Where Do You Draw the Line?

“AC/DC Stand Firm on Downloads Refusal.”

That was the headline on ThisDay Live this Sunday. I  don’t know about you, but I found that very intriguing.

It went on to read (after a news credit to Sky News): “They are the last major act to refuse to sell their music on the internet but AC/DC are still insisting their songs will never be available to download.”

I’m not even a fan of the band (I only know AC/DC are old-time hard rock greats – I didn’t know they’d been around since 1973, that they were Australian or that they had an album, Back in Black, that was the second highest-selling in history after Michael Jackson’s Thriller). What I was struck by was simply the very idea that anyone would refuse to have their songs downloaded – and why.

Why would anyone, in this age of the iTunes store, refuse to do that? Not just because everyone is doing it (and this may be one of the rare instances where that’s true – even the Beatles gave in last year), but especially when “experts” think they’re losing millions.

Their reason: they want their songs to be heard as whole albums.

Period. That’s it. Nothing more fancy.

I think that’s amazing. Here’s a group almost 40 years in the business, refusing to do something “progressive” because it somehow violates their art as they see it.

They may be wrong, of course. They may even cave in next week, for all I know. But that’s not the point just now. The point is we have here a few guys who, despite obviously wanting to make money (and so far, succeeding) and despite being willing to use technology (they recorded what they consider their most definitive videos in 2009 using 32 HD cameras) – despite all that, they draw the line somewhere, and on nothing more than principle.

So how’s that choice working out? Well, check out the stats on their last world tour, which ended June 2010: 20 months, 28 countries, 108 cities, 5 million people. Sounds good to me.

Whatever it is you do, where do you draw a line – even everyone thinks you’re nuts?

You just read “Where Do You Draw the Line?” on Tambaya!

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