sorry, another in rainbows post...
saw this posted somewhere today and would be interested to see what people make of it!
I paid zero for Radiohead's album 'Inrainbows' as a protest for their actions. My reason is as follows:
It's all very well them to be in the nice position of being able to give their music away for 'free' and still make a fortune, but it makes life very difficult for all of us other bands who still have to depend on actually selling our music to stand a hope of achieving equivalent success.
You see, they've benefitted from the studio system and are denying others that benefit. When they were starting out they would have had massive amounts of money poured into them by their label. It's very expensive to launch a new band. And that money spent on them was raised by successful bands that went before them. That's how the system works.
What Radiohead are doing therefore, by not making money for a label and by keeping 100% of the profits to themselves, is drawing the ladder up behind them, and putting less money back into 'the system' to support new music and new bands.
I'm not saying the label system is perfect - far from it - but Radiohead's actions are simply weakening it still further. Their strategy will work brilliantly for them, but at the expense of many many others.
Of course there's a debate to be had about whether it is an Artist's role to care about the musical culture they find themselves in. I would say they should care because music is fundamentally a social, community based activity, and strengthening that community will lead to better art.
The less money there is in the system to support new music, the fewer people will be able to do it properly and the less decent music and art around as a result. I can't see how else you could spin it.