November 2011 : No radio, no music!

In the news today: Taxi drivers will now have to pay a daily fee to play radio (or even music on CD for which they already paid). The fee goes to SABAM (think MPAA).

Radio used to be free, to promote music so people would go and buy music. But more and more everyone has to pay because people (could be) listening: first only concerts and parties, then work environments like shops, then waiting rooms, truck drivers, and now taxi drivers. How long will it take until there is a tax on our ears ?! No, I'm not kidding(*), the MAFIA(sorry I meant SABAM) will get there!

Who do we pay ?! The 200 people working for SABAM ? Talk to any *real* artist and ask them how much they get from SABAM, because it is supposed to be all for the 'poor' artists. We already pay the rich and powerful for the music we buy, we pay a second time for the storage media where we keep the music (cd/usb/harddisk,...), so starting today we will pay three times when taking a taxi while listening to our own music. We could soon be paying a fourth time via our monthly internet connection payments. And I am probably forgetting a couple...

Why do people accept this ? What's the benefit of hauling money to SABAM for society ? What do we get in return ? It seems to me that this is a classical story of the rich getting richer... for doing absolutely nothing.

We should all refuse to buy any kind of music, turn off the radio and not play any audio for a whole month! Yes, make November 2011 the month of protest against the storm on SABAM taxes.

(*) It reminds of an old story. Put a frog in boiling water, and it will jump out immediately. Put a frog in cold water and slowly heat it up... the frog will stay put and die. Slow increments are easier to accept than sudden changes, but the end result is the same.