The Album Has Leaked

The album has leaked.  This blog post isn’t going to be about the music but about the discussions taking place throughout the fandom about downloading the album ahead of time.  Obviously, there are many fans who think it is perfectly acceptable to get a copy of the album ahead of time for various reasons.  There are other fans who disagree with those reasons.   

The basic reasons that the fans who have downloaded the album, illegally, have given are either that they will buy it anyway or that the album won’t be available any other way.  Most fans who have a copy of the album claim that it is not a big deal to have it because they will actually buy a copy when it is released.  One thing I have noticed with this argument is that some of these fans aren’t saying WHEN they will be buying it.  Will they be buying it on the 21st when it is available via iTunes?  Maybe, they will wait until the physical release in February.  Does it matter?  If they are buying it on the 21st, does that make it okay as they really will be buying it as soon as possible?  Does that make it okay?  That doesn’t seem that horrible to me. In that case, it is like having a preview.  What if they are waiting for the physical release?  My question here would be:  If they didn’t have the album ahead of time, would they have waited or would they have felt forced to buy it through iTunes?  If they would have been forced to buy it and now they won’t, that seems more problematic to me.  In this situation, it does seem more unethical as they are taking money from the band, at least for a few months.  Maybe they are planning on buying both the cd and the vinyl.  If they are going to buy it twice, does that make up for it or equal it out?  Obviously, each fan has to decide that for him or herself.  Now, what if the fans do NOT like what they hear?  Will they still buy it at least once to make up for the illegal download?  If they don’t, then the band has lost sales.  Now, obviously, I can understand not wanting to buy a copy of something you don’t like but that doesn’t seem fair.  After all, it isn’t like the band hasn’t given opportunities to hear what the new music is going to sound like so the fans have had adequate previews.  After all, Mark Ronson has played some snippets on his radio show and they have put up snippets on their official website.  My point is this:  There can’t be an assumption that all people who have heard it ahead of it will actually buy it.  Some won’t. 

Another argument I have heard is that iTunes isn’t available so that the illegal download is the only way to get the new music.  From my understanding, if iTunes isn’t available in one’s country, then another source will make it available.  If my understanding is correct, then this sounds like a big excuse.  If it isn’t, I still wonder if there wouldn’t be another choice.  Obviously, I understand not wanting to wait.  What fan does??  Yet, there has to be a different solution. 

Of course, there are fans who are expressing some of what I expressed above.  Some fans seem to go further and say or imply that fans who can’t wait aren’t good fans.  For them, they might be using the lack of downloading as a means of elevating their status within the community.  My point here, though, is to acknowledge that things seem to have shifted in a week.  Last week, it seemed like the fans who had the single ahead of time were of higher status than those who didn’t because there were so few of them.  Now, the reverse seems to be true as it is like those who have remained with patience are in the minority.  Perhaps, they do deserve praise for waiting.  Some think so.  Some think it has shown a strength of character. 

Beyond these two basic groups of fans (those who download and those who don’t), there are the people who share.  I can definitely understand people’s desire to share with their friends.  After all, it is possible that they are so excited that they want someone else to share their excitement.  Maybe they want to be able to talk about the music with their friends.  I can understand all of that.  Obviously, though, people have shared WAY beyond just their friends.  According to what I have read, the album is available on some of those torrent sites where lots of people can download it.  The people who put it up on something like that have no desire to keep to a small group of people.  They want it available to everyone who is interested.  I have a hard time with that.  Yes, I do realize that, for some people, that might be the only way to hear it ahead of time in full as some people don’t have friends who have access to songs or albums ahead of time.  I understand and know that feeling.  It is just how it is, sometimes.  It is not like those people can’t ever hear it.  They just have to wait longer. 

As I have read and even participated in some of these discussions, my conclusion is this.  As a fan and as a person, each individual must decide what she or he can live with.  I know that, as a fan, I couldn’t live with having something that can be purchased, legally, from a band I care about.  I would feel compelled to buy it even if it turned out to be something I didn’t like, as soon as possible.  If I was one of the lucky few who got a copy of a song or video or album ahead of time, I would never share with the public.  In fact, I might not share with my friends or many of my friends.  I would feel enough respect for the band to keep it to myself.

-A    

15 thoughts on “The Album Has Leaked”

  1. I must be a complete square because I have no interest in locating the album to obtain it illegally before it is available thru iTunes. I've heard what I consider to be plenty through legal means, and for me that adds to the anticipation.

    I have no problem thinking that people who post the entire album illegally to a torrent site so that others can rip off the band are complete and total douchebags and are indeed stealing from the band.

  2. Whoa this is news to me! I had no idea the album leaked! I apparently live under a rock. I'll post more thoughts once I mull this over, and read your entire post (Got ahead of myself, a little too excited not to post something now!)

  3. Oh but can I say this, 2 seconds after my last post, lol… whatever happened that caused this really sucks, considering the band GAVE us a freeby as the free single just a couple days ago. (You probably covered all this above, lol. Again, getting ahead of myself.)

  4. OK now I've read the whole post, so I can respond appropriately, lol. I'm guessing the discussions about this are from Mark's forum or from facebook (not DDM in other words? I couldn't find anything there, then again I may not be seeing it).

    Since I don't know the full details of how this happened yet, I'm afraid to fully comment. But I will on a couple points.

    On one hand, it's worrisome when fans download illegal content like this and then SHARE it with each other, with no real intent to buy the content. I know they say they'll do it later, but will they? There's no way to know. As you said, I think that was part of your point too.

    For that I don't like illegal downloads. But on the flip side, concerning other types of media. I know loads of people (professionals I work with in fact!) who do download illegally (not music) and I know a few others still who believe file sharing should be legalized, so long as it's not for profit. These are pro-piracy folks.

    I am middle of the road on this issue. I was a huge fan of Klaus' web site before it went down, which had loads of rare DD content you couldn't find anywhere else. Were we (see there I included myself!) bad fans for downloading from there, sharing those files with each other?

    I suspect we've all done it at some point.

    But in THIS case, THIS time, with THIS album– I have real problems with it (it seems you do too) because Duran NEEDS this. They really only make money off their tour sales anymore, they need all the help they can get, IMO. Not that I'm an expert with respect to record sales. I hear that most artists hardly make anything these days that way… and hence it's why so many are going without labels.

    I hate to speculate, cuz it seems totally silly (or is it?) but remember how Duran's Ordinary World got leaked? Do you think (I'm playing devil's advocate here) that it might have been…. dare I suggest… intentional?

    Maybe not, and maybe I don't know WHAT I'm talking about, lol.

    But I'm really curious how this will all play out, no matter how or why it happened.

  5. I don't have a clue on how it got leaked. It seemed to be just among a few fans at first and then it was like the dam broke. Now, it seems like everyone has it! It is crazy!

    My general philosophy about bootlegging is this: If you can buy it, you should. If there is no other means, then it becomes more okay. Therefore, this album should be BOUGHT. The band does deserve this. Yet, it seems that some fans feel entitled to having the album without paying.

    -A

  6. Get over the philosophical questions and download it! It's worth it, I love the album. It really surprised me. Think of it this way: is the album available in iTunes? Do you really have to wait? Why can't you have it right now? Then on 21st December go to iTunes and download it. No harm done.

  7. LOL! I know what you mean. I do. My questioning had more to do with the community as a whole versus just little ole me. Would everyone do both-download it now and buy it later? If so, then, it wouldn't be a big deal.

    -A

  8. I don't know about anyone else, but I got the album as a “gift” from a fellow fan, and I look at it as a sample; a full sample, like an entire slice of cheesecake instead of just a single bite. The leaked album has its glitches here and there, a pop or a skip, etc. so it's still no replacement for the whole cake. 😉
    When iTunes has it available officially, I plan to delete what I have in favore of buying the better quality iTunes album. I doubt I'll tire of it beforehand. But what I'm REALLY interested in is the physical release: a handful of more (unleaked) songs, CD booklet, liner notes, something I can actually hold in my hand.. for which I am fully willing to shell out some money.

    There's no way of knowing if the whole Duranie community would do the same, but there's such a positive response to the album so far, I can't help but think the majority of us would still pay for it regardless of having the leaked version or not.

  9. I was going to let this one go and not say anything, but you know…as the co-author of this blog….I can't keep my mouth (or fingers) still. 😀 I don't know how the album got leaked to begin with, but I can tell you this- at this point, on this day, I've been offered a download for it now 5 separate times. I'm by no means high on the Duranie food chain, so you can imagine that by the time it's gotten all the way down to me, pretty much every Duranie in the universe either already HAS it, or has been given the opportunity to download it and has chosen not to. With that in mind, I have yet to talk with someone who currently has the album that isn't planning on buying it on iTunes, getting a physical copy…or in MOST cases, both. That's got to say something for the law of averages.

    I do feel somewhat guilty for having heard the album in advance, but on the other hand, I'm so excited about what I've heard….I can barely stand it!! I'm SO thrilled with the work they've done, and I can say it's been a good many years since I've felt that way. Long time coming, but WELL worth the wait. That's all you're getting out of me until the 21st though!! 🙂 -R

  10. I have a little insight here, so thought I'd share. More often than the not, the leaking of matieral starts with the band and/or its management and label. It's a marketing technique to get the music out there and build up buzz and excitement. It's also a good sign that someone is confident that people will end up buying the music once they've heard it.

    I'm not saying that's what happened here, but it's definitely a possiblity. And it could be a smart move because Duran fans are loyal and will eventually buy the album, in one form or another.

  11. And that is a very good question that I have no answer for. I think if you're going to buy it anyway (and also, if you don't have access to iTunes – many people don't), then go for it. I've actually decided to wait this time around until the actual iTunes release date. December 21st will feel a lot like Christmas and I'll have a whole new album/present to open up!

  12. I just happened to check this post out….even though it's aged it's still an interesting and entertaining subject, even today and especially since it was the second major leak since the Astronaut demos…..3rd if you count the “Come Undone” affair.

    I remember this well because some members from “said” forum openly accused ME of doing the deed. Now mind you, the forum admin did nothing to squash the proliferation of said accusation but a few members who knew me well enough came to my defense. It turned out to be a glitch (whether by accident or design) in the web page that allowed access to this prior to release. There are some people who use the word “piracy” to define certain acts but I'd bet money some of those same folks probably own DD bootlegs of other things and just aren't talking about them or are okay with double-standards.

    In any case, although I'm not a fan of this album, the leak did spark something in the fans and I'm sure the band was happy for that. Most of the duranies I know will pay or have shelled out countless times for multiple versions of DD albums, 45's, 12 Inch singles, CD singles, videos, and what not so this leak was never going to hurt them, the record company, their management, the RIAA, or anyone else. I am a fan of sharing what I have collected outside the retail venue for free and I'm not ashamed or afraid to say so. Bootleg stuff SHOULD be free and those selling DD bootleg stuff for any kind of monetary kickback should be shunned, tarred, feathered, and made to pay all of the money they made at the expense of the fans and the band back.

    Thanks for letting me run loose on this one……Cheers!!!!!

  13. This definitely is an old one! We are happy to have you let loose on whichever blog topic, you would like! As for your stance on bootlegs, I completely agree. I am always HORRIFIED when I see a “fan” sell Duran bootlegs.

    -A

We (Amanda and Rhonda) appreciate discussion and differences of opinion. We respectfully ask that you fully read the blog before bitching us out. If you're only here to take us down a notch, note that we moderate replies (meaning we're not printing rude comments). Thanks a bunch!

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