cloudsteppers

How to deal with "rogue" downloads

Running a label in the age of digital is a tough business: loads of crap demos an A&R has to go through in order to pick the good ones, low margins, rogue websites offering your music as a 10 cent download ("hey, it's all licensed with our collecting society!") and products being available on Rapidshare just hours after their release. There's nothing you can do about it: have the file in question removed, a couple of minutes later, five more copies pop up on other one-click hosters.

Now, I don't have a problem with people who'd like to try before buying. They want to listen to the whole tune, not just some two-minute snippet on Beatport or some 45-seconds preview on iTunes. I do understand that! But if I really like a tune which I've acquired in a similar manner, I'm buying it in the end. Especially when using it in my DJ sets.

Then, you have the die-hard fans. They upload a Pesto track to YouTube, share it with their friends, record it from some web radio and post that to SoundCloud. They are not aware of any evil they might be doing or any harm that their action may cause to both artists and labels. They just love the tune and thus, they put it up their profile on whatever service.

How do you deal with them?



Let me give you an example. I have a Google alert set for various keywords in order to monitor other people's activity on Pesto releases. One of them is set up for the keyword "cloudsteppers" which is the artist of our Pesto 012 single. So, last weekend, I find a mention in my RSS feed for that very keyword and see it's a SoundCloud link. I thought "hmm, maybe it's Vyach of Cloudsteppers who put up a snippet on his SoundCloud" but the link pointed to a profile I wasn't aware of. I clicked the link, SoundCloud opened and I was displayed my Soda Inc. remix of Cloudsteppers' "Make Me Shine". No problem, fans tend to do that. I see downloads are enabled and it's nearly the whole tune, hijacked from some web radio stream - available as a free download.

Well, there's a free download of that Cloudsteppers track on pesto.de but, in fact, it's not the "Jon Silva's Soda Inc. Remix".

At this time, a label has two options:

1. lawyer up, hit the gym, profit.

2. write a message to the poster, explaining the backgrounds, kindly asking to disable downloads.

I went for option 2. and here's what I wrote (including all grammar and spelling errors - it was a Sunday):

SC message to Olga

Here's a transcript:

Hi Olga,

Just came across my remix of that Cloudsteppers track on your profile. I'm happy you like the tune and when people put our Music (the mix is released on my Pesto label) on their profile, it usually means they're big fans. That's awesome!
However, it takes away possible income from the artists and the label - especially when offered as download.

I am therefore asking you to disable downloads and if you feel like supporting both the artist and the label (Cloudsteppers, Pesto Music and me), please add a download link to a store. You can use a link to Beatport for example:
http://www.beatport.com/release/make-me-shine/151087

Feel free to keep the track on your profile, you don't have to remove it but please disable downloads.

Hope you understand:)

cheers & have a great weekend,

Jon

PS: did you know we have a Pesto FreeBee, a free download of another version of Make Me Shine? Check this out:
http://pesto-usa.com/PestoCast/Make_Me_Shine_FreeBee_Version.mp3

Less than 24 hours later, I get a reply:

Hi Jon,
I thank you for having written, downloads is disable,
(
CLOUDSTEPPERS - Make Me Shine (Jon Silva's Soda Inc remix) by Olga Wagner :))
and thanks for another link, I'm glad!
Olga

Another Way



Rather than pissing off one person with an unnecessary lawsuit and additional hustle, I now have a supporter. Rather than Olga telling her friends what dickheads the Pesto guys are, she's now probably telling them that we're just reasonable and that we appreciate our fans doing free promo for us. At least, I hope so. Worst case: she doesn't tell anybody but points her friends and social circle to her profile and we get more exposure. Everybody wins.

What I was about to say: I don't mind if you post our tracks. A person who's satisfied with the sound quality on YouTube or SoundCloud wouldn't buy it anyway. No sales gone. A person who's convinced of having a right to download music, software, ebooks and the likes for free without any consideration for the authors wouldn't be buying in any case.

It's up to you - the fan, the listener, the reader, the enjoyer - to pay for non-physical, digital goods. If nobody pays, there won't be as much material for you to download in the future. If you support the artists and the labels that bring lovely music to you, the artist will be able to buy a new piece of gear to record vocals or a guitar. The label will be able to buy stock photography for cover artworks, buy label software, buy new mastering plugins to improve the overall label's sound and so on and so forth.

It's all up to you! Your decision makes the difference.

Ya feelin me or you tend to disagree? Let us know in the FB comments.


Pesto FreeBee #005: Cloudsteppers - Make Me Shine (new link)

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Remember our great Pesto 012 release by Ukraine's Cloudsteppers? Well, this one comes with a FreeBee, too.

This FreeBee is released under no special license model, it's free as in freedom. There are a few rules to follow though:
- you can freely distribute (i.e. share on P2P networks, transfer to your friends, etc.) the file as long as its original contents (the song itself, the meta data and cover artwork) remain unaltered
- in case you are converting the file to another format (such as WAV, OGG, AAC to name a few), make sure you keep the original ID3 tags and the cover artwork
- the file(s) remain covered by copyright laws, the copyright holder is Pesto Music
- you can use portions of the file to incorporate them in new creations (i.e. mashups, remixes) for non-commercial use, any commercial use requires a license from Pesto Music. If you create a mashup or remix of the tune, please send us a link to your creation by using the contact form
- you must not resell this tune, the file or any data connected to this FreeBee

And now: Enjoy "Cloudsteppers - Make Me Shine (FreeBee Version)"!:)
click here to be transferred to iTunes
click the image or here for a direct link to Pesto Freebee no.5

Pesto 012: Cloudsteppers - Make Me Shine out now & charting!

Our 12th single on Pesto is available in your favourite download store since December 26th. "Make Me Shine" by Ukraine's Cloudsteppers comes with outstanding remixes by Scope (aka Ric McClelland), The Disclosure Project, Chris Udoh and Jon Silva. Get Pesto 012 on Beatport.



Having already charted on Traxsource, "Make Me Shine" is now invading Beatport's DeepHouse charts - currently, Jon Silva's Soda Inc. remix is on #28. We're also happy to find this superb release being featured on Beatport - thanks for the support!

Pesto 012 Beatport Feature

It's no surprise this release is doing well if you have a look on the feedback returns by DJs from all over the globe. You can view the reactions in this PDF file.

Get Pesto 012 on Beatport.

Pesto 012: Cloudsteppers - Make Me Shine charting on Traxsource

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After we detected our latest single Pesto 012 by Ukraine's Cloudsteppers entering the sales charts on #85 on Traxsource yesterday, the release is making up positions with giant steps.

Currently, "Make Me Shine" is on #56 and that's surely due to the great original versions and the awesome remix pack by top notch artists Scope aka Ric McClelland, The Disclosure Project, Chris Udoh and Pesto's very own Jon Silva.
If you mind the shortened previews on Traxsource, feel free to listen to the full length versions in our MP3 player on the right hand side and grab your favourite mixes as long as they are exclusive Traxsource.

Pesto 012 on #56 of Traxsource sales chart

In case you did not know: Traxsource is also accepting payments via PayPal - a great option for those without a credit card. Opposed to other services, you don't have to install a crappy piece of software for bulk downloads. Traxsource will pack all your purchases into one convenient .zip file.

Pesto 012: Cloudsteppers - Make Me Shine out now excl. on Traxsource

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Just a few hours ago, our latest single Pesto 012 by Ukraine's Cloudsteppers was released exclusively via Traxsource.

"Make Me Shine" was already introduced on our "2.0" compilation earlier this year with great success (it's among the 10 best selling tunes on Pesto) and now comes with a diverse pack of arse-kicking remixes.

Besides the jazzy "Deep Mix" and a slightly altered "Dub Mix", we are proud to have remix support from Urban Torque's Scope aka Ric McClelland, The Disclosure Project with a beautifully atmospheric mix, Chris Udoh with a slightly edgier rework and Pesto's inhouse variants in the shape of the mid-1990ies-ish "Bedroom Beach Remix" and the Soda Inc. -esque remix, both by Jon Silva.

Pesto012_TS

Traxsource have just launched the fourth generation of their shop platform including a maximum overhaul on a couple of features: when purchasing music, you can choose between 192kBits and 320kBits MP3 files or WAV files for full audiophile pleasure. They even offer you to upgrade your former MP3 purchases to WAV at a price that's a steal. Further improvements are to be found in the user interface and the site wide search, according to Traxsource.

Check out our MP3 player in the sidebar and preview Pesto 012, buy it exclusive on Traxsource now!

Pesto best sellers: the Top 10 of 2008

It's this time of the year when you find "The 10 best/crappiest/whatever..." lists all around.

We won't stay behind and proudly present our best selling tunes in 2008. Please note that not all sales are fully accounted yet. So, for example, the remixes of Sandra Lima's "Higher" on Pesto 011R are not showing up for that reason. We will update this list once we have all sales details for 2008. Here we go:

01. Rucyl - Love In War (Pete Gust KID Remix)
02. Jon Silva - Aegean (Original)
03. From P60 feat. Virág - New Way (Jon Silva's New Dub)
04. From P60 feat. Virág - New Way (The Mulder's Light's On Dub)
05. Tina Valen - Discotime (Original)
06. Phonic Funk - On Top (Original)
07. Khaan - Pegasos (The Mulder's XX-File Remixx)
08. Replika - Loveletter (Original)
09. Sandra Lima - Higher (Jay-J's Shifted Remix)
10. Cloudsteppers - Make Me Shine (Original)

As you can see, most of the tunes are from our last "2.0 - The Next Generation Of Pesto Artists" compilation, but also our singles performed quite well. You can get these tunes (and all the other great music on Pesto and Traxx) in your favourite online store.

Pesto 012: Cloudsteppers - Make Me Shine/New MP3s added to player!

pesto012_cover_150
Have you noticed the new banner picture? After Sandra Lima from Pesto 011, we have a nameless beauty this time. She, along with the palm trees, is part of the cover artwork of our upcoming single on Pesto by Ukraine's Cloudsteppers.

"Make Me Shine" was already introduced on our "2.0" compilation earlier this year with great success and now comes with a diverse pack of arse-kicking remixes.

Besides the jazzy "Deep Mix" and a slightly altered "Dub Mix", we are proud to have remix support from Urban Torque's Scope aka Ric McClelland, The Disclosure Project with a beautifully atmospheric mix, Chris Udoh with a slightly edgier rework and Pesto's inhouse variants in the shape of the mid-1990ies-ish "Bedroom Beach Remix" and the Soda Inc.-esque remix by Jon Silva.

Check out our MP3 player in the sidebar and preview Pesto 012 already today! Release date will be 12th December 2008, so you have some time to fall in love with this great DeepHouse bomb.

PestoMix show on danceradio.gr: #004 on 15th August 2008

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Don't miss our monthly radio show on danceradio.gr!

Today on Friday, 15th of August, the 4th issue of our radio show will be broadcasted on danceradio.gr.

Here's your schedule for the PestoMix show:
CET (central Europe): 2:00pm to 4:00pm
click here to see the local time of some selected cities around the world

Our guest in the second hour today is Clubstar/Conya's head honcho Henri Kohn who's contributing his edgy and pumping "Deep Electronic Workout" mix. Here's the track lists:

1st hour: Jon Silva

01. Mark Duffin - The Man With No Shame [Pesto]
02. Two Armadillos - Snowflakes [Dessous]
03. Cooccer - Driftin' [Traxx]
04. Franck Roger - Backed Up [SSOH]
05. Cloudsteppers - Make Me Shine (Scope's Noche Urbana Remix) [Pesto]
06. Sebastian Davidson - Cherry Blossom (Spiritchaser Remix) [Outside The Box]
07. Shur-I-Kan - Noodling [Winding Road]
08. Nikola Gala - Puta [Escada]
09. Lobo Guara - Resta Aqui (Vincenzo Callea & Luca Lento Remix) [White 25]
10. Sandra Lima - Higher (Jon Silva's Clap Clap Instrumental) [Pesto]
11. Da Funk - Roasted (Jon Silva's Replay) [Traxx]

2nd hour: Henri Kohn - Deep Electronic Workout

01. Steve Ferrand - Morning Glory (Urbantorque)
02. Manuel Tur – Vabanque (Freerange)
03. Seb Davidson – Magdalena (CDR)
04. Solumun – Don´t cry (Compost)
05. Shin – Folger (Robert Babicz Rmx) (Yellowtail)
06. Paolo Martini - Bang the Box (CDR)
07. Lopazz – We are (Rex the Dog Rmx) (Get Physical)
08. Demarkus Lewis – The Leech (Conya)
09. Smith & Selway - Total Departure (CDR)
10. Test Pattern – Way Beyound (Amber)
11. Sam Ball – Bush Fire (CDR)

Tune in to danceradio.gr here!