The Guild Wars 2 community is banding together to bring together a lawsuit against composer Jeremy Soule's DirectSong company for failure to provide many who have ordered Soule's compositions in the past. Soule, who is known composing soundtracks like Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, Skyrim, Morrowind, and others, could very well be on the hitting end of a class action lawsuit stick, driven by Redditor violetvigilante. This story isn't unique and seems to be well documented. People enjoy a soundtrack for a game they're into and want to purchase it. They try to go through normal routes like iTunes, Amazon and whathaveyou, only to find out that these songs are only available to purchase as physical media, directly from the composer's company, DirectSong. Long story short, people aren't getting the goods they're paying for.
When you order through DirectSong, it notifies you that what you're ordering may take 6-8 weeks to ship. There aren't digital downloads that accompany the CDs, because Soule is so worried about piracy that he compares it to the Holocaust. Yes, the Holocaust. Apparently he has realized how this statement makes him look and has since removed it, but because this is on the internet, you can't just take something down and expect it's gone for good. Sorry dude, once it's there, it's there. Forever. Now, everyone can know that you not only compare yourself to a Holocaust victim because you might be pirated, people are calling you a crook, too. And since this is the internet, thanks to Redditor DantesS_P we have Soule's full quote in its cringey entirety, complete with sources.
But forget the Pirate Bay… Piracy is now mainstream. Not since the Holocaust have we seen so many people of a select group forcibly stripped of their livelihoods in a public euphoria of false morals. As one who is of Jewish descent, I can say that I make this statement in a very narrow fashion, but there are similarities. Creators are being vilified, laughed off and treated with indifference by scary multitudes of people who care not for artists’ lives or liberties–let alone the concerns involved in the making of art. The new “norm” is being heralded as “liberation” from the “contrived” and “unfair” standards of fees and payments that have traditionally been worked out in a fair market society. Instead, this is the new unfair market society. The “Jews” in this valid analogy are creators. We are losing our homes, our futures and our ability to take care of our children. Laugh. I dare you. And unlike the streetlamp lighters, the world still needs creators!
So, yeah, that was pretty gross. As much as a champion for rights as you try to make yourself be, Mr. Soule, you need to ship things to people when they send you money. Going through all of these measures to keep music from being pirated isn't helping, either, since in less than 30 seconds I found the soundtrack to Skyrim. I'm sure I could find Guild Wars 2, as well, if I tried. Not that I'm going to run out and pirate all of Soule's music, but I'm just saying that I could if I wanted to. In all honesty, it's out there and there's zero reason to make your music so inaccessible to people who want to legitimately purchase it. I mean, from looking at these two threads on Reddit, people really try to give you money, and then they're stuck a year later with endless tickets and other inquiries that are either closed immediately or come with no response, and they're still not listening to the music.
While I cannot speak from actual experience here, since I have not tried purchase anything from SongDirect (there's a rad record store in town if I want to browse things, or I generally purchase directly from labels or bands' Bandcamp pages), given that there are plenty of people with similar experiences, I am siding with the community on this one. SongDirect has not replied to Better Business Bureau inquiries and their rating on Reseller Ratings is 0.17/10. You can't really argue with that. I'm going to assume that companies like Bethesda and ArenaNet have a pretty tight contract with Soule, meaning these companies likely will not be able to release soundtracks on their own for fans to purchase. I'm also sure that while we can agree that piracy is bad, no one should be comparing it to the atrocities of the Holocaust. I don't care what your lineage is, that's just really, really gross.
If you're interested in more information regarding the issue with SongDirect, or if you'd like to share your story in regards to the class action lawsuit, see this thread on Reddit.