One of the very first articles I wrote for Sound the Sirens Magazine was a short piece on music piracy. The naive piece was written sometime in 2001 and included sourced “research” (two minute browsing) from the BBC and Wired!
The naivete and lack of foresight is hilarious for the most part, including the following gem;
“Whether its the continued success of MP3.com or Emusic, fans are finding it much easier to find their favorite music online. Most artists, sans one tired old 80’s metal band, relish in the fact that their fans are able to access their music at the click of a mouse.”
One can only gather the response you get in this day and age when a label or artist finds that their work has been leaked weeks and months in advance. We recently had Thrice’s new album Beggars leak due to the label’s stream player getting hacked. It led to some internal debate, soul searching, and ultimately an earlier release date. Similar exercises were undertaken for Jay-Z’s freshly leaked The Blueprint 3.
And while these artists have played it off well, dismissing such events as “what can you do these days?”, there is undoubtedly feelings of internal frustration (perhaps by the label mostly; although in Jay-Z’s case, the income from album sales isn’t as urgent as other smaller artists).
I can tell you when our albums leak, inevitable as it is, there is a sense of anger in how easily and how global is spreads. Strangely, after the immediate frustration subsides, you tend to pass it off as the sign of the times.
Album sales are a completely different matter however, and one perhaps, not best suited for the present climate. Yet there is a large and looming irony in the way the problem continues to manifest itself in a cyclical fashion … there was one instant where I spent the afternoon asking rapidshare to take down links to our copyrighted material while simultaneously downloading other artists/label’s copyrighted work. It’s just the way it goes…