Piracy in ITM - How big is the problem?

Piracy in ITM - How big is the problem?

Hi all

In terms of the music industry as a whole, there has been much talk about the affects of piracy on CD sales and where it has had an enormous impact on the more popular musics through illegal downloads and people copying disks etc…, I would like to find out to what extent piracy affects the genre of ITM.

I wont or perhaps can’t be so bold as to ask you what percentage of your own CD collection has been illegally acquired but I would be very grateful to hear your opinions and observations of other peoples collections. I also think that it goes without saying that all people/friends mentioned should remain anonymous!

Finally, do people burn copies of albums because they’re just too expensive?

Many thanks for your comments and I’ll look forward to reading them!

Martin T.

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Re: Piracy in ITM - How big is the problem?

Piracy is a big problem when there’s big money involved. I don’t think that there’s that much money in trad recordings. I doubt that many people have gotten rich off of folk recordings.

That said, I think it’s a bit disrespectful to burn a whole CD to avoid buying it. People who have gone to the trouble to put out recordings ought to get some compensation if people like them, even if it isn’t very much money.

For the record, I’ve bought all of my CDs. But I can afford to, so it’s easy for me.

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At a guestimate I buy between 5 and 15 cd’s a month. I also take out CD’s from the library .
I grew up on tapes copied from tapes.
What percentage of a CD’s sale price goes to the musician? costs and the company?
To my mind, we can only answer for ourselves. If we can afford to, then buy the CD’s. If we cant, does that mean we should’nt enjoy the music?

The whole planet is shifting through massive changes. Paradigms shifting . We as musicians need to move with the times or get left behind.

In the old days of recording it was normal for a muso to be paid a set fee for the recording, everything else went to the company.
nowadays folk like Bobby Gardiner, Tommy Peoples make home recordings and distribute them them selves.
What money is to be made anyhow?

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I don’t think piracy is much of a problem, but Americans buying CDs from Ireland is quite expensive. Even with VAT removed, the initially high prices, exchange rate, and shipping can make ordering a single CD cost $25-30.

At this point, I won’t buy a physical CD from overseas anymore and buy only on iTunes or emusic, which both have quite extensive catalogs. I bought new albums from Nuala Kennedy, Lau, Tony DeMarco, Aoife Granville, North Cregg, and others just in the past few months.

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“ ~ what percentage of your own CD collection has been illegally acquired ~“? ~ martin t

None!!!

“I don’t think that there’s that much money in trad recordings. I doubt that many people have gotten rich off of folk recordings.” ~ Screetch

Even less so because of piracy, which is sadly rampant in our realms and has been for years, even before things went digital. Some really fine small recording companies have collapsed and gone under, in part because of the anarchy of an idea that piracy is O.K. where this music is concerned. It’s ‘folk’ music, the ignorant and inconsiderate might want to chant.

Alright, one tune, to learn or to whet someone’s appetite to take interest and buy the full recoding, I wouldn’t twist about that ~ but it doesn’t end there. I am happy to say we are a piracy free house, and that includes all music, whatever the label, big or small, and software too. We just don’t. I don’t or won’t preach it to others, unless they make the mistake of offering me a pirated copy of something. It’s happened, even with one bozo offering us the complete pirated works of someone we knew and had worked with. That bit of brown nosing failed miserably for the twit…

Where an item is long unavailable and not likely to be back in circulation, again, I don’t see a serious crime, though, as the law has it, it is still considered illegal. I also don’t see a crime in having a fragment to learn from, but again, that’s still technically illegal.

I have too much respect for the tradition and the bearers of it, those living and struggling to make a livelihood from it, including researchers and compilers and those that put in the hard work to clean up old 78s, to rob them through pirating their hard work and effort, by p*ssin’ on their passion… Excuses can always be imagined and drummed up. For me, having worked with some of these people, musicians, folklorists and small recording studios and companies, however small their gain for their great efforts, I’m not about to screw them out of it…personally speaking…

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I am genuinely flabbergasted at how many of my CDs have been gifts from friends. Bought and paid for on the up and up, then given to me. Always a welcome and appreciated gift, and I’m glad to see the money going to the artist.

That said, I tend to listen mostly to non-commercial field recordings of sessions and people playing in their kitchens, many of which were also gifted to me.

Back in the day, I learned a lot of tunes off the radio.

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mcdevincabe. I buy quite a lot of CD’s from the states…. Its often cheaper. They have stuff thats hard to get here. I generally only but old stuff though, remastered from the 70’s etc.
My point though earlier was that often times the musician gets next to nothing from a cd sale.

Whether its right or wrong , like tax, we have to live with it. [everyone pays their tax right?]

But what about all those old tapes ? illigal, I suppose so, immoral? I dont think so. Its not like there was a choice, buy the cd or copy the copy. there was no choice, who even knew who was playing on the tape? not me. It was listen to a copy or nothing.
I spent A year and a half in North Africa. Almost the entire music available was bootleg. A 15£ cd is completely unavailable to a great percentage of the people [thats 2 days wages for labouring.]
, Should they listen to nothing because they cant afford it?

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I’ve bought tons of trad cds over the years, most at full price. People have given me a few copies of cds that they burned and I have returned the favor on occasion. This has only been in the last few years. And yes, it’s because the cds I want are just too expensive. I refuse to pay anywhere from $18 to $25 for a cd.

Unfortunately, this has meant that I just don’t buy cds anymore unless I can get them for $12 or under.

Which is worse? Having people burning cds and getting your music listened to or having people just not buy them because they can’t afford it?

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Ive bought hundreds of CDs - but I do have a few (maybe 10 or so) burned copies, It depends on certain things, if I like the CD - I will buy the original. If I hate it - I wont. Also there are some CDs that are really hard to come by these days. Fisher St being one, so sometimes you have to get a burned copy or you get nothing at all.

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Same here, I buy a whole bunch of CDs, including lately, If The Cap fits (Kevin Burke) which cost me a fortune, given that it must have been the only copy left on the North American continent. But I always refrain from burning CDs.
Besides, I love reading those liner notes, you know, the kind of stuff you read sprawled on your sofa, eating chocolate. Liner notes would actually deserve their own thread. They can be a lot of fun…
But as the owner of a public establishment where I play a good amount of Trad (some would say inordinate), I am breaking the law by playing my own CDs for the benefit (or the exasperation )of my customers. I am supposed to subscribe to a piped-in music service, with royalties going to the musos, but of course, there’s nothing I like in the stuff they offer.
Countless times, I have written down the titles of CDs for my customers. The Mulcahy Family, Matt Molloy, you name it. Stuff they woudn’t probably have been exposed to otherwise, and I have always refused to burn a CD. Just an observation.

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I very rarely burn ITM CDs for myself, prefering to support the musicians; especially local musician that I know. I also think it’s a generational or age thing: my 13 year old downloads music from the web without much thought of compensating its authors, it’s an economy that’s just outdide of his reality. I am still caught up in wanting the object, with the graphic and written content. Surely the music industy will adapt to this situation, eventually. I bought a copy of your CD Martin; wouln’t think of pirating it!

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This whole piracy thing has made me rethink the role of the CD in my life. I rarely buy CDs any more unless it is directly from the artist or from a musician collaborative of some sort. I not downloading music either, What I use to spend on CDs (and records) I now use to attend live music. Local stuff for the most part as the national touring groups are expensive in their own right. I find that local contra dances, Irish dances, Scottish country dances can provide some wonderful music. And it helps to keep musicians I know and respect employed. Musico is about big stuff, big venues, loud music, the economies of scale, and music is really a small, personal kind of a thing when compared. Live music sounds better, and I enjoy it more, I get to dance, and it leaves me more time to play music.

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I’ve bought just about all of my trad cds (more than 100), but I don’t have a problem lending them to friends, who would never have heard of a lot of this music anyway, so in a way, I’m creating demand where there was none, and possible future customers. Oh, and then I buy cds as gifts as well.

My cd-buying habit has slowed since the advent of YouTube, however. There is so much great music you can get on the Internet for free these days—and many times it’s live footage that you can’t get on a cd anyway.

One of the reasons I don’t have ethical problems with cd burning is that I’m a very active supporter of live music. If there is a good trad act in town, I’m there, usually with at least 3 or 4 of my friends, who also buy cds at the event. Professional musicians don’t have to worry about making a profit where I’m concerned.

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Piracy in ITM?? LOL! Give it away. You want exposure? The more tunes in iPods the better. You want to make money off sales… Join the club. It’s the modern world lads and lassies. C’est la vie.

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Re: Piracy in ITM - How big is the problem?

One of the paradigms that are shifting is the concept of advertising supported “free” music. Much the same as free to air television - you don’t pay directly to watch your television programs, but you watch the advertising in the ad breaks. That’s what pays for your show. The same will apply to music very soon. A cut of the advertising revenue will go to the artist from online suppliers. Artists can simply register their work with the service.
CDs will be around for a while, but are going the way of audio tapes (and dinosaurs probably).

You will also be able to get a subscription service too of course, like iTunes.

Qtrax is a free ad-supported site that is apparently going live next week.
www.qtrax.com

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I know that my teacher has always been burning CDs and lending out CDs for his students - he believes that people should have the music, period. It’s an expensive proposition to have what you really need, and for me, that’s a core of at least Star Above the Garter, Sliabh Luachra Fiddle Master, Kerry Fiddles, Music from Sliabh Luachra, Kitty Lie Over - that’s already 5 CDs at $15 apiece for a $75 “learner’s permit” as it were, and at least the Denis Murphy solo CD I believe is out of print. Of those 5 CDs, I got 2 from him, 2 from another musician, and 1 I bought myself, and that’s about the ratio of my music in general: the vast majority comes from the artists themselves, or from friends who similarly got it for free.

–DtM

Re: Piracy in ITM - How big is the problem?

I was once attacked in a session by a one-legged man carrying parrot …

Re: Piracy in ITM - How big is the problem?

a parrot

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Preferred the first version : one legged ‘man carrying’ parrot — nice image !!!

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Did it peck off more than it could chew ?

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In my youth I did tape a lot of performances. I’m not at all apologetic. I also bought lots of the same artists’ commercially availible material, so they certainly weren’t denied revenue from me; but I always reckoned the live stuff had a magic that transcended the recordings.
There are good arguments that The Biz always creamed off a vast percentage and fed the artists, who should have been the raison d’etre, peanuts. It may be that the new processes of music distribution coming in will eventually lead to a better distribution of the revenues.
But definitely show respect - if someone sells you a cd at a gig, don’t burn off copies for all and sundry. Play it to people, yes, but tell them to get their own. That’s how the guy is making his/her money these days.

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That’s right, gp. Or just go to a legal free download site that has ads and pays the artist. That’s probably easier than copying damn CDs and looks after the artist as well.

Otherwise we will end up listening to computer generated tunes or midi files!

(Illegal download sites can also get your computer fried by viruses I understand.)

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Yes there is a major problem with piracy in the music industry as a whole but record companies/bands have sussed that the real money is in the live shows now. For example tickets for Prince in Dublin were 140 euro (for the good section). When you think the stadium capacity was 62,000, that certainly helps to recoup some of the losses due to piracy. (The little toerag went and cancelled in the end though)

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Maybe it’s worth thinking a few moments about your favourite distributors, especially the US ones who squeeze the artist either by paying only $7 to $9 dollar per copy of a CD, leaving it to the artist to take care of the cost p&p out of that or only work on ‘sale or return’ basis, leaving it again up to the artist to chase after them to finally get paid (they certainly won’t volunteer a payment once a batch is sold out). And then there are the shops and distributors who order CDs but fail to pay full stop.

Custy’s, in my experience, is by far the most fair on the people who produce the CD. They give a fair price and they don’t give any hassle. I have dealt with Claddagh as well and they don’t mess you about either.

Maybe it’s also good to realise most Traditional CDs are independently produced, the artists putting up all the money and putting in all the work to produce the CD and the way things are structured they also take ALL the risk because distributors will only buy small batches so they don’t risk ever being stuck with more than a few unsold copies.

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I’m with gw - Get real everybody. If it can be copied it will be copied - always has been always will be. Home taping didn’t kill music did it? Its better that people are listening to the work no? I wouldnt be forking out 34 quid to go and see Flook and Eliza Carthy if somebody hadnt given me copies of their work years ago.

If I really want a disc I´ll buy it. I struggle to earn a living playing music but if people think our discs are good enough to copy and pass around so much the better - more people at our gigs - more gigs for us……..

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It will only get copied if it costs money.
The point will be reached very soon, if it hasn’t already, where some big record label companies will go bust. 2007 is known in the industry when the bottom fell out of CD sales which have been in free fall for around a decade now, and set to get a lot worse. One of the big labels, accustomed to raking in billions, in recent months announced a $30M US loss.
They are laying off staff by the hundreds. Smaller independent labels will be suffering the same fate proportionately.

The fact is that with music buying, older people still buy CDs, but increasingly, music is obtained online. People who are now in their teens think paying for music is anathema. In ten and twenty years time, those people will probably not think any differently, meanwhile the older CD buying demographic probably won’t be buying!

The labels are becoming increasingly desperate and looking at ways of trying to stop piracy. Recently one of them actually took an action in the Irish Courts to try to get ISPs to stop music file transfers. By the time that problem got sorted out internationally most of these big name labels will be out of business.

Subscription services are not making up the difference in income shortfalls e.g. iTunes, mainly because Apple is all about selling iPods.

Ad supported music is being embraced by labels right now.
The problem is not just CD copying, it is the P2P internet network and music file sharing. That is what the illegal downloaders are using. That is the very big competition to the labels - because it is free. The only way to deal with “free” is either by litigation which is next to impossible to win, or with other forms of “free” ie ad supported.

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Nice summary Dubh. The Grateful Dead set the bar for musicians in the modern era years ago. They told their fans to bootleg at will. They made studio albums, never sold well and they didn’t care. How did they make money? Touring and merchandise, T Shirts, stickers, and so on. They made a lot of money doing that.

They pre-dated this modern era by years and years. They were set for the death of pre-recorded music sales years before it’s currently happening now. I’d even say they left an excellent road map behind on how to do it.

Unfortunately, musicians playing traditional music probably don’t have the widespread appeal needed to build a huge base like the Dead did. There’s the other kicker. If the goal is to make money, the reality of the situation is that you need to be selling music that is highly popular. That will allow you to profit from touring and merchandise without any care for recorded music sales.

It is what it is.

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That might be just the point, SWFL. With trad musicians, as we can see, there are some…some…who do very well out of touring, the big names, and/or those with a professional marketing program around them. But they are the vast minority of trad musicians. For the many many others, pre-recorded will still be the only option of making a living…with the big *but* of piracy. Many obviously will drop out altogether and get another day job…that’s everyone’s loss, or they’ll play at their local session (or not) or at home and we’ll never ever hear of them.

I recently did a search for Matt Malloy through Qtrax, and there it was, a handy selection. Once that serve starts on June 18th (according to their website), I should be able to download any of those tracks without cost, see a few ads on the interface (probably ads about similar artists like amazon does), and Matt gets a royalty payment out of that. Multiply that by hundreds of thousands of hits and he’ll do quite nicely.

Piracy will become a thing of the past, but not as long as music costs. The upside for trad musicians I think is that usually their fans (us) are quite enthusiastic to get the whole album, rather than popular song artists where one popular track is packaged among twenty others that people don’t want, but are forced to buy anyway.

That Qtrax site actually invites artists to contact them and register their work and get a royalty. Maybe the touring trad musicians might or might not find that attractive but the non-touring ones certainly would, I would think, but hey, everyone is still in the “sell CD” mindset right now.
It’s dying technology, let’s hope trad doesn’t die with it.

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I like to make copies of cd’s that I love for myself only! I buy the cd and then make a copy of the ones I listen to the most in the car (I’ve destroyed some great cd’s in the mess of my car so I don’t like to chance it anymore) That was then–now I load my cd’s onto my ipod and run them through the stereo instead- (less mess in the car now too!) I don’t like to take or give copies of cd’s especially since I know many of the artists and I’d feel very guilty taking money out of their pockets!

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I have about 250 gig of music on a drive at the moment, and about 80 odd more CDs that still need to be ripped. I either own the CD for every single track on there, or I got it from eMusic or iTunes. A couple, I got as mp3 downloads from purchasing at CDBaby.

All my music is legally owned. If I like something, I pay for it. If I don’t, well, I don’t really need it then, do I.

I also own the license for every bit of software on each of my computers. Same thing really.

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God - yous are all very law abiding!!

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.. to which I should add Martin that I imagine the answer depends to quite an extent on different countries and cultures. I can only speak for Ireland but I would guess that the average Irish person has a more skeptical view of the law than say your average German.

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In Spain you have to pay a canon ( this is, a tax ) for every recordable CD or DVD or hard drive you buy. With this law the government is acusing every spanish citizen of piracy.

So, if I pay for it, burn all the cd’s and dvd’s I want.

At the end of the day, the musicians are the ones whom less money take from the recordings. The ones that are really scared are the leechers that usually surround them.

And,like in the past centuries, the musicians will earn a life doing what they really do: to play.

Of course, this is only my point of view. Having done a little amount of gigs, i’m still more interested in the cash i get from live playing than in an hypothetic tiny selling percentage.

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“I also own the license for every bit of software on each of my computers. Same thing really”

Actually that’s different. You can’t get tech support for pirated software, which can be a big deal if there are bugs or it’s not working properly on your computer for some reason. Version updates are a problem. And I’ve heard of people who took their computers into the shop for repair and been reported for having illegal software.

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Nowadays, you can get at least a freeware altenative for each ‘popular’ program.

I’ve been working all my mi life - and still do - as a graphic designer. Without illegal software, you would’t have the chance to learn to work with the programs. As long as I did’n’t earned a cent with that, I don’t feel guilty. But if I had a business, i’d purchase a legal license, like in fact my boss does.

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Maybe it’s because I work as a software engineer at a shop that writes professional packages. If people pirate our work, well, that’s a lot of folks who work hard and won’t be getting paid for the efforts.

Sure, I don’t get paid for each copy sold. However, if enough copies don’t get sold, I’m out of a living. If you like something, you should be willing to pay for it. To state otherwise is just rationalizing defective morality.

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Piracy of audio recordings takes at least four different forms, no matter the country or the musical genre. All those listed below are illegal in Ireland and the UK (I can’t speak for other countries), but, of course, there are very different levels of policing of each form, ranging from the non-existent to the full force of the law. Apologies in advance for a pretty long posting.

1) Copying of commercial recordings for personal use or to share with friends.

It is legal to transfer a CD which you already own onto another format to play, for example, in your car. However, it is not legal to copy albums borrowed from, say, public libraries or friends or to distribute copies of your own purchased albums to others. Attempts by major record companies to prevent these practices failed and were abandoned.

I would guess that most Irish music fans have plenty of albums which come under this heading and also that acquiring a copy of an album has often resulted in purchases of ‘proper’ recordings by particular musicians.

2) Bootlegging of live concerts.

Musicians and recording companies have never been able to prevent this practice and never will. I don’t think this has especially affected Irish music though there used to be a couple of record shops in Dublin which had racks and racks of bootleg cassettes, featuring plenty of The Pogues, for instance, but hardly anything traditional.

3) Fakery.

Those who mass-produce copies of commercial recordings are only interested in profit so the chance of finding a fake Martin Tourish and Luke Ward CD at a car boot sale or market is probably zero (sorry, Martin), but I have seen Christy Moore albums which look like the real thing on sale.

4) File-sharing.

This is the trickiest one of the bunch. Anyone who’s Net-savvy knows that it’s possible to download a copy of pretty much any commercially-released album just as soon as it’s been released and, in some cases, even before it’s available in one’s own country.

I can think of at least one website, for instance, where it was possible to download Karan Casey’s new album before it had actually been released in Ireland.

This is where Irish musicians really suffer financially, but the difficulty lies in trying to prevent this from happening. Some ISPs set ridiculous criteria for the removal of copywritten material while others simply ignore all requests for said removal. Even when a site does delete download links after a successful request there’s always the likelihood that some individual will upload a particular recording to a torrent-hosting portal.

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My gut feeling is that self-publication is the best course of action for anyone planning to release an album and maximise its earning potential. However, getting a distribution deal in Ireland is essential since you’re hardly likely to shift a thousand copies toting boxes of CDs from gig to gig or session to session.

As for my own collection which, until fairly recently, consisted of around 1500 Irish CDs, the vast majority were either purchased by me or sent to me for review purposes (lucky old me!), but I do have a few CD copies of long unavailable albums sent to me by friends.

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It’s more than tricky, floss, to stop p2p file sharing. It won’t be stopped. Instead it has to be monetised by legal p2p suppliers which then reimburse the artist for each and every download. Legal p2p services would also screen out viruses before you fry your computer - which is a very real possibility in the illegal scene.

There are millions of people who use the illegal network and will never pay. But many of those will switch to a legal provider if the opportunity exists, and that artists will get paid.

The main objections I think people have to paid-for music are that:
1. They don’t want the whole album only a track or two;
2. They don’t want to pay even $0.99 for each track;
3. They resent the labels making so much money.

Ad supported downloads will not stop illegal p2p file sharing, but it will gain many devotees and get artists remunerated a whole lot better than they are now.

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For anyone who is really interested in the business side of music I recommend bookmarking and regularly reading the Lefsetz Letter:

http://www.lefsetz.com/wordpress/index.php

Lefsetz doesn’t pull his punches, and while I don’t always agree with his every word, I do find his POV to be spot on most of the time.

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Re: Piracy in ITM - How big is the problem?

Fernandito, I totally agree. I was so p*ssed off when the UK gov’t proposed a levy on blank tapes years ago - when you create your own stuff why should you pay a levy on the assumption that you were breaking the law?

I think the market will find its own level. I’m really happy to put my stuff on YouTube for free, and sell the odd CD off the back of that.

Heave Ho Me Heartys ~ It’s back to rape and pillage ~ rottin’ teeth and scurvy ~

Making do with very little…

Like Will, I have the glory of some great field recordings, all made with full awarenes, permission and support of the people being recorded. I always had the courtesy to ask…

When very tight budget-wise, little has changed, if I needed to get somewhere, like across the stretch of dear old Ireland, I didn’t hot wire any cars or motorbikes, and sometimes the greater amount of time was spent walking. I at one time was working for very poor wages, highly taxed, and little or no disposable income. The consequence of that wasn’t that I stole everything I thought I needed. Sometimes it was literally just toast and eggs and my feet for basic transportation. There was no fat on me. To attend some of the sessions I went to, something just about every night, I mostly walked, rather than use what little I had for bus fare. I didn’t tend to drink anything but water, though some friends did keep me oiled, and sometimes the pub custom kept us all oiled, sometimes too well. I’d walk back and wouldn’t roll into bed until 3:00 a.m. some mornings, or later, even when I had to be up early to make my way to work. But, there were also friends that would ferry me home afterwards, if they could catch me before I stepped out…

As far as listens, I saved what I could and purchased what I thought I really needed, having to be selective. I think that is a good thing. To be fair, I had a lot of great live sources all about me and that was an advantage some folks might not have. But, I still longed to have some choice listens. Some of these were provided by friends and acquaintances playing so I could record their tunes to learn, and to learn their ways with it. Those opportunities were endless, all I had to do was ask. Some distant friends even went out of their way to record themselves and their sessions to help prepare me for the next time we met. That is, to my mind and as said repeatedly here, the best music, first live, and then as offered by friends, not pirated, their take on things.

But, still, I’d purchase the occassional commercial recording, and loved and appreciated them. I didn’t need a wall or room full of recordings of every damned thing going. I couldn’t afford it, unless I were to pirate them or pass the responsibility on and leave someone else to pirate them for me. I didn’t mind having to be selective. I liked it, as it required some thought. I had to decide I couldn’t have everything and that with my limited income I’d have to just fork out for the few precious gems that had more of what I longed for as far as ear training and personal pleasure. I left a lot of stuff alone and settled for what I could, and appreciated it. I’ve no complaints. If it meant I had to listen to just a few exceptional commercial recordings repeatedly instead of having an unlimited supply, more than I could possibly give a fair hearing ~ hell, no harm there, at least not in my mind… I also love good liner notes, and sometimes that bit of well thought out additional contribution would help swing a recording out of the masses and make it a ‘must have’.

Sorry I haven’t yet managed to acquire a copy of your CD Martin… I recently made a large purchase for someone else’s benefit and will have to wait for when I can next have enough saved up to purchase another recording to add to the collection for my listening pleasure. Having to wait just makes it that much sweeter once I have it, adds to my appreciation of it…

I am definitely with you toumi ~ “Live music sounds better, and I enjoy it more, I get to dance, and it leaves me more time to play music.”

Like the person mentioned previously, I wonder that a lot of those who are in to burning off CDs in quantity are either doing it to brown nose or to impress or win over new friends with their seeming generosity. I’m speaking of those that do it in great abundance… You know who you are…

Killfarboy ~ “most Traditional CDs are independently produced, the artists putting up all the money and putting in all the work to produce the CD ~”

Small producers have gone bust!!! This music we profess a passion for, and the recording industry that helps to promote it, is small time… When all that effort does not find enough appreciation for people to pay out for it, well, all that hard work, no income to support it, you sometimes lose faith and have to just call it quits, sadly… For the artists, sometimes it is the basis of their sales and distribution that also gets them the gigs… There is more to the purchase of a recording than just an exchange of cash, it is also a vote for the thing and the people you like, ideally…

Re: Piracy in ITM - How big is the problem?

As a member of a band with cds on the market, piracy affects me. I play for the love of the music, but the money my music makes enables me to create more and travel to play live shows. Some of my bandmates use the money they make from shows and cd sales to pay their rent; others put it in a pot in order to save up for something special.

I don’t mind mixed cds – in fact, that’s the best way to be introduced to new music. But I always endeavour to buy my own copies, in hopes that the Karma Fairy smiles on me and my band, and people do the same with our recordings.

Re: Piracy in ITM - How big is the problem?

“Small producers have gone bust!!! This music we profess a passion for, and the recording industry that helps to promote it, is small time… When all that effort does not find enough appreciation for people to pay out for it, well, all that hard work, no income to support it, you sometimes lose faith and have to just call it quits, sadly… For the artists, sometimes it is the basis of their sales and distribution that also gets them the gigs… There is more to the purchase of a recording than just an exchange of cash, it is also a vote for the thing and the people you like, ideally…”

Small producers of other peoples music have gone bust. Self-producers are doing quite well–by “well” I mean they’re getting content recorded and marketed without a label, and at a reasonable out-of-pocket cost if they do it right… Unless a musician is a “star” there is very little money to be made off music sales, and even with star status in many genres there is still very little money to be made off the music. Thinking of a recorded music purchase as “a vote for” is a good way of putting it. When someone somewhere in the world purchases one of our CDs I feel exactly like that–like it was a vote for our music. I certainly don’t hear “cha ching.”

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Re: Piracy in ITM - How big is the problem?

I’ve had occassion to know some of those small recording companies of the ‘music-of-others’, some now defunct, and to also have known from both producers and artists that at least in some cases they gave their list of artists a fair cut, a good production and promotion and distribution, and that as a result, and also from the help of their recording company ~ they secured concerts too… I realize this is speaking ‘ideals’, I have also heard of the contrary… What’s that about counting your pennies and the pounds will follow? A percent is better than nothing at all, and if there are added benefits ~ hallelujah!!! However, I am also aware of doing it ‘out-of-pocket’, but not with any regret attached to that… 😉

Re: Piracy in ITM - How big is the problem?

Many thanks for your wonderfully insightful comments. I have learned alot from reading them.

It seems that the problem of piracy is relative to the “fame” of the artist. I think that the sense of community we have as a genre also puts us in a better position than those in other genres.

Thanks for all your replies,

Martin T.

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Re: Piracy in ITM - How big is the problem?

I forgot to include one other form of piracy which explains, in at least a couple of cases, why a small label went bust. That’s unlawful use of a licensed product.

This was certainly the case with Outlet and, allegedly (since the matter was never settled in court), with Green Linnet. There was also Cross Border Music which licensed material to other labels without the musicians’ knowledge or approval.

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