time to change the way we view music and the arts

Champagne by any other name…

2011 is right around the next few strokes of the clock on this side of the world. Celebrations are in order and with almost any New Year’s party there’s bound to be the bottle or two (or two times two if you’re really throwing a bash) of the expected bubbly.

…Bubbly, or Champagne, as it’s properly to be referred to, that is.
And don’t you dare let someone tell you they have “the genuine article” of the French sparkling wine brand if you aren’t:

1) On French soil in the region of Champagne or
2) The company it came from maintains legal agreement to use the name under “limited circumstances while recognizing the “exclusive nature of the name.”

Anything else is just an imitator! /end cheesy infomercial tone of voice./

While we’re thanking France for their graceful use of Pinot Noir grapes, I’m not sure how many of the French are thanking Nicolas Sarkozy for cracking the whip down on over 100,000 illegal downloaders. It probably depends on what side of the profiting fence you’re on.

You know the phrase “Big Brother is watching you,” courtesy of George Orwell’s 1984? (Yes, some of you are surely cringing at the thought of old high school reading. I apologize.) Well, now it’s not just a figure of literary referenced speech.

Sarkozy and his wife (who is a singer) have teamed up to aggressively launch a surveillance body called “Big Brother” that caught and warned the aforementioned thousands of pirating downloaders. (pondering thought: Did Sarkozy get copyright permission to use the title Big Brother? That would be humorously ironic. I digress.)

France is said to be the “world #1 in illegally accessing film and music online.” With the way some individuals were quoted as defending their reasons why, it’s almost not surprising. Just because you followed the whole season of this latest show, I”m sorry you missed the finale, but it’s still illegal. Believe me, I flip out when I can’t watch a new Grey’s Anatomy the day is premieres. It’s still illegal though. Call up your DVD obsessed friends and create an excuse to have a marathon at their house with beer and chips. Much more legal and much more fun, don’t you think so?

Despite this change in copyright tactics on France’s part, I doubt highly that their excessive illegal downloading is the significantly contributing reason for the overall decline in digital download sales in 2010. And actually, when I say “highly doubt” I mean “know.” What has been spoken of as having so much potential, is already on its way out the ever rotating trendy door. Seeing as how people like to have their favorite songs at personal disposal for as much repeated play as they desire, (illegally obtained or not,) I’m surprised to hear that streaming is still holding steady among fans. Internet radio and YouTube, among other video streaming sites, are keeping people’s song cravings happy while not being enough of a drive for those same people to then click the “purchase” link available on most of these sites. Of course, while we’re being up front here, I’ll admit, I’m typing these words while listening to Michael Buble’s “Hollywood” via his official YouTube Music Video link. I do plan on purchasing a copy of his EP; hardcopy no less. 😛

It’s not all consumer laziness though. Direct interaction with fans on the part of bands, extra cheap sales on days like Cyber Monday and hyped up releases like Taylor Swift and the Beatles on iTunes show the digital download isn’t dead yet. It, just like the recent blizzard in the Northeast US, is just on a slippery slope. Hopefully though, unlike the increase of cold and ice in winter, digital downloads won’t go the way of a car on black ice and regain some stability in the new year.

…(Meanwhile in the back of my head, I’m still vying for people to go back to buying CD’s and opening record stores.)

Everyone have fun topping off 2010. Be safe!

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