Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The topic of todays article is electronic music producers being pirated. In this day and age, with torrents, websites like hotfile and rapidshare, and link databases, it is easier than ever to get "Hit" songs for free.
As some of you know, I released my first 2 real tracks last month, and since then, have been very careful about where I upload them. I have made sure to put the 2 of my tracks that I wanted to sell ONLY available as streaming on other websites, and for sale on a few others. I specifically made sure to track my links and check google for links where they shouldnt be.
Well, yesterday, I hit a new level in my musician-hood. I've been pirated. I found my tracks sitting in a list of techno torrents....and what was ONE torrent website....quickly become 10 or more within a few hours of other torrent databases picking up the tracker. Now this is not from one of the websites I uploaded to (like I had mentioned in my "FroBot's Journey..." blog). This is actually someone, or some program, who is scarfing up tracks from either pay sites, or some other way, and releasing then in a group torrent for free.
So, how do I feel. Well, to be honest...much obliged. I have mentioned before, that I think people will always pay for music, and always steal it...that is just how it will always be. So, im glad people are taking it and getting it out to all those music stealing people. Besides...musics invisible anyway....so it doesnt feel like a crime to them. My guess...is that the people who will download those torrents...are TOTALLY different people than the ones who are surfing trackitdown.net or itunes.com (where you can buy my tracks). So, the way I see it, more chances to make fans, and more chances to get my disc spun in clubs.
Now, a lot of established producers will definitely say that pirating is bad, and hurts their sales. OK, well, I am not going to start talking about a topic that I dont know about first hand. Ive never been a famous producer, ive never tried to calculate my sales from releases...let alone factor in what is loss from pirating. So, to those of you who pirating is damaging your lifestyle...well, that sucks...but I wont go as far as to agree with you 100%.
For a producer who is starting out...it is REALLY good to get your music OUT there...but also establish some kind of credibility ground (where as you have songs for sale on major outlets). Normal people tend to listen a extra few seconds if the track is coming from a better source (ex. itunes vs. myspace). It just looks good to be selling tracks. But, I would just as much like to give my tracks out for FREE because...well...1. music should be free in a perfect world...but we live in a capitalist style world and its just how it rolls... 2. The money you make back as a producer starting out is PISS when you compare that to what you are willing to spend just to make your career work. You have most likely already spent thousands of dollars on equipment, countless parties and drinks just staying connected in a scene, parties you have played for free, mastering and production costs, distribution and subscription websites, etc etc. So the money you will get back isnt going to cover much.
Anyway, the bottom line is, my track is getting out to MORE people...in the early stages of the game where that is the "Name Of The Game".
NOW AGAIN....for big artists who are really making their living off of making tracks and selling them...since I have never been there...I can not SPEAK for those opinions. They may be smart to have a protection service like trackitdown offers (here is an article about it http://www.trackitdown.net/news/show/104.html). But I am really not sure how much it is REALLY hurting their sales. Im sure statistics released by RIAA and other organization say that it IS. But, I am betting is that most of those statistics are for POPULAR music that your casual music listener listens to. When it comes to electronic music, a lot of the music purchases are other DJs, direct fans of the artist, a fan after hearing them live, and less commonly, casual electronic music listeners. If you ask a person on the street what "beatport" or "junodownload" is, they will have no clue. But if you say, what is iTunes or Apple...they of course will know. But, most of the electronic music now a days is sold via outlets links beatport, trackitdown, junodownload, etc.
So, a lot of the people buying tracks from these websites specifically know, like, and a lot of the times DJ this kind of music. THESE KINDS OF PEOPLE...tend to LOVE music more than the casual listeners. They are digging deeper in the genre pool "tech house, dubstep, trip hop, etc). They have obviously exhausted the shit that MTV provided years ago, and the classic rock that their parents blasted for years OVER AND OVER on the cheap car stereo. These are music enthusiasts, who really like the elements of different sounds when listening to music. And you know what, I know for a fact that a lot of these kind of people (including myself), like to pay for music...because it feels good to give back to the producer, their hard work, and just feels right.
Now, the only other group of people that would need to be addressed in this situation are the people who are DJs or electronic enthusiasts, but like to use torrents to download music. This is probably a lot bigger of a group of people than we think....but not really surprising. With the availability of electronic gear, and especially the prices now a days, ANYONE can make electronic music. That means there is a lot of new good music, but also a lot of pure shit. So, I am sure that downloading big torrents, and then sifting through them is a money and time saver. But should we really be upset about this....I mean it is how technology is changing. The people who are using torrents are probably a little bit more computer savvy...and some of those torrent hosting websites are SUPER internet savvy (as shown by lawsuits against piratebay and others). So, do you actually think you are going to STOP these people who are sitting at the for front of internet sharing technology. And is it really something you want to try to stop?
It seems as if everyone wants the "action" without the "equal or opposite reaction" (as newton would put it). Everyone loves how fast we can communicate with facebook, share a picture and edit them from a beach on your iphone, skype with your friend on the other side of the ocean, download mp3s from the airport for your trip, cheat on your math exam, etc.....but, thinks it comes without a downside.....file sharing, internet stalkers, leaked information, hacking, phishing, or exploitation.
Technology, since the beginning of time, has always been about "one upping" the next person. And it will always be this way. And with regulations trying to control this, it will forever be a cat & mouse game.
As to pirating music, there is just not enough time, resources, authority, or ANYTHING to control the INTERNET...which needs a GLOBAL authority. Also, things such a proxies tunnels, id masking, etc...it will always be possible to hide your location and still get what you want. If you think that authorities have enough police to start arresting even .0001 percent of the people downloading music...your living in a fantasy.
So, the way I see it...as a producer....I just CAN NOT CARE about this...and should just go with the flow. As a producer starting out....its actually helpful. If I ever made it to the status where it was hurting my lifestyle....then maybe I (or label) would take a personal route in controlling my illegally uploaded files (by using google and looking for your tracks). But, I dont ever see that in my future. I am happy to be where I am as a producer....releasing a few tracks...making shit for it....and keep making more. Ill do it whether I make a million dollars, or 1 penny.