Musicians tricked into appearing in anti-piracy propaganda movie

Paul sez, "A couple of days ago, an "educational" documentary aimed at discouraging music piracy was announced in the Australian press. Today it appears that at least one of the artists was lied to about the intent of the piece. Allegedly, he was told the film was to be about trying to survive as a musician and his statements were spun to present the view that the life of an artist is made more difficult by the downloading of his work. The closing quote is great:
I'm from a punk rock band, it's all about getting your music out any way you can - you don't make money from the record, the record companies make the money from the record. If they can't make money these days because they haven't come onside with the way the world is going, it's their own problem.
Link (Thanks, Paul and Sandy!)


  1. The article deserves credit for pointing out that the interests of the label are not equivalent to the interests of the bands. In a perfect world, piracy would see to an end of record labels entirely; all they do is promote shite pop rubbish.

    As a [very] small time musician, I think it would be nice if someone walked up to me and said here’s a million USD and a bag of drugs, but I don’t expect that to happen. I’m no ‘real music’ snob, but even I realise there’s effectively no money in music; transport costs and some leftover beer money is a good night, and fair shakes, really. Few people can tell the difference between rock bands any more. If someday I recover costs for equipment Ill be happy…or I probably wont even realise. I don’t know about bands on major labels, but everyone I know on DIY and indie labels understands this.

  2. Any time I’ve agreed to be interviewed for anything, I get in writing the right to approve how it’s used, right to view rough cut, whether it’s print, video or audio. And I also bring my own camera and film the interview myself.

    It’s very common these days for people from all sites to use “ambush” or false pretenses to get people out of context. It seems to be used by everyone from Michael Moore to Borat to Fox News.

    It’s a drag.

    Michael W. Dean

  3. Lyndsay is a very well known musician and radio host in Australia, and known for going against the grain – so being included in an anti-piracy video is just fucking wrong. It’s a shame that he isn’t going to sue. It’s also wrong that they’re pushing this propaganda into schools to be used in any classes on copyright – instead teachers should be focusing on how to support musicians directly (ala Radiohead and NIN) and on self published music (netlabels, amie st etc).

    On other things BB’ers may like this muso’s band – Frenzal Rhomb – and their song “Russel Crowes Band”

  4. So what do artists make money from?

    The trickery sucks hard, but…

    The focus should really be on getting the record companies to treat their artists decently- right now it kind of sounds like ‘Piracy is ok because record companies rip their artists off anyway’.

    That state of affairs is just wrong. It gets ridiculous when artists have to pirate their own works because the company never told them they’re re-releasing them, never paid them for it, never supplied author’s copies…personal experience right there. It’s crazy what they get away with.

    And yet, I’m still against piracy being accepted without reservations. This idea that we are entitled to every piece of music and every movie we want for free is just as bad as the record companies’ idea that they don’t have to pay their artists. Except they’re big rich nasty companies and we’re the cool rebels. Ah-huh.

  5. @kateq

    I think it’s great that he doesn’t sue…it would lower the standards even more.

    This is a somewhat creepy attempt at authenticity and I hope more of the musicians featured will distance themselves from that blunt ploy.

    It’s not about piracy YES/NO, it’s just another example of pulling any bleeding heart register to keep the profits rolling…

  6. Part of my previous post got filtered out (BB, understandably, does not like meta tags in comments), but I thought that those tags pretty much speak for themselves…

    Description: Australian songwriters and musicians speak out on the realities of life as an artist. In Tune features intimate interviews with some of Australia’s biggest names.

    Copyright: Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI)

  7. @#4

    artists make money off of touring and merchandising ( tix, shirts, selling branded crap )

    though labels are increasingly mandating they get some percentage of that

    a medium band will make 20k -> 200k for an appearance

    a small indie band will get 1-10k ( imagine 500person venue, 4 bands, $8 tix. headerliner gets ~$2/tix, supports get $1, venue the rest )

    off of shirts, etc — cost to band $3/shirt; sold for $10-15 – all pocketed ( though that is changing )

  8. In almost EVERY business venture the interests of the employees (the band) are not equivalent with the interests of management (the label).

    Management wants lower labor costs and labor wants to be able to eat. :-)

    I don’t see this as a problem with the music industry, but with our economic system in general.

  9. bah, this vid aint so bad, kind of basic but the message is honest. This is no anti piracy propaganda movie. The title of the post is totally exagerated.
    Piracy is an issue for crying out loud. I agree that
    the industry is changin and that its completely ridiculous to fight piracy like the RIAA and the majors are doing, theyre just turning their backs to their customers. I agree they are blood thirsty corporate idiots who prefer making money off artists talent rather then really trying to promote it. Nonetheless this transition phase professional bands are going through isnt easy for them finacially. Most bands dont bitch cause they know they have to go with the flow, they have to respect how their fans are responding to music in general and the tech that goes with it. Most bands features in this vid are saying just that (yes, in a very basic way and without going into detail, which is a shame actually, but hey, after all this film was partially coordinated by the Australian’s music industry’s anti-piracy arm, Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI)and i find it pretty sober. I mean imagine what the RIAA would’ve done).

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