Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tone and Wave is coming to an end

Hey,
This is Jeremy at Megalith Records (The Toasters / Moon Ska Records),
I have come across your blog and see that are you hosting links to many
bands on our label that you have no legal right to distribute freely.
http://toneandwave.blogspot.com/
Please remove all links in reference to the following bands and
compilations:

The Butlers
All Skarmageddon comps.
Anything and everything Toasters, Skaos, Dr. Raju, Skavoovie and the
Epitones, Bluekilla, Mr. Review, The Busters, Too Many Crooks, No
Sports, Go Jimmy Go, The NY Citizens, Deal's Gone Bad, Royal Roost and
all related releases.

Not only is what you are doing completely illegal, but you are NOT
supporting ska music by pointing people to download their work for free,
you are hurting them. Many of these albums you have links to are
releases from 2008 and 2007. I know because I designed that Royal Roost
album cover and we released that last year, and the Deal's Gone Bad
album was released this year between us and JumpUp Records.

You MUST remove all links to these bands, if you do not comply within
48hours, we will have our lawyer contact you and Google and have your
account removed as well as Yahoo. Please take me seriously.
You are creating a DIS-service to these hard working bands and you are
breaking the law.

Jeremy Patton.

--
megalith records
c/o jeremy w patton
1529 sunrise circle
norman, ok 73071
cell 405.641.8114
http://www.toasters.org
http://www.megalithrecords.com
http://www.jiantwebproductions.com

....................................................

Sorry folks, I can't argue with this. He's right.
My only dispute with this letter is where it says I am not supporting ska music. He meant to say I'm not supporting the people who make money off of ska music.

If you look on the Megalith Records site you'll see that the Toasters "Skaboom!" cd which I posted is out of print which means that I didn't harm their ability to sell it and that if you wanted to buy it you'll have to wait until it's repressed - if ever. (Or you can just get it used off of ebay)

How was I to know that there was still a market for many of the bands on the list when they aren't mentioned in their catalogue? It took me quite a long time and way too much money to collect all of the Too Many Crooks cds because I had to find them second hand in other countries because nobody in the US sold them - not even Megalith. How am I keeping them from making money from something they're not even selling?
But that's besides the point. I was told to remove them and I did. I will not send anybody the links so please don't ask. Support the bands by going to the shows and buying their music from them. Buy stickers and buttons and whatever else.

I also removed anything else I thought that anybody could still be making money off of.

This is not the end of Tone and Wave. I still have a few things left that I think I can post. After that I will call it quits. You will know when it's over.

21 comments:

racer said...

"Not only is what you are doing completely illegal, but you are NOT
supporting ska music by pointing people to download their work for free, you are hurting them"

What a load of hogwash. This is not a Britney Spears blog being visited by a bunch of teenagers looking for free music!

Whilst I can understand a record company not being entirely happy with their releases being offered free online, I would have thought that someone working for an Indie, non-commercial label would have at least half a brain and not sound like an EMI/Sony/Etc stuck record.

Anyway, your blog has introduced me to so many bands I didn't even know existed, and like most obssessed fans, i seek out and buy whatever I can find. So I hope Mr Patton comes back and reads this and realises what a tosser he is for the above comment!

Will also remember who Megalith is the next time I go to Amazon!

Anonymous said...

It's about being responsible. If music is not available to buy with money going to the artist then I don't see what the problem is with putting it out there.

Where music is still available to buy with proceeds going to the artist then I can perfectly understand why artists and those that look after them would be horrified by finding their work available for free. It's not like there are millions to be made in ska music - every sale counts.

Racer - please don't boycott Megalith in response to this. They are trying to keep the flame alive by providing an avenue to many ska artists to continue making great music - unlike something like amazon which will only serve to push little niche markets further into obscurity by responding to larger market trends and hosting on-sellers. If you love ska do the right thing and buy it where you can... remember, finding it in a record bin while perfectly legitimate doesn't give the artist anything in return - if it's out there for sale and they can get some reward for their work they deserve it.

I hope tone and wave is able to keep posting up obscure and unavailable music that deserves to be heard.

xtimmyx said...

well, i can't tell you the last time i saw a touring ska band play Minneapolis, or the last time i saw info on a small local ska show. if there were one, i'd go. and i'd buy merch directly from them, because i know the money is going to THEM (for gas/food/pot/whatever).
i think blogs like this are HELPING keep the ska scene alive. they're just like comps were for me in the early 90's. they let me hear things i wouldn't normally hear, then seek out the rest of their music.
personally, i'd like to thank you for providing me with music that i hadn't heard in such a long time and for introducing me to some new stuff as well!
good job!

xurde said...

just one thing to say: keep on skanking!

Anonymous said...

dont let it get you down
keep da faith
jason/whatilike

Jeremy Toaster said...

Skaboom is only out of print PHYSICALLY, we have it for sale DIGITALLY in iTunes, eMusic and many many other sites. We also are pressing a new version of it in Europe next year.
But THANK YOU very much for removing your content, I and the bands appreciate it very much. We can't continue to press these cds you love and put these bands on the road if they can't make money off their music.

Steve from Moon said...

I think many people miss the point about music file sharing. The bands and/or labels own the copyrights to their recordings, so only THEY can decide if they want their music to be distributed for free to anyone on the internet. So, if you are file sharing an album or song (whether you are uploading or downloading it) without the copyright owner's permission, you are doing so illegally. It's really that simple.

Racer, you'd be surprised how much music file sharing hurts independent labels. If the fan base for an indie band is only 10k or 20k people and a third or half of those fans are downloading that band's album for free, they are out a fair amount of money (that they could use to pay their bills and continue to be a band and make music that the fans want more of, right?). So the argument that music file sharing only hurts the giant, multi-national labels doesn't hold water.

And even if a release is out-of-print or really hard to find, it still doesn't justify posting an album for free--only the copyright owner can make this decision, not some random fan in his or her bedroom. (I do think labels should make a big effort to make their back catalogue--particularly out-of-print albums--at least available for download, if they don't want to go to the expense of repressing and distributing them...)

If people are interested in reading more about why music file sharing is wrong and hurting musicians and indie record labels, I recently posted something about it all on my blog, The Duff Guide to Ska (www.duffguidetoska.blogspot.com).

Thanks,

Steve from Moon

Anonymous said...

There millions of people who love ska in parts of the world were there only on pc to a village. If blogs like this one goes many people out there will miss.
If you want to start on somebody go for the youtubes, were people post the tracks with silly video's or the big file sharing sites and not go for the little guy(oh yeah have not got the bottle have ya )

tone and wave
keep da faith stomp............
jason

Steve from Moon said...

Jason:

So, all of the ska bands should make their music free to download on the internet because there are villages some place in the world where they only have one computer--and this is the only way they can find out about ska?

And how do you know that Jeremy and Megalith aren't going after the larger file sharing sites? If something is illegal, it doesn't matter if the individual blogger is doing it or a large, well-financed website.

If I was in one of the bands whose CD was put up online without my permission for anyone to download for free, I'd be mad as hell. The illegal music file downloaders claim to love the music and the bands, but how exactly are you supporting the scene by stealing music and income from the bands?

Music file sharing isn't any different from walking into a record store and shoplifting a CD by your favorite band. Both are wrong and illegal, and the band, label, and retailer all get ripped off. It's just harder to get caught online stealing music.

If you want to check out a band that you are unfamiliar with, how about listening to their song sample on iTunes or Amazon or the band's MySpace page (I've done this many times, and if I liked what I heard, I went out and bought the CD or the digital download). This actually supports a band--puts cash in their pocket so they can pay their bills and keep on making music.

It seems like so many people out there are apologists for illegal music file sharing and they all have a million excuses to justify their actions, but that doesn't change the fact that it is an illegal act, hurts bands and indie labels, and is just plain wrong.

Steve from Moon

jjloy said...

BOO! Boo to this!

While I admit that the Impalers and DGB are a little recent to just offer up for free- the beauty of Tone and Wave is in the little gems. The minor '80's releases, the cassette rips, the post-2-Tone groups that time forgot.

Don't give up, just play ball. But be the guy that digs up these nuggets, the scene needs this site.

One last thing. I imagine that a lot of people that visit this site and DL the content are mostly snagging the rarities. I already had the Royal Roost and Deals Gone Bad stuff.

Don't leave us because of bullies- but be fair to the bands.

thank you,
-JJ Loy
KDHX Ska's The Limit

Ska Blah Blah.com

Steve from Moon said...

JJ:

1) Again, it is not up to anyone but the band or label that owns the copyright on a song and/or album to determine if that song and/or album should be made available to anyone to download for free. Even if it is a rare and/or out-of-print title. Not anyone's call except the copyright owner's.

2) If I'm a bully for speaking out for the rights of musicians to earn a living from their creation, then so be it. (Does that make the folks doing all the illegal music file sharing--stealing music--from the anonymous safety of their bedrooms cowards?)

3) Yes, be fair to the bands--actually BUY their CDs, LPs, and digital downloads.

Steve from Moon

Jeremy Toaster said...

Ok here's the thing with these "blogs" posting links to download other people's music. Why don't you, instead of posting a link to the FREE version, post the link to the iTunes download?


The Toasters : Skaboom


Deal's Gone Bad : The Ramblers


Royal Roost : Royal Family Blues

Then, WRITE A REVIEW about this music you so love. If you really want to help and care about these bands, give us some in depth critical reviews about these releases, not just one sentence, the track list and a link to download it for free. GET INVOLVED, be pro active and support the music by actually having some knowledge and insight about the albums. Who knows, you write some good reviews, and someone might actually offer you a job! Or send you actual physical cds for free to review them and post your thoughts.

So spend the time you spent stealing and make it positive.

btw. not sure if these comments will make those iTunes links work...

Jeremy Toaster said...

Nope doesn't look like the comment app will allow it, here they are in plain text.

The Toasters : Skaboom
http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=18734752&id=18734789&s=143441

Deal's Gone Bad : The Ramblers
http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=252370688&id=252370457&s=143441

Royal Roost : Royal Family Blues
http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=209551841&id=209551792&s=143441

Tom said...

Steve, you say

"It is not up to anyone but the band or label that owns the copyright on a song and/or album to determine if that song and/or album should be made available to anyone to download for free."

Unfortunately not all artists own the copyright. Jamaican artists in particular are a prime example of this as I'm sure you are aware. And if copyright is owned by a major with absolutely no intention of re-releasing, because it will not earn them any money to make it worth it, then while that music is unavailable - not on itunes, not through any modes of distribution - why is it fair that

a) the music these people made is rendered pure flotsam, destined to never be heard and

b) if the music is released it's not the creators who get the money?

I can understand your point from a legal perspective, but not a moral one. As you say, real fans of the music will put their money where their mouth is and pay up because they know that this will support what they love. Anyone who has been truly involved in a punk scene or a ska scene knows how important this is. But to truly believe that downloading a Piranhas B-Side which isn't available anywhere else and is not going to turn up in the country where you live in a secondhand record store (is this not morally corrupt as well, seeing as no money goes to the copyright owner?) is somehow evil - I don't fathom that.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jeremy Toaster for the links to some recent releases. Those are not hard to find and people who are likely to purchase those things either would've by now, or would've downloaded it illegally and then most likely bought something else that they wouldn't have otherwise.
How about links to some of the rare and hard to find stuff?

I'm in a ska band and I didn't get into this genre thinking I was going to make a living off of it. You got into the 'MUSIC business' in the beginning and made it so long that it has now become the 'music BUSINESS'. Imagine if you could go back to when you were young punks and rudies back in the days and tell yourselves how you turned out. The mentality you had back then is the mentality we have now. Didn't you copy your friends' vinyls and tapes onto cassette? You saved the little bit of money you had by doing that and used it to buy more music didn't you?

I don't see anything wrong with giving away something that's not being sold to people who probably wouldn't buy it if it was. You're lucky you have the law on your side because you don't have the fans.

jjloy said...

Tom-
Thanks for taking up for what I said. I care not for License Holders and I prefer to buy cd's directly from the bands.

And to those non-artist, License Holders-

I think that raising a stink over the NY Citezens CD is insane. Moonalith should be honored that people still want that stuff.

Look at Hulu and itunes, content providers that beat piracy by looking at the pirates as potential customers. What are you offering us to dissuade us?

Sorry i called you moon dudes bullies, but you saying that Tone and Wave doesn't support the scene is equally uncalled for. A lot of the Moon back catalog is compulsory for building an understanding of American Ska. I spent so much of my high school paychecks getting music from Moon- some great- some awful. I can't tell you how many bands feel ripped off by moon- and I can say personally, as a customer- I felt fleeced.

Kids just getting into the music have a hunger for this music- it tells the story of ska. But they aren't going broke just learning about this scene, anymore- because of piracy.

And it's the same story you types blabbed about with taping, in the 80's. You said it would be the end of the industry. But we aren't industry fans we are music fans. We discover new bands and artists by downloading their songs, but we are the ones going to shows and putting their shirts on our backs.

Yes, Tone and Wave was wrong for posting such new stuff, but we should let water find it's own level for a lot of this content. Just because you can flex your muscle doesn't mean you should.

-JJ Loy

Steve from Moon said...

Tom:

Thanks for your thoughts. I agree that far too many Jamaican artists (and many, many musicians in all genres throughout the history of the music industry) were ripped off by crooked, sleazy producers, managers, labels, etc.--especially if they didn't own/control their master recordings. And many artists didn't/don't receive the royalties due them. All of this IS outrageous and people should be pissed off about it.

I strongly believe that whatever labels are left should make all of their back catalogue available for purchase via digital download. The cost of doing so is minimal and the fans will really appreciate being to track down the missing pieces of their collection. And it would be great if long defunct bands--particularly those from the pre-internet age--could be convinced to make digital downloads of their long out-of-print albums available for sale or for free.

I have to say, even though I understand your point about the obscure, rare, and out-of-print music that will be pretty much lost to the ages and unavailable to the curious and collectors without the music file-sharing, I'm still REALLY uncomfortable with it. Some of it is probably due to my background at Moon--I know how hard the bands worked to create their music, and all that we did at the label to promote them and their releases (I took care of promotions and marketing). And how important it is for artists to retain control over their recordings. I'm coming at this from the opposite end of the spectrum (even though I'm a fan, too--I've got a pretty extensive collection of ska and reggae CDs and LPs myself).

And when I say that music file sharing is wrong, I don't mean to equate it will truly evil acts like genocide. It's wrong like shoplifting is wrong. Someone is not being physically injured, but their music is, in essence, being stolen, which hurts them financially, and their copyright is being violated.

As for tracking down a used copy of a rare single in a second-hand record store--yes, the band doesn't earn anything from this (and I'm not sure how all of this squares with the copyright laws). So the band takes a hit on that one record (though they should have received royalties on its original sale when it was new). However, when this same track is thrown up on the internet for anyone to download, the band loses out on potentially hundreds or thousands of sales (if the track is ever re-released or made available on iTunes)...

I wonder if the music file sharing of rare tracks sometimes prevents labels from re-issuing out-of-print titles? It certainly could cut into potential sales...

BTW, music copyright law does make it completely legal for individuals to make a few copies of an album for his/her friends (as long as they are not selling them). The big difference between burning a CD for your bud and uploading an album to a file sharing site is that when someone makes a song or album available on the internet via file sharing, he/she is permitting anyone in the world to download it for free--obviously, this goes far beyond making a few copies for friends...

I think what is really interesting is how we all feel some 'ownership' over the music--as fans, label people, and musicians.

Cheers,

Steve from Moon

Steve from Moon said...

JJ:

I'm curious, why do you feel that Moon fleeced you? (Full disclosure: I was the director of marketing and promotions for Moon from 1991-1999.) Admittedly, there were several duds in the mix of good to great albums that the label released in its lifetime--and, as you stated, its back catalogue is essential for understanding the history of American Ska.

The label kept its mail-order and retail prices low (somewhere in the $10-$12 range)--much less than what the majors were charging for CDs back then ($17.98).

As an indie label, we did what we could to promote ska music and the bands making it (sending promos to skazines, music magazines, college radio stations; making and distributing music videos; publishing and distributing a label newsletter--a big source of ska info in the pre-internet age; arranging for band interviews and in-store appearances; sending out posters to record stores and clubs; setting up ska shows/showcases; putting together package tours that included lesser-known acts, etc., blah, blah--for years I ran all this out of my apartment, some of it while holding down a full-time job). We also did things like put together the Skarmageddon compilations (I produced the first three of them), which helped put a lot of lesser-known US ska bands on people's radar. I'm not stating all this to say how great I am, but to point out that we put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into supporting the ska scene (and I loved every minute of it!)

Moon wasn't perfect and we couldn't be everything to everyone, but we believed in the music and the bands, and tried to do our best with limited resources we had.

(BTW: I sent a lot of promo CDs to KDHX in the 90s--I hope that some of them are still in the station library!)

Yes, there were some ugly disputes and accusations made by a few bands that they didn't receive proper royalty statements (some were trying to get out of their contracts; for others, it was more a matter of ego, they thought they were bigger than they actually were and should have had bigger sales than they did or were jealous that bands like No Doubt or the Bosstones had hit it big and they hadn't). In every case, when these bands sent their lawyers and accountants in to check the label's books, our royalty statements, and the statements from our printing plant and our distributors, they didn't find anything wrong--they had not been ripped off by Moon. Everything was on the up-an-up. The bands were paid what they were owed according to their contracts. Simple as that.

While I'm not involved with Megalith, I know that Jeremy would like to have a lot of the Moon back catalogue available at least for sale as digital downloads, but a lot of these titles originally were licensed to the label by the bands for a limited time and the rights to these albums long ago reverted back to the artists. (So new contracts would have to be renegotiated and there may be other difficulties, as many of these acts have broken up long ago...). Jeremy can address all much better than I can.

I'd love to see the NY Citizens' debut LP re-issued--it's fantastic (and I thought the compilation that they self-produced--"The Truth About the NY Citizens"-- didn't do them justice; they should have put everything they released in chronological order on a CD). I wonder if I still have a working contact number for Kid Coconuts?

Anyway, hate to put you on the spot about Moon, but I think your statements about the label needed addressing...

Take it easy,

Steve from Moon

Anonymous said...

It's too bad they wanted you to remove everything. That's how I find music and usually end up purchasing them because I want to be able to listen to the CD in my truck instead of on the computer. I guess I won't be buying anything from them if I can't preview it. I've purchased A LOT of Cd's after listening to most of the songs on other sites (usually youtube).

Anonymous said...

fuck those moon ska bastards, they were sellouts to the ska scene, if it is out of print and since moon ska is not a legal established company you have every right to post thier shit for download. moon ska is no longer in business so they cannot do shit about it cuz there copyrights are no longer legal and the artist retain all rights to thier own music!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nikkei Sindex said...

Wow, I am sorry I missed your blog in what were apparently its glory days. Thanks for what is still up. I played on a bunch of stuff, any Greenhouse release, the 2nd (Isaac Green &) the Skalars record, and the 2nd Eclectics record. Believe me, I don't think those are selling and if they are, I am definitely not getting any money from it so for the love of God, GIVE IT AWAY to any lunatic who is interested.

Also look at the stuff I'm doing now.

punk band
http://nanox.themodernist.com

Japanese punk podcast
http://nikkeisindex.blogspot.com