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Recently, artists have tried coming up with all kinds of crazy ways to fight the battle against piracy. Thom Yorke released Tomorrow's Modern Boxes via bittorrent, Beyonce just upped the price of her album, Neil Young started an iTunes for hi-fidelity downloads, and U2 just gave their album away. Now, 10 Years is joining in on this battle, but in a much different way than those other artists. Since they probably don’t have the kind of money to just give their album away, they’re incentivizing their fans to help the join the fight instead! The band is now working with the 10 Years Association for an illegal download contest!

Well, what does that mean? It means that fans can send download links to the band’s recently released Miscellanea single to and the band will pick a winner to win an unnamed prize.

The contest started with the band’s guitarist, Tater Johnson, trying to promote the new single, and shaming pirating on their facebook page, saying:

“Thanks to everyone for the early support and love on the new single but if y’all really wanna help call your local radio station and request ‘Miscellanea.’ Don’t illegally download it from a bit torrent or post those links. It’ll be on iTunes real soon and we’ll be making a video in a couple weeks. This is how we make a living and when you purchase this the music the money does actually go to us. Thanks again for the love. See y’all on tour.”

Which later turned into:

“Hey all. Tater here. Thanks for your support. This is obviously an open forum, and people are free to say their opinions, and while a lot of the responses to our battle against illegally downloading our single are disheartening, it raises an interesting topic. We all became musicians because of our love for art and music, which is why we stay in this field, but it is also our livelihood and the way we pay our bills. I’ve been in this band since 1998, a founding member and I’ve played every single show. At various times I struggled to keep my house, the lights on, and my junker car on the road, coming home from months on the road owing thousands of dollars, and forced to record albums that cost so much money to make, we could barely pay back the major labels, all because of our art. But the fact is that this is my job and I get paid from touring and merch, but also because of you awesome die-hard fans who actually buy our music, rather than steal it. Most singles air on radio for a bit before they are released to iTunes, Google play, Amazon, or cd, hence the hype and delay. We know there is no possible way to stop the pirating of music, but we are doing what little we can to try and preserve something antiquated. If you think we or I am just about the money, than just do me a favor and unlike/unfollow our band because you’ve missed the whole point and aren’t the ones who help keep us going anyway. The days of getting rich off one single are over and that’s fine. I want you to listen to it and love it because it’s our art, but I also want to get paid for the past year of blood, sweat, tears, writing, writer’s block, re-writing, recording, etc that we’ve been through as a band. Ok, that’s it. For all you lovers, see you at our shows. We love you and appreciate you more than you’ll ever know. And for all you who feel entitled to everything for free, we probably wouldn’t see you anyway because you wouldn’t want to buy a ticket.”

Which obviously started a huge conversation about the nature of pirating and file sharing. One thing led to another, and now there is a contest going on to try and stop the single from being downloaded.

You can find the campaign here