Ten years ago, I owned 5 CDs

I am not kidding or exaggerating. I never thought of myself as a very music-orientated person. There were singers and bands I’d liked when I was the age to listen to TOTP, and when I bought a DVD player cheap to make my new home in a strange city a little bit more welcoming, I went down to HMV, looked along the shelves, and bought five names I recognised.

A previous campaign by the British Phonography industry

Two or three years later, I had gradually acquired about five more.

And then I discovered you could listen to music online.

And now I’m really not sure how many CDs I have. Lots.

All because, instead of staring at a strange name and a list of unfamiliar songs in a music shop, if someone rec’d a song or an artist I could almost instantly find it somewhere online, listen, decide if I liked it or not, and if I liked it, buy more.

Not one of the tracks I have saved on my MP3 player is one that was illegally downloaded. (I will cop to watching US shows which are online ahead of British broadcast, though. But I buy DVDs, too.)

Sales of music have gone up, massively, since filesharing started to happen. People hear stuff they like, they buy it. It’s how this works: you find out if you like something online, then you buy it.

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive of British Phonographic Industry, welcomed the decision and said,

“The high court today ruled that The Pirate Bay is illegal. The site defrauds musicians and causes huge damage to the music industry and wider creative industries.

“The ruling helps clarify the law on website blocking and we will now proceed with our application to have the site blocked to protect the UK’s creative industries from further harm.”

The British Recorded Music Industry have decided, along with their American counterparts, that this is a terribly bad idea. They would rather I bought less music, liked fewer artists, drifted back into my pre-Internet days of really just not listening to new music, because how on earth am I going to know if I like it or not? Why spend money on something I don’t know if I’m going to like?

So, Geoff, I’d really like to ask you a question. How exactly has my buying tons more music than I did ten years ago “caused huge damage to the music industry”? Please tell me. If I’ve now got to quit an acquired habit that’s brought me a great deal of unexpected pleasure, I’d really like to know how my listening to and buying artists I’d never thought of enjoying before, has “damaged” this industry?

Inspired by TheOatmeal’s efforts to buy Game of Thrones legally.

A parody of previous campaign by the British Phonography industry

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