Recording artists should realize that producers need to evolve with the times or get out

Over the last couple of months, the Recording Industry Association of America has chosen to pursue litigation with servers and individuals that download music files for free. Their arguments are plentiful and range from freedom of information to copyright. When it all boils down to it, however, some might have seen the dawn of Internet piracy coming long ago.

For quite some time, there have been complaints that the price of compact discs is too much. Considering that young adults make up a large portion of the buyers of CDs, this should not be a surprise. It was inevitable that an issue such as this would arise. The United States is founded on capitalism, among other things. A major portion of this system lies with the relationship between businesses and consumers. While businesses set the price, supply and demand determines what that price is. In this case, the consumers have found a method to affect the demand of the product businesses provide. Consequently, the logical action in this case is to lower prices and cut costs to meet changing demands. However, because of copyright laws and much greed, businesses have chosen a different way to meet their needs.

But is this the correct course of action? Over the last decade the world has undergone a tremendous technological change. Many jobs have been eliminated due to technology and the need to maintain efficiency. This current dilemma of Internet piracy raises a question not to the artists but to the producers. Are your jobs becoming obsolete? The progression of internet file sharing suggests that they are. Although it might be tough for these multimillionaire producers to come to terms with this, they might be forced to either evolve with the technology, in the form of switching more toward promotion and publicity status, or suffer a tremendous pay cut. In this system of capitalism, such a change is warranted to survive.

Everywhere in society, businesses are adapting appropriately to changing technologies. Meanwhile, the music industry is still stuck in the days of yore. Perhaps it is time the artists themselves help push these changes. It is no secret that a musician does not make the majority of his funds from CD sales, but from tours. For this reason, Internet piracy does not affect a band or an artist as much as it does the producer. It is the producers, who provide a minimal part of what you listen to on the

radio, who stand to lose. Some groups will discover that rather than going through an expensive ordeal of developing a CD, it is relatively simple to place your music online at minimal cost and allow it to circulate. In the process, these bands can be discovered even if it is a long shot. In this manner, a band stands to profit more than plummet.

Instead of persecuting consumers in what will prove to be a stalemate, the recording industry needs to change with the times. Clearly, this is a time to follow Charles Darwin’s “survival of the fittest.” If any of these producers want to save themselves, now is the time to evolve with the rest of the business world. For those who feel this might not be a fair resolution, I respond that fairness is an illusion created by those that are unable to deal with the reality of any given situation.

Brian Abbe is a University student. Send comments to [email protected]