What Do You Really Think About the Piracy Issue?

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What Do You Really Think About the Piracy Issue?Give Us a Piece of Your Mind!
Some folks in this over-saturated industry equate music piracy with free promotion, reciting the popular soundbite that “obscurity is a greater danger than theft” (Think of BitTorrent pitching their new Artists Pilot Program as a way to “amp up your audience”). Others regard free file-sharing (particularly the illegal kind) as high treason against the sacred art of music. As with most polarizing debates, the truth and best solutions probably live somewhere in-between the extremes.

In defense of those crying foul, shouldn’t talent and craft be rewarded for its own sake? After all, you don’t expect to hire a contractor to remodel your kitchen and then give him 2 beer tickets as payment. You wouldn’t dream of asking some local kid in your neighborhood to mow your lawn for free.

No. You pay them for their service and then enjoy the fruits of their labor, just like when you buy an album or MP3. You’ve paid the artist (and their label, manager, & distributor), and now you can listen to their work at your leisure. And yet I hear at almost every gig, “Hey man, I love your new album! I listen to it all the time.” But when I enthusiastically ask them where they got it from, inevitably they say 1) a torrent site or 2) they burned/ripped/transferred it from a friend.

Even worse, they’re ignorant to the fact that their explanation might offend me.

After all, I’ve spent my own money, time, and talent to make the music this person is now enjoying for free.

Paid In Fun Units
A friend of mine often jokes that musicians today are paid in “fun units.”

She thought up this absurd standardized measurement (which takes on a new colorful meaning when abbreviated to “F-Us”) because music consumers often rationalize their voracious illegal downloading (and their resistance to paying an $8 cover-charge at a music venue when they don’t mind spending $50 on booze) by saying “Well, you’re playing music. At least you’re having fun.”

Really? Because I could think of a few other fun things I’d rather be doing with my time than running scales on the guitar and staring at a computer monitor trying to book another tour.

Or perhaps it is the local club owner or booker saying, “We can’t pay you, but you’ll get two drink tickets and the gig will be really fun and a great way to get your name out there.” Granted, they’re running a business too.

But artists need to carefully consider whether these “opportunities” are really just a “fun” way of getting taken advantage of.

People who justify their cheapness by reminding musicians how much FUN we’re having might not always be ill-intentioned, but they are minimizing or altogether ignoring the hard work and creativity that many artists dedicate to their craft.

Should we stand for it? Do we have any choice? Is this minimization an irreversible trend?

The End Of Standard Practices
At the same time, I would much rather someone actually hear my music, even enjoy my music for free, than not hear it at all. Perhaps a new fan would never have been at my show in the first place, were it not for that little initial theft.

Is this a fair trade-off? Can musicians today demand the same kind of respect and wages as a tradesman, teacher, bartender, neighbor mowing your lawn, or babysitter?

Or, in a world chock-full of talented people who have easy access to affordable recording technology, is it merely the squeaky wheels, the hardest-workers, the buzz-bands, and the lucky few who deserve to be compensated for their commodity… ummm…. I mean “art.”

After all, simple laws of Supply & Demand illustrate that the more music that is available out there, the less that music is worth. And since 0s and 1s require almost no shelf space whatsoever, you cannot determine value of a digital file in the same way as a physical product that requires storage, shipping, distribution, and manufacturing costs-per-unit.

Sure, the internet has democratized music promotion and distribution, allowing indie artists access to a kind of exposure formerly reserved only for major label acts. But as the old paradigm erodes, so too do the standard practices that were tightly controlled by a more consolidated, powerful elite (the major labels, the PROs, etc.). And one of the things that seems to be going out the window is the general view that musicians should be compensated for the very act of making music that people want to consume.

Music Is Worth Something
The new unknown frontier is an exciting and frightening place.

Thankfully, things are tempered by a healthy tension between those hoping for a headlong rush towards free music and the Old Guard who’ve got their feet firmly planted in soil that keeps turning over, and this tension between the extremes has its own moderating power.

Music-makers and music-consumers aren’t being driven off a cliff any time soon. I, for one, though I’m not bold enough to say exactly WHAT the value of a recorded or live musical experience is, am confident that it is worth something.

Proposed Legislation
One group that is currently attempting to combat piracy is called A2IM. If you’d like to learn more about their efforts, click HERE. Also, we’d urge you to read for yourself the legislation they are supporting and hear your feedback on the matter.
A2IM has a significant voice in the music piracy debate, but we want to listen to your voices as well.

So, what about you? Is piracy an issue for you as an artist? Are we making a mountain out of a molehill? Or is the sky really falling?

22 thoughts on “What Do You Really Think About the Piracy Issue?

  1. It’s not all about people just wanting to get free music. Two other reasons for downloading MP3s that should be kept in mind are rarity and research. If a particular album was only released on LP back in the ’70s and the only way to obtain it is to pay a high collector’s price (if you can find it at all), then naturally people who can’t find or afford it are going to opt for a free download from a file hosting site like Rapidshare. Also, before paying a collector price for a record, most people are naturally going to want to hear it first (i.e. research). Personally, I don’t want to settle for a download. I much prefer the tactile experience of a physical sound object. I mostly look at downloads as “place holders” in my collection until I am able to track down the actual object. Major labels in the US really dropped the ball by not following Japan and Germany’s example by releasing mini-LP packaging for CD re-issues and new releases. Look at how well LP sales did in 2010. A lot of people prefer vinyl over CDs partially because of the packaging.

  2. A law that isn’t enforceable isn’t a law.  Folks will steal with impunity because there is basically no “remedy” against it.

    Since searching / waiting for torrents, finding broken links etc. can be a hassle, there is still an opportunity for record companies and online stores to compete with the “freebies”.

    However in order to do so , they have to LOWER THEIR PRICES. 

    At a dollar a song, people (especially kids) have a financial incentive to track down a pirated copy. 

    A dime a song, or maybe a quarter, would be a fairer price.

    After all, there is no longer any manufacturing or shipping cost.  And the sound quality of an MP3 is utter shit compared to CD audio.  (Anyone else notice how record companies have been trying to blur the distinction over the last few years, by putting out CDs that sound just as bad as MP3s?  The last few Red Hot Chili Peppers albums, anyone?)

    Of course high costs are still associated with record production, often having little to do with what you hear on the finished product.  Making the promotional video often costs more than the cost of making the record itself, and the fees charged by celebrity “producers” can be outlandish.  If the record companies really care about their sustainablity, maybe it’s time they rethought that kind of profligacy and Trimmed The Fat. 

    Unsigned performers aren’t as deeply affected, because of the direct contact they have with their (smaller) fanbases.  Plus the internet has made it easier for to do fan-funded records.  (If
    that doesn’t work out, it’s probably a sign that they’re better to
    keep music as a hobby.)

    Personally, I still buy CDs.  If the record company pulls a ripoff move
    like putting one new song on a greatest hits album, I buy the MP3 of
    that song.  And if something is out of print / no longer being exploited by the
    copyright owner, why not look for the torrent?

    On the subject of “pay to play”, “playing for free” etc, joe sixpakk said it best: “THE ONLY WAY TO GET PAID TO PERFORM IS TO BRING YOUR OWN AUDIENCE.
    If you cant guarantee more customers then the owner has no need for you
    at all.”  

    He’s right – what the club owner is buying ISN’T your music, but the audience that you bring in.  How much beer can you sell?  Whether you can play or not is irrelevant.

  3. Certain cultural changes could help. For one thing, we really do need to refuse any “pay to play” requirements. That’s definitely evil. As for free playing, it can work under some circumstances. My music definitely would never fit in a bar, so for many years it’s been necessary to find new kinds of venues. The opportunities change all the time, and that’s certainly part of the challenge.
    As you will notice on my web site, a lot of music is there for free. A few years ago, as certain types of venues disappeared due to economic conditions, it was decided to establish part of my work as charity. That’s actually helped. Of course this assumes that your music has some healthful and beneficial effects in the first place.
    One big cultural change that would help, is for more people to support music on their own spontaneously. If you got some music for free and benefited from it, go ahead and send a little money to the artist when you can. People are now doing that with me at times. The donations range from $5 to hundreds. It’s random, but it keeps the music going and also provides a great excuse for doing more charity work. People who can pay are compensating for those who can’t. This can work.

  4. First, we had LPs (records), then 8-track tapes, then cassettes, then CDs, and Minidiscs. The consumer has had to pay out of pocket over and over again for the same music.

    Ross Kendall i totally get u. i bought a wii and had to pay money again for Nintendo games i bought years again and payed more the second time. same for tapes to cds. i bought it once….why should i have to buy it again at a higher price no less. technology is changing and we have to pay over and over again for it….while the price goes up and up. sharing a song or two so i dont have to pay again is not piracy. real piracy is downloading it, making copies, and selling for profit. not personal use of a few songs i bought years ago and didnt feel like buying again for enjoyment only! and by the way usually if i like what i hear i pay for it buy getting the whole cd. sometimes its not a bad thing……a new artist gets heard….then liked…..then bought. would i have bought that new artists music without hearing a single song???????????/

  5. I believe there needs to be more laws about copy righting. you shouldn’t be telling a mom of three that she has to pay a billion dollars for downloading some songs on lets say limewire.what if she was paying for limewire pro? is that wrong…she was paying someone just like napster is a pay site. I believe the one that put those songs out there to be downloaded is the real problem. are those people paying money to whom ever to put there stuff out there to be taken? in the 80s and 90s it was recording music from the radio to a tape. was that wrong? is it wrong to borrow a friends dvd to watch without paying? what if my friend said look i have it on my computer….i bought it and own the right to do with it what i want so lets put it on ur computer so u can watch it. is that wrong? why are we attacking the down loaders when we should be attacking the people putting the stuff out there. there are way to many questions to be answered before we start jumping down everyone’s throat about downloading….more laws on whats right and wrong and stop the people putting the stuff out there first so people can no longer get that stuff on the other end of things.

  6. Anyone who pirates or downloads any music which, in any way, does NOT recompense the artist should be de-nutted and hung out to dry. No re-trials. No re-dos. No passing GO.

  7. Don’t lose sight of the distinctions among counterfeiters, pirate bit torrent sites and the “fans” who download music illegally. I use the term “fans” lightly because most of them seem to be just collecting as much free crap as they can, regardless of quality. That’s not a fan, that’s just being a misguided jerk who doesn’t get the point or appreciate the value of anything, music being just another valueless toy to them. I do layout and design for CDs and, from my standpoint, the counterfeiters are the true criminals. They steal *everything* that went into that pretty shiny piece of plastic – the rehearsals, the money spent on recording space/time, the guys who mix and master the tracks, the producers, the artists like me who design cool packaging for the music and liner notes and thoughts to be shared as well the musical artists, themselves. All are being ripped off when these professional $&#s in the Czech Republic (seems to be centered there, at least in my experience) steal the music, the layout, the liner notes, etc., all copyrighted and all badly reproduced and spread around like manure to undercut the small indie labels who are still out there (yes, they are still out there) producing awesome CDs by mindbendingly talented musicians. They are counterfeiters, not pirates or lazy consumers and there can be no doubt that what they are doing is theft, pure and simple. I have long said that most folks downloading free music are just lazy and self-serving and were never going to shell out one thin dime for your music in the first place because they feel entitled to just have it. Yep, to just have it because it’s there. The bit torrent pirates have contributed to this mindset by barfing out everything they can get their hands on and spewing it into the aether of the internet for free consumption. Anyone stupid enough to download a file from a torrent sincerely deserves the computer virus they’re courting and is no music afficianado in even the merest sense of the word. That’s just collecting vast amounts of whatever junk is free. Real fans actually support the artists they dig by paying for the CD or the cover charge or the legal download and those folks aren’t going away, they’re just being outnumbered by the freeloaders. To sum up: Counterfeiters are thieves who need to be prosecuted, Pirates are scum who help to perpetuate the decline of good, original music by utterly devaluting it in every respect while trying to scrape out a profit from it, even if it’s just notoriety Those downloading free music are just lazy and selfish and clueless. Yeah, that’s my two cents.

  8. As an indie songwriter, I have both benefited from and been hindered by the advances in technology. In my opinion, the industry and independent artists should both work at educating the public on the detrimental effects of taking and using music without paying for it. I think the vast majority of the music consuming public do not think of themselves as “thieves” when they download “free” music. They need to be told that, contrary to what they may think, they are not “sticking it to the man” (“the man” being the corporate music industry) when they fail to pay anything for an MP3 file song file, because “the man” has already long-since lost his “industry fat cat” job and is selling real estate or flipping burgers by now. Instead, they need to be told, in a nice way, but firmly and consistently, that EVERY time they use music without compensating the artist, the are, in fact, taking real cash money out of that artist’s pocket and, in doing so, hindering him or her from being able to afford to go on and produce more of the music they so much enjoy. I’d love to see an Ad Council public awareness campaign on this issue. Thanks, Ben Sage

  9. Many years ago, bands used tour venues to make their money. Album sales were originally just for exposure. Assuming we bring that mind set with us, CD/mp3 piracy is no more a threat to the artist than it was 100 years ago. If we transition to a more recent mind set, yet still a good many years ago, artists gave away their albums to radio stations and DJ’s so they could get exposure. A necessary exposure to generate long term sales, generally by gaining new fans.

    Pirating an album for the sake of not spending money is always wrong. But there may be valid exceptions to what law calls piracy and what we morally determine to not be theft. Is downloading a copyrighted album, which is not offered for free illegal? You bet it is. Is making a personal CDR copy of a retail CD which you personally own, because you don’t want the original CD’s to be exposed to the elements in your car or children, or whatever else piracy? Legally speaking, no it’s not. Fair Use (part of the DMCA) says we can do so legally. Now extend this to the possibility of your newest retail CD being damaged BEFORE your ability to make a CDR copy of it. Downloading the mp3 replacement without paying for the download is technically illegal, despite your legal ownership of an authorized copy and fair use making a personal copy legal. And this is exactly where I find issue with the RIAA and others who “combat piracy”.

    Some of the less popular artists, or at least those who aren’t freely (legally) available to download nor on radio stations are really difficult to pick up when you don’t know what their music is. You might hear 1 song by them and know nothing about their other 5 CD’s. Sometimes the tactics of big brother (RIAA, etc.) are more in favor of “don’t fail to collect that dollar” more than they are for “this will make you more money in the long run.” Some artists seem to use the legal protection that piracy laws provide as an incentive to whip out a bunch of crap music and sue people who download your music rather than make something substantial enough to be worthy of the money.

    At least with big label companies, both the music and movie industries are consistently seeing the pains of their failures to adapt to what society wants. Anyone remember Metallica and their Napster suit? Anyone else follow their sales data following that? Sales slumped. Anyone follow what Green Day came up with? They started offering pre-silkscreened CDR’s which had their album covers on the discs. People who burned a copy of their music were still invited to pay them a little something for the nicer looking CDR’s, even without the full cost of the retail album. Great for legal mp3 downloads. Great for those who weren’t going to pay full price for the album, but who were interested in something more than crude CDR’s. This is a concept called compromise. Something many of us forget about when we look at the world.

    I think there are -some- people who use technically illegal downloads as an extended sample / preview of the content, similar to an unpaid rental. The key to this is actually buying a real copy or disposing of the pirated content in a timely manner. Unfortunately, there are also many blatant pirates who use this excuse to justify the piracy, despite their non-intentions to actually buy a real one some day.

    During the piracy debate, we fail to look into the mindset of those who pirate digital content. Why do we overlook something so simple, when we almost always look into the psyche of killers, bank robbers, etc.? It’s because there’s power to be gained by having a cause against piracy. There’s also money to scrape up from millions of lawsuits. Why else would a huge organization such as the RIAA or MPAA use legal measures to combat piracy rather than marketing? Sometimes greed causes spite. When the content producers appear too greedy, people fight against it with often skewed means. It’s not unlike someone saying they hate Microsoft and there on putting forth efforts to pirate and distribute Microsoft products as a way to prevent sales. Little do these people realize that they’re actually growing a company even when that company doesn’t get -those- sales. Microsoft Office is one example. Microsoft Windows is another. They make money because a high percentage of the market uses them and now has a dependency on them. Almost like a drug addiction.

    If you’re a (fill in the blank… musician / artist / band / producer / etc.) and your sales suck, why not look into all your options beyond piracy. A movie (I’m not talking series or seasons, but just 1 movie) should not cost $32 for the DVD (Example: Avatar). That’s greed. I’m stuck without a copy and others shrug and pirate it. Either way, many people aren’t giving you money for it.

    Someone somewhere is getting money for something when people commit to piracy.
    – Higher-speed Bandwidth for people who download pirated content.
    – CDR / DVDR / BDR for people to burn the illegal content onto.
    – Larger or extra hard drives to house the illegal downloads.
    – Printers and ink to print the CD / DVD / BD covers.
    – Scanners to scan in someone else’s artwork to make a copy.
    – CD / DVD / BD burner drives to burn the content.
    – Faster computers to make the piracy process more efficient.

    While I’m not suggesting that the above items are only used for piracy, I am saying that people upgrade more often and that people often get faster, more powerful specs than they would otherwise need when they participate in piracy. Nothing is “FREE”, not even a non-infected, audibly & visually perfect copy, without legal penalty. the money was just spent somewhere other than on the specific content pirated.

    Even in the sudden halting of all piracy, I think we’re unlikely to see more total money spent and are almost guaranteed to only see a shift in where money is spent. from the technological standpoint, we may even be more likely to see an eventual decline in money spent and a growth in landfill as a result of the combination of hardware less capable of upgrading and the increase in easily destructible content such as CD / DVD / BD discs. (And for the record, the ECO DVD packs with the weird triangles of missing plastic suck. They contribute to the landfills as I, along with everyone else I know replaces them with solid DVD cases.)

  10. Piracy is just a soft way of saying stealing. According to every world religion and by basic human morality, stealing is wrong and therefore piracy is wrong. Even if you are an atheist, stealing is illegal and has it’s consequences in the court systems so if you get caught, deal with it. End of discussion.

    Taking a CD and duplicating it for your friend is the same exact thing as walking in to a music store and taking the same CD off the shelf and walking off with out paying for it. Also known as shoplifting or stealing.

    The only way music should be free is if the artists themselves offer it for free. Furthermore, music is so cheap these days, there is no rational argument that can justify the illegal duplication of copyrighted material.

    People have become, lazy, cheap and have a sense of entitlement which drives them to ridiculous excuses as to why they think it is permissible to steal music. Do something honorable and support your local musicians.

  11. Hi, the piracy issue I think will be debated from now til the time (if ever) it is solved. There will always be arguments for both sides. I think the big unsung issue here is the de-valuation of music. Obviously if someone can get something for free, they will do that rather than pay for it. One of the 1st rules in business is, once you give something away for free, you will never get someone to pay for it. However, if musicians want to give away their music for promotional purposes, to get fans to shows, to sell merch…that’s great. Song writer Kerry Chader said once “You can do it for free, but don’t do it for nothing”.

    The other argument here though is bands playing for free (drink tickets etc…). I live in Nashville where honestly, musicians are treated like 2nd class citizens by clubs and taken advantage of all over. It’s really sad especially in Music City, a place that would not even be on the map if not for musicians. Anyhow, I think it’s up to us musicians to take the stand there but it’s a tough one to call. As soon as you say no to freebie, some other musician will…hence the constant “under-cutting” which ultimately, brings down the value of the art and it’s artisans.

    I’m not saying NOT to do a show where you don’t get paid because some of those can have better perks, such as a festival to play in front of 5000 people etc. However, when venues have the mind set that we won’t pay but you’ll have a place to play, that disgusts me! Can you imagine going to a plumber and saying…hey can you fix my pipes, I won’t pay you anything but it’s an opportunity for you to work on a toilet? the other one that IRKS me is when a club will say..well come play for free as an “audition”..great, does that mean I can bring all my friends for free and we can “audition” your food and beer? I have said that venues by the way. Basically, that is nothing more than them trying to get out of paying for musicians. These are areas where I think it is ESSENTIAL that musicians take a stand. These are just my thoughts and opinions but I take MUCH pride in my work and I expect to be paid for doing the best job I can. Cheers,

    Musically yours,
    Chris Dunnett

  12. There is no such thing as piracy! In fact, in my opinion, every band, group, combo, and even orchestras are “cover” bands. Orchestras all over the world play works from Beetoven, Chopin, Mozart, and the list goes on and on. I play in a classic rock cover band, and really enjoy playing tunes by Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Cream, and all the rest of the groups that have made their mark in the music world. I’m also a composer myself, and would be honored to have anybody else want to play my music. Of course, the whole damn thing comes down to money. Should another artist get money for a tune that I wrote? That all depends if I made a zillion dollars off of it first. If I didn’t make ANY mney whatsoever over I tune that I wrote, and somebody made a major profit, of course, I would be upset. But, I would be honored if another musician even bothered to take interest in anything that I had composed and decided to market it.

    Let’s talk about real piracy! The music industry itself!!! The music industry is a pirate again all musicians to start with. Why? First, we had LPs (records), then 8-track tapes, then cassettes, then CDs, and Minidiscs. The consumer has had to pay out of pocket over and over again for the same music. Granted, as technology has changed, play -back msachines have gone off the market, and we constantly have to upgrade to keep up with the changing times. However, to pay for the same “Doors” album, well, we all know what I am talking about.

    However, let’s take this one step further. What abot the movie industry? We all go to the movies, paying out $10 or more to see a current movie, like “Avatar”, or “Star Trek”, and then all of a sudden, out comes the director’s cut with 15 minutes of deleted scenes are thrown in. Does this want to make you scream? Now, George Lucas says he wants to re-issue the entire Star Wars saga in 3-D, which everybody has to watch using ridiculaous 3-D glasses! What is wrong with this picture? 3-D glasses?? Why not invent movies in 3-D that you don’t have to watch with glasses? Disney has been ripping of parents for years, because they know that little kids want to “The Lion King”, or whatever, so Disney charges 3 times the amount of money. Check out the children’s section the next time you tour Walmart. Piracy? You better believe it! My point is that both the movie AND music industry have been ripping us “the consumer” off for years. It just all depends which eye has the eyepatch on when calling somebody a pirate!

    I could write for hours on this subject, but I think I have my point across!

  13. I almost didn’t read the complete article. When Chris started whining about playing scales and actually “working” at his “art,” I almost tuned out. HELLO! Is music (art) your job or your hobby? If it’s your hobby, quit whining about not making any money. If it’s your job, quit whining about it being work.

    If the point of this article is to inspire artists to support the legislation in S. 3804, I strongly encourage you to read the entire proposal and be aware of what you’re supporting. Don’t support it based on the sound-byte or or based on what someone tells you it’s supposed to achieve. Read it. See if it sounds like it will solve YOUR problem or the problems of Sony, etc.

  14. As a music educator, I definitely try to educate my students on the many debates and get their opinions on matters in the music business. This being a big one–they tend to be split on the issue as well as most. Though I personally don’t think you can steal something that wasn’t yours to begin with…I understand that piracy as we know it has reached an unprecedented level. None of us musicians play chords that werent taught to us. If you do, its probably atonal music you’re playing and you definitely won’t have to worry about people stealing your music at all. These chords and progressions and melody lines are all amalgamations of what we have been taught or what we have gleaned while listening to the voices of the past. When my Christian music friends get on their high horses, I remind them quickly (as a devil’s advocate figuratively) that those lyrics are from the bible and I don’t see them paying royalties to King David or Apostle Paul. I agree with the comment that most music is repetitive and uncreative and 99. however many % crap. When I go through analyzing music with my students, I try to find some current music that gives variety. It is almost impossible. No one writes in any thing from 2/4 and 4/4 time signatures. Noone plays more that I-IV-V progressions (vi-iii and ii chords are derivatives of them) in their songs and the lyrics are so crast and un-artful that it stumps me people make any money off of their music. Again, you can’t really steal someone that you didn’t originally create! People will pay and support what they find worth supporting.

    1. Sorry for the grammatical mistakes…I tried to write this quickly before getting off another meeting. Little Johnny’s pinching again and his mom thinks he’s an angel that does no wrong!!-B.L.Heyward

  15. yes and no —
    the people who illegally take music for their own use would not be buying it anyway
    but
    that is NOT PIRACY !!!!! just theft – bad but not like the labels claim.

    PIRACY IS THE TAKING *AND* **DUPLICATING** AND ***SELLING*** of
    someone elses music.
    those are the true crooks and should be put in jail

    it is unclear if sales would go up or down or stay flat if the illegal downloading/trading of music were to be stopped.
    BUT
    it cant be. technology has changed the game.
    so reprice music so it will sell and stop trying to gouge consumers like the big labels used to do.
    ALSO
    technology has allowed every pimple faced stoner to start his own band and produce his own music at home for his weekly allowance
    (or just not doing weed for a month)
    that provides a humongous OVERSUPPLY while DEMAND IS DOWN which means that the amount people will pay is way down over a decade ago.
    sales are also down because the music has no value nowadays due to
    todays music being 99.9999% pure crap. maybe 99.9999999%

    it is a wonderment that anybody bothers to even “steal” it
    let alone waste time listening to it.

  16. I was a software engineer for many years and those of us that write code have the same problem, how to get plaid for our efforts. While I think the software industry has done a better job, the problem still exists and I expect it always will. Taking something without the owner’s permission is stealing and most people think stealing is wrong. The term “Piracy” is part of the problem. It brings up images of the buccaneer stealing from the rich. It should be referred to as music theft. Stealing is stealing.

  17. I’m so tired of musicians calling their fans thieves. Get over yourselves. Music consumers have listened to the radio for free for years. Of course there are ads on radio for a revenue stream. Please start thinking of the downloading like radio play. We as artists need to be creative and think of a new way to create a revenue stream for ourselves. You can’t download a T-shirt or a live performance. Did that fan pay admission to your show? He thought enough of the music to show up for your concert. Why didn’t you hand him a free bumper sticker or some other promotional item? You had an opertunity to create a life long fan. I hope you didn’t insult him.

  18. I agree piracy is a problem, but in a way this problem was created by the music industry. Too many new bands hungry to ‘get their name out there’ freely give everyone their music. True, sending free CDs etc to reviewers, promoters, etc is the way to get your name out there, but giving it all away to everyone is not the way to run a business. This freely giving to people has caused the ‘I can just take it’ mentality that has lead to the surge of piracy.
    As for venues thinking a couple of free drinks , a meal and a place to play – these venues need to wake up. Understandably they are in business and cutting costs is paramount in any business, but just as they expect to get paid for their products, musicians should be paid for providing the music. But again, the bands are really the ones at fault again, for allowing themselves to be used in such a way and buying into the ‘Great Exposure’ ploy.
    Musicians, you can not stop piracy – it will keep happening – but you do have the power to slow it down to a manageable level.

    1. two things
      nobody should ever work for “exposure”
      not writers photographers nor musicians as
      that just leaves you naked and cold

      on the other hand
      99.9999% of the bands and music out there are pure crap
      people at the bar ignore/tolerate them but aint going to pay to listen that KRAPP

      THE ONLY WAY TO GET PAID TO PERFORM IS TO BRING YOUR OWN AUDIENCE. If you cant guarantee more customers then the owner has no need for you at all. If you can bring fans that pay then you should get a good slice of the extra biz revenue that you brought in.

      The way to make money is to build up a following and have them pay to come hear you play live and then SELL MERCH!!

      Making money at music MEANS THAT YOU HAVE TO *SELL* IT !!
      dont expect to play at some bar and become famous just cause it was you playing there.

      So if you cant sell you wont make any money. and
      If you cant get a following you wont make any money.
      99.9999% of you wont make money anyway.
      Way too many wannabees with home “studios” that are competing for a dwindling amount of available money being spent for music.

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