Saturday, 11 April 2009

Qudos for vinyl blogs in the mainstream media...

From the pages of the Grauniad...

The blogs that act as modern-day cratediggers

& some handsome-sounding chap has posted our URL in the comments section!


Scratchy Buckles said...

Cheers Furry,
The whole area of making mp3s freely available is a tricky area to navigate ethically if not legally speaking, I have erred on the side of caution up to now, due to a desire to respect artist's copyright and not catch any heat from 'the man' i.e record companies.
I think it comes down to common sense in the end, for instance if a blog leaks the Artic Monkeys latest release without permission, that's a bit of a no brainer, you're doing the band and all vested interests out of of business and it should come as no surprise that the entry will be removed by the service provider when requested.

However,it becomes more of a grey area with out of print vinyl especially if the songs haven't been made available on C.D or mp3s. Here the bloggers are effectively rescuing music from potential oblivion and someimes leading a revival of interest in an artist's career. It's a valuable activity, providing an music archiving service and filling the gap left by the slacker Record Companies.

It's interesting to note that the first music blog created and sanctioned by a Major label went live only in 2009 (EMI which seems incredible to me and still shows that some parts of the industry are struggling to adapt and survive.

The symbiotic relationship between blogs and label product promoters is another discussion, but generally speaking for me, if the music is exciting enough to want to shout from the rafters about and isn't getting enough coverage I'm happy to spread the word!

Here at "Scratchybuckles" there are plans afoot to make mp3s available for some of the weird and wonderful cratefodder that we write about, there is a backlog of quality stuff building up and hearing this stuff will enhance the readers' experience.. watch this space and as long as we avoid sticking up U2's latest single we should be alright.

Robin said...

Hey neat comment. I also don't post MP3's for illegal download on my blog, for similar reasons - I don't want to do bands out of business. Also I don't want to gain hits on the blog just because someone wants to download the latest hot indie bands tunes for nothing. I would rather people came to my blog to read the articles, watch the videos and then investigate the bands I write about Myspace etc... Hopefully they may then actually buy something from the band.

Incidentally, there is also a grey area in relation to posting MP3's where you have been given permission by the artist. A recent example of this is the early Glasvegas demos which the band gave to blogs with their consent, but since signing with a major label the label has been threatening bloggers with legal action if they do not remove the tracks (presumably as the band no longer own the songs)

Incidentally, I have heard people who illegally download defend themselves by saying that they reinvest the money in the industry by purchasing more concert tickets and merchandise for that artist which they wouldn't be able to do otherwise. Following this logic, I could walk into my local Asda, steal a trolley full of food and then go back in and purchase some luxury items such as CD's and clothes that I couldn't afford if I didn't steal the food.

The hosting of out of print vinyl is an interesting one - you're right, it could help revive interest in an artist, but how would the artist benefit when their album or single is free to download ? It's a difficult question, and like the whole world of downloads does not have a simple answer....

Scratchy Buckles said...

Thanks for your comment Robin,(check out his breakingmorewaves blog folks, for more more lucid thoughts on music)
You raise some interesting points about the whole ethical dilemma behind the posting mp3s debate. I know this is a hot topic within the blogging world at the moment.At the moment the vast majority of music downloads are unauthorised (up to 95% according to some sources)No wonder the powers that be are getting hot on cracking down with those posters.

Are over enthusiastic bloggers operating in the same manner as slick operations making the top twenty available? I think not, but that's a digression, as is the interesting issue involving the Glasvegas permission songs case(I remember the vigorous frenzy of feedback this issue caused at the time)

I recently read on the "verygoodplus" forum how some of the members treat mp3's as a trybeforeyoubuy vehicle, presumably if they like it enough, they then go on to track down a CD/vinyl copy/high quality mp3 download.It's a attitude I can understand as I'm very willing to splash my hard earned cash towards the hard pressed music industry via buying vinyl singles/albums, however the link in the chain breaks down when phyically trying to get hold of these things these days. I'm also aware that vinyl nuts like myself are very much in the minority thus our money won't keep labels going.

So what's the solution to getting the mass market to stump up some cash for their musical entertainment? Cast your mind back a couple of years and one is reminded how slow off the mark this industry is with new technologies, it took them an age to get a legal mp3 download structure in place as they collectively stuck their heads in the sands hoping the ipod revolution would go away, so I don't hold out too much hope in these guys coming up with the magic bullet solution to delivering an effective legal system to the masses.

One idea that that was bandied about in the comix arena a few years ago was the micro payment system of buying a pile of credits then using them to pay for each story in what would be effectively tiny payments of cash(Scott McCloud as I remember was a keen advocate)however it never really took off and anything that involves more clicks than downloading music illegally will fall flat on its face.

In fact, so long as your average punter finds it just as easy to get a free version of Razorlight's latest tune, why on earth are they going to pay for it! The record companies need to start thinking with a bit more imagination on this if they are going to keep their revenue streams going..

Yes they need to keep improving their legal mp3 supply chain for the honest consumers, but for me the obvious solution, which would bring the majority back in from the dodgy downloading cold, is to get an agreement with the providers to bundle in their packages with a quota of downloads per month which would be paid for as part of the package. Slap a fiver on and get fifty free downloads per month (or some sort of sliding scale system according to how new the song is)Use your Sky/Virgin/B.T credits one click to get Leona's latest warble, keep an eye on your personal counter quota on your homepage, what could be simpler?

Its just an idea, I don't know how feasible it is in reality but I'm sure the techno spods could sort it pretty quickly and it might revive the music industry, which let's face none of us really want to go under as it does provide us with so much enjoyment when we hear a great new song by a great new artist!
Cheers Scratchy Buckles