Disturbed Frontman: My Stance On File Sharing/Downloading

Disturbed frontman David Draiman has posted the message on Twitlonger.com.

Ultimate Guitar

According to Blabbermouth.net, Disturbed frontman David Draiman has posted the following message on TwitLonger.com, a related Twitter site that allows one to send tweets that require more than 140 characters:

"My stance on file sharing/downloading;

"I have always been in favor of, that's correct, in favor of file sharing and downloading digital music since day 1. I have never blamed the consumer for simply taking advantage of something that is readily and easily available to them, and enables the spread of great music and art to fans of it all over the globe.

"I have been in support of having nominal fees built into ISP subscription rates that would have enabled everyone to file share freely while still enabling artists to be compensated for their work. The proceeds could then have been payed out the same way writing/publishing royalties are, utilizing Internet monitoring systems, such as those developed by companies like Big Champagne, for example. The fans would get all the music they wanted for a nominal price, built into the Internet service that they are already paying for, and the artists and the ISPs would be able to still make it a viable busniess.

"Unfortunately, the RIAA [Recording Industry Association Of America] and music industry, simply chose to persecute the consumers, the very fans that give the artists and the labels the ability to exist, and bit the hand that fed them. This was a mistake in judgement, in my opinion. That is why when companies like Spotify came into existence, I was thrilled, because it gave the consumer the ability to have unlimited music at their fingertips, for a reasonable monthly subscription cost. It also enabled the exchange of music through social media as well, putting the icing on the proverbial cake.

"Make no mistake, however, that the culture that has been bred over the course of the last 10+ years of simply thinking that all music should be available for free is wrong, and immoral; plain and simple.

"This mentality has created an environment where it is more and more difficult for artists, particularly up-and-coming ones, to survive and sustain themselves.

"People wonder why fewer and fewer acts come out these days and are able to last. The status quo that exists is a huge factor in that. The creation of the '360 deal', where labels now insist on taking a piece of everything new artists do, is a direct result of that.

"People's love of music is stronger than it ever has been, and the Internet has been an amazing tool, enabling artists to extend their respective reaches farther than ever before, but it has also created an environment where pirateers and websites that profit off of the traffic (by selling advertisements on their sites) created by offerring other people's life's work for free, is wrong and criminal in every sense of the word.

"People's argument, that 'I still buy tickets and t shirts and go to shows' is a valid one. All of us are eternally grateful for every fan's love and support, and much like test-driving a car, you should be able to try before you buy; but be aware that now record companies are demanding a huge chunk of that revenue (touring and merch), which used to be an musician's bread and butter, as a result. Again, there is a way to sample new music for free, and many bands (including us) offer samples of their music for free.

"We, as artists, love and appreciate our fans more than you know. We know that we could not exist without you, but we don't steal from you, not in any way, not ever. Wrong is wrong, no matter what color you paint it, or how you try to spin it.

"I am against [controversial anti-piracy bills] SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act), because they limit people's freedom of expression and freedom of speech, not because they are trying to protect the rights of artists everywhere. I truly do hope that they re-write the legilation and get it right this time so that the music consumer can continue to have access to the music they love, at a reasonable cost, legally; and without censorship and restricting peoples freedom to express themselves on the greatest arena of free speech and expression in existence, the Internet."

16 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Not much of a Disturbed fan but I agree with a good deal of what he said. And damn, that was one long ass tweet!
    Yep. If fans are the biggest prize for band, they'll be against SOPA and PIPA. This is the real rock music f*ckers!
    Why couldn't this have been front page and not McKagan missing the entire point of the protests? UG likes to try to stir shit wayyyyy too much. Anyways, the elections should be Blythe vs Draiman. Don't really like either band, but these guys know how shit should be run.
    Wait - I agree with most everything he says except the bit about "digital file sharing making it harder for up and coming bands to survive and sustain themselves." Really? When I was coming up in the industry and sitting on dingy buses and crappy clubs, I'd have killed for the opportunity to just take my band's stuff, throw it on a website, and have thousands of people download and share and listen to it. That's called free exposure, and can have a DRAMATICALLY positive effect on your show attendance and your name being out there. The rest of the stuff he said I like - particularly the idea about having a small monetary increase to ISP prices in order to allow unlimited downloading.
    From what I've been watching over the past few year, here's basically how I see the internet and piracy have affected the music industry as a whole: Younger bands and artists that don't have the benefit of becoming successful through a show such as American Idol or by knowing someone in high places of the music industry have an advantage to free, worldwide promotion that wasn't available even 15 years ago. There have been a fair number of artists over the past few years that have had their popularity explode over YouTube and other social networks. I remember when Art of Dying was the band on Myspace sending friend requests to multiple people just trying to gain exposure. Now, they're one of the fastest rising new rock acts around. On the other hand, you're seeing a tremendous drop in album sales as compared to the past few decades. But when you think about it, this mainly affects the already established artists the most. Most of them already have a strong enough fan base that will support them through album and ticket sales regardless of how often their albums are pirated. Small bands are going to have a hard time selling records regardless if it's easy to file share or not. As much as I'm against the constant pirating of music, I don't think it really "ruins" the music industry like some artists claim. Its main effect is having huge artists only sell 200,000 - 1,000,000 copies of a record instead of selling multimillion copies. Bottom line, I'm not a huge fan of pirating music, but I believe the music industry can still continue with it. It will just continue in a different form than what everyone has been used to decades before the internet existed.
    I certainly wasn't keen on them beforehand, but after seeing them live, I didn't think it would be possible to have any respect for anything Disturbed-related. This guy just changed that. He has a logical viewpoint on all of this, and I really respect his perspective.
    Not amassive Disturbed fan but he is right on the money here and agree with pretty much everything he said.
    This is so true, thanks disturbed I will pass this around to everyone I can..... Everyone should stop getting there crap free and just pay 10 bucks a month at rhapsody, great deal you can have music on your ipod and cell phones now days people don't use cd's anymore I just plug my ipod or cell phone in to my cd player.
    @TremontiAddict I totally agree with what you said. While downloading music online for free isn't necessarily moral. It does get an artist's name out there. But just putting music online won't help you gain fans touring and playing gigs helps you get fans regardless how well or little known the band is. As for David Draiman he hit the whole issue right on target.
    Wow someone with a decent idea on how to counteract file sharing, nice to see a suggestion like this from a "well known" band. Whether or not his band agrees with him o well, but I think he has the right stance.
    SOPA is pretty much the music industry against the movie industry, the music industry dont mind that people are downloading their music, while the movie industry care because they only care for how much money they make, I say FUCK SOPA!!