Sunday, January 24, 2010

Musicians Always Pay The Price!


This is a blog I had read the other day and it was quit disturbing so I decided to re-post it here. It just goes to show that there is no respect left for music or those that create it.

Scamming free mp3 download links
Originally Posted by Pixieguts of Ground Zero on 23 January 2010

I've always been for the sharing of music by individuals for the cultural benefit of us all. However, the internet is a constantly changing landscape and new pitfalls appear as time goes by. Just want to alert fellow music artists to a growing number of commercial sites that are sourcing mp3 direct download links from many sites on the net and using them without permission in a way that in my view is little more than a scam. For example, take a look at the search on my artist name at a site called bomb-mp3.com:

You will see a number of my tracks appearing on that page. These tracks have been sourced from free mp3 download links at sites like Last.fm, Ning (host site for GZP) and even one of my collaborators' own websites - basically from anywhere on the net there is a direct mp3 download link. The tracks are being offered by the bomb-mp3 site without permission for free download, streaming, viral embeds bearing the sites' commercial logo and (here's the main scam part from my point of view) the site is also offering ringtones of each track. If visitors click on the tracks' ringtones links they are taken to another website that attempts to lure them into entering their mobile phone number. If they do this without reading the ultra fine print, they will have automatically signed up for an ongoing paid ringtone subscription (the one I saw was $10 per week).

The sites I know of that are doing this to date: bomb-mp3.com, beemp3.com, abmp3.com, mp3raid.com. If you are concerned about this you can search on your own band name on these sites to see if your music is being used in this way too. A vast number of artists' music is being used without their permission.

If it was just a matter of sites re posting download links and thereby sharing our music around, I would not be bothered. It's the large scale commercial aspect of it being used in this scammy way that bothers me. I saw this start to happen around the middle of last year with just one site, now I know of three more doing the same. I've also checked out the Alexa site to see statistics on these sites and have seen them in the Top 100 traffic sites for some world nations. Two of the sites had a 72% traffic growth in the past week. Seems like this is a growing virus.

I have removed all my music from free download at Last.fm and Ning and have alerted them about the issue. I have also emailed all the above mentioned ringtones sites demanding removal of my music but have had no reply.

If you find your music being sourced from Ning or Last.fm on these sites, here are a couple of email addresses to contact about it:

copyright@ning.com
labels@last.fm

Some sites are safe from these ringtones sites (like my favorite, Bandcamp), because they use Java or other safer methods of providing downloads (instead of direct mp3 download links).

Journey well in the internet wilds...



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