Fence: One who receives and sells stolen goods. A place where stolen goods are received and sold.
I wonder how many stolen goods are sold through Ebay every day world-wide.
In my case, and for most musicians, the form Eric mentioned in the comments to yesterday’s post does not work. I cannot fill it out – because I am not the owner of the copyright: that would be Higher Octave or their parent EMI for Nouveau Flamenco, Poets & Angels and Borrasca, Epic Records for Solo Para Ti, The Hours between Night + Day, Viva! and Euphoria, and Sony Classical for Leaning into the Night. Notice: I think I could fill out the form for christmas + santa fe and Little Wing, because I own the publishing for that music, and I certainly could fill it out for In the Arms of Love, The Santa Fe Sessions, and La Semana because I own the masters and the copyright for those albums.
Notice how they cleverly placed the end of the auction on a Sunday? No time to get those companies to react.
I think Ebay makes it too easy to sell stuff, no questions asked – and too hard to protest. I mean if they had a team that answers email inquiries I could have sent them an email and they would have noticed that this certainly is piracy. But they have a clever system that buys them and the thieves a little time, enough time to make the sale and be done with it.
It is just like the time my music was illegally used for a porno movie – by the time the Sony lawyers started to apply pressure, the little company had already folded up and moved. The producer of the movie was a corporation that existed only in a P.O.Box… And that company disappeared within 6 months of the release of the film.
I think I will look at it like this:
If you have a hardware store you will have a certain amount of goods stolen every week. If you make music there will be piracy – and the more successful one becomes, the more of that will occur. It is just in the nature of the game. Maybe I should buy the damn pirate CD myself, because it does mean that people in Russia have heard of me and believe they can make a buck off my music. That’s good!
There are not a lot of guitar players who have pirated music sold on Ebay. I think I will have a little plaque made: Congratulations to Ottmar Liebert, who had 8 of his albums pirated in Russia.
And you know what, I bet you can stroll through Bangkok and buy La Semana for two bucks…