American rock band Counting Crows is embracing BitTorrent rather than suing every user.
American rock band Counting Crows doesn't share the same view of BitTorrent that the recording industry expresses with each and every John Doe lawsuit. The landscape of the music business is changing, and BitTorrent is the new radio. Why punish the listeners when you can embrace them? Of course, that doesn't mean the band endorses outright theft, but instead sees an audience of more than 150 million people.
"I can dwell on the negatives, but I don’t want to miss out on the fact that there’s 150 million people who I can give songs to," said Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz in an interview. "You either treat it as just a money drain, like the record companies do. Or you can treat it as it actually is, which is a conduit, meaning it runs both ways."
"You can either cry about it or make use of it. File-sharing is no different from the rest of the Internet, it is a tool that connects the entire world. It is the cure for Babel," Duritz added.
Counting Crows is the latest -- and probably the biggest -- artist to use BitTorrent's promotional program. The band released its latest studio album -- Underwater Sunshine (Or What We Did On Our Summer Vacation) -- just last month, but decided to offer a promotional bundle on BitTorrent for free. The bundle includes the songs Untitled (Love Song), Like Teenage Gravity, Hospital, and Meet on the Ledge, high-resolution album artwork and liner notes from Duritz.
The internet is an important tool, he said. The band realized this early on in its career and launched a message forum back in 1995. Even more, they think bands are better off with the Internet despite labels bickering about how file-sharing is killing the business.
"Record business was never all that great for bands. It was always a 99-percent failure rate of bands. Even if you did do well record labels took 80-percent of your revenue and locked up your rights. And they are completely incompetent," Duritz said. "On the Internet [independent] bands can survive. Perhaps they don’t become megastars, but at least they can survive and thrive. And there’s a lot of great music out there right now."
The great part about the Internet is that users can make their own music stations. This is where BitTorrent plays a vital role.
"If you got 150 million people on BitTorrent, then that’s the new radio station," he said. "That’s a better radio station in fact, because people have the choice to play it as much as they want and stop when they get sick of it. I can’t believe everybody’s not doing it. It’s a no brainer to me and now that we’re an independent band we don’t have to listen to a bunch of idiots who tell us what we should or shouldn’t do. We can have smart people or we can trust ourselves."
To read the entire interview, head here. Perhaps every band, movie studio and game developer should ditch their publisher and offer portions of their work for free on BitTorrent. After all, who is usually the most vocal about piracy anyway?