Yet Another Star Singer Doesn't Mind File Sharing

from the sensing-a-pattern dept

While there are still some popular musicians who argue against file sharing, we're seeing more and more realize that it's hardly the enemy that the industry has made it out to be. The latest is the singer Duffy, who apparently has quite the hit album out, selling over a million copies. However, in a recent interview, she noted that unauthorized file sharing is "amazing" and that she doesn't mind it at all if others are file sharing her songs. She points out that when she was growing up, it was often hard to get new music, and file sharing changes the equation: "I think it's got more positives because it basically gives people access, what's the harm in that? It's just making music a part of everyone's lives."

This sort of thing is becoming more and more common -- so why is it that the recording industry (and the politicians it preaches to) insist that file sharing is destroying the recording industry, and it has to be stopped to protect the very artists who don't seem to have a problem with it?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Verse, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 9:22pm

    It's cheaper to make money from direct CD sales then merchandise or live tickets, it's common knowledge that artists don't make much money from CD sales, people going to see their shows however is another story.

    The answer to your rhetorical question is money, but you already knew that so ...

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 10:27pm

    Who's Duffy?

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

  3. identicon
    Kent, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 10:34pm

    $ $$$$$$$$$$$$

    Not necessarily just plain money, I like money too. The difference is that I'm not as greedy as the $*@!heads making the RIAA's policies.

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

  4. identicon
    Steve, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 10:40pm

    It's mine

    If I make a song or a piece of furniture or a painting. IT IS MINE, MIKE! If I enter a stupid contract with a record company, a furniture store or an art gallery and they charge too much for my product, and don't give me enough money for it, it is my fault for being stupid, and does not give you the right to steal it or encourage others to steal it.

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

  5. identicon
    Brian, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 10:43pm

    I would guess that file sharing is hurting the record industry, but that's where it ends. I don't think it hurts the artists at all in most cases. Once they figure out the value of such a concept, they can aid it and help the market work for them instead of fighting an unwinnable battle.

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 11:01pm



    Duffy - Mercy

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 11:20pm

    Re: It's mine

    But a peice of music doesn't need a canvas or painting supplies...

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 11:44pm

    Re: Re: It's mine

    But you do need studio recording equipment and all the other things that make the record sound better than a live performance. I have no clue how much that costs, but record companies aren't cost-free.

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

  9. icon
    PaulT (profile), Aug 5th, 2008 @ 12:35am

    Re: Re: Re: It's mine

    But people will buy good music even if they can also get it for free. This has been demonstrated time and time again, but record companies are busy trying to sue and micro-manage their customers to see the big picture.

    @Steve: If you make a piece of furniture, you can only make and sell it once and the creation costs money. If you want to sell another, you make another, which costs more time and money. If somebody takes that piece of furniture without paying, you've lost that investment.

    With digital music, it costs no more to sell a million copies than it does to sell one. Nobody's stealing anything from you if they copy an album, but you *might* lose the opportunity to make a sale to that person, assuming that they don't later buy the album, attend a concert or give you money in other ways. Hardly the same thing.

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

  10. identicon
    User Prime, Aug 5th, 2008 @ 12:46am

    Re: It's mine

    Furniture and paintings exist differently than music in this universe. A piece of furniture itself cannot be downloaded. A painting may only be downloaded as an image of the painting. But a song, once released into the world, can proliferate in many different ways. Once a song gets stuck in someone's head it becomes viral, digital or otherwise. This is where we draw the line between artists and craftsmen. The line between selling your muse for influence or selling your product for profit.

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

  11. icon
    Allen (profile), Aug 5th, 2008 @ 1:17am

    "why is it that the recording industry (and the politicians it preaches to) insist that file sharing is destroying the recording industry"? Because file sharing is destroying the recording industry's old business model and for them, the industry and it's business model are the same.

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

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2008 @ 2:03am

    Re: Re: Re: It's mine

    Thats not really true. Thanks again to computers, the price of recording an album is plummeting. A lot of production effects and editing tools required huge bulky expensive pieces of machinery a decade or two ago. Now days though. You can do almost everything you did on those boards, and some things you couldn't, on a bargin basement laptop. You just need a converter for whatever sort of output the instrument has, to you're computer. The only real thing that isn't available on a computer is a sound producer, the talent who has the ability to combine it all into a whole.

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

  13. identicon
    Da_ALC, Aug 5th, 2008 @ 3:43am

    While I am completely for file sharing of music, I do wonder about what will happen to the little people as it becomes the new front.

    New, crappy, breaking out into the wild bands dont make any money from ticket sales, as nobody knows about them.
    They try to sell albums at the door and such, but usually give away their music online also, so dont get many sales.
    Though now that I think about it, there's to many wannabe musicians these days.
    They all could be musicians, but musicians aren't as useful as, say, doctors, or garbage collectors.

    Fact is that the music and film industry has had a huge image shift. (more so films). Its no longer a glamour, high-class position... in fact the word skank comes to mind when I think of most "stars" these days.

    Where am I going with this?... Ah yes, we need drastic change in the industry.
    The people currently running it are old, and greedy, and stupid. They will die soon, and then we will see change.

    Same goes for land, cable based telecomms companies. Arf!

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

  14. icon
    PaulT (profile), Aug 5th, 2008 @ 4:17am



    "New, crappy, breaking out into the wild bands dont make any money from ticket sales, as nobody knows about them."

    If they're actually "crappy", they won't make any money as they don't deserve it. But, if they're good, people will get to know about them from the free music. Then, those people will tell other people, more people will see them live and they make more money. In other words, the same thing that happens right now, but without radio-style corporate control over the promotional channels.

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

  15. identicon
    Liquid, Aug 5th, 2008 @ 4:27am



    I agree with you. It's just like any other profession in this world. Once you reach a certain age you are so entrenched into it that as new things and ideas come out you tend to keep doing the same ol' same ol'. As the industry marches forward you slowly falling behind, because you're so used to do things one way for so long. It's continued to make you money why would you want to change now to the new way of things that you're uncertain it will be the best way to make you money. So you keep doing what your doing yet again letting the industry get farther and farther a head of you until the new guy comes along. The new guy has been working in the new industry for a little while, and has some fresh new ideas to make the company money. Eventually sooner or later that new guy younger guy takes your position, because he knows about the new industry.

    That's what happens the old keep doing their thing never really conforming with the times, and eventually they get replaced by those that have and will change. It's a never ending cycle just like life. You're born, you grow old and you die. Eventually those that are in the higher positions of the companies will get a hold of the younger crowd, and start replacing those that refuse to conform to today's society. Which is costing these companies more, and more money as the years tick away by their backwards thinking. That was the way they did things back in the day and it make them money hand over fist.

    So eventually people of our generation will fill those positions and things will change it all takes time. Unless someone decides you through the boulder into the pond and makes some huge waves that force change. which is what your starting to see now.

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

  16. identicon
    Vivek, Aug 5th, 2008 @ 5:00am

    If you like what you DL your likely to buy it.

    They way I see it is that, sometimes it isnt easy to go get music. I dont like the idea of paying to download songs or albums off the internet. If im paying for something I want a hard copy. But my main point is that if someone downloads an artist and really enjoys the music they are probably likely to go to their concerts and buy their CD's.

    I sometimes download music for new or unknown artists to get a taste, if I like it I will get the offical CD.

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

  17. identicon
    SomeGuy, Aug 5th, 2008 @ 6:00am

    Re: It's mine

    First, copyright infringment is not theft.

    Second, this shows the lie in the RIAA's claim of doing it for the artists: the artists don't mind file sharing, and many are coming out in open support of it.

    Third, this underscores the fact that those who argue that artists can't survive rampant file sharing are missing something: if file sharing were hurting artists, they wouldn't be in support of it the way they are.

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

  18. identicon
    hegemon13, Aug 5th, 2008 @ 6:32am


    What will happen to the little people? Likely the same as today. They might make a little money on weekend gigs, and then they go work a full time job.

    If you are saying that no "little" up-and-coming bands could ever make it big under a system without recording industry distribution and promotion, I think you are wrong. Alternatively, the most popular musicians will be those who:

    1. Write the best music.
    2. Interact well with their fans and build an online community.
    3. Create peripheral merchandise that people want.
    4. Perform a lot of live shows.

    I think that would be vastly preferable to the current system, where the recording industry chooses who we get to hear and tells us what to like.

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

  19. identicon
    ehrichweiss, Aug 5th, 2008 @ 7:32am

    Re: It's mine

    I'll go through this again just so the newbies understand.

    The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled time and time again that copyright infringement does NOT equal theft. Theft is where I take something and you can no longer use it e.g. I steal your bike and you can no longer use it. Copyright infringement is where I make photocopies of a book at a library; sure I have a copy now but the library still has their original.

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

  20. identicon
    John Wilson, Aug 5th, 2008 @ 12:57pm

    Re: It's mine

    Actually, Steve, if you make a piece of furniture you sell it to the furniture store who then sells it to the ultimate buyer.

    In most cases, unless you're painting is hanging in a gallery for sale and you get a cut of the sales price, they bought your painting and you have no further influence on it.

    If you composed the song you get the copyright to it which is then licensed by the likes of BMI/ASCAP/CAPAC or other licensing organizations and you get royalties.

    If all you are is the composer you don't get a record deal at all unless you inhabit such places as The Brill Building.

    If you and your mates are performers that's when you get your recording contract. And all any recording is is a performance, over produced that it may be. (And often is these days.)

    It's that unique performance that the record company copyrights and distributes.

    Should the performing artist wish then it makes some sense that, as Duffy does, to endorse sharing the music which has, in her case, increased the record sales.

    In theory both she and the company she's under contract to ought to be happy. She is. The record company who, arguably perhaps, have sold more bits of silver plastic with bits and bytes on it ought to be happy too because they've sold more of their wares.

    That record companies aren't strikes me as cutting your nose off to spite your face. Either that or a tacit admission that 95% of your catalogue is crap.



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

  21. identicon
    OuTage, Aug 6th, 2008 @ 5:20am

    No talented musician is worried about file sharing . . .

    No musicians with any talent is worried about file sharing (none, its just not possible). These are people who love what they do and garner a very nice (sometimes unbelievably substantial)income from performing (which they love to do anyway). The ones worried about file sharing are mainly talentless hacks who have no real skill to bank on and know that without the record company marketing-hype machine, they would be unable to earn a living performing.

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

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