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To the corporations battling piracy: You can never win.

Friday, February 10th, 2012

In our last blog we posted Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails‘ thoughts on the illegal downloading of music.

There are countless articles and comments on this topic, probably millions.
Here is one of the most recent from Forbes, by a young author that effectively captures some of the complicated and mostly misunderstood issues surrounding this debate:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2012/02/03/you-will-never-kill-piracy-and-piracy-will-never-kill-you

It’s great that these kinds of articles are coming out now sharing more detailed information and truth, it’s just sad that it took over 5 years for the media to start talking about this and investigating.
We feel it is important to reveal that the fundamental ideas behind this issue and the often overlooked REAL reasons behind it were first brought to light in Andrew Dubber in a blog written over 4 years ago called, “Should I Be Worried About Piracy?“, part of the 20 things you must know about music online eBook.

The overall conclusion of this article and those experts who really understand what is going on is that ‘piracy’ is common because entertainment companies refuse to give consumers what they want, or do business fairly or honestly.
If companies who create film, music, and TV provided consumers what they wanted, the way the want it for a fair price, then there would not only be very little piracy, but those companies would make far more income than they ever can now. But they won’t, even after over 10 years of fighting and losing over and over.
So people continue to pursue what they want the way they want it, and that happens to be in a way that prevents money from going to the content creators at their own choice, which they call ‘piracy’.

$7,000 Settlement for a 4-Year Piracy Lawsuit

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Record Companies have finally agreed to accept a settlement of $7,000 from a suburban family in a law suit that spanned over 4 years. Talk about relief! Four record companies accused Patricia Stantangelo of illegally downloading and distributing copyright music. This mother of five from Wappingers New York, claimed she couldn’t have downloaded all that music from the internet because she had no idea how to download music from the internet! She also refused to settle with the RIAA.

The lawsuit against her was dropped. However, they then turned around and sued two of her kids! Michelle, 20, and Robert, 16, were accused of downloading and distributing more than 1,000 songs. Michelle and Robert denied the allegations. The music industry claims a loss of millions of dollars due to illegal downloading, and the companies claimed that Michelle had admitted to the piracy and Robert had been implicated by a family friend.

Jordan Glass, Ms. Stantangelo’s lawyer, is reported as saying that the music industry had no idea that Ms. Stantangelo would fight back against billions of Corporate dollars.

Some relief can be felt knowing a settlement of $7,000, which can be paid in instalments, was perhaps only a fraction of what the RIAA spent on advancing their claims. Though they wouldn’t reveal their actual costs, it’s pretty clear more than $7,000 was incurred in legal expenses in this case of 4 years!

All to fight something that is inevitable, the freedom of music; music lovers getting what they want, when they want it. It is far less expensive to come up with new ways to monetize music instead of fighting to keep old ones that no longer work.

Metric Reaps Their Success Independantly

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Metric has finally released their first album in four years! Not only did they release it without a record label, but their new release named “Fantasies” rose to the middle of the U.S. pop chart. Metric managed to rake in an enormous amount on iTunes, also tapping into Canadian arts funding grants.

Since its release on March 31st, the new album has sold 9,000 digital downloads in the U.S.  In the music industry these sales may not seem like much, but take into account the 15,000 downloads the band’s co-manager said was sold internationally, these numbers indicate the success of this album. Thanks to iTunes, and sales on the bands own website, Metric has already grossed more than it did on the band’s 2005′s “Live It Out”, which sold more than 45,000 copies.

Metric is learning from Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead. The members of Metric, and their co-manager, figure they could never offer their fans an album at 13-15 dollars per unit if they had released it while being backed by a record label.  If they had produced their album through a record label, they would have made 22 cents per dollar, rather than seeing the 77 cent per dollar profit they see now.

Metric’s album release was handled by Redeye Distribution. The firm’s director of marketing, Josh Wittman, said the band sold somewhere around 3,000 physical CDs in the US the first day!  Metric is a band with a fire in it’s belly, and definitely is paving the way for other Canadian artists much like them by showing how with dedication and the right assistane, you don’t need to be tied down to big corporations to turn a profit.

www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ct-music16-2009apr16,0,7581416.story

Desperate for a solution to piracy

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

It would seem that the Isle of Man, a small island of 80,000 people between Ireland and Britain, has come up with two new tactics to fight music piracy. 16 years ago, Ireland would punish misdemeanors by a so-called “birching” law, meaning, one would receive Birch wood lashes. Luckily, they have taken kindly to a new approach; defeat. The white flag has been raised regarding piracy in Isle of Man. Unfortunately,  they have instead proposed a new tax that is approximately 1.45$ a week that will be paid directly to the recording companies. This allows the citizens of Dublin, Ireland to download as they please. This also means that even those who do not even download and listen to music are paying for it. Does that make any sense? What business runs that way, forcing payment on people who may not even be interested in their goods?

Across the Irish Sea just 50 miles away, record companies in Ireland have reached a huge agreement with the country’s largest Internet provider to combat piracy. Consumers found guilty of piracy are now being punished in a new way; Total disconnection from the Internet. The music industry sure loves extremism doesn’t it!

These two islands are being watched very closely by the world’s eye. This experiment is likely to further confirm the results of combating piracy by force. We all know the music industry is desperate to find a solution, but our prediction is that both of these ideas will fail miserably as have all the efforts of major record corporations in fighting the inevitable. Interesting how many corporations are so resistant to change, they would rather face failure and destruction than do so.