Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson talked with Comebackstage about what he thinks about illegal filesharing and Napster.
“The result of Napster and things like that – even though downloading is now kind of mainstream – Napster destroyed the concept of music having any value, which is terrible.
“I think the guy [who started Napster] should be locked up, and maybe he has been – he deserves to be.
“It was an act of pure selfish destruction. And what he did was he used the enthusiasm of the audience… Because the audience is not guilty – they could get all this great music for free. Why wouldn’t they do that? They didn’t realize that what they were doing was destroying an entire culture.
“For a band like us, actually we still make records, but we pretty much accept that we don’t really make hardly any money out of making a record. We still do it because we have to, because we love it and we have to do new music.
“But the great thing with us is we can tour and make money by playing live. Other bands, bands who are coming up doing great music, they don’t get that luxury. And it’s hard to see where a whole generation of musicians is gonna come from now. People who are brilliant musicians don’t get paid for doing amazing jobs.
“I get paid when they sell a copy of my book. The difference is, I took two-and-a-half months to write this book, and I get paid a royalty, and, actually, it’s very reasonable, it’s very fair.
“If this book was a record and I took two and a half months to make it, I would have to give it away, because people will pay for a book, but they won’t pay for an album. That is really sad and it’s wrong.
“Now, I don’t know where we’re gonna get to in the future. It’s possible that the digital downloading world will start to charge a little bit more money and artists will get paid a little bit more.
“When you consider that most people, when they sit down and listen to an album, they might drink a pint of beer or have a can of an energy drink or something else like that. So they’ll pay the price of a can of energy drink, but they won’t pay the price for the album. And it’s sad.
“I think everybody needs to be educated about the fact that music has real value and musicians have real value; they spent years working on their craft to entertain people.”
Napster was cofounded by Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker. Parker went on to become a board member of Spotify among other things and is currently worth over $2.5 billion.
I am a Brazilian journalist, a Classic Rock and Heavy Metal lover. Music has always been part of my life, helped me through tough moments and was with me to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After college I did a postgraduate degree in digital communication. This has helped me to make the website better and bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG