By now, you’ve doubtlessly heard of this situation: a couple of Ryan Adams fans leaked a pair of tracks from Jacksonville City Nights in August. Now the RIAA wants to send them to jail for violating an obscure recent copyright law – for 11 years.
Now, if you’re reading this, I’m sure you agree that posting two songs on a fan message board (or a music blog, for that matter) is not going to interfere with sales or marketing – fans posting on a board devoted to Ryan, or any artist, are going to want the product in full. What better advertisement for music than the music itself, and what better venue than free exposure through the internet? Yes, there is a free exchange of property which presumably represents lost income (as if people buy Ryan songs one at a time), but doesn’t a street team give away merch in the hopes that people will buy more?
Maybe if Lost Highway would actually attempt to market Ryan Adams by using Universal Music’s muscle to get him on the radio so people could hear a single in advance of the album and decide whether or not to buy it (because that’s how it works, right industry? *deep breath*) then, maybe people would have less incentive to hear the songs through illegal means. Is it ironic that this case is the most press Jacksonville has gotten all year? Or just revealing?
I would like to hear a response from Mr. Adams on this, but honestly I think he’s too busy doing coke and sleeping with Lindsay Lohan, so I’m not going to stop being a fan if we don’t hear from him.
However, if Ryan won’t stand up for his fans, YOU CAN. Sign the Free ToBeYoung.org Petition. It’s time we stood up for our rights.
If you like Ryan and are seriously regretting contributing $45 to the Lost Highway kitty last year, Ryan Adams live concerts are still 100% free and legal on Etree. And guess what, gang – he’s notorious for playing new songs at shows before they are officially released! I’ll let you connect the dots.
Anyway, I suggest the May 14th, 2005 soundboard, available here. Samples (right-click, save-as):
Ryan Adams – “A Kiss Before I Go” (live): mp3
Ryan Adams – “September” (live): mp3