Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Deep Elm Label Head Speaks Out on Illegal Downloading

Deep Elm Records label head John Deep Elm released today an interview he did in regards to illegal file sharing and the future of the music industry. Here is a brief excerpt from the press release, read the entire piece here.
"Illegal downloading is killing indie rock. The signs are everywhere: bands are giving up, indie labels are shutting their doors, mom and pop record stores are closing, new artist development opportunities have dried up and touring is way down. Why would anyone steal music...especially from independent bands and labels that only survive on selling very few records in the first place? Illegal downloading is not right...and it's against the law.

Music is the cheapest form of permanent entertainment...yet it means the MOST to nearly everyone. A compact disc or legal download generally costs $9.99...and it's permanent...you have it forever and can make duplicates for your personal use. $10 can literally change your life...I know it did for me.

John Deep Elm was recently interviewed by the Norwegian music press about illegal filesharing. Here is what he had to say:

1. In 5 years, how do you think your label structure be?

We expect to be a digital-only label if CD sales continue to slide. We are already limiting the number of CDs we press for new releases...they are all limited to 1,000 CDs. Digital sales are building, but fans need to understand that illegal downloading is wrong...it's a crime.

2. Is it realistic to think that in the future music will, or can, be given away for free?

I have a lot of respect for RadioHead as musicians and songwriters. OK Computer is the best album ever recorded...well, a close second to our new release "Aurora" by Desoto Jones. But what they started really makes me angry...devaluing music. And many other big artists are following suit. This will eventually trickle down to the indies because fans will think they should get music for free. I think what they did has given validity to illegal downloading. Ironically, in the first week there were 200,000 "free" downloads of their new album, but an estimated 500,000 illegal downloads. Fans did not even want to pay �0.01 for it because of this insane mindset that music should be free. I think it's a definite possibility that major labels will give music away for free...only to their eventual detriment."

(Ian Anderson)

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