I was catching up on the news at the Canadian Recording Industry Association site and I came across this staggering piece of information:
The Tragically Hip, one of Canada’s treasured cultural assets, was one of the hardest hit [by illegal downloads]. During a five-week stretch from 30 March to 7 May, there were more than half a million unauthorized attempts to download the new Tragically Hip single, “Vaccination Scar”. Overall, during this period, Universal Music reported 2.8 million attempts to illegally download The Tragically Hip’s recordings. During the same period fewer than 1,000 copies were purchased legally online.
The article goes on to quote several Canadian artists about their concern over the massive amount of downloading that is taking place on the Internet. Jann Arden makes a compelling argument in the same article:
Downloading music from the Internet is ironically the hope, and alarmingly the impending decay and destruction, of the music industry. Unless these downloads are monitored and artists are compensated for their work, there will be NO work to download. None of us, as writers and performers, can afford to keep making the music that has always, and will always, make the world a little easier to swallow in troubled times. We cannot play if we are not paid. Illegal downloads must be halted and those offenders punished in a court of law. This issue is very serious and should be given much more respect and attention than it has received in this country.
CRIA reports that the Canadian music industry has experienced retail sales losses of in excess of $465 million since 1999, as well as staff layoffs of 25 per cent and more in the industry over the past year. More than 45,000 individuals are directly or indirectly dependent upon the health of the recording industry in Canada, including those in songwriting, recording studios, manufacturing, retailing, broadcasting, music publishing, concert promotion, management and many other primary and support services.
Something to think about if you are tempted to illegally download music.