Friday, 31 July 2009

Radio show downloads, promos and the law!

Last Friday I had this pretty scary email from a company called Web Sheriff, entitled: EXTREMLEY URGENT / SHARAM - DMCA REQUEST (haha just noticed their typo!)



2. Rights Agent : WEB SHERIFF


4. Infringed Artist(s) : SHARAM FT KID CUDI



7. Infringing Web Site : ANNAKISS.CO.UK

8. Infringing File Location(s) :

9. DMCA Request : Please remove Infringed Title(s) from Infringing File Location(s) ASAP : thank you.

And after briefly mentioning it on my subsequent Lip Locked show (#90) where it prompted a lot of responses from my listeners, I thought that I should blog my full feelings on this subject. It is far too in depth to go into on a radio show after all!

I am soooo sooo sooooo pleased that finally something is being done about piracy of tracks on the internet - especially promos. In the 15yrs that I have been buying & playing music times have changed drastically for DJs and artists. I have always been a passionate crusader in the fight against illegal sharing of music. Many of my good friends are well known artists and I have seen ALL of them suffer in their earnings since the shift from vinyl to MP3. Some who used to solely make music have now had to get a day job and sell their houses.
Its just sad that now producers have to rely on their DJ bookings instead of the creative side of things. So I have got quite annoyed with people in the past, when they niaively say that 'music should be free'.

So, to anyone reading this who thinks that, I will say this:
A talented person (gifted both technically & musically), DESERVES to get paid for sitting in their studio, with their expensive equipment, for a week, making a tune that you want to get your hands on. Don't forget that this talented person doesn't get much from each sale once the label, store and taxman have all had their share. So £1.49 is a very small price to pay for a work of art, that you will get endless enjoyment out of.

People have always shared files I guess, but these days it is common. One thing I think that doesn't help is when the territory is restricted for buying a track, or when a label tease the people by not releasing the track soon enough. These things surely send hoards of people to download sites, and I really think labels should consider these things in order to prevent the temptation.

Promos are an important part of promoting a track, and also important for DJs. Nowadays everyone can get their hands on every track.. gone are the days of finding a dusty old vinyl gem that nobody else has.. if people know the name of it then they will find it without having to leave their PC. This means that the DJs need to express their individuality much more creatively now. Thankfully I get sent a lot of promos because I am blessed to have a very popular radio show which reaches thousands of people each week. This helps my DJ work, as I get booked because people know I have special tracks!

There are DJs out there though, that are on these VIP lists who just share the files right away. I can't understand why they would do that. If they got found out they would no doubt be ostracised. And why give away the very thing that sets us apart from the zillion other DJs out there? (coz believe me, EVERYONE is a DJ these days, anyone that can download an MP3 is a DJ!).

So there you go, thats why I'm pleased that finally there is someone doing something about this.

With regards to the email, I replied immediately, saying that I was sent the promo by Ministry of Sound, and I always allow my shows to be downloaded. The promo features in it, but it is mixed, and has jingles & talking over it, so it can't be considered as filesharing surely..? They haven't replied.

Perhaps I can get into trouble for allowing my shows to be downloadable, because there are some sad fuckers out there who download segments of a track, re-edit it so that it becomes a full 6min track that they can play... rather than WAIT a month or so for it to come out...
Time which would be better spent getting ahead as a DJ so that they make it on the the VIP promo lists legitimately!!!!

Maybe I should stop posting up tracklistings... I do them because I have an affiliate store where I make a miniscule percentage out of everything that is sold, I get good web-traffic from it (300 per week average), and last but not least, I believe in supporting the artists, getting them recognised and thus helping their careers.
**Respect to the people who DO buy tracks via my tracklisting blog, I know there are about 20 of you so far...**

But is it really helping their sales..? Or is it just giving people titles to go look on fileshare for..? While at the same time taking away my individuality. Because now everyone can get their hands on all these tunes and therefore play just like Anna Kiss does (okay maybe not with my technical abilities or the promos, if they haven't been fileshared!).

The only thing that will combat this, i'm sorry to say, is punishment for those who fileshare, this may put people off. But its gotta be worldwide. There's no point in them just clamping down on British DJs, as we aren't actually as bad here as places in the world. In places like India & China I have met people who don't think there is anything wrong with illegal music sharing, and the vast majority of the DJs I have played with on my travels around the world fileshare, despite earning lots of money for playing music. Why don't these people want to put something back into the music scene? It is killing it. Anyone that disagrees with this is too young to remember how it used to be in the 1990's when vinyl was still alive.

Anyhoooo, the outcome of the email and all that was basically I gave my contact at Ministry a call and she said not to worry, she will tell Web Sheriff that I am authorised to play that track on my show. She didnt seem to worried that the shows are being downloaded. I assured her that I talk over the promo as much as possible (so to the very rare haters that don't like the talking on a radio show, tuff titties haha! thats just the way it's gotta be!).

I've also talked to other DJ/producers and this is what one had to say:

i know it would help our downloads & hits if i put a full trackslist but there are a LOT of very exclusive tracks/bootlegs in there... So first of all i don't want to encourage these google searching fuckers to download our set just to cut out these few tracks.

And mostly i dont want people to judge the set/night by a tracklist... if you want to make your opinion-listen to the fucking set! :)

And to have a load of people guessing and making their own tracklistst on forums etc. also gives your set extra visibility as there is 'somethin to talk about'... but hey, thats just my point of view.

And finally, what some of my listeners have had to say on the subject:


I don't understand what the big deal is sharing promotional tracks , I mean if you look up the definition of promotional you get

pro·mo·tion (pr-mshn)
1. The act of promoting or the fact of being promoted; advancement.
2. Encouragement of the progress, growth, or acceptance of something; furtherance.
3. Advertising; publicity. <<-- Read this part PUBLICITY!!!

If it's for the f'in public how the f can it be illegal to share it..

Sorry about my swearing I just don't take too kindly to people making us pay or not be able to download promotional content anywhere..

It's the kind of thing that makes me never want to purchase their tracks when they actually become retail after the promotional event..


thanks for waffling over the promo tracks, I loved it!!! Hahahahahaha!!! I was sitting at my desk just laughing at that on Lip Locked 90, you're the best!


the promo thing damn labels are getting bad hate file share peeps but geesh ya promoting
there stuff dont they want that cant win lol


So there it is.. the full inside story.. I hope that I can continue to offer my show archives for download. I will until I hear that it's not okay! Perhaps in future they will just have to be streamed from my website in future, people can still record them with a little bit of know-how though..

Thanks for reading this mammoth blog.. it must be a record for me!

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