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Music Industry's Future Foretold in China?

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the magic-eight-ball-says dept.

Music 398

sapphire writes "An article today in the International Herald Tribune provides a look at music piracy from the point-of-view of pop stars in China. China is a country forced to deal with the reality of unchecked piracy of digital media products. Will their experience lead to new business models for the world-wide recording industry?"

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fp (-1, Offtopic)

EvilGecko123 (324029) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358149)

fp probably not

Re:fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358161)

yeah use your account you slut - fp's are strictly for the ac masseeeve

Re:fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358164)

You fail it. Do I need to include a beowulf cluster joke or a "in soviet russia" joke so you understand? Because you said "probably not," NOBODY WILL GET FP!

Re:fp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358235)

ill do that for you

In Soviet Russia beowulf clusters first post you

White on Black (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358194)

...... at *nix [starnix.org] !!!

sp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358163)

possibly so? I just don't know.

First Ninnle Post! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358207)

Do you realize that all these chinks are using Ninnle Linux as their OS of choice? It's uncrackable, you know. Not even the Chink Police can get at it! We Americans can use this to fight that terrorist Rumsfeld! Think Ninnle Linux for ultra-enhanced security and privacy!

Blank in Mozilla (-1, Offtopic)

fire-eyes (522894) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358169)

This page comes up with what looks like a framework of a page, but zero actual content in Mozilla.

Nice.

Re:Blank in Mozilla (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358175)

Wipe the cum off your screen and you'll see it.

Re:Blank in Mozilla (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358212)

Works OK in Opera7 & looks good in IE6, I'm disappointed to hear it doesn't work in Moz, I actually thought the presentation of content in IHT was really well done, but there you go.

Re:Blank in Mozilla (1)

Stephen VanDahm (88206) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358216)

I'm using Mozilla 1.2.1 on Linux and I can see it fine....

Steve

Re:Blank in Mozilla (1)

Mantorp (142371) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358230)

Same Mozilla version on WinXP works fine too....doh, busted.

Re:Blank in Mozilla (0)

rwise2112 (648849) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358234)

Mozilla 1.2.1 on NT and it shows up fine.

Re:Blank in Mozilla (0, Offtopic)

helixcode123 (514493) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358241)

This page comes up with what looks like a framework of a page, but zero actual content in Mozilla.

It's working OK for me (using Moz-based NS7.0/Solaris)

This page works: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358318)

link [starnix.org]

The way things are going (1)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358171)

just about any chinese music will cause my groove thing to shake more than today's pop music does.

Re:The way things are going (1)

Chemical (49694) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358239)

I'm more of a "J-pop man" myself. Cantopop and Mandopop just don't do it for me.

god i love suking cock! (-1, Offtopic)

Meowharishi (550240) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358172)

i need a good penis right now right here yes gayness is on the table your response?

Is it Valentine's Day in China too? (-1)

SlashdotTroll (581611) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358217)

Obviously you don't have good English speaking skills. You must be from China and are trying to "communicate" with everyone in your non-native tongue.

In Communist China, gay != happy and homosexual = you.

Much more readable... (4, Informative)

infolib (618234) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358179)

is the printer-friendly version [iht.com]

Future is indeed foretold! :-) (-1, Offtopic)

SlashdotTroll (581611) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358182)

Future foretold in China:
Music now costs less than rice!

And the past foretold:
AOL CD's used more than music CD's!

Slashdot presently foretold:
In Fascist USA, Music sells you!

China's artists not receiving royalties (5, Interesting)

Rojo^ (78973) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358187)

"There is no income from the royalties, so artists in China record single songs for radio play instead of albums for consumers," said Lachie Rutherford, the president of Warner Music Asia-Pacific. "Stars need to look elsewhere to finance the rock-star lifestyle."
So how is this different from the U.S? The RIAA keeps all the money from album sales. Or, according to those wacky flash animations with Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield -- you know what I'm talking about (reliable source of factual information), a few pennies of each CD. The real money comes from concerts or other live performances. Or, in Will Smith's and DMX's case, movies =)

Re:China's artists not receiving royalties (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358199)

Yes, I know I fucked up the formatting in the parent post. My girlfriend was trying to give me a Cosmopolitan quiz while I was posting and I was distracted. We play strip quiz -- the better my score, the more she takes off.

--Rojo^

Re:China's artists not receiving royalties (3, Interesting)

blincoln (592401) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358244)

The real money comes from concerts or other live performances.

While major label artists may make a small amount per CD, you have to factor in the large number of sales of those albums.

For example, I've often heard the figure of 80 cents being a standard royalty per disc. If a million of those albums sell (not a big stretch for a star IMO), that's $800,000, or a nice chunk of change for each of four or five band members.

Re:China's artists not receiving royalties (5, Insightful)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358307)

Except that the labels tend to bill the artists for things like production and promotion and tour support. So while the artist may earn $800,000 from album sales, they wind up owing the label a million.

See Courtney Love does the Math [salon.com] .

Re:China's artists not receiving royalties (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358258)

Stupid artist is getting no royalties from his handlers and blames his situation on piracy. I guess there is a parallel between US and Chinese mucisians. They're morons.

potential differences (4, Interesting)

twitter (104583) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358466)

So how is this different from the U.S?

Chinese people might be free to copy and share music they enjoy with their friends? Unless it's political, then they shoot you and the band. Here they just put you in jail. How's that for killed dead?

Someone in China was complaining about having to work so hard? Say it ain't so! ''In China, we have to give so many concerts that we do not have time to rest our voices.'' It must be true.

My fingers are sore, and so are my sides.

So China is an example to be followed? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358188)

I suppose we'd better start suppressing disidents and killing large crowds of people at the same time. Yay China!

Hilarious how the anti-IP community will take the most horrific examples as their shining lights. The GPL is basically communism in very dirty clothing (and with some BO)--ignore the fact that the Soviet Union was a stunning failure, and innovation was completely missing (not how the Soviets basically designed and built everything through espionage...just like how the GPL community waits until the next version of Windows to learn what to rip off: Those who innovate are off making money, while those who do monkey work do it for free).

The article. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358190)



Copyright © 2003 The International Herald Tribune | www.iht.com

Pop stars learn to live with pirates
Thomas Crampton/IHT International Herald Tribune
Friday, February 21, 2003

SHANGHAI Dimpled good looks and saccharin-sweet love songs may have made him an idol to millions of teenagers in China, but dark passions emerged at an album-promotion party recently when Wang Lee Hom brandished a sword to slash an oversized compact disk marked with the Chinese character for "theft."

In case anyone missed the point, the normally demure Wang announced that his favorite track on the new album was "Why," a pop-music diatribe against piracy.

"Pirates have already killed China's music industry dead," Wang said. "It frustrates my life and destroys China's creative future."

That may be an overstatement. Record companies say that what piracy has really done in China is to cause fundamental shifts in the way the country's music industry operates. It has simply forced Wang and his fellow stars to change the way they live, work and play. ''There is no income from the royalties, so artists in China record single songs for radio play instead of albums for consumers,'' said Lachie Rutherford, the president of Warner Music Asia-Pacific. ''Stars need to look elsewhere to finance the rock-star lifestyle.'' Industry executives say this reality also is beginning to draw attention in Europe and the United States, where music companies face falling revenue from compact disk sales as Internet piracy increases. ''The financial effect is the same for record companies whether people get illegal compact disks for $1 on the street in China or download a song for free from the Internet in Europe,'' said Jay Berman, chairman and chief executive of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, a London-based group representing 1,500 record companies worldwide. ''Record companies everywhere find that they not only need to fight piracy, but also develop alternate revenue streams.'' Piracy -- which accounts for 95 percent of music sales in China, according to Berman's organization -- has forced multinational record companies serving the world's most populous country to abandon classic-style album contracts, drop development of formal distribution channels and eliminate any possibility of a top-40 list based on sales. ''China is the ultimate example of industrial-scale piracy and its impact,'' Berman said. ''The business model for the record industry worldwide is moving toward resembling what we see in China today.'' Alternative sources of income tapped by top Chinese stars include paid appearances, sponsorship deals and extended concert tours through the nation's vast hinterland. ''In the United States and Europe, stars have it easy if they make a hit record,'' said Han Hong, named best female artist this year at Channel V's China Music Awards, and whose renditions of Tibetan songs have become nationally popular. ''In China, we have to give so many concerts that we do not have time to rest our voices.'' To add to the concert revenue and combat piracy, Hong slashed the price of compact disks sold at her concerts to 15 yuan ($1.80), compared with 5 yuan for pirated disks and the 70 yuan that she formerly charged. ''You cannot fight piracy, so there is no point in even getting angry,'' Hong said. ''We must adapt to the environment.'' For Wang Lee Hom, that involved advertising campaigns and an intensive series of personal appearances. ''Until they pirate my body, I can rely on personal appearances,'' Wang said. ''I am forced to view albums only as a promotional tool.'' Concerts themselves have also become pure promotions, with corporate sponsors underwriting the entire cost and passing out tickets for free. Several singers usually take to the stage to maximize the revenue from sponsors. In China's mixed-up musical world, Wang considers his big break to be the day a national bottled water company, Hangzhou Wahaha Group, put his face on its products. ''They sent my face to every corner of China,'' Wang said, adding that other sponsorship deals soon followed for sneakers, sunglasses, shampoo and clothing. ''These deals support my fame, but they do not pay for my music.'' Fame may finance Wang's designer clothes, but the lack of revenue from music sales cripples record companies. ''Our survival strategy required switching to a talent-management business model,'' said Zorro Xu, managing director in China for Warner Music. ''As piracy increases in other countries, this is what record companies elsewhere may have to try.'' While classic record-company contracts are built around albums, record companies in China now sign up to manage all aspects of an artist's career. In exchange for a percentage of the earnings, the record companies arrange promotional events and negotiate product endorsements. Berman of the phonographic industry federation cited a groundbreaking deal made late last year between the British singer Robbie Williams and EMI Group PLC as an example of China-style recording contracts moving westward. The record company signed up to take a share of all profits linked to Williams's next six albums, including merchandising, touring and music sales. In China, the scramble for sponsorship often results in the pre-selling of songs to finance production costs. The hard-edged Beijing-based singer Pu Shu, for example, wrote a theme song for the launch of Windows XP. Payment for the song, ''Out of Your Window,'' covered the cost of album production, and each time he performed at Microsoft Corp.-sponsored events, Pu and Warner collected a fee. Epson Corp. selected a song by Zhou Xun, a singer and actress, to promote color printers in a deal that financed the song's music video. ''Sponsored videos and songs must not be too obviously commercial,'' said Xu said. ''They need to fit a concept and set a mood.'' Warner Music soon plans to begin a talent search for members of a five-girl band to be called Mei Mei, with the winners signed up for a two-year contract to promote M&M candy. Reliance on advertising and the inability to measure consumer response through sales figures makes it difficult for artists and record companies to determine hits. ''China's music industry is driven by institutional sponsorship instead of consumer preference,'' said Andrew Wu, head of Sony Music China. ''Piracy prevents record companies from properly reaching new consumers through in-store promotions.'' Although pirates offer an efficient means of distributing hit albums, the thousands of pirate stalls across China discourage record companies from promoting new artists. ''These stalls are poorly lit, difficult to find and mostly run by old ladies totally out of touch with modern China's music scene,'' Wu said. ''There is no way for record companies to connect with consumers in order to promote new artists.'' As a result, Wu said, there are fewer than 20 professional-quality albums produced per year in China. This lack of large-scale music production inhibits the entry of talented newcomers. ''I know I have the talent and ability,'' said Wang Jue, the son of one of China's first pop stars who studied music at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. ''Since the record companies just don't have any money to invest, I had to put up the money myself.'' Relying on investors rounded up by his mother, Wang spent 100,000 yuan promoting his album by plastering posters along a fashionable Beijing street and paying to have his song played as the hourly jingle on radio stations. Wang's rhythm-and-blues-style album, largely self-financed but released under the Warner Records label, became a radio hit thanks to the song ''Tomorrow'' and won him the award for best hit and best new artist at the Channel V China Music Awards last month. ''Not everyone can be so lucky as to have the support of a famous mother,'' Wang said. ''I just hope this album will bring enough sponsorship deals to pay for the investment from her friend.''

Copyright © 2003 The International Herald Tribune

Re:The article. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358208)

karma whore

Nice Copyright (0, Troll)

kmac06 (608921) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358246)

I like how you included the copyright in that copy paster :P

Re:The article. (4, Interesting)

Patrick13 (223909) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358261)

I just can't imagine my favorite popstar having to pitch the new version of windows in order to finance the recording of his/her new album.

There was a group in the 80's (Sigue Sigue Sputnik [sputnikworld.com] ) that sold the space between the tracks of their album to Revlon and other advertisers.

I guess this is the next step.

so what? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358191)

So people can't get rich playing music anymore. I guess they'll have to find another reason to play.

Amen! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358381)

and not funny at all! Who says pop stars should be millionaires?

Recording is ultra cheap now with PC-based studios. Record your stuff, put it out on the net and make money charging for seats at a show. Let the masses decide to make you big instead of a label with deep pockets for payola.

In Communist China... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358195)

You pirate music!

Which means that

In Capitalist America

Music pirates you!

Calling Hillary Rosen and the RIAA, we've cracked your code...

The new business model (-1, Offtopic)

willpost (449227) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358196)

All your human rights are belong to us!

Re:The new business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358206)

No no no!

it's

1) deprive people of human rights
2) pirate music
3) ??????
4) PROFIT!

Re:The new business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358215)

In soviet russia, human rights violate YOU

Re:The new business model (0, Offtopic)

antiprime (121253) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358316)

1) deprive people of human rights
2) pirate music
3) ??????
4) PROFIT!


That would work better if you started with underwear.

Perhaps, 1) Underwear that deprives people of human rights

"rockstar lifestyle" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358200)

I think that quote sums it up best. They must "look elsewhere to fund the rockstar lifestyle".

I don't fucking pay artists to fund their 'rockstar lifestyle'. I pay them to make music. If they get the intense rich/famous shit going on because they sell loads, well, that's a bonus. If they make enough to live on and keep producing, then they're with the rest of the population.

To me, that keeps what they say in their lyrics all the more relevant to me.

Re:"rockstar lifestyle" (1)

BuhSnarf (633686) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358218)

Big up this man ;)

Re:"rockstar lifestyle" (4, Insightful)

baryon351 (626717) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358275)

Agreed. perhaps not in such harsh terms but hey, I agree all the same. Is there some inbuilt expectation that if you're in music, you're not successful unless you're exceptionally rich? It's a side effect of the social phenomenon of 'celebrity' that goes along with whether you make music, act, write, are a politician, famous scientist etc. It's all well and good when that's deserved fame that can be used to reach a wide audience (as say, stephen hawking) but not when it seems to be pushed as an entire reason to exist. Who the hell is Zsa Zsa Gabor anymore? she's famous for being famous.

(way off topic rant sorry. ignore this post :)

Excellent (5, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358201)

Pop stars learn to live with pirates
The sooner we can get some of our 'pop stars' off shore onto pirate ships the better. May I reccomend the vicinity around Bermuda as a suitable anchorage.

Why do they need such a 'rock-style' lifestyle?! (5, Insightful)

BuhSnarf (633686) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358203)

Sorry, but it really gets to me when a "band" only does their stuff for the money.

I know plenty of bands that just thrive to hear a live audience, no, they're not big and they don't have a flash Porsche but they enjoy what they do and get to pay the bills.

All pirating means is that people that expect that when they get into music that their life is sorted and they can go round smashing up hotel rooms and stuff.

Bah! They don't even usually write their own songs.

... aaah, you're breaking my heart! (5, Interesting)

missing_boy (627271) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358330)

That's really cute, you know. I thought everybody around here was all in favour of making your own fortune, not considering the fact that one man's gain is another man's loss.

I think your point is excellent! It's the very same thing that leads to the bancrupty of NHL teams (too high salaries, tickets too expensive, etc.): the league is getting out of touch with the market. Who can afford 4*$100 tickets + parking and burgers to bring the family to a hockey-game? This might seem off-topic, but my point is this: a "rock-star lifestyle" is ridiculous any way you look at it. Also, why on EARTH do the Friends "actors" make ~$1M per episode?? This is what I'm talking about: overpay. Get real and be happy with a couple of hundred thousand dollars a year. That's many times more than what most of us make.

Re:... aaah, you're breaking my heart! (1)

bryanthompson (627923) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358359)

Are you suggesting that we actually start paying celebs what the're worth? You've got to be kidding!

Re:... aaah, you're breaking my heart! (1)

ATMAvatar (648864) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358451)

Are you suggesting that we actually start paying celebs what the[y]'re worth?

Well... I don't think anyone here is *that* cruel. Besides, we have enough people on welfare in this country already.

Re:Why do they need such a 'rock-style' lifestyle? (3, Insightful)

uberdrums (598896) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358371)

You do realize that these "bands that only do their stuff for the money" are just going to work everyday like you or I. I am a professional musician and have played many a gig just to make money, not because I particularly liked the music I was playing. I definitely do not live the "rock-star lifestyle," but not one of us can say that all that money wouldn't be nice. We definitely can't blame these rich artist for enjoying their money. As far as the article goes, it seems like a good idea in general. Musicians get paid for appearances, companies license songs for ad campaigns, and, most importantly, record companies basically act as talent agencies. This is one model that the RIAA could look into. Most of these agencies skim a huge percentage off the top for booking gigs for artists. The record companies could make much more money from this method than their current model, which is probably why they aren't doing it yet. Easier to complain than change.

Re:Why do they need such a 'rock-style' lifestyle? (1)

Mistlefoot (636417) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358469)

I open a store and sell a million of "whatever" I get paid for a million of them, hence larger profits. A busy restaurant makes more money. I sell more books I make more money. I sell more software, or maybe if I am an accountant, my services are in demand.....the more people who want what I have to offer the more I make. The more I am rewarded.

But apparently if I sell a million records it's okay if I make squat while you pay diddly for something I created that you want.

It's funny how when a British company tried to sell some "linux source code" that they had used in a product of theirs that the community here cried out that they were breaking the Open Source copyright agreement. Yet when the topic of mp3's comes up the consensus seems to be that breaking the copyright laws are fine.

It's quite ironic.

talent? (5, Funny)

ergonal (609484) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358210)

'Our survival strategy required switching to a talent-management business model,'' said Zorro Xu, managing director in China for Warner Music. ''As piracy increases in other countries, this is what record companies elsewhere may have to try.''

Talent-management? You mean, for an artist in China to actually be successful, they have to have some form of TALENT?! Yes, I DO hope other record companies elsewhere try this, yes indeed!

Re:talent? (1)

TheVoice900 (467327) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358380)

They never specified what kind of talent they were talking about. How much do you want to bet that when they say "talent" they really mean "marketability" ? Seems the two words are interchangeable in the entertianment industry, both in North America and elesewhere in the world.

Re:talent? (1)

msimm (580077) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358443)

Either you meant to be modded +3 funny or you didn't read the article. They mean Talent-Management in the business sense, like Rick Marcelli [marcellicompany.com] here. You want a good agent, so you'd sign with Sony and they would manage you.

In China (1, Interesting)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358214)

In China, artists don't recieve royalties for CDs. Needless to say, this makes it a damn sight better than the U.S. where most record contracts will leave the artist in debt.

Down with the RIAA!

Who pays? (4, Interesting)

gwernol (167574) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358232)

One of the interesting results of the Chinese experience is that consumers no longer pay for the music. This would seem on the surface to be a good thing, after all informationm wants to be free. Of course the musicians are still paid - but by a few large corporate sponsors rather than individuals.

This is certainly a different business model than the one in Europe and the US. Is it better? Perhaps: the artists still get paid and consumers get free or very cheap music. But it may have a downside. Instead of the economic power being in the hands of the people who want the music it is transfered to large corporations.

Are we just trading one set of large corporate interests (the RIAA) for another (corporate sponsors)?

Information Devaluation (4, Interesting)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358362)

While I would be filled with glee to see the RIAA and it's parasitic minons take the fall they so richly deserve, there are severely negative aspects to a culture that pirates everything, and pays for very little. The Chinese situation is a unique one in that the primary form of piracy is commercial - I perform a song, and tommorrow my work is being sold on the roadside for a slight markup over blank media. It's the situation before copyright existed - when musicians (like Beethoven) would write knockoffs of their own work at a fever pitch to beat out the guy down the street who was copying his stuff.

Basically, the scenario is diminishing returns where grubby knockoff businessmen with better promotional/distribution networks get to make money off the creative people... which is pretty much exactly the same situation witht the RIAA here, except that here it's legitimized in restrictive contracts that forbid competition.

What's the main difference? With the RIAA, they have an incentive to take care of their master works (master tapes, for film, master negatives) in order to profit from them in the future. The grubby merchant on the corner could give a rat's ass about preserving art/information - he's just out to make a buck, just like those bootleg T-shirt merchants you find at sporting events, and in downtowns everywhere.

In the end, what does this mean? It means that monopolies as we know them would be broken under the Chinese scenario. It also means that the focus would be on production, rather than milking assets. It also means that assets would be worth less than they would under the current system, which might make licensing information easier (faced with making something vs. making nothing, and losing control of the material anyways, I'd think they'd choose making something.)

This poses problems in that a devaluation in the asset means you can't borrow against it (one way companies expand is to leverage their existing library to buy other properties.) If your star dies (ie, Elvis), you can't bank on that property, because of all the ripoffs that will devalue any records/products you put out. This means a big shakeout in terms of overhead - no longer can you support lawyers on staff, etc.

It also depreciates intellectual capital - if you can't bank on the performance of a particular group, then they're worth less to begin with. Instead of getting $250,000 to do a deal, they get $25,000 to do a gig. I can't decide if this means that they'll use more or less marketing to sell product in the face of all that piracy... I'd say at a certain point, they'll just cut back and go local. If that's the case, then they have nothing to lose by opening up their back catalogs, because that material is no longer competing with their big acts, because there won't be any big acts anymore.

Arrgh. Basically, if the Chinese model happens here, a shitload of people will be laid off (some for the better - ie, bloodsucking lawyers and parasitic promo/marketing people, some for the worse - ie, recording engineers and packaging people.) For that reason alone, expect both artists and the existing business interests do whatever it takes to make sure widespread COMMERCIAL piracy stays illegal. As for widespread downloading, that's another issue entirely...

Re:Who pays?-Who's your daddy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358378)

At least the "work for hire" relationship is clear.

Reminds me of way back when, when kings and other rich patrons paid for the music.

Rome and greece had a simmilar system (2, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358442)

coroporate sponsorship of media is the norm if you take a historical view. Indeed for all known history the arts have been almost exlusively supported by patrons not the masses. the wealthy, the kings, the lords, the church, and the state, have been the source of artisitic patronage beyond all written history. (think of the surviving art from the ancients: the mayan murals, the egyptian pyramids were the public art but it was not private). Micheal angelo painted for his patrons.

at only breif flickers in history has there been a middle class that could support the arts through small sales commerical routes. Troubadors may have made aa living but they were not stars, whose offerings were trades to others. Perhaps breifly in egypt there was a middle class. Perhaps briefly a few art centers, like venician glass makers held brief monopolies on desirabel art. but never for long.

it is only the rise of the ubquitous middle class, and a widespread media that has created the commerical conduits for art we have today. there is nothing to suggest these channels should or will be enduring. We as a generation or two grew up and thought these the norm but we were wrong.

To the extent that artistis are conduits of expression and the exchange of ideas, is this good or bad? its not clear. there are commmercial forces to tow the political norm on all artists whether they have patrons or must please the masses. Indeed one might claim that given the financial independence offerec by a patron is what frees the artist to challenge popular norms. You would not see many commercial artist these days advocating buttfucking small boys, but certainly many poets in greece spoke well of the idea. I know thats a bit gross, but I say it to make the point that stong ideas can come about when you dont have to please everyone.

Wow, they reduced the price (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358236)

One solution was to reduce from 70 to 15 yuans. Copies are 5, so instead of paying 14 times, you only pay 3 times the price of a copy. Maybe they should do that in other places, not just China. That is free market at work, isn't it? ;)


And they make more tours. A singer complains about her voice, but OTOH it means people do not have to travel a lot, more total audience, and after all singers in the past had not mics, like good opera singers (they just take care of it).

Music as marketing (4, Interesting)

James_Duncan8181 (588316) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358238)

Personally I can see recorded music becoming much more of a promotional tool for concerts, movies etc (see Will Smith) if it becomes impossible to make a direct profit from music distribution. For this reason, I can't help thinking that the claimed danger to the concept of the 'star' posed by the comodification of music is somewhat misguided IMHO - there is still massive value in the artist as brand. Eminem sells clothes, movies, music, books, pencil cases, and his earnings from endorsements and concerts make quite a healty living for him without royalites. The shift would seem to be from marketing the music to music as marketing.

The worring thing is the vision of a future of excessivly maketed pop drones designed to build a valuble brand...oh, wait...

This is really telling (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358249)

Just read between the lines:

''Stars need to look elsewhere to finance the rock-star lifestyle.''

Everyone who claims that they are pirating music "because its good for the artists" had better consider carefully the consequences. Sure, the extravagance of some pop stars may lead some with a Marxist bent to argue that they don't "deserve" their wealth, but the fact is that in a market economy, merit is rewarded with wealth, and the motive for any person to work hard is the possibility of this reward. This article is very clear: Unchecked and tolerated copyright violation destroys most of the market for recording music.

People who constantly argue that "record companies should adapt their business model to piracy" are missing the point. They shouldn't have to: It's their intellectual property, not yours, and they have every right to dictate the terms of its distribution under existing law in every civilized country, even in Red China. Right now Americans enjoy much more freedom to innovate and achieve their own dreams then those in Communist China, and mainly it is because of impartial and fair laws which promote respect for private property, including intellectual property, and allow markets to function. But if we allow these laws to be desecrated, we could fast backslide into a world like that envisioned by the Soviet commisars, where wealth is stolen from those who are capable and worthy and forcibly redistributed to the benefity of the lazy and dishonest.

Re:This is really telling (3, Insightful)

enderwig (261458) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358441)


Sure, the extravagance of some pop stars may lead some with a Marxist bent to argue that they don't "deserve" their wealth, but the fact is that in a market economy, merit is rewarded with wealth, and the motive for any person to work hard is the possibility of this reward.

Only the truly mega-super stars are rich. Most other bands are not multi-millionaires. Most are probably still in debt after having 2 "hit" records. The ones that are getting rich are the music company execs. In a true markey economy, it would be the musicians that would be making the money since they can set up a direct marketing system and buy airtime at radio stations, etc. However, the current system is not even close to a true market economy.
People who constantly argue that "record companies should adapt their business model to piracy" are missing the point. They shouldn't have to: It's their intellectual property, not yours, and they have every right to dictate the terms of its distribution under existing law in every civilized country, even in Red China.

The IP shouldn't even be the property of the record companies. Shouldn't the IP reside with the artists who wrote the lyrics and who wrote the melodies? Singers and other musicians, who only play other people's songs, are more like employees than artists. At least the Chinese "system" makes these people work for a living, just like everyone else. Wang Lee Hom, in the article, sounds like he does everything himself from song writing to promotion. He also doesn't seem to be starving, either.

The article itself was basically very pro-RIAA. It would be nice to know how hard is it to "break into" the Chinese system as compared to the already-industry controlled system in the U.S and Europe.

Anthony

Oh what a horrible future... (4, Insightful)

Goronmon (652094) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358259)

Where CD's only cost a few bucks instead of $13-15.

If you really look at the article all you really get out of it is that some artists expect to make a few hit songs and be able to live in luxury for the rest of their years off the millions they supposedly make. Whenever I hear artists complain about how they are suffering from the effects of piracy, I just laugh. They are making lots of money doing something they supposedly love to do and they get made when they aren't making millions?

Re:Oh what a horrible future... (3, Insightful)

hudsonhawk (148194) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358337)

You think music is homogonized now? Did you notice the quote about there only being 20 professionally produced cd's a year?

Granted, this is an extrememe "worst-case" scenario; I'd really like to see what the music industry in China was like before piracy was rampant, like pre-cd.

Our system is broken, and the RIAA is evil; but this one is worse. The answer isn't to download all those mp3's of the 8 Mile soundtrack, reassuring yourself that it's ok cuz you're sticking it to the man. The point is, fuck Eminem, Brittany, and major label music in general. Expand your tastes and buy something you didn't hear about on the tv. Something local. Something original.

Those are the people getting screwed over, doing what they love and not making millions, making good music no one will ever hear because the singer wasn't in this years big action movie.

Re:Oh what a horrible future... (1)

bryanthompson (627923) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358400)

buy something you didn't hear about on the tv. Something local. Something original.
So that they become the Eminems, and brittanys and we can lose respect for them?!?!

Don't all punk bands start off 'sticking it to the man' and end up getting huge and becoming just another cog in the machine? I'm thinking Green Day in particular (no offense to GD fans), but there's countless other bands who've sold their soul after making it big being a local band sticking it to the man.

My point is the whole system is a joke, and I don't see any way to win in the current situation. I've said this in another post, the only way to win is by paying people (musicians, actors, etc.) what they're worth, and by charging what a cd is worth. I'm not saying give the music away, becuase the artists do need to make a profit, but find some fair ground in there somewhere.

Re:Oh what a horrible future... (2, Interesting)

Goronmon (652094) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358413)

The point is, fuck Eminem, Brittany, and major label music in general. Expand your tastes and buy something you didn't hear about on the tv. Something local. Something original. I'm not saying that its ok to download tons of mp3's without paying for them. All I am saying is that the industry sucks the way it is run right now. They pick bands or people they feel will make the most money and help promote them as much as possible.

However, the best way for different, original music to be promoted is the use of music-sharing over the internet. I mean, new bands can't just produce a CD and if they can use the internet to promote their band they have a better chance of being noticed.

What I would like to see is a regulated form of internet file-sharing where people can easily find new bands and try out their music. I mean, I am more likely to buy a CD if I know what the rest of the CD is like.

Happiness is a minimumn wage job. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358408)

"Where CD's only cost a few bucks instead of $13-15.

If you really look at the article all you really get out of it is that some artists expect to make a few hit songs and be able to live in luxury for the rest of their years off the millions they supposedly make. Whenever I hear artists complain about how they are suffering from the effects of piracy, I just laugh. They are making lots of money doing something they supposedly love to do and they get made when they aren't making millions?"

Well I certainly hope you never aspire to leave that minimumn wage job of yours. The American dream notwithstanding.

Re:Happiness is a minimumn wage job. (1)

Goronmon (652094) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358464)

Well I certainly hope you never aspire to leave that minimumn wage job of yours. The American dream notwithstanding.

Whats your point? If you mean that the American dream is only available to Pop bands that the music industry thinks are profitable then yeah, I think its BS. You can't honestly say that the industry is working the way it should.

I mean, look at some of these artists that are making millions, some don't even write their own songs, but since they look good and have a decent voice, they are promoted by the industry into the new Flavor of the Week.

That whole minimum wage bit? What point you were trying to make? Oh wait...you weren't trying to make a point.

IN SOVIET CHINA... (-1, Offtopic)

Eric_Cartman_South_P (594330) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358260)

...MUSICIANS PAY YOU!

Re:IN SOVIET CHINA... (-1, Offtopic)

r00zky (622648) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358366)

Well... this isn't worse than in capitalist U.S. where musicians pay the RIAA

Examination of piracy in general (5, Interesting)

vga_init (589198) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358262)

Piracy has seemingly always run rampant in China (always meaning the past few years I have spent examining its occurance in the country), and may be considered even worse in other parts of the world.

This article deals mainly with music theft, but in reality, all manner of digital information is finding ways to slip through industry fingers as media becomes cheaper and the internet becomes popular.

I once spoke to a Russian programmer on Odigo who claimed that he had never met anyone in Russia who had paid for windows; according to him, all copies he had ever seen were pirated.

Though I don't have anyone to bear testimony, a similar trend seems to be occuring in China as well. Not too long ago I remember an article posted right here on /. about Microsoft offering the Chinese government large sums of money to use Microsoft products (primarily in eduction, I believe) as well as attempt to crack down on high levels of piracy. Did China ever accept that money; was the deal even real? Though I never heard the end of that tale, the "Chinese government officially adopts linux" announcement came, ironically, shortly thereafter.

The bottom line is that people just won't pay for something if they can get it for free, be it software, music, or what have you. While piracy is not as blatant in America (ie you can't just walk into your local supermarket and buy pirated Windows CDs), the problem continues to escalate.

However, there is economic light being shed on the subject. As the article points out, it isn't destroying musicians, but just changing the way they operate. As record sales decline, artists need new sources for revenue (god forbid anyone should have to go out and actually play their music).

In software, there have always been little tricks to combat piracy, but they don't always work as well as intended. I believe that the software industry will be hurt by, and therefore change more drastically as a result of, piracy more so than the music industry.

The real question is, what changes are going to come about as a result of this fact? To me, only time will reveal the answer.

Re:Examination of piracy in general (3, Interesting)

sebi (152185) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358361)

You only read what you wanted to. The article explicitly states, that piracy is in fact destroying musicians. According to this very article no more than twenty albums are professionally produced in China per year. One of the artists interviewed for this article states, that he was only able to 'make' it because he has a rich and famous mother helping him to produce and promote his first album.

It is true that some artists make their living, because they can use their popularity to secure corporate sponsorship deals. Their only other source of possible income is to tour all year, or to quote from the article: "In China, we have to give so many concerts that we do not have time to rest our voices."

The problem is, that new artist have no way to get their music to any kind of big audience. They can't get an album produced, therefore they can't get on the radio and therefore they can't get the popularity needed to register on the radar of corporations. If that is the future of music I'm starting to feel sick.

Re:Examination of piracy in general (1)

vga_init (589198) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358409)

Actually, I read the entire article. :) However, my post does rely heavily on additional outside information. I'm sorry if that does not suite your taste.

What, may I ask, is wrong with musicians not getting "the popularity needed to register on the radar of corporations"? Music existed long before the recording of music, and musicians lived a very different lifestyle. Perhaps now that music won't pay as much as it used to, musicians will have to be driven by, say, a passion for music rather than a desire for money.

How about (1)

dubbayu_d_40 (622643) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358268)

Couldn't an artist give away the music and make money from live performances and shooting commercials for Pepsi?

Article summary and comparison to US system (5, Funny)

yo303 (558777) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358271)

According to the article, the pirates in China
  • keep all of the money and give none to the artist
  • have an efficient distribution system, but one that does not promote enough new talent
  • make it so that the musicians have to make most of their money by concerts and commercial sponsorships.
This is clearly not fair. In the United States, artists are protected by the member companies of the RIAA, who
  • keep all of the money and give none to the artist
  • have an efficient distribution system, but one that does not promote enough new talent
  • make it so that the musicians have to make most of their money by concerts and commercial sponsorships.

yo.

I agree... (0)

Goronmon (652094) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358370)

The music industry makes a killing in the U.S.

They support the artists that they think will be the most profitable and then overcharge for stuff like CD's (I mean, who actually believe the piece of plastic music is burned on is worth $13-15 a piece?).

Imagine a world where CD's only cost a few bucks and new artists were able to promote their music for free over music-sharing programs over the 'net.

It all depends . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358280)

. . . on the 108 Stars of Destiny.

Music One Thing, Software Another (5, Insightful)

Josuah (26407) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358286)

Music is one thing, because China happens to be even more pop-culture crazy and trendy than the U.S. But software is another. There is _no_ software development in China. The only people who are successful are those developing proprietary solutions for corporations, e.g. the telecom industry.

And if you talk to the developers of those projects, you'll find that the only reason they don't pirate their solution themselves is because you can't use the same software in more than one place. If you think about that, it means the software industry is highly inefficient. If you purposely have to make things non-reusable, then it is guaranteed to be less valuable and require more resources to operate in China. (Of course, labor is cheaper, but that's a separate topic.)

Of course, I also think it's pretty unfair that pop stars have to work so much harder than they really should just to survive. There's a reason pop icons over there tend to be singers, actors/actresses, spokespeople, and even porn stars all at the same time.

Re:Music One Thing, Software Another (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358349)

"Of course, I also think it's pretty unfair that pop stars have to work so much harder than they really should just to survive."

Excuse me while I laugh.

For the money a 'pop star' makes in one year, a dozen families could 'survive' for decades, if not longer.

Survive. Hah, that's a good one.

Don't celebrate (1, Insightful)

ShatteredDream (636520) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358301)

You all can bet that open source products will be severely hurt by China. There is nothing stopping Chinese businesses from ripping off GNOME, Mono, RedHat, Debian, Apache, etc and selling proprietary versions. That simultaneously hurts OSS and commercial software. Say what you will about it, but it is better that Microsoft be taken down honestly by Mono, et al than have some sleazy asshole in China build a "better .NET" from Mono .80 or .90 when it's out and knock both down a peg.

Re:Don't celebrate (1)

smallpaul (65919) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358347)

There is nothing stopping Chinese businesses from ripping off GNOME, Mono, RedHat, Debian, Apache, etc and selling proprietary versions.

If some Chinese guy can make money selling software that is otherwise free, more power to him!.

Re:Don't celebrate (2, Insightful)

buttler (443147) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358352)

Grab a brain. There is nothing in America that stops a company from selling a proprietary product based on Apache (or any open source product). Who will buy this product? Nobody. Why? Because Apache, and products like it, are updated more regularly, and there are plenty of companies will to offer support for the free version. Who pays money for a product that is falling behind technically, equivalent to a free product, and unlikely to have the support of the 'official' version?

Already being done... (1)

TheVoice900 (467327) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358401)

A Chiense friend of mine at school has an office suite on his lpatop which looks suspiciously like OpenOffie. By suspiciously like I mean virtually identical except for the product name and icons. While I can't recall the exact name of this program, that's not really the point, Somehow I doubt that the company who branded this software as their own has given any credit to OpenOffice or Sun for that matter. My friend tells me that this program is included on many new PC's and laptops sold in China.

Re:Don't celebrate (4, Insightful)

mclove (266201) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358467)

Um... no. If you can't make any money selling software in China, you *certainly* can't make any money selling FREE software in China; not only will your 'proprietary' versions of RedHat be sold everywhere for the equivalent of $0.60 without a penny going to you, but some other guy will take the same free software, make the same half dozen proprietary enhancements, and sell the same thing in legitimate stores right next to your software for half the price.

This happens all the time in China; whenever one person has an even marginally successful idea, many many other people will do the same thing and nobody ends up making any money off of it. Pretty much every big and/or profitable Chinese company has either
  • excellent political connections,
  • a massive industrial plant, or
  • lots of foreign partners
(or some combination of these three); innovation alone, be it in software or restaurant management or just about anything else, is never enough to make a successful business venture in China, and an easily-copied innovation like a proprietary RedHat knockoff is even less likely to turn a profit.

In soviet China...* (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358310)

Isn't that what communism is? Sharing?

*Yes, China was under Soviet communist control (in addition to Russia).

Musical Diversity (3, Insightful)

diakka (2281) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358314)

What scares me about this though is that from what I know of the Chinese music scene, is it's pretty much all pop garbage. There is very little diversity in mainstream music as compared with what we have in the English speaking music scene. I hate the RIAA with a passion and I'd like to see them die a gruesome death. But I just hope that we don't end up with a music scene that is only fincially viable for boy bands & Britney Spears look alikes.

TODAY IS GRAB NEWS FROM NEWS.GOOGLE DAY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358323)



make sure you submit your story quick

go grab a story now, everyone cool is doing it !!!!

Poor babies... (1)

Senator_B (605588) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358343)

China is a country forced to deal with the reality of unchecked piracy of digital media products.

Those poor, poor babies, having to deal with the horrors of unchecked piracy! Thankgod for the conservative ascendency in the American government!

Pop is not all of music (4, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358375)

To be honest I don't listen to pop music at all. It's the auditory equivalent of "My Mother the Car". I am far more interested in music as art - and from what I've seen here China is failing miserably in producing anything that I would want to listen to.

I couldn't give a rat's behind whether or not the latest Devo album cost $2 or $20. But I do care if the music industry and where it is headed is going to make it impossible for me to get a DVD-Audio recording of the works of somebody who actualy making a real contribution music.

The prediction that the music industry is heading towards the current situation in China does not please me at all.

Here's an interesting rebuttal (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358376)

Here [goatse.cx] . I find it compelling and thought-provoking. What do you guys think of it? Please compile your thoughts into written form and reply to me here on inter-web. Thanks!

No sir, I don't like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358439)

You asshole loving shithead, why dont you go put a bullet in your head while masturbating to images of tubgirl blasting shit into goatse's ass

RIAA (0)

XplosiveX (644740) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358379)

I just hope the RIAA doesn't come crashing down on this.

Cheap shot (3, Interesting)

m00nun1t (588082) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358407)

'The financial effect is the same for record companies whether people get illegal compact disks for $1 on the street in China or download a song for free from the Internet in Europe,' said Jay Berman, chairman and chief executive of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, a London-based group representing 1,500 record companies worldwide.

This is a pretty cheap shot and consistent with the music industries tendency to blame all their woes on downloaded music. Personally, I often "download a song for free" but if I like it, I buy it (although I know not everyone does). I doubt very much the Chinese buying pirated CDs then go and buy the genuine CD.

Great quote in article (2, Interesting)

Blorgo (19032) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358412)

This article agreees with what David Bowie has been saying. The money (for most artists these days) is in the personal appearances (mainly concerts), not the royalties. It takes a HUGE-selling artist, or one who sells well to the non-downloading crowd, to get rich on royalties these days.

Still, I wonder about the 'intensive persnal appearances' this artist mentions. (Insert your own Natalie Portman jokes about the 'pirate my body' part).

"For Wang Lee Hom, that involved advertising campaigns and an intensive series of personal appearances.

"Until they pirate my body, I can rely on personal appearances," Wang said. "I am forced to view albums only as a promotional tool."

Boo hoo hoo (1)

sakusha (441986) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358424)

I weep when I read "Stars need to look elsewhere to finance the rock-star lifestyle." NOT. Impoverished singer whines she can't afford Vera Wang designer dresses anymore. Tough shit.

Who sucks cock? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5358428)

Michael sucks cock.
He is the biggest cock sucker in the whole cock-sucking world.
I've seen cocks sucked before, but michael sucks the cocks of trhe suck fuck dick in his eye bitch fuck tacos mom shes a stupid slut coyboi kneel is the fattest homo I've ever seen slashdot sucks linux sucks bsd sucks your dad sucks you all suck

Some economic facts about China (1)

vlad_petric (94134) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358432)

China's gross national income per capita (GNIPC) in the year 2000 was ~700$ (see worldbank) - the average chinese made less than 2$/day.

Poverty is the real source of piracy - furthermore bussiness strategies that work for people making 2$ a day will very likely not work for people making a 100$ a day and viceversa.

China is extreme. (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358437)

I don't see this happening in the US any time soon. Information piracy is like the national pasttime over in China (Despite government control over the Internet, which shows how much that matters.) We're amateurs by comparison.

At the same time the damn RIAA needs to take a clue before stuff gets that bad over here. Gouge 19 dollars a CD? Don't think there is no alternative. I'd buy, if they were fairly priced, and I doubt I'm alone.

You mean all those strict laws didn't work? (1)

Obvious troll (649097) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358457)


So even if we enforced our own anti-piracy laws "China style", it wouldn't work?!

Hillary, you better start taking language classes. How do you say "I'm a total failure" in Chinese?

Reality (5, Insightful)

falsification (644190) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358468)

Let's face reality. The customer is tired of financing the rock and roll lifestyle. He is tired of spending many dollars per album, increasing over time, only to hear about how not only the performer is living in some huge mansion, but how he wastes incredible amounts of money getting stoned and buying stupid stuff. Then we hear about how the producers are driving around in limos. Then we hear about how the record company executives are making the real money. Then we hear about the profits of the mega-corporate radio stations. Who's paying for all this? Us. We're sick of paying for it.

And the music just gets worse. There hasn't been much original music released since Nirvana and the Smashing Pumpkins broke in the early 1990s. It's not because the artists suck. It's because the record companies only invest in sugar-pop acts that are too watered down to be interesting. Is there a band that has artistic ingenuity or a political point? They won't get a contract, because the record company won't take a risk.

I'd pay about a dollar per song for a CD today. If I could find one I was interested in.

The whole music thing is overrated anyway. It's all just entertainment. In the end, you can get too much entertainment.

The big record companies have dug themselves into a deep hole. They're too big to release innovative or strongly artistic acts. They're too large and bulky to move nimbly. The giants are going to fall. Both music and art in general will be better for it.

Am I supposed to feel sorry? (4, Insightful)

ramdac (302865) | more than 11 years ago | (#5358472)

"In the United States and Europe, stars have it easy if they make a hit record," said Han Hong, named best female artist this year at Channel V's China Music Awards, and whose renditions of Tibetan songs have become nationally popular. "In China, we have to give so many concerts that we do not have time to rest our voices."

Am I supposed to feel sorry? Since when is it news that musicians, for the most part, have always been largely poor? It's those "posers" and "fakes" that somehow strike it rich are now bitching. They've been a part of the "corporate pop" machines for so long that they've forgotten what it meant to be creative in the first place. They've been given songs to sing and now get paid to sing a song that someone else wrote just because teens these days need to hear a new song from the same old cookie-cutter pop star.

Let's get real people. Music is good this way, honestly. We want to be able to choose for ourselves who is and who isn't "in". I'm tired of the radios force-feeding me the same old shit. I want something new, fresh, or maybe not-so fresh. Something raw but honest is way better than a "polished" whore/hottie who can sing. It's about time the fans demanded honesty in a musician's musical expression. After all, music isn't about honesty, it's about one's unique interpretation of a song, genre, or otherwise. Music is about allowing those who truly love it to choose what they love. The musician is the one who must also love music enough to effectively stress how much appreciation he or she has for music. Let us all live well together and with music, we can all continue our sanity.
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