Let’s be clear from the start. People who share music on the Internet actually buy more than those who don’t. The music library of the average music fan may have expanded a bit in the last decade thanks to file-sharing, but in the same time the number of sales have also skyrocketed.
Despite this, there will also be labels that perform badly for unrelated reasons. How convenient is it then, to blame evil file-sharers for your disappointing results. The Finnish hard rock label Lion Music is doing just that, with rather dramatic consequences.
Because of all the stealing and looting by Internet pirates, the label has decided not to sign any new acts until politicians have found a remedy.
“We are NOT able to sign more artists. No demos or masters you send us will be considered for release. We will NOT listen to any mp3 files or check out your websites and we will NOT respond to questions regarding releasing your album,” the label’s bosses write on their website.
“The illegal file sharing on the net is killing independent music. We are sorry about this situation but we are sure you are aware of what is going on,” the dramatic rant continues.
“Our demo policy will not change before our politicians have stopped the P2P sites. Illegal file sharing is not just about stealing from rich major companies. It is about killing independent music and making it impossible for many great musicians to have a chance to release albums and have a musical career even as a part time job.”
“Next time you consider downloading an album for free or adding new torrents please think of the impact you are having on the artists – would you like it if we came into your home and stole your pay check?”
The label’s bosses then go on to show various statistics of how many times the albums of their artists were pirated though an unnamed BitTorrent site, arguing that these downloads are responsible for their disappointing results.
To add to the drama the label has asked their musicians to write up their thoughts on piracy in a section called “The Murder of Music.”
One of the artists that penned up his thoughts on piracy is guitar hero Borislav Mitic. Mitic is just as gentle in his commentary as the label’s bosses.
“Just because you CAN download music for free today on the Internet doesn’t mean you SHOULD,” he writes. “You CAN also beat up an old lady on the street and steal her pension from her wallet … but somebody CAN beat you up too and do the same to you. Would you like this?”
According to Borislav, illegal downloading will lead to a “society of filthy, wild savages.” To those people who dare to continue stealing through BitTorrent sites he adds, “the blood will be on your hands…”
Those who have the courage to read the rest of the artist entries will be amazed at the hostile tone towards the readers, who they assume are pirates.
Don’t get us wrong. Despite research that points in the opposite direction, it could be that piracy is hurting the sales of Lion Music. But even if this was true, their way of bringing the message across is not going to help their cause, it will only alienate the fans.
A label taking completely the opposite stance, embracing both file-sharing and their fans, is Thorny Bleeder Records, who have just released the second volume of their free download series. Entitled Get Thorny 2, the album features new music from seventeen independent Canadian artists. (link to torrent on Mininova)