Note To Record Labels: Big Musicians Don't Need All Your Services (And Attached Strings) Any More

from the why-bother? dept

It's been clear for quite some time now that the RIAA's moves over the last few years have very little to do with "protecting the artists," as they claim. Instead, it's very much about saving the increasingly obsolete business model of the record labels -- who are often accused of cheating the artists. In the past we've noted musicians both big and small recognizing that there are better ways to do things, often by avoiding the record labels altogether. These musicians have embraced alternative business models that often support giving away their music and making money selling other products (concerts, CDs with extra material, access, travel arrangements for concerts, etc.). It appears that an artist management firm is really trying to embrace that view as well, describing itself as "artist-friendly" and trying to work out deals that take the power away from the record labels.

The article notes, by example, that Universal Music turned down a potential deal to distribute Ice Cube's latest album. The deal would have been for distribution only (something the labels are good at) -- leaving Ice Cube to pay his own way for production and marketing. However, Universal apparently said no, out of a fear that if it were successful, other big name artists would start realizing they didn't need the full suite of services (and the indentured servitude of a recording contract) either. Of course, if true (and Universal denies it), it would suggest that, yet again, the record labels are hastening their own demise. The power of the internet and other new technologies has definitely decreased the need for certain parts of the record labels' services -- but it doesn't mean they're completely obsolete. They are still strong in distribution and marketing -- and these are very valuable services. However, their insistence on presenting the whole package when it's not needed is driving musicians away, and that will just lead more to route around the labels completely. If they embraced the changes in the market, they'd realize there are still plenty of opportunities where they could make money, without resorting to suing thousands upon thousands of music fans, and making many others feel like criminals just for listening to music they like.


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  1.  
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    Michael Long, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 5:46pm

    Respecting rights...

    Saying that lawsuits make many others feel like criminals just for listening to music they like trivializes the issue. If someone chooses to disregard the artists rights, then they're both morally, and legally in the wrong.

    If an artist wants to give their music away online and believes that in doing so they'll sell more concert tickets or t-shirts, that's fine. I'll respect that. On the flip side, if an artist doesn't want to give away their music, we, in turn, should respect that artist's wishes.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 6:28pm

    2nd Post!

    MINE! MINE! MINE! It's all MINE!

    Muahahahhahahaha!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 6:32pm

    "if an artist doesn't want to give away their music," then the artist needs to find a nice big rock to live under. Oh yeah, and a new job.

     

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    DirkaDirka, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 6:43pm

    Recognizing reality...

    Every artist is giving their music away online.

    If you can listen to a song, you can create a DRM-free copy and post it to the world... Even if someone has to go to length of using speakers and microphones, the technology is such that only ONE person in the entire WORLD has to make a good copy, and the cat is out of the bag.

    Morality and legality is decided by society, and society has decided the issue of music "sharing"... We are seeing civil disobedience on a level unprecidented since Prohibition. I agree that in a ideal world artists would get fairly paid for their efforts... But you must agree that the current system is little more than indentured servitude for the artists.

    The lawyers are just milking the system for every last nickle, before the CD goes the way of the buggy whip and gas lighting.

     

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    ShimmyShimmy, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 7:13pm

    Re: Respecting rights...

    they're both morally, and legally in the wrong

    Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. Legally, I'm not going to argue. How do you get off assuming this is morally wrong? Recently, one of my favorite bands just released a box set, which contains extra material, unreleased live recordings, etc. I downloaded that, and did not buy a copy of it.
    It just so happens that I own a lot of CDs from that band. In fact, I believe I have every single one of their albums, on CDs. Altogether, I'd say I dumped about $90 or so buying these albums. So downloading one album (at no cost to them mind you) is morally wrong? The artist and certainly the recrod labels have made plenty of money off of me, I don't feel like I'm cheating anyone.
    Furthermore, this box set isn't new material. Mostly, it's a best-of, with some digitial remastering, blah blah, and also contains a few live recordings.
    I already have every song on this album. If I don't have the live version, I have the original album recording. I'm not getting any new music, no new "art" out of the CD. Let me reiterate, for the majority of the songs on the album: I've already bought them, some I've already bought in a remastered format. Why should I have to pay again to get these songs on a new playist?
    Recording is expensive. Paying the studio workers to be there, paying the band to be there for the often 100+ hours of playing it takes to record an album is expensive. I believe the recording of Black Sabbath's album "Paranoid" took about 8 hours of the band's time, which was notably short. Anyway, I get it. Writing and recording is expensive. On the other hand, designing a new box is NOT expensive.
    I think that every time a "best of" or similar compilation comes out, I should be entitled to a copy. If I already own an original copy of all the songs on the "best-of" album, I should be able to get the album for however much it costs to print the CD ($3 maybe?).
    Again, legally wrong, I'll keep my mouth shut. Morally wrong? Kiss my ass.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 7:53pm

    Re: Respecting rights...

    "If an artist wants to give their music away online...that's fine."

    It's not if they're bound to a standard record contract, they don't own the studio-produced music.

    That was pretty much the point of the article, those old contracts aren't as necessary anymore.

     

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    August West, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 8:03pm

    Screw the record companies

    I rarely if ever purchase albums anymore. I download like a banshee, though. The bands I like let me. Other bands have an "official" no taping policy, but don't really care if the music is traded and not sold. I download the live recordings of their shows and I go to see them live. Bands make more money touring than from records anyway. I've spent thousands on concert tickets over the past 28 years. None of that money fed the fat cats at the record labels, but up until a few years ago, it was unintentional. Now, as long as the RIAA keeps doing what they do, I will make it a point not to buy records. Of course the next time a Grateful Dead live recording is released, I'll buy that. Thats different. It supports the (still living) band members. And Rhino is in charge of it now, and they seem to be OK.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 8:32pm

    revolution

    The revolution has already started and nothing they can do will let them win.... Marx thought it would be concentrated monoplies and capitalism itself that would lead the workers to rise up but he never invisaged that technology would give them the means of production to side step it altogether. I forsee the long term transition of the majority of the people into supporting only artists that give away their music, they can sue as many file sharing networks and users as they want (granted the less the better) and filter as many useless fake and ridculous p2p services as they want (yeah right I am going to devote my bandwidth to your business - NOT!!!) but in the end the artists and the public will move away from their control whether they like it or not -its really just a matter of how long it takes and how many casualties they take down with them.

     

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    huh?, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 8:54pm

    Re: Re: Respecting rights...

    "The artist and certainly the recrod labels have made plenty of money off of me, I don't feel like I'm cheating anyone."

    Are you on crack?? So because you own a bruce willis dvd collection you should not have to pay for his latest movie that just came out? He owes you that much for being a loyal customer? How about the new artist that you have never purchased music from. Is it morally correct for you to download his music or is it only wrong if you have not purchased something from him in the past? Your entire rant makes absolutely no sense.

    Perhaps you are trying to argue the point that it is only ok to download music that has been remastered and repackaged as a box set because you have another similar sounding song by the same name?? Perhaps you dont think it costs a bunch of money to remaster and remix a song. Ok so I will give you that it probably does not cost quite as much to do that in the studio. Arent all of the marketing dollars the same for that recording? If not, I would argue you would not have even known about the box set comming out.

    Taking a brand new live recording that has never been through the studio and never been mastered... that I would argue would cost just as much as having the band in the studio, especially if they have to re-record some of the tracks which they often do if one of the vocals did not sound rigt or the drummer missed a beat.

     

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    The Enlightened One, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 9:15pm

    RIASS

    I have been to many concerts in my life and they have all hade some sort of "no Recording " issues....who the hell are they to sing and play out loud and say I hope you dont record this.....The next thing you know they will wipe your memory so you cant recall this after you leave. the last time you went to a concert how much did it cost you? $50 dollars $150 dollars.....and they tell you not to record the concert....what a bunch of bullshit. I spend as much on one concert as I do on a whole box set for that very same band. Lets not forget that the very inventors of the MP3 format that we all love .....Fruanhoffer in germany went to the riaa and asked if they wanted onboard before it ever was released....they said it would not amount to anything.....now they swallow the medicine harshly. Do you all know that whene C.D. burners where first intoduced the same riaa sued and now every blank c.d. and burner sold in the u.s has a small percent set aside to Compensate the artist put in to a fund....to this date not one artist has recieved a penny from the life sucking RIAA. What a suprise....One final example is the pressure they put on apple recently to raise the price of the songs above .99 cents. Are you Fu&%ing kidding me.....No ditribution fees, no printing fees,no c.d. making fees and they still dont make enough.....go F#@ck yourself RIAA

     

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    Chris, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 9:43pm

    now now

    "These musicians have embraced alternative business models that often support giving away their music and making money selling other products (concerts, CDs with extra material, access, travel arrangements for concerts, etc.)."

    That must mean they don't make good music...

     

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    satan, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 10:54pm

    Re: Respecting rights...

    good points

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2006 @ 3:16am

    nice

    I would like to rant too and complain, but I think all you guys covered it well.

     

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    Gene, Aug 8th, 2006 @ 4:39am

    Fraudulant suit

    The suits target innocent people for profit. An IP address doesn't identify the person who did a download. The suit states that the named individual did in fact do such a download and no such evidence exists. It is an intentional false statement made under perjury in the filing document to a court each time they file a suit. Innocent people need to stand up and get these attorneys behind bars for intentionally lying to a court about someone just to get the court to award them some profit. RIAA is profiting from fraudulant lawsuits.

     

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    I think you're an idiot., Aug 8th, 2006 @ 6:57am

    Re: Re: Respecting rights...

    Your whole argument has nothing really to do with the article and your reasoning is flawed when you explain how it's right. You downloaded a box set album and then state how you already have the songs in the box set anyways as you own a copy of the songs on other CD's from that band that you have purchased. If you own the songs already, why do you need to download them again?

    "Let me reiterate, for the majority of the songs on the album: I've already bought them, some I've already bought in a remastered format. Why should I have to pay again to get these songs on a new playist?"

    In actuality you don't need to download them since you already own them (if you really do to begin with). In fact you could just lookup the order of the songs on any website and make your own playlist to represent the order in the box set.

    It just so happens that I own a lot of CDs from that band. In fact, I believe I have every single one of their albums, on CDs. Altogether, I'd say I dumped about $90 or so buying these albums. So downloading one album (at no cost to them mind you) is morally wrong?

    Uh, yes it is. Let's put this in terms you may understand. Let's say I am a car collector. I've got a huge collection of Ford Mustangs, say 100 cars. A new version of the car comes out that isn't really different from the past model year (which I have bought 5 of). According to your statement, it's not really morally wrong for me to go to a parking lot at a mall and take your Mustang while your're inside shopping without paying you for it.

    Why would I do this? Because I've already purchased 100 of them. I deserve one more. It doens't really cost Ford (the record company) anything if I steal it does it? Who does it hurt? Oh yeah, that car owner who spent their money to buy it....You. That money came from your hard work. Seems to me that the recording artist would be a lot like you, the car owner, I stole that music from. It doesn't hurt Ford nearly as much as it hurts you if I take your car . . . Much like when you download those songs. The record company doesn't get hurt as much (in the big picture of things) as the artist. A record company will make BILLIONS of dollars from all the sales that they do. Their other albums that they distribute will cover the loss. The small artist, if their music is downloaded takes a bigger beating if we look at what is happening in scale. . . Morally wrong? Yes. A bit over exagerated? Sure but sometimes you need to blow the picture up nice and big so that you can really understand the ramifications.

    What? You want the live versions? A lot of times the live versions are completely different from the Album version. Similar lyrics, similar tune but not the exact same song that you bought on that studio session CD. If you want the live experience, you pay for the live experience. You are getting something extra with that live CD. You're getting the passion that the artist expressed as they ripped that guitar to shreds or where the drummer/pizza delivery guy played the drums in a way that the audio becomes penetrating when the bass drum kicks in double time during the perfomance (Which he didn't do on the album version. . .)

    The whole point of the article was about how the record companies need to change their business models that they've protected over the last 1/2 century so that they make huge profits and the artist makes jack.

    Legally wrong? You should keep your mouth shut. Morally wrong? You can bend over backwards and kiss your own. Then dig your wallet out and buy the box set.

     

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    I think you're an Idiot, Aug 8th, 2006 @ 7:01am

    ShammyShammy is an Idiot.

    Your whole argument has nothing really to do with the article and your reasoning is flawed when you explain how it's right. You downloaded a box set album and then state how you already have the songs in the box set anyways as you own a copy of the songs on other CD's from that band that you have purchased. If you own the songs already, why do you need to download them again?

    "Let me reiterate, for the majority of the songs on the album: I've already bought them, some I've already bought in a remastered format. Why should I have to pay again to get these songs on a new playist?"



    In actuality you don't need to download them since you already own them (if you really do to begin with). In fact you could just lookup the order of the songs on any website and make your own playlist to represent the order in the box set.

    It just so happens that I own a lot of CDs from that band. In fact, I believe I have every single one of their albums, on CDs. Altogether, I'd say I dumped about $90 or so buying these albums. So downloading one album (at no cost to them mind you) is morally wrong?


    Uh, yes it is. Let's put this in terms you may understand. Let's say I am a car collector. I've got a huge collection of Ford Mustangs, say 100 cars. A new version of the car comes out that isn't really different from the past model year (which I have bought 5 of). According to your statement, it's not really morally wrong for me to go to a parking lot at a mall and take your Mustang while your're inside shopping without paying you for it.

    Why would I do this? Because I've already purchased 100 of them. I deserve one more. It doens't really cost Ford (the record company) anything if I steal it does it? Who does it hurt? Oh yeah, that car owner who spent their money to buy it....You. That money came from your hard work. Seems to me that the recording artist would be a lot like you, the car owner, I stole that music from. It doesn't hurt Ford nearly as much as it hurts you if I take your car . . . Much like when you download those songs. The record company doesn't get hurt as much (in the big picture of things) as the artist. A record company will make BILLIONS of dollars from all the sales that they do. Their other albums that they distribute will cover the loss. The small artist, if their music is downloaded takes a bigger beating if we look at what is happening in scale. . . Morally wrong? Yes. A bit over exagerated? Sure but sometimes you need to blow the picture up nice and big so that you can really understand the ramifications.



    What? You want the live versions? A lot of times the live versions are completely different from the Album version. Similar lyrics, similar tune but not the exact same song that you bought on that studio session CD. If you want the live experience, you pay for the live experience. You are getting something extra with that live CD. You're getting the passion that the artist expressed as they ripped that guitar to shreds or where the drummer/pizza delivery guy played the drums in a way that the audio becomes penetrating when the bass drum kicks in double time during the perfomance (Which he didn't do on the album version. . .)



    The whole point of the article was about how the record companies need to change their business models that they've protected over the last 1/2 century so that they make huge profits and the artist makes jack.


    Legally wrong? You should keep your mouth shut. Morally wrong? You can bend over backwards and kiss your own. Then dig your wallet out and buy the box set.

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Aug 8th, 2006 @ 7:05am

    Few points here...

    On all the comments about morals... morals are in the eye of the beholder. That all depends on who you ask and how they have defined "stealing" or "free distribution". Remember, there's a whole group of people who believe that it's not only morally right, but morally imperative, to bomb innocent people to make points.

    Now, on to the actual comments:

    "Let me reiterate, for the majority of the songs on the album: I've already bought them, some I've already bought in a remastered format. Why should I have to pay again to get these songs on a new playist?"
    -ShimmyShimmy

    because they are new songs. It doesn't matter that they subject, lyrics, notes, chords, etc. have been recorded before. Just like if a band covers a song from another artist. They can't make money off of that song (without proper copyright authorization), but they can be compensated for going through the effort of bringing you, their fan, their artistic take on that song.

    "So because you own a bruce willis dvd collection you should not have to pay for his latest movie that just came out? He owes you that much for being a loyal customer?"
    -huh?

    Bad example. Bruce Willis wouldn't be the only person with a stake in that production. If he were the only actor, camera person, director, sound manager, et. al... then yeah, maybe. But no, bad example.

    "Arent all of the marketing dollars the same for that recording?"
    -huh?

    Doesn't matter. Go read the speech by Courtney Love. Yeah, I don't really care for her either, but I was impressed by what she had to say.

    Long-short: the band ultimately ends up paying for the marketing and production for the Set, but sees sickeningly little from the sales.

    "Fruanhoffer in germany went to the riaa and asked if they wanted onboard before it ever was released....they said it would not amount to anything.....now they swallow the medicine harshly."
    -The Enlighted One

    Interesting. I wasn't aware of that. It doesn't surprise me though. History is replete with examples of industries, municipalities, people, groups, etc. that missed out on a golden opportunity. In my opinion, that's almost a requirement. In missing that opportunity, those left behind are forced (usually, in theory at least) to innovate in order to keep up.

    What is somewhat new, however, is seeing on of those left behind going on a misguided crusade to keep things status quo.

    But hey, here's one idea. Let's just turn the volume up on our MP3 players (chock-full o' "stolen" music) and ignore their protests. Let's soundly defeat them at their own games and wave them a tearless goodbye when they are dragged down the abyss of their own idiocy. Which, by the looks of some of the articles coming through here, we are starting. It does appear that the tide is starting to turn.

    "That must mean they don't make good music..."
    -Chris

    Nice. Way to support the RIAA's point of view. Just because an artist distributes music for free, they must suck? I won't even go into how that's a horrible, horrible piece of logic.

    I have seen artists from all corners of musical flavor distributing their songs for free. Since all of these artists represent almost all forms of music (and by your logic, therefore suck), I guess all music sucks, huh? If that's your view though, it does beg the question: why do you care what's given away free? You obviously (by your logic) don't like any music, so why does this discussion even merit your attention?

     

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    KevinG79, Aug 8th, 2006 @ 7:32am

    No, you're the idiot, IDIOT.

    To the guy who wrote up a big long novel slamming the person who downloaded a greatest hits CD....

    You're the real idiot. You are obviously in bed with one of the execs at the RIAA...

    Did you know that your beloved RIAA is at fault of committng many more serious crimes than Mr. Joe Average who downloaded a greatest hits CD? Do you realize the RIAA steals more from the artist than any of us music fans ever do?

    Do you also realize, that, like others have pointed out, most artists and musicians actually encourage their fans to share/pass along their music? Artists do not make money from CDs (thanks to the pigs at the RIAA who take 98% of those profits from them). They know this. Which is why most artists (excluding idiots like Lars Olrich from Metallica who is also sleeping with the RIAA) don't give a rats ass if I go and download their new CD. The artist gets his money from touring. Don't think so? Then why do most successful bands go on tour with the release of every new CD? Because it pays the bills.

    Is it morally wrong to have downloaded that Greatest Hits CD? No, it isn't! Is it morally wrong to agree with an evil organization that steals profits and royalties from the members they represent? Yes, it is. Is it morally wrong to be so stupid and gullible and believe the RIAA is actually "protecting the artist?" Yes, it is.

     

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    gianni, Aug 8th, 2006 @ 7:42am

    Cube doing well

    Cube's album is doing well now they running to work with him. Prince made plenty of money during the years he didn't work with the labels. Labels like def jam are going to be the ones to survive because they are tring to change with the industry with more marketing and distrubtion deals

     

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    MPT, Aug 8th, 2006 @ 8:24am

    Re: Recognizing reality...

    Indentured servitude for the artists??

    WTF rock have you been living under??

    You can tune into MTV at any point in the day (since they can't squeeze music videos in anymore) and see an episode of 'Fabulous life of...' and insert an artists name and listen about how:

    'Britney Spears has $11,000 scissors imported from Italy to cut her hair... by her personal stylist'

    Thats just one example... how about the Cribs episodes where they show us their 5-6 $50,000+ custom vehicles they have in the driveway. We get to look at their custom beds, custom kitchens, custom TV's, custom home movie theatres...

    WTF?!

    Like I am going to feel bad about torrenting a CD from one of these idiots?

    If you want to make a case for 'hurting artists' with illegal (HA HA!!) downloading... then someone needs to stop the TV shows about how they are living the fabulous life while I struggle paycheck to paycheck to survive and provide for my wife and child.

     

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    JM, Aug 8th, 2006 @ 9:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Respecting rights...

    Uh, yes it is. Let's put this in terms you may understand. Let's say I am a car collector. I've got a huge collection of Ford Mustangs, say 100 cars. A new version of the car comes out that isn't really different from the past model year (which I have bought 5 of). According to your statement, it's not really morally wrong for me to go to a parking lot at a mall and take your Mustang while your're inside shopping without paying you for it.

    Funny how you people can't seem to figure out the difference between stealing and copyright infringement. You need to start using your brains.

    Your senerio represents STEALING. As in, I took it from you and you no longer have it. The only way you get it back is by taking it away from me - which would mean I no longer have it.

    Copyright infringement, which is what the first poster was admitting to, is NOT STEALING by definition. Let's change your senerio and see the difference:

    Let's say I am a car collector. I've got a huge collection of Ford Mustangs, say 100 cars. A new version of the car comes out that isn't really different from the past model year (which I have bought 5 of). According to your statement, it's not really morally wrong for me to go to a parking lot at a mall, use a magic wand and duplicate your Mustang in every way while your're inside shopping without paying you for it. When you come out of the mall, you still have your car(s) and never knew I was there. You have not lost anything. It has not cost you anything. And you can go on about your peachy life.

    When will you guys WTFU and start discussing this issue for what it is. You CANNOT use physical, real-world objects as an example of electronic file-copying. There is NOTHING the same about it as currently, as far as I'm aware, the technology does not exist to make 1/1 duplicates of physical objects.

    You people need to educate yourselfs or stop bothering to argue the issue as you bring nothing of value to the discussion when you make such obviously ignorant statements.

    As for the morality of his actions? That's depends on a lot. Morality is in the eye of the beholder. Lot's of people think that looking at porn is immorale. Lot's of people don't. Just because something might be made illegal doesn't make it any more or less moral. This issue needs to be discussed because the answer is difficult. If I'm not harming anyone because I'm able to copy the world for myself while leaving it in-tact for everyone else, and I'm keeping to myself then what's the real harm?

    I don't buy that anyone has the answer to this question because I don't think there IS an answer - only personal opinions. The only real issue is whether or not people who copy music, or any other copyrighted electronic media, are willing to take responsibility for their actions if they are caught breaking the law. If you break the law - don't cry about it when you get nailed. Scream all you want that the law is immoral and maybe you can influence a change.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2006 @ 10:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Respecting rights...

    Hey JM, I think everyone is aware of the fact that it is a "clone" of the original (as far as your magic wand car analogy goes).

    But there still is an intellectual rights or copyright law. It is there in place to allow further innovation of digital technology. Without these rights, how can we further innovate?

    For example based on your theory: If everyone not "stole" but copied microsoft windows xp for free as well as office, would you ever expect a new os or technology to emerge from this company later? I think not. Would you really think there will be cool games for you to player later? No. I am a programmer and we live and die by the APIs given to us, and without the creator of the OS available, there would be no more.

    I am not defending the dude that wrote the gettysburg address on the original car analogy either. He is way too uptight in the ass. But, we shouldn't completely disregard intellectual property either. If you are an engineer or computer scientist you will strongly agree with this statement, and the same could be said for an artist. In fact, as a programmer we always consider our source code as if it were our baby.

    Do you remember the CEO of Valve (the creator of half-life?) No one based on your theory "stole" their code, they merely copied and exposed large chunks of it online. This still seriously hurts and cripples that business and pisses off the gamers because they had to wait even longer just to play the game due to that "magic wand" attack.

    So I guess all in all, there is a certain balance here, obviously, the RIAA or whatever are certainly assholes trying to live off of an old model, but we should at least support the artists that do produce decent works. My favorite bands that I really enjoy, I still purchase, but the crap music and CDs with one good song and the rest filler, -well it is certainly not worth it, and it is really annoying to have to change that CD out of my car just for that one good song in there. So I guess, yeah, it is a personal moral decision, if they deserve it, pay them, if they don't because they really do suck, then don't.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    JM, Aug 8th, 2006 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Respecting rights...

    I agree and disagree. If everyone were aware the “clone the physical-object” argument would cease. I see too many ignorant individuals out there spreading this notion - they are not the same thing. Just look at our political climate - there are far too many people making decisions based on biased and or ignorant information. So, I call it as I see it. They are not the same thing.

    I agree that artists, in the current climate, should be compensated for their work. I would never wish popular work to go unrewarded. That's certainly not my point. When I really enjoy an artists work – I pay for it. If a really great movie comes out – I pay for it by spending an obnoxious amount at the theater (my way of patting HW on the back for not sucking…this time). Fact is, I rarely enjoy the corporate crap that is produced these days and I have a hard time respecting the never-ending goal of profit at the sacrifice of quality work. I reward quality work with my hard-earned dollar.

    On the flip-side, copyright infringement is a problem for particular models. Your example of this is with Microsoft. There are plenty of other OS options. Linux comes to mind. If Microsoft were to become extinct tomorrow the world would not cease to function - it would innovate. As a programmer you know this is true. Open source technologies have proven that innovation can exist and do quite well without a corporate environment. True it has a long way to go - but that is in part because it's competing with billions in marketing (marketing is powerful - but it doesn't mean the product is better). If Linux had billions to spend on marketing (donated the same way code is donated), then I don’t see MS capable of competing. They simply would not have the man-power to compete against the world’s supply of programmers. The internet has opened up a whole new world and business is still trying to figure out how it works. Some will excel and others will not but that doesn’t mean the population is doing something immoral by using the technologies and access they have been given.

    As I stated earlier - the question isn't about what’s moral (IMHO). It's about what’s legal. If people decide to break the law they should be aware of the consequences and be prepared to face them. Nobody can say for certain that downloading music off the net WILL ruin artists. Perhaps some; however, plenty of them have taken advantage of it for their benefit. Those who don't will go the way of the RIAA and that is unfortunate.

    I'm simply tired of the ignorance floating around this subject and the only way people will learn is if those who know better speak of it and put it in its place. Stealing and IP infringement are two completely different things and the conversation needs to remain aware of this fact.

     

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  24.  
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    Ether Hour, Aug 8th, 2006 @ 11:47am

    a perfect example

    Without the overhead of "paying back the label" in a standard contract, a band can make great money by playing live shows and selling CDs. Giving it away for free does wonders in attracting more fans to the shows. The trick is to harness all those fans and organize your marketing to contact them efficiently. This is the missing link that gives the labels their. Bands need to learn to use the tools available while being persistent and patient with the live show.

    An example of a band doing this well is Ether Hour. They allow full album downloads for free, yet they sell CD's and play a killer live show. Click here to download the free Ether Hour album

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2006 @ 5:33pm

    Re: now now

    "That must mean they don't make good music..."

    that was a joke right !? cos last time I checked the commercialisation of music had nothing to do with its quality and a whole lot more to do with image and marketability; and this is the very point that soooo many make - the good musicians, the ones that can write songs, play instruments and even sing are the ones being screwed by being shut out of the public arena (payola comes to mind). Capitalism is killing creativity.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    I think you're an Idiot, Aug 10th, 2006 @ 6:32pm

    Clarification of what I said. . .

    First I'd like to just give the big F-U to the guy who said I'm in the RIAA's back pocket. Lol. Right.

    2ndly, I'll agree with the previous comments that the music companies take a hell of a lot of $$ into their pockets vs. the artists.

    The cloning discussion is BS. First off just because you're making a copy doesn't mean you're not stealing. Forget stealing from the record companies, how about stealing from the poor soul who's feeding his family with his little hole in the wall record store? What about the girl that works in a media department at a store who loses their job because their employer down sizes the staff due to dropping sales?

    Let's try a different image. You own a factory that makes a special gear that's used in airplanes. You've been doing it for years and you have a patent on the gear's design. All of the sudden, you start losing sales. Why? Some podunk factory in China bought one of your gears and flat out copied the design. Now where you sold the gears for $15 each, they sell it for a $1. Are you getting stolen from? Is it hurting your ability to provide a living for you and your family? All they did was clone it. . . Copy the design. . . That wouldn't frustrate you as the original factory owner knowing that you can't compete with that price and in a matter of a year or 2 you won't have enough business to keep your factory open. I guess you don't have a leg to stand on when it comes to being upset about it since they really didn't steal from you.

    Screw the record companies. You're blatent copying of intellectual property affects the little person too. Sure they're down the food chain but they're still affected. What, that doesn't happen? I know it happens. I've had to let go people because of those reasons.

    And again, F U for the RIAA comment.

     

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  27.  
    icon
    Gabriel Tane (profile), Aug 11th, 2006 @ 9:08am

    Re: Clarification of what I said. . .

    I don't disagree with the point you're trying to make about the damage caused by this "theft." In theory, yes, everything you say is entirely possible... and, hell, it's even probable.

    There's just one problem. There has never been any real evidence to show that piracy of music has hurt sales. In fact, if I remember some of Mike's rants correctly, there's evidence that industry sales are up in recent past.

    So, if you've had to downsize due to dropping sales, it's because you have not been able to adequately adapt to a change in the market. Was the cause of that change legal? No, probably not. Was it moral? That's an argument best left to philosophy. Besides, Wal-Mart coming in and driving out little businesses... moral? You'll get different answers to that question from the small-business owner versus a Wal-Mart shareholder.

    And in your airplane analogy (very good one, btw): you may not be able to compete with the price of the Chinese knock-off, but price isn't the only selling point. I work in the insurance industry. In car insurance, my company is cheaper one week, and not cheaper the next week. I have to show the customer the value of my companyversus the other guy. And my value comes from the service I provide: my claims service, my product availability, how easily they can reach me, fringe benefit coverages, etc. If I sell on price alone, I'm not going to win.

    And that's what the recording industry has failed (miserably) to do: provide a value. Since all you can download is less than CD-quality MP3's and substandard video, the ##IA is in the enviable position to put out a product that is so much better than these crappy copies. But, instead of doing that, they pump out over-priced garbage that's laiden with DRM and other henderances (and risks... remember Sony?). They have made it (or kept it) to where the drop in recording quality is an acceptable trade-off for easier-to-use product.

    ##IA has always said that they can't "compete with free" but the articles and comments here have shown time and time again how they can... if they would just change their business model.

    Bottom line is this: Whatever the cause, and whatever the legality of that cause, the industry and it's market has changed. It happens. The only thing that can be done is to adapt to the new market or don't.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    I think you're an Idiot, Aug 14th, 2006 @ 1:50pm

    Free

    I guess the whole issue revolves around the fact that there really is no such thing as a free lunch. The ilgotten downloads do affect other people who aren't in this as artists or the record companies.

    Do I agree the RIAA is royally screwed up? I think there is a better business model to be had (again, the whole point of the article). The music companies do take in a lot more than the artists, have done crooked things in the past and their current M.O. of controlling/profiting from every single aspect of record distribution is antiquated.

    The market place is changing. Digital downloads have made music easier to get and more convenient.

    The problem lies in that what people see as a free download is nothing more than theft of unlicensed intellectual property.

    As I stated before, you wouldn't want to put your hardwork into something only to have someone steal your design and give it away from significantly less or, dare I say "at not cost" (again, there's really no such thing as free, there's always some cost, tangible or intangible). You would want that protected.

    If you don't like the way the RIAA is conducting it's business, then start up your own record label (again, referred to in the article). Change the way business is done instead of stealing intellectual property (no matter who more money off it). You even stated that we should adapt to a new market. Adaptation is great. Stealing as adaptation isn't fixing the market place. It's just self propetuating the current one.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Underground Raper, Aug 20th, 2006 @ 12:43am

    Artist really don´t make much money out of cds and if that was the case record labels get a lot more percent, artist make their money out of presentation, concerts, tours, commercials, making their own record labels, etc...

    downloading their music for free promotes them even more since they don´t make much money out of cds artist dont even really mind, and anyways a real fan would still buy the real cd in the stores so...

    dont get me wrong Im not against protecting material, myself as an underground raper I get my sh*t copyrgihted too, but I will still give free songs on the internet and sell my cds on the street, whats the matter of leting people to have mp3 of famous or underground artists (nothing wrong with promotion) what is people gonna do sell the artists songs, come on now!!

    if people wouldnt be able to have free artist mp3s they would not even listeng to them or get encouraged or motivated to buy their cds

    Free mp3s is just promotion to the artist like I said.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    ujheyvn@mail.com, Oct 10th, 2006 @ 6:02am

    pydsmcv lzweqgk

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  31.  
    identicon
    rcegu@mail.com, Oct 10th, 2006 @ 6:02am

    cagrt kyuszd

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  32.  
    identicon
    mrto@mail.com, Oct 10th, 2006 @ 6:03am

    rlynx pxlhq

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  33.  
    identicon
    ipydmvano@mail.com, Oct 10th, 2006 @ 6:04am

    kjdpiwhxf gonasq

    gafhqund tpeyq bhdfoyvw ykhvljusc rfmt mapdseq bwatkfp

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    eijn@mail.com, Oct 10th, 2006 @ 6:05am

    eiyq drsxwpa

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  35.  
    identicon
    euink@mail.com, Oct 10th, 2006 @ 11:21am

    zoxmqjiv atoszd

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  36.  
    identicon
    Alicia aka LUV, Apr 8th, 2008 @ 12:48pm

    Music downlaods

    Hy guys--I have to interject here.

    As an indie artists, I know for a fact that the record industry has crumpled due to mp3 technology.

    I also think that is a good thing.

    As a back female rocker, I couldn't get my foot in the door.

    Now I can promote my music and get out there myself.

    Downside--I spend thousands of my own dollars to give away product for free.

    I won't be making my money back in huge concerts or endorsements.

    So even tough I love what I do and want to make it a careers--I find I am stuck...

    How is this fair?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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