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There’s downloading and there’s freeloading and to blame for this mess are all those who advocated “free music”- all those sycophants and know-it-all old school bloggers like The Bobster and organisers of music conferences and other “industry events” whose mantra and con was “promotion” and how bands should even PLAY for free so they can be heard by “decision makers”.

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And now that the genie has been set free to roam, who’s crying Foul? The industry, or the remnants of one, as one can keep up pretenses, but the fact is that except for a handful of artists, no one’s purchasing music.

The “concept” of purchasing music is lost on an entire generation because of all those hypocrites talking about “saving the music” when, all along, these were the very same people devaluing music.

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And those who tried to take cheap shots at me for saying so, are now quiet.

They’re busy tweeting about tomato pizzas or working on the next con as music doesn’t matter and never did. It was simply something to hang their hats on while they could.

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Nothing at all wrong with this as it’s business and the financial opportunities in feathering one’s own nest as there are bills to pay and kids to send to school.

It’s the hypocrisy that galls me- the bullshit from well-known bullshit artists.

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Music sales are so non-descript, no one in any of the music companies talk about them anymore unless it’s those who have jumped ship and, free at last, to talk openly about the politics and dysfunction within their midst that made them bail.

In this region, one of the most popular Canto-pop artists- Eason Chan- sold a measly 900 copies of his latest record in Taiwan, one of his bigger markets.

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Other big Hong Kong artists have seen very mediocre sales whereas even their concert sales are no longer the lifeline it once was.

But, at least, though now in their Forties, they made their millions when there were millions to make- or married into millions as everyone’s on the market and for sale in one way or another.

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There’s a huge choice out there today with anything- not only music- and consumers can pick, choose and walk away, or become “freeloaders”.

For example, no one thinks twice about going onto pirate bay or other illegal sites and downloading brand new television series for free.

Think those who, on the one hand, talk about “saving the music” are not, on the other, mooching off illegal sites for everything?

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As I’ve said, an entire generation simply take the illegal downloading of everything for free as part of the norm.

With all the legal free apps out there, how the fuzzy, falsified world of social media has made copyright laws protecting content and content providers null and void, and open to just being taken, it really is a free-for-all.

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Now that the world is overrun by that species known as food bloggers, more freeloaders have surfaced.

These are the people without jobs who are “hired” without payment by two-bit publications and sites in exchange to hit up naive restaurants and bars for “reviews” which means the “foodie blogger” and their friends can get a free meal and a free night out of it.

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Look around any restaurant today and you’ll see many who wouldn’t know tapas from capers and a good Red from a bad whine, busy sending out instagrams of their meals while critiquing a subject they know nothing about which ends up on Google as a “review” and paints a false picture of a restaurant- but which the herd mentality buy into without thinking.

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And here lies the big problem: The inability to think- to have a mind of their own and the creativity to be financially solvent without being part of dodgy deals.

Sadly, and it’s most prevalent in what is the wide world of entertainment comprising bars, restaurants, what were the television and music industries, and that murky digital world that includes online gambling- and the ability to gamble on anything- plus all those apps for saps, illegal file sharing etc, being dodgy has been glorified.

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Yes, instead of using one’s god-given talents- like the Beatles and other bands and artists once did to make music out of real instruments and from the heart- today, it’s all about finding shortcuts to make as much as possible by doing the least as possible- and where right from wrong is lost on many.

It’s like the new “trend” where Hong Kong artists with recording deals who have toured the country, are suddenly popping up on The Voice in China as amateurs and “new talent” while the cornball judges do a worse acting job of appearing to be surprised than Simon Cowell and company did when feigning surprise at the Susan Boyle setup on Britain’s Got Talent.

Few see anything wrong with what’s going on with The Voice.

It’s dismissed as, “It’s how things work in China” and some bollocks about “the North not knowing the South” and how these Hong Kong artists are unknown, so it’s okay”.

Really?

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Being dodgy and cheating people is part of business, and freeloading is part of life.

Greed is good again.

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Hans Ebert

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