Anthrax's Scott Ian: "You Download Illegally, You Lose the Privilege of Having the Internet"



+ Add a Comment



Not all torrents are illegal. Why ban an easy way to share legal stuff also? Is this USA or North Korea?

I like Anthrax but comments like that make we want to stop seeing them live and give them no fan support. Don't cut off your nose to spite your face.

Everybody has shared something illegal in their lifetime... Quit the 'holier than thou' persona.



Him and Lars need to remind themselves about how they got into Metal. Tape sharing! Lars has been on rercord saying that's how he got started. They listened to tapes made by their friends of new music, and liked what they heard.

Taping a record was pirating too!

Without that sharing of new music, Metal wouldn't be what it is today.

With the amount of rubbish produced today, I am all for trying before you buy, if you like what you hear by all means go and get the tracks legally, but if the record industry supported a means fior a fair choice of what you buy rather than trying to force people to buy things on faith that it will be good, then they wouldn't be in the position they are today.


GOOD FOR HIM! I personally agree. There are so many people willing to steal music and other intellecutual property, it's pathetic. And for anyone who categorizes themselves as someone who are too poor to purchase music, guess what? You're still stealing.

Suppose you are a struggling author, and spent a huge amount of time writing a book (which you hoped to sell). You send it to a few friends to read. SOmeone posts it on the internet and as a result, nobody is willing to pay you for it. Thousands of people download it. YOu're pissed right? Too bad huh? It's out there for the taking and there's nothing you can do about it. In fact, you see people on the internet essentially mocking you for wanting to make a living as an author. Cool, huh??

Yes, musicians make money touring, selling products, etc. But why can't people respect the fact that they pay their bills (in many cases barely) by selling recorded music??? I know people who can very easily afford to purchase their favorite band's music and instead choose to steal it. And they don't go to concerts or buy shirts.

I agree with Scott. It would be great to see his idea come to fruition. Do the right thing. PAY FOR THE MUSIC!!!



Most people can understand the knee jerk reaction of a spilled beer in a bar, that gets way out of proportion to the original grievance. This is why you have relatively nice guys like Scott Ian, whom has been very nice the number of times we have crossed paths... overact as an apparent direct assault on himself.
. The problem is that the numbers used to substantiate the losses are mostly incorrect.
.First problem is the 1 to 1 ratio of loss. Would the downloader have made the effort to buy the music if it was not free and delivered to them with no output from themselves. The Statistics show that only 20 percent of this group would have any actual buying interest. Collecting music data as a form of defining selfworth among tech obsessives is a ongoing problem and has nothing to due with the content of the data. (digital pack ratting).
.Second of that 20 percent 5 percent are too poor or have other personal reasons they wouldn't buy from the current purchasing system.
. Third, we are now down to a more reasonable 15 percent that are true lost income. Yes this is slightly higher than it was in the tape trading days of the 80's, but some of it does the same good that tape trading did, with helping others being led through the detritus of music by word of mouth who will be eventual buyers.
. Finally we have something under 15 percent which is higher than the national averages of shrinkage in the realworld ( ranges from 2.2 to 1.43%) Few deny its not a problem, but such overreaction as equating digital copying with drunk driving and personal injuries makes the argument difficult to accept on the side of the Artist.
. Many decried the end of the book when we had Tv, then it was xerox and personal printers. But Books still flourish because they offer us a tactile experience that cant be replicated. Music is often more than just the tracks used to be the artwork helping create the experience. Or a Concert defining the images that you see when alone with the music. Find that fan connection and far fewer true fans will want to take a short cut.
. Lastly Music is cheaper to create, the record companies no longer perform the function of enabling a band the privilege of a one in lifetime shot. Once the pipeline screening new work directly into the distribution channel at a fair price with experience defining packaging(that the fans want)... the overhead recouped by the dissolution of the big record companies will make this argument seem much less apocryphal.
. Sure its a problem, but look at it with some sense of reason and it becomes easier to enact a reasonable reaction.
Thanks for listening to my own rant, Panzer

Lee Ward

If I were Ian (or some pro who felt that I was being ripped off by false fans, the music biz, or whoever), I would have a strong urge to prove that I am not overpaid for what I do, would consider making a charitable contribution to the listening experience of the offenders, in every way, striving to live up to the high standards of professional music and to the title of "recording ARTIST."

These pros have a privileged platform from which to do that (more so than your "TONS of crap" SoundClouder or YouTuber), but unfortunately, their poisoned "metal" pen seems to fall short of lampooning, parodying, making fun of, totally embarrassing or even appealing to the collective conscience of the "pirates."

I don't buy that Metallica, Anthrax, etc., do not have the skills. Even I could (with my "TONS of crap"'s a cliche now) do all the -hard work- necessary to word the message, form the meaning and compose the music, write, record, engineer and upload (to SoundCloud, etc.) a free-to-download full bandwidth mp3 parody of, let's say, power-chording forward-standing, bobble-headed metalibashers (new word - try to picture that bobble-headbanging thing) who are being enslaved and victimized by a nerdy, 98-pound computer-literate weakling fan base. I am my only fan (very demanding, hard to please), a no-name nobody who has no attending or listening audience (other than myself, and sometimes, I'm not all there), but even -I- have the skills for that.

So how come these "somebodies", with the privileged platforms, who complain of being victimized by illegal downloaders, are not artist enough to put their mighty pens to paper and use their arts as constructive weapons, you know, maybe offer a "free to download" song that has something to say to the offenders? If it's done wrong, backfire city, but if it's done right, that could be really cool and would demonstrate that the "free to download" song is actually worth buying (even if all that was "bought" was its message).

If your opponent hungers, feed him.

I would hate to be thought of as an ingrate and a complainer, a talent deficient hack who whines, gripes and complains, blames my top-dollar equipment, my A-talent recording studio, my manager, my PR people, my label, my sponsors, my fans (ouch), "the internet" and whoever else I could place in the "blame path" for less-than-expected sales figures.

If I were Ian, or Lars, or the like, I would do everything possible to distance myself from that stereotype (even if it seems too late for that now).


erndawggy (not verified)

You're comparing illegal downloads to drunk driving? No one was ever physically injured by an illegal download. What an idiot!



@Scott Ian

Judging by both the level of competency you process over the instrument, and music in general; you are not busy practicing. Having said that, please find some time to read a book you ignorant troglodyte.

Stop talking, you are embarrassing yourself.

You and Lars can team up to sue the Internet!


scott rotten

this fkhead should thank God he can still do music for a living....... aren't you happy with all the money you made so far?? you idiot go find a 9 to 5 job and shut the fk up



You make a shitty album you lose your right to record. Does this mean Anthrax is going to take the Metallica rout and start suing the internet? Just make your death short and start recording with Lou Reed now.





King of Tone

what an idiot. internet is a form of communication that I have a right to. yeah punish people for downloading illegally, but you can't take away their internet. it's like saying "if you tell someone to fuck off, you lose your right to talk."



Yeah, You are a perfect role model Scott Ian.

Aren't you the guy that was caught trying to steal an on-deck circle from the Yankees' Florida training facility?

I bet you were probably legally buying all your music when you were 18 years old, right?



The acts that will come to the fore in future will be the ones who can get an audience, and they'll get an audience because they play live and work hard, not becuase they post a few demos on soundcloud, myspace or wherever...

I'd be surprised if the people downloading werent also the concert going, t shirt buying, fanatics for the groups, until you can download the live gig, or download a t shirt there'll be a living to be made.


As an artist, I don't mind people downloading my music illegally. I encourage them that if they like it, please buy it. It is very similar to the Bay Area's tape-trade circuit they had back in the '80s. Only this is much larger.

Ultimately this is going to put the record companies out of business. Then you are going to have 1 or 2 singles put out by a band every few years and TONS of crap from everyone with a PC. I prefer real drums, not Garageband backing percussion... But with lack of financing, studios are going to be too much money and audio quality is going to suffer for it.

That brings me another problem. How am I gonna waffle through the MILLIONS of (home demo'd) records that will eventually flood out? If you tell me "Listen to Pandorra" or "read Metal Hammer" my reply is Who do you think promotes bands so that they get airtime on Pandorra or gets put into Metal Hammer? I don't see the local bar bands getting airplay on Pandorra.


Maybe he hasnt. However, the chances are not bad he has. The reason internet pirating is such an issue is that it makes stealing music much easier, and therfore a much bigger problem. Before napster/limewire/etc. how many albums sales were lost to pirating? Maybe a few thousand of each album? Millions of people illegally download music. If you do the math, not a big percentage of then need to download something for a much larer effect.



Like he never illegally taped an album a friend of his had?

Log in to Guitar World directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

  • Sign in with Twitter
Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.