The True Cost of Music Piracy

By Glen Ervin:

As convenient as the interwebz has made getting the music you need, the low-cost and invisibility of the ‘net has led to an explosion of too good to be true offers from websites masquerading as legitimate record pools. Think of them as the modern day version of that guy in the alley selling “real” Rolexes out of the trunk of his El Dorado… with access to your hard drive.

Fortunately there are a few of ways to tell which sites are operating in the shadows; the easiest is to keep an eye out for those selling legacy releases. The labels don’t allow it (why give away your best sellers?). Hence, any site offering unlimited access to a legacy catalog is not partnered with the labels or paying the artists or labels who provide their music.

Why should you care? 

The Institute of Policy Innovation estimates that global music piracy causes $12.5 billion of economic losses every year. That breaks down domestically to 71,060 music industry jobs lost since the days of Napster — a loss of $2.7 billion in workers’ earnings that accounts for $291 million in personal income tax and $131 million in lost corporate income and production taxes.

That’s $422 million dollars that could be going towards schools, roads, libraries and more – gone.

Let’s put that in terms every mobile operator can understand…

Economic losses on a scale that’s followed by nine zeros impacts everything from how much you charge for a wedding to how much time you get to spend with your family (instead of wearing all the hats required to run your business) to the car you drive — not a problem, by the way, for the $19.99 all you can download guys who keep all your money and drive Range Rovers.

Which brings us back to our friend in the alley and his deals on wheels…

If it seems to good to be true… it is.

Give your money to some hustler looking to turn downloads into dollars at the artist’s expense and you’ll just be feeding the dog-eat-dog world that keeps us all working for less than we deserve.

It’s up to you to decide what’s need and what’s greed.

After being turned out to pasture following a 16-year club residency, Glen Ervin finds himself gainfully employed as Promo Only sales manager, media consultant and staff writer.

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