Alright, it was part of a larger statement about the support of artists, but let’s stop, take a minute, and gawk at the olds who really don’t understand digital distribution.
Pete Townshend, of geriatric rock band The Who, had some mixed things to say about the new models of distribution and while he finds iTunes to be a “fantastic piece of software,” he also complained of rampant theft in the digital distribution realm. During a BBC tribute show, the rocker said:
“The word ‘sharing’ surely means giving away something you have earned, or made, or paid for?” …Is there really any good reason why, just because iTunes exists in the wild west internet land of Facebook and Twitter, it can’t provide some aspect of these services to the artists whose work it bleeds like a digital vampire, like a digital Northern Rock, for its enormous commission?”
In the quoting and re-quoting of Townshend’s remarks, it’s difficult to see he clearly distinguished between the issue of iTunes distribution- which he feels provides less support to artists- and the practice of downloading files illegally, which he believes is tantamount to theft of physical property. More of Townshend’s comments can be read over at the BBC and on the Guardian‘s site.