Rednex Release New Single On Pirate Bay, Explain Why Record Labels Will Die

from the pirate-eyed-joe dept

If you're a NY Yankees fan, for at least the past decade, you've probably become familiar with the song "Cotton Eye Joe" that is played in the middle of the eighth inning of every game. That version of the old southern folks song is done by a Swedish band, Rednex, and the song was quite a hit for the band back in the mid-nineties (hit number 1 on the charts in 15 different countries). Since then, the band has sold millions of albums -- but it has decided to go in a somewhat different direction with its latest music: it's promoting it on The Pirate Bay along with a massive 28 page pamphlet explaining why record labels will die (pdf), but file sharing will thrive -- and they want to be in front of that wave.

The explanation shows that the band really does seem to be embracing both aspects of the CwF + RtB mantra. The band says that some of the reason the old record labels don't like them is that they don't try to hold themselves out as being better than their fans, but really like to hang out with the fans and party with them. As for the "RtB" part, the band isn't just giving away its music for free, it's got a variety of ways for fans to support the band and get value back. The band claims that it has no idea how to make money, but that doesn't appear to be the case in reality seeing it offers up a whole bunch of ways to support the band:
At our website one can also get a membership. You can be a free member but also a paying member for anything between 3 to 666 Euro. For this you can get free stuff, such as a cap with a cow that says, "I want moooore!!!" ( ... We didn't say it was funny, just that you could ... ) or free downloads of music, pics and videos, chat with us, read articles and interviews, win backstage passes or even order a prank call from us to your boss in the middle of the night! At the website we also have ads where we get some money if they are clicked on.
But the band also realizes that perhaps its fans might have some good RtB ideas as well:
But also -- we want your ideas!! So how the hell can we make a living on our music now?? Tell us. Help us. Call your local bar and tell them to book us for a show! Call Jack Daniels and ask him to sponsor us! Call the circus and ask for vacancies! Any support we can get are we happy for...
But in the end the band is sure that file sharing isn't just the future, but that it benefits everyone. While I don't fully agree with the band's claim that record labels will disappear in 12 years (perhaps a more accurate version is that record labels as we know them will disappear in that time), the entire explanation of what's going on in the music business is well worth reading. The band points out, quite accurately, that file sharing is not going away, and the moral and legal questions people raise are pretty pointless. It points out that the big four major record labels have basically done everything wrong with little effort to really adapt. Then, amusingly, they suggest that any employees at such labels might want to bail out sooner rather than later -- to prevent having such a dead end company on the resume for too long. They also suggest that new bands avoid signing with the majors, knowing that from here on out they'll just be stuck in the rapid decline phase.

And, in the end, the band is thrilled about all that opportunity:
Well, well, sad tunes, huh? Actually, not at all! The fact is that this development is only bad news to a few individuals. For the rest of us it's fantastic and hugely beneficial, and not simply in terms getting free access to music and film, but in relieving all costs, borders and delay to obtain access to ALL information across the globe. The benefit to mankind is so monumental that it cannot be compared to anything that we have experienced before.

This movement is part of something much greater and we all need to expand our perspectives to realise the enormous value and potential that lies within it.
I'm just quoting a few select parts, but an awful lot of the arguments made in the paper sound like what we talk about here. Take, for example, this section on copyright:
This debate needs to be taken to another level. It is no longer relevant or even interesting to discuss whether someone has the moral right or not to exclusively demand rights to one's music or ideas. It is not at all as clear-cut as the music business and various law enforcement institutions claim.

The copyright is definitely not a holy natural right that people acquire at birth. The concept that as soon as someone has an idea they also have the right to it is absurd. Copyright is something that is claimed and needs supporters to then assert the claim. There is nothing wrong in trying to capitalise on one's ideas but it is important to realise that this is not a given right that everyone automatically must agree to and respect.
It's a good read, and definitely great to see yet another band that seems to have embraced what the technology allows, and are jumping fully into new business model experiments.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 9:47am

    "While I don't fully agree with the band's claim that record labels will disappear in 12 years"

    I agree. The labels will disappear in 2013. Unless some very underhanded legislation is passed between now and then.

     

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  2.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 9:54am

    This looks like the type of document that I will keep on hand for people who are just being introduced to these topics. It's amazing how many people have never even thought about what copyright really is, and just consider it to be akin to ownership. It will be nice to have a not-overly-heavy introductory document (especially one written by musicians) to get their minds working on the subject in new ways.

     

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  3.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 9:59am

    Re:

    Interesting post there. Reminds me of something I was thinking about with the whole "new digital remasters" issue: if artists play their cards right, a lot of fans will clamor for the original analogue recordings and mock the remasters for having ruined the music.

    Consider Star Wars, where the fans actively petitioned to get the non-special edition, non-THX, non-letterboxed versions of the original trilogy on DVD.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2010 @ 10:00am

    Holy Cow!

    Someone with a half a clue!

     

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  5.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 10:14am

    Re:

    "I agree. The labels will disappear in 2013. Unless some very underhanded legislation is passed between now and then."

    Damn, the Mayans were fairly accurate after all.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2010 @ 10:16am

    Meh. They make all of the same mistakes (sharing is stealing, copyright should last forever, etc). They simply realized it's a lost cause. And also, they're not the first to release whole albums via TPB, nor the most well known.

    OTOH, the doc is really worth reading and the site is really funny. I'm almost sold on getting a membership, even paying the 30 cents for most of the songs (haven't heard them yet, though).

     

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  7.  
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    paperbag (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 10:55am

    hah

    I was waiting for this to show up here, and I am glad to see that Mike pretty much agrees with the band. I really enjoyed Cotton Eye Joe. This new song? It's catchy but really wasn't for me. I figured all the years of listening to CEJ was enough to drop 5 EUR (they only accept EUR via Paypal) their way with a thank you note.

    They do have subscriptions you can signup for, but I'm not into them THAT much. Even if the cheapest pay membership was 3 EUR per year.

    I'm just hoping this works out well for the band and more artists do this for themselves.

     

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  8.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 11:00am

    Gah! Cheesy UK commercial clubs and bars in the mid-90s before I discovered house music! They played that song constantly... Thanks for getting that song stuck in my head while I'm at work :S

    Seriously though, I didn't realise they'd had such a long career or that they were still around. They certainly didn't have much of one in the UK after their second single dropped out of the charts (which sounded *exactly the same* as the first, IIRC). So much for that major label promotion being necessary for a long career.

     

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  9.  
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    Tom Landry (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 11:15am

    Now that takes balls to bail on a successful run and jump feet first into a new business model. Whatever ones opinion on copyright is, ya gotta respect that.

     

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  10.  
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    "The Anti-Mike", Jan 8th, 2010 @ 11:27am

    But... .

    And .

    Plus .

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2010 @ 11:31am

    This will only work for bands that have their music played during the 8th inning of baseball games!

     

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  12.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 11:44am

    Re:

    I've never quite understood this, actually. Americans always seemed quite intent to dismiss dance music, always obsessed with rock (and later hip-hop). But, some of the cheesiest commercial European dance music (like Rednex and 2Unlimited) seem to have made their way to be constantly rotated during sports games. How did that happen?

     

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  13.  
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    Josh (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 12:00pm

    "or even order a prank call from us to your boss in the middle of the night!"

    Truly awesome.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2010 @ 12:24pm

    Re:

    Or everything will disappear in 2012...

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2010 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re:

    PaulT...I'd guess it's because cheer routines are done to that cheesy commercial club music. :)

    Another guess is that the royalties are cheaper and the artists are more likely to sell out once they get their one hit. It certainly can't hurt Rednex that they probably get a regular paycheck from the Yankies playing the song a hundred times a year.

     

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  16.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 1:40pm

    When 100,000 sucky bands do the same thing, there music will be lost in the noise. Then they will want record labels back.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2010 @ 2:04pm

    Re:

    There are already 100,000 sucky bands signed to record labels. Try harder.

     

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  18.  
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    Alan Gerow (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 2:16pm

    Re:

    Their music is lost in the noise now. How many musical groups are in the world right now? How many make enough money off of record contracts to live? A very very very very very small percentage.

    So, essentially, we should be upset because crappy bands still can't make money?

     

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  19.  
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    Henry Emrich (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 3:10pm

    Re: HUH?

    "But.....and....plus?"

    Huh?
    Your arguments aren't all that coherent or persuasive under the best of circumstances, but *this* takes it to a new level:

    1. But WHAT?
    2. And....WHAT?
    3. Plus....WHAT?

    Oh, I see:

    Can't actually refute any of the quotes OR accuse Mike of "hyping an agenda" (of course he is -- just like you maximalist-types), so you resort to something that's even more nonsequitur than usual.

    Or have you suddenly decided to go all "Zen" on us, and this is some kind of weird new "koan" around which you expect us to wrap our minds, at which time we'll experience "Satori"? Didn't know you had a Bodhi tree in your backyard.

    But hey, thanks Anti-Mike: you've successfully created the ultimate "contrarian template" --- just plug in the caveats as needed.

    Pretty kewl, actually :)

     

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  20.  
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    Henry Emrich (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 3:24pm

    Re:

    Considering that the vast majority of groups *with* record deals ALREADY get "lost in the noise" (or rather, never actually get that "promotion" aspect that's so supposedly valuable to being "signed"....well, you get the idea.

    Really, the arguments against your position are unassailable:

    1. Copyright *IS* a limited-term monopoly privilege which, FROM THE BEGINNING was riddled with exceptions because even it's biggest champions understood how dangerously damaging such monopoly privileges could be.
    However, thanks to a few multinational corporations various front groups which they control, copyright has metastasized into *exactly* the sort of thing the exceptions and strictly-limited term were intended to prevent.

    2. Record labels routinely screw over those stupid enough to actually "sign" with them.

    3. "Collection agencies" likewise routinely fail to actually pay the artists.

    4. The multinational corporate megaliths routinely attempt to suppress potentially-disruptive technology via hyperolic comparisons to Serial-killers, and apocalyptic predictions that if such technology is "permitted", their victims (oops, I mean "clients") are doomed.

    Did I miss anything there, Anti-Mike?
    Ps: He's trying as hard as he can -- it's pretty hard to formulate coherent apologia for corporate tyranny with a tumor the size of a lemon rapidly destroying what passes for It's brain.
    (Sadly enough, Kevorkian is unavailable, of Anti-Mike would doubtless already have partaken of his services, thus depriving us of such scintillating grandeur as "But....And....Plus".

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2010 @ 4:14pm

    Downloading now. Welcome to the future, who know Rednex would show us the way?

     

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  22.  
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    Tom Landry (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 5:13pm

    Re:

    This statement makes zero sense. In what way do the record companies make anyone's music NOT suck? Due to have producers? Recent software/hardware that is cheap enough for the average person to buy can make anyone a producer. Professional Producers aren't the record company. They're paid employees. Re; quality of music thats mainly up to the musicians themselves.

     

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  23.  
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    RadialSkid, Jan 9th, 2010 @ 12:40am

    Henry:

    I think the first "anti-Mike" you were responding to was a poster making fun of the actual "The Anti-Mike," suggesting that he would post shortly and have some sort of B.S. argument against this actual established band doing what its doing.

    At least, that's how I read it.

     

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  24.  
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    Gene Cavanaugh, Jan 9th, 2010 @ 10:02am

    Rednex

    Good article! I especially liked the fact they noted, that they are not something special, "better" than their fans!

    We are a long way from the day when important things are respected over relatively trivial things, but Rednex is going in the right direction.

    It is sad that Hedy Lamarr is remembered as a "great" actress, but no one seems to know or care that the cellphone they use is based on technology she developed (almost single handed!).

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2010 @ 10:03am

    Re:

    So now you don't even have a point, you just figure you can handwave it away.

    Troll. Either leave or be made to leave.

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2010 @ 3:35pm

    not that rednex afterall :P

     

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


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