Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: Modern music piracy

Back it the day, music piracy meant sneaking a cassette into your pocket and walking out of the record store. In the digital album, it was Napster and all the other illegal file-sharing programs. That was followed by “stream ripping,” which involved recording songs from, say, Napster, and selling those files. Now we have something else: streaming fraud.

These new pirates have figured out a way to create fake streams that siphon royalties away from legitimate artists. Using bots and streaming farms, they’re scooping between one and three percent of all royalties. A quick bit of math suggests that this means more than half a billion dollars is going to these pirates and not the proper artists.

Remember how we thought that streaming would eliminate music piracy? Well, apparently not.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37816 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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