Wednesday, November 28, 2007

stealing music


I found out today on one of my LiveJournal groups (psych folk) that someone had illegally uploaded the tracks from a recently-issued music compilation called John Barleycorn Reborn, curated by Mark Coyle of The Unbroken Circle and Woven Wheat Whispers. I saw it posted and thought, naw, they could not really be offering this for free when Mark and his group have only recently offered it for a nominal fee?

But then Mark posted to the thread and said it was an illegal download that needed to be removed immediately. So far the thread is still there with links, and no response to Mark's request other than my own admonishment that people should buy this collection, especially given Mark's generosity and tireless efforts to promote and distribute music by contemporary musicians who perform psych folk music.

I see this sort of thing and then think of how many of my students and other people I know think nothing of "ripping" movies and copying music illegally...who do they think pays these musicians and filmmakers and other people who create this stuff? Not every film or record is made by some huge corporate entity. To steal creative output from artists who already live hand to mouth is unconscionable.

What makes it worse is that this album was created in part to appeal to pagan minded folks, and the idea that such folk would consider stealing something that could be had for a reasonable price, especially when it meant making it difficult for such music to be on offer in the future, makes me sad and angry.

ETA: the original poster (who is 19 years old apparently) took the upload down and apologized. Mark posted a polite reply explaining the delicate dynamics of how his group works to support and promote contemporary music. I wish the LJ psych folk community would stick to uploading and file sharing only that music that in long out of print and widely unavailable, and save their sharing of current music for private use among their friends.

3 comments :

Mark Coyle said...

Sincere thanks Peg for your kind thoughts, understanding and action on this matter. It appears to have been resolved quickly with the music taken down. I have posted to try and explain how delicate the economics of music distribution really are. I'm not sure people understand that they geniunely do impact the ability to produce releases on albums that sell modest quantities. As always your kind consideration is welcome and provides comfort that people do appreciate what I and others are trying to do. Thank you.

Peg said...

My pleasure. I think what you do is selfless and generous and I am very happy that you do it! (as are many)

I deal with similar dynamics and concerns with some of my film students who think nothing of "ripping" pirated DVDs...they seem not to grasp the fact that they are stealig from themselves, given the desire of most of them to wok in the film industry in the coming years...

Let's hope some wisdom starts to prevail.

Erik said...

Peg,
Thanks for the heads up! I had actually been debating with myself over whether to order JBR this week, and now I have.