For long time, we’re providing products regarding software licensing protection. So we try to protect developers from piracy. But the music is completely different story. This article is not here to moralize or to inform about our new product, but to explain our experience with music, it’s licensing and everything around.
First, our company is based in Czech Republic, Prague. It’s necessary to mention it, as the Czech republic has unique law regarding audiovisual intellectual property and it’s implications on people buying music. In our country is legal to download music, even from “pirated” sources (with some small exceptions). Only distribution of the unlicensed content illegal. This is possible, because there’s a fee paid to OSA (Czech copyright protection agency) from each HDD, SSD, CD, DVD or any other empty media by law. This is kind of “tax”. OSA then splits money to music authors registered with the agency. There were much discussions around this topic, you may realize on your own, that many people pay unfair fee, because they use the media i.e. just for family photos. Why should they pay for it to musicians? [Information source CZ]
However, now in 2017, the most people I know still listen their mp3s or music uploaded on Youtube. I don’t do. Not because I can’t find my favorite music for free. I can and know, that I can download music legally this way in my country. Someone may argue with music quality as the reason for purchase and he’s right, but: When I was 17 years old, I even paid to underground forums to get unlimited access to ripped daily releases. It costed $30 for the lifetime of this forum (was few years). I got the music in format I like, mixable within DJ software, even 0-day tracks. If you don’t need zero day tracks, you simply don’t have to pay anything on the internet (naturally, not by law).
Despite the facts above, now in 2017, I’m mainly listening and purchasing tracks from Beatport.com. The main reason is technical. You won’t find all your favorite electronic music in WAV format anywhere else. Other (also important) reasons are my personal. For example, I prefer to pay to the musician who created music I like. When I buy harddrive and pay a fee from it, I’m supporting many musicians which I personally dislike. Especially those, who make music for money only. My humble opinion is, that the best music comes from the heart, not from label’s budget. 🙂
You may have expected the list of reasons to buy music. However, you probably already heard a lot of them and I don’t want to repeat others. Well, let’s have a look into my (your) soul. I’m different than other people in this. When I decide to listen music, I typically give it all the attention. I’m not working or reading during these times. Thanks to this fact, I found what the music gives me. It gives me emotions I can feel, good mood. These things are mainly hidden, when the music is just background for your work. And the most people I know does many other other things when they listen to music. Do you see the correlation now? Most people have music as background and most people (at least in my country) do not pay for music.
Also it’s necessary to mention, that the Internet changed the music industry. I’m not big fan of the music industry, especially the big recording companies. These companies are behind the too restrictive law in the United States and other countries. These companies tries to prosecute normal citizens for the normal thing the humanity did for thousands of years! Yes, there was no internet, but people freely shared their music using different media (mostly the paper). The musicians are mostly paid for their art performance and this was the source of their income for thousands of years. As a result, today, the people you don’t know are paid for the music of the artists they don’t know also. Strange, but that’s reality nowadays.
No matter the law in your country, you should decide on your own if it’s fair to pay the artist you listen to. The best way is to purchase tracks from him/her/them directly. I already did this decision. And you?
In the end, I have small message for the music industry. Focus on quality, not the budget. Focus the people who love the music, not the masses. You can live without second swimming pool in your garden, one is enough. 🙂