This Has To Be A Joke: Music Duo Claims It Won't Sell CDs Again Until 'Piracy' Is Stopped

from the um,-huh? dept

Someone who prefers to remain anonymous sent over this odd story of a musical duo who put up a notice on the band’s website claiming that, due to “piracy,” they were no longer going to sell CDs. But the reasoning makes no sense at all:

NOTICE: Due to uncontrolled Music Piracy, [Our album] will no longer be sold to the general public. We refuse to cater to thieves and criminals. When the Worldwide Piracy problems is solved, then we will begin sales once again.

Notice I chopped out the name of the band/album, because this seems so outlandish that I’m wondering if it’s just a publicity stunt. Or a joke. It seems like it must be, because the basic logic of the statement above is so backwards as to defy reason. By not selling a CD, you’re basically telling people the only way to get the album is through unauthorized channels. At least offering the CD lets some people buy it. Claiming that not selling it is a way to avoid “catering to thieves and criminals” makes no sense, since all it does is make it that much more difficult for anyone to support the band legally. That’s why I’m guessing this is some sort of joke. The band also has a Twitter account (again, not linking to it on purpose), which is filled with a ton of articles about unauthorized access to content (many of them very old articles) with commentary that is somewhat amusing for how far off the mark it is. For example, one Twitter message “blames ‘piracy'” on some of Nine Inch Nails’ experiments — the ones that are making the band lots of money. So, again, I’m wondering if this is just some sort of reverse psychology attempt by a band to get people to download their stuff. Seems like there are more effective ways of doing that.

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Comments on “This Has To Be A Joke: Music Duo Claims It Won't Sell CDs Again Until 'Piracy' Is Stopped”

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150 Comments
The i-Team (profile) says:

Re: reminds me...

Yeah me too, they were called Moop…

“Tom, we’re now entering the second day of the rock band MOOP’s refusal to play, and the second day of absolutely no other news to report on. In a recent poll we asked people if MOOP’s refusal to play would stop them from downloading music off the Internet. 1% said yes. 2% said no. And 97% said, “Who the hell is MOOP?” Back to you, Tom.”

One of my favourite episodes!!!

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

http://blogs.courant.com/eric_danton_sound_check/2010/02/fighting-digital-piracy-brandt-morain.html

It seems from this article that they are serious.

“We are sure that our anti-piracy campaign will hurt some of our fanbase support,” Brandt says. “But, as I indicated, fans and exposure are not our biggest obstacle — piracy is.”

and

“If we are correct, this problem will not exist when we begin our second CD,” Brandt says.

And if it does still exist?

“We simply will not release a second CD if piracy is still out of control.”

Good luck with that, guys.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Holy crazy! It starts off sounding almost normal, then…

“By using or being associated with this website and/or it’s content in any manner, including linking to this
website, hosting this website or any other site for Brandt Morain Studios, LLC, posting content from this
website, promoting “Brandt Morain” and/or this website and/or it’s content, advertising of “Brandt Morain”
and/or this website and/or it’s content, providing software or hardware for use by Brandt Morain Studios,
or any use of the name “Brandt Morain”, “BrandtMorain”, or “Brandt Morain Studios”, you agree to grant
Jared M. Brandt, Eddie B. Morain, Sr, and Brandt Morain Studios, LLC a permanent, worldwide, free
exemption from whatever terms that may exist in any EULA or Terms of Service Agreement that originates
from your website and/or software and/or hardware or any websites and/or software and/or hardware
that you may be associated with.”

But it gets even better…

“That’s What I Get” copyright © 2007 by Jared M. Brandt, Eddie B. Morain, Sr, and Adam Morain.

I don’t even know what to say…

Damion says:

The band is the real joke!!

The real joke is these people don’t even have a recording contract, and are offering 10k to someone that finds them a viable contract that they like. How are you gonna accuse people of stealing your music when NO ONE KNOWS WHO THE HELL YOU ARE!!! I bet they really aren’t selling cds cause they CAN’T sell any and need every bit of their only 10k to hope to god that someone thinks they deserve a shot, I mean really who pays a person to find them a music contract? I’ll tell you who…… Talentless HACKS that think piracy is the devil.

GSA says:

Re: The band is the real joke!!

No, the real joke is record contract finder fee option #2, where instead of $10k up front, they offer “10% of all royalties … collect from the record company from the CD sales of ‘Brandt Morain Volume One’.”

If past history is a valid indicator, record company lawyers and accountants will make sure that number is a zero, they’ll lose control of their catalog and they end up $100k in debt from the advance.

I agree with subby. PR stunt.

Pirate My Music (profile) says:

Poop Dog?

At the bottom…

“All content that exists on this website including graphics and photography copyright © 2009 by Jared M. Brandt and Eddie B. Morain, Sr. Music and Lyrics copyright © 2007 by Jared M. Brandt except for “Heartburn” and “That’s What I Get” copyright © 2007 by Jared M. Brandt, Eddie B. Morain, Sr, and Adam Morain. Sound compilation copyright © 2009 by Jared M. Brandt, Eddie B. Morain, Sr.
All rights reserved. Any unauthorized use of this content is strictly prohibited
Website maintained by Poop Dog”

…Poop Dog?

……REALLY??? Well… shit. Either they’re comedic geniuses, or clinically retarded.

Nick says:

Can't buy a cd...

So I can’t buy a CD but you’ll sell me 5 or more for only $5.99ea that I can sell for a profit to ‘friends and family’.

http://www.brandtmorain.com/how-to-get-a-free-copy-of-the-cd

I can set up a party and sell plastic containers, laundry detergent and make-up all at once. Don’t think I’ll piss off any of my ‘friends and family’. Do you?

easily amused says:

They also apparently have a separately incorporated PR firm offering to do PR for other entities, while having the finder’s fee ad on the front page… genius.

I just had to sample one of their tracks by the name of “The C in Rap is Silent”, and wow… just wow. I thought the 80’s rap scene was dead, but apparently I was wrong.

johnny says:

Re: So am I a pirate?

I would expect your brain to be on the tender side if you cannot grasp the simple concept here. Its simple, no album sales, no piracy! Your also assuming these are guys trying to make the bucks and fame, I mean, read their info. Simply said, why spend countless hours making an album to give it away? I would sit on it too.hope this might give you another perspective on the situation.

Anonymous Coward says:

I didn’t think peeps could still hate on hip-hop in the naive, head in the sand way older folks did in the late 80s. It’s almost endearing, like something your gran might say.
Check out the song title “The_C_is_Silent_in_Rap”, or Jared’s quote…
“I have played everything except Rap,” Jared says. “I never have played Rap and I never will. Rap doesn’t even qualify as a musical genre–it is
entertainment only–the musical equivalent of the Jerry Springer Show.”

hahahaha,

Anonymous Coward says:

Rather than sitting here and typing out pompous comments about people, why not try engaging them and find out what is really going on behind the scenes?

Criticism is easy and requires no attempt to understand what these gentlemen perceive to be an important issue.

Trying to understand their perspective is much more fulfilling because it leads to a more comprehensive understanding of alternate viewpoints.

So, villify away and criticize their music, their website, their (fill in the blank). In my opinion this is nothing more than intellectual laziness.

Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Are you saying that we should speak to them on the telephone or send them a DM on Twitter before we can disagree with them? If so, I think that’s really unnecessary.

These people have a large website, with lots of information about their perspective. By reading their words, we’ve communicated with them about their perspective and we’re giving our opinion of their perspective.

Why should we assume that there is ‘something going on behind the scene’, especially since they’ve published their perspective for us already?

Cipher-0 says:

Re: Re:

Rather than sitting here and typing out pompous comments about people, why not try engaging them and find out what is really going on behind the scenes?

Because as a consumer of music, I don’t have to care about them.

My clients don’t give a shit whether I’m having a bad day, the economy sucks, or any other excuse. They want the product, and if I couldn’t supply it, they will find someone else who will.

another mike (profile) says:

At first I LOLed...

My first thought when reading this was “Bye, nice knowing you.” But then I thought about it for a bit and said “Maybe they’ve discovered the the little plastic disc industry is dead and they’ve found something else to drive sales in the real music industry.” Then I realized that these idiots were serious and they don’t have a clue about the current state of affairs in the music industry. They really seem to think only volume of plastic moved matters.

McBeese says:

This is the future

Why is this outlandish? People are helping themselves to content and robbing content providers of their rightful earnings. Some content providers who are able will find other ways to generate revenue, but many will just say “f*ck it, why bother? We will all suffer because of the selfishness of the entitlement society.

thublihnk (profile) says:

Re: This is the future

Because, shutting down all their music operations and heading home is the WORST thing they can do to combat piracy. They have so much more to fear from obscurity than from piracy, and even if piracy was the overblown problem they’re making it out to be, not SELLING their stupid little plastic disks means that their fans–the ones that want to support them and want to listen to their music will either have to go through the now ridiculously impossible task of buying one of their CDs, or they will be forced to pirate.

Bad move from all angles.

McBeese says:

Re: Re: This is the future

Think about it from the band’s perspective. It costs them a LOT of time and money to put together a bunch of quality recordings that people will consider worthwhile to listen to. Why invest the time and money if there is no payback? What’s the point of visibility if it doesn’t put food on the table? Many, many potentially great bands will abandon their quest and get regular jobs because there is no other option. The big companies will fill the void with manufactured shit like the Jonas Brothers and Mylie Cyrus.

I truly believe that there are other business models that can be used to help solve this dilemma, but there are none on the table now that work for anyone except the big bands like U2. Do you really expect individual bands to create new economic models on their own? Why not stop the stealing until we have a better solution in place.

thublihnk (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: This is the future

There are so many things wrong with your statement.

There is definitely payback from merch/live shows when your recordings are distributed freely can more than make up for it.

Visibility is the most precious resource in the music industry–there is NO doubt to that.

There is absolutely new music business models that not only prevent piracy from screwing with them, but use torrents and P2P sharing as a tool, and they’ve been used by bands from EVERY level of commercial viability.

And yes, I do believe that individual bands should have business models that work, not just the ‘sell plastic disks’ BS. You know why? Because if you want to make money in a business, you have to be a businessperson or you have to hire one, and businesspeople know that to sell someone something, they have to want to buy it. Just like if you want to make music, you have to be a musician.

Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: This is the future

Short answer: You do what you love because you love to do it, not because you might make money from it. Your incentive is that you love to do it.

Most people work a day job, and then do what they love in their spare time. I’ve got zero sympathy for snivelers who cry about not making money from their art, or actually having to work to make money from their talent, just like everyone else does.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: This is the future

I truly believe that there are other business models that can be used to help solve this dilemma, but there are none on the table now that work for anyone except the big bands like U2.

Say what?!

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091119/1634117011.shtml

We’ve been chronicling how these models work for years, and the earliest success stories were all the small bands, and people insisted “oh this will never work for big bands.” And now it does and you claim — against all evidence — that it only works for big bands?

Sorry. Reality says you’re wrong.

McBeese says:

Re: Re: Re:2 This is the future

I’m aware of what Trent Reznor and a few other established names have been able to achieve. Those are great exceptions, not the rule, IMHO. Can you point me to even three or four little bands that have become well known financially successful bands using this new kind of model?

I accept the theory, but my point is that that’s still all it is for the most part – theory. If I’m wrong, show me some data and I’ll reevaluate my position.

isaac Kotlicky (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 This is the future

Really?
REALLY? Did you JUST post that?
Without reading ANY of the previous multitude of stories detailing exactly that and working through that argument:
They’ve covered major acts.
“Show me the small musicians.”
They’ve done that too…
“Show me the middle-layer”
They’ve done that too…
Just… shut it. read up on the experiment – it has worked for numerous groups in a variety of sizes and situations – the key is finding the SPECIFIC implementation of the truly sensible strategy that is catered to YOUR audience.

Please read up in CwF + RtB and stop making a fool of yourself.

McBeese says:

Re: Re: Re:4 This is the future

So there aren’t 3 or 4 flagship examples then? I didn’t think so.

I’m not talking about ‘little bands’ that became bigger ‘little bands’. Or middle-layer bands that stayed middle-layer. Or already big bands that changed models. I’m talking about little bands that become well known financially successful big bands.

I read all of the CwF + RtB stuff. I read about established musicians who were able to draw on the attraction of their friends or their existing fan base to make some amount of money in new ways. I read about obscure artists who were able to raise a small amount of money and are still obscure.

I did NOT read about a startup band that was able to propel themselves from obscurity playing in bars to becoming the next Muse. I don’t believe that is happening yet and I’m simply asking if I’m wrong. If there were a few examples you could point to, it would be an easy argument. But if not, I’ll stick with my opinion that this is all still mostly theory and has not been proven as effective and sustainable alternative to the old models yet (which I believe are heading towards extinction).

So, how about if you think about it again and instead of mouthing off, just put up or shut up.

Band 1 = ?
Band 2 = ?
band 3 = ?

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 This is the future

If your criteria is bands have to become household names and multi-millionaires to be “successful” then you win. The lottery system of the music industry is coming to an end. More people make some money, and fewer people make enormous piles of money. The lack of enormous piles of money does not imply that the new business models “don’t work”.

But if not, I’ll stick with my opinion that this is all still mostly theory and has not been proven as effective and sustainable alternative to the old models yet (which I believe are heading towards extinction).

What do you think the future holds? If the old models are dying, and the new models aren’t working, are you predicting that nobody will make any money from music, or what?

McBeese says:

Re: Re: Re:6 This is the future

“If your criteria is bands have to become household names and multi-millionaires to be “successful” then you win.”

I think that is the goal of most bands, just as it is for most start-up companies. If the reality is that (the good) bands can at least get past bootstrapping mode and make enough money to live a decent life, that’s cool. Today you get a shot at that when you get signed by a label. The labels are like the equivalent of VCs for bands. If the labels don’t see a predictable monetization plan, they won’t invest. Up until recently, that monetization plan was based primarily on selling large volumes of content. That’s going away, so something else is needed to replace it. Raffling off a chance to sing backing vocals with Betty or play mini-golf with Freddie doesn’t apply to start-up bands and, in any case, it doesn’t scale and it isn’t sustainable. Selling t-shirts in the Bar you’re playing at isn’t going to get you to the next level.

“What do you think the future holds? If the old models are dying, and the new models aren’t working, are you predicting that nobody will make any money from music, or what?”

I wish I knew where all this was headed. All I know is that the existing monetization mechanisms are dying, and there is no clear alternative yet. I fear that we’re headed for a period of a lot of shitty music because the labels will package up good looking boys and girls and promote the crap out of them to make money, while the real talent suffers for lack of an effective monetization strategy. The answer will come, I have no doubt. I just don’t see it yet. Steve Jobs is forcing a transition away from Flash by not supporting it on iPhones and now the iPad. The resulting Web experience might be painful for a while, but nobody would transition if he didn’t take a stand. Maybe it’s the same with the music industry. Going through this pain is the only thing that will force us to transition and find a better business model. I hope so. I just wish people would stop stealing music while we figure it out.

Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 This is the future

I think that is the goal of most bands, just as it is for most start-up companies.

No. Most bands and start-up companies want to make a living doing what they love. They don’t want to be CEOs of multimillion dollar corporations. Do you really think your plumber aspires to own a multimillion dollar corporation, or do you think he’s perfectly happy running his own small business?

As a small business owner, I can tell you that most of us aspire to be… small business owners. Why should musicians be any different?

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 This is the future

I’m aware of what Trent Reznor and a few other established names have been able to achieve. Those are great exceptions, not the rule, IMHO. Can you point me to even three or four little bands that have become well known financially successful bands using this new kind of model?

Did you really not even read the link? Wow.

McBeese says:

Re: Re: Re:4 This is the future

Yes, I read the link. Did you not read what I wrote? Wow. You didn’t even have to click on a link.

There were no examples of startup bands that were able to propel themselves from obscurity playing in bars to becoming a well-known financial success. It seems that the only way that happens still requires the old model of label-driven promotion and content sales. I’m not saying it can’t happen, I’m just saying that as far as I can tell, it isn’t happening yet so there isn’t really a proven alternative to the old models on the table yet.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: This is the future

“Think about it from the band’s perspective. It costs them a LOT of time and money to put together a bunch of quality recordings that people will consider worthwhile to listen to. Why invest the time and money if there is no payback?”

You use those recordings to create interest in your music and then you can sell tickets to perform live (which is where musicians actually earn money). If they dont want to play live, then they are NOT musicians!

Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Re: This is the future

We will all suffer because of the selfishness of the entitlement society.

This works both ways. These people that are calling themselves ‘artists’ are essentially throwing tantrums because they think that they’re entitled to make a living doing what they love.

News Flash: You do what you love because you love to do it. End of story. Most people work a day job, and then do what they love in their spare time. I’ve got zero sympathy for snivelers who cry about not making a mint from their art, or actually having to work to make money from their talent, just like everyone else does.

I’ll tell you what, it takes talent and work to earn money in sales. It takes talent and work to earn money in customer service. It takes talent and work to earn money as a mechanic. It takes talent and work to earn money as a blogger. It takes talent and work to earn money in every single industry, including music and art.

You can make all the art you want without getting paid for it. A monetary exchange that benefits the artist isn’t necessary for the artist to create art. Look at the countless number of artists who didn’t make money from their art in their lifetimes, and only gained recognition after their deaths.

Let me be clear: The unwillingness of the public to support artists has never stopped the creation of art, and never will.

If you want to create art, create it. If you want to share your art, share it. If you want to make money, make it. You don’t automatically deserve money from me just because you created art and shared it. The end. Deal with it.

vivaelamor (profile) says:

Re: The Music Is Terrible

The more I listen to it the more I think some songs sound better than others. ‘Soul of Gold’ is a horrible sound as is ‘The First Melody’. ‘The First Melody’ sounds like some cheap mockery of Enya’s sound.

Simpler songs like ‘Rule of Man’ while not being to my taste certainly sound a lot better because they are more faithful recordings of what is actually being played. If you’re going to screw around with recordings it might help to make sure the finished product sounds better than before you started.

adam says:

i know "behind the scenes"

i personally know these two and they are paranoid about a lot of things, i have a cd and i had to agree not to put it online anywhere. i have a lot of stories about these two. yes they are both great musicians, and all the music is done by the two of them. but they lack being in the “now” its like they are trapped in a time zone back in the day.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: i know "behind the scenes"

That sucks and is kind of sad. They arent exactly young, and they would have so much more fun for the rest of their music careers if they just reached out and embraced fans. I’d rather be an old man who knows he made something lots of people enjoyed, who sees people sharing his music with their friends, than an old man with zero fans and a smug sense of victory over pirates.

Marie Summers (user link) says:

The Original Article

Eric Danton’s (Reporter for the Hartford Courant) article about BrandtMorain’s fight against piracy is the source article for this Tech Dirt debate.

Here is the Original Article which explains BrandtMorain’s motivations and the hundreds of thousands of people who know about them and enjoy their work.

http://blogs.courant.com/eric_danton_sound_check/2010/02/fighting-digital-piracy-brandt-morain.html

Marie Summers
Director of Marketing
Brandt Morain Public Relations Group

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: The Original Article

That very artie explains exactly why their motivations are misguided:

“What they don’t tell you is how many of those downloads led to a sale of a CD, purchase of a concert ticket or T-shirt, or some other investment in a band that strikes the file-sharer’s fancy,” Kot says. “I’m sure some of the sales fall-off is due to downloading, but there are other factors, including the fact that the industry responded to fans’ desire to
get their music digitally with lawsuits instead of creative solutions.”

Also, the recording industry is not synonymous with artists who are making records. While the industry relies on selling music, Kot notes that many acts are selling themselves, and they increasingly view recorded music as a “loss leader” for advertising their brand and “other potential revenue streams.”

“The larger issue here: how many bands actually made a living off CD sales when the industry was at its peak, circa 1999? Not very many,” he says. “The point being, the ability to communicate direct-to-fan via web sites, links, mp3 files and streaming sure beats the good ol’ days when record companies and radio stations acted as middle men
and reaped most of the profits from recorded music.”

It says B-M aren’t buying it, but they give no counterarguments.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: The Original Article

Eric Danton’s (Reporter for the Hartford Courant) article about BrandtMorain’s fight against piracy is the source article for this Tech Dirt debate.

No, the source was an anonymous reader who sent me to the website. I had not seen that article.

Marie Summers
Director of Marketing
Brandt Morain Public Relations Group

Ok. When a band no one has heard of has a marketing director and a “PR Group” you know this is a giant PR stunt.

Massive failure.

Sam I Am says:

wow. impressive.

“Corey Smith? Motoboy? Jonathon Coulton? Matthew Ebel?”

Wow. Four. Masnick is arguably on the bleeding edge of all things digitalcommerce, (I’m being sincere) and yet even he can’t name more than a handful in the 11 years (as in YEARS) since Napster.

Fact is, when you pull the money out of something, it withers, everything is subect to that, and that’s exactly what’s been happening to new bands and new recorded music.
If you can’t tour and be profitable, (which precious few tours actually are), you can’t earn a living in music now. So you are told to get straight jobs. During which you can’t write, practice, record OR tour. Great for our musicians huh? Great for musical culture.

In the 11 years BEFORE Napster, the industry launched thousands of bands and dozens maybe hundreds became household names and household favorites like RADIOHEAD and REZNOR, uniting and aligning the world in agreement of our international favorites. Today we get all the free copies we want of “All we want to do is eat your brains” while other so-called musicians sell their clothing and their empties because they can no longer sell their actual music. Piracy has identified and financially supported nothing in 11 years that even comes close to comparing with the quality of the industrial catalog that was actually funded and preceded it. And why?

Freetards. When you pull the money out of something, it withers.

I hear you tell me this is an improvement almost every day.
Explain why, again?

RD says:

Re: wow. impressive...NOT

“In the 11 years BEFORE Napster, the industry launched thousands of bands and dozens maybe hundreds became household names and household favorites like RADIOHEAD and REZNOR, uniting and aligning the world in agreement of our international favorites. Today we get all the free copies we want of “All we want to do is eat your brains” while other so-called musicians sell their clothing and their empties because they can no longer sell their actual music. Piracy has identified and financially supported nothing in 11 years that even comes close to comparing with the quality of the industrial catalog that was actually funded and preceded it. And why?”

And why is the music industry as a whole (not JUST the recording industry) making MORE MONEY THAN EVER BEFORE? The last few years have (mostly) been on the UPSWING.

Of course, we have/are going through a RECESSION GLOBALLY, but that cant figure into any declines now, can it?

You assertion that the previous 11 years to Napster were some panacea Golden Age (the 90’s… a GOLDEN AGE of music…bwahahahaha) and the time since has been a WASTELAND flies in the face of, well, pretty much everything.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: wow. impressive.

Wow. Four. Masnick is arguably on the bleeding edge of all things digitalcommerce, (I’m being sincere) and yet even he can’t name more than a handful in the 11 years (as in YEARS) since Napster

*Sigh*. Yes, I can name a lot more. We’ve actually been putting together a list, but I was directly referring to the article I had posted, which that guy claimed had no examples of less well known artists. So I named them.

But if you want more, we can name more. But it’s pretty silly.

And the “last 11 years” is misleading too. Much of that time was spent in confusion. The point is that most artists have only started figuring this out in the last year or two. And on that front, it’s amazing how many artists are making it work.

Fact is, when you pull the money out of something, it withers, everything is subect to that, and that’s exactly what’s been happening to new bands and new recorded music.

Yes, that’s why MORE money went into the music ecosystem last year than ever before in history and why MORE music was produced last year than ever before in history.

Gotta hand it to you Sam, when you’re wrong, you’re so far off the target you make everyone laugh.

If you can’t tour and be profitable, (which precious few tours actually are), you can’t earn a living in music now

Odd. Many of the examples we’ve used had nothing to do with touring.

Sam You Are? Wrong!

So you are told to get straight jobs. During which you can’t write, practice, record OR tour. Great for our musicians huh? Great for musical culture.

Musical culture is great these days. There is more wonderful music being produced today than ever before — and part of it is because we don’t need the old gatekeepers to block it from us. I’m sorry if you can’t find it. Maybe you need better filters.

In the 11 years BEFORE Napster, the industry launched thousands of bands and dozens maybe hundreds became household names and household favorites like RADIOHEAD and REZNOR, uniting and aligning the world in agreement of our international favorites. Today we get all the free copies we want of “All we want to do is eat your brains” while other so-called musicians sell their clothing and their empties because they can no longer sell their actual music. Piracy has identified and financially supported nothing in 11 years that even comes close to comparing with the quality of the industrial catalog that was actually funded and preceded it. And why?

Uh, because you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Freetards. When you pull the money out of something, it withers.

Again, MORE MONEY, MORE MUSIC. Absolutely the opposite of what you are claiming.

Conclusion?

Sam I Am says:

bands and web start-ups?

I do. I’m based in Manhattan, I’m out for live music 4 or 5 times a month in Williamsburg and other venues, and at the after party for about half of the shows. I began in artistic support of music long ago and still maintain an alliance with a handful of indies here in town to this day, I canvassed both the law parties and the label parties during holiday time, from Interscope to Masur, listening to musicians of all stripes and levels of achievement almost every day in some form or other, and i’ve been a regular consultant to start-up’s since YACK.com, my first in 2000 and 2001, right before the dotcom bubble, a great idea a few years before broadband (and sadly, it’s time.)

I’ve corresponded and met with David Lammy’s cultural office in London earlier last year on piracy in the UK, and about once a month or so I sit in on NYC government thinktanks and strategy groups, all focused on monetizing the digital arts here in town for a variety of reasons that are good for the artists and good for the city.

I’ve watched unlawful behavior first hand pull the plug on royalty revenue to families and individuals, even close a private music school once focused on disadvantaged children and dependent on those royalties, and also pull the financial plug on studio and Broadway pit musicians to the point where they can’t actually afford their apartments any longer without the royalty stream, and can no longer afford to live close enough to the theatre district and the recording studio’s like EDISON, because professional recording is so off from a diminished revenue stream. An old buddy in Australia is finally losing his farm and no longer doing his free Fridays and Saturdays at the pub, because the royalty stream that made it all possible is lost to piracy. His music is as popular as ever. You just don’t actually pay for it anymore.

And there’s more, of course, a lot more. i’ve been allied with live performance my entire adult life and I’m watching firsthand what unlawful behavior is doing directly to musicians. How may bands and start-ups do YOU consult for?

Marie Summers (user link) says:

Original Article

Mike, here are the facts:

1: Alternative Press Magazine has over 200,000 monthly subscribers and is sold in 64 Major Retail Stores Nationwide and in Canada.

2: Alternative Press ran a FULL PAGE on BrandtMorain last month.

3: Brandt Morain has been the official music for TWO Radio talk shows in Albany N.Y. and Phoenix AZ for over 6 months.

The fact is that Brandt Morain is a band breaking into National Markets.

Your claim that “Nobody knows who Brandt Morain is” is quite frankly preposterous.

These facts are easily provable. Check it out for yourself.

Marie Summers
Director of Marketing
Brandt Morain Public Relations Group.

Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Re: Original Article

Roflmao, you’re funny and you’re making your clients look worse and worse. I think that’s the opposite of what you’re supposed to be doing.

The really hilarious thing is that if you were worth your salt, you’d know that everything that’s posted here will be pretty darned high in the search results.

Someone searches for your client, and they’re going to see this article, along with you acting like a hurt puppy because we don’t like what your clients call music.

The Buzz Saw (profile) says:

Re: Original Article

Sorry, Marie, but you have a skewed view of “national markets”.

I am a recurring guest on a certain podcast. This podcast has listeners in all 50 states and many countries in other parts of the world. I know this because I have Google Analytics telling me who is clicking on the podcast links. However, I do NOT go around telling people “I am in international markets. I am a WELL KNOWN podcaster!” That’s bull. I barely have international market penetration, but most average people will have no idea who I am or what podcast I join every few months.

The same goes for Brandt Morain. Congrats on getting into a magazine with 200,000 readers. That is still far from 300+ million Americans who could potentially hear about this band. Frankly, the claim that “nobody knows who Brandt Morain is” is accurate. Everyone I have brought up this story with has never heard of Brandt Morain. I LIVE IN IDAHO WHERE BRANDT MORAIN IS SUPPOSEDLY FROM, AND NO ONE HAS HEARD OF THEM. Get over it. Your statistics mean nothing at this point.

The choice to “fight piracy” by removing customer’s option to buy only ENSURES that people will turn to piracy. If Brandt Morain releases music ANYWHERE, someone will rip it and upload it.

possefan (profile) says:

Is it really that hard a concept to get your head around?

At first glance it may appear as though Brand Morain have lost the plot. That is if you have no previous knowledge of the band & are inclined to rant & rave on any given topic without forethought.

Dig a little deeper into their ethics as musicians & you may understand they have higher ideals than most & are willing to fight to attain them!

They have a serious interest in HELPING create an environment where musicians & artists earn what they are entitled to. To pull it off, would involve some seriously heavy weight, in the industry speaking out on this cause.

It really would pay to hold a conversation with either band member or one of their PR team, if you truly do have an interest in understanding this concept.

If you can seriously believe the meager information you read & suddenly attain perfect clarity, then this does not apply to you.

Is it really so hard to understand that if you feel you deserve to enjoy the music, then you should be paying for it?

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Is it really that hard a concept to get your head around?

At first glance it may appear as though Brand Morain have lost the plot. That is if you have no previous knowledge of the band & are inclined to rant & rave on any given topic without forethought.

I have no knowledge of the band, nor do I have any interest in getting further knowledge. A band no one has heard of with a marketing director and PR team? Yeah, ok.

And, no, we don’t rant and rave on any given topic without forethought. Apparently you are new here. I would suggest before YOU accuse us of stuff with no knowledge that you first look around.

They have a serious interest in HELPING create an environment where musicians & artists earn what they are entitled to. To pull it off, would involve some seriously heavy weight, in the industry speaking out on this cause.

Everyone is entitled to put together a business model and hope that it works. No one is automatically entitled to a living. What’s stunning here, and shows that this band really has lost the plot, is that rather than do that, they specifically chose to NOT put in place a business model. In fact, they chose to REMOVE the business model.

It really would pay to hold a conversation with either band member or one of their PR team, if you truly do have an interest in understanding this concept.

Again, a no name band with a PR team? Sorry. I deal with musicians all the time. This band has made it clear that they don’t know what they’re talking about from a business perspective. They make it impossible for people to support them monetarily and they think that’s smart? They make it impossible for people to support them monetarily and they claim that they deserve money? Say what? There’s no way to give them money. How can they demand money when they don’t even offer any way for people to give it to them?

If you can seriously believe the meager information you read & suddenly attain perfect clarity, then this does not apply to you.

The information we have is from the band itself. If it is not clear enough, perhaps the band should huddle with their PR and marketing team and update their webpage from the 1995 look and feel and actually explain their thinking in a non-contradictory way.

Is it really so hard to understand that if you feel you deserve to enjoy the music, then you should be paying for it?

Is it really so hard to understand that this band doesn’t even let you pay for it?

possefan (profile) says:

Re: Re: Is it really that hard a concept to get your head around?

Researching past commitments and realised I never saw, therefore responded to your answer.

Apologies mike, you took the time to comment, deserves a response.

You have some very valid points to make & honestly, may have agreed with you totally, did I not have such great respect for Brandt Morain.

What prompted me to share that view was the vast number of people claiming they are nobodys, yet taking the time to air their views on this issue. Kind of seems a little contradictory.

Whilst the concept does not appear to make sense, it is a personal choice for them & is not necessarily permanent.

I’m not going to claim to understand the reasons behind this shocking move, but I do believe they know exactly what they are doing.

Those who want to support them should not give up on future Brandt Morain releases.

Thanks for taking the time to respond Mike, always a pleasure to learn from those with experience in the music industry 🙂

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Is it really that hard a concept to get your head around?

You have some very valid points to make & honestly, may have agreed with you totally, did I not have such great respect for Brandt Morain.

So you’re acknowledging that Mike’s opinion is based on logic, and your opinion is based on emotion?

What prompted me to share that view was the vast number of people claiming they are nobodys, yet taking the time to air their views on this issue. Kind of seems a little contradictory.

There is nothing contradictory there. Non-famous people ‘air their views’ very frequently. For instance, you and I are doing so right now.

Whilst the concept does not appear to make sense, it is a personal choice for them & is not necessarily permanent.

You’re incorrect. This duo has taken a stand, and will not be selling records ‘until the worldwide Piracy problem is solved’. That’s pretty permanent.

I’m not going to claim to understand the reasons behind this shocking move, but I do believe they know exactly what they are doing.

Yes, we all understand what they’re doing. Being temperamental douchebags, that is.

Those who want to support them should not give up on future Brandt Morain releases.

Both their music and their attitudes suck. Why would we want to support them?

Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Re: Is it really that hard a concept to get your head around?

Are you saying that we should speak to them on the telephone or send them a DM on Twitter before we can disagree with them? If so, I think that’s really unnecessary.

These people have a large website, with lots of information about their perspective. By reading their words, we’ve communicated with them about their perspective and we’re giving our opinion of their perspective.

Why should we assume that a second glance is necessary, especially since they’ve published their perspective for us already?

Marie Summers (user link) says:

Mike, Mike, Mike...

So, there you have it. In spite of all the facts, Brandt Morain is unknown to the world simply because Mike has never heard of them.

How do you expect people to take your “new age” music economic theories seriously when you demonstrate such utter disregard to simple and provable facts??

Marie Summers
Director of Marketing
Brandt Morain Public Relations Group.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Mike, Mike, Mike...

So, there you have it. In spite of all the facts, Brandt Morain is unknown to the world simply because Mike has never heard of them.

I was speaking relatively. Most folks appear to have never heard of you, despite the fact that you have a “PR Group” and a “Director of Marketing.”

It’s clear that this is a PR stunt, but I do have to ask, Ms. Marie Summers, if you are a real person — given that your email address is the name of one of the band members?

How do you expect people to take your “new age” music economic theories seriously when you demonstrate such utter disregard to simple and provable facts??

Because most people are able to read and comprehend basic facts — like the simple fact that not giving people a way to buy doesn’t solve piracy. And then they could look at all the examples we’ve shown of people who have embraced piracy, given people a reason to buy, and made a lot of money.

And I trust they’re smart enough to figure out which makes more sense.

You?

RD says:

Neither do I

“So, there you have it. In spite of all the facts, Brandt Morain is unknown to the world simply because Mike has never heard of them.

How do you expect people to take your “new age” music economic theories seriously when you demonstrate such utter disregard to simple and provable facts??”

Hey, *I* have never heard of them either, and I spend a LOT of time perusing new music, as do many of my friends. None of them have heard of them either.

But that isnt even the salient point here. The salient point here is, by REMOVING themselves from the equation, BM has now said “we WILL NOT sell you our product, but oh, we should STILL GET PAID FOR OUR WORK!!” I mean, really, where is the REASON TO BUY in this situation? Where, even, is the ABILITY to buy???

And no, I am NOT going to just GIVE your band money simply because they CHOSE a creative-based career. They arent OWED a living just because they CHOSE to become “artists.”

The only thing this entire fiasco has done is ensure that I AVOID this band in the future, as even if I could get around the absurdity of their position (we WILL NOT sell you our music!) I am now completely turned off by the attitude they represent. You’ve lost a potential customer (lost POTENTIAL sale=theft!) before he has even heard anything by the band. Good PR job!

Marie Summers says:

Variations on the Original Article.

Mike:

Nearly every article or review of Brandt Morain gets re-circulated to numerous forums and posts in various versions. We post only the original articles on our website.

The article seen on dailyswarm is entirely copied from Eric Danton’s Article on Brandt Morain or taken directly from our website. It is not an original piece of work.

This TechDirt piece IS an original article. This is why we bravely post this forum on our website.

Marie Summers
Director of Marketing
Brandt Morain Public Relations Group.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Variations on the Original Article.

Here’s a question for you:

How come it is okay for you to have a page linking to all the coverage of the band, but in the laughable Terms of Use on your website you list “linking to this website” as one of the violations of your “That’s what I get” terms? I suppose if turnabout is fair play Techdirt is now exempted from YOUR terms too, right? After all, That’s What You Get(TM)!

Oh right I forgot, those terms are so ridiculously unenforceable that you either don’t have a lawyer or he’s playing a practical joke on you.

Marie Summers says:

Twitter Grader Rankings for Brandt Morain

Buzz Saw:

Well, Twitter.Grader.com disagrees with you.

Brandt Morain is currently ranked as the 41st most influential twitter site in the Great State of Idaho.

Also, Brandt Morain is currently ranked #2 most influential twitter site in their hometown of Pocatello Idaho.

Check it out:

http://twitter.grader.com/index.php?Action=TwitterUsersByLocation&State=ID&Country=US

http://twitter.grader.com/index.php?Action=TwitterUsersByLocation&City=POCATELLO&State=ID&Country=US

Marie Summers
Director of Marketing
Brandt Morain Public Relations Group.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Twitter Grader Rankings for Brandt Morain

Brandt Morain is currently ranked as the 41st most influential twitter site in the Great State of Idaho.

Population of Idaho: 0.5% of the US. And your 41st on that list?

Also, Brandt Morain is currently ranked #2 most influential twitter site in their hometown of Pocatello Idaho.

Population? ~50,000. And how many of those use Twitter?

And considering how much you guys have been spamming Twitter, I don’t really consider your Twitter ranking particularly meaningful.

You’re not helping your case.

Again, I have to ask why a band has a “Public Relations Group” and a “Marketing Director” and the Marketing Director using the name Marie Summers has an email address that is the personal name of one of the band members who is *not* named Marie Summers?

Marie Summers (user link) says:

That's all the time we have. Thanks for playing "Let's Skewer Brandt Morin"

Goodbye all.

It’s been a rare honor talking with such fair minded and warm hearted folks.

I have much more important things to work on, like considering the philosophical implications of “how do I get all this work done if I don’t really exists????”

Marie Summers
Director of Marketing
Brandt Morain Public Relations Group.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: That's all the time we have. Thanks for playing "Let's Skewer Brandt Morin"

Sorry if you feel like we are “playing” at skewering your beloved band, Marie, but it’s your own fault. Brandt Morain’s whole message is childish, aggressive and accusatory – you shouldn’t be surprised when people react badly to that.

Most of us are hearing about Brandt Morain for the first time. And it is not a good first impression. There are tonnes of other bands out there that are actively trying to reach new fans, supplying lots of their music for free so that we can discover and enjoy them. Why would anybody go out of their way to become a Brandt Morain fan when they make it so difficult and seem like such whiny babies? There are too many fish in the digital sea for us to bother with that.

This is not good public relations. Maybe your fanbase in Idaho is in favour of what you are doing, and I’m glad that the band has dedicated fans who love and support them – but this is not good PR. You might think any publicity is good publicity, but I’m afraid all publicity is worthless if potential new fans can’t actually get their hands on the music.

Good luck, Brandt Morain – you’re going to need it.

The Buzz Saw (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: That's all the time we have. Thanks for playing "Let's Skewer Brandt Morin"

@Karen — That’s exactly the point. First, piracy is not a moral dilemma; it is a civil matter, not a criminal one. Copying is not the same as stealing.

Second, bands are proving that they can make MORE money by deliberately inducing “legal piracy”. Seeing as how that is the direction the market is slowly turning, this crusade to combat piracy makes BM look incredibly archaic and out of touch with the times.

THAT is why they are met with such “hostility”. They are trying to inflict their views on the world (“piracy is evil and destroying the industry”) without remaining open to discussion and alternate views on how to make money.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: That's all the time we have. Thanks for playing "Let's Skewer Brandt Morin"

Take a look at how they’ve been treated in their attempt to shine a spotlight on the moral and legal dilemma of pirating.

Seriously? We’ve been involved in that debate for over a decade. Plenty of lights have been shone on the “dilemma” you discuss. Some band that most people have never heard of doing something stupid doesn’t shine any more light on it. It just makes them look like they have no clue what they’re doing.

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KnowsTheTrueDirt says:

HYPOCRISY

JARED BRANDT OF BRANDT MORAIN SPOUTS OFF ABOUT BEING A CHRISTIAN, BUT IN REALITY IS A MONEY-GRUBBING, NARCISSISTIC, CONTROLLING, SELF-CENTERED, ABUSIVE PRICK.

HE HAS A DAUGHTER WHO IS LIVING IN CALIFORNIA. SHE IS HOMELESS, STARVING, SLEEPING ON TRAIN TRACKS AND SUFFERS FROM SCHIZOPHRENIA.
JARED OFFERS TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS TO ANY STRANGER WHO CAN LAND HIM A RECORD DEAL, PLUS A MILLION DOLLAR “REWARD” TO ANYONE WHO CAN “HELP HIM FIGHT PIRACY,” YET HAS NOT SPENT ONE PENNY TO HELP HIS HOMELESS, STARVING, VULNERABLE, HOPELESSLY LOST DAUGHTER. HIS DAUGHTER HAS BEEN IN AND OUT OF PSYCH WARDS FOR YEARS, YET JARED NOR HIS COMMON LAW WIFE HAVE NOT ONCE FLOWN TO CALIFORNIA TO HELP HER, BUT HAVE PAWNED HER OFF ONTO OTHER RELATIVES WHO LIVE IN THE AREA.

IF HE IS SUCH A STRONG CHRISTIAN, WHY ARE HE AND HIS COMMON LAW WIFE OF 20+ YEARS NOT EVEN LEGALLY MARRIED?

JARED’S “STUDIO” IS LOCATED IN THE DANK BASEMENT OF HIS HOUSE IN THE MIDDLE OF BUMFUCK, IDAHO. HIS “PR TEAM” CONSISTS OF ONE PERSON-HIS COMMON LAW WIFE, MARIE. HIS “BAND” CONSISTS OF TWO PEOPLE-HIMSELF AND THE ONLY PERSON ON THE PLANET WHO CAN ACTUALLY STAND TO BE AROUND THE GUY FOR MORE THAN FIVE MINUTES. JARED HAS FEW, IF ANY FRIENDS AND MOST FAMILY MEMBERS HAVE TOLD HIM TO TAKE A FLYING FUCK DUE TO HIS HOSTILE, ABRASIVE, OBNOXIOUS, DYSFUNCTIONAL,OFFENSIVE, ANNOYING, DISRESPECTFUL, REPREHENSIBLE PERSONALITY.

ANYONE WHO HAS HAD THE MISFORTUNE OF MEETING JARED WILL TELL YOU THAT HE IS ONE OF THE GREEDIEST, MOST MISERLY, OBNOXIOUS, CONTROLLING, VERBALLY ABUSIVE, PARANOID, NARCISSISTIC, MONEY-GRUBBING, SELF-CENTERED, RUDE, ABRASIVE PRICKS ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET. HE HAS NO SCRUPLES AND WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES, AT THE EXPENSE OF WHOEVER IT TAKES, TO GET AHEAD IN HIS OWN LIFE.

SO NOW YOU KNOW THE REAL STORY BEHIND THIS SELF-PROCLAIMED CHRISTIAN.
SPREAD THE WORD…BECAUSE, AFTER ALL, “THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE.” RIGHT, JARED?

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