This whole RIAA record sales decline is a bunch of bull. There are a couple of things I can state that just doesn't add up that the RIAA claims is decreasing record sales.
1st of all, the exact same record labels in NY and elsewhere that are complaining about file sharing, and the artists losing money are the same ones that aren't giving a crap about bootleggers, and never have. I could walk a "couple of blocks" away from any major record label in Manhattan and go find any CD of any artist at a table on the street corner. But yet they're saying their serious about piracy? Doesn't seem that way to me.
2nd, technology wise, this theory about MP3s doesn't wash for me. For 1 thing, in just the US alone, not everyone owns a PC, maybe about 35% or little more at best. 2nd, at least about 75% of US citizens are still using 56k connections, not DSL or Cable. So what does this mean? Well here's the deal. I don't know anyone that goes online downloading whole albums, especially not with a 56k connection. No one has that much time in the day with a 56k connection, and that's assuming that you can even get a full connection rate of 56k, 9 out of 10 you won't.
If by chance you did find an entire album of an artist, no one in their right mind would download that file, not just because of the speed problems, but also because you know that each song wouldn't be encoded with the better bit rate quality, because that would increase file size, which is the whole purpose of having MP3's in the first place.
People aren't downloading albums, their downloading singles. And sure, artists don't get paid for downloads, which I feel evey artist is entitled to their money for their labor, but myself, as well as many others that have expressed their opnioins on this forum are tired of spending hard earned money for an album, just to take it home and hear "maybe" 2 "average" tracks. And it really pisses me off because I'm a producer. I've had many people in the industry that have told me my tracks are "major level", but because I don't have a name for myself, like "Baybface", "Timbaland", "BT", "Neptunes", I'm not even considered for some projects. THen I listen to their tracks and it's like "They got paid $50k - $200k for that song?" Yeah, right.
Again, my example just takes into acct. the way things are here in the US, but everybody in the world doesn't have a PC, yet even with all of the bootlegs, explain to me how a rapper named "50 Cent" sold over 800,000 units in a week if people aren't buying albums? THe RIAA is half right, people aren't buying albums, just not crappy ones.