Lady Gaga's 'Applause' Leak: A Piracy Fable for the Crowd-Sourcing Age

When the pop star's latest single leaked online, her fans fought back.

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Lady Gaga's fans tracked down the origins of a song leaked off the artist's upcoming album.

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Piracy, and particularly leaks of highly anticipated music, has been a problem for artists for a while. But, with the rise of the crowd-sourcing models of Wikipedia and Kickstarter, artists can now crowd-source their piracy control. Or at least artists with a fan following as devoted as Lady Gaga's little monsters, as her fans are called.

[READ: Will Lady Gaga's ARTPOP Change the Tide on Album Apps?]

Pieces of "Applause," the first single of Gaga's upcoming album "ARTPOP," appeared online over the weekend, more than a week ahead of its Aug. 19 release. Gaga expressed her distress over Twitter, and also retweeted a link sent to her by a fan to the Piracy Referral Form of her label, Universal Music Group. The link has since been retweeted more than 2,500 times, with many of her little monsters bragging about reporting the leak.

Even with her fans rushing to rat out the leak, Gaga went ahead and released the song Monday, declaring it a "pop music emergency." Ahead of posting the song, she also warned fans, "Don't focus on ANY blogger criticism. I have been a producer/songwriter/musician for over 10 years. Trust the artist bloggers are not critics."

Music blogger critics are lucky there no reporting forms for bad reviews of "Applause" – not yet, anyway.

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