Music Thievery Laid Bare : When Pirates Rip Off Working Class Artists : Guest Post by David Cloyd

The Trichordist

The naked truth of how music piracy hurts working class artists

Let’s face it. “Piracy” is a loaded word. As Captain Phillips played in theatres last fall, the word “pirate” found itself in a very different context than it did right after any of the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies. Real-life pirates aren’t funny, quirky, eccentric characters based on Keith Richards. They’re terrifying criminals with a desperate bottom line. And while a lot of people may enjoy dressing up as Captain Jack Sparrow for Halloween, nobody wants to be mistaken for an actual Somali pirate.

So maybe it’s time we all took a second look at “music piracy.”

Defined typically as an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea, “piracy” was initially used as slang for copyright infringement because the “pirates” in question were trying to profit from the crime by reselling the product. As the recording industry evolved…

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