Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Music Industry Manifesto

Perhaps the definitive statement of the punk diy philosophy was made manifest this diagram*, from a Stranglers fanzine, showing three chord shapes on a guitar, and these words:

“This is a chord, this is another, this is a third - NOW FORM A BAND.”

For the fanzine producers a magic marker, scissors and a Xerox machine were your tools and the network of punk gigs in pub back rooms and youth clubs was the distribution network.

A nation of spotty youth, given the tools and the spark to create something of their own, followed those instructions and a movement was born.
You may even say it was a community of purpose.

The tendrels of punk reached out – from the bottom-up – beyond just music into fashion, art, literature, film even ballet.

Is this starting to sound familiar?
And is this the 21st century (slightly longer) version of the three chord manifesto

The Music Industry Manifesto

1. Music will always continue, but the parasitical 20th Century music industry is dead.

2. Music does not rely on technology or distribution. It simply requires people. It did not begin with vinyl, the CD, the electric guitar or the synthesizer.

3. If piracy is able to damage your ivory castles, you should seek to understand it and learn from it. Piracy is the most effective distribution.

4. You will never win the war on privacy, because the pirates have a belief, and you are protecting a business.

5. People will only pay for what they want to pay for. Get used to it.

6. Artists and fanatics run the show - if you are in neither camp you’re fucked.

7. DRM’s only function is to limit the spread of music and to irritate the very people you should be pleasing - your audience.

8. I’ve paid for the tape, the vinyl, the CD and the MP3 - if I ever pay again, I’ll pay for the rights to the content in whatever format is appropriate for the rest of my lifetime, not for something limited to one format.

9. Let’s face it..artists can make more money if middle-men are not involved

10. Look - we all know you’re pissed about you’re expense bill no longer being approved but please stop taking it out on the rest of us

11. The people of the world want to share what they love. If you stand in the way there is only one outcome. Rebellion

12. People embrace what they create. We all want to take part. It’s no longer your industry, its ours. Sure that hurts…

13. Just become a concert promoter. Live music will never end. Rip-off, insular and selfish business models already have. Sorry

14. People will pay for what they want to. If you create something of value to people, people will pay for it

15. People will not longer automatically pay for something that YOU think is valuable

16. Resistance is futile. However powerful your connections are, the people of the world will find a way around it

17. Every time you sue, you nail an even heavier nail in your OWN coffin. Think about it…

18. The people of the world love music as much as they always have - not less - its just they have seen behind the curtain now

19. Artists love fans and will get paid by them for products and services the fans adore. Get out the way and let it happen

20. Copyright is a byproduct of the business model for content creation and distribution. It’s not the reason for content creation

21. The case studies of artists making more money from not using your regime will never stop - only increase. Listen up

22. It makes no difference how connected you are to the government. Artists and fans out-number you and always will

23. All the time you spend wining about protecting music you could spend working out ways to help the new world mature

24. If you really wanna get rich, concentrate on facilitating fanatical advocacy. There is no ceiling of value to that

25. People can only truly be of financial benefit to you if they are free. Confined humans have no long-term monetary benefit

*Pedants corner: The drawing is often attributed to, but never actually appearted in, Sniffin Glue fanzine.
It’s actually first appeared in another fanzine ‘Sideburns’ and was reproduced in Stranglers fanzine ‘ Strangled’ during 1977. I was even moved to edit the Sniffin’ Glue wikipedia page to this effect.

The Music industry Manifesto courtesy of Jonathan MacDonald

blog comments powered by Disqus