Regina Spektor: I'm Lucky That People Can Get All My Music For Free

from the spread-the-love dept

We recently wrote about how both Amanda Palmer and Steve Albini think that file sharing is great for musicians. In the comments to that post, dwg pointed us to a new interview with musician Regina Spektor. The whole interview is interesting, but at the end there's a tidbit on how she feels about file sharing:
"I grew up poor, and there are a lot of people that grew up a lot poorer than I am," Spektor says. "Though, to me, I think that if somebody doesn't have an easy life, they should at least have access to free books and film and music. I think that I feel very lucky to live in this time where people can go online and get everything I've ever made, whether they have a lot of money or not.

"So much of the music that I found out about — whether it was late, it's better than never — was through people burning CDs for me and people making cassette mixes for me and people giving it to me for free. I feel really grateful that people can just type in my name and listen to things that I made. I feel so lucky for that."
Of course, I would imagine that her music label, Sire Records, a subsidiary of Warner Music, might not appreciate her saying that. Still, it's good to see more artists speaking out on this topic and combating the silly "sharing is theft" argument that the RIAA wants everyone to believe.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Ruud (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 2:15pm

    I like to listen to her music on my cheap seat.

     

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  2.  
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    Yakko Warner (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 2:26pm

    She's just an edge case.

    This model only works for someone whose fans are very poor. For the majority of musicians that have fans that actually have money to buy CDs, they need to have tough anti-piracy laws to protect their IP.

     

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  3.  
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    DH's Love Child (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 2:33pm

    Re: She's just an edge case.

    Well played!

     

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  4.  
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    MrWilson, May 30th, 2012 @ 2:50pm

    Re: She's just an edge case.

    "This model only works for someone whose fans are very poor."

    I'd love to a label's CEO say this. It would amount to okaying music file-sharing is so many countries.

     

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  5.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 2:59pm

    Re: She's just an edge case.

    Masnick's Law, you say?

     

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  6.  
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    Soli, May 30th, 2012 @ 3:13pm

    Who is she? That's why she doesn't mind her music being free....

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2012 @ 3:13pm

    At some point hopefully, the vast majority of people who aren't particularly up on all this stuff and don't realise that all this copyright piracy bs is actually about stuff that they have always done.
    The only difference being that it's the same stuff just online and that it being done online doesn't actually change anything, doesn't cost anyone any money, doesn't damage sales and isn't taking unfair advantage of anyone.

    When they get that anytime they sang happy birthday in public they were pirates, anytime they sang a song they liked outside the privacy of their own home they were pirates, anytime they played their tapes, cds and mp3s in a field or on the beach they were pirates, anytime they taped a tv programme or movie off air and gave that tape to a friend they were pirates anytime they perused a magazine that someone just left behind, anytime they read a book a friend lent them, anytime their kids made collages from magazines; they were all infringing copyright and should by the rhetoric of the maximalists have been destroying the earnings potential of the music, movies, publishing industries etc.

    When they completely understand that in these instances everyone always have been pirates and not only did it not damage these businesses but enhanced them they will push back and hard.
    If at the same time, they ever figure out, how much money the **AAs and their fellow travellers are costing everyone globally with their insanity, between DRM and legislation and trials and takedowns , the people who make up the **AAs and their paid off cohorts will be lucky to abandon their posts before their posts get torched and even luckier if they ever work again.

    People are being very slow at getting the context, but when they get it, look out.

     

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  8.  
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    zegota (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 3:30pm

    Re:

    Regina Spektor is fairly well-known. In fact, if you Youtube her music, you'll probably recognize her voice, as her music is used often in movies.

    She's actually more mainstream than Amanda Palmer or Jonathan Coulton, who are discussed all the time here.

     

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  9.  
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    Ragaboo (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 3:48pm

    A change of tune for her?

    Hrm ... this seems to be a different tune than she had March 24. She was very sad that her album had leaked. I realize she claims mostly to be sad about it being leaked unfinished, but she still calls it "stolen" and that it will "mess with sales."

    From her Facebook page:

    So sad to have art/photos/videos/music keep leaking online unfinished and at the wrong time... The strange thing is that if it's getting stolen and put out by someone who likes me and my music- why would they want to put me through this? and if it's someone who doesn't like me- why would they waste all that precious time on me... why wouldn't they just do something they like. it's confusing/feels shitty/takes much of the fun out (there's too much fun to take all of it out, though) Feels strange just waiting for things i'm working on to get stolen one by one...
    pretty bummed out,
    reg


    She followed up with this the next day:

    Really nice to feel so supported- thank you to everyone! Feeling better today. The main reason i was so upset was that having leaks of unfinished work/rough cuts of videos/unedited photos/demos that help me remember stuff for later- feels a lot worse than having something finished leak. If it's finished- then i will share it anyhow- so the leak only messes with sales. This is about privacy... it's like having someone rip out pages from your notebook as you sleep and waking up to things that you were only starting to work on be out there...just violating. But yesterday a friend found his dog after her being lost in the woods for over 40 hours... so yeah, some people have real problems:-)
    anyhow, thanks again, reg

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2012 @ 4:32pm

    Re: A change of tune for her?

    There is a difference between sharing and leaking.

     

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  11.  
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    Benjo (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 4:54pm

    Re: A change of tune for her?

    I think she's more upset with the specific person who leaked it, who probably worked at the recording studio she did the album at. Plus the fact that it was an unfinished product and might not sound as good as the final thing.

     

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  12.  
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    Colin, May 30th, 2012 @ 5:31pm

    Re:

    Or you could just listen to more music so you won't have to ask such silly questions.

     

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  13.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 12:50am

    Re:

    "Who is she?"

    A very well respected musician in her genre signed to a major label, who is known enough for her last 2 albums before this year to have gone gold in the US and sold over 1 million copies worldwide (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regina_spektor).

    Who are you?

     

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  14.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 1:00am

    Re: A change of tune for her?

    "She was very sad that her album had leaked"

    She's more concerned about the unfinished product being leaked by the look of that. Some artists don't like their work being seen until it's completed and feel that people being exposed to the early drafts might be given a false impression.

    "but she still calls it "stolen""

    While still slightly misplaced, that's certainly a label more applicable to a product not deemed suitable for public consumption being leaked than to people making copies of the finished product that's public available.

    "that it will "mess with sales.""

    ...and in that case, it could. People might hear the album, not be aware that it's unfinished, unedited, unpolished material and decide that the album's no good. They could then not buy the album as they originally intended to, and might pass bad word of mouth on to others.

    If people listen to the finished product and decide that it's not worth paying for, well tough luck you made a bad product. If people listen to an unfinished version and make their decision based on that, well there's definitely room to argue the leak negatively affected sales.

    There's no hypocrisy here, nor inconsistency. She doesn't mind people copying her art once it's finished so that they and others can enjoy it. She does mind if people take rough drafts and unfinished demos.

     

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  15.  
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    Liz (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 1:24am

    Re: Re:

    Who are you?

    I'm Batman.




    Sorry, I couldn't resist... >.>

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 2:59am

    Regina

    Regina is beautiful. Really really.
    I buy all her cds.

    Thanks for a good post.

     

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  17.  
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    Jessica Lohse, May 31st, 2012 @ 3:46am

    Re: She's just an edge case.

    That's pretty funny considering I haven't known anyone to buy a CD in years. Paying small costs for individual songs that are much liked, sure or downloading free if absolutely cannot afford. That's the way it is at uni in the U.K. and that's the way it is post-university as well.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 6:25am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Hey now, That IP is mine, sort of. ;)

     

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  19.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 8:46am

    Re: Re: She's just an edge case.

    That's pretty funny considering I haven't known anyone to buy a CD in years.

    I bought three CDs a couple weeks ago. From the independent artist themselves, for $5 a piece. I immediately ripped them and put the mp3s on my music player. Like every other CD I have ever bought, they are nothing more than physical backups for my mp3s (and any mp3 I download online gets dumped to a CD for backup.) I realize it is easier to just back everything up to the internet, but at the same time, I think having physical access to the backup is sometimes better if only for the feeling of knowing I have one.

     

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  20.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 9:07am

    Re:

    But if were *all* pirates, it can't be cool anymore.

     

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  21.  
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    gorehound (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 9:12am

    And I feel the same way after spending the last 36 years making Punk Rock Tunes in various Bands and sharing them all freely with the World.
    www.bigmeathammer.com or find me on TPB, ETC.

    A big FUCK YOU to the MAFIAA !!!

     

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  22.  
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    Social Media Company, May 31st, 2012 @ 1:49pm

    Agreed!

    I couldn't agree more with this philosophy. People who make music should just be happy that there are others out there who want to listen to it. If people like your music, money can be made in other ways.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 10:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: She's just an edge case.

    >I realize it is easier to just back everything up to the internet

    You do realise that's called "uploading" and is considered illegal, right?

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2012 @ 4:26pm

    Re: Agreed!

    but why should companies and corporations profit from the musicians work and not the musicians themselves?

    http://thetrichordist.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/artists-know-thy-enemy/

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2012 @ 4:28pm

    Re:

    it's funny how you guys defend illegal businesses, it's not like regina can't give her music away without being illegally exploited... here's how various companies are ripping off artists and not paying them a penny...

    http://thetrichordist.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/artist-exploitation-calculator-internet-edition/

     

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  26.  
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    Tom Anderson, Jun 26th, 2012 @ 10:01pm

    It's not necessarily illegal

    Isn't she talking about services like YouTube? Type in Regina Spektor into YouTube or last.fm and you can listen for free. Why would her label be unhappy?

     

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


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