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The Major Labels are Bad for Music

THE BIG 5 RECORD LABELS are not good for music. They built their cartel on a morass of exploitative record deals, pay for play radio, and album price fixing. They lock out any artist that rejects their terms and use their monopoly power to keep independent labels small and marginalized. Even musicians that succeed with major labels resent the unfair contracts they’re forced to sign and the creative control they have to sacrifice. It’s just as bad for fans: every year radio gets worse, CDs cost more, and now they’re monitoring your home computer. It’s way past time to end the major label death grip on radio, musicians, and everyone who likes music.

Filesharing and CD burning make getting rid of the music industry possible, and they provide the foundation for a new system that directly connects musicians and their audience. Everybody wins when the middlemen are gone. If someone can download music and give a $2 donation to the band, that’s 1/8 the price for them and twice as much for artists.

The major label system has failed and it’s time to build something better. We shouldn’t be defensive about filesharing, and we can’t be cautious about proposing new ideas. Music is screaming for us to do something.

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