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#1
Right this is something which has been bugging me for a good time now, and its this issue with pirating music. I think the snippets of interviews UG posts on here about artists' opinions kinda leaves a lot to be desired. So I felt I'd post my own thoughts and I'd be interested as to what you all have to say about it, hopefully I say something which is fairly new!

Here's my scenario:
I'm a normal guy, about to enter uni, and as such I have a realistic budget of about £150 a year to spend on anything music merch related - records, merch and tickets.
That obviously doesn't even begin to cover the amount I'd need to spend to even just buy the albums I want, let alone gigs and merch.

I'd much rather pirate my music so that I can enjoy the songs I like whenever I want, whilst also being able to purchase the merch I like & a few gig tickets a year.I figure that money is much better spent on experiences and hard goods rather than electronic downloads, of which an exact identical is available to torrent.

Is this harming the artist? Probably not, as I wouldn’t have been able to buy the album anyway, so they’re not losing any money!

The issue that's always being raised is that by pirating music, you are killing the music industry. Actually, so long as you still spend the money you would have spent on CDs on other stuff, they're still receiving the same amount of money, and I'm of the opinion that a band's income from merch and gigs is more "untouched" than album revenue.

Adult swim had an interesting, if sarcastic take on this issue:
Adult Swim's views on piracy

Personally I think streaming services are a hassle and a waste of money, I mean yeah, I'll check out a song on YouTube, but then I'll use a converter to download it so that I can listen to it later without having to find it again online.

I do disagree with people who pirate music & don't support the industry in other ways, especially when they can afford to, but for a realistic everyday person, buying anything more than hard copies of your very favourite CDs is unfeasible.

Anyway, what're your opinions, and have I missed anything out?
-Kyle
#3
If I can afford to buy every CD or DVD I want, I'd support the music industry in any way I can. But I can't as I'm a high school student with no money.
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#4
No matter which way you see it, the music industry can't survive in its current form. It has to adapt to the changing way in which people want their music. I think part of adapting in this way is towards a model where selling the music itself is not the primary source of income.
#5
adapt or die no use swimming against the tide or sanding against the grain. work with it go with the flow etc etc
#6
"I wouldn't buy it anyway, but I have a massively inflated sense of entitlement, so I'll take it anyway, and desperately try and justify to myself"
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#7
Quote by Blazingguns00
Is this harming the artist? Probably not, as I wouldn’t have been able to buy the album anyway, so they’re not losing any money!


But if you had the money would you ACTUALLY buy it or would you use the money for something else as you already downloaded the album or can do easily? I think a whole heap of people use that as an excuse and it just doesn't float.
#8
Quote by metacarpi
"I wouldn't buy it anyway, but I have a massively inflated sense of entitlement, so I'll take it anyway, and desperately try and justify to myself"

Yeah I guess the entire market has a massively inflated sense of entitlement lel. or maybe its the other way around
#9
Quote by JackalUK
But if you had the money would you ACTUALLY buy it or would you use the money for something else as you already downloaded the album or can do easily? I think a whole heap of people use that as an excuse and it just doesn't float.

or he wouldn't buy the album if he had the money to therefore the artist is not genuinely experiencing any sort of loss.
#10
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0U3RE_NB0EA

The video isn't strictly about music, but I still think the idea applies. Pirating could very well be like an investment, and if the audience is aware of the media/band/movie/TV show's existence then they are more likely to buy its merch and go to their shows and basically spend cash on those very things that they are supposedly 'stealing' from.

Pirating isn't about to go away, and while I don't condone it fully I think people/execs/whoever should be accepting of its existence and learn to adapt to it. Don't pull a Prince, basically.
#11
Quote by Blazingguns00
Personally I think streaming services are a hassle and a waste of money,


Read that as "I could help out my favourite artists, but I don't want to as I'm trying to justify my viewpoint"

Quote by sam b
He's going to batter Bottas. Aye, stick that in your sig Bill

#12
Quote by JackalUK
But if you had the money would you ACTUALLY buy it or would you use the money for something else as you already downloaded the album or can do easily? I think a whole heap of people use that as an excuse and it just doesn't float.


Along with "Oh, I'll buy it when I have money".

Will you balls, you've stolen the product, the artist isn't making anything from it to justify their time spent. If they are signed to a label, you can sure as hell bet that the label are less likely to support a tour now.
Quote by GLP_Arclite
Pooping is well good though, to be fair.


I've got a handle on the fiction.

I'm losing my grip, 'cos I'm losing my fingers.
#13
Quote by bill976
Read that as "I could help out my favourite artists, but I don't want to as I'm trying to justify my viewpoint"

nothing in his statement says anything close to that, so congratulations on having an argument with yourself i guess. pat yrself on the back
#14
Quote by Thrashtastic15
nothing in his statement says anything close to that, so congratulations on having an argument with yourself i guess. pat yrself on the back


*pats self on back*

Seriously, I don't even know what I was trying to say there.

Quote by sam b
He's going to batter Bottas. Aye, stick that in your sig Bill

#15
I think you're hurting yourself more than any damage to artists or the record companies. If you don't know that it's wrong to download music (or games or ebooks), then your ethics are out of whack. That you're asking tells me you do know it's wrong. Go with the feeling, listen to the radio, and have some discipline. Buy music when you can.

Carl
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#16
I can't afford to buy every single album by an artist.

I buy when I can. I would never prioritise a CD over a gig.

Countless bands I've got into and subsequently chucked money at (through merch and show tickets) because I downloaded them for free in the first place.
#17
Yes and no. Yes music is no longer a profitable venture for many but the industry will simply change, not die.

I would just like to put out why I think that Large music companies CAN be beneficial and it's rather simple.

Work load and expertise.

You have two options in a band, do everything yourself, out of your own pocket and get a head up loan from music labels (though you better fuqing hire a lawyer to read those damn contracts, some of them are genuinely awful and indefensible.)

The first is good because you have complete control and you can do anything you like, you have more control the music stays yours and you keep all the profit. It's however BAD in some ways. Not everyone is a great publicist and not everyone can afford good studios and good art work to be made, some bands need a little push in the right direction to make it big and things like that,and they'll need time to do all these things as they'll be working another job to fund the whole thing (which many metal bands do even with a label backer anyway.) Such things just wouldn't be possible without record labels, and that's why I'd like them to stick around.

Just because they're there however DOESN'T mean you have to use them. It's all about choice and that's the situation we find ourselves in.

I also find it incredible selfish for a person to say "I don't want you to be able to make a living off your music because I don't agree with it" It's not YOUR music, you don't have a RIGHT to it. Which is an attitude that some people hold.

Also piracy is getting to a inexcusable point know with services like Spotify, Last.Fm etc. Can't afford lots of CD's? Get a spotify premium account.
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Last edited by ChemicalFire at Aug 30, 2013,
#19
I could afford buying all my music, but I still download it. Why? Because I can. Would I do the same with food? Clothes? Cars? Hell yeah. Would I steal it though? No.
#20
I download a lot of music, TV shows and films. I buy my favourite albums/artists on vinyl. But i often go to gigs, spend a lot of money on concert tickets (Australia is very expensive for concerts) and also buy merchandise at the shows...which i think most bands prefer honestly because they see more of the money usually.
#21
If I want it immediately and it isn't on spotify, I'll download it. That being said, last time I downloaded an album, was a year or so ago and it was a Pink Floyd album. The only band, of those I listen to, that isn't on spotify is Tool.
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#22
Thanks for the replies guys - this is different to stealing though, as if I were to steal clothes cars whatever, someone would be incurring an actual loss. Pirating? simply a lack of gain.

The hypothetical if I had the money, would I buy it doesn't apply to be honest, this is a realistic situation, what ifs only complicate things but the point is, yes, I would, I enjoy owning hard copies of the CDs which I own.

I agree, music industry has to adapt to a different model, the problem with spotify etc is that they're only available online and you are almost forced to subscribe to a premium service, which is actually a lot of money yearly, and I'm again of the impression the artists see barely any of this money?

Labels also count merch sales as part of their valuation of a band, so the labels will still support bands if they make good money from touring and merch, yet less from album sales.

oh and carl.. radio? only shit we get around here when its not off the internet is even less enjoyable than complete silence...and well maybe its ethically questionable, but nobody's actually being directly disadvantaged because of this, as I couldn't afford to spend the extra money anyway
#23
I know it's a slightly off analogy, but I feel it's reasoning is close enough to be of worth for those that say it's just copying not stealing etc etc. And I don't need a lecture over the definition of stealing or theft either and how it's inaccurate to label it as such. ANYWAY!

A man opens a shop selling shoes. You walk in and go "Hmm, those are some nice shoes" shoot them with your special copy gun and walk out with your pair. You now have some lovely shoes and the man has no money going into his business. Fast forward a bit and everyone in town has some lovely shoes and the man hasn't sold a single pair because everyone copied his and now he has to close down his shop. Where are you going to get your next pair from?


^ that is actually quite crap but I'm posting it anyway.
#24
phahahah copy gun made me laugh there ^

okay, but say you then spend the £40 you woulda spent on the shoes... on his special blend of shoe polish (this analogy REALLY doesnt work does it ), he's still in business, and I now have both things I want, makes sense to me I guess
#25
in my opinion when you illegally download any album, you're taking what took the artist a good chunk of their time and money to produce, for free. You're stealing their creation. while they don't technically "Lose" anything because pirating is simply copying an already existing file, you're distributing that file to many people. and the truth of the matter is that record sales have gone down drastically, fewer people buy records and bands these days don't make as much money. Don't get me wrong. I don't have wads of money to throw down on all the records I want. but I refrain from downloading entire discographies considering i'm not morally okay with taking someone's life time of work for not a single penny. also considering that a lot of the money that the artist gets, they put back into their live shows and merch. I think I'm one of the few people out there who also prefers to actually go to a record store and actually buy a physical album because i like the feeling of actually being able to hold it in my hands. I don't have a single problem with illegal downloads, as a matter of fact i spent most of my teenage years doing just that. but if i really support the artist I'll always go out and buy the record.
wut.
Last edited by Reptilianriff at Aug 30, 2013,
#26
I don't care if it kills the music industry. Information should be free, if artists wanna stop making music because it doesn't make them enough money then so be it.
#27
Quote by guitarhero_764
I don't care if it kills the music industry. Information should be free, if artists wanna stop making music because it doesn't make them enough money then so be it.


Care to justify that?
Quote by GLP_Arclite
Pooping is well good though, to be fair.


I've got a handle on the fiction.

I'm losing my grip, 'cos I'm losing my fingers.
#28
It's the 21st century. How we receive media is changing regardless of whether the industry likes it. Whether they survive or not is up to them.
Yarr!
#29
pirate music buy merch see shows
#30
Quote by Blazingguns00
okay, but say you then spend the £40 you woulda spent on the shoes... on his special blend of shoe polish (this analogy REALLY doesnt work does it ), he's still in business, and I now have both things I want, makes sense to me I guess


So then would you go into a grocery store and buy a loaf of bread and then justify stealing (or "copying", whatever) a jar of peanut butter because you still gave the store some money?
#31
Quote by Mr E Meat
pirate music buy merch see shows


Most tours by any known band are funded by the labels they are on who earn the money from sales. No sales, no tour money, no show near you.
#32
Piracy is 'apparently' at an all time high...

Yet, just how many album sales has Adele notched up?
"A man chooses. A slave obeys."
#33
I don't really pirate anymore because the stuff I download always feels worthless and I'm much happier paying just to have the music/film on a physical format.

But over 50% of all music/films I buy are 2nd hand, which nobody profits from but the seller.
#34
Between my own and my dads CD collection I can guarantee I have about 3/4 of the 70G of music on my computer right now. I buy CDs all the time, either stuff that I've downloaded and enjoy or stuff that I see and want a copy of just to have. I try to minimalize the effects of my downloading by buying CDs and seeing bands that come through my area. I'm not sure that downloading is directly killing the music industry, but people getting free CDs can't be good for the industry and musicians. I think there's more to it than just that though.

Pirating tv shows and movies is a whole other story
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#35
Quote by Blazingguns00
oh and carl.. radio? only shit we get around here when its not off the internet is even less enjoyable than complete silence...and well maybe its ethically questionable, but nobody's actually being directly disadvantaged because of this, as I couldn't afford to spend the extra money anyway


Ok, I'll give you guys the radio part. As I ride a motorcycle a majority of the time, I don't listen to the radio all that much so don't know what's on

Ethically though is still a concern. Without justifying whether you can afford it or not, can you tell me you know it's right to download music (etc)?

Maybe a better analogy would be that same shoe store. The owner has spent time as a shoe salesman learning about shoes. He knows what the different leathers feel like, he knows about insoles, about uppers, laces, the metal strip in the sole used for support and whether it's better than a hard plastic strip. He understands feet and perhaps has taken classes on how to properly fit a shoe to a person's foot so it feels comfortable.

Now he has all that experience. He's scoped out your town to find the best location for foot traffic (heh). He's gotten the paperwork together to submit to the bank in order to operate a shoe store. He's had builders come in and modify the space to be a shoe store. He's ready for business.

You go in and spend 30 minutes to an hour of his time and experience trying on shoes to find just the right pair. They look good on you, they feel good, perfect. You take them off and tell the salesman that "sorry, I'm just not satisfied" and go on line to Amazon.com and buy them for 20% less than what the shoe store is selling them for.

The store owner has lost a sale and Bezos can now buy the Washington Post.

But hey, the shoe store owner didn't have anything stolen from him. He still has his shoes. So no loss.

Right?

Carl
Fender Telecaster and HSS Stratocaster - Epiphone Les Paul 1960 Tribute Plus
Ibanez GSR200
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#36
If you don't buy the music, you can't have it. Be it for whatever reason.

"I prefer downloading and going to shows instead." "Waaah, gig tickets and merch are too expensive, I'm just gonna stay home."
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#38
Quote by guitarhero_764
I don't care if it kills the music industry. Information should be free, if artists wanna stop making music because it doesn't make them enough money then so be it.

This is our self-entitled generation summed up in a small quote.
#39
Music is education, and should be widely available for the public. If you're any good, you earn money from touring, and putting in the hard yards. End of story.
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#40
Wasn't the entire idea of a music "industry" a fluke of technology anyway?

The model was make money from selling records. LPs and then CDs. That's when music became a serious moneymaking industry. Radio play, singles, touring...they were all meant to promote album sales. Once an album turned a profit, the artist was basically asked to come back from tour and record another one.

This all happened for barely 50 years and we somehow assume that's the norm. Now I'm not trying to justify illegal downloads, or the pittance paid by streaming services. But in a way, we are transitioning back to a period where it's very difficult for an artist to make any serious money in music.
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