Noted Case Study – A Different Form of Piracy

Ever since the idea to create a music site was batted about in the latter half of last year, the ultimate aim of Noted was quite clear: to promote and provide exposure for the best new and lesser-known bands. We knew that there was an untold amount of music out there, begging to be listened to, and we wanted to tap into it as much as we could. It’s why we’re proud to allow user submissions – we’ve received some really great stuff and formed a number of friendships. However, whether it was malicious or not, this service got taken advantage of. We were tricked, an artist robbed, and we never want it to happen again.

As recently as two weeks ago, we gave a very favourable review to a submitted EP from a band named Enthralled. It was exciting for us to receive a submission from Costa Rica and the songs sounded great, and whilst the review has since been deleted, it included praise such as “it wouldn’t be far-fetched to imagine Enthralled making considerable waves…” And we were right – just for the wrong reasons. Imagine our dismay when we received a comment on the review’s Facebook post, from Lithuanian ambient artist Nihkeetah who had been browsing blog sites for new post-rock to listen to, saying that Enthralled had stolen the material that we had afforded such acclaim. Once we’d had the chance to cross-reference, it became apparent that something very troubling had occurred.

The artist whom Enthralled had stolen from was Atlanta-based post-rocker Tyler Krug. When listening, we initially kept our ear out for anything that could hint at a borrowed melody, but it was much worse than that. This wasn’t simply the case of an unauthorised sample, or a guitar line that bore a significant resemblance. The music itself had been taken and presented under the Enthralled name. “My initial reaction has been one of shock and disappointment.” Tyler, who is currently staying in Italy, told us. “You never think you’re going to be a victim of theft until it actually happens, and when you’ve worked so hard and for so many hours to create something you are immensely proud of and a group steals your work and calls it their own, you feel terrible.”

 

Once we’d had the chance to cross-reference, it became apparent that something very troubling had occurred.

With the dust settling, it was clear that many people had been tricked. Looking for answers, it was discovered that the band in question had deleted all of their online presence. Their Facebook and Bandcamp pages were gone, our contact details severed – however, one of its members did reach out to us, albeit hindered marginally by the barrier of language. “It was not our intention to defame the work of Tyler, we love your work. We have our own material, but we decided to use the Tyler work for a few days. The new member send the material to a label without the consent of all. The album was released in an edition of 33 copies, where we received four, but never money. For now we just want to record what our and move on, forget this matter as soon as possible, and Tyler and you can forgive us.”

It’s difficult to ascertain exactly what has happened and what can be done about it. Ultimately, with no copyright involved, there’s not much that can be done. We appreciate the apology, but our eyebrows remain raised at the hasty cull of Enthralled’s online presence, and the somewhat convoluted explanation that the songs were used by mistake (as well as further evidence that songs were stolen from another artist Solus, whom we have not yet heard from). Regardless, things are about as resolved as they could be. The record label which distributed Enthralled’s bogus EP have made it known that all the remaining copies have been destroyed. Krug went on to say that “If I can offer any kind of advice to musicians scared of this situation, it would be to obtain an official copyright of your work. I know how proud you must feel to share what you have created, and it would be a shame to have someone steal your musical identity.”

The record label which distributed the Enthralled bogus EP have made it known that all the remaining copies have been destroyed.

“My final note is one of thanks. I have received a lot of personal messages from fans and bloggers telling me about the situation, and the folks at Post-Engineering, Noted, and Depressive Illusions have been so helpful in resolving everything. I feel incredibly lucky to have the few fans I do who will support me when I cannot support myself. You are all amazing, and I owe you many thanks.”

So, in the interest of promoting the best new music, Krug’s EP is available for listening in this very article. We will continue to allow user submissions because we love hearing your work, and we remain hopeful that this will not happen again. Let us know what you think about the situation, and if you’ve been a victim of something like this yourself, or know of any other instances, then we’d love to hear from you. Until then, stay safe and stay honest.

Isaac Powell
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Isaac Powell

Isaac is Editor-in-Chief of Noted, and prefers his music loud and steaks rare. Lives and writes in Nottingham, England.
Isaac Powell
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