I’ve just been reading Lily Allen’s blog. For those not following such groovy things as closely as I do, she has recently decided that Piracy (she gives it a capital pee), is bad. So bad in fact that it is destroying lots of jobs and stifling new talent because those poor music executives won’t be able to lavish bazillions on young artists like her. She also hates Harry Potter films by the sound of it. Blimey.
As an example of misdirected fury, it’s a good one. She’s not exactly a hard target, but to demonstrate the effect of her misdirection, I thought I’d get down with her scene by giving it some – mash-up style.
OK what I mean is I’ve changed some bits of her blog post to illustrate a point. See if you can guess which bits I’ve changed.
“I’ve had a lot of responses back since my previous blog posting here. The long and short of it is, even before this economic downturn the recording industry and their political lobbyists have been affecting all areas of entertainment, except maybe theatre. CD sales, Film DVD sales, book sales , TV DVD sales, everything. Now, if they go on consuming at the rate they are and do not pay the vast majority of artists for what they are taking from them, not only will the artists within all these industries be without jobs and unable to express themselves but the behind the scenes people too. Thats literally billions of jobs . . I know that a lot of you want to know that you’re not being overcharged for a product and you want to know that your hard earned cash is going to the right places, alot of work has to be done in order for this to happen. I think that paying 14.99 for an album is ridiculous, I’m with you on that, and that wont happen again, but putting musicians in indentured servitude and extending copyright forever is not the answer. It’s hard enough to get a job at the moment. People are being laid off in all areas and the record companies have no idea what to do with their failing business model. My own label EMI laid off thousands last year despite vowing to prosecute anyone who didn’t buy their stuff. I don’t care so much about the high-ups (and by the way they’re always the last to go – what a surprise) but the people who are going out are the young ones, the life blood basically. They’re the ones that go first, , I’ve seen it. And the same is happening in TV and film. Why do you think you are just getting Terminator 6 and Harry Potter 7 instead of exciting new voices? Because the young voices are not there anymore. Do you care about that, or do you just want to watch and listen to the products of the last generation? Or do you want a voice that is heard and can make a difference?What I do know is we have to invest in this sector of our country guys, we are great film makers,we have incredible writers and authors, historically the best music makers, we cant throw it all away. The internet is the most amazing thing, but it should be OUR thing, and the recording industry is making the government push it into the into the hands of the corporations. What these artists and creators do, they do for the love of it, I know its hard because money is scarce but we have to inject money back into these areas. It’s not fair to force artists to assign all rights to their art to a corporation, I know it’s art and it has no physical value but even Shakespeare had shares in The Globe Theatre. Without some kind of business model to replace the old one, people will lose their jobs, you’ll be watching X-factor, Simon Cowell will be getting richer, radio stations will be churning out old back catalogues from people your dad or even your grandads age(vera lynn is No 1 this week) and the taxpayer will have to subsidize yet more unemployment. Please, please, please download a film from The Pirate Bay instead of buying it in Tesco’s, rip, mix and burn your friend’s c.d. or album if you really like it and give it all your friends for free, and god help us, keep reading books . If we do this, i really think we can make a difference. Anyone band, writer, author, musician, actress please feel free to contact me on this matter if you feel it is important.”
But enough of the sub-Private Eye style satire. In attacking the very mechanisms that hold the best hope for musicians like her in the future, Allen makes herself, and all the others who insist on pitching their tents on the side of the volcano, look rather unfortunate. If only they knew how the music business really worked. Oh, wait…