Why Piracy Can Be A Good Thing

It has been several years since I took a ride on the “Piracy” rollercoaster, but here is a compelling article from TechDirt Daily that points out once again that file sharing, illegal or otherwise, can be a good thing for musicians.  A sad but very true fact is that musical groups including big name rock bands rarely see any money other than the advance on a recording, the clever accountants at the music labels find a way to tie all the money up in various expenses.  Bands make money touring, on ticket sales, tee-shirts and merchandise.  Evidently this is true of small local or regional groups as well.  I am quoting the entire article here, so you don’t have to click through to TechDirt.

“Band Explains Why It Loves When Fans Download Unauthorized Copies Of Its Music

by Mike Masnick, from the building-a-fan-base dept

There’s an interesting blog post by Alexander Abnos, who is both a musician in the band Secret Cities and currently working as an intern at WNYC’s SoundCheck radio program. He talks about how much his band loves the fact that people download their music, because it’s helped them to build up a really loyal fanbase. He talks about how they signed with a label and spent a few years focusing on the band full time, and were always thrilled when people told them they had downloaded their music, even via unauthorized means:

Attendee: “I really enjoyed the show!”

Me: “What?!”

Attendee (now screaming): “I REALLY ENJOYED THE SHOW!!!”

Me: “Oh! Thanks! I’m glad you had good time! It was really fun!” (It almost always was).

Attendee: “I downloaded [insert Secret Cities album name here] illegally! Hope you don’t mind!”

Me: “Nope!”

I wasn’t lying. I didn’t really mind. We didn’t really mind. The reason is absurdly simple: This person heard our music, and enjoyed it enough to come to a show. Most times, they brought friends along. As a little-known band on the road, what more can you really ask for?

Later on he explains in more detail. And, what it comes down to is the same discussion we’ve been having for ages: obscurity is a much bigger "threat" than piracy ever was. The biggest challenge for a band is getting known, and these days, file sharing is one major way of getting known:

We love it because of the countless conversations like the one I recounted above. We love it because of the stadium’s worth of people that have listened to our songs on YouTube that might never have heard us otherwise. We love it because of that time in Atlanta on our first tour, when kids in the front row were mouthing along with our songs before our first record was even released.
We can’t put a dollar sign on those things. Why would we even want to?”


About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at http://wyzguyscybersecurity.com

Add a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.