About a year ago I stumbled across a Pinterest post of the cover of my then only a few months old release The Torino Scale that included a link to an illegal free download hosted on a cyberlocker site. I looked at the profile of the Pinterest user that posted this and found a link to his Facebook page and send him a private message asking him to remove it and voicing my frustration about the sense of entitlement that a lot of internet users seem to have gotten accustomed to in the past 10 years +. I never heard back from this guy and forgot about it.
Until yesterday when, one year later i received his answer. Here it is:
There is so much wrong in his answer that I felt the urge to write a short blog entry about it because I want people to read this and realize the reality of what musicians and producers and audio engineers and filmmakers and songwriters are confronted with these days.
At first I was so baffled about the message that I thought for a second I was the one doing something wrong and was being mean to one of my fans. But after reading it over and over again I realized how much wrong HE managed to squeeze into one simple sentence. It represents the problem especially we musicians/producers have nowadays. We have to deal with hordes of people that think it’s helping us when they upload our content to dodgy cyberlocker sites or make it available as torrents sometimes even before it’s released officially. They think they are promoting our music and celebrating it and supporting it. How wrong can you be?
Regarding his answer: I never made a brash assumption. I simply stated the fact that someone felt entitled to offer my music for free by linking to an illegal copy of it hosted on a cyberlocker site. Obviously this person considers himself someone who celebrates, supports and promotes my work. I would like to know if he is simply too stupid to understand that posting a download link of my recently released album doesn’t support or promote it at all but only lessens my chances of generating income by selling my music or if his vision of what he does is so infinetely warped that he actually believes what he writes. The actual reality of his actions is that he supports the scumbag cyberlocker site owners that make money on dodgy advertising and have made a business model of people ripping other people’s work off and offering it for free thus generating heavy traffic for their sites thus generating massive ad revenue. It doesn’t matter if you are the one who uploaded it, by spreading it you are contributing to two things: First, you are making sure the artists gets no money at all, which doesn’t qualify as support in my book. Second: you are making sure all of your friends that are following you on your social media platforms are only being offered a link that also makes sure the artist doesn’t make a single cent on their downloading but the cyberlocker owners do. Making excuses by stating you were not the one that uploaded it is so lame I cannot find words to insult it. It is so easy to simply include a link to my soundcloud or iTunes or whatever platform I am on that would actually give my music a chance to get bought and the really important question is why then choose an illegal copy of my music hosted by a criminally inclined organisation? Laziness? Convenience? Indifference towards the artist?
Accusing me of marginalizing the supporters and promoters of my work stands on no ground whatsoever. On the other hand I think that behaviour like that is marginalizing the artist’s right to earn money if his music is being heard, a very basic and simple principle. You like something you pay for it. I wonder if he did pay for my album… I am pretty sure he didn’t. That IS NOT supporting and celebrating someone’s work. And what it’s promoting is only the fact that is has never been easier to find pirated material than today.
A few days ago I wanted to hear the new Four Tet album or see where it has been released and a simple Google search brought me to about 30 links on the first 3 pages that consisted of illegal copies/phishing sites. No legal platform anywhere to be seen. It says everything about the state of things.
I am very happy that I don’t have to deal with this anymore to earn a livingbut it really saddens me to see what has become of my profession. How is one supposed to cope with this kind of attitude? Listen to the album here