by Dave Segal
on Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 9:56 AM
The Trichordist has an essay on how shady web sites like The Pirate Bay, Demonoid, Iso Hunt, and others are exploiting musicians' work without compensating them. If you're a musician and/or you care about ethics and copyright, you should read the whole thing. Here's a key passage:
To the uninitiated, it might seem odd that what seems like a simple question of right or wrong is even being debated, but these sites that exploit artists are supported and promoted by faux civil liberty groups opposed to protecting creators rights — and internet giants are happy to throw their support behind them. Together, they have crafted a narrative of creator rights as quaint and outdated, offering artists a brave new online world where they can throw off the shackles of labels (or publishers, or studios, etc.) and give away their work to find fame and fortune. However, after a decade of half baked ideas, faulty business models, and outright lies, we know this is simply untrue. If the internet is working for musicians, why aren’t more musicians working professionally?
We may not always be fans of record labels, but at least the labels negotiate contracts, pay advances, market and promote artists, and are contractually accountable for wrong doing. However, the Artist Exploitation sites who are operating illegally and completely above the law are making 100% of the money from work created by musicians and artists. We would love to see the day when these sites license music legally, governed by fairly negotiated contracts.