Brooklyn indie band Ghost Beach has taken over a billboard in Times Square for two weeks to debate piracy. American Eagle approached the band to use one of their songs, in exchange for a fee and access to the billboard. They decided to use it for a discussion about unauthorized file sharing, directing people to a website called Artists vs Artists. The NY Times writes:
For the last week a mysterious ad has flashed on the LED billboard above the American Eagle Outfitters store at Broadway and 46th Street, just over the bronze shoulder of George M. Cohan. Variably positing piracy as “criminal,” “progress” and “the future,” it asks the observer to “pick a side” on Twitter, as #artistsforpiracy or #artistsagainstpiracy.
So far the #artistsforpiracy hashtag has been used more times than #artistsagainstpiracy: 2,955 vs 210, which indicates a new direction for the music industry. The Artists vs Artists website also offers visitors the choice of either buying Ghost Beach’s album from iTunes or downloading it for free.