I got an illegal copy of some Half Man Half Biscuit from a friend a few months ago. I really enjoyed it so I decided to buy some. I don’t care for inlay sleeves, or for any physical aspect of music other than the actual audio waves so I thought I’d try pay for a legal download. This proved impossible.
I firstly realised that my own specification on getting this music in either a lossless format, or an open format (such as OGG vorbis) were hilarious in the current online music climate, so settled for, well, basically *any* format. The iTunes download software isn’t supported on my GNU/Linux OS, and Apple are far too big and evil for me to give them any more money anyway. MP3.com looked promising until I realised they seem to just be a front for other online music stores, none of which had any Half Man Half Biscuit available anyway (and were just as big and evil sounding).
I gave up. I went to bloody HMV and bought an album there. And when I listened to the album when I got home, it I didn’t even like it much.
I’ve sinced downloaded more Half Man Half Biscuit and really, really enjoyed it. I think I’m just going to send a cheque direct to the band.
I once met El Hefe from the punk band NOFX. I told him I’d downloaded their latest album for free off the Internet. “Oh, then we don’t get paid” he jokily explained. I offered him a tenner directly as payment, and he turned it down. “So I can listen for free?”. “Sure” he said.
The music industry needs to change. But we already knew that.