Record Label Boss Responds to Warez Allegations

Earlier this week we reported on a record label boss’s surprising past. Sumerian Records chief Ash Avildsen, who had recently carried out a BitTorrent-related hoax and had called out others for downloading music without permission, turned out to be an warez pirate in his youth.

Avildsen sent his response to the allegations to The Gauntlet heavy-metal blog, the site which first revealed his piratical past.

Here it is in full:

Dear Jason @ The Gauntlet,

Congratulations on bringing traffic to your site by exploiting my name and childhood. I like the House of Blues Ad you have there next to my name. Yes, from ages 11-15 in the days of dial-up modems, BBS and IRC, before cell phones and websites, I pirated PC video games. I also stole cigarettes from convenience stores when I was 13, but later realized smoking cigarettes were bad for my health and that stealing is stupid. Care to do an article on that?

In reference to you quoting my comments on torrent site owners who sell ad-space on their pages yet don’t pay the bands they’re stealing from: your point makes no sense. Those torrent sites make big bucks off the advertisements sold from the internet traffic of illegal music downloading.

You know as a fellow old school warez guy that we risked our freedom and did it for the thrill and the online community. None of us ever made a penny from being in to warez. As you know, it was an underground subculture of certain people from all around the world, ahead of their times in technology, working together.

Most access was invite-only to get on the FTP sites & IRC channels and you had to do your part in the scene to enjoy the benefits of it, I.e. Far from being a lamer going to google and typing in what you want to steal before it’s available to the general public. Razor 1911 was about being superstars, not jobbers.

Regardless, I am not 13 years old anymore and I do not condone stealing. I think stealing any art is bad, whether it is a book, music, video games or a painting. I think stealing is especially disgraceful when it’s from struggling independent people, e.g. A mom and pop operated neighborhood small restaurant or an underground touring musician trying to build a career.

Thank you for your complements on your site and thanks for publicly agreeing that music piracy is bad. Good to hear from you dude, even if it’s by this. You live in California, don’t be a stranger.


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