"Illegal file-sharing and ripping of music files is pervasive, out of control and oh so criminal. Many of the nominees here tonight, especially the new, less-established artists, are in immediate danger of being marginalized out of our business. Ripping is stealing their livelihood one digital file at a time, leaving their musical dreams haplessly snared in this World Wide Web of theft and indifference."
Those were the words of Michael Greene, the President/CEO of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, speaking at last night's Grammy Awards. That the Recording Academy's leader would take an occasion as joyous as the Grammy's to present such a serious speech is indicative of the way many in the industry are feeling: the music business is in dire straits.
In the year 2001, sales of blank CD's exceeded sales of CD's with music on them, as many people are downloading music files from the internet and burning them onto their own CD's. This hour, the troubles facing the music industry.
Donald Gorder, Chair of Music Business/Management Department at Berklee College of Music in Boston
Jenny Toomey, recording artist and executive director of the Future of Music Coalition
This program aired on February 28, 2002.