Here's a sad tale. The manager of One Soul Thrust was doodling about online, stuck his band's name in a torrent search engine, and discovered that 100,000 people were online, busily sharing One Soul Thrust's music.
He was outraged - and wrote a post about it for his Cameron Tilbury Publicity website:
According to Cameron Tilbury, the band's manager, "This is not a victimless crime. No artist--whether they're international superstars or not--should be ripped off like this. But it really affects the smaller, independent artists the most since they rely on grants, loans and investors, and already live pretty close to the edge. Illegally downloading over 100,000 copies of an album is no different than stealing the pysical copies of the cd out of a warehouse or retail outlet. I wish there was a way to stop it."Trouble is, as Torrentfreak patiently explained, what Cameron was looking at wasn't 100,000 people sharing his music. He was looking at an advert which had taken his search time, and presented it alongside a totally made-up number to make it look like the torrent was popular.
The funny thing is, Cameron's original post contained a suggestion that rats were being smelled:
"We're flattered that people could love our music that much, but this is really tough to take," says ONE SOUL THRUST's lead vocalist Salem Jones. "While I question the exact precision of these numbers--pirates are dishonest by nature--it appears they reflect a strong enough version of reality to bring a serious issue to light."What Salem Jones had twigged was just how unlikely the numbers sounded.
However, when Torrentfreak and others pointed out his basic error, Cameron didn't react well:
This past week, it all hit the fan. On the Facebook page, "Balanced Copyright For Canada," one blogger outright accused us of lying. He even said that he had talked to the band's "pr guy." This is a lie. He had not talked to anyone in the band regarding the story--and he had not talked to me--if he had, he would know that I am the band's manager, not their "pr guy." If he wants to call me a bad manager, or criticize the music--hey, that's fine. That's opinion...and he is entitled to that. However, he has no place questioning our integrity...without even asking for comment. He hid behind a cute name on his blog. My name is out there for everyone to see and so is One Soul Thrust's. The CRIA is backing our position and so are politicians who are involved with Bill 32 (the proposed Canadian law meant to crack down on, among other things, internet piracy of music.)It's disturbing if the CRIA really is backing a position of a man who has fundamentally got his facts wrong - and surely even politicians are supporting the copyright rah-rahing without endorsing his mistake?
We have been accused of lying and we have been abused for our position. We have also had requests for our evidence from torrent sites which actually support illegal downloading--and even more offensively, publish charts of the top illegally downloaded music, movies, etc. We will not comply with people who's only agenda is to support piracy. We feel that there is no way to win an argument with those people. We want to make it clear that we will be more than happy to provide our evidence to journalists who are interested in writing a balanced story and actually speak to the parties involved for their opinion and comment.
Yesterday, Cameron was back on, realising that he had suggested his numbers might be wrong:
In our original release we questioned the validity of the numbers: "says ONE SOUL THRUST''S lead vocalist Salem Jones. 'While I question the exact precision of these numbers--pirates are dishonest by nature--it appears they reflect a strong enough version of reality to bring a serious issue to light.'"He now seems to be upset that they were saying there were torrents when there weren't. He's pissed off at not having his music shared.
Sure enough, it would appear that not only are the downloads on pirate sites illegal, but their numbers are pretty shady too.
One thing that has been made abundantly clear, is that if an artist sticks out their neck in defence of an honest day's work, they will be the subject of a malicious attack. I personally am being attacked on Twitter, Facebook, email and even Skype. And why? Because a debut album by an independent Canadian band is listed on torrent sites around the world and we had the audacity to point that out.Except you're not really being "attacked"; people were trying to engage with your claim and pointed out it was wrong. You might have been made to look a little stupid, but that's down to you.
And your record wasn't on a torrent site (as far as Torrentfreak could tell), which is kind of important.
It's a little sad. He doesn't understand the internet, and when someone tries to help him, he reacts with jabbing attacks. If One Squat Thrust or whatever they're called still have faith in their manager, they might want to suggest he spends some time listening to people who understand the modern world rather than trying to rail against ghost thieves.
[Hattip: Boing Boing]