Saturday, November 24th 2007

Independent Artists Benefit From 'Piracy'

While government agencies such as the RIAA and CRIA seek to shut down every pirate search engine in existence, they also seek to "educate" the public. If you listen to the RIAA, piracy is an amoral crime, and should be treated like any number of other heinous crimes. Internet Service Provider Comcast has even gone as far as to filter bandwidth, preventing pirate software from working correctly in the first place. However, independent artists, who don't get five cents every time someone buys their song off of iTunes, benefit immensely from what we have come to know as 'piracy'.

The film The Man From Earth by Jerome Bixby had next to no advertising budget, and so almost nobody knew about it. That is, until someone boldly ripped a DVD and made it available as a torrent on one or two "piracy" sites. Since then, the movie went from the 11,235th most popular movie to the 5th most popular movie on IMDb, at one point beating such high-budget movies as Bee Movie and Lions for Lambs. While the ratings for The Man From Earth have since dropped, the movie has still been seen by 23,000 people over the past 12 days. See "read full story" for the letter of thanks that torrent tracker RLSLOG.net got from the film's maker.

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Eric D. Wilkinson and I am the producer of a small independent film called “Jerome Bixby’s The Man From Earth” (our review).

I am sending you this email after realizing that our website has had nearly 23,000 hits in the last 12 days, much of it coming from your website. In addition, our trailer, both on the manfromearth.com site and other sites like YouTube, MySpace and AOL has been watched nearly 20,000 times AND what’s most impressive is our ranking on IMDb went from being the 11,235th most popular movie, to the 5th most popular movie in 2 weeks (we are also the #1 independent film on IMDb & the #1 science fiction film on IMDb). How did this all happen? Two words: Torrent / File Sharing sites (well, four words and a slash).

More specifically, RLSLOG.net. Our independent movie had next to no advertising budget and very little going for it until somebody ripped one of the DVD screeners and put the movie online for all to download. After that happened, people were watching it and started posting mostly all positive reviews on IMDb, Amazon and other places. Most of the feedback from everyone who has downloaded “The Man From Earth” has been overwhelmingly positive. People like our movie and are talking about it, all thanks to piracy on the net!

Am I upset… surprisingly no. Thanks to everyone who has downloaded this torrrent and watched the film, our awareness level is through the roof. For that I say, “THANK YOU”!

What you guys have done here is nothing short of amazing. In the future, I will not complain about file sharing. YOU HAVE HELPED PUT THIS LITTLE MOVIE ON THE MAP!!!! When I make my next picture, I just may upload the movie on the net myself!Source: The Inquirer
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21 Comments on Independent Artists Benefit From 'Piracy'

#1
Cold Storm
Battosai
wow, someone is thanking people on being pirates..!! There is a lot of things that make "piracy" good, and this shows it. The thing that I see a lot of is the fact that underground music artists ask the public to pirate their underground stuff in order to get hype and the ability to get a record deal. Then after the deal is done they know they can get their money and still does the underground stuff because of the fact that it was their fans that made them.
This article sounds just like that. You have a "Indie" film that has got great reviews because of the fact it was pirated. People are wanting more from them and hopefully are going to get it.
Posted on Reply
#2
Davidelmo
A lot of bands also don't seem to mind.. it's usually the record labels bitching and moaning

I saw a band recently who played some new (unreleased) songs and the crowd already knew the words.. the band were pretty happy about it. True fans will buy their CDs anyway, plus they make money from the tour and merchandise etc.

I'm not saying that downloading copyrighted material is moral, just or legal, but comparing it to walking into a shop and stealing a CD is absolutely ridiculous. Besides, the record company only lose money IF YOU WOULD HAVE BOUGHT THE CD IN THE FIRST PLACE.
Posted on Reply
#3
Cold Storm
Battosai
The person that got me really hyped about what he does is Chamillionaire. He tells people to go and bootleg his mixtapes but show him some love when the cd comes out. Never knew of a mainstream musician that tells people to do that to get his name out on the streets. Most try and make you buy the 8 dollar mix tape and go with it...
Record labels are and will forever be for the money on anyway that they see they can get it. They just don't get the fact that if a person can give a little to their fans then their fans will give A LOT Back!
I'm for the artist to get the money that they deserve, but they need to also give a little here and there... Its US who make the "Artists, or Bands"!
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#4
Davidelmo
Yeah - I saw Dream Theater in the UK about 2 weeks ago and the security guards at the venue were actually kicking people out for taking photos or video on their phones!!

I mean seriously... nobody is going to substitute GOING to the gig or buying the CD to watch some crappy, distorted, jerky phone cam vid on youtube!

Some kids wants to take a couple photos to show his friend.. so what? It's not damaging sales or anything else - it only damages the image of the band and the venue
Posted on Reply
#5
niko084
Small groups almost need things like piracy and mass "free" marketing to get a name out there.

If you really think about it on that level its just free marketing and market spread for small movie/music etc producers.
Posted on Reply
#6
Cold Storm
Battosai
by: niko084
Small groups almost need things like piracy and mass "free" marketing to get a name out there.

If you really think about it on that level its just free marketing and market spread for small movie/music etc producers.
Oh, yeah! It's marketing like that, that makes people want more... Free is all ways good! Free makes the world go round!
Posted on Reply
#7
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
Slightly off topic but still very similar...


There was this metal banned (i cant remember what their called) who really really loved their fans. & they loved them so much they wanted to release 2 different albums at the same time & give away another album for free...

Obviously their record label didnt like the idea so the band was dropped. after approaching a load of labels & telling them what they planned to do & getting turned down for all of them they started up their own label & gave the fans what they wanted. I cant even remember what the label was called, but I saw it on TV some time ago. maybe some people will reconise the band.

------

As a Dream Theater fan I think its f**king stupid that their throwing fans out because they are videoing or taking pictures of their show.

If my band would have fans like that who want to record some of our live shows why stop them? they only reason they botherd buying the tickets & turning up to the show was because they love us/you. having fans leave the gig happy with a 2 or 3 minute crappy quality clip which makes THEM happy as well as having proof that they were actually at the show instead of living with a bland ticket stub to show they were there.

who cares if its the quality of the video on the fans phone or whatever is crap. it makes them happy at the end of the day & it means theyve enjoyed the gig alot
Posted on Reply
#8
Davidelmo
by: FreedomEclipse


As a Dream Theater fan I think its f**king stupid that their throwing fans out because they are videoing or taking pictures of their show.

If my band would have fans like that who want to record some of our live shows why stop them? they only reason they botherd buying the tickets & turning up to the show was because they love us/you. having fans leave the gig happy with a 2 or 3 minute crappy quality clip which makes THEM happy as well as having proof that they were actually at the show instead of living with a bland ticket stub to show they were there.

who cares if its the quality of the video on the fans phone or whatever is crap. it makes them happy at the end of the day & it means theyve enjoyed the gig alot
Yup I agree.

Actually now that I think about it, even if the phone camera video quality was GREAT - I still don't see who would choose to sit at home and watch the video rather than see the live performance.
Posted on Reply
#9
Cold Storm
Battosai
A picture holds a thousand words, memories, and thoughts. I can understand if the camera was a 1000+ camera and recorder being the same, to kick them out, because they could sell it... but someones camera phone has no ability to even give good quality to pay off... Now, if you were doing it for a porn site, thats another story and another topic...
If we all went to the same "gig" and all talked about our great times there and how the band rocked then people will want to hear them, go and see them. We're what makes their whole world happen... You can be skilled at everything in the world, but its not until someone believes in you can you make your skills true.
Like what I tell everyone at work when they tell me I did a great job, thanks for this or that... "You helped me to help you do good."
Posted on Reply
#10
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
Seriously, I went to a Opeth gig & I had pics & videos taken on a Sony Ericsson K800i sure the videos were crap. & youd get better quality audio from the video if you flushed your head down the loo while listening to the radiohead but the pics on the other hand could be better but came out rather nicely.

I think with the Dream theater thing. If dream theater Offerd signed pictures of the gig I bet fans would actually say screw the phones when for a few quid you can get a signed photo
Posted on Reply
#11
Cold Storm
Battosai
I think the bouncer had a thing about taking pics.. I know there is people who are perves. And, I'm for them to be thrown out... But if its your favorite band, then you should be able to get something from it... Memories man, memories....
Posted on Reply
#12
Aguiar
Amoral , is the hudge amont of money and the lifeStyle of those who benefits from the legal sell of a product ... wile there´s so many poor people in the wordl...Long live those ROBIN WOOD...;)
Posted on Reply
#13
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
alot of music artists do this as well. It makes sense to get your name out there and be heard. If its good quality stuff, folks dont mind paying. P2P isnt the age of stealing, its sampling more likely.
Posted on Reply
#14
Woah Mama!
Yeah, they all love to use it to get their name out there for free. But once the money starts coming in they get the shits with it all because they loose " " this much a year that prevents them getting 2 Bentley GTs, they only have enough for 1.
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#15
FAXA
I'd have never heard of the band Midlake if it weren't for pirating. Went to one of their concerts the other day and loved it!.
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#16
newconroer
There's no justification for or anything 'good' about piracy.

If some bloke makes a film on a low budget, and cannot afford to mass market it, then too bad, that's life and such life will go on.

There's nothing stopping them from contacting film or music producers and companies by good ol fashioned mail, or the internet for that matter. Think about all those 'artists,' who made themselves popular back in the day before the internet?!!? They attended film festivals and played at clubs.


If this guy was smart, he wouldn't have put a price tag on his film initially; he would have released it for free, to gain popularity, THEN started charging.


Artists these days just lack determination and resolve. Personally I wouldn't have any interest in a producer or band if they can't be bothered to make a genuine effort to market themselves.
Posted on Reply
#17
Lopez0101
Well now he will market his films online, you can bet that especially after what he said.
Maybe more will follow his example, producers and bands alike and start doing more of the same. It's just taking them all a long time to realize that they can use the internet. The "piracy" scene isn't that large. I think the underground analogy of how bands used to get popular fits perfectly. But it can also be applied to a lot of other mediums as well.
Posted on Reply
#18
Sample99
I think newconroer is living in the past and has NO CLUE how the Entertainment industry works these days...
There's nothing stopping them from contacting film or music producers and companies by good ol fashioned mail, or the internet for that matter. Think about all those 'artists,' who made themselves popular back in the day before the internet?!!?
The way "Artist" made themselves popular back in the day would not and does not work in todays times like it once did. File share and being creative with next to no budget is a fact of life today.
Artists these days just lack determination and resolve. Personally I wouldn't have any interest in a producer or band if they can't be bothered to make a genuine effort to market themselves.
Since the Record Companies own many Booking Agencys as well the Venues (places to play) and Radio Stations it has become harder for new Bands to market themselves and actually do things the way they once did. There are those who do lack determination but also many who have more than enough determination but lacking Big Bucks.

The bottom line is the Industry continues to Grow on Greed and cares not about the artist or fans. Piracy has been a problem since day 1 in this industry (and its growing) and because of growing greed being used as an Excuse more times than less to cash in.

The overall issue is more complex and detailed than most here would understand so i will leave this comment based on the Jab at the "Artist" rather than the file share issue. Oh and I have been involved in this industry for 20+ years if that counts for anything. :)
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#19
Ketxxx
Heedless Psychic
Pirates are the good guys. If many people wernt so blind as to think whats forced down their throats they would see that themselves.
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#20
WhiteLotus
i can understand why labels get p*ssy about downloading and file sharing. think about it, labels make there money on CD sales, that money is not only to make themselves stinking rich but also to sign new bands, without the money they wouldnt be able to sign anyone and music would go down hill - word of mouth will never be that great and listening to a bands cd recorded literally in a garage isnt that good.

on the other hand pirates do well at spreading the word, and when i listen to something and i like it more times than not i go out and buy it.
Posted on Reply
#21
Ketxxx
Heedless Psychic
At the same time, live gigs get the recording artists huge amounts of money.
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