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Old 23rd August 2012
Originally Posted by Josh P View Post
These unpaid internships are straight up exploitation. It's great that people want to stand up for artists rights here in the music business forum; but when it comes to young people trying to get started in music industry exploitation is ok? The double standard is really baffling to me.

Part of having a successful music industry is having sustainable jobs - this does not happen when entry level positions are ALL replaced by rotating unpaid interns. If someone is making you coffee and cleaning your toilets they need to be paid - this is not just my personal opinion, it is the law. Young people with thousands of dollars of student dept who now have to intern for years before they can hopefully if they're lucky find a job is a huge problem for the economy right now.

Christian Neumeister: It’s Just Business: How Corporate America Made Slaves of the Young - Truthdig

The argument that it's ok for the intern to be doing all this work because they get some kind of free education out of it is BS. In my opinion that is that same as saying the illegal distribution of musicians work is ok because they get free promotion out of the deal. Both arguments look ok at first glance but when you actually think about them for more than a few seconds you realize that they're completely ridiculous. Any job always requires at least some amount of on the job training. If you feel like the training is too much of a burden to you or your business then it is your right to NOT hire them! If you need someone to get you coffee, clean your bathrooms, do your office work, run your facebook account etc., then you need to pay them; you don't get out of paying them by saying that you are training them, even if you are training them.

I know the counter argument is that interns have a CHOICE. Unfortunately if they want to work in the music industry they don't. Anyone who works in the music industry knows that starting out you have to do at least one unpaid internship. So the real choice is either suck it up and do the internship or don't work in the industry.
Well, I guess you don't work in the studio business, do you? Or understand anything about it.

What do you think of people paying $81,000 to Full Sail for a "music production course" that only graduates 15% of students and places none of them (although they promise to.)

Don't you think working for free for a year or so where you can actually LEARN something about your craft is better than incurring a lifelong debt for a worthless piece of paper?

By the way I don't understand why anyone would consider coffee making ability when choosing who they work with on their album?
Obviously. It's pretty clear you've never spent much time in a real studio.

Let me spell it out to you - it's a test. Somebody who can't be trusted with a simple job like making coffee does not have what it takes mentally to work on an album. Somebody who cannot maintain a positive, attentive attitude when making coffee (or sweeping the floor, etc.) is almost certainly not going to be able to keep it together under the kind of stress that often occurs over the course of a project.

Not to mention the fact that if you do work your way up to being an assistant engineer an awful lot of what you do consists of boring, menial tasks like documenting sessions and aligning tape decks.

And somebody who cannot maintain a PROFESSIONAL ATTITUDE when doing simple, menial jobs in the studio does not understand what it means to have a professional attitude when dealing with clients.

One of the most important things you need in this business is a PROFESSIONAL ATTITUDE. Without that you're nothing.

And believe me, bitching about being taken advantage of when you're being offered an opportunity that hundreds, if not thousands of other people would give their left nut for is a dead certain indication that not only do you not have a professional attitude, the very concept of it is so foreign to you that you wouldn't know it if it sat on your head.

And frankly, the same thing carries over into most businesses - if you have that precious "oh, the young are so exploited" attitude it will stand in your way every time.