Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy

How bad can piracy be? A Case Study involving Protest The Hero, Iron Maiden and Digital Summer.

The MPAA and the RIAA are trying their best to stop all file-sharing services. They still don’t realise that the moment they shut one down through legal action, several more appear in its place. 

The RIAA has shut down Napster, Kazaa and Limewire. The MPAA has gone to the ISP level, first trying to get verdicts that ISP’s facilitate copyright infringement, then trying to get personal information of ISP customers for copyright trolling lawsuits. When that got complicated, they resorted to getting blockades against certain websites. They have even resorted to using law enforcement agencies to shut down “rogue” websites (MegaUpload comes to mind).

So with all the activity going on, has file sharing ceased? Nope. Sharing still happens. 

I just went onto The Pirate Bay and typed in “Iron Maiden”. The discography is available for downloading and it is free. There are 840 seeders and 290 leechers. So is this illegal sharing of Iron Maiden’s music bad? Is it harming the band?

Okay, so Iron Maiden is a “big” band and they broke through in the Eighties on the back of the dreaded “Record Label”. People can argue that the impact of piracy to a band of Iron Maiden’s stature is minimal. In 2011, Iron Maiden played 33 shows and had total gross earnings of $33,085,671. Yep, that’s right, they grossed $33MIL. The band is still signed to a major label and they have full control of their merchandising deals.

They are on Spotify and “Fear Of The Dark” is leading the way with 16.74 million streams.

What about bands that where on a major label and are now classed as independent? I typed in “Protest The Hero” into The Pirate Bay search engine. Their 2011 album, “Scurrilous” is available for downloading and it is free. There are 64 seeders and 3 leechers. Their 2008 album, “Fortress” is available for downloading and it is free. There are 48 seeders and 1 leecher. So is this illegal sharing of Protest The Hero’s music bad?

Between January and February, 2013, Protest The Hero had a Indiegogo campaign with the following slogan: “Protest The Hero – New Album. We have completed all of our obligations to record labels. It’s time to go it alone and take control of our careers. It’s now or never!”

The goal was $125,000. By the time funding finished, the band raised $341,146. Yep, that’s right. They almost tripled their funding goal. All up 8361 backers.

What about independent DIY bands? I typed in “Digital Summer” into The Pirate Bay search engine. The discography is available for downloading and it is free. There are 12 seeders and 3 leechers. So is this illegal sharing of Digital Summer’s music bad?

In 2012, Digital Summer had a Kickstarter campaign to give fans the opportunity to contribute to the release of their next album (which ended up becoming Breaking Point) in exchange for cool incentives and it also helped the band raise the money they need to finish the album and market it nationwide THE RIGHT WAY. They had a goal of $25,000. They got 340 backers and raised $51,080.

So is this illegal sharing (12 seeders = 12 people) of Digital Summer’s music bad? Is it harming the band?

The band released “Breaking Point”, toured behind it and are now prepping an acoustic album.

The unbelievers would say that the guys from Digital Summer all hold down day jobs, so the RIAA must be correct in their viewpoint as artists are not making enough money solely from the activities in the music business.

If you listen to the stories from the RIAA, you would believe that piracy is harming everything to do with music and this is so far from the truth, it hurts just to think it.

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