There’s no doubt that you’ve once in your life illegally downloaded music. Even those of you with the staunchest morals sometimes come across a piece of music that isn’t available literally anywhere, and you have to resort to [shudders] piracy…
But there’s a huge difference between illegally downloading music and leaking music early. One is often a crime of circumstance, not having enough money to purchase music from an artist you truly care about – these people will still often engage in other activities with an artist to support them, whether that’s buying merchandise or going to shows. The other is a willful ignorance and dismissal of common decency, sharing music with the public before it was intended (or sometimes even ready).
Though there are many places on the internet you could probably find leaks, one of the most guilty for electronic music is a sub-community on reddit called xTrill.
happened wi th whistle wars. It got leaked through X trill and when I finally put it out people were like fuck you ive had this for 6 months
— kayzo (@KayzoMusic) July 16, 2017
It’s not known exactly how many of the leaks end up in the subreddit, aside from the day-early ones where users in Australia/NZ will download a track from Spotify and upload it early for American users. Other times, DJ’s USBs or laptops are stolen and their content will show up on the site. Other times, it’s simply disreputable media contacts who don’t know the meaning of discretion and will share private streams with friends until it uncontrollably disseminates… whatever the path of least resistance, it will end up on xTrill.
In order to at least start a conversation about fighting back, a producer named Synthion has begun a petition on Change.org to ban xTrill from the reddit community, which has been shared by many other producers in support of it, including Au5.
“Two days ago, my unreleased EP was leaked on xTrill. The leaked version contained low-quality mp3 files, likely taken from SoundCloud, where I privately uploaded it to share with some friends. The download link amassed over 50 downloads before the post on Reddit was taken down after privately contacting the moderators of xTrill. However, this leak not only pressured me and the record label, Dreamscape, to release the EP earlier than expected, but also brought a plague of hate speech and bullying upon my Twitter page and through Reddit direct messaging. When asked to take down the post containing the leak, the moderators of xTrill responded, ‘Dont worry your mom and dad will buy your music regardless as im sure they are the ‘fans’ you speak of.'”
At time of publishing, the petition is nearly 80% of its way to its goal of 1,000 signatures.
As always, it’s important to note that support shown on Change.org does not necessarily effect change, it only shows support for a certain cause. Sign the petition here.
An earlier version of this article stated that the petition was started by producer Au5. The article has since been corrected.