Leader of Birmingham.pm [pm.org] and a CPAN author [cpan.org]. Co-organised YAPC::Europe in 2006 and the 2009 QA Hackathon, responsible for the YAPC Conference Surveys [yapc-surveys.org] and the QA Hackathon [qa-hackathon.org] websites. Also the current caretaker for the CPAN Testers websites and data stores.
If you really want to find out more, buy me a Guinness
The whole point of music is that it is an art form. Okay some may not like repetative drum beats and the like, but there are others who do. There are many who think Opera is boring, others who see it as one of the finest examples of musical works.
Unfortunately, these days there are now only a few major record labels in the world. In fact I remember some figure claiming that Time Warner, Sony and BMG own the recording rights to over 90% of the music being released today. I take that with a pinch of salt, but I can believe it's not too far from the truth. And it does give a clue to their motivation.
Record Companies are the new Corporations. When once upon a time a band or singer could get a record deal, learn the trade and then hit the big time, they now need fame before they've even signed a contract. Genesis are a good example here, they didn't become "successful" until their 4th album, Foxtrot, and then it was down to the Italians making such a fuss of it. Now they can release more or less anything and it will sell millions, making a shed load for the record company.
That scenario wouldn't happen anymore as the corporates want success before they're released anything. Taking control in the distribution of music on the web is no suprise. The corporates don't understand that underground networks have always been the biggest advertisment of music. I too find it sad that these P2P networks are being hounded by the likes of Metallica, especially as one Lars Ulrich (drummer with said band for those not in the know) was once quite boastful of the number of bootlegs and tapes he had of bands.
Its amazing that no matter how often point 1 is mentioned ["Heavy users of music sharing software buy substantially more records than average."], corporates still don't get it. The music industry had a big go at clamping down with the "home taping is killing music" adverts 20 years, little realising that most people were doing one of two things; 1) recording and trading live bootlegs (which aren't illegal unless they are sold
I think if every artist were asked if they wanted their music heard by several hundred thousand potential record buyers or a few hundred definite buyers, I'm pretty certain they'd go with the former, particularly as the chances are that the former will actually lay down some cold hard cash. However, record companies want cash now, as before the next album is released, the artist will quite often be dropped.
Having been in the music business since 1984, the gigging side of it anyway, it's been sad to see the small band being given bigger and bigger mountains to climb before they can even get their music released. At least with P2P they were getting a chance to reduce the mountain into a hill. It's also sadder to realise how little the smaller artists actually make from the release of their music by a major label. Note that few bands ever take more than about 8% in royalities, and that is split between themselves, their manager, accountant and sundry other people assisting their career.
I also find it insulting that corporates are scared of their empires crumbling, when in the last 10-15 years here in the UK, they have done their hardest to reduce the music industry to ashes. The live music scene here in the UK is barely surviving due to the lack of investment in new talent. When I quit professional touring in 1996, even the big names on the touring scene, Britannia Row, SSE and LSD, were laying people off because record companies weren't willing to invest in tours at venues smaller than the NEC (12,000) and Wembley Arena (11,000). Add to that the unhealthy growing trend of boy, girl and boy/girl bands (too many of which are one hit wonders) that do little more than sing saccharin sweet cover versions, because the writers they employ to write songs for them find it next to impossible to write a classic original.
Once upon a time I used to love going to pubs and clubs up and down the country to watch bands. Virtually all no longer have live music now. I discovered recently that Leeds no longer has a small live venue anymore. I remember BBC Radio One having Leeds on one of their Sound City weeks some years ago, featuring a host of young talent. Where will they get heard now?
And if any record company executive happens to read this, bear in mind, that while supporting the P2P networks, I also possess vinyl and CDs worth more than the house they are stored in.