Thanks for taking the time to share your feelings and your point of view on all of this. It makes the discussion much more meaningful when those of us in the peanut gallery don't have to assume that we know your take on these various points. While I find it annoying to have an AC "set me straight" I don't mind at all when the actual artist in question steps in and gives us all the straight scoop. I'd even go as far as saying that your candor on the subject is part of being "honest and awesome" as Masnick likes to put it.
Keep up the good work and keep connecting with the fans!
What dollars have been "lost"? Seriously, I'd like a real answer to that question. Are you asserting that anyone who downloads a copy of the leaked album now has a "reason not to buy"? If so, how do you quantify the number of people who would have purchased the album had it not leaked? Also, are you factoring in the extra PR/hype/marketing that comes along with having your album leaked early?
Let's face it - in some circles, if your album doesn't leak early then that means no one gives a crap about it. If people want it badly enough that they'll download an early copy that has been leaked then at least some of them will be lining up to buy the album and/or other goodies. (Don't forget that there's a difference between selling 'just music' and selling 'music and lots of other cool, related stuff.' Losing a few pennies on the 'just music' is worth it if you make dollars on the 'other cool stuff.')
How are you calculating his loss in this scenario?
Instead of putting words in his mouth and ascribing feelings to him, why don't we just ask him to clarify?
You say that he is "hurt" and has been stunningly disrespected, and that given the limited choices he came out publicly and said the only thing he could say in the situation. You feel he has to "beg" his fans for "alms" of financial support.
Masnick & Co. (myself included) believe the artist's words at face value. We believe he "gets it" and that he's using the leak to generate extra PR and marketing. We read his words and see an artist who chooses to engage with his fans and does not overreact to what might be considered a "bad thing." We don't accept that he's "begging for money" when he reminds his fans that there's other cool stuff beyond the leaked music.
I propose that Leigh Beadon contact El-P and seek clarification. Let's ask him how he feels about the leak, whether he feels "dissed", and if he thinks he has to "beg" for money. Does he feel his career has been "hurt" by the leak? Or is it good hype?
If he agrees with the AC then I will gladly eat crow.
Microsoft lately has had reverse Midas touch. It seems like everyone who gets involved with them dies a slow painful death. Of course, those who do get involved with MS are frequently unhealthy to begin with, so perhaps MS is just going all Dr. Kevorkian on them.
That being said, this B&N/Nook thing seems to be somewhere in the middle of interesting, curious, and bizarre. I can't see what Win8/MS actually brings to the table for the Nook, but maybe Bill Gates is going to come out of retirement and surprise us all? :)
Of course, the cynic in me says that this partnership is just MS poisoning the well for the Nook. I hope not, but I will definitely be watching to see what happens.
What have you done?! You can't encourage people who've illegally downloaded a leaked copy of your new album! Encouraging your fans may lead to engaging with them which in turn could lead to all sorts of naughty behavior, such as cultivating a strong fan base giving people a valid reason to buy.
This situation is totally unacceptable and we insist that you retract your statement and replace it with a vow to "hunt down the dirty scumbag(s) who leaked my work without my authorization and consent" and then to "prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law." Failure to comply with these directives will prevent you from attaining Official Douchebag status with our organization and may lead to a further increase in your fan base.
Your actions are a threat to middlemen and out-dated dinosaurs everywhere. Not only are you endangering the flow of ill-gotten gains into our coffers, you are supporting terrorism and pedophiles!
We trust your compliance with our demands will occur swiftly.
Like Zach says, nobody is "forgetting" those costs. They are there no matter what - they're sunk costs. Since the marginal cost for an additional ebook sold is nearly zero it makes the most economic sense to sell as many as possible at a price that the consumers consider to be reasonable.
Would you rather sell 100 units at $15ea or 1000 at $5ea? Get out your calculator, we'll wait...