Back in the day the vinyl I purchased carried a handy logo and the words “Home Taping is Killing Music”. It didn’t stop me, fingers hovering about the record button on my sisters Binatone tape recorder each and every Sunday night come the chart run down on Radio 1. Times have changed but the consequences of stealing music have become harder to swallow. Today Brighton’s much-loved Rounder Records have announced they are to close at the end of the month after 46 years of trading. 46 years of trading so much more than slices of wax. They traded advice, passion, connections and jobs. They helped build communities and careers and now like so many before them, they are gone.
We are all at fault. Life with Amazon is cheaper, so we don’t question the tax dodging, MP3’s are easier so we don’t question the quality and Tesco is bigger so we don’t question the limits on our choices. Recently researchers for a the BBC asked music consumers what they would pay for a tune. The researchers thought the answer would be somewhere in the region of 63p, 36p down on the iTunes price. The answer? A shocking nought pence. Music, thought most, should be free.
And the consequence of zippysharing a person’s work away? Days like today. The loss of Rounder Records. A business no longer able to make the books work as outgoings outdo the income. The comments will come think and fast on the social networks about our anger and frustration at the loss of Rounder but until we start to appreciate the true worth of a tune and PAY for it, days like this will continue to come. Once DJing was about not just reading the crowd but reading your hometown. Connecting with the locals through our local record shops. Today its just a case of nicking the latest upfront wonder and sounding just like every other DJ in town. Rounder and others like them were a safeguard, trying to stop the homogenization of our life soundtracks. And we’ve just lost it. Today is another bad day for creators and lovers of music. Home taping is fucking music.