The Tale of the Citizen Erased Campaign

The way the chart has been compiled has been been changed, and it now included digital downloads. The problem is, and I am sure many will testify, that I download a fair amount of music illegally, through file sharing networks. I, unlike some, have flirted for a year or so with legal music through Napster. The deal was really good, and fitted my musical tastes perfectly: £15 for unlimited music, which I can listen to on the PC and transfer to my Zen. Lovely.

Until, that is, you notice that the DRM used by Napster is totally shite. Janus (or PlaysforSure) is hopeless, constantly loosing licenses every month, not downloading properly and then when transferring them to your Zen you notice that it takes up 25% more space as an equivalent MP3... which, to be honest, is not so much, until you release that 20Gb of music has just became 15Gb. It also ripped the battery so badly.

So, I gave up. It was fun while it lasted, so I found a program that broke the encryption, recoded most of my music into "illegal" copies (I had spent over £100 on it, so not really that illegal), and re downloaded all my other stuff off torrent sites. Boofuckinghoo.

Though, this creates a few problems with the industry. Firstly, how will anyone make any money from the albums that they make? Surely, if we all downloaded every track from every artist for free, then they would be broke. Not entirely... for example, if I was in a famous band, I would notice the downloading nature of the fans... and stop making traditional albums, preferring to release my tracks and collections of new material when ever I make them for free from my website. Then, if successful, through Myspace/Youtube/Facebook etc I would arrange online streaming gigs, to build up feelings for live concerts, all still free. Then, I would actually go on tour, charging for people to see me live, and this is where the money should be made back from tickets, merchandise, and the exclusive recordings that you can buy at the gigs, each gig getting a unique one that will not be available at any other gig. The economics removes the need for a record label, and the self promotion, whilst it might be shameless, is well executed.

Right on cue... BBC talk about the free give away with the Mail on Sunday - Prince's new CD, Plant Earth. Luckily, my Dad reads the shit rag, so we will get it.
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What about iTunes? I found a site that can put your own material onto iTunes for free, and they take a cut of the profits. But is that even worthwhile? People I know that use iTunes rarely download music from it, and it is only one track here and there.

This brings me round and back to the point of the post. The Muse fan sites recently hatched a rather quaint plan; buy from iTines/HMV/Napster etc an old Muse track. If everyone on this forum buys it once, from each of the stores, at 79p a pop, the track will achieve enough sales to at least appear in the Top 40 charts. The track chosen is unreleased, long, un single friendly, but regarded as one of Muse's finest pieces of work; a 7 minute long rock opera.

I downloaded it from iTunes, paid my 79p, and look forward to see how well it does on Sunday in the chart. Can the system be screwed? Is it really screwing it?

Where the idea was born:
News Coverage:
Myspace promotion:
Youtube Promotion:

It is only 79p - Click.