Pete Townshend Calls Apple A Digital Vampire

The Who's Pete Townshend has urged Apple's iTunes to use its power to help new bands instead of "bleeding" artists like a "digital vampire".

Pete Townshend Calls Apple A Digital Vampire
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Pete Townshend's always been a quotable guy, and The Who guitarist has done it again. The BBC reports Townshend has urged Apple's iTunes to use its power to help new bands instead of "bleeding" artists like a "digital vampire". The rock legend listed eight services that record labels and music publishers have traditionally provided to artists, such as editorial guidance and "creative nurture". "Is there really any good reason why, just because iTunes exists in the wild west internet land of Facebook and Twitter, it can't provide some aspect of these services to the artists whose work it bleeds like a digital vampire, like a digital Northern Rock, for its enormous commission?" he asked. Apple should employ 20 talent scouts "from the dying record business" to give guidance to new acts and provide financial and marketing support to the best ones, he added. iTunes accounts for more than 75% of all legal downloads. An Apple spokesman declined to comment on Townshend's remarks. The legendary guitarist and songwriter made the comments Monday evening at BBC 6 Music's inaugural John Peel Lecture, named in honor of the legendary British DJ. Pete argued against unauthorized file-sharing, saying the internet was "destroying copyright as we know it. The word 'sharing' surely means giving away something you have earned, or made, or paid for?" he said. The guitarist also said that people who downloaded his music without paying for it "may as well come and steal my son's bike while they're at it". If someone "pretends that something I have created should be available to them free... I wonder what has gone wrong with human morality and social justice". But he also told listeners: "It's tricky to argue for the innate value of copyright from a position of good fortune, as I do. I've done all right," adding, "A creative person would prefer their music to be stolen and enjoyed than ignored. This is the dilemma for every creative soul: he or she would prefer to starve and be heard than to eat well and be ignored." The Who are reissuing their 1973 classic, "Quadrophenia", in various formats including a "Quadrophenia: The Director's Cut" boxset, on November 14th (UK) and November 15th (US). Thanks for the report to HenneMusic.com.

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    Eirien
    Totally agree with his thoughts about Apple. I'm also starting to come round to that viewpoint about illegal downloading. Yes, it is good to sample new music before buying but there are enough places you can do that legally. I'm also really loving bandcamp. I never thought I would pay for downloads but it's worth it to support some brilliant artists who would otherwise remain unheard.
    GrungeHippie26
    If you are in a band who has sold millions of records, the last thing you need to be complaining about is illegal downloads. But stealing music from an upcoming band is just wrong.
    steve!
    alestorm666 wrote: What's his problem? Does itunes not sell child porn?
    How very mature, Townshend made some fantastic points in the John Peel lecture and as always manages to present ideas that are valid and highly interesting. But yet there will always be people like you commenting on something he wasn't even charged with.
    vikkyvik
    i agree about the illegal downloading part, but i don't really understand what he's talking about with regard to apple. i don't think tower records ever hired 20 talent scouts and nurtured artists....
    RukiaTH
    iTunes bleeding artists? Since when? Apple's cut of each sale is only 30%. For an independent artists, each time someone buys something if theirs on iTunes, that artist see 70% of that sale. I really don't think Apple is bleeding anyone here.
    slaveskinJACKET
    vikkyvik wrote: i agree about the illegal downloading part, but i don't really understand what he's talking about with regard to apple. i don't think tower records ever hired 20 talent scouts and nurtured artists....
    Tower Records also didn't make more off of each sale than the artist does, in general. I'm not exactly sure, but in many agreements, Apple gets something like 20% right off the top for nothing but data hosting and currency transactions (that, for all I know, could actually be handled by a third party). That's what he meant by 'enormous commission', and that is the main reason why many of the top-selling artists refuse to allow their material on the service.
    alestorm666
    steve! wrote: alestorm666 wrote: What's his problem? Does itunes not sell child porn? How very mature, Townshend made some fantastic points in the John Peel lecture and as always manages to present ideas that are valid and highly interesting. But yet there will always be people like you commenting on something he wasn't even charged with.
    I'm kidding, get over it. I think he was innocent too, its just that many think otherwise.
    Smegal
    @slaveskinJACKET Enormous commission is a gross overstatement. When a CD is made it has to go through various costs, two of the major ones are manufacturing and distribution. These can equate to 40% of a CD sale. Then retailers add their percentage onto it, make another 20% there. already that's 60% gone, long before the publisher gets to strip away his 20-30%. an artist will see almost nothing from a cd sale. So can you say it's an enormous commission?
    Smegal
    I don't think you can cay apple is bleeding them dry. They generally take 25% from each transaction and the 75% goes to the artist or publisher. It depends on who places it up in that regards. So if a musician want's to make more money in that buisness model they need to cut out the middleman, in this case the publisher oddly enough. Does an artist placing songs for online transaction REALLY need one after all. When you take away all the physical distribution and advertisement and strip it down to the bare basics, an album that is efficiently recorded can be done for less than 2k, this is not a large figure to make up with sales especially for middle known bands or higher. Apple is giving more bands the chance to get noticed. By the way i don't like apple but i respect them. I am a games developer so i have to deal with them when releasing for the iphone. When people make opinions based on archaic models it is a bit distressing, townshend is treating it like the same percentage of money goes to the artist without the regards that it doesn't need to be that way anymore. I agree he makes some valid points but he also ignores some basic truths.
    MonsterOfRock
    "It's tricky to argue for the innate value of copyright from a position of good fortune, as I do. I've done all right," adding, "A creative person would prefer their music to be stolen and enjoyed than ignored. This is the dilemma for every creative soul: he or she would prefer to starve and be heard than to eat well and be ignored."
    Fantastic quote from a fantastic guitarist!
    GasPipe
    iTunes accounts for more than 75% of all legal downloads.
    And about 16% of all downloads.