As the music industry continues its precipitous decline, people — generally people with no experience whatsoever in the biz but who sure like ripping all the music they can for free — have no shortage of advice for musicians. Recorded music is dead, they say, so you have to make your money playing live now. Or selling T-shirts. Or charging your fans to have dinner with them. Or the classic “music shouldn’t be about the money anyway,” as if musicians don’t need to pay the rent like everyone else.

The examples such people bring up are inevitably The Rolling Stones or Madonna or Radiohead, whose careers bear as much resemblance to the average musician’s as Bill Gates’ career does to the average programmer. But no matter, the rippers aren’t really concerned with the musicians’ welfare anyway, they simply want some platitudes to cling to so they don’t have to feel guilty about basically screwing the artists they claim to love by stealing their music.

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