Unsigned Band Thrilled It's One Of The 'Most Pirated'

from the adapting-to-the-market dept

We've seen a bunch of examples recently of indie bands embracing changes in the market and technology to create success stories, but this is a first: an indie band sent us a press release (and, yes, we normally ignore press releases, but this one is interesting...) hyping up the fact that it's one of the most downloaded bands on The Pirate Bay. Specifically, the band, Georgia Wonder seems positively thrilled that its EP -- which was purposely put on file sharing sites -- quickly jumped into the top twenty "most shared" songs on The Pirate Bay. And, of course, the press release includes a link to their songs at The Pirate Bay.

Obviously, the band is hardly the first to actively put its music on file sharing sites, or be happy to see it on The Pirate Bay, but it is worth pointing out that this is an unsigned band, and was able to make its way up the most shared list quite quickly (within days), and is so thrilled with the promotional value of it, that it's promoting it even further. And yet, politicians and entertainment companies still insist sites like The Pirate Bay need to be shut down. At some point, maybe the politicians will realize it's not because The Pirate Bay represents "theft," but because it represents competition as a distribution mechanism.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 7:32am

    Legitimacy

    I am unsure of what the point of "politicians and entertainment companies" is with respect to legitimate distribution of music by a band such as Georgia Wonder. Such deliberate promotion by a band on a site such as The Pirate Bay supports the value and validity of such a site, and also means that elimination of the site would reduce competition, distribution and promotion for Georgia Wonder.

    Nice, generally positive post on someone exploiting business models that are currently out of the mainstream.

     

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  2.  
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    Davis Freeberg, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 8:48am

    An interesting sub-plot to this story is that while they're popular on The Pirate Bay, their YouTube channel has all but been ignored. Why did one community embrace this artist, while another is still waiting to discover them? Is there just less competition on the Pirate Bay, so it's easier for an indie band to stand out or is there something unique about their sound or marketing that caused them take off on one site, but not the other? I don't know the answers, but would love to hear your theories.

     

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  3.  
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    Ima Fish, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 8:50am

    I'm sure the members of Metallica were quite happy that fans were copying and sharing cassette tapes of their music back in the 80s before they were signed.

    However, that did not stop the band from getting all pissy when those very same fans were doing the exact same thing on Napster.

     

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  4.  
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    Davis Freeberg, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 8:55am

    I did a bit more digging and it looks like they were not only thrilled to be on the top of the Pirate Bay, but they actually paid to advertise their torrents.

    http://www.p2pnet.net/story/18176

    This would help to explain the popularity discrepancy between platforms.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 8:59am

    Re:

    "I'm sure the members of Metallica were quite happy that fans were copying and sharing cassette tapes of their music back in the 80s before they were signed.

    However, that did not stop the band from getting all pissy when those very same fans were doing the exact same thing on Napster."

    Sure, and all that proves is that they're a bunch of ingrate pampered showerbags.

     

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  6.  
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    Twinrova, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 9:05am

    And now, another free advertisement for the band.

    I love good stories like this. I wish Techdirt would balance out more of these, instead of favoring the stupidity of business practices.

    It gives me hope, and wow... I'm less of an asshole. ;)

     

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  7.  
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    Arrrrrrr, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 9:10am

    Good for them

    Hey, if this works for them to get their name out and the increased potential of getting signed and some concert deal, more power to them.

    I'll download their stuff tonight, in support of their efforts. =)

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 9:11am

    It's only a matter of time before they're sued. For something, I don't know. Probably being too successful without proper oversight from the music police.

     

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  9.  
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    Norm, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 9:16am

    Again it's about choice....

    ....if the band chooses to put there music out for free for what it can do for their exposure - great.

    If a band doesn't want there stuff shared (aka stolen) for free that ought to be their right/choice as well.

    Mike doesn't seem to want acknowledge that if you are already famous and have a following that people stealing rather than buying your work isn't right.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 9:17am

    Georgia Wonder is putting their own music on Pirate Bay to be downloaded. That is called file sharing.

    Someone else is putting Metallica's music on Pirate Bay to be downloaded. That is called illegal file sharing.

    There is a huge difference.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 9:20am

    that reminds of a bunch of guys when was in highschool.

    they'd spend allot of there free times playing music in public areas collecting tips to be blank cassettes, on which they record there music and distribute for free asking who ever took a copy to give it away if he wasn't going to listen to it.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 9:31am

    Georgia Wonder make AWFUL music.

    ... just sayin'.

    Also, great point Norm.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 9:31am

    Re: to AC#9 and AC#10

    the point of most of us on techdirt including Mike (IMHO) is that, that so called "illegal file sharing" has more benefits that the ppl complaining about illegal file sharing (or as some try to call it theft).

    also what we are saying there is no way (in the foreseeable future at least) to stop the file sharing so instead of alienating your fans and potential customers is to try to take advantage of it.

    and the multiple success story regularly posted on techdirt are examples on how it COULD be done.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 9:38am

    Re: Again it's about choice....

    Norm,
    It's hard to take your point-of-view seriously. You used the word "STEAL". It is IMPOSSIBLE to steal anything from a p2p or torret website. For one, the data bits are being offered to you for free, all you are doing is downloading bits. If you re-offer those bits back to be downloaded by someone else, you may or may not be committing copyright infringement, depending on what the original holder of the copyright wishes. But there is no stealing involved either way.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: to AC#9 and AC#10

    sry 1st two paragraphs were all messed up.

    the point of most of us on techdirt including Mike (IMHO) is that, that so called "illegal file sharing" has more benefits that it does harm.

    and that the ppl complaining about illegal file sharing should think about embracing it since there is no way (in the foreseeable future at least) to stop the file sharing so instead of alienating there fans and potential customers they should try to take advantage of it.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 10:50am

    Re: Again it's about choice....

    I was going to say the same thing.

     

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  17.  
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    Mike (profile), Jan 27th, 2009 @ 10:53am

    Re:

    Georgia Wonder is putting their own music on Pirate Bay to be downloaded. That is called file sharing.

    Someone else is putting Metallica's music on Pirate Bay to be downloaded. That is called illegal file sharing.

    There is a huge difference.


    Indeed. But why must Pirate Bay be shut down completely even though there are plenty of the first type of musicians using the site? That's the point... With many musicians recognizing that the Pirate Bay and other file sharing systems are great distribution mechanisms, why should we allow those to stubborn to adapt to block that option for everyone else?

     

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  18.  
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    Mike (profile), Jan 27th, 2009 @ 10:56am

    Re: Again it's about choice....

    ....if the band chooses to put there music out for free for what it can do for their exposure - great.

    Yes, it is great. Until politicians and those too lazy to adapt shut it down. That's the point.

    If a band doesn't want there stuff shared (aka stolen) for free that ought to be their right/choice as well.

    First of all, must we really go through the difference between infringement and stealing again?

    Mike doesn't seem to want acknowledge that if you are already famous and have a following that people stealing rather than buying your work isn't right.

    Wait... we've posted plenty of examples of "already famous" bands making use of Pirate Bay also. So why bring up whether or not the band is famous?

    And, again, we have NEVER said that it's right to download/share songs from bands that don't want you to. But that's not what we're discussing here, so I find it odd that you would even bring it up. We're wondering why bands like Georgia Wonder would be *blocked* from distributing this way by record labels that are too lazy to adapt?

     

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  19.  
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    Norm, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re: Again it's about choice....

    Your point is silly. Information stealing does not mean the information was literally removed from the files and minds of those whom it was stolen from.

    Ideas and Identity can be stolen, would you dare make that argument to the victim of that?

    Perhaps it soothes your conscience to think you aren't stealing when you copy the bits and bytes of another person's work.....but it is.

     

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  20.  
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    Jason, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 11:26am

    Theft

    @Norm

    Is it stealing to record something off of TV? Are people thieves for using their TiVo(or VHS if you prefer)?

    If you say no to the first question, how about if a movie is playing on TV, is it theft to record it?

    Is it theft to record your son or daughter playing rockband? How about if the camera has the lens cap on by accident, have you just stolen from the band because there is no accompanying video?

    There is no way to distinguish between legitimate file sharing and illegitimate file sharing. The band may want their music up, or may not, how can they differentiate between that?

    It's like when cd's switched from vinyl to cassette tapes, yes, their music could be recorded, and yes, people made mix tapes, but the musicians adapted, and it became a non-issue.

    There are many successful ways to modify your business model to succeed in this changing market, many bands (such as the one hi-lighted here) have adapted, and are doing well because of it, there are many examples that have been outlined by the techdirt crew, and other sources so I don't feel the need to restate them.

    If your business model is so rigid that you can't adapt you will likely cause yourself irreproachable harm, for example, Metalica has caused themselves huge damage because of their crusade against Napster.

     

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  21.  
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    Julian Moore, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 11:27am

    Re:

    Davis Freeberg

    This is Julian from the band. We did not pay a dime. Frostwire liked our stuff. I have no idea how you came to this conclusion. Also our YouTube channel is very healthy thank you very much.

     

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  22.  
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    Adam Singer, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 11:32am

    They understand this well:

    "Obscurity is a far greater threat to authors and creative artists than piracy."

    -- Tim O’Reilly

     

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  23.  
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    Norm, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 11:40am

    Re: Theft

    Jason - you are setting up a strawman argument.

    If you download software (that is not freeware and is not shareware) and use that software - is that stealing?

    If what you are taking was intended for purchase than it's stealing.

    Pretty simple.

     

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  24.  
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    Norm, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re:

    You see Mike it's statements like this that invalid your thinly veiled "I don't condone stealing"

    "....why should we allow those to stubborn to adapt...."

    So those who don't want their stuff ripped and shared are stubborn?

    Nice Mike

     

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  25.  
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    solvency ii, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 11:45am

    the power is in the hand of the creators. its about time!

     

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  26.  
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    Jason, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 11:49am

    What makes something intended for purchase then?

    If I take water from a river, am I stealing because a company bottles it and sells it?

    How about the radio? The radio is another avenue for music which people do not pay for (unless they use satellite radio) but nobody would call that stealing listening to it.

    How about if I were to say listen to a radio when I worked at a car repair shop, and were to say have it up loud so I could hear it over my pneumatic tools how about that, is that stealing?

    It's not a simple matter, if you give people a chance, you'll find that people are by majority honest.

     

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  27.  
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    chris (profile), Jan 27th, 2009 @ 11:54am

    Re:

    while they're popular on The Pirate Bay, their YouTube channel has all but been ignored. Why did one community embrace this artist, while another is still waiting to discover them? Is there just less competition on the Pirate Bay, so it's easier for an indie band to stand out or is there something unique about their sound or marketing that caused them take off on one site, but not the other?

    i think TPB is a different market than youtube. in my completely biased unscientific and purely anecdotal experience reading comments on both sites the youtube audience tends to be younger, more american, and not as... articulate... as the pirate bay's.

    TPB has a higher mix of europeans, especially scandinavians, and while it has it's fair share of jack asses, you tube seems to have cornered the market on inarticulate commenters.

    but don't take my word for it, here's an XKCD comic to prove my assertions: http://xkcd.com/481

    based on my personal bias, and after listening to a couple GW tracks (there is almost no mention of adorable kitttycats) i am not surprised at all that they get no love on youtube.

     

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  28.  
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    Jason, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 11:56am

    Re:

    Are you being intentionally obtuse?

    The artists are getting paid for the radio broadcast in the form of royalties. But it might interest you that in Italy the DJ speaks a couple of time during the broadcast of each song so that people don't record it (well at least back in the 80's when I lived there)

    It IS a simple matter. You are trying to obstruficate the truth.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re:

    I applaud you, and would like to give you money. Is there a convenient way to do so?

     

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  30.  
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    Julian Moore, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 12:49pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Our music is available on iTunes. Thanks for asking!

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Again it's about choice....

    Mike isn't saying this is the way people HAVE to do it. He doesn't want to see a law that REQUIRES bands to offer torrents of their music. He's just saying that it's smart, and that if you don't do it you're likely to lose to your competition when they do.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Consider the proverbial check to be in the mail.

    It's great to be able to get a feel for a band up front, which is what I like most about file-sharing. I'm not able to get out to many concerts personally, but when I like a band I want to be able to support them. So, yeah, making it easy to give you money is good, even if I'm not buying anything I don't already have...

     

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  33.  
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    Mike (profile), Jan 27th, 2009 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So those who don't want their stuff ripped and shared are stubborn?

    Nice to take my words out of context, but let's state this quite clearly:

    (1) NUMEROUS musicians have shown multiple different models by which they can embrace file sharing in order to make more money than they did previously.
    (2) Other musicians refuse to even experiment with those models.
    (3) Those musicians (and, more likely, their labels) are trying to shut down The Pirate Bay, which would stop many of those other business models.

    So, yes, I think it's quite correct to say that they are too stubborn to adapt, and are trying to punish both consumers and the musicians who have adapted.

     

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  34.  
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    Jim Guardian, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 1:32pm

    Re:

    The answer to this surge in popularity on the pirate bay, and one important thing that this article omits, is that Georgia Wonder got so popular only because they got to be featured for a whole week on FrostWire.

    Check this out, a screenshot of their feature on frostwire
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3128/3196872149_df82db7781_o.png

     

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  35.  
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    Glacius, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 1:38pm

    Re:

    Hi, this is not true.

    As one of the members of the FrostWire/FrostClick team, I'd like to say that Georgia Wonder did not pay the Pirate Bay or FrostWire for promotion. This is a completely free service we're offering from FrostWire to content creators that actually deserve it. We do this absolutely for free.

    The popularity discrepancy seen, is the result of the intersection of part of the frostwire community downloading a 100% legal torrent from the pirate bay.

    In short, they did not pay, but yes, they got free promotion by FrostWire.

    For more details on how bands and content creators get the free promotion on frostwire, visit http://www.frostclick.com

     

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  36.  
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    Julian Moore, Jan 27th, 2009 @ 1:41pm

    Thanks for mentioning that Jim, our press release sung the praises of the Frostwire team for helping this happen:

    http://gwonder.com/gwonder/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=45&Itemi d=51

     

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  37.  
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    Phos...., Jan 27th, 2009 @ 2:27pm

    Re:

    I agree with the A.C. just above. Their stuff is just MADE for being distributed through traditional channels. I expect Celine Dion to cover one of their snoozers any minute now.

     

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  38.  
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    Neverhood, Jan 28th, 2009 @ 2:48am

    Re: Re:

    If they _only_ got so popular because they where featured on FrostWire I'd say that FrostWire are worth a lot more then people currently think.

    (Or we could just say that maybe GW got famous because people liked their music)

     

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  39.  
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    Neverhood, Jan 28th, 2009 @ 3:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Again it's about choice....

    Norm, before you argue any further maybe you should check what 'steal' actually means.
    Definition of steal from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary: "to take the property of another wrongfully".
    The keyword here is 'take'. If i copy something I have not taken it. In other words, if I copy your music you still have it, therefore I have not 'taken it'.

    If I punch someone in the face, it may or may not be wrong. The person I hit is the victim of this act, but we wouldn't say that I stole his face, because it is still there.

    I'm not saying that copying someone elses work is good. I'm just saying that it is not the same as stealing his work.

     

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  40.  
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    TyphoidHippo, Jan 28th, 2009 @ 7:49pm

    "If a band doesn't want there stuff shared (aka stolen) for free that ought to be their right/choice as well."

    Okey dokey, Norm. Your point is legitimate, even if it is so extremely obvious that even a retarded monkey would know that without you saying it. I take issue with the idiotic "sharing (aka stolen)" part that you are vehemently defending.

    Neverhood took the words right out of my mouth. The terms have different definitions, both literally *and* legally, for a good reason: They are different (gasp!). Is this seriously not, also, completely obvious? If not, I suggest you pick up one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Merriam-Webster-English-Dictionary. They're only 6.50...Hell, I bet you could even find a torrent for one.

     

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  41.  
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    Jay, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 1:16am

    This is good for the band. At least for now, since they are unsigned I am sure they appreciate all the exposure they can get. They'll make their money soon.

     

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  42.  
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    Judge Dread, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 7:26am

    The Law

    Copyright law states that any copying that is not authorized by the rights holders is illegal. Copyright law is not the same as other theft laws to protect physical goods. If you steal a CD from a record store you are breaking 2 laws, copyright and petty theft.

    Either way this won't stop people from downloading, no different than copying friends CDs, except easier thanks to the bigger selections online.

    The easy way to solve the problem is make it easy for copyright holders to enter their works on a list such that any torrent site that breaches the "list" get's fined. But good luck policing this if the torrent site is in Russia or China. Except for getting congress to agree that all US ISPs block sites that don't play fair.

    And since congress couldn't stop the financial melt down from happening in the 1st place, it's a good change they won't help fix the music downloading legal debate in the near future.

     

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  43.  
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    chris (profile), Jan 29th, 2009 @ 8:02am

    Re: Again it's about choice....

    If a band doesn't want there stuff shared (aka stolen) for free that ought to be their right/choice as well.

    sure they have a choice. they have all the choice in the world. they can choose and choose until end of time and it won't make a single bit of difference because people download stuff and don't care if it's authorized or not.

    it happens and you can't stop it. it's impossible. you might as well sit in your front yard and yell at the sun to not rise tomorrow morning. the end result will be the same: the sun will rise tomorrow just like it always has, and intellectual property will be downloaded, just like it always has, and you will look like an idiot crybaby who wants something that just isn't going to happen.

    Mike doesn't seem to want acknowledge that if you are already famous and have a following that people stealing rather than buying your work isn't right.

    perhaps you didn't get the memo: the world changed. people don't buy CDs any more. either sell something else or get a real job.

    it's a simple fact: if you make something digital it will be distributed digitally, whether you want it to or not. hell, even if your is merely capable of being digitized, it will be distributed digitally.

    that's the way the world works: grass is green, water is wet, the sky is blue, size matters, and people download stuff without your authorization.

    the thing that all you "downloading is theft" types don't want to acknowledge is that there isn't a single thing that you can do stop people from downloading your stuff. you can rant and rave about right and wrong, and about bits and bytes, and about how they are no different from your identity, but that has nothing to do with the fact that it will never be any harder to exchange bits and bytes than it is at this very moment, and it will only get easier from here on out.

    so you can waste your time, effort, and money, whining about what's happening to you and your precious intellectual property, or you can do something to make downloading work in your favor.

    sure, you have a choice. you can choose certain failure (i.e. whining about/trying to stop downloading) or you can choose to do something that has a chance of succeeding. the choice is yours.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    iateyourgranny, Sep 13th, 2011 @ 7:25pm

    I stole a song - it is in my head now, to be replayed at my discretion whenever I want to. Are you going to send the thought police after me?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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