Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Please let me know if you find still-in-print records on this blog.
(I'll remove download links from this blog)
And if so, please let me know the links for buying CDs.

Anne Lister said...
It’s come to my attention that you have again made the Anonyma album available for download from your blog spot.

I hope you realise this is illegal, that it does no good at all to the artists and that it’s theft?

If you are a fan, surely you should be trying to help the artists you like, instead of ripping off their work and making it available to complete strangers? Without the money from recordings the artists and most folk labels simply can’t afford to record new material – is this what you want? Are you under the impression the folk world is full of rich performers and prosperous record labels? If so, take a reality check.

I also hear you have made the Nic Jones album available – this is so far from being helpful it’s ridiculous. The Nic Jones albums were put out there to raise money for Nic himself, who has been unable to make a living from his music following a serious car crash in the 80s.

If I, as a copyright holder, decide to make some of my music available for free download, that’s my choice. If you do it it’s simply abuse of copyright material and it’s theft. If you like the material on “Burnt Feathers”, by all means put a link to my site or Mary McLaughlin’s site and show your appreciation that way.

I will contact the legal authorities here. I have also informed other musicians whose property you have been stealing.


Additional comment from Anne Lister:

Thank you for responding so quickly to my email.

Kevin Scott may well have had album sales as a result of your action – I already have my albums available via several sites for people to hear and to purchase by download or physical copies if they choose. The issue with Burnt Feathers is a different one – the copyright belongs to the label, Fellside, and not to me or to Mary McLaughlin. We are unable legally to offer downloads or to duplicate this album, so it is all the more unlikely that they would be happy for you to be offering it on your site.

As to saying that people want to hear the music before purchasing it – there are many ways this can happen without offering free downloads without the knowledge or permission of the owners of the material.

I appreciate you are doing this because you want to increase fans for the music, but this isn’t the way to do it. ALL albums are copyright material – either copyright to the label or copyright to the artists. This is because they have invested money and time and talent in the recording and need to recoup some of the money spent out in order to continue to make music. Folk music is not a major part of the entertainment industry and I don’t know of anyone who has made much money out of recordings, so you are not helping if you give something away for free. There have been recent high-profile cases where people doing what you’ve been doing have been prosecuted and face massive fines as a result.

The main point, however, is that you need to have the copyright holder’s permission before you give away their property. Mary McLaughlin, Nic Jones, The Copper Family and others are all easy to find via Google and you could email them and check whether they want you to put links to Rapidshare. If, like Kevin Scott, they’re happy about it then there’s no issue. But you do need to ask and be prepared for people to say no.

Mary McLaughlin and I have a reunion tour this summer. I will ask from the stage whether anyone is at the gig as a result of your blog – I would be surprised, frankly.

Anne Lister

Let's go to their reunion tour!

August 7th: Cardiff Millennium Centre FREE – at 6.15 pm at the Glanfa Foyer
August 12th-15th Solo and together at the Broadstairs Folk Festival, Kent.
August 15th: Walthamstow Folk – special summer show at the Plough, London E17
August 19th: Llantrisant Folk Club at the Windsor Arms, Pontyclun
August 21st: concert at St Thomas’ Church Hall, St Dogmael’s, Cardigan
August 22nd: Mary - Irish Gaelic at St Thomas’ Church Hall.
August 23rd: Bude folk club at the Falcon, Bude.
August 29th I’m appearing solo at Faldingworth Live! Lincolnshire
October 9th at Orpington Friday Folk Club, Kent


Dick Miles said...
you have mylp cheating the tide , avialable on your site . pls remove it.>thanks DickMiles http://www.dickmiles.com

Dick Miles on THTM (D/L link removed)


Anonymous Kevin Scott said...

I am sorry Ms Lister feels this way, but I cannot agree with her. Since Time Has Told Me has made our recent album by my band Mr. Pine available we have had several hundred downloads, all by people who quite rightly would like to have the opportunity to hear the music before purchasing it, and who never would have heard it otherwise. This is a golden opportunity for us and we are grateful for it. It has also resulted in several album sales.

I am firmly of the opinion that making the music freely available only increases its sales. I owe the Time Has Told Me site and Lizardson a debt of gratitude.

Kevin Scott
on behalf of Mr. Pine

30 June, 2009 13:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is Anonyma?

30 June, 2009 14:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too am sorry that she feels this way. I'd never heard of her or Anonyma before but went & checked her site. On the info about the album in question (Burnt Feathers) it says this :

No samples available for this album due to copyright issues.

To purchase the album, click here.
(Limited number of vinyl copies available only...for cassettes please watch this space. NOT available on CD)

So basically it's not available to buy anyways, unless you happen to want to pay for an old vinyl copy. So I just don't really get what her problem is. Surely by THTM making this available for people to hear again is likely to generate more fans & listeners & thus, by extension, more potential customers for her work which is currently available.

As an unsigned musician myself I can only say that I'd be happy for THTM to make any of my music available for people to hear. Needless to say, I shan't bother to check out Ms Lister's music whereas I'm seriously tempted to go & check out the Mr Pine album.

Oh & if anyone does fancy checking out my music (not to be taken too seriously)there's some here - http://happyhippymusic.blogspot.com/

30 June, 2009 17:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure some people just download the albums and never buy anything. But I'm also sure there's a lot of people who have bought albums as a direct or indirect result of your blog.

I know I've bought about 25 albums so far based on reading and listening on stuff from here. That's music I would really never even have known to consider otherwise.

Anne Lister is a legend, but she's not doing herself any favours by going after the music sharing community, in my opinion.

30 June, 2009 17:45  
Blogger Jorgon Gorgon said...

I shall chime in as well, as someone who spends quite a fair amount of money on albums by artists whose work I hear online first thanks to blogs such as yours. I feel that most of the people that have an issue with the availability of their work online are living in the past, and are quite unclear on the concept and unaware of the advantages of open-sourcing their music. I would have never heard about Anonyma's music were it not for you; and I would probably have been quite interested in purchasing it, were it not for her.:) Oh well; there is plenty of other music in the world.

30 June, 2009 18:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Ms Lister. Some of the CDs available for download - the Anne Briggs ones, for example, are easily available from most online outlets. Depriving a record label like Topic of that income is a very sad state of affairs.

However, the limited run vinyl which isn't available elsewhere, I feel less strongly about!

Basically my stance is: If any material is available to legally buy elsewhere, you shouldn't have it up here. No way. The Nic Jones CDs are the emotive issue, but there are plenty of others, no doubt.

Perhaps there's a middle ground? Perhaps you could offer just two songs from each release, giving the punter the chance to listen and the choice to go and buy?

30 June, 2009 18:55  
Blogger The Bomber said...

This is very compex I think.
Perhaps it is safe to remove the dl.

We dont want this blog dissapear.

Also, are those annon comments reliable ? ?

01 July, 2009 01:47  
Anonymous Bombshelter Slim said...

Ah, the old conundrum, steal or buy? Usually the people who "steal" music are the largest purchasers as well (either recorded or gig attendance). However, the artist, label, etc. are (I guess) fully within their rights to complain. Suing the customer isn't the way to go, however.

01 July, 2009 06:52  
Anonymous LeafOnA_Pyre said...

I too am sorry Ms Lister feels this way... I have made many purchases because of Time Has Told Me. It isnt just the downloads- its the discussions, background and context that the reviews here put the music in. I purchase music from every artist i like. Downloading isnt the problem. Finding good music and supporting it is the problem in that there is an every increasing volume of music to listen to and an ever increasing gap between the past (advent of recording) and the present. We need every means out there to discover and research artists in order to give them our support. This site has always been prompt in removing material at the request of artist and labels. Just ask and you will receive. Don't be malicious just because you dont agree with or understand the value of something that thousands of others believe in. Keep up the good work Lizardson!

01 July, 2009 07:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A rough calculation of the amount I have spent on folk/trad cds over the last few years would almost certainly reach into the thousands of pounds mark. And that doesn't include all the stuff I have lying around on vinyl & cassette.

It's all very well for people to hide behind the argument of the law, but simply stating that something is illegal does not in itself address the issues. There are a lot of recordings out there in which copyright is or was held by people who morally should not have had it (Peter Kennedy and Folktrax spring to mind) and others where the artist is constantly having to fight to receive royalties (Planxty etc) from unscrupulous or incompetent companies. Does that mean we should respect the rights of greedy money grabbers who hide behind the law?

I would suspect that the majority of users of sites like THTM are genuinely lovers of a niche music, and as such are highly likely to buy a lot more music than they download for free.

On the whole I can't condone downloading music which is available to buy, as I believe that we should support the artists financially. However, I think artists who condemn outright sites such as THTM are cutting their noses off to spite their face.

Wanting access to music that is unavailable (and often unlikely to see the light of day as the rights to it are often owned by people who really are not that bothered about it) is hardly a crime in the grand scale of things. The plus side is that THTM does actually boost interest in such music. That means, potentially, more people going to gigs & festivals as well as more people buying cds.

And just to give an example of my recent downloads - Tansey's Fancy from Gonzo's site, an album I purchased on vinyl years ago, now totally unlistenable and never released on cd. Also, Mick Hanly's early albums, not avaialble on cd, vinyl or cassette. And it encouraged me to go and see him live!

End of rant!

01 July, 2009 10:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would not buy one of Anne's disc's now under any circumstances , I may have in the past . I would not even have known who she was if not for this blog and other artists due to other blogs . Small little artists like Anne need to get over themselves and realise this is a form of advertising and reaches countries and places where no one like me would hear them otherwise . It is a shame Anne has acted out like this her music is good and worth buying but not when she acts like this , I have purchased many discs due to blogs .

01 July, 2009 11:53  
Anonymous Gem said...

I don't think Ms Lister realises how many albums readers of this site buy. If we are even visiting THTM chances are we are collectors and would jump at the chance to buy any of the albums we enjoy from here. I own quite a few albums that I wouldn't of even known about if it weren't for THSM.

01 July, 2009 14:26  
Blogger Alan said...

To Hell with her. Who is Anne Lister anyway. I have never heard of her, listened to any of her music, and now never will.

When will these people realise that if they are too small a name to be recognised by the public mass, then that is the way they will remain!

The assumption (if they don't make records for monetary reward) is that they make them for expressing their 'talent', and for recognition by the mass audience...

This just is not going to happen without an internet followed presence like this blog.

Without hearing her/them first who in their right mind would even Google for someone never heard of!!!!!

I have purchased many an album of artists first heard from blogs like this and have now become an avid follower of them eagerly awaiting all their latest releases.

As an aside, when was this stunning album which we are all expected to be so familiar with, that we Google for the artist, released? Anne Briggs and the others mentioned I've heard of Anne Lister....Not!!!!

01 July, 2009 16:49  
Anonymous Xavier Perriot said...

Hello! I can understand Ms Listers feeling. Of course artists must do a living of their production. But in the modern capitalist society, such a few is made for the people to listen and discover what some good musicians have done or are doing, which is different from what the mass producton proposes, that file sharing became a kind of issue. I did download music this year. It gaves me the chance to discover things, musicians, traditions, i'd never listen before, that I never even suspected the exisetence . It made that I bought records of the artists I d'like, and went to fantastic concerts that I should have ignored otherway. On an other way it gave me the possibility to find again the lp's, and old records that I listend in my family or when I was younger, that were lost or distroyed. It gave me the opportunity to get more knowledge and the possiblility to get back my first inspirations. And to give it back.
I think the law should do more to help musicians and artists who do'nt follows the waves than to forbid file sharing.
I'm a folk musician, hardly trying to make a living of his music. So if someone have an old recording of me. Share it!

01 July, 2009 21:01  
Blogger Miss Divine said...

I'm sorry Ms Lister feels like this, but as I'm sure that many of us have gone out and bought many CDs from artists that blogs such as this have offered downloads for.
Smaller artists have to come around to the fact that blogs can benefit sales, not hinder them.

02 July, 2009 05:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm aware that I'm hiding behind the cowardly cloak of anonymity, but here's how I feel.

Firstly your post was rude - get a grip.

Secondly - as a touring, professional recording artist who sells many thousand CDs, I find it soul destroying to find my material available free for download - please read on. Like it or not - it's stealing. Hide it behind whatever fancy language and excuses you may to attempt to assuage your guilt, but, it.is.stealing.

My material is available anytime at the flick of a Google / Amazon, yet is always featured in blogs such as these, usually weeks before the official release. Why is this considered ok? I have to feed my family somehow!

The argument that these downloaders all go ahead and buy the CD anyway - or having heard it the once would make their decision to buy it - and therefore all is well - is bollocks - it's a moral high ground smokescreen. I don't believe for a minute that all the people who download - and enjoy - my CDs go out and buy them afterwards. (Fair enough I wouldn't expect those who dislike it to buy it - but that's not the point here) And my sales say the same - my highest selling CD of the 90s sold 30k in the uk, yet since 2003 I've been lucky to get 7k - yet my live audience figures are roughly the same or slightly better at concerts and the album reviews, if anything, are better and certainly more prominent - it's just one stream of my income has been battered.

Could you afford to have your income halved? That's effectively what's happened to me. But it's ok, right, as these people are real music fans and will buy the CD anyway? Rot. Don't fool yourself you're doing the musicians favours - you're not. You're stealing from them.

This is real. It effects real people big time. Please - don't pretend there's justification for stealing music - if you're going to steal it, just be honest and say I Steal Music. Don't try and hide behind this FALSE moral high ground crap about free advertising and spreading the word and how you'd all buy the CDs anyway - I don't believe a word of it and it's just adding insult to injury.

Stand up and be proud of your thievery! Strike hypocrisy off your list of crimes!

Yours, A.N. Onymouse.

02 July, 2009 06:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If my album ever appeared on this blog, I, too, would ask Lizardson to remove it. However, the reason would be that imho it is an embarrassing, self-indulgent load of commercial CRAP! (Don't ask!)

Would this be an acceptable reason to have it removed? Possibly not.

So I might then be obliged to perhaps request its removal in stronger terms, similar to those used by Ms Lister.

So...I'm just wondering whether Ms Lister feels totally happy with her album, given the fact that it appears hard to obtain even from her web site???? Hmmmm.

I hope I'm wrong about this....

Any one game to write a review?

02 July, 2009 10:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

again? please, mary...

this has all been gone over so many times before (here and on so many other music blogs, etc). can't it be put to rest yet? the simple fact is, music sharing is here to stay. and it won't kill music any more than radio did. ahem. most people in the previous generations (aka old people) will never get this fact. old dogs/new tricks, etc. but they won't stop the new mutated forms that art takes. thank goodness for that. art lives (thank goodness) and breaks all barriers.

and as for myself, i'll just ditto so many of the above: i'd never have heard of any of the music that i learned about from THTM, and yes i buy CDs of the stuff i find here, and yes i go see shows whenever people ever make it to my neck of the woods (which is rare).

if i made an album, i'd be chuffed as all getout to find it promoted here. as a poet, instead of a musician, however, i've never had the option of making money from my art...so i can't piss and moan about it. instead i get to listen to musicians bellyaching.

THTM is my favorite music blog of all time. i love it like i love my public library, my city art museum, and my local bar. if it ever goes away, especially due to the actions of paranoid and clueless people, i will weep. and i'll probably find it a lot harder to find out about new/old folk music to buy.

all hail the THTM contributers! thanks for sharing!

02 July, 2009 11:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What, then, do we call people who download full albums to hear them, buy them if they're good, and then delete them if we don't like them? Thieves, Ms Lister? Do you think everyone who downloads your album is instantly burning it to CD and selling it in the streets?

Are you not aware that there are other ways I can get your music without paying for it if I so desire? Ever heard of torrent sites? At least the music is being presented here in a straightforward respectful manner and no one is hiding behind anything. Downloading music is a way of life for many people. Fight technology all you like, but this is the world we live in now.

Your tone was very rude to Lizardson. You could have respectfully requested that he remove the album, not lay down this outraged temper tantrum and instantly threaten legal action. And he would have complied.

You can see for yourself many artists here are happy for this great opportunity which so threatens you. Do you not learn from statistics? This is GOOD for you. It will cause you MORE album sales. Why are you biting the hand that is feeding you free publicity?

You've singlehandedly spoiled this very tasteful and fan-oriented blog with your little outburst. Happy?

02 July, 2009 15:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To me, this blog seems to be an excellent resource for the promotion of folk based music.

We all have different opinions and if an artist is unhappy with their music being available here then they only have to ask for it to be removed.

If I really like an artist then I would want to buy their music in order to support them: THTM helps me find music that is not available elsewhere and also gives me the opportunity to discover music I want to buy.


02 July, 2009 18:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anne Lister is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Perhaps she could offer THTM a couple of tracks? This would guarantee her free advertising on this most excellent Blog, inform people of her site and existence, and provide an opportunity for increased sales.

I spend a fair amount on music and appreciate the chance to hear new acts before buying their work.

Ms Lister is not someone whose work I know - and her hectoring posting has ensured that I never will acquaint myself with it.

Anne - you have lost a possible sale. Is that the result you wanted?

02 July, 2009 19:24  
Blogger Unknown said...

Rad! I must also 'second' the debt of gratitude to THTM for exposing me to a broad range of folk music that would have otherwise been inaccessible. Since it is true that album sales account for little of a musician's overall income, what is this woman complaining about? One would think that the increased EXPOSURE this blog affords would only serve to INCREASE interest. Apologies where due but this really sounds to me like a case of someone thinking their music is a 'commodity' inseparably yoked to the love of a dollar. Or pound, in this sense. And that's just not what music is. Royalties and the road are where the money is. I would never have encountered the life-changing music of Michael Chapman if not for this site...now I intend to see him in concert and PURCHASE all of his records.

02 July, 2009 23:12  
Blogger Bob K said...

i just visited Anne Lister's website. If not for your blog I would never have known of her or her work. If I like what I hear I would purchase it. Think of it as internet radio. In any regard, its free publicity.

Anne Lister should apologize to you and the fans of your blog. Her concerns are penny-wise / dollar-foolish. Some people would likely have downloaded her music, listened to it and shrugged. Others might have listened, liked what they heard and either purchased it legitimately or went to one of her performances.

She doesn't get it and maybe never will...

03 July, 2009 00:59  
Blogger Edson d'Aquino said...

The only Anne Lister i know was dead in 1840 and it's called the 1st modern lesbian. That's all!
Anyway, blogs and other likes are the most powerful engine for free advertising today. If she think different, she's actually living in 19th century.
Unhappilly, I (and so many people) don't have money to buy all cds I like, then...
Best regards!
Edson d'Aquino (Brazil)

ps:sorry for my bad english.

03 July, 2009 02:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sean said: Since it is true that album sales account for little of a musician's overall income, what is this woman complaining about?

I'm sorry, but I have to pick you up on this. Album sales work thus: For every album sold by a reputable record label, the artist gets a pre-determined percentage - say £1 from each sale. As well as this, the artists receives a slightly higher amount for publishing - say £1.30 a sale. So - that's around £2.30 per CD sale that the artist is being not receiving when you download their record. Now, £2.30 may not seem much, but seeing as record sales / legal downloads are falling by around 10% a year - http://www.ifpi.org/content/library/Recorded-music-sales-2007.pdf - You can imagine this makes a sizeable impact on a working musicians coffers.

One year they sell 10,000 - £23,000
5 years later they sell 5000, despite similar sized audiences etc - £11,500.

That's quite a drop. That's pretty much exactly what has happened to me.

Download away and spin your fairy tales about how it's good for the artist - but please, don't believe them. It's not good for the artist. It's bad. You're not doing a charitable act by downloading their music for free, you're stealing.

"But, I buy CDs by everyone I illegally download and go to all their gigs"

If only that were true of everyone. If only everyone was such a saint. It's almost unbelievable your tireless selfless devotion to musicians rights.

get used to it old man, downloads aren't going to go away, they're the future!

Sadly, that I believe. There goes my pension!

Seriously. There goes my pension.

Yours, A.N. Onymouse.

03 July, 2009 04:13  
Blogger Hearwax said...

What an obnoxious woman Mzz Lister is.

03 July, 2009 04:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I have money, I immediately buy the albums I like. But during periods without any cash, this is the only way to hear new music. The way Ms Lister write her comments is not doing her any favour.

03 July, 2009 04:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I have money, I buy any dl that I like enough. In period withouth enough cash (the present one), blogs such as this one is the only opportunity to hear and discover music that I don't own. The way Ms Lister write her remarks does not show a pleasant image of her I must say.

03 July, 2009 04:56  
Anonymous Xavier Perriot said...

Well. Whatever one people thinking about the other one. It's important to keep the repect and not insult eachother. The problem is not as simple as what the one or the others says.
Some people are working hard, playing and recording music. They do that because it's there life. They have to live and get money for the work they does.
Some people are also workin hard, they love music, they buy this, and of course they want other people to discover and listen to what they like. Like when you invite some friends to listen to the new jewel you got.
So they share it in that way.
And some people (also working hard)listen, like it, they make a copie or they buy it att the shop, or they just keep it in mind and come back to listen again. It had been like this since the first tape recorders. I have been one of those who prefere to buy. Because of hard life the folk musicians have. But sometime you don't have the possibility.
The problem and the adventage, with file sharing is that it is public on the net, not private in the home. And that it reachs much much more people, in the whole world, in every countries and home who have internet.
I should not say that downloaders and upploaders are stealers. They do something which seems natural with the medels they got: internet.
It's good that music and culture reachs everyone everywhere and spreads.
But something have to be done for the musicians who are the ones who make the music, and I know it is work, to get something in this, otherwise they will stop to play music! And the small record companies will also die.
There is no reasons to insult the musicians who claim with reason for justice and something back. But yhere is no reason to insult the downloaders and upploaders either!
Excuse my english.

03 July, 2009 06:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Primarily I value blogs like this one for out-of-print and hard to find albums of the fairly distant past. There is no way I could find an affordable decent copy of certain albums, but I have spent considerably on vintage vinyl (usually over long distance), not a cent of which goes to the creators or the label now. I have purchased what is available on CD at considerable cost as well, just this year an early Barbra Dickson collection, six Fairport Conventions, an Anne Briggs Topic collection, a Bread Love & Dreams reissue and a Davy Graham as well. Occaisionally I download something that is available without being impossible and I won't lie and say when I like it I will go and buy it, but when there are extra tracks and a good booklet I am pretty likely to, such as the wonderful jobs by Sunbeam and Island.

I am thankful to this blog for filling in gaps for me particularly with Archie Fisher and Rab Noakes Decca albums I've looked for over years. I hope people will not have something serious to hold against Anne Lister, I definitely do understand where she is coming from. I suggest that anything in print as recently as the last five years be strictly limited to a sample track or two, please. Do a quick search through a couple of retail sites for the artist you're about to upload, say amazon (which also hosts many small retailers and resellers) and another. There is a lot of very new stuff online which totally disgusts me to come across, and almost always precedes the blog getting removed altogether regardless of its other posts, but new artists particularly need exposure and where better than in a place people interested in established creators will go to, but as I say, limited to a sample track or two seems much more respectful. I think this is one of the most artist respectful blogs I have come across by the way!


03 July, 2009 08:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's quite simple: ask before assuming you can share someone else's work.

You know damn well that any album commercially produced within the last 30 years or so is still in copyright in virtually all jurisdictions. You may wish to share your own work for free download. Yippie, go right ahead! Other artistes - most - don't.

03 July, 2009 09:20  
Anonymous Consumer said...

If your band sells half of what you did 5 years ago, this means your new album sucks and/or you have done nothing to promote yourself in the years between your albums.

I download music now and then for pre-listening, which supposedly makes me a criminal. Although, if it wasn't for the internet I would've saved myself buying the 3000+ cd's/vinyl's/cassettes/music dvd's I already have bought these last 9 years. And because of blog sites like this, I've used an insane amount of my own time to surf and discover new artists. Hey, internets, I want my time and money back :-P (seriously, I'm happy for the time I've used to discover new artists =)))))

03 July, 2009 17:54  
Anonymous JoosTVD said...

This discussion keeps growing.....and I am just beginning...
Well, there was a time when you couldn't get anything, except if you had the money to buy rare albums. You had to stroll around every town through recordstores to find...mostly nothing... Those days are over. What I just see on this blog (and many others) is mostly rare stuff for specific folk music lovers. What a exposure!!! Even Andy Pratt said thanks and he's always on the net to advertise himself and his music. He knows it. Look at Tom Robinson. He's giving his stuff away, just because he says he's been ripped off by those record companies all those years that he's been trying to make music. he know it too. Those monopoly guys are the stealing ones!! They think they can own the artists. And now they lost control over distribution. Not only the big companies, also some of those so called artists.

I'm a dutch songwriter for 30 years and I have seen this business change... I give my albums away for free just to let people know. Free choice! Just google me and you'll know..
I am just one of many many out there!
A lot of those ahum "artists" these days are so narcistic and self- centred. They cannot see the big picture. Everyone (!) wants his/hers 15 minutes of fame (Warhol). You just have to be realistic. Just pay attention to the music! Paly, record, write, be artistic! The rest is just capitalistic profit nonsense. (a lot of the artistic artists, the real deal I mean, have suffered from that system....)

My hero John Martyn has just died and one of his last wishes was to get his music available only from his website, not from record companies, because he's had enough of them. Buying cd's? Well at concerts maybe. It is just a format. And there is so much garbage out there, where you have to pay so much for so little. Maybe one or two songs (of 15) are really interesting. Costumers want to have more control over that.

I really love this blog, because you guys do this for the love of music. Exposure is information is knowledge. Shutdown these blogs is like going underground. Blogs are nothing more than a substitute for libraries. Big thumbs up high for free choice!

03 July, 2009 19:00  
Blogger Unknown said...

i know this has been commented to death, but i just wanted to say, as a collector of vinyl, the main reason i would download stuff from this site is to see if it's worth shelling out silly money of out of print records on ebay. now here is my question, is there really any difference between someone selling say the Mellow Candle album for hundreds of pounds on ebay, or offering it for free download? anyone who buys a used record is essentially contributing nothing to the artist. i consider myself a huge nic jones fan, but each one of his records i own were bought used.

03 July, 2009 20:07  
Anonymous JoosTVD said...

Addition to what I've just said:
The alternative. Make them blogs , torentsites official distribution channels just like ITunes. Connect them with the providers. We all pay a little more for the copyrights/ licenses through them, so everyone gets his share. Old ways have to change, like record companies open up your stubborn doors!

03 July, 2009 21:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never heard of this Anne Lister person before.

Odds are, from her attitude, I never will again.

She may play Folk, but she obviously doesn't understand folk. Her loss, not ours.

04 July, 2009 12:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


05 July, 2009 00:10  
Anonymous willowpool said...

I can remember the excitement of taping (on reel to reel) The Incredible String Band off the John Peel Show about 30 years ago. Getting that free 'illegal' music caused me to attend their gigs, buy all of their albums and form a band with my mates. our crowning glory was being support to Martin Cockerham's Spirogyra.
Then cassettes were invented and all music lovers that I know started going to libraries searching out obscure new music and taping it. We also used to borrow lps from mates to copy despite the stickers 'Home Taping Is Killing Music'. Then videos came along and people could record Top of The Pops or In Concert off the telly. Finally cds appeared and everyone was able to borrow a cd from a friend and make a copy. It's the same in gardening most gardeners will take a cutting of a plant from a friend to try it out in their garden.
I have bought and lost hundreds of lps and cds in my 40 odd years of music loving. Not many people bought Nic Jones or Vashti Bunyan when they were first released but I did. So if I can get a digital copy of an album that I have owned and then lost I don't feel like a thief.
I think that Time Has Told Me does a brilliant job of reminding oldies like myself of music that is no longer cool or fashionable and encorages us to dig out our old tapes or lps.
I think that it has been shown that live music and gigging are the real earners now. Wasn't that what Michael Jackson was planning to do - make some earnings through live concerts not album sales. It's such a shame that he died attempting his comeback. RIP Michael Jackson you were the radio soundtrack to much of my life when i was not in folk clubs listening to The Strawbs, Nic Jones, Richard Thompson and the rest.

05 July, 2009 02:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a simple point. How many of you would walk into a record store and filch a copy of an album, sneakily stuck into one of you pockets?

Very few, I guess, but most of the posters here are quite willing to steal music in other ways!

There's no difference between physical and intellectual theft of musical rights.

05 July, 2009 03:01  
Anonymous willowpool said...

i wonder how many people have never ever copied onto tape, cassette, cd or digitally?
I remember my old friend Dave Bradley of Swan Arcade having cassettes of Ry Cooder copied from an lp. In fact he passed it on to me and I still have it.
I wonder how many people he introduced to Ry Cooder who went out and purchased lps and then in the cd age repurchased the music in cd format.

05 July, 2009 04:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read all 41 posts to date, including those by A.N. Onymouse, and I want to say something without sounding like I am denigrating his/her opinion on this matter of file sharing.
I have learned about SO MANY artists on this blog that I couldn't begin to count them. As a result I have purchased all of Bill Fay's CDs, and at least one apiece by Meg Baird, Al O'Donnell, Nic Jones, Archie Fisher, Eighteenth Day of May, Greg Brown, Jackson Franke, Judee Sill, Andy Irvine and Paul Brady, Planxty, Tim Hardin, Townes Van Zandt, Val Stoecklein, Wizz Jones and probably some I've forgotten. These are all artists that I was unfamiliar with before this blog. This blog directly resulted in sales for all of these artists from me.
I understand the point being made by Anne Lister, and incidentally I would not insult her for voicing her despair about having her music made available for free. But, there most certainly are some sales being generated by the exposure.
Music sales in general are way down. Radio has changed dramatically in what they'll chance to play, and there aren't as many midsize companies out there that can promote their artists to the point that they'll be heard before purchase. Losing conventional radio was a major hit to the industry. You can't expect people to chance on you or your web site to hear you before a purchase. File sharing is but one component of a deeply changing industry. For music that isn't made by blockbuster artists, it does have an upside. There isn't enough evidence to condemn it outright as a denigrator of music sales, because clearly there is the exposure angle. How many people downloading heard of the artist first? Some have, yes. But CLEARLY, many receive their first exposure to potential fans through file sharing. It's too simplistic and unelightened to call it "stealing"...that's right up there with calling thunder "god being angry".

05 July, 2009 11:36  
Blogger Hooli said...

Oh dear oh dear.
Gather up the rattles and teddies, chuck them back in the pram and while you're at it, stuff an dummy ion her gob.
All this sanctimonious crap about cheating the poor penniless artist might cut a little better if they actually got off their arses and did a proper tour instead of the lowlights of London and South Wales. Maybe then, someone outside of Pontypool might actually give a toss.
Presumably this is as far as their bus passes will allow them to travel.

Sorry for being so cynical, but
does Anne Lister actually think that having her album posted on Rapidshare, THTM or anywhere else is going to alter her sales one iota.
If she does she must inhabit a strange and alien world that is unknown to the rest of humanity.

Let me be honest here, I'm no folkie but have a diverse taste in music that takes me here there and almost everywhere. I've never heard of Ms Lister in ma puff. I would never buy, dowload or even listen to any of her matreial. Not before and most certainly not after this little exchange. To me it's off radar. Not something that interests me enough to warrant a download. Perhaps this brands me as a Philistine. I don't really care.
For those upon whose scanner she does appear, maybe they would download the album then think, 'fine, won't have to buy that one' but in the main, anyone actively pursuant of niche market stuff like this, is likely to be buying it anyway.

Besides, what's wrong with a simple please and thank you with 'don't post my stuff' in between.

I've posted albums in the past where the artist has asked for them to be taken down. My reaction to that was to do as requested. No problem. No hard feelings. Still buy their albums and go to the gigs regularly.
I've also had entire posts wiped out by Google in response to complaints by the US fatcats.
My response to that, quite naturally, was less charitable.

I suppose when all is said and done, legally, she is right but brandishing her moral weaponry with such rudeness may prove that her short stay on Time Has Told Me will indeed be more costly than she ever imagined.


06 July, 2009 05:27  
Anonymous janisfarm said...






06 July, 2009 23:57  
Anonymous Spleeno said...

Complicated one this. On the one hand I think it's great that Lizardson and co make available out of print and hard to find albums. However, I'm not convinced by this attitude that artists who are still selling records to try to make a living should be "grateful" for the "free publicity" they get when their music is given away here without their permission. I'm even less convinced when I read some of the shit written on this thread, which to be brutal, sounds in a few cases like the whinging of people who are pissed off because their chance to blag music for nothing is threatened. So five users of this website are so angry they can't get an Anne Lister album for nothing that they're going to boycott her? I bet she's quaking in her boots! As far as I can see, their comments show zero respect for the people who make the music they claim to enjoy.

My feeling is that when you're getting something for nothing you should show a bit of humility and not throw strops at those artists who don't like it. None of us have got a "right" to get any of this music for free, you know. Please try to remember that before you decide to show your arses.

I'm still amazed that these blog sites were giving away a friend's album before he'd even finished paying for the recording. As he said at the time, "I'm not a f***ing charity and I bet most of these f***ers earn more than I do!" And though people keep saying that these sites help the artists, has anyone got any hard evidence of this? I don't think they do as much harm to smaller artists as some people think they do, but I reckon the only people they consistently "help" are those on the recieving end of the freebies. I'd love it if someone could prove me wrong - but with evidence not anecdotes, eh?

Finally, just because torrent sites are worse, it doesn't make it okay. Okay?

Meanwhile let's be honest, humble and grateful for what we have.

07 July, 2009 01:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incredible!. 4 me all dat discussions r bullshit.
If i ain´t got money and if i got opportunity 2 download a record (FR) dat i like... surely i´m gonna do it.
4 instance the record of Keith Christmas "fable of the wing" is (4 me) one of the 10 best records of UK FR from 70´s.
¿Where is it?.
Nobody knows (not available in CD, vynil copies r dissapear or disposable at stratospheric prices! on any purchase)
I live in southamerica how i obtain da music dat i like?.... simply the blogs.
I´m not a moron 4 2 know the need 2 buy an original (quality, durability and so on)but if they aren´t?
THTM is a v´ry good blog and my support 4 da labour of LIZARDSON will b 4 ever.
LIZ follow with yer blog and how DON QUIJOTE says:" the dog barks SANCHO it´s a signal dat we keep ridin´".

07 July, 2009 02:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Finally, just because torrent sites are worse, it doesn't make it okay. Okay?"

And just because downloading is illegal, it doesn't make it wrong.

I think the posters here have been remarkably clear and respectful about their positions. "Try before you buy" makes perfect sense, especially with a type of music that is bordering on extinction. Music of this quality is fighting for its very life, and attitudes like Ms. Lister's will assuredly ensure the music's demise. That's just a simple fact. Is that what we'd prefer to see happen?

07 July, 2009 09:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do know professional recorded musicians and small label owners who copy and trade CD-Rs now like they used to cassettes. As I wrote earlier as far as making available to literally a million total strangers potentially anything in print or recent out of respect ought to be limited to a sample, either partial tracks or one or two full ones. Just my moral compromise. Humans can make mistakes sometimes about what is in print or fairly easily available too. Chances are any real music lover will buy a new reissue given the slightest incentive even when they have a download. I have upgraded to a suddenly available rerelease a few times, sometimes even three times (from used vinyl to less surface-noise download to proper CD). Let's meet in the middle rather than on the ledge about to jump... shut down the places that upload full discographies and inprint material but not blogs like this, please!


08 July, 2009 05:43  
Anonymous EeeGee said...

Gillian Welch wrote a really good song called "Everything is Free," about this very issue.

Musicians will always make music because it is a joy. People will always love to hear it...because it is a joy. Hopefully enough music lovers will recognize that musicians need to eat, and they will buy discs, go to shows, purchase shwag, etc, so that music will continue to be a worthwhile pursuit. On the other hand, if you're doin' it for the money, well.........

To the artists (and I am one), I say: No one owes you a living doing something you love (most people have to work at no-fun jobs to earn their scratch), and no one obliges you to record or publish your material. Birds don't charge anything for their songs!

To the listeners (and I am one), I say: Acknowledge the value of the music you love & the musicians who channel it.....They don't owe you their talent or their messages. Remember that some birds' songs are prettier than others, so if you want to hear them, feed them.

My personal guilt-assuaging rule for downloads is: live shows, out of print stuff, anything released before 1975, or anything so obscure I'd never be able to find it here in the good ol' US of A, are fair game. Everything else, I buy....and believe me, I've spent a LOT of money on vinyl, cassettes, cds, live shows, etc. At $15-$18 US a pop these days, I'm much less willing to take a chance on an unknown entity...'specially in today's economy. So, yeah, I download. But I also buy, go to shows, & evangelize for the music I love.

I've learned of so many amazing artists I wouldn't ever have found (Hunter Muskett, anyone???) but for this website. Lister certainly has right & reason to demand her albums be de-listed. But personally, I think she'd grow her audience more if she connected with--rather than derided---a musically enthusiastic 'community' like THTM.

Anyway, here's Gillian (buy her albums!)....


Everything is free now
That's what they say
Everything I ever done
Gonna give it away.
Someone hit the big score
They figured it out
They were gonna do it anyway
Even if doesn't pay.

I can get a tip jar
Gas up the car
Try to make a little change
Down at the bar.
Or I can get a straight job
I've done it before
Never minded working hard
It's who I'm working for.

Everything is free now
That's what they say
Everything I ever done
Gotta give it away.
Someone hit the big score
They figured it out
They were gonna do it anyway
Even if doesn't pay.

Every day I wake up
Humming a song
But I don't need to run around
I just stay home.
Sing a little love song
My love and myself
If there's something that you want to hear
You can sing it yourself.

'Cause everything is free now
That's what I said
No one's got to listen to
The words in my head.
Someone hit the big score
And I figured it out
That I'm gonna do it anyway
Even if doesn't pay.

08 July, 2009 11:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yada, yada, yada.

Like it or not, the truth is that everything available for download on this website is still covered by copyright (unless a musician or band has granted permission for their recordings to be made freely available).

All arguments about interest sparked and subsequent purchases made are completely nugatory (and have no standing in law).

If you're happy to steal, then thieve away, but, at least be honest and recognise it as theft!

10 July, 2009 03:25  
Anonymous Spleeno said...

"Music of this quality is fighting for its very life"

I agree with you there. but not through lack of talent. CD sales are down. Bootlegging is up. See any possible connection. Stick to downloading the obscure out of print stuff, eh? It's not about musicians being owed a living - most of the ones I know still do the boring day jobs to pay the rent. It's about them making enough to justify keeping on doing it. Which means some of have to pay. Fair enough?

10 July, 2009 06:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pandora's box is open. No law will ever close it again, but in the attempt we are likely to lose a great deal of freedom.

Like it or not, music sharing is here to stay, just as taping music was 30 years ago.

The solution to taping was to add a small charge to the cost of recording tape, and use it to compensate the musicians.

The same should be done today. I wouldn't object to paying another dollar or two per month for my internet connection, if I knew that the fee went to musicians and other artists.

Only one stipulation: the monies collected by such a fee should be denied to those who refuse to allow their music to be shared.

11 July, 2009 12:52  
Anonymous Spleeno said...

So you wouldn't "object" to paying the equivalent cost of one CD a year for unlimited downloads. How VERY generous of you. Musicians everywhere must be pissing themselves with gratitude...

11 July, 2009 23:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please don't steal our music, we need to eat and pay the bills same as you. Honestly, we really do. It's not a victimless crime. The people who's music you profess to love are the victims. We feel it, we really do. CD sales are down all over the world - but that's not YOUR fault, right? Not YOU? Why not?

oh - So you'll come and see us live? Hey - get this - I don't play live in every town all over the world. When are you going to come and see me live, exactly?

So you'll spread the word? To whom? Other freeloaders? Thanks a bunch. That's great.

So you'll buy all my other CDs? I don't believe a word. You'll download them maybe, then tell me that you'll come and see me live when I play in Buttcrack, Nebraska or wherever you live.

Stop deluding yourselves. You're cheapskates, cowards and thieves and have no real respect for musicians or music whatsoever. No? Prove me wrong. Show your respect by paying for the music.

Go on, I dare you. Grow up.

12 July, 2009 05:45  
Blogger dweller said...

I have discovered artists on this blog like the late John Stewart. I loved his album so much I went out and bought it.
I have gone through my entire life never hearing a note of his music until I discovered it here.

so please anonymous artists who are writing that we are lying hypocrites who never by the cds I can assure you that we are not all that.

13 July, 2009 07:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"CD sales are down all over the world - but that's not YOUR fault, right? Not YOU? Why not?"

Bono said it best - "home taping isn't killing music, CRAP music is killing music!" THAT is why CD sales are down. It's not people downloading, it's record companies trying to convince consumers that what they really want is prepackaged boy bands and pop divas who all sound identical.

It seems to me that MANY people have indicated here that they purchase CDs after downloading them. Makes perfect sense to me. They download the music they'd never know about otherwise, then they buy it. And that's the reality. Technology, 1 - Anne Lister, 0. I would bet you ANYTHING that if you got on board with it rather than tried to punish people for it, your fame would increase and so would your sales. That's the way it works for everyone else who are trying to get this concept through your skull. If it doesn't work that way for you, gee, maybe it's your sweet demeanor that you should consider adjusting a little.

"So you'll spread the word? To whom? Other freeloaders? Thanks a bunch. That's great."

You say freeloader, I say potential album buyer. You're obviously really big on biting the hands that could be feeding you.

"Stop deluding yourselves. You're cheapskates, cowards and thieves and have no real respect for musicians or music whatsoever. No? Prove me wrong. Show your respect by paying for the music."

Seems pretty clear to me that this is an artist-friendly blog and I've seen several artists come forward with words of appreciation. They don't fear technology like you do, they embrace it. They're not childishly calling people names like you are, either.

Make a quality product, make it available, and you will sell your music. Attacking small music blogs who are trying to raise interest in your music isn't the answer. Grow up yourself.

13 July, 2009 14:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Free downloading is the BEST advertisement for an artist and gives the downloader a chance to hear what their music is like before buying it. Just like they would get the chance to listen before buying in a record shop. Just one problem - their CD's won't be found in a record shop and no one has ever heard of them.

I also believe that it increases sales. There is just a lot more competition today.

Maybe the reason not more people buy their CD's is because they never heard of them before or they did, but didn't like their music.

I just know that I have bought the same amount of CD's as before, just now I get to buy only the best albums by the artists whom I've found out about from downloading and internet availability (MySpace, YouTube) that I never would have heard about otherwise. It has just increased awareness.

13 July, 2009 20:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A. N. Onymouse musician

How do you know the people don't spend as much money on music as before though? Maybe they just feel other music is more worth their money.

I believe a musician's way to live off music is by performing more than album sales anyway.

You can't even be sure your album sales went down thanks to downloading.

13 July, 2009 21:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I have learned about SO MANY artists on this blog that I couldn't begin to count them. As a result I have purchased all of Bill Fay's CDs, and at least one apiece by Meg Baird, Al O'Donnell, Nic Jones, Archie Fisher, Eighteenth Day of May, Greg Brown, Jackson Franke, Judee Sill, Andy Irvine and Paul Brady, Planxty, Tim Hardin, Townes Van Zandt, Val Stoecklein, Wizz Jones and probably some I've forgotten. These are all artists that I was unfamiliar with before this blog. This blog directly resulted in sales for all of these artists from me.
I understand the point being made by Anne Lister, and incidentally I would not insult her for voicing her despair about having her music made available for free. But, there most certainly are some sales being generated by the exposure. "

Any questions??

15 July, 2009 03:52  
Anonymous Morrick said...

I am thankful to this blog because it allowed me to listen to many lost vinyl records that are quite hard (if not impossible) to find. So yes, I have downloaded them.

I also understand the artists' viewpoint and their struggle. I always do what I can to buy music legally. I own more than 5,000 vinyl records and hundreds of CDs. I'm a writer and I do understand what it means to try to make a living with what you do.

What the artists who have commented (some anonymously -- why?) here so far should understand is that the exposure and 'discovery part' of the process are both important. Suppose that, say, 500 people discover an artist previously unknown to them. Suppose that only 10 of them actually end up buying his/her music. I think it's still a gain, small as it may be.

The more exposure you get, the better, and blogs like this help by providing selected information to a very receptive audience. I have bought on the iTunes Store music discovered here, but I wouldn't have found it just by perusing the iTunes Store. How can I find on services like the iTunes Store gems from the 1960s-70s if no one presents them to me with a review? That's why realities like Last.fm and such are important. It's the human filter.

Then of course, people should act ethically and understand that downloading music that is well available elsewhere is not right. I do, and I hate being put in the bunch of 'freeloaders' when I spent a fortune buying music, even re-buying albums I own on vinyl when they were published on CD.

Yes, it's a difficult matter, and the "black-or-white" approach isn't helpful.

All the best,

17 July, 2009 04:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Suppose that, say, 500 people discover an artist previously unknown to them. Suppose that only 10 of them actually end up buying his/her music. I think it's still a gain, small as it may be.'

No, it means that there are 490 thieves out there!

Let's squash this myth once and for all. The people who download music from sites such as this are almost entirely freeloaders (and the 'almost entirely' doesn't matter).

If you want to find out about the musical period largely covered by this site, there are plenty of books available.

But, hey, I forgot, you can't download books for free, can you?

18 July, 2009 02:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Books for free? Yes. Ever heard of a photocopier?

18 July, 2009 13:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Books for free? Yes. Ever heard of a photocopier?'

Yep, another example of copyright theft!

19 July, 2009 00:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Yep, another example of copyright theft!"

No. Theft would be me walking into a shop and picking up a CD and walking out without paying for it.

Just as a photocopy is a poorer-quality version of the original, so an MP3 is a poorer quality version of the original music. All the high and low end have been stripped out of an MP3 file. You do NOT get the full product - hell, you don't even get any of the packaging, credits, lyrics, etc.

What you get, in fact, is something that is enough for you to judge for yourself whether you would like to pay for the full product. I see nothing wrong with that. And it is in no way 'theft'.

19 July, 2009 05:30  
Blogger JGG said...

Most of what I've downloaded from THTM we already have on vinyl or CD (a collection of around 3500 LP's). I only download them so I can listen to it more easily on my computer (hooked to proper audio equipment). So technically, we've already paid for it. But then again, we've bought most of the LP's second hand because they're no longer available, so no money for the artists there (only once I guess, from the original buyer of the record).

I have, in fact, also downloaded some albums from THTM that we do not already own. However, some of it I've deleted because I discovered I don't like it (glad I didn't pay for those!) others I now know the existence of, so I can decide wheter or not I want to purchase it of off Amazon or something like that.

20 July, 2009 14:15  
Blogger willowpool said...

I have been to gigs where one person in a group of friends has bought the current album from the artist and the others have borrowed the cd and taped or copied it. They have all attended the gig and will probably attend future gigs by the artist.
I guess everyone is a 'thief' in some way (i read magazines in waiting rooms and share cds with friends) but most of the people reading this blog will probably buy more cds or downloads than the average joe.

21 July, 2009 06:43  
Blogger GeoX, one of the GeoX boys. said...

What fun! A flame war! Not the usual thing on this blog, for certain.

I dunno. I've purchased a lot of music that I wouldn't have without this blog, I will tell you that much (notwithstanding of course that most of the things I've downloaded here are well out of print). I try to support artists I like. I know that the music industry is tough.

Here's the thing, though: you can scream about people STEALING YOUR MUSIC! until you're blue in the face, but, I hate to tell you, that ship sailed quite some time ago. This isn't a moral evaluation; it's just a fact. If you want to scream No, FUCK YOU! You're a horrible person! Admit it! ADMIT YOU'RE A HORRIBLE PERSON!!! then, well...fine. I'm happy to admit to this, if it brings you some measure of catharsis (as long as you're willing to accept that this attitude is not likely to be conducive of additional sales, at least to me). I'm just not sure how you think it materially helps you. Until you accept, okay, things have changed, and I must adapt to them if I want to succeed as a musician...well, I sure hope you can feed your children with self-righteousness, because that's all you're gonna have.

23 July, 2009 14:24  
Blogger Tim said...

While reading through all of these posts, I was surprised by the rather high level of discussion, quite unusual for such a controversial matter. Sadly it fell off towards the end, due to some rants by anononymos posters.
I lift my voice here because I have to confess that I'm one of these guys who have stolen hundreds or even thousands of records. My criminal career began almost ten years ago, when Napster was the instrument of theft. I had about twenty records back then, because I didn't know much music that really caught my attention. Thanks to my thievery however, I became aware of more and more music which had been completely out of scope for me before. Of course I could had enjoyed the stolen music and stayed with my twenty records. But, alas, when you really like some music you wan't to collect it, you wan't to "own" it physically. Maybe you do not just like it but you're actually touched by someones art and feel the need to reward the artist, regardless of your criminal character.
I think that's the way how music industry worked till the 70's. Back in those days, people who owned the companies where music-lovers themselves. They certainly knew how to make money out of it, but they also appreciated the music itself. But then records companys grew larger and larger... and became led by poeple who knew even better how to make money but didn't share the sentimentality of their predecessors, which took a good deal of their profits from popular artists to support the less popular. "What a waste of money!", they said and figured out a better use for it: instead on investing it in freaky stuff no one could know of if it would have any success, they bought musicians and instructed them to play the same way as the best selling did. So far a short history of the music industry...
Yet times change and new technologies arise. These technolies are neither just good nor bad... there's always something lost and something gained. The Internet inevitably causes that artists and record companys loose control over their copyright. Of course they can urge for law measures, but that's a lost cause, it's like alcohol prohibition, it will fail because you can't stricly prohibit something most people are used to, but you can reglement it (taxes on alhocol or casette tapes).
So is the internet killing music? Yes it is, but I think that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Actually, I thinks the internet generally harms bad mainstream music and aids independent music. The music industry sold more and more of the same cold coffe to their customers which are now searching the internet and discover that there's actually some delicious hot coffee, they never tasted before. And if they really like the taste of that coffee they will willingly pay for it, if not out of gratitude, then just because deep inside we are still hunters and gatherers.
I for myself made the very same experience other criminals have: the more I stole, the more I bought. Today I own almost a thousand records and have reached a point where I have to moderate again, because, as I recently found out, you can't eat them. Many of these records I bought only because I was able to steal them first, I'd never knew them otherwise. I think the internet is a great chance for artists who work independently of record companies to reach a public they could never reach by other means, even if it's for the price that only those people who really appreciate their music will pay for it. Thats why the industry is struggling: they made the most of their monney by selling soulless pop music to teenagers who bought it to be trendy. That doesn't work that good anymore. A shame, isn't it?

01 August, 2009 03:51  
Anonymous Spleeno said...

That was a very thoughtful, honest and measured post from Tim, above: Thank you, Tim! Nice to read a coherently put argument rather than the usual load of whinging about how artists who object to downloading are all self righteous bastards or whatever the insult of the day is.

Let's face it, the mainstream music industry is no longer about innovation or experimentation, it's all about PRODUCT - and in the main this means sticking to bland, market-tested, lowest common denominator aural wallpaper. Yes, they'll sometimes pick up on something more forward thinking, but only after it has been discovered and put out by the small independent labels who take all the risk without the financial backing. If it looks like its going to shift a few units, lo and behold, big business muscles in. That's why I couldn't give a stuff about people who steal from the big labels - they are dinosaurs who are sticking dogmatically to discredited modes of music production.

There is a world of difference between the industry in all its glory and a small independent player, though. Let's take Anne Lister as an example. She's a part time folk singer who plays fairly low key gigs, mainly on the UK folk scene. She doesn't have record label backing. She herself pays to record the albums then she releases them on her own micro-label. In fact, with the last album, some of her fans (me included) all paid for a copy in advance of it being made to make sure she had enough money to bring the damned thing out. Most of her sales are from a table at the back of her gigs or via her website. So no wonder she gets a little upset to find someone she doesn't know giving it away on the internet for free without her permission. As ever, of course, Lizardman did the decent thing and removed it. Now, whilst I understand her frustration and whilst I don't think she deserves some of the petty minded abuse shown to her in some of the comments on this thread, I think Ann has approached this wrong. In her shoes, I would have still approached Liz and asked him to take the album down, but then I'd have offered a couple of tracks for download so people could sample the work and then if they liked what they heard enough, they could go out and buy it. Because that's what everyone here says they do, right? Small artists and small labels have a lot to gain from developing good working relationships with the more decent bloggers, who are tireless promoters of the music they love. When I launch my label, this is what I aim to do (though I'm still hesitating, wondering if I'll be able to break even - because I don't know how representative the folks who write on these blogs that they buy the stuff they like really are). I do agree though that downloading is here to stay - I just hope there's enough of you left who are prepared to pay small labels and independent artists enough to keep doing what they do. Otherwise independent music making will end up the preserve of rich hobbyists with money to burn!

What do you think?


03 August, 2009 03:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, Spleeno,

But there are plenty of albums still available for download on this site which really shouldn't be here (because they're still covered by copyright).

If Lizardson had any true respect for the music he claims to espouse, he'd have removed these long ago. But he hasn't. Ergo, he's just another tosser.

04 August, 2009 05:52  
Blogger Tim said...

I think it's unfair to rail against Lizardson the way you do. He quickly responds to requests for removal. Of course their may still be albums to download here which are under copyright, but what's the problem with that if they are not available anywhere to buy? Believe it or not, there have been artist who where happy to find out about beeing here on the blog because they cherished that their (still copyrighted) work was made available again to a wider audience. I think this is the very motivation behind Lizardson's and the other's work here: to bring lost or overlooked gems to to the public again - what could possibly be more respectfull to the music?

The question speelo posed is of course a cruicial one, when it comes to evaluate the effect of the new medium for independent artist. Let me give an example here: bands line Nine Inch Nails or Radiohead offered their latest records to download on the internet. Of course they've set for life with their sales, so they could affort giving them away for free. Radiohead however, gave the option to pay for the download. You could download it either for free, or you could pay some bucks via palpal. It ended up that they earned more from that downloads than from any of their gold records before, beause all of the donations where going directly to the band, no record company inbetween. Of course they have that huge fan-base most other artists can only dream of, but it definitely proved that there are actually enough music-lovers out there, who are willing to pay for music, even if they could have it for free.

The thesis that the internet will aid independent music is of course a generalization. There are always exeptions to the rule and certainly there are artist who suffer from diminishing record sales. Hoewever, they should ask themselves if they approach the new medium the right way. If you see nothing but the downside of something, you won't be able to catch the chances it offers. As Kevin Scott said, the download of the Mr. Pine album resulted in some album sales. The way Mrs. Lister behaves here is rather to reject potential customers.

04 August, 2009 18:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Please let me know if you find copyrighted records on this blog.
(I'll remove download links from this blog)
And if so, please let me know the links for buying CDs."

The second first: Do you really don't know where to buy CDs?
The more important first: ALL records contain "copyrighted material". At least in civilized countries.

02 January, 2010 02:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anne Lister is a royal twat, one who will NEVER have my patronage. Nic Jones... your check's in the mail.

03 January, 2010 16:10  
Anonymous Steve said...

Saying that downloading crushes your sales is a joke. You've already mentally towed this car of yours to the junkyard when it's never going to have more than a dent. Sales down? Quality is down. New, talented folk musicians I listen to can hardly keep up with sales. Guess what - they don't even show up with people downloading them online until AFTER they get personal success. The best folk musicians are invisible, and I buy their albums because they can NOT be found for download. It's an investment, sure, and I've had to resell a lot of albums because they only had a good song or two on them.

The internet is only a reflection of your success in the real world. If you want to sell more - BE BETTER at what you do.

04 January, 2010 17:05  
Anonymous Steve said...

There's many ways to increase sales besides downloading. First, Youtube. It's next to no effort to put something up there. If only I could just hear a song or see a performance or two on Youtube. Take Anne Lister for example. I wanted to hear her, so I searched her there. A couple people doing covers of her songs? Not good enough.

Encourage your fanbase to promote you. If there's no concert footage of you on Youtube, you're out of date, your fans are out of date, and your sales reflect that.

04 January, 2010 17:12  
Anonymous Flettyau said...

Alas Ms Lister, you are missing the point of Blogs. As I reside in Australia, I have never heard of you, but if I see an album that looks interesting on a Blog, I download it to listen - how else am I to find music I like on the other side of the world.
If I like the music I will try & trackdown the artist's site or the label site to buy more music. Accordingly the Blogs are opening up an audience for you worldwide and very likely achieving sales for you that would never have had before. I think this far outways the small revenue that you may have lost through one of your albums being available for free download. Additionally much of the music on Blogs is no longer commercially or own site available, thus how else is it to be obtained, thereby increasing the artist's fan base. More power to the bloggers.

15 January, 2010 10:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear dear, yup another aussie here who has never heard of Ms Lister or her music. I probably never will, because I can't have a sample of her work... a lose lose situation.

Time Has Told Me...congrats on a great site.


04 February, 2010 01:03  
Blogger Unknown said...

Great site here, guys. Non-zero-sum benefits! Look it up.

Hey, I also write a folk music blog called The Pursuit of Folk and tend to post downloads, though usually only a few songs to sample.

I'm definitely going to add a link to your blog on my page! More people should know about this place.

Hopefully you'll have some time to check out my blog as well:


Let me know what you think, and thanks for lookin! :)

01 March, 2010 15:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll stay anonymous for reasons apparent soon. Let me add another take on this, from a perspective few here have addressed.

I'm music director of a small public radio station. We work very hard at trying to backfill our library, especially with out-of-print classics--not a term I'd apply to Anne Lister's work, since after 30 years in this business, I'd never heard of her till THTM pointed her out to me. Believe it or not, Fellside Records doesn't comp us with promos... or in fact promote to us at all.

I grabbed Anonyma listened to it, found it pleasant enough (that's all really), gave it a few 'spins' on our station, then saw her rant, deleted the files and forgot about it till I noticed this thread is still continuing. At this point, I have to chime in....so...

Dear Anne:

Good work. Count as an unintended consequence of your action, the fact that you've missed out on two years worth of occasional plays on a small station in a major market with a large folk audience. Add in, that I have, because of her attitude, not even bothered to seek out any of her other albums. And all over an album you can't even buy anymore!

We're not all stealing. Some of us were actually trying to help you.


07 March, 2010 03:12  
Blogger Unknown said...

what a fantastic site, i only had a while to read a little of the posts regarding copyright, funny in my mind the folk tradition is all about sharing. cecil sharpe didn't pay for his collection of folk songs. who owns songs over a hundred years old and has the tradition of freely sharing folk music and our sung stories truley been usurped by commercial music production? i dont think so keep up the THTM!

Bozy McLaynne


10 March, 2010 21:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i can certainly live without music i've never heard by someone i've never heard of

07 April, 2010 05:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonyma,Burnt Feathers (1986) from Listers website "..for cassettes please watch this space. NOT available on CD) "

god almighty woman, get with the times

07 April, 2010 05:07  

Post a Comment

<< Home

2006 - - - - - - 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2007 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2008 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2009 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2015 - - - - - 5 6