Update: The files are back, everything is cool. Mediafire was undergoing some sort of technical issue which had “disabled” access to my account and files. Looks like I jumped the gun. In the interest of not whitewashing history, though, I’ll keep the original post up. It’s still a good read about why I share recordings of all my shows. –DaveX
A few moments ago, I visited MediaFire to check download stats for my shared broadcasts. I was specifically interested in last week’s show, as I had not yet seen the stats for this file. However, I never got to find out– my account has been removed, and all the files have been deleted.
This really pisses me off, and I’m going to tell you why.
First off, I’ve been sharing my broadcasts for nearly 10 years. Back before music blogs and p2p, I was sharing my radio shows for the cost of the CDR and postage. Over time, I have refined the process, moving from an actual audio disc of a single show (at the time, my show was one hour long), to mp3 copies of shows on a data disc. With the ability to share these recordings easily online, I dropped the practice of sharing physical copies, and did away with any postage whatsoever. I never did like accepting any sort of money for the recordings, but I simply wouldn’t have had any money to mail things if I hadn’t! Back in those days, I was eating pre-made cheese sandwiches the local deli would toss out at the end of the week, and always hoping to find a few coins on my walk to school.
During all this time of sharing my broadcasts– a new one each week for almost ten years, folks– I have NEVER received a single complaint from an artist or label. I think that bears repeating, because it only serves to highlight the ridiculous situation I find myself in now: I have NEVER received a single complaint from an artist or label regarding sharing my broadcasts. I have never gotten a single e-mail asking me to take something down, to remove them from a broadcast or recording, or just to chew me out.
It’s not like I’ve been hiding in obscurity, either. My e-mail is posted at this blog, and at my radio show’s website. I’m fairly accessible in chat during shows. Someone might drop me a comment at the blog, or send me a letter to the radio station. They could call during the show, and talk to me on the phone. Until a couple years ago, they could have dropped by my freakin’ house, since I provided my home address in case someone wanted to make sure their submission arrived in the mail! I’m the antithesis of everything shadowy or profiteering in the filesharing world. I’ve always been very open about providing recordings to listeners, making no secret of this fact.
And that gets to what really pisses me off about this whole thing. I have shared these recordings as nothing more than an additional way for users to hear the broadcasts. I’m sharing recordings I make directly from the station’s webstream– 64 kbps mp3 recordings, available only as a single 2.5 hour-long block. It’s hardly the sort of thing you’d gravitate toward if you wanted a high-quality pirated copy of an album! Not only would you have to wait each week to see if I’d play the rest of an album to get the whole thing (which I probably wouldn’t) but you’d have to cut out each track from the episode, and assemble them yourself into a low-quality simulacrum of the actual album. This would be a mess, and certainly not worth anyone’s time.
It’s always my hope and intention that my track record with artists and labels is completely clean and professional. I’ve always tried to treat everyone politely, with respect and care. I love experimental music, and I want to do whatever I can to make the community stronger. It makes me feel bad that some listeners can’t catch my radio show live, so I provide the downloads for these listeners. There aren’t many who take advantage of it, but I think it makes a difference for these few. Since I started using MediaFire early this year, I had around 150 downloads of my broadcasts– 54 of which were my first offering with MediaFire, quickly dropping off to anywhere from 2-15 downloads afterwards.
Now, feel free to correct me, but I thought I was doing this for all the right reasons. Listeners who couldn’t tune into the webstream live could catch it later. Labels and artists were going to be able to reach a few more interested listeners each week. All the kittens were safe and warm.
But you know how this turns out. One rotten apple spoiled the lot. I’ve got a crapload of broken links. And some asshole thinks they’re getting away with it. Not so.
I’m going to keep sharing files, but I’m going to have to do it a little differently. Instead of providing an easy-to-use link to the download, I’ll now ask that you send me an e-mail to request the link.
As always, I welcome any correspondence from artists or labels who wish me to remove their material. I’ve got NO PROBLEM with this, just let me know! But don’t go over my head and spoil it for everyone, it’s just jerky.
In the meantime, sorry about the broken links. I’ll be working to fix this throughout the day. I would REALLY enjoy hearing from you all now, especially those of you who have downloaded shows from me in the past. The comments section is wide-open! –DaveX