Transcript of a conversation at Midem 2004 (in Cannes, France, end-of-January 2004) between Jan Hanford (Mrs. Magnatune) and a major record company executive (who will remain un-named) who noticed our "We are not evil" stand.
Major Label Executive walks up to Magnatune booth:
Exec: (pointing to trade show booth logo) "We are not evil." That's not very nice.
Jan: Why not?
Exec: Well, you're saying we're evil.
Jan: No we're not. Only you can be the judge of that.
Exec: (snicker, frown)
Jan: Depending on how you treat your musicians, you may or may not be evil. How do you treat your musicians?
Exec: Well, I think we treat them pretty good.
Jan: Do they make any money?
Exec: Um… well, you know. It varies from contract to contract.
Jan: You mean that there could be a contract where a musician would not receive any money? That's evil. (giggle)
Exec: (frown) No, it isn't. So you really think this idea of yours will work?
Jan: Yea, we do. Everyone's really excited and many of the musicians are already making money.
Exec: Well, I don't see how this business model can work in the long term.
Jan: From what I read in the press your business model isn't working out too well.
Exec: (smirk) But mergers like BMG and SONY are going to have an impact.
Jan: Oh good, then they can go bankrupt together instead of separately.
Jan: I mean, your whole industry is based on stealing people's music. It's like running a restaurant and not paying the cooks. Eventually you're going to run out of food and then the customers will stop coming. It seems they already have stopped.
Exec: Yea, ha, you're funny. Well, it's been interesting talking to you. I mean it, really interesting. No hard feelings, ok?
Jan: (shaking hands) No problem, have fun at MIDEM.