Local Musician Reacts To CD Burning Issue

The music industry is worried about the hottest trend in music today, "burned" CDs. It's now common for people to copy music onto blank recordable CDs on a computer. Music fans are happy with the technology, but those trying to make their living in music are singing a slightly different tune.

Blank CDs are big sellers. Some customers are even buying hundreds at a time. However, they are not buying as much music put out by record companies.

"You still have customers that come in. They want to support the artists and buy the CD but, for the most part, we are seeing that sales are kind of down on our music," says Jarreu James at Hastings in Nacogdoches.

For new artists trying to get a record deal, the trend is a two-edged sword. Michael Collins has been working on an album in Nacogdoches for about a year.

"I'm kind of ambivalent about that. In one way, it's good because I get my music out there to people that are listening to it. I'm sure, if I had a recording contract, that I would feel that I wouldn't want people burning my CDs."

Others who work in the music business agree that it's great for new musicians wanting to be recognized but, for those who make music their career, it's a different story.

"Undeveloped artists, or people who aren't signed and such -- they want to get their music out anyway they can. But when it comes to getting into the music industry, where you're splitting it up among writers, publishers, producers, and the record company itself, you're looking at a big loss, [and that] is where we're at today with all that," says Spence Peppard at Encore Recording Studio.

In the end, for a musician like Collins who wants to get recognition, he'll take the hurt if someone burns one of his  CDs.

"If people get my CD for free from somebody else by burning it from somebody that has it, as long as they come see me play live, and pay me then, that's ok with me."