How Should Electronic Musicians Deal With File Sharing?

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?

65 thoughts on “How Should Electronic Musicians Deal With File Sharing?

  1. The artist’s goal is to have a sustainable career that allows them to keep creating music. Unless one has a huge audience, the short-term revenue from selling recordings is not as important as building a fanbase that will in the future purchase recordings, concert tickets, support new projects and spread the word. I think the best solution is for artists to make free streams or downloads available over their own sites in exchange for an email address, Facebook friend or Twitter follow.

    1. @ JuneauXena : That sounds great in theory, but there’s plenty of good music from musicians who, for legitimate reasons, don’t perform live. Boards of Canada comes to mind, and while they’ve done exceptionally well they arguably gained a great deal of popularity while purchasing CD’s and albums was more prevalent than it is now. If we restrict musicians to making money through live performances, or licensing their music to television and the like, we will basically restrict talented musicians to making money from certain genres because not every genre translates well to these business models. This is, interestingly enough, the very thing that has led many people to criticize much of today’s top 40 music.

  2. I think music is affordable enough to do as a hobby nowadays that there isn’t really a legitimate argument that musicians NEED to be making money from selling it anymore. As people have pointed out in other discussions here – the idea that we can sell copies of recorded music has only existed for a short period of time, and will inevitably cease to exist in its current form.

    Musicians simply need to adapt and stop thinking they can cling to a method of making money that depended entirely on a very specific period of technology. I certainly think it’s a shame, and an inevitability that some artists will be put off, but the sooner the painful transition is over, the sooner we have a generation of musicians who aren’t distracted by unrealistic expectations about how they can control their digital recordings once released into the wild.

    Musicians whining about the internet is like the church complaining about losing power through secularism or slave owners complaining about emancipation. We’re not going to hold back massive social progress just because it might damage your income.

    1. Great link, if only as a primer on the whole dynamic of the music industry today by someone who not only knows but cares to lay out fully reasoned arguments. One reason why I spent over an hour reading it all off the screen, something I never do…

    2. A great article but it is clear that the problem still lies with the Major Labels. There should be stores everywhere. Anybody that wants to sell should be able to sell – like normal record shops. They are too protective in the licensing which is ridiculous as music can be got for free anywhere. I have a problem with Apples 30%, I cannot get Google Music where I live, and Amazon is not geared towards music. I would prefer that a local friend build up a store and I could talk to him personally and he could make personal recommendations based on what he knows I like.

  3. Probably this is the answer:

    “C3S is a collaborative effort to found a new and ground-breaking European collecting society for musical creators being build with themselves participating. C3S is intended to become a non-exclusive collective society to register musicians’ works outside of traditional schemes, released under Creative Commons but monetised in commercial use. More than that, C3S is going to be open for other free licences as well.”

    Sounds good, eh?

  4. “Musicians whining about the internet is like the church complaining about losing power through secularism or slave owners complaining about emancipation. We’re not going to hold back massive social progress just because it might damage your income.”

    And how exactly are musicians are producers comparable to Slaveowners and the Church?? That has got to be the most ignorant comment I have ever read.

    1. I’ts really not. The “old” music business estabilshement was limited to only people who had money or connections. Now anyone can make music and share it with the world, regardless of economic and social status, skill level, etc. This is more “normal” than it has been in recent decades. For all of human history anyone who wanted to would pay music, sing, etc. And at any time, any place. But then this group of greedy people came along and formed “the music industry”, and started trying to control who made music and when, and took money from everyone along the line. The internet has normalized us all back to a flat playing field, where we can all make and share music again at any time, any where. If you think that’s bad, you are one of the greedy people. Human enlightenment and creative freedom always trumps economic success… unless you are a greedy person.

    2. I think you rather missed my point, which was that it’s ridiculous to expect society to support or conserve things that are no longer really feasible, and at the expense of progress, simply because a few people might no longer be able to make money.

      Many slave owners argued that emancipation was unfair because it would result in a loss of income. I’m not saying it’s MORALLY equivelant to what more conservative musicians are arguing, but it’s the same logic.

        1. Evoking “Godwin’s law” is almost always itself a fallacy now (even the guy who came up with it admits this) – it certainly would be here, since I was using slavery as a logical analogy, not a moral one – a point I made clear.

  5. I feel like the big players have grossly overplayed their hand in the whole copyright debate wich created a gap between the consumer and musicians. The copyright law is definitely a double edged sword, i am against it because of the way it is being abused by certain companies, the life of the author plus 70 years? starting a company just to sue people who used a sample in their records?
    The digital revolution is certainly great for musical infrastucture, it has never been easier to get your song out their, but that has its downsides too. Especially because digital releases don’t make me empathetic to the analog side of the story, which is the fact that the artist and labels made an investment.
    The digital revolution has broken the labels’ monopoly by expanding distribution possibilities, a cd is no longer necessary so it doesn’t have to cost that much to download it. That mentality is pretty destructfull to many digital artists, their are very few good legal alternatives that actually pay the right amount of money.
    This situation has proved that the digital age makes it easier to publish music, but to actually excel musically, become famous and make a living, has not. The music world has become more accesible but that also means that only the best acts can stand head and shoulder above the competition.
    It’s not impossible, file sharing has not made money making in the music business impossible, but it did raise the bar, some mediocre album will not make money because of accidental buyers.
    So keep the pressure of music, come up with a great and inventive way to make money, but please don’t blame file sharing for ruining an album release. An artist can be a musician but a musician doesn’t have to be an artist. What i mean is, if the only thing you do is making music in the studio, you are just doing one thing, people’s time is precious so they want to be entertained in ways more than one. Being an artist is much more than just music and real artists can thrive in any condition.
    Although i would like to suggest an adjustment to the copyright law, change the law so that copyright is in the artist’s hands and cannot be sold or transfered to a distributor, that would make the copyright debate a lot less biased.

  6. The guy is using like $30,000 in vintage gear to make his tracks and he’s whining about being hard up, c’mon dude…

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Make music because you love to do it. If you want to make money off your music (or anything else), you need to figure out creative solutions to do so. No one owes you anything, art is art and business is business. People will mostly take a free version of something if they can, you have to figure out a smart way to get them to pony up.

    Just because you wrote a good track does not automatically ensure financial success. The quality of the music or effort involved in its creation or how much it costs to produce do not directly relate to financial profit. Selling music is the same as selling anything else really. Success is achieved threw things like smart marketing strategy, supply and demand principles, etc. General business acumen. These things don’t interest me, so I rarely try to sell my music. Most artists feel the same way, that’s why things like record companies and agents and managers came into existence.

    1. Agreed. Complaining about the bad people who are not willing to buy digital products does not solve anything.

      I’ve said that already in a former topic: if people have the possibility to get something for free, they will eventually make use of it. Nobody cares about idealistic morals.

      It’s entirely up to the musicians (who want to make money from it) to think of creative ways to get paid. Producing music is not the elitaristic discipline it once was anymore, and so the business models (and the people) have to adapt in order to keep fruitful.

      1. Gerald

        He didn’t complain about people not wanting to buy his music. He complained about people wanting to steal it.

        Thers a difference!

        1. I think it is important to emphasize that file sharing has nothing to do with the meaning of the word “stealing”. Stealing means that you take something away. Filesharing is copying. Some people download music and never spend a thought on buying it. Others download it and then buy the albums they liked best.

          So, while the thought that musicians lose money is not entirely false, it is purely theoretical. There is no guarantee that the so-called pirates would have bought the music if they would not had the chance to download it. But even though you have made no money from downloads, it is still a very effective form of marketing, if you know how to use it. People will know your music project. And this increases the chances that they will e.g. visit a live concert or that they will make a impulse buy, if they are in the mood.

          1. Sorry to say, Gerald, but this is a stupid comment. IF they would really NOT want the music, what is the point in downloading it (and uploading in the first place)? Do you really think that somebody who gives a s*it about something does take all these efforts just to delete it afterwards? Fact is: There are hundreds of thousands of so-called “fans” all over the internet – people who LOVE the artists they steal from and who don´t care about ever spending 0,99 Cent on a single piece of music. And … no matter how anybody likes to call it… it essentially IS theft! There were days when the exact same people said: “I don´t buy music because DRM sucks”. Now that there is no DRM anymore, these people don´t buy either, because they are “poor students” who only have money for alcohol, cigarettes, drugs and partying. New excuses every day. I don´t care how anybody spends his/her money, but those arguments suck big time (and they are not made up, but real answer I got when I was asking why “my fans” did not buy my music).
            Yes, today everyone can afford to make his/her own music. And that´s great. Then please… do so… and leave serious musicians alone, stop listening to them and only listen to your own, self-composed stuff. Stealing is stealing, no matter if it´s bits-and-bytes or cars. And I bet my studio, that the same people who claim that music should be free are those who DO want to get paid for their work! Let´s just make a deal: Continue not paying the artists you like and live from nothing yourself – offer your time and manpower for FREE to everyone who request it. Don´t ever charge a single buck, don´t ever want to get paid for what you do…

            1. “IF they would really NOT want the music, what is the point in downloading it (and uploading in the first place)?”

              Ah, I’m afraid you misunderstood my statement here – I didn’t say that these people don’t WANT the music. I simply said that they are not willing to pay for music because they need 2 minutes on Google to find anything they like. Not pretty, but that’s just the way it is.

              I still think it’s not that bad for artists if their music is copied – at least somebody listens to their stuff. I don’t see a point in sitting on products that nobody ever hears.

              Complaining that the possibility of sharing digital information exists, is basically complaining that the internet exists. Which is kind of strange to write on an internet platform like Synthtopia 😉

          2. I think I might like you, so I am going to punch you in the head.
            I like you so I will tell my friends to punch you too.
            I like you so much I am going to invite a mob to come and kill you.
            I love you so now I want to buy your t-shirt and go to your show.

  7. One answer is to put out the material online for sale track by track. If an album just has one great track then the consumer is very less likely to pay for a whole album when he only wants that one track. Also, not necessarily are singles for the taste of everybody. Many might prefer a downtempo track and find it a better quality on a more dancy album.
    Here is a funny article by John Cheese on Cracked website, called 5 Common Anti-Internet Arguments That Are Statistically Bullshit.

  8. ZykZKI (if that is your real name sir), comments like “Musicians simply need to adapt and stop thinking they can cling to a method of making money that depended entirely on a very specific period of technology. “, manage to ignore entirely the fact that you are stealing when you make an illegal download. Hence the term, illegal.

    Why should the people at some some torrent site live like Rockstars on the backs of muscians, software developers, and writers whose works are plundered? Just because something can be done does not make it right. I hope that whatever your day job is you are never subjected to something similar to what working musicians have had to go through because I am very certain that we would all hear you “whine” about it.

    The two groups of people who advocate the strongest that all music should be free on the web are massively successful groups who are already rich from the old system and people who have never accomplished anything worth paying for .

    In my opinion.

    1. Being “free to the user’ and “author getting paid” are not mutually exclusive. Spotify is one great solution, for example. The game industry is doing this all over the place, and the money is HUGE! Don’t make the mistake that giving a listener/user a good deal or free thing means you don’t make money, because that is pure ignorance. Maybe you won’t make bazillions, but you can make a living.

      1. The game industry is giving away free software and then making people pay for in-game upgrades, services, etc.

        Is there some way musicians could do stuff like that? If somebody steals your song, how are you going to get them to buy something?

        1. It really bothers me that people keep calling piracy stealing. It’s a very disingenuous argument. Theft removes property from someone else. It is not a broad enough term to cover the act of finding a free substitute for something you normally would have to pay for. If I do my own handmade Hallmark card I”m not stealing a Hallmark card. Even if I copied a picture of a real Hallmark card from the internet and then printed it out myself it wouldn’t be theft. I’m not trying to say that there is entirely nothing ever morally wrong with such a thing, but it certainly doesn’t fall under the category of theft.

    2. Yes, it’s illegal – and the fact the law sees replicating some data on a machine as “theft” demonstrates how entirely out of touch the law is. I’m not saying it’s fine, but it demonstrates that the law (and societal attitudes) simply haven’t caught up with the digital age. It really seems ridiculous to me that musicians (and, frighteningly, the law) feel entitled to control over the sharing of information for the sake of making money.

      As I said before, “music” was never an “industry” (as we know it) until very recently – and it’s only in a temporary window of technological progess that it could feasibly exist as one. That time is ending.

      Painters, artists and galleries managed to deal with the invention of the camera – which makes the replication and distribution of their art for free easy to the point of being uncontrollable by law. Musicians need to think of themselves like any other artist. Anyone can “see” (in this case, hear) art, thanks to modern technology – but you charge what you can for the real life experience.

      1. You do realise that the way painters, artists (which would include painters) and galleries survived was in fact by inventing copyright laws. What was your point?

  9. It´s a pity that people think, every kind of art has to be free, just because you can have an illegal digital copy of any kind of art.

    1. It’s a pity that people think they can charge a ton of money for something of the same quality (or less!) as someone else who is willing to put it out for free! We aren’t all supoorting “stealing” music… we are supporting not paying through the nose for crappy music made by an elite few. Big, big difference. Stop being so special. 🙂

      1. It wouldn’t even stand up to other analogs in art actually.

        For example you can’t take a painting off a wall without paying for it, and that’s art.


      2. So, people who won´t buy music by these few elitists because it´s cheap music, but they can download this crappy music anyway, because they are not willing to buy it.
        I think it´s the other way around: People can share their music for free, but they are not forced to.

  10. A general reflection that I want to get off my mind, since such topics seem to appear more and more often:

    If your only concern about creating music is money, then you should propably stop. There’s no point in doing any (!!!) kind of art if you start it with thinking of all the wealth and fame you expect from it. Do it for fun or don’t do it at all.

    If you have the luck to get money for something you like doing, then it’s great. But whining about the bad people who are not willing to pay for your efforts is just overbearing and annoying.

    The reason why you get money for any kind of job is, because you have a contract. This contract says that your employer has to pay you and that you have to do your job duties. If it weren’t for this contract, you would get no money. Where is your contract for making music?

    Complaining that the internet is evil for giving people the possibility to share digital information (and therefore files) is just the viewpoint of an old-established, close-minded person that does not want to adapt to the cultural impact of new technologies.

    So, to come straight to the point: create (any) form of art because you like to and because it makes you happy. If you want to make money from it, then work on understanding the modern market and figure out what it needs to get in touch with potential customers.

    Understand it and make it work for you.

    But don’t complain that nothings stays the same. Live changes. Live with it.

  11. File sharers want to make everybody to agree to the idea that music has no value, calling it inevitable.

    That’s fundamentally disrespectful to musicians.

    Share the music of artists that give their music away for free. If an artist sells their music, buy it or don’t, but don’t rip them off and try to justify it with some phony justification.

  12. NO ONE IS STEALING ANYTHING here. No one broke into someone’s house and took ANYTHING. The artist decided to put his tracks out there in a format people can copy, and now it’s everywhere. The artist decided, knowing full well what could and would happen, to put his music out there. If you don’t know people will take free tracks and “steal” them, then you’re an idiot who clearly doesn’t understand a thing about how the world works.

    The old systems are gone: Adapt or die.

    And if you’re doing music without already being attached to a label, or have a deal with a record company or film, then you’re not gonna make music. You might spend 30k on gear, and might have the best track ever, but it doesn’t mean a thing. Do it for you, or don’t do it at all. Be commercial, or be a hobbyist. You can’t be both. You’re a hobbyist.

    1. …hmmm, so you think the word “stealing” only applies to physical goods? Sorry to say, but there is intellectual copyright, there is copyright on arts, there are patents etc. pp. Non of these require a physicsl product for somebody to understand that you are not allowed to steal them. It is really sad to see how people try to defend their wrong-doing. And regarding “being attached to a label”: How on earth should this prevent your songs from being illegally copied? Do you really think labels invest money when they know that the songs won´t be purchased? There is really no logic in such an argument.

      1. He’s not trying to defend wrongdoing as much as pointing out that wrongdoing is the new reality, and you can’t stop it without fundamentally breaking the Internet.

        As a writer, my books have been torrented. There’s nothing I can do about it. It’s a byproduct of digital connectivity. Whining about it is just that — whining. I have to hustle to figure out other ways to monetize my work, or get paid for something other than writing so I can write with no expectation of monetary gain. So does Mr. Matlak.

        Calling someone a thief for simply explaining reality is kind of killing the messenger. Data will flow. Some of it will have music encoded within.

        1. “… wrongdoing is the new reality, and you can’t stop it without fundamentally breaking the Internet”

          “Calling someone a thief for simply explaining reality is kind of killing the messenger. Data will flow. Some of it will have music encoded within.”

          Wow, thank you for these statements. That puts it straight to the point in my view.

  13. Gerald says that songwriters should´t complain when times changes. But when the laws are changing to prevent piracy, why are you pirates complaining so much then?

    1. Interesting point. That might be true to a certain degree, but I still think there’s a difference.

      The fact that the internet and file sharing has changed the attitude towards music, is a technological and social matter. SOPA, ACTA, etc. are political matters. The difference is: you can’t change the former, but you can change the latter…or at least you can try. You can’t change society (unless you introduce some kind of totalitarian regime).

    2. Again, you are mistaking “pirates” for “not wanting to do things the old way”! It’s not about stealing music.. I don’t want to buy anyone’s CD because I don’t like to own things I’ll only use a few times, and I don’t want more plastic in the world. Put your music on spotify, and I’ll listen a few times, and you get a bit of money. After that, unless you are absolutely exceptional, I’m moving on to something else.

      Besides, the whole copywright things is pretty much crap anyway. We are all using the same chords, same song structures, etc. There is very little difference between most music, especially among pop music which makes the most money. Far, far less than most things that are c protected in other industries (for example, two different cures for two different diseases). Who really did the borrowing and stealing in the first place? 🙂 We all stand on the shoulders of each other. Stop being so freakin’ greedy and remember the joy of making music! And if you really want to see how stupid this all is, examine industries that don’t control “artist rights”. The fashion industry doesn’t. “Top” designers have their stuff copied almost immediately, re-created as mass market knock offs. But the system works for them, and the money in that industry makes the music industry look like a lemonade stand. Look it up. There’s a great TED talk on it as an entry point.

      1. ‘Stop being so freakin’ greedy’

        Maybe you should listen to your own words – and stop demanding that you get everything that you want for free.

        Does anybody have any experience with making file sharing actually work FOR musicians?

        The examples people always seem to trot out are people like Trent Reznor and Radiohead, who benefited from the major label system, or a couple of artists that got famous because they recommended by Twitter.

        1. I don’t think it is about “demanding that you get everything that you want for free.”

          The devil is in the details in this case. It’s not that people start making street protests to get music for free. The internet simply gives an option that people accept and use.

          Basically, we are having a moral topic here. Technology (= the internet) offers an opportunity (= sharing files) and people start to argue whether it is correct and morally tenable to embrace it. Old-fashioned people see the downsides, technology-enthusiastic people see the chances. As always, both sides are right somehow.

        2. If everyone just stopped making new music for a couple of years, would those greedy geese be willing to pay through the beak for something new?

  14. Recorded music was essentially invented by non-musicians to cash in on the talents and hard labor of (in the early days) meagerly employed musicians. Like all of capitalism, wealth grew on the backs of the laborers, generally with little or no benefit to the laborer. Very, very few musicians have ever managed to make a living selling their recordings. What has the internet changed? It has taken the big profits away from those who didn’t deserve it in the first place. What has it done for musicians? Nothing. They’re still performing on the corner with their hats out.

  15. Never heard of the group. That album should of been free from day 1. Go to and see how the new generation get down. They give music free to get their buzz up and make money off shows till they get a major deal dropping them a nice chunk of cash. By that time they have a huge fanbase and then the Major release is dropped in the stores for fans to buy.

  16. The funny thing about this argument is that the people that it seems to hurt are not really the small obscure artists, Since no one is seeding their music. I can’t find some albums that I would be willing to buy legitimately. I have friends who saw a boost in their sales after they offered the album for free. I plan on selling a forthcoming album digitally, and if those sales make enough money to make it possible, I want to release it on vinyl. With new models like kickstarter and the like, I think that the digital revolution is changing the way music is funded. Instead of a marketing department deciding what artists get signed, the consumer has the opportunity to be a patron to the arts. But to say digital piracy is killing small artists is foolish. Try to find a place to pirate something that hasn’t already made money and tell me what you find.

  17. This is just a total riff off the top of my head. So forgive me if this is too pie in the sky. But as someone who at the ripe old age of 47, after a 35 year hiatus being a classically trained pianist, to a budding synthesist and recording artist who has never done so before……I think (on a very intuitive basis) that what is called for here is a line of thinking akin to old school days of the release of Wolfenstein 3D and the original Doom 3D. I remember getting a 3 or 5 level shareware disc of these games in the early 90’s as a teaser to get you to buy the full game.

    What if your recordings….hell…. ALL recordings simply become (especially for us small fry) a shareware taste of the real income producing opportunity….that being concert performances.

    And by concert….I mean literally starting out as the Greats did centuries ago…..”recitals” in “parlours”…..your buddies basement,,,,,garage,,,,,backyard… room. Make it a “pot luck” event, have a friend film it for live streaming and recording. Start by passing the hat…..a tithe to the Church of Electronic Music with you being the High Priest or Priestess.

    I have thought about this as I come closer in my own quest as a musician. It may not work…..or maybe it sparks something really big. Perhaps I or you could do this along with putting your stuff out there for the few with ethics and morals to actually buy and the more “grassroots” effort fills in some of the missing revenue at the same time being a really cool way to market yourself and build your audience.

    Just some random thoughts as I sit out here near my ancient dried creek bed full of old growth pine and cypress humming my next tune to my audience at hand… two horses. Then again….judging from their reactions….I may need to work on that tune a bit.

  18. I know a lot of people will feel differently than me about this but I would MUCH rather someone downloaded my music for free instead of not listening to it at all because they had to pay.

  19. This comment is baffling:
    “Musicians whining about the internet is like the church complaining about losing power through secularism or slave owners complaining about emancipation. We’re not going to hold back massive social progress just because it might damage your income.”

    I really don’t see how file sharing itself represents massive social progress. I don’t see how musicians trying to generate a little income to try to buy a little food or pay some bills is comparable to a massive, extremely wealthy institution like the church, or the evil institution of slavery.

    I’m not against some forms of file sharing such as compilations / mix tapes. These can really help musicians to reach larger audiences. I do point out to friends who want to burn copies of whole CDs for me (of music that I express an interest in) that an important source of income for a musician can be CD, etc., sales. Please don’t copy entire CDs and give them away or post them on the internet.

    1. The free exchange of information over the internet is massive social progress. One the entertainment industry/conservative musicians wants to curb to maintain profit. That’s not to say the internet should be beyond control (where taking or producing digital information is a security risk, or where people are selling what another artist made without permission, for example). But occasionally jobs/industries/ways of making money become obsolete. It sucks, but somtimes we just have to let it go if its contrary to the way the rest of the world is headed.

  20. I think it is a matter of ignorance, and not knowing how much work goes into the actual making of all things now being pirated on the internet. Imagine the Indie game developer typing in line after line after line with code. Evaluating andbeing stuck and frustrated, but trying to break new ground, because he believes it can be done better. Years of “hobby” work with all the emotional high and lows of making the vision that only excisted in the imagination finally made real. Everybody loves his work and he gets praises from everywhere. But then thousands of people ignorant over how much energy that really went into it, just see it as their “right” to just take it and enjoy it, just because it can be done, sayning to their selves this is the way it works now, this is how it should be. Same with music. Artist with a vision deep inside bearly within his imagination, tries to make his expression real. All the emotion of not quite getting it. The challenge to get it “on tape” with how to get access to decent recording gear. Record it with the right techniques (which is an artform by it self) Strugling to find the right words to match this feeling deep down. But after awhile somehow the “vision” is finally real. The mucisian is emotinally drained so “hopefully” manager takes it from there. And so on. Fast forward over many, many steps including making a visual profile, with taking pictures and all that jazz, now everbody is touched by this representaion of a vision and feeling, making their own experience of this feeling within them selves more real. Not apresiating what’s really going on, they are simply killing off some time being ” entertained” There are so many steps and layers in the development of crative content that is devalued in a very unfair way. Every step of these two examples cost not only money but time and energy and emotional trials ignorat people whould not dream of.

  21. The comment about intellectual property such as patents and artwork stolen means little until the thief tries to resell it.
    I could “steal” every patent ever filed and no one know until I tried to market a product based on one.
    With that said, this particular artist is receiving lots of “free” publicity.
    Publicity is often paid for, but here he’s getting it nonetheless.
    Since he also scores for films/TV occasionally, he must be getting paid for his work even if not receiving much fame.
    Ever pay anything for using Google’s search engine?
    Nope. They built it and gave it away free to use, but charged advertisers instead.
    And that’s the whole point here: advertising has value.
    I had never heard of this guy before and now I have.
    If I was a musical director for a TV show, I might now know of him and pay him with the advertising dollars our TV show makes.
    Moral of the story: not all pay or publicity is directly paid for by the consumer, but an artist can still get paid.

    1. You know, it’s a line you hear more often from big industry publishers: “We don’t want to pay you, but think of all the free publicity you’ll get!” Publicity don’t pay the bills. Pay me or I don’t work for you – simple as that.

      Pirates want something for free. Like in counterfeiting, “nothing gets taken away”. In fact, following pirate logic we really should allow counterfeit money. But wait, that would lead to problems with the economy… a bit like copying and distributing commercial music leads to problems with getting professional grade music done. You see, it’s a full time job, not a hobby, which you can do “because you love it”. You have to do it even when you don’t love it because it’s a job and you don’t have the same luxury as a hobbyist who works out of inspiration.

      A full time job requires people who pay to make it worthwhile. If people don’t pay, the professional musician will have to get a different job and perhaps do music when he/she has time. That time will be what’s left over from work, family and other duties and that’s pretty slim pickings for the most of us.

      You might argue that the artist wasn’t good enough. Well, that might be true but what that logic does, is pare all music down to the lowest common denominator – ie. top 40 shite. Why do something other than what the most people will listen to if that’s the way to make money?

      Piracy is a crime and should be punished, although not in the crazy extreme lunacy some cases have displayed but it is, and should be a crime if we want to hang onto professional musicians outside the mainstream.

  22. There is a lot of deviation from the main topic in many comments above:

    1- Everybody should be paid for their labour and their creation, no matter what their work is…unless that person wants to give it for free.

    2- I know for sure that we need a certain degree of life experience and rightenous to understand that it’s not fair to take advantage of others work, specially if that work gives them pleasure, be it music or other thing.

    3- Creating and recording music takes a lot of effort and money, and many years of studing. A well recording album costs a lot of time and money. At least the income should cover that.

    4- Everything changes, as well the music business. Even if you want to just show your work or give for free, it’s already a form of business or trade! Something you should expect , even if it’s the pleasure of giving. If you don’t want, just play for yourself in the bedroom or garage.

    5-If music is a product why should’t you pay for it. Music was and still is expensive and i think it should be cheaper, specially the cd’s/dvd’s, and a lot of people that had nothing to do with being an artist made a lot of money, but artists should be paid for their creation.

    6-You are not obliged to buy something you don’t want..but if you want a certain song or album for your pleasure, you should buy and that way pay respect the persons involved in the making of that work. If it’s free you should not feel the obligation of paying.

    7- Just because you can do something it doesn’t mean you should do it. That is why punishment and laws were created. Most of the times people know they are doing something wrong. Even kids know when they do wrong!

    8- If you believe musicians should make music just for the sake of making music, Steve Jobbs and Bill Gates should have worked for free and give everybodys pc’s, laptops, sofwares and ipads to everyone. They should have done just for the sake of doing it.. So, this concept applies to everything. The problem is that you can’t download an ipad! Can you?

    9-There was many wrong things in the music business but things are not better for no one, except for those who “steal” music and spend their time listening to it without spending 1 cent with who should recieve it. It’s the internet companies that earn it.
    50% of internet sailing spins around MUSIC!

    10- It’s my opinion that today people are listening too much music without really listening or giving time the the music grows on them so the true message of the artist is understood. Many free downloads will never be listened to. Take your time to really know the artist work.

    11- LAST but not least:
    Good and serious musicians should earn enough to keep them making music and enjoy a life where they can concentrate on making the best possible music they can.

    1. I agree with everything you said, except a small distinction – I believe that laws are not made to tell us what is right and what is wrong. Laws are there to protect people from the worst kinds of misbehaviour, the kinds of deeds you absolutely should not have done. The line of wrongdoing is always closer than the line of breaking the law, unless the law is poorly drafted.

      I believe most people know that taking someone’s commercial work for free is wrong. All this justification –political piracy parties, etc. – are there because they really, really want to download because it’s right there, easily accessible, and they don’t really want to think that it actually harms someone when they do it. It’s the same mechanism as in infidelity.

  23. I’ve never downloaded a Matlok CD or whoever the fuck this wanker is but I can guarantee you I defintely never will buy one ever. Nothing I hate worse than people that whine about piracy like since they released some shitty album they’re entitled to be wealthy. Guess what bro? There are millions of musicians in the world and most of them a

  24. I have had loads of vinyl out and spent the 90s, having a laugh and having crazey people pressing up the mad shit I was making in my bedroom on all my hardware gear. I have had three vinyls out in this last year and I am pleased to get stuff on vinyl. I never take the ‘artistic side’ seriously, people who do seem to think they are the new Michael Angelo, or the new Juan Atkins etc. It is an outdated model the ‘artist’ concept. I have had a group of people track me down to do some filming about music and subculture, It to me is hilarious cause , techno is a joke, a dadaist joke that I enjoy .
    It is not about anything to me other than what I make in my bedroom studio and the fact that some other freak into electronic music gets the vibe of what I do. The status of ‘artist ‘ is a load of pretentious wank, and when we look at pricks like Richie Hawtin, it becomes clear where that self delusion gets people. Keep music fucked up and enjoy it . If you haven’t got a sense of humour about it,it is fucked up , considering most peoples best work comes from HAPPY ACCIDENTS in the studio.
    Hang the DJ and if your broke sell some gear .

  25. Make good music, release mp3s or streams for free when you are getting stated to get exposure., make things people want to buy like records and if you don’t play live you could dj or make some other music related experience around your brand. If you are passionate about this and do it will, you will be rewarded. If you have to complain about file sharing maybe you just aren’t good enough to earn a return despite the existence of file sharing.

  26. I just read over this thread and have to say I don’t agree with some of the replies, but I DO understand and see the validity of the points made on both sides.

    Being someone who is just starting out down the music-making road, I would love to get paid for it, as this would give me the freedom in life to just make music and not have to worry about anything else, such as where the money is going to come from to pay the bills or feed the wife and kids.

    But, on the other hand, I have to be honest and say I have downloaded my share of files..movies, name it. I don’t think of myself as being a thief or stealing..but I do FEEL as if that is what I am doing, as I am so used to paying for everything else..and art, in whatever form it takes, should be no different.

    By this I mean we should see art for what it is..a thing of worth and value..and the artist SHOULD be paid something in return for the pleasure their work gives us. Perhaps the word “Paid” is the root of the problem here; it might be better to use another word, such as “Donation” as, in the end, that is all that now can be expected, given the way the online world is going.

    Personally, I know I have downloaded works in the past and not paid for them, only to then later buy them in hard copy/CD/DVD format..and I honestly think that is the future of music and movies in general. As for paintings..well, that area of the art world has always been on a ground of its own and, for the most part, those who collect such works don’t really appear to have an issue about paying hard cash up front for the same.

    In the end, it all comes down to the honesty of the individual and their respect for those who produce the art they are downloading. If they are going to pay/donate something for what they have downloaded, then they will do that at some stage..if not, then they never will and there is sod all anyone can do to change this fact.

    It’s not about stealing or’s about respect and common (..or not so common) decency in how we see others and the value we place on their work or art. I don’t think we should demand to be paid for music anymore..but, on the other hand, I don’t think it is right that we start to think we don’t need to either..

    The interent really is a blessing for everyone in the world..a leveler of all things in both business and the old businesses of entertainment. We need to come to terms with the fact that not everyone can make a fortune online..just like in any other online business and that, conversely, more people than ever before are free to make some money, whereas before they could only dream of going down the road of the “big” companies.

    In short, the fact is some folks will pay for what they see value in or like..and other will not..and there is no point trying to come up with ways to make everyone pay, as this will only result in even tighter restictions across the board for everyone with regards to how they use the internet.

    Those who want to make music, myself included, should get on with making music..and be happy when anyone out there thinks our work good enough to actually be worth donating some cash to us in thanks. Isn’t it better to be both listened to and appreciated..rather than restrict the number of those who can listen and not be appreciated as much as perhaps your work should be?

  27. Was the guy born last week? Youd have to be full-on retard to think you can make “money” from recordings alone in this era. Its not the 70s anymore.

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