Yngwie Malmsteen is a guitar virtuoso, who, like many musicians, is very much against illegal file sharing. For some reason, this topic has come back into the news cycle, with the recent revelation that Century Media plans to sue people who downloaded some albums illegally. Anyway, Yngwie was asked recently about his thoughts on illegal downloading, and shocker, he's not too happy about it. Here's what he told Classic Rock Magazine:
"People like myself are very lucky in having already established a loyal fanbase. If I put out a new record, my fans will know about it and buy it. But the younger musicians of newer generations, their future doesn't look too good. Everyone seems to have a CD out or YouTube videos, you know? Back in the '80s, if you had a record out, you were hot shit!"
"Copyright is everything to a musician. Just like inventions, the music you write is like your own child. If it gets sold to people, you should be rewarded. No one should be able to take it from you."
"You don't go around stealing cars! The rules should apply to music, film, books, etc. Anything that can be distributed should be accounted for. Something has to be done. The machine is broken."
Here is the thing, Yng. If people could somehow torrent cars, they would be shared illegally in a heartbeat. The whole issue is just how easy it is to "steal" a song on the internet nowadays, and it will only keep getting easier. The way to combat it is not lawsuits, but to make it more convenient to pay for the music than steal it. That's why I think Spotify is such a great idea. For all the complaints of how little it pays out, at least the artist is getting something. The other alternative for most of these users would most likely be to "steal" the music. Now please resume shredding our heads off.