Entertainment Industry Outsources Brainwashing School Kids To The Feds

from the best-help-your-tax-money-can-buy dept

It should be clear to anyone who follows "intellectual property" issues that are a lot of open questions out there about what the best model really is -- so it's a bit worrisome that the government continues to represent the entertainment industry's position as if it's something everyone agrees on. Earlier this year, we were surprised to see Attorney General Alberto Gonzales spending time with middle school students telling them not to download. We assumed he'd have more pressing issues to focus on. Apparently, it's something the entertainment industry is relying on as support for their own program to brainwash kids to their own position. The latest (as submitted by John) is that John Dudas, the head of the Patent and Trademark Office, is targeting even younger kids. He spoke with a bunch of elementary school kids warning them of the evils of downloading, trotting out the industry's favorite bogus claim that unauthorized downloads are "no different than stealing a CD." You would think the head of the USPTO would understand the differences between rivalrous and nonrivalrous goods, but perhaps we're expecting too much. After all, in a previous job, Dudas helped push the DMCA through Congress.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    MikeR, Sep 13th, 2006 @ 2:54pm

    If these people had been around 100 years ago, we'd all be walking about today with mandatory buggy whips attached to our belts.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous of Course, Sep 13th, 2006 @ 3:23pm

    Bah!

    This from an industry that's notorious for
    cheating artists out of their royalties and
    payola.

    It's good the USPTO has nothing better to
    do.

    Patent hoaders sing this song Dudas, Dudas
    There's no test for the obvious, all the Dudas day.

     

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  3.  
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    Ryan, Sep 13th, 2006 @ 3:26pm

    Free Music Rules

    downloading illegally isn't at all like stealing a CD. if u steal a CD, there actually is a bit of $$ lost. but if u illegally download something, there is no loss to them, only an absence of profit.

     

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  4.  
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    AJ, Sep 13th, 2006 @ 3:44pm

    HAHA!

    Download, Upload, Burn, Copy... it really doesn't matter. There argument is so full of holes its pathetic. I've been screwed over and over by crappy formats. 8 track, tape, cd, mp3, buying the same music over and over because the 8 tracks wore out, records scratch, tapes wore out, and cd's get scratched. To top it off there stupid drm is riddled with issues, what alternative do we have? Being absolutely serious, why would anyone in there right mind buy the same thing over and over? It comes down to the fact I've been screwed so much, I really dont fuckin care what the recording industry says/does, I don't care if there pissed people are downloading there music, I hope it DOES cause them grief and I'm glad there are people out there smart enough to make it possible for us to download the stuff we've paid for over and over so we can stop being screwed.

     

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  5.  
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    Monarch, Sep 13th, 2006 @ 3:48pm

    It never ceases to amaze me, that idiots have the ability to rise to positions of power, both in private business and especially in Government.

    I would love to have IQ tests performed on the head of all Government departments. And if the Average IQ is below 100 (Which it will be), test all subordinates who are in a Supervisory or Upper management role. I'll bet that will scare the HELL out of the general population!

     

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  6.  
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    Jared, Sep 13th, 2006 @ 3:49pm

    Re: Free Music Rules

    Yeah, free music rules. I spent months on tour, living on $8/day, sleeping on floors, nearly going bankrupt, tired, hungry, and hoping to god enough people bought CD's to get us enough gas money to get to the next town. Someone had the nerve to tell me that they downloaded us from Kazaa in the middle of that tour. That "absence of profit" would've sure come in handy when someone broke into the van in San Francisco.

    The RIAA doesn't actually support the artists, so I don't support them either. But, for those of you who think music should be free, just remember that Metallica isn't the only artist you're stealing from, and that labels aren't the only ones losing money. And, that some artists actually COULD use the money from CD sales.

     

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  7.  
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    Rick, Sep 13th, 2006 @ 3:57pm

    Re: Re: Free Music Rules

    Jared,

    Didn't that fan 'pay' to see you perform or do you perform for free?

    Do you pay for publicity? Or do you prefer to get free publicity?

    As for 'profit,' how much do you actually make off a CD sale? $1?

    I'm betting this 'fan' paid more than a $1 to hear you perform live.

     

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  8.  
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    AJ, Sep 13th, 2006 @ 3:58pm

    Artists vrs Labels

    Selling cd's at a show is cool Jared, I would buy one expecially if the band members would sign it, I think Ryan has the wrong idea, mass marketing different formats that fall apart after a couple of years/or the drm changes forcing you to buy the same media again is what sucks. Your always going to have the people that go overboard with the whole downloading thing, just like your going to have thieves in the cd stores, the key is to find a way to get the money to the artists, by purchasing directly from them, in a more personable environment. ie buying signed cd's at the show, custom labels on cd's that can only be bought at the show's or etc

     

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  9.  
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    Chris, Sep 13th, 2006 @ 4:27pm

    Hey RICK

    In case you didn't realize it, most artist don't make money from touring, if anything they usually end up owing their label money from the balance between what the label put up for the tour and what the band actually made. For most artist CD sales make up their major source of revenue. So yeah, the fan probably did pay more than $1, but the band didn't get a cent from it. It's pretty much the standard contract, even for fairly established acts.
    That said--
    Free Music Rules
    There's just no reason to be an uninformed a*!hole about it

     

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  10.  
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    Jared, Sep 13th, 2006 @ 4:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Free Music Rules

    Yes, they paid $5 at the door. Once the club took 15% off the top, and the money was divided among the three bands (50% to the headliner, 30% to the next band, 20% to us), we made... $.85!

    Do we pay for promotion? Actually, as I recall, by the time we finished paying for the recording, radio promotion company, CD duplication, and booking agent for the tour, we were in the hole about $25,000. Sure, I could have not duplicated any of the CD's and only offered it as a free download (for this all important "promotion" you discuss), and that would've knocked $3000 off of our costs. So, for the $.85 I saw from this fan, I'd only have $24,999.15 left to go (less the costs of keeping a van, three amps, a drum kit and four people alive on tour). Man, this "free promotion" sure is a good deal...

    My point is this: Labels aren't the only ones being hurt when you steal music. And, your justification is really, really weak. It STILL costs money to create and record music. It still costs money to go on tour. And, if you are on an indie label (or putting out the CD's yourself), you need every bit of income you can get. FYI, since we were not on a major label, we would theoretically make $6 per cd once our debts and operating costs were paid off. All I'm saying is that yes, I like to get free promotion. But, I will never believe that downloading music isn't stealing. There's no good argument that its not.

     

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  11.  
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    Xcetron, Sep 13th, 2006 @ 5:19pm

    I'm all for downloading things for free, but anything that I download and like, I keep it and actually go out and buy the real copy. I just leave the real copies there so they dont get scratch then I keep using the copied ones.

    I dont think they'd sue me for that, if they did then itd be ridiculous.

     

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  12.  
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    Williams, Sep 13th, 2006 @ 5:32pm

    new is good

    There just scared of every new technology. I remember when they were scared of tapes because people could record off the Radio. But with the establishment of new companies like iTunes I'm shocked that they haven't embraced the new technology and tried to make some money too. I use iTunes and then use a program to remove the DRM so i can do what i want with the music I've paid for. Bit of a hassle but i don't have to worry about getting sued.

    Regards, W

     

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  13.  
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    tychism, Sep 13th, 2006 @ 5:41pm

    Wait -

    I was under the impression that touring was musician’s bread and butter. Not only are they charging money at the door (in Jared's case not very much, but from my experience $20 is the cheapest admission I have ever been afforded) but merchandise sales are also flooding in (again, I suppose this depends on the popularity of the band, size of the show, quality of the merchandise, etc).
    My question is: As a small band is your music really downloaded enough to significantly brush your bottom line? If profits are small, then of course anything could be noticeable, but have you ever tried looking yourself up on Limewire for example and seeing if your music is really a hot commodity? My guess is if you are making 85 cents per ticket sold at the door, your work is lacking attention.
    Tool's latest release (not that this is a great comparison given a band the magnitude of Tool) was leaked (mysteriously?) and all over the Internet nearly a week before the release date. The album also debuted at number one. Free music does rule, and by downloading I am further inspired by what I can sample to purchase the complete work. You may mock promotion via free downloads, but you can't deny actual results.

     

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  14.  
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    AJ, Sep 13th, 2006 @ 5:42pm

    Re: new is good

    Not Sued, but maybe arrested for bypassing the drm... those bastards!

     

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  15.  
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    Heard it on the Radio, Sep 13th, 2006 @ 5:45pm

    They give music away!

    Will someone please explain to me, why I should pay for something they give away for free on the radio?

    Sure, if I want a shiny plastic disc and a spanky clear plastic shiny disc holder I'll buy the cd. Otherwise I shouldn't have to pay everytime I want to listen to a song.

     

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  16.  
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    Cranky, Sep 13th, 2006 @ 6:05pm

    Whatever

    Jared, I have a lot of friends (and have myself in the past) been in bands that make a small profit bypassing the recording industry mechanism entirely. We also have day jobs.

    If you want to be a rock n' roll star, hey, go and sell your soul to those fools. If you want to play music, for the love of it, record your own tracks and sell them at shows, or offer them on a website for download.

    If people really love your music, style, or whatever, you might move enough units to rise above the racket-hole that the label/promoters put you in by design. This is probably not the case, though, as bands are rarely judged on the quality of music...you'd be preened for success by the label from the start.

    Unfortunately, most artists are also clueless buissness-people, and allow themselves to be placed into indentured servitude by someone who is business-savvy (knows how to exploit you).

     

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  17.  
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    Mike (profile), Sep 13th, 2006 @ 6:12pm

    Re: Hey RICK

    In case you didn't realize it, most artist don't make money from touring, if anything they usually end up owing their label money from the balance between what the label put up for the tour and what the band actually made

    This is false. The opposite is usually true. Most record deals are for the CD, and involve an advance that almost never gets paid back. So, very few artists make money from their CD sales, if they're signed to a label. The tour money, though, usually goes straight to the band.

    Chris, where did you get your info that says otherwise?

     

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  18.  
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    Tonedeff Hippie, Sep 13th, 2006 @ 6:18pm

    All of The Above

    It seems to me that there should be some sort of middle ground on this issue. Jared sounds like he works very hard for and needs every penny and of course he should be paid for the results of his hard work.

    On the other side of the issue, like AJ, I have to buy the same music, over and over in various formats over the years, just to keep listening to my favorite music...at some point hasn't Pink Floyd made enough profit from all of those copies of Dark Side of The Moon from me, that I should only have to pay for the cost of manufacturing future formats? Just wondering.

     

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  19.  
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    Louis, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 6:35am

    Interesting...

    Like how in "1984" children are encouraged to rat out their parents if they suspect them of thought crime.

    Pretty soon you'll be seeing Politician Coorporate Types teaching kids to report their parents if they suspect them of piracy...

    Jesus...that´s actually pretty scary...

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 8:05am

    Re: Interesting...

    Just like DARE tries to get kids to rat out their parents if the parents smoke pot?

     

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  21.  
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    Xenohacker, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 8:48am

    Child Predators... Doing The Limbo...

    Shows exactly how low they can go... making it a topic in school... a child's mind is easily pursuaded... When kids are forced to be there and agree to do what they want for any reason other than the child's benefit... Yep they sound like a bunch of 'CHILD PREDATORS'... Well I think I will upload a couple more gigs of music tonight for that one... maybe even someone will want a few of my DVD's ... :-)

     

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


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