The interwebs are listening. KISS frontman Gene Simmons asserted that bands should sue everyone that shares their music online and not stop until they owned the homes and cars of the pirates. Anonymous, the group that attacked the RIAA and MPAA, heard these pleas and has since knocked GeneSimmons.com and SimmonsRecords.com offline. The disparate group appears to have made a special effort to go after Simmons, as they felt that the Gatling Gun approach to lawsuits usurped more innocents than hardcore infringers. Some disbanded and took up the cause, while others said that misaligned from their core-objectives.
What's confusing about Simmons' initial remarks, as Mike Masnick pointed out, is that if he feels so strongly about suing fans, why doesn’t he start with his own?
Surely, he’s aware that people are file-sharing KISS music. If he had the balls, those that he said the record industry lacked, he’d start an anti-piracy crusade himself and start grabbing up those cars and houses himself. No need to wait around for the RIAA to do it for him and get none of the money back to him as an artist. Turn the entire KISS Army of lawyers loose on the KISS Army of fans.
Make them understand that there’s real-life consequences for their actions.
My digital friend Rich Huxley has a much more balanced and informed opinion on file-sharing. Unfortunately, his views aren't as headline worthy as Simmons’ remarks. Thus, they won’t gain as much traction. It’s easier to get blogged about if you say that file-sharers have a special place in hell or that you want millions to be taken to court. Not so much if you think that there’s never been a better time to be a musician and that there’s no way to stop the file-sharing of music online:
"There has never been a better time to be an enterprising musician. I am part of the music industries and I want representation... There's no way to stop sharing and we shouldn't be striving to do so. That it takes place on the internet just means that in some ways it's track-able and identifiable.
It's useless and impossible to enforce anti-sharing laws as it's always been the case that humankind finds another way. If sharing music online becomes illegal then people will revert to DVD/hard-drive sharing or find untraceable ways of continuing to to share. Maybe we'll swap CDs with our friends again? To blame the internet is to blame the medium. To quote Steve Lawson 'It's like blaming Microsoft Excel for tax fraud'." (Read on.)