I've just entered the CD market as a consumer buying the odd CD here and there to start a bit of a library. I've started by slowly working my way through the 60s and 70s.
I've been taken back by the cost of the CD's of the old albums. They are around $20 for a replica of the old vinyl records, and $32 for them remastered plus a view alternative takes or mixes of the songs. Many of the CD's I want are out of stock and must be imported from the US at great expense. There is a cosy little cartel going here that is at the consumers expense. In Australia it is illegal to make a back-up copy of legally obtained copyrighted material for personal use. The Copyright Act 1968 should be changed so that making a copy of legally purchased copyright material for personal use does not infringe that copyright.
THe current price for CD's is a rip off. That has been my gut reaction. The music companies are gouging us, even when the product has a couple of good tracks and the rest is filler. I'm angry.
My judgement from this Xmas experience is that the big recorded music companies are getting all the benefits of globalisation (cheaper manufacturing costs by taking grunt work to developing countries) without passing on the benefits of globalisation in the form of lower prices.
Nothing has shifted since I the 1970s other than CD's replacing vinyl. Where is the cheap digital download? Where is the the Internet as a distribution medium,Where is the licensing of content to enable legitimate online music services? Why cannot I legitimately select my own material from the back catalogues of recorded music and so avoid all the filler? Why aren't the labels in the process of digitizing their entire back catalog and uploading it as downloadable, high-quality MP3s for a small fee?
So I welcome people making their own CD's on a home computer through what the music companies call unauthorised copying. Of course the companies claim that each of the CDs made on a home computer is created at the expense of one sold in a store, and so the entire industry is being faced with wipe out. That is why Napster had to be taken out. Instead of putting their cataloguies online by the record companies have seen the Internet (eg.,online music services) as the anti-Christ.
Who cares about the corporate recorded music companies? They've been crying wolf for years. I do not see the global market rhetoric of ‘free’ flow and ‘greater’ access” with CD's leading to increased access to music greater democracy, a more diverse civil society and increased freedom. What I see is the neoliberal agenda that sweetens American corporate expansion by dusting it with the sugar coating of enlightenment principles. The result is that huge corporate conglomerations control the global music business. It is one that ignores that consumers have a right to copy legally-purchased CDs for their private purposes.Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at December 31, 2003 12:21 PM | TrackBack