10 Musicians Who Encouraged You To Steal Music

Wait, isn't piracy supposed to be bad?

In this March 27, 2014 photo, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails performs at the Vive Latino music festival in Mexico City, Mexico. Reznor says he feels a fresh new start for Nine Inch Nails after the bands latest album and world tour. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blac
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Since the dawn of the internet age, record companies have been drilling into the heads of anybody who would listen that file sharing and digital piracy are a curse on the industry that has led to its collapse, at least in comparison to the behemoth it was before. They will argue that piracy takes money out of the recording artist's pockets and makes it much harder for them to bring the latest tunes to your ears.

While there may be some merit to that statement - assuming you choose to ignore that record companies utterly failed to get with the times in an effort to prop up an ancient business model - the fact is that not all recording artists would agree with it and many actually feel that piracy is just desserts for record companies that don't give them enough back for their creative endeavours. 

In fact, there are some who have even encouraged their fans to steal their music instead of letting their money fall into the pockets of their own record companies.

Here we look at some of the ways that musicians have bitten back at "the man" in an effort to get their music to the masses.

10. Eyeshine's Fake FBI Warning


We've all seen the many warnings that record companies and similar institutions like to put out that tell people how wrong it is to download music or other media for free. In fact, in the UK there was a period where practically every film released on video or DVD was preceded by a short clip that rather patronisingly informs the viewer that pirating such media is tantamount to stealing, though that clip ironically fell out of use when it turned out that the makers weren't paying the composer of the track used in it any royalties.

Of course, a lot of albums sport similar warnings, with many in the US carrying the FBI Anti-Piracy Warning Seal that is often accompanied by the ominous warning that those caught pirating the album could face a fine of $250,000 plus a jail term of up to five years.

It seems more than a little extreme, which was probably the thinking of the rock band Eyeshine as well. Instead of including the standard FBI warning on all of their albums, the band instead chose to create their own, which parodies the harshness of the potential sentence for pirating, as can be seen below:

"FBI Warning: Illegal distribution is a criminal offense punishable by DEATH. Just kidding, make sure all your friends get a copy."

Lee Price is a writer for 411mania.com and Starburst Magazine, which is published in the UK. He is currently working as a freelance writer. He hopes to one day fund his addiction to video games by writing about video games, and he maintains a sporadically updated blog at leesrandombulls*it.wordpress.com