Guest Post From TDW


So I sit here having downloaded yet another album through the Pirate Bay using my Bit Torrent program, and am wondering whether or not it truly is naughty of me not to pay anything for this music. After reading an article over at the Economist about the starters of the Pirate Bay webite getting in a lot of legal trouble at home in Sweden, obviously there was a bit of heated discussion in the comments section about whether or not downloading is naughty or if record company executives are merely trying to hold on to a dying and outdated business model. I care obviously because I hope to one day get in the business. This comment stuck out to me:

“The author is completely missing the point. The Pirate Bay case is not “a victory for media companies against internet piracy”, it is their (temporary) victory against change and innovation. It is giving them the right to keep operating with their outdated 20th-century model, and keep feeding their customers an inappropriate product (low-quality, rigid, locked and overpriced). What the public wants is a product that would be versatile, readily-available, high quality and affordable.

This industry is calling itself “creative”, yet it hasn’t been able to figure out a way to adapt to current technology or its cusomers’ needs. Through its systematic resistance to change and progress, it has left a gap in the market, which, in turn, has allowed so-called pirates to flourish.


Few will deny artists the right to make a decent living off of their work. That they have the right to make fortunes is more debatable. However, now that the need for material supports is disappearing, that recording equipment is becoming affordable, and that music and film can almost market themselves, the middle man (“the industry”), on the other hand, has become an unnecessary, expensive step in the creative process.

Hopefully, the market will do its work, and weed out those dying relics of the past century. Someone will figure out a legal way to bring artists closer to their audiences, and still make a healthy profit. Adapt or die. 2009 is the 150th anniversary of the publication of “Origin of Species”. How appropriate!”

What do you think? To be honest, I think that downloading illegally has allowed me to discover FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR more artists than ever before. Great for me, but what about the bands? The odds of me going to see these bands live, or buying their merchandise has increased avenged sevenfold now that my awareness of music is at its highest. So if you were a musician, what would you prefer: sell CDs at a rigid $30 a pop where you are in direct competition with zillions of other artists, many of whom are incredibly fake and manufactured by industry heads to sell CDs over yours, or distribute your music freely, generate a massive word-wide fanbase that is restricted only by who has internet access and has an interest in checking you out, and selling almost nightly concert tickets from $50-$150 where thousands of people attend, selling t-shirts at $50 a pop and actually interacting and PERFORMING live like all good musicians should? I’m really starting to feel this new direction, even though it feels somewhat wrong.


This is an excellent example found in a different article:

“Take, for example, two hypothetical films: one made by struggling idealistic art students and the other by a big name director backed by a major studio with a multimillion dollar budget and nationwide advertising campaign. If each film was pirated and watched by a million people we could reasonably expect that the film students would be ecstatic (without an advertising budget their film would have been doomed to the art house circuit) while the big name director would be furious. Why? Because the film students are doing it for art while the director is doing it for the money. This is, in simple terms, what I believe the political potential of piracy to be — piracy allows us to quickly ascertain the authenticity of a cultural product.”


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6 Responses to “Guest Post From TDW”

  1. Guest Post From TDW Says:

    […] Original post by LuLi […]

  2. WendySkeleton Says:

    It’s unfortunate that many people simply look at this as stealing, even though P2P sharing may the way that everyone will advertise in the future.

    As a musician myself, of course I want money, because I want to make a living out of music, but at the same time, if someone leaks my album online and it gets downloaded, say, a thousand times, I would be ecstatic because that’s a thousand people who have heard my music, and half of those people will probably like it and buy my CD, or go to a gig of mine.

  3. LuLi Says:

    I think the industry has had years and years of taking advantage of us not being able to access or produce music without them, so its only fair if we screw them over like they did to us!

    I don’t want aspire artists to be taken advantage of, but maybe this will even the playing field a bit? I’ve heard that artists make most of their money from concerts and merch anyway.

  4. Reuben Says:

    I’m not convinced an outright ban on piracy will be effective. Has anyone heard of a success story where piracy has been eradicated? No. So let’s stop kidding ourselves and stop this wasteful piracy-prevention.

  5. Insanity540 Says:

    excellent post. I never considered the idea of artists actually developing a larger fan basis via torrents/p2p/filesharing, but its true. Think of when someone leant you a CD that they thought was good; +1 person knows your music. Now, have the music available to everyone, but just mention they are good and BAM! everyone will have a listen. Doesnt’ matter that not everyone will love it, but you’ve had your stuff listened to, viewed, known!

    I did a little rant about this on my blog a while ago:

  6. Domino Says:

    I’ve never thought about it like that. But I don’t think you can get rid of the record labels completely. Getting everything to be digital would be nice, but it won’t happen. People are still doing the whole vinyl record thing…

    another good source is YouTube.

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