it! She’s actually been hearing a Dream Share between Johnny, Garret, their kids, and me! It’s that whole SONY, No Baloney thang we ‘napped kids from Hawai’i in California went thru in the 1970s. Very tongue in cheek. Nicely done!

  16. @ #11 Hirsty

    I Rather thought the best line was, ‘Adjust your sails.’ It’s a cacthy tune either way.

    And the verse is intriguing stylistically. Maybe that makes it compelling.

    @ #14 Kimmo

    Pfff, Agnot.

    Fffp, Kimmo!

    @ #24 Anonymous

    Agnot, you can’t convince people of something by spitting a single phrase at them.

    I think politicians and PR depts would disagree. However, it would be a pleasant discovery that artists and thoughtful people involved in copyright were not soundbite oriented.

    @ #26 arkizzle

    Agnot.. so miserably wrong.

    OR . . . [dramatic blare] . . .

    I rather prefer the verse or our very own Anonymous. It sound less spiteful, more sincere to me.

    @ #10 Anonymous

    Access to knowledge is a right.
    And the living core of democracy.

    . . .

    It’s not just mp3’s of crappy music.
    Its access to real information that changes your head and wakes you up and lets you know that people are dying daily for an oil pipeline from the Caspian sea.

    . . .

    I think Lily, rightly or wrongly, makes a stronger statement than Dan Bull. She exercises her right to not create if her creation does not get the respect she wants/needs. That is the most ultimate act of personal power somebody can make at any adversarial juncture in his/her life, withdraw input.

    If she is missing something, an equally peaceful and powerful demonstration of the better solution must be made.

    That is the process that I see. It is everyone’s prerogative to dislike her, disagree with her, etc., just as it is hers. However, if there is only one thing that a person can never be forced to do, it would be to create something genuine. That takes inspiration.

    Of course, and I should no, there are those who are negatively inspired. :)

  17. @10
    I think you may have mis-judged what is meant by immanentizing the eschaton.

    Especially when using it as counterpoint to the diaspora.
    The mushrooms are not happy.

  18. Major/indy – labels have nothing to do with it.

    They are not the product – they bank roll the product. The product is the artist, writer and production team.

    It’s easy to get on board with Dan if you don’t want to pay for music.

    I doubt Dan makes a living doing what he loves. He probably works in a pub, signs on or has rich parents.

    Some people are/were recording artists and that is no longer an option. Making money from gigging is not easy. Are musicians supposed to work day in day out, after training for years and years to give you something for free? Or should you pay them? Would you steal from your local baker?

    All artists are impaired by the lack of funding for recording. Budgets are getting lower and lower – this hampers artistic growth and typically limits artists to a 1 album career.

    Lilly Allen aside. Downloading is only part of the problem.

    Music is a product. It needs to be paid for in order to progress. Progression is not limited. Growth assists progression.

    Don’t let greed kill art.

    Music is freedom of information. Not information.

    Open your eyes.

  19. I think part of the problem is those that see music as a product, a commodity. That’s what’s killing music (ooh looksy, it seems to be still breathing! Fancy that! ;-P).

    Nah the problem is the old model doesn’t work; new ones are/will pop up, but not without rich brats moaning about it. Music is NOT a brand, devaluing it and putting out crap product by people who don’t care anymore has made a generation wander off and do something else…hence video game music licensing, cos that’s where they gather now :-D

    Love your work Dan Bull, stuff like this is why I try and buy direct from the artists and not via record companies. More artists should do that…I’d buy a LOT more music if I knew 100% (minus their costs) was going to the artist, not something like 3%?

  20. “‘d by LT mr msc f knw 100% (mns thr csts) ws gng t th rtst, nt smthng lk 3%.” – Tmbrcb

    srry. dn’t blv y, T-cb. y’d STLL dwnld t fr fr, y lyn’ sck.

    vryn hr prrts tht ntllctlly pthtc mm, “nfrmtn wnts t b fr.” Blh, blh, nbdy vr sys, “Crs wnt t b fr,” r “Hss wnt t b fr” r “Hy, ‘ll wrk fr fr.” cz t’s mrnc…

    y’r chldrn. y prdc nthng. y crt nthng. Bt twtsht nd blgns nd Fcpk. y’r “cnsmrs” (btw, hrl “cnsmrs” t y wth th sm drppng cntmpt FXNws hrls “lbrls.” Cnsmr: t’s th prfct nslt fr y. y dsrv t.) y t. y pt crp n yr vrs hls. y prdc N..T.H..N.G. bt lsy whn nd chs.

    fnlly, bsd n th hgh-clbr Dn Bllsht qlty f th wrtng hr, dbt ny f y “wns” ny ntllctl prprty wrth shrng, mch lss prtng.

    srsly, grw th f p.

  21. Are musicians supposed to work day in day out, after training for years and years to give you something for free?

    In the real world, most people work day in day out to make a living. Many professions also require years and years of training. I don’t expect someone to give me something for free, but by the same token I don’t expect to have to pay more than once for the same thing. If I buy a song to support an artist I like, I don’t want to have to buy it again just so I can listen to it on my computer, and then again so I can listen to it in my car, and then again to listen to it on ……

  22. I think Lily, rightly or wrongly, makes a stronger statement than Dan Bull. She exercises her right to not create if her creation does not get the respect she wants/needs.

    Please show me where Lily Allen has stated that she has stopped recording as a protest against file sharing.

    She didn’t. She hasn’t. It may be the cherry on top (or not even related), but it isn’t paramount.

    In 2007, Allen said she wanted to quit music after her second album so she could “lead a normal life”. Despite backtracking shortly after, “I talk crap all the time”, the singer told Spin magazine in February of this year: “I couldn’t tell you if I’m going to make another record, because I don’t know if I’m going to enjoy this in six months’ time.”

    In fact, when I first interviewed Allen in 2006 she explained that music wasn’t the be all and end all, and that what she really wanted to do was act. This was before her first single had even been released.

  23. @ #43 Arkizzle

    I am not trying to sidetrack from the facts as per the more knowledgeable on the issue.

    My reference comes from the song I was giving my impressions on: “I know you are going to carry on making music really.” (2nd from last line.)

    It apparently characterizes Allen as feigning quitting over the pirating issue. The song thereby binds her actions with issue regardless of questioning the degree to which it is true.

    However most general news sources I googled are making the association in the first paragraph.

    If the issue gets very public, it may well play that way.

  24. i thought this boat sailed 3-4 years ago, with the consensus being that some business models needed to change and no one was down with people F’ing about with their internet connection.

  25. @ #23 Anonymous:

    Sure downloads equate to lost sales. None of you know it, though, as you don’t understand the nature of licensing. The sale is at the time of listening.

    In the case of a file sharer the “sale” is anytime, ANYTIME, you listen to the music unlicensed. Then it’s a lost sale. You can’t make cogent arguments if you don’t understand the nature of the beast.

    Sorry, but if your only understanding of the term “lost sales” is whether or not each specific free listening should have been a “sale” or not, then you’re the one not understanding the argument.

    Do promotional CDs count as “lost sales?” Each time the listener listens to the songs they haven’t paid for, those are lost sales, right?

    No, of course not, because promotional CDs are known to increase the number of sales, because reviewers write nice things about them and people hear nice samples.

    Likewise, the important question is whether downloads increase or decrease the total sales.

    Now, that said, I haven’t seen any compelling research that says that downloads actually increase sales for well-known large-label singers, so I think that they probably do decrease their sales. But you can’t argue that without understanding the nature of the argument, can you?

  26. SamSam,

    There have certainly been studies done that suggest downloads don’t affect music sales*. So while the positive reverse may not be true, it doesn’t seems to hold for the negative.

    *See the links in my comment here.

  27. Agnot,

    Newspapers do like to sell copy. If there is no evidence to suggest a link, other than editorial licence, it’s just contextualizing or sensasionalism.

    But that probably doesn’t change how you see Lily Allen, or Dan Bull in this regard, so I suppose it’s moot.

  28. Downloads do not equal lost sales. Cry ignorance all you want, but it’s just not true. Everything I download falls into one of these categories:

    1. I will buy it when I can. If I like a download enough, I will make plans to buy it. Why? Because I like owning things that I enjoy. If something or someone is worth my money, I will pay them.

    2. I would not buy it, regardless of whether or not I had downloaded it. If I download something and it’s bad, of course I’m not going to buy it. And I don’t take financial chances on bands I don’t trust. The download is merely an experiment to see if the band will fall into the first category. If it does, see above. (Incidentally, Lily Allen falls into this section. Her music is weak and without substance. Fluff.)

    3. I have already purchased it. This is where I am most absolutely going to disagree with the labels. See, I believe that once you’ve exchanged money for a piece, or pieces, of music, then you are entitled to that music in digital form. For free. Because you’ve already paid for it. If I own Abbey Road on cassette or Pet Sounds on vinyl (both of which are true) then why should I not have access to that music on my computer, in a completely intangible form. I’m obviously not entitled to run out and shoplift a CD version. People would be deprived of deserved money, were I to do that. But by downloading the music, I am hurting no one. I’ve already paid the record label, albeit many years ago.

    So, no matter how you cut it, a download is not necessarily a lost sale, and generally can result in more earnings. The real money (for the artist, at least) is made in merchandising and live performances. But dinosaurs like Lily can’t be expected to change. They’ll just continue to count their money and grumble.

  29. Hmmm…
    I will buy it when I can Much in the same way that I have planned to pay for that wedding ring when I can afford it, in the meantime I’ll just walk off with it from the jeweller’s.
    I would not buy it, regardless of whether or not I had downloaded it I’m not paying for this sandwich – for a start, it doesn’t taste very nice, and for another thing, somebody has already taken a bite out of it
    I have already purchased it When I was at school I read Hamlet. I don’t see why I should have to pay for another copy now, or be charged to get into a theatre to see it. See, I believe that once I’ve paid for a book, I’m entitled to expect the author to come to my house and read it out to me through the window from the basement to the outside world.

    OK, downloads are not necessarily lost sales, but I don’t see how that means they generally can result in more earnings. Or maybe you think that if you lose money on each unit, you’ll be able to get it back through increased volume? Lily’s whole point, and it’s one people seem desperate to overlook, is that merchandising and live performance will make money for some artists. If you’re the Grateful Dead or somebody who wants to tour all their lives, great – but aren’t the older generation then closer to being dinosaurs than somebody in their twenties?

  30. @#9 Almost there mate – it’s the artist also known as Scroobius Pip not the DJ that he worked with Dan le Sac.

    Compare and contrast the Lilly Allen track with this Letter to God over a Radiohead backing track and with handwriting rather than typing:

    @#23 You’re conflating sales with listening which doesn’t make any sense…though I’m amused by your attempted pan-monetisation of vibrations in the air perceived to be melodic. Please report to your music company masters for retraining.

  31. @50 #50 posted by motormouthee, September 27, 2009 11:50 PM
    and @ #23 posted by Anonymous, September 26, 2009 5:56 AM
    and @ #39 posted by Anonymous, September 26, 2009 2:39 PM

    You (singular or plural) may feel like you’re preaching to Sodom and Gomorrah here, but honestly, there -is- a middle ground on this issue. The fact that some people on both sides don’t want to budge from their respective camps isn’t helping matters.

    The argument for licensing/listening is purely a construct of the record companies and their lawyers. Every CD and DVD has various legalese on it detailing that the purchaser is “granted a license” to listen to the work for personal use but is not granted the right to broadcast it or perform it publicly. That generally means that DJs can’t buy a CD and play it at a club. That often means that a shop owner can’t buy a CD and play it in their shop. And that invariably means that you can’t set up a pirate radio station (online or not) and play the song as often as you want to..

    The reality is -each- of these things happen, AND the reality is each of these things can bring MORE SALES to the artists involved. The real issue for the record labels has been and always will be about control. It’s not that they don’t want people to hear their artists’ music, it’s that they want people to hear that music ON THEIR TERMS. That means there will be some garbage music video that gets played X number of times; there will be a radio-edited single that gets played Y times an hour (sometimes it’s an intolerably large value of Y). And the list goes on and on..

    I believe the real reason record companies get upset is because the grass-roots fans are getting the word out even better than the P.R. guys can. And the P.R. guys get PAID for their job.. gee, why pay a P.R. guy at all?

    The record companies have always been about making serious money off the backs of profitable artists. If an artist wants to work outside of the constricting constructs of the record company then they get ignored, or dropped. It’s not about art: it’s never been about art.

    It’s about money.

    I support certain artists directly. Record companies no longer get my money, as long as I have a say in it. I will help get the word out regarding music that I believe in (the new Porcupine Tree album is glorious, go listen to it R-F-N!) I don’t need to justify this behaviour to you or to anybody else.

    However, like you I am saddened at the prospect of people who will just NEVER pay for anything that they want. The issue is that file-sharers are not all filthy horrible thieving greedy pirates, and anytime you reach for that brush to paint all file-sharers that way you will lose, plain and simple.

    What you need to do is to convince people that Supporting Artists Is The Right Thing To Do. Don’t waste your time with this “Every File-Sharer Is A Criminal” bullshit; that foolishness merely convinced a bunch of kids that Being A Criminal Is Okay.. and honestly that will be -your- load to shoulder.

    So there you go. If you want any more advice or to discuss this any further you’ll have to pay a consulting fee. The users on this forum have given out enough free advice to recording industry types.. whether you want to actually listen to the advice or not is up to you.


  32. The truth is that no one needs to pay anything for music these days.

    The fact that we continue to pay is because we feel a moral obligation to the artist and the other people involved with getting the music known.

    As a result everyone will make their own moral decision about what to download legally/illegally.

    I used to download a lot of stuff to find out if I liked a band I’d read about in some magazine. These days I don’t, because there’s enough legal stuff on myspace/spotify/etc. that I can work out if I like it without going the illegal route.

    Having said that, I will often download stuff for format-switching. It’s more convenient to d/l via a properly tagged mp3 than to rip and tag it from vinyl myself. Since I wouldn’t repurchase the songs if I couldn’t d/l them, I don’t see it as morally wrong since I’m not denying anyone anything.

  33. @23,39
    Your posts were well written (although composed mainly of ad-hominem and empty slogans), and your status anonymous. Which, at a time where I know that there is funded astroturfing on the issue, makes you seem disingenuous.

    Here are just a few points re: your arguments.

    1) Copying is not stealing. It may be “bad”, but if I steal your wedding ring, you don’t have a wedding ring anymore. if I copy your file, you still have your file (in pristine form, unlike motormouthmcgee’s sandwich metaphor). You might say that I have stolen your opportunity to sell me a copy of that song- except that a lot of times music fans buy music that they had previously downloaded. I’m not saying that downloading music is innocent or virtuous- I am just saying that the metaphors used are inaccurate and hyperbolic.

    2) A download does not equal a lost sale- I don’t care what industry parlance tries to dress this up differently- but I sometimes purchase what I download, and I sometimes download something that I would never purchase.

    3) I only know music enthusiasts, so I can’t characterize “the average downloader” (and I think the legal environment surrounding this would make such a study very hard to do). However: the people I know who download are also the people I know that spend the greatest percentage of their income on music. They LOVE music, they LOVE musical artists. They support the artists they love to the greatest degree they feel they can comfortably afford, but don’t let that LIMIT what their exposure to new music. I’m not debating whether they have a right to or not- I just want to be clear that these people are already spending what they can on music- there is no revenue lost when they download.

    4) I keep hearing in posts like #39 that “recording budgets are shrinking”. Is this at all related to the fact that you can build a high quality music studio for a fraction of the cost? I’ve seen very good recordings come from a $2500 pc, a spare room insulated with egg crates, and $1000 in mics. Isn’t part of the problem that musicians don’t require so much money up front anymore?

    I would really like to see some kind of market adjustment that allows musicians that make good songs to have those songs heard by anyone that would like them, and derive enough support that they can support a comfortable lifestyle. I really don’t give a shit if the well-heeled music industry executive still gets his usurious cut.

    I don’t believe the music industry is optimally configured to perform as a middle man between the music consumer and the musician. Honestly, I think something like a combination of pandora and itunes would do the same thing that the record label does for a musician now, at the tiniest fraction of a cost.

    I think that a new way forward can be found, and it will come from one of two sources: innovative business models, or heavyhanded legislation and extreme surveillance. I’d prefer the former- especially since I think the latter will only prop up the music industry for another 10 years or so before the global market kills them.

    Whatever innovations happen- music lovers love musicians- long term, the ones that really have to worry are the people making a ton off music without adding any value.

  34. personally i feel that if you got into music to make a living, you got into it for all the wrong reasons.
    that should just be a bonus.

    you should really just want people to hear your music.

  35. This song is FANTASTICAL!!!

    I’ve been following this whole Lilly Allen debacle with great interest. There’s been a lot of interesting stuff on TechDirt about it, and they have actually been accused of being the reason she had to shut down her silly anti-piracy blog. I guess so many people were commenting on the blog disputing her drivel that she felt ‘abused’.

    Anyhow, the overarching true irony is that Lilly herself had offered ‘mixtape’ downloads (and at least until last week they were still available) that incorporated her demos (in order to get her name out there) mixed in along with dozens of songs by different commercial artists, completely unlicensed. She is a hypocrite of the highest order:

    Also, it’s funny that she decided to ‘quit the business’ and shut down her blog because of ‘bullying’ on about the same day. I think the entire industry shill position she took blew up in her face in a big way. She should have thought that through better. Now there are reports that she may have ‘spoken too soon’ about quitting. Such silliness.

    And I know for a fact that Ms. Allen is not hurting for money in even the slightest sense. A couple of friends of mine went to her show and got invited to the after-party. It was at the Chateau Marmont (terribly expensive hotel), and apparently the ‘party favors’ that Lilly and her crew (and her MOTHER!) were enjoying all night long were of the expensive and abundant variety. If you know what I mean.

  36. As a former “major label recording artist” I want to just say:
    Sharing is absolutely not stealing, under any circumstance. There is no difference between recording a mixed tape for a friend (ala 1980’s-90’s) and swapping songs with some cat half-way around the planet.

    Artists make 0% from sales until they break 250,000+ anyways – and if you’re THAT popular then file sharing is not going to harm you at all anyways. And if you’re not that popular then it’s only the label that loses anything – and even that’s not much.

    Only the labels and the “huge” artists who are pwned by them give half-a-fuck about file sharing.
    It is simply the record companies throwing money at their frustration with their own inability to keep up with the technology.

    Whenever you see such huge penalties for seemingly innocuous offenses (p2p, drug charges, etc.) you can be sure a great deal of money’s being spent to further that agenda – it’s supposed to intimidate and deter you.
    Don’t let it.

  37. “personally i feel that if you got into music to make a living, you got into it for all the wrong reasons.
    that should just be a bonus.

    you should really just want people to hear your music.”

    Somewhat analogous to Tony Blair saying it would be wrong to pay nurses a living wage, because that would encourage the wrong sort of person to become a nurse.
    Although I’ve probably invoked a form of Godwin’s law now, so make of that what you will

    1. Somewhat analogous to Tony Blair saying it would be wrong to pay nurses a living wage, because that would encourage the wrong sort of person to become a nurse.

      Nurses should be paid a high wage, because it’s a horrible job. But nurses who go into it for the money are going to be crappy nurses. I worked in a hospital for twenty years. If you don’t love taking care of patients, you’re not going to be good at it.

  38. A download can mean a lost sale. I have only bought one CD in the past two years, and have downloaded many albums without paying for them. If I hadn’t been able to download those albums, I would certainly have bought a number of them. Artists have definitely been deprived of income as a direct effect of my actions.

    However, that is only one side of the coin. On the other side, I have, as an individual, listened to a vast amount of music that I otherwise would not have heard, and have had rich emotional experiences as a result. I do not know why any given artist is in the music business, but if having people hear and appreciate their music is valuable to them, they might take some solace in the fact that they have affected me in this way, even if I have not paid for the privilege.

    On top of that, I’ve been to many gigs to hear bands play live, having downloaded their music for free. I have shared music by many artists with many friends, and those artists have seen their audience expand as a result. I have been encouraged in my own creative endeavours by having had the chance to listen to music that I might never have taken a risk on if I’d had to pay for it.

    There has always been music. There has only been a music industry for a very short period. If that industry were to go bust overnight, it would not stop people having powerful experiences through music everyday, and it would not stop people who have a creative fire burning inside them from having an insatiable urge to share that flame with other people.

    File sharing is going nowhere. Technological progress is always one step ahead of restrictions on that technology. An age of controlled access to recorded music came along and and now slowly going away again. The prescient artist will be the one who sees the way the wind has changed and moves with it.

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