Over the last few days, an anti-piracy video produced by MIPI – Music Industry Piracy Investigations – and circulated around every high school in Australia, has been grabbing a few headlines. The 10 minute video which is designed to be easily spread around the internet, was apparently supported by many Australian artists with Lisa Origliasso of the Veronicas saying: “The problem with downloading obviously is that it’s ruining our industry in a way, because I mean you know artists just aren’t making money, record companies aren’t making money from it.”
Other artists supporting the project include Powderfinger, Silverchair, Jimmy Barnes, Operator Please, Gyroscope, Dawn Collective and punk band, Frenzal Rhomb.
Actually, to say that Frenzal Rhomb support the video is not exactly true. Their guitarist, Lindsay McDougall, is not a happy man this morning as he tears into the music industry, claiming he was “duped” into appearing in the video.
McDougall, who is also a presenter on radio station Triple J, told SMH that he was furious at being “lumped in with this witch hunt” and that he had been “completely taken out of context and defamed” by the Australian music industry. McDougall was told that the video was all about surviving as an Australian artist and no-one told him it was part of an anti-piracy drive.
He said: “I have never come out against Internet piracy and illegal downloading and I wouldn’t do that – I would never put my name to something that is against downloading and is against piracy and stuff, it’s something that I believe is a personal thing from artist to artist.”
McDougall goes on, stating: “I would never be part of this big record industry funded campaign to crush illegal downloads, I’m not like [Metallica drummer] Lars Ulrich. I think it’s bullshit, I think it’s record companies crying poor and I don’t agree with it.”
Echoing the words of many artists in recent times, McDougall decries the methods of the record labels, in that they are the ones making all the money and still complain about what they see as a lack of revenue, even though they failed to adapt to the digital age:
“I’m from a punk rock band, it’s all about getting your music out any way you can – you don’t make money from the record, the record companies make the money from the record. If they can’t make money these days because they haven’t come onside with the way the world is going, it’s their own problem.”
Sabiene Heindl, general manager at MIPI said they were very clear in indicating where the video originated and that it would be distributed to schools, but clearly McDougall is still concerned about his image being sullied by association.
“I don’t think i’m going to sue anyone but I would say that already this morning people’s opinion of me has been lowered,” he said. Not now you’ve set the record straight Mr McDougall.
Coincidentally, TorrentFreak has recently been in touch with a punk outfit who are embracing the power of the digital revolution and BitTorrent in particular. CEO Nick Vivid of MegaPlatinum.net said of their fledgling “Spread This!” BitTorrent network : “We are really enjoying the ability to embrace the punk aesthetics of ‘Do it yourself’ and ‘Call for Change’ – our aesthetics – with this system. There’s an amazing amount of chaos in the record industry. This total deconstruction of the system is exactly what helps us thrive. Our bands feed off of that energy, just as we do.”
Commenting on this situation, Nick told us: “It’s funny how organizations with intimidating names and non menacing acronyms will use deceptive means to warp the words and ruin the reputations of people like Lindsay McDougall – people who have a certain amount of credibility they’ve worked hard to get – in any way possible so that it fits their agenda. More sad proof that a large part of the music industry doesn’t care about the artists or the fans. It’s something else entirely they’re after. I’m surprised Australia let such propaganda in the schools. Microsoft recently proposed something similar in the USA. Thankfully enough people in our educational system saw the ridiculousness of the idea and squashed it.”
Stay tuned for an interview soon.