Seen on Slashdot: here’s an interesting article from Michael Geist, a Canadian law professor looking at the claims made by the CRIA (like the RIAA but in Canada) that file sharing has caused profit losses for record companies and artists. Looking at the CRIA’s own numbers, he points out the claimed losses of 2 billion are actually more like 432 million total over the last 5 years. He suggests that these losses are not necessarily related to file-sharing – people are listening to music less, big outlets like Wal-Mart are carrying fewer titles, and the average price of a CD has dropped by 8%. The punchline is that this accounts for only about 2 million per year in royalties, which is more than offset by the private copying levy (a few cents from the sale of each blank CD are collected and distributed to artists to protect them against file sharing losses).
When you also consider how artists may actually benefit from file sharing, and I certainly do, it’s hard to figure out what all the fuss is about. As Lessig points out in Free Culture, not all file sharing is stealing. Some of it is unquestionably something else. Until we figure out what that something else is, it’s really a bad idea to make it illegal.
Also, please buy my CD.
So this is the new site. Still working on it, so please let me know if something’s not working. In particular I’m worried about the fact that I’m building this on a Mac and I haven’t actually looked at it in Windows yet. Oh well.
A notable addition: you can now stream lots of songs that you may never have heard before if you’re one of the thousands of people too cheap to drop a few cents at the iTunes store. And soon you will be able to buy actual mp3s directly from me (soon meaning when I figure out the whole crazy maze of IPN and PHP from PayPal – I can dream can’t I?).
Really, this does not happen so often, so you should all take advantage. I’ll be doing a song about the US Presidents at the next Little Gray Book Lectures in Brooklyn on Thursday February 24th. Then two back to back nights of magical musical mayhem when I play solo acoustic shows in NYC on March 18th and March 19th. Details here .
So here’s a fun thing: I’ve started doing a podcast with my pal John Hodgman (don’t get frightened – they’re just mp3s and you can download and listen to them without any fancy podcast listening type equipment). This has been big fun for yours truly. John Hodgman, as I’m sure you know, is the creator and curator of The Little Gray Books Lectures , the live show we do in Brooklyn that has spawned many of your favorite Coulton hits. We have lots of old shows recorded, and we’ve been cutting some favorite exerpts together with some chit chat and sound effects. This is a nice opportunity for those of you who do not live anywhere near Brooklyn, but would still like to check out the happening that is Little Gray Books. Even if you’ve been to the shows, you may enjoy hearing the new comedy stylings we have put together. Please listen and tell all your friends how fantastic they are. Fantastic!
“Where Tradition Meets Tomorrow” is here and ready to be purchased by you. I urge you to do so in large quantities. I have posted two totally free samples : “Skullcrusher Mountain” and “Mandelbrot Set.” Who else gives you free samples? Does Sting give you free samples? No, Sting gives you nothing. To repay my kindness please buy a CD, or better yet, make one of your friends buy one.
The steamroller of my tiny fame continues its unstoppable journey across cyberspace, crushing everyone in it’s bloody path – Ikea is now playing on the IndieFeed Alternative and Modern Rock channel. IndieFeed is an independent music podcast, which you should all check out immediately – you will get excellent new music from artists you have never heard of before, for FREE. It’s the friggin future.
And speaking of the future, for those of you who did not attend Pop!Tech, I feel sorry for you. It was a blast. Thanks to everyone who made me feel welcome and loved and possesed of super genius capabilities for a few days. To show you how thankful I am, here’s a quick and dirty recording of the laptop song , which I meant to have posted before I left, but didn’t get to in time.