Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Planet of Pirates 

At least, it seems as though that's what the music industry want. No other explanation fits the available facts.

Case in point: just now, I was listening to the Sky.fm classical guitar stream, and heard Simon Wynberg's rendition of Bach's Cantata #147 (Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring). I thought "hey, I like his style", and browsed to see what other tracks were on Wynberg's A Bach Recital album. Amazon apparently had it on offer for US $5.99; easy impulse decision, right? That's how Internet music is supposed to work, right?

Not so fast. Although I've had a valid Amazon ID for years, and they've even got my valid credit card info on file, I can't place an actual order if I'm not geographically located within North America. (Or China, Japan, the UK or one or two other countries. Which of these is a major piracy hub?)

I hear you saying three words: "iTunes Music Store". And, loyal Apple customer though I am, I don't have access to the iTMS because I'm not in an approved geographic location. So the two largest, most heavily-advertised legal music sources on the planet aren't available because I live in this Second World country. I don't do torrents or illegal music downloads; I make my living from the exercise of my intellect to create value for others, and ethics completely aside (this is Singapore), the hypocrisy would be way, way over the top.

So I'm out an album, since I'll never find it in the stores here. (State crony capitalism is such a boon for consumer empowerment and choice, after all.) Mr Wynberg and his label are out the dollar or two they would have made from my purchase, and nobody wins except the pirates and those aiding and abetting them.

And the Internet is supposed to make the world a closer, more unified place? Only if we get the corporations out of the picture. But that's another set of (several thousand) rants.

Ideas, anyone?

And yes, it has been an age since I've posted here. I'll start it up again, as I've a pile of things I would like to (calmly, rationally) shout at the omniverse, and they're really not appropriate for my other, more technically-oriented blog.

Thanks for reading, and for your feedback — especially if you can clue me into a legal way to acquire MP3s/AACs of the Wyndberg album.

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