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NAJM Dance Culture

MP3's have been around for about 18 months or so... and never in the history of the music industry has a single event prompted so much outrage.

Here's a scenario for you to consider. You arrive at your new job totally psyched about your future. You work like a busy bee all day long to impress your boss. Then at the end of the day he comes up to you and tells you what a bang up job you've done. He thanks you for your time, but then he tells you that he's not going to pay you. Do you go back the next day? Probably not.

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The point being is each time someone posts, downloads, or listens to an illegal MP3, they are depriving the owner of the music that paycheck.

You may say... but who am I hurting by downloading a Backstreet Boys' Album..? they've already made their money? Probably so.. and they probably won't ever miss the royalty anyway.

Who is really hurt by all of this? You may be surprise to find out that it may be you! The free for all MP3 game will eventually force Record Labels to release less records, promote less artists and develop less talent (due to those missing paychecks). And who gets stuck listening to the same old worn out records for the rest of your life?

Don't get me wrong, I've downloaded my share of MP3's and I think that it is the single most exciting development in the music technology since the CD! I have been exposed to music that I would not have otherwise EVER found in a record store! I have benefited enormously from this new technology.

So where does the buck stop? From an Independent Record Label's stand point of view, I am terrified of the prospects of lost revenue. Why even bother I ask? People will just pirate it and distribute it for free across the Internet. Why don't I beat them to the punch? Let me GIVE away the radio edit of the track.. and hope that it will generate a market for the extended remixes? Perhaps...

OR the lazy corporate music industry can get off their asses and develop a smaller, faster downloading, better sounding format that will make MP3's obsolete? Or even more radical, develop an MP3 virus that eats your MP3 collection right off of your hard drive? Sound radical? Hey if I thought of it.. surely someone who's pockets are being picked at the record labels have though of it.

So where does this take us? Absolutely nowhere. Until someone make's it illegal to posses an illegal MP3 (not just post it), nothing will change. It's a free for all MP3 frenzy that is both awesomely exciting and financially destructive. We all have mortgages, rent, and insurance to pay don't be surprise next payday when your boss thanks you for your time and doesn't pay you. You can put on your RIO MP3 player and show up for work the next day just slightly poorer.


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