Monday, August 31, 2009

Music 'Piracy' Out Of Control....And Clearly Growing Desperate For More Content To 'Pirate'

By Darryl Mason

How many record sales will Craig McLachlan lose out on now his 1990s back catalogue has been uploaded to The Pirate Bay?

Well, I guess that depends if someone was planning to buy a Craig McLachlan album and then saw it for free on The Pirate Bay and thought, 'No, fuckit, I'm not paying!'

So far there doesn't appear to be any takers.

Australian music shows up The Pirate Bay frequently, as you would expect, seeing as this country has produced some of the greatest rock bands in history.

But is it just fans uploading old songs they want to share, or are some of the band members themselves sharing with the world the albums they created that their record companies are no longer interested in?

Are careers destroyed and jobs lost because some punk-loving kid in an American trailer park has downloaded most of Frenzal Rhomb's back catalogue from The Pirate Bay for free? Has the Australian music industry been irrevocably damaged because some old German Rose Tattoo fan has 'stolen' a copy of an old impossible-to-legally-buy Buffalo album from a file-sharing site?

Of course not.

Perhaps tonight, a junior ad executive in Japan is scanning the 'Fresh Torrents' of The Pirate Bay and will come across McLachlan's back catalogue, download it out of curiosity and tomorrow will sell his boss on the idea of using 'Hey, Mona' as the theme tune for a new sports drink campaign.

Stranger things have surely happened.

While we hear plenty from the copyright holders about how 'Music Piracy Is Killing Music', we rarely hear from the copyright creators themselves - the bands and songwriters - about how they feel when they discover that an out-of-stock old album of theirs has found its way onto a file-sharing site and is finding new audiences around the world long after their record labels gave up on them.

I would expect many of them would be overjoyed, regardless of whether or not they 'illegally' uploaded the album the albums themselves.