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How to save the music industry (via LIVE@LEEDS)

August 18, 2010

Here’s the transcript of Paul McGuinness’s recent speech that has garnered so much media interest.

I still think he’s talking bollocks. He says: ‘It is facile to blame record companies.’

Maybe it’s facile, then, but I blame record companies. Their endless greed, contempt for their customers, overpricing, poor products dominating airwaves and media that small scale-but-good artists never had access to and their dinosaur-like inability to change direction, to adapt to a changing climate, are what led people towards illegal filesharing and led to the demise of the old record industry.

I disagree that the two things are directly connected, though. It’s the modern world, not piracy, that killed the dinosaur record industry. Illegal filesharing happened only because the dinosaurs didn’t quickly offer legal, cheap, good audio quality downloads of good quality music. Few of them do to this day. Filesharing didn’t kill the record industry. The record industry killed the record industry.

Continued bleating by old codgers like McGuinness merely serves to hammer the nails in the coffin of corporate music and its unidirectional view of how music should be shared in the modern world.

They hate that four big record companies can no longer effectively dictate what we listen to, control the formats, the availability, the distribution, the social contexts, the social content of OUR music.

By Paul McGuinness   August 2010 GQ Even after three decades managing the world's biggest rock band, I have a lifetime hero as far from the world of U2 as you could ever get. He was a feisty 19th-century composer of light orchestral music. His name was Ernest Bourget. It was Bourget who in 1847, while enjoying a meal in a Paris restaurant, suddenly heard the orchestra playing one of his own compositions. He was startled – of course he had not bee … Read More


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