There’s a post on a tech blog from 2009 following The Pirate Bay guilty verdict titled “Paul McCartney’s Confused About The Pirate Bay” that truly illustrates how many internet consultants and tech blogger’s appear feel about musicians. The comments responding to Sir Paul McCartney speaking about the Pirate Bay verdict show just how much these people don’t seem to understand musicians.
In this one post we see all of the major anti-artists talking points that Silicon Valley interests still use against creators in a disinformation campaign that is over a decade long:
– artists are easily confused about the internet and technology
– artists don’t know what’s best for them (let the “consultant” help you!)
– artists can get paid, but as long as its not via a “government mandated tax” ie, copyright (!?)
– artists shouldn’t be able to live off of one song (royalties), ie you must sing for your supper every night
– artists only ever made money from major label deals (which also seems to contradict labels don’t pay)
– the pirate bay (and the like) is just a tool for promotion that rewards artists who embrace it
– the pirate bay verdict of guilty was/is unfair
In the post Paul McCartney is accused of being confused about a verdict that sentenced four men to jail for operating a business that illegally distributed artists work, without compensation to the artists themselves. The Pirate Bay is a tool of exploitation against artists and Paul McCartney was not confused about this fact.
Let’s get a few things straight.
Piracy is NOT Promotion.
Exploitation is NOT Innovation.
Copyright is NOT Censorship.
In any value chain where the creators work is monetized, the creator should have the right to consent and the ability negotiate compensation. In a true free market either party can walk away if an agreement can not be reached. The Pirate Bay, however was and is an illegally operating business that does not respect the rights of individual artists.
We also find it interesting that the suggestions most frequently given to musicians to “get paid” in the internet era are actually all the same ways artists historically have gotten paid prior to the internet.
Here’s a brief recap of what these so called “business experts” and “internet technology consultants” see as the “new” models for artist compensation… Ready, set, go!
– Touring… existed BEFORE the internet
– Merchandise (T-Shirts)… existed BEFORE the internet
– Film/Sync Licensing… existed BEFORE the internet
– Sponsorships/Endorsements… existed BEFORE the internet
In conclusion, it appears that it is the tech bloggers and internet consultants who are confused about musicians, the internet and piracy. Musicians on the other hand seem to be very clear about these issues.
When it comes to issues of artists rights, we’d rather be with Paul McCartney.
2 thoughts on “Internet Consultants Are Wrong : Confused About Musicians, The Internet and Piracy”
It’s also worth noting that the pirate sites are hampering artists attempts to adapt to new Internet strategies. I could decide to give away material in exchange for free tracks (or whatever). Thing is: the pirate sites monopolise the search engine rankings, grab all the advertising revenue and so effectively make any of my (and for 98% of artists and songwriters) attempts at either monetisation or outreach/promotion completely useless. Whatever sophistry can be used to describe piracy at this level as promotion or whatever is entirely irrelevant when the reality is that the market has been handed to people that own nothing and pump the machine dry before the actual creators and/or owners are given a chance.
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