Beyond The Gates by Evans and Stokes - Hijacked by the Russians!!

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Sep 22, 2017, 05:50 PM

Well as some of you know, Jenny and I have released our album Beyond The Gates. We put a lot of work into it, learned a lot along the way, and are very proud of the end result. Although the album was available for download through CDBaby for the past few weeks, we just finalized some red tape and had it distributed to standard streaming services yesterday (like Spotify, Google Play, Groove, Deezer, iTunes, Amazon, iHeartRadio, Pandora, etc…). SO again, the digital distribution of our album hit most of these streaming companies YESTERDAY.

Literally within a few hours of this our album has popped up on several torrent sites where it can be downloaded for free! Some are from other countries like Russia for example (damn Russians! First they mess with our US elections then they mess with Evans and Stokes!).

Anyway,  I can’t say I am surprised by this but what caught me off guard is how fast it happened and how many times the album was already downloaded from some of these sites (some of the sites have a tracker showing how many times it was downloaded). One in particular has had our album downloaded 155 times (and that is in the last 24 hours). On the bright side I guess I should be thankful that these people also gave our album a 4.1 out of 5 rating on their site. LOL!!!

This is part of the world we live in today where everybody wants everything for free, so I get it. And I guess it does mean more exposure for us???

I know there is nothing we can do about it (maybe I can call Lars Ulrich for some advice). But I was just curious to see if anyone else has come across the same problem and if it was as fast and widespread when you encountered it.

To see for yourself what I’m talking about just Google or Bing search “evans and stokes beyond the gates”. Of course our website, facebook page, and legit CDBaby, Spotify, etc. links will come up but then you’ll see all of the other suspicious ones like…

metal-tracker.com/torrents
get-albums.ru
metalarena.org
dark-world.ru
rock-n.ru

Oh and almost forgot to mention…these are the folks who have already downloaded the album illegally from one of the sites above. SO if you know any of them please let me know. Lol!!

semeckiy (39), mrmetalgod (2), manuel f (2), ozzy73 (2), mikki (2), ovicon, Vosje, kosmatus, tjoppen, Purga, cthulhu6969, Phek1957, mishan, Panzerbassen, Asaemon, popeye, behemoth696, georgel007, dablitz, _neuron_, vfre1313, metalman33, CycoMacke, halibut, mordok76, alexey13, Soul-Inflicted, rtijk, lagru3, kingmatyika, drumpro, burelom, Shirka, guitarabei2015, kari, hr_tatan, metalmaniac1967, rufuskrause, zebraturtle666, karly16, kolobok455, religion666, qqq69, lucho 333, ansr, alexduenas, thee, myrath666, georgemetalhead, Philou1968, Dradoow1961, ossian73, MBOUB, thor67, HOMERE, Ozzzie666, Alby74, Antonioamdj23, ayzakaria, tc7four, gzyaieo, terryfire, Боня666, metal warrior1, belkanick, oldpitbull, gabraham09, pat01965, getmetal, yahoo, MFreak, MasterOfSin, manticor5, los3loco, Edurolo, anujit20, alexixxx, satyr0978, dreke1, Rage1979, antonvaler, NogardGio, metaljj69, The Seraphim, Boomer74, isildor39, Lalthla Muana, ohki520, akis , syn666, s5541, dr_vigor, Karamaslan, hard-1, itsumo77, arcturus99, CharlotteVD, niceguy, adrian Santilopez, ameni, rwh, maliospinar, SERBS, Tordah1, daradur, karmatoburn98, Yonaguni68, BurningEyes, SynJesu, andrey15, s_bortnikov, Lezjenda, AbulMazar

[ Edited: 22 September 2017 05:53 PM by John Evans]
 
     
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John Evans Joined Oct 01, 2016
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Sep 22, 2017, 06:09 PM

Hello John,

Congrats to you and Jen on the album release, and it sucks someone or ones have pirated the album.  Wonder where they would be if someone hijacked their pay check after a hard weeks work, we can only wish.  Hey, maybe there is a way to forward all the spam and viruses quarantined in our trash bins to their websites or emails, wouldn’t that be great.  Best wishes,

Speak soon

Music is an international language, say it with a song.

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 
     
Deacon Joined Aug 30, 2009
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Sep 22, 2017, 06:11 PM
Deacon - 22 September 2017 06:09 PM

Hello John,

Congrats to you and Jen on the album release, and it sucks someone or ones have pirated the album.  Wonder where they would be if someone hijacked their pay check after a hard weeks work, we can only wish.  Hey, maybe there is a way to forward all the spam and viruses quarantined in our trash bins to their websites or emails, wouldn’t that be great.  Best wishes,

Speak soon

Ha! Yeah I wish.

Some of these sites even have links to our Facebook page and all of our YouTube videos embedded! Now that is blowing my mind a little. Using OUR videos and Facebook page to get people to download the album from THEIR SITE illegally. Crazy.

 
     
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John Evans Joined Oct 01, 2016
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Sep 22, 2017, 10:16 PM

Be careful visiting these sites, even just to check them out. Many of them offer downloads, but what you actually end up downloading is a bunch of malware. SW101 folks are probably OK, because they wouldn’t dream of stealing John and Jen’s music, and usually it is the people who try to do this kind of thing that end up with malware turning their computers into zombies (and serves them right). At least that’s the way it was a few years ago when my novels started turning up on these sites.

Do NOT get me started about Russians! (Apologies to any Russians here, who are probably splendid chaps)

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Sep 23, 2017, 09:03 AM

Guys,

ANYTHING YOU PUT ON THE INTERNET, (OR EVEN ANYTHING YOU GET TO THE PUBLIC) CAN AND WILL BE TAKEN FROM YOU. There is no protection at all. Just like Identity Theft, you can attempt to protect against it, but in the end there is not much of anything you can do. It is also the problem for “COPYRIGHT PROTECTION”, there is really no such thing now.

This is what started happening to the Industry in the 90’s. As a matter of fact, this was involved in the conference I attended with every major writer and company in Nashville in 1998 when the tech people were telling us that “in the future songwriters would have to do without royalties because they wouldn’t be there.” When an enormously successful writer sitting next to me asked “How will writers make a living?” One of the tech guys said “YOU WON’T.”

That is when this all shifted to ARTIST BRANDING. Artists were giving their music away in order to increase their brand, drive up the sales of their live shows. And that is really the thing that STILL runs the industry. That is what creates the connection with the public that builds and artist’s brand. But at first they want and demand and get it for free. If it is not the RUSSIANS, it is some college student writing encryption software that streams whatever is wanted.

Every time someone invents some new way of protection, there are millions of people designing programs and ways to get around it. That is why there is so much identity theft. Why EQUIFAX just had a hack that stole the personal information of about 175 million people. If that can happen to all sorts of “protected companies” do you really think MUSIC IS GOING TO BE PROTECTED?

I know it sucks. It really does. Hopefully you have a target audience that you can go to to be truthful to you and get your music LEGALLY. But putting it with any streaming service, any of these “protected” entities, are simply going to lead to disappointment. And the truth is that you will probably spend ten times the amount of money trying to chase people down, find enforcement and protection than you would ever make on your music.

The only comfort I have ever taken is that a lot of the people who wrote software that enabled people to steal what they do, also put THEIR stuff on the INTERNET and then THAT WAS STOLEN AS WELL.

Sorry that happened to you, but it is what a lot of people have been talking about for a long time. The world we live in.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Sep 23, 2017, 09:04 AM

It may be small comfort, but a little comfort at least: they offer many of the official releases - I mean the big names - for free as well. And there are too many domains to even think about trying to stop them (mp3red.me, mp3fut.site, bitsmp3.com, bluemp3.ru, darkmp3.ru ...), and there are pirating South American sites as well.

I discovered no malware, though. Only free stuff. You can also download my three ‘albums’ from all of them for free. But I possibly don’t deserve any better: I hadn’t invested a single cent into producing them, they’re all homemade - and sound like that. I can live with it.

Cheers,
Bernd

Bernd
good lyricist, mediocre songwriter, lousy musician;
likes rock, writes for anybody anyway
http://bernd-harmsen.com

 
     
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Bernd Harmsen Joined May 31, 2009
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Sep 23, 2017, 10:09 AM

Thanks Gav, Brad, MAB, and Bernd. I did expect it to happen, but not so fast and so much. It was snatched literally overnight and It’s all over the place now. Maybe Vladimir Putin has Evans and Stokes in his iPod. :)


For our second album Jenny should sing a song in Russian. Then we would be HUGE!


At the end of the day why do we do this stuff? It most certainly isn’t to get rich. It’s because we love to do it and want to share our stuff with other people…maybe make a few bucks in the process to go buy that new guitar or whatever. For me it’s about being creative, sharing that creativity with others, and most importantly to leave something behind after I’m gone from this earth. Don’t they say the music lives on forever? I hope so.

 
     
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John Evans Joined Oct 01, 2016
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Sep 23, 2017, 10:54 AM

All of this is part of a discussion that has been going on since the mid 90’s. And the end line consumer is simply the ones who dictate the rules. When something is made FREE it doesn’t go back.

In the beginning, the mentality behind illegal downloading and free music was sound. People were tired of buying albums (CD’s) with one or two songs they liked and everything else they hated. People complained about the sound alike nature of the radio. They complained that everything out there was garbage. (sound familiar?). And groups, artists, writers, etc. that had no radio formats or record labels were getting nothing. The movement like the “SEATTLE GRUNGE” era in the Pacific Northwest, with Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, etc. all thought if they gave their music away, it would create an underground economy and people would go to their shows, buy merchandise, follow them, etc.

Like everything, this is nothing new. The Grateful Dead ENCOURAGED PEOPLE to attend their shows and RECORD THEM LIVE. Of course, when people did that, they still had to buy tickets, t-shirts, hats, programs, etc. It became an entire attraction to the Dead and created Dead heads everywhere who traded their recordings, and turned the Dead into a nearly half billion dollar enterprise. Like pharmacuetical samples, or drugs, you give a little away, get a LOT back.

It worked. And the Seattle scene and music underground gained huge cult then mainstream status. The bands became superstars and part of the addiction was “being able to get music for free.” At the same time, certain people around the world at the record pressing plants, began smuggling top line artists out and “zipping them on the Internet” The Underground economy and cult fans, became the mainstream. Someone steals the upcoming releases, releases them before they are “officially released”, ten people download them, who send that to two hundred people who sent that to ten thousand people, and so forth and so on.

Works great if you have little money invested. The majors. who invested billions, lost out the ying yang. So they moved into artist branding, getting percentages of touring, merchandising etc. People like Lar’s Ulrich, of Metallica, tried to fight that, and were called “rich spoiled rock stars by the public. RIAA, record labels, publishers, PRO’s all tried to stop it but were stopped by the public. Streaming services and subscription companies popped up. Spotify, Pandora, all became the way people got music. But no matter how respectable and new packaged it is, there are an entire group of people who spend all their time figuring out to get and distribute it for free.

That is why most of us shifted away from expecting money from product sales, radio revenue, downloading, etc. Now it is branding which is essentially building devotion to your product from the public. And hopefully those people will follow you, buy your merchandise, and give you the money to “buy your guitar, or whatever. Artists and bands who have given out “free samples” supposedly would have “fan loyalty” who would then WANT to PURCHASE the merchandise and the product.

And that is where we all are. Trying to convince people who have NEVER paid for music, to pay for it. It is also why the highest paid entertainers are not paid from music. They are paid like Dr. Dre, and the “BEATS” headphones. Alcohol endorsements. Businesses that have nothing to do with music. It is the BUSINESS OF CELEBRITY. It is up to everyone to figure out how to become celebrities.

Sorry you had to find out the hard way that people are going to use your product for free how ever they want to. It’s a lesson a lot of us learned a long time ago. Now you have to figure out how you can adapt to it and move forward. But it also should provide some insight why a lot of the worries are really not worth worrying about. People want stuff for free. They feel entitled and are going to take whatever they want.
And if they don’t get what they want, when they want it and how they want it, they will pitch a fit, riot, and claim that the people who ARE THE CREATORS are spoiled rich people who have the AUDACITY TO ASK TO BE PAID? 

What’s new?

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Sep 23, 2017, 11:22 AM

You’re right MAB. None of this is new news and I am no surprised that it happened to us, but rather how quickly it did. It’s a good example for others to read this post to ensure they know what they are getting into. It won’t stop me from doing what I do!

Now I will get to work on designing an Evans and Stokes t-shirt to sell on our website. Want one?

 
     
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John Evans Joined Oct 01, 2016
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Sep 23, 2017, 12:13 PM

i often read online conversations between musicians , and the people who steal music , and it never ceases to amaze me the excuses and reasons these people come out with , to justify their stealing . ive heard everything from ‘’ its not a physical object , so it cant be stealing’’ , ‘‘I’m gonna steal it now , then pay for it later’’ , right through to my favourite ‘’ theyre getting free promotion , what more do they want ‘’ yeah right , like your free promotion is gonna pay my bills . i could be wrong , but i think this whole thing probably started way back in the late 70s / early 80s when video recorders and tape recorders came into being . i remember back in the early 80s , my sister had one of those tape recorder radios , which meant she could just tape songs off the radio , instead of having to go out and buy a record . i guess the modern equivalent of that is using ripping sites / programs

 
     
sandor nevery Joined Jun 08, 2014
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Sep 23, 2017, 12:28 PM
Bernd Harmsen - 23 September 2017 09:04 AM

It may be small comfort, but a little comfort at least: they offer many of the official releases - I mean the big names - for free as well. And there are too many domains to even think about trying to stop them (mp3red.me, mp3fut.site, bitsmp3.com, bluemp3.ru, darkmp3.ru ...), and there are pirating South American sites as well.

I discovered no malware, though. Only free stuff. You can also download my three ‘albums’ from all of them for free. But I possibly don’t deserve any better: I hadn’t invested a single cent into producing them, they’re all homemade - and sound like that. I can live with it.

Cheers,
Bernd

Bernd, I think you would only discover malware if you downloaded it in a track or an album. Even then, you might not know about it. I’m not saying it happens every time, but I’m pretty sure it happens some of the time. It’s a prime motivation for people to set up these sites.

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Sep 23, 2017, 12:31 PM

John and Jen, you can take consolation from the fact that Spotify seems to be the way most people get their music these days. Since it’s a subscription service, listeners have already paid for whatever they listen to each month. It costs them nothing more to listen to one of your songs, so they are not going to bother with getting it from nefarious Russian sites. The “something for nothing” motivation isn’t there.

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Sep 23, 2017, 03:39 PM

OK MAB. Took your advice. It took me a few hours to figure it out but the Evans and Stokes merchandise is now available on our website. We have t-shirts, hoodies, hats, mugs, etc.  Take THAT Russian hackers!

From our website click the ‘MERCH’ tab at the top right.

http://www.evansandstokes.com

 
     
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John Evans Joined Oct 01, 2016
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Sep 23, 2017, 04:10 PM

I tried to order two dozen throw pillows and got a confirmation email from a guy called Sergei in Vladivostock. Is that supposed to happen?

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Sep 23, 2017, 04:13 PM

HAHAHA! I knew you would like the throw pillow. I’m having a blast designing this merch.

 
     
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John Evans Joined Oct 01, 2016
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Sep 23, 2017, 04:26 PM

Who are using for the merch, John?

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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