It is completely understandable that artists resent their intellectual property being pirated. As it is, the majority of the money made from their music goes to publishers, record labels, agents and/or managers, leaving the performers with a small piece of the pie. So when pirates chip away at their earnings even more, frustration can boil over to anger.
But artists need to take a strong lesson from Carol Kaye: know your rights before you throw your legal weight around Zoogle. Kaye, who turns 75 on March 24, is a legendary studio musician and was one of the few professional female bass guitar players of her generation. She has taught guitar for fifty years and has written several books on how to play the guitar.
When Kaye discovered that some of her sheet music and courses are available on various torrent sites. There is no shame in not knowing the infrastructure hierarchy of the Internet or understanding how copyright applies to this new medium. What’s not excusable is remaining ignorant and waging a misguided fight against digital piracy. While there can be little argument that piracy of copyrighted material is both illegal and immoral, you cannot blame technology.
At one point, Kaye announced that she had filed a complaint against Google with the Federal Trade Commission for allowing illegal downloads thehiltonian. That would be like trying to blame Ford for making the getaway car used in a bank robbery. Technology is agnostic; how individuals use that technology is not the responsibility of Google or any other search engine. That is true of any technology that has other valid uses.
This was the heart of the issue when Sony sued Betamax, claiming video tape machines were being used to illegally copy shows and movies that were broadcast on television. The Supreme Court rules in favor of Betamax and part of the ruling centered on the fact the VCR’s had legitimate uses that superseded any illegal activities engaged by individuals. The same logic applies to copier machines.
But Kaye didn’t stop there. She went after a blog site that covers torrent news and accused it of infringement, apparently believing that writing about torrent sites was equivalent to offering illegal files for download. And she followed up that belief with a torrent of her own – a diatribe against the blog site.
The unfortunate aspect is, instead of drawing attention to the real problem of piracy, Ms. Kaye has herself become the focus, and not in a good way. So before any artist starts tossing legal threats, they need to make sure the go after the actual infringers and refrain from shooting the messengers or innocent bystanders.
For most of the recording artists and bedroom producers, ultimate goal is to make their music famous. Successful online music promotion campaign is a required. Music needs to reach people online all over the world. Nonetheless, it is not an easy task to acquire because the usual places like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks are crowded for artists and producers trying to promote their music even though they ARE indeed effective channels for music promotion.
However, there are other channels for online music promotion as well. I’m talking about the P2P networks. Yes, these channels have unfortunately increased the music piracy via illegal downloads which has almost brought the record industry to it’s knees. Despite the popularity of iTunes and other legal music downloading services alike, masses of people do download their music from P2P file sharing sites.
So, with that being said, why not try to leverage the power of P2P networks to your advantage and promote your music using these file sharing networks? In other words, upload a short preview or a whole song to a torrent site or other file sharing site. Of course, before doing that, you must make sure you hold all the rights to your track and are allowed to upload it. Also, you must prepare your song first.
- Attach a.txt file in addition to your song itself where you tell people to visit your website for more info about you or your music and pack it with Winrar. Or add your website or YouTube URL to your song MP3 file info.