Following in the footsteps of other low-key pro-piracy artists like Ed Sheeran, Mac DeMarco made a somewhat surprising on-stage announcement at his recent Coachella performance encouraging fans to download his recently leaked album illegally.
Guest post by Timothy Geigner of Techdirt
We had just been talking about Ed Sheeran suggesting that piracy actually helped his career rather than hurt it, as well as his decision to go to bat against his label for a fan who covered one of his songs, but he’s not the only one out there who doesn’t see filesharing as the great music Satan the labels would have us believe. Artist Mac DeMarco announced on stage at Coachella that his latest album had leaked online. The instructions he then gave the concert-goers is not the norm amongst artists, to say the least.
However, instead of begging fans to wait for the official release to come out, DeMarco said that he didn’t give a shit and encouraged them to download it from pirate sites.
“We’re going to play a song we’ve only played twice before. It’s a new song, came out a couple of days ago. But you know what? The album leaked yesterday, so I don’t give a shit anymore.”
“Download it. Pirate Bay, Torrents.to, Soulseek, Napster, Limewire, Kazaa. Just get it, just get it,” DeMarco added.
And, yes, much has been made in reports about this that DeMarco specifically instructed fans to go pirate his music on platforms that no longer exist, like Napster and Limewire, but I’m somewhat sure that this part of the line was done tongue in cheek. It’s unlikely that a 26-year-old musician who is aware of The Pirate Bay is somehow not aware of older filesharing platforms no longer being in use. Instead, it seems at least as likely to be a subtle nod to how long the music industry has managed to survive from all of the supposedly dire threats at its doors all these years, but that part is purely speculation.
What’s not is that DeMarco doesn’t see a threat in filesharing. Telling fans at a concert to go get an album from torrent sites before it has even hit the shelves is a pretty clear message: DeMarco isn’t worried about piracy. And why should he be? He was performing in front of paying fans despite the certainty that all of his previously released music is likely available online for free as well. Yet here’s DeMarco, making money by making music.