When I was growing up records (of the vinyl variety) used to come marked with a skull and cross-bones and the legend, “home taping is killing music”. Twenty years on, music is still with us and, without home taping, I would never have discovered many of the artists whose CDs now fill my racks (Tom Robinson, Michael Jackson, The Housemartins, The Smiths … all of whom I originally “borrowed” from well-meaning friends).
Forward to 2001. I hear a track on a TV programme and discover it’s At Seventeen by Janis Ian. Napster is in full swing, so I get an mp3 and listen to it over and over on my office computer. Today, I own several Janis Ian CDs.
Today I was browsing the Janis Ian web site for the first time and came across this article. It’s now about 12 months old but it still stands up. It’s one of the most interesting pieces of writing on the subject of music downloads that I have read – particularly because it comes from a singer/songwriter with an extensive recorded library and a record contract. In fact, it’s written by one of the people the record industry says they are trying to protect when the want online music outlawed. If, like me, you haven’t seen it I urge you to read it.
And I still don’t believe that home taping is killing music!