Timothy K. Armstrong on MGM vs. Grokster:
MGM closed with its pity-the-starving-artists line, complaining about the lost revenues from hypothesized sales it says would have occurred absent file-sharing.
Anytime I watch an episode of MTV Cribs, or hear about one of Britney Spears’ marriages, or hear Ashlee Simpson sing, I have trouble visualizing a starving artist.
That’s what we’re talking about after all, isn’t it? A few more sales for 50 Cent, or Britney Spears. We don’t really care about starving artists. And we certainly don’t care about Fiona Apple:
But here’s where it gets funky. “Extraordinary Machine” is an album that Apple finished over two years ago, but which was quickly shelved by the sad corporate drones over at Sony because they didn’t “hear a single” and because it doesn’t sound exactly like Norah Jones and because they’re, well, corporate drones. They dictate cultural tastes based on relatively narrow and often deeply ignorant criteria related to marketing and money and fear of the new and the different. This is what they do.
They are worried about lost revenues from hypothesized sales, but they choose to forego revenues from real sales for music by those starving artists they insist that they are so concerned about. Without file sharing, you wouldn’t even be able to listen to music you want to purchase, but can’t because the record company won’t sell it to you.
(Link from Furdlog)