For Skrillex, Christmas was a time for giving – even if that meant allowing his fans to illegally download his album for free. On his Facebook page last Friday, Dec. 23, the massively popular dubstepper, who just grabbed five Grammy nominations, posted a message to fans telling them his new EP, “Bangarang,” had just been released via Beatport, but “just like i always say, go pirate it if you don’t have the money… i just want you to have it.”
Screen shot of Skrillex’s Facebook post urging fans to pirate his album if they cannot afford it
The sticking point here is that the DJ (a.k.a. Sonny John Moore) is signed to Big Beat, a wing of Atlantic Records and the Warner Music Group, major labels that have been waging a long war against music piracy for years, and now its newest breakout star is condoning the illegal acts the label has been rallying against for so long. So far there has been no comment from the label, while Skrillex has remained silent except to add a subsequent Facebook post warning potential DJs against pirating inferior copies of the album if they are planning on spinning them live.
Screen shot of Skrillex’s subsequent Facebook post urging DJs to purchase his album for better quality sound.
Why exactly Skrillex went down this road is unclear, especially when other models such as the pay-what-you-want model popularized by Radiohead’s release of “In Rainbows” essentially espouse the same ideal, but to say he is completely undermining his album sales may not be totally accurate. Some commenters on Facebook showed appreciation for the DJ’s acknowledgement of some of his fans’ financial hardships, pledging to buy the album anyway in support of the idea.
At this point it’s hard to tell what, if any, backlash he will see from the label, but for now the album is available on Beatport.com for $17.43, with other stores putting the album on sale today, according to Digital Music News.