Somebody out there is hacking into music sites, downloading complete releases and then systematically uploading the music to several free file hosts.
And then, finally, re-publishing the music on every conceivable warez music site and special interest forums linking to free file hosts offering (my) albums, tracks and what not for free download. Is this an artists nightmare or is it an opportunity for (underground) fame?
Do you recognize the pattern? I’m sure you came across this problem if you like me, are producing and recording music that you publish on the web. It can be quite damaging for self esteem and moral. Especially after spending months and sometimes years to achieve the supposedly exciting grand moment for publishing only to realize that within days one is totally ripped of the possibility to remain the exclusive publisher of ones own music.
And for the record Part of the publicity used by Qubenzis Psy Audio is to give away loads of music for free. As a matter of fact we really do believe in that music should be more or less free, at least initially. Then people can take the decision if they want to sponsor their favorite artists by investing in anything from CDs and exclusive high quality downloads down to concert tickets and T-shirts.
However, malicious ripping of complete music products prevents the artist from taking advantage of being generous. And what I’m referring to here is highly organized (crime) since my to albums where found on the free file sharing hosts mentioned below with over 100 download links, and this within a short time span of a few days. That really sucks. Especially when knowing that many of the file sharing hosts collect emails and even admission fees from the artists fans. That is a wrongness by definition. And I’m sure the Megauploads.com scandal has to do with this sort of organization (admittedly I don’t follow that case).
A regular user or music enthusiast would hardly be able to pull off such a stunt. Especially the ripping part which demand some computer knowledge of how to crack open legitimate music hosts. Following the money trail the only party who has something to gain is the million member file hosts and illegitimate music distributors (I haven’t named any of them in this article).
I don’t mind if fans share their music files with real friends which I find quite different from uploading music to file hosts and sharing with thousands of people anonymously. Now there are so called affiliate schemes offered by some file hosts that indeed are encouraging people to create more paid memberships by offering download links (en masse). That’s when things start to go off the chart. This is from my point of view very wrong. I could write so much more about the actual responsibility that each one of us have to take for our own behavior. Does it feel right to literally rip off small time Bands and upcoming artists who basically are starving already? Once again, remember I’m talking about organized, larger scale activities here, not the regular user or fan.
I suspect that one of the legitimate music sites that have been hacked into quite frequently is http://bandcamp.com. I can’t be 100% sure about this but I have strong evidence since the files ripped where at the time uploaded only to their server besides my own (where I have fairly good control). Bandcamp is a music download and presentation website where many artists are encouraged to upload music in high resolution audio quality. Especially electronic music in a multitude of genres
I found out that most free file hosts have an abuse policy that can be used simply by sourcing the links and then send them the list for take down. Together with the links one should clearly state ones copyright claim as well as links to the original artwork. Now, after reading a bit on the methods used I realize that file hosts cheat as they (deliberately) won’t delete the actual files but only one or two of several links. However, by using the Google Alerts service and frequent manual searches I found 99% of all malicious links.
Here below I posted names of the hosts I’ve been dealing with. I want to thank the webmasters on the “nice” servers (see below) for being notably cooperative and hassle free. But don’t get me wrong, I don’t like them since they’re hogging on mine and others artists hard work. That’s why I built my own website where I can do the same thing but without leeching middlemen.
File Sharing hosts that took down links to my music without fuzz
- http://www.megaupload.net (offline due to legal problems)
“Evil” File Sharing hosts or music distributors
(though many more exist on the web…)
These guys refuse to answer my take down notice
(ignoring any attempt to communication… so far)
http://www.freakenergy.ru – Big site that specialize in electronic dance music. Here they don’t even have an email form or abuse contact information. Irritating is that they announce one album and EP of mine without any reference to the artist website and as well falsely write “no label” where the label info should be. Luckily the download links they offer lead to above mentioned hosts and are for the most part non functioning. Cool 🙂
http://www.idownloadbox.com – Doesn’t answer or act upon several requests for take down of unwanted links. Perhaps they simply are slow (due to thousands of similar requests) or they decided to keep the files going.
Bono once said….
“A decade’s worth of music file sharing and swiping has made clear the people it hurts are the creators…and the people this reverse Robin-Hooding benefits are rich service providers, whose swollen profits perfectly mirror the lost receipts of the music business.” said Bono in the “Opinion” columnNew York Times, January 2010
Final word to other artists
Create your own website with your own domain name. Offer your music for free from there. Also sell your music from your own site. Screw iTunes and other big time hoggers who live on the fact that you didn’t get your act together (they sell out your music and hardly give the artists anything for it).
Almost all so called “band sites” and “indie, we gonna help you” sites are fake and live exclusively on your inability to maintain your own website. The only external website needed would be certain genre oriented social networks (forums etc.) and regular search engines who will funnel people to your own domain name website. Internet offers the possibility for direct contact with your fans. Use it to your advantage.
Final word on legislation
I hear that Washington and other governments want harder legislation on copyright infringements (remember the SOPA and PIPA bill). Personally I don’t think that is needed. The Megaupload story confirm that existing legislation is more than sufficient. All it takes is to use the tools and people ready available in order to state ones legal claims.
If you don’t like #SOPA & #PIPA?
Then you’re gonna hate #ACTA (makes SOPA look like kindergarten). Sign & Share the @accessnow petition HERE!
As usual the Governments (the FED), not only in the US, are free-riding on all society problems (regardless) trying to wedge themselves in as some kind of noble helper. Nothing is further from the truth, as history proved again and again, since all they want is more control so they in their turn can “legally” violate our basic rights and freedoms. My tip is to carefully watch out for any and all Government “helpers” and keep ’em beyond smelling distance with a long stick.
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