Pete Townshend brands iTunes a 'digital vampire'

Oct 31, 2011

(AP) -- The Who's Pete Townshend on Monday branded Apple Inc.'s iTunes a "digital vampire" that profits from music without supporting the artists who create it.

Townshend said that faced with the Internet's demolition of established copyright protections, iTunes should offer some of the services to artists that and used to provide. These include employing talents scouts, giving space to allow bands to stream their music and paying smaller artists directly rather than through a third party aggregator.

The guitarist was delivering the first John Peel Lecture, named in honor of the influential British radio broadcaster who died in 2004.

Townshend asked if there was any reason iTunes "can't provide some aspect of these services to the artists whose work it bleeds like a digital vampire" to make money.

ITunes declined to respond to Townshend's comments.

Apple's service is the market leader among legal download services, accounting for about three-quarters of .

Townshend said consumers, as well as the industry, needed to change their attitude to .

"It would be better if music lovers treated music like food, and paid for every helping, rather than only when it suited them," he said.

"Why can't music lovers just pay for music rather than steal it?" he said.

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not rated yet Oct 31, 2011
When profit margins are extremely high then extra "services" will be provided in order to exploit the market. But where competition heats up and purchase is based on price, the margins will be much lower, and the extra services like advertizing, free giveaways, flashy artwork will be skipped.
1 / 5 (2) Oct 31, 2011
"ITunes declined to respond to Townshend's comments." - Article

Does Apple ever respond to any comments made by the plebes?
not rated yet Oct 31, 2011
Paying for information is a fool's game, because it cannot have any value. It either exists, or it doesn't exist - there's no supply and demand mechanism for something that isn't scarce unless you artifically make it so.

Buying music from iTunes is like buying sand on a beach - from someone who is granted the exclusive right to pick it up.

Artists should be paid for the work they do, now for how many copies someone can make with the press of a button.
1 / 5 (2) Nov 01, 2011
I agree with Eikka with the exception of one point.

That being...

"Artists should be paid for the work they do."

This is only true if the work they have done was contracted by someone else. If an artist creates a work of art outside of a contract, I am not obligated to pay for their effort. Neither is society.

However we may chose to pay for art. Both as individuals and as a society. Art can be enriching and refreshing, remind-full, empowering, challenging etc., and these things in the proper context can be valuable and desirable.

not rated yet Nov 02, 2011
Artists should be paid for the work they do, now for how many copies someone can make with the press of a button.

Sorry, but that's crazy talk. Do you think someone spending years painting a single picture of their cat is worth more than Live At Leeds?