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Trivium’s Matt Heafy Speaks On SOPA & His “Royalty Check Tweet” In New Blog Post

Trivium frontman Matt Heafy has posted a lengthy rant on SOPA and his infamous “Royalty Check tweet” (which as it turns out was not from Roadrunner Records, but erroneously issued from a streaming music site.) The full rant can be found both at his blog and below:

“SOPA

The movement to end all online piracy for the music and movie worlds and restore order?

Hardly.

SOPA is an explosive-device tucked between the legs of a smiling, waving buisness-man in a teddy-bear costume, asking if you want a Popsicle out of his cellar.

In legal terms – SOPA is textbook overboard. It’s stated aim is to curb online piracy & restore and protect the rights of content creators. That’s a noble goal. But it gives it’s wielders oh so much more power than that. It’s like giving a Tomahawk missile to an exterminator to take out a bee hive from your front porch. Sure, the bees are dead but so is everything else in a hundred yard radius.

Yeah – maybe it would cut piracy back and get bands more money from cd-purchases (because lets face it – pirating music does stifle bands’ existences, hurt income and all that for everyone involved = label, label’s employees, producers, studios etc.) however that’s just what SOPA wants you to think its entire cause is.

What business or school isn’t changed by our ever amorphously-evolving technological times? Paper goods and books in universities are being phased into digital-tablet-read collections; the days of paying for 100’s of crap channels of TV can now be selected through Internet streaming-subscription sites instead; our music collection can now be stored and streamed or rented and constantly swapped in and out.

This is the technological golden age and all businesses are having to adapt or die. In this day and age business is chaos as things change so fast. That’s why a band like us realizes that – yes – in a perfect world, more people would stop illegally downloading (would you forfeit what you do for a living for free because I said its not fair?) and purchase physical CDs or iTunes bundles or get their music from other “authorized” sources. But the fact is the CD-aisle in Best Buys are shrinking and the old record stores are up closing shop. Bookstores are going away. Video rental stores? Dead. That’s the thing – adapt with the times… You have to. Physical has given away to digital for the most part.

We recognize being a band nowadays that things are changing. For us musicians, it is better for us to support programs pushing authorized digital purchasing or streaming of music, selling merchandise on tour and being on the road constantly to turn a profit. This is the life we chose. But the way we all approach the issue of supporting digital rights is a very important issue of our time in that we need to respect the rights of content creators but we also need to support the free flow of information and ideas online. SOPA is not the solution of that balance.

It was cute that my recent “royalty check” caused such passionate backing and distaste. The truth is is that I said no side that I was taking. That picture had no information of a political-stance of “anti” or “pro” piracy; did I say in the oh-so-arrogant tone: “Listen here you fucks! Screw your parents – download my shit for freeeeeeahhhh!” Did I say: “hey um… It’s totally not sweet that you bros aren’t buying my totally awesome new album from your local record store”?

Hell – did anyone even take the time to try to think what it was actually for? It was a royalty check from an authorized streaming website that shouldn’t have even sent it to me. They were supposed to send it to the publishing company to accumulate, then send.

I allowed everyone to decide. But I do appreciate that they actually took the time to legally license the stream and send me the check. Thanks for that.

I appreciate the people that love and back our band backing me… And those who, even though can’t stand anything I ever say – who still take the time to read every word? Thanks for putting your knee-jerk reactions online and getting me more Twitter followers. Maybe next time your brash jab of whose-holier-and-culter-than-though can be slightly more intelligent than “look how much more I have than you.”

I digress…

This bill, if passed – would set our forward-thinking country back into the informational-dark ages. This country was founded on escaping from persecution of what we were “supposed” to live like – to be free to do what we want to do in the pursuit of happiness and longevity in life. SOPA would fling the USA into a digital online backwater overlorded style-controlled society, potentially creating a situation where regulations tell us what we can say and do. Controlling what we learn and say.

Where are all our backers of “constitutional amendment rights” when our first amendment is at stake? America is the informational and technological super power in our time. Look at Apple – always 10 steps ahead of what all the other technological-superpower companies are always bringing to the table. They brought iTunes to us because they knew people wanted their music quicker; the got rid of the cd-drive because people wouldn’t be using CDs; they developed easily-useable cloud-style file-storage. That company was founded in this country where so many flock to start up their dreams – not unlike being in a band.

My stance: should people take groceries because their hungry? Should you give me a car because I need it? Should I be granted free manicures and pedicures and meat and tuxedo rentals simply because I think it’s not fair that I pay? No tips at restaurants, no fees at bars, free drinks on you just because? No. I’m not a religious person at all – but thou shalt not steal… Or some shit like that, right?

The times of the blacksmith and butcher and hunter have changed to the car-maker, the deli-owner (with online deliveries over $20), and the farmers’ market chef who hunts with a precision laser sighted cross-bow.

We all still need to make “a living” to stay living. But a movement like SOPA? That will cripple and kill a big part off of this free country we all live and love in.

What needs to happen?

The head honchos of the music and movie businesses who are backing this SOPA need to go meet up with and make friends with tech guys in Silicon Valley instead of fighting. They should go out for drinks and figure it out together one night. Surely there is a better solution out there that supports and protects the rights of us content creators online but one that doesn’t potentially cripple the free flow of innovation and thought online.”

Comments

  • wyldweasil

    Good call by Heafy.

  • Dave

    wow, this is one of the best things I’ve read from a musician on SOPA.

  • http://promo.withtorment.com Kaine Muse

    Did I not say that royalty check was from some site or radio station playing his song? #pwn

    I’m seeing alot of dumb artists supporting SOPA so I’m actually glad he posted this. Earns a little respect from me… If you’re wondering who I’m talking about; I’m going to tell you the lead singer of Blessed By A Broken Heart. He tweeted and retweeted to @BBABH’s page saying that he supports SOPA.

    I no longer follow the band or will be posting about them on my personal blog site. He caused an uproar with one tweet, and is too ignorant to educate himself. Therefore, he’s lost a fan.

    • allichs

      BBABH had fans? yay for Trivium anyway.

  • smartassboiler

    Intelligent and well-worded stance on the subject. Props to Heafy for presenting this in a way that is easily digestable, but yet still clearly stating his opinion.

    SOPA/PROTECT IP is a dangerous piece of legislation, and I sincerely hope that once its current incarnation is killed off, and it will be, that people don’t forget about it. I don’t want us to allow the government to pass a lesser version of it that gives them essentially the same power that we shouldn’t want them to have.

  • Njustice4all

    very cool to hear such a logical response to SOPA from a moderately well-known metal musician. way to go heafy!

  • veganbassist

    Not a fan of this guy or his band, but I must say I’m impressed. Props Heafy.

  • southpawchew

    why didnt the prp back out the nazi logo when google and them where?

  • HonoluluBlueBalls

    Nice work Heafy. He obviously did his homework. It’s also nice to hear a musician comment on the state of the industry without alienating his fanbase. Apple sucks, but the rest of it (everything important) was spot on.

  • joey V

    Amazing how different one reads this compared to Randy Blythe’s comments even though they basically are saying the same thing. Proper grammar, annoying rants, and not screaming in CAPS makes a world of difference. I tip my cap Mr. Heafy.

  • SilentTherapy

    Some true words in there. SOPA is one of those things that once is goes through, it will never be overturned, like the Patriot Act. Anyone seen Idiocracy? Is that the kind of world we are going to let take its first steps?

  • WURST

    Did anybody actually read this entire thing? I’m sorry duder, but if you want me to read your long-winded opinion please include a photo of some juggs after every paragraph. that is all.

    • smartassboiler

      tl;dr

  • Livedefflo

    Intellegent and well worded. Props to Heafy. Coming from a musician that takes alot of balls and his comment on Apple is spot on. I love to listen to the Windows Loving Fanboys (Trolls that don’t do their research on Apple).

    There is a reason why Apple has been #1 in 3 decades. Sure a Windows computer seems like you get alot more for what you pay for but in actuality it takes alot more to run a system like Windows and all of its thousand something software publishers. Whereas Apple computers generally are created by Apple subsidaries and the programs are streamlined in thus making them far less RAM heavy. So simply put…you do not need a Mac to have over 4gb of RAM on an i5 processor. Plus they last 10 years longer than any Windows computer ever will.

    Sorry just getting tired of all the MAC haters and their biased opinions with no scientific research or statistical backings to justify their arguments. They just jump on the Mac hating bandwagon. I say: Try it first before you form an opinion. Once you go MAC you never go BACK!

    This coming from a 15 year Windows user now turned MAC user.

    • joey V

      I like Apple products, I just didn’t have an extra grand for a macbook. Maybe next time.

    • HonoluluBlueBalls

      Here’s some “scientific research” for ya. People who conduct scientific research require a windows-based PC. Have you ever tried to use Excel on a mac? It’s a pain in the fucking ass. Ever heard of ArcGIS? The mac can’t run it. It can’t run minitab either. You could install parallels or bootcamp but these programs never run properly on a mac running windows. If you just want internet and media without having to perform much maintenance on your computer, macs are fine and you’re right, they will run forever. But those of us who use real software in their daily lives don’t waste their time with Apple. It takes someone with a biased, under-researched opinion to deny how clearly limited macs are.

      • adamonfire

        minitab…………. I’ll be fine if I never run into that thing again. Damn you benchmarking.

    • allichs

      yeah bro, let’s play Batman Arkham City on a Mac, lulz !

    • adamonfire

      I’m a PC, and I’ll always be a PC. I’ve used Macs extensively for what people claim they are best for – photo/video editing and graphic design. I just found the interface to be cumbersome, clumsy, and aggravating. Yes, I was using all the shortcuts and all that garbage, I just can’t stand the set-up.

      It doesn’t need RAM because there’s not a whole lot you can do with it. Apple has been #1 in what, exactly? Even with the iPad Apple only has a 15% market share for computer (http://www.appleoutsider.de/2012/01/15/what-if-we-count-the-ipad-as-a-computer/) – in 2004 it was at 2% (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A59445-2004Apr7). There aren’t as many viruses for MACs because they simply aren’t worth writing for hackers. Would you write a virus that attacks 75%+ of the world, or one that affects 1-10%? Simple math, my friend.

      I’ve had a MAC freeze, crash, lose data, and hang like a mofo just by using Photoshop in a controlled setting. The only Apple product I really like is the iPhone, but since owning the original I’ve moved on to a Droid. Apple is only worth bragging about if you’ve dropped the money and feel a need to defend your purchase to yourself.

      tl;widt

    • Weird_White_Dude

      ALL Mac EVERYTHING. ALL Apple EVERYTHING.

  • G Scotty

    This is how more musician’s need to be in regards to SOPA. It just seems like Heafy has a broader view of the big picture. Compare this with Dez’s Tazmanian Devil blathering on the subject, and Blythe’s BITCHING and WHINING, and this actually convinces me more to purchase the music of bands i love, and feel good about it. Sadly, Trivium is not one of those bands…

    One thing i will say about content piracy…downloading movies and tv shows does not make me feel bad in the slightest, they are generally coming from a source of people who are doing quite well for themselves and are overcharging out the ass. I decided to cancel cable and just pay for netflix and hulu, cutting my costs by like 75%, and i will just download stuff i cannot get on there. Musicians who live and work on the road who make music i want to hear is a better place for me to spend my money.

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