Yes, Let's Create A Real Day Of Sharing

from the and-show-musicians-how-it-works dept

Shaun alerted us to an article in the CS Monitor about a Hollywood composer, Richard Gibbs, who is sarcastically proposing an international "Day of Sharing." It's not what you might think it is. Rather than suggesting a day to show how sharing is a good thing, Gibbs is simply showing his own ignorance of the difference between scarce and infinite goods. That's because his "Day of Sharing" is a recommendation that people steal (yes, steal!) physical things. He claims that this will show people that sharing music is stealing -- but, of course, he's wrong. Making a copy of an infinite good is entirely different than taking a scarce good away from someone. Most people who think about this for more than a few minutes tend to get that -- though, obviously, some are a bit slower. The very fact that more and more musicians have learned not just how to make money but to thrive while encouraging people to share their music suggests that it's not stealing at all. It's simply a business model issue, with Mr. Gibbs being unwilling to adjust. Also, amusingly, either he or the author of the article seems to think that eMusic is a file sharing site -- complaining about it as one of the "sources of free music" apparently unaware that eMusic is a paid music site, and probably the most successful service after iTunes.

However, if he wants a "Day of Sharing," perhaps we should give it to him. On the day he's chosen as his Day of Sharing, November 29, 2009 (the day after Thanksgiving) we should all send him copies of free, public domain or Creative Commons-licensed music from musicians who actually have an open mind on this issue and who encourage sharing, knowing that, with the right business model, it actually helps them tremendously. That would be a true Day of Sharing and would perhaps show Mr. Gibbs that perhaps things aren't so bad as he thinks they are.

Update: Fantastic idea from the comments: "We should all dress like Richard Gibbs and then send him pictures showing how we stole his clothes." Brilliant.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    pegr, Feb 26th, 2009 @ 9:50am

    Or perhaps...

    we can really steal stuff. Lots of retail traffic on that day. Should be a good day to shoplift!

     

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  2.  
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    Ima Fish, Feb 26th, 2009 @ 9:55am

    Dowling v. United States, 473 U.S. 207 (1985) held that that
    "interference with copyright does not equate with theft, conversion, or fraud."

    "The infringer invades a statutorily defined province guaranteed to the copyright holder alone. But he does not assume physical control over the copyright; nor does he wholly deprive its owner of its use."

     

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  3.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Feb 26th, 2009 @ 10:25am

    Even better

    We should all dress like Richard Gibbs and then send him pictures showing how we stole his clothes.

     

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  4.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Feb 26th, 2009 @ 10:37am

    Re: Or perhaps...

    Only from Richard Gibbs. Maybe then he will understand the difference between copyright infringement and theft.

     

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  5.  
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    Shii, Feb 26th, 2009 @ 10:45am

    I think the abuse of language is most telling here... he actually thinks sharing something with your friends is equivalent to stealing something you don't own. Think about that for a moment. How would this guy survive in a pre-capitalist society?!

     

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  6.  
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    Rich Pearson, Feb 26th, 2009 @ 10:45am

    To see how much sharing can actually help

    For those wanting to watch where their shared work goes, sign up for the FairShare beta and you can see the power of sharing in action. We're in private beta, but if you use 'dayofsharing' as your invite code, I'll make sure you get in quickly.

     

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  7.  
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    Xiera, Feb 26th, 2009 @ 11:01am

    Re: Even better

    Win.

     

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  8.  
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    Hulser, Feb 26th, 2009 @ 11:13am

    Responses to the Gibbs article

    Quotes from the article linked in the TD post...

    "But his [Gibbs's] campaign doesn't target those who download or share music illegally online it zeroes in on the companies that allow it."

    Allow it? This is absurd. As has been pointed out countless times, an ISP "allows" copyright infringement in the same way that a car company "allows" a bank robbery because the robbers use a getaway car.


    "Gibbs's dramatic crusade reflects the frustration of many other musicians. The music industry has yet to figure out a way to pay the creators of music in an Internet age of easy digital copying."

    Maybe the industry as a whole has yet to figure this out, but forward-thinking artists and sites like Techdirt are doing their best to come up with or promote workable models. The charge-the-ISP model is just flat out wrongheaded.


    "The RIAA has begun working with ISPs as an alternative to its recently abandoned strategy of suing individual file-sharers, according to Kevin Parks, a copyright attorney at Leydig, Voit, and Mayer Ltd. in Chicago."

    'Working with'. There's a euphamism if I've ever seen one. Working with as in an offer you can't refuse?


    "File sharing violates intellectual property statutes and eliminates an important stream of revenue for composers, artists, and musicians, says Tom Lee, president of the American Federation of Musicians. "

    Eliminates? Uh, no. Changes maybe, but not eliminates. That's the whole problem as I see it. If you ignore or can't see alternate revenue streams, then of course your perception is that they've been eliminated. But the goal is not to make money the same way you've always made money. The goal is to make money.


    "Others suggest that the tactic is out of touch with reality. "Students just don't see file sharing as stealing," says Michal Strahelevitz, a professor of marketing at Golden Gate University in San Francisco."

    Maybe because it's not stealing?

     

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  9.  
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    another mike, Feb 26th, 2009 @ 11:28am

    Re: Even better

    "Does Barry Manilow know you stole his wardrobe?"
    First thing I thought of. Sixteen Candles rip/burn/return (RBR) from my Netflix queue FTW.

     

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  10.  
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    Anthony, Feb 26th, 2009 @ 11:36am

    Day of Sharing

    Mike,

    I actually think this is a great idea. This is something that, if publicized properly, could inform the general populace about these issues. The internet would not exist today were it not for a bunch of people sharing their ideas over the past few decades. The fact that it would be using his own words against him would make it more effective.

     

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  11.  
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    Anthony, Feb 26th, 2009 @ 11:39am

    Re: Day of Sharing

    ...and I mean a TRUE day of sharing, not just a sarcastic marketing gimmick designed to get back at him.

    Programmers could share a program that is normally sold for a fee. Writers could share books, musicians music, etc., etc., etc.

     

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    Skout, Feb 26th, 2009 @ 12:19pm

    Day after Thanksgiving, eh?

    Maybe a minor detail, but it doesn't seem to me that Nov 29 is the day after Thanksgiving. If something like this is planned, might wanna solidify a date.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2009 @ 12:21pm

    It was the Breakfast Club, and the line was "Does Barry Manilow know you raid his wardrobe?"

     

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  14.  
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    Crashoverride, Feb 26th, 2009 @ 12:55pm

    Maybe we should all celebrate a "National Photo Copy Your Favorite Comic Strip Day" Perhaps the Police after hearing about this day will send out officers to every know Copier guarding against this crime. A Crime that comes with fines higher than the median five year salary for every copy. Imagine the Chaos the comic strip writers will be up in arms that people are showing off to there friends which comic they copied. Perhaps people will be exposed to comic strips they've never heard about before. Imagine if we had one place to go to to see which comic got copied the most(TPB). Maybe an unknown will become so popular that he compiles his previously unread strips into a book. That comic writer might even go onto be on TV, do a book tour, writing copy for ads or all of the other unrelated ancillary avenues for making money. Nah... lets just go "Borrow" someones Porsche.

     

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  15.  
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    eleete, Feb 26th, 2009 @ 1:37pm

    Re:

    Ha Ha, It's not a CRIME, at least not in the USA. Especially if you are distributing works within an open source type license. GPL, CC or otherwise CopyLeft. You are a fool to think the police would do a thing. It is a civil offense, NOT criminal. Foolish indeed

     

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  16.  
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    Tom, Feb 26th, 2009 @ 1:42pm

    perhaps it's just a fundamental misunderstanding...

    ... in the way digital media works. I'm reminded of this gem...

    http://bash.org/?104052

     

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  17.  
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    Joel, Feb 27th, 2009 @ 12:22am

    Re: Day after Thanksgiving, eh?

    looking at my google calendar shows Nov 29, 2009 as a Sunday. Most definitely not the day after Thanksgiving

     

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  18.  
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    LostSailor, Feb 27th, 2009 @ 7:09am

    Re: Re:

    It is a civil offense, NOT criminal. Foolish indeed

    Aren't Charles Nesson and Joel Tenenbaum arguing that the RIAA's suit under the Digital Theft Deterrence Act of 1999 is unconstitutional because it defines such "sharing" as a criminal offense that cannot be prosecuted by a non-governmental entity in civil court?

     

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  19.  
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    Gene Cavanaugh, Feb 27th, 2009 @ 12:28pm

    Sharing

    I agree again Michael. Agreeing is getting to be a habit!
    In my case, I started giving away free advice on IP so that people would be more aware of what it is supposed to be, versus what, unfortunately, it is; with large entity IP.
    I find that when I help people see what the founding fathers meant in the Constitution (infinite good), they also realize if they have a true invention (scarce good), spending a small amount more (in addition to the roughly $1000.00 in fees from the USPTO) to help them to bring it to the market (or, if donating it to the public, being sure it stays free) is a good thing.
    I refuse to represent clients that simply want patents for what I consider to be blackmail (large entity model, IMO). Blocking innovation is not what IP should be about.
    This "free help" helps me both find clients (without advertising) and form better relationships with my clients!
    True, most of them never give me any money, but I am fine on that - they should pay only for "scarce goods" (filing, prosecution, special research, that sort of thing).

     

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  20.  
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    another mike, Feb 27th, 2009 @ 2:45pm

    Re:

    You're right. I stand corrected. Revoke my Rat Pack Fan Club membership.

     

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  21.  
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    another mike, Feb 27th, 2009 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Re:

    Brat Pack.

    Jeez, I miss the 80s.

     

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  22.  
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    a musician, Mar 8th, 2009 @ 6:18am

    wow, all of you are really ignorant....or maybe not?

    to suggest:

    "its not our fault the music industry can't find a new model to earn revenue from the products we download for free "....

    is absolutely disingenuous, a defensive mechanism to deflect attention away from.....yourselves.

    the rationale that because a its only a "copy" of a physical item and its 'our right" to share it is just selfish, moronic and flawed.

    please please tell me how the artists will benefit by letting "fans" "share" their music.........?

    suggest a model?

    and if you tell me you support artists by going to their concerts and buying merchandise sight some examples and how much you spent last year.

    then i'd like to know, how you supported the artists who's music is on your ipods, that you didn't go see. oh wait, i know....you "shared" their music with others. great.

     

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  23.  
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    A Content Creator, Mar 8th, 2009 @ 8:19am

    What a pathetic thread. Some of you should grow some balls and join society as adult human beings instead of living in your parents basement stealing music from hard working musicians who are just trying to make a living with their craft.

    First, the FILE is not what your stealing! The MONEY that you should have paid for the file, or your friend should have paid for the file, is what you are stealing. You must understand that fact.

    The argument that you would have never bought the music you steal in the first place, is so self insulting, I can't believe anyone over the age of twelve would even consider making it. You are in essence telling those of us who create electronically copyable products like music, software, games and music, that you are a parasite, a leach on society and would never pay your own way anyway, so there is no damage done when you steal. WOW!

    I have made my living serving musicians. Sometimes they are famous musicians, but a lot of the time they are local songwriters who are trying to break into the business and hoping to get a shot at making a living writing and playing music. All they want is what you want, to be paid for their contribution to the world. Yet you deny them that chance to survive and gleefully rejoice in your mistreatment of them on this forum.

    These musicians are people just like you, except they do not leach on the efforts of others. They work hard. They have dreams. They want to support their families. They deserve more from you.

    While you sit here stealing their hard work and futures, you say to them, "figure out another way to make a living, because we are not going to stop stealing". How cold can you get?

    Your behavior is pathetic in the extreme, but I have no pity for you. Eventually, when most of us are gone and there are no more artists creating new works of art because they cannot survive doing it, you will be left with downloading and stealing works of art, music, games and software from the "Golden" age of creativity; the time before the file stealing revolution. You truly deserve your fate. I just wish we did not have to share that fate with you. We do not deserve your fate.

     

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  24.  
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    Ryan, Mar 8th, 2009 @ 10:09am

    True story: I thought that file sharing could be a great idea, when it came out. I still do, in a Utopian world, because here you had a way for smaller artists to be on a more level playing field of exposure. I'm always more DIY, always more for the little guy, and it is true that the majors made some bad decisions and dug some of their own grave to a certain extent, and didn't always react to what people really wanted to hear on the radio or in general. If I downloaded an album and liked it, I always bought the albums that were good--and I assumed that other people would, as well. No one should have to be expected to pay for something that they do not like.

    However, it is clear that the exposure that artists receive usually only amounts to the conversation being something like "have you heard so and so's new album?" "no, I think that i'll download it". Trent Reznor got stung by this on the Saul Williams album in which it was made free. Trent found out--and was disappointed--that so comparatively few people bought it, YET they could hear samples and try out enough of the album in which they could decide from a few songs whether they liked it or not.

    The rationale and excuses that artists need to find a better way to market their music is absolute bullshit. Artists and labels have offered extras--DVD's, bonus tracks, interactive online media, all in an attempt to go above and beyond what the customer expects. People seem to forget this.

    However, what the customer expects is to pay ZERO, and you'd be surprised at what people would do for free. Getting people to budge from free is nearly impossible; in many circles (I also blame this on parents nowadays), it's taught and *recommended* that people steal, because "artists and labels are greedy, take what you can, people deserve it, etc".

    Well what about prestigious distro Pinnacle going under, that distributes many independent labels that are lesser known, to get that lesser known music out to music fans and music lovers who have more specific tastes than the lowest common denominator mainstream stuff? How does this benefit the smaller artist?

    How about indie label Touch and Go going under, laying off 20 staff members, not signing any new bands, and their distro going under? Were they a part of this greedy, money grubbing industry? No. Corey Rusk has always treated his artists fairly on a handshake deal, and running his label to be fair to both artist and consumer. He's kept all his releases in print (even the obscure ones from the 80's), and of course they don't want to ream out audiences for rampant downloading theft. No label or band wants to. But it's coming to that; bands and labels will quietly go under without a fight, to subsidize someone's bullshit right to take something because they feel that they're more deserving of that money, when in essence, it just goes into someone's beer fund or party fund on a Friday night.

    If you like it, BUY IT. It is the only way that quality content providers will be able to survive. Today's musical consumers have this expectation of wanting top notch music and entertainment, and then assuming that there's no price to make it available to them. Based on a survey, music fans often will wait no longer than 1 second for streaming music. That, to me, says more about them than it does about the bands and labels.....that unless something is served up on absolute convienience (free, cheap, quick), that it's not even worth listening to.

    How about this paradox? YouTube and places like The Pirate Bay make MILLIONS of dollars off of advertising; often off of content made by small and lesser known artists and providers. And who drives that interest? You, the average person who frequents it, and they're not paying you a dime for going there and driving their hits up to get massive advertising revenues. They were once small

    If you want to know who's the next greedy empire that's refusing to pay people (like the major labels or big corporations that ripped off artists and consumers), you're buying right into their scheme. In this case, Robin Hood may be stealing from the rich, but he's also stealing from the poor, too, and he's sitting in piles of cash in a castle somewhere, laughing maniacally to himself at how stupid people really are.

    People nowadays have lost my desire for me to defend them--they now flaunt that they can get whatever they like and not pay for it. This is absolute bullshit, and as Bill says above, after awhile, all people will be left with is the hollowed shell of the Golden era of creativity before the file sharing exodus. It's already happening, as more and more people are just defaulting to the classic or well established bands that had the promotions and benefits before the file sharing exodus started. If people expect to hear NEW bands doing great things, ask yourself what the price of promotions is. It's astronomical. Labels undoubtedly spend infinitely more on promotions than recording and production, simply because they have to promo a cd to every newspaper and every major outlet and have enough advertising budgets to override all the other acts.

    Indie labels, indie artists, small record stores, distro are all going under here. Again, if you like it, BUY IT. There is only one way to separate yourself from the masses of other people that buy into the myth and drink the file sharing corporations' KoolAid (remember that The Pirate Bay is a multimillion dollar corporation), that you support artists and remember music in a day and age as something that was hard earned, and a fight against mediocrity and the noise of banality.

    If you don't pay for the music you like, you become the mediocrity and the noise of banality. Word of mouth means almost nothing, so never assume that you passing on a good word of mouth will mean something, because i'd know--promotions are almost a dead industry for small record labels, because distro is shutting down, the costs/ inflation of studio time/ gear/ pressing is going up, and yet people still expect to pay 10 bucks a cd. They were 20 bucks in the 80's.....with the inflation of all the costs to make the content that arrives at your ears in a high quality fashion instead of some half assed demo as so many bands are doing, well, that's all money. And time. But time is money in the end. When artists don't get compensated properly, they cannot continue or even attempt to make high quality recordings.

     

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  25.  
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    another musician, Mar 8th, 2009 @ 12:07pm

    Update: Fantastic idea from the comments: "We should all dress like Richard Gibbs and then send him pictures showing how we stole his clothes." Brilliant.

    And would you be PAYING for these clothes or just lifting them off the rack?

    The logic that you're not stealing simply because you're not taking a physical product is just a selfish convenience. What you're stealing is not the file, it's the art contained within it. And the artist is entitled to compensation for your ownership of the file that contains that art.

    This is all very simple: If an artist chooses to let you download the music, then it's free. If an artist charges for the music and you own it without paying for it, it's stolen. And that makes it harder for people to become professional musicians, harder for them to create music on a full-time basis, and the quality of music suffers.

    You can nitpick about definitions, but the end result is that you people are destroying the livelihood of artists, and ultimately the music itself.

     

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  26.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 8th, 2009 @ 1:30pm

    Re:

    This is all very simple: If an artist chooses to let you download the music, then it's free. If an artist charges for the music and you own it without paying for it, it's stolen.

    No. It's copyright infringement. It's tough to take seriously anyone who can't understand the difference between *copying* something and *stealing* something.

    And that makes it harder for people to become professional musicians, harder for them to create music on a full-time basis, and the quality of music suffers.


    Not at all. As we have shown, repeatedly, artists who embrace these new models are doing quite well -- better than they were before. So the basis of your argument is wrong.


    You can nitpick about definitions, but the end result is that you people are destroying the livelihood of artists, and ultimately the music itself.


    Again, the evidence suggests exactly the opposite. And when I have to choose between the actual evidence and an anonymous musician who can't even tell the difference between copying something and stealing something... well, take a guess which one I follow?

     

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  27.  
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    A Content Creator, Mar 8th, 2009 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re:

    Mike,

    Please post the list of artists "doing quite well", along with their contact info so we can determine for ourselves if they feel they are better off with file stealing than without.

    Also, while your at it, please post your site's income from advertising that supports your ability to take this position on this issue. What these file stealing peeps don't understand is that you are making money on the backs of musicians as well, by drawing file thieves to your site and then selling advertising to companies who know exactly what is going on. You are part of the problem, not the solution. If you were not able to use this "issue" to sell advertising, you would not be here.

     

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  28.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 8th, 2009 @ 2:07pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Please post the list of artists "doing quite well", along with their contact info so we can determine for ourselves if they feel they are better off with file stealing than without.

    We've been listing them out on Techdirt for quite some time. Just because you show up late to the party, don't expect us to do your work for you. Try the search engine above.

    Also, while your at it, please post your site's income from advertising that supports your ability to take this position on this issue.

    Nice job displaying how incredibly clueless you are. What does our advertising have to do with anything? Besides, if you'd bothered to read (I highly suggest learning before opening your mouth and displaying ignorance) you would know that advertising is not our business model.

    hat these file stealing peeps don't understand is that you are making money on the backs of musicians as well, by drawing file thieves to your site and then selling advertising to companies who know exactly what is going on. You are part of the problem, not the solution. If you were not able to use this "issue" to sell advertising, you would not be here.

    Again, advertising represents less than 5% of our revenue and we fully expect it to go away totally, and have said so in the past.

    Yet, we post stories of musicians willingly giving away their music and making millions of dollars. Your ignorance is astounding. No wonder you're going broke. You're blaming the very people who are trying to help you.

     

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  29.  
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    A Content Creator, Mar 8th, 2009 @ 3:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh Geez Mike,

    We want to watch that temper. It's bad for your heart.

    You don't seem to do well when someone disagrees with you, do you? Calling names and all. I guess your more used to two or three line affirmations from from 16 year old kids.

    However, you are right about one thing. While I'm certainly not late to THE party, as I have never heard your name before today, I guess I'm late to your party. But then again, your not the center of the Universe are you? Just another guy with a keyboard.

    I actually did a search on your site to see of you had a potential objective opinion on file stealing, however every article I found by you was clearly one sided and in favor of file stealing. So, I promise to look again, but we both know I won't find much in the way of you condemning intellectual property theft.

    Are you also in favor of stealing software and games? How about movies? Are you typing your replies to me on a cracked copy of Office? If so, why? If NOT, WHY? Why would you choose to pay for your software and NOT your music? If you don't feel the need to pay for your music, why the hell would you pay for your software? C'mon man, if your going to be a pirate, BE A PIRATE!

    With "friends" like you, the music industry does not need enemies.

     

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  30.  
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    another musician, Mar 8th, 2009 @ 5:04pm

    Mike,

    OK, toning it down a bit. I understand where you're coming from regarding the legal distinction between stealing and infringement. I hope you will also concede a distinction between infringement and "sharing," which is certainly a euphemism.

    But is the distinction between stealing and infringement your only argument? Or do you support copyright infringement?

    As we have shown, repeatedly, artists who embrace these new models are doing quite well -- better than they were before. So the basis of your argument is wrong.

    And back to the crux of the matter: Should it not be the decision of the artist to embrace the model? What is your position on nonpayment for copying and distributing the work of an artist who wishes to charge for this?

     

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  31.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 9th, 2009 @ 12:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    We want to watch that temper. It's bad for your heart.

    What's bad for my heart is idiots showing up on a single blog post weeks after it was posted, thinking they know everything about what we talk about here.

    However, you are right about one thing. While I'm certainly not late to THE party, as I have never heard your name before today, I guess I'm late to your party. But then again, your not the center of the Universe are you? Just another guy with a keyboard.

    Yup. And I'm probably making more money than you ever had by helping folks making tons of money themselves. Why should I care that some guy who can't read and doesn't understand basic economics doesn't know who I am?

    I actually did a search on your site to see of you had a potential objective opinion on file stealing, however every article I found by you was clearly one sided and in favor of file stealing.

    No way. I have NEVER supported stealing or infringement at all. Never. Not once. Point me to a SINGLE article that says that. I don't support copyright infringement and NEVER have. I don't do it personally, I don't say anyone should do it. I've never supported it. To claim I have is wrong. It's a lie from someone who apparently is unable to read.

    What I DO actually DO (reading comprehension is your friend...) is explain to people the basic economics of information, and how to profit from them.

    Are you also in favor of stealing software and games? How about movies? Are you typing your replies to me on a cracked copy of Office? If so, why? If NOT, WHY? Why would you choose to pay for your software and NOT your music? If you don't feel the need to pay for your music, why the hell would you pay for your software? C'mon man, if your going to be a pirate, BE A PIRATE!

    Let's try this again, since apparently your synapses are a bit slow: I do not support "stealing" anything. I do not support "infringement" either. I support real artists who are willing to embrace new business models that are making them rich.

    I am not a "pirate." I don't do any file sharing and I don't support those who do.

    I work from the position of the content creator, and I help those who want it learn how to embrace new models and make money.

    With "friends" like you, the music industry does not need enemies.

    Nice to see you have an open mind.

     

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  32.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 9th, 2009 @ 1:00am

    Re:


    But is the distinction between stealing and infringement your only argument? Or do you support copyright infringement?


    No, I do not. But I do think that artists need to learn that they're better off not worrying about it, because there are ways to embrace it and do much better because of it.


    And back to the crux of the matter: Should it not be the decision of the artist to embrace the model? What is your position on nonpayment for copying and distributing the work of an artist who wishes to charge for this?


    I believe it is their legal right, but it's a stupid one to enforce. All it does is piss off your biggest asset: your fans.

    And, the fact is, PRICE is never really the "decision of the creator." It's the decision of the market. So if the market eventually decides that the price really should be $0, then trying to charge for it is going to become harder and harder and harder. So why fight the market when there are ways to make tons of money aligning yourself with the market?

     

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  33.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 9th, 2009 @ 1:10am

    Re:

    First, the FILE is not what your stealing! The MONEY that you should have paid for the file, or your friend should have paid for the file, is what you are stealing. You must understand that fact.

    I'm curious. Last week, when you went out for lunch, and had to decide between the pizza place and the sandwich shop -- and chose the sandwich shop, did you then get arrested for stealing from the pizza place?

    According to your definition, you stole from the pizza shop. Because there was money that you SHOULD have paid the pizza shop. You made a decision for an alternative source of food, and thus the pizza shop didn't get money.

    Yes, that's ridiculous, but logically (if you understood economics, which you've shown you do not), it's the same argument you just made.

    The argument that you would have never bought the music you steal in the first place, is so self insulting, I can't believe anyone over the age of twelve would even consider making it. You are in essence telling those of us who create electronically copyable products like music, software, games and music, that you are a parasite, a leach on society and would never pay your own way anyway, so there is no damage done when you steal. WOW!

    Funny then that folks much smarter than you are making tons of money by recognizing those "parasites" are actually quite symbiotic.

    Good thing about that, though, is dinosaurs such as yourself either adapt or die eventually. Most of them die.

    These musicians are people just like you, except they do not leach on the efforts of others. They work hard. They have dreams. They want to support their families. They deserve more from you.

    By treating their biggest fans as criminals? Yeah, right. The artists who treat their fans as fans are doing just fine.

    Eventually, when most of us are gone and there are no more artists creating new works of art because they cannot survive doing it,

    Oh please. You're making me laugh. You know how much music was created prior to the implementation of copyright law? Tons. You know what happened in most countries when copyright law was first implemented? The amount of music production WENT DOWN. Why? Because it established a monopoly right that let musicians live off of what they had done in the past, rather than increase output.

    Oops. Theory A right out the window.

    We do not deserve your fate.

    In this day and age, anyone so clueless to show up weeks late in a forum they know nothing about and spout off nonsense that was disproved a decade ago deserves any fate they get.

     

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  34.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 9th, 2009 @ 1:15am

    Re:

    However, it is clear that the exposure that artists receive usually only amounts to the conversation being something like "have you heard so and so's new album?" "no, I think that i'll download it". Trent Reznor got stung by this on the Saul Williams album in which it was made free. Trent found out--and was disappointed--that so comparatively few people bought it, YET they could hear samples and try out enough of the album in which they could decide from a few songs whether they liked it or not.

    Look, if you want to cherry pick your results, that's a bad one to pick. First, Saul Williams disagreed with Reznor and said that he did MUCH better on this album than his earlier one, and even Reznor LATER ADMITTED that he was WRONG with his initial assessment. In fact, after that, he released HIS OWN album for free as well.

    The problem with the Williams/Reznor release was that it was "give it away and pray" rather than "give it away with a real business model." Reznor figured this out later, and has continued to do quite nicely.

    I just did a presentation to a bunch of record industry execs on Reznor's big success in giving away his music and using it to make millions.

    So, yeah, this is a bad, bad example.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    me, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 5:12am

    Re: Re:

    Mike,

    I found this blog the same way "A Content Creator" did, and I've read some of your other posts to try to understand what it is you are actually proposing. As I understand it (give away free downloads as promo cash in via touring, merchandise, sponsorship, etc), the idea seems to have several flaws.

    1. If we give up on trying to enforce copyright for music, what happens when people start ignoring copyright and trademark rights when we're trying to sell merchandise. What happens if a t-shirt maker decides to copy our designs and follow us around tour undercut the prices of the shirts right outside of each venue? Is that a case where we're supposed to start enforcing copyright? What happens if impostors start posing as our band and attempting to do business on the web either by selling merch or soliciting sponsorship? Why should we have any expectation that trademark will actually be enforceable online when copyright clearly hasn't been?

    2. Bands do not make enough money from touring to sustain themselves until they are very successful. The first several times you try to play in a new market are essentially a loss leader. In the past bands could afford to do this because they were being supported by record company advances as they worked to expand their market. I'm in a band that has 75,000 friends on MySpace, and gets 500-1000 plays a day. Outside of our hometown, there's nowhere we can play and actually make enough money to even cover travel expenses. The only bands that actually make money on touring are the very biggest groups.

    3. You say there are many examples of this model being successful. The only one I was able to find on your site through a quick search was Trent Reznor. The problem with him as an example (and Radiohead) was that his brand value was all built up in the old label system. Money from other bands record sales was used to finance his initial recordings, his promotion, and his living expenses while his brand grew to the point that it was popular. Without the old business model, who is willing to make this initial investment now?

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    gd, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 9:11am

    please fill us in

    Mike

    Just for background -- I am very curious to know who are these bands that are making millions of dollars, or even a passable living, by allowing free sharing of their music that didn't already have quite a bit of success.

    Has anybody managed it from the ground up, from a standing start?

    I'm not saying it can't or won't be done, but has it really been done yet? Can you name some names? My experience is much more in line with what 'Me' lays out above.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    A Content Creator, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 9:27am

    Mike,

    "What's bad for my heart is idiots showing up on a single blog post weeks after it was posted, thinking they know everything about what we talk about here."

    Again with the name calling. That kind of bush league behavior will NOT get you out of the blogosphere and into real journalism. Does your mother know you talk like this? Anyway, you should be happy that I have decided to write to you and make your old blog nice and shiny new again. It looks like a few other people don't agree with your support of file stealing either does it? That must just tick you off.

    "I'm curious. Last week, when you went out for lunch, and had to decide between the pizza place and the sandwich shop -- and chose the sandwich shop, did you then get arrested for stealing from the pizza place?

    According to your definition, you stole from the pizza shop. Because there was money that you SHOULD have paid the pizza shop. You made a decision for an alternative source of food, and thus the pizza shop didn't get money.

    Yes, that's ridiculous,"

    I totally agree. That is the MOST ridiculous argument in favor of file stealing I have EVER heard. You win.

    However, if last week on my lunch break, I decided to sneak into a theater and watch a movie without paying, I would be breaking the law. And that would be NO DIFFERENT than if I illegally downloaded a movie file and watched it on my lunch break. How hard can that be to understand Mike? C'mon, I can't believe you can't understand that.

    "By treating their biggest fans as criminals? Yeah, right."

    Mike, biggest fans PAY FOR THEIR MUSIC. Parasites steal their music. Biggest fans want to support the artists they love, NOT STEAL FROM THEM. How hard can that be to understand? Even for you! And anyway, whenever I go into Wal Mart, there are dozens of cameras watching my every move. And if I do something illegal in the store, I will be arrested. Are you now going to tell brick and mortar merchants that they cannot police their own property? Again, these things are not so hard to understand for a smart guy like you.

    What if I figured out a way to put pop up banners on your site without paying you for it? Would you mind? It's just a little banner at the top whenever anyone clicks on your site. Nothing too ostentatious, just an ad. I would not even be making a copy of your web site, just putting a banner on top whenever someone clicks on it. I actually think you might mind. I think you might try to stop me from doing that, don't you? That is because the web site is your property and you have the right to say what is done with it. So do artists, movie makers and game and software developers. They have the right to say how someone uses their products, just as you do.

    "No way. I have NEVER supported stealing or infringement at all. Never. Not once. Point me to a SINGLE article that says that. I don't support copyright infringement and NEVER have. I don't do it personally, I don't say anyone should do it. I've never supported it. To claim I have is wrong. It's a lie from someone who apparently is unable to read."

    "I am not a "pirate." I don't do any file sharing and I don't support those who do."

    I want to repost those statements of yous because I want your regulars to see what you say when someone confronts your name calling swagger. I did a short search on your articles and found a familiar thread below.

    "File sharing has, in fact, created a net benefit to the economy and society in both the short and long term, and that will likely continue. "

    "...unauthorized file sharing is the root cause of the recording industry's problems these days. That's simply not true."

    Just to be clear, I am totally in favor of a business model that removes all penalties for downloading music, movies, games and software, that removes the stink of illegality that hovers over our teen population, that rewards creativity and productivity of our content creators and that brings a new public channel of access to artists, movie makers, game creators and software developers. So if you REALLY believe in such a thing, then help to make it happen, not by condemning content creators who are being robbed to death by file stealing, but by supporting the value of intellectual property and helping to pass the laws, set the standards and design the systems to make online file distribution safe, secure and legal.

     

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  38.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 9th, 2009 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I found this blog the same way "A Content Creator" did, and I've read some of your other posts to try to understand what it is you are actually proposing. As I understand it (give away free downloads as promo cash in via touring, merchandise, sponsorship, etc), the idea seems to have several flaws.

    If you want to understand the details, here it is: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070503/012939.shtml

    It's a lot more than just "touring, merchandise, sponsorship, etc."

    1. If we give up on trying to enforce copyright for music, what happens when people start ignoring copyright and trademark rights when we're trying to sell merchandise.

    Trademark is a different issue than copyright, so don't confuse the two. However, what you describe above is not much of a problem. Real fans will want the authentic stuff, not the copies. And, it's quite easy to add additional *uncopyable* benefits to the real stuff: offered signed copies.

    What happens if a t-shirt maker decides to copy our designs and follow us around tour undercut the prices of the shirts right outside of each venue?

    You should be so lucky! That must mean you're a huge success, at which point there will be plenty of other means of making money.

    What happens if impostors start posing as our band and attempting to do business on the web either by selling merch or soliciting sponsorship?

    That's what's known as fraud and there are plenty of consumer protection laws against that. It has nothing to do with intellectual property. And, again, it's easy enough to expose. Just have you, the real band, expose the fakes and your fans will turn on them. Whoever tries to pretend to be you will have destroyed their reputation.

    Why should we have any expectation that trademark will actually be enforceable online when copyright clearly hasn't been?

    Again, copyright and trademark are two entirely different things. They stem from entirely different parts of the constitution and have entirely different laws. Confusing the two and thinking they're the same or similar doesn't help your case.

    2. Bands do not make enough money from touring to sustain themselves until they are very successful.

    No one ever said touring alone was enough. In fact, we've pointed out many other models that have been quite helpful. Jill Sobule, Josh Freise, Kristen Hersh and many others are now using a neat model of tiered support for albums -- with the focus being not on buying the "music" but on buying additional benefits. In Sobule's case, she did it before she even recorded the songs, meaning that she earned enough ($90,000) in two months that the record is already profitable before she even made it.

    The first several times you try to play in a new market are essentially a loss leader. In the past bands could afford to do this because they were being supported by record company advances as they worked to expand their market.

    More and more bands are learning how to tour smarter. Look at Jonathan Coulton. He's figured out how to use the internet to only schedule concerts in places where he knows enough people will come to make it profitable for him. This is not difficult to do.

    I'm in a band that has 75,000 friends on MySpace, and gets 500-1000 plays a day. Outside of our hometown, there's nowhere we can play and actually make enough money to even cover travel expenses. The only bands that actually make money on touring are the very biggest groups.

    Again, if you tour badly, I could see that. Bands that tour smartly seem to be doing quite well. Already mentioned Coulton above, but there are others as well. Corey Smith is hardly a "big band" but he brought in $4 million gross last year -- with the vast majority of that from touring... and giving his music away for free.

    Learn to embrace the full business model and (assuming you have quality music) you'll do fine. If your music sucks (I'm assuming that's not true in your case) then no business model is going to work anyway.

    3. You say there are many examples of this model being successful. The only one I was able to find on your site through a quick search was Trent Reznor. The problem with him as an example (and Radiohead) was that his brand value was all built up in the old label system.

    Uh. I always find this funny. Someone even termed this argument "Masnick's law". For years, the only examples we could talk about of bands doing this well were small-timers, and people said "oh, well it works for them because they have to build their brand, it'll never work for big acts." Then big acts got into the game, and people said "it only works for them because they have a huge following already."

    I don't buy it. I've named some acts above that it's working for, and with a little creativity you can find plenty of others as well.

     

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  39.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 9th, 2009 @ 10:03am

    Re: please fill us in


    I'm not saying it can't or won't be done, but has it really been done yet? Can you name some names? My experience is much more in line with what 'Me' lays out above.


    I named some names above, but we recently wrote about Corey Smith as one good example. Jonathan Coulton is another. We've been hearing from others finding good success as well, though they're just starting, so the results aren't nearly as impressive yet... but, as you know, these things take time.

     

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  40.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 9th, 2009 @ 10:34am

    Re:

    Again with the name calling

    You started it. I have no problem being nice to folks who come here and respect people and discuss stuff reasonably. But when folks like yourself barrel in here weeks late acting as if you know everything, when you appear to know nothing about what we're talking about, it's safe to say that you are an idiot and you deserve to be called out as such.

    That kind of bush league behavior will NOT get you out of the blogosphere and into real journalism.

    Well, phew! Good thing to know that you're the arbiter of all that is "journalism." In the meantime, trust me, I don't want to be a journalist and never have been. But, tragically folks with a lot more authority than you seem to keep thinking I already am a journalist -- even though I keep telling them otherwise.

    I'm not a journalist and have no desire to be one, whether approved of by your or not.

    Does your mother know you talk like this?

    Thanks. My mom's a huge fan of the site and I'll send her an email right now pointing out your comment. She'll find it quite amusing, I'm sure.

    That must just tick you off.

    I've been writing this blog for 12 years and we have a readership of over a million people. Lots of folks disagree with me. It doesn't tick me off in the slightest. That's why we leave the comments wide open.

    What ticks me off are people who show up weeks late, have no clue what they're actually reading and make statements that were debunked as wrong years ago.

    However, if last week on my lunch break, I decided to sneak into a theater and watch a movie without paying, I would be breaking the law. And that would be NO DIFFERENT than if I illegally downloaded a movie file and watched it on my lunch break. How hard can that be to understand Mike? C'mon, I can't believe you can't understand that.

    The only one not understanding is you. I was responding to your obviously false statement that NOT PAYING equals STEALING. That's not true. STEALING is REMOVING something. NOT PAYING means something entirely different.

    If you can understand that simple fact you'll actually be on your way towards a better understanding of what's going on in the world.

    Mike, biggest fans PAY FOR THEIR MUSIC. Parasites steal their music. Biggest fans want to support the artists they love, NOT STEAL FROM THEM. How hard can that be to understand? Even for you!

    Yes, some of them do. And if what you say is true, then you don't have a problem do you? After all, the fans are paying for the music, so what are you complaining about?

    After all, if all those "parasites" aren't fans, then who really cares?

    And anyway, whenever I go into Wal Mart, there are dozens of cameras watching my every move. And if I do something illegal in the store, I will be arrested. Are you now going to tell brick and mortar merchants that they cannot police their own property? Again, these things are not so hard to understand for a smart guy like you.

    Guys like me understand the difference between a scarce good and a copy of a non-scarce good. Guys like me understand that when you steal something, it no longer exists. Guys like me understand that when you copy something the original remains. Guys like me understand that there are business models that let people profit nicely when they realize these facts.

    What if I figured out a way to put pop up banners on your site without paying you for it? Would you mind? It's just a little banner at the top whenever anyone clicks on your site. Nothing too ostentatious, just an ad. I would not even be making a copy of your web site, just putting a banner on top whenever someone clicks on it. I actually think you might mind. I think you might try to stop me from doing that, don't you? That is because the web site is your property and you have the right to say what is done with it. So do artists, movie makers and game and software developers. They have the right to say how someone uses their products, just as you do.


    You are free to do whatever you would like with the content on this page. You may copy it. Post it on your own site. Go ahead and do what you want.

    I'm not sure how your example with popups relates to anything we're talking about here. That, of course, is a completely different scenario because you would be changing the experience for everyone else. That's not even remotely equivalent. But if you wanted to set up your own site that simply reposted our content with such popups, go right ahead. I would imagine it would be a dumb move -- because most people would get annoyed at it, and would simply come to our site where we wouldn't do that... but, you're free to make such a stupid move if you would like to.

    As for the claim that artists have the right to tell someone how to use their product, that's true. And no one has said otherwise (did you forget the thing about that we're talking from the artist's perspective, not the users? oh yes you did). But, even then, you're still oh so wrong. If I sell you a chair, you are then free to do whatever you want with that chair -- including making a copy of it, breaking it, building something new with it.

    That's not true if you sell me a song. An artist right now has MORE RIGHTS than others in terms of telling you what you can or cannot do with property you've bought. I find that troubling. I would prefer that the law make it so that things are equal. When I buy something, I should be free to do with it what I want. I shouldn't be limited by the person who sold it to me.

    I want to repost those statements of yous because I want your regulars to see what you say when someone confronts your name calling swagger.

    Repost at will. I have never supported piracy. I simply recognize that it is a fact. It exists. It's not going away. And, given that, why not look at the models that take advantage of that.

    Just to be clear, I am totally in favor of a business model that removes all penalties for downloading music, movies, games and software, that removes the stink of illegality that hovers over our teen population, that rewards creativity and productivity of our content creators and that brings a new public channel of access to artists, movie makers, game creators and software developers. So if you REALLY believe in such a thing, then help to make it happen, not by condemning content creators who are being robbed to death by file stealing, but by supporting the value of intellectual property and helping to pass the laws, set the standards and design the systems to make online file distribution safe, secure and legal.

    I'm glad to hear you say that, but your final sentence doesn't fit with the rest. You don't need intellectual property or new laws to do that.

    And what sort of new laws are you looking to create? It sounds like you want yet another layer of licensing. I've already explained elsewhere on this site what a bad idea that is.

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    me, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If you want to understand the details, here it is: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070503/012939.shtml

    It's a lot more than just "touring, merchandise, sponsorship, etc."

    I actually had read that page before my original post. I though it was a long-winded way of saying this :

    "Charge for the scarce components: Concert tickets are more valuable. Access to the band is more valuable. Getting the band to write a special song (sponsorship?) is more valuable. Merchandise is more valuable."

    That's why I summarized it as "touring, merchandise, sponsorship, etc".

    Trademark is a different issue than copyright, so don't confuse the two. However, what you describe above is not much of a problem. Real fans will want the authentic stuff, not the copies. And, it's quite easy to add additional *uncopyable* benefits to the real stuff: offered signed copies.

    I understand that trademark is different from copyright. However, they both fall under the general heading of intellectual property law. Your argument is basically to abandon trying to make money from copyright and instead pursue a new business model which relies heavily on trademark. Why should a musician have any expectation that society is going to enforce trademark when they've been ignoring copyright for all this time? Also, your claim that people wanted authentic stuff is just foolish. People want cheap stuff. The fashion industry has a huge problem with counterfeit goods. Musical equipment makes have huge problems with counterfeit (and inferior) goods. When a band sells a t-shirt, they are using their trademark, probably a copyright image, and a shirt. T-shirts are easy and cheap to copy. Your advise to "Charge for the scarce components that are tied to infinite components" doesn't seem to apply because there isn't actually a scarce component. The value of the shirt (or any other kind of merch) is based on the band's intellectual property rights.

    I researched your examples, and while some of them seemed reasonable, I think you are somewhat naive about the realities of the music business if you think those are good examples of successes. Most were singer/songrwriters. That is by far the easiest style of music to make viable on a small scale because there's fewer mouths to feed, less equipment, less technical requirements for recordings, and less overhead while touring. It's true that as times change, financial realities have forced musicians to change. The big-band swing era gave way to small combo jazz because that was all that could be supported financially. I know of many musicians who now use pre-recorded backing tracks instead of a rhythm section while playing live because they can't make money while paying a bass player and drummer to play live. The people you cited as successes don't seem to be making enough money that they can afford to avoid these sorts of compromises. A recording in a real music studio with professional engineers and all real instruments is expensive. There are many places that you can cut corners to keep costs down, but it is a compromise in quality and leads to less ambitious music. None of those acts you cite are going to produce the next "Dark Side of the Moon" with your business model.

    The one example you cited that was the most compelling is Corey Smith. He does seem to be doing pretty well, although that $4 million gross figure looks pretty bogus to me as people pointed out at the time of your original blog post. Even if it is actually true, I doubt you appreciate how little of that money is actually making it into his pocket. Most of the claimed gross is coming from ticket sales. A lot of that money is going into the venues hands. He has a management and support staff to pay. He's also probably touring with at least 5 other people who need to be paid. There's also all of their expenses while on the road. I don't doubt that he is making a living, but I bet it is a lot more modest than you'd expect.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    me, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sorry about the italics. I guess I screwed up the html tags.

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    a musician, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 1:48pm

    techdirt

    mike, if i started a new blog to share all of techdirts article's and posts on a daily basis with my friends, and my friends friends and so on....

    and never linked back to techdirt...........

    would you be ok with that?

     

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  44.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 9th, 2009 @ 2:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's why I summarized it as "touring, merchandise, sponsorship, etc".

    Ah. Well, I actually think it's the "access" part that's the most valuable... So my issue was leaving that off.

    I understand that trademark is different from copyright. However, they both fall under the general heading of intellectual property law.

    IP law is a misnomer for a variety of reasons -- and really has only been a popular term for the past couple decades. Trademark law is quite different. It serves a different purpose entirely. Copyright/patents are about incentives to create. Trademark is about protecting consumers from misleading goods.

    Because of that, the issue you raise is totally incorrect. It's consumers who ignore copyright, but it's *companies* who ignore trademark -- and as such there are reasonable mechanisms for enforcement.

    Your argument is basically to abandon trying to make money from copyright and instead pursue a new business model which relies heavily on trademark

    No, not heavily on trademark at all. It relies heavily on *uncopyable* scarce goods provided by the band. You don't copy a concert. You don't copy access. You don't copy the ability to create new music.

    Also, your claim that people wanted authentic stuff is just foolish. People want cheap stuff.

    That's simply wrong. People keep saying it, but it's not true at all. People have no problem supporting a band that they like. With the Corey Smith example, people paid for his music on iTunes, even though it was available for free. When they took down the free content, FEWER people paid. The free content INCREASED sales.

    Trent Reznor gave away his last two albums entirely for free. Legally. And yet he made millions off of them. You could go on any file sharing site and LEGALLY get Ghosts I-IV and it was the TOP SELLING digital download on Amazon last year.

    People want stuff cheap, but that's not the only factor. People don't automatically go for the cheap option if you provide them with real value.

    The fashion industry has a huge problem with counterfeit goods.

    Ooh, bad example. Recent research has shown what a myth that is. Counterfeiting in the fashion industry hasn't been a problem at all. It's been the REASON why the industry has been successful, because it pushes designers to keep designing new things -- and it encourages more people to look for (and value more highly) authentic works. Furthermore, the counterfeiting served a secondary purpose (much like file sharing) in that it helped BUILD UP the brand names and demand for the authentic designer.

    When a band sells a t-shirt, they are using their trademark, probably a copyright image, and a shirt. T-shirts are easy and cheap to copy.

    Again you underestimate your fans. When you do that, don't be surprised that they underestimate you right back. People want legitimate things -- and you can provide additional value to make it worthwhile. Why not offer package deals where they get a t-shirt and a concert ticket? Can't counterfeit that.

    Your advise to "Charge for the scarce components that are tied to infinite components" doesn't seem to apply because there isn't actually a scarce component.

    If you can't see the scarcity, I can't help you. There is ALWAYS a scarce component -- many of them. If you can't see them, then you've got bigger problems than just your business model.


    I researched your examples, and while some of them seemed reasonable, I think you are somewhat naive about the realities of the music business if you think those are good examples of successes.


    Remember, this business model has really only been possible for a few years. Give it time. I'm combining those successful examples with numerous cross studies of other industries that have faced similar issues in slightly different formats. The markets always grow larger, not smaller, in the long run.

    Most were singer/songrwriters. That is by far the easiest style of music to make viable on a small scale because there's fewer mouths to feed, less equipment, less technical requirements for recordings, and less overhead while touring

    Hence the reason why the first and most obvious successes are showing up there. But don't count it out for larger bands either.

    The band Marillion has been doing some interesting things for over a decade -- and they're a bigger band.

    It's true that as times change, financial realities have forced musicians to change. The big-band swing era gave way to small combo jazz because that was all that could be supported financially. I know of many musicians who now use pre-recorded backing tracks instead of a rhythm section while playing live because they can't make money while paying a bass player and drummer to play live.

    Anonymous anecdotes are rather meaningless. If a musician can't put in place a business model to support what they want to do, the problem is either (a) the music/musicians or (b) the business model they're using.

    The people you cited as successes don't seem to be making enough money that they can afford to avoid these sorts of compromises. A recording in a real music studio with professional engineers and all real instruments is expensive.

    Which is why artists like Jill Sobule and Marillion pre-financed it from fans.

    There are many places that you can cut corners to keep costs down, but it is a compromise in quality and leads to less ambitious music. None of those acts you cite are going to produce the next "Dark Side of the Moon" with your business model.

    That has to be one of the more ridiculous statements you've made -- and you seem like a reasonable person, so I'll give you a chance to take it back and say you didn't actually mean that.

    First off, the cost of recording has gone down thanks to technology. And, no, before you freak out, I'm not saying that everyone should record in their basement using a Mac. I know the value of a professional studio and high quality engineers and producers. I spend a LOT of time with musicians. But you can do things more cheaply, and that trend is going to continue.

    Furthermore, the idea that only well paid musicians make quality music is pretty silly, don't you think? Some of the best quality music has been made by those who struggled the most to make it. There's plenty of amazingly high quality music being produced today... some of it using quite similar business models.

    The one example you cited that was the most compelling is Corey Smith. He does seem to be doing pretty well, although that $4 million gross figure looks pretty bogus to me as people pointed out at the time of your original blog post. Even if it is actually true, I doubt you appreciate how little of that money is actually making it into his pocket. Most of the claimed gross is coming from ticket sales. A lot of that money is going into the venues hands.

    Indeed. I never said otherwise.

    He's also probably touring with at least 5 other people who need to be paid. There's also all of their expenses while on the road. I don't doubt that he is making a living, but I bet it is a lot more modest than you'd expect.

    So what's your standard for success then? You seem to be setting up impossible conditions, where only superstars who are the next Pink Floyd count as success stories.

    And, let's remember, the important thing isn't necessarily how much Corey Smith is making today, but the trajectory. He more than doubled the gross last year, and it's still growing. And, he's barely employing most of the business models we've talked about. His has been almost entirely focused on touring. But because of that he's built up a huge following.

    Now imagine if he took that and did what Reznor did with his various business model experiments?

     

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  45.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Mar 9th, 2009 @ 2:25pm

    Re: techdirt

    mike, if i started a new blog to share all of techdirts article's and posts on a daily basis with my friends, and my friends friends and so on....

    and never linked back to techdirt...........

    would you be ok with that?


    Yes, absolutely. In fact, please do.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090116/0348223430.shtml

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    a musician, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 3:00pm

    techdirt

    mike, somehow..... i bet that if that was done, and it was making a lot of money of ads, you would be sing a different tune.

    other wise, can i take your post:

    Yes, absolutely. In fact, please do.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090116/0348223430.shtml

    as implicit permission to do so, and would you be willing to put that written legal form?

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    me, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 3:36pm

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

    "Your advise to "Charge for the scarce components that are tied to infinite components" doesn't seem to apply because there isn't actually a scarce component."

    I was talking about merchandise when I made this comment. I hope you can agree that nothing is scarce about merchandise if there aren't intellectual property laws limiting the production of the merchandise to people who own the copyrights needed to make it.

    "First off, the cost of recording has gone down thanks to technology. And, no, before you freak out, I'm not saying that everyone should record in their basement using a Mac. I know the value of a professional studio and high quality engineers and producers. I spend a LOT of time with musicians. But you can do things more cheaply, and that trend is going to continue.

    Furthermore, the idea that only well paid musicians make quality music is pretty silly, don't you think? Some of the best quality music has been made by those who struggled the most to make it. There's plenty of amazingly high quality music being produced today... some of it using quite similar business models."

    It's true that recording has gotten cheaper, but it's still not cheap if you want to spend a few weeks making a record in a real studio with a pro engineer and producer. A big part of the cost is having an acoustically appropriate space and the skilled labor. Neither of those things is getting cheaper, so it does limit how much cheaper recording costs can get.

    I'm not arguing that only well paid musicians make good music. I am arguing that without a big enough budget it limits the kinds of music that can be made. If you want to have strings on a song or a choir, you need to have money to pay the musicians.

    "So what's your standard for success then? You seem to be setting up impossible conditions, where only superstars who are the next Pink Floyd count as success stories."

    My standard for success is really just that people can make a decent living, meaning they can afford a house, healthcare, and retirement. I don't think all of your examples have met that standard yet because they haven't been around long enough yet. Under the old business model, there were lots of musicians having 15-minutes of fame and walking away with nothing. It remains to be seen how much this new business model improves longevity.

    I'd also add that for this to be a viable business model there should be a range where some people are making a lot more money than the minimum for success. Right now, there's a small number of acts who have had success with this business model. It's been around for a while. Why do you think it hasn't seen wider adoption and more success?

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Ryan, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 4:04pm

    Re: Re:

    "I just did a presentation to a bunch of record industry execs on Reznor's big success in giving away his music and using it to make millions."

    Did Trent Reznor not already benefit from millions of dollars and years and years of Interscope's money? You overlook that. Radiohead also benefitted from years and years of EMI's money before they decided that they could choose their own price point of free.

    A band like the Replacements once sold 120,000 copies of "Let It Be" on Twin Tone, an indie. Tell me the modern day equivalent of that--totally independent, no major label affiliations. I would like record sales figures, please. The modern day equivalent of that is Deerhunter with "Cryptograms", and up to last year, they sold 30 thousand. Well, that's 30 thousand WITH every second article in Pitchfork about them, and articles in every big magazine. Some band selling a few thousand downloads doesn't qualify as enough of a success to say that this is a model that has adequately replaced the last one. Surveys were conducted, and 95 percent of music is pirated. Let me ask you, how do you compete with free?

    Indie record success always existed before....look at the Offspring's "Smash". Totally independent, independent distro and it sold millions. What's the modern day equivalent to that? I'm curious. Also consider this: Epitaph was having import issues at that time, and it left most stores up here in Central Canada without stock. It went on to sell millions even with distro and stocking issues.

    Unless you can provide me the modern day equivalent of that, I call bullshit. 10 thousand bands selling 10 more copies a year doesn't qualify the success that people thought that this whole technological revolution was supposed to bring. 10 million songs out of 13 million remained unsold online last year. Did you miss that article?

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 4:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No one ever said touring alone was enough. In fact, we've pointed out many other models that have been quite helpful. Jill Sobule, Josh Freise, Kristen Hersh and many others are now using a neat model of tiered support for albums -- with the focus being not on buying the "music" but on buying additional benefits. In Sobule's case, she did it before she even recorded the songs, meaning that she earned enough ($90,000) in two months that the record is already profitable before she even made it.

    (shakes head)

    Look, you've named people off that have all benefitted from major record deals in the past (Sobule), have worked with enough major label bands (Josh Freese, as a session man), and Kristen Hersh (4AD/ Sire). I'm curious--how many friends do you know that are making a living from music, from touring, releasing albums. I'm talking no day job.

    More and more bands are learning how to tour smarter. Look at Jonathan Coulton. He's figured out how to use the internet to only schedule concerts in places where he knows enough people will come to make it profitable for him. This is not difficult to do.

    Ah, I see. The new method of playing music must be playing in really exclusive markets. The Rolling Stones must have done this when they played 360 days out of 365 in the early days.

    Again, if you tour badly, I could see that. Bands that tour smartly seem to be doing quite well. Already mentioned Coulton above, but there are others as well. Corey Smith is hardly a "big band" but he brought in $4 million gross last year -- with the vast majority of that from touring... and giving his music away for free.

    Corey Smith is a definite anomaly. Just like spending millions of dollars on promo for certain major label artists that never sold many records, there is no guarantee of anything. But the list of indie successes compared to the days of REM, Replacements, Husker Du and even early rap albums that weren't affiliated with any majors, are getting less and less.

    Learn to embrace the full business model and (assuming you have quality music) you'll do fine. If your music sucks (I'm assuming that's not true in your case) then no business model is going to work anyway.

    In some capacities, that's true, but i've known lots of artists who had great music and were working hard and still didn't sell well. It is still who you know, mostly, in the long run, and all the outlets for bands are getting clogged. Even MySpace was easier to sell on a few years back, and it just gets harder and harder.

    For years, the only examples we could talk about of bands doing this well were small-timers, and people said "oh, well it works for them because they have to build their brand, it'll never work for big acts." Then big acts got into the game, and people said "it only works for them because they have a huge following already."

    I don't buy it. I've named some acts above that it's working for, and with a little creativity you can find plenty of others as well.


    Again, i'd like you to list off the people that you personally know making a living off of music.

    In the early days of the internet, the giveaways worked. Because there wasn't near as many people doing it as there are now, because what happened was that the recording technology got so cheap that all you needed was a cheap mic and a free Audacity setup. Back 10 years ago when the digital/ DAW recording equipment became available to musicians for a couple of thousand dollars (I remember this), there was a small window of opportunity to capitalize on the DIY revolution with vastly improved home/ DIY recording techniques with digital recorders, before everyone got ahold of it cheaply and plentifully.

    Back 10, 20 years ago, you at least needed a crappy 4 track cassette recorder....in which even that was quite restricted, at least compared to nowadays.

    But look at the majority of artists nowadays--most can't even give away their music. Does this mean it's not good? In alot of cases, probably, but consider this--the average audience is being so weighed down under the sheer number of acts out there. If there were great artists, the average audience would be less inclined to know about it, simply because the amount of bad acts outweigh the truly great ones, and now it's more like wading through 95 bad ones to get to the good ones, as opposed to maybe going through 5-20 in the old days. Love it or leave it, the majors and the bigger indie bands got more well known because it was much harder to register with people in the pre-internet days, but they were also more guaranteed of more exclusivity once they got that recognition. Now everyone's fighting for their 15 seconds of fame as opposed to 15 minutes, and there's no real quality filter. When you just get through listening to 50 mediocre bands, is there really going to be the excitement to even listen to the 51st, even if they're good? Most people are tuned out by then.

    And not only that, but you could liken today's musical landscape as an "all you can eat" buffet. Whether it is good or bad, there is only so much time that the average music audience has to check out music, as bands are competing more for audiences' time than money these days, in my opinion. When someone's trying to sell someone food right after they just got through eating, what will they tell you? "Sorry man, i'm full". Right now, the average NEW act in 2009 is fighting to be on the incredibly small waiting list when audiences become un-full.

    Corey Smith isn't reality for the majority of artists out there. He's on his fifth album, he's not a "new artist" by any stretch of the imagination, and it was much easier even a few years ago to sell online, because there was a smaller window of opportunity in which certain people and artists took advantage of that small window of the "band is the new label" aspect, and sold themselves appropriately well.

    If Corey Smith were on his first album in 2009, could you honestly say that he could cut through so much of the white noise of the sheer deluge of acts? He released his first album in 2003, and 6 years is an eternity in the music biz. Every year comes a new challenge--how to sell cassettes instead of vinyl, how to sell cds instead of cassettes, how to sell MP3's instead of physical mediums. The record industry in 2003 was a much different place than it is in 2009, and again, I want you to provide an artist that's on their first album, that maybe even formed a couple of months ago, that has sold well. This was happening all the time in the 60's and 70's.

    Just because there's a couple or a few artists that blow up big from the internet generation, doesn't mean that replaces the old system. Back 20, 30....heck, even ten years ago, a wide variety of lesser known or new artists were selling well, every month, every year. Even Phish did well without much radio or video support.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 5:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The one example you cited that was the most compelling is Corey Smith. He does seem to be doing pretty well, although that $4 million gross figure looks pretty bogus to me as people pointed out at the time of your original blog post. Even if it is actually true, I doubt you appreciate how little of that money is actually making it into his pocket. Most of the claimed gross is coming from ticket sales. A lot of that money is going into the venues hands. He has a management and support staff to pay. He's also probably touring with at least 5 other people who need to be paid. There's also all of their expenses while on the road. I don't doubt that he is making a living, but I bet it is a lot more modest than you'd expect.

    Yup, that's what I was thinking and wondered if anyone thought that. I'd like to see his NET sales, after he gets through paying for all this (typically what a label would pay for, albeit on loan):

    --paying for a recording engineer
    --paying to rent a studio to record
    --paying a mixing engineer
    --paying a mastering engineer
    --paying to press cds
    --paying for website design/ maintenance
    --paying for promo and a promo person. A manager won't have the time to do this, they may have the time to follow up, but not to address hundreds if not thousands of packages with bios and unwrapping the cds (most promo people have to remove the wrap). Even though he sells lots at gigs, every major artist--and every legitimate artist--needs to send away promo cds for reviews, interviews, to keep their name in the spotlight. Promo costs infinitely more than the costs of recording. He's got to pepper enough places for reviews and possible radio play, and there's no guarantee that those cds will even be reviewed. With fuel surcharges on postage, you never get a "bulk rate"....each package costs the same amount.

    On the road:
    --paying for a manager to look after finances and making sure that things are running smoothly and making sure that the band is paid
    --paying for a booking manager to secure gigs
    --paying musicians FULL TIME. Remember, these guys have to be able to afford their living quarters, mortgages, kids, etc. You deduce how much that is a year, if he has a four piece band, that's easily 100 grand a year....and most likely more. If he's making 4 million gross a year, 100 grand is pocket change and he'd be a cheapskate. I'd say more like 200 grand. Those are long hours being on the road, away from one's family and loved ones.
    --food/ lodgings. Let's say he has a tourbus. Maybe not. In some places he probably stays with people. However, any artist that values their sanity at least wants SOME privacy to themselves on the road to write and recharge the creative juices, so either he's paying for a tourbus that's 20-50 grand and costs a ridiculous amount of gas per night to get from town to town, or he's flying (way more expensive), and/ or he's staying in hotels.

    I'd say that he'd be clearing SIGNIFICANTLY less than 4 million gross. I'd say after expenses of having to pay for everything himself without a label (and having to pay everyone for their time, remember, he IS the label), he's only clearing maybe a couple hundred thousand, tops, per year, and anything more than that is baloney, I don't buy it. I'm sure of it. If he were clearing tons of money, he'd at least be able to pay for a stylist and Bob Ludwig to master the recording, and some mega hotshot producer to produce.....I mean, those are all signs that you have ridiculous amounts of money to throw away instead of, say, having to stick within budget.

    Any artist can say they made any amount. I could say that my friend's band just made 2 million dollars a year, you'd never know unless you check the stats, and if anything, i'm MORE suspect of any act that mentions how much they've grossed.

    Will he be selling as well in 20 years, instead of 6? That is the real question. I'm sure that Dexy's Midnight Runners and Frankie Goes To Hollywood might have a thing or two to tell you about success.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Ryan, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 5:28pm

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

    That was also me above, but forgot to put in my name.

    My standard for success is really just that people can make a decent living, meaning they can afford a house, healthcare, and retirement. I don't think all of your examples have met that standard yet because they haven't been around long enough yet. Under the old business model, there were lots of musicians having 15-minutes of fame and walking away with nothing. It remains to be seen how much this new business model improves longevity.

    Exactly. The music industry is fickle, and even the most well intentioned of artists often get forgotten for the next act. When this happens varies, but artists often have a relevance for only so long and then. After that, you'd better hope that you have a whole helluva lot of $$$$ to still promote your releases to new audiences, after old audiences move on/ don't like your current music/ grow out of your style or music, especially when you're out of the music industry's "prime demographic age" (see: Rod Stewart's MOR career for the last 30 years).

    I'm interested to see how long that artists can actually continue to sell in 10, 20, 30 years from now when they continually have to sink their own promo money into it. There's been staunch indie bands that have jumped to the majors after many indie albums (ie: REM), and even an act like REM has a sales peak which they've never surpassed since their multi-million dollar record deal, as their record label has found out. In fact, i'd be mightily amazed at who jumps to the majors and who doesn't.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Ryan, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 5:49pm

    Re: Re:

    That, of course, is a completely different scenario because you would be changing the experience for everyone else.

    I love how the internet generation has twisted reality into the moldable reality that they choose to live in.

    Mike, when people that started uploading other people's tracks to the internet, this started changing the experience that bands and musicians wanted. It wasn't originally like that, and the internet actually started out as a good way for bands to have a website and promote themselves, WITHOUT other people uploading their music to file sharing sites. THAT is about as big a change as you will find. But somehow, the rules of the Wild West have become tangled around in which one doesn't even realize the original intention.

    For example, there were tribute pages to many bands on MySpace. Out of support, obviously, but who knew which ones were the official ones, and the ones that bands intended? If someone uploads a shitty 64 KPBS stream, and someone hears that, they may start to assume that the band, themselves, did this. "Oh, the new so and so album sounds like shit, I guess I better not buy it!". ZZ Top had to have numerous "fan sites" shut down, because it started to represent the band in a way where people had pages where it was masquerading as the band's official site.

    Similarly, on YouTube, when someone uploads different mixes of songs (or bootlegs or rare songs) that the band didn't intend, then the world starts assuming that the band sanctioned it. What if a band had something that they felt didn't represent their best live performance? Does that give a fan a right to upload it to the world so that there's something that the band may not even like, to the rest of the world? You're assuming that the fan always has the best interest of the band in mind, when indeed, they often have NO idea of what the band's take actually is on the subject.

    MP3 dithering and changes in byte rates is about as big a change you'll get to the sound, as well. If someone uploads something in 64 KBPS mono, that is a CHANGE of sound, and changing the experience for everyone else. Then the next person assumes that was the actual studio production, and of course, who would expect someone to be fired up about a recording that's that greatly reduced in sonic quality to the original? You can say whatever you want about cds or vinyl, but at least you were getting the sound that the band and producer intended, rather than having some zit faced kid upload it in 64 KBPS and then have the next zit faced kid download it and wonder why it "sounds like shit".

    I don't buy that all the botched MP3 rips/ downloads haven't created some sort of inadvertent disdain in how people hear music, because on a subliminal level, all that data compression on the file is going to alter a file (significantly less in 320 KBPS and 192 KBPS), but a good portion of people online look to see how many files they can cram into their hard drive or IPod, not that it was in optimum sound. People want convienience, not quality, and it's started to already have a very negative effect on the way that people listen to music--it's more disposable than ever, people have no attention span, yadda yadda. I think that most aren't realizing that they're hearing the music, but they're not actually listening to it....it's good background noise while you're vacuuming or whatever.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Ryan, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 5:56pm

    Re: Re: techdirt

    Okay, I got a better scenario: would you be comfortable with any one of us pretending to be you on other messageboards, talking varying degrees of offensive and controversial comments? We should all be entitled to use the name "Mike Masnick" right?

    Or would you suddenly say, "whoa, hey.....i'm not okay with you using my likeness?".

    I'm betting you're in the former, and i'd call you an out and out fucking hypocrite.

    I now dub this article "plot twist": take Mike Masnick's name and pretend to be him. All over the net. Make sure that the whole world is reading, too. After all, he doesn't own his own name, and it is perfectly fine to create smear campaigns on his behalf.

    Would this be a better or worse plot twist than, say, your plot twist in Richard's day of sharing?

    HYPOCRITE!

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Ryan, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 5:59pm

    Mike's okay with sharing, guys. That means that we can all be "Mike Masnick" and offend people all over the internet. After all, he seems to like to create a smear campaign about Richard and those that speak up for their right to not accept the bullshit that the new David in the David and Goliath saga: David becoming the NEW Goliath

    .....YouTube, The Pirate bay all being massively stinking rich, and you helping them to do so. Keep on buying into their propaganda, you're probably helping to fund their new Ferrari, trips to Honolulu, and massive wads of cash.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 6:36pm

    Re: Re:

    "But when folks like yourself barrel in here weeks late acting as if you know everything, when you appear to know nothing about what we're talking about, it's safe to say that you are an idiot and you deserve to be called out as such."

    And AGAIN with the name calling, a sure sign of weakness. Can't you think of an actual response instead of just calling names? You would look much more intelligent.

    "I'm not a journalist and have no desire to be one, whether approved of by your or not."

    That is pretty obvious.

    However, if last week on my lunch break, I decided to sneak into a theater and watch a movie without paying, I would be breaking the law. And that would be NO DIFFERENT than if I illegally downloaded a movie file and watched it on my lunch break. How hard can that be to understand Mike? C'mon, I can't believe you can't understand that.

    "The only one not understanding is you. I was responding to your obviously false statement that NOT PAYING equals STEALING. That's not true. STEALING is REMOVING something. NOT PAYING means something entirely different."

    OMG, it THIS all you GOT?!! You got nothing.

    You did NOT answer my challenge because you couldn't. It is just as illegal (and immoral) to copy and distribute electronic content without paying as it is to watch a movie in a theater WITHOUT PAYING.

    Mike, biggest fans PAY FOR THEIR MUSIC. Parasites steal their music. Biggest fans want to support the artists they love, NOT STEAL FROM THEM. How hard can that be to understand? Even for you!

    "Yes, some of them do. And if what you say is true, then you don't have a problem do you? After all, the fans are paying for the music, so what are you complaining about?

    After all, if all those "parasites" aren't fans, then who really cares?"

    Another lame argument for the losers you defend. I understand that when you're in trouble you resort to name calling and sarcasm, but even though you have a lot of people to answer to for your foolishness right now, I wish you could try a little harder.

    "Guys like me understand the difference between a scarce good and a copy of a non-scarce good."

    Guys like you don't understand the difference between right and wrong.

    "As for the claim that artists have the right to tell someone how to use their product, that's true."

    Then why do you argue FOR file "sharing" and against the rights of artists?

    "An artist right now has MORE RIGHTS than others in terms of telling you what you can or cannot do with property you've bought. I find that troubling. I would prefer that the law make it so that things are equal. When I buy something, I should be free to do with it what I want. I shouldn't be limited by the person who sold it to me."

    This is because you clearly do not understand the difference between Intellectual Property and Tangible Property.

    I want to repost those statements of yous because I want your regulars to see what you say when someone confronts your name calling swagger.

    "Repost at will. I have never supported piracy. I simply recognize that it is a fact. It exists. It's not going away."

    Mike, I have been in the music industry since 1965. Music piracy has been around much longer than that. I have spoken with FBI agents about piracy of records and cassettes in the 1970's and CDs in Hong Kong in the 1980's. Piracy has taken many forms and will continue to take many other forms. The FBI did not lie down and give up when huge pressing plants in Hong Kong were pumping out millions of CDs in the 1990's. Why? Because it is in the national interest of the United States to protect our artists intellectual property rights. We should not lay down now, even though the problem is immense. I do not agree in any way that it is insurmountable.

    Just to be clear, I am totally in favor of a business model that removes all penalties for downloading music, movies, games and software, that removes the stink of illegality that hovers over our teen population, that rewards creativity and productivity of our content creators and that brings a new public channel of access to artists, movie makers, game creators and software developers. So if you REALLY believe in such a thing, then help to make it happen, not by condemning content creators who are being robbed to death by file stealing, but by supporting the value of intellectual property and helping to pass the laws, set the standards and design the systems to make online file distribution safe, secure and legal.

    "I'm glad to hear you say that, but your final sentence doesn't fit with the rest. You don't need intellectual property or new laws to do that. And what sort of new laws are you looking to create? It sounds like you want yet another layer of licensing."

    Mike, laws must change as conditions change. This is a fundamental tenant of governance. Laws must address inequities and injustices. If your ox was being gored (and you could just as well be the next one in line to lose to online corruption as anyone) you would cry just as loud.

    You claim to be for the modern musician. But the ONLY way you can be FOR a rape victim, is to be AGAINST the rapist. I trust that some day, through a combination of laws, moral awareness, technological advancement and yes, modern business practices, we will have control of their rightful property returned to Content Creators. but the fight is two sided. We must fight AGAINST the injustices and FOR the solutions.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Ryan, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 6:39pm

    I'm on a roll--do you have any fucking clue how many producers, record engineers, technical guys, record store people (often indie stores that dealt with music lovers selling music) that have been put under or are in the midst of going under, hoping for a miracle? You don't. Tons of people that I know that are in the business of helping bands work on records in the studio and make records BETTER, not just some shitty fucking demo on a cheap recorder.....they're looking for new jobs, because tumbleweeds are rolling in the doors.

    How about the aforementioned Touch and Go being drastically reduced? Yeah, you didn't touch on that before, and you didn't want to--because someone like Corey Smith totally is saving the record industry, for all of the jobs that had MUSIC LOVERS in them, trying to help out bands.

    read here

    Corey Rusk has always been ridiculously fair to his artists. Touch and Go is staffed by music lovers--people that believe in artists doing different and unique things, not just lowest common denominator bullshit.

    I'm curious, how many bands has Corey Smith helped out with his newfound wealth? What is he doing for the music industry, other than for himself?

    How about Pinnacle going under?

    read here

    Yeah, they had it coming to them. Independent labels have always made shitloads of money.

    The problem is that they cannot adapt to FREE. Did you forget that tons of record producers and studio guys made records for bands that they liked, FOR FREE before file sharing? Or next to nothing? Yeah, let's let those guys fucking rot, because they totally had it coming to them. Alot of producers refuse to do spec (free) work anymore, because there's nothing at the end of the road. Nothing but tax writeoffs and inevitable losses.

    I'm going to rip into everyone that doesn't have two shits of a clue about what they're talking about. And with your audience, i'm sure hoping that they just legitimately saw you handed your ass on this argument, pal. You need to wake up, as does half the world--if you like it, BUY IT. Nero is fiddling while Rome burns, and you're all enjoying the sweet sounds of anhililation.

    And these people think they're "pulling it over on the man"? Well in five to ten years--if not sooner--when they complain of "no new music" and "anemic production values", they'll get absolutely what they deserve. When their sons and daughters and friends want to pursue a career in music, I sure as hell hope that there's nothing left for the same people that sunk the music industry that turned a blind eye to it.

    To whoever is reading, this is YOUR kids' future, YOUR progeny's future, preserving it so that there is something left for them so that they're not just playing a lute in front of a castle, hoping that people throw money into the cup and put a fraction of the value that the power of music once held. It is not too late. If you remember the power of music to influence inherent change, functioning as therapeutic emotional value, you need to advise whoever you can that file sharing IS STEALING, and that it is undermining the basic core values of music being able to work on emotional salvation, in times of hardship and joy.

    Vote with your dollar, not your file sharing. You advising your children to pay for music will ensure that there is a system there for them--a system so that they don't have to deal with all the hassles (promo, management, record production) that actually take away from the aspect of making music and playing. When those dollars are gone, they're permanently gone.

    When that support system is gone, it's gone forever....and will be bought up by the next greedy corporation (YouTube, The Pirate Bay) at a fire sale, and who knows what they will do with it. They will probably sell it out even more to corporate America--if you think that classic songs being featured in jingles to sell diapers and cars is bad, you haven't seen anything yet (the major labels' only make money off publishing, so expect to see more).

    How much money in artist development, studio development, etc have these alleged "heroic" file sharing companies invested in the future of music? None. They'd see to it that art as we know it is destroyed, and that all that's left is the hollowed out shell of a once vibrant industry. Don't believe for a second that they won't sell music out to corporate America, at a rate that made the alleged "crooks" the major labels look like Robin Hood in this current Nottingham.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    deleted, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 8:47pm

    deleted

    so mike is deleting posts now? guess he can't take the heat.

     

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  58.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Mar 10th, 2009 @ 4:46am

    Re: deleted

    so mike is deleting posts now? guess he can't take the heat.

    Uh, not true. We have not and will not delete posts at all. Lying will get you nowhere. We keep these boards wide open and encourage discussion even.

    I'm seeing lots of other comments since I wrote yesterday, but I'm currently in Europe giving a series of talks (including some to record industry execs...). I'll try to get back on here later in the week and address some of the other points raised by people, but, honestly, if you guys were to actually read what I write on the site, I wouldn't have to keep repeating the same arguments over and over again. It's rather tiresome.

    As for the one guy up there who claims it's ok to pretend to be "Mike Masnick" I already addressed that. You really ought to try reading. I have already said I'm against any thing where someone PRETENDS to be something they're not, because that confuses customers. So that's not true at all. It's like trademark protection. I explained that. You chose not to read it and assumed (incorrectly) that it was just like copyright. It's not.

    I have no problem with people copying the content from this site and I've explained why. All it does is help spread the word about this site. That's great. If you want to promote that, I encourage it. But that does not mean you get to LIE and pretend to be me. My identity is a scarce good. My content is not. You can copy the infinite goods. Copying the scarce good is quite different.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    a musician, Mar 10th, 2009 @ 7:09am

    scarce goods

    "My identity is a scarce good. My content is not. You can copy the infinite goods. Copying the scarce good is quite different."

    Ok.......so your point is: Because content can easily be copied, it is not a "scarce" good, and therefore should be a
    considered a free product, even if it was created by the creator with the intention of being sold. According to you and your articles, that would make the artist the brand and the music a "promotional" item for the band to promote the sale of merchandise, concert tickets, personal "access", or what you call "scarce goods". Where earning revenue is concerned, under that scenario the music only exits to create interest in the "scarce goods" the music creators decide to tie into their music into.

    So, even if an artist decides to sell their music, you believe its the fans choice to decide weather or not they want to pay for it, or "share" it, because its only a copy of a "file" and not scarce.

    Just because you can download, rip and burn fast and easy it should be free due to the convenience?

    Sick logic.

    I think we could agree you could copy just about anything.

    There really is a moral issue here. When Napster first came out, I don't recall anyone justifying the downloads in this way. It was more about wow, "were getting all this shit for free...isn't that cool". The way this has been rationalized by the people who "share" is sad.

    Again, the rationale seems to be, "because your music is easy for us to get at no cost, even if your trying to sell the music, you should figure out another way to make money from us."

    Well my question is, who the hell wants to try to sell something else to people that take your product, and "share" your product with their friends. I would not call these people fans, I would call them the kids in the candy store.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Ryan, Mar 10th, 2009 @ 5:56pm

    Re: Re: deleted

    As for the one guy up there who claims it's ok to pretend to be "Mike Masnick" I already addressed that. You really ought to try reading. I have already said I'm against any thing where someone PRETENDS to be something they're not, because that confuses customers. So that's not true at all. It's like trademark protection. I explained that. You chose not to read it and assumed (incorrectly) that it was just like copyright. It's not.

    Baloney. The average fan thinks that they can do whatever they want with an artist's music, including masquerading/ pretending to be a new sort of distro. If they called up the band and asked them if it's okay, that's one thing. Pretending it's alright by the band or assuming that it's in the band's best interests is a totally different thing. On top of that, if he/ she's trying to be Robin Hood, i'd like to see where that money they're saving on paying for artist's recordings is going. I bet they don't even see it as a savings!

    I have no problem with people copying the content from this site and I've explained why. All it does is help spread the word about this site. That's great. If you want to promote that, I encourage it. But that does not mean you get to LIE and pretend to be me. My identity is a scarce good. My content is not. You can copy the infinite goods. Copying the scarce good is quite different.

    I knew you were going to say this. You don't own your name, and i'm betting there could be more than one Mike Masnick in this world.

    Here's something you don't have a clue about and that I will continue to hand you back your ass in front of your readers (which seem to be suspiciously absent right now)--when digital file sharing started, record companies started getting heat from their distributors and retailers, because if the record companies started making recordings, say, 5 bucks online, they would start to undercut their retailers.

    This is a basic law of most businesses. In my day job, we cannot sell directly to the public, because we would undercut our retailers, and we have to give our retailers a special price, so that they can allow for markup and make a living, as well. If we suddenly started demanding that they compete with the prices that we sell our product to them at, they'd never clear a profit.

    When people started distributing files all across the internet, what this started doing was undercutting the distro and retailers--retailers didn't know if it was the bands or the label. It didn't help that there was lots of acts saying, "steal whatever you want, we're fine" (some of these artists are now regretting this; the only way that the major artists can make money now is through licencing and exclusivity--ie: AC/DC "Black Ice" at WalMart, Eagles/ Paul McCartney/ Starbucks, Madonna/ Live Nation).

    What does this have to do with the "let's pretend to be Mike Masnick day"? Everything. When someone starts doing something behind your back that doesn't represent you or your best wishes, people don't know that someone else is actually representing you or that you're knifing their business in the back. Whether that's someone pretending to be you or voicing opinions on any number of political events or world views starts to represent you negatively in a way that you do not like, it is the same thing.

    If you don't like someone assuming that they can do whatever they like with someone's likeness (a recording is a band's likeness and reputation, otherwise what are they selling?), you cannot on one hand say that it's okay in one instance, and then get personal and then say that there's certain instances that it doesn't pertain to. That is selective rationale, and that's better known as "hypocrisy".

    Let's get into ownership of a brand or intellectual content:

    The same thing applies to an actor in a film--while you may think that stealing their films only represents the "artist" portion ("shut up and make films"), it is not- if you steal an alice Alice Cooper album, well, the likeness Alice Cooper is no different a likeness than, say, Batman or James Bond, whether it is an actual person or a persona.

    The end results of stealing someone's intellectual copyright and therefore stealing money from them that they would have otherwise received, and then in this case, creating a false Mike Masnick alias-- in which it is only perceived reputational appropriation-- is the same. Alice Cooper's music represents him. Mike Masnick's articles represent him. This is perfectly clear, since you have followed up on what you have written--if you do not care what we think of you and your articles, clearly you would have no continued input into what we think about you or your writing style. There is an invested interest, much like how a musician's output starts to represent them, as well. Music is about as personal and reflective as you can get.

    Let's use another example: if Daniel Craig says that he's against people downloading James Bond movies--whether it is due to financial reasons or just copyright infringement on behalf of the movie studio that he is getting paid from, he is just technically a "character" either way. But without that character, he has nothing to sell in that instance anyways, he has no paycheque without James Bond in that scenario. Just like you would have nothing to sell, for example, to an audience, without an article. At the very least, Mike Masnick, i'm sure, is always at least trying to sell the brand of "Mike Masnick" at any given time, whether it is an article, or just talking to someone in regular, ordinary everyday life conversation.

    But let's get into "content" versus "creator": did Mike Masnick not write this article? Or am I missing something here in that the article just phantomly appear out of nowhere? Out of thin air?

    If we don't like what Mike Masnick writes, then surely we have some stake in not liking Mike Masnick, himself. It starts affecting the brand of what Mike Masnick has worked so hard to create. And if you don't think that has a cost, then I strongly do, as I say, advise you to continue writing and digging yourself deeper in an instance in which you are clearly out of your league to those that have done their homework. Or as they'd say in internet speak, "pwned".

    But it is safe to say that you have made your living off of yourself and whatever cache your name has (and as I suspected), getting quite uppity when someone decides to equate "Mike Masnick" with "naive article in which it starts to represent Mike Masnick", much like how the average file sharer starts to equate the artist with the material as representing the artist. If you, as the content creator, weren't benefitting from this, then there would be no one to direct these complaints at.

    When the average audience starts creating the opportunity for other fans to steal the artist's intellectual property without the artist's permission, ask yourself what the illusion of "free" starts to do for things. If someone gave you a car for free, how long would it be until you started realizing, "what's the catch?" and wondering what's wrong with it, and/ or "well, why can't EVERY car be for free???".

    There is a societal cost to the devaluing in music and if you are too naive to understand what that is, maybe you really are as stupid as your article would suggest. I however, believe in the power of music to influence massive world change through individual effect; communizing music (as I will explain much further below) has a DRASTICALLY negative influence on this factor. But it is safe to say that most audiences at least want the illusion of grandeur.

    Most music is a tax writeoff, and that's all the "grandeur" that remains from the old model of the music industry. But when you take away the fantasy and the expectation that the person onstage or on that recording is doing something that you cannot do, you deprive yourself of the real experience of why you pay money for things--you are trading someone for something that you cannot do, yourself.

    There has to be some merit in the trading of money or one thing for another, otherwise what you are receiving in return starts to take on a less vibrant hue. You start to believe that YOU are in the position of power, and as i've said, music doesn't work effectively on reality or "being like the next guy", because Warner tried to do this in the 90's with SubPop and tried to break various otherwise independent or smaller artists, and realized that audiences...and lost a SHITLOAD of money in the process. There was also a reason why Matador switched from Warner to EMI distro---and it wasn't because Warner was swimming in so many piles of cash that they felt the need to keep their Matador affiliation.

    On the ground level, I see numerous record stores and producers and small labels all being put out of business, and if this current comparison holds, consider this:

    -Sun records sold infinite amounts of music in the 50's (Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Elvis, Johnny Cash, etc) and they were an independent label
    -in the 60's, there were bands starting up every week, every day, every month.....and selling lots of records on both the major AND smaller upstart labels

    When you say something like you said to the effect of "it will take time", how much time do we need to warm up the new model of the music industry's economy, Mike? To me, this is a devolution. People don't pay for music because they can get it for free, and when people say that "music is crap", well, do they waste their time listening to "crap music"? What you seem to fail to realize is that the demand for music has never been higher, YET, the paid sales have never been lower. I attribute this largely to the basic human nature in what people will do when they can get away with something. You'd be surprised at what people deem as proper, when they're the ones in control of policing their own morality.

    Look at the Louisiana Hurricanes--stores were looted and ransacked. This is what happens when people are allowed to police themselves. So why did they not loot it when people were around to protect their property (security, camera monitoring)? Like I say, never rule out the basic criminal nature of some people that needs to be policed into a civiized society. There are many who don't need laws and governing and policing....but there are many who do, and the inherent destruction that something small and vile can do, can corrupt an entire system. Ask yourself why a virus so small as HIV or any number of viruses can take down the whole body's system and break it down into a much larger conglomerate of micro organisms that subsidize growth in sub-sub-sub human environments (namely flies and mice and rodents).

    It's always protecting yourself and your survival against someone or something else that claims it's their right of survival to take what is yours that you need to survive. Right now, that would be the labels, producers, engineers, bands, stores (both big and small), etc.....when you take away that right for their prosperity, you take away a larger groups' right to prosperity. And right now, it's the bullshit excuse that "fans" have things that they have "better" things to spend money on. If you can't pony up at least ten bucks for something that you like in this world, I don't know how much more fucking useless that you could possibly be; a leach, possibly no better or worse than people that sit on welfare, expecting someone else to subsidize their existence. Because really, file sharing is "welfare for music audiences". Let's call it exactly what it is with no bullshit candy coated excuses. If people could steal cars, TV's, refrigerators online, they'd be doing it. And if you want to get technical, all the credit card scams and all of that, that's also stealing from people online. They do this because they're anonymous. Comparatively fewer have the courage to physically pickpocket your wallet.

    On top of that, when there are no rewards for bands and the results are socialized among the consumer (such as "fans" sharing/ stealing files), that reeks of socialism, and while that may work for Cuba (if you like driving 50's cars, that is...stuck in an economic timewarp in which there is no new growth), it sunk the USSR and there was a reason why they got rid of that system. When you distribute the wealth among everyone equally (bands making less or next to nothing--remember that after production/ recording/ promo/ etc, most bands are in DEBT until they finally recoup enough down the road), you're telling bands that hard work doesn't pay off.

    When there's no reason to go above and beyond, bands will work hard at first, until they realize that there's no actual rewards other than money losses, or--in a best case scenario of most bands--breaking even. And in this current environment, for brand new bands (ie: started up last year, last month, last week), I estimate that you'll see one album, maybe two, MAYBE three, rarely anything after that. And what does persist will be often of such reduced quality compared to the heyday of the classic bands, that most audiences will long have stopped even caring about what new acts are out there.

    Well, the average listener "breaks even" when they don't pay for a recording. Well, what is the price on promotions, and being aware that a release exists? This is free? This all has to be spent often before a band even releases a recording--they've got to have promotional channels lined up to get the music out there to people. If people assume this, I sincerely hope that what truly moves them musically, gets harder and harder and harder to find. The great stuff was never particularly popular even in the heyday of the record industry. Sure there's the Nirvanas, the Hendrixes, the Zeppelins, Joplins--but they're the exception to the rule. If you look at the charts for any year, you'll largely find alot of really generic, pedestrian, lowest common denominator music.

    Are the Jonas Brothers any better than The Backstreet Boys, New Kids on the Block or Menudo? Who the hell pines for the "glory days" of "rampant artistry" of Menudo? If mainstream music is any better or any shittier than it ever has been, I must have missed the memo. But i'm sure that people would have downloaded that allegedly "shitty" music back then, too. Did millions of fans think that "99 Luftballoons" was the apex of creativity when they bought it? No. Or maybe. But the point is that no one says "hey, I buy shitty music" and then play air guitar to "shitty music".

    If people claim that they were duped into believing it was good, then they deserve what they get. If someone told them the sky is falling, they'd believe it, and if people are herd mentality, they will get herd mentality in the quality and content of their music.

    Again, another parallel that we could draw is that AC/DC were generally hated by most audiences as a joke, until they proved that they weren't going to go away without a fight. "Dirty Deeds..." wasn't released in America until Bon Scott was dead. But if you read enough and immersed yourself in enough of the required work to seek out great music, you would have heard "Dirty Deeds..." before it was "new" in 1981 (ironically, Bon Scott received a "best new vocalist" award AFTER he was dead). If you want to talk about bands not needing the support of labels, even though the American division of Atlantic had hated AC/DC, they had enough believers in their Australian version--ATCO--to get them through to "Let There Be Rock", "Highway To Hell" and "Back In Black", which are arguably an apex in rock n' roll. If it isn't, it's damn close, but I can't think of one, and i'm a fan of pretty much every influential act since the late 1930's.

    That band had to fight tooth and nail then, and it's easy to look at them as an institution, but Bon Scott was perceived as a thug (he had to cover up his tattoos in previous bands), and between that and Angus' schoolboy outfit, it was perceived as a gimmick. Vile. A threat to morality. But if they didn't have enough LABEL SUPPORT, there would have been no Mutt Lange for "Highway To Hell" and "Back In Black", which took them out of clubs (in which they were almost destined to remain), and vaulted them into. There's a reason why AC/DC sells well through every bullshit trend that has sought out to make them irrelevant. ("Back In Black", ironically still outsells most NEW or recent recordings in PAID sales, 29 years after it's release).

    Until your "new industry model of free until if and when someone is kind enough to drop a couple of pennies into the guitar case" sells that well 29 years after it's inception--with the integrity, passion, conviction, electrifying but real production values, and flat out absolute desire to do anything LESS than impress-- you don't have any legitimate argument to stand on.

    If you think i'm wrong on this and that bands and labels are in the position to make OUTSTANDING albums instead of albums that are "decent" or "good enough", you name me the modern day equivalent of "Quadrophenia", "The Slider", "Dark Side of the Moon", "Tommy", "Sticky Fingers", "Exile On Main Street", "Nevermind", "SuperUnknown", "Highway To Hell/ Back In Black" etc. Or the underground equivalent in influence as "Daydream Nation".

    I'll also go so far to say as that the majority of music out there these days, even on a smaller level, is pretty good. The production values on an independent and DIY level have increased exponentially. However, terms like "good enough", "decent", "okay", "alright" would describe most of that output. Most of it is stuck at a mid hump level, where it's not bad.....but it's not great, either. It's stuck at getting a C plus or a B type of mark....you're not failing, but you're not going above and beyond what people expect you to do.

    Butch Vig got an incredible performance out of Nirvana on "Nevermind". It does not matter whether you like them or not, Butch took Nirvana and tapped into Kurt's genius. He didn't settle for "good enough", he wanted "genius", "brilliance", "trancendence". And he got it. He had to drag Kurt uphill to do more guitar overdubs (one tactic on "Drain You" was telling Kurt that the track was out of tune, and that they needed to track it again). Good coaches get better results out of even the most undisciplined and unwilling of participants. "In Utero", while still a very good album, does not match the level of "Nevermind". Not at all. Kurt had his way, but the challenge to get more out of him was gone.

    Will you find that in today's climate? Or is it just "good enough"? How much to you expect to pay to beat the current mid level of "good enough"?

    Like I say dude, you don't want to out-logic me, because you will lose. You're talking to a music historian, a music lover, and someone who refuses to sit idly by, while their friends in the industry (producers, engineers, small record labels, small record stores), all get put out of business for a bullshit lie propagated by people who live in an ivory tower in a fantasy world.

    On top of that, i'm a cognizant observer of people and basic human nature and morality, and someone that has read enough on the destruction of enough economies through supposed "growth" scams. If you'd read Richard Douthewaite's "The Growth Illusion", you'd realize that in that scenario, that the new big greedy evil bad guy is the file sharing outlets that sell people's hard earned content and get filthy rich off of it while paying those providers NOTHING or next to nothing. Seriously, it is no different than any business that hires sweatshop labourers, or invests in slave labour. Next, I will hear the argument that not paying workers or investing in slavery is "heroic". There will always be these types of hierarchies that pop up to destroy anything good as we know it. That could be the massive outsourcing of goods, assembly lines and huge corporations killing off craft and skill for enabled, dumbed down labour, etc (which was a good way that the automakers are in deep shit, but that's only part of it, and an entirely different ten million word essay).

    I've said this before, but need to say it again: YOUR demand (and by this, I mean any audience that is reading this where the "shoe fits", as they say) is making the file sharing companies a multimillion dollar industry. That's from advertising. All while some people claim to be liberating people from the clutches of the "big bad industry", look who's popped up to capitalize on the demand that YOU create for their "heroic" enterprise.

    You've been sold a lie, and they've slowly and inadvertently bought your interest on the back of artists and content creators and millions of illegal dollars. They're pretending to be Robin Hood, when they're really the Sheriff of Nottingham by putting content creators and the whole infrastructure that supports artists and those that support and defend artistry as we know it, out of business in a financial jail, left to rot.

    You wanna talk about bankrupt? Well, that's about as morally bankrupt as you can get. And if you want to talk passion and conviction, I just spent a couple of hours WRITING this, in the hopes that a few people read it and wake up. It may even be in vain, who knows. Do you see that happening that much these days? Or do you see more and more people willing to roll over and accept the fate that someone else has determined for them?

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Ryan, Mar 10th, 2009 @ 9:05pm

    Also, the notion if "music is good, people will buy it" is complete bullshit. I want to dispel this casual excuse as quick as I possibly can, and point out that there are many artists that only receive their due much later on....if they are lucky. The music industry is littered with casualties of artists that were practically served up to them, only to be met with indifference.

    Let me illustrate this:

    --Robert Johnson didn't sell dick for records until WELL after he was dead. He's still really not all that popular, despite the fact that he (with some help by some of his influences) helped lay the groundwork for alot of the basis of today's rock music. Also, he developed a polyphonic playing technique that usually took TWO guitarists to pull off.

    --Bo Diddley died not too long ago STILL bitter that people took his sound, made it more popular, and that he didn't receive his rightful due.

    --The MC5 were a a nuisance to most. They created rock music that was thought provoking and political minded, and taught people to use their voice as a power of change. Some bit of good it did them--after their best album, "High Time"--fusing the best elements of their two albums that preceded it--Wayne Kramer had to resort to robberies, he was so broke, and spent time in jail. They disintegrated during a tour in Europe in which everyone walked away from the band but Fred and Wayne, tried to still keep their gig committments by appearing as the "MC5"....but not before promoters refused to book/ pay them, because it was no longer the same band, within the same tour! You want tragedy, you should ask Rob Tyner and Brother Fred--both dead--about what they think of it taking new generations to verify their brilliance. I'm sure that does both of them alot of good. Spinal Tap might be funny when it is fiction, but when it's reality, I think that the idea loses it's lustre.

    --The Sonics. The power that they had for a mid '60's band was astonishing....if any band invented punk rock before it existed, the closest band I can think of was the Sonics in 1965. They remained unknown, save for a few outside of the Washington area, and remain a cult favorite and that's about it. We all know what most people's mindset on punk is--juvenile, too nihilistic, whatever, so it is not surprising to note that they held the Sonics in the same lack of esteem.

    --The Dictators. Even Malcolm Young of AC/DC said that they should have been hugely successful, because they were out there working hard. They combined punk and metal with over the top rock cliches (big guitar solos. posturing, etc). Can YOU name any Dictators tracks off the top of your head?

    --The Stooges. Way before their time, and Ron Asheton died last month at 60, FINALLY tasting an ounce of the respect that was deserved to him, after complete GENERATIONS of music fans had to rediscover the bands' music and say, "no, this is not right, this band deserves their due". Their music sold dick all at the time, but has sold incredibly well (and exponentially) through the years. Had those people not done that, the Stooges would have went down as a joke and would pretty much be erased from rock music history. Thank the original audiences for that one. Plenty of audiences saw them during their heyday, they remained an interesting spectacle to most and that was about it.

    --The Hellacopters remain an anomaly to most rock audiences in the last decade and a half. This is absolutely pathetic. They finally called it quits last year after 14 years, and bouncing around from record label to record label in America (some Universal major support, SubPop, Gearhead, Liquor And Poker), but not before releasing some of the greatest rock n' roll ever heard to my--and many others'--ears. Hell, throw Turbonegro in there too, "Apocalypse Dudes" is one of the most underrated rock albums in history. Too bad it took the Swedes to rediscover what was great about the heritage of American music, only to discover that American audiences were too busy forgetting about what was great about it in the first place to give two shits about it.

    --The Supersuckers are still going after 20 years, albeit resigned to the fact that the day that they should have "made it" will never happen. That day, IMHO, was the album "The Evil Powers Of Rock n' Roll" in 1999. The people that love the true rock n' roll, the type that is dangerous and frowned upon by the "sophisticated cognizenti", I have to ask them where the fuck they were in 1999, because that album certainly wasn't lighting up the charts by any stretch of the imagination. When I saw them here last year on a Wednesday night, I think that they had a whopping 80-100 people in the club. So much for that rock n' roll dream.

    Most of those acts even had MAJOR LABEL DISTRIBUTION at some point! And yet, people complain about the majors signing nothing good and then thinking that those labels were about nothing but greed or shit acts. When you finally get the music that appeals to your sense of identity, it must be nice to assume that the majors were never out there, you know, spending money and "wasting funds" on tax writeoffs such as the above listed bands so that you could determine for yourself which acts were worthy of your money, and which ones weren't.

    Now that it's up to the average audience to have to subsidize artistry, something tells me that THAT wasn't a part of their "financial estimations". If you want to know what the cost of TRUE artistry without support is, well, look back 200, 300 years ago to your average peasant playing a guitar or lute or whatever in front of a castle, in the hopes that someone may perceive his or her "vision" as being worth anything.

    Sure there was no greedy industry, but there was also little chance of making any lasting impression or any concept of "making a living in music". Do we remember Joe Blow playing whatever in 1625? Nope. All you need to do is look at the "Classic Sounds of the 70's" comp that's on TV to realize how many acts that "made it" then, only to remain virtually anonymous. If you doubt this, take this test: listen to their half hour commercial blindfolded, and then play "match the artist up with the song" game. It will undoubtedly be fun to see how many people score well in identifying songs they've heard a million times with the artist or band that actually performed them. Do you really know who played "It's Magic"? REALLY? Because that must be magic.

    Now that the majors are being factored out because they no longer have the money to spend on artist development, what's the modern day equivalent of the Stooges, who pissed into the wind and put musical prescience above selling boatloads of records? You won't see another "Funhouse" subsidized by a major, just to see if people's tastes are broad enough to support bands taking risks. Again, I think that one of the last real BIG straws in that, was Warner's estimated 20 mill deal to be affiliated with SubPop. Right before that, a whole slew of Canadian bands were on the label--Jale, Hardship Post, Chixdiggit, Eric's Trip, etc--only to be axed amidst the reality that independent culture usually doesn't sell enough records to make it worthwhile to try to break those bands big enough.

    Sure Warner breezed in thinking that there was gonna be Nirvana pt.2, pt.3 and so on. And sure they were bloody naive. But you can't blame them--they were convinced that the real, raw deal sold records after people appeared to react to that with Nirvana.....and as in the movie "Hype" pointed out, people wanted Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains and that was about it, that was about as far into the "Seattle scene" that they got. But you'd be surprised at how many bands from that scene were on the majors and got some decent support. Tad. Love Battery.

    Fuck, Mudhoney barely registered on anyone's radar, and they were touted as being the band that was supposed to accomplish what Nirvana actually accomplished. Gary Gersh (Geffen), in his own words, said that their idea of a success for "Nevermind" was 50 thousand copies. Hell, Soundgarden were already on A&M for a couple of years before "Nevermind" broke, and Screaming Trees were assumed to be of fair commercial appeal, too.

    Look at Liz Phair--when Warner signed up with Matador, she was one of the key acts behind that signing in the 90's. Fast forward to a decade later, and her Matrix produced pop album that was destined to once again make a label money, flopped. One pundit even posed the question, "what do you call a sell out without sales?". The majors have spent millions upon millions trying to break artists to see if YOU like it enough. If you don't buy it, there is a reason why 95 percent of the majors' roster is a tax writeoff.....the five percent that DOES sell gets pimped into oblivion, because people don't support enough of the other acts, anyways.

    Now THAT'S what I call a real ironic twist. Paging Dr. Freud.....people, I think, secretly harbour a guilt about the fact that they don't give a shit about anything that they don't already understand. They claim that they want something "groundbreaking", but then claim that music more often than not as "difficult" or "weird" or whatever, but really, it offends them because it makes them uncomfortable that they now have to think of the boundaries of music and artistry.

    It reminds me of Stephen Hawking saying something to the effect of that his books end up on the best seller lists, yet they don't seem to be particularly talked about, and that he figures that people buy them to look sophisticated, only to not read the books. Similarly, there's a new "merch is the new band" movement that doesn't sit well with me. A local music store that's been here forever, recently cleared out about half of the music that they carry, for hoodies and t-shirts. With this, I can only deduce that wearing the "brand" has cache, whereas actually spending time with the music is becoming less and less. This plays again into the "you get out of it what you put into it" theory, in that if people aren't actually listening to the music, they can't possibly be moved by it.

    I liken it to this scenario--when I went to a Billy Idol show last year, some kid was texting or playing games on his phone in the middle of "Rebel Yell". Now I don't know what exactly would be important enough to warrant this, or whether or not his parents paid for the ticket or whatever--but during the extended breakdown to "Rebel Yell", in which you're supposed to get into it, here, the main performer, himself, cannot keep this guy's attention. But then the kid suddenly pumps a fist midway through the song, and i'm like, "??? I thought that you were busy ignoring the main performance here". I mean, this kid could be my poster child for what's wrong with music today. "Excuse me Mr Idol, i've got this really important text message that i've got to tend to here". And he was actually doing that most of the time during the show now that I think of it, it wasn't some emergency thing, the dude was bored or had ADD or whatever. I mean, are you fucking kidding me? You're there! Enjoy it! It's one of the outright weirdest things i've seen at shows in my entire lifetime of concert going. I've seen public nudity, the drunk idiot behind me, fights, etc. Nothing can compare to the kid who even the main entertainer cannot keep entertained.

    If people want to say that they only like what "moves them", fine. I'm not one to tell them what moves them. But if they tell me that and then prattle on about "just hearing crap music on MTV and the radio", and put absolutely no effort into trying to understand something that they already don't understand, that is, again, where I have to call them on their bullshit. You can't be moved by something if you don't try to understand it, to try to let it move you. You can't demand something artistically challenging and then on the other hand claim that it's too obtuse or vague or different from what you've already heard.

     

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  62.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 11th, 2009 @ 1:20am

    Re: scarce goods

    Ok.......so your point is: Because content can easily be copied, it is not a "scarce" good, and therefore should be a
    considered a free product, even if it was created by the creator with the intention of being sold. According to you and your articles, that would make the artist the brand and the music a "promotional" item for the band to promote the sale of merchandise, concert tickets, personal "access", or what you call "scarce goods". Where earning revenue is concerned, under that scenario the music only exits to create interest in the "scarce goods" the music creators decide to tie into their music into.


    Ok, let's try this one more time for the folks who are having trouble, because you're repeating false claims that I never said and already debunked. Honestly, it really doesn't say much about you when you keep repeating bullshit that we didn't say, insisting that we did say.

    NO. We are NOT saying that if it's not scarce it's okay to download it. How many times must I repeat this before you finally understand? I'm talking about from the perspective of the content creator, that they can be BETTER OFF by giving away the music, because it's a more efficient market mechanism. I am NOT saying it's okay for others to share it, but I AM saying that it's going to happen no matter what.

    Just because you can download, rip and burn fast and easy it should be free due to the convenience?

    No. It's not about SHOULD. SHOULD is a moral question. I'm talking about WILL. What WILL happen thanks to basic economics. You can fight basic economics just like you can try to stop the tide.

    Good luck. You'll lose. So why not stop being an idiot and start paying attention to ways to make more money.

    There really is a moral issue here.

    There's no moral issue if you started understanding the economics and realizing you could make more money. If everyone is better off, then there's no moral issue whatsoever.

    The only moral issue comes into play when someone is worse off and you need to decide who.


    Well my question is, who the hell wants to try to sell something else to people that take your product, and "share" your product with their friends. I would not call these people fans, I would call them the kids in the candy store.


    Again, you've just proved my point for me. You treat your fans like criminals, no wonder they screw you.

    Treat your fans like fans and you wouldn't have any problem.

     

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  63.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 11th, 2009 @ 1:46am

    Re: Re: Re: deleted

    Ryan,

    Frankly, this is too long for me to respond to in detail. If you read the site and took the time to learn some basic economics, you would know you are wrong.

    You seem to be quite confused about how economics works, but that's fine. That's why you have a "day job" instead of making money from what you want to do.

    Those of us who have learned how economics works and how to create business models from our content don't need a day job. You claim I'm naive and clueless and out of my league. Then how come you're working a 9-to-5 and your bosses in the music industry are paying me big bucks to save your industry?

    There are plenty of people in this world who don't understand economics. But, when physics hits, you don't doubt gravity. What you're experiencing right now is gravity pulling you down to earth, and rather than understanding the basic physic, you're blaming the earth for gravity. That may make you feel better, but it won't give you a particularly useful business model.

    If we don't like what Mike Masnick writes, then surely we have some stake in not liking Mike Masnick, himself. It starts affecting the brand of what Mike Masnick has worked so hard to create.

    That's the ENTIRE FREAKING POINT I've been making. THE most valuable SCARCE GOOD that you have is your reputation. So why would you destroy it by being anti-fan, anti-progress and anti-music?

    There is a societal cost to the devaluing in music and if you are too naive to understand what that is, maybe you really are as stupid as your article would suggest.

    Aha, the root of your problem. You are confusing value with price. Music isn't DEVALUED at free. It's made MORE VALUABLE. Everything else you talk about concerning the massive power of music is true -- but it only works if people HEAR IT. And what better way for more people to HEAR IT then to give it away for FREE. THEN you use that REPUTATION to create a stronger business model.

    When there's no reason to go above and beyond, bands will work hard at first, until they realize that there's no actual rewards other than money losses

    Ah, the big myth. You really ought to look at the stats. More people today are making music than at any time in history. More people today are making MONEY from music than at any time in history.


    If you think i'm wrong on this and that bands and labels are in the position to make OUTSTANDING albums instead of albums that are "decent" or "good enough", you name me the modern day equivalent of "Quadrophenia", "The Slider", "Dark Side of the Moon", "Tommy", "Sticky Fingers", "Exile On Main Street", "Nevermind", "SuperUnknown", "Highway To Hell/ Back In Black" etc. Or the underground equivalent in influence as "Daydream Nation".

    Ah, you're one of those people. "Back in my day..." That explains so much. What is it with old rock 'n roll fans that always insist that the music today doesn't live up to what they grew up with.

    Get out in the real world. There's plenty of stunning, amazing, brilliant, soul-exploding music.

    You're talking to a music historian, a music lover, and someone who refuses to sit idly by, while their friends in the industry (producers, engineers, small record labels, small record stores), all get put out of business for a bullshit lie propagated by people who live in an ivory tower in a fantasy world.

    And someone who is clueless about basic economics. If you want to help your friends, you might want to spend some time learning at least a little economics, so that you stop steering them off a cliff as it appears you are doing.

    In 1666 in France, the button makers guild freaked out about the invention of the "cloth" button that could be made by weavers without the use of a button guild member. To them, that was "piracy." They went nuts and demanded the right to fine people, search their homes and even arrest them for wearing cloth buttons.

    They were unable to recognize how the market had changed and how by embracing that change they could have made a lot more money.

    Ask yourself if you're the button guild member of the cloth button maker.

    If you really are a "historian" you'll start to notice a pattern throughout history. People stuck in the past, pining for the "old way" and the way "things used to be" never win. They just look like old fools, doddering on about a mythical past that never really existed.

    You don't want to be that guy.

    And if you want to talk passion and conviction, I just spent a couple of hours WRITING this, in the hopes that a few people read it and wake up.

    Stunningly, this disproves your very point. You were just talking about how evil it is to give away content for free... and yet you just did. Why? Because you realize that there's more *value* in giving it away than trying to charge someone for it. The same is true in music.

    Notice that VALUE is different than PRICE. There was VALUE in giving away the content. Start to understand that and you might have that epiphany you so clearly need.

    Do you see that happening that much these days? Or do you see more and more people willing to roll over and accept the fate that someone else has determined for them?

    You can't fight the tide. You can't fight basic economics. You can't fight physics. What do you do with someone who insists gravity isn't real? Do you pat them on the back for "standing up and fighting" or do you consider them ignorant?

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Richard Gibbs, Mar 11th, 2009 @ 2:26am

    Challenge

    Hello Mr. Masnick,

    I've just finished enjoying the dialog here on your board. I hereby challenge you to an open in-person mano a mano debate/conversation on the topic of filesharing, at the place and time of your choosing. Preferably this would take place in front of the largest audience possible, so as to give you the greatest possible opportunity to further establish my ignorance and close-minded thinking. Should be like shooting fish in a barrel for an intellectual heavyweight as yourself.

    What do you say sir?

    Richard Gibbs

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    a musician, Mar 11th, 2009 @ 6:05am

    re: scarce goods

    Ok Mike, so you are not an advocate of "sharing", but you are an advocate of shaping your business model to fit current market and economic trends. Got it.

    If "fans" are only going to "share" instead of purchase, a content creator needs to find another model or product to earn revenue.

    You see the problem with this flawed and sophomoric idiot logic is that without the music, artist merchandise, concerts and access would not exist. The music is what draws attention. The music is what emotionally involves the fans. The music is the real commodity. Without the music, there would be no artist and artist peripherals. Yet the music has no value with the fans.

    Lets take the music out of their lives...and then see if they would be willing to pay for it to get it back.

     

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  66.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 11th, 2009 @ 6:44am

    Re: re: scarce goods

    You see the problem with this flawed and sophomoric idiot logic

    I'm not sure how proven economic theory can be considered "flawed, sophomoric or idiotic" but ok.

    is that without the music, artist merchandise, concerts and access would not exist. The music is what draws attention.

    Who said anything about music going away? The only logical flaw I see is yours where you seem to think that music goes away.

    The music is what emotionally involves the fans. The music is the real commodity. Without the music, there would be no artist and artist peripherals. Yet the music has no value with the fans.

    Yes. I agree entirely. That supports my point, not yours, you realize?

     

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  67.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 11th, 2009 @ 6:47am

    Re: Challenge

    I've just finished enjoying the dialog here on your board. I hereby challenge you to an open in-person mano a mano debate/conversation on the topic of filesharing, at the place and time of your choosing. Preferably this would take place in front of the largest audience possible, so as to give you the greatest possible opportunity to further establish my ignorance and close-minded thinking. Should be like shooting fish in a barrel for an intellectual heavyweight as yourself.

    Will you pay me for taking part? Or do you want to take part for free? Based on your earlier comments, it seems you think that free is "stealing" and thus if I set up such an event, bring all the people and the publicity and just invite you along for free, you'd be stealing from me, based on your own definition, right?

    We are preparing a nice big event on this very topic:

    http://www.thefreesummit.com/

    I've emailed the organizer (I'm not picking the speakers) to see if there's any room left to have you be a part of it. But I'm curious how much you're willing to pay, since taking part for free is obviously theft according to you.

    Mike

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Richard Gibbs, Mar 11th, 2009 @ 7:59am

    Re: Challenge

    Mr. Masnick,

    Your suppositions are quite incorrect regarding my views. I welcome the chance for a healthy debate on the issues in a public forum. I look forward to discussing the definitions, philosophies, and ramifications of words like "free", "sharing", and "stealing". Let me know when and where and I will be there.

    I propose we keep the personal attacks out of the discussion. I am sorry to see that so much of the debate on this board has been dedicated to such vitriol - I know from experience that can be disheartening and I know how tempting it is to descend to that level of discourse. I did it myself by dropping into sarcasm in response to your opening salvo against me on this thread. Mea culpa. It is neither constructive or illuminating in any way to anybody.

    By the way, at no point did I or the author of the article state that the Day of Sharing is to take place on 11/29 - that was your typo. The article correctly says November 27, 2009, the day after Thanksgiving.

    Regards,

    Richard Gibbs

     

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  69.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 11th, 2009 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re: Challenge

    Your suppositions are quite incorrect regarding my views. I welcome the chance for a healthy debate on the issues in a public forum.

    Granting you that opportunity would raise up your views and give you publicity. That's valuable. And, clearly, you seem to feel that value should be paid for. Am I wrong?

    I propose we keep the personal attacks out of the discussion

    Sure that would be great.

    Mike

     

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  70.  
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    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Mar 11th, 2009 @ 4:51pm

    Re:

    I'm a huge Sufjan Stevens fan and your comment reminded me of what someone from his label, Asthmatic Kitty, had to say:

    I operate under the conviction that people buy records because they want to own them, not because they want to hear them. It is too easy these days to hear a record without having to buy it. I don't resent that fact, rather I feel we at Asthmatic Kitty embrace it through streaming albums and offering several free mp3s (even whole free albums). And why do they want to own it? They want it to illustrate to others their taste and identify who they are as a person. I also believe they want to be part of something bigger than themselves, they want to belong.


    And that's one of the reasons why, even though I'm a huge supported of free (libre) culture and sharing music, I still buy CDs (not MP3s).

    From one musician to another: if your entire argument rests on putting the term "fan" in scare quotes, supposing that there are no Techdirt readers who are also music lovers and who also support music with their wallets, I suggest you think twice about how you treat your potential customers.

     

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  71.  
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    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Mar 11th, 2009 @ 5:19pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    A few thoughts...

    The question of whether or not a new model has "adequately replaced the last one" doesn't seem particularly fruitful to me. We're not in a position to say, "should we keep the old business models? Or try new ones?" The old business models don't and won't work anymore because they don't make any economic sense given the *realities* of a digital age. As much as you or anyone else may which you could go back a few decades and sell cassette tapes, that won't change the laws of economics at play. The question ought to be, can new business models work? Not, are they some sort of drop in replacement. I don't understand your search and demands for "equivalents."

    Stats about the number of songs sold versus shared are a bit misleading too. If you free your music up to be spread around and there's an audience for it, you will grow your audience. It's often the difference between hoarding a small pie and getting a smaller percentage of a much larger pie. Look at Adam Singer. His music was largely a hobby, until he freed it up with a Creative Commons license, and now it's become a serious source of income. It's a macropayments thing; rather than worrying about the "freeloaders," you free up your music, grow your audience, connect with fans and give them a reason to buy.

    How do you compete with free? That's what Mike's been talking about for years, showing countless examples of success and failure and providing lots of insight and ideas. You compete with free by building relationships and giving people a reason to buy, not by whining about "piracy" or a perceived need to have a failing business model artificially propped up.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Richard Gibbs, Mar 11th, 2009 @ 5:38pm

    Seriously?

    And I was under the impression that you think that information should be free. Arguably my viewpoint might add value to your discussion, if for no other reason than to be Colmes to your Hannity. Or Jane Curtin to your Dan Akyroyd. Whatever works for you.

    Granting me the opportunity? Awfully kind of you.

    Seriously, are you saying that I would have to pay for the privilege of debating you? Is that the model here? Is everybody appearing on a panel or the dais paying to do so, including yourself? If so, kudos to you - you are standing the standard model of these panels on its head. I read that the attendance is free thanks to corporate sponsorship. I think that is brilliant.

    As for the value of publicity - I don't have a book to sell, nor do I have a company or album to promote. I am not interested in self-promotion. I am not (despite what some writers have insinuated on other forums) a shill for the RIAA or any corporation, nor would I ever want to be such a shill - hence no financial backing. The only organization that I could see being appropriate to sponsor my appearance (presuming that all other speakers are being sponsored) would be NARAS. I am not even particularly comfortable with that, though it would be an improvement over the RIAA in public perception and in my estimation. The views that I would be presenting would be my variation of the views of thousands of musicians, engineers, producers and songwriters. Don't you relish a little resistance to put your views in sharp relief?

    I am presuming that you would much rather have a good face to face debate than a faceless name-calling contest on a blog.

    Let me know your thoughts.

    RG

     

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  73.  
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    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Mar 11th, 2009 @ 6:12pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Mike, when people that started uploading other people's tracks to the internet, this started changing the experience that bands and musicians wanted


    ... that's your argument? If someone takes a "what you want doesn't matter" approach to their fans, I wouldn't be surprised if they find it hard to sustain a business that depends on their support.

    It wasn't originally like that, and the internet actually started out as a good way for bands to have a website and promote themselves, WITHOUT other people uploading their music to file sharing sites.


    You're lamenting that the internet is not only used for one-way broadcast, but for two-way communication? Maybe that's part of the problem. Lot's of successful artists, like Jonathon Coulton, have found success by taking advantage of the two-way communication that the internet enables. Whining that you can't control everything doesn't seem terribly productive.

    Similarly, on YouTube, when someone uploads different mixes of songs (or bootlegs or rare songs) that the band didn't intend, then the world starts assuming that the band sanctioned it


    I disagree that people assume things are official simply because they're online, but, if that is the case, maybe it should happen more often then so that people don't assume that anymore.


    What if a band had something that they felt didn't represent their best live performance? Does that give a fan a right to upload it to the world so that there's something that the band may not even like, to the rest of the world? You're assuming that the fan always has the best interest of the band in mind, when indeed, they often have NO idea of what the band's take actually is on the subject.


    Does a band have some inherent right to control every representation of a performance? If they don't give a good performance, that's tough. And, I mean, everyone has a bad performance. If your fans desert you because something is distributed that "wasn't their best," they didn't have a very strong fan base to begin with.

    But, I find it interesting that you think this is about control. Does a band then have the right to forbid someone from writing a bad review of a concert or a recording? I mean, if it didn't represent their best work, you can't just assume the critic always has the best interests of the band in mind.

    And who else gets this sort of protection? If a politician has a bad interview (e.g. in fall elections, Sarah Palin comes to mind for the States, Stephane Dion in Canada), do they have some sort of right to forbid a TV station from airing it? That's what *really* happened. Professionals learn to handle those situations. I don't see how it helps to whine and try to control them, that often just draws more attention to what you don't want people to see.

    If you have a performance that fans are spreading around that you don't think is all that great, why not record and spread around a better performance?


    I don't buy that all the botched MP3 rips/ downloads haven't created some sort of inadvertent disdain in how people hear music, because on a subliminal level, all that data compression on the file is going to alter a file (significantly less in 320 KBPS and 192 KBPS)...


    Personally, I don't understand the audiophile argument. I think a passionate performance of a great song at 64 KBPS would almost always be preferable to a boring recording of a lame song on vinyl. And if people hear something they like in a lower quality, and care about the quality, that would probably make them more interested in getting a higher quality recording.

    People want convienience, not quality, and it's started to already have a very negative effect on the way that people listen to music--it's more disposable than ever, people have no attention span, yadda yadda.


    Maybe this was just a tangent, but if that's actually what people want, how would you expect to run a profitable business without recognizing and catering to that? Wouldn't it make more sense to listen to fans, to find ways to fulfill the demands of the market? I'm sure there's still a niche market of audiophiles, but I'm not sure how lamenting that "zit faced kids" aren't "listening" to music anymore is going to help in constructing a business model that will be sustainable in the digital age.

    And you might want to be nicer to "zit faced kids." Sometimes, they grow up and have money. ;)

     

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  74.  
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    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Mar 11th, 2009 @ 6:47pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You did NOT answer my challenge because you couldn't. It is just as illegal (and immoral) to copy and distribute electronic content without paying as it is to watch a movie in a theater WITHOUT PAYING.


    It seems obvious to me why you are confused. You can't make a distinction between illegal and immoral. A legalistic ethical theory is pretty laughably infantile.

    But Mike certainly doesn't believe that copyright infringement isn't illegal, he just thinks it's pretty dumb to enforce the law because you're just going to piss of your fans. It's better to adopt business models that align the interests of your fan with your interests of sustaining a living as an artist.

    Let me put it another way. To me, the biggest fallacy of referring to copyright infringement as stealing is not simply that there's no legal basis for the statement (challenge: find the words "stealing," "theft" or "larcency" in copyright legislation), or that there's no conceptual basis for the statement, but that it invokes a claim of natural law, of "thou shalt not steal." It acts as if copyright infringement is a fundamental moral wrong.

    You made this explicit by invoking the term immoral.


    Copyright infringement is immoral, only insofar as it is illegal. If it were not illegal, it would not be immoral. It's not something like stealing or killing. It's not inherently wrong. It's wrong because it's against the law.

    But if it's not inherently wrong, we have the ability to question the laws. Why do we have copyright laws? Oh yeah, to "promote the progress of science and the useful arts." So, does copyright still do that now? If so, we should keep the laws. If not, we should question them, and find out how we should change them.

    Calling copyright infringement "stealing" is either ignorant or intellectually dishonest because it presupposes that it's an inherent moral wrong, which isn't even possible unless you have a laughably legalistic view of ethical theory.


    Mike, biggest fans PAY FOR THEIR MUSIC. Parasites steal their music. Biggest fans want to support the artists they love, NOT STEAL FROM THEM. How hard can that be to understand? Even for you!


    I don't think many people here would disagree that true fans support the artists they love. That's why Techdirt has been so committed to showing that if you connect with fans and give them a reason to buy, there is still money to be made.

    Where you'll find a of disagreement is that it's at useful to call your fans and potential customers "parasites" and "losers". Good luck giving people a reason to buy like that.

    Why are you so worried about "parasites" or "freeloaders"? You don't need to make money from everyone who enjoys your product.

    Then why do you argue FOR file "sharing" and against the rights of artists?


    Why do you assume that file sharing is against artists' rights? Lots of artists encourage file sharing because they understand that it helps their business and that their fans want to do it.

    An artist right now has MORE RIGHTS than others in terms of telling you what you can or cannot do with property you've bought. I find that troubling. I would prefer that the law make it so that things are equal. When I buy something, I should be free to do with it what I want. I shouldn't be limited by the person who sold it to me.
    This is because you clearly do not understand the difference between Intellectual Property and Tangible Property.


    Have you ever heard of the First-sale doctorine? You do realize that copyright law doesn't mean ultimate control of what people can do with things after they've obtained them legally. What Mike said was perfectly intelligible, there's a debate to be had. You do understand that there are legitimate concerns here, right?


    The FBI did not lie down and give up when huge pressing plants in Hong Kong were pumping out millions of CDs in the 1990's.


    Are you equating music fans sharing the music they love with their friends with huge pressing plants running unauthorized commercial operations? It's at least worth making a distinction between non-commercial and commercial use, and worth realizing that sending the FBI after pressing plants is slightly different than suing your fans and potential customers (and their dead grandmothers).

    Why? Because it is in the national interest of the United States to protect our artists intellectual property rights. We should not lay down now, even though the problem is immense. I do not agree in any way that it is insurmountable.


    How do you suggest that you can defy the laws of economics, raise the marginal cost of reproduction of an infinitely reproducible good above (essentially) $0 and stop people from sharing what they love?

    Seriously, how? Lawsuits? Educational campaigns?

    ... don't you think the FBI and the American government have a few more pressing (no pun intended) issues to deal with?

    Just to be clear...

    Ok. Now I am really confused. You say...

    I am totally in favor of a business model that removes all penalties for downloading music, movies, games and software, that removes the stink of illegality that hovers over our teen population, that rewards creativity and productivity of our content creators and that brings a new public channel of access to artists, movie makers, game creators and software developers.


    But then...

    So if you REALLY believe in such a thing, then help to make it happen, not by condemning content creators who are being robbed to death by file stealing, but by supporting the value of intellectual property and helping to pass the laws, set the standards and design the systems to make online file distribution safe, secure and legal.


    ... First of all... how can you still call it "file stealing" when you just said you were in favour of "removing all penalties." Should people be allowed to steal? Or is it not stealing?

    Second... have you spent any time doing research on Techdirt? Over the last decade or more, Mike's devoted a ton of his effort to showing how these business models can and do work (and how they don't and won't), and arguing for laws that make sense and enable innovation and new business models to flourish. The difference that the answer isn't by trumpeting the "value of intellectual property," because copyright actually gets in the way and makes things much, much harder in a digital world. Artists who've found success have done so despite copyright, not because of it.

    ps "safe, secure and legal..." are we talking about abortion, STDs, or sharing files on the internet?

    Mike, laws must change as conditions change. This is a fundamental tenant of governance. Laws must address inequities and injustices. If your ox was being gored (and you could just as well be the next one in line to lose to online corruption as anyone) you would cry just as loud.


    Ah, I'm glad to see you're not so legalistic. But maybe you've got a false idol then. Where's the inequality or the injustice? How is file sharing inherently wrong? What's wrong about it, because the fact that copyright infringement is currently illegal?

    The only tenable answer I see is an economic argument: file sharing is wrong because then artists wouldn't be able to make a living. Except, Mike's been providing countless examples of how that's simply false, and he's been helping lots of businesses to realize this and to make money by freeing up their content.

    What's so unjust?

    You claim to be for the modern musician. But the ONLY way you can be FOR a rape victim, is to be AGAINST the rapist.


    Oh... no... so close to the end of the comment too. You've already called music fans "parasites" and "losers"... but, "rapists"? Seriously?! You're going to call someone a rapist, and then except them to want to support your business?

    I'm beyond words.


    I trust that some day, through a combination of laws, moral awareness, technological advancement and yes, modern business practices, we will have control of their rightful property returned to Content Creators.


    What sort of laws, I thought you wanted to "remove the stink of illegality" on "file stealing"?

    Moral awareness of what -- what's the moral issue?

    And, why must it be about "control"? I think that's distracting you from the sorts of business models you're looking for.

    btw why is "Content Creators" capitalized?

     

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  75.  
    icon
    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Mar 11th, 2009 @ 6:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: techdirt

    Wow, you have to try really hard to suggest that Mike's a hypocrite.

    It sure makes you look great. What's more valuable to you? Your own reputation, as a (hopefully) honest, ethical and sensible person? Or a campaign that would throw that away in a desperate attempt to show an inconsistency in Mike that, trust me, simply doesn't exist?

    I think you'd do quite a bit more harm to yourself.


    Plus, we're not even talking about copyright (or other forms on intellectual property) anymore. You're talking about fraud. Please, show me where Mike has suggested that fraud is good or that it's something that anyone ought to engage in.

    You seem very desperate and confused. I hope you're not like this all the time.

     

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  76.  
    icon
    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Mar 11th, 2009 @ 6:58pm

    Re: techdirt

    There are a ton of websites that do this and have done this already. It'll be a cold day in hell before Mike sues you for advertising his work.

    Techdirt's business model is not based on ads anyways, and Mike isn't bothered by positive externalities.

    You're not going to find any inconsistencies by doing that. Have fun, though.

     

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  77.  
    icon
    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Mar 11th, 2009 @ 7:09pm

    Re: scarce goods

    There really is a moral issue here. When Napster first came out, I don't recall anyone justifying the downloads in this way. It was more about wow, "were getting all this shit for free...isn't that cool".


    The free software movement, for example, predates Napster. You might want to read up on some of that history before you enter into ethical territory. If you want to talk ethics, it's not merely a rationalization, there's a rationale.

    What's the moral issue?

    Well my question is, who the hell wants to try to sell something else to people that take your product, and "share" your product with their friends. I would not call these people fans, I would call them the kids in the candy store.


    Ok, so chase all the kids out of the candy store. Then who's gonna buy your candy?

     

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  78.  
    icon
    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Mar 11th, 2009 @ 7:36pm

    Re: re: scarce goods

    You see the problem with this flawed and sophomoric idiot logic is that without the music, artist merchandise, concerts and access would not exist. The music is what draws attention. The music is what emotionally involves the fans. The music is the real commodity. Without the music, there would be no artist and artist peripherals

    You're confusing music with digital audio recordings. Mike's business models are all about the music. The music can be so valuable that it makes the scarcities surround it valuable too. But, being about the music doesn't mean it always makes sense to simply sell recordings.

    There are many distinctions to be made with the term "music." There's a composition (the idea), a performance, a recording... A composition is abundant insofar as you can share the idea without losing it yourself, and scare insofar as it requires a composer's time and talent to create a new composition. A live performance may be recorded, but the experience of being there cannot be reproduced. A physical embodiment of a recording (e.g. a CD) is scarce insofar as it's physical, but a digital audio recording is abundant insofar as it can be essentially reproduced at infinitum. I'm sure my rambling isn't exhaustive...

    The point is: of course it's about the music. But there's more to music than recordings.

    Yet the music has no value with the fans.

    You seem to be confusing price and value.

    Of course music has value with fans. I mean... how could you possibly call someone a "music fan" to begin with, if they didn't value the music? It seems to me that, ontologically speaking, a music fan values music. That's what it means to be a music fan.


    Ethan Kaplan, from Warner Brothers Records, has a lot of intelligent things to say on this topic. Last year, I heard him give a keynote at a conference in Toronto (there's a decent account of it here). He talks about improving the value of the experience rather than the value of the artifact. He argues that a good experience can drive more revenue than the artifact.

    A recording is just a means of transferring music (of "sharing" it), it's not the music itself. That the price of digital audio files approaches zero is an economic reality, not a reflection that music fans don't value music.

     

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  79.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Mar 12th, 2009 @ 4:00am

    Re: Seriously?


    Seriously, are you saying that I would have to pay for the privilege of debating you? Is that the model here?


    No. For everyone else it is free, but you had indicated that such things were the equivalent of theft. I was just proving that you don't actually believe that.

    As I said, I've asked the organizers if there's room to have us debate at the event. I haven't heard back yet, but recognize that you've provided me with the proof that you don't actually believe what you say.

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Richard Gibbs, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:47am

    Proof

    You've proven no such thing.

    This should be an illuminating debate.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    a musician, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 11:11am

    re: re: Seriously?

    Mike said:

    "No. For everyone else it is free, but you had indicated that such things were the equivalent of theft. I was just proving that you don't actually believe that.

    As I said, I've asked the organizers if there's room to have us debate at the event. I haven't heard back yet, but recognize that you've provided me with the proof that you don't actually believe what you say."



    ??????????????????

     

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  82.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Mar 12th, 2009 @ 4:18pm

    Re: Proof

    You've proven no such thing.

    Then clearly you made a mistake in something that you said either here or concerning your publicity stunt event. Which is it?

     

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  83.  
    identicon
    Richard Gibbs, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:04pm

    False choice

    I've made no mistake. Let's save this scintillating debate for your conference.

    See you there.

    RG

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    A Content Creator, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Blaise,

    Talking with someone with such a huge sense of entitlement and such a stunted and sophomoric sense of right and wrong as yourself, is a challenge to say the least. And I'm not in any way confused, as you seem to be. Your confusion is grounded in the fact that you believe depriving a rightful owner of the income from the fruits of their labor is not wrong. I have to give you props for actually coming out and saying that, but at the same time I have to say you are one of the most unethical people I have ever encountered online.

    So about laws. Laws as you must understand, are fluid responses to changing conditions. In 1800, the 55mph speed limit would not have been appropriate. So today, intellectual property owners are facing an assault from certain segments of the population, depriving those provider's rightful income through illegal means. This is a textbook case for the need for new laws expressly written to address current and future technological conditions.

    As you believe that there is nothing inherently WRONG with depriving Content Creators (caps because we are a well defined party in this case) of their rightful income, we don't have much more ground to explore on that front.

    Now regarding my "fans". I don't consider anyone who deprives me my rightful income a friend or especially a FAN deserving special consideration. You are not a friend. You advocate illegal and immoral activities. And as I thought I CLEARLY pointed out here before, shoplifters still shop, albeit under the watchful eye of store cameras. So be it with our online community. They can shop, but under the watchful eye of a new set of rules that are desperately needed.

    Your portrayal of this somehow being a fight between greedy corporate powers and humble "fans" is so dishonest and disgusting I am also as a want for words. Pirate Bay is a MULTI MILLION dollar company feeding on advertising generated on the backs of musicians. Free downloads are the crumbs fed to the naive scavenger population, while the robber barons at PB make their millions. Techdirt sells advertising that is enhanced by this position and the traffic it generates.

    If this is not so, then I know of a non profit organization that helps brain injured children, that Techdirt could donate all their advertising income to. That would wipe the stench of opportunism from its hands. What do you think?

    I truly want to wipe the stench of illegality from the hands of our young people. At least I want to give them the opportunity to buy their music, software, movies and games inexpensively and legally. However, wanting to give them the opportunity to change their ways, does not condone their current stealing. Those are clearly two different things. But as you are confused about what is right and wrong from the ground up, I doubt you would see the difference.

     

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  85.  
    icon
    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Mar 13th, 2009 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Talking with someone with such a huge sense of entitlement and such a stunted and sophomoric sense of right and wrong as yourself, is a challenge to say the least.

    Hey, how's it going?

    Your confusion is grounded in the fact that you believe depriving a rightful owner of the income from the fruits of their labor is not wrong.

    Ah, so it is an economic moral argument. I thought you'd have something stronger.

    If it's economic, then we're debating economics, not morals. Mike believes and has spent years showing how there are plenty of new business models that work without copyright, often work better without it (consider the whole internet thing) and still all allow people to reap the financial benefits of their labour.

    If your moral argument is that we're trying to prevent artists from making money, you'll need to make an economic case that that would actually happen. I'm certainly interested in hearing that, because the artificial scarcity that copyright on abundant goods creates is pretty provably limiting to one's ability to earn a living.

    On the other hand, if the crux of your moral argument is that there exists a rightful owner of income, you need to make a moral case for who that owner is and why.

    You realize the artificial monopolies granted to musicians and other copyright holders are somewhat of a special case? When I purchase a chair from Ikea, I don't need someone's permission to reupholster it, nor do I need someone's permission to put it into a restaurant and make money off it. There's no rightful owner of all income associated with the chair. The owner of the chair has a right to do what he wants, until he sells it to me. Then it's my chair. Do you share your royalties with the company that manufacturer your computer, or that developed the software you use in a recording studio?

    The entire basis of copyright, certain in the United States, has nothing to do with the idea of a "rightful owner of income." It's simply about economic incentives to "promote progress of science and the useful arts." Copyright is good insofar as it promotes progress. It's bad insofar as it doesn't.

    If it were about "rightful owners of income"... why would the public domain even exist?

    I have to give you props for actually coming out and saying that, but at the same time I have to say you are one of the most unethical people I have ever encountered online.


    You haven't been to many websites, have you?

    So today, intellectual property owners are facing an assault from certain segments of the population, depriving those provider's rightful income through illegal means. This is a textbook case for the need for new laws expressly written to address current and future technological conditions.

    Sure, but which textbook are you reading? I agree that new laws are needed, I just fundamentally disagree with those laws should look like because copyright doesn't have anything to do with "rightful income." Where did you even get that term from?

    I find it astounding that you accuse me of a sense of entitlement, while you believe people have a right to earn income from their art. If someone's art sucks and no one wants to buy it, they have no right to an income. Similarly, if they can't provide the market with what it wants, if they can't create any demand, they have no right to any income. Income is something you earn.

    Again, more importantly, I'd love to see your legal basis "rightful income" being a foundation of copyright law. Copyright law is about creating incentives for creators to create, in order to "promote the progress of science and the useful arts." There's no claim about "rights" or who deserves anything when it comes to copyright. It's a trade-off between society and creators, to grant temporary and artificial monopolies as an economic incentive.


    As you believe that there is nothing inherently WRONG with depriving Content Creators (caps because we are a well defined party in this case) of their rightful income, we don't have much more ground to explore on that front.

    I believe that depriving content creators of their income (again, define: "rightful") is wrong only insofar it would lessen their incentive to create art. Because I like art. And I create art. But, I don't believe that copyright is an effective or useful way for content creators to earn a living in the digital age. It favours artificial scarcity and squanders the abundant resource of a digital good. It wastes so many opportunities to grow and expand your market, to increase your income.

    Techdirt arguments have nothing to do hindering people's ability to earn a living. Floor64 (the company behind Techdirt) earns its living by helping other people, like content creators, figure out how to earn a living in the digital age.

    You've got to make an economic argument that business models which free up content actual deprive someone of their ability to earn a living. Even so, we're talking economics, not morals. We both want content creators to be able to earn a living. (Hell, I'm a content creator). You're just setting up a strawman to suggest otherwise.

    btw I think caps for common nouns is more of a German thing. Also, it kind of gives off the impression that you're overvaluing your own work (would you capitalize Software Developers, Record Labels, Managers, Accountants...?).

    Now regarding my "fans". I don't consider anyone who deprives me my rightful income a friend or especially a FAN deserving special consideration.

    With your broad definition of "rightful income..." what customers do you have left? Honestly, if you think that treating people the way you've been treating them in this discussion will at all help your income, I seriously hope you have a backup plan.

    Focus on giving people a reason to buy, and you'll be a lot better off.

    And it's not about some "special consideration." It's about realizing that people who download your music are people who like your music. People hear music, people like music, people buy music -- in that order. Connect with them, let them hear your music and then give them a reason to buy and you'll make money. These are people who are more likely to see you live, more likely to be collector's edition items, more likely to crave access to the musician, more likely to help you spread your music and grow for fan base for free (i.e. you're not paying them to advertise). Why wouldn't you focus on ways to capitalize on people who love your music, rather than alienate them by calling them losers, parasites and even comparing them to rapists?

    And you still think you have a right to earn income from people you compare to rapists?

    You are not a friend. You advocate illegal and immoral activities.

    Where did I do that? I don't use file sharing programs to access copyrighted content because I think it's immoral, insofar as it's illegal. I just, like you, think the laws need to be updated. And I don't think it should be illegal.

    Moreover, even while it's illegal, my advocacy is about convincing content creators to let people share their content (because it'll help them to make more money). That's why I use a Creative Commons license for my music and writing (and a free software license for my software), and encourage others to do the same.

    Ad hominem attacks make you look bad enough already, but if they're baseless, it's even worse. Careful with your assumptions. I don't advocate breaking the law.

    And as I thought I CLEARLY pointed out here before, shoplifters still shop, albeit under the watchful eye of store cameras. So be it with our online community. They can shop, but under the watchful eye of a new set of rules that are desperately needed.

    Copyright infringement is not stealing. It's copyright infringement. It's still illegal, but it's conceptually, legally and ethically distinct from stealing. To lump the two things together is simply intellectually dishonest, or ignorant.

    Your portrayal of this somehow being a fight between greedy corporate powers and humble "fans" is so dishonest and disgusting I am also as a want for words.

    Talk about completely unsubstantiated assumptions! When did I say anything about "greedy corporations"? The license I use for my music let's anyone -- including "greedy corporations" -- make a profit from it. Same with the software I develop.

    I have nothing against corporations in and of themselves (that wouldn't even make sense...), though I might oppose the actions of a particular corporation or group of corporations. For example, I don't think the RIAA's campaign has been particularly helpful (do you?) to the record labels (and subsequently artists) they are supposed to represent. I'd love to see the RIAA adopt a successful strategy actually helping artists and record labels to make money.

    Problem is, that's not going to happen by suing your customers. It's got nothing to do with fans being "humble", but with them being your market. Why you would want to alienate yourself from your market, from the consumers that are supposed to provide you with the income you feel so entitled to, is beyond me.

    Techdirt sells advertising that is enhanced by this position and the traffic it generates.


    No, actually. As Mike pointed out elsewhere in this thread, advertising accounts for only about 5% of revenue. Techdirt employs the same business models it advocates. It provides content at no cost (the blog) and makes money off the associated scarcities. Check out the Insight Community, if you have any interest in understanding what actually goes on here. Floor64 (and Techdirt) make money by helping others to make money, by helping other people to understand economics and technology. Not by setting up some makeshift kiosk beside scavengers looking for "crumbs" from the Pirate Bay.

    How is helping other companies and people (like content creators) figure out how to make money "opportunism?"

    I truly want to wipe the stench of illegality from the hands of our young people. At least I want to give them the opportunity to buy their music, software, movies and games inexpensively and legally. However, wanting to give them the opportunity to change their ways, does not condone their current stealing.


    How inexpensive is inexpensive? Because if it's not free (or close to it), you're going to have a tough time. (Especially while you call them names instead of focus on giving them a reason to buy.) It doesn't make economic sense.

    There's an inverse relationship between price and supply. Given constant demand, as supply decreases, price increases (e.g. oil). Conversely, as supply increases, price decreases; so, as supply approaches infinity, price approaches zero. Digital goods are reproducible ad infinitum. It's only natural that the price approaches zero.

    In a competitive market, the price of a good approaches the marginal cost of reproduction. The marginal cost of reproducing a digital file is zero. It's only natural that the price approaches zero.

    (Note: reproduction. Creating new content is an important scarcity that can command a high price.)

    To suggest otherwise is not to engage in battle with an ideology, but with the laws of economics. If you're really up to disproving all of economy theory, at least try to make some economic arguments.

    The most effective way to earn money in the digital age is not to pretend that digital goods (abundant) are like physical goods (scarce), but to recognize that they're different and that there are new ways and new opportunities to make money off your content (and, conversely, the old ways aren't that effective anymore, to put it softly).


    I am, honestly, interested in continuing this discussion. I look forward to your next round of ad hominem attacks. But if you talk to your potential customers with the same contempt you've shown me, I'm not that surprised if you're having trouble earning a living.

     

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  86.  
    identicon
    Richard Gibbs, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 11:01am

    Debate?

    Hello Mike,

    Seems like this thread has died under the weight of its own verbosity..

    Any upshot on that debate?

    Looking forward,

    RG

     

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  87.  
    identicon
    Richard Gibbs, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 4:27pm

    Debate?

    Guess you're not taking me up on the debate after all as I've not heard another word. Too bad for all concerned. Care to say why?

    RG

     

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  88.  
    identicon
    Kimo Williams, Jul 22nd, 2009 @ 2:06pm

    Day of Sharing

    First, The United States of America has enacted Laws to protect us all in many ways. Here is an excerpt from one of those laws:

    § 106. Exclusive rights in copyrighted works

    Subject to sections 107 through 122, the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:

    (1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;

    (2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;

    (3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;

    (4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly;

    (5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and

    (6) in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

    And:
    § 501. Infringement of copyright

    (a) Anyone who violates any of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner as provided by sections 106 through 122 or of the author as provided in section 106A(a), or who imports copies or phonorecords into the United States in violation of section 602, is an infringer of the copyright or right of the author, as the case may be.




    Technology is about to engulf us all. YouTube as an example of a technology that has allows the unauthorized sharing of an artist as he/she performs for the public. The artist is compensated for that performance (usually). Any rebroadcast of that initial performance is an infringement and against the law on many levels.

    The Day of Sharing, from my perspective, is nothing more than a way to reeducate (indoctrinate) a generation that in so many ways have grown up in a world that values the marketed facade over the substantive underlining aesthetic of our cultural artistic foundation.
    We can no longer just stand by and watch, or wait for the government to do something. We have to do something and it must be drastic (revolution) or we will find ourselves with no sense of value beyond what the media tells us. Please believe me that this lost of value as it connects to art will and does cross in to so many other areas of our societal lives. Professional and personal morals are directly related to the perception that it is OK to infringe on the rights of others (as long as you don't get caught). We as a culture are losing the battle with the responsibility to do the right thing simply because it is the right thing.

    This day of sharing may not impact the cultural infrastructure but at least something is being done to make the point of “rights” relevant.....

     

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  89.  
    identicon
    Johnny Vancouver, Sep 20th, 2009 @ 2:50pm

    Musicians thrive with new biz model

    Shaun, Sadly you are mistaken about us musicians thriving with the new filesharing situation that has proliferated the world. You site ONE example of someone, Corey Smith who made $4.2 million dollars from giving his music away for free. Even it is true, he is only one remote case where this is working for musicians. I would venture to guess that thousands of stories by other would contradict this success story, mine included.

    You've missed the reality here, I'm afraid.

    Professional career musician-composer

     

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  90.  
    identicon
    Johnny Vancouver, Sep 20th, 2009 @ 3:22pm

    Musicians thrive with new biz model

    Shaun, Sadly you are mistaken about us musicians thriving with the new filesharing situation that has proliferated the world. You site ONE example of someone, Corey Smith who made $4.2 million dollars from giving his music away for free. Even it is true, he is only one remote case where this is working for musicians. I would venture to guess that thousands of stories by other would contradict this success story, mine included.

    You've missed the reality here, I'm afraid.

    Professional career musician-composer

     

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


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