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Piracy's role in visual kei 2: Electric Boogaloo

The Different Types of Pirates  

51 members have voted

  1. 1. What category do you fall into?

    • I buy as many releases and merchandise as I can responsibly afford.
      14
    • I used to buy a lot of releases when I was a big fan, but my fandom has died a bit and now I only buy releases from my favorites.
      12
    • I used to buy a lot of releases when I was a big fan, but my fandom has died a bit and now I don't buy releases at all.
      1
    • I consider myself a big fan of visual kei, can afford to buy a few albums, but simply choose not to.
      0
    • I consider myself a big fan of visual kei, can afford to buy a few albums and I do, but I mostly download everything.
      14
    • I have not bought a single release in my life and I have over 500 songs in my library from visual kei bands, but I will buy releases once I get consistent income.
      3
    • I have not bought a single release in my life and I have over 500 songs in my library from visual kei bands, and I have no intention of ever buying music.
      0
    • I am too young to convince my parents to buy all this music for me.
      0
    • I'm a big streamer now, so instead of downloading I have transitioned to services like Spotify.
      2
    • I get a lot of my Japanese music from second hand sources, so I never buy releases and support the band directly, but I also don't pirate.
      1
    • I have never pirated a single release in my life, and I stick to sources such as YouTube to get my visual kei fix.
      0
    • There are other reasons not covered here.
      4


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NOT THIS TOPIC AGAIN!

 

Relax, it's not what you think.

If you guys remember this topic - and I'm sure most of you do - then you will remember that I made a proposal at the end of it. What I said I wanted to observe was the effect of "our" piracy - our as in Monochrome Heaven - on visual kei sales, using the GazettE's newest album "NINTH" as the benchmark. Some of you really took this suggestion to heart, and others thought I was making a bad joke. I wasn't.

 

There's something to be said for testing even the most obvious of conclusions because sometimes the results can surprise you, but the results of this did not. I knew that this album would leak and make its way here well under the two weeks I specified. Next time someone restarts the discussion of supporting our favorite bands by not pirating their music, point them to this topic and remind them that the Internet is a very large place and that shouting your demands in one corner of it isn't going to change what happens where your voice and influence can't reach. Not even mine.

 

It's good to know that we are not the center of the visual kei universe. We have some influence and we do our part to keep the show going, but if we were to disappear tomorrow, I don't think the show would stop. That is ultimately a good thing. The scene needs to spread if it wants to stay alive. It seems pretty obvious but its worth reiterating. For what it's worth, the album didn't appear here first so it's not like we are the alpha and the omega to all of the woes our favorite bands go through.

 

The conclusion that I can draw from this failed social experiment is that we need a better definition of what "piracy" actually is. There are reasons why the international scene depends on piracy, so to make future discussions more useful we should find as many different reasons as we can and the distribution within the scene. To that end, I've attached an anonymous poll to the top of this post.  If you are interested, vote for the option that fits your situation the best, and if there isn't one (and you don't mind), share your specific reasons below.

 

I'll leave this topic open until the end of the month so you guys can share your thoughts and opinions.

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Of course Gazette is shared everywhere. Those bigger bands, nobody can protect.

 

But as long a band has a small fanbase such expiriment could have been a success. 

 

lots of smaller bands don't drop first at vk.com or on Other platforms. only the more popular bands get there first.

 

MH still is the biggest source of sharing music first. Just not worldwide popular bands such as the gazette. 

 

 

If I like a band, I buy their shizzel.

If I want to try a band, I pirate, but if I think they are amazing, I 100% support them with money. But only if I think that they have some respect for their fans and that money/fame isn't their top piority.

 

But after all. I call myself only a real fan if I also own some of their music. 

 

 

but neverless, 90% of nowdays vkei musicans are a bunch of kiddos who wanna that woman support their neet life.  with actually 0 talent for playing their instrument or being a vocalist. 

So why would you wanna throw your money to such human?  

 

 

After all,

we need to choose who we support. And it is for almost nobody possible to support every damn band you like.

 

but i still think that people should think before they share music and not to throw a band release online at the release date unless it's a major band with a big label behind. 

sharing 2~4 weeks or longer after a release date also hurts nobody. 

 

 

EDIT:

Also, I did learn about Japanese music because of ANIME on TV.

Later on I pirated stuff on a different forum, because I wasn't 18 years yet, back then buying was also difficult. but since I am 18,  I buy the music I love.

So without anime I wouldn't know about Japanese music. 

 

 

 

Edited by BrenGun

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*sits down in rocking chair* 

 

"Piracy: an act of robbery on the high sea-" 

*cough* 

"Piracy: the unauthorized use of another's production, invention, or conception especially in infringement of a copyright"

 

The warnings you get that precede DVD contents, plastered on CDs, etc. are constant reminders that piracy is clearly DEFINED .  We've moved the conversation beyond the point of piracy b/c this forum promotes the sharing of copyrighted content.  We can crunch all the numbers we want about vk band revenue streams, but in a legal sense all of us who participate in this are in the "wrong". 

 

The arguments and debates on this forum really stem from our subjective stances on the value of content in its physical and digital form. 

 

In my subjective opinion, I think piracy (in the scope of vk) has been helpful for promotion both overseas and within Japan. While it's dodgy, I would have NEVER gotten into Visual Kei if it weren't for those who uploaded material on streaming and download sites. I would go as far as saying that the sharing of content has been quite helpful in promoting artists & amassing fans who spend $ on them. The largest revenue stream for most vk bands are lives, and , generally, only fans that are really engaged w/ the bands are going to go in the first place. Most people aren't inclined to show up to a live w/o hearing the artists' work (it would be a waste of money). CDs and DVDs are products as well as promotional tools, and making that material available to a larger audience grows that promotional value. Piracy might take away a little revenue,but I believe that there is net growth in the long run.

 

In the context of overseas content consumption:

The delivery methods of piracy have changed a lot in the past few decades, transforming from physical -> digital -> digital + streaming. In our scope, most of us have witnessed the piracy shift from P2P (Peer-to-Peer e.g LimeWire & Torrenting) to DDL (Direct Download e.g. MegaUpload/Mega/Mediafire) to YouTube uploads. As Visual Kei (and Japanese Music) has shifted from niche P2P sharing to largely accessible streaming & social media, the impressionable audience has gotten much larger. Those who discover these bands and this genre are so enticed/entertained that they want to consume, even participate in buying all this content, but then it hits them. Shipping fees, CD prices, live-limited content, and the list goes on. You're too far physically to participate in lives and it's too expensive to keep up (or completely unreasonable for those who don't make their own money, teenagers.)

 

Of course there is going to be pirating.

 

Now here's where I stand. No one is entitled to upload anything, but I've made it my small mission to close the gap for overseas fans w/ my channel & my uploads here and elsewhere. I put a lot of "$" value in substance and promotional value in "content" (if that makes any sense).  I don't like uploading everything I have in FLAC or even 320 b/c of the time & effort it takes to acquire "those" releases in the first place, but I'm willing to share everything on YT  (it's gotten much easier to upload w/o your channel being suddenly taken down). I don't think everyone is entitled to having "pristine" copies just willy-nilly, but I think it would be a mistake for me not to at least share. 

 

From the bottom of my heart, I want people to love VK because is something I've grown to love. It has been a refuge, an eye-opener, and a catalyst for my exploration in music. In addition, if the content I share can get at least one person to love or maybe even invest in VK as much as I have, then I'll be happy to continue being a pirate.

 

(I hope this doesn't sound too scatterbrained. I've been coding most of the day and I'm a little eye-strained. Please ask me to clarify my points if need be.)

Edited by colorfuljinsei

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51 minutes ago, colorfuljinsei said:

*sits down in rocking chair* 

 

"Piracy: an act of robbery on the high sea-" 

*cough* 

"Piracy: the unauthorized use of another's production, invention, or conception especially in infringement of a copyright"

 

The warnings you get that precede DVD contents, plastered on CDs, etc. are constant reminders that piracy is clearly DEFINED .  We've moved the conversation beyond the point of piracy b/c this forum promotes the sharing of copyrighted content.  We can crunch all the numbers we want about vk band revenue streams, but in a legal sense all of us who participate in this are in the "wrong". 

 

The arguments and debates on this forum really stem from our subjective stances on the value of content in its physical and digital form.  

 

  1. This is all true.
  2. What I meant to say is that we should define our own reasons for why we pirate. I should have clarified that.

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Unnecessary opinion on what piracy is:

Whenever you enter into an argument or debate, you have to eliminate the opponents defences as a priority. When it comes to piracy, people's defence is quickly raised as "it's not theft, it's copying", as if the inherent problem is that you're taking something. The actual problem is the fact you're depriving a source of income from people who are developing material. Every step on the very long path way costs money and when you just go and download something you're giving a big middle finger to all those people.

 

In fact, that's why if you ever see someone putting uploads behind paywall or adfly links you should tell them to go fuck 'emselves and upload it here, because at the very least, bottom feeders shouldn't be making money by leeching off the efforts of others.

 

 

As for why, it's easier to pirate than go out and try to find an album. When it comes to Japanese music in particular, majority of it you won't find online or in a global website that isn't being run by corporate Hitlers. (Looking at you, iTunes.) If you do find it, it'll be limited, an outdated discography and usually with a ridiculous markup or expensive shipping, why worry 'bout all that when you can just download it and be listening to the song in 2 minutes.

 

The music label I've spent the most on is FIXT, they're indie and all their music is on Bandcamp, super easy. (Also no paying extra for FLAC which is so fucking nice.) Not only do they have music but they've also got great merch which is saddening when I try to find band shirts from JP artists I listen to I'll be fighting my way into what's effectively a small and 10 sizes below me, if I can find the merch at all. 

 

All in all, it's a segregated environment over in Japan, and to fix it they kinda need to do things on their end, and to that we can't really do much other than do our best to appreciate the small efforts they do make.

 

All in all, that feels like I'm just rehashing previous stated points.

The role this board takes in the larger scheme of things, I'd sooner have music being shared in a friendly community that's more for the focus of experiencing new things, rather than any one person trying to build themselves into a pariah. There's no elitism here, that I've seen, the general sense is that you're welcome unless you re-upload onto your shitty blogspots and only then you'll get a dodgy look. Sounds like every story I've ever heard of the London underground.

It's difficult to figure the extent of the ramifications made on the community when an upload appears here, especially like stated before when you use a popular band's release as the experiment. So Gazette is popular and an upload appears quicker, they're more popular and have more sales, more money and are most likely available to be purchased internationally. A smaller band might not have the same luxuries and so what, we shouldn't share it? Seems like some sort of weird popularity policing, of which I'm not a fan. 

I suppose we could go to certain measures to encourage the actual purchasing of cds and goods, like we already have the Japanese itunes guide, I believe? Links to international music shops, et cetera, might help a little. I imagine to some extent it's the unknown that is a problem, be it people don't know what's available or they do know but the uncertainty of trust, the worry of international shopping, delivery. (But then again, people would probably sooner infect their computer with 20 different viruses just to get the latest Dir En Grey single, so who knows.)

Edited by NICKT

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I already said pretty much all I have to say about it in the old topic. But I will both continue to download, and continue to try to purchase cds from my favorite bands.

However it's simply not feasible for me to be able to buy 3+ 30$ CDs with 3 songs on them constantly. So when necessary I will make do with low / med quality rips until I can buy.

 

I think it really is the idea between digital / physical goods, I'd never steal a CD, but an mp3 can be copied infinitely and passed around just as easy as a photo of an art piece. No one is charged for the latter despite both taking time, money, and the creators own energy to make, so I always thought that was interesting.

Do people place more value on audible art than visual? I don't know.

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4 hours ago, karai · ebi said:

I already said pretty much all I have to say about it in the old topic. But I will both continue to download, and continue to try to purchase cds from my favorite bands.

However it's simply not feasible for me to be able to buy 3+ 30$ CDs with 3 songs on them constantly. So when necessary I will make do with low / med quality rips until I can buy.

 

I think it really is the idea between digital / physical goods, I'd never steal a CD, but an mp3 can be copied infinitely and passed around just as easy as a photo of an art piece. No one is charged for the latter despite both taking time, money, and the creators own energy to make, so I always thought that was interesting.

Do people place more value on audible art than visual? I don't know.

I think the physicality of an object is easier to infer cost of production, or an inherent value. Whereas data is like, wind, to most people, sell bottled water and yell at people on the sidewalk for breathing, similar connotation, I suppose most ignore the implication because it's easier to.

Edited by NICKT

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I'm a big streamer now, so instead of downloading I have transitioned to services like Spotify.

I use Spotify quite a bit, but not all bands/releases can be found on streaming services.

Also, region blocked material makes it difficult for international fans to legally stream

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In my opinion: Piracy is a "necessary evil" and something fans—especially foreign and international fans—rely on, but should not be one that gya always resort to/go to first. One could argue that VK fans rely a bit too heavily on piracy.

 

I think it's good to keep in mind that 98% of these bands are extremely, and they're spending loads of money on costumes, sets, instruments, etc, etc. The little bit amount of money they get has to be divided for each member, hair stylists, makeup artists (that is, unless the bandomen themselves do their own hair and makeup), and the like. Despite that, people continue to pirate their music which can potentially result in a further decline of income. Relying on income from a band is a bad idea in the first place, but if you're tatted and pierced up it might be difficult to find another job that pays decently as well.

 

Keeping this in mind, it's sad to think that some gya don't even want to pay 3200 yen for a decently mixed and produced album. I think exceptions to be made are teenagers and those in college/university, which make up a large majority of the VK fandom and community. I also do think it's fair to note that some of the album prices are ridiculous, especially for the audience visual kei tends to attract. For example: almost every La'veil MizeriA release where normally 3-5 songs costs a good 4000 yen. This isn't to mention live tickets, drinks, and other merch that's being sold. Yikes.

 

On that note, I can admit that I wouldn't have found some of my favorite bands if it weren't for pirates and pirating. I also wouldn't have been able to listen to the glamscure x La'veil MizeriA coupling single 「禁断ノ果実」(Kindan no Kajitsu) which has 2 tracks and was originally sold for 1000 yen but was being resold for 5400 at some point. I only got to listen to it because of the DL forum on this site and I feel like a lot of members can relate to that with different examples.

 

Something else worth mentioning was that if bands had a problem with fans uploading their music on to sites like Youtube, they could easily take it down. Whether they want to or not—or even care to—is another thing. It's not an excuse for pirating, however.

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Not much to add to this topic beyond what’s already been said, except that this place is 10x better than some of these Facebook Visual Kei groups, which are filled with white-knight hypocrites who try and make people feel like shit for file sharing when they did the exact same thing years ago. It’s probably completely lost on them that a foreign fandom wouldn’t even exist without file sharing.

 

I download less than I used to, try to buy first hand releases for my fav bands but often go through resellers like RarezHut for cds/DVD’s/tapes or yahoo auctions for LPs. But for newer bands, or bands that I don’t really care about, the few cents they earn from Spotify/Apple Music/Youtube will have to do.

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An article that’s been making the rounds lately is that even if your band has been around for a decade and netted a Grammy nomination, you still earn no money, due to the current landscape of music. 

 

It’s not just piracy making an effect, but streaming as well

 

http://musicfeeds.com.au/news/periphery-guitarist-misha-mansoor-says-band-make-no-money/

 

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