68-year-old Roger McGuinn of The Byrds explains how he feels about artists who speak out against piracy:
“I don’t think they get it. They’re just looking at the bottom line and worrying about somebody pirating. You know, when you get your songs played on the radio, people can tape that and the quality is just about good as an MP3. I don’t know what they’re worried about. It’s just pretty silly really. I’ve only -gained- exposure through the Internet, as opposed to losing record sales. . . You know, we make music because we love it. Most musicians don’t really care about the money. I think the record companies have been taking advantage of that for a long time. The only good thing I ever got out of a hit record was the publicity it generated and got people to come to concerts. There was good money there.”
He suggests reading the piece by Courtney Love, where she explains the math and earnings behind the albums bought- and agrees full-heartedly that record labels don’t do what they promise for the artists.
In 2000, McGuinn testified before the United States Senate on the issue of Napster and downloading music. He took a stance against record labels, saying, in part:
“. . .There are ways the record companies have of not paying these royalties. . . I saw nothing but the advance, which was, divided five ways, it was only a few thousand dollars apiece. . . And with the advent of MP3.com, I’m getting 50 percent of the CDs that come out now, I think it’s a wonderful thing. But as far as my experience in the record business, the artist doesn’t always receive royalties from the record companies, and that has been my experience.”