Essay for Selling Music
Essay for Selling Music Comm 314
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This 5 page Bundle was uploaded by Kate McDonald on Monday February 8, 2016. The Bundle belongs to Comm 314 at Oregon State University taught by Mark Moore in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Argumentation in Communication Studies at Oregon State University.
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Date Created: 02/08/16
Kate McDonald January 29, 2016 Everything Has a Cost Janis Ian argues that music should be freely available on the internet and through other music outlets such as Napster, iTunes, and Spotify. Several arguments raise points that these outlets help booster attention and popularity of several artists. They state that the enjoyment of music should be free for all, and enjoyed by everyone who wishes to have it. However, a wise teacher once told me, nothing is ever truly free. There is a cost to manufacture, produce, make, create, and enjoy music. Someone somewhere has to pay for the music without getting any benefits or increase in pay. Janis Ian makes a very convincing and heartfelt argument, however; there are several flaws that create certain doubts in her position and reasoning. Her personal reasoning and experience make her an expert in her field, but her personal beliefs are her only reasoning and sound proof to her opinion. The generalizations she makes must be closer looked at and examined before fully accepting this as truth. “Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. It’s my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album’s price point is. I hope they don't underestimate themselves or undervalue their art” (Taylor Swift). The ongoing debate of who owns music has been something that artists have had to deal with for the past two decades. While the rapid growth of online sharing and trading has aided the development of our society, it has created an unjust and unfair system for music artists and producers. Music is intended to be enjoyed by all; however, there should be a reward and incentive for the artists who make an honest and enjoyable living by creating art. Music should not be free; having free music creates a disservice for those in the music industry. Janis Ian suggests that music artists should not charge for music downloads of their songs. Her claims are supported by a number of personal accounts and beliefs that she makes throughout her essay. In Ian’s opinion, people download music for free to hear it again, not just to find a way to get out of paying for it. She completely overlooks the fact that people actively search for the cheapest alternative, and way to get ahold of music. People are always trying to save money and make the most of their dollar. Music is an expensive luxury that many people love to find loopholes around. These websites that provide free streaming claim to be a place of discovery and a resource for fans to only further their passion for the artist. Nonetheless, others view these sites differently. David Bryne, an author for The Guardian, wrote an article saying “The Internet will SuckAll Creative Content Out Of The World.” There is a section of this article that clearly states “Are these services evil?Are they simply a legalized version of file-sharing sites such as Napster and Pirate Bay – with the difference being that with streaming services the big labels now get hefty advances? The debate as to whether those pirate sites cannibalize possible sales goes on. Some say freeloaders wouldn't have paid for music anyway, so there's no real loss; others say freeloaders are mainly super-fans who end up paying artists in other ways, buying concert tickets and T-shirts, for example. Though, as author Chris Ruen points out in his book Freeloading, if you yourself didn't pay for any of the music by your favorite bands, then don't be surprised if they eventually call it quits for lack of funds” (Bryne, 2013). Fans may be honestly trying to hear their favorite bands and artists again, but streaming for free is lessening the credibility and the intellectual property of the musician. They will not have the funds to continue making the songs we love because they will not have the money from album sales to boost profit. Janis Ian makes the argument that musicians should only make a living off of live concerts that people pay to attend. John Sheldrick, a columnist from The Huffington Post said, “I am against the RIAA lawsuits that sue people for sharing music. Rather than scaring people into buying music, I advocate a culture in which people actually want to spend money on music, because they understand the positive repercussions it has on the medium of recorded music, and the lives of the artists that produce it” (Sheldrick, 2011). Musicians depending on making money from concerts alone would be an unfair and unjust system. People would not be as committed to seeing their favorite artist because they have not invested time and money into their success. For example, a fan of Carrie Underwood who voted for her inAmerican Idol, bought that seasons album, voted for her to win, purchased her first single, and then her first album will feel more of an attachment to her then getting the music for free. I have seen Carrie Underwood live in concert two different times, and each time I feel a sense of responsibility for her success.Album sales are what drive the artist to be more successful and respected throughout the music industry. Janis Ian fails to recognize that there would be no successful musicians and popular music if everyone could have it for free. No one would attend the concert because to make a living off of a concert sale, to pay the staff who tours with the artist, the band, the recording time, the writers, the chefs, the publicists, the agents, and the label would be impossible and we would lose theft of music that we all love so much. Music is a gift to the people of the world. We all take part in the enjoyments and benefits of music; listening to it on the radio, going to concerts, streaming it on the internet, or downloading it online.As a beneficiary to this art, we should continue to pay for music to continue the growth of the art. We must pay for music to keep the musicians producing and able to keep up with the growth of other artists around the world. We are aiding in the growth of music and the development of more songs and a new sound. We are a part of a rich history, purchasing music is a necessity that we must continue. Byrne, David. "David Byrne: 'The Internet Will SuckAll Creative Content out of the World'" The Guardian. N.p., 11 Oct. 2013. Web. 29 Jan. 2016. Sheldrick, John. "WHYYOU SHOULD PAY FOR MUSIC." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 25 May 2011. Web. 02 Feb. 2016.
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