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Do you steal music???

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Mar 31, 2005.

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  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I just picked up a book called "The Future of Music". Only read the first 15 or so pages but it got me really thinking. It's pretty much saying that in a couple of years selling music is going to be like trying to sell snow at the north pole, and the only way musicians are going to be able to profit from music will be through live performances (david bowie actually said that). It also says that there will be people who will fight it tooth and nail, and loose, and those that will go with the flow, survive, and perhaps come up with some great new ideas.

    I work in a school so I started asking my classes how many kids have bought a cd in the last year. Out of about 150 kids, 4 said they did. I asked how many ever bought a song off of itunes. They roll their eyes and look at one another. The attitude is generally that itunes is for the ignorant and the old. people who don't realize that music is free. they also, in 100% seriousness don't consider it stealing music. they believe they're sharing. jaywalking is more out of line than downloading music.

    anyhoo... i decided to throw in the towel and download kazaa. i figured i'm missing out on something great that's winning out anyhow, and my ethics are only shooting myself in the foot. so... as soon as i freaking download it my antivirus comes up with 3 viruses. didnn't even attempt to download a song, only kazaa. i tried my hand at "sharing" a couple of songs. most of what i wanted couldn't be flound. downloaded 2 songs thinking i'm going to learn some great basslines - they sound like crap? they distort and sound nothing like cd quality nor the quality of mp3s I've made on my own.

    i am not motivated anymore to play this sharing/stealing game. what's up with all this? what are your thoughts, and do you share/steal music?
  2. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Yes. Why? Because I support the artists. You've all seen the numbers, when albums get downloaded, Who sees 17 out of those 18 dollars? The industry. The men in suits who see in numbers and nothing else. When I go to a show of a band I support (as I do as often as I can, and often more than once), they see more of my money and more bands see my money. The BAND sees more of my money. I've no pity for the industry, I'm all for the artist.

    I hope people download my album, I hope people trade and exchange my albums, I hope people record my shows, video, audio, or otherwise, and then come to the show. I'd hope I'm not so disposable as to have one good song and then an album of filler.

    In that respect, do I steal music? Yes. Do I support artists? Yes. Do I support the music Industry? No.

    Is it stealing? Sure, I'll call a spade a spade. I've merely no moral compunctions against it in this instance.

    And joe? Kazaa is for weenies. eMule and Bittorrents.
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    my attitude is swinging more in your direction these days - BUT, what about indie bands? what about bands that are struggling on cd baby, myspace and so forth? do you believe you should give your music away to everyone? i'm not arguing either - genuinely curious? have you thrown the towel in on ever earning a living through cd sales?

    a women I play with's music caters to people in 30s to 60s and she's starting to earn a comfortable living through cd sales. she's an indie artist (with the backing of a label) but she still takes in a lot cash per cd.

    also - how come people don't miss the quality of cds? the mp3 downloaded don't even have the quality of casette tapes I used to make.
  4. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    I've seen this argument repeatedly and I personally think that it is used as a crutch. The fact is, over the past 25 years, the industry has witnessed a dramatic increase in indie labels and self-produced/self-released bands. Because of this fact, when you download artist's releases, you are often taking a sizeable amount of money out of the pockets of those who have no association whatsoever with the "evil corporations".

    Take a band like String Cheese Incident, for example. They created their own label, their own production company, their own merchandising entity and even their own travel agency. Simply put, they (as a collective entity) make a sizeable chunk o' change from each CD sold. Hardly you typical "corporate label" situation.

    I'm not telling you what you should or should not do - not my place. I'm simply attempting to convey some vital, oft-overlooked facts that affect a sizeable number of bands who could potentially be hurt more than one might think.

    As for me - I do not do it and I never have. My own choice and I've had every opportunity to download any number of lossless CDs on the internet. It's one thing to download LEGAL, band-approved bootleg shows (I do it all the time, and ONLY from reputable sites), but it's another, entirely to pirate a band's official release, especially when you consider the above considerations as well as potential impact on contractual sales obligations placed on the bands.
  5. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    No. I purchase cd's I like. Most of the stuff I enjoy is in the 9-10 dollar range anyway (occasionally cheaper), so if I tried to download it from iTunes it couldn't be that much cheaper. My experience with the "free" download thing is that I had to search way too hard to find weirder stuff and most of the time the quality was pretty bad.

    I do download live shows, now that I was led to a site that has a ton of high quality, free live shows (from bands with an allowed sharing policy). Though I probably would hesitate to download a live show from an artist that didn't support trading/sharing.
  6. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    I dont typically steal music by downloading, but I will copy CDs from friends on occasion. Usually harder to find stuff.

    As for downloading, I stick to legal stuff. I download from these two places almost exclusively:


    The former I use for live shows, the later I use mostly only for live shows I cant find on the other site, or for live DVD concerts that people put up there.

    What I personally see happening with those that survive in the music industry is people selling their CD's in digital format, without all the packaging and stuff, directly from the bands. At least, thats what Id like to see happen. I think this is one of the best things to ever hit the industry. I honestly would never buy a retail CD again if I could download all the music in a high quality digital format and burn my own discs of the music (ala Soulive). Saves the bands money in printing and pressing CD's and jackets, all the paper saved ect (I never keep the jewel cases anyhow), and the plus side that the money goes to the band as opposed to some major label company.
  7. Yes, I steal music. If you would like to, bittorrent is the way to go. Bit Tornado is the best client. Don't bother with the Kazaa's of the world.

    When I really like something I steal I actually buy the CD. Most downloads (unless live) are mp3 and lose fidelity. I also dig the artwork, liner notes, and such. Just bought Mars Volta-Frances the Mute and Radiohead-Ok Computer.
  8. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Yes, but as I said, I have no illusions that I'm stealing. I merely don't care, and tend to see the bands I enjoy live. The ones I don't enjoy? Well, I just steal from them as well.

    My apathy has been noted in the past.
  9. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
    I still buy CDs, but only from independent sources. Either indie shops around my home, or through mailorder. The difference between mailorder and mall shops is staggering.

    'Expensive' for mall/chain stores?:$18-$20

    'Expensive' for indie stores?: $13-$14

    Asian Man charges $8-$10 for their discs, Dischord does the same, Plan-it-X charges $5!!!! for full-lengths!!! GAH!!!

    Plus, I can get it all, from distros for cheaper and save on shipping. Ebullition, No Idea records, the list goes on!

    I don't really download music as much. I borrow and rip my friend's CDs to see if I like them (if I do, then I go out and buy the album). These are also usually CDs I wouldn't find online, or in commercial (or even indie) stores. People like D. Yellow Swans, The Pillows and Francoise Hardy.

    I also have access to my school's radio station's stacks. So I can go in there and find what I want and then rip it onto my computer.
  10. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    With iTunes, you're not really paying for music really. You're paying for convenience. a) kazaa does not have nearly as many songs as iTunes and they are not properly labeled b) the speed that you download is determined by who has the file you want, if it's obscure, forget about it, chances of you getting it quickly without wasting tons of time searching are slim to none c) over half of all files on kazaa have been reported to have some form of malware associated with them.

    The way I see it. There has been and always will be music pirates, in recent times however Music piracy became trendy. Once it became trendy we had an influx of so called music pirates, using napster, kazaa, limewire..etc. With the advent of legal downloading, music piracy is less popular now, and is starting to recoil back to where it was before it blew up.

    Yes, there are some places that will probably always foster illegal sharing of music, but on the whole, iTunes is popular now, people are actually PAYING to download things, because it saves them time, effort, and even money(relative to real CD stores)

    There is another side to this whole argument too. When you download music, you aren't really "stealing" per se. Instead, you are violating copyright, which is, an offense, to be sure, but it's not exactly stealing. The people that are hurt from downloading(with the exception of indie artists) are the record labels, because they own the copyrights, they own the distribution rights, they own the music, and pay the artists a pittance to do so. If you want to support your favorite artists, go see them live and buy a T-shirt. You'll be doing much more to fill their garage with expensive european cars than if you just buy their albums.

    As far as I'm concerned, for now, iTunes is the future of music(distribution) As long as there are record companies, it won't become like selling snow in the Arctic. Even if the record companies dried up and went out of business, online distribution with compensation for the artists, is still likely to stick around, with the fall of the industry, and the rise of independent music that can actually distribute *everywhere* over the internet, at minimal cost. MAybe people will actually respect the artists more.
  11. me too.
    I'm always checking the clearout sections in HMV and the Virgin megastore, and pick up dscounted CD's if they have songs I've downloaded and liked.
  12. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I have gotten music from Kaazza and Limewire and some of the music on my MP3 player is stolen but I just deleted all the stuff on my laptop and decided to go legit. I also did the same with software I downloaded. I had Cubase SX that I downloaded and a watered down version (Cubase LE ) came with the interface I just bought so I deleted my stolen version and it felt great.
  13. I only d/l live music from bands that allow live recording and the non-commercial sharing of their music. I use Bit Torrent to do this. Good thing I am a "jamband" fan because most of the bands that allow this sort of thing are "jambands," even though I can barely stomach that word. That does not stop me from buying CD's that I want. I have not tried the iTunes thing yet. I do my best to support the artists I like and would not steal from them.

    EDIT: FLAC files and SHN files are superior to lossy mp3's. If you want you downloaded music to last, go for the quality files.
  14. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA

    Hey Brendan,

    I'm not saying I disagree with you, nor am I saying that I agree, but the one argument I have about the big bad corporation would be:

    Do you drink Pepsi? Own Levi's? Shop at Walmart/Target? Use Microsoft software? Been to the Gap? Eat at McDonald's? Visited a Starbucks? Shopped on Amazon.com?

    I am against supporting large corporations that do business in highly unethical ways. So, I shop at local book stores, have a latte from the mom and pop cafe, buy my clothes from individually owned stores.

    I understand it's impossible to avoid all "big corporations," but if you're only avoiding the one, (record companies), and not making any effort to avoid the others, is that hypocritical?

    Just asking.
  15. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    To answer the question, I just simply like owning the CD. Downloading music holds no interest to me.
  16. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Yes I download music, but see it this way:

    I downloaded something by for example Polygon Window, an Aphex Twin alter ego thing. I really like it, therefor,I'm now on the lookout for this disk, and if I see it somewhere, there is a 99% chance I'll buy it. I download, and if I like it, I buy it, it's that simple. If I don't like it, I remove it from my pc, it doesn't matter, because I don't buy music I don't like.

    I've discovered great music that I would never have known off if it wasn't for downloading.

  17. You may want to check out downloading live music. There is much out there that can't be bought and it isn't all jam bands. It's fun to see what treasures you can dig up...like opening a present. Worth a look.
  18. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota

    All my stuff is legit as well. It is the right thing to do. Unfortunately, our morals put us in the minority.

    This counry is in a sad state right now when it comes to being responsible and moral and doing what's right, not what's easy, or cheap, or whatever.
  19. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central

    I don't see how morals comes into this. It isn't moral to place an artist into a compromising contract, deny them ownership of their work and pay a pittance to them in royalties (or none at all) while one become rich off someone elses work. Of course, it's also indicative of a larger problem where the industry basically engineers hits, rather than trying to sign good artists and let the hits make themselves (too risky) but that's a whole other can of worms.

    Stealing is stealing is stealing, and 2 wrongs don't make a right, but a wrong and a right don't make a right either.
  20. sambass


    Apr 15, 2003
    live music i download and share, its really pretty easy with all the torrent sites around, places like www.archive.org are really good too, and if you're into the jam stuff check out www.nugs.net
    other than that i dont usually download albums because I would need kazaa or one of those virus factories. I do copy cds from my friends sometimes. Lots of acts make most of their money touring, and record companies do make a lot of record sales.
    I would say 50% of my music collection is downloaded/copied
    and I would say 75-90% of that music is live

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