Warrior vs. Hogan

A quick recap: Sumerian Records founder Ash Avildsen recently published a video lambasting music pirates, generating quite a bit of Internet chatter. The Gauntlet’s Jason Fisher wrote up a lengthy response in which he accused Ash of being a hypocrite, having run in the same IRC software pirating circles in the early/mid ’90s. And now Ash has fired back at Jason with the below response, sent in to MetalSucks by Ash late last night:

Dear Jason @ The Gauntlet,

Congratulations on bringing traffic to your site by exploiting my name and childhood. I like the House of Blues Ad  you have there next to my name. Yes, from ages 11-15 in the days of dial-up modems, BBS and IRC, before cell phones and websites, I pirated PC video games.  I also stole cigarettes from convenience stores when I was 13, but later realized smoking cigarettes was bad for my health and that stealing is stupid. Care to do an article on that?

In reference to you quoting my comments on torrent site owners who sell ad-space on their pages yet don’t pay the bands they’re stealing from: your point makes no sense. Those torrent sites make big bucks off the advertisements sold from the internet traffic of illegal music downloading,  You know as a fellow old school warez guy that we risked our freedom and did it for the thrill and the online community. None of us ever made a penny from being into warez. As you know, it was an underground subculture of certain people from all around the world, ahead of their times in technology, working together.  Most access was invite-only to get on the FTP sites & IRC channels and you had to do your part in the scene to enjoy the benefits of it, i.e. far from being a lamer going to google and typing in what you want to steal before it’s available to the general public. Razor 1911 was about being superstars, not jobbers.

Regardless, I am not 13 years old anymore and I do not condone stealing. I think stealing any art is bad, whether it is a book, music, video games or a painting. I think stealing is especially disgraceful when it’s from struggling independent people, e.g. a mom and pop operated neighborhood small restaurant or an underground touring musician trying to build a career. Thank you for your complements on your site and thanks for publicly agreeing that music piracy is bad. Good to hear from you dude, even if it’s by this. You live in California, don’t be a stranger.

– Ash Avildsen

So… what do the MS faithful think? Is Ash a hypocrite for railing against piracy when his past is littered with the same, or can we all grow up and move on from what we did when we were teenagers? Personally I think that we most certainly do stupid things when we’re young and that we can learn and move on, so in that respect I find Ash’s recent response sound; but this back-and-forth between Jason and Ash doesn’t change my feelings that Ash really missed the mark with the original video that started this whole scuffle.

Chime in with your thoughts.


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