Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lily Allen : Unwitting Stooge For The Record Industry

Poor Lily Allen, no doubt fed lies and disinformation by all of her new rich and powerful friends in the record industry, started a blog (now down - she took it down - hold on, I'll explain) where she came out in support of "Three Strikes" legislation being discussed in the UK.

Basically, here's the deal: Get caught "infringing copyright" (which, according to the record companies, could include a song being played on the radio in the background of a video you took of friends at a picnic - yes, it's that easy) three times, and you are forbidden from accessing the internet. For life. I wish I were joking.

Ms. Allen is taking the position that if you are a threat to her livelihood, or the livelihoods of the people that support her, you shouldn't be able to participate in the single most important technological advancement of all time. That is her actual position. Although, you know, probably wouldn't be if she had spent any time thinking about it.

Here's where it gets fun: in one of her posts, she copied without attribution or a link an article from TechDirt about the issue.

But that's just the icing on the cake. Left over from when she was working hard to promote herself, there are two mixtapes available on her website that include copyrighted material from other artists, including Jay-Z and Jefferson Airplane.

(Download them before her label takes them down!)

Lily's response when the internet cried foul? She's taking her ball and going home. She twittered that the abuse was just getting to be "too much."Just before she smashed apart her little bloggy dollhouse, she wrote: “I will not make another record... The days of me making money from recording music has been and gone as far as I’m concerned, so I don’t stand to profit from [anti-piracy] legislation.”

I wonder if, as a sign of support for the legislation, she'll also volunteer to permanently disconnect from the internet?


Anonymous said...

She is an insane twit. Great New Yorker piece on her a while back though

Anonymous said...

i don't understand. she wants to make money off her music. what's the big effing deal with that rob dobbs? don't you want to make money off doing what you love? but what if you can't because the thieving masses get it for free online.

Robert Dobbs said...

Maybe you should read the post again, anonymous.

I've made no statements disagreeing with the proposition that artists should be able to profit from their work.

The article (read it again) is about how Lily Allen has come out in support of legislation that would permanently ban citizens of the UK from the internet if they infringe on copyright three times, and how, ironically, she herself would be banned from the internet.

The problem with the legislation is that it would put the government in the position of banning citizens from the single most important communication tool of our lifetimes in order to protect the profits of the entertainment industry. And for me, the cost/benefit ratio there doesn't work.

Also, she sold 1.2 million copies of her record worldwide in the first five months of its release, so you'll have to excuse me if I think that evidence supporting the claim that she can't make a living making music is rather slim.

The long-term effect of the internet on music is not going to be the death of music or the death of making a living as a musician. That's preposterous. What will happen, and is already happening, is that instead of a few superbands making shitloads of money, a lot of bands will be making a decent living, because all those tiny indie bands that are amazing for some people but not great for everybody can reach out and directly connect with those niche markets, as opposed to succeeding or failing on the basis of radio airplay and store placement and mass market appeal. Let me shed a tear for stadium bands.

The function the record companies currently serve will be largely irrelevant, and is quickly becoming so.

(Marketing and distribution? Thanks, internet, you've got the bands covered.)

But, you know, thanks for knocking down that straw man for me. High five?

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