Tashaki Miyaki Begs Fans to Stop Torrenting Their Music…

Once upon a time, artists were scared to make statements like these…

  • Save

  • Save

62 Responses

      • Anonymous

        You guys are weird… it’s alright to steal from unknown artists because they’re worthless, and it’s alright to steal from rich artists because they don’t need the money.

        You really makes me sick…

    • Tashaki Miyaki

      Hi I am this artist and I just want to inform you that your statement is completely ignorant. Not only is my music on multiple torrent sites, but these sites have advertisements on them by companies like Pizza Hut, GE, and Target. These sites offer no products or services. They host mps3 for free downloads which they do not have the rights to. They also do not pay the artists at all despite making millions from advertisers who want their ads on a high traffic site. If these sites did not exist, artists profits from digital sales would probably double. A smaller artist such as myself needs every bit of revenue to be able to record and tour. Before you start throwing insults get informed.

      • Daniel Morones [Foxxhound]

        I am in a band and I only wish I posted this first. “Just sell more t-shirts” or “tour more” are tired half baked arguments to the bigger problems at hand. Bands spend thousands on recordings and rarely make it back. The idea of getting it out there for free is basically saying that your record is a very expensive business card to just hand out to everyone. How many more of my musician friends have to have their personal and financial lives go bankrupt because they are always on the road trying to sell t-shirts’?

        I am writing this at my cubicle by the way cause I have to have a day job.

      • Anonymous

        Hello Tashaki,
        Thanks a million for standing up against the parasites! I wish the very best for you!

    • Anonymous

      Seriously? File sharing sites have the largest catalogs of music available, because it is literally no holds barred in regards to what is allowed to be shared. Even completely obscure artists that might not exist on iTunes can be found on file sharing sites..

      • Anonymous

        Then perhaps the file sharing sites should start paying artists since they make millions from the corporate ads on their sites. Get informed.

        • Tom Green

          Since they’re run by gangsters, aided and abetted by Google, who make a fortune out of the ads placed on these sites, that is NEVER going to happen. Sure, it’s a lot easier to pay a small sum to some fat greasy Russian shitbag who probably also lifts credit card details and runs porn sites, than pay the artist, isn’t it ?

      • Johnny Blue

        Legally, sharing of copyrighted material is not “allowed.” Morally, “allowed” comes strictly from the perspective of those who do not support the arts. The mentality of those that believe that “allowed” comes from the artists is shocking, inconsiderate, and shortsighted.

        “Allowed” in the realm of torrent sites is just doublespeak for “I want it free.”

        I want everything to be free too, but I have respect for all the honest hard working humans in the world, so I don’t undermine their ability to make a living by stealing … oops, I mean “sharing” their works.

        ALL creative artists need to speak out on this issue and I applaud Tashaki Miyaki for having the guts to do so!!!

    • Pat

      4,114 likes? The problem with your comment is this: I’m listening to Dam-Funk right now on Spotify. He has 2,700 followers. He’s a big name. So your comment is irrelevant.

      • GGG

        Not agreeing with the other guy per se, but Dam Funk as 28K likes on Facebook. There’s a big difference between FB likes and Spotify followers, mainly because the latter has like a fraction of a fraction of the users.

        • sarah

          why does it matter how many likes? that’s so not the point. the point is they are a young band trying to make their first album and are asking their fans to purchase music rather than download it illegally.

          • GGG

            It doesn’t, was just pointing out that Pat’s comparison was wrong.

  1. News Reader

    were artists really scared to make statements like this previously? really?

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, after Lars Ulrich and Lily Allen.

      But everything began to change around 2010. Today, it’s obviously cool to stand up against theft.

  2. Minneapolis Musician

    This is all playing out exactly as predicted. Regardless of those who hoped differently.

    “Good enough” music is SO easy to make and distribute today, that it has lost its value.

  3. @mattadownes

    Taking 10 minutes to write a post about this and complain about it is fine. Beyond that you should be concentrating on the things you have control over.

      • Anonymous

        “Things you have control over”??? Shouldn’t an artist have control over the music they own and create?

        • Anonymous

          Even in the “old days” when artists made money from selling product, they never had control after signing their rights off to labels and publishers. What’s being brought up here is nothing that hasn’t been talked about on this forum since it’s inception, but now that the Whitey thread got traction, this went up as well, and is driving traffic.

          Telling people to stop torrenting your music is lovely, glad you’ve picked up this PR here, maybe now go and figure out how long you’re willing to work like this, or how to generate income otherwise.

          Every single other artist is in the same boat, torrents aren’t going away tomorrow, or next year, google will not be blocking pirate sites in the near future. Figure out what you can do to keep the ship afloat in the meantime.

  4. Anonymous

    Every little bit helps. It helps just a little when we hear from artists that they can’t earn a living due to illegal downloading. Maybe some day, artists will be supported by their listeners. Maybe taxpayers should foot the bill. Get free govt sponsored studio time if your music is downloaded enough times. eh?

    • Tom Green

      Why should the taxpayer pick up the bill ? You’re the one listening to it, not the ‘taxpayer’. Free music/film/software is not some kind of human right. You don’t expect to get free bread, fuel, computers, broadband connections, or beats headphones – all paid for by the taxpayer- do you ?

      If you consume it, you should pay for it. Instead of getting it off torrent and thereby allowing Google, ISPs, and pirates to make billions off the traffic of so-called ‘free’ content.

      Free music makes some people a hell of a lot of money. Just never the people who actually make the music.

      • Anonymous

        there’s already a precedent for taxpayers funding the arts, in the form of NEA grants & similar. the arts are a different category from other commerce as they enrich our culture

        • Tom Green

          … and in these times, arts funding is getting the chop everywhere you look, and the funding is controlled by mostly academically-minded people who will insist that you supply them with the right arty bullshit-speak before they’ll hand over a cent. It’s just not a model that crosses over into the so-called ‘commercial’ music sidee, which is what most people would actually prefer to listen to.

  5. vistor

    Tashaki Miyaki is in good company and more will follow. Recently we’ve seen T-Bone Burnett, Eminem… even Amanda Palmer is getting hip (as seen here on DMN). David Lowery has lead the way. Lou Reed supported David’s cause against Ad Funded Piracy before he died.

    Artists are, and will continue to learn the absolute truth first hand… and as they do, the volume will continue to come up. It’s not “evil labels” it’s Evil Silicon Valley Robber Barron’s… Silicon Valley freedom is like an ankle bracelet…

  6. k.o.

    On the other side of the argument, it’s a great way for more people to hear your music and become fans. Fans who will come to see you when you’re in town, and some who will buy hard copies of your work. I’d say about 95% of the bands I listen now are bands where maybe I heard 1 or 2 songs, downloaded the album and became hooked. I now eagerly anticipate new work, go to shows every time they’re in town, and if the new album is really good, I’ll buy it. I may be in the minority here, but I have spent a lot of money on music related things, money I never would have spent if not for torrenting.

    • Anonymous

      “I’m entitled to steal whisky ’cause I buy it too.”

      You’re a thief, pal.

      • k.o.

        Actually what I’m saying is that because I got a few free tasters, now I know what I want to buy.

  7. Jason Jesse

    You talk about ignorance but you should have realized that the game is different now and that theres no big money in doing what you do. Yer “standing up fer yerself”just comes off like a whiny lecture to the people that dig yer music but dont really give 3 hoots if you can make the rent this month.
    I find that very tacky and im offended.
    Small indie bands such as yers can easily be found every day via the net so as long as there is internet there will always be a way to find new music by poor people such as yerselves.
    The fat cats are already suffering.

    • Tom Green

      IE – I like your music but I don’t give a toss about whether you get paid or not cos there’s always some other sucker band out there who’ll entertain me for free, and I find it tacky and offensive to be reminded that I’m getting free entertainment off the back of someone else’s hard work. By the way, didn’t you know that the business is f***ed anyway ? You shouldn’t have gone into making music if you don’t like our {tacky and offensive} attitude- which is precisely why the business is f***ed.

      Well now Jason – who, precisely, is going to go on supplying you with all this free music if no one can be arsed to support it in any way ?

      • Jason Jesse

        Tom Green, i am in the business off making my music. I write it, record it and release it via the internet…. just like millions of others. Except i have a firm grip on reality to whereas i dont expect a dime back. I werk hard too and to tell you the truth it really isnt hard werk because i love it and i have it too deeply engrave into my unholy soul to ever refer to it as hard werk, and guilt my fans into buying into that.

        I guess you and i are doing this fer entirely different reasons.

          • Tom Green

            The difference is probably because the music I would like to make, put hard work into, and which would express what it is I’m trying to say, happens to include other musicians playing instruments. This means rehearsal time (and space) = money needed, and also means recording studios, decent mics, and engineers = money needed. It also means touring costs = money needed, very rare that touring makes any money at all, when you’re still unknown, as a band.

            So while I’m glad you can afford to just hand it all out for free, we can’t. But that doesn’t mean we’re any less ‘artistic’ than you are. The implication that only those who do it for free are ‘real’ artists is just ridiculous.

          • Anonymous

            The numbers you’re talking about could now be considered start up costs, or costs of entry into the market or acquisition of new fans. I know…bummer.

            There are artists I work with that have invested tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of man hours, to be offered record deals that offer a fraction of that (in terms of advance). What artists rarely understand is that their own financial, and emotional accounting really has no bearing on reality when it comes to the current marketplace and overall equity of their works.

            The sooner they realize that the better, sadly some never do.

          • Tom Green

            We realised it quite some while ago – and we have families. So the acoustic based project I’m talking about is on the backburner – very occasional gigs, virtually no rehearsals, and tho we managed to get some arts funding to do some recordings, there won’t be any releases for a while yet. We haven’t entirely binned it, but we have taken the decision not to invest serious time and energy into it, we can’t afford to. In the meantime one of us works in tech, another in the arts, another is unemployed, and I make music for tv, film, and library.

            14 years ago I was in a very similar project which very quickly got a good advance, did some tours, sold reasonably well, and gave a lot of pleasure to a lot of people, as well as a reasonable living to us while we were doing it. These days that option simply isn’t there – it’s a shame…

    • ben caldwell

      by that reasoning, your boss should stop paying you, since your just some replaceable fuck. after all,he doesn’t care if you make rent this month. neither do i.
      entitled quarterwits like you can easily be found everyday, most of them don’t sound as lazy or whiny as you, so and there will always be new suckers to do whatever it is you can barely do.

    • Johnny Blue

      As technology advances (AI, robotics, 3D printing) more and more industries will be affected by the phenomenon those in the creative arts industries (musicians, journalists, artists, photographers, etc.) are being faced with.

      This is currently only affecting those that produce product that can be digitized … virtual product, if you will. When it moves into the physical realm, and the realm of service related industries it will become a much huger issue.

      We’ll then see how the world copes with fewer and fewer positions of employment, and what people that used to support themselves therein have to say about “sharing.”

  8. David

    Mildly relevant, in my newspaper today there was an article about ‘hackers for hire’ claiming that it is now possible to hire a hacker (in the loose sense) to disable a chosen website for as little as $400 a week. So disabling it for a month (sufficient to put most pirate sites out of business) would only cost a few thousand dollars. Disabling the top 100 pirate sites in the Google Transparency Report for a month would cost less than $200,000 in total. Sounds like a bargain to me!

    Admittedly, some pirate sites are probably better defended against hacking than the average company website, but it isn’t really necessary to disable a site completely to put it out of business – just make it unreliable enough that people will stop using it.

    Of course, this kind of direct action is illegal, but who are the pirates going to complain to? (Apart from the EFF, who would no doubt rant about the pirates’ ‘freedom of expression’!)

    • whostashakimiyaki

      To me, this means i should stop being a musician and learn some code. So i can be a musician . ;-P

      • Anonymous


        You should also learn something about Marketing, Merchandising, PR, Touring, Booking Production, Promotion and accounting.

        The party’s over.

  9. Michael

    If there were sites that let you steal (download) gasoline, pharmaceuticals or firearms from the internet, you can bet they would be shut down tomorrow. People who steal any digital media are not only thieves but worse, they are Ignorant and obtuse. I fear for their offspring.

    • Anonymous

      Ha, well it appears to be working against the band because they have less “likes” now!

      • FarePlay

        Great to see all the support for this young band on this site.

        While we will always have piracy; when artists stand up and acknowledge the importance of their fans and are honest about how they need the financial support of their fans to exist. some people will actually understand the value in supporting the artists they follow.

        In a world I want to live in, people chose to support each other and aren’t simply interested in themselves.

        Bravo to Tashaki Miyaki and those who CHOSE to stand up for his comments.

        • Tom Green

          Interesting how many of those saying ‘shut the F up and stop being whiny/it’s all just a publicity stunt’ aren’t prepared to put their names to their posts, just ‘Anonymous’. In exactly the same way they can use internet anonymity to get all the free content they want.

          Bunch of cowards basically.

  10. chosenlovemusic

    J. Cole isn’t the only raw talent coming out of North Craolina. Check out unsigned, solo artist Chosen Love (formally known as Young D).

  11. Anonymous

    I’m glad artists are finally starting to stand up for their rights and say publicly that piracy is wrong and does hurt them. Selling merchandise is one thing, and touring is another, but NO ONE should be expected to give away their work for free. It is a LOT of work to put a band together, rehearse, write and record no matter how much you love what you do. Being a musician, especially a professional, no matter how enjoyable is more work than a lot of careers and carries a lot of frustration with it as well. The general public seems to think that musicians don’t deserve to be paid, even as much as they get a great deal of pleasure from enjoying the artists’ work. Well guess what…we can’t do our job if there is no $ for us to continue. This is true if you’re just a performer in cover bands or in a national touring band, the principal is the same. I see people saying “you should just give all your music away for free, and make $ off your merchandise and tour.” Yeah okay…well if you’re in the hole from all your recording costs (instruments & all costs incurred from them, musicians who are hired to play on the recording, studio rental, mixing, mastering, recording, distribution, artwork, etc.) and what it takes to release and promote an album, then you shouldn’t be expected to just give it away. No one will ever get ahead this way and no one will ever profit if this keeps up.

    Good for them for standing up and just being honest about it. I hope many others follow suit.

  12. PM

    Why don’t we just collect money from every advertiser who has an ad where our music is? That should be the blanket rule.
    Cut out the middle man…….. If an ad exists on the same page as your music, they pay the artist/songwriter a fee per play.. You want to advertise using music, its ok as long as you pay a fee directly to the holder.
    Seems simple

    • FarePlay

      things have deteriorated so badly, that artists may need to have ownership of their own distribution channels.

  13. axgrindr

    Hey Tashaki Miyaki, you should look into this service from Topple Track
    They can remove illegal links to your music for $3 a track.
    I’m thinking about hiring them to protect our catalog of 20,000 tracks.

  14. musicesq

    Theft has now become rationalized as entitlement.

    Imagine there was a record store (remember them) near your home stocked with endless copies of every record/cd every recorded. And lets also imagine that the store had no staff or security and operated on the honor system where the customer was asked to deposit their payment for whatever they wanted to “purchase” in a box by the door. The analogy to today is that a large majority of people would enter the store and STEAL (not pay for) what they took BECAUSE IT WAS SO EASY TO DO SO with only a small portion of people feeling and understanding the moral obligation to pay for their purchase because it was the right thing to do and because the artists and a whole host of other people were part of the community that earned a living from music sales.

    Not to get too Malcom Gladwell like here but I wonder if future historians will look back on our era and theorize that the breakdown and degradation of basic human values stated with small things like tens (hundreds) of millions of people stealing music because it was so easy to do. When so many people so easy rationalize engaging in what are really small (petty) criminal acts on a daily basis is it surprising that society as a whole has become numb to and so easy rationalizes a whole range of other activities that people used to previously deplore?

    • hippydog

      what is really scary,
      is we have a whole new generation being trained that this is normal (wholesale theft of entertainment.)

      I was at Walmart last week in the music isle and I overheard a young girl ask her dad if she get get a DVD of Katy Perry, Dad responds “why dont you just wait, and i will download it for you for free?”
      I wanted to walk over and punch the guy..
      The kid had to argue with her dad how the DVD was worth it.. (better quality, extras, it was HER’S, etc).. The kid saw the value..
      the dad? not so much..

      either way…
      it kinda made me wonder how many parents are teaching their kids this is alright?
      Will the upcoming generation (gen zero? gen ‘Z’?) be better or worse?

      • musicesq

        If that guy’s boss told him he wasn’t getting paid for his work the guy would probably freak yet he is so hypocritically quick to to tell his daughter that he’ll steal the Katy Perry video by downloading it for free instead of buying it or manning up and telling her he can’t afford to buy it for her! It’s only when the facade of “doing the right thing” is removed that people’s true moral center becomes apparent!

      • GGG

        Which is why we should train them/normalize streaming subscriptions. Brings that money back.

  15. Marmuro

    Even though I totally agree with the band and most of you guys posting, we can’t dismiss the musicians that, based on their own situation, support the opposite… I read that Kid Rock was cool with free sharing of his music as long as such pirates paid a ticket for his gig when touring… does he have a point or not? I mean, it’s valid if the guy pictures his music as a promotional tool more than an income, he surely makes more money in a single concert than in a whole year’s digital income…. but one day he will stop touring, and maybe as Pink Floyd, Eagles and others, he will complain… don’t get me wrong, I think Kid Rock should stand for musical rights regardless of what he thinks personally, I just want to know your opinion and scratch the scar a little bit so we can propose solid solutions…. I just opened a digital record label in partnership with a “mainstream aggregator” and I’m happy to say that they were open to work on a new business model, where artists and songwriters get a very fair share, having step deals so we all keep the enthusiasm based on results… despite being a small effort, at least we have artists (like myself) cool with the fact that we are trying to build strategies to support them.

  16. Mickey Mac

    Theft is theft, plain and simple. If you have to explain and justify what you’re doing, you’ve already lost the argument. Shut up and go buy some music for once, ya thieving bastards!