Marty Friedman -Ex Member of Megadeth
Hello everyone! This week I will reply to this site I found about music piracy, simply titled ‘Music Piracy – Ten Inconvenient Truths.’ I found this on the ‘IFPI’ site, which represents the worldwide recording industry. Here are the 10 inconvenient truths it listed:
1. Pirate Bay, one of the flagships of the anti-copyright movement, makes thousands of euros from advertising on its site, while maintaining its anti-establishment “free music” rhetoric.
2. Allofmp3.com, the well-known Russian website, has not been licensed by a single IFPI member, has been disowned by right holder groups worldwide and is facing criminal proceedings in Russia.
3. Organised criminal gangs and even terrorist groups use the sale of counterfeit CDs to raise revenue and launder money.
4. Illegal file-sharers don’t care whether the copyright infringing work they distribute is from a major or independent label.
5. Reduced revenues for record companies mean less money available to take a risk on “underground” artists and more inclination to invest in “bankers” like American Idol stars.
6. ISPs often advertise music as a benefit of signing up to their service, but facilitate the illegal swapping on copyright infringing music on a grand scale.
7. The anti-copyright movement does not create jobs, exports, tax revenues and economic growth – it largely consists of people pontificating on a commercial world about which they know little.
8. Piracy is not caused by poverty. Professor Zhang of Nanjing University found the Chinese citizens who bought pirate products were mainly middle or higher income earners.
9. Most people know it is wrong to file-share copyright infringing material but won’t stop till the law makes them, according to a recent study by the Australian anti-piracy group MIPI.
10. P2P networks are not hotbeds for discovering new music. It is popular music that is illegally file-shared most frequently.
Now, I wish to to dispute a few of these comments, and add my own. Of course, I have no numbers to back me up, unlike the IFPI, and this is merely my opinion. If I’ve said anything that’s blatantly wrong, let me know in the comments and I’ll take it back. So here are my 10 inconvenient truths:
- (Point 1) The Pirate Bay making money through advertising has little to do with the “free music” it provides/advocates. Advertising companies pay the Pirate Bay for advertising space, and therefore Pirate Bay can afford to provide free stuff. Webcomics such as Ctrl-Alt-Del sell advertising space so they can afford to continue writing their comics and hosting them. The Pirate Bay making money in such a way means that they aren’t making money at anyone’s expense.
- (Point 3) Sure, counterfeit CDs can be sold to make money for criminals. But what money can they possibly make from free file-sharing?
- (Point 5) Reduced revenues for record companies and therefore reduced interest in underground bands just forces these underground bands to find other ways to get in touch with the people which these record companies are further alienating through their brutish attempts to control them. An example is the Arctic Monkeys, who, although now a huge UK band, started off gaining mainstream popularity through MySpace. Underground bands don’t need record companies to get popular if they’re good. ‘Bankers’ do.
- (Point 7) Anti-copyright movements mostly consist of the consumers who are getting more and more fed-up with the methods of organisations such as the RIAA. They may not know much about the economical aspect of the music industry, but they know a lot when it comes down to how their rights are being treated, hence the backlash.
- (Point 10) Anti-piracy campaigners often claim that it is the underground and small bands that suffer, yet how is this true if it is mostly the popular music that is downloaded?
- And if it is the popular bands that receive the most attention from pirates, surely they are also the ones most able to handle it financially?
- The most money a musician or band makes is rarely from album or single sales. Merchandise and Live performances are the true money-makers for most.
- Due to the way the consumer is being alienated by these organisations and record companies, musicians are finding other ways to get in touch, and those that don’t are losing popularity. Look at what happened to Metallica when they took on Napster. And now look at bands such as Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead, who are finding new ways to bring their music to the masses.
- Record companies and copyright organisations are, on the whole, still not realising the potential that the Internet provides financially, and therefore, rather than embracing it, they are trying to fight against something which is impossible to control. Again leading to the alienation of the consumer.
- The customer is always right 😉
Yeah, that’s all. Again, if I’ve made an incorrect claim, let me know. I have no agenda, just playing devil’s advocate 🙂
Rock on! \m/