Giving it away.

Graham Henderson, president of the Canadian Recording Industry Association, is still concerned that illegal downloading is eating away at record sales, and is concerned for musicians:

And musicians have long considered their music to be like a pension plan, because music retains its value, Mr. Henderson said. Artists can expect to receive revenue from their music for years after they record it – from other bands that cover it, when it appears on soundtracks or when it’s being used as a ring tone on a cellular phone.

"I cannot believe the future of music is giving it away."

But discussion of Weird Al Yankovic’s record contract suggests that the move to digital downloads is a bad deal for musicians:

If your deal with your record company is like The Alman Brothers, then you’re getting something like $315.50 for those same 1,000 songs (83.3 CDs worth). That works out to $0.31 cents per song, instead of the $0.045 on a digital download.

The digital download nets the artist a fraction of what the physical CD gets them. So the record company gets more than they did before, with virtually no manufacturing, inventory, and distribution costs, while the artist gets less.

So Mr. Henderson is fine with the artists virtually giving music away, just not the record companies.

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