As you’ve probably read or heard by now, Taylor Swift accomplished a rare feat when she went up against Apple — and won.
Apple is preparing to roll out a new music streaming service, and they’re planning on offering a three-month free trial in the hopes of getting listeners hooked so they’ll subscribe. In those three months, however, Apple was not going to pay any royalties to artists.
Taylor Swift had a problem with that, so she penned a to-the-point open letter to Apple letting the company know why that tactic is unfair to artists, producers, writers and anyone else involved in creating music.
“We don’t ask you for free iPhones,” the letter reads. “Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”
The next day, Apple agreed to change its policy and pay royalties during those three months. A happy ending, it would seem.
But the letter has created a forum for people who believe music isn’t worth money anymore, and it’s unrealistic to expect people to pay for a song.
The argument goes that musicians should just be grateful they have an avenue to share their creations. Getting paid shouldn’t be the goal. Making art and sharing it should be.
As a writer who’s held down a handful of unpaid internships while eating ramen noodles and turning off her heat every night throughout the winter, I can say it’s a lot easier to create when you’re also able to, you know, survive.
I’m sure this applies to most industries, but I see artists being taken advantage of all the time. Buyers heckle over prices, arrogantly believing they know better than the creator what a piece is worth. Musicians take unpaid gigs because it’s the only way they can play at all, even though it’s expensive to put on a concert regardless of the size of the venue.
And now, people on the Internet think the idea of paying for music is outdated. They think musicians should be able to just magically survive without compensation for their work while simultaneously claiming to love music. Even worse, they call musicians who demand fair compensation selfish. It’s now selfish to expect to be paid for the work that you do if you’re an artist.
I value art and music, and I work in a creative industry. I know what it’s like to be taken advantage of because we just take what we can get. We feel powerless.
Thank goodness the great and powerful Taylor Swift stuck up for us this time.
What’s the best side dish to a great meal? Live music, of course. Head over to Rivers restaurant for a performance from Midnight Nanograms from 9 p.m. to midnight. The classic and alternative rock band will provide some great music while you enjoy food and drinks from Rivers.
Spend the day with fun activities in the spirit of fighting cancer. Relay for Life Roaring Fork lasts from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. with a variety of events, including a softball tournament, Bark for Life, a mobile vet acupuncture demonstration, a princess pageant, performance by Wink and the Signal and various ceremonies. Visit bit.ly/1GIBisS for more information or to sign up for certain events.
Join the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts for a classical guitar performance by Daniel Hallford, a 2003 graduate of Bridges High School. He earned a bachelor’s of arts in classical guitar performance at Colorado State University and a master’s in classical guitar performance at Mannes College in New York City. Hallford lives in Denver, teaching music and running his own business. Hallford’s performance begins at 3 p.m. For more information, contact Cyndy Hallford at 970-309-3065.
Jessica Cabe is glad to be off her ramen noodle diet. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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