A “FAQ” About Sharky Laguana and Silent September

Sharky Laguana is still advocating against Spotify’s royalty model. His latest post on Medium is called Streaming Music is Ripping You Off. As you can guess from the title, it’s not an exercise in subtlety. According to Laguana, streaming music services like Spotify are saying “Your choices don’t count, and you don’t matter,” and that “You Are Worthless.”

Just as I stated in Sharky Laguana and “Fair” Spotify Royalties, I believe (along with others like David Touve) that Laguana’s numbers don’t add up. He also consistently uses loaded terminology (“click” vs. “listen”), false dichotomies (“10,000 fans who stream a song once, or one fan who streams it 10,001 times”), and other rhetorical mistakes. It is not an article that is making an argument; it is an article that is meant to be inflammatory.

In it, he attempts to generate outrage for a campaign called “Silent September.” This is the plan: “This September, when you aren’t listening to music, put your favorite indie artists on repeat, and turn the sound down low.” The intent is to “make the problem so visible that the major labels feel it would be better to switch to a different system where this kind of manipulation isn’t possible.”

He also wrote a FAQ for that campaign. And, since I already wrote an article controverting his numbers, I thought it would be more fun to do a “FAQ” of my own.

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My brother got a job at Android. Now what?

For those who don’t know (which is probably all of you), my brother is a programmer. He’s been one for many years, and has worked at a wide variety of software companies (including Amazon, Yahoo!, and Avid). A couple of months ago, he got hired at Google, working on the Android platform.

This is cause for celebration. The work he’s doing sounds interesting, he’s making a very good living, and from what I’ve heard, Google has a great work environment. It does, however, present an interesting conundrum for this blog.

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