Thursday, 17 April 2014

'the spyrals' get screwed

Today a YouTube side bar was showing a recommend for a band called The Spyrals. We all know how the recommendations work on the Tube.. the cookie they set matches your previous views with any other videos in a similar category. Fine. It can be useful bringing attention to something buried away in their the vaults and in the past has turned up some fun stuff. Anyway on this occasion it was The Spyrals. Well, we haven't checked them out before so let's have a go.
Set the track in motion and glance down the comments to see.. ah neat, here's a comment by The Spyrals from their own channel.
It said -

    "Kinda not cool giving away other people's art.....especially when you can stream it on our site.. " (at bandcamp)

Ah yes the bootleg upload. Some fan of the band had not just put a track up but all of their first album. There wasn't any advertising with the video so whoever had uploaded the album wasn't making any money from the 4000 hits it's had and probably saw the whole thing as a tremendous service for one and all.
But you can see exactly the point being made here by The Spyrals, or whoever it was that did make the comment for the bands channel, and those are not always as cut and dry as they first appear.
Well, the one thing we also all know (or should) is when you put a comment up on You Tube there's always someone who comments on that. And there was. Thankfully not a nasty one although somewhat ignorant to the bands situation.

    Great album. Probably wouldn't have discovered it if it wasn't for the captain though ('captain' being the uploader).

In which one of The Spyrals replied

    Would be nice to link to our site and not link to a free mp3 site in the comments. But whatever, it's a lost battle. And I didn't make the first comment. - Jeff

Ah yes one further point was this 'captain' uploader had not just uploaded the entire album he'd also given everyone downloads to the tracks. Nice going 'captain', it's easy to be generous with other peoples work eh.
Look, we're all in favour of free downloads, and we give away our tracks here no problem, but it's another thing entirely to take a band who won't exactly have a vast outlet and spread their music around as if you own it.
It also brings to mind, with all these crap major record company copyright notices going up all over the place and take downs over who owns what and advertising slammed over anything that seems to come from outside work, regardless of whether it has a creative commons license (eg. anyone can use the material). Then how come YouTube recommends what is essentially a bootleg anyway? Because it doesn't know it is.
It's possible if The Spyrals make a fuss about things to YouTube they could get a take-down.. but will they? No, probably not.. they're musicians, and at the end of night they do like their music to be heard.
But Jeff from The Spyrals is right "it's a lost battle".
When guys like The Spyrals are trying hard to cover their own limited costs just to try and release another record it's a real blow to find your entire album being given away by some enthusiast, no matter how well meant.
And how do you square that with torrent streams of million seller bands.. is it the same thing on a different scale? In the end we can only judge it by size. The minnows against the sharks.
The Spyrals and many other bands alike are in a very large pond and they need to have support. Bootlegging their stuff isn't going to help.

So to now balance out the uncalled for over indulgance by that uploader, here's The Spyrals entire latest album to stream. 'Out Of Sight' is a great bit of mid 60's vibe garage psyche from the San Franciscan trio and you can get the whole thing on red vinyl and a free download of all the tracks or buy the downloads seperately from the bandcamp widget below. So give them a handout shifting 500 vinyl albums... a collectors album for the future if ever there was.