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The proper way to deal with Pirates, How Iron Maiden found its worst music pirates.

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posted on Dec, 26 2013 @ 10:41 AM
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reply to post by Klassified
 



Iron Maiden did the right thing. I'm in my 50's. When I was a young man, we recorded music off the radio, and played the tapes in our cars. Yet all the major bands that we listened to were still successful, and record stores still sold albums. Include me in the bunch that bought thousands of those albums. What happened? Greed! That's what happened. The music industry has gotten greedy, just like every other corporate industry.

You're older than I thought, then; we're contemporaries.

Before I say anything else, let me say this: I owe my life as a dedicated music lover and guitar player to pirated music.

When I was growing up, my country suffered under a Socialist government that banned the import of 'luxuries' like records. A few people got sent LPs (nobody bothered with singles, obviously) by friends and relations abroad, or smuggled them home in their luggage if they were rich (or well-connected) enough to travel abroad. Generously, they passed the spoils around, and the rest of us would record them on cassette tapes. Thus did we discover the great music of the late Sixties and the Seventies. At the end of that decade we sent that government packing, but it was still a long time before records and then CDs became available. And most of them were still bootlegs, but that's another story...

(One thing about cassettes — it was a little easier to learn guitar riffs off them than off records, so long as you had a cassette deck with one of those little mechanical counters that told you how far along the tape had run... gosh, that thought brings back a few memories.)

Now...

Having said all that, I'd like to point out that the contract/studio/royalty system is not a new invention, Klassified. It goes back to Victorian times, when the product on offer was sheet music, not records.

The system arose because there was a need for it. As long as the need was there it worked well. And yes, it did tend to deliver audiences and artists into the hands of big tastemakers: managers, record companies, radio networks, booking and representation agencies. I'm sure they were all in it for the money, but some of them delivered big-time to both the artists in their portfolios and to us, the audience. People like the Chess Brothers, Clive Davis and Ahmet Ertegun were surely in it for more than just the money. They knew music and they loved music. There were many others like them. Some, like Albert Grossman and Berry Gordy, tended to exploit their artists in nasty ways, but they still helped create great music and bring it to the world's attention. Would Neil Young have had any kind of career without Elliot Roberts? It's debatable.

On the other hand, the system also created monsters like Colonel Tom Parker, the man who neutered Elvis.

We are told now that the system has outlived its usefulness, that the internet has rendered it obsolete. I wonder. It seems to me that the balance of power has merely shifted to other tastemakers.

I tend to come by music the old-fashioned way, so I'm no expert in who says what goes any more, on the internet or anywhere else. I'll tell you what I have noticed, though: neither songs nor artists survive very long in the new egalitarian environment of the internet. This is a pity, because artists need time to grow, to explore and refine their art. Operating under the protection of a ferocious but dedicated manager or A&R guru, or within the relative safety of a corporate environment — even one as shark-infested as the music industry — gave some the chance to develop as artists — even as it gave others the chance to turn themselves into bloated, self-indulgent parodies of themselves (we were discussing one famous case in another thread a few days ago). I have a strange, creeping feeling that tells me we're missing out on a lot of good music, simply because the Darwinistic competition of the internet has made it impossible for musicians to survive long enough to create it.

On topic: I think Iron Maiden have made yet another very shrewd business move. They are veterans of the old-style music industry, and they have at least three keen business brains among them: Rob Smallwood, their manager, vocalist Bruce Dickinson and last but not least their founder and driving force, Steve Harris. When it comes to knowing how to survive in the music industry, Metallica are infants compared to Iron Maiden.


edit on 26/12/13 by Astyanax because: of old age.




posted on Dec, 26 2013 @ 10:54 AM
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Yep, show how far creative thinking on how to work with the problem than go against it.
Maiden: still kicking it in 2013 and beyond.



posted on Dec, 26 2013 @ 12:19 PM
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Awww...for a second I thought Iron Maiden was battling Somali pirates with the power of rock! I think this only makes sense as most artists make next to nothing from their cd sales...literally pennies per record sold sometimes. The REAL money is and always has been concerts and merch. I always saw the artists doing the most complaining as little puppets for the label, or uncle toms for the less pc among us.



posted on Dec, 26 2013 @ 12:21 PM
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reply to post by benrl
 

On the topic of profiting from your fans, a question to the group. I was/am into the Grateful Dead and now Widespread Panic (but never forgot my roots as a metal head of the 80's). At the later Dead shows (post Jerry) and at all Painc show's I've been to, you can purchase concert recordings from the bands website (read: it's approved/promoted by the bands) for $10-$15 per show. I'm not sure why other bands don't do the same.

The only theories I have include:
1- It's an expensive distribution channel and the bands don't make much profit
2- Fear that people would forgo attending a concert if they could get a recording instead
3- If the band is touring to promote a new album, concern buying show recordings could impact sales of the new album

None of these make much sense to me except potentially #3. I totally understand jam bands are a whole different animal in many ways....they rarely toured to support an album, they typically toured 'just because'. The Dead (I think Phish as well) welcomed people taping shows and had specific areas setup for people taping.

Personally, I am much more interested in purchasing a concert recording rather than a studio album...If I like the band I'll purchase them both.

Thoughtful insight appreciated. I haven't seen any Trolls on this discussion and God know's I've put a bulls eye on my forehead for bringing up jam bands in a Metal discussion but it seems folks on this discussion may have ideas.

PS- my first real concert was Ozzy and Metallica (one of Cliff Burton's last shows) in 1986 on their Master of Puppets album. I'm pretty sure they wern't a-holes then and they blew Ozzy out of the water even as the warm up band. \m/



posted on Dec, 26 2013 @ 12:52 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 

You make some excellent and relative points from beginning to end. The old business model still has its viable attributes to pull forward into a refined and updated business model to fit the times. I think the only reason this has become such a monstrous task and balancing act is, because we have more wolves in the industry, than we have managers, and genuine music lovers, such as some of the names you mentioned.

Bottom line, though...


I'll tell you what I have noticed, though: neither songs nor artists survive very long in the new egalitarian environment of the internet. This is a pity, because artists need time to grow, to explore and refine their art. Operating under the protection of a ferocious but dedicated manager or A&R guru, or within the relative safety of a corporate environment — even one as shark-infested as the music industry — gave some the chance to develop as artists — even as it gave others the chance to turn themselves into bloated, self-indulgent parodies of themselves (we were discussing one famous case in another thread a few days ago). I have a strange, creeping feeling that tells me we're missing out on a lot of good music, simply because the Darwinistic competition of the internet has made it impossible for musicians to survive long enough to create it.

...this may be the single most important aspect, and dare I say, fatality, of the "new" way of bringing art and business together in a mutually beneficial partnership. The "starving artist" may sound romantic, but it isn't very conducive to a long and prosperous career creating music for yourself, and for the masses to enjoy.



posted on Dec, 26 2013 @ 02:20 PM
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Gama Bomb is a thrash metal band based in Northern Ireland. Their 2009 album Tales from the Grave in Space was one of the first albums ever released as a completely free download while signed to a record label. en.wikipedia.org...

It's all about exposure, being signed to a record label used to do that, now exposure is mostly in the form of free media, just putting stuff out there for people to taste.

Anyway, if this band ever came to town, I would definately go to their concert!


................................................
'Run to the hills' is one of my favourite Maiden songs, and '2 minutes to midnight' often gets played in my head.



posted on Dec, 26 2013 @ 06:06 PM
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That's definitely better than wasting time and resources trying track all of them down, not to mention the court cases. I'm not a fan of piracy myself, but I don't think jailing and fining people for piracy is the solution. Thing is though, this wouldn't really work well with videogames and movies, since musicians have a guaranteed source of income (concerts and merchandise), unlike videogames and movies.

It's a start though.
edit on 26-12-2013 by technical difficulties because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 26 2013 @ 09:25 PM
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Isn't their music alone punishment enough?
Just kiddin.



posted on Dec, 27 2013 @ 01:26 PM
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Incredible and after Metallica struggle in court, definitely not something I was expecting.

It is ironic that one of older bends has figured it out.

S&F for you



posted on Dec, 27 2013 @ 03:03 PM
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I don't know if it's against T&C rules to admit I've downloaded my fair share of music...
The result is I've discovered so many talented artists/bands who don't even get play time or news coverage in my country. And of course, I've paid a lot of money for their concerts over the years to watch and hear them play. Quite frankly, I'd rather pay for their concerts than for a released album of which they probably only get paid 5% of the profits and the rest fills the white collar pockets of the recording albums.



posted on Dec, 27 2013 @ 03:51 PM
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But playing the devil's advocate here: it costs money to make a good recording. It requires equipment that isn't free and it takes the time and energy of the artist, producer, engineer, etc. to create it.

It belongs to someone and unless it is released under certain terms taking it for free is stealing even if you are rationalizing that the artist is only getting a small share.

It's like David Byrne said in a recent interview: do you really think people are going to keep putting time and effort into this if they aren't making any money?

Link to interview.



posted on Dec, 27 2013 @ 04:11 PM
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reply to post by DelMarvel
 

My problem is the low share of money an artist earns when selling his album. He created that music so without that there's not any music to be recorded. If I pay 20€ for a CD it makes me sick the creator eventually only gets 1€ for it.



posted on Dec, 27 2013 @ 04:46 PM
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reply to post by benrl
 


My very first concert ever was Iron Maiden on their "Somewhere On Tour" stop in El Paso. I absolutely love this band. They have the most amazing (and underrated) lead guitar player of the 80's (listen to those riffs on The Trooper.....my gawd) and an ability to write lyrics that are historic poetry (or, just copy like in Rime of the Ancient Mariner).

I am unsurprised to see that they have taken this strategy. They aren't too old to have forgotten what rock and roll is really all about: music and fans.



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 11:21 PM
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Laughter @ the waking and ignorant.

The obvious has become a revellation for people....

Are TPTB mendling with your minds THAT sucessfully?

S&F.
Happy new year
& get smart,
George.



posted on Jan, 8 2014 @ 09:22 AM
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What a good thread, so not what I expected.

I am not an Iron Maiden fan but they are definitely true musicians who seem to be very thankful to their fans unlike some other bands out there who are trying to "fight" piracy and their fans. It's like they seem to forget how they got in the position they are in, their FANS!

I think this is a brilliant idea! I know that if more of my favorite singers were to travel I would go see them and I'm sure many others would as well. I do think though that ticket prices need to be more affordable because here in the US they are downright insanely too high.

I was never one to "pirate" music. I had an extensive CD collection so I never needed to download music and plus I was always afraid of getting some sort of virus. I currently use Spotify and pay for the premium account. I love it!! I can listen to any artist without interruption on my computer or phone. I do wonder though if any artists benefit from Spotify and also how spottily is legal. Is it because it's streaming and I'm not downloading it?



posted on Jan, 8 2014 @ 09:39 AM
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The whole catering to the live music thing started with the Grateful Dead and Deadheads. I have infinitely more respect for a band that lets you bootleg their concerts and spends a good portion of their time touring. That is how you reach out to fans. Here is a list of them:
List of bands who allow bootleg concerts

Artists who complain about losses from pirated music have forgotten what their art is all about. Entertaining people, NOT money. That isn't to say you can't make a living off of the art, but these artists have forgotten this and care more about greed and filling their already overfilled bank accounts.



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 10:35 AM
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As a musician, I've always had mixed feelings about music and film "piracy".
No one buys my records, because I'm not signed to a big label. But looking at how that situation goes, I'm thankful today that I never got signed. I now make healing and meditation CDs. A guy bought a 3-CD set from me at an event once for $50 then called 2 days later to buy 2 more sets for friends.
"I could have just copied them, but that's really not fair, especially with this kind of work. You need to be paid so you can keep helping others." That brought tears to my eyes. Maybe if recording artists and film makers produced anything worth paying for, things in the industry would change. Maybe if the artists didn't promote rape and murder, people wouldn't feel so bad about petty theft. But let's be real, people have been taping albums or music off the radio since the tape deck came out. It's never going to stop, the tech just gets better.

Here's a funny story.
ABout 6 years ago, back when I was still in several bands and running a home studio (more like my home was a recording studio with a bed and my clothes in it), recording albums of my own and friend's bands that no one would ever buy, I came home from work to find my computer shot. Motherboard was fried, and everything not backed up was lost. My room-mate, who was also in a band I was producing, had left it running all day -
downloading Metallica from Limewire!!!

His karma for that mother-of-all no-no's was instant - his band's album was gone, and all the others, and I would NOT be re-recording it for them. I moved myself and my studio out before I even got a new computer. I very nearly wrote to Metallica to thank them. That was the day I stopped trying to be a rock star and started growing up. Someone else can have the shortest straw, I'm done with the "music business".



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