Free Album!

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS, MY FRIEND(S)!

And do you know why? Because of all you lovely people.

As many of you are probably aware, we were engaged in a dispute with a former record label over our album Trophies, and the fact that the label still owned the record despite never paying us for the units sold. Well, we’re happy to tell you that today, Trophies is back the hands of her rightful owners: us.

Yes, thanks to the glorious stink you guys made on Reddit and all over the internet, the rights to our record were returned to us. It’s up on iTunes right now, and every sale henceforth will go directly to us!

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/trophies-ep/id603347600

That’s the power of the people in action folks! You can read the Reddit article that helped us here:

http://www.reddit.com/r/Music/comments/q44gt/paper_lions_gets_fed_up

82 Responses to Free Album!

  1. Leilani Brown

    It really sucks that you were left out of the profit side of the record deal. But I am happy that I could be a part of providing you gas money.:)

  2. Cody Malacko

    This made me sick! I understand that the most important thing is getting your music out, but if hard working bands keep getting screwed over then how will you make a living doing what you love? You should fight this!

    • Andrea

      “then how will you make a living doing what you love?”

      Unfortunately the world isn’t so kind as to let everyone make a living doing what they love. I wish it weren’t this way, but–and this is coming from an artist–the world does not owes us anything for our creativity (unless of course you’re talking commercial arts; whole other arena). Best we can do is keep on creating and hope that enough people love it enough to keep funding us. As far as being slighted by their record company, you’re right, they totally should fight it!

    • Matthew

      The world doesn’t owe you a living but if someone buys your record I think the person with the money owe you some of it.

  3. Robert Frost

    Uhmmm… I know you’re not lawyers but read your damn contract. Also, grow a pair and have it out with your label.

    They are accountable to YOU if as it seems you never sold the copyright.

  4. Mike Wrock

    I heard you guys play at the edge studio in Toronto and you gave me a free shirt and cd. I really like your music and appreciate that you make songs for the fun of making music. I look forward to hearing this album and I’ll certainly buy a cd from you guys next time I hear you play.

    Thanks again!

  5. I have never heard your music but I will give it a listen. This is the model of distribution that I want to support. You should add a donation link so you can still get some gas money without supporting the dying distribution model that is robbing the artists. Keep up the good fight.

  6. Jeff

    Great idea, but I hope your record company doesn’t sue you now for copyright infringement. Sad thing about being signed…you don’t own your music anymore. Hope you talked to your lawyers first…but I really hope you do well with this, because it’s great what you’re doing. I’ve been in bands on labels, and know people who’ve also been on labels, and I’ve yet to see an example of a label actually helping someone.

  7. Karina

    That is bologna!
    You guys are great.
    Such a good show you put on in Toronto!

  8. joshua

    Yo I don’t like this at all!!!

    You want me to go break some knees…

  9. Cameron

    Hey guys, honestly, there are plenty of lawyers out of work and would gladly sue the record label and in return, they’d expect a bit of the cut. Do some research on it, you deserve that money.

  10. I’m hearing more stories like this every day, it’s worrying to know that a growing number of record companies treat their talent poorly.

  11. mike

    Hadn’t heard of you guys, just read about what you’re doing here. Can’t wait to listen to this album. Hope things work out better next time around.

  12. Spidey Man

    Hey guys. sending love from the USA. You guys sound awesome and its a shame how you got screwed over. But, You name is out there this way and your Free Album has been linked in the popular website Reddit.com. On a side note, The “Free Download” link doesn’t work with Google Chrome. Or atleast for me.

  13. Christopher Miller

    This sounds an awful lot like what happened to “Too Much Joy” years ago. Lotsa buzz and greedy labels looking to cash in. Good luck and I’ll share the listen on our company SubSonic page.

  14. Marc

    Although I understand it’s about getting your music out there, the scumbag media companies and corporations can’t be allowed to screw us – YOU – over any more than they already are.

    Short THEM one dime and you’d immeidately be hearing from their legal hitmen. Don’t let them get away with it!!

    Best of luck to you. Looking forward to hearing the download once I get home.

  15. Mike

    This is why i don’t feel bad about file sharing music. Even if the record label do pay an artist, the artiest(s) won’t make much money off of their record sales. For any band (including Paper Lions) I would suggest selling their albums on http://bandcamp.com where you can set your price (including name your own price) and make the profits yourself, as opposed to a small percentage or none.

  16. Carlotta

    You really ought to include a donate button on this page so people who download your album can support you financially if so inclined. =)

  17. Jordan

    You should put up a donate button. I dont know who you are and Ive never heard your music but I would still gladly donate to listen to a new band, even more so id donate to you out of principle.

  18. Peter

    Hey guys,

    Saw the link on reddit. Listened to one of the tracks on youtube. I’m game to check this out. Please email me if you come back to Toronto.

  19. Business major

    Hate to say this, but you guys are lining yourselves up for a bad day in court with the record label. See an entertainment lawyer, immediately. Do it not for the money you should be receiving, but to save yourself the thousands of dollars in penalties that the record label will sue you for over this stunt. See a lawyer, prove that your label is breaking with the contract by not paying you, get your copyrights back and THEN release the album for free.

  20. Jess

    That whole situation really stinks. I’m glad you enjoy what you do though and want to share your music with us. Hopefully in the future you can get a deal that does you better. (:

  21. Phillip

    I hope that record label doesn’t take legal action as you probably licenses your music to them so they could distribute it.

    Do you have a copy of the contract? If they violated it then you could end up owning that label if you ‘lawyer up’.

    However, releasing the album for free sounds like a violation of your end of the contract. In fact, it’s plain piracy. I love it :)

    • John Familiar

      Phillip, it’s an interesting concept that the copyright owner, Paper Lions, could be sued for piracy for distributing their own product. I don’t think it’s a valid concept, but interesting terminology, similar to when someone gives a handmade gift to someone and doesn’t pay taxes to the government for the privilege of giving a gift, that is theft from the government since the government is presumed to own everything and you are its slave. Likewise, the presumption in the claim that musicians who give away their own tracks are pirates or thieves presumes that all music written by artists de facto belongs to corporations and not the artists, regardless of copyright.

    • Dan

      John – Most, if not all, record contracts require that the artists hand over the copyrights of the album that they are distributing. It’s just how business is done in the music industry. Considering that they don’t even feel like fighting their contract with the label over a legitimate dealbreaker, these artists don’t seem like the savvy type capable of negotiating a deal that would have allowed them to keep their copyrights in the first place.

  22. RICH

    i think more artists should do this. and set up a paypal account for donations. I would give in a heartbeat. paypal will keep a lot less than record companies. the band would get more. RIAA are thieves and pretend they are fighting for the little guy.

  23. Dan Ahern

    Nice to see musicians spreading their art to folks in the world.

  24. Not sure if it’s against your contract or not, but perhaps you could put a ‘donate here’ button on your site, as an aside from the free download. Had you offered it for $2 or perhaps even $5, I would have paid, simply to support this type of decision. Good luck to you!

  25. Nadine

    Good on you guys!! Stick it to the man and keep living the dream. Rock on

  26. Bradford

    Hey guys, awesome album. I’m no freeloader put a donate now option on your website and I’ll gladly pay you for your work and creativity. Good luck and rock on!

  27. Marcus Nussbaum, Esq.

    I’m an attorney and I’m more than happy to take a look at your contract for free and see if we can sue your record label on the cheap or on contingency, with no upfront cost. Call me at 212-695-8100.
    -Marcus

  28. iiiears

    nice! Reddit got me here, then checked out youtube.. fun videos.

    A bit disappointed there is no paypal link. Sent a couple dollars to cover bandwidth and courage.

  29. Brendan

    That’s horrid that you we’re approached for your music and never saw any royalties or checks from your label.
    I appreciate the music industry and what you musicians have to put up with to get “noticed”
    Keep up the good work!

  30. Christopher Bullard

    Hate to hear stories like this but keep up the good work.

  31. a177158@rppkn

    Please mention the recording company, and the people involved with it. Please include their pictures to be extra thorough, so others can be forewarned never again to deal with the likes of such. Good Luck.

  32. jon

    fucking idiots, read the fine print, fuck u guys gotta man up and be intelligent

    • guy, some guy

      So what you are saying is that you thought that you caught another mark. Now you are upset that they have found a way to take away a slice of your gravy train. Man up indeed.

  33. Joe W

    I so sorry to hear this i wish i could donate money to help you guys out. All my money goes to rent and the little i have left over goes to food. When i get more money I’ll donate.

  34. Adam Strand

    Wasn’t planning on buying your album but saw that it was for free so I thought I’d check it out. Then I saw why it was free so I “bought” it from you for 10 bucks.

  35. Skyz

    I gave you my email addy and your download link has gone down.
    I will now delete your email containing this link – I expect my email to deleted from your database. Thank you.

    Shame, I was keen to hear some new music.

    • Adam

      Waaahhhmbulance alert. Just download it off of the internet somewhere. It is free now anyways so you don’t have to feel bad about it. If you were really keen on hearing some new music you would listen to it on Youtube. Done deal.

  36. Just some guy

    Heard of you guys via reddit. As of this moment, I have no idea what your music sounds like, but I’m looking forward to hearing it – I’m always on the lookout for new stuff. Thanks for making this available.

  37. Tracy

    Sorry for your experience. Never heard your music before, but will now thanks to this. Cheers!

  38. Rob

    Sitting here in my apartment in Manila in the Philippines surfing the web visiting one of my favorite sites, “jimmyr.com” and there is a line about a free album and I’m interested so off I go. I’m sent to your site read the story so and think that sucks but I take you up on the offer and download, presently I’m listening as I type this, and what catches my eyes are your tour dates and with further investigation you’re up for ECMA’s, damn, you see I’m from New Brunswick. Thank you for a bit of the Maritimes, you don’t know what you have until you don’t have it any more. Best of luck and when I’m back home I’ll look to see if you’re playing locally

  39. widget

    Record Labels are so busy trying to get their artists paid that they have to spend all their time trying to get secret treaties passed. Or, maybe they’re just a bunch of lying assholes.

  40. Piotr

    This is the first time I’ve ever heard of you guys, but please know you have my full support. Your music is awesome and you deserve to have your name known, let alone receive your pay checks for your hard work. This is ridonkulous. Good luck guys!

  41. James

    So how’s that Musebox ‘participatory marketing’ and ‘social network development and management’ working out for you? Wondering if you’ll post this comment since you dropped my last two.

    • guy, some guy

      I am willing to bet you, kind sir, that they will make enough to cover the next album production costs. Who are you anyway? The label rep?

    • James

      No, just some dude who doesn’t like viral marketing, at least when it’s dishonest. I had to do a lot of digging to find they were associated with The Musebox, their label MB3, and distributed by EMI, which I did because something just didn’t seem right. I have a hard time believing anyone is careless enough to ignore a distribution deal with a large company like EMI. I could be totally wrong, but it just looks fishy to me. And yes, I’m sure they’ve at least gotten enough page views, downloads, and new fans to fund their next production and gets lots of people to show up to their shows. Good for them, but I really don’t like the way they seem to be going about it. I’m going to have to try this with my band’s next album.

  42. Meg Hargis

    If y’all were to upload your album to Bandcamp.com, it would streamline the download/donation process a bit for you. It’s an open source site that my musician friends use, and it’s kinda the bomb.

    Good luck with your record; I’m sorry to see good people get screwed.

  43. Newcomer here, I wish things were going better for you but sadly I have a feeling this happens more often than people know, just hard to get the word out.

    Hope to be able to donate something later :)

  44. Benno

    Came here from reddit.
    Never heard of you but I approve of the model so have $10.
    Looking forward to listening to the album!

  45. Hate to see them treat you like that. Artists deserve to be fairly compensated for their work. You guys rocks! I didn’t know who you were before today, but now I’m a fan. Best of luck recording your next album, hopefully this time the profits will flow straight to you, the way it SHOULD BE.

  46. guy, some guy

    Love the music! Any chance for a few extra loonies I could get a flac version rather than MP3. And I am so glad to see that you are starting a bandcamp page. Perhaps it will be there in the near future.

  47. r

    i am pissed this happened! there must be lawyers that would help with this and take cash from the settlement they win for you!
    dont let these asses win!!!
    i never donate!
    so pissed, i donated!!!
    make lots of music!
    make lots of money!
    make more music!
    good luck!

  48. Apples

    Send your story and a copy of your CD (by mail) to your congressmen. Let them know that your label doesn’t represent you as an artist, and tell them how you feel about issues such as piracy and the legislation that organizations like the RIAA is trying to get through congress.

    Get together with other artists who are similarly giving their stuff away and link to each other’s sites. Call yourselves an “off-record label”. Find sites promoting “Black March”, a full-spectrum boycott of all media, and tell them about yourselves and how you think that, beyond people boycotting things people are against, like the RIAA, deliberately supporting those whose business models they DO like will help give their efforts more impact.

    As a group you guys can write a letter to congress, signing all of your names at the bottom. Send copies of the letters to news organizations, and post the letters online.

    As for the lawyer bit – call up some attorneys. There are those out there who are willing to take on cases under a “we don’t get paid unless you win” deal if they think it’s strong enough.

  49. Jummmi

    I can’t believe I supported those bastards… You really should sue them, though I see your point, too.
    I wish you better luck for the future. :)

  50. zombieofthepast

    Wow, you guys sound fantastic! Sorry to hear about the record company screwing you guys over, that seems to be happening way too much these days. Also, thanks for the excellent free album!

  51. As a musician and former venue owner, I understand your predicament. This a travesty and it needs to be dealt with as quickly as you guys can come up with the money. Lawyers don’t cost that much, in comparison, and once you win (you WILL win) they pay the court and lawyer fees, as well. I say, do several benfit shows in towns or cities where you have a sympathetic following and raise that money!

    -AMP

  52. Chimp Jones

    Just heard an interview that you guys did with UKNova Radio.. totally rocked.. god luck with everything!!

  53. Hey guys,
    So sorry to hear of your experience with the Label. I’m not surprised but I’m still disgusted. I’ll tell you what. I know I can’t compensate for all the a-holes out there, but I’d like to help you out by giving you an opportunity to record your next album with us at a 50% discount from our regular prices. Here you won’t get screwed over, but you will get ongoing support.
    Cheers,
    Gilles Roger
    Producer/Recording Engineer
    2Dogs Productions
    Fredericton, NB