Band That Told Fans To Pirate Its Tracks, Now Threatening Sites Via Web Sheriff

from the mixed-messages dept

TorrentFreak has the odd story of the band Franz Ferdinand, out of Scotland, who in the past has encouraged fans to use file sharing software to get access to various songs from the band. However, a bunch of websites were surprised to receive takedown notices from Web Sheriff concerning posts linking to tracks from Franz Ferdinand's latest album. When those sites asked for clarification, rather than actually answering any of the questions raised, Web Sheriff ratcheted up the rhetoric into legal threats. Now, clearly, it's within the legal rights of a band to encourage access to some songs, but not others, but that certainly gives fans (who are trying to promote the band) an incredibly mixed message.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Sheeplover, Jan 15th, 2009 @ 1:08pm

    We love sheep

    Franz Ferdinand sucks anyway, I'd rather listen to people running their nails across a blackboard. They should get back to making love to sheep, after all they are scottish.

     

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  2.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Jan 15th, 2009 @ 1:13pm

    Interesting

    With the moves by the RIAA during Reznor's promotional campaign, I would not be surprised to find that WebSherrif is acting in error.

     

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  3.  
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    Ben, Jan 15th, 2009 @ 1:14pm

    Band or the Label?

    Hmm, there seems to be little evidence here that this has anything to do with the band. If you look at the copyright notice on the back of any CD you will find that the copyright is held by the record label. This is the case for 99.9% of record label releases, the label owns the copyright and the band does not. This often means the band has no more right to authorise distribution of THEIR recordings than you or I. Franz Ferdinand can encourage people to download its album all they want but if the record label wants to clamp down on it there is very little the band can do about it.

     

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  4.  
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    Jon Hartman, Jan 15th, 2009 @ 1:20pm

    Label

    I was thinking the same thing. Gotta be the label. Although if the band signed a deal with the label and turned over certain intellectual property rights in exchange for money, then attempted to destroy the value of those rights by encouraging people to pirate the music, it would mean they suck for a reason apart from their music.

    That'd be pretty slimy.

     

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  5.  
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    TPBer, Jan 15th, 2009 @ 1:26pm

    Web Idiot...

    is what the company should be called. Take a look at their very threatening C & D posted on TPB, they are a toothless joke, and those who pay for their services must have IQ's in the single digits.

     

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  6.  
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    Haggislover, Jan 15th, 2009 @ 1:34pm

    Re: We love sheep

    Er, that's the Welsh. Get your stereotypes right, the Scots spend all their time eating haggis.

     

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  7.  
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    Lucretious, Jan 15th, 2009 @ 1:35pm

    if you've ever read TPB's exchange with Web Sherriff you know that they're simply a bunch of glib assholes who are more interested in looking like a bunch of litigating tough-guys rather than work under some kind of professional standard of conduct.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2009 @ 1:36pm

    The whole story?

    Here's the thing that you left out... The tracks are from a leaked, unreleased album. IMO, Franz Ferdinand sucks, but being angry about fans pirating a leaked album is a little different than being angry about fans pirating their back catalog. Just a thought.

     

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  9.  
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    Sheeplover, Jan 15th, 2009 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re: We love sheep

    You obviously haven't been to Scotland. They wear kilts so the sheep don't hear them unzipping.

    Q: Why did the Scottish farmer take his sheep to the edge of the cliff?
    A: They push harder that way.

     

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  10.  
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    Overcast, Jan 15th, 2009 @ 1:40pm

    Don't worry - I won't download you stuff for free. Hell, if they SEND it to me, I'll delete it.

    I'll forget why after a while, but it's on my permanent "people not to listen to list" in my head now, lol.

     

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  11.  
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    Crashoverride, Jan 15th, 2009 @ 1:58pm

    Q: Do you give away the ok songs and hope they pay for the popular songs? Or give away the good songs and hope they buy up the ok songs?

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2009 @ 2:03pm

    Re: We love sheep

    That's the Welsh you're thinking of...

     

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  13.  
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    Sandy, Jan 15th, 2009 @ 2:11pm

    So how exactly did they end up being considered pro-pirate in the first place? I see a reference to the encouraging the downloading of a promo-type track and then they admitted to ripping cds to their iPods, which is apparently illegal in the UK. Is there more? I'm curious, because encouraging the download of a non-album track doesn't necessarily mean they'll be happy when their album leaks.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2009 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Re: We love sheep

    Ah. The Welsh... Good people.

    Living in the USA, you learn of these types. A good friend of mine is 1/2 Welsh and 1/2 of the lineage of "The Guy who Persuaded Andrew Jackson that the Louisiana Purchase was a good deal."

    So I can agree with the 1/2 of "Louisiana Purchase was a good deal" I just wish I could more identify with the other half.. that Welsh part, that is so whiny all the time.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2009 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: We love sheep

    Sorry, this happened around Thomas Jefferson's time. Not Andrew Jackson's time.

    What didn't TJ do?

     

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  16.  
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    Sean, Jan 15th, 2009 @ 2:49pm

    Re: The whole story?

    They should go and start looking for the individual that leaked the tracks. To take care of the problem at the point that started it. IIRC One of Eminem's CD was leaked so they pushed the release forward that way people could go and buy the CD earlier.

     

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  17.  
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    Crimgrad, Jan 15th, 2009 @ 3:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: We love sheep

    I'm curious as to who would have convinced Andrew Jackson that the Louisiana Purchase was a good idea, seeing as how it was brokered under Thomas Jefferson who was the 3rd US president a good twenty years before Jackson was elected.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2009 @ 4:06pm

    Crimgrad, I believe the comment your speaking of was corrected under comment #15

     

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  19.  
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    Lickity Split, Jan 15th, 2009 @ 4:15pm

    Re: Label

    Or they tried to increase the value of those rights by encouraging people to listen to there music and also created huge buzz (marketing) to point out that they had a new album out, genius if you ask me.. Additionally, as has been pointed out a number of times (millions I think) file sharing can have a positive impact on sales...But your probably right...

     

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  20.  
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    ehrichweiss, Jan 15th, 2009 @ 6:11pm

    Re:

    Neither. You give away all(or most of the music) and let them pay for concerts, tshirts, special promo CDs, etc.

    It's VERY lucrative. I produce t-shirts for a couple of pennies more than it costs me for the blank shirt, then we resell them for $15. That's about a $12 profit per shirt and we can print them just an hour before we need them.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2009 @ 6:14pm

    Web Sheriff?
    hahaha
    you've got to kidding - what an awful name.

    Web Barney is more like it

     

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  22.  
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    Sandy, Jan 15th, 2009 @ 10:13pm

    Believe it or not, most bands do still need labels. Or rather need labels that can pull everything together. Bands certainly can make money selling shirts, performing, etc . . . but pulling that all together, coordinating their press, promotion (both in physical and digital forms), sorting out the legalities and so forth takes someone who knows what they're doing. If they labels start taking on what has traditionally been a source of band revenue then a whole new outcry will be heard.

     

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  23.  
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    Lauren, Jan 15th, 2009 @ 10:28pm

    That "pirate our music!" post was not put up by the band. They quickly took down their whole website after that was posted because they couldn't figure out how to remove an individual post.

     

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  24.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jan 16th, 2009 @ 2:21am

    Re: The whole story?

    "being angry about fans pirating a leaked album is a little different than being angry about fans pirating their back catalog"

    Why?

    The operative word here is *fans*. People who are fanatic about FF's music. People who will probably buy the album when it's released. That's actually the key point. The music's already recorded and ready for release. The only reason it's not released yet is because it's being artificially withheld so that it can be marketed (a digital release would be trivial to do *right now*, cheap and easy). The essence of marketing is to make people want to buy something.

    So, the label is withholding the music from fans who want to buy the music, so that the marketing can create a market for them to want to buy it. Not only that, but they're willing to prosecute the fans who don't want to wait.

    Cunning plan. Thought it through they have not.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 4:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: We love sheep

    A little known fact is that Jackson was seriously considering giving it back, but was persuaded not to.

     

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  26.  
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    Someone in Pittsburgh, Jan 17th, 2009 @ 3:06am

    Reminds me of something

    Metallica in the 80's and early 90's openly encouraged people to pirate and share thier music.

    This should have been a lesson. I can see it wasn't learned.

     

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