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Gene Simmons Speaks Out Once Again About Music Piracy
January 19, 2014
Amanda Marie
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Back in October of 2010, we did a story about Gene Simmons following the DDoS attacks on his websites. The attacks came in the form of an outrage regarding a speech that Simmons, bassist and frontman of the rock band KISS, gave at the MIPCOM convention in France, in which he took an aggressive stance on copyright infringement, on how piracy is hurting musicians.

His less than subtle comments at MIPCON in 2010 were "Make sure your brand is protected. Make sure there are no incursions. Be litigious. Sue everybody. Take their homes, their cars. Don't let anybody cross that line.” And he also said "The music industry was asleep at the wheel, and didn't have the balls to sue every fresh-faced, freckle-faced college kid who downloaded material. And so now we're left with hundreds of thousands of people without jobs. There's no industry."

Change the date to 2014, and Simmons is once again speaking out about music piracy and also reality shows. When asked in a recent interview about the effect reality TV shows and digital downloads have had on new artists, Simmons said, "I think it's all good, because the record companies are in chaos, downloading is in chaos. The foxes have been led into the hen house, so people wonder why there's so few chickens. It's because you allowed your kids to go in there and steal the stuff for free, so record companies are dying and new bands don't have a chance. And new bands should get every chance in the world, and if it means 'The X Factor' or 'American Idol' or any other kind of (outlet), give them a chance. Few of them will survive, if any. But the old-fashioned model of a record company that cares about you and spends a lot of money to try to promote you, that's gone. It doesn't affect the big bands. It doesn't affect my living. We do a hundred shows, and there's more money there than some Third-World countries. But it does intrinsically hurt new bands. You know, the next Elvis [Presley], or the next Beatles, is gonna have a very hard time starting out today."

Simmons also gave a recent interview to the U.K.’s Metal Hammer in which he states “I still think [downloading] is a crime. The sad part is that the fans are the ones who are killing the thing they love, great music. For fuck’s sake, you’re not giving the next great band a chance. How much have we lost through illegal downloading? It’s certainly millions. I don’t think it’s tens of millions, but it’s certainly millions. But so much of what we do with the licensing and the merchandising and all that…we do alright!”

We can tell that Simmons hasn’t changed his feelings much on the subject of music piracy since 2010, and while still speaking his mind, at least he wasn’t quite as aggressive in these last two interviews. It would be realistic to say that there will not likely ever be another Elvis, or another Beatles group, and Simmons might want to consider finding another comparison to use prior to his next speech. As an added note, there have been no reports of DDoS attacks on his websites following these recent interviews.

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