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Thread: It's okay to pirate a band's music if they're well-off enough

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    Default It's okay to pirate a band's music if they're well-off enough

    Agree or disagree.

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    I can say for sure that I don't bat an eyelid to downloading a Pink album (more of a "guilty pleasure" if I felt guilt for listening to any kind of music, and would never spend money on her - would go without listening to her before buying her albums), but any artist I TRULY love, I want to buy their stuff. However, nowadays my favorite artists aren't huge. That's not because I'm a hipster or anything, but because what gets huge is getting narrower and narrower, less interesting, less diverse, etc. Eminem is probably the biggest artist I'm genuinely into... I guess no, I don't feel bad about downloading his stuff.

    But the area is very grey. I want to buy the albums of bands like Cake, Arctic Monkeys, Regina Spektor, Vampire Weekend... not sure exactly how rich any of them are, but I respect them all enough that I genuinely think they deserve to my money, even if they don't get a whole lot off my purchase (I try to buy albums at shows, though - then they get a bigger cut).
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    Piracy is so 2000-and-late. I use Spotify; finally caved and got the premium version. It's almost like having the music in my library, and I can play it anywhere (I will still buy an album independently if I really like it). I used to be wary about whether the artists got paid enough from things like Spotify, but guess what? If they're not, they should probably get some better lawyers, because their music is on there and they ain't doin' nothin' about it.

    I do think the system by which consumers are supposed to blindly buy an album without hearing any of it except a single is way outdated, and I think any artists that obsessively keep their new music off of things like Spotify are behind the times. Someone usually puts it up, and I will find it. I don't download the music, I don't give it to my friends, I don't listen to it on my commute unless I like it. If I preview an album on Youtube and really like it, I'll buy it. If I just kinda like it, I may favorite the video. If I don't like it, I never listen to it again. Who's really losing anything by that?

    Generally, I don't pay any attention to how much money the artist makes one way or another, although I'm more likely to share music or buy merch from artists who aren't as well-off. And the very last thing I pirated before I stopped was the entire Beatles discography, because who really gives a shit about whether Paul and Yoko ever get paid again.
    Last edited by XYlophonetreeZ; 03-24-2014 at 10:10 PM.
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    When it comes to music piracy, it's not so much the artist that I'm worried about, but everyone else who goes into the production/distribution/marketing of an album. I feel like it's all those little people who get hurt the most from music piracy, so I always buy hard copies of albums I want to get. I end up with less music, but I get more time to appreciate a new album when I get it instead of just downloading an artist's entire discography and only listening to a couple songs.
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    is it true that obama may legaliz it?

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    I 'steal' first and when I think the record is good enough I buy. As easy as that.
    Bands benefit more when people go to their gigs or buy merch in the first place.
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    Quote Originally Posted by XYlophonetreeZ View Post
    Piracy is so 2000-and-late. I use Spotify; finally caved and got the premium version. It's almost like having the music in my library, and I can play it anywhere (I will still buy an album independently if I really like it). I used to be wary about whether the artists got paid enough from things like Spotify, but guess what? If they're not, they should probably get some better lawyers, because their music is on there and they ain't doin' nothin' about it.

    I do think the system by which consumers are supposed to blindly buy an album without hearing any of it except a single is way outdated, and I think any artists that obsessively keep their new music off of things like Spotify are behind the times. Someone usually puts it up, and I will find it. I don't download the music, I don't give it to my friends, I don't listen to it on my commute unless I like it. If I preview an album on Youtube and really like it, I'll buy it. If I just kinda like it, I may favorite the video. If I don't like it, I never listen to it again. Who's really losing anything by that?

    Generally, I don't pay any attention to how much money the artist makes one way or another, although I'm more likely to share music or buy merch from artists who aren't as well-off. And the very last thing I pirated before I stopped was the entire Beatles discography, because who really gives a shit about whether Paul and Yoko ever get paid again.
    Yeah spotify totally screws artists over (lots of the royalty checks are like 7 cents for 8,000 plays), and unless the artist is big enough, they can't afford good lawyers. The music ends up on Spotify whether or not the artist likes it if they're signed to a label, and all that's happening is more and more artists are dropping out of the music industry because they're not able to make a living off it.

    I agree that the system of having to buy an album after only hearing singles is outdated and awful. I do support music getting on the internet (lots of bands stream their new albums on their websites for fans to hear), but it genuinely bothers me that these days, so many people will call themselves a fan of an artist, but they don't actually support them at all. I read an article that the average Arcade Fire fan will spend a grand total of $6 something to buy music, merch, and tickets from them. Arcade Fire has the label backing and enough fans to make a living off it, but so many don't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Llamas View Post
    Yeah spotify totally screws artists over (lots of the royalty checks are like 7 cents for 8,000 plays), and unless the artist is big enough, they can't afford good lawyers. The music ends up on Spotify whether or not the artist likes it if they're signed to a label, and all that's happening is more and more artists are dropping out of the music industry because they're not able to make a living off it.
    Right. I'm surprised you said that, Mr.X. Not only is it an issue of having the money to get a good lawyer, but even then, that process only directly corrects an injustice for one band's case. This might help set a precedent of better pay for other bands eventually, but that's far from a guarantee that many bands will be adequately compensated for having their music on Spotify.
    Last edited by bighead384; 03-25-2014 at 11:16 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Llamas View Post
    Yeah spotify totally screws artists over
    The important question to ask is: Compared to what? It's not as though there was ever an alternative scenario that involved the populace of Spotify users reverting to the old-fashioned way of buying albums. A lot of the listeners they're targeting are people who would otherwise pirate all of their music. Even post-Napster, piracy is not difficult, but Spotify is slightly easier, and the free version makes money as well through ads. I've seen figures about what the artists make, and while they were low I don't think they were nearly as low as the figure you mentioned. Plus, the fact that they pay per play, rather than being a one-time purchase like on iTunes, necessitates a low number (I've heard .6 cents per song more commonly), but it can also work to an artist's advantage over the long-term.

    The lawyer comment that I made was dumb. With that being said, in a few years Spotify will have been around long enough that almost all of the record label contracts that existed before these types of services will have expired. It will be something that the labels and artists can go over transparently before they sign.

    Finally, it's sort of a socialistic model, and thus as Spotify grows in number of users, the revenue towards artists grows. I think more artists are going to warm up to it as it's pretty clear that music consumption is going in that direction, much as we've seen movies and TV warm up to Netflix. They're not gonna make '90s CD sales money, but it's getting better, not worse.

    I have some artist and producer friends who love Spotify. It's good for exposure as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by XYlophonetreeZ View Post
    The important question to ask is: Compared to what? It's not as though there was ever an alternative scenario that involved the populace of Spotify users reverting to the old-fashioned way of buying albums. A lot of the listeners they're targeting are people who would otherwise pirate all of their music. Even post-Napster, piracy is not difficult, but Spotify is slightly easier, and the free version makes money as well through ads. I've seen figures about what the artists make, and while they were low I don't think they were nearly as low as the figure you mentioned. Plus, the fact that they pay per play, rather than being a one-time purchase like on iTunes, necessitates a low number (I've heard .6 cents per song more commonly), but it can also work to an artist's advantage over the long-term.
    It's better than pirating, but that doesn't make it better than buying the CD from the band. I try to buy CDs at shows or directly from the band's online shop - they still get a greater portion of that than what they get from Spotify. I have a friend whose job is issuing royalty checks to artists and even he says Spotify is profiting more off artists' work than the major labels do.

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    Just look at the check that was sent to Cracker - $17 for over a million listens? 50,000 listens are needed to make the equivalent of ONE album sale??

    Finally, it's sort of a socialistic model, and thus as Spotify grows in number of users, the revenue towards artists grows. I think more artists are going to warm up to it as it's pretty clear that music consumption is going in that direction, much as we've seen movies and TV warm up to Netflix. They're not gonna make '90s CD sales money, but it's getting better, not worse.
    Socialistic? Quite the opposite, rather. All it's doing is adding one more company (Spotify) to scrape off the top and leave the actual artist with even less. A socialistic model would probably involve a government program making sure all the artists make enough money and not allowing any of the companies like Spotify to earn too much or exploit the artists.

    It's good for exposure as well.
    Exposure is great, but:

    Quote Originally Posted by jsmak84 View Post
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  10. #10
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    I'm a CD guy, but if I'm not a fan of the band prior, I normally listen to more of their stuff, mainly Spotify because of convenience. If something is really good, I'll get the CD. In rare cases, I'll only make a few downloads on iTunes (I rarely make large purchases on iTunes, and have a lot of money just sitting there).
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