As a music blogger, I've been put on any number of mailing lists from PR reps and labels, but never have I received such a misplaced and inflammatory email as the one replicated in its entirety below.
"Dear MARK ,
I’ve received hundreds of e-mails enthusiastically reacting to my “call to action” at the National Association of Recording Merchandisers convention last month. The music business is facing huge challenges from piracy and theft. Never before in American history has an entire industry been so decimated by illegal behavior. Yet the government has not responded in a meaningful way to help us address this crisis. My call to action is for all of us to become more aggressive in lobbying our government, more outspoken in drawing attention to the problems caused by piracy and more actively engaged. We cannot win this fight alone.
Governments outside the U.S. are legislating, regulating and playing a prominent role in discussions with ISPs (Internet Service Providers). Sales have dramatically improved in these countries. How is it that the U.S. – with the most successful music community in the world – is not keeping up with places like South Korea, France, the UK and New Zealand?
As I said in my speech, I hope that the industry can negotiate a voluntary deal with the ISPs. We need our government representatives to encourage this. But whether or not we reach a deal with the ISPs, our government needs to know that we’ve got a piracy problem and we need real solutions. To accomplish this, our government needs to hear from all of us, so they know that their constituents are out here. Join me in calling on our elected officials to fight piracy. Please help by forwarding this email to your colleagues, friends– everyone who loves music. And consider enlisting your entire company to help in this fight. Then by clicking on the link below a message will be sent to your representatives in Washington. Help us launch a viral campaign to cut off access to the online sites that are used to steal our music, our property and our jobs. It only takes a second but it can make a tremendous impact.
Click HERE (link disabled).
Please help us by forwarding this link.
I'd like to take the time to offer a slightly ambiguous, probably hypocritical and definitively obstinate response to this email, which was most likely sent by some college kid with a passion for music spending his summer doing administrative work for college credit.
I hope this letter finds you well. I appreciate the effort you must have put in to secure my email address and send me this 'call to action'--especially as the President/CEO of a major name in the music industry [Universal Music Group]. Your schedule must be a busy one!
While I don't specifically condone or encourage piracy or theft, I have little feeling for your cause beyond apathy. If you'd taken the time to read my blog, you'd understand that many of the bands I support are on small labels or subscribe to a DIY ethic. These are people who believe in music, have a passion for what they do and don't put a price tag on the joy they get from their art. Strangely enough, these are the only people I look to support as part of an industry that is quickly losing relevance in the digital age.
As you plea with the music industry to save the jobs of people you could easily have kept onboard had you and your fellow executives taken a 5% pay-cut, I can't help but wonder why a listening public would think twice about stealing from your inordinately large paycheck! My god, if it wasn't for you guys, artists might be making more than 10 percent of the profits from their collective worth! The music industry (in its current form) is a sham, good sir, and your vague call to action, which seems to appeal only to people who make a livelihood off the artistry, talent and dedication of others (and not to "everyone who loves music," as you say), serves to move me in a way you hadn't intended. In fact, my soul cries for joy now that artists have the resources at their fingertips to promote their own hard work and to reap the rewards their art provides them.
No more label bigwigs directing the trends of the industry. No more encouraging bands to change the sound that brought them a dedicated fan-base in order to make them more widely marketable. Music has always acted as a catalyst for revolutionary change, and so now it brings about reform among the slavedrivers that have defined its direction for years.
Please remove me from your mailing list.
Viva la Revolucion!