I recently received a 1099 from a music publishing company that stated my total royalties for 2010: a whopping $124. To be honest, I’m thrilled to have any royalties at all. It ain’t easy to write songs, even harder to get one published, and harder still to sell it in this day and age.
But a recent article in the Nashville Business Journal claims that only 3 in 30 music files downloaded from the Internet are legal. I don’t mean to imply that people are downloading my music illegally. I’m pretty sure most of my traffic has come from those directly trying to support me (thanks, Mom!).
Yes, the music industry needs to adapt its business models to allow for digital distribution. But many people don’t think twice about copying music files because they figure they’re sticking it to the big record labels and figure that multimillionaire celebrities already have too much money. If this is you, your perception of the consequences of your actions are greatly skewed. It’s me and thousands like me with our $124 in royalty payments that are most affected.