Music Licensing and Geography02 Feb 2010
I want to buy BT’s new album, These Hopeful Machines. BT is a rad dude and his music is excellently sweet. I’ve heard some tracks off this collation of musically arranged bits, and I know that it is something I wish to partake of more deeply. Sadly, despite the album being legally available in some places around the world today, I can’t buy it because I’m in Australia.
Now, Australia is not a large country, but we are fairly technologically advanced. We’re well connected. Sure we’re slipping backwards a bit in the sociopolitical sphere but we’re doing pretty well as denizens of the planet. We contribute. We get stuff done.
So why is it, in the era of the Internet, of cheap copying and digital distribution, a time of wonder and joy - why is it that I have to wait 10 more days than the rest of the world to buy these easily replicated bits? I want to give these people my money and they’re making it hard for me because I live in Australia.
They’re making it difficult for me to _give them money. _
Let those words sink in for a moment. It’s easy for me to acquire this album. I can go to any number of torrent tracking sites and get instant gratification right now. Today. It’ll take all of an hour, at most, for this album to download, and I’ll have what I want. The effort of doing so is virtually nonexistent.
Or, I can wait another 10 days for iTunes, Amazon and BeatPort to release this album to me in Australia. I can choose not to listen to the music, to be patient, and then hand over my $12 to have a digital copy of the album. In my imagination, I can see myself impatiently eking out my 10 day wait as a bitter second-class citizen, hopping from foot to foot to prevent the cold from setting in. Battered by advertising, I slouch into their digital stores, and weakly hand over my money.
Dear music industry: Do you even WANT my money? Quit your bitching and get with the program.