This is a rant, you have been warned.
So, it’s a known fact that we all love music; some more than others, but we do all like music. It has the ability to make you feel happy when you’re in a crappy mood, to make you cry with just a melody that’s been tweaked just right. All of this is to say that music is an important part of our daily life….Or at least, for me it is. But let’s move on, I’m getting sidetracked here.
–as I’m writing this, a Blockbuster Marathon is going on over at Big B Radio. Oh the epic-ness. Love.—
Music is great. What’s even better, are the people behind it. The fact that these magical melodies come from individuals is not only impressive and beautiful, but frankly, mind boggling. These individuals basically spend their life creating sounds that are amazing, and they share them with us! How awesome is that? For them to be able to do that, however, – and this is where the rant really starts—they need money. Creating music is not cheap, and to make it so everybody can have access to the artists’ work, is a huge financial undertaking. Last I checked, –and correct me if I’m wrong- money does not grow on trees, nor is it freely given. (I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had a stranger stop me on the street to give me money) What really irritates me, are the people that think music is free and that they can share it with whoever they want, use it as if it was theirs. I’m sorry, but NO. Not only is that illegal, –ILLEGAL- it’s downright disrespectful to the artists and the people that work towards making it available for everybody.
Now, I’m not going to lie, when I was in my teens and Napster came out, I used it. And I didn’t have any guilt over it, either. But then one day I stumbled upon a blog where the person was ranting –much like I am now- about the wrongness of the program and the people behind it, about the people who use it without scruples. It left me with a sour taste in my mouth; and made me think about what I was doing. What everybody who steals, -because illegal downloads and sharing IS stealing, turn it anyway you’d like, it is- is doing. Because every time someone pirates, they are taking money out of the artists’, and all of the people who work in the music industry’s, pocket. And while you may think, ‘oh yeah, they get so much money, who cares if I do it?’ you are not the ONLY one doing it. That’s the thing!
The statistics on piracy are staggering and frightening. In the decade –and this is a quote, people- since Napster emerged in 1999, music sales have dropped from $14.6 Billion to $7.7 Billion. That’s more than HALF of the industry’s revenue. From 2004 to 2009 alone, approximately 90 BILLION songs were pirated and put onto file-sharing networks. And people, those statistics are only for North America, so just think about the rest of the world.
And Korean music, -especially recently, what with the Hallyu wave exploding worldwide- is also getting hit. And while the fact that Korean music is getting recognized worldwide is a great thing, and surely appreciated by the artists, pirating is threatening their financial security and livelihoods. Some may be unaware, but the members of groups get paid very little by way of compensation. Many even have to skip compensation altogether as a way of repaying their labels back for training and investing in their future. Those lucky enough to write and produce their own music rely on royalties and sales to supplement their income. We have heard the horror stories of rather questionable living situations and sustenance of only ramyeon. Having their music purchased allows them a better standard of living and life enjoyment. Not everyone is G-Dragon. (HAHAHA)
So to help save the industry from their impending monetary doom, artists everywhere have been joining forces to put a stop to it. Artists like Tablo have spoken out against seemingly legitimate websites –see AllKpop- making rather indecorous moves by sharing illegally leaked tracks and streams. Link. Some groups have had to push up their song/album release dates so as to prevent illegal downloads, FTIsland being one of them. Link. Others have signed up with the Korean Singers Association to campaign against music piracy. Link. Jewelry, SG Wannabe, Brown-eyed Girls and others did so in 2008; while Girl’s Day and ZE:A both got chosen in 2010 to be ambassadors for an ‘anti-illegal downloading’ campaign, put out by the Korean Contents Association. Many organizations have joined in support of the movement, including the Korean Video Association, the Korean Music Contents Association, the Korean Software Copyright Association, as well as the Business Software Alliance. Link.
You wouldn’t like it if the work you did, the creations you made, were stolen from you. So why would you do it to someone else? Stop pirating, you pricks.