I've been a lifelong fan of Nine Inch Nails. I'm no fanatic like some folks are, but I've enjoyed each of Trent Reznor's released under that moniker. I've also purchased some of his albums as well (The Downward Spiral twice because it got stolen in college). I don't mind buying CDs of artists that I enjoy and actually do like to support them, but recently in light of the ridiculously inflated CD prices that Australian fans must pay for Nine Inch Nails releases, Trent Reznor urged people to steal his music instead of buying it.
I'm all for sticking it to the RIAA as they are an outdated organization full of bad ideas, so I'm completely behind Reznor on this one. The thing is, one artist isn't going to make a difference really. And the way that the idiotic masses in this country buy up millions of copies of the latest 50 Cent and Kayne West and Daughtry and Hinder, no matter how many good artists want to give away their music it's not going to matter when the RIAA keeps force feeding people crap and the people being fed it don't ever look for anything else to listen to.
Part of the reason I like being an editor at Decoy Music is that I'm constantly finding out about new artists doing unique things in music. And we like to push those artists and give them the exposure that they deserve, but can't get because they don't make crappy-ass, cookie-cutter music.
Part of what is really interesting about the smaller bands out there, who actually do deserve our money and support, don't really give a crap if someone downloads their CD. They don't make that much money from CD sales anyhow. Unless an artist sells tens or hundreds of thousands of copies, there isn't much profit going to the artist--it all goes to the label. Smaller bands get all of their money when kids come out to shows or buy t-shirts or other merch.
I kind of like that method of music distribution. Lord knows just about everyone downloads most of the music they listen to. If you don't, you're a liar. Simple as that. The thing is, when you stumble across a band that you really like that you've downloaded, why not throw a few bucks their way by buying a t-shirt from their website or ordering their CD from Amazon or CDbaby or something? Maybe kids today don't understand that bands need to make money one way or another and wouldn't support bands but would only take all they could for free, but I like to believe that some kids would support what they enjoy.
But what do I know? I'm no musician. All I know I like to support bands I like. They deserve my money. Major label poster children don't. End of story.