Keith Urban Supports Unauthorized Downloaders… Except When He Doesn't

from the so-that's-how-it-works? dept

Ah, the things that happen when you sign your life away. A month or so ago singer Keith Urban won a People’s Choice Award for “Favorite Male Audience.” In his acceptance speech, he declared that he was so happy, even for the folks who downloaded his music in an unauthorized manner:

“I don’t even care if you download it illegally, give it to your friends. I really don’t care. I love the people to hear the music and come out and see us play live.”

Apparently, though, he no longer means it. He’s now he meant something entirely different:

“What I said came out nothing like I meant,” explained Urban. “I was referring to the old days when you’d buy a record, do a cassette tape and give it to your girlfriend, and then maybe she likes it and becomes a fan.”

Of course, if that was the case, why did he say “download it illegally” and why did he say — twice — that he doesn’t care about that. If he was talking about people buying it and sharing it with their friends, why not just say that? So why did he misspeak:

“I’ve never done an awards show where they seem to let you talk infinitely,” he said. “I was waiting for the ‘wrap’ sign to come up, and it never came up.”

Looking at the video, he expresses his love for people who download his music about 20 seconds into the acceptance speech. Before he even thanks his wife. I don’t think you can chalk that up to rambling because he had too much time.

All in all, it sounds like those who he signed his life away to at EMI/Capitol Records probably sat him down and had a chat.

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Comments on “Keith Urban Supports Unauthorized Downloaders… Except When He Doesn't”

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Henry Emrich (profile) says:

Why would this be surprising?

Anybody who still expects label-puppets to actually break ranks on the p2p or downloading issue, consistently, is looking for the impossible.
The guy accidentally said something that put the “art” and the “fans” first, and it’s pretty obvious that his corporate pay-masters don’t like when their serfs do that kind of thing. Interesting how we’ve gotten to the point where anti-p2p types feel comfortable enough to wink at the issue of copyright monopolies enough to actually mention “mixtapes”. (And here *I* thought “home taping is killing music”.

Ah, well — anybody who still takes these corporate pablum-peddlers seriously deserves what they get.

Hmm…the whole thing smacks of Clinton’s “But I didn’t inhale” bullshit, in regard to marijuana. Gotta preserve a tragically-dysfunctional Status Quo, even if doing so involves mass hypocrisy — Remember, Kids: even the “anti-piracy” Poster-girl Lily Allen made mp3 “mixtapes” AND DISTRIBUTED THEM ON HER MYSPACE!

Give it another ten years, and even the corporate sell-outs will be admitting ever-so-grudgingly, that they used Napster or The Pirate bay.

That’s ultimately how you “win” — the shift in social norms PRECEDES revision of the “law”. More importantly, the “law” only finally DOES get changed when keeping up the charade of “enforcement” becomes blatantly, obviously impossible.

Laurel L. Russwurm (profile) says:

personal use copying should not be criminalized

“What I said came out nothing like I meant,” explained Urban. “I was referring to the old days when you’d buy a record, do a cassette tape and give it to your girlfriend, and then maybe she likes it and becomes a fan.”

And copying the record you bought onto a cassette and giving it to someone is different from “illegal filesharing” how?

Sam I Am says:

Hey Henry, good to see you buddy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Personally? I’ve never illegally downloaded anything, although I admit to a couple well intended but misguided 7″ reel-to-reel dupes in my college days. But I never inhaled, i swear. ๐Ÿ˜‰

“Give it another ten years?”

You’ll be signing online with your thumbprint by then and held accountable to every single thing you do if my influence counts for anything. These are the “good old days”, just watch.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

That doesn’t make any sense. Why would you make it harder to connect with the network? Why would you remove anonymity from the network? How much is that going to cost? Won’t it just be cheaper to connect to the network without having to jump through a bunch of hoops? Don’t cheaper methods of connecting win out, over time, methods which are more expensive?

Wasn’t Beta superior to VHS?

Henry Emrich (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Enemies of free speech” etc.

And here I thought you were just a glorified lighting tech with a penchant for weepy sob-stories about how you hated the RIAA because of how they “extort” you whenever you use “their” content in one of your fashion-shows.

(Funny, but that almost kinda makes me think that you’d BENEFIT from drastically-shorter copyright terms….more fashion-show-type “content” in the public domain, etc.) Silly me — obviously spamming tech/p2p/copyright-related boards with the same recycled RIAA talking-points and apologizing for corporate misconduct is more your speed. ๐Ÿ™‚

As for your “influence” — heh. You’re that big of a fish? Weren’t you over on p2pnet whimpering about how you flew all the way to England, and “Lammy” wouldn’t even see you?

Ah well, at least you’ve finally outed yourself as the unflinching apologist for corporate fascism we already knew you do be. (Kinda explains why you keep calling anybody who disagrees with you “anarchists” and suchlike.

Your “influence”? What? Do the architects of digital feudalism need an expert in “showcase ventilation?” ๐Ÿ™‚

Try again, schmuck. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ian McGrady (profile) says:

Artists with Labels

There’s been a thick stripe of artists who have benefitted profoundly from label’s investments in them: Mr. Urban himself is not lacking for cash, prestige, or opportunity. Other artists proudly declare their “independence” after receiving the label’s relationships, branding, and largesse. Granted, labels are bureaucracies, and bureaucracies have their own problems. Nonetheless, it isn’t hard to make a commercially viable album these days: I discovered an artist, and made an album. It turned out great, as good or better than most first albums you’d find at any major label, by any major artist, and I mean any. All you need to do is want to enjoy personal risk, as I did. Just because the means of production have been democratized, the ability to make a commercially viable pop, rop, or hip-hop album will depend upon the few willing to discipline their talents through the prism of building a trustable sound. He’s got face-time on TV. He’s got Nicole Kidman (or perhaps she’s got him, but either way…), and he’s got a name and an award. Artists who are beholden to labels for some things can do other things to generate income if they’re smart and talented enough to extend their skills. It’s entirely possible.

I’ll encourage anyone to stop by and see the proof: I share the publishing with the artist because it’s the right thing to do.

Henry Emrich (profile) says:

Hi, SAM! :)

Glad to see you’re still around, Ol’ pal! ๐Ÿ™‚

Interesting (but by no means unprecedented) that you’d link to a conspiracy-related/anti-police state type site like Prisonplanet, NOT to criticize the development, but to excuse it as a “necessary” step.

Really, Sam: we’ve had this discussion before. You have no idea what copyright law was originally intended to do. You *used* to claim to hate the RIAA member-corporations because they “extorted” you whenever you wanted to use “their” music in one of your fashion-shows, which — unless I’m really missing something here — would actually HELP YOU OUT financially, by lowering the aggregate cost to put on your damnable fashion-shows.

Translation: the drastically revitalized Public Domain enabled by shorter copyright terms would HELP YOU.

But you’re too stupid to understand that, so you spend tremendous amounts of time spamming technology/copyright/p2p-related websites and blogs with the same, easily-refuted bromides, and frantically apologizing for everything the corporate megaliths and their cronies in government do.

Y’know, that really fascinates me: drastically reduced copyright terms would be FULLY within your interests (in that the RIAA megacorps wouldn’t be able to keep “extorting” you as much, but you still spend time cheering their effotts at draconian idiocy on, and trying to actively participate in making the situation worse. (Did you ever get to see your buddy “Lammy”? I remember you were unhappy that you hadn’t been able to get to see him, as you mentioned over on p2pnet.)

Glad to see you’re still too dumb to realize that Prisonplanet reports on the stuff as a means of DISSENT.

The good part about you being here, is that maybe you can actually teach TAM how to at least inject the semblance — if not the reality — of substance in between his RIAA talking-points and pseudo-Zen ramblings.

But seriously: really glad to see you, dude! Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy whenever I think back over all the good times we’ve had! ๐Ÿ™‚

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Pardon the double post:

As to the Lily Allen thing: nope, wasn’t her “labels” website. It was her myspace. Her attempted excuses for the mixtapes were that she didn’t understand the industry at the time.

They were hosted on her website, not MySpace, which is controlled by EMI. And her “excuse” was in response to a post here.

Overcast (profile) says:

“What I said came out nothing like I meant,” explained Urban. “I was referring to the old days when you’d buy a record, do a cassette tape and give it to your girlfriend, and then maybe she likes it and becomes a fan.”

Yes, I agree Laurel, That is different from downloading a song…. how?

In all honesty, I think I had more ‘un-purchased’ songs on Cassette than I do MP3.

But then I was much younger and didn’t really have as much disposable income, now I prefer to get a CD, rip and put the CD on the shelf. Stays in good shape a very long time that way.


You’ll be signing online with your thumbprint by then and held accountable to every single thing you do if my influence counts for anything. These are the “good old days”, just watch.

No – you’ll be biometrically authenticated with the chip in your arm – at least some will. Chips and I don’t mix that way…

But – if somehow ‘free downloading’ made these people cash – they’d be ALL for it. It’s not what’s going on, it the fact that their little pyramid marketing scheme is being disrupted. But soon – someone will figure out a way to seriously cash in on this.

The Anti-Mike (profile) says:

Actually, it sounds more like he sat down and realizes where a nice chunk of his living and public exposure comes from, and decides to back track.

Keith Urban without a record deal and without easy access to country music radio would pretty much be like 1001 other bums hanging around Nashville, nobody would know who they are. He could join the thousands of other unknown acts cruising around playing local country music bars for beer money.

I think he woke up and discovered which side of the bread his butter is on, and it isn’t the side marked “torrents”

Henry Emrich (profile) says:

Re: Re:

So you *do* officially just reiterate what Mike said, then?

What part of “All in all, it sounds like those who he signed his life away to….probably sat him down and had a chat” didn’t you bother to read, exactly?

Of course, it makes perfect sense that you would unfailingly regurgitate the labels’ claims, just as it makes perfect sense that “Sam I Am” would consistently fail to understand how drastically shorter copyright terms would be beneficial to him/actively crusade for digital totalitarianism while blaming the victims.

Wow, IP apologist trolls really *are* stupid.

RD says:


“Fans are why he is famous, but if they are getting his product for nothing, he would be well known and poor, as opposed to just poor.

Heck, if they were getting his product for free, the record labels wouldn’t have ponied up to make his records, once again leaving him just poor.”

Sorry, I missed the part in all that specious crap that says he wouldnt make any money from concerts? Personal appearances? Merch? Hired to make a soundtrack? Or ANY OTHER THING other than recorded music on discs?

How exactly is he unknown and poor due to his music being played FOR FREE on radio? Millions hear his music this way, but according to you, since its FREE, its invalid and would only hurt his chances of getting known. I must have missed the class where a CD of a brand new artist gets released and millions of people buy it sight unseen without knowing anything about the artist or ever hearing their music, its just bought because its offered for sale? Can you explain this?

Please answer instead of dodging the issue and making another personal attack.

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