Trent Reznor's Path To Accepting And Embracing New Business Models

from the getting-there... dept

Blaise Alleyne alerts us to a nice profile in the New York Times all about Trent Reznor's path to accepting and embracing new music business models. Reznor is still clearly experimenting, and certainly isn't convinced of anything in particular -- but does seem to recognize that he's heading in the right direction. There's nothing too much in the article that's surprising, but a few key points worth noting:
  • It sounds like he's about to give away the software he used to distribute his last two albums online. Alleyne wonders if he'll open source it -- which would be nice.
    "To release "Ghosts I-IV" and "The Slip" online Mr. Reznor found he needed software to distribute digital files, assemble databases and connect easily with other applications. That too will soon be available free. 'We've spent the money to make it,' Mr. Reznor said. 'Take it.'"
  • He seems to have changed his mind on whether or not the Saul Williams/Niggy Tardust release was a success. As you may recall, he was originally "disheartened" about it -- though, Williams himself thought that disappointment was more just part of Reznor's "emo" act, or, more likely, just a natural reaction to someone who still remembers the old business model. Williams was thrilled with the results -- and it appears Reznor has come around to that viewpoint as well:
    "At the time he called the project a failure, but he has reconsidered. 'The numbers of the people that paid for that record, versus the people that paid for his last record, were greater,' he said. 'He made infinitely more money from that record than he did from his other one. It increased his name value probably tenfold. At the end of the day, counting free downloads, it was probably five or six or seven times higher than the amount sold on his last record. I don't know how you could look at that as a failure.'"
  • He's definitely still conflicted about the business models. This certainly goes back to what Saul Williams said about Reznor after his initial "disheartened" comment, noting: "I think Trent's disappointment probably stems from being in the music business for over 20 years and remembering a time that was very different, when sales reflected something different, when there was no such thing as downloads.... Trent comes from that world. So I think his disappointed stems from being heavily invested in the past."

    That very much appears to be reflected in this statement: "I don't agree that it should be free, but it is free, and you can either accept it or you can put your head in the sand." You can also hear some worry about the idea that music acts to promote something else: "Now I have to sell T-shirts, or I have to choose which whorish association is the least stinky. I don't really want to be on the side of a bus or in a BlackBerry ad hawking some product that sucks just so I can get my record out. I want to maintain some dignity and self-respect in the process, if that's possible these days."
That ambivalence about how he doesn't think it should be free, but since it is, he'll go with it, is understandable, given his background in the industry and his attachment to the old model. It's tough to "forget" the way things were. However, hopefully, over time, as he has more and more success with these new business models, he'll realize that things are often better when the music is free (for him, as well as his fans), and using music to sell something else doesn't mean "selling out" or getting involved in some "whorish association" hawking products he doesn't like. He's already realized this implicitly, as his last two experiments have involved having the music sell scarce goods, such as limited edition CD/DVD/box sets and concert tickets.


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  1.  
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    Ron (profile), Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:07am

    Slip

    I downloaded The Slip to try out the music. Not really sure yet if I really like it but I've only listened to it once. However, had NIN not taken the step of releasing it this way, I, and probably many others, would never have tried the music and NIN certainly would have lost future sales. Also like the fact they released Slip in multiiple formats to meet the needs of the widest range of listeners. Hope they , and other artists, keep experimenting.

     

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    JayB00, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:12am

    The more important part of the quote, at least for me, is not "accept it or ... put your head in the sand." The troubling part is that even someone who's hailed as a successful pioneer in these new "business models" feels like he has to whore himself out in order to continue to make money from his art. This should trouble all of us concerned with art, its production, and its corruption.

    I certainly am not suggesting that the current models are without corruption. I'm simply saying it's not much progress to replace one corrupt system with another.

    Also, no one seems to be talking about this problem:

    Old Model = concerts + marketing + sales
    New Model = concerts + marketing

    Unless artists plan to increase their touring or the charge for concerts, the new model doesn't *add* anything, and isn't *equal* to the old in any real way ... it's the elimination of the primary market, leaving the artist to rely entirely on the ancillary market, therefore increasing the need to "whore themselves out" to advertising, etc. I don't see how this is a helpful improvement for the artist.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:29am

    The new Bestbuy merchandising reset has virtually eliminated the media department, while media-heavy Circuit City is having trouble keeping out of bankruptcy. I'm sure there are additional factors, but I think this is a sign of some things to come in regards to media distribution.

     

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    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:30am

    Re:

    Why do you think "New Model = concerts + marketing" necessarily omits sales?

    Granted, very few people are exploring 'sales', but believe me, people are working on it.

    See http://www.quidmusic.com for one of my prototypes.

    More at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fund_and_release

    The ineffectiveness of copyright may confuse people into believing that sales are no longer possible, but this is not at all the case.

    While there are musicians with music and fans with money, sales are eminently possible - even if the markets to facilitate them are still in the laboratory.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:39am

    Re:

    I think Trent's looking at it wrong: he doesn't have to sell anything but himself. He doesn't have to sell out and whore himself to some company's new crap product. I think Ghosts was a great example of where he should be looking instead: the extras that he sold with Ghosts were his alone, and he sold them despite the fact that the content itself was freely available elsewhere (and more to the point, available for cheaper right on his own site).

     

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    JayB00, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:42am

    Re: Re:

    Thanks Crosbie. I think it's good to see a variety of possible solutions.

     

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    Mike (profile), Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:46am

    Re:

    Old Model = concerts + marketing + sales
    New Model = concerts + marketing

    Unless artists plan to increase their touring or the charge for concerts, the new model doesn't *add* anything, and isn't *equal* to the old in any real way ... it's the elimination of the primary market, leaving the artist to rely entirely on the ancillary market, therefore increasing the need to "whore themselves out" to advertising, etc. I don't see how this is a helpful improvement for the artist.


    Um. Not at all. First off, the old model is not just concerts + marketing. As we've pointed out, with examples (including Reznor!), it includes sales as well, if done properly.

    Second, and much more importantly, you falsely assume that the size of the market is identical in both scenarios. This is not the case. If you're using free music, your market can expand tremendously, because now it's much easier for people to hear your music and get to now you and decide whether it's worth buying into any of the other scarce goods you have to offer.

     

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    Jason, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:49am

    the extras that he sold with Ghosts were his alone, and he sold them despite the fact that the content itself was freely available elsewhere

    Do we have an obligation to move away from physical products when possible, for environmental reasons? I believe we do. I also believe that, as the technology improves, physical product will become less and less desirable.

    If we accept both of those, then how does that impact the model?

     

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    Jason, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re:

    decide whether it's worth buying into any of the other scarce goods you have to offer

    I'm still bothered by this. Why do I have to produce "other," physical products in order to have sales? What I do is produce content. If I wanted to produce "other," physical products that support content, I'd go into advertising or something. But I'm not an advertiser, so why am I forced to become one? Or to kill trees in order to make any money?

    This still seems to me like an admission that content creators need to just deal with a shitty reality: no one will pay you solely for your content anymore. You either have to give it away for free or produce something other than the content itself.

    Behind this is still the unstated implication that content, in and of itself, isn't worth paying for, and neither is the work that goes into its creation. Whether people are admitting that or not.

     

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    BidMogul.com, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:57am

    Music

    Trent is a smart guy!

     

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    Dologan, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:59am

    Re: Re:

    Heh, cool. It's quite nice to see someone actually implementing an idea I had had on my mind for several months already, although I had conceived it more as a fundraising instead of pledging, such that the artists actually start getting the money in "real time", perhaps with tiered "milestones" when advances of the work could be progressively released.

     

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    Douglas Gresham, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 10:11am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Two points Jason:

    1) There are other scarce goods you can sell that are environmentally friendly. Your time is one (concerts, commission, fan access, whatever). There are others.

    2) Price is not the same as value. The fact that some content is infinitely replicable means that any copy of it will tend towards zero price, but clearly it has value (which can be used to sell some scarce good). It's worth noting that your time to create content is a scarce good which can be sold in the form of commissions. Further, complaining that just creating the content should be enough to get paid isn't living in the real world - for instance, inventors primarily invent, but to get paid they have to set up distribution, do marketing, etc - or get someone else to do it for them (or get patents and sue everyone, meaning nobody brings the useful product to market - but that's another argument).

     

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    Jake, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 10:14am

    Pardon my idealism, but I was actually kind of hoping he was embracing the new order because his primary motivation was writing and performing really good music that lots of people will enjoy and the money was a secondary consideration.

     

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    JayB00, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 10:32am

    money was a secondary consideration

    This is exactly the sentiment that frustrates me so much. Why do artists have to be held to some crazy "ideal" when it comes to making money. Art of any type that has any value at all is HARD to create.

    I'll grant you that some corporations and individuals create art specifically and exclusively to make money from it, but the results are usually pretty crappy and the intent pretty transparent. So in those situations, they deserve to get slammed in the arena of public opinion.

    But to expect artists to never care about whether or not they make any money from the art they spend a lot of time working hard to create is insulting and ridiculous. Is money the secondary consideration for you when you go to work? Do you do your job and just "hope" that you'll get a decent paycheck afterwards?

    This attitude is what drives much of the piracy going on out there: no understanding of or respect for the work, and this weird idea that artists should primarily be public servants, producing things for other people to enjoy with no concern for their own livelihood.

    So no, Jake, I won't pardon your naive and insulting idealism.

     

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    Dave, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 10:33am

    I just think it's funny to hear him talk about business models, when his old concerns were more like "How can I get a disembodied pigs head to spin around fast in one of my videos?"

    I always pegged him more for the type of guy to say screw the business I'm already rich and now I'm just doing this for fun so here it is for free.

     

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    Dave, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 10:37am

    True Art

    JayB00, true art is an expression of the inner self, and not a production for sale.

    Many artists create their masterpieces with no intention of ever selling them because they simply have the unstoppable desire to create something.

    The ones who are just out there doing it to make some money are called posers.

     

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    JayB00, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 10:47am

    Re: True Art

    The ones who are just out there doing it to make some money are called posers.

    Sure, and I addressed them in my previous comment.

    What I'm attacking is the idea that artists shouldn't try to make money from the work they produce. That ideal is ridiculous, insulting, and ultimately damaging for the artist.

    Anyone past the naive, responsibility-free teenage years should be able to understand this.

     

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    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Jun 9th, 2008 @ 11:21am

    Re: Slip

    For sure. I've always been mildly interested in NIN, mainly because of Trent Reznor's association with some artists I really like (e.g. the Tapeworm project, with Danny Lohner and Maynard James Keenan - I'm a huge fan of A Perfect Circle and Tool), but I'd never gotten to know much NIN.

    Now that The Slip and Ghosts have been made available at no cost, I've been listening to NIN quite a bit and have been really getting into some of their songs. I almost bought tickets to the Toronto show on their tour.

    Though I haven't paid anything yet (but I'm planning to go back and get Ghosts II-IV), it seems like NIN has gained another real fan they otherwise may not have had.

     

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    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Jun 9th, 2008 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'm still bothered by this. Why do I have to produce "other," physical products in order to have sales?

    Physical products aren't the only scarce goods. Your time is also a commonly sold scarce good. Examples of selling your time/presence as a scarce good are performances or commissioned work.

    In the example of a writer being paid to create new work (e.g. songwriter/composer commissioned to write a song/score for a movie), the scarce good is directly tied to creating content.

    Scarce goods aren't necessarily "something other than the content itself."

     

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    Pope Ratzo, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 11:31am

    How much is enough?

    One important question when looking at this equation is: How much should a successful musician expect to make from a successful album? The "old" model, with rock stars and having a house on MTV "Cribs" and trashing hotel rooms and buying a castle in Scotland might have been just a wee bit unreasonable. Does a recording artist, even one who is widely heard, deserve to earn more than, say a surgeon or a programmer or even a clerk in Wal-Mart?

    Those are the questions that have to be answered, and I think they can only be answered by the next generation of recording artists, who will come up in an age of moderate success as opposed to "American Idol".

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jun 9th, 2008 @ 11:32am

    Re: Re: True Art

    Jay, I don't think that was his point. I think it was this - by all means try to make money from the art, just don't make it your primary consideration. So, you're both really saying the same things.

    As for your comments about different models, I'm not sure you're getting the points that Mike et al tend to raise here. It's not:

    "Old Model = concerts + marketing + sales
    New Model = concerts + marketing"

    rather, the old system depended on an increasingly small number of gatekeepers who controlled most of the outlets to sell music (be it records, radio, TV, etc). By using these gatekeepers, it was possible to sell plastic discs containing music, and if you were really lucky you could make money from them. More likely though, you had to go on tour, sell t-shirts, whatever, to make a profit after you earned back your advance. Sure you could go independent, but as MTV, Ticketmaster and ClearChannel spead like viruses, the chances of meaningful success was shrinking for indie artists.

    Now, the pendulum's swinging the other was. The barrier to entry is vanishingly small. If are (or you know) a competent engineer and have imagination, you can have most of the tools needed to create, record, advertise and distribute music on your laptop. The price to pay for this freedom is that because music is increasingly not distributed in physical form, it has no tangible value beyond the quality of the songs. So, people are willing to pay less than they would for a CD, and that price is approaching zero. There are many ways to sell the music still - Reznor's limited edition vinyl/CD packs sold very quickly for instance - but the emphasis is leaning toward using the music to leverage other things.

    In other words, sales have not disappeared from our idea of how music should be sold. It's just that recorded music on disc, as with piano rolls, wax cylinders, sheet music and 8-track before it, is no longer a way of selling your music that you can depend on. You have to move with the times. I'm sure a lot of club bands and bar pianists lost their jobs when DJs playing records became commonplace, they had to either give up or adapt to the new reality. Reznor's showing the way here - whether he likes it or not (and I do see regret in his words), the world is moving on and he's showing how not to get left behind.

    Just remember - selling music (or any other art) isn't easy, but it never really has been.

     

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    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Jun 9th, 2008 @ 11:39am

    Re:

    I can't speak for Jake, but you may be jumping to conclusions. Jake said, money was a "secondary consideration," not that it wasn't considered, but simply that it wasn't the primary motivating factor.

    This is what makes a business successful. Yes, a business. Money is considered, and considered pretty important if it's considered second, but what's considered first is giving the customer what he/she wants. In other words, building the type of relationship that is healthy for financial success. The type of situation where the customer wants to give you money.

    I wrote about this here: Why Trent Reznor is Winning.

    It's the same reason why Google and Apple are winning. Google didn't focus on making money first, it focused on making a good search engine that people would want to use. Then, Google sure as hell made money. Also, Apple makes computers that people want to use, that many people love to use. Their focus is the user experience first. Their primary focus is on adoption

    Focusing on the art first doesn't mean than money isn't a consideration, but by taking monetization into account after focusing on adoption (i.e. treating your customers right and getting them genuinely interested), you'll set yourself up to be in a much better financial situation.

    I don't think that's "naive and insulting idealism" at all. It's smart business.

     

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    Jake, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 11:51am

    Re: True Art

    I'm not saying they shouldn't try to either, actually. But frankly, I have only one piece of advice for any artist who can't use their Art to earn enough to live on: "Stop whining and get a real job."
    Making money from anything you do is not a right. It is a privilege that you earn by being good at it; this is why I chose to be a computer repair technician, which isn't terribly lucrative compared to some jobs but which I'm capable of doing well enough that someone will voluntarily employ me to do it, and why I concentrate on performing the task in hand as efficiently as possible rather than sucking up to the boss all the time in order to wangle a raise or a promotion.
    This is equally true of works of creative expression; the only difference is that the minimum standard of competence necessary to make a career of it is a lot higher, particularly now that the cost of distributing most forms of it is effectively nil; changes in tactics aside, all that the rise of the Internet means for writers and musicians is that it's now even harder to make money from your work if you suck.

     

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    JayB00, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re: Re: True Art

    Thanks for a thoughtful, reasonable reply. I mostly agree.

    The price to pay for this freedom is that because music is increasingly not distributed in physical form, it has no tangible value beyond the quality of the songs. So, people are willing to pay less than they would for a CD, and that price is approaching zero.

    Price to produce, copy, and distribute is approaching zero, sure. But certainly, if you value a musician's music, you should be willing to support him/her by paying some amount, right?

    the emphasis is leaning toward using the music to leverage other things

    And to me, that's still the problem. The music *is* "the thing." I understand your argument, and I understand that current technology may make your argument a necessary one, I just don't like it. (Whine.) Perhaps I'm also being a bit idealistic.

    recorded music ... is no longer a way of selling your music that you can depend on.

    I think this is a sad but true statement. Recorded music, in any format, is no longer dependable b/c of the ease of copy and distribution. Whether we admit it or not, this is an admission that musicians will have to rely on the good will of their fans to earn money from their music outside of touring and merchandising. I think that's a problem, but don't see a solution.

    Just remember - selling music (or any other art) isn't easy, but it never really has been.

    This is true, and I agree. It seems more problematic for movies, given the huge costs of producing them.

     

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    JayB00, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: True Art

    "Stop whining and get a real job."
    Making money from anything you do is not a right.


    Your limited understanding of the creative industry is part of the problem, here.

    Another is a logical fallacy: you're equating two things that aren't equal. You have the opportunity to make money from your work if you do your job well because no one will refuse to pay you for the benefit of your work without legal consequence. In a model that makes, of legal necessity, all content "free," then even the best artists may/will get no money for their work. That would be like your boss saying to you: I loved the work you did yesterday, and it's really helped us around here, but I'm not going to pay you for it.

    I'm guessing you'd be upset.

    That's different from: I didn't like your work, so I'm not going to pay you for it.

     

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    JayB00, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re:

    Focusing on the art first doesn't mean than money isn't a consideration, but by taking monetization into account after focusing on adoption (i.e. treating your customers right and getting them genuinely interested), you'll set yourself up to be in a much better financial situation.

    That is smart business, and responsible artistic creation. That is not how I read the comment. If I misinterpreted, I apologize.

     

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    Yeah another AC whatever, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 12:10pm

    Free Music?

    I'm sorry, I still cannot quite get my head around the 100% free music thing. Even the recent examples used by fellow techdirters show that the artists charge at least something for a lot of their digital works. (ie. Trent reznor, Jonathan Coulton)It has been said that the stuff that is infinite should be free because it is easily duplicated, so after the Music thing calms down, are we going to expect software developers to start touring to give speeches, selling coffee mugs and mouse pads with their picture on it? I mean after all, you can easily duplicate it.

    What about books?

    I do agree that 15-20 bucks for a plate of petrol is ridiculous and the Mass produced pre recorded CD should be taken of the shelf. I think it is OK for them to make some cash on the music itself.

     

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    joel, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Agree and Disagree

    There are two sides to this argument. I agree that artists shouldn't necessarily have to depend on charity for their ability to put food on the table. Sales must definitely be a consideration when an artist goes into business for him/herself and the idea that they're more of an artist because they give their work away (as promotion,) is ridiculous.

    However, I will make the observation that prior to the record album, musicians everywhere were constrained to composition and performance proceeds only. I think what we're seeing here is the return to the ORIGINAL model where experiencing the live performance of an artist is the primary delivery method and all else is secondary/auxiliary. Is it depressing to those who formerly made ridiculous amounts of money from a system of exaggerated supply and demand? Sure... Is anyone looking at what's right in front of us that will make this new era even more exciting than the last? No... Virtualization of performance and virtual fan interaction with the artist and music is coming. This will easily displace record sales because no two experiences will be the same. Imagine being able to hang out with a virtual Trent and jam along with him on all of his latest creations. Don't buy it? Follow the progress of Guitar Hero over the past few years.... I think we (as musicians,) are just stuck in a momentary changing of the guard. It will require new innovation to comply with our new found technologies.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jun 9th, 2008 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: True Art

    "Price to produce, copy, and distribute is approaching zero, sure. But certainly, if you value a musician's music, you should be willing to support him/her by paying some amount, right?"

    Yes, but the question is how? You seem to be saying that paying for the song is the way to go, we're simply pointing out that there a multitude of other paths.

    "I think this is a sad but true statement. Recorded music, in any format, is no longer dependable b/c of the ease of copy and distribution. Whether we admit it or not, this is an admission that musicians will have to rely on the good will of their fans to earn money from their music outside of touring and merchandising. I think that's a problem, but don't see a solution."

    You see, that's where we might not see eye-to-eye. I don't think that music has *ever* been a "dependable" way of selling music. Even successful artists often had to tour just to make up the shortfall in their advance payments because sales weren't "up to expectations". If you worked as a musician and you managed to make a living from the sales of the record alone, you were lucky.

    Now, it's still not impossible to make money from the music - digital sales are still increasing, just not at the rate that CD sales are dropping. It just means that you have to be a little cleverer about how you leverage your market - be it by selling limited edition CDs, artwork, gigs, t-shirts and other merchandise, live recordings, licencing to other media, etc. A canny musician can leverage far more of the market - how many people were really talking about Reznor and Radiohead outside of their fan base this time last year, for instance? Another example - you may be selling less plastic discs, but your market is now the entire globe, you can have a direct link into who is liking your music and where they want to see you live.

    Let me put it this way. Before the explosion of recorded music in the '50s/60s, there were still musicians. Many of these musicians made their money by other means than selling the song itself, because they had to. Now, the era of selling music is diminishing, but new ways have opened up to sell your talents.

    The reason why so much emphasis is placed on using the music to get other revenue is simple: traditionally, the album royalties an artist gets are far lower than merchandising or gig revenue.

    The era of mass-market recorded music is not over, you just need to take hold of the new opportunities, not mourn the passing of a particular comfort zone.

    "This is true, and I agree. It seems more problematic for movies, given the huge costs of producing them."

    Despite what Hollywood want you to believe, movies are not having the same kind of major problems that music seems to be. The big problem with the movie industry in recent years has been bloated budgets, bad movies, rip-off DVD sales, non-adoption of new technology. Hollywood is having a great summer, and thanks to creating good movies (Iron Man) instead of loudly ridiculed failures (Evan Almighty?), this should translate into DVD sales.

    The experience being offered outside of the movie itself is their main problem, be it the theatre experience (no, people don't like having the phones taken at the door, being told their a pirate and sitting through 30 mins of ads before the film starts) or the home experience (stupidly region-coded, non-skippable anti-piracy ads, format wars). However, these are relatively easy problems to overcome if Hollywood realises it soon enough.

    The music industry's problem was not realising what their customers wanted before they got used to using the pirates instead. The movie industry is making some bad moves, but their failures haven't been as bad thus far. Time will tell, though.

    Ah, sorry for the rant, and glad to hear that you agree with most of my previous points :)

     

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    JayB00, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Agree and Disagree

    I think I agree completely, Joel.

    So, any thoughts on how movies and books will be affected or should adapt? As should be obvious, they don't have the same options. I mean, live theater will be just fine, but that's not a movie. And the experience of reading a novel is a prolonged, individual one (not given to performance or interaction).

    Besides, we already have interactive novels/movies: video games.

    While we're at it, I haven't seen much discussion on this topic in relation to video games. I'll go search this blog for some. (I don't mean to hijack the thread.)

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jun 9th, 2008 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Free Music?

    "Even the recent examples used by fellow techdirters show that the artists charge at least something for a lot of their digital works."

    The difference is, they give you the choice. The message isn't "buy the CD else you're a dirty pirate, even if you support us in other ways", but rather "pay us if you want, please". Both of the guys you mention a "real" artists in the sense that they prefer their music to be heard by as many people as possible rather than forcing money out of a smaller group of people, and so far it seems to be working for them.

    As for your comments about software - it already happening! More and more companies are using open source programs, which are freely distributable and editable. How do they make their money? By selling support, maintenance and upgrade contracts, consultation and other services. The programmers still get paid for their work but the company doesn't depend on sell the program itself.

    "What about books?"

    What about them? Check out Baen or Cory Doctorow for example.

     

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    Jason, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 12:55pm

    Re: Re: Free Music?

    Check out Baen or Cory Doctorow for example.

    These are smart approaches, I agree. Neither of them is "anti-copyright" though, and both encourage payment if value is found in the work.

    I think that's a good working model.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jun 9th, 2008 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Agree and Disagree

    @Jay: With videogames, there's already several levels at work I think, so not not much of an issue (plus, the gaming industry is still relatively young compared to music).

    We have the big-budget games that people are willing to pay $60-80 for. Then, we have cheaper games and a thriving budget-priced market. Then, there's downloadable games such as the X-Box Arcade and WiiWare/Virtual Console for the Wii. These attract both lower-profile developers and provide a market for much older games. On top of that, there's the MMORPG scene with games like World Of Warcraft attracting monthly subscribers. At the "bottom", we also have hobbyist game developers who remake older games and/or create original material for the fun of it.

    PC game developers have made a lot of loud noises about sales decline, but I really think that's got more to do with the high price of keeping a PC up-to-date for gaming (and a relative paucity of true quality games that aren't console ports) than anything to do with "piracy" or their business model.

     

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    Xanthir, FCD, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Other people have hit this comment already, but I feel it bears extra emphasis.

    This still seems to me like an admission that content creators need to just deal with a shitty reality: no one will pay you solely for your content anymore.

    They still pay for content. What they won't pay for are digital copies of that content, since, well, digital copies are free to make. We consumers aren't stupid; we realize that if we can share content without paying anything, you can too, and trying to charge for something that costs you literally nothing is sort of dishonest.

    Behind this is still the unstated implication that content, in and of itself, isn't worth paying for, and neither is the work that goes into its creation. Whether people are admitting that or not.

    As many have stated before, price and value are two very different things. Air is free, and water is dirt cheap, but those are probably the two most valuable things in the world. Digital reproductions of content are valuable (otherwise we wouldn't care about them), it's just the price that drops to zero.

     

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    Jason, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 2:04pm

    trying to charge for something that costs you literally nothing is sort of dishonest

    Pretending that the creation of content has no cost is also a bit dishonest. Digital copies of content, once created, are cheap and easy. Time and resources spent to create the content initially, however, can be substantial and must be recouped (hopefully with some profit) if the creator is to continue creating more content.

    Digital reproductions of content are valuable (otherwise we wouldn't care about them), it's just the price that drops to zero.

    In a capitalist society, how else do you represent value if not monetarily (i.e., price)? If you truly value something, (in this case, the music created by a particular musician), why would you not demonstrate that through payment?

    I get the alternative models, and I get anti-DRM tech, etc. I still don't get why people don't feel a fundamental, ethical requirement to pay creators (given a reasonable price) for the creations they find "valuable." Still makes no sense to me.

     

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    Mike (profile), Jun 9th, 2008 @ 4:42pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'm still bothered by this. Why do I have to produce "other," physical products in order to have sales?

    I didn't say other *physical* products. I said other *scarce* products. Physical products are scarce, but not all scarce goods are physical.

    This still seems to me like an admission that content creators need to just deal with a shitty reality: no one will pay you solely for your content anymore. You either have to give it away for free or produce something other than the content itself.

    Why is it a "shitty reality" if it opens them up to ways to better connect with their fans and to make more money?

    Behind this is still the unstated implication that content, in and of itself, isn't worth paying for, and neither is the work that goes into its creation. Whether people are admitting that or not.

    No, not at all. You are confusing price and value. The music is worth quite a bit -- but if the supply is infinite, the price will get driven down to zero.

    As for "the work that goes into its creation," that *is* a scarce good that can be sold.

     

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    Mike (profile), Jun 9th, 2008 @ 4:45pm

    Re:

    This is exactly the sentiment that frustrates me so much. Why do artists have to be held to some crazy "ideal" when it comes to making money.

    And these types of comments frustrate the heck out of me.

    We point out how these models allow artists to create more money, and folks come and complain "oh, sure, all your concerned about is money -- what if the artists just want to make music."

    So then we point out they can do that, and you come along and complain that we're asking them to not make money.

    Not so.

     

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    Mike (profile), Jun 9th, 2008 @ 4:51pm

    Re:

    Pretending that the creation of content has no cost is also a bit dishonest.

    No one is saying the creation of content has no cost. They're saying the creation of *copies* (i.e., the *marginal* cost) is zero. And that's true.

    In a capitalist society, how else do you represent value if not monetarily (i.e., price)? If you truly value something, (in this case, the music created by a particular musician), why would you not demonstrate that through payment?

    How much do you value air? How much do you pay for air?

    Air is abundant (supply is great), thus, people aren't expected to pay for it. Same thing.

    But that doesn't mean there aren't other business models that make plenty of sense.

     

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    Air /=, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 5:34pm

    How much do you value air? How much do you pay for air?

    Please stop comparing creative content to air. It's insulting.

    Air is a naturally-occurring and abundant resource. Quality creative content is neither. Bad analogies do not make for sound arguments, and this analogy in particular will not improve just because you use it a lot.

     

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    JayB00, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 5:37pm

    Re: Re:

    If you follow the reply chain, you'll see that this comment is in response to the notion, implied in another comment, that artists should be pursuing art for art's sake and are somehow "sellouts" if they worry about the money.

    I know this isn't your position, but it was the position I thought on of the commenters here was expressing.

     

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    Mike (profile), Jun 9th, 2008 @ 6:46pm

    Re:

    Please stop comparing creative content to air. It's insulting.

    It's not insulting if it's accurate. *Once created* digital content is no different than air.

    I recognize that prior to creation it is different, and that's why the business models I talk about note that the creation of content is a scarce good.

    Air is a naturally-occurring and abundant resource. Quality creative content is neither. Bad analogies do not make for sound arguments, and this analogy in particular will not improve just because you use it a lot.

    Once content is created it, too, is an abundant resource. To say otherwise is simply incorrect.

     

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    I'm Out, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 7:08pm

    Thankfully, the creators of the constitution were smarter than you and recognize that air isn't created by anyone, so therefore needs no one to pay for its creation.

    That you can't or won't see and admit to this is, at minimum, depressing.

    You say: the creation of content is a scarce good

    You give lip service to this, but your models do nothing to protect the possibility of a creation to capitalize on its scarcity. It's all double-talk that ends with: I don't want to pay for copies of creative content, even though I enjoy it and find value in it, and now that it's cheap and easy to make copies, I can finally have my way.

    Paint it any way you want, argue whatever you want, but this is the bottom line and anyone with common sense and the integrity to be honest with themselves can clearly see this.

     

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    cram, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:16pm

    Re:

    Hi there

    Mike will never admit that air and content are not the same, nor will he let go of his horse and buggy whip analogy.

    Nor will he ever admiit that piracy is a big factor in this whole infinite goods argument (mainly for music and movies). One of the reasons Trent Reznor is winning is because he's made the black market irrelevant. And the only way you can do that today is give away your content for free. As I have said before, there are just too many pirates around thanks to the Net. Admit it, and then beat them at their own game. Once you have cornered the mind share, try and sell something else.

     

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    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Jun 10th, 2008 @ 2:17am

    Re: Re: Re: True Art

    You're confusing royalties and salaries.

    There's a difference between getting paid to do work and getting paid for work you've already done.

    Not many people get paid for work they've done in the past.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2008 @ 2:25am

    Re: Re:

    "Mike will never admit that air and content are not the same, nor will he let go of his horse and buggy whip analogy."

    I'd imagine he will if you explain why they're inaccurate, which nobody has thus far.

     

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    Mike (profile), Jun 10th, 2008 @ 3:42am

    Re:

    Thankfully, the creators of the constitution were smarter than you and recognize that air isn't created by anyone, so therefore needs no one to pay for its creation.

    The point of the explanation of air was to answer the question of "paying for value." No one, certainly not me, is suggesting that we need to pay for the creation of air.

    That you can't or won't see and admit to this is, at minimum, depressing.

    If you could convince me why I'm wrong, perhaps it would be less depressing. But simply arguing against strawmen doesn't work.

    You give lip service to this, but your models do nothing to protect the possibility of a creation to capitalize on its scarcity.

    Why would you want to protect, when you can free the work and do better for it? That's the part that I don't understand about those of you who are so into protectionism.

    You know, we've tried protectionist markets and they always do worse than free markets.

    Get rid of protectionism and watch the markets grow.

    It's all double-talk that ends with: I don't want to pay for copies of creative content, even though I enjoy it and find value in it, and now that it's cheap and easy to make copies, I can finally have my way.

    Not at all. As I have made clear, I'm not making a moral judgment here about what I "want" or don't "want." I'm pointing out the basic economics. I'm sorry if you don't like it, but I can't do much about that.

    Paint it any way you want, argue whatever you want, but this is the bottom line and anyone with common sense and the integrity to be honest with themselves can clearly see this.

    Ah, and as a last resort, when you have nothing to actually back up your argument, call me dishonest.

    Now I'm convinced.

     

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    eclecticdave (profile), Jun 10th, 2008 @ 4:33am

    Re: Free Music?

    You've heard about free/open source software right?

    Some Free Software developers do indeed give speeches and some do offer merchandise. However the majority of the money made in this segment is through selling support.

    For example, although you might be able to get a bug fixed or feature added for free if you're prepared to wait for someone to get around to it, you also have the option of paying someone to do it if you need it "now". In other words you're paying for the immediacy and in the case of a new feature, for some say in how it works.

    Now you can't sell support for music of course, but in terms of immediacy, how about if you sold real-time podcasts of live concerts? I can easily imagine fans who aren't able to be there in person would pay to hear the concert live, *even if* the same download is available for free a couple of hours later.

     

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    eclecticdave (profile), Jun 10th, 2008 @ 4:37am

    Re: Re: Free Music?

    Sorry, somehow I missed PaulT's comment above, who make pretty much the same point. Apologies for the noise!

     

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    cram, Jun 10th, 2008 @ 5:02am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You think I haven't tried? And that I am the only one who has? All of us who disagree with him on this point do so for exactly the same reason. And he still doesn't see it.

    I don't see how air and content are the same. Content takes effort to produce, which effort may have several factors that act as incentives. Not having to pay for air is not quite the same as not willing to pay for a piece of creative work.

    Transport is the same; the means have changed. When you use the analogy in music, it follows that you compare MP3s to CDs, or CDs to tapes. Music essentially remains the same. How does the buggy whip analogy apply? And another point of disagreement is giving the arts the same treatment as other goods.

     

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    cram, Jun 10th, 2008 @ 5:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: True Art

    That's precisely why something called copyright exists (at least that's one of the reasons).

    Are you one of those who think people shouldn't get paid for something they did 10 years ago?

     

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    cram, Jun 10th, 2008 @ 5:12am

    Re: Re:

    "It's all double-talk that ends with: I don't want to pay for copies of creative content, even though I enjoy it and find value in it, and now that it's cheap and easy to make copies, I can finally have my way.

    Not at all. As I have made clear, I'm not making a moral judgment here about what I "want" or don't "want." I'm pointing out the basic economics. I'm sorry if you don't like it, but I can't do much about that."

    But there's morality at play here, Mike. Why do you choose to ignore it? Isn't what he said, and which I have stressed repeatedly, the truth? That the Internet has turned us all into willing pirates? Isn't that a fact of life, a reality that artists can afford to ignore only at their peril?

    That's why I believe the free model is the only way out, because there are way too many pirates around and the only way you can corner mindshare is to make the blackmarket irrelevant. And try and sell something valuable that cannot be pirated.

    You keep saying that artists should try and sell scarce goods like special DVDs. Isn't that because pirating them is not as easy as copying an MP3 with a click? Artists have always had to stay ahead of the black marketeers, who pose the biggest threat to their revenue. Which is why we have had copyright all along.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jun 10th, 2008 @ 5:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Erm, you do seem to be missing his point completely again.

    Mike is *not* saying that content does not take effort to create. He is saying that *after* the content has been created, then producing additional copies costs pretty much nothing.

    So, you can still make money, you just can't guarantee making that money off of each individual copy any more. You can alter your business methods to take payment before creating the content (as Jill Sobule did), create more demand for CDs (as Radiohead did), create more demand for gigs (as NIN did) or create more demand for existing content (as Saul Williams did).

    "How does the buggy whip analogy apply?"

    Whenever this is brought up, it's of an industry that failed because they didn't recognise the need to change. The buggy whip people were doing very well. Then, the motor car came along. At first, it was a novelty, so buggy whip makers ignored it. Eventually, the buggy whip market disappeared from under their feet due to a better and more popular competing business that they failed to recognise.

    Yes, transport still exists in a different form, but those buggy whip makers aren't part of it any more. That's the analogy to the music industry. Music will continue to exist and be created no matter what happens. It's just that the people who currently depend on selling it on plastic discs might not be around in a decade if they don't change their businesses to adapt to a changing market.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jun 10th, 2008 @ 5:54am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Isn't what he said, and which I have stressed repeatedly, the truth? That the Internet has turned us all into willing pirates?"

    No, it's not. Lots of people don't pirate - many have simply given up on buying music. Not to mention the proven fact that many people who "pirate" actually spend more on music than those who don't. Not everyone, just an significant number.

    I personally pay more for music than I ever did in the CD era. I also get more (legal) free music than that. How? I have an eMusic subscription and use WE7, AmieStreet, last.fm and 7digital on a regular basis as well as downloading regular podcasts. I don't pirate (though I admit I did when these services did not exist) - but even then, I don't believe I did it much more than I did in the days of cassettes.

    The difference? All that music is non-DRM, unrestricted, independent music. I don't need to pirate because my budget gets me all the music I need in any given month. However, not everyone likes the indie music, and the above sites might not include your favourite band. So, it's up to those people who are losing money through "piracy" to offer what people want. All of the sites I mentioned above give away free tracks to attract business. Some (WE7, especially) don't charge the end user anything at all.

    *WHY* do you insist on ignoring all of these free (as in freedom), legal sites? Probably because they aren't RIAA members, and that's the organisation who does all the complaining.

    Nobody will become millionaires from these models, but that's not the point. People will be willing to pay you for content if the content is good enough and the price is right. They will also be willing to pay you for other goods and work for the same reasons.

    50 years ago, it was almost impossible for an artist to make a living solely from recordings. The industry changed to allow that for a few decades. Now, the business is changing again. You either follow it or fail, your choice.

    "You keep saying that artists should try and sell scarce goods like special DVDs. Isn't that because pirating them is not as easy as copying an MP3 with a click?"

    Not looked at certain sites in the last 5 years have you? It's just as easy, it just takes longer for files to download.

     

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    Jason, Jun 10th, 2008 @ 8:32am

    Paul, thanks for a thoughtful (not emotional and reactionary) response.

    People will be willing to pay you for content if the content is good enough and the price is right.

    I think (and hope) that this is right. I also think that some things are implied from this, and some other things are not.

    Implied:
    - Business models need to change
    - Content creators (or businesses sponsoring them) need to adapt to take full advantage of ancillary markets (though this is already happening to a great extent, so doesn't add too much to the solution)
    - Free (as in liberty, as in "without technological restrictions") is essential for digital content

    What I don't think is necessary from this:
    - Content *must* be "free" as in "no cost." If a reasonable price is attached to quality content, I think most people will be willing to pay for that content.
    - If they don't/can't, then the exposure is still better than nothing. I don't think any "legal action" should be taken except in cases of substantial violation (I don't have specifics here, but I'm thinking something like corporate adoption of a work, for commercial profit, without approval of the creator).
    - Copyright has no role. Before I say anything else here, let me also repeat: copyright law needs radical reform, particularly in the muddy, overly-restrictive "fair use" clause, the absurd length of time copyright owners are granted complete control over the work, the "selling" of copyright to a corporation, and the limitations on transformative works. Still, I see no reason to abandon the basic principle: the creator of a work should have limited control over what happens to that work for a limited amount of time. The creator can always choose to relinquish the rights and privileges if he/she chooses. I also think the principle of citation/credit is also essential enough to warrant legal enforcement.

     

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    Mike (profile), Jun 10th, 2008 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't see how air and content are the same.

    The question was why shouldn't people pay for something of value. The air explanation is just to explain why. I'm not saying the two are exactly the same, I'm just explaining why people often do not pay for something of value when it's abundantly available: because supply drives price, not value.

    Content takes effort to produce, which effort may have several factors that act as incentives.

    Indeed. And I never suggested otherwise. In fact as I've said repeatedly (and which you seem to ignore), the fact that content takes effort to produce makes it a scarce good that can be sold.

    Not having to pay for air is not quite the same as not willing to pay for a piece of creative work.

    As I said, it's just an example to explain how value does not equal price.

    Transport is the same; the means have changed. When you use the analogy in music, it follows that you compare MP3s to CDs, or CDs to tapes. Music essentially remains the same. How does the buggy whip analogy apply? And another point of disagreement is giving the arts the same treatment as other goods.

    You're not defining the market properly. You should define the market based on the *benefit* not the product. So, you're correct with transportation, but not with music. With music, the benefit is the *enjoyment one gets from music.* So, the record labels have always really been a *distribution* and *promotion* system for bringing people enjoyment from music. The internet is simply a BETTER way to distribute and promote music in a way that people enjoy.

    Just as the automobile was a better way of providing *transportation* to people.

     

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    Mike (profile), Jun 10th, 2008 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    But there's morality at play here, Mike. Why do you choose to ignore it?

    I don't choose to ignore it at all. As I have said over and over again, morality should only come into play if someone is worse off. If the end result is everyone being better off, there's no moral question.

    That the Internet has turned us all into willing pirates? Isn't that a fact of life, a reality that artists can afford to ignore only at their peril?

    I honestly have no idea what this sentence means. Can you elaborate how we've all become "willing pirates"?

    That's why I believe the free model is the only way out, because there are way too many pirates around and the only way you can corner mindshare is to make the blackmarket irrelevant. And try and sell something valuable that cannot be pirated.

    Weird. Do you not realize that the model I'm describing is exactly about making the blackmarket irrelevant and selling something valuable that cannot be pirated? But, the only way to really do that is to make use of free. I don't see how you can do that without free.

    You keep saying that artists should try and sell scarce goods like special DVDs. Isn't that because pirating them is not as easy as copying an MP3 with a click? Artists have always had to stay ahead of the black marketeers, who pose the biggest threat to their revenue. Which is why we have had copyright all along.

    You keep trying to pigeonhole exactly which scarce goods we're talking about. We're talking about a *variety* of scarce goods, with the biggest scarce good being the musicians themselves -- their ability to perform and their ability to create new content.

     

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    John Wilson, Jun 10th, 2008 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Free Music?

    Which is the model that is being discussed here.

    Free in this sense is in distribution of what is, after all, one particular performance no matter how well/poorly produced.

    In many ways it's the successor to radio play and promotion. (royalties earned by the musician are piddly in that model, btw.)

    None of it is necessarily anti-copyright it is just anti application and constant extention of that in time and the way it's enforced by the entertainment industry who seem to feel that suing your customers is the best way to deal with it.

    ttfn

    John

     

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    John Wilson, Jun 10th, 2008 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: True Art

    Being paid for what an artist composed, wrote, painted, photographed etc did ten years ago isn't the same as what a trades person or technician is paid for.

    In the artist's case of course they should be paid.

    Though not through several lifetimes once the copyright is assigned to a corporate entity with little or no connection to the artist.

    In fact the working people I mentioned above (cause I am one in my "real" life) do get paid for the quality of their work a decade ago provided they continue that quality or improve on it.

    Calling yourself an artist is not a good enough reason to pay someone. Should the art find an audience then it's worthwhile and necessary that the artist get paid.

    The artist and the work need more than copyright and the attitude of "I put in all this work, so pay me!" even though it finds no audience.

    And don't kid yourself. We trades people and technicians are very creative people. We have to be otherwise most of what you use or work with simply wouldn't work cause 99% of the time the specs we get to work with won't do what the engineers claim they will. So we fix it, modify it and "create" it on the run.

    ttfn

    John

     

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    Jason, Jun 10th, 2008 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    the fact that content takes effort to produce makes it a scarce good that can be sold

    You say two things:
    - content is a scarce good that can be sold
    - digital copies of content are infinite goods that cannot be sold

    But, if we say that all content will become digitized, how are we not saying: content, once digitized, is an infinite good that cannot be sold. This is where I stumble, and no one has yet successfully helped me up (not that it's anyone's job ... just saying.)

    With music, the benefit is the *enjoyment one gets from music.*

    I don't buy this, sorry. Musicians don't sell or create "enjoyment," they create music, from which some people may derive enjoyment.

    Some people derive enjoyment from transportation. That doesn't mean the benefit of automobiles is enjoyment.

     

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    JayB00, Jun 10th, 2008 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: True Art

    Should the art find an audience then it's worthwhile and necessary that the artist get paid.

    I can't speak for everyone else, but that's all I'm saying.

     

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    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Jun 10th, 2008 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You say two things:
    - content is a scarce good that can be sold
    - digital copies of content are infinite goods that cannot be sold


    I don't think that's accurate.

    First, it's not that content is a scarce good (it's not if it's digital), but that content creation is a scarce good. More specifically, the creator's time and ability are scarce goods. A good songwriter's ability to write good songs is valuable because it's scarce, so selling that ability makes perfect sense (e.g. writing a song for a film).

    Second, it's not that digital copies can't be sold. Mike doesn't say that. It's just that the price of digital copies will naturally approach zero because the marginal cost of reproduction is zero. You can still sell copies, but you need to provide some sort of added benefit to get people to pay more than the marginal cost. For example, Reznor offered high quality audio files and accompanying scarce goods. Radiohead monetized patronage.

    But, if we say that all content will become digitized, how are we not saying: content, once digitized, is an infinite good that cannot be sold.

    1. Infinite goods can be sold if you provide some sort of perceived benefit.

    2. Better yet, infinite goods can be leverage to add value to scarce goods which you're selling. In taking advantage of the ease in which digital music can spread, NIN have grown their fan base (i.e. market) immensely, adding value to all the scarce goods surrounding their brand (limited deluxe edition packages, concert tickets, etc.)

    3. Content creation is still a scarcity, because a creator's time and skills are scarcities which can be sold or otherwise monetized (e.g. commission works, fund and release).


    Musicians don't sell or create "enjoyment," they create music, from which some people may derive enjoyment.

    The business isn't limited to creating music, it's in monetizing the enjoyment surrounding music, whether that's writing new songs, selling copies of the music, giving performances, creating an online community for fans, giving fan club members privileged access, etc....

    The music business isn't simply about the artifact or product produced (e.g. a CD), but about monetizing the experience surrounding music.

    It's not that you "sell enjoyment," it's that you sell things which people enjoy because of music. That doesn't have to be an artifact containing music, the possibilities are much more broad.

     

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    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Jun 10th, 2008 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't see how air and content are the same.

    They are similar insofar as they are both abundant goods.

    The point is not to suggest that quality content is as ubiquitous as air, or something like that. You're jumping to conclusions.

    The point is simply to make a distinction between price and value. Oxygen is extremely valuable - we need it to live - but we don't pay for it because its in abundant supply.

    The air example is simply to demonstrate that price and value are not the same.

     

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  63.  
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    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Jun 10th, 2008 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    But there's morality at play here, Mike. Why do you choose to ignore it?

    What's the moral issue? Copyright infringement is immoral insofar as it's illegal - that's it. Copyright law is not based on natural law or any sort of natural rights. Otherwise, how would you account for the public domain?

    In other words, copyright is an artificial system intended to provide economic incentives to "content creators" to encourage them to produce more works for the good of society.

    It has nothing to do with protecting any natural rights of creators. This is obvious in reading the U.S. constitution, or in the simple observation that copyright protection expires.

    The only additional "moral" issues are ensuring that artists have a way to make a living, because we want them to be able to produce art. If there are better business models that don't depend on copyright, what's immoral about that?

    What moral issues are you concerned with?

     

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    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Jun 10th, 2008 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: True Art

    Are you one of those who think people shouldn't get paid for something they did 10 years ago?

    I don't think people shouldn't get paid for things they've done in the past, but I also don't think it's a given. It's not a right.

    It may work well in some scenarios, as copyright may have allowed for in centuries past. But it's not necessary, especially if there are better systems.

    More importantly, I was highlighting your logical fallacy when you said: "That would be like your boss saying to you: I loved the work you did yesterday, and it's really helped us around here, but I'm not going to pay you for it."

    Royalties don't compensate you for doing work, but for other people making use of that work. Which is why "making money from anything you do is not a right." If you're making money from royalties, you have to make something that people actually want to use. I think that was part of Jake's point.

     

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    Jason, Jun 10th, 2008 @ 3:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Thanks for your reply here. The first half is helpful.

    Unfortunately, I still can't agree with the second half.

    The business isn't limited to creating music, it's in monetizing the enjoyment surrounding music

    So would you also say that the business isn't limited to creating automobiles, it's in monetizing the enjoyment surrounding automobiles?

    The music business isn't simply about the artifact or product produced

    I agree it's not about the artifact (the way in which the music is stored), but it is about the music (be it a song, an aria, or whatever).

    Besides, music can have purpose beyond enjoyment: inspiration, information, reform, etc. It's still the songs/works that are produced.

    Musicians don't get on stage and produce enjoyment any more than they get on stage and produce CDs or MP3s ... they produce songs (and genre variations). Writers produce novels and poems and scripts. Movie producers produce movies.

    By the logic that you "sell enjoyment," you'd have to also say that what filmmakers and writers (at least those who produce fictional works) sell is also "enjoyment." And that certainly need not be the case.

     

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    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Jun 10th, 2008 @ 4:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    By the logic that you "sell enjoyment"...

    I specifically said that it's not about selling enjoyment.


    Ethan Kaplan, the VP of Tech at Warner Bros. Records, made the same distinction a few weeks ago in a keynote talk he gave at the Mesh Conference in Toronto, though using different words. He made the distinction between artifact and experience, saying that Warner Bros. is moving away from their limited view of just the artifact towards being in the business of the music "experience" in general.


    Don't get so hung up over the word "enjoyment." Maybe there's a better word. Could be "experience"? (e.g. the buggy experience is really one of transportation, not of necessarily riding in a buggy).

    The fundamental point is that the market should not be defined by the product but by the benefit. The music business isn't simply about selling plastic embodiments of songs. It's about the real benefit that music provides people and that they're willing to pay for.

    Whether you call the benefit "enjoyment surrounding music" or "the experience surrounding music" or something else isn't really important to the basic point. What those phrases are trying to encapsulate is the benefit of music, rather than simply the product.

    Agree? Maybe you have another suggesting to describe it?

     

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    Jason, Jun 10th, 2008 @ 4:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    OK ... I think that's helpful. I'll think more about this. Thanks for the responses.

     

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    cram, Jun 10th, 2008 @ 9:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hi Mike

    I think I need to make a couple of points clear here.

    "I don't choose to ignore it at all. As I have said over and over again, morality should only come into play if someone is worse off. If the end result is everyone being better off, there's no moral question."

    Well, I never looked at it that way in this issue. Certainly sounds reasonable. You're talking greatest good of the greatest number. Fair enough. I need to chew on this.

    "That the Internet has turned us all into willing pirates? Isn't that a fact of life, a reality that artists can afford to ignore only at their peril?

    I honestly have no idea what this sentence means. Can you elaborate how we've all become "willing pirates"?"

    Hehe..what I was trying to say is that a whole lot of people have no qualms about uploading or downloading and sharing music/movies, despite the fact that it's illegal (I'm presuming it's illegal because the copyright owners don't allow it). I mean someone who wouldn't walk into a movie theater without buying a ticket wouldn't have any problem with downloading a song, even if they are told it's not legal to do so.

    "Weird. Do you not realize that the model I'm describing is exactly about making the blackmarket irrelevant and selling something valuable that cannot be pirated? But, the only way to really do that is to make use of free. I don't see how you can do that without free."

    Exactly. I think I'm violently in agreement with you on that. What I'm trying to say is that the need to make the black market irrelevant is very important. You tend to focus on the basic economics part, I think artists should move to the free model mainly to eliminate piracy.

    Look at Trent: he isn't happy with music being free, but he realizes that there's a huge black market out there that could crimp his revenue streams. He's no choice other than giving away his music free.

    I am now fully convinced with your free model (it took a while).

     

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    cram, Jun 10th, 2008 @ 9:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hi Blaise

    "They are similar insofar as they are both abundant goods."

    I disagree. A song is a song; how is it abundant? It's copies are abundant, no doubt.

    "The point is not to suggest that quality content is as ubiquitous as air, or something like that. You're jumping to conclusions."

    I wasn't talking about quality content at all. I say content and air are not the same, because you are trying to equate copies of a manmade work with something that exists in nature. Doesn't quite jell.

    "The point is simply to make a distinction between price and value. Oxygen is extremely valuable - we need it to live - but we don't pay for it because its in abundant supply."

    Oxygen is in abundant supply thanks to nature. A song doesn't come into being on its own; it takes effort and to say that once created it becomes infinite, therefore no one has to pay for a copy is not acceptable to me.

     

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    cram, Jun 10th, 2008 @ 10:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "What's the moral issue? Copyright infringement is immoral insofar as it's illegal - that's it. Copyright law is not based on natural law or any sort of natural rights. Otherwise, how would you account for the public domain?" A great many laws are not based on natural rights. Does that mean we should do away with them? I disagree. And what is law in one region is not in another. In China and India, copyright counts for nothing. Everyone's ripping off anything they fancy, with no one to stop them. Is that ok? Similarly with immorality. What I'm trying to say is when you say something's illegal or immoral, you have to place it in context. As for public domain, it kicks into effect ONLY after the lifetime of the content creator. Clearly, one of copyright's purposes is to ensure the creator keeps getting rewarded for something unique he has done for the benefit of the public. "In other words, copyright is an artificial system intended to provide economic incentives to "content creators" to encourage them to produce more works for the good of society." Of course it is an artifical system, like many manmade systems, and a good one, a necessary system, because human nature tends towards exploitation. Everyone wants to maximise their profits. If copyright weren't around no novelist would get paid a dime by Hollywood. "It has nothing to do with protecting any natural rights of creators. This is obvious in reading the U.S. constitution, or in the simple observation that copyright protection expires." The "simple observation" of copyright expiring ignores the fact that it does so ONLY after the lifetime of a creator. "If there are better business models that don't depend on copyright, what's immoral about that?" How do we know there are better business models? Are they proven? Do they work for everyone? The existing model answers all the above in the affirmative, which is why content creators have such a hard time figuring out the free model.

     

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    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Jun 11th, 2008 @ 1:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ok, let me be more precise.

    A digital file and air are similar insofar as they are abundant goods.

    I'm not saying content creation is abundant, that requires an artist's scarce time and talent. I'm not saying a song (i.e. the composition) is abundant, because that requires content creation. (It's abundant in a different way, insofar as it's an idea, but that's another conversation...) What is abundant (i.e. like air) is the digital embodiment of an audio recording.

    Like you've agreed, a song's "copies are abundant, no doubt." That's essentially what I'm saying. The composition isn't abundant. At least, not in the same way... It's the digital embodiment of an audio recording that's abundant.

    No, a digital embodiment of an audio recording isn't naturally occurring like air, so, of course, in that way they're dissimilar. I didn't deny that. I said they're similar insofar as they're abundant. Sure, there are lots of ways in which they're different.

    I guess you're trying to suggest that people shouldn't have to pay for air because it didn't take someone's time and effort to create? We pay for other natural resources though. The main reason we don't pay for air is because it's supply is infinite and because there's no work to be done to use it. The same is true of digital content (i.e. digital embodiment... ); it's supply is infinite and there's essentially no work involved in using it (reproducing it).

    Yes, there's work involved in producing it. That's a great scarcity to monetize. But, in the sense of reproducing a digital file, the similarities to air are instructive when it comes to understanding supply and demand.

     

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    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Jun 11th, 2008 @ 2:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    A great many laws are not based on natural rights. Does that mean we should do away with them? I disagree.

    We're not in disagreement. I don't think laws should be done away with simply because they're not based on natural rights. I'm just making the point that we have the option to do away with those laws, because they're not based on natural rights.

    It's not like a law about freedom of speech or freedom of religion or something.

    In other words, there's nothing immoral about a copyright-less world, and nothing morally superior about a world with copyright. We should examine the system based on its merits and see whether or not it provides any real benefit or harm to society. But copyright law is not a law that claims to uphold some sort of moral standard or natural rights.

    In China and India, copyright counts for nothing. Everyone's ripping off anything they fancy, with no one to stop them. Is that ok?

    It might not be ok insofar as it's unfair with different laws in different places of the world, but, if you agree that copyright is not based on natural rights, what basis do you have to call that immoral?

    I guess it depends on what you mean by "ripping off."

    As for public domain, it kicks into effect ONLY after the lifetime of the content creator.

    Copyright initially lasted for 14 years in the U.S. (if I remember correctly). Nothing in the constitution says it should last for the lifetime of the creator. It was extended to the lifetime of the creator later on in its history, and many extensions to copyright are the result of the entertainment industry lobby more so than anything else.

    First of all, such extension is abuse of the public domain. Second, even if I accept your argument (which I don't, based on copyright history), how do you account for copyright lasting beyond the lifetime of the creator? You must agree that the public domain is being abused in some way, at least.

    Of course it is an artifical system, like many manmade systems, and a good one, a necessary system, because human nature tends towards exploitation. Everyone wants to maximise their profits.

    Why is it good or necessary? You realize that the copyright system allows and promotes exploitation by an artist by granting them a monopoly on their works, right? Are monopolies necessarily good? Are monopolies necessary? Monopolies can be abused too, you know.

    How do we know there are better business models? Are they proven? Do they work for everyone?

    No we're back to the content of the post! :) Those are exactly the sorts of questions that Techdirt looks at on a regular basis. Trent Reznor's path to embracing new business models is a perfect example.

    The existing model answers all the above in the affirmative, which is why content creators have such a hard time figuring out the free model.

    Not necessarily. Is copyright working for everyone now? Has copyright been proven to work in a digital landscape? I'd say that digital technology has largely "broken" copyright. Sure, there may be a way to "fix" it, but I'm skeptical for a variety of reasons. A lot of people are having a hard time figuring out the copyright-based models in the face of digital technology, so I don't think it's fair to say that copyright-works-for-everyone-and-new-business-models-dont.

    Plus, how many other industries have a one size fits all business model? Usually, business are responsible for figuring out how to make a profit. Business exists in a free market. We don't need a system for every type of businesses. Good businesses can figure out what's profitable, and they have more freedom to innovate when not constrained by unnecessary and broken systems.

     

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    cram, Jun 11th, 2008 @ 5:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hi Blaise

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. I must say the Techdirt people are very patient with doubting Thomases like myself:-)

    "It's not like a law about freedom of speech or freedom of religion or something."

    This is not connected to the post, but we speak with the advantage of having lived in a democratic society. Freedom of speech or religion, or property or that matter, are not inalienable rights in many societies and I don't think it's a good idea to assume Western democracy is the best model for the whole world.

    "Copyright initially lasted for 14 years in the U.S. (if I remember correctly)."

    WHAT??? That's news to me.

    "Nothing in the constitution says it should last for the lifetime of the creator. It was extended to the lifetime of the creator later on in its history, and many extensions to copyright are the result of the entertainment industry lobby more so than anything else."

    No surprise. The lobby needed stronger copyright laws to ensure a steady stream of income from published works.

    "First of all, such extension is abuse of the public domain. Second, even if I accept your argument (which I don't, based on copyright history), how do you account for copyright lasting beyond the lifetime of the creator?"

    I have to agree with you on that point. There's no need for copyright to continue for years after the creator's death.

    "Why is it good or necessary?"

    It's good and necessary because it protects the creator's right to control and profit from his work and also guarantees the prospect of regular income in later years. Creative work, as we know, is not a 9-5 job that pays fixed wages monthly, with a whole lot of benefits thrown in.

    "You realize that the copyright system allows and promotes exploitation by an artist by granting them a monopoly on their works, right? Are monopolies necessarily good? Are monopolies necessary? Monopolies can be abused too, you know."

    Sure monopolies can be abused, but monopolies are not always bad. In this case I would say the artist has every right to have a monopoly over his work, deciding who will publish it, how he will gain from it, etc. After all, he's only controlling his work; why should others feel they have every right to do what they want with another man's creative output?

    "How do we know there are better business models? Are they proven? Do they work for everyone?

    No we're back to the content of the post! :) Those are exactly the sorts of questions that Techdirt looks at on a regular basis. Trent Reznor's path to embracing new business models is a perfect example."

    I agree. We must also bear in mind that Reznor is an established and extremely successful musician with a core fan base willing to buy $300 box DVD sets. Before Mike pounces on me, I shall concede that upcoming artists can also benefit from the free model, because it gives them greater exposure. But how many will be able to sell the scarce goods (which is not really a new thing) on their own? And for how long?

    "The existing model answers all the above in the affirmative, which is why content creators have such a hard time figuring out the free model.

    Not necessarily. Is copyright working for everyone now?"

    Until the Internet arrived bigtime, it was working fine.

    "Has copyright been proven to work in a digital landscape? I'd say that digital technology has largely "broken" copyright. Sure, there may be a way to "fix" it, but I'm skeptical for a variety of reasons."

    The digital landscape has changed the game because all of a sudden the power's with the people.

    "A lot of people are having a hard time figuring out the copyright-based models in the face of digital technology, so I don't think it's fair to say that copyright-works-for-everyone-and-new-business-models-dont."

    I never said the new business models don't or won't work. Just that they may not work the same for everyone. And I don't see how copyright didn't work for everyone in the earlier system. Could you elaborate on that?

    "Plus, how many other industries have a one size fits all business model? Usually, business are responsible for figuring out how to make a profit."

    Other industries don't have to worry about infinite goods and scarce goods. Businesses only need to look at issues like raising capital, getting cheaper labour, cutting the costs of raw material, better branding, etc. Giving away their stuff for free is not something that needs to be integrated into their strategy.

    "Business exists in a free market. We don't need a system for every type of businesses. Good businesses can figure out what's profitable, and they have more freedom to innovate when not constrained by unnecessary and broken systems."

    Sometimes it's the "unnecessary system" of copyright that actually helps them innovate and make profits. For instance: author writes book, movie company spots it, deal's done, movie's produced, enough hype's generated, people flock to theaters to watch it, go home happy, company, author go home happy and richer. For 60 plus years this has been possible only because copyright was in place.

    Another scenario: Author writes book, goes to publisher, book hits market, buyers go home with book; author, company go home richer. In a world where all creative work is in public domain, more than one publisher can make money off someone's creative work, but the creator wouldn't get compensated. Is that fair?

    Thanks for the thoughts.

     

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    Blaise Alleyne, Jun 11th, 2008 @ 11:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hi cram,

    Glad to engage in discussion. :)

    I remembered correctly about the 14 years (and you had to register works - only books, maps or charts - and copyright didn't apply automatically). Check out Wikipedia: United States copyright law - History


    The lobby needed stronger copyright laws to ensure a steady stream of income from published works.

    I take issue with the word need. Heard of the Mickey Mouse law? The entertainment lobby essentially seeks to limit the public domain, imho. They get copyright extended for 20 years, and then they have another 20 years to lobby for another extension.

    Copyright is intended as an incentive to create works. How does extending copyright retroactively do that? In that case, it's not an incentive at all. It's welfare for the rights holders, which tend to be publishing firms, not artists (because many of the artists are dead).


    It's good and necessary because it protects the creator's right to control and profit from his work and also guarantees the prospect of regular income in later years.

    Why should the creator have control over his work? That sounds like a restriction on freedom of speech to me. Profit, okay, but how much later in life? It's starting to sound a bit like welfare. Few people have the privilege to profit from work they've done in the past for the rest of their lives.


    In this case I would say the artist has every right to have a monopoly over his work, deciding who will publish it, how he will gain from it, etc. After all, he's only controlling his work; why should others feel they have every right to do what they want with another man's creative output?

    Because that goes against the fundamental nature of ideas! Ideas don't occur in isolation. They spread, grow and change, and people share them and build on them. Shakespeare is a token example; though not responsible for all the plots he used, he crafted his plays in a way much more compelling than anyone who preceded or followed. Freedom of speech, freedom of artistic expression depends on our ability to share and build on the ideas of others. That's the basis of art, thought and progress.

    Also, Mike talks a lot about the difference between invention and innovation as well. Our current systems privilege the inventors at the expense of the innovators. It's a legal liability to take an idea and actually executive and make it useful. (That tends to relate more to patent law though.)

    Not only can those monopolies be abused, but they're also harmful to society in the sense that they restrict the nature growth of ideas. That's why copyright is supposed to apply for a limited time, why it was initial less than two decades in the U.S., because it's harmful for these monopolies to exist in perpetuity.


    I agree. We must also bear in mind that Reznor is an established and extremely successful musician with a core fan base willing to buy $300 box DVD sets. Before Mike pounces on me, I shall concede that upcoming artists can also benefit from the free model, because it gives them greater exposure. But how many will be able to sell the scarce goods (which is not really a new thing) on their own? And for how long?

    I'll pounce on you for Mike. Search Techdirt for Jill Sobule, Issa/Jane Siberry, Maria Schneider. Have you heard of all of those artists? There are lots of non-superstars having success with new business models too.

    And as a young songwriter and musician, I actually don't see much that's different on the ground on a local level. Local artists don't sell CDs in stores, they sell them at shows. People still buy CDs after they see a great band perform (I just played a big release party for a band I play with in Toronto last night). Performances are a key scarce good too! Making a name for yourself on the local scene is very much about gigging.

    Upcoming artists won't be selling autographed box sets, but the opportunity to monetize shows and sell merch at shows hasn't changed much.

    Also, I'm a violinist. Most of my music income has been from doing session work with songwriters and local bands, monetizing my time and skills (scarce goods). No one's asking for my autograph or running to download my music, but I've found demand for my services on the local scene.


    I never said the new business models don't or won't work. Just that they may not work the same for everyone.

    Sure, that's part of the challenge. The economics of abundance is an abstract framework. The challenge in finding an appropriate business is in finding the benefit that you provide and figuring out how to monetize it, figuring out how to differentiate. The economics of abundance suggests that you leverage the infinite goods in order to do that, because it'll grow your market, rather than shrinking your market with artificial scarcity. There's still room and need to innovation in figuring out the particulars of any given business model, and it's an ongoing process. Reznor, for example, has been experimenting a lot.


    And I don't see how copyright didn't work for everyone in the earlier system. Could you elaborate on that?

    I don't think I said copyright didn't work in the earlier system, I was just saying it's not really working now (which is why we're having this conversation). I don't know enough about copyright system to go into detail on the problems of the past, but there are some key changes in recent decades that have made copyright problematic.

    First, copyright law initially applied to large corporations. You needed a printing press to make copies, a radio station to broadcast. Now, with the democratizing of the tools of production and distribution, anyone with a personal computer can make copies or create content. (I literally have six computing devices within arms reach as I type.)

    Second, copyright law has traditionally been applied to content, whereas the Internet is a communications platform. Things get weird in a hurry when you apply copyright to communications. Who owns the rights to your inbox? How about blog comments? YouTube video mashups and video responses? Copyright wasn't made to handle communications.

    There's also the GNU approach, that copyright involved trading away our freedoms to give artists an incentive to create. Thing is, those freedoms weren't nearly as valuable then (you needed a printing press, or a lot of time on your hands) as they are now (Ctrl+C), so we ought to renegotiate the deal since the terms have changed significantly.


    Other industries don't have to worry about infinite goods and scarce goods

    Sure they do. Any business that works with digital goods does, for example (e.g. software industry). And there are non-digital abudant goods too. Take water for example. It's essentially abundant in a developed nation, it flows from the taps. Yet, the bottled water industry is worth billions. They're not given things away for free necessarily, but they compete with free. What about loss leaders? Everyone's talking about whether or not the iPhone is being sold at loss to Apple or AT&T and who's subsidizing it (tbh, I haven't kept up with the news, not terribly interested). iTunes is a loss leader. Most video game consoles (except the Wii) are sold at a loss.

    So, there are lots of other industries that deal with free, and even more industries that deal with loss leaders. Joel Spolksy has talked about a similar idea to the economics of abundance, but in different terms: smart businesses monetize their complements.

    Free (as in price) is an important part of a many business models!


    Sometimes it's the "unnecessary system" of copyright that actually helps them innovate and make profits.... For 60 plus years this has been possible only because copyright was in place.

    I haven't yet found much reason to attack copyright in the 20th century. Again, I'm not really saying it's been broken all along. But copyright isn't doing the same job in the face of digital technologies, and for some of the reasons I stated above, I'm not convinced that it could or should.


    In a world where all creative work is in public domain, more than one publisher can make money off someone's creative work, but the creator wouldn't get compensated. Is that fair?

    I license my music under a CC BY-SA license, which would allow for this sort of thing. Not that anyone really cares about my music right now (and there's not much of it - long story... involving engagements and dogs...), but allowing for that scenario is rather incidental. There are a few reasons I allow for commercial use. Derivative works are an issue, because I would want anyone downstream from me to have the same freedoms I'd like from upstream. For example, if someone creates a remix, they should be able to sell it. Also, within a Creative Commons framework, I don't think the non-commercial culture makes sense (it's not clearly defined, and not truly free in the sense of freedom).

    I could ramble on more... but take a look at free software / open source software. Anyone can make use of it, for commercial purposes too. I get paid to create Wordpress and Drupal websites for people, and I don't pay any of the Wordpress or Drupal programmers. (I mean, I try to give back.. but it's not necessary.) Red Hat Enterprise Linux can be redistributed as CentOS, and that's not considered unfair.

    The scenario you pose could be created incidentally, and might be problematic if it's not handled well. But, there are lots of possibilities. Ultimately, every sale is still promotion for the other, if he's got something to promote. His time is a scarce resource, authors do book signings and in-store appearances. Increased attention drives up sales in general (if the book's any good), even if all sales aren't going back to the author. If an author's builds his profile up high enough, a work might be commissioned, or the author might adopt a fund-and-release model. Red Hat enforces its trademark quite aggressively to maintain control of its brand and differentiate itself from clones.

    I believe there are a variety of ways to handle these scenarios and to leverage them to an author's advantage.

    (And, by the way, GNU project, my music, etc., is not in the public domain, but rather it's released under copyleft licenses. Slightly difference, freedom must be preserved for recipients...)


    This comment is long enough! Time to shut up!

     

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

  75.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Jun 12th, 2008 @ 3:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And I don't see how copyright didn't work for everyone in the earlier system. Could you elaborate on that?

    Ah, that one's easy. With a system based on copyright, you actually greatly limit the content that's produced. Because for it to work, you need to *sell* a lot of the content itself. So that pushed the folks funding such endeavors only to focus on mainstream appeal and big hits. If you think of the long tail, copyright basically built up something of a barrier, making it harder for those down the tail to get anywhere.

    It distorted the market, so that those who were there "funding" the market, put all their money on the big hits, rather than aggregating across the board.

    Other industries don't have to worry about infinite goods and scarce goods.

    I'd argue that's not quite true. Almost every industry faces these issues in some manner or another.

     

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

  76.  
    identicon
    Reverend Joe, Jun 15th, 2008 @ 10:39am

    Re:

    Firstly, I believe art of any value is IMPOSSIBLE for an artist to NOT create while they continue to live -- not to say that it doesn't take EFFORT, or TIME, but rather to say that creating what you are driven to create anyway isn't the same thing as being a proctologist -- those guys are either a) sick, or b) ONLY doing it for the money (the kind I prefer).

    Secondly, you rightly point out that artist's shouldn't be held to the "crazy ideal" regarding making money, so why then should they be allowed to hold us all to their own "crazy ideal" notion that because what they do is so flippin' SPECIAL that they shouldn't have to DO WHAT THE MARKET requires of them to make money.

    When fans say it should be about music first, money second, that's crazy idealism, but when TR says he shouldn't have to engage in marketing to .... sell into the market, that's noble altruism?

    Well, I call BS -- if someone wants to make money from their art, they can DO WHAT THE MARKET REQUIRES OF THEM to make it -- "crazy ideals" of how their art should make money notwithstanding. Do the rest of us get to go to our jobs and say, "I don't like how the multinational corporation I work for invests in companies that profit from the genocide in Darfur, therefore, I demand that they stop, and will quit working until they stop, but, yes, I would still like my paycheck please."

    Shit, as an artist in my own right, I'd like to demand that I NOT have to work to make money, just that I keep getting paid by the market to play videogames all day and watch porn and masturbate -- and I'm damn good at those things -- but that, of course, would be "crazy idealism" and it ain't happening anytime soon.

    Sorry, but artists don't get it both ways -- they can't take the high road on engaging in the market and then complain about not getting paid -- or we'll all just continue to keep ignoring their so-called copy "rights" and they can get a fucking actual job that is NOT just idyllic pursuit of their life's passion ... just like the rest of us ...

     

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

  77.  
    identicon
    mycommu, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 12:54am

    mycommunity

    Hello all, our site is especially for the Artists models with different background. Though Mycommunity.in they will get a platform to show there talent.

     

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


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