Copy Protection Killing The Promotional Value Of Content

from the missing-the-point-in-a-big,-big-way dept

While people often accuse us of "promoting piracy," nothing could be further from the truth. As we've said repeatedly over the years, we don't condone piracy -- but think that businesses need to recognize that it's a part of the market place, and if that's the case, why not learn to use it to your advantage, rather than fight against it? It's actually pretty simple to do so. Rather than thinking about content as a good that is being taken for no revenue, think about the content as a promotional good that costs nothing to distribute. Suddenly, a bunch of new business models open up that allow you to embrace people sharing your content. To be honest, this isn't a particularly new or unique idea. Using "free" as a promotional tool has been around for years. It's why there are buy one, get one free offers. Or free drinks in casinos. It's why you get to watch broadcast TV for free. In other words, there are already a ton of business models that understand the fundamental idea that "free" isn't bad when used for promotions. It's definitely true in the music video market. Music videos promote musicians, helping to sell more CDs, concert tickets and merchandise. With a few video download stores popping up online, it looked for a while that some of the record labels were thinking about trying to charge for music videos, basically destroying their promotional value and missing the point on the value of promotional goods.

The folks over at YouTube are hoping to change that, by working with various record labels to go back to the roots of music videos as promotional material and putting up music videos for free on YouTube. However, it's not clear that everyone has figured this basic concept out just yet. Over the last few weeks, the band OK Go has build up something of a cult following for its video of the band on treadmills for the song "Here It Goes Again." It's been passed around via email, on blogs and I even saw it mentioned on some TV show. The video is available on the band's website and YouTube among other places. However, Tim Lee noticed that on the band's blog they ask people to go to VH1's site to vote for their video. There's just one problem: Tim is on a Mac, and the video on VH1's site won't play on his Mac, because it's incompatible with the Microsoft DRM that VH1 seems to be using for no good reason at all. As Tim explains, this is beyond pointless. It's actually harmful to the idea of using the video as promotion (as the band clearly wants). There's simply no reason to use copy protection technology here -- as it completely goes against the very point of music videos. However, with the industry continually beating the "DRM is necessary" drum, it's no surprise that VH1 would feel compelled to put DRM where it absolutely isn't needed.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 1:04am

    and there is somewhere that drm absolutely IS needed?

    1st

     

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    dorpus, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 1:09am

    Heh

    It's always the pirates wanting free music who claim that anti-DRM is "for the artists". The artists themselves are largely pro-DRM.

     

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    VPR, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 1:12am

    It's unfortunate that you had to, once again, explain your position to the Brian what's-his-face type of readers to set the stage for your message about videos.

    Let's be honest here. With the RIAA literally hunting for dead now you can't blame them for playing it safe. In the law's eyes, ignorance is only a defence if you're mentally ill.

    Then again, that just might be the case with VH1.

     

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    Dom, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 1:56am

    Re: Heh

    Not true. I'm friends with a couple guys in a band who've signed with Sony/BMG recently, and while they love the exposure iTunes gives them, they also sell unprotected mp3s from their own website for the same price. They also refuse to have any form of copy protection on their CDs, and are happy to (against their management's wishes) send tracks to their fans who ask politely. I've heard similar stories about lots of bands as well, they're not odd ones out.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 2:20am

    The truth is, many bands give out free music and home videos for promotional purposes. What is the point of putting DRM on a music video? Is someone actually going to sell that video? People can tape it off of MTV... wait, MTV doesn't show videos... some TV channel so why should internet distribution be any different? My band played music for the music, not the money (which wasn't good anyway) and gave out free CDs because we loved keeping our fans happy. I miss when music was about the fans and not about buying a new sports car...

     

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    Apennismightier, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 4:40am

    Re: Heh

    "Heh by dorpus on Aug 17th, 2006 @ 1:09am

    It's always the pirates wanting free music who claim that anti-DRM is "for the artists". The artists themselves are largely pro-DRM."


    No they aren't. It's the record labels that present them. Most artists don't even know what DRM is. If a record label would embrace pirating as a form of free advertising then the artists would stand to make more money. It's the record companies that hold the contracts themselves that cause artists to lose money, abd therefore cause the bitching. Most of the time it isn't even the artists themselves who are complaining, but the record labels complaining for them when they weren't even asked to.

     

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    Rabid Wolverine, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 5:48am

    Talk to some of the former software companies about pirating, you know, the ones that no longer exist because their product became so popular as a "free promotional" that their revenue went away...

    It is unfortunate that some people who are engaged in stealing want to turn the 'purist' criminal act into something legitimate.

    Hey, if you want to commit a criminal act then be a proud criminal! You come from a long and storied line of hooligans, thieves and other wrong does, anty up to it and be one of them!

    Seriously, pirating is just another way of saying stealing and if you don’t like the way things are then get the laws changed. Otherwise, what you are doing when you pirate protected material is criminal and that makes you a criminal.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 5:56am

    Re:

    "and there is somewhere that drm absolutely IS needed?"

    Yes! As a security device in protecting corporate secrets.

    But that's usually better known as encryption.

     

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    Jeff, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 6:17am

    Here's an idea for the RIAA

    If you truly believe your own figures of how much you revenue you are losing to illegal downloads, why not claim these illegal downloads as promotions which is more than likely a tax writeoff. What's the matter? Don't think the IRS will believe the amounts you claim?

     

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    Software User, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 6:30am

    Re: Rabid Wolverine

    Winzip and Getright both allow users to download their software at no charge, install it and use it. They both have a "time out" in which the user is asked to uninstall it if they dont like it or send them a small check$ if they do.
    Have you sent them the $20 they asked for?
    Just saying .... they business model works. Even though every user doesn't pay the price, the advertising they get from this type distribution places them at a level they "probably" would have never reached alone. There are 1000's of programs that do the same thing that are free and another 1000 that are more expensive and even a few that are better in both ranges. But if you mention a zip file, most people recognize Winzip as the name to use.

     

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    lar3ry, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 7:23am

    Same argument can be used a lot of places

    This is a good argument, but you cannot simply make a blanket statement that videos and songs are just promotional material. Like it or not, the record companies' see this as product and not promotion.

    OK Go is pretty shrewd. Their videos ("In the back yard, dancing" and "On Treamills") are hysterical and very attention getting. I bet they are making a fortune from their CD sales as a result of these.

    However, most bands are in it for the music. They can play a fourteen minute riff based on five chords and get it in the first take. They are not video wizards, nor are they actors or even dancers. They are in it for the music. Getting paid is nice, as they can devote more time to their music, but even if they don't get paid, they'd still be playing and making music all the same.

    Once they sign the record contract, the artists' desires go out the door. Their music is no longer "art" but "product." It's a tangible thing, in which they make their 2.04 cents per CD (after the record company recoups their costs, of course!). To the record companies, every possible thing that's out there is a potential sale. Every video play must give the company back a royalty. Every song that airs must put money in the company's coffers.

    Looking at it from the industry's point of view, every MP3 or video file out there is a potential loss of income. DRM has become their mantra ("It will save us!") and they don't give a damn about how DRM may infringe upon the user's fair use rights.

    The big problem, of course, is that the users don't want to see it from the industry's point of view. To them, the industry is just a money-grubbing cartel that shafts the artists, and sues its own customers all in the name of the poor artists that they are shafting. "But we download the song to see if we like it, and if we do, we purchase the CD? What more do you want?"

    The industy sees the people sharing audio and video files are pirates who will continue to download this "illegal music and video" until something forces them to stop.

    With both sides at such diametrically opposing views, is it any wonder that there's no solution in sight?

    I don't think the main point of the article should be that "every video and song file is promotional material." That's just an opinion, and it's definitely not the one that the industry will ever agree to.

    Let's make it easy for non-RIAA bands to make their music available for free. All those "independents" that people claim to be downloading deserve some recognition.

    Apple has done some good work with Garage Band. For $50 (or free, if you purchase some models of Macs), a musician can lay down some tracks very professionally. Apple can go one step further and create a section on iTunes where indies can upload their music and make it available at whatever price they want, with a minimum price being Apple's iTunes fee, and the rest being the band's profit per download. Apple could offer free "samplers" of various types of indie music for people to figure out which new artists out there have good music. This may get Apple's industry partners upset, but it will do more for artists overall.

     

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    No Way, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 7:40am

    Re: Same argument can be used a lot of places

    the minute apple opens up iTunes where anyone can upload and sell, then there will be mass theft of works uploaded for profit.

    This is a forgone conclusion in a society where we have celebrated piracy. The recorded music industry is dead... r.i.p.

    It's back to live shows.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 7:49am

    Re: Heh

    It's always the pirates wanting free music who claim that anti-DRM is "for the artists". The artists themselves are largely pro-DRM.

    Naaaa, I just figure when I buy it - it's MINE, afterall, the money I gave the store for the CD isn't like 'mine on loan' - I don't try to dictate how they spend the cash I traded them for the CD. So I don't believe they should dictate to me what to do with the CD after I bought it.

    So until the product I BUY is actually MINE, I'll simply not buy it. I can listen to the radio or stuff I already own.

    if I can't convert it to MP3, I don't want it - it's useless to me. 98% of the time, I listen to digital MP3 files - I can't even remember the last time I actually listened to a CD-Rom. Used to be, I'd buy, burn, and put on the shelf.

    Heck, I dunno. Not really into most of the new music, still some old stuff I wouldn't mind getting, but the whole idea of giving the recording industry money for a product they then turn around and say I can't convert to MP3 and listen to it on whatever media devices I have.... well.. screw that :)


    Hint:
    DRM's only really an issue for those BUYING the CD's - if I was downloading from torrent - why would I even care? It's DRM stripped by then anyway.

     

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    zeromus, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 7:54am

    Re: Same argument can be used a lot of places

    I don't think I'll be buying any music mixed in garage band. Judging from the sound of lots of music out there today, many people have managed to completely remove the production quality as a criterion for judging music. I havent, and garage bands sound like retarded third graders making sounds with their mouths.

     

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    Wifezilla, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 8:12am

    Flashback

    Uhhh...anyone here young enough to remember a band called "The Grateful Dead?"

    Giving away music for free helped them build a multi-million dollar empire.

    Before the days of digital music, they let people plug their tape decks DIRECTLY IN TO THEIR SOUND BOARD during concerts!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: Same argument can be used a lot of places

    "the minute apple opens up iTunes where anyone can upload and sell, then there will be mass theft of works uploaded for profit. "

    That's got to be the strangest thing I have read all day. What in the world would give you that opinion?

     

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  17.  
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    Wizard Prang, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 8:37am

    Don't feed the Troll

    I have yet to see Doofus - oops, I mean Dorpus - actually contribute to any discussion.

    I have nothing to say, Sir, except perhaps "bollocks"

    And that's all that I have to say about that....

     

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  18.  
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    Bull Shifter, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 8:56am

    piracy promotion? HAH, That's funny

    "Using "free" as a promotional tool has been around for years. It's why there are buy one, get one free offers. Or free drinks in casinos. It's why you get to watch broadcast TV for free. In other words, there are already a ton of business models that understand the fundamental idea that "free" isn't bad when used for promotions."

    You're not buying anything when you pirate music. If that were the case then this fictional scenario would work. However in the piracy game, it's get all you can for nothing.

    You watch broadcast TV "free" because of the advertising revenue. If we pursue this avenue then you could pirate songs off of the internet complete with a snippet of the Double-mint twins hawking gum.

    Free drinks at Casino's? Let's see, I don't think the Casino's are in the business of selling soft drinks. They're getting you loosened up so that you loosen your grip on your bling-bling.

    All of these examples assume 1 thing. That is, you're buying something, and the proprieters are rewarding you with a token of appreciation for said purchase. What exactly are you buying from the artist/record label when you pirate music off of Kazaa or some file sharing service?

    These comparisons are ridiculous. Capitalism dictates that if you have something of value that you can sell it and make money. Be it a Monte Carlo, Milk Duds, or Music, you sell to make money. Some of these comments sound like a textbook case of class warfare. IE - Don't be jealous because because your boy Ricky Martin made some big duckies on his hit single and moved into a big crib. That don't mean he's a sellout. Just enjoying the profits, baby.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 9:15am

    music videos != promotion

    You are presupposing that the industry sees music videos as a promotional tool. While internally they might, their outward stance, as so eloquently put in a telephone conversation with a Universal Music exec, is,

    "We see no promotional value in music videos."

    When we pressed as to why they actually spend millions of dollars making them, the answer was something along the lines of them opening up a can of worms when MTV began that they couldn't just close now.

    UMusic, especially, is hestitant to embrace "new media" at all. They have a bunch of legal hounddogs fighting tooth and nail to squeeze every last penny out of licensing music video content. The current going rate is $5 CPM.

     

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  20.  
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    AntiDRM, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 9:31am

    Why hasnt..

    .. anyone mentioned anything about how you have to pay iTunes to download a music video? It's like $1.99 or something...

    I write, perform, produce, and record my own music and I consider myself an "Artist" (to some degree) - and I absolutely HATE the DRM - While I don't make millions for my work, I am not driven by money.

    I think there is an elephant of a difference between what some would call an "Artist" and a "Musician" - Artists are in it for the creativity and recognition while Musicians are in it for money. It's their job.

     

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  21.  
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    John Kantor, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 9:58am

    Free the Music / Kill the Industry

    The point is that all recordings should be free (except for whatever it costs to distribute them) - and that would help the artist for the same reason. The music industry controls what we hear and see because it controls both the means of production and of distribution. Artists should make their money through performances and other ways they might want to license their image. (After all, there were superstars long before it was possible to record music.) If they did, there wouldn't be such a proliferation of bland, assembly line, studio-produced junk.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 10:44am

    MP3=STONE
    IPOD=DAVID
    RECORD INDUSTRY=GOLIATH

    THE MOMENTUM HAS SHIFTED. BE PATIENT.

     

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  23.  
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    Mike (profile), Aug 17th, 2006 @ 10:49am

    Re: Same argument can be used a lot of places

    This is a good argument, but you cannot simply make a blanket statement that videos and songs are just promotional material. Like it or not, the record companies' see this as product and not promotion.

    But the market does not, and it's the market that sets the price. It doesn't matter how the industry sees it -- that's the point.

     

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    Mike (profile), Aug 17th, 2006 @ 10:57am

    Re: piracy promotion? HAH, That's funny

    You're not buying anything when you pirate music. If that were the case then this fictional scenario would work. However in the piracy game, it's get all you can for nothing.

    Um. You've totally missed the point. The point is to use the music to promote *something else*. If you followed some of the links you'd see there are a ton of examples:

    * Concerts
    * Merchandise
    * CDs (some people still like to have them)
    * Access to the band
    * Private concerts
    * Early access to tickets
    * Travel arrangements
    * Fan club access
    * etc. etc. etc.

    There are hundreds if not thousands of potential business modesl.

    The point is that if the market is viewing the music as a promotional good, why not embrace it and use it to your advantage.

    Just because YOU can't think of business models, doesn't mean others won't. And once that happens, if you're the only musician on the block still trying to sell your music, no one will bother, since so many other bands have figured out how to make money without doing so.

    So, while it's true that the examples did require you to buy stuff, there are plenty of examples of promotions where no purchase is required. In fact, I'd argue that television is exactly that. You aren't required to watch commercials, though the industry certainly hopes you will.

    These comparisons are ridiculous. Capitalism dictates that if you have something of value that you can sell it and make money. Be it a Monte Carlo, Milk Duds, or Music, you sell to make money.

    That's a really narrow definition of capitalism that suggests you might want to hit your econ textbooks again. Free market economics (the basis for capitalism) says that price will get driven to marginal cost in the long run. In other words, trying to sell music is a losing business. You're going to get priced out of the market eventually, because it doesn't make economic sense.

     

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  25.  
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    Raz, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 12:47pm

    Music video should be used by companies like Nike and Adidas to promote their clothing etc. Lets get serious here, many music videos today are almost like ads already, they just last longer than 20 seconds.

    This sort of thing has been happening for years already, like branding placement in soaps (family eating around table with a box of kellogs in from of them). Basically while it may not work for movies (due to the costs involved in creating a film) it would certinally work for both music videos and TV serials. Why place ad breaks throughout the program at set stages when you _COULD_ place the ad within the series?

    At the end of the day though people need not worry so much about DRM and such things because in the great scheme of things they will do nothing to stop people who want to pirate to pirate. In fact in my view DRM will force more pople to break DRM rules and pirate things simply due to compatability reasons. Totally ironic as thats what they are trying to stop... I'd love to hear what the HHGTTG says about DRM and copy protections. DON'T PANIC!

    Raz

     

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  26.  
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    Bull Shifter, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Re: piracy promotion? HAH, That's funny

    Actually, you've missed the point. The bottom line is as follows. It doesn't matter whether you agree with it or not, music is a marketable item whereby all of the other marketable items revolve.

    * Concerts
    * Merchandise
    * CDs (some people still like to have them)
    * Access to the band
    * Private concerts
    * Early access to tickets
    * Travel arrangements
    * Fan club access
    * etc. etc. etc.

    It is the most marketable item. Using music to promote is simply a rationalization used to promote piracy, which, put simply, is theft. You can dress it up with terms like "promotion, business models", etc, et al, ad nauseum, but it's still theft, pure and simple.

    Lot's of hypotheticals in these arguments. "If" they would embrace this or that. "If" they would change their thinking of content. Until "IF" becomes is, as I said, piracy is theft.

    I don't think Free Market Economics takes into consideration the theft of an entire marketable asset in dictating the course of determining a "marketable cost" of a product. If that were the case, why not just advocate gas theft until they give that away. Couldn't Circle K use that as a promotional method to sell more Slurpee's and Reese's Cups?

     

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  27.  
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    Andrew X, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 3:18pm

    Music is Promotion

    Ten years ago, I loved it when I met people that had a tape-copy of my band's music in thier car. Those people got it from thier friends, listened to and liked our music, and then started going to our shows, which is how we made all our money anyway. They probably also bought a CD or a T-Shirt too, or both.

    What are they going to do, start making CDs that are registered to only you, and only play in CD players that are also registered to you so nobody but you can listen to it? What if you let someone borrow a CD for a year and they listen to it non stop without paying for it before returning it? Are they also thieves? What other changes in licences can they push that milk even MORE money out of fans?

    As a musician, the only motivation I can see for supporting DRM is greed, or possibly absolute and blind faith in any institution claiming to be an authority on something.

     

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    Mike (profile), Aug 17th, 2006 @ 4:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: piracy promotion? HAH, That's funny

    It is the most marketable item. Using music to promote is simply a rationalization used to promote piracy, which, put simply, is theft.

    There are so many things wrong with that statement I don't know where to start.

    YOU think it's the most marketable item. That doesn't mean it is. The fact that so many people clearly do not think so suggests the market does not agree with you.

    Furthermore, as I've said repeatedly, we do not promote piracy. I do not engage in any unauthorized downloading or sharing, and I don't tell others to do so. It is very much against the law.

    However, it is NOT theft. Even the Supreme Court has said so. It's copyright infringement -- but that's a very different thing than theft, and calling it theft is false and misleading.

    You can dress it up with terms like "promotion, business models", etc, et al, ad nauseum, but it's still theft, pure and simple.

    You miss my point (you do that a lot). I am not "dressing it up." I'm am trying to HELP these businesses recognize they can do much better by EMBRACING what people want. In most industries that makes sense, intuitively. The fact that the entertainment industry doesn't seem to understand this basic fact is scary.

    So, no, I'm not dressing it up. I'm trying to show them how they can both have a bigger bottom line while embracing what their fans want to do.

    I don't think Free Market Economics takes into consideration the theft of an entire marketable asset in dictating the course of determining a "marketable cost" of a product. If that were the case, why not just advocate gas theft until they give that away. Couldn't Circle K use that as a promotional method to sell more Slurpee's and Reese's Cups?

    Where did you study free market economics? I'd ask for your money back.

    It absolutely takes into consideration the idea that a marketable asset can be priced at zero, if that's what the marginal cost is. As for your ridiculous hypothetical, that's different, because the marginal cost of gas is not zero. Besides, I have NEVER advocated "theft" or "piracy." Instead, I'm advocating that the record labels and musicians learn to embrace business models that use music as a promotional good. So, your example doesn't make sense because (a) the marginal cost isn't zero and (b) it's not about promoting what people should do, but what businesses should do.

     

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  29.  
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    mdwstmusik, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 7:29pm

    Re: software companies about pirating

    "Talk to some of the former software companies about pirating, you know, the ones that no longer exist because their product became so popular as a "free promotional" that their revenue went away..."

    'Yes, they're stealing software, and as long as they're going to steal, we want them to steal OUR software - then, in a few years, when they've become dependent on it, we'll figure out a way to make them pay.' - Bill Gates

    I said God Damn..God Damn, the pusher man!

    Those poor, poor software companies. There's just no way they can benefit from "piracy."

     

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  30.  
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    Sheri, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 8:34pm

    NY Times piece on this very topic from back in December, by Damian Kulash, singer of OK Go:

    ttp://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/06/opinion/06kulash.html?ex=1291525200&en=8f95ed31d4548c37& amp;ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

     

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    Merrgg, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 9:28pm

    Ok Go/DRM

    Ok, so I will admit that I do illegally download some music.
    I mean, since the audio tape was invented, people have been "stealing" music.
    My dad has plenty of mixtapes and dubbed tapes of 80's bands. No one ever had anything against that.
    Heck, if I wanted to, I could start taping the songs off the radio instead of buying the CD.

    Besides, I only go so far with it. It's promotional for me, like people have said. If I like the band, I will make an effort to somehow contribute to their proceeds, either by buying merch, going to concerts, or buying the CD itself. If I don't, I delete it or I just plain don't listen to it. No harm done. I don't think I use illegal downloading as a way to get free music, because I'm interested in more than just the music.

    I don't think I'm sticking to the topic very well, but whatever.

    Finally, I think that you should all read Damian Kulash's viewpoint in the Op-ed that Sheri posted. I read it a while ago, and I find it very very reasonable. I think Damian has the right idea.

    Besides, the band was actually mentioned in the above article. It's only fair that you all read what their singer has to say about it.

     

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    Merrgg, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 9:43pm

    oh, and...

    wow. I forgot what I originally wanted to comment on.

    I would like to point out that Ok Go is an extremely talented group of living, breathing musicians (and, yes, artists)

    The article made it seem as though they were A) an object to be sold, and B) a gag group whose funny video is the most important thing about them.

    Neither of these is true. Their music is as amazing as their vids. More so, imho.

    Oh, and their label has nothing to do with their success. Believe me, Capitol doesn't deserve Ok Go. They have done nothing. in four or five years, to convince any Ok Go fans of their commitment to the band.

    Any fame Ok Go has won has been through their own hard work (and, yes, funny music vids) They are poised on the brink of major succes because they had a good idea, and went with it. vh1 has jumped on the bandwagon, but until now the label has preferred to ignore the treasure right in front of them. In some ways, this has been good. In many others, it's prevented Ok Go from getting the recognition they deserve.

    Okay, I'm done. /rant

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    claire rand, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 6:28am

    Re:

    which of course *also* defeats the other bug bear of the media corps.. people skipping ads. kinda hard to skip the visual ad on stage if you want the video.

    'course if you just want audio the ads less helpful, but the branding will still apply to everything else.

    can hear the execs now.. "so we get people to watch adverts and _they pay us_" with the price staying high but the quality going through the floor.

    its a good idea, watch someone wreak it.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    doris, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 12:45pm

    it's hurting vh1 more than it's hurting ok go

    ok go has the video embedded into their blog, probably right next to the link to vh1 that tim clicked on. and that link goes to the vh1 voting page, which is where they wanted tim to go, because they wanted tim to vote, which is exactly what tim did.

    on another tip:
    If recorded music is soley a promotional tool, as some commenters are suggesting, than the business model is truly, truly screwed. let's say you record an indie record as inexpensively as possible, and maybe it costs you 20k. since there's some asshole with a zither and a 4-track out there ready to argue against that, we'll drop it 5k. 4,500 if you consider protools to be a marketing item as well. add another several k for website, lawyer's fees, and all of the costs involved in promoting the promotional tool and you have a marketing tool that costs far to produce and publicise than it could ever bring back in income.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    doris, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 12:46pm

    it's hurting vh1 more than it's hurting ok go

    ok go has the video embedded into their blog, probably right next to the link to vh1 that tim clicked on. and that link goes to the vh1 voting page, which is where they wanted tim to go, because they wanted tim to vote, which is exactly what tim did.

    on another tip:
    If recorded music is soley a promotional tool, as some commenters are suggesting, than the business model is truly, truly screwed. let's say you record an indie record as inexpensively as possible, and maybe it costs you 20k. since there's some asshole with a zither and a 4-track out there ready to argue against that, we'll drop it 5k. 4,500 if you consider protools to be a marketing item as well. add another several k for website, lawyer's fees, and all of the costs involved in promoting the promotional tool and you have a marketing tool that costs far to produce and publicise than it could ever bring back in income.

     

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  36.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Aug 18th, 2006 @ 1:58pm

    Re: it's hurting vh1 more than it's hurting ok go

    If recorded music is soley a promotional tool, as some commenters are suggesting, than the business model is truly, truly screwed. let's say you record an indie record as inexpensively as possible, and maybe it costs you 20k. since there's some asshole with a zither and a 4-track out there ready to argue against that, we'll drop it 5k. 4,500 if you consider protools to be a marketing item as well. add another several k for website, lawyer's fees, and all of the costs involved in promoting the promotional tool and you have a marketing tool that costs far to produce and publicise than it could ever bring back in income.

    First, I think you should look at the difference between sunk costs and marginal costs... Second, if you look at how much is spent on most promotion for musicians, you'd realize this isn't "screwy" at all, but CHEAP. Super cheap.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    doris, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re: it's hurting vh1 more than it's hurting ok

    First, I think you should look at the difference between sunk costs and marginal costs... Second, if you look at how much is spent on most promotion for musicians, you'd realize this isn't "screwy" at all, but CHEAP. Super cheap.

    Sure, but that money is spent to promote music. Which is exactly the point--music isn't a promotional tool that exists solely on its own. It has to be heard in order to act in the way you suggest it will and should act. And to get it heard takes a lot of work and effort and money. it's a tough gig.

     

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  38.  
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    Mike (profile), Aug 18th, 2006 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: it's hurting vh1 more than it's hurtin

    Sure, but that money is spent to promote music. Which is exactly the point--music isn't a promotional tool that exists solely on its own.

    Uh. Yes, but the whole POINT of this post is that instead, the music can be used to promote something else. Just because in the past the money was used to promote the music, why not have it promote something else? We've discussed many ways in which this can be done.

    There's no law that says you have to promote music. Why can't the music promote other things?

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2006 @ 10:58am

    Nothing to do with DRM

    this has to do with interopablity msft/apple, nothing to do with DMR is the poor choice of viacom to make and use a player that does not work on both machines.

     

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  40.  
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    Dominic, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 6:55pm

    Missing the point?

    Sometimes artists want to distribute material free. If they don't, which is fair enough, DRM is great - it takes getting used to and we feel our rights are being infringed because we're so used to be able to freely flout copywrite law in the past. But we will soon be used to it I'm sure.

    However, the problem (which I think the article points out) is with software creators or websites who's programs don't take into account that some things don't need a license - like when an artist wants to distribute something for free.

    I remember losing a whole heap of my own music when Sony's DRM liscensing with their SonicStage software screwed up (largely my own fault for not backing up) - point being the software slapped some license on my music when I converted it to their format, saying it could only be played on a certain device, etc. etc.

    DRM has it's place. But software creators should know where it is!

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Snark, Sep 4th, 2006 @ 2:04pm

    " This is a good argument, but you cannot simply make a blanket statement that videos and songs are just promotional material. Like it or not, the record companies' see this as product and not promotion. "

    The "like or not" part is what I think the problem is. It assumes that record companies are entitled to make money based on their business model. And they're not. No one is.

    They throw an outrageous ton of money at musicians, factor in an outrageous profit margin, and then justify that as a reason for high pricing. "Piracy" didn't start as a way of simply getting music. It started because it's economical. No one wants to pay for something they think is overpriced and consumers have gotten savvy enough to know that CD prices are pure and simply a rip-off.

    Compare the music industry to the book industry. Fewer than 200 fiction authors--total living authors, not 200 new ones every year--can afford to live off their advances. Why? Because right now, the tangibles cost of producing a book goes up over time, not down. In music, the tangibles get cheaper. So book publishers do not do something stupid and pay an advance of $1 million+ to some 16 year-old who wrote one good thing and then wonder why no one wants to spend $45 for a paperback book. If they did, there'd be a helluva lot more shoplifting going on.

    And I do think there is an arguement for music as promotion. You don't just want that song---you like That Band playing That Song. It's why the Beatles Lucy in the Sky sells (and continues to sell) a lot more copies than William Shatner's. Having heard both versions, which is likely to get people into stadium seats? That's a direct promotional

     

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  42.  
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    Tomalak Geret'kal, Oct 25th, 2006 @ 5:24pm

    Re: #26

    Using music to promote is simply a rationalization used to promote piracy, which, put simply, is theft. You can dress it up with terms like "promotion, business models", etc, et al, ad nauseum, but it's still theft, pure and simple.

    How can piracy be theft when I haven't deprived anyone of anything? I haven't taken an object from someone's hands and left them without it:

    I (hypothetically) have a copy of a track from the internet and would not have otherwise paid money to buy it, so the end result to the artist and to the record company is just the same. The only difference is that I am a satisfied listener and might, just might, become a paying fan if the music's worth it.

    With the digital age where data is COPIED rather than HANDED OVER PHYSICALLY the term 'theft' is far too broad to be used in this way. It's time the people making the content realised that they are stuck in the dark ages and that there really isn't that clear-cut distinction between legality and morality that you seem to want to have babies with.

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Tomalak Geret'kal, Oct 25th, 2006 @ 5:29pm

    Mike covered the theft aspect in #28 to some extent.

     

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


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