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« What digital distribution means for (especially) female artists | Main | How flexible is your set? »
Tuesday
Aug032010

Fighting Piracy Without Alienating Your Fans

Okay, so I know people’s view on combating or embracing album leaks goes all over the place.  But I thought I’d share with you the letters I’ve been sending with a good deal of success when it comes to download links.  Of course I find out where the download links are through Google Alerts.  I think the parts you’d need to change are obvious.

Here’s the letter I send to the site/blog where I find the link:

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Subject: Thanks from Silber & Aarktica
______

Hello,

I wanted to thank you for your interest in Silber Records & in Aarktica in particular.  We’re really happy that you want to spread the word about the record.  Unfortunately we’ve found that full release downloads end up costing us sales instead of generating more interest in the artist, so if you could replace the download link with a link to the free sample MP3 of the song “In Sea” ( http://www.silbermedia.com/mp3s/Aarktica_In-Sea.mp3 ) we’d really appreciate it.  Thanks for your time, support, & interest in good music.

hrt

Brian John Mitchell
Silber Records
www.silbermedia.com
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I generally get an apologetic reply thanking me for putting out the music.  It builds a natural & actual relationship with the site-owner/blogger & I give them future releases for free download with the stipulation of them reviewing it with just the link to the free sample MP3.  So in the end, this has generally been a positive experience.

Of course the other part is contacting the folks who host the files (usually Rapidshare or MegaUpload) you can find the individual file host’s contact info about reporting abuse in their FAQs by following the download links.  In general they take the files down within 24-48 hours (notable exception is Pirate Bay who openly say they do not believe in copyright).

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Subject: DMCA – Illegally Distributed Content
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Hello,

I run Silber Records & I found our release Aarktica: In Sea currently being illegally hosted on & downloaded from your site if you could please delete the file.

Aarktica: In Sea
http://rapidshare.com/files/310163573/A-IS.rar

hrt
Brian John Mitchell
Silber Records
www.silbermedia.com

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This last letter I hate to send.  It’s where I go if someone is selling downloads of my music illegally & then calling me a Nazi for asking them to stop.  First you need to look up their address at NetworkSolutions.com & in the “Technical Contact” section it tells you who their web hosting company is & how to contact them.  You forward them any emails you have exchanged with the web-owner.

______

Subject: DMCA – Illegally Distributed Content
______

Hello,

I run Silber Records & our release Aarktica: In Sea currently being illegally hosted, distributed, & sold by www.scumbag.com for which you act as the web host.  I have already contacted them about removing the file & the response is posted below.  I believe that most of their content is illegally distributed & that the site should be dismantled before myself & other content owners are forced to take legal action.

hrt
Brian John Mitchell
Silber Records
www.silbermedia.com

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So far the two times I have sent the above letter, the websites were killed by the host (one later went up again on a different host with a slightly different URL (added a hyphen), but without my content).  So that’s my story.

Now when people Google for free copies of the release, they end up going to a bunch of dead end links.  Does it mean they’ll now buy it?  I don’t know, but I like to think it raises the odds.

 

Brian John Mitchell runs Silber Records & the webzine QRD & makes music as Remora, Vlor, & Small Life Form.



Reader Comments (2)

What a great reference for any independent artist. Thanks for this, it will surely come in handy in the future.

August 6 | Unregistered CommenterMark D

My pleasure. It's always a debate exactly how to handle other people distributing your music & I think the key is using it as an opportunity to make friends instead of enemies.

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