Pirates

Just watched this video. Great stuff.  Very interesting questions, and they get at the core question for me – if there are cheaper and more efficient models of distribution that artists can get value from, shouldn’t we all be looking to learn from these models and adopt them? Shouldn’t we be looking for ways to increase the value for artists from these models instead of just shutting the models down?

My own personal pirate question has long been how to use the pirate networks in West Africa to distribute a release. They sell cheaper and get wider distribution than the legit channels of cassette (yes, cassette is still the widest form of music consumption in West Africa) distributors. Part of that is that they do not pay royalties or pay into artist collection societies. However, what if one could go directly to the pirates with a master copy of a new release, strike a deal with them to have them pay some amount to the artist (likely smaller than the “mandatory” rate, but much higher than $0), have them also press a bunch of cassettes for off-stage sale (also popular in West Africa, and lucrative for the artist), and then tell them “god-speed, sell the s$%t out of my album please”.

what would happen?

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One thought on “Pirates

  1. Fascinating that piratage, pirates, piracy have been dominating the news for a week now, and that as I look at this post and the news, I’m realizing that piracy is just a symptom. A symptom of whatever the disease actually is, and that just like a symptom, one cannot “cure” the symptom. One can only cure the disease.
    Piracy off the horn of africa can’t be stopped by killing pirates – it can only be stopped by mitigating the poverty and lack of structure.
    Piracy is music business can’t be stopped by finding and suing the pirates – it can only be stopped by finding more efficient methods of distribution and lowering the price of physical music.
    Piracy in digital music can’t be stopped via lawsuits – again, a new and radically appropriate working method of distribution must be found.

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