Artists vs Artists – Piracy Yes or No?

Dave Allen usually makes a lot of sense and when i noticed his post regarding the Artists vs Artists website I started to wonder if the poll wasn’t rigged. It’s a simple question – are you an artist ‘against’ piracy or ‘for’ it. (Caveat – this is a brilliant viral marketing initiative by the band Ghost Beach)

Allen reasons that the easy manipulation of hash tags and fake profile’s renders the whole exercise a lost opportunity.

I tend to side with this view as I was expecting a roughly 50/50 split. The vote currently stands at 321 against and 3,107 for or  10 to 1 in favour of piracy. The general consensus being that piracy = promotion.

I hate to go back to my shoplifting analogy but the promotion argument (whilst valid) doesn’t really stand up to thorough investigation. Sure you can argue that radio and streaming services are valid promotional tools but piracy… really?

So i’m getting my free mars bars from the corner shop, the guy behind the counter doesn’t seem to mind – hey they’re on promotion, fill your boots – After a month the shop goes bust. Why? They were on promotion – no harm done right?

It’s a misnomer that music is not a commodity. It’s the same as a mars bar. Your second album is a mars duo and your third album is mars ice cream. So if this poll is accurate, and that’s a massive ‘if’, then the 90% in favour are either hobbyists, naive or altruistic (maybe all 3), the 10% against are likely professional musicians. It appears anyone can vote (not just musicians) by simply tweeting a hash tag #artistsagainstpiracy or #artistsforpiracy (there you got me). A triumph in viral marketing for Ghost Beach, nothing more, nothing less but brilliant all the same.


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