Recently after reading the blog of my friend, John Mackey (one of the most talented young composers for band I have ever known) I learned of the plight that so many composers and songwriters go through facing internet piracy. So often, because of the size and bulldog tactics of the R.I.A.A. we think of piracy only in terms of lost CD sales and missing download revenue. There is an entirely different side of the coin. The writers and composers of the music contained therein are also missing their monies derived from these sales… this is a quite unfortunate by-product of the loss of recorded music sales. Even more disturbing though is the growth of sheet music “sharing” sites that facilitate the piracy of their actual written work. Not being a composer or publisher myself, this is an area of the business I hadn’t thought of in terms of piracy, but it deserves equal ground with the chest pounding and lawsuit wielding recorded music battle for legal downloads and sales.
John mentioned a composer he likes named Jason Robert Brown. I personally had not heard of him, but that rarely means much in the musical world. After going to Jason’s blog, I find a most fascinating account of his back and forth with an infringer! Imagine that, rather than suing her… he spoke to her… tried to educate her… (some people are beyond education). This was a really unique approach to dealing with piracy. tackling it one person at a time. Imagine if Metallica had called on a few pirates back in 2002… WOW what a news story that would have been… anyways I digress. I continued reading the rest of this back and forth and becomes quickly apparent that she might be beyond education… the point though is he reached out to her and a number of other infringers and simply explained that he makes a living off of his music and politely asked them to stop sharing… and many of them did!!!! Reading his story also led me to his wife’s blog. She is fighting the same fight as a composer and from what I can tell has been a bit more outspoken on the subject. I think this is GREAT. More composers need to get involved in “the good fight”. I have said for years but educating the general public is the key to thwarting this habit of stealing our intellectual property.
To do my part, I have done some searching and below is a list of LEGAL / PAID download sites to acquire sheet music. Do your part.