This irated post is about the most recent claims in Portugal about Music. The Authors Portuguese Society (SPA) is doing a mass campaign, again, against the people who refuse to paying them to make or "consume" art (the idea of consuming art being by itself ridiculous). This time, the news is "Creators and Producers of Music start another wave of actions against Illegal FileSharing". This is the number one mistake: the news should be "The society that aims to represent creators and producers of music, that, to be able to legally sell their art are forced to be members of that society, start another wave of actions[...]".

Then they start the real madness: "filling lawsuits against Portuguese users of music file-sharing services". What the hell? There's nothing in the Portuguese law (and I'm glad) that it's illegal to use music file sharing services: as a matter of fact it's completely legal (and I ask you to please do it) not only to use them, but to use them to download music: for instance, if you want to LEGALLY and FREELY download Merankorii's (my musical project) latest album, you can do it using the file-sharing service: it's network has the album there and I know because I was the one inserting it there. So, why is SPA impuningly LIEING and telling that downloading music files is illegal? It can be, but it can also be legal.

Then, they do a lot of completely nonsense claims, from which I chose some to comment, like "In the United Kingdom, six in every ten people that try to reduce or stop sharing files, tell that they do it because they're afraid of computer virus." What? Are you telling me again that filesharing is illegal? Or that there's a risk associating filesharing and virus? Yes, because, just to make it plain and clear, the risk of virus is not on the "sharing", in on the download: and you download data you don't control every time you're downloading your e-mail or going to a website!

But there's more: "A set of court decisions all over the world recognized the responsability of the operators of this services for getting their users an easy wat of promotion or benefict from illegal filesharing - rejecting the thesis that tells that filesharing is inocent, legal and without victims". Now, this is one is serious. First of all, give me the data on that, because I just don't believe in those statements. I feel like being preety well informed on those issues, and, while I know about a set of cases that tried to state filesharing as illegal, none of them went forward since the stances are plain stupid. Let me check: you're putting responsability on the makers of file-sharing systems because that can be used for promoting illegal activities, right? The same way you put responsabillity on car makers because cars make victims, or to knife producers because knifes can be used to do illegal stuff? FileSharing _IS_ innocent. When you post your stupid news on your ugly website you're putting a file on the internet (HTML file in this case) so that users like me can go there and download that HTML file (for viewing, printing, whatever). So you're filesharing! Is it illegal? Well, the only thing possibly illegal I can see in this is that you're plainly feeding your readers with lies!

Then, you use some wise words and turn them into lies (once again): you start by telling that "there are several ways of getting legal music nowadays" and "some people still consume music illegaly", which is true, but then... "so, we keep on [...] campaign to show that sharing music files that are protected by authorship rights have efective legal risks". Boy, oh boy. Aren't those "several ways of getting legal music" you were refering to means to "share music files that are protected by authorship rights"? Yes, 'cause there's nothing ilegal in going here and download this protected by authorship rights files, there are no legal risks, and the authors even thank you if you do so!

Sigh... No, it's not finished yet. They also say they're aiming to "non-authorized P2P services". What the fuck is an (un)authorized P2P service? If I do a P2P service I need to request an authorization? I don't think so, STOP LIEING.

"In Portugal recorded music author rights suffered a reduction of 43% in the last four years, fundamently because of illegal downloads." Stop it. The righs didn't suffered - they're the same. Now, what you can tell is that YOUR SOCIETY suffered from a decrease of 43% in it's income. I can attribute that to lot's of factors: we have less Portuguese record labels now, we have less artists betting in the Portuguese market, the major Portuguese music is being sold by foreign labels, people are buying less Portuguese music and more and more artists are SICK of SPA and look for alternatives so they don't have to give you money (like Yourse Trully). Oh, and yes, there's also illegal downloads, that studies say that are raising people's interest in music as art. So, unless you show figures PROOVING that your losses "fundamentaly because of illegal downloads" I won't bite, and nor should anyone else.

"Portuguese music retailers have less 44,39% profit in seven years". Sure, easilly explainable. I buy lot's of music (and I mean LOT'S) and almost none goes to Portuguese companies. The last times it was, they weren't retailers. As a matter of fact, I think that I don't pay to a Portuguese music retailer in more than an year. In other words: I started to legaly buy a lot of more music and stopped giving money to Portuguese retailers by doing so. Why? Not that it interests for the matter (being it that you cannot correlate that loss with illegal file sharing) but here are some points: There are less Portuguese retailers now; they are more expensive than the alternatives; they have less choice; they don't manage to get the same stuff I can order to foreign retailers; they take too long to get the music I want (usually I can get it faster through international or foreign retailers).

"The major labels have now half they employees they have in 1998." Interesting choice of years: 1998, when there was the massification of the Compact Disc? Remember that mass file sharing came later, but still: which major labels? Sony Music? Is now higher that it was by then. But let me tell you something about those "major labels": the world music market is the global market for the commercial trade of music, and the licensing of the use of music. As of 2006, the recording market is dominated by the "Big Four record labels": Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, EMI Group, and Warner Music Group, and the "Big Five music publishers". The four record labels control around 80% of the world recorded music sales market and around 85% of the United States record sales market, demonstrating the concept of oligopoly within the music industry. On 13 July the European Court of First Instance annulled the European Commission's clearance decision of the merger of Sony Music and BMG. Therefore, the European Commission will have to re-examine the merger. So, if people are starting to be more educated musicly (which I doubt but hope), yes, they'll start consuming "music as art" and stop consuming "music as a product". That will invariably mean that the big five have to rethink their position in the music market, or keep with it's oligopoly and die with it. We, people, aren't fighting (consiously or not) against music, musicians and art, we're fighting against that shit you put up for us to eat, that you call music but it's nothing more than a product without artistic value. So yes, I hope that the major labels will in 2008 have their happy 75% of market share, and hope for a nice 25% in ten more years. Still, you fail to show the figures and leave us with statements, and those statements don't even give us inference of anything: you've failed to make a point correlating file sharing and employees reduction. Ever thought that reducing employers you're reducing costs, and that was the reason behind it?

"There are two Portuguese websites that sell digital songs for less than the price of a bus ticket." Nice, I like alternatives. Too bad one of them won't open on my browser and the other one... what other one? I don't know what it is, so I lost 15 minutes searching the web for it and I still don't find it. [UPDATE: One hour later I found it. They sell .wma files with DRM, so they won't play on my computer. Thanks, but I'll keep buying non-defective audio.] So, I'll keep considering buying in foreign stores.

"The actual crisis has has major victims all the music creators, authors, musicians and producers, and, between them, those who dedicate themselves to the Portuguese music are who suffer the most." Damn you. I can see lot's of bad things in the music market nowadays, but file sharing technologies aren't givving a crise to the music market. Even so, No music creator, author, musician or producer is harmed with file sharing. And I know this, since I'm a creator, an author, a musician and producer. On the other hand, SPA harms Portuguese creators, authors, musicians and producers, since no piece of art can be properly manufactured in Portugal (nor created, authored or produced) before having to pay riots of money to you. Thanks but no, thanks. Those who dedicate themselves to the Portuguese music aren't those who extort money from artists and music lovers, but those who give their time and life and love for music, many times for free, to help the music media. One great example of that is the recently released free Portuguese compilation that aims to show what's being made in Portugal. Nobody made money out of this, no ilegal stuff was made, we (music lovers) win with this kind of inniciatives but you hate them since you're not earning any money with it. Tough for you!

When will you people stop harming Art? Do you really want to kill music?