The Future of Anti-Piracy? Millions of Lady Gaga Fans Plug a Leak…

Artists were once fearful of speaking out against piracy, not to mention paltry payouts. But that seems to be changing in dramatic fashion.

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The leak of Gaga’s upcoming single, “Applause,” first emerged over the weekend (more than a full week ahead of release). These appear to be pre-release, rougher versions, perhaps the worst form of piracy experienced by artists.

Updated: Lady Gaga has now rush-released ‘Applause,’ with distribution to broadcast radio (US now, then international shortly thereafter), iTunes, and YouTube. More details here.

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The extremely unusual public shaming is now a coordinated effort involving Lady Gaga, Universal Music Group, and die-hard Little Monsters. Which has subsequently led to removals and shutdowns at familiar places like Soundcloud and Perez Hilton.

Sounds like the emergence of crowd-sourced anti-piracy, with other artists potentially following suit. Gaga first sparked the outrage, and even lent support to another artist suffering a big leak, Katy Perry.

 

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61 Responses

    • Zac Shaw
      Zac Shaw

      I can’t believe you’re holding up the Dead Kennedys as a bastion of musician ethics. They are nothing but a “cash scam” (Jello Biafra’s words, not mine) out to exploit fans and squeeze more cash out of a band that’s been all about profit since reforming.
      Also, I can’t believe you think that fan clubs publicly shaming other fans of an artist’s music is the “future” of anything but being an out of touch rock star with a personal agenda.
      We can have a world where millionaire corporate musicians like Gaga sic their fans on people who want to listen to their music like the Internet Stasi. Or we can have a world where millions of independent musicians like Palmer establish direct relationships with their fans where value is reciprocated and patronage of arts is preferred over exploitation of rights.

      Reply
      • Yves Villeneuve
        Yves Villeneuve

        Let’s be clear. Piracy is theft of earning an honest livelihood through recorded music. No one has the right to dictate how much another earns, spends and saves beyond what the legal market mechanism is dictating. You obviously have an agenda to keep music theft a thriving business.

        Reply
      • FarePlay
        FarePlay

        Zac, you just demonstrated the most blatant form of character attack as a way to make your point. Your entire post is a reguratation of what you freehadists have been spewing for years.
        If you refer to any top ten lists of what pro-piracy people say, you’ll see all your comments there.
        As I’ve said to you before, grow up.

        Reply
        • GGG
          GGG

          “…character attack….” “….grow up.”
          Says the adult who uses a bad pun nickname likening people to terrorists…

          Reply
          • Visitor
            Visitor

            FarePlay got called out for violating copyright on his website, which makes this even more ironic.

      • Visitor
        Visitor

        “millionaire corporate musicians like Gaga”
        My god, I’m tired of old pirates and their pathetic excuses and endless envy.
        Open your eyes, man. The world is changing, nobody likes pirates anymore.

        Reply
  1. FarePlay
    FarePlay

    Piracy: We need a cultural shift, a change in perception that cuts through all the confusion and misperceptions about digital distribution and “free” being the new marketing strategy for fan building and success.

    There is no silver bullet solution to this problem. Legislation and technology have had little impact. What will move the needle are the artists themselves finding a way to speak out collectively about the personal challenges they face trying to survive financially in a digital world.

    Why are artists signaled out as unworthy of our support? What makes their contributions less valuable than any other working individual? These are basic questions that need to be heard, so that some will understand that there is an unspoken agreement between the artist and the audience that we need each other.

    Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      “some will understand that there is an unspoken agreement between the artist and the audience that we need each other”
      Indeed! And Little Monsters’ initiative is a beautiful example.
      This is just the beginning.

      Reply
    • GGG
      GGG

      “Piracy: We need a cultural shift, a change in perception that cuts through all the confusion and misperceptions about digital distribution and “free” being the new marketing strategy for fan building and success.”
      This is exactly right, and why I’ve talked about understanding the pirate community rather than just yelling at it. But at the same time, you can’t expect a rapid, 180-degree turn overnight or even in a year.
      But fans sticking up for an artist they care about is definitely a great sign.

      Reply
  2. Yves Villeneuve
    Yves Villeneuve

    I’m more excited about the new Katy Perry single than Gaga’s new one. I’ve read some of the apparent lyrics to the latter and have to declare her shameless self-adulation, personal insecurities and screwed up sense of humour are seemingly beyond repair… Possibly a result of too much drug use, alcohol drinking and eating disorders… There I said it. Let the media glorify the meaning of her songs and behaviour, as usual.
    Wouldn’t surprise me if the leak was intentional.
    Her fans need to stop encouraging her destruction.

    Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      “Possibly a result of too much drug use, alcohol drinking and eating disorders”
      And what’s your excuse?

      Reply
          • Yves Villeneuve
            Yves Villeneuve

            Gaga is getting too much credit for anti-piracy efforts. The headline is sensationalist ie millions of fans are not involved, lucky if a thousand really care.
            As usual, many in the media like to glorify her efforts beyond true merit, hence my reference to the meaning of her upcoming song and expected undeserved wild attention from the media.
            When bias is prevalent, it makes you wonder the direct or indirect commonalities of the publisher/editor with the subject.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “The headline is sensationalist”
            Says the guy who blames Lady Gaga for “too much drug use, alcohol drinking and eating disorders”. How come you forgot her looks and sexuality…

          • Yves Villeneuve
            Yves Villeneuve

            I never attack physical traits, only bad behaviour and philosophies. The fact I did not or feel the need to criticize her on those extra things should mostly be enough evidence my intentions are fair.

          • FarePlay
            FarePlay

            Yves, thanks for the perfect example of hijacking a conversation, your comments are totally off topic. It is so obvious, you have placed whatever credibility you had in jeopardy.

    • GGG
      GGG

      Oh yes, the Katy Perry song, written by four of the current top songwriters yet somehow still manages to shamelessly rips off not one, but two songs, and includes the lyrics “Cuz I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar” is sooo much better.

      Reply
      • Yves Villeneuve
        Yves Villeneuve

        You are obviously unaware of the differences between Katy Perry and Stefania Germenatto, in personality and habits, therefore your song comment is meaningless especially when put into proper context. Perry is a well-rounded individual who doesn’t take herself too seriously, but is very talented nonetheless.

        Reply
        • Visitor
          Visitor

          “but is very talented nonetheless”
          As opposed to Lady Gaga?
          Ever heard her play piano?
          Your comments are nothing but hate speech.

          Reply
          • Yves Villeneuve
            Yves Villeneuve

            Let’s be real here. She’s no Chopin, Mozart, Beethovan or Bach. Billy Joel is more talented than she is, in my honest opinion.

          • GGG
            GGG

            You say that like any sane person would disagree with you. Unless there’s a strong 12 year old girl demo on this site, I think we’re all on the same side here.

          • Marmuro
            Marmuro

            Your arguement is really stupid Yves… her musical knowledge might be even superior to that of Kurt Cobain’s, and that has nothing to do with personal musical taste… I personally dislike her music, but she is on a stage, she has written catchy melodies and beats and her struggle within the industry is respectable, as much as anyone else’s.

            It’s really sad how many people place their frutrations in this space, and even more when they go out of focus. Her fight against piracy has my personal applause (if that mattered to anyone).

          • Yves Villeneuve
            Yves Villeneuve

            First off, what exactly has she done to fight piracy besides make an angry statement she will go after hackers with a shovel? She doesn’t have the respect of the vast majority of the population due to her vulgar and obscene behaviour to primarily garner attention to herself. I think the lyrics to her new song, “Applause”, makes it very clear she is a needy person.

        • GGG
          GGG

          I actually know Stefani’s habits more than you can imagine, seeing as how she dated a friend of mine while we were all in school.
          But regardless, my comment was mostly pointing out that you don’t get to a pop-star at that level without being a megalmaniac. And that Katy Perry’s new song is just as dumb. Dr Luke is 1000x the musician Katy Perry could hope to be yet he still ripped off the Lumineers and Sara Bareilles to make a mediocre song, so talent is irrelevant.

          Reply
          • Yves Villeneuve
            Yves Villeneuve

            Like I said, you’re clueless if you think Katy Perry or every Pop star is a megalomaniac. Some of these artists try very hard to be humble and they appear honest doing it even though they sometimes are seen as effectively joking about their over-sized self-esteem.

          • GGG
            GGG

            Um…they are choosing to be pop stars in the 2000s. They know exactly what they are in for and they don’t care. If you don’t think that’s a crazy level of being ego-centric and “look at me I’m so great!” I don’t know what to say.
            Now, is Lady GaGa on a whole other level than Katy Perry? Sure, her whole schtick is forced and stupid. But yea, shooting whipped cream from your tits isn’t exactly keeping it low-key.

          • GGG
            GGG

            Thanks for the input, Poochie. Or maybe you’re one of the even lesser characters, like Disgruntled Goat or Klu Klux Klam.

    • smg77
      smg77

      Oh look here’s Yevs body shaming a woman who is at least a trillion times more successful than he is. Keep it classy dude…

      Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      “Crowd sourced anti piracy efforts. Now we’re cookin’ with hot gas!”
      Absolutely! 🙂
      Funny thing is that TorrentFreak appears to have coined the phrase. I’ll bet they’re gonna regret it one of these days.
      It’s catchy and it reflects a feeling many share:
      Why should ‘pirates’ be allowed to steal what I pay for?

      Reply
      • Visitor
        Visitor

        “Funny thing is that TorrentFreak appears to have coined the phrase. I’ll bet they’re gonna regret it one of these days.”
        …speaking of which; they also invented this phrase today:
        Fan-Driven Anti-Piracy Campaign
        Begin to wonder whose side they’re on… 🙂

        Reply
  3. Visitor
    Visitor

    “Sounds like the emergence of crowd-sourced anti-piracy, with other artists potentially following suit.”
    Here’s what any artist can do in two minutes:
    Upload a piracy report link to your web site that your fans can use.
    It could be your label’s equivalent of the one Lady Gaga’s fans use — http://privacypolicy.umusic.com/piracy/ — or it could be your own mail address if you’re indepedent.
    Many software companies already have similar links.
    A lot of fans love to help, and this is an easy powerful way to do it.

    Reply
    • Paul Resnikoff
      Paul Resnikoff

      It’s going to be really interesting to see where this goes. Actually, I can’t wait to see the sales numbers, maybe something interesting will emerge.

      Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      “Wanna grab some shovels and fuck up some hackers?”
      Sounds pretty genuine to me.
      (Can’t help imagining Ms. Perry and Her Ladyship gone hunting, armed, with shovels…)

      Reply
  4. Richard Zedalius
    Richard Zedalius

    What a crybaby. I can’t see how this nonsens should make any difference though. The thing is already available all the usual places, YouTube, GrooveShark, The Pirate Bay etc. Maybe she can organize an army of 200 no-lifers, but what can they do? Nothing. Also they’ll get tried of this boring crusade to make a rich person richer within a week or two.

    Reply
  5. Naysayer
    Naysayer

    This is all well (and good) but let’s not get too happy about it just yet. Not many artists have the freakishly obsessive and loyal fanbase as a Gaga or Perry. They’re the artists who are least affected by a leak.

    Reply
  6. FarePlay
    FarePlay

    Who better than Lady Gaga and Katy Perry to get into a discussion about piracy? Their audience is young and female, it doesn’t get any better than that.
    Our chances for enlightening an audience to the downside of unauthorized free file sharing, who are male and well into their twenties is a serious uphill battle. And sorry guys, because we are predominately men here, “Women are smarter” and will be far more receptive to listening, as opposed to just being reactionary, the way men are.
    Now Yves, I’m not letting you off so easy. Your rationale for hijacking the conversation smacks of what the freehadists have been doing for years. Avoiding the conversation and attacking the artist or the headline or the record companies.
    It prevents us from getting to the heart of the matter, which is really why were here in the first place.

    Reply
    • Yves Villeneuve
      Yves Villeneuve

      My comments have not solely revolved around the sensationalist headline but in any case, the media should not be forgiven to solely promote their own agenda.
      Preview the entire thread and you will see for yourself.
      As for a fan driven anti-piracy campaign intended to keep the artist ranking high in the charts, I don’t believe is necessary or effective. An artist-driven campaign focused entirely on his or her fans only is sufficient. I use a simple message on Facebook, Twitter and Official Website telling my potential fans “I am anti-piracy of livelihood.” whereas a pirate, music thief is accurately perceived to not be a true fan of Yves Villeneuve. All in all, music theft is bad behaviour and I have educated my fans on the subject.

      Reply
  7. DUDE
    DUDE

    If she’d come with something that recaptured the excitement she had around the time of “Fame Monster” Id have said this leak wouldve probably helped her in the long run by building some comeback hype in front of the album release… but its not that good so I dont think itll do much for her

    Reply
  8. Captain obvious
    Captain obvious

    Seems like a no brainer. You’d think most every artist would do it. Wonder why they don’t? I’d expect we’ll see more now that the cat’s out of the bag.

    Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      “You’d think most every artist would do it. Wonder why they don’t? I’d expect we’ll see more now that the cat’s out of the bag.”
      Sure, there’s nothing to lose and it’s so easy…
      I’ll bet all artist sites have Piracy Report links in 5 years from now.
      Lady Gaga, we owe you one!

      Reply
  9. TomAFD
    TomAFD

    She’d have done better to watermark ALL demos, press copies etc in the first place, then she’d know who caused the leak. And ripped their heads off. Plenty of firms out there offering reasonable rates for watermarking and then chasing torrents, sending takedowns etc. Well worth including a simple legal warning with all press kits – ‘this is watermarked and if you leak it we’ll sue you all the way to bankruptcy’ cos that’s where most leaks occur.
    yes, getting the fans on board is good PR but I doubt it’ll be nearly as effective as a bespoke service who can trawl the web for you and deal with 1000s of illegal sources in a few days.

    Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      “Plenty of firms out there offering reasonable rates for watermarking and then chasing torrents, sending takedowns etc.”
      Plenty yes, but reasonable rates?
      Could you recommend one?

      Reply
  10. Frank B
    Frank B

    Perfect. Message to the pirates…. We all know what happens in the end to pirates. They get away with crap for awhile, and then a well armed group of noble people is dispatched to make the seas safe again. This is just the beggining. Watch your back….

    Reply

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