Ben's Reviews > Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music

Ripped by Greg Kot
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Jun 11, 09

Read in June, 2009

Ripped is a decent basic overview of the digital revolution but Kot completely avoids the negative consequences of illegal file sharing from the small artist's perspective, preferring instead to point out the admittedly hysterical reaction of the Big 5 and RIAA. But the real victims of illegal file sharing are regular working musicians.

For every success story like the Arcade Fire or Death Cab For Cutie, there are a thousand other bands that will die on the vine because of illegal file sharing. In the past, these niche bands were able to survive by cultivating a dedicated audience that would pay for recordings; but at this point an entire generation of music fans has grown up with the notion that paying for music is for suckers. This has resulted in good bands with a decent fan base simply being unable to record at the rate they once did or, in some cases, at all. Mainstream bands, and bands riding current trends, are stronger than ever. Interesting, unique, edgy bands are the ones being squeezed out. Now if Kot doesn't believe this is the case, fair enough. But to not address the issue at all is a major, massive oversight. Bands with a dedicated fan base ought to be able to continue to ply their trade; that many no longer can is a tragedy. And by the way, it's really bad for the future of music, too.
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