While researching an The Analog Roland Orchestra, a one man band (Michal Matlak) that makes music with vintage Roland gear, I noticed an interesting comment on the group’s Facebook page that highlights the human cost of unauthorized file sharing:
“One week after releasing “Home”, some great guys uploaded it already on the internet.
It’s very sad because this kind of illegal uploads injures especially small labels and artists – where people put all their effort, love, passion and money into a product where they will sure not earn some or big money with it – even it does not cover the production costs. On the next release the artist and label thinks twice to ever doing another record…
Shitty people all over the planet.
The unauthorized file sharing of Matlak’s work has both financial cost, in terms of the loss of potential sales, and a human cost, in terms of frustration and disillusionment.
Many would argue, though, that this sort of file sharing represents a huge opportunity. Those ‘shitty people all over the planet’ may listen to his music, become fans and be the audience at his next gig – all because they could find out about his music for free.
There’s no cut and dry answer to the debate over unauthorized music sharing. But the issue is especially important to electronic musicians – because many are studio focused.
Ideally, music fans would try to respect the wishes of individual musicans – but that’s probably idealistic.
How do you think electronic musicians should deal with unauthorized file sharing? And, if you’ve got digital releases, do you think that file sharing has helped or hurt you?