The Eagles achieved astounding success since their formation in 1971. Founding member Don Henley has since enjoyed a lucrative solo career. With a span of decades in the industry, Henley explains why he views file-sharing as a detrimental trend that will contribute to the collapse of the business of music:
The digitization of music … made music easy to steal, and that is slowly but surely killing the industry. A whole new ethical – or rather unethical – paradigm has emerged in which the illegal downloading of music is looked upon, primarily by those who do it, as a kind of Robin Hood activity. This is due, to some degree, to the fact that the only face of the music industry that most people ever see, is manifested by wealthy rock, pop, rap and hip-hop stars, flaunting their lifestyles. But behind all that ostentation and glitziness is an entire chain of jobs numbering in the thousands… So, when somebody pirates a song, it has a ripple effect. I am mystified by this new mindset that music should be free for the taking.
Playing live will be the only source of income for bands and individual artists. This will have a chilling affect on songwriting, publishing and recording — and all the related parts of the business. The very foundation of the industry will be gone.
Where will new bands come from? How will they get started? How will they survive?
This mythology about bands being able to “make it” using the Internet, is just that — a myth.
That’s what’s bound for extinction, and the government doesn’t seem to care at all. Copyrights, intellectual property rights are being rendered meaningless by the Internet and those who abuse it, and the sovereign nation of Google is one of the prime perpetrators.
It’s a Brave New World, out there, but I’m afraid it’s going to be a lot less savory and nurturing than the old one, at least in terms of the arts and crafts.