Movimiento Partido Pirata en Uruguay

Machinae Supremacy: Sharing is Caring

Posted on jun 17 2013

Excelente disertacion de Robert Stjärnström, el lider de Machinae Supremacy. Cuenta la historia de su banda, su relacion con TPB y las razones por las cuales ellos ofrecen su musica gratis.

transcripcion del discurso (en breve, subiremos la traduccion) :

Thirteen years ago, when my band got started there was no Facebook, nor Youtube not even Myspace, and unlike most bands at the time, we put up everything we did on our website for free
download; and to be honest we did that at first only because we didn’t think we were doing anything anybody would’ve noticed, much less pay for.

We made it available for the benefit of our friends, so that they could follow up our progress; then one day, that first year, in the server logs on our website, we noticed that our first five or so songs had been downloaded over 10000 times and all we could think was “hey, we don’t have 10000 friends… but it would appear that we have fans”

In 2001, one of those fans suggested that our style would be perfect for remaking of a classic video game song. We liked the idea and we chose to make a cover from the theme of a game called The Great Giana Sisters, which we put up on our website for free as per usual.
Now, as luck would have it, this turned up to be a good move. The song went viral, even though we haven’t had a word for that yet. Before long we had over 3 million downloads from our website. At the time, that was insane for a band the mainstream media never heard of. That was without marketing, without any form of paid promotion and without a record label. What ultimately led us to start selling our work so we decided to record and release a full length studio album. We did it ourselves and we set up a web shop to sell t-shirts and some other merch alongside the album, and it did pretty well. We understood that now that we no longer were just giving it away, people would start to pirate our music but we also knew, being consumers as well as producers, that we were no different; in other words, we would be hypocrites to condemn it, so instead, we embraced it… we told our fans that one way to support the band was to buy the album but if they didn’t want to spend the money or couldn’t afford it they should just download it, with our blessing, but in return pass it on, share it, send it everywhere. People loved that choice and that attitude alone was one of the things they raced to tell others about.
Now piracy is interesting because the sheer magnitude of the disconnect between digital consumers and the mainstream content industry.
Young people are more informed and socially aware than ever, we peer trough the looking glass and see what goes on in the world.
And we are suppose to feel bad for sharing some music and a few movies amongst each other. There was this anti piracy ad years back that read “You wouldn’t steal a car”, as this was somehow comparable but indeed it’s true: I wouldn’t steal a car but I would download one if I could.
It doesn’t matter how incessantly you insist otherwise: sharing something is not the same as stealing, I mean, is not that I don’t see where they are coming from but that still doesn’t change the fundamental nature of the act or its intention, if anything, is the opposite: to share is to give…

Anyway, we eventually signed with a major label but we already had a worldwide fan base. The A&R guy who contacted us said he had heard our album on a friend’s house. So while the industry seemed to be the last to know, every alternative music enthusiast with an internet connection was talking about us, we were arguably the biggest underground band in the world; and although the label obviously didn’t share our affinity for piracy or file sharing they chose to look the other way for the benefit of having us on their roaster; but being in a major label, meant that we no longer could release our music whichever way we pleased but we saw an opportunity to exercise our old ways when our concert on a festival in Finland was recorded and made on a live DVD in 2011.
Instead of selling it, we decided to release it for free; and we did so on The Pirate Bay… now our label had been good to us and we had no quarrel with them and we certainly weren’t out to provoke them but this resulted in some blow back… a few days after, when it daunted them what we have done, our label manager called us up and asked “what the fuck is this?” -those were his exact words- and we justified with the sentiment we lived by: we’d rather had millions of people see this than thousand of people buy it, and by putting it in The Pirate Bay ourselves we pissed off those who still don’t get it and everybody else will love us for it … and that is exactly what happened.

Since the Great Giana Sister, that song stayed with us, for many fans naturally, that was the song for which they discovered the band and even the original composer, Chris Holsbeck, contacted us at some point and asked if he could put our version of his song in one of his albums.
Then in 2012 came the 25-year anniversary of the release of the original game, a modern day version of the Giana Sister was announced and we were asked to join forces in the making of its original soundtrack.
It was the butterfly effect: while the Great Giana Sister cover had generated no direct revenue for us, it did help make us famous and we now realised it had injected us into the game legacy because of the nature of the Internet and the viral success of that song, we had become synonymous with that brand so much so that we were now a key component in its continued existence and people who once inspired us, we now worked with, side by side.

My band is one of the many that would’ve not existed today, were not for the way people share contact online. We wanted to create a piece of art that celebrates the liberation of culture, media, education and information; something that directly involved the people who’s for and about. We reached out to our fans and gave them a song, we asked them to get in front of their video cameras, their phones, their webcams and recorded themselves performing to this song. People from all the corners of the world came together for this and I really think that resulted spectacular.
This is not only a tribute to a generation online but a testament to the rise of a digital nation …

The lyrics in the chores of the song go: “Though far apart we are united by heart” … there is something real about connecting online, the Internet is a place of gathering, a growing ground for community and belonging; it empower us and connect us in incredible ways. It has its own culture, its own politics, even its own myths and legends and it has its own people. Those of us who called on early and every generation born into this world since, have another way of seeing things:
We take culture and share it, because in our minds that is how we reward good things and it is how we bring what we like to the ones we like. Sharing is caring, it is natural, it is a human impulse, it feels good. That is why we share our music with our fans and that is why they share it with their friends. To inhibit that would be to inhibit who we really are.
Thank you.

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