Anthrax’s Scott Ian wants illegal downloaders banned from the internet

“The whole record industry has collapsed because people are stealing. That’s the end of the story.”

That’s Anthrax axeman Scott Ian on the current state of the record business. In an interview with New Times Ian has detailed his views on the decline of record sales, and how illegal downloaders should be punished for stealing music.

The new Anthrax album Worship Music sold 30,000 copies to debut on the Billboard charts at No. 12, the band’s highest debut in 20 years, but according to Ian “to put it in perspective sales-wise, it just sucks that 30,000 is considered a huge success in 2011. It’s a double-edged sword because on one hand it’s like, “Woo-hoo, we did great,” but then it’s also like, “Yeah, but how many other people stole the record, and you should have sold 150,000 copies this first week?””

According to the Anthrax guitarist, punters have a sense of entitlement now where they think music is free; “Before the internet, the only way to steal music was to walk into a music store and physically walk out with something, and you were stealing, and you knew it. You knew, unless you’re a fucking maniac, that there was a consequence. If you got caught, you were going to get in trouble.”

“On the internet, there is no consequence for stealing. Nobody gets in trouble for stealing music; nobody gets in trouble for stealing movies. Illegal downloading has no consequence. So until there is a consequence, it’s going to happen more and more and more, and people are going to see less and less original and good content from the record industry and movie industry.”

So what is Ian’s solution to this issue?

“You lose your Internet. That’s it, no more Internet for you. Seriously! Like you drive drunk, you lose the privilege of driving. You download illegally, you lose the privilege of having the Internet. The punishment fits the crime… Throwing people in jail isn’t the answer, and even fining them and all that, I don’t think that’s the answer either. Just stop their access, because these people live on the internet, and that’s all they care about. So stop their internet access and they’ll stop stealing.”