The whole should you/should you not download music from the internet argument is one that will rage on for ever and ever I guess. But an interesting statement has appeared on a couple of other internet punk sites, and I believe everyone should read it.
It is said to come from Toby at Fat Wreck Chords and was originally posted on the Fat message boards. This statement was taken from www.punknews.org.
“Hi there everybody, my name’s Toby and I work at Fat Wreck Chords. Mike asked me to post some stuff on here in hopes that we could clear the air about the sharing of our music. First off, I’d like to make it abundantly clear that Fat is not entirely against people sharing our music over the internet. We recognize that in some respects it can be a valuable outlet for our music to reach people; and since commercial radio, MTV, and big rock mags like Spin and RS all pretty much hate us, the freeform nature of the web offers us a way for us to get the word out without having to pay off corporate rock boobs. That’s swell, and completely in tune with our business practices. We can only hope that someday bands like Propagandhi, Swingin’ Utters, Rise Against, and Strung Out will have the same opportunities for exposure as Cher or those clowns in Creed.
“A problem arises when tons of people have the new record MONTHS before it comes out. The case in question, No Use For A Name, is a prime example of where we feel we’re are violated by this. The new No Use record was online nearly THREE MONTHS before it’s scheduled release and no one was more troubled by this than the band who worked for over a year writing this album. I ain’t bullshitting, these guys were demo-ing this stuff for a year trying to perfect these songs and make the most out of them. No Use is a working band and is really upset by the fact that the record is available so far in advance and they requested that we do something about it. So we did. And we all know that you people are far more computer savvy than are we, and will still find ways to obtain music online.
“We ask this: what has happened in the last five years that has led you all to believe that you’re entitled to this music for free? What has developed since the days when people would buy the record and we would pay the band? We certainly haven’t changed our band-friendly way that we operate this record company, and we certainly can’t pay our bands when people no longer pay for the music. It’s comical that there’s such a backlash to us for trying to restrict our music, and it’s ironic that some “punk” had the nerve to dub us sellouts and comment “I mourn Fat’s passing”. Well, our passing is exactly what’s going to take place if this shit keeps up and we can’t take care of our bands.
“Yeah, yeah, we know that the REAL punks are on the internet stealing music. Yup. Y’all can have a blast rockin’ out to Cher and Creed when you run us outta business. Don’t get us wrong, we’re well aware that lots of you still go out and buy the records because you want the artwork, the lyrics, the enhanced CD, or just want to support the band. This is great and without the fans there would be no No Use For A Name or Fat Wreck Chords. And we thank you for that. We ask that you consider the repercussions of your filesharing and to keep the future of punk rock, music, and art in general in perspective. Thanks again.”
I guess the whole file-sharing thing is going to keep on going and going until somebody regulates the internet. Personally, if I like a band I’ll buy the cd. Which is probably why I have a massive CD collection and no money…