Musician Claims He Was Tricked Into Appearing In Anti-Piracy Video

from the duped dept

Australian guitarist Lindsay McDougall was asked to appear in a film that he was told would be about what it was like to try surviving as a musician -- and only later realized that it was actually part of an industry-backed anti-piracy campaign. He's quite upset about it, as he claims he would never take part in an anti-piracy campaign if he'd known that's what it was:
"I have never come out against internet piracy and illegal downloading and I wouldn't do that - I would never put my name to something that is against downloading and is against piracy and stuff, it's something that I believe is a personal thing from artist to artist.... I would never be part of this big record industry funded campaign to crush illegal downloads, I'm not like [Metallica drummer] Lars Ulrich. I think it's bullshit, I think it's record companies crying poor and I don't agree with it....I'm from a punk rock band, it's all about getting your music out any way you can - you don't make money from the record, the record companies make the money from the record. If they can't make money these days because they haven't come onside with the way the world is going, it's their own problem."
The folks who put together the movie claim that they were clear upfront about the movie and who was making it. They also say that the movie only has a small segment that's anti-piracy -- but that's not quite accurate. The rest of the movie basically just plays up how tough it is to be a musician on a major label and how difficult it is to make money as a musician. While there are some segments about how useful the internet is, the overriding message is definitely a combination of "think of the poor musician" and "don't file share." It's definitely not a pure anti-piracy film, and it does have some balance -- but it definitely does push the anti-piracy message.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    John D., May 1st, 2008 @ 10:17am

    All Lies

    Lies.
    The RIAA, MPAA, FBI, CIA ect would never trick on lie to the public.

     

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  2.  
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    barren_waste, May 1st, 2008 @ 10:25am

    Normally....

    ...I'm all about the musicians lambasting the big labels. However, that said, this seems like a case of he said she said. Without proof of some sort it sounds like an artist taking the money and then making a public scene to protect his/her struggling reputation. Not that I really care, anything that damages the labels is good by me, I just think that we should avoid hypocracy where possible.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2008 @ 10:31am

    Havent we learned the lesson yet? Dont appear on a documentary. Your views will be warped to fit someone's agenda. It is the inflexible laws of 'documentary'

     

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  4.  
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    Gunnar, May 1st, 2008 @ 10:44am

    Hey, he's from Frenzal Rhomb. They used to be one of my favorite bands.

    But man, the video is subtle in it's pro-Aussie version of the RIAA. The inclusion of Frenzal Rhomb is an odd choice, as they're with Fat Wreck Chords, an independent label. As opposed to most of the other artists on that video; half of them sound like spoiled pop stars.

    The bands all talk about the industry, but they're talking about the recording industry, not the music industry. As has been mentioned here before, nearly every aspect of the music industry is doing better than it was 5 years ago. The only one that isn't is the one that sells plastic discs.

    I found the most amusing comment came from the kid who looks like he's 15 from Operator Please, saying something like 'at the beginning, the label pays for everything,' as if that's how most bands get their start.

     

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  5.  
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    eleete, May 1st, 2008 @ 10:45am

    I'd like to see the video....

    I'd like to see the video that explains just why it is so tough for these artists when the RIAA and MPAA immediately value ALL music so high whenever they cry foul. I mean if it's worth $750,000 in fines when i upload 12 or so songs, seems like THE RIAA should be the ones with the bullseye on its forehead. Don't get me wrong I appreciate artists struggles in becoming a known name, but how can it be that any song I have in the RIAA catalog is thousands and thousands of dollars per instance PER user, but in their very own negotiations with the artist they pull 99% of that value out and give them barely enough to eat. No one seems to want to say it but this is a giant thorn in the side of our economy. I'm sure all Americans would love to draw sums well into the future and beyond their demise for a career at any job... But the RIAA and MPAA who have been collecting funds feverishly like this for decades is now crying poor mouth ? Hogwash ! It's time to dismantle that archaic system and let the money flow directly to the individual creators and end this gravy train created by draconian laws. Every time you read a case about one of these associations they boo hoo about how they need the funds to pay the people but many people who work on those productions get paid for a days work, and that's It... done. But these huge corporations... united into associations, are sucking billions off the economy for work that is complete and paid for. Anyone who wants it to continue should have the bizarre option to pay however much they want to be scammed for, but for the rest of us, I doubt that even 100 songs could EVER be valued at $750,000 or more. It's ridiculous and they're spreading this rhetoric all over foreign nations now, trying to attach copyright laws to all sorts of unrelated laws just to shove it down the throats of any who might oppose. Can you say Anti Trust ? It's disgusting GREED and nothing more. (I need a breath, though i could go on for days.)

    e

     

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  6.  
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    CVPunk, May 1st, 2008 @ 11:16am

    confused...

    I don't know why the RIAA would want someone from a independent punk label in one of their propaganda pieces.
    FAT does use a big distributor though so they can get their cd's in Best Buy and what not.. but outside of that they stick pretty much to the DIY ethic. Hell, they don't even sticker their albums with the "parental advisory" label. The website also offers free DL's of songs.
    It sounds to me like Lindsay definitely has a point.

     

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  7.  
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    N1ck0, May 1st, 2008 @ 11:30am

    Release

    I'm guessing the guy just blindly signed a release form, which allows the film company to do whatever they want to their recorded footage and the guitarist's likeness.

     

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  8.  
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    You never know, May 1st, 2008 @ 11:35am

    And you expected less? Any industry who would stoop so low as to extort money from Grandmothers to 8 year old kids while hiding behind the cliché of "Protecting the Artist" wouldn't hesitate a moment to screw one of the "Artists" and then throw what is left out as a sacrifice to the angry public.

     

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  9.  
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    Wes, May 1st, 2008 @ 12:17pm

    Face the Facts

    This is about law enforcement taking stuff from citizens. I am 100% against the police getting the funds from seized assests of ordinary people to continue the fight on casual piracy. Money grubbing police after grandma's PC so they can sell it at auction and take the proceeds and buy themselves some fancy new stuff seems like a huge wast of time.

    They do this with drug dealers as well (but at least here its with a comercial aim).

     

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  10.  
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    kurokun, May 1st, 2008 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Face the Facts

    Wait wait. I didn't RTFA...but when the hell did law enforcement get pulled into this? I'm against the **AA's tatics and everything, and I'm not a big fan of what some officers do to protect their hides, but seriously, when the hell did law enforcement become part of the bloody post?

     

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  11.  
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    Joshua Bova, May 1st, 2008 @ 12:42pm

    semi-relaven

     

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  12.  
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    James, May 1st, 2008 @ 1:23pm

    Someone needs to setup a website that allows musicians to post their own music online and charge whatever they want for it, the RIAA is essentially a no longer needed "middle man".

     

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  13.  
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    Willton, May 1st, 2008 @ 1:47pm

    "I'm from a punk rock band, it's all about getting your music out any way you can - you don't make money from the record, the record companies make the money from the record. If they can't make money these days because they haven't come onside with the way the world is going, it's their own problem."

    No, Mr. McDougall, it is your problem. If the record companies can't make money these days by selling your record, then they aren't going to fund the recording of your record. So, unless you are comfortable funding your own career without any help, you might not want to be so quick to denigrate the efforts of record companies.

     

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  14.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), May 1st, 2008 @ 2:36pm

    What would you do?

    Dude got paid something to be in a film. Later comes out to say he doesn't support the film's message. He still got money and tries not to look like a jack-ass a la Lars Ulrich.

     

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  15.  
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    JEQP, May 1st, 2008 @ 4:26pm

    Dougall is also a radio presenter at JJJ, so he'd have a pretty big youth following. I'm not sure they got paid either -- I haven't read that anywhere.

    At least some of the journos are not automatically taking the labels position of "if the labels don't make money, nobody makes money".

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2008 @ 4:27pm

    I don't buy it.

    Look at the type of language he uses in his own statements. He doesn't say "file sharing" or even "illegal distribution" but instead uses the industry term "illegal downloading" to stress that "downloading" is "illegal". I don't know about Australia, but in the US just downloading unauthorized files hasn't been found to be illegal, although the record industry likes to refer to "illegal downloading" anyway.

    No, McDougall sounds to me like a total tool who's just trying to cover his ass now that he pissed off a lot of his former fans. But his true colors are showing through in his own words.

     

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  17.  
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    Mike (profile), May 2nd, 2008 @ 1:28am

    Re:

    No, Mr. McDougall, it is your problem. If the record companies can't make money these days by selling your record, then they aren't going to fund the recording of your record. So, unless you are comfortable funding your own career without any help, you might not want to be so quick to denigrate the efforts of record companies.

    Willton, seriously? Did you really read his comments and come to that conclusion? He's saying, quite clearly, that there are tons of ways to make money these days -- and if the record labels can't make money, it's because of their own stupidity, not because of some flaw in the market.

    His point is that there's plenty of money to be made, so record labels who are complaining need to stop whining and start adapting.

    He's not saying that he doesn't need record companies.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2008 @ 6:27am

    Re: I don't buy it.

    Or he's just not a public speaker. Just because he's not careful with his words doesn't mean he's insincere.

     

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  19.  
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    erik L, May 2nd, 2008 @ 8:22am

    honestly, he should have read whatever agreement he signed more carefully. if included in there was a line stating that he relinquished all rights to the video and had no say in whatever, its his fault for not reading, and he deserved what he got, whether he received funds for it or not. if, on the other hand, nothing was stated in his contract, he should request they take his clip out of that video, and if they didnt comply, take legal action to get it removed. any blow that can be dealt to the RIAA, MPAA, etc, is another step toward freeing music for everyone
    Someone needs to setup a website that allows musicians to post their own music online and charge whatever they want for it, the RIAA is essentially a no longer needed "middle man". -James
    thanks, i've been looking for an idea for my web development project

     

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