You will be missed. For almost a decaded you've allowed millions of cheap bastards to engage in your P2P filesharing fun and infect hardrives with porn, viruses and spyware. What is the 30 year old dude still living in his folks basement with a playlist the size of my entire hard drive going to do now? Or how about the spoiled teen that doesn't even know what a compact disc is?
No more free music?! Oh the injustice!!!
(Photo credit: The Playlist)
It's certainly been a good week for artists, labels, and just about anyone trying to make a living in the entertainment industry. Last week a court order was issued to shut down Limewire's service to the Gnutella peer to peer network. Visitors to the site are met with a legal notice that informs them of the shutdown.
Limewire is just one of many P2P file-sharing services that are accountable for the millions of dollars lost in the music industry.
Of course, the lost revenue isn't all Limewire's fault - those too cheap to buy their music are just as much to blame.
But, are they?
Perhaps the dude above isn't a prime example (I'd say he's more of a gamer). Music piracy isn't limited to any one group. Today's entire generation have been conditioned to believe that you can get just about anything for free – especially music. It's almost seen as an insult if you ask a music fan if they paid for their music. Despite the excess of available information, most don't even realize it is illegal. Computer shops even ask if you would like to have Limewire installed on your computer.
Society is just as much to blame for the ignorance, IMHO.
I err on the side of the artist of course. I've seen artists sell their houses, increase credit cards, put their livlihood at risk just to be able to afford to record an album. One can't describe how frustrating it is to spend thousands on an album only to have your hard work given away – for free. I've seen first-hand artists selling their CDs at concerts – and the fan says “I love your music, I downloaded it last week .” - not even blinking an eye or realizing that what they just said is “I just stole your music.”
Some of us are still old school. I remember when the only way to get music was to spend my hard earned allowance and hit A&B Sound on the weekend (god rest it's soul – that was a great store). To this day, I'm still completely old school and buy hard copies. I'm actually fearful of the day CD Plus closes it's doors.
I can't say that I have never downloaded music in my life. I have – and so have musicians, producers, and everyone else that says their against it. I'm sure there are those that haven't – but for all of us in the industry to say that we have never done such a thing – would be both ludacris and hypocritical.
If there is any chance for the industry to thrive – monetization and regulation is necassary. Without it, there is little chance for artists to be compensated and music companies big and small to continue developing up-and-comers and established artists. The disabling of Limewire is a step in the right direction to help ensure there is a level playing field for legal music stores that provide affordable music, and sometimes even free.
So...one down...how many more to go?
I suspect most Limewire users will move over to Frostwire...or any other of the hundreds of alternatives. But, with any luck...it's only a matter of time before the illegal music services see the same fate...hopefully.
And for the 30 year old I mentioned above – get a job and pay up!