26/09/2012

Illegal Downloads Are Still Embarrassingly Frequent

Ed Sheeran - Plus, the most illegal downloads
Ed Sheeran - Plus the most illegal downloads
Freddie Matthews writes from London: At a time when the recession continues to hit the general public, illegal download activity costs the music industry about £500 million in lost revenue per year. Surely this figure is arbitrary, as there’s an assumption that all illegal downloaders would have bought a particular album had piracy not been an option. It’s like the £10 note lying in the street that you picked up. Would you have spent £10 had you not found it in the first place? Of course you wouldn’t have but it was available for free, so why the hell not?
As a musician I have always believed in copyright. How else can an artist make money (we know there ‘are’ many other ways) but the point is that Joe Public doesn’t care about the copyright laws. Most people want everything, or at least as much as they can, of anything and everything, for free.

Touring is now what album sales used to be. You can’t illegally download the thrill of watching your favourite band, or artist, in concert playing live. It’s the emperor’s new clothes. In order to sell out a tour, first an artist must have the popularity and that now comes from not only record sales but also a hugely successful social media and internet presence. The more downloads you get, whether they’re legal or illegal, the more fans an artist will get. Full stop.
Ed Sheeran isn’t stupid and makes some very good points. ‘I’ve sold 1.2 million albums and nine million people have my record in England which is quite a nice feeling’. Yes, it must be a great feeling but eight million of those people have obtained Ed’s album illegally. However his next point is the key to it all. ‘I’m still selling albums but I’m selling tickets at the same time. My gig tickets are like £18 and my albums £8 so … it’s all relative’.
Ed Sheeran on stage
Ed Sheeran on stage
Ed Sheeran has also recently underlined the fact that he is at ease with illegal downloaders and tweeted, ‘eternal love for anyone that owns a copy of ‘+’ however you got hold of it, legal or illegal, thank you for enjoying it’.
These quotes have come to light as a new file-sharing report has named Ed Sheeran the most downloaded artist across 459 UK cities in 2012. The singer-songwriter is at peace with the eight million people who have illegally obtained his album.
Why can’t musicians be paid for what they do, just like everyone else and what makes the illegal downloaders think it’s OK to steal music when they know very well that it’s still theft?
So far in 2012 illegal file-sharing has topped 33 million albums and 10 million singles and poor little ginger haired Ed Sheeran, with his tiny acoustic guitar, is the most illegally downloaded artist with album +. These figures are also geographically dependent and the city with the highest levels of piracy, based on downloads per person, is Manchester. Are Mancunians really ‘that’ tight?
The UK came second in the worldwide chart of illegal downloads in the first six months of 2012 with 43,263,582. A figure only surpassed by the US with 96,681,133. This really isn’t good for the UK considering we are about one fortieth of the size of the US download market. Despite this we’re not far off half the volume of illegal download activity. It’s actually quite embarrassing.
This is a partial extract of the main post found here Stirring Trouble Internationally - (A humorous take on news and current affairs).

BBC, BBC Radio 1, BitTorrent, Ed Sheeran, England, Filesharing, London, Manchester, News

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