The Guardian 5th May 2006
Chilis get hot under the collar
Despite penning the funk-rock anthem Give It Away, it seems the Red Hot Chili Peppers are not great advocates of people getting something for nothing. The American band is furious that a music pirate has leaked their new album on to the internet, where fans can download it illegally – and free of charge.
Stadium Arcadium, the group’s first studio album in four years, is due to be released next Tuesday but has already been circulated online by the mystery thief.
In a rambling open letter, bass player Michael “Flea” Balzary spoke of the anguish the band would suffer if fans downloaded the album.
“For people to just steal a poor sound quality version of it for free because some a-hole stole it and put it on the internet is sad to me,” he said. “I cannot put in words how much this record … means to us, how sacred the sound of it is to us … and now, for someone to take it and put it out there with this poor sound quality, it is a painful pill for us to swallow.”
If caught, the pirate could face the same fate as two men indicted by the US government in March for allegedly making songs by Ryan Adams available illegally online. Under the 2005 Family Entertainment and Copyright Act they face up to 11 years in prison if convicted.
The band’s spokeswoman said she did not know how the album was leaked. The band’s record label, Warner Bros, often distributes advance copies of albums to journalists in special envelopes that declare the recipient responsible for any misuse. Leaks are sometimes also traced to recording studios and post-production plants.