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File Transfer Protocol - Q&A (2012)
2012-01-07 | Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz | via Formspring | RSS | "Regime" - free song download

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Q: [NINa] I'm guess you've heard about a US platform launched in Fall 2011 selling 'used' mp3 files. 47k Likes, 93k followers, 21 investors w/ $535k, patent pending. Any idea why it takes so long to make it shut down? Link & Link

A: [Sean Rieger] It doesn't really bother me. I mean, I understand how some are worried about people pirating music, but at the end of the day, people who are going to pirate, are going to find a way. I mean... let's face it, it's just not all that hard. I think we need to look at why people do it. You always have some who will want to steal from people, and that's to be expected, but then again, some people remember the time when they could buy a CD that they weren't sure of. Take a chance, because once you buy it, you could always sell it back for a reduced cost. So... people bought new music because the risk wasn't that great.

Then you have others (like me) who bought music legally (from iTunes) that was protected with DRM. Now... I have multiple machines, and I tend to reformat them, here and there or have systems that go down (NTFS partitions that blow out) There was one occasion that I lost everything and pulled my backup (which was a copy of all the music I had purchased over the years) and restored it. That's when I got the message that apparently Apple thought I had copied the songs and would not play it on my device. The DRM in the files prevented me form playing my own music. About $10,000.00 worth of music was suddenly locked away from me. But that was MY money spent on all that music. So then I looked at DRM Free versions of it... well Apple would charge me to get rid of the copy protection? Are you kidding me? I did what anyone who had just had $10,000.00 stolen from them would do... I spent $10.00 on DRM removal software and ripped every last DRM protected file clean, and vowed never to do that to my fans.

The industry has figured out how to take something that can be played everywhere and make it only play on their software. And they made it so you can ONLY have one copy of it. And they made it so that even thought you BOUGHT it, you can't sell it. So did you really buy it? Or are you renting it?

Companies in the industry like ASCAP, MPAA and RIAA talk all "high and mighty" by saying that they protect artists from piracy. Do they? Pirate ships used to guarantee safe passage through waters they would claim, for a fee. Sound familiar? Here's the kicker... remember when the RIAA "protected" artists by suing Napster? Yeah... they pocketed all that money. The artists music that was stolen... they never saw a dime. Link I don't need protection like that. So... back to the topic at hand:

There has been a hostile climate created, between the record companies, and the fans. The artists are stuck in the middle. A company comes along who is saying "Hey, buy more music, because if you get tired of it, you can sell it back like you used to do with CD's" The software that they are using deletes the song off your hard drive once you've sold it, and won't let you put another copy of that song on your hard drive. Could you delete the software, after you've sold the music and put a copy back on your hard drive? Yep, but then again... Can you burn a purchased iTunes album to CD and have 20 of your friends rip it to their collections, too? Yep... You bet.

The digital world changed everything. People WILL pirate. As an artist, I am OK with my music being spread far and wide. Casual listeners will pirate. Hardcore fans will buy it, because they want to support me. They buy t-shirts, physical CD's and tickets to a live show. Those are the people I am trying to engage. Those are the people who keep me going. Those are the people I want to get in front of, by any means necessary.


What do you think? | Send your question to Sean

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