Mick Jagger has a quite sanguine take on downloading. He points out that artists only really had about 25 years (in the 100-year history of recorded music) when they made any money. The rest of the time, they’ve been ripped off.
Are you quite relaxed about it [downloading]?
I am quite relaxed about it. But, you know, it is a massive change and it does alter the fact that people don’t make as much money out of records.
But I have a take on that – people only made money out of records for a very, very small time. When The Rolling Stones started out, we didn’t make any money out of records because record companies wouldn’t pay you! They didn’t pay anyone!
Then, there was a small period from 1970 to 1997, where people did get paid, and they got paid very handsomely and everyone made money. But now that period has gone.
So if you look at the history of recorded music from 1900 to now, there was a 25 year period where artists did very well, but the rest of the time they didn’t.