By Jeremy Hoodaman
In recent years, the emergence of illegal file-sharing services, which enable the instant download of nearly every song ever released, have left consumers with a difficult decision: “Should I spend ten dollars on an album, or spend zero dollars on an album?” Consequently, US sales of CDs fell almost 20% in 2008, according to Nielsen Co.’s SoundScan service. Unfortunately for musicians, most people prefer logic to ethics.
This business just ain’t the same as it used to be,” says veteran performer and songwriter Miley Cyrus, “and back in my day, us real musicians would have been appreciated and respected for our hefty contributions to society. ”Artists are still reeling from the blow to their livelihood, and many are experiencing their lowest record sales in history. Musicians now have to settle for smaller private airlines, which do not have room for master bedrooms and dance clubs, and they are rightly upset about this drastic change in lifestyle.
“The thing that people don’t understand is that not only is stealing our music unfair to us musicians, it’s just flat-out illegal,” says rapper Jay-Z, who was arrested in 1999 for the stabbing of a record executive and who raps primarily about his days as a crack cocaine dealer in Brooklyn, “and these people are soon going to realize that it’s just not okay to mess with the law.”
Countless musicians have taken to picketing outside the White House, voicing their opinions in a more beautiful and emotionally driven way than we mere mortals could ever hope to imitate. The members of My Chemical Romance stood sullenly in the middle of the street, perfecting the sad faces they’d spent hours practicing in the mirror. Rapper Lil Wayne, rock star Ozzy Osbourne and the legendary Bob Dylan chanted indistinguishable nonsense for several hours, prompting several noise disturbance calls to the local police department. Jack Johnson uncharacteristically smashed his acoustic guitar on the ground, prompting several thousand pre-teens to break down in tears. Musicians are even threatening to withhold future albums if the public is not willing to pay for them.
Most everybody agrees that illegal downloading is unethical, and we at The Flipside completely agrees, with the exception of Nickelback, who is the worst band ever to have massacred our poor eardrums. Stealing artists’ music is wrong. But remember: do not buy Nickelback albums. Don’t even listen to them. Nickelback is the reason why we can’t have nice things.