Illegal music downloads

Gaddabout

New member
I'm rescuing this topic from an entirely different thread because I think it deserves its own. I wanted to address some comments:

Everyone downloads the occasional song here or there, and I see no problem with that.
Isn't funny how you would never say, "Everyone shoplifts the occasional bag of potato chips, and I see no problem with that"? But somehow, maybe because the presumed anonymity of the internet, we are more likely to make an ethical argument in favor of illegal music downloads.

Here's what I know: IT'S THE SAME THING. Downloading music from peer-to-peer servers and shoplifting is the exact same thing. One is just easier to get away with than the other.

If everyone downloaded music from Napster ... sales would plummet
They did and they have, which is why the recording industry is freaked out. Far be it from me to defend the recording industry -- I abhor their commercial taste in music -- but their property is their property. They spend outrageously to get these acts up to snuff, pay major dollars for studio time, engineers, producers, marketing agents, publicity. If even 5 percent of people who would buy the CD downloaded their favorite song(s) instead, it's probably the difference between making money and losing money for the label.

To sum: Illegal downloads take money out of the pocket of the label, which means less money to sign bands. Guess what? They're not going to stop inking the latest American Idol 5th place finisher. That money comes out of the risk-taking pot, which means your Tool-inspired experimental group is losing out, not the next Carrie Underwood.

So is there really anyone here who can justify continuing illegal downloads?
 

Eiren

New member
Yeah, I'll have a good go at justifying why I download music illegally.


First of all, and I think it's something that we can all agree on, I love music. All sorts of music. Secondly, I love drumming. Thirdly, I only earn so much money each month.

Combine my love of drumming and my love of music, and you have two very expensive hobbies. I can only afford to buy so much music each month.

In the days before the internet, I would go buy so many records each month and sometimes they would be great, and a lot of the time they would be stinkers. A total waste of money. Sure you can take them back to the shop, or trade them... but the fact of the matter is that you've usually lost money, and people are reluctant to trade for something crappy.

So I download everything I am interested in... and then anything I really like, I purchase. I spend a small fortune every month on buying records, and I couldn't realistically afford to buy much more. So I have an effective way of trying before I buy, in the comfort of my own home. If I don't like it, I delete it. If I do like it, then I invariably buy it.

What are the benefits of this? Well it means I don't waste my money on crap. Every record I buy, I know it's excellent and money well spent.

The reason record companies hate this, is because when they release a stinker... they no longer get all the sales they used to, from when people would have to buy it to find out how awful it is. As a result, a really poor release hits them hard. In my opinion, this is great.

People downloading music is forcing the music industry to change. At they moment, they are getting it wrong. They are all about attempting to try prevent people from downloading music. This is wrong, it's a battle they can never win without infringing on a lot of privacy laws and personal rights.

What record companies should be doing, is concentrating on things such as packaging, putting in extras that you cannot download, and really making their releases attractive packages that people want to buy!

I can illustrate this perfectly with this example. Two bands, SUNNO))) & BORIS released a collaboration album entitled ALTAR. Now you can buy this CD for about $10 from most stores, but they released limited edition packages culminating in this:

http://www.inoxia-rec.com/shopaltarLP.htm

So $94 for a single album, but because it's put into lavish packaging that someone has taken great care and time to produce, people WILL pay for it.

I look at it as taking a stand against the huge record industry, who try to flog us substandard products at hugely inflated prices!
 

Rockaflodge

New member
I agree with you 100%. You just told the part of the story that everybody forgets. Everybody like ( all the big bands dont need any more money) well maybe not, but that is not a call you can make. and if you dont like the band...dont buy there cd and they want get rich...BUT because you dont like the band you think its ok to download one or two of there song you think is ok. (IMO - bands dont get rich any more, Rappers make all the money.) what it comes down to is that if you like or love music and the bands and artist that make it, dont cheat them! go out and but the real cd! they will thank you for it.
 

Mike T

New member
I wholeheartedly agree Gaddabout, Stealing is stealing and you kids that think it is sharing or whatever get a clue ,it is not yours to share period,you buy a copy it is for you not the rest of cyberspace... If you only make so much money ,work more or buy less, learn to live within your means,and loose the I attitude it is not about what you like and dislike it is about stealing property from someone else.. we all love music, but you must refuse to go to the darkside ..
 

screamkevin

New member
Howepirate":2zejywtp said:
its called sharing..not stealing :twisted:
But in this case, it is stealing. How would you feel, for example, if you had invested your own money in putting out an album with your band, only to have it appear on P2P networks before it's even released, and sales are crap since nobody is buying the record, just "sharing" it?

I do download the occasional tune. But there are strict rules in my house regarding this. I download only to check out a sample of what's going on. If I like the song, I erase the download and purchase the album, either from Amazon.com or through I-Tunes. If I don't like the song, then I erase the download anyway. Every single MP3 on my computer has been paid for.
 

Gaddabout

New member
Ah, the Abbey Hoffman argument, "Steal This Song." Creating anarchy in the music business is good for the music business. It would make a good Weird Al song.

The reason record companies hate this, is because when they release a stinker... they no longer get all the sales they used to, from when people would have to buy it to find out how awful it is. As a result, a really poor release hits them hard. In my opinion, this is great.

People downloading music is forcing the music industry to change. At they moment, they are getting it wrong. They are all about attempting to try prevent people from downloading music. This is wrong, it's a battle they can never win without infringing on a lot of privacy laws and personal rights.
What else would you steal to determine if you like it or not before buying it?

But I'll tell you this: I sympathize. I listen to music that's NOT EVEN ON THE RADIO. I have no way of knowing if I'll like a recording or not until I listen to it first. I used to be greatly irritated at the money I spent on CDs that I never listened to once I got them home.

That's why I find the Rhapsody music service so perfect. For less than the price of one CD I can listen to an library of millions of songs, virtually every new release, as much as I want on my computer. The whole song, not just part of it like iTunes. If I like it enough, I can download it at a discounted rate.
 

Eiren

New member
You're being very narrow minded on it too. Not all music downloading is illegal, and sometimes you have very hard to find or Out of Print music, that the only place you can find it (without paying extortionate eBay prices), is by downloading it.

I think music sharing is doing MUSIC a world of good. The only people it is affecting adversely are the fat cats sat in offices, who have probably never even picked up an instrument in their life.

Have you seen MTV cribs recently? There are plenty of artists on there who are doing VERY nicely thank you, off the back of music, and the majority of these artists have only started releasing music since the advent of Napster and other music sharing programs.

I have friends and bandmates who are in arguably very big metal bands, and not one of them objects to the sharing of music over the internet. They make good money from the industry, and haven't seen a fall in sales since the advent of these file sharing programs. In fact, one band reckons that file sharing has increased the sales of their records by getting the music out to people who otherwise would have never heard it.

If anything, the music sharing programs actively help newer bands to get their music out there, and to make a name for themselves.

As with most things, you are never really going to change someone's opinion on a subject such as this... but where do you draw the line on music downloading?

If I own a record on vinyl, is it illegal for me to download an mp3 version for my iPod?
 

Rockula!

New member
Sorry
You're trying to get me to have sympathy for a business that makes billions of dollars a years and yet gives the artist a fraction of that cost?
Here's the other point that no one is touching on
For every one band that gets signed and makes a living out of it there are thousands of bands that, bnot only do not make it, but are now owned by tsaid record company for the length of the contract they signed
Signed but unused artists are no longer able to make a living because the record company will no allow them to
What happens to this money that the industry is supposedly losing bcause the artist did not sell?
Simple
They use it as a tax write off
Since the company recovers their losses this way, wouldn't you expect the artist to be let off the hook?
Of course not
They own you now
Do you think that we will ever get to know the amount of tax relief these companies get from their "losses"?

Every decade there is a scramble by the recording industry to control the technology people use to consume music
Do any of you old guys remember when the RIAA wanted the government to add a huge amount of tax on the sales of blank tapes?
They had their millionaire rock star stooges constantly declaring "Tape will put the record companies out of business!!!!!"
It didn't happen
Fast forward a decade and the mantra becomes "Compact Discs will put the record companies out of business!!!!!!!"
It didn't happen
Ask anyone who runs a music store where the vast majoity of sales are dedicated to used CDs how much cooperation they get from record companies
They get more harrassment than help

Asking me to worry about a record company is about as realisitc as asking me to worry about an oil company
It's easy to manipulate numbers in order to make it appear that they are losing money

This is not about them losing money
It is about them losing control
I wouldn't mind it if you wanted to hand over control of your music to them but unfortunately it affects my life as a musician
When you sell your musical soul
You de-value mine as well
 

Daneman

New member
As a musician in a band with a small local following, I would welcome free downloading of my music at any opportunity. Free downloads can be a great way to get the Buzz Machine moving. People are much more likely to download a free tune or two than to fork over $12 for an entire album of my band, if they haven't heard of us. Those downloads get our foot in the door; if they like what they've heard, we've got a new fan we may not have gotten otherwise.

Free downloads can not only get more people in the doors of our show, but can also broaden our fan base throughout the region and even the world, something a small distribution label that caters to the local market can't do.

As for big national acts and pop music, make an entire album of quality music and not two or three good songs with ten songs of filler, then I might be interested in buying your records again.
 

Gaddabout

New member
Banking institutions are far less palatable than the recording industry. If you rob a bank, they get their money back. They're insured!

Is that an argument to rob a bank?

The funny thing is I'm hearing this:

Record companies suck and they put crappy music that I don't want to buy. But I'll steal it, because record companies suck.
That one makes no sense to me. And for the record, I'm not asking you to have sympathy for anyone. You may think you're stealing from the fat cats, but you're not. THE FAT CATS WILL ALWAYS BE FAT CATS.

The money you're stealing is going to come out of the pockets of the bands you probably like, the ones on the periphery.
 

Gaddabout

New member
Daneman":37hv6nsp said:
As a musician in a band with a small local following, I would welcome free downloading of my music at any opportunity. Free downloads can be a great way to get the Buzz Machine moving.
That is absolutely your prerogative and I commend you for being wise to the world of marketing your music. Wish everyone understood that. You, as the artist, are in control of the rights to your music.
 

Gaddabout

New member
Eiren":25kf1asd said:
Have you seen MTV cribs recently? There are plenty of artists on there who are doing VERY nicely thank you, off the back of music, and the majority of these artists have only started releasing music since the advent of Napster and other music sharing programs.
And by stealing music, it's almost a guarantee these are the ONLY type of acts who will see that kind of money.
 

Scott_Hurford

New member
screamkevin":38tjtuqh said:
Howepirate":38tjtuqh said:
its called sharing..not stealing :twisted:
But in this case, it is stealing. How would you feel, for example, if you had invested your own money in putting out an album with your band, only to have it appear on P2P networks before it's even released, and sales are crap since nobody is buying the record, just "sharing" it?

I do download the occasional tune. But there are strict rules in my house regarding this. I download only to check out a sample of what's going on. If I like the song, I erase the download and purchase the album, either from Amazon.com or through I-Tunes. If I don't like the song, then I erase the download anyway. Every single MP3 on my computer has been paid for.
ditto, thats what i do, if i think the album is good i'll download the songs, if they are good, i delete them and buy the Record :) simple
 

Rockula!

New member
Gaddabout":db4dv911 said:
And by stealing music, it's almost a guarantee these are the ONLY type of acts who will see that kind of money.
And by supporting an institution that rewards banality, you guarentee that's the ONLY type of act that you will ever hear about
Besides, the money you are stealing from the artist is pennies to the dollar from what the FAT CATS make

I'll repeat myself
It's not about the artist
It's about controlling the market
If you think record companies are sticking up for the artist then you are sorely mistaken
 

Gaddabout

New member
Rockula!":15mctvig said:
And by supporting an institution that rewards banality, you guarentee that's the ONLY type of act that you will ever hear about
So don't reward banality. Don't buy OR download any of the songs from those you think offend your senses, while purchasing music from artists you think deserve your respect and support.
 

Rockaflodge

New member
How about this....Its WRONG!!!! no matter how you look at it! Its still WRONG! This is like stealing a car and when you get put in jail, you tell the cops " I was only test driving it" what a load of shit! My band is in the studio and so far we have spent well over a $1000 and we plan to sell our cds at our shows and hopfuly make some of the money back, but because we are just a up and coming band ( a local band if you will ) if our stuff was to hit the web and downloadable for free we would never make any money back and we are srewed. I cant see how some of you think this is ok! Well I guess when and if the ever happens to you, you will see how you feel about it then. I dont mean to be a ass about all of this but I have been in this spot befor and it not a good feeling.
 

Eiren

New member
Except some of us don't agree it's wrong. We think it's right, and is making the music industry as a whole stronger.

So there you have it. Some of us agree, some of us don't.
 

noisyneighbour

New member
Firstly hello to everyone from a newbie.
Been playing drums for about 5 months now i think. I'm 34 year old so a late starter but always fancied playing drums.
i've been reading the posts on here for tips for a while but this thread has got my ass into gear and registered.

Basically just wanted to say that I download stuff illegally and if I like something i'll usually go buy it. Now i don't have a bottomless pit of cash and the ability to download music by bands that i would probably never have even heard before let alone gone out and bought can only be a good thing for those bands? even if I don?t go out and buy something I like I will end up telling friends and others about them.. again good for the bands? There is no way on earth that i could have afforded to buy and hear all the music I have now if i hadn't downloaded "illegally" and it doesn't stop me buying the stuff i like, I still spend the same amount on music as I always have so even the fat cats shouldn't be moaning. (Although I do accept that some people wont go out and buy them)

All the best to everyone... great forum.
 

Flatliner

New member
I'm not against downloading but I also don't do it, I'm just not a fan of looking for all the tracks to an album to put the album together and and any band out there who only has a few tracks I like will be forgotten about, I have to listen to an entire album and I hate mixed cds.

However I do constanly burn and accept burned albums from friends (about five of us who constantly buy music and swap) and I must say this illegal means of trading music has resulted in a lot of sales for artists I didn't know about at the time. I won't buy from an artist I've never heard and I really don't get the stories poeple tell of buying an album just because of the cover or track names. Had I not traded music I would have never been willing to buy more albums from the artist who's music I originally got illegally.
 
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