Pete Townshend of The Who Calls iTunes a "Digital Vampire"
November 1, 2011 12:26 PM
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Townshend said iTunes profits from music without giving back to the artists that work to create it
Remember when Metallica launched a legal battle against Napster back in 2000, then criticized the iTunes Music Store a few years later for destroying the album format and refused to allow their songs to be sold individually in the online store? Well, Metallica may have gotten over its spat with iTunes by
releasing its songs in the store in 2006
, but that doesn't mean iTunes now holds a loving relationship with all of its artists.
Pete Townshend, the guitarist and songwriter for rock band The Who, called Apple's iTunes a "digital vampire" while delivering the first John Peel Lecture, which was named in honor of the late British radio broadcaster.
iTunes profits from music
without giving back to the artists that work to create it. He offered some suggestions for iTunes, such as offering artists services that music publishers and record labels once provided since the Internet has eliminated many copyright protections. Some services Townshend mentioned were space for bands to stream music, employing talent scouts, and paying smaller artists directly without the use of a third party.
Townshend said iTunes bleeds artists like a digital vampire, and offering these services is the least it could do.
"It would be better if music lovers treated music like food, and paid for every helping, rather than only when it suited them," said Townshend. "Why can't music lovers just pay for music rather than steal it?"
Back in May of this year, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) scored $105 million in a lawsuit against Limewire, which was a free peer-to-peer file sharing program similar to Napster, and was
accused of giving none of the money to artists
. It was later discovered that the RIAA planned to set an unknown amount aside for artists.
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RE: confused much?
11/1/2011 6:27:09 PM
I thought Picasso, one of the most well known of the recent painters, was a pauper throughout most of his life, like most painters - and like most artists, his work didn't gain the appreciation (stylistic and monetary) until post mortem.
Honestly, you can pick apart what I said and find special cases even for programmers, but visual arts are harder to make an argument for because there are less customers. I don't deny that you could debate that a programmer is an artist, but you can't deny there are many useful works that are created that are often open-sourced, or undervalued. Combine that with the fact that you may reuse the same application/script over and over amplifying its use, but not the programmers profits.
There are many artists that are/were about the art and not the business side of it, but I don't think those artists are the ones that have financial/drug problems. Don't confuse what I'm saying with my own feelings/beliefs, as if I were a talented musician, I would very much like to make as much money as possible. But it's the point that I publicly say that, "We're not getting enough", or, "we used to be making more", that I'd accept I wasn't just a musician anymore.
RE: confused much?
11/1/2011 11:30:02 PM
But the true "artistic" programmers
make a lot of money. Look at Richard Garriot... he was able to blow 20 million on going into space. John Carmack is privately funding his own space exploration program. Then there is Sid Meier who has done extremely well. I could go on.
The thing is, most programmers aren't "artists" at all in the sense they work as part of a team to program a segment of a larger application. The programmers that
artists possess a talent far and beyond that of a regular programmer--they have an imagination and creativity that allow them to design something amazing full of story and life that people want to play in droves.
Note, I used PC games as an example but you get the idea.
"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
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