A Fence by any other Name

02005-04-17 | Uncategorized | 9 comments

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…


  1. Carol

    And those one or two who have bid on some of ‘bluebobor’s’ selection of stolen music should be prosecuted. No one could pretend to think they are legitimate.
    Will they be?

  2. Carol

    If only a person could write a bad check and get your album…now that would be fair.

  3. Matt Callahan

    It feels like hearing that someone broke into a friend’s home and stole their possessions. I know this sort of thing happens everyday but it doesn’t make it any better.

  4. Yumiko

    “Where there is beauty, there is ugliness,
    Where something is right, something else is wrong…”

    In this case, the “ugliness” and the “wrong” would be piracy.

  5. Mel

    I’m really glad you brought that up Ottmar because that’s something I had never thought of. I’ve bought items on ebay for a long time and I have sometimes wondered how some sellers can auction off thier brand new stuff for that cheap. As far as pirated music goes, unfortunately, the internet makes it even easier to steal music. I am a vocalist as well as an IT student, so I’ve learned a lot on the music side of things, as well as the technology side. I don’t know if we can ever get rid of theft completely because for every advance in security, there is a hacker who is able to bypass it. :-(

  6. Panj

    …:-)…good attitude Ottmar!

  7. Greg Hale

    OL,Sorry to hear about the rip off…this all raises questions for every musician and visual artist as to the power of copyright protection world-wide. What can we do outside of being appalled and frustrated?
    As for E-Bay, I haven’t been a fan since they began selling items re: the cheese-toast that appeared to resemble the Virgin Mary…

  8. Borya

    That you’re known in Russia you can see here. That some original CDs of you can be found in Russia I can tell you by personal experience. Alas, the Russian market is not controllable. You cannot buy originals there, they only have pirated ones. Well, maybe it’s different in some shops in Moscow and St. Petersburg in the meantime, but I’m sure that what I say is valid for 99% of the country.
    It’s a problem of the western markets, the US but the EU’s one too. Ebay has to be fought off, disciplinated somehow. The legislature should be sufficient, no?

  9. Borya

    And Carol, very unfortunately a lot of people in our hemisphere are not aware of what’s original, what’s legal or illegal (those who acquire the items, I mean). Sometimes it’s very surprising.


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