#104: Roundtable – Why We’re Not Afraid of Pirates and Other Indie Tales

In this spell binding, spine tingling, breathe taking episode of the CD Baby DIY Musician Podcast, the Podcasters investigate such mysteries as: “Why did it took so long for the Beatles to finally get on iTunes?” “Why aren’t young folks going out to concerts anymore?” and “Is MySpace in bed with Facebook?” In addition to these topics Kevin, Chris, and the Bolt will prove their bravery by ignoring the dangers of digital piracy and discussing the topic unabashedly while making bad jokes with wild abandon. If that isn’t enough action, adventure, and intrigue . . . There are also calls, comments, and tips from our listening audience.  Hold on to your hats and get ready for a podcastic ride!

  • Dallas

    ASCAP & BMI – no self-reporting for live performances?? Makes me glad to live in Australia where you can self-report your own performances to collect performance royalties for every show you play (venue, song titles, crowd size)….

    It’s not often I have a dissenting opinion to what you guys have, but this week is definately an exception! I was about to launch into Chris & Kevin for being self-entitled “artistes” that the world owes a living to over their ASCAP comments… but if you can’t self-report your own songs being played then I can see where you’re coming from…. however, if your venue has to pass on the PRO cost to you then maybe you dont make them as much money as you think you do… but if you do then NEGOTIATE – get them to drop the charge or you’ll take your act (& its draw) to the rival venue up the street.

    In my opinion there’s too many musicians whinging about how they’re not getting paid enough (or what they think they’re worth… or overprice their cd’s – who’s gonna pay $20 for cd unless the songs are mindblowingly good) – if you’re worth more money DEMONSTRATE that fact to your venue & ask for more money… hell, my coverband gets $1000 a night plus drinks & food for our local venue (twice what anybody else gets at the same venue)… because we put 150+ people in a 120 person licenced venue whenever we play there! (caveat – we only had 70 one night – because AC/DC were playing up the road). Thanks in no small part to you gentlemen, your podcast has helped us make some astute business & promotional decisions as a band.

    As for downloading… go back & have a good listen to the “Free: a radical concept yada yada” podcast again… the genie’s well & truly out of the bottle now – stop sooking & start finding ways to utilize downloads as a promotional tool to make some $$$… and remember, piracy was an offshoot and the logical next step of privateering (interesting parallel – the record companies legally stole from artists, now the listening public does it & its suddenly a mortal sin).

    Anyway, great podcast – it’s paid off for me at least & I thank you for that!!

  • Anonymous

    Re: Artists-as-pirates philosophy…

    It seems there’s a sort of “Pirate’s Code” (sort of like “The Bro Code”) being developed. I would note that one of the hosts stated that it would be O-K if pirates stole his music, as long as they admitted they were stealing(frowny face)…. The insult from the dishonesty seems to cause more damage to the artist than the piracy itself. So the spirit of the law tumps the letter- how pirate-y!

    I would like to make a motion to amend the Pirate’s Code as follows:

    “Artists guilty of illegally pirating music for their own personal collections shall not receive earnings from the digital distribution of their own musical creations- under penalty of keel-haul!”

    I had a HUGE problem with Lars coming out against Napster. Specifically, I couldn’t fathom 4 drunk@#% metalheads sleeping on a friend’s floor because they couldn’t afford rent(as they were for many years before becomming obscenely rich) discovering Napster and immediately crying, “Free music!? But doesn’t that hurt THE ARTIST??” Give me a break, hypocrits. They would have been on the Napster bus so fast you’d think it was loaded with strippers and cocaine.

  • Listening to this podcast now and had a quick half-baked thought about the ASCAP discussion. Perhaps if clubs have to pay royalties to big artists if they play their music maybe they could avoid the fees by exclusively playing local independent music.?

  • I did in fact make my crowdfunding goal for my Happy Holidays album (thanks for broadcasting my call) – with the caveat that I had to top it off to get it over the top. Still it’s enabling me to press physical cds rather than doing a digital only release. A good experience.

    Happy Holidays by Martin Blasick on CD Baby:

    On bandcamp:

  • Respectfully, I take issue with Chris’ concept of imaginary property and this notion of stealing. Calling it stealing predicates a concept of “owning” ideas. But no one person owns any idea because ideas are non-tangible. You can own you body, your car, and your house because those are finite and objective articles, whereas ideas are not.

    Ideas are infinitely reproducible. To copy one idea doesn’t make another person without that same idea.

    If owning ideas is possible, then the entire history of human progress has been an act of piracy. People learn by copying and prosperity is expanded by copying. It’s how language groups formed, it’s how agriculture was started, it’s how scientific knowledge was created and expanded. It’s how the countless numbers of production techniques, methods, and processes were distilled in the manufacture of every human object since the beginning of time. Wheelbarrows, scissors, rope, masonry, steel, architecture, medicine, literature, cars, TV, fast food, computers, the internet, blues, jazz, rock and rap music, etc, etc. . . All came from someone taking an idea and copying it. Along the way, others took the same ideas and interjected their own. The process repeats itself again and again. Without emulating, without copying, without what Chris calls “theft,” humanity would be exactly nowhere.

    I don’t think copying music is stealing or piracy. With all of that said, there are so-called laws in place that attack anybody that copies. But that doesn’t make the legislation in place just or correct. For example, current laws in the US are that non-violent drug users are criminals deserving hard prison-time, that the US invasion of Iraq was justified, and that the TSA has the right to grope, irradiate, and take naked pictures of you without due process.

    One has to respect the so-called law in the same way one has to respect a coiled rattle snake– Understand that the snake is not reasonable or just, and be careful not to incite the snake to bite you.

    My apologies for the length.

    Stay cool and thanks for the shows, been listening for awhile, they’re great. 🙂

  • Dr. Rue

    Let me tell you,

    The public persona of Chris is nothing like his personal self – A long while back, in my journey to becoming the first nationally recognized Abnormal-Audio-Psychologist, I worked as an intern and then assistant to “Chris of CD Baby”.

    Things were fine at first; business as usual, but before I knew it, a transformation occurred and the “real Chris” reared his head.

    Nothing major was occurring at first. I remember having beer thrown at me for not placing The Beatles: “A Hard Day’s Night” on continuous play. But then there was the time I bought Chris an iPod as a gift to which he said “Oh really, what the fark am I, a New-Age snob?”. He then proceeded into a tirade about how CDs were always better and that the crackling hiss of MP3s were really satanic mind control codes to make you worship ‘low-quality’ innovation.

    It got severely worse over time.

    Then there was the time he left me alone with some guy they called “The Bolt”. I thought he was nice but in reality, this guy is just sick. He wanted me to stuff a Thanksgiving Turkey with CDs by Johnny Cash, Pink Floyd, and early Van Halen; I was to take this turkey to Capitol Records with a note that had some strange rant about quality and caring about the art, you know, sensible stuff despite the odd presentation. When I didn’t do it, he threw beer at me and told me I was condemned from ever being anything short of a failed American Idol washout.

    I was relieved to see Chris after that.

    The sex scandal rumors were not true. It was just a misunderstanding regarding a friend of Chris named Kevin. Kevin seemed grounded, but I always waited for the beer to fly at me any second. He would wink at you from time to time, and I always interpreted this as some sort of acknowledgement that “I wasn’t crazy”. There was this one time where he rubbed my back for a fairly long moment, but I was told he had already had too many to drink and that he just liked my jacket.

    There is more I could say, but for now, I am only looking to shed some light. In this age of poorly developed Reality-Television and highly auto-tuned (pitch-corrected) audio-experiences, I’m looking to deliver raw, uninhibited insight, and a chance for everyone looking in to smile and know that they are not the only individuals who are unbalanced or edgy.


    – Dr. Rue