The numbers are simple and staggering. The internet has not empowered musicians, it has exploited them.
Of course there will always be people to nit pick the numbers, to argue and quibble about the Bureau Of Labor Statistics (BLS) methodology. It may be impossible to estimate the exact effect of unethical internet exploitation, but the trend is definite.
Those who debate the exact numbers are using that to delay action. Their job is similar to the commentators and ‘scientists’ funded by oil companies’ to deny global warming or say it needs “more study.”
The Bureau Of Labor Statistics is an agnostic government agency, not the RIAA.
It is also important to note that these cuts are made from the bottom up, not the top down. It is the struggling and middle class musician that gets hurt first. The difference between “making a living, making music” or not is represented in these numbers.
We should also like to point out that while musicians are making less money, those in Silicon Valley are making more money. Jaron Lanier says that “the internet destroyed the middle class” and we can see for ourselves that through the systematic process of removing the cost of labor from their offerings the elite few, are making more money, while everyone else is doing more of the work.