Music Piracy

An Open Letter by George Bellas

The Current State of Music Piracy

by George Bellas

Dear Music Lovers and Fans,

I want you all to know how much I love to create music and how much of a thrill it is to share this with you all. I have happily and very willingly invested a lifetime in developing and honing my skills both as a player and composer, all the while sacrificing many other things in life to be able to push my abilities to the brink and beyond. But quite unfortunately, due to the overwhelming situation of the illegal downloading of music (A.K.A. as stealing), producing and releasing albums has been exponentially increasing in difficulty.

It is disheartening to hear about the sales condition of albums from all the record labels around the globe, especially when I take 2 minutes and Google search "Music Download" and find all these illegal download sites that come up. I have put a lifetime into this, and with so much passion and commitment behind all the music I create, it really bums me out knowing that some people just turn around and download my life's work. When I see the amount of file sharing downloads, and then look at the sales figures, it becomes very apparent that something is not right.

And the problem is not just with the downloading of electronic files... Shortly after my album "Venomous Fingers" was released, counterfeit copies were showing up in record stores. And on top of that, right around the same time, my debut album "Turn Of The Millennium" had been illegally reprinted and was being sold on Amazon and through other music resellers. On this counterfeit version of "Turn Of The Millennium" some of the text in the credits had been changed, and the artwork color was slightly more washed out than the legit version. I initially found this out from several fans emailing me asking what the correct song order was on the album because the songlist inside the booklet differed from what was printed on the CD face, and then to my surprise, one of my private students came in for a lesson with the same unauthorized version saying he bought it off of Amazon. I immediately called the record label to see if maybe the album had been remastered, but it hadn't been, and they had no idea about the distributed counterfeit. The label did say a good amount of money has been invested to find and prosecute these crooks. So in these cases, not only myself and the record labels but it was the fans too that also had been robbed.

It costs money to make albums, and the artists and labels rely on sales to continue to do so. If you enjoy listening to music as much as I enjoy making it -- don't steal it.

Things you can do to help support the arts:

  • Buy the music you listen to.
  • When a friend offers to burn you a copy - say "No".
  • Don't make copies of music you purchased for your friends.
  • Don't upload copyrighted music to the internet.
  • Don't download copyrighted music from illegal file sharing sites.

Stealing copyrighted music is a violation of international copyright laws and subject to fines and imprisonment.

For more information please visit:

Thank you for listening to my plea for the longevity of the International Recording Industry.

George Bellas