Annoying behavior from the Majors

4 09 2009

sharing

Sony has removed (not directly) YUI – It’s all too much PV from streaming websites few hours after the PV was available on various fansites, forums and P2p websites.

In the same time I noticed that many of my older videos of L’Arc~en~Ciel, AKFG, Angela Aki and Aqua Timez were also removed ! This behaviour, really pissed me off !

So I decided to write this article which try is describe how stupid act the Majors against the fans and why sharing is not a crime.

Majors music industry has no idea what they will lose by fighting with the fans. In the same time I call for a boycott of Sony’s next releases such as YUI – It’s all too much, Angela Aki – Ai no Kisetsu, Aqua Timez Best Of.

(This article is mainly based on my own experience.)

You should had seen this message at least one time:

This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Sony Music Records Inc..

The Majors’ point of view:

It’s the RIAJ which represent the Major music industry in Japan.

They don’t laugh when we talk about piracy and especially Sony Music. Here is two story I posted few month ago about Sony’s behavior about illegal copies.

http://listentheworld.wordpress.com/2009/04/09/yui-netcom-is-getting-serious-with-illegal-copies/

http://listentheworld.wordpress.com/2009/04/21/sony-is-getting-really-serious-against-illegal-copies/

It’s now confirmed that Sony is getting serious with piracy by seeing the new PV of YUI removed few hours after have been uploaded on streaming websites. Not only YUI’s music is concerned about it but all artists under Sony Music Japan label, that’s include L’Arc~en~Ciel, ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, Aqua Timez, Angela Aki and others.

The war is engage against the fans. I say “fans” because I don’t consider this kind of  people as criminals. Why the Majors don’t understand fans’ works?

The Major music industry says over and over the same speech: “It’s because of piracy that sales is going down.”

The rich get poorer and the poor get richer. That’s what filesharing does for the music industry. No wonder the RIA is desperately trying to shutdown all filesharing activities, that’s include fansites.

They’re not totally wrong. We must admit that since we’ve got access to the Internet it’s much easier to share musics and other contents and the most important it’s we can get these contents for “free”. So yes, sharing musics on the web is not profitable for digital and physical musics sales.

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Artists point of view:

I think artists believe in their fans. Of course they know that their music is share “illegally” around the world but is it really bad? I think a lot of artists are happy their music is shared across local borders. In my case, it’s especially about Japanese music.

How many of you would listen to Japanese music and import CDs if you couldn’t download illegal files?

Artists needs money to live of their music like everyone else. So it’s normal that they’re worrying when they see their music shared illegally on the web… I also think that many artists would like do without the Majors. The reason is there is too many constraints and they only get a small part of the final product. But can they really do without the Majors? The record company provides studio with professionals, a important budget, manage the marketing, the promotion of the CD and more.

How a independent artist could do all this?

Q&A:

A lot of questions came out.

  • Why the Majors don’t understand fans’ works?
  • Why they try to control all medias?
  • CDs are too expensive?
  • Great artists are more and more rare?

Question1: Why the Majors don’t understand fans’ works?

They don’t care about the fans, all they see is their sales’ graphics and their bank account.

My personal experience: Sony has removed one of my video I uploaded on Nico Nico douga. What’s the video you wanna ask? It’s my bass cover of L’Arc~en~Ciel song. I’m illegal because I was playing L’Arc songs on bass?! What’s the … ! That’s simply stupid.

In the case of this blog who talks about music, I refuse to share music files for download, it’s my policy. ~listen the world~ aim to promote Japanese musics. It’s the same idea for a lot of fans (I think) and not the opposite. All that fans wants is to share their love for their favorite artists.

You will notice that I always add links to buy when a share a media content I found on the web like videos for example. there is no obligation to buy in a particular Online store that’s why I give the choice to the visitor between two Online store, it’s not a one-side choice. See what’s better for you.

I also inform visitors on how to avoid to purchase fake CDs.

I try to convince people to buy by writing news of the concerned artist, I make promotion !

Less popular artists profit from filesharing.

How could L’Arc~en~Ciel perform in Paris and VAMPS perform in U.S without fans’ help ??

Filesharing is a good meter to test an artist popularity no?

Question 2: Why they try to control all medias?

Because they wants get money from all. That’s why they put DRM on digital files. Consumers are taxed everywhere ! For example on storage disks like HDD, MP3 players, CD, DVD. And this money goes to… Majors of course !

Question 3: CDs are too expensive?

Yes, the biggest music market is turned to young people may be between 15-25 year old. At this age, how can we buy all musics we wants to listen ?! Just a basic example: a iPod touch 32Gb, it can holds up to 7,000 songs, 7000*1$ a song = $7000. Can you really hold in your hands a iPod which worth $7000 ! It’s impossible.

Besides, we buy the CD because we wants to support the artist but looks how much the Majors takes !!

(Source)

Almost a half! So for an album sold at 2913yen the record company got ~1340yen (~$15) and the artist only ~260yen (~3$).

Question 4: Great artists are more and more rare?

What are they thinking? That all artists are great and we should get their CDs?! The Music become more and more the same. (Same voice, same rhythm, same melody). The Majors try to control the market by pushing to buy and buy their CDs even if it sucks.

Besides some artists copy each others or are inspired by others, there are no more originality. Have you noticed that we I have less of original songs and we have more reissue, remix, best of and cover songs ?

For example: VAMPS with SWEET DREAMS, why they release a single of a song which was already in their previous album ? Same for Otsuka Ai with Bye Bye single… And why VAMPS or Angela Aki cover other artists songs ? May be they have no more inspiration ? Don’t you prefer a new song than a cover ?

But do they have really the time to write original songs ?

I don’t think so, for me it’s more a lobby from the Major on the artist to release at least 4-5 singles and 1 album at least a year.

Today with a aggressive marketing plan or promotion through the media, Majors can sales millions of CDs and they are happy and they should says something like this: “Look, this guy has sold millions of album, he’s a great artist !! Let’s make a new album !!“. Is it a real good artist or simply an object of the media ? Sometimes selling millions of CDs doesn’t really mean anything.

May be now, people are boring about this and don’t buy CDs anymore … this is may be a answer to why the music sales decreased, no ?

Conclusion:

I’m annoying of this behavior from the Majors. They try to lock and get money from everything… if they are still considering my works as a crime so I will definitively close this blog. (It’s what you want Sony, right ?).

Although I personally believe that the ability to sample music through file-sharing has a positive effect on music sales, much of the correlation between piracy and sales is simply caused by a third factor – a passion for music.

Today, I think with the Internet, artists can do without Majors. Selling their CDs directly to the consumers over the world.

A interesting study shows that “pirates” are the biggest music buyers.

Those who download illegal copies of music over P2P networks are the biggest consumers of legal music options, according to a new study by the BI Norwegian School of Management. Researchers examined the music downloading habits of more than 1,900 Internet users over the age of 15, and found that illegal music connoisseurs are significantly more likely to purchase music than the average, non-P2P-loving user. The music labels, however, aren’t quite buying that data.

A other study reveal that Piracy Boosts CD Sales.

The labels are fighting against those who generate a large chunk – perhaps even the largest – of their yearly revenue. The labels should understand that piracy is merely a signal that they are on the wrong track.

“The Internet makes it possible to offer unlimited access to music cheaply with virtually no production and distribution costs. Unlimited access is exactly what most consumers want. It’s an opportunity not a threat.

Here is a small poll a posted a long time before.

Why you downloading instead of buying ?

1. I never downloaded
2. Just to test then I see if I buy it or not
3. I don’t have money to spend for it.
4. It’s unavailable where I’m living.
5. Everybody download so I do the same.
6. I hate Industries who make a lot of profits.
7. No reason.
8. I’m downloading and I’m buying.

View Results

And the results is clear: People download and buy !

The Major should understand one thing: A real fan always buy CDs !

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6 responses

4 09 2009
Fujii_Itsuki

Sony should spend more money on better designers and marketing team instead of wasting time on their so called- ‘anti-piracy’ campaign…It’s not only annoying and totally unfair to international fans, it’s unjustified too. PV is abbreviation for Promotional Video and where’s the promo if nobody sees it? If Sony have provided a different avenue for us to view it then it’s a different matter but there’s no such thing is there? It’s so hard to spread the love these days…Sony needs to open their eyes and realize that what they’re doing is hurting instead of helping.

4 09 2009
mellody

Ah well, i love this part very much & that was the truth :
“The Major should understand one thing: A real fan always buy CDs !”

I don’t know this is also happened to avex or Toshiba EMI “products” or not, but Sony sure is getting serious with this.

Anyway, i agree with your opinions above, they cannot control the medias like this, in few months later i don’t think Japanese Artists would spread around the world if it’s going like this.

Yeah! SHARING is CARING! We Download and We Buy It!

4 09 2009
Eggy

Sony = Japan’s biggest cashcow farm. I really don’t like how they’re treating the artists just as a way of making revenue.

I agree with everything you’ve said, especially how true fans will buy the CDs.

“May be now, people are boring about this and don’t buy CDs anymore … this is may be a answer to why the music sales decreased, no ?”
That, and like in what that study said, iTunes and legal download sites are changing the face of the music sales industry. :/

This is ridiculous; how am I supposed to have become a fan of this sort of thing if it wasn’t for mp3 uploads? If I like what I hear, then I’ll buy. If not, there’s no point in me keeping the mp3s, is there? >_>

5 09 2009
Jason

Great Essay!

A lot of people believe that music is like information, and companies have no right to put a price on information. What we are really purchasing, is a medium (CD), that gives us the information.

You’re absolutely right about sharing is caring. Back in the cassettes era, don’t people lend cassettes to their friends? Or burn a mixtape for their buddies? It wasn’t a huge issue then. With the internet, it is just easier to share music. So why is it a issue now?

And it is outrageous companies are shutting down YouTube accounts that uploads their cover of a song. It’s not a crime to sing or play your favorite song. So what? Are we not allow to play our favorite song on the guitar at a campfire just because it’s copyright infringement.

It’s ridiculous, but companies have a lot of excuses. And we really can’t talk about just music when it comes to sharing. Movies and softwares as well. The list could go on, and when we are defending music, we can’t really use the same reasons for movies and softwares. So it’s a bit tough to fight this one out.

– Jason

5 09 2009
steph

my opinion on the singles even after they were on the the album. first, yes i believe its kind of pointless and stuff but they might think that people will buy it because it may have the instumental version, another song, or because alot of people try to obtain their favorite artists entire discography.

and the thing about that true fans buy cds is so true. because i love and want to support the artists i listen to, i buy their stuff. and come on, covers and just uploading, isnt that like free promotion in some way?

and i was wondering, some artists must really love music and stuff that they are willing to stand all this shananigance.

and lately, well at least for me, actually good and amazing songs/artists are becoming harder to find. your right, maybe they are loosing inspiration or something.

anyways, love this post and totally agree with it. and even though the boycott thing is actually a good idea, i have to get yuis single… sorry :)

5 09 2009
h

I find the system of singles first, album second as great marketing. Promote the upcoming EP/album, people will want it because of the Bsides, instrumental versions; and come on we all know karaoke is HUGE in Asia and THAT is why there instrumental versions.

Lately I’ve noticed that record companies have their own YouTube accounts. Avex has their own, why can’t Sony Japan do this? It’s free, if they can’t figure it out they can hire me and I’ll set it up for them.

Music Videos (or pvs as we call them in the jrock world) was the way I got into Jrock. At that time it was harder to find asian media distribution sites, and I had to buy mixes from people & hope they weren’t scamming me (and they never did).

In the last..4 years there has been a surge in popularity of Jrock/pop; would that of happened if it weren’t so easy to get online? How about they ask cdJapan, yesasia, hmvjapan how much their revenue has gone up in that time? How much are they selling outside of Asia? How about 6,7,8 years ago, what was their revenue then?

I get it, the music industry is losing money, but they have to stop making it so hard for US, the consumers to get what we want. I want to buy something off of iTunesJP, but I can’t because I live in the U.S.

Give overseas fans easy access to Jrock/Jpop, America dominates the world music industry with their crap “music”. THAT is the reason I went on a search for something new, something amazing and I found it in Jrock.

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