The Ethics of This Stuff
Besides doing this blog, I also run a couple small record labels. Over the years, sales have gone from pretty damn good to not very damn good, almost pretty damn bad. Meanwhile, the music I put out has gotten more and more popular. Many people listen to it, but they don't pay for it. One of the Nothing People found a torrent site that tracked the number of times a file had been downloaded. He looked up their (then) most recent album Soft Crash and found that it had been downloaded 40,000 times. How many of those people listened to it is unknown, perhaps half of the downloaders are hoarders. But let's say half of the people who downloaded it listened to it, that an audience of 20,000 got the album for free. Now consider how many copies of Soft Crash my label sold. I pressed 1000 copies on vinyl. The band was compensated with 200 copies. About 50 copies were sent out as promos to radio stations, magazines, and blogs. Of the 750 remaining copy, I have sold 650. I will assume that the Nothing People held on to 50 copies and sold the rest. So that is a grand total of 800 copies of Soft Crash sold vs at least 20,000 downloaded off one torrent site and listened to. The 800 copies that the Nothing People and I sold were paid for. The 20,000 "copies" off of that torrent site were not. I've know about this for a few years and it still bugs the shit out of me. However, I have still done this blog.