Pirate Bay Loses A Lawsuit; Entertainment Industry Loses An Opportunity

from the appeals-on-the-way dept

Well, the verdict has come down in the trial against The Pirate Bay in Sweden, and it appears The Pirate Bay has been found guilty and each of the defendants has been sentenced to a year in jail and told to pay $3.6 million in damages (less than a third of what the entertainment industry asked for). There will be appeals, of course, so this particular ruling isn't entirely meaningful, even if it's quite disappointing. The trial did certainly include plenty of theatrics, but the core question was an important one: should a site that is, effectively, a search engine, be liable for the content that is linked from that search engine, given that it hosted no infringing works itself. It is in many ways, the same question that was raised in the US in the Grokster case, where the Supreme Court sided with the entertainment industry. It looks like this initial ruling is similar, and that's troubling for the same reasons. The idea that a toolmaker can be liable for the actions of its users should trouble everyone -- especially when the tools have plenty of legitimate uses as well.

But, of course, what happened post Grokster should give you an indication of what will happen here: basically, the entertainment industry will gleefully declare victory, and make statements about how this is a major victory against "piracy." But, in actuality, the exact opposite of that will occur. Unauthorized file sharing continues (or even increases) and it becomes that much more difficult for the legacy industries to win back customers and embrace these new, useful and efficient tools of distribution and promotion. It's a classic case of winning the battle and losing the war. The ultimate problem, of course, is that the entertainment industry still (amazingly) thinks this is a legal issue, not a business model one. It can win as many legal battles as it wants, but in thinking it's a legal issue, it will never recognize how its business models need to change.

The folks behind The Pirate Bay insist that the site will live on and the verdict means nothing, but it may create an inconvenience for users of the site -- especially if other nations use this as yet another excuse to ban the site. The folks this will hurt the most are those content creators who actually do value The Pirate Bay -- such as best selling author Paulo Coehlo, who found that "pirating" his own book helped him tremendously, and who recently spoke out about what a useful tool The Pirate Bay has been. It's a shame that because some big lumbering companies are unable to change their business models that they get to use the legal system to disrupt and annoy those who have figured it out.

In the meantime, one amusing bit that came out as this story was breaking... one of the defendants, Peter "brokep" Sunde, was informed about the verdict early, and joked that: "It used to be only movies, now even verdicts are out before the official release." So... does that mean whoever leaked the verdict is guilty of piracy?


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  1.  
    identicon
    Lucretious, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 2:48am

    well look at that, The Pirate Bay is still there (and will remain).


    Even if they won, they still lost. Nothing will change the fact that the "industry" is gasping for its final breath.

     

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  2.  
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    JDub, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:04am

    Where is the PB now?

    Where is the PB hosted now that allows it to remain afloat? Who is admining it now?

    Makes me wonder where superior sites like BTJunkie are hosted.

     

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  3.  
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    blackbeard, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:04am

    still winning

    the entertainment industry surly cant celebrate anything while the pirate bay is still up and running

    long live the bay piracy for all (non ship related)

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:06am

    Re: Where is the PB now?

    Hostname thepiratebay.org ISP Port80 AB, Sweden
    Country Sweden Country Code SE (SWE)
    City Göteborg Region Vastra Gotaland
    IP Address 83.140.65.11 Postal Code Unknown
    Flag SE Latitude 57.7167
    Local time*
    17 Apr 2009 12:06
    Longitude 11.9667

     

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  5.  
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    quux, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:07am

    What should the new business model *be*?

    Pirate always argue that the business model must change. But they (pirates) will always gravitate to the $0.00 price.

    So where is the blueprint for keeping the artist/creator and his/her support people fed, housed, and clothed while they devote their time to creating more works for us to appreciate? Always at $0.00 cost to anyone who'd rather avoid the cash register.

    Keep in mind, it needs to be a model that can scale to millions of artists/creators at all levels, from superstar to that guy who writes two songs in his whole life.

     

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  6.  
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    Church (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:10am

    Pyric victory

    Not surprising, really. It does fit with the whole idea that the world owes rightsholders a living.


    Still, it is meaningless in the end. You can't fight the laws of physics.

     

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  7.  
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    Douglas Gresham, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:11am

    Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    You must be new here - Techdirt makes a habit of pointing out new models (plural) that are proving not only to be equal but in many cases superior replacements. Try searching the site for Trent Reznor to get you started.

     

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  8.  
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    Claes, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:12am

    Some further information based on the interviews with the judge in this case:

    Since the alleged crime was aiding people to make copyrighted works available the jury more or less accepted the claims of the nordic film companies but significantly reduced those of IFPI and the american film companies. The reason for this was that the nordic companies based their damages on a calculation of the cost of a theoretical license to distribute the material whereas the latter companies provided calculations based on the number of copies times the cost of each copy. The court argued that the number of copies was related to the exclusive rights to make copies rather than the exclusive right to "make available" where the latter thing was what was relevant in this case.

    The judge was also asked questions about whether they had compared to and contemplated what consequences this may have for other services such as Google. His answer implied that such considerations had not been made, but rather that they had only tested the case at hand.

    The damages are to be payed jointly by the four persons in such a way that if one person cannot pay the others may be required to fill in for him and pay extra.

    Here is the verdict:
    in Swedish (pdf)
    in English (run through google translate)

     

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  9.  
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    PaulT (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:21am

    Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    Read the last 5 years of posts and comments on this site for a few ideas.

     

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  10.  
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    quux, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:22am

    Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    I'm aware of what Reznor did. I see it as a stunt, with real problems actually scaling out across the various types of works that get copyrighted (books, movies, music, etc). And Reznor's a star, made the old fashioned way. Can today's interesting-but-unknown artist pull off the same stunt, repeatably enough to be approved for, say, a house or car loan?

     

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  11.  
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    quux, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:25am

    Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    Err, that's sort of like saying "Haystack's over there. Needle's in there somewhere. Go get it!" Any chance someone could take pity on me and show a few links or at least keywords to search on?

     

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  12.  
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    Yogi, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:29am

    World War 3

    is the people against Hollywood.

    It is the fight to live in the Twenty First century, in the digital age, as free netizens, as opposed to living as slaves of the entertainment industry in the Twentieth century.

    We now know what side the Swedish establishment is on.

    Will anybody, any politician, any judge, any political party in any country actually stand up for the people that f-ing chose them?

     

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  13.  
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    Douglas Gresham, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:29am

    Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    Ah yes, Masnick's Law. To save you the trouble of searching for a small artist who can make free work: http://techdirt.com/articles/20090114/0645323402.shtml

    Now we wait for the claim that even if it works for the small guys and the stars, it won't work for everyone in between.

     

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  14.  
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    quux, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    OK, how much actual money has Singer made yet?

    Please don't lump me in with whomever else you've had this discussion/argument with. I'm asking real questions out of a real desire to hear about real, working models.

     

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  15.  
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    Claes, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:36am

    Love will pay the bills

    @quux:
    The key is to connect with your fans. Hunting down people to sue them isn't a good way to do that. Yesterday, I saw a great tv interview with Billie the vision who run their own record company called Love Will Pay the Bills (isn't that a great name?). They started out small and unknown but promoted their music on their site, encouraging people to share it on the Pirate Bay or whereever (and as of late to make a donation if they feel like it). Now they have won a prestigious rock music award and seem to manage quite fine with international tours and all. I hadn't heard of the band before, but I was really touched by their lead singers attitude. He seemed to be such a nice person, and their music is really cool too.

    Also part of the interview was a representative from The Swedish Model - an organisation of seven independant record labels who embrace new business models and strive to get the major labels to follow and stop with spreading the badwill that they do now.

     

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  16.  
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    Mike (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:39am

    Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    'm aware of what Reznor did. I see it as a stunt, with real problems actually scaling out across the various types of works that get copyrighted (books, movies, music, etc). And Reznor's a star, made the old fashioned way. Can today's interesting-but-unknown artist pull off the same stunt, repeatably enough to be approved for, say, a house or car loan?

    We've shown how artists big, medium and small have pulled this off in a way that is absolutely repeatable.

    You are being rather insulting in calling it "a stunt." If you look at what these artists have done it's not at a stunt at all. It's connecting with their fanbase, and then creating a business model that makes everyone happy. It's incredibly scalable and it works today.

     

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  17.  
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    Observer, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:51am

    Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    It's interesting that the liberals out there are demanding that everyone live by their business models which, surprisingly enough, give them everything for free! By all means encourage new models but nobody has a "right" to acquire what they want. If those big bad Hollywooders want you to pay and you think they're out of order - don't buy it. But don't steal it either.

    If you don't agree, then how about forcing supermarkets to give away food free. I'd have more sympathy with the need to feed the hungry and starving rather than supply music to the starved of music. But I suppose the real difference there is that you can be seen stealing food rather than stealing music. Suddenly principle and rights takes a back seat.

     

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  18.  
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    PaulT (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:56am

    Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    There's a huge amount of history, and even a cursory glance at the posts in the last few weeks shows a few great examples, and most of those posts have links back to previous posts on the same subject.

    Search for "business model" and you'll get a few pointers. Specific artists that come up many times include Trent Reznor/Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, Jill Sobule and Jonathan Coulton, though there are many other artists who have been discussed.

     

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  19.  
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    Douglas Gresham, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    I couldn't tell you how much he's made (he shares his name with a comms exec so is harder to find than I can put effort into at the moment, and that's assuming he's made that info public). It seems reasonable to extrapolate that it's more than he was making the old model, given he had been pursuing direct sales of music and "getting nowhere", and is has a following and is amongst other things being offered commission work. That's the comparison that's important, really - is there more incentive to create, perform and share ("promote the progress", as they say). In the wider picture, it fits with the fact that though the recording business is struggling, the music business goes from strength to strength - and, lest we forget, cash isn't the only incentive out there.

    Apologies for the snarkiness, but this is well-trodden ground, and many aren't as reasonable as you about it :)

     

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  20.  
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    lulz, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:02am

    Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    Do you want your ass wiped for you, too? Seriously though, just use the magical ^Search Techdirt^ thingy up there. Will probably take 5 minutes.

     

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  21.  
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    AJ, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:04am

    Food

    Not really the same as food is it?

    If I could take a loaf of bread and run it thru a copier machine, and then started handing out the "Copies" to the hungry that couldn't afford to buy food I would be a pirate right?

    If we like the band, we WILL support them, if they suck then we will not. It's really very simple, but not quite the same as food...

     

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  22.  
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    John Doe, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:04am

    The idea that a toolmaker can be liable for the actions of its users should trouble everyone

    This is where you are right and wrong. You are right that a tool manufacturers should not be held responsible for the misuse of the tool. You are wrong that it troubles anyone. People have held tool manufacturers liable for many years. Just look at guns and alcohol to name a couple controversial ones. Nobody ever blames the user of the tool.

     

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  23.  
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    Daniel Forslund, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:07am

    Long term solution..?

    I have followed the piracy/IP issues closely, and am aware of Reznor and the various other examples of people (seemingly) successfully embracing new business models. Also, I don't dispute at all that it is working for many independents out there.

    However, I fear that these models may well be doomed in advance. Take NIN for example. It seems like most of his revenue came from limited editions and touring. IIRC, he stated in interviews that he was quite disappointed that so few opted to pay for the downloads.

    So, it seems like these business models must be tied to a physical and scarce product. Which is all well, had it not been for the fact that many of the IP based industries are moving *away* from physical product. How long will people really be interested in owning CDs or vinyl...or signed booklets?

    Also, by giving away a product for free, it inherently is perceived as having less value. If the piracy/IP battle ends with some form general OK to copy whatever you like without any risk, or even moral stigma, isn't there a real risk that even fewer will be choosing to pay for content?

    I also want to stress the fact that if that were to be the case, quite a few artists would be doomed. Non-touring acts, authors (as soon as viable e-books appear), etc.

    Finally, even though I (again) agree that the new innovative models work, and may well continue to do so (being somewhat of a devil's advocate above), isn't there still a fundamental problem with the lack of morals among the "information must be free" camp?

    I still feel that if someone creates a new product – regardless of whether it is physical or not – they do reserve a right to get compensation for it. Why shouldn't they? Why should a world of freeloaders decide what to (if anything) to pay?

     

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  24.  
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    Claes, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:08am

    @Observer said "By all means encourage new models but nobody has a "right" to acquire what they want".

    If that's so why is the entertainment industry given the right to invade anyone's privacy. Even if I don't file share I'm very much affected by the laws the industry push for - making it impossible to guarantee ones privacy, risky to run a TOR node, forcing people to close down their open WLANS, introducing refusal of internet connectivity as a punishment without the need for a court trial, pushing ISPs to introduce filtering, technology which can also hurt net neutrality, and censoring of sites. Copyright law is meant to strike a balance between different interests. The industry should realize that if they want to shift the balance the whole thing might eventually fall.

    This verdict will for example give a huge PR boost for the Swedish Pirate Party in the EU parliament election.

     

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  25.  
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    PaulT (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    How come Americans always seem to state things in false dichotomies? People who understand business can be "liberal", and "conservatives" can also be supporters of models that leverage free.

    "If you don't agree, then how about forcing supermarkets to give away food free."

    If food could be infinitely reproduced with virtually no marginal cost after the creation of the original copy (as digital music is), then that would be something that could be demanded, yes. Especially if the selling of food was only a small part of the overall industry.

    Anyway, you're just repeating the tiresome point that's always debunked here. Nobody's saying that artists should not make money. What's being said is that the model that depends on selling copies of a single piece of work will no longer work. Rather than try to fight the unwinnable "war" against "piracy", leverage the free music to make money in other areas. there's a lot of money to be made out there - just not via the "traditional" models.

     

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  26.  
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    Mike (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    It's interesting that the liberals out there are demanding that everyone live by their business models which, surprisingly enough, give them everything for free!

    Huh? Who said anything about "liberals"? This has nothing to do with politics.

    Also, it has everything to do with basic *economics*. It's not about demanding that things should be free, it's about recognizing the natural economic result, which is that things with a marginal cost of zero will eventually get priced at zero.

    If you don't agree, then how about forcing supermarkets to give away food free. I'd have more sympathy with the need to feed the hungry and starving rather than supply music to the starved of music. But I suppose the real difference there is that you can be seen stealing food rather than stealing music. Suddenly principle and rights takes a back seat.

    If you can't understand the difference between a scarce good (if I take it, there's one less) and an infinitely copyable good, you're not going to make much sense around here. Please take the time to understand them before making analogies that make no sense.

     

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  27.  
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    Bob, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:11am

    No, this really is a victory for the RIAA

    ...the entertainment industry will gleefully declare victory, and make statements about how this is a major victory against "piracy." But, in actuality, the exact opposite of that will occur.
    This is really wishful thinking that reminds me about the statements about how the pirates will be motivate by the US Navy's rescue of the captain off of Somalia. For every one patriotic Somali citizen who takes to the waves to avenge the deaths, there will be ten who say to themselves, "Gosh, I don't want to be pumped full of lead."
    Is this the final victory? No. But for every radical programmer who vows to join the copyfight, there will be ten more who think, "Gosh, I don't really want to spend a year in jail."

     

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  28.  
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    lulz, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    Yet again, someone mistakes 'stealing' with 'making unlawful copies'. If I steal your DVD, as in physically take it, you can't use it anymore. If I make a copy, then we can both use it. No one loses anything.

    You can interrelate copying music with stealing physical goods. It makes 0 sense. Can you copy a tomato for free? No. Cloning is expensive and complicated. Can you copy a CD? Yes. Any decent media player has a rip function.

     

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  29.  
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    lulz, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    can should read "can't".

     

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  30.  
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    Dan, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    Also, it has everything to do with basic *economics*. It's not about demanding that things should be free, it's about recognizing the natural economic result, which is that things with a marginal cost of zero will eventually get priced at zero. So what you are saying is that the eventual cost and value of content is zero? Musicians and content creators should work and give away their content for free, being 100% at the mercy of the goodwill of their customers? Sample first, maybe pay later? Again, I am familiar with the NIN case (and other examples), but I still fail to see how the line of thinking is morally grounded.

     

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  31.  
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    Mike (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:21am

    Re: Long term solution..?

    Clearly, you are new here. Every one of your arguments has been discussed at length and debunked.

    However, I fear that these models may well be doomed in advance. Take NIN for example. It seems like most of his revenue came from limited editions and touring. IIRC, he stated in interviews that he was quite disappointed that so few opted to pay for the downloads.

    You remember incorrectly. He said that about an early experiment he did with Saul Williams, but later changed his mind, admitting that they didn't do a good job setting that business model up (i.e., it was "give it away and pray"). But since then he's said the music should just be available for free, and the money is made elsewhere.

    How is it "doomed in advance" that he's making more than he ever did on a record label?

    So, it seems like these business models must be tied to a physical and scarce product. Which is all well, had it not been for the fact that many of the IP based industries are moving *away* from physical product. How long will people really be interested in owning CDs or vinyl...or signed booklets?

    We've discussed this at length. Yes, you have to charge for scarcities, because that MAKES ECONOMIC SENSE. You don't charge for non-scarce goods, because by the most basic economics, those goods have too much supply and you can't make money selling them.

    But, a "scarcity" need not be a physical good. A scarcity can be things like *access* and *attention* which are two wonderful scarcities to sell, and exactly what many musicians are selling these days. You can watch the recent presentation I did to understand:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090410/1359174465.shtml

    Also, by giving away a product for free, it inherently is perceived as having less value. If the piracy/IP battle ends with some form general OK to copy whatever you like without any risk, or even moral stigma, isn't there a real risk that even fewer will be choosing to pay for content?

    First of all, that's not true. You are confusing price and value. Second, you just admitted that the model isn't in selling content. So how is that a "risk". What actually happens is that since the music has TREMENDOUS value, it INCREASES how much people are willing to pay for those scarcities. So the market GETS BIGGER. More people are willing to pay these musicians for certain scarcities BECAUSE they get the music for free.

    I also want to stress the fact that if that were to be the case, quite a few artists would be doomed. Non-touring acts, authors (as soon as viable e-books appear), etc.

    Again, not true at all. We've discussed this many times as well. In fact, the link someone else provided was of a NON-TOURING act, but he's now making money because people are paying him to CREATE new music. They're commissioning works because they heard his music for free and wanted more.

    There are plenty of models that work that don't require touring.

    Finally, even though I (again) agree that the new innovative models work, and may well continue to do so (being somewhat of a devil's advocate above), isn't there still a fundamental problem with the lack of morals among the "information must be free" camp?

    How? We've discussed this at length too. If everyone is better off (and all the models we've shown have come with examples of how everyone is better off), where is the MORAL issue? How is possibly immoral if both the content creators and the fans are better off?

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20061115/020157.shtml

    I still feel that if someone creates a new product – regardless of whether it is physical or not – they do reserve a right to get compensation for it. Why shouldn't they? Why should a world of freeloaders decide what to (if anything) to pay?

    Again, discussed:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090403/0134064365.shtml

    No one is saying artists have no right to compensation. We're saying that you don't have the right to demand that your business model works.

    And you are wrong to call fans freeloaders. That's insulting.

     

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  32.  
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    PaulT (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:25am

    Re: Long term solution..?

    "IIRC, he stated in interviews that he was quite disappointed that so few opted to pay for the downloads."

    Actually (again, IIRC), he stated that about the first testing of the "free" waters he made with the Saul Williams album. He later changed his tune when not only did refinements to the model bring him much more success, but the Williams album eventually brought in many more sales due to later exposure.

    "Finally, even though I (again) agree that the new innovative models work, and may well continue to do so (being somewhat of a devil's advocate above), isn't there still a fundamental problem with the lack of morals among the "information must be free" camp?"

    Not really. There are 3 types of people in the world - people who will always pay for everything, people who will never pay for anything and those who can swayed either way. Rather than waste time trying to attack group #2, it's better to convince group #3 to part with their money. It's easier to do that with a finite good like concert tickets, limited editions and T-shirts than it is with an infinitely reproducible digital file.

    Once again, few here support "piracy". But the old models are dead and fights like this are causing as much harm as the "piracy" itself.

     

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  33.  
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    Mike (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    So what you are saying is that the eventual cost and value of content is zero?

    Don't confuse price and value. They are two separate things. The value is still quite high, in that it makes other scarce goods more worth buying.

    Musicians and content creators should work and give away their content for free, being 100% at the mercy of the goodwill of their customers?

    Never said that. Don't put words in my mouth that I never said. It's not "goodwill of customers" it's creating a REAL business model.

    Sample first, maybe pay later

    No, again, you are obviously new here. We've spoken out against the "give it away and pray" model, and talked about the value of a real business model that uses free as a PART of the business model.

    You are too focused on the false idea that people need to pay for the music. They don't. Have them pay for the scarcities.

    Again, I am familiar with the NIN case (and other examples), but I still fail to see how the line of thinking is morally grounded.


    Really? You think it's immoral that Reznor made more money, his fans were happier, and his fanbase increased because of free music?

    Can you explain how that makes any sense at all?

    You think it's more moral when everyone is worse off?!?

     

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  34.  
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    PaulT (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    Cost != value

     

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  35.  
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    lulz, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:37am

    Re: No, this really is a victory for the RIAA

    The other 10 will just get sneakier about it.

     

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  36.  
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    yogi, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:38am

    What's with the Morals?

    I don't get where the moral argument comes in.

    People have always shared art with each other. Culture and society itself are impossible without sharing.

    Is sharing immoral? I don't think so.


    The only difference between sharing vynil LPs and sharing digital tunes is the incredible ease of making copies and distributing them.

    The principle of sharing is exactly the same, except that the new technology has some effects on the economic model which include terminating the need for the middleman which happens to be the RIAA.

    These economic effects can and should be dealt with in the realm of economics. They have nothing to do with morality or even legality.

    Indeed, a failing business model can be propped by legislation - that is not without precedent but why should any consumer with half a brain support such a blatant ripoff?

    Basically the entertainment industry aims to tax every citizen for living in the digital age.
    How is that fair or moral? Should we also pay the secretaries' union a tax for each job lost by secretaries in the digital age? How about bank tellers - they have suffered too. Shouldn't every one who has had to change their business model due to the digital age be compensated as well? Why only the RIAA?

    P.S.
    I don't remember the RIAA complaining when I introduced my friends to Queen (I'm that old) so why are they complaining now?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:39am

    Re: Re: Long term solution..?

    Clearly, you are new here. Every one of your arguments has been discussed at length and debunked.
    No, I have followed Tech Dirt for some time and I have watched your presentations. As I tried to express, I am agreeing with you in principle. So, I'm not really presenting arguments, I am merely curious as I think things aren't as clear cut as you describe them. I stand corrected on various topics I presented (the NIN quote for example). However, regarding "doomed in advance"; I don't dispute that Reznor is earning more money on his own than when he was with a label. It may well be. However, it appears (again) that much of his revenue is from physical scarcities, which may become less popular as society evolves. Will an artist 10 years from now sell CDs and vinyls? Doubtful. I agree that monetization (poor spelling perhaps, I'm swedish :) ), can be done though virtual scarcities like access and attention, but I am not fully convinced that they work well enough to replace direct income from song/album sales. Are there any examples where a band (for example) is charging for community access, or using ads/sponsorships? Also, music is being discussed much.However, I am really interested in how Hollywood could embrace the new business model. Fan funding? Limited blue ray sets? Sponsoring? Product placements? Could these alone fund movies? I'm skeptical. Finally, regarding morals. Can we not agree that it is slightly immoral to download and enjoy, say, a movie without paying for it in any way? That is what I referred to as freeloading. IMHO, a fan will compensate the creator in some way, if you're not - are you not freeloading?

     

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    Dan, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Long term solution..?

    Just want to apologize for the wall of text.

     

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    Dan, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:47am

    Re: What's with the Morals?

    I don't get where the moral argument comes in.

    People have always shared art with each other. Culture and society itself are impossible without sharing.

    Is sharing immoral? I don't think so.


    Sharing in itself isn't imorral IMHO. However, when you can create a perfect copy of a creation that the original creator seeks compensation for, sharing that copy is immoral. Is it not?

    Once again, I am not new here, nor to the debate or issue itself. Also, I don't dispute that the new business models are working, and I agree that file sharing is a tremendous promotion engine.

    However, what I find disturbing is that a group of people insists that just because a perfect copy is possible to create for free, the copy shouldn't be paid for.

     

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    Stephen, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:56am

    Wrong approach

    One thing that gets me about the "you just want the music for free" people is their assumption that the artist should keep getting paid for something they have already created.

    When I create something, I get paid for it. If it keeps getting used for the next 10-20 years, I don't get one red cent more for the work I've already done. If I want to get paid more, I have to work more and create more.

    In the case of the music artist, they don't "deserve" to get paid after the music is created. If they can turn something they have already created into a chance to do more work and get more money, than good for them. But the idea that they "should" get paid for work already done is wrong.

    Now who pays for the music before its made? We've seen a few models around that idea, but for many small unknown bands, there is no one to pay before hand which is why they do the work at concerts in front of crowds who have already paid to be in the concert or bar. The concert pays the front cost to make the song being played. Its the way bands have always started off. This whole idea of making shiny disks and then making money after the work has been done is entirely a recent phenomena.

    The painter doesn't get more money each time someone looks at their work. If they keep the original and do some work to make copies, they can make money from that work by selling copies, but they don't "deserve" money if I photograph it.

    Earning money comes from doing work, not from work already done. If it takes work to make a copy then you can and should expect some money for it which is why you can charge for concerts since a concert copy of the music takes work to do. No work is done to make an electronic copy so no one "deserves" money for it.

    If they can get money for it, good. For example, iTunes has done work to organize and nicely present music. They've done work to ensure the copy is a good copy and is easy to find so paying for it makes a sense and if iTunes passes some along to the artist, then that's fine too (tho the artist didn't do any additional work to make it visible in iTunes).

    Thinking that people "deserve" money for work already done is the broken part of the model.

     

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    R. Miles, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:57am

    The verdict is no surprise.

    I don't believe the verdict was based on TPB's purpose, but instead, their intentional turning of a blind eye to its users' actions while generating profits.

    And, in part, this makes sense. After all, TPB has generated quite a bit of revenue from these actions. While I don't believe they should be held accountable, it's not difficult to understand the verdict.

    It reminds me of the final episode of "Seinfeld".

    The entertainment industry has no clue about how to relate to consumers, especially when all they see are charts showing down arrows due to lost sales of plastic.

    While they're screaming "piracy", consumers are screaming "give us what we want". TPB tried to do this, but as we can see, the entertainment industry just doesn't give a damn.

    TPB's loss isn't going to hurt artists who use it to their advantage. It simply removes another tool. While TPB has announced they're not going anywhere, I doubt this will be true if they're forced to start monitoring users' actions.

    Once the "illegal" stuff dwindles, so shall visitations to the site. Even Mike has stated numerous times that giving consumers what they want increases the community.

    I don't torrent. Hell, I don't even know how to torrent. But I'm not happy the entertainment industry classifies me as a pirate just because I don't buy plastic anymore. If anything, these industries are forcing me to find alternatives, legal or not, because these alternatives give me what I want.

    Let the **AA's of the world rejoice in this "victory" because it's a Pyrric one at best. The cost of this victory will be consumer outrage, leading to even more losses in sales.

    The recent drop in numbers of Apple's iTunes downloads should be a damn wake-up call to these industries, but instead, they hold onto their buggy whip mentality.

    It will take their failure and closure before anything changes, just as buggy whip makers fought to the bitter end. Propaganda, lies, and draconian control on distribution will continue to get much worse before it gets better.

    While I applaud TPB's business model, I can't applaud them for reaping the rewards from user actions in this context. They didn't provide change, merely a model to circumvent expensive distribution.

    If TPB had been proactive in trying to instill change by working with the entertainment industries, the verdict would not have been what it is.

    It's Napster all over again and TPB obviously never learned from history.

    A shame, really, because the potential was limitless for everyone.

     

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    Ugo, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:59am

    lose a battle, win the war!

     

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    Claes, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 5:01am

    Morality

    Personally I agree that it's moral to somehow support artists whose works you enjoy. Not necessarily for each invididual digital copy, but overall. I also think it's moral to help old ladies carry their heavy bags if I run into such a situation. However, I'm not convinced that acting against this moral should be illegal in any of these two cases.

     

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    Dan, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 5:02am

    Re: Wrong approach

    One thing that gets me about the "you just want the music for free" people is their assumption that the artist should keep getting paid for something they have already created.

    Thanks for allowing me to more clearly express what is bothering me about those who insist copies should be free!
    It is not up to you to decide what you think the artist deserves. If someone wants to put a price on THEIR creation, it is up to you to either support it or not.

    Saying "well, he already did his work, so I can take this copy without paying him" is wrong.

    Unless, of course, you protest the very idea that something immaterial has a value, even if it can be easily copied flawlessly?

     

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    Dan, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 5:08am

    Sigh

    Again, not new here. Again, I agree that the new business model as described here works.

    However, I am frankly at a loss that eloquent and intelligent posters blatantly takes issue with the concept of IP.

    Give me one sane reason why (for example) an author or musician should not be able to create a massively popular creative work and then reap the benefits of it for years to come?
    What is the problem with each person compensating the artist/author for their enjoyment? Is it not fair?

    The argument that somehow different types of work must all be compensated in the same way (time spent working) frankly reminds me of the bad aspects of socialism.

     

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    MadJo (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 5:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Long term solution..?

    CDs, DVDs, touring tickets, posters, commission work, artists attention...
    All are scarce goods, which can be sold or made money from.

    If an artist can't make money off of his or her work, then perhaps it's probably not the main job for the artist, and he or she will have to find something else to suplement their income. Many writers have to do the same. Does that mean bad quality, perhaps, perhaps not.

    Music doesn't have to be the ONLY form of income of artists.

     

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    yogi, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 5:25am

    Re: Re: What's with the Morals?

    "when you can create a perfect copy of a creation that the original creator seeks compensation for, sharing that copy is immoral. Is it not?"

    Well, it is just as immoral as demanding that I buy the copy before hearing or seeing it. Why should I buy something before I know what it is?

    Presumably in the past it was technically impossible to let people try out the product before buying, but there is nothing easier than that now. So why insist on making people buy before they try?

    there is one reason - in the past we had to buy a lot of stuff that ended up in garage sales or the garbage can. That was great for the RIAA but bad for consumers.The situation is simply reversed today, because of the technology.

    Again, that was a business decision, not a moral one.

    Bottom line: I can and will try before I buy. Just get used to it.Economically there is no harm in that, people still like stuff and still buy things because they want to.

    The only problem is that the middlemen profits are down because they are not needed. That is not a moral problem, quite the opposite.

    Actually you should be happy for the artists that can now be compensated directly, without getting ripped off by the RIAA.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 5:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Long term solution..?

    I agree that monetization ... can be done though virtual scarcities like access and attention, but I am not fully convinced that they work well enough to replace direct income from song/album sales. .... Also, music is being discussed much. However, I am really interested in how Hollywood could embrace the new business model.

    It seems that the music and movie industries subconsciously think that they're also too big to fail (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Too_Big_to_Fail_policy). Unfortunately for them, not even GM or financial institutions are too big to fail. A lot of people seem to be thinking that "piracy" (which is an inappropriate term but I'll roll with it for now. Piracy is what happens off the coast of Somalia, not copyright infringement) will kill music or movies or ... (add your industry of choice here).

    Nevertheless, even though they have been complaining about this at least since the '80s, they're still alive and prosperous in spite of the huge increase in piracy. Let's assume for a moment that piracy would actually kill those industries (which, IMHO, wouldn't happen even if no anti-piracy measures would be taken). What then? It would definitely mean some financial hardship for the generation involved in these industries at the time of said hypothetical collapse. It would also involve a less lavish lifestyle for the stars and upper management people involved in those industries. And that's it. It's not like some thing like that isn't happening right now only that on a much larger spectrum of industries... much more vital industries I might add. If, let's say, the movie industry fails, then people would just find a different way to pass their time on week-ends. On the other hand, when the financial sector crashed, the impact was much more far reaching. Imagine the whole agricultural sector collapsing. You would have massive starvation. That is something that's too big to fail. I think that having the music/movie industry being less profitable is a small price to pay compared to the outrageous laws and encroachment on democracy and human rights that the content industry is currently pushing.

     

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    Pete Austin, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 5:28am

    Re: Food

    Re: If I could take a loaf of bread and run it thru a copier machine, and then started handing out the "Copies" to the hungry that couldn't afford to buy food I would be a pirate right?

    Yes. You and Jesus both.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 5:34am

    Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    I don't know what it *should* be, but I sure as hell have seen dozens of business model suggestions on this site and others. If you had been paying any attention at all to the arguments against the entertainment industry you would know a few.

    Hell, you should know at least one: The stuff Trent Reznor has done. Two actually as he's got a few other artists he knows doing similar.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 5:36am

    Re: Sigh

    Dan - think about it this way: the benefits that are reaped from that one massively popular work don't necessarily have to be direct injections of money to the artist.

    The benefit is the ability to leverage the attention, pocketbook, etc of the people who enjoy the work...thinking of creative ways to leverage shouldn't be so difficult.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 5:37am

    Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    Oh so you want someone else to do *all* the leg work for you and just tell you how you should run your business.

    As for the proverbial needle, take a look at what Reznor and other musicians are now starting to do. While the dollar per album earned was overall less (gross), MORE money has gone to Reznor's personal pocket since he broke away from a record label (net).

     

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    Tor, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 5:37am

    Re: Sigh

    "Give me one sane reason why (for example) an author or musician should not be able to create a massively popular creative work and then reap the benefits of it for years to come?"

    By this you seem to imply that controlling distribution of the work is the only way to reap the benefits of it which is not really true. One sane argument could be that film and music industries lobby the politicians to introduce very intrusive laws to protect copyright. It's not possible to stop file sharing without removing some of the very foundations of democracy (openness, the right to privacy and fair trials and proportional penalties).

    Speaking of fair, this is how I see the current state of affairs: the government strikes a deal with creators saying we give you this privelege to make sure you feel it's worth to create things since those works are for the public good. Now if the creators would only need 10 years' protection to motivate them to create something but through lobbyists convince the government to give them 100 years, then the public is paying more than necessary (both in terms of price and lock-in). Why is it more fair to let the public pay this overprice than say collect this money via taxes and improve health care?

     

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  54.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 5:39am

    A Shifting Landscape

    Mike correctly notes "The idea that a toolmaker can be liable for the actions of its users should trouble everyone -- especially when that tools has plenty of legitimate uses as well. ". But we must also recognize that the RIAA and the MPAA are NOT simply protecting their supposed rights, the are actually attempting to expand their rights by making formally legal activities illegal through legislation that they pay for and through these types of court cases. It is unfortunate that companies can buy the "law". It is they who are stealing from you.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 5:43am

    @quux
    By your posting, I can't see a clear point. If the point is something along the line of sustainability of the artist, "...two songs in his whole life." WTF? Who thinks they can actually make a living from such little effort? Either write more music or get another job. If the person /is/ so unpopular, how does the music get spread around? Would anyone want to pay for it in the first place? If so, then they will. I gladly pay for stuff I can get for free, because I appreciate the effort put into creating the item. Also, if the unknowns get spread around like fire (free or not) then they very well may become popular until someone with loads of cash wishes to acquire the distribution rights. I can only imagine how many songs became that much more popular due to having been put into a film. Even if not more popular, the rights are still paid. (That is if big businesses play by their own professed rules.)
    I'm not a musician, but I am an artist. I don't live entirely off my work because I don't do enough of it to live off of. I'm OK with that, so I do paying work that I do enjoy. If I happen to create something that sells big or gives me some continuing kickback somehow, God help me if I actually think that I can stop doing anything else.
    End of rant.

     

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    Mike K, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 5:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    Dan, please also search for Radiohead, Jill Sobule, and various other business model ideas from this site.

    Another few people you could research are Girl Talk, who's most recent CD was released as a pay what you want price...and I know this will sound crazy to you, but I chose to pay the premium price which gave me the physical CD and the CD in flac format! Do you know why I did? Because he made it MY choice what I wanted to pay and the CD was full of music I liked not 2 songs from a 20 track CD like all the "BIG TIME" artists now. Also, Google Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls and see how happy she is with the current business model her recording company is using. Oddly enough, she is actually getting fans to hand her CASH at her autograph signings because they don't want to support her craptastic label.

    Your post says you fail to see how the line of thinking is morally grounded...how is it more moral for a record label to put two good songs on a 20 track CD and charge me 20 dollars for said CD? If the music industry hadn't done away with CD singles, I could get my tracks for like 2.99 (normally with an extra song or remix of the song I do like). Yet, they chose to phase out CD singles...huh wonder why? Personally, I think it's more morally grounded for artists to actually want to connect with their fans and rely on their fans to support them... actually that would be the epitome of moral grounding in an industry that is supposed to be ENTERTAINMENT.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 5:45am

    So is Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL and all the other search engines guilty of 'infringement' as well? Every one of them link to copyrighted material so how are they any less liable for infringement?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 5:47am

    Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    Why does someone who writes two songs in his whole life deserve a lifetime of income from that effort?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 5:48am

    The RIAA should be the ones kicked off the internet. Doesn't matter the outcome of this case, will only drive pirates more underground and harder to find. Good Job RIAA, ASSHATS!

     

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    Mike K, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 5:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    ...sigh... How can someone using the pseudonym Observer not have observed what people have been saying on this site for a long long time... digital copying is NOT the same as taking a physical item. So, giving away free food (which can't be duplicated easily) is not even comparable to the business models that have been discussed here.

    The problem is that so many people have bought into the RIAA and MPAA hype, that people actually can't comprehend the fault of their business models.

     

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    :p, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 5:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    Music isn't "stolen", it's copied. Please let me know when they come up with a way to copy a loaf of bread, then you'll have an apples to apples comparison.

    Also, NOT a liberal and NOT a big music fan. Just someone who can see the need for new business models for certain industries, especially when viable alternatives have been shown, repeatedly, to be successful.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 5:57am

    Let the *IAAs of the world win. Then don't buy OR copy any music or movies or any of their "creative" goods. You don't need it, so show them what the true value is of the crap they are selling.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 5:58am

    Re: Re: Wrong approach

    "It is not up to you to decide what you think the artist deserves. If someone wants to put a price on THEIR creation, it is up to you to either support it or not.'

    Actually, given its MY money the artists would need in order to get compensated, it IS up to me to decide what his stuff is worth to me. It is called "exchange value" and the "market" decides what something is valued at.

    The market has been SCREAMING at these people since the 90's that the recordings of the song are not worth as much as they used to be.

    And the whole reason why the *economics have changed* is the same reason why people are technically capable of "pirating" the music: The "cost" is, for practical purposes, zero while the "quality" stays the same. Because its so easy that a child can make a copy of an album, its just not economically feasible to rely on album sales as a source of income.


    I am not an economist but you seem to be missing some key pieces of education in regards to economics. I mean, the issue here is essentially an introductory economics issue.

    Its like when the printing press came out but on a grander scale. Originally, books were exceptionally expensive to create and distribute. It was a sign of wealth to own even one book.

    Then all of the sudden the printing press comes out and hundreds of books can be made per day. Because of this the "price" of the books had to go down comparatively.

    Fast forward to today. You have a similar issue here: the cost of distributing and creating copies of a work has gone down. The difference is just how much the cost has dropped.

    The issue you and others seem to be having is grasping the *fact* that you can't charge several thousands of a percent more than it cost to make something if unskilled labor can do an identical job in a few minutes with no real effort put into it. It is an economical insanity to suggest otherwise.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 6:04am

    Re: Sigh

    "Give me one sane reason why (for example) an author or musician should not be able to create a massively popular creative work and then reap the benefits of it for years to come?"

    Here is the most sane reason I can think of:

    I am a software engineer. I create code that ships in almost every single one of our products, and these are -very- successful and popular products. I don't get paid today for the work I did yesterday. How is it that someone is entitled to get paid for work they did 50 -years- ago? This is just one of the many issues I have with copyright, but you only needed one example.

     

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  65.  
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    PaulT (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 6:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Long term solution..?

    "However, it appears (again) that much of his revenue is from physical scarcities, which may become less popular as society evolves"

    Which is why business models evolve along with it. Fluid business models are necessary in a changing world - you have to fit your saleable goods to your customers' needs, not try to force your customers to stick to the products they used to buy. This is especially important in the entertainment industry, which by definition deals in luxury goods.

    Businesses that worked perfectly 100 years don't work today if they haven't adapted to modern society (the oft-cited buggy whips or piano roll makers). Business models that depend on selling a product that can be infinitely duplicated *cannot* continue to work indefinitely, even if they used to in a world where such duplication is impossible.

    The problem here is the same as it always is. A powerful incumbent doesn't want to change the way they do business as they were making far too much money. Society moves on, the product that used to sell no longer does so. The business needs to adapt or die. We're trying to point out how the former is both preferable and possible. Other people seem to be saying that the RIAA is right to try and force people to move back a decade to how they used to buy music because that's more convenient for the RIAA and the way it likes doing business.

    Guess which one of these tactics has any long term future?

     

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  66.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 6:09am

    Re: Sigh

    "Give me one sane reason why (for example) an author or musician should not be able to create a massively popular creative work and then reap the benefits of it for years to come?"

    How about you give me one sane reason why an author or musican *should* be able to create a massively popular creative work and then reap the benifits for it for years to come?

    I mean, if they are a true artist then the art itself is what drives them, not monetary gain, no?

    I don't know where you live, but I'm sure you have bridges there. Should the architect who designed that bridge get compensation over and over for every person that uses that bridge?

    I would mention the construction workers who built it, except the sound engineers that helped an artist with an album don't get money over and over again for each record sold.

    How, other than one has a practical use and the other is a luxury, is my theoretical architect any different than your theoretical author or musician?

    "What is the problem with each person compensating the artist/author for their enjoyment? Is it not fair?"

    By all means, compensate them. But nothing entitles them to recurring payments for a song they composed years ago. There is no moral obligation to do so (does the artist not have a moral obligation to society to create his art?) and there is no economic logic to do so.

    Our economics are scarcity based. Until the world moves away from that (which won't happen unless Star Trek becomes a reality) you just plain CAN'T treat infinite goods as if they were scarce. The rules just don't allow it to last.

     

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    Norm, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 6:09am

    Re: World War 3

    Are you serious? Free netizens, slaves to the entertainment industry? Please

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 6:11am

    Is it REALLY legal

    To manufacture and distribute to the retail public a device that converts firearms to fully-automatic, even if that device can also be used as a door stop (a legal use)?

     

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  69.  
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    Tor, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 6:18am

    Open bittorrent trackers outlawed?

    I'm reading through the reasons given for the verdict by the court and at least I have a hard time reading the following as anything else than that running an open bittorrent tracker is now illegal:

    "Hence, it's possible that a certain number of downloads of each work was such downloads that were established when a user downloaded a torrent file from another web site than The Pirate Bay. It is the courts opinion that the act of 'making available' as pertains to these users shall also be taken into consideration as a part of the main crime which is relevant in this case since the tracker of The Pirate Bay was used".

    The background is that the tracker run by TPB also counted some downloads made by users who had downloaded their torrent files from other sites than The Pirate Bay. Apparently the court feels that simply providing the tracker functionality is criminal.

    This is extra interesting since everyone I've heard (including the prosecutor) has been very eager to make clear that it is not the technology itself that is on trial. I hope the next court will get this right when the case is appealed.

     

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    Common Sense, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 6:27am

    Sorry I'm a little late to this party, and there are too many comments for me to read them all, but I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your insight and dedication Mr. Masnick.

    The problem I see with the current business model of the RIAA, is that they are in control of who gets 'discovered' and what music they make. If I sign a deal, I'm contractually obligated to produce X number of CD's for that label, and they get to take the bulk of my money. Can someone tell me how that model 'works' for the little guys who only make one or two songs in their lifetime? Or a local band who rocks the house all over their city, but doesn't get 'discovered' by the labels?

    Moreover, the 'talent' scouts of the labels are crap. There's so much garbage music out there, it's not even funny. And even if a new artist makes an album with only one good song, and we hear it on the radio, that one song is not worth the price of an entire CD, and if it's the only good song the artist makes, there's no way I'm going to buy the single and support the label's poor choice in talent. People aren't necessarily downloading just to get the music for free. I'm a huge Nate Dogg and Warren G fan, but growing up in NH I never saw their albums anywhere. when I got to college, I downloaded everything i could find of theirs, so that I could enjoy it, and also find out how much they've done that I didn't know about. After downloading, I set out to buy every album of theirs that I could find, and still to this day search for them every time I'm in a record store. Did they lose money because I downloaded and got some songs for free?? Definitely not, they gained money because I found out they had albums that I hadn't heard of, and loved.

    So, in my personal opinion, it's not about wanting it all for free, it's about wanting to pay for quality, and not just noise. The current model of RIAA forcing music out there, and forcing us to pay for it, is not sustainable. If given the choice between paying for crap, and not paying at all, eventually the point will come when people will give up and stop paying for crap.

     

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  71.  
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    PaulT (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 6:28am

    Re: Is it REALLY legal

    Probably not. Such a device would have clearly been created with the illegal function in mind, even if it has some minor secondary legal uses.

    BitTorrent and torrent sites, however, can be used equally well for legal and illegal uses. There is no functional difference between legally sharing a Linux distribution, WoW patch or CC-licenced album and sharing an unauthorised file. That's the sticking point. This verdict could affect any search engine that can be used for illicit purposes (i.e. ALL of them), regardless of their primary function. Not good.

     

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    mrtraver (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 6:30am

    Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    It is up to the content creators to find a model that works, not the consumers. The point that Mike makes over and over and over is that file sharing is here to stay, whether or not it is legal, whether or not the content creators/entertainment industry like it. The CONSUMERS like it. I got a C in college macroeconomics, but even I can see that the entertainment industry must adapt to the inevitable. Shutting down a big distribution channel, even an unauthorized one (that no one is profiting from), is not the way to the pot of gold.

     

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    Common Sense, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 6:31am

    Also, back on topic here, since TPB founders are guilty because they supply the means, does this mean that we can sue Microsoft for providing the means for years of Malware and data/identity theft with their piss poor windows security??

     

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  74.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 6:33am

    Re: Re: Is it REALLY legal

    "BitTorrent and torrent sites, however, can be used equally well for legal and illegal uses. There is no functional difference between legally sharing a Linux distribution, WoW patch or CC-licenced album and sharing an unauthorised file. That's the sticking point. This verdict could affect any search engine that can be used for illicit purposes (i.e. ALL of them), regardless of their primary function. Not good."

    Its an important distiction and exactly what I was searching for, thanks. A better anology might be a BONG. This is certainly 90% (if not more) used for the illegal purpose of smoking marijuana. It certainly could be used quite legitimately however for smoking tobacco and thus they remain quite legal.

     

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    Herne, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 6:33am

    Does this make Google responsible for all the copyrighted content that they point to?

     

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    Lucretious, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 6:36am

    Re: No, this really is a victory for the RIAA

    seeing that most of the "Radical programmers" are in Eastern Europe, far from the effects of US law, I think most will look on in amusement and go back to doing whatever it is they do.

    It's amazing how we think our laws somehow are enforceable throughout the world.

     

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  77.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 6:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    Is hollywood going out of business? Hmm, thats news to me . . . I thought it was the RIAA and record companies that were going under. This makes perfect sense really since record companies are superfolous in today market place, they are no longer necessary and SHOULD be going out of business. There is no NEW business model that supports record companies, the NEW business model is business without them.

     

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    JP, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 6:38am

    good to see. somehow the internet gets around certain laws that exist in the regular world. i'm tired of companies claiming that they are not at fault b/c they just provide the market place. If i let someone come in my house and sell drugs to someone else - i will go to jail. They knew people were using it for illegal purposes, but turned a blind eye. we for some reason think we all deserve free stuff, but don't we realize that it only contributes to the economic crisis?

     

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    Lucretious, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 6:41am

    Re:

    Given the news lately, its obvious that some believe that, yes, they are.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 6:44am

    Time to Sue Microsoft for helping make child porn available as it is viewed on thier OS!

     

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  81.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 6:45am

    Driving cars should be illegal since they are used during drive-bys and other illegal activity

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 6:47am

    The entertainment industry is off its nut anyway, and this will only help their insane views. In their eyes you should be strung up even for just posting this news story, because you've taken away the need for people to view the content on their terms and watch their ads. And by just a one step extension of their logic you would have to put everyone who made a phone book in jail because they give information on how to get products that might be used to commit a crime.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 6:49am

    Cars should be illegal, they are used in drive-bys , SUE GM

    GAS should be illega as it is used in arsons and the oil companies know that, SUE ARABIA

    Knives are used to kill people, mayby they should be illegal and all retail stores that sell them SUED.

    This is so much BS on so many levels. I know what the RIAA needs....

    A cold place 6 , Im sorry, 25 foot in dirt!

     

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  84.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 6:50am

    Re:

    Umm...music is not drugs. Electronic files are not drugs.

    You, however, are an idiot.

     

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    SunKing, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 7:00am

    @Dan:

    "Give me one sane reason why (for example) an author or musician should not be able to create a massively popular creative work and then reap the benefits of it for years to come?"

    Well, you say 'benefits' but really I think you mean MONEY. And there's nothing wrong with it, if that's what happens naturally through "massive popularity".

    It's something else altogether when they reap those benefits (oh come onnnnnn, you defintely mean MONEY... just what other benefits could there possibly be?) because it's enforced by a LAW that lasts longer than the artists PHYSICAL ability to actually reap those benefits (MONEY), is FORCED upon the public, against their interests and against their wishes, and against the independant professional advice of experts who believe it will actually be HARMFUL to society?

    Of course, for balance, you must also present a sane reason why they DEFINITELY ABSOLUTELY SHOULD be allowed to reap the benefits (MONEY) for years to come. While you're at it, maybe you could find a sane reason why the recording industry has made absolutely NO attempts to embrace the emerging markets/technologies that are (and have been for many years now) clearly replacing the previous ones, as is being DICTATED to them by the public.

     

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    ChrisB (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 7:02am

    Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    The market will determine the new business model. There are artists who work for free RIGHT NOW, as we speak. They are either getting their career going or do it as a hobby. If people won't pay for music, then artists will have to evolve and figure out what people WILL pay for.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 7:04am

    Re: Re: No, this really is a victory for the RIAA

    "It's amazing how we think our laws somehow are enforceable throughout the world."

    Thats what wars are for

     

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  88.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 7:09am

    Re: Re: Sigh

    {{I am a software engineer. I create code that ships in almost every single one of our products, and these are -very- successful and popular products. I don't get paid today for the work I did yesterday. How is it that someone is entitled to get paid for work they did 50 -years- ago? This is just one of the many issues I have with copyright, but you only needed one example.}}

    But your company that sells the product could continue to get paid for 50 years... (If it's REALLY, REALLY well programmed software :)

     

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    Thomo, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 7:10am

    Right of distribution

    MM posited: "the core question was an important one: should a site that is, effectively, a search engine, be liable for the content that is linked from that search engine, given that it hosted no infringing works itself."
    On that, the protection for the copyright owner is against unauthorized distribution. To put forth a "technical" defense sort of skirts the plain fact that works are distributed via PB, and that such distribution is unauthorized by the copyright owner.

     

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    neil, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 7:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    the more i think about it the more i think that i will like the world when these new models take hold. i have read your arguments over and over again on how the models work. however i think the clear winner here is the consumer. powered by these new models companies around the world will be turning out consumer goods and services, leaving it up to the customer choose how much they are worth. once these models are accepted and used we will have solved the problem of poverty. you will be able to hop on a plain to Hawaii at no cost because the airline will be happy that you chose them to fly.

    it will be a lot like the guys that wash you car windows at the red lights your window gets cleaned if you want it to and then you pay or not and the man thanks you for letting him do his job. i personally know a man who works in this profession he makes $600 on an average day, clearly this model works, but as quux points out this man cant get a mortgage backed by this income. but hey a bank using the new model will lend you money with no money down, no credit, no job just because they want your business so yes these new models will work i like them.

     

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  91.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 7:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    "Non one loses anything."

    Well, according to hollywood, they are losing a sale.

     

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    Peet McKimmie (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 7:37am

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but...

    They went on trial for "Breach of Copyright", but were convicted of "Facilitating Breach of Copyright"...?

    It would appear, at least to this layman, that the prosecution, on realising they had absolutely no case for the original charges, somehow managed to get the charges changed partway through the trial.

    Most unsporting.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 7:39am

    Re: Right of distribution

    The pirate bay does not distribute the content any more than google and other search engines/data aggregators do.

    The file sharers are the distributers.

     

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    alex, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 7:51am

    Sue gun dealers

    Then can I sue gun dealers because the guns they sold was used in a commission of a crime? I mean you can buy a gun to protect your home/wife/kids but then it can also be used illegally even though the gun dealer didn't know prior to selling it.

    Is that a better analogy?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 7:54am

    Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    Perhaps there is nothing that guarantees that an author or artist will be able to feed/house themselves on profits from their work. If the value of their work is purely a result of restricted distribution, then I'm afraid that is no longer a viable business model. However, it is not up to us as consumers to determine how the author/artist makes a living. That I'm afraid is up to the author/artist.

     

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  96.  
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    skyrider (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 7:58am

    The new business model:

    I am thinking with all the industry 'bois' hanging around here, maybe one or more of them will belong to FOX.

    Business model #24

    sell me this weeks episode for $2.00 and I will buy it.
    sell me next weeks epsiode for $3.00 and I will buy it.
    The week after that? $4.00.
    And so on and so forth to the end of the season. Heck, I might buy them all (on that increasing payment schedule) just so that I don't have to deal with the cliffhangers. That's why I cap the hi-def streams with my MyHD card and wait for the sixteenth episode before I start watching.

    Watermark it all you want. If I can't see it, I won't care. I won't put it up on torrent because if I had such a scarce good and had paid for it, I would want everybody else to pay for it too. (not to mention that it could be tracked back to me.)

    DO NOT restrict my use of it. If I want to downsize it and put it on my phone, I should be able to. If I want to watch it on my popcorn hour, I should be able to. Locked to my computer? No. Limited use? NO. May be kept away from me if the authentication server goes down? NO! No! no!

    I think this would be Paramount?

    The new Transformers movie coming out? On opening day, to enjoy the movie in my home, I would pay up to the amount it costs to take my family of four to the theater and stuff their faces with popcorn. - about $60.00. But...A) You cannot restrict it, and B) It must be in hi-def.

    2 brand new business models for you. Cash from my pocket to your bank accounts. The hitch? NO DRM. The possibility that there may be more like me? Better than average.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 8:07am

    Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    becuase they where good songs

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 8:07am

    Hmmm.

    Consumerism at the barrel of a gun. Nice.

     

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    lulz, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 8:07am

    Re: Sue gun dealers

    It involves selling, something TPB is not well-renown for.

     

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    lulz, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 8:09am

    Re: The new business model:

    Or maybe since I can watch it for free on tv, offer the downloads for free with some ads in them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 8:16am

    Re: Right of distribution

    the pirate bay is not a search engine. it doesnt seek out content and add it to its database. it is a directory listing. people post data to it.

     

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    Thomo, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re: Right of distribution

    Go to certain well-known locations on the west side of Manhattan, ask one of the easily-identifiable pedestrians, 'where can I get a LV purse.' They'd give you to an address, and you go there and buy a bogus LV purse.
    Your remark suggests that the pedestrian is not distributing, and that the only one doing that is at the address to which the pedestrian directed you.

     

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    John, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 8:45am

    Re: Food

    Jesus was a pirate!

     

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    TheStuipdOne, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 8:47am

    Re: still winning

    I always wear my eyepatch and wooden peg leg when I'm pirating. I over pronounce my arrrrrrrs and the hook i have for my left hand maked it rather difficult to type.

    Long live the pirate pay matey

    PS - stay away from the sea. tis cursed waters that short our your servers.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 8:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Right of distribution

    If the pedestrians are in the employ of the people who would sell you a knock-off, then they would be part of the distribution.

    If not in their employ, then no, the pedestrian isn't distributing LV purses.

    Heck, since you've given me information on where I can obtain a presumably illicit LV purse, by some arguments, you should be brought up on charges of distribution...'magine that?!?

    Should I be the one to call the authorities or would you like to turn yourself in?

     

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    Wilhelm Busch, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 8:54am

    I think the main point here that is being totally missed is that it should be clear by now that a decision has been made that file sharing will be stopped legal or otherwise, if not the courts then the government. As can be seen by the Swedish decision no amount of logic and or analogies matter, and as we can see all over the world "Three Strike Laws" are being implemented. As for all those technical people who think this can not happen I suggest you think again, where will you get your bandwidth when "THEY" decide 3Gb is enough for anyone, although my guess would be that you can have more as long as its from an "APPROVED" site. In my humble opinion the declaration of "The War On P2P' is imminent and anyone who is not with us is against and must therefore be a pirate and a criminal,end of story, no arguments no discussion. There is an old saying that goes "Money Talks and Bullshit Walks" well the money had already been paid and now its just a matter of time.

     

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    Patrick C, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 9:10am

    There's a problem with your claim that piratebay is a search-engine. If google or yahoo has a link to pirated software, that company can go to the search provider and ask them to remove that link. The same cannot be said for piratebay. If piratebay offered that same functionality, which is easy to do (and likely ineffective), then your assumption would be valid.

    The difference is in the details.

     

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  108.  
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    Cipher-0, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re: Food

    You wouldn't steal loaves and fishes...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    How come you lump all Americans into that one comment?

     

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    lulz, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re: Re: What's with the Morals?

    Well, it is just as immoral as demanding that I buy the copy before hearing or seeing it. Why should I buy something before I know what it is?

    You're not a fan of mystery DumDums, I suppose?

     

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  111.  
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    qez, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 10:06am

    Re:

    Well, even if Google or Yahoo would remove the links, that is not happening. Didn't 20th Century Fox go after everyone who were sharing the Wolverine? Apparently they didn't go after Google (assuming those ain't fakes).

     

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  112.  
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    lulz, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 10:07am

    Re:

    The War on P2P

    Sometimes I wish I could drive a magic rod of making sense right into the skulls of people who group "sharing bootlegged movies, game cracks, and CDs" with the general idea of "file sharing".

    TORRENTING THINGS (P2P FILE SHARING) IS NOT ILLEGAL, YOU TWIT.
    STOP ACTING LIKE IT IS.

    Sharing bootlegged movies, game cracks, and CDs, etc, is.

     

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  113.  
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    lulz, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 10:14am

    Re:

    anyone who is not with us is against and must therefore be a pirate and a criminal,end of story, no arguments no discussion

    Your totalitarian attitudes will get you nowhere.
    And it's funny you should say, "The War On P2P".
    Remember how effective the "War on Drugs" was... oh right.
    Remember how effective the "War on Terror" was... oh right.

    ^^I think your bull$hit is taking a stroll in the park right about now.^^

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 10:18am

    Get over it

    Making a copy used to take a huge infrastructure. It is now trivial.

    Thus, there is (effectively) no cost in making copies any more. If you're trying to pretend there is, you're denying reality, and therefor insane.

    I'm tired of dealing with lunatics.

     

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  115.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re: Sigh

    > "I don't know where you live, but I'm sure you have bridges there. Should the architect who designed that bridge get compensation over and over for every person that uses that bridge?"

    I hate this glib argument, because I read it on here constantly and it completely ignores the issue of risk and who is assuming it.

    The architect has chosen (and has the option to choose) a business model wherein he gets paid a fixed amount in an extremely low-risk situation. Musicians, among other creative professions, do not have this choice, for a number of reasons.

    When a competent architect designs a bridge, the outcome is pretty well known in advance. The bridge will stand, span a well-defined distance, will support so-and-so much traffic, and so on. There is little risk in this transaction, so the architect will be paid a princely sum in advance (he's probably pulling down a six-figure income) as he does the work.

    The architect gets paid whether a million people or two people a day use that bridge. Somebody (an urban planner working on behalf of the government, likely) has assumed the risk and paid the architect a lot of money, relatively speaking, to design the bridge. I don't know a lot about bridge-location selection, but I assume that there are ways that you can predict, with high fidelity, in advance, how much use a bridge will get.

    Do you know anybody today who will pay a musician six figures to write songs? Of course not.

    There are numerous reasons for this. First, nobody - not even the record companies, can reliably predict in advance who is going to create something wildly popular and who is going to create something nobody wants. Unlike the architect, past performance isn't a good guarantee of future results (ask whoever paid to make Seal's third album).

    The challenge for record companies isn't to pick hits all the time, because that's impossible. The challenge is to make more money producing hits than they lose producing flops. It's the same for movie studios. I heard once that, averaged across the whole movie industry, you would make more by putting all the money spent making movies into a government bond.

    Whether or not you think record companies or movie studios are evil or not, they do perform a vital function: risk amortization. The risk balance between record companies and artists is very interesting. The risk is not divided like it is for a salaried employee and a firm: the artist's take-home is still based on performance. A few artists get wildly rich primarily through selling and licensing music. One wonders why the record company allows this at all. That said, I am aware that major record companies cleverly move some risk back onto artists by making them "pay back" costs associated with marketing. Nobody is twisting the arms of artists to sign record deals with provisions like that. Even with questionable provisions like this, nobody is coming to collect the costs from an artist who tries really hard and ends up making a flop anyway. The record company eats those costs, and it pays them by "screwing" some other artist who made a hit.

    The system works because the hits subsidize the flops, and the record company manages a delicate balance: the hitmaker still makes money (although not as rich as he/she could have been without subsidizing the flop) and neither the flop-maker or the record company has to declare bankruptcy.

    Back to the architect analogy: you could conceive of an architecture startup firm that worked like musicians do. That is, they will do all the work initially, for nothing, and then get paid based on how many people use the bridge. This would shift the risk to the architect. Interestingly, although this option is certainly available to architects, we don't see them doing it. Why not? It's an interesting thought experiment. I can think of a few hypotheses:

    Maybe architects are risk-averse. They like the fact that they can get paid reliably for work, and don't want to assume the risk that their income will be tied to the eventual use of their creations. Arguably, any salaried employee (and I venture that a vast majority of people reading this are salaried) had made this same decision. What's preventing you salaried folks from all jumping ship and becoming consultants and freelancers, by the way? You could be making so much more money, right? On that note, why aren't the people paying your salaries firing you and hiring all consultants? They could be getting so much of a better deal.

    Maybe it's also that it's exceedingly hard to be a good urban planner AND architect at the same time, and architects don't want to have to be in two professions at once.

    The latter hypothesis is my primary concern with respect to the Techdirt line of argument: now, it's not enough to be a great musician who creates popular products, you have to be a great musician AND you have to invent and subsidize your own relatively novel business model. People who will be able to do both of these things successfully are going to be few and far-between.

    Musicians have always had the option of being or running their own record companies, but few choose this option. You can argue that the existing record companies were responsible for this, making the barrier to entry too high for newcomers (by monopolizing marketing channels like access to retailers and radio), and maybe you are right. You will also argue that the Internet has democratized marketing, and that the barriers to entry have been drastically lowered. Maybe you are right there, also.

    The fact remains that marketing, in any medium - including the Internet - is hard. It's hard enough that eventually we will probably see specialization: musicians will want to stick to writing music and hiring marketing experts to market their product (or give away their product and market something else). The hired companies, by the way, are called *record companies*. I'm not sure who will assume the risk in that situation, and maybe we'll see a spectrum, or maybe we'll see a recapitulation of the current situation. Because musical popularity is still going to be wildly unpredictable, I doubt we will see the opposite model of what we have today: here, record companies would have musicians on salary, making music for hire. That, incidentally, is the architect model. I'm sure many musicians would love that.

     

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  116.  
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    Jason, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    Happy to! Try the link at the top labeled "Mike Masnick." On the page that follows you can continue to search under "More Matches." Have a fun weekend!

     

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  117.  
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    Jason, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    No, if I can't play and perform them royalty-free, then they are intrinsically soulless.

     

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  118.  
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    Common Sense, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What's with the Morals?

    At least with Mystery DumDums, you know you're getting a randomly flavored DumDum candy, which if you're buying, you'll probably like.

    The only way that would be comparable, is if that mystery DumDum represented 1 of a possible 10 pieces of software that you already know and like.

    If you take a quick 5 to try and think about what you're saying, you'll probably say fewer stupid things.

     

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  119.  
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    Isaac K (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 10:38am

    Wait... a little math here...

    If you divide the $3.6 million dollars by the number of violations of copyright since TPB's inception... Fractions of a cent per violation?

    Anyone want to use that as a legal defense - that legal precedent sets the penalty of violation to basically under a dollar? Higher penalties are unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment?

    How's that for pissing off the RIAA - show up in court, and then concede to write them a check for 42 cents. It'll cost them a thousand times more to investigate and send a letter.

     

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  120.  
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    Michael Long, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 10:40am

    Re: Freeloaders

    "And you are wrong to call fans freeloaders. That's insulting."

    If they don't pay in any form (no CDs, no concerts, no t-shirts) then they're pretty much a freeloader by the definition: A person who takes advantage of others' generosity without giving anything in return.

     

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  121.  
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    Michael Long, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 10:49am

    Re: What's with the Morals?

    "How is that fair or moral? Should we also pay the secretaries' union a tax for each job lost by secretaries in the digital age?"

    The difference is that we're still consuming the products of the authors and actors and artists. In fact, we demand more. A secretary may have lost her job because the boss learned how to use Word, but apparently all of those content creators are expected to keep on working for free.

    But hey, just so YOU'RE entertained.

     

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  122.  
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    Jason, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    The line of thinking is morally grounded in the fact that it is morally wrong for any government to attempt to govern the general distribution of ideas and concepts. This is fundamentally feudalism of the mind. It is tyranny! It is slavery! It is strictly motivated by greed and we are coming to see that it is needless to do so when viable alternatives are popping up all over the place, some even more successful at turning a profit.

    It is not the consumer who is stealing from the producer by copying and distributing. It is the producer who is stealing from the consumer by claiming authority over their right to transfer information.

    It is pitiful that our mis-guided Weberian heritage has pressed the cultural derivatives of capitalism to the point of impinging on both our collective freedoms, and the successful pursuit of that very same capitalism.

     

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  123.  
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    Hmm, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 10:56am

    Innocent?

    I'm against invasion of privacy and the surveillance of citizens.

    Some of the PB guys are not as innocent as they have portrayed themselves though:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Lundstr%C3%B6m

     

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  124.  
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    Jason, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 10:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    Touché.

     

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  125.  
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    Dan, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:00am

    @ a few confused individuals ;)

    "Give me one sane reason why (for example) an author or musician should not be able to create a massively popular creative work and then reap the benefits of it for years to come?"

    How about you give me one sane reason why an author or musican *should* be able to create a massively popular creative work and then reap the benifits for it for years to come?


    Simply because the artist, software company, movie studio took a risk. They worked for nothing, hoping to recoup the cost of production/authoring by selling the created work. The result may be positive (even massive profit), neutral or negative. Risk and possible reward.

    Actually, given its MY money the artists would need in order to get compensated, it IS up to me to decide what his stuff is worth to me. It is called "exchange value" and the "market" decides what something is valued at.

    Indeed. However, you either accept what is offered (price of the song or album) or you don't and walk away. That is basic economics. The market does decide the price on a macro scale, but it is not up to each customer to decide the price after getting the product.

    You buy or you chose not to.
    You don't torrent the album, listen to it and keep it and go "nah, I don't feel like paying". You didn't say that specifically, but it is all over this thread. Supposedly creators (of music, software, etc.) should now take the immense risk to create and HOPE that people will compensate them for the product that they are using regardless.

    Again, I don't dispute the fact that p2p is here to stay, nor that the old business model is in trouble. However, I dislike how people attempt to justify dishonest behaviour.

    If someone creates a new work (music, software, whatever) and puts it up for sale, it is up to you to either accept his terms or not to. Declining his terms and using the work regardless is dishonest and immoral. End of story.

     

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  126.  
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    Jason, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    Hollywood is FLAT WRONG! Economically speaking, their "lost sale" is vapor. There is no way you can equate or even scale the number of unit sales the market will yield at $0 versus the number unit sales the market will yield at $10, $15 or $20. The appropriate ratio to apply is mathematically indeterminate. There is no way to legitimately substantiate that even one single solitary sale was lost due to free distribution. It's likely there would be some. It's also possible that there would be none.

    It's what you learned in elementary math: You can't divide by zero.

     

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  127.  
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    Mike (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re: Freeloaders

    If they don't pay in any form (no CDs, no concerts, no t-shirts) then they're pretty much a freeloader by the definition: A person who takes advantage of others' generosity without giving anything in return.

    I see. So you freeload off of BMW every time you see a BMW ad and don't buy one?

    Fascinating.

     

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  128.  
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    The Head of Marie Antoinette, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    Oh, and eef zey come up weeth a way to chipply copy bread, I dare you to chahrge royalties.

     

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  129.  
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    Jan Hopmans (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:14am

    Re: Re: Wrong approach

    It is not up to you to decide what you think the artist deserves. If someone wants to put a price on THEIR creation, it is up to you to either support it or not.They think they put a price on the creation while they actually put a price on the distribution. If I can find somebody that does the exact same thing at no cost, shouldn't I be allowed to take it?

    The music is already created and the distribution comes at no cost, why shouldn't I do it?

     

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  130.  
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    Jason, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:24am

    Re: Long term solution..?

    "Also, by giving away a product for free, it inherently is perceived as having less value. If the piracy/IP battle ends with some form general OK to copy whatever you like without any risk, or even moral stigma, isn't there a real risk that even fewer will be choosing to pay for content? I also want to stress the fact that if that were to be the case, quite a few artists would be doomed. Non-touring acts, authors (as soon as viable e-books appear), etc." OH NO!!! What a horrible world!!! Our lives would no longer revolve around entertainment! GASP! HORROR! What would we do without Britney or Justin or Kelly or Lil Kim?? The very heart and soul of our culture would be lost!!! The only people who would produce any art are those who have motives beyond money! Ewww! Too bad that wouldn't really be the case.

     

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  131.  
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    The infamous Joe, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:31am

    Re: @ a few confused individuals ;)

    The problem is that you, mistakenly, believe that the product a musician makes is a recording. Musicians produce music. The recording industry produces recordings. Music != recordings of music.

    The recording industry has gotten quite rich (and powerful) off of selling copies of recordings. The era of selling copies of recordings is over. Some musicians have gotten quite rich from a deal they made with recording companies where they got a cut of the record sales. (Somewhere around $0.09 to $0.14 an album, my musician friend tells me) Unfortunately, as already stated, selling copies of recordings is a dying business. Fortunately for musicians, they never created or sold copies of recordings in the first place, so their product is safe and sound. (pun intended)

    The root problem is that somewhere along the way, someone (probably the recording companies) has convinced almost everyone that music = copies of recordings of music. This is easily disproved:

    I can *not* make music. I have zero talent for it. I can, however, make a copy of a recording of music. My 10 year old little brother can too. I would wager that there are people as young as 6 who can, in fact, make a copy of a recording. So, which requires an artist, and deserves to be paid for, and which can be done with any idiot with a computer made after circa 1990?

    I hope that clears things up for you.

     

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  132.  
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    Jason, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:32am

    Re:

    Google doesn't remove links, you twit. Hell, they cache pages just in case something got taken down.

     

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  133.  
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    RD, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:38am

    YES!

    I called it! They lost, YES! This is EXACTLY THE SAME as ANY OTHER search engine. They CAN NOT ignore ALL other search engines that provide the EXACT SAME links and references. After all, TPB DOES NOT host the content, they only provide links, and this content can be found IDENTICALLY at google.

    Now the studios HAVE TO go after google, yahoo, msn, etc. Cant wait for the trials. They are about to be bitch-slapped the likes of which has never before been seen.

     

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  134.  
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    Jason, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re: Freeloaders

    Dumbest comment of the day, Long.

     

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  135.  
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    Jason, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: What's with the Morals?

    Sharing in itself isn't imorral IMHO. However, when you can create a perfect copy of a creation that the original creator seeks compensation for, sharing that copy is immoral. Is it not?

    That's exactly what I'm saying. It's not. It's immoral for the creator to seek to control what I do with that copy. They didn't make the copy, I did.

    What made the music valuable in the first place? The fact that they played it or the fact that someone listened?

     

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  136.  
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    Jan Hopmans (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    No way, they can't be wrong!! O_o
    How could they not have lost at least 100x more than I have ever earned in my life ALL together. It can't be. O_o

     

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  137.  
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    Dan, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: @ a few confused individuals ;)

    Joe, I can see why you're infamous. ;)


    The problem is that you, mistakenly, believe that the product a musician makes is a recording. Musicians produce music. The recording industry produces recordings. Music != recordings of music.
    -snip-
    I hope that clears things up for you.


    No need to be condescending, especially when you comfortably ignores that my argument was not solely about music. How do your reasoning apply to software? A copy of a game is worthless? A business app? Worthless, simply because it is easy to create a copy?

    Please.

     

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  138.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:58am

    Come In, Come In, said the Spider to the Fly

    It makes you wonder how conversations between ISPs and content regarding went. I mean, they essentially gave up safe harbor provisions to get a piece of revenue from their users...

    WAIT A MINUTE!

     

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  139.  
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    Jason, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:58am

    Re: @ a few confused individuals ;)

    The problem is that your musician and your music producers and distributors have taken their risks based upon a system that rapes our freedoms.

    I generally should be able to receive an idea or piece of information and copy it, modify it or not, and pass it on as I choose. Freedom of distribution is an intrinsic right to the basic state of humanity.

    It is NOT my fault that the poor musician took a risk and their venture flopped because I didn't want to give up my freedom. Stupid risk.

     

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  140.  
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    Jason, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Is it REALLY legal

    It should be.

     

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  141.  
    identicon
    Dan, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: What's with the Morals?


    "Sharing in itself isn't imorral IMHO. However, when you can create a perfect copy of a creation that the original creator seeks compensation for, sharing that copy is immoral. Is it not?"

    That's exactly what I'm saying. It's not. It's immoral for the creator to seek to control what I do with that copy. They didn't make the copy, I did.

    What made the music valuable in the first place? The fact that they played it or the fact that someone listened?


    Your reasoning is flawed. We are not solely talking about music here. ALL immaterial content is at stake. You buy a game, and think you have the right to share your copies of it with the world? Is that right?

    You really think that it is fair that you provide content someone else created to everyone who will take it, and blatantly give them the responsibility to be honest enough to pay for it - if they like it?

    Just to be clear, if that is what you are saying, then you do realize that you (and your friends) propose that the market concerning immaterial properties should work backwards from how we have done business for centuries?

    It is now up to the customer to decide IF and how much to pay after they have enjoyed the product?

    Again, I can see the value in using file sharing for promotion, and to give away certain works for free to connetct with fans etc. However, it is up to the creator to decide on the terms of how THEIR work will be used, it is not up to you. Unless, of course, you simply lack common sense and morals.

     

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  142.  
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    Jason, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re: Right of distribution

    Actually they post links to distribution channels for data.

     

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  143.  
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    Liberty McAteer, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 12:06pm

    Long Time Coming

    The Pirate Bay, as it exists now, is unsustainable. Criticize the content industry for their business model as much as you want, but until sites like TPB learn to play ball with the content industry, verdicts like this will be the norm.

    Everyone sees this fight as a david v goliath, with the content industry as the bad guys. This is ridiculous. The blanket condemnation of an industry that employs literally millions of people is intellectually dishonest. To say that TPB members getting convicted for secondary liability is like a toolmaker getting convicted for a third party's use of their tools is also intellectually dishonest. The architecture of TPB makes a more appropriate analogy: instead of simply selling someone a gun, it is akin to teaching them how to fire it and steadying the barrel while they aim. That is called accomplice liability.

    The industry is currently enforcing a scheme called 'security through legality.' Look up Schneier on it, it is classic DMCA stuff. While it may not be a successful long term strategy, as much as the industry may need to reform its business model, 'pirates' need to learn to come to the table as well to ensure that content producers actually get paid.

     

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  144.  
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    Jason, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Innocent?

    No, not innocent, just not guilty.

     

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  145.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: @ a few confused individuals ;)

    The problem is that your musician and your music producers and distributors have taken their risks based upon a system that rapes our freedoms.

    I generally should be able to receive an idea or piece of information and copy it, modify it or not, and pass it on as I choose. Freedom of distribution is an intrinsic right to the basic state of humanity.

    It is NOT my fault that the poor musician took a risk and their venture flopped because I didn't want to give up my freedom. Stupid risk.


    You can't be serious?
    The scary thing is that you are, and there are too many like you. You seem to think that as long as something is not physical, it is yours for the taking, without any consideration to those that created it.

    If you chose to compensate them after the fact, they should be thankful that you did not rip them off?

    Again, this does not only concern musicians. How about games, or software in general?

    Honestly, I think I give up trying to debate this. It is clear that there are two very distinct sides to the debate:
    those who realize the ammount of work it takes to create music, software, movies, etc and that it is reasonable to expect compensation for the enjoyment of those products, and that the rights of the authors should be respected.

    The other side thinks that those talented and educated enough to create should do so for pure enjoyment, while the rest sits back and just takes a free ride on the back of the creators.

    This is not related to the discussion about whether the current business models are sustainable or whether the new ones are better. It is simply a fact from observing the discussion about copying. Some just don't get what is honest, respectable behaviour and want to stick it to "the man".
    Have fun!

     

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  146.  
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    The infamous Joe, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: @ a few confused individuals ;)

    A copy of a game is worthless? A business app? Worthless, simply because it is easy to create a copy?


    I wasn't being condescending, honest. It *is* a common mistake in reasoning.

    To further answer your question: Yes and No. :)

    Something's value != it's cost. Air has no cost, but is very valuable.

    So, no, the examples you gave are not what I believe, I believe all digital goods to have value, else there would be no one pirating them. I do, however, believe that the *cost* of a copy should be zero, for the reasons I stated in my first post. (That's the yes part)

    If you are looking for something to combine with software to make money (instead of selling copies) make people pay for tech support. That is a scarce, and often required, produce that will make you more and more money as more and more people share it.

     

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  147.  
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    qez, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 12:15pm

    good day for Swedish Pirate Party

    Today Swedish Pirate Party got over 4000 new members, from 14658 to 18854, and it became 4th biggest party in Sweden.

    Media companies may win in the court rooms but they are losing it outside.

     

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  148.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 12:21pm

    I love technologists who assume that the legal system can and must operate with the regularity and consistency of their favorite Perl script.

    Here's a newsflash: just because the Pirate Bay was a target doesn't mean that Google and your favorite ISP also will be targets. Just because the Pirate Bay organizers were found liable doesn't mean that Yahoo will be found liable, or even be hassled at all.

    Believe it or not, record companies, movie studios, judges, and lawyers can all distinguish between Google and a site that IS CALLED THE PIRATE BAY. They can see that Google's 99% noninfringing uses and the Pirate Bay's 1% noninfringing uses put them in different equivalence classes. They can see that Google indexes infringing content incidentally and the Pirate Bay indexes it by design. They can see that Google takes reasonable measures to police content on its properties and works with content owners, and that the Pirate Bay actively encourages people to break the law. IT'S IN THE NAME OF THE SITE.

    Companies and lawyers are not automatons. They make decisions based on facts and goals and strategies. Could someone try to get Google executives or employees jailed for providing a search engine for infringing materials? Probably. Would they actually do this in real life? Not if they were mentally stable. It's counterproductive. The costs and benefits don't make sense.

    The question remains: if these dumb lawyers, judges, record companies and movie studios can tell the difference between Google and the Pirate Bay, why can't you?

     

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  149.  
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    Claes, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 12:25pm

    People rush to join the Pirate Party

     

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  150.  
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    lulz, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Long Time Coming

    The architecture of TPB makes a more appropriate analogy: instead of simply selling someone a gun, it is akin to teaching them how to fire it and steadying the barrel while they aim. That is called accomplice liability.

    And that, good sir, is an intellectual fallacy. Where does TPB teach someone to download pirated media? I'm pretty sure any torrent site you go to explicitly says not to upload .torrent files linked to illegal media, or do so at one's own risk.

    To put it in your terms: a drill sergeant teaching someone how to fire an M4 shouldn't be liable for his student to kill other students. In the same way, telling someone how to build thermite or hack a network won't make you liable for the damages to someone else.
    But, TPB isn't really teaching anyone how to do anything. They simply offer a service. It's not (well, shouldn't) be their fault if their users are behaving badly.

     

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  151.  
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    quux, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    I did not mean to suggest that such a person deserves "a lifetime of income". He probably doesn't. (They might be immensely durable and popular songs but they likely will not be.)

    I was trying to compactly indicate that the 'new business model(s)' need to scale from piker to planetary superstar. Even if the guy with two songs has only $20 worth of marketable material there, shouldn't he have the ability to collect his $20?

     

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  152.  
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    lulz, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 12:29pm

    Re:

    Again, the users are the ones who link to copyrighted material, NOT THE SITE ITSELF.

     

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  153.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    I'm american, conservative, and support the new business models that include free. Thanks for the stereotype.

     

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  154.  
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    quux, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    Singer's post (linked from the Techdirt article you linked) seems to suggest that he enjoyed increased *popularity* once he decided to STOP pursuing financial returns on the music he made. If there's a business model there, it seems to add up to more fame, but zero financial return on his efforts.

    You're right, cash isn't the only incentive. But it is a powerful one. Let me be clear here - if an artist/creator wants to freely give me the fruit of his efforts, then I'll tip my hat, thank him, and do my best to enjoy it. If it's really really good stuff, then I'll probably want to voluntarily give him some gist as a token of my appreciation.

    But I think he should also have the option to *sell* me his works under whatever terms he sees fit - if I don't like the terms I can refuse the deal. If we both agree to such a deal, shouldn't we both have the right and the ability to enforce it?

     

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  155.  
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    quux, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    Sorry about the perceived insult. I didn't mean the word stunt as an insult though I see where you're coming from. I meant it more in the sense of a one-off event, something that's not sustainable and scalable as a business model for any large segment of the music, movie, or authorial markets.

    It's interesting (and a little sad, from my POV) that merely asking a question results in as much hostility as I see here.

     

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  156.  
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    quux, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Love will pay the bills

    Thanks for the links.

    I looked at http://www.theswedishmodel.org/strategy/ - but there's no model there; just a rejection of past models.

    I looked at http://www.billiethevision.com/music.php - they're doing the 'pay what you want' thing now. And again I think this is swell, but only time will tell if it is sustainable. Honestly I suspect not - during a novelty phase, some people will profit, but in the long haul, with no one watching the cashbox, fewer and fewer will pay. I hope I'm wrong.

    As nice as an group like Billie the vision & the dancers may be - they will have to deal with entities who can't afford to be so nice. The grocer, the landlord, the load officer, the power company. Will 'pay what you want' or 'give the music away but sell the merch' models really give such artists the ability to pay the bills?

     

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  157.  
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    quux, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 1:01pm

    Re:

    I answered this [a href="http://www.techdirt.com/article.php?sid=20090417/0129274535&threaded=true#c2086"]above[/a] .

     

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  158.  
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    pk, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 1:05pm

    Re: YES!

    This is not trademark infringement. The studios can go after whomever they please.

     

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  159.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re: Love will pay the bills

    "Will 'pay what you want' or 'give the music away but sell the merch' models really give such artists the ability to pay the bills?"

    Let me point out a few Techdirt tropes in advance, just to get you up to speed:

    1. Nobody has the right to earn a living. Or: the only people that have a right to earn a living are people who can create something people want AND monetize it.

    2. If your ability to monetize your living is undermined by rampant lawbreaking, that is somewhat unfortunate, but you just have to deal with it. Artists have to adapt or die. Here, there's very little concern over whether you 'adapt' or 'die.'

    3. Putting out music that thousands or millions of people want is equivalent to buggy-whip manufacturing, because equivalent "market forces" (improved technology causing reduced demand in one case, and rampant unrestrained copyright infringement in the other) substantially changed both industries.

    4. Artists may just have to deal with the fact that waiting tables is what they do to make money, and music is just a hobby. "Real artists" don't do it for the money.

    5. All this is just some temporary creative destruction, eventually everything will settle down and we'll have more, better music and art available to us than ever before. This will ultimately be good for everybody. We know this because vaguely similar phenomena happened decades or centuries ago, and we see a few "experiments" where things seem to be working out well.

    6. If you want to be a successful artist today, it's not enough to create a product that thousands or millions of people want. You also have to choose, subsidize, and execute a relatively novel, untested business model, as well as assume all the risks that go along with that.

    (No, I'm not trolling. I am being purposefully snarky, but not overly so.)

     

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  160.  
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    Thomo, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Right of distribution

    And, doing that, they obtain profit or something of value to PB, but they share none of that with the artists.

     

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  161.  
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    The infamous Joe, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re: Love will pay the bills

    'give the music away but sell the merch' models really give such artists the ability to pay the bills?


    Yes, giving something away to make a sale somewhere else will never pay the bills. That's why no one makes commericals anymore.

    C'mon! Musicians make music! What is the fastest way to show people how good you are at making music? Record some and give it to anyone who will bother to take it!

    Assuming your music is good, getting heard by more people will give you more fans. Having more fans will get more people to come to your shows. Having more people at your show will both make you in higher demand at venues (for future shows) *and* give you a greater chance at selling some merch-- both of which will bring in income.

    How is this so hard?

     

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    batch, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    Thats like asking someone of the Jewish religion what is wrong with Hitler. People around here don't care for the old way of doing business, so adjust your wording accordingly.

    Its interesting (and a little sad, from my POV) how ignorant you are to the topic of piracy and alternative business models. This didn't start over a decade ago or anything.

     

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  163.  
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    Jeff Rife, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    If you look at what these artists have done it's not at a stunt at all. It's connecting with their fanbase, and then creating a business model that makes everyone happy.

    The sad part for the media companies (and thus the artists who are tied to them) is that I don't think most people have a problem with the "sell me music/video" model.

    What people have a problem with is the new "assume that everyone on the planet is a dirty thief and make it as hard and expensive as possible to listen to the music the user has 'purchased', and make them keep paying for that same music forever" business model.

     

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  164.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 1:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What's with the Morals?

    However, it is up to the creator to decide on the terms of how THEIR work will be used, it is not up to you. Unless, of course, you simply lack common sense and morals.

    The creator has to be realistic when deciding. And when I say that, I mean that trying to enforce something just through legal means is at least naive. As someone else was saying earlier, the laws are respected because the vast majority of the people see the point of those laws. Nevertheless, copyright laws are skwed so badly in favor of the copyright holders that the current situation was inevitable: the large majority of people hate and/or disregard those laws. Copyright maximalists can argue as long as they what, but it won't change this fact. If any cretor wants total control over his creation, then he should create something tangible, phisical, not digital content. All the comparisons with theft and other situation involving phisical objects and property are fallacies because the rules applying in the physical world don't naturally apply in the digital world. If you can enforce something through technological means, then go for it. Neverhtless, trying to enforce physical-world rules in a digital environment only through legal means is plain naivite.

    Moving on to morals: appealing to morality is even more of a pathetic atempt. If you think that more than just a few of the people disregarding copyright laws have any moral qwams about it, you're deluding yourself. Quite on the contrary: some of them do it out of belief that they are right. Also, this court decision will massively bolster the ranks of those doing it out of belief. This is happening exactly because people intuitively grasp the fact that in the digital world, the natural rules are different. Also, they see in the digital world a place of freedom from the constraint of the physical world. When companies flush with cash try to come into their world and impose artificial rules even in their place of refuge, they will instinctivly fight back because, if both the physical and digital world are under the rule of corporate and government interests, they have nowhere else to retreat to. It's a known psychologic fact that an enemy with no place to retreat to or a cornered animal will act more decisively (and viciously...) to defend itself compared to one that can retreat. Stirring up this hornets' nest might have very well been a very bad idea for the copyright holders. Want to see a bunch of people that seem an inch away from arming themselves with pitchforks? Check out http://torrentfreak.com/the-pirate-bay-trial-the-verdict-090417/. At least in Sweeden, this is even more of a big deal because it is seen as an intrusion of American interests in the lives of regular Sweedes living in Sweeden. If the USA is ready to alienate its European allies over copyrights, then we can kiss any trace of sanity goodbye because this isn't sane anymore.

     

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  165.  
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    Mark Blafkin, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 1:57pm

    I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    Mike,

    The Grokster case did not hinge on the question of whether the toolmaker was liable for the actions of its customers. The central legal question in that case was about whether the toolmaker can market its product as a way to commit crimes.

    Think about it this way. The question is NOT whether Craftsman should be liable for creating the hammer that was used to smash your car window and steal your stereo. The question is whether Craftsman should be held liable for marketing its hammers as the best tool for Smash and Grab thieves.

    Pirate Bay was never interested in creating technology to facilitate legal uses (one look at their name tells you as much). They simply do not deserve to be lumped together in the same category as the BitTorrent technology they use or other companies that are focused on creating technology with legitimate legal uses (but have the potential of being misused).

    Hopefully we can soon bid good riddance to Pirate Bay. Not because the end of Pirate Bay will lead to the end of so-called file sharing or piracy (it won't), but because Pirate Bay is tarnishing the image of the entire P2P and distributed computing industry, and giving credence to cries of some in the content industry who want to ban all technologies that MAY be used for piracy.

    http://blog.actonline.org/2009/04/good-riddance-pirate-bay-long-live-bittorrent.html

     

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  166.  
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    quux, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 2:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    Here's a tag-up post.

    From other responses to this article I found the CwF+RtB=BusinessModel post (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090201/1408273588.shtml) that I was not aware of before. I watched the video and read the article with interest.

    Hats off Mike (and Trent) for actually going further than the many who just mindlessly repeat 'change the business model, duh'. Although I was aware of one of Reznor's "stunts" (sorry), I hadn't realized the overall context and progression of his efforts. So this was eye-opening.

    So I just wanted to tag up with this as an acknowledgement. I still remain skeptical - I wonder how many variations on this formula will work out in the long run. I still feel that something like copyright enforcement should be *available* to creative and performing artists if they choose to use it.

    You may be right in your (apparent) contention that the internet makes copyright untenable, so anyone depending on it better find new ways to monetize their efforts. But you may be wrong as well.

    I think it's wrong to villainize those who attempt to continue with older business models - especially since many of those deals are already signed contracts, constructed under the laws and practices of their day. Disagree with them, refuse to buy their works? Sure. Advocate alternatives? Sure.

    But take their works without paying the asking price? That's still wrong.

     

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  167.  
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    Jan Hopmans (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 2:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: @ a few confused individuals ;)

    How do your reasoning apply to software?
    Software is there to provide a 'solution' if you can easily copy that you should be able to. The creation isn't a scarce good, maybe find ways to charge for that.
    It also possible to charge for deploying and maintaining that solution. All things people would pay for. Find other ways, try to be innovative.

    Also as Joe already stated: Price != Value.

     

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  168.  
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    quux, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    I *have* adjusted my wording. I'm respectfully asking questions and respectfully listening to the answers.

    New people are going to keep coming to this debate/discussion. You're not going to win many of them over by continuing the snarky, one-upmanship attitude.

     

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  169.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 2:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Love will pay the bills

    "Yes, giving something away to make a sale somewhere else will never pay the bills. That's why no one makes commericals anymore."

    An interesting analogy. Let's take a look at the particulars:

    As I understand it, people who make commercials do so under work-for-hire arrangements. They get paid the same regardless of how many additional products the company sells. In fact, they almost have to, because there's no deterministic way to tie advertising to profit, so they can never be really sure how much the advertising helped anyway.

    The people who pay for the commercials aren't in the commercial business. They're in some other business. Nobody, in general, wants to see commercials or ads anyway. I bet you're running an ad-blocker in your browser, and I bet you skip commercials on your TiVo. People do want music.

    You imply that music is really just an advertisement for some other product (or an advertisement for shows, which is really just an advertisement for some other product). The other product is the real business. So instead of musicians, we will see merch vendors who use music as a marketing tool. We will also see music made by companies that pay musicians to make music to advertise their products. Maybe I'm wrong, but both of those don't sound like particularly good ways of making better music. They sound like ways of making music that reminds me a lot of commercials (i.e., something I want to block).

    Before you object that people look forward to the Superbowl at least partially because of the commercials, that's true. But I don't particularly like really good commercials, I just prefer them to really bad ones.

    Here's a hard fact: when something is difficult, people specialize. They specialize in ONE thing. There are exceptions: Christopher Parkening is a virtuoso guitarist and a world-champion flyfisherman. Linus Pauling won two Nobel Prizes in different fields. But these are very, very rare exceptions.

    The reason people do this is because people have limited time and capacity, and to really excel in two things generally means you can't be great at either, and you will get your lunch eaten by people who specialize in one thing.

    Great musicians are not going to be great merch vendors. Great merch vendors are not going to be great musicians. It just won't happen. Since you now can't make a living as a great musician WITHOUT doing something else, what will happen is that either merch vendors will hire musicians, or musicians will hire merch vendors.

    This happens already: musicians already hire merch vendors, they're called record companies. (Wait, aren't we trying to kill those useless "middlemen" off?) Merch vendors already hire musicians, they're called jingle-writers (wait, we don't want all our music to become commercial jingles, right?)

    While the Techdirt position seems to be that, no matter what, things will work out OK in the end, I'm less convinced. I look at the future and I see a real possibility of 1) less music being produced and 2) music being produced primarily as work-for-hire for promotional purposes, and neither one of these things makes me excited.

     

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  170.  
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    Mark Blafkin, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Love will pay the bills

    You make a some really strong points here.

    There is a reason why so many of us turn to HBO for quality TV... because they are focused on producing content that viewers want to see, not content that will sell the most advertising. While those two things aren't mutually exclusive, they are often not the same either.

    There is a lot of creativity flowing into free business models right now, and that is fantastic. But, it does not makes sense for us to effectively ban charging directly for content either. True artists are often not interested in merchandising...they want to make music, art, movies, etc. If we say they can' get paid directly to do that, we may only perpetuate and increase the power of Music Labels.

     

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  171.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 2:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Love will pay the bills

    "True artists are often not interested in merchandising...they want to make music, art, movies, etc. If we say they can' get paid directly to do that, we may only perpetuate and increase the power of Music Labels."

    I balk a little at the term "true artist" because it implies that there's something philosophical or ethereal about it, like it's a mindset. What we're talking about here is people who dedicate 100% of their capacity to producing the best art possible, rather than 50% to art and 50% to, e.g., merchandising.

    Let's also not discount the fact that the record labels already have a lot of power. Let's also generalize a little here: I'll define "record label" as anyone who spends 100% of their time turning music into money. There's a symbiotic relationship between musicians and record labels here.

    The market establishes a delicate balance of power between these two. There are many things to demonize about record labels. They have almost certainly colluded to tie up important scarce marketing resources (radio, shelf space, etc.) in the past, locking out competitors. There are a small enough number of them that they form an oligopoly: if any two merged, we would likely see antitrust hearings. And perhaps we should see them now.

    But they have also spent an enormous amount of time and effort coming up with the most efficient possible way to convert music into money. They still compete with each other, after all. If anyone had a substantially better way to convert music to money, they would have the record companies running scared. We'd see, for example, phenomena like we are seeing in movies (Redbox vs. Blockbuster, or Netflix vs. the Studios).

    But if you complain that record companies suck because they only put out shitty music, remember: the record companies have had to adapt or die for a long time. The reason the record companies are putting out shitty music is because that music produces the most money.

    But we're not really seeing Redbox and Netflix in the music world. We're just seeing cannibalism and thrashing. It's like the fish at the bottom of an African pond when the rainy season ends and the pond dries up. Everybody - the musicians and the record companies alike - is getting nervous because the water level is going down fast for everybody.

    The Techdirt solution here is to find another nearby pond, which is to say make money by doing something other than making music. The assumption is that the Internet has somehow created a net gain in moneymaking opportunities (i.e., there are more moneymaking opportunities now than the money lost from easy rampant copyright infringement).

    That isn't clear to me at all, and I'm fairly certain it's not clear to anybody else here. Maybe we'll find out in 10 years that the Internet has created a net loss in moneymaking opportunities related to music, and that can only mean less music and lower quality for everybody.

     

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  172.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 2:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Right of distribution

    That's because the artist did none of the work involved. You're taking someone that's at least three steps removed from the original infringer, and saying 'you owe me money for what that person did, now pay up.' That would be like your grandchild running a red light, and because you're the parent of the parent of the violator YOU have to pay the fine.

     

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  173.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Love will pay the bills

    That isn't clear to me at all, and I'm fairly certain it's not clear to anybody else here. Maybe we'll find out in 10 years that the Internet has created a net loss in moneymaking opportunities related to music, and that can only mean less music and lower quality for everybody.

    If the Internet will kill music, then I think that's the beter option than to kill the Internet in order to save the music. If we'll end up castrating the Internet and turning it in something like TV & radio, tightly controlled by the copyright holders, then I think music is not worth it. Most of us, probably every one of us even, can survive without music or movies. Nevertheless, turning back the clock on the Internet for the satisfaction of the music and movies industries, is like bringing back the dark ages on purpose. We would survive without it too, but it would be the most foolish thing imaginable.

     

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  174.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:05pm

    Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    Oh boo-freakin'-hoo. They have 'pirate' in their name, so they must be marketing themselves for pirating! You can't bloody well call someone a criminal because of a NAME. Jesus jumping Christ, you're using an emotional argument, not a logical one.

     

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  175.  
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    hegemon13, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    "I was trying to compactly indicate that the 'new business model(s)' need to scale from piker to planetary superstar."

    Um, why? The current model doesn't do that. A startup band has to use a very different model than the superstar. It's not like a group can just say, "We want to be professional musicians," print off a label contract, and start making money.

    There is nothing wrong with having multiple models that grow and change over time.

     

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  176.  
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    Jan Hopmans (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    I didn't see this comment before I posted comment #167 but still I would like to comment:
    I am glad you see it this way, although we may not agree on the last part. /But take their works without paying the asking price? That's still wrong./ It is where I see nothing wrong with that. Nobody has been damaged. I could also choose not to enjoy it, but I find that still to hard.

    Nobody has been damaged. I see nothing bad with that. :)
    Glad you at least see the rest this way now. :) Mike's presentation there is also way more clear than all these comment. Or even most of his other post. :)
    That one and the one that explains the difference between Infinite&Scarce goods made the most clear with me. And made me 'see' there is nothing bad with what I do. Although Mike doesn't have the same opinion on that.

     

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  177.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    Nobody is calling them a criminal BECAUSE of the name. But, in the law, intent and mindset matter. Mens rea cuts both ways. This is how we separate, for example, manslaughter and murder, or involuntary manslaughter from manslaughter. Recklessness and negligence vary by degree.

    From what I've read, the Pirate Bay folks, and the Piratbryan, and the Pirate Party all keep themselves nicely separated. This wink-and-a-nod indirection works, to a point, and keeps the entire Piratbryan from going down together I'm sure. But at some point, the legal system is going to cut through the obfuscation crap and just nail a few people.

    To use another emotional argument: NAMBLA is allowed to exist, albeit under intense (and probably deserved) scrutiny. But if they set up a dating site next week, you can bet some heads are gonna roll.

     

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  178.  
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    Mike (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Love will pay the bills

    (No, I'm not trolling. I am being purposefully snarky, but not overly so.)

    If by "snarky" you mean wrong, then... um, ok. Let's go through these:

    1. Nobody has the right to earn a living. Or: the only people that have a right to earn a living are people who can create something people want AND monetize it.

    Uh. No. Everyone has a right to try to earn a living, but no one has a right to demand that you fit to their business model. The market decides which business model is best.

    2. If your ability to monetize your living is undermined by rampant lawbreaking, that is somewhat unfortunate, but you just have to deal with it. Artists have to adapt or die. Here, there's very little concern over whether you 'adapt' or 'die.'

    Again, no. If your ability to monetize is undermined by BASIC MARKET FORCES, then that is unfortunate. And we are VERY, VERY concerned about the difference between adapt or die. Why do you think we spend so much time helping people/companies/musicians adapt?

    3. Putting out music that thousands or millions of people want is equivalent to buggy-whip manufacturing, because equivalent "market forces" (improved technology causing reduced demand in one case, and rampant unrestrained copyright infringement in the other) substantially changed both industries.

    Huh? I mean... you're trying to be snarky, but this is just dumb. Putting out music that thousands or millions of people want has nothing to do with buggy whip manufacturing. It's a great start to a great business model.

    4. Artists may just have to deal with the fact that waiting tables is what they do to make money, and music is just a hobby. "Real artists" don't do it for the money.

    Yup. That's why all of the examples we profile are people making MORE MONEY on this system than the old system. It was the old system where they waited tables.

    Oh, and we've NEVER said "real artists don't do it for the money." So, uh, yeah... wrong again.

    5. All this is just some temporary creative destruction, eventually everything will settle down and we'll have more, better music and art available to us than ever before. This will ultimately be good for everybody. We know this because vaguely similar phenomena happened decades or centuries ago, and we see a few "experiments" where things seem to be working out well.

    Uh, no, we know this because it's basic economics and has ALWAYS happened. Not just some random example ages ago. It's happening over and over again. You can pretend economic history doesn't exist, but it just makes you look ignorant. If that's what you want...

    6. If you want to be a successful artist today, it's not enough to create a product that thousands or millions of people want. You also have to choose, subsidize, and execute a relatively novel, untested business model, as well as assume all the risks that go along with that.

    Untested? Novel? Not at all. Someone hasn't been paying attention.

    So, misrepresent everything we say, and then claim you're not a troll?

    Uh, yeah, thanks for playing.

     

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  179.  
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    Mike (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:52pm

    Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    The Grokster case did not hinge on the question of whether the toolmaker was liable for the actions of its customers. The central legal question in that case was about whether the toolmaker can market its product as a way to commit crimes.

    At which point the Supreme Court rewrote all copyright law including something that doesn't actually exist in the law "inducement".

    It very much is about whether the toolmaker is liable for the actions of customers.

    The fact that the Pirate Bay uses that name is rather meaningless. It's a red herring thrown out by industry folks who don't seem to recognize what The Pirate Bay is doing: it's taking an extreme position to make a point. I don't agree with it, but it's certainly an effective way to make the point.

    To claim that they're not encouraging legal uses is ridiculous. You know better than that. They made a tool. They know that it can be used for legal purposes and illegal purposes, and all they're doing is saying: this is the tool, look at what it can do. They're not making the moral call on whether it's good or bad, but believe most people should make that decision themselves.

    Do you really think the gov't should be legislating morality now?

     

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  180.  
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    The infamous Joe, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Love will pay the bills

    I never really understood why people pay so much attention to the *specifics* of an analogy-- I'm just trying to put an unfamiliar concept in a more familiar frame of mind. But.. have it your way.

    As I understand it, people who make commercials do so under work-for-hire arrangements.

    ..and musicians are too good for that? How was art every created before the modern IP system? Commissioning seems as good as any other, to me.

    Nobody, in general, wants to see commercials or ads anyway. I bet you're running an ad-blocker in your browser, and I bet you skip commercials on your TiVo. People do want music.

    The people (and I assume by people you mean customers) also *want* to be able to share music. So, if we're both all for letting people do as they want, we should have very little to discuss here.

    You imply that music is really just an advertisement for some other product (or an advertisement for shows, which is really just an advertisement for some other product). The other product is the real business.

    The other product I was referencing was live shows. Musicians are entertainers, so it shouldn't be too much of a stretch to expect them to perform live for income. I can't see why this doesn't make sense to you. I make music in my band. I want you to come to see me play. To show you how good I am, I record my band making the music I want you to come experience, and give it to you. If my music is to your tastes, you will come support me at my show. What doesn't work there?

    Here's a hard fact: when something is difficult, people specialize. They specialize in ONE thing.

    I agree. Musicians specialize in making music. They produce music. Their livelihood is the making of music. Only music.

    Now, the recording industry. They make recordings. They copy the recordings and sell them. Only recordings. Now that most people have the resources at home to make copies of recordings, we find ourselves asking why we should pay someone to make a copy of a recording for us, and then charge us $20. It doesn't make much sense to me. Ice used to be pretty expensive too, until we all had the ability to make ice cubes in our own homes, and now selling ice cubes would be a horrible business. No matter how much ice-makers scream and complain and lobby for new laws to make at-home ice cube production illegal, I'm still not going to buy it. I can make it at home, myself.

    Since you now can't make a living as a great musician WITHOUT doing something else, what will happen is that either merch vendors will hire musicians, or musicians will hire merch vendors.

    This happens already: musicians already hire merch vendors, they're called record companies. (Wait, aren't we trying to kill those useless "middlemen" off?) Merch vendors already hire musicians, they're called jingle-writers (wait, we don't want all our music to become commercial jingles, right?)


    I usually assume that the "something else" is actually playing live shows. I have to drag my sorry ass out of bed and work every day I want to get paid. Why should musicians not have to?

    As for comparing the record labels to merch vendors.. well, if a band outsources the creation of their T-shirts and Mugs to a merch vendor, they don't also have to sign away all the rights to their creations. *Musicians* remain in control. The ass-backwards system now has the merch vendors in control. What sense does *that* make?

    While the Techdirt position seems to be that, no matter what, things will work out OK in the end, I'm less convinced. I look at the future and I see a real possibility of 1) less music being produced and 2) music being produced primarily as work-for-hire for promotional purposes, and neither one of these things makes me excited.

    I don't agree. The current system, the only way to get your music out there is to go through the labels-- who get to decide what I will like, and push it on me. They act as a filter.

    The way I see it, if you remove the filter, much *more* music will get made. No, not all of it would be good, although that is subject to taste, but a side-effect of the loss of the filter will be that now, with so many options, there will be less superstar musicians. Once fabulous royalty-like lifestyles are less and less common, the people who decide to earn a living being a musician will be doing it because they *love* what they do, instead of for wealth.

    I hope this answers any questions you may have had.

     

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  181.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Love will pay the bills

    I apologize, when I said "Techdirt tropes" I meant those asserted in the articles and by the usual cadre of commenters. I should have been more clear about that, but those are all certainly things you can expect to hear if you post a comment in a thread here.

    I still take issue with the idea that it's somehow market forces that are the big problem for the music industry right now. If it were just market forces, I'd expect to see things happening in a much more orderly fashion than they are. I'd expect to see less panic in the streets from the record companies. I'd expect to see bands and record labels trying new business models out of opportunism, not out of fear. I'd expect to see the ones that work get a slow, increasing set of adopters, as people learned how to optimize them. That is, you expect to see the new business models take root and THEN you see the old one sputter and die.

    I don't argue that market forces aren't at play here, but there are some hard questions to answer. Without rampant piracy, would Trent Reznor have started giving music away? Would Jill Sobule have been able to get her new album funded by her traditional record label instead of soliciting donations? Maybe so, maybe not.

    You argue that these new business models are neither untested nor novel. But relatively speaking, they are certainly both. As you repeatedly point out, we are still in an experimental phase. People are even trying experiments that you note are likely doomed to failure. These are experiments, and they are new, and they have been through limited testing. And this makes them risky, and moreover it makes it difficult to predict HOW risky right now. Not everyone is comfortable with risk, but many are comfortable with risk as long as it's managed. What is the managed-risk option for people who currently traffic in infinite goods?

     

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  182.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 5:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Love will pay the bills

    ..and musicians are too good for that? How was art every created before the modern IP system? Commissioning seems as good as any other, to me.

    Work-for-hire may make a big comeback. Is commissioning really as good a system as any other? Dunno.

    The other product I was referencing was live shows. Musicians are entertainers, so it shouldn't be too much of a stretch to expect them to perform live for income.

    Touring is already a big source of income for many musicians. I recall James Taylor saying in an interview something to the effect that, of his top 10 sources of income, 8 of them are touring. Will giving away music instead of selling it result in a net increase or decrease in income? For individual musicians? For the industry as a whole?

    Now, the recording industry. They make recordings. They copy the recordings and sell them. Only recordings.

    What? No. The recording industry, as I pointed out - broadly characterized - turns music into money. That is what they do. The factory where they press the CDs makes copies of the recordings. If they just made recordings and copies of recordings, they could sell the recordings for fifty cents an album and make money hand over fist. Much of that $15 or $20 you spend on an album (digital or physical) doesn't go to making or copying the recording at all. Portions go to:


    • The artist (however small the amount)
    • The people who produced, mixed, engineered, mastered, drew the cover art for, and wrote the liner notes for the album
    • The guy who owns the studio that they rented to make the album
    • The people who market the album to you
    • The people who retail, manufacture (if necessary) and distribute the album
    • The people who unsuccessfully market other bands to you and other people
    • Subsidizing startup costs for new bands that haven't turned a profit yet
    • The record company managers, stockholders, and various creditors (the people who sell electricity to the record company, and so on)


    You may imagine that the Internet is some kind of magical marketing machine that cuts out all the overhead in this process. You may imagine that nobody spent any time, money, or expertise convincing you that you should listen to that band in the first place.

    The Internet will change how music is marketed, for sure, but it's not magical, and I believe that musicians will still need to make deals with other people to turn their music into money.

    I have to drag my sorry ass out of bed and work every day I want to get paid. Why should musicians not have to?

    They take more risks than you do, probably. They have to front many more of the costs (in time and money) in their profession than you probably do. Are you an entrepreneur? If so, why? If not, why not?

    As for comparing the record labels to merch vendors.. well, if a band outsources the creation of their T-shirts and Mugs to a merch vendor, they don't also have to sign away all the rights to their creations. *Musicians* remain in control. The ass-backwards system now has the merch vendors in control. What sense does *that* make?

    You act like musicians are somehow strongarmed into taking shitty record deals. Musicians freely sign away tons of their rights now, in exchange for managed risk, and the potential of still making it big. What's to make you think they won't continue to do this, and that the people who turn music into money won't still be firmly in control?

    Merch is a tenuous model, by the way, because those goods are only "scarce" in the thinnest possible sense. Ask any band how much the T-shirt vendors in the parking lot are paying them for the right to sell their merch.

    The current system, the only way to get your music out there is to go through the labels-- who get to decide what I will like, and push it on me. They act as a filter.

    Oh, that's never been true. A musician could, for example, go hire someone to make their CDs, lobby the radio to play their album, go around to Best Buy and try to get them to stock it, take out ads in newspapers, and so on. (Yes, I'm being sarcastic). In the age of the Internet, you just put your music up on Myspace and, if it's good, instant following and fame, right? Well, not exactly. You will still need marketing in the future, even if it's a different kind of marketing. People's attention is still scarce. By the way, whether you like it or not, marketers DO influence what you like. They don't decide it wholesale, but your perception of the quality of a product is inherently tied to how it's marketed to you.

    The way I see it, if you remove the filter, much *more* music will get made. No, not all of it would be good, although that is subject to taste, but a side-effect of the loss of the filter will be that now, with so many options, there will be less superstar musicians. Once fabulous royalty-like lifestyles are less and less common, the people who decide to earn a living being a musician will be doing it because they *love* what they do, instead of for wealth.

    Yes, it will certainly incentivize the production of music to take away even the possibility of rock-stardom from musicians. Now we will tell everybody, "hey, if you work your ass off, take a lot of risks, and really become successful, you can earn a solid income on the level of, say, Murray the Accountant!" Yes, people will still make music out of love. But you're taking away one of the big incentives for musicians (improbable and lottery-like though it may be). What are you replacing it with?

     

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  183.  
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    Mike (profile), Apr 17th, 2009 @ 6:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Love will pay the bills

    I still take issue with the idea that it's somehow market forces that are the big problem for the music industry right now. If it were just market forces, I'd expect to see things happening in a much more orderly fashion than they are.

    Heh. Obviously you're not a fan of economic history. :) Do a little reading up and you'll find that economic shifts are never orderly.

    I don't argue that market forces aren't at play here, but there are some hard questions to answer. Without rampant piracy, would Trent Reznor have started giving music away? Would Jill Sobule have been able to get her new album funded by her traditional record label instead of soliciting donations? Maybe so, maybe not.

    You're making a false distinction here. Fear/opportunity is the same thing. In retrospect it may look like one, but they're the same thing.

    You argue that these new business models are neither untested nor novel. But relatively speaking, they are certainly both. As you repeatedly point out, we are still in an experimental phase. People are even trying experiments that you note are likely doomed to failure. These are experiments, and they are new, and they have been through limited testing. And this makes them risky, and moreover it makes it difficult to predict HOW risky right now. Not everyone is comfortable with risk, but many are comfortable with risk as long as it's managed. What is the managed-risk option for people who currently traffic in infinite goods?

    Again, the specific models may be new, but the overall economics are not. There have been models for centuries that have relied on these same principles. So I find the whole concept of it being entirely untested to be false. The problems people are having are that they don't recognize the basic principles, so they do things that work against themselves.

     

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  184.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 8:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Love will pay the bills

    Heh. Obviously you're not a fan of economic history. :) Do a little reading up and you'll find that economic shifts are never orderly.

    You're right, I'm not an economist, and so I'd appreciate some references that shed light on the current situation. I fully understand creative destruction and the fact that sometimes markets go out of business when new innovations come around. And I have no problem with understanding that.

    What I'm looking for specifically is to understand the effect of rampant copyright infringement on, primarily, the music business in this particular market transition, and I'm having trouble coming up with a good historical analog. We've seen economic model transitions in living memory, many times, and to me they've seemed quite a bit more orderly (in a relative sense).

    When Amazon and eBay showed up, brick-and-mortar retailers certainly made a lot of noise and did a lot of doomsaying and complaining. But Amazon and the retailers were on fair ground - the retailers weren't simultaneously being driven OUT of the brick and mortar business by some kind of disruptive crime wave (I dunno, mass theft of inventory, or maybe overseas product dumping) at the same time. (Yes, I understand that copyright infringement isn't the same as theft and infinite goods aren't the same as scarce goods, so other posters can spare me the diatribe).

    Maybe this piracy thing is just a catalyst. Maybe it's going to be a bad few years, maybe a decade, and then things will end up where they would have had piracy not been an issue. What is that decade going to be like, and will there be scars afterwards?

    What would a historical analog look like? I'm not sure. I could imagine an industry that was legislated out of existence, or one that was attacked by foreign price dumping, or one that had some fundamental infrastructural assumption go awry (like a critical natural resource being depleted unexpectedly). But again, I'm not an economist, so I don't have these examples readily accessible.

    You're making a false distinction here. Fear/opportunity is the same thing. In retrospect it may look like one, but they're the same thing.

    Eh? I understand that fear will push you out of a comfort zone and drive you to find somewhere else to lay your business model, so I understand how fear can motivate innovation, and that, in a sense, is opportunity. I'm comfortable with market-driven fears, it's the extra-market fears that I'm curious about. I don't consider rampant copyright infringement to be the market speaking - maybe you do?

    There have been models for centuries that have relied on these same principles. So I find the whole concept of it being entirely untested to be false. The problems people are having are that they don't recognize the basic principles, so they do things that work against themselves.

    A lot of people - not just me - must be pretty well ignorant of economics if this is true. I imagine that the entire record industry has had this conversation, and I can't imagine everyone there is ignorant of the economics. You'd expect at least that you'd see a small cabal of execs who "get it" jumping ship to start-up something that really leverages these models, but where are they?

     

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  185.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 10:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    Please don't lump me in with whomever else you've had this discussion/argument with. I'm asking real questions out of a real desire to hear about real, working models.

    Yeah, sure you are. When someone tries to point you to an example you just call it a "stunt". I've got a feeling you'd say that about anything that challenged your old business model. Go take a hike.

     

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  186.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 10:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Love will pay the bills

    I apologize, when I said "Techdirt tropes" I meant those asserted in the articles and by the usual cadre of commenters.

    Umm, Techdirt isn't responsible for the comments people make.

     

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  187.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 10:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Love will pay the bills

    I never really understood why people pay so much attention to the *specifics* of an analogy--

    Because sometimes that's the only way they can come up with to discredit it.

     

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  188.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 10:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    But don't steal it either.

    Huh? What are you on about? Who's stealing what? You sound delusional to me.

     

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  189.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 10:43pm

    Re: Re: No, this really is a victory for the RIAA

    It's amazing how we think our laws somehow are enforceable throughout the world.

    We've got cruise missiles that say they are.

     

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  190.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:01pm

    Re: Re: What's with the Morals?

    However, when you can create a perfect copy of a creation that the original creator seeks compensation for, sharing that copy is immoral.

    You basically just said that Jesus was immoral. You might want to reconsider that now that it's been pointed out to you. Maybe you can still be forgiven and avoid going to hell if you were just ignorant of what you were saying. Forgiveness, however, is usually linked with repentance. The first step to repentance in a case like this would probably be to publicly disavow your previous blasphemous statements. That's something you probably can't do anonymously either so you'll need to use your real name if you're sincere.

    I wouldn't wait if I were you either because you never know how much time you have left and you sure don't want to die with that against you. Think about it.

     

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  191.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What's with the Morals?

    You're not a fan of mystery DumDums, I suppose?

    If some of them were full of shit I wouldn't be, no.

     

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  192.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:13pm

    Re: Re: What's with the Morals?

    apparently all of those content creators are expected to keep on working for free.

    He didn't say that so quit trying to act like he did.

     

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  193.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:26pm

    Re: Re: Wrong approach

    Saying "well, he already did his work, so I can take this copy without paying him" is wrong.

    Who's saying that? If you're taking his copy away from him then that's probably theft and wrong. But Stephen didn't say that and to suggest that he did is dishonest.

    Why do copyright industry supporters tend to be such big liars?

     

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  194.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:31pm

    Re: The verdict is no surprise.

    I don't believe the verdict was based on TPB's purpose, but instead, their intentional turning of a blind eye to its users' actions while generating profits.

    Kind of like Google, huh?

    And, in part, this makes sense. After all, TPB has generated quite a bit of revenue from these actions.

    Kind of like Google, huh?

     

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  195.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:32pm

    Re: Sigh

    Again, not new here.

    So, what other names do you comment under, Dan? Your style seems familiar.

     

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  196.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:35pm

    Re: Re: Sigh

    "I am a software engineer."

    There's the difference. Musicians are "special", everyone knows that.

     

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  197.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Musicians, among other creative professions, do not have this choice, for a number of reasons.
    First, that's just not true.
    Second, who says architects aren't "creative"?

     

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  198.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:44pm

    Re: Re:

    Heh, he can't even link without screwing it up.

     

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  199.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:49pm

    Re: Is it REALLY legal

    To manufacture and distribute to the retail public a device that converts firearms to fully-automatic, even if that device can also be used as a door stop (a legal use)?

    In some countries, yes.

     

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  200.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:52pm

    Re: Open bittorrent trackers outlawed?

    Apparently the court feels that simply providing the tracker functionality is criminal.

    Yes indeed, it appears that this court has now made it illegal to run an open tracker in Sweden.

     

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  201.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:56pm

    Re:

    "Also, back on topic here, since TPB founders are guilty because they supply the means, does this mean that we can sue Microsoft for providing the means for years of Malware and data/identity theft with their piss poor windows security??"

    No, Microsoft is too well connected and too wealthy. If the guys running TPB had that kind of money they wouldn't have lost either. All around the world, even in Sweden, laws are for the little people.

     

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  202.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:59pm

    Re:

    If i let someone come in my house and sell drugs to someone else - i will go to jail.

    I read just the other day about someone getting busted for dealing drugs in a mall parking lot. And you know what? The mall owners didn't go to jail.

     

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  203.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2009 @ 12:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Right of distribution

    Go to certain well-known locations on the west side of Manhattan, ask one of the easily-identifiable pedestrians, 'where can I get a LV purse.'

    Oops, you just told us where to go and what to do. I guess by your standards that means that you're "distributing". I suggest that you go call the police and turn yourself in now.

     

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  204.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2009 @ 12:08am

    Re: Re:

    Google doesn't remove links, you twit. Hell, they cache pages just in case something got taken down.

    It depends on who's complaining. They just ignore most people, but if you're high enough up on the food chain then they'll jump up their own asses to do it for you.

     

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  205.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2009 @ 12:17am

    Re: Innocent?

    Some of the PB guys are not as innocent as they have portrayed themselves though

    The article you linked to didn't claim that he has ever portrayed himself as anything other than himself. Where's your evidence?

     

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  206.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2009 @ 12:19am

    Re: Re: YES!

    "This is not trademark infringement. The studios can go after whomever they please."

    But prosecutors are supposed to obliged to enforce the equally. Let's see if they do.

     

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  207.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2009 @ 12:27am

    Re: Long Time Coming

    Everyone sees this fight as a david v goliath, with the content industry as the bad guys. This is ridiculous.

    Yeah, ridiculous. Everyone knows that Goliath was really the good guy.
    Oh, wait a minute...
    Hey, you almost had me there. (not really)

    The architecture of TPB makes a more appropriate analogy: instead of simply selling someone a gun, it is akin to teaching them how to fire it and steadying the barrel while they aim. That is called accomplice liability.

    Even if that were true, and it isn't, that would mean that shooting instructors are liable for what their students may do in the future. They aren't, bozo.

     

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  208.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2009 @ 12:30am

    Re:

    Here's a newsflash: just because the Pirate Bay was a target doesn't mean that Google and your favorite ISP also will be targets. Just because the Pirate Bay organizers were found liable doesn't mean that Yahoo will be found liable, or even be hassled at all.

    Unfortunately that may be true. Even though prosecutors are supposed to enforce the law equally, most are corrupt and seldom do.

     

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  209.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2009 @ 12:34am

    Re: Re: Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...


    To use another emotional argument: NAMBLA is allowed to exist, albeit under intense (and probably deserved) scrutiny. But if they set up a dating site next week, you can bet some heads are gonna roll.
    And to point out another logical fallacy, why would "heads roll" (no, not that kind of head) as long as it was between their adult members?

     

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  210.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2009 @ 4:37am

    Um.. look familiar?

     

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  211.  
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    Luís Carvalho, Apr 18th, 2009 @ 6:34am

    Pirates... Really?

    I've followed this debate with increased awe and interest.

    The arguments pro and con, are illuminating.

    But, calling "pirates" to anyone that actively and purposefuly uses file-sharing of "illegal" content is a bit of a stretch.

    I live in a country where a average person receives something around $5 per hour. Yet, the price of all media, entertainment and ultimately, Culture, is at the same level with US prices. We simply can't afford it. Or we must "consume" less then you. Wich will mean, we will be forever doomed to be less "cultured" and less competitive.

    Don't make this only about music. Don't fool yourselves that this is only about entertainment. Don't debase Popular culture" considering it a luxury. I'm a proud parent of 4, and I do active and purposefull use of file-sharing to provide them with as much culture as possible. It's about the best I can do for them.

    Debasing all this to support a businness model that has been surpassed by technology, and will find soon enough a place in the ridiculous times of history, by calling all of us Pirates it's insulting.

    Most of the content I use, I wouldn't buy it, even if I could afford it. And the ones I would buy, costs way more then I can possibly pay. So, being a pirate to educate and give my kids a chance to compete in a technology driven world, really doesn't feel wrong. Actualy, it makes me feel proud of being able to do it.

    I know, I will suffer the diatribe of all that consider that "their way" is the "right way" and would rather see me in prison then educating my kids. But, you know what, the seeds are sowed, and even if I would go to prison, my 4 kids would just continue to do the same, maybe in a saffer way.

    Yes, new businness plans are needed, preferably one's that don't consider the world to live on the same budget as U.S. citizens.

    Another thing that often come to my mind, is, the content distributed in the US, was monetized and planned for U.S. only. Since most have reached or surpassed the initial objectives there. We, in the REST of the world, using it for free, really aren't hurting anyone, because we weren't even considered to begin with.

    As food for thought I leave you all a link to a presentation, by Lawrence Lessing.

    Thankyou all for the insight and extremely ellucidating debate and exchange of ideas. But, please, if you need to call us anything, please, choose a better term. I'm not a Pirate.


    P.S.: Please excuse any bad use of grammar and spelling. I'm self educated in english in a country with another language.

     

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  212.  
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    speedo, Apr 18th, 2009 @ 9:45am

    can you say cheap publicity

    now after this court case how many more people heard of the pirate bay and that they have free content? can you say cheap publicity 3 mill for just about every new ch on tv, every radio station, and new paper(if you still get one lol) talking about the pirate bay.com

    good job guys :)

     

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  213.  
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    Alex, Apr 18th, 2009 @ 12:53pm

    How do your reasoning apply to software?

    How do your reasoning apply to software?

    Well, look at Free and Open Source Software and their associated business model. They give away the copyrighted stuff for free (imagine that!) and on top of it, they allow anyone to build on top of that (crazy!). They charge for support.

    Check out RedHat's latest financial results.

     

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  214.  
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    Mark Blafkin, Apr 18th, 2009 @ 1:56pm

    Re: Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    Mike,

    I respect your opinion on this, but I am sorry to say that I don't know any better than that. They have a too l which can be used for many legal purposes, but they aren't promoting those legal purposes. Their choice of name and rhetoric suggests the only thing the ARE interested in is defending the ability of their users to pirate the content of others. The name of the site is not 'meaningless,' they chose it as part of their marketing and a representation of their ideology.

    Again, they and their friends in the Pirate Party (one of whom my colleague debated on the BBC yesterday), don't believe that "sharing" of movies and music should be illegal. That's a perfectly fine belief to have, but the reality is that, even in Sweden, it is currently illegal.

    The folks at Grokster and now Pirate Bay don't deserve to be protected under the Betamax ruling because they promoted their technologies as a way to break the "current law" and built their business models on lawbreaking and encouraging lawbreaking among their users.

    I agree it's tough to draw a line here, but I also think it's very clear that Pirate Bay is on the wrong side of it.

     

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  215.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2009 @ 2:21pm

    No, the world doesn't owe anyone the right to make a profit, so why do you think that music is free should be a right?

    You wankers just don't want to pay for it and you don't care about anything else. You don't care that it is illegal to download copyright material, you just say F that and go ahead and do it. Well guess what, its illegal and you should be fined and put in jail.

    I wonder when authorities will actually get serious about this. It is one thing to break the law, it is quite another to conspire to break the law. Sites like the TPB shouldn't be charged with copyright violation, they should be charged with laws like the US has for conspiracy. A nice RICO charge would actually fit quite well and the punishment is much more fitting.

     

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  216.  
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    Willton, Apr 18th, 2009 @ 4:37pm

    Re: Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    Do you really think the gov't should be legislating morality now?

    I will give you $10 if you can find one law on the books that is not based on a morality judgment. Good luck.

     

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  217.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2009 @ 4:54pm

    Re:

    "Sites like the TPB shouldn't be charged with copyright violation, they should be charged with laws like the US has for conspiracy. A nice RICO charge would actually fit quite well and the punishment is much more fitting."

    And Google too!

     

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  218.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2009 @ 5:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    I will give you $10 if you can find one law on the books that is not based on a morality judgment. Good luck.

    $10!
    Oh man, that's just too funny!

    You really don't have much faith that he couldn't, do you? Make it $10,000 and things might get interesting. But then, I doubt if you'd pay up.

     

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  219.  
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    Willton, Apr 18th, 2009 @ 9:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    You really don't have much faith that he couldn't, do you? Make it $10,000 and things might get interesting. But then, I doubt if you'd pay up.

    You're darn right I wouldn't pay up if it were $10k, as I don't have $10k to just throw around.

    I'd be happy to give Mike or anyone here $10 if they find such a law. I just know that they won't. Morality plays a huge role in law-making, as the reason why laws are made is to promote moral behavior. This is especially true with criminal law, such as the one here.

    Mike saying that government should not legislate morality now shows that he does not understand why government legislates in the first place. Legislation is always based upon moral judgments.

     

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  220.  
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    qez, Apr 18th, 2009 @ 10:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    Let's take copyright law. To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts. What does that have to do with morals or do you owe me $10?

     

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  221.  
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    quux, Apr 18th, 2009 @ 10:45pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, a typo in my (a href="http://www.techdirt.com/article.php?sid=20090417/0129274535&threaded=true#c2086")link(/a) totally invalidates my desire to understand where you guys are coming from, to be a part of the discussion, even to (a href="http://www.techdirt.com/article.php?sid=20090417/0129274535&threaded=true#c2289")learn(/a) anything here.

    Snotty attitudes like this aren't going to advance any of your causes. You don't 'win' by making a fool of the other guy; the win is in getting him to think about things.

     

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  222.  
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    quux, Apr 18th, 2009 @ 10:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hmph. Links just aren't working for me, or there is some special formatting I don't know.

     

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  223.  
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    Jan Hopmans (profile), Apr 19th, 2009 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Re: What's with the Morals?

    Flaming won't help you.

     

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  224.  
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    The infamous Joe, Apr 19th, 2009 @ 8:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's probably too late in this post's life to do any good, but instead of using parenthesis, you have to use the greater-than and less-than symbols. (I have forgotten what they're actually called.)

     

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  225.  
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    Xstreme, Apr 19th, 2009 @ 9:07am

    BullS**t

    Ok PB is a search engine. If you do a Google Search you can find torrents via their search engine. Why are all the industries not going after Google?

    Duh..... Google is worth billions and would sink their ass in court. Not to mention, what if Google all of a sudden said" You are suing us so will will ban ever website and web page you own from our search."...... Holy shit how much money would these company loose then????????

     

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  226.  
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    Willton, Apr 19th, 2009 @ 1:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    Let's take copyright law. To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts. What does that have to do with morals or do you owe me $10?

    The Patent and Copyright Clause is not a law so much as it is a grant of power allowing Congress to make laws that "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts." Now if you want to look at the actual patent and copyright laws of the United States, then we can talk.

     

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  227.  
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    Willton, Apr 19th, 2009 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hmph. Links just aren't working for me, or there is some special formatting I don't know.

    The site reads HTML, so use the appropriate tags (i.e. "", not parentheses).

     

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  228.  
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    Willton, Apr 19th, 2009 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    Sorry, finished too early.

    Copyright laws are designed to promote the creation of art by offering creators limited market exclusivity for their works in exchange for the creation of said works. Congress enacted the Copyright Act because it deemed the promotion of culture through the creation of art and music as a good thing that enhances our quality of life. That is inherently a moral judgment.

     

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  229.  
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    Willton, Apr 19th, 2009 @ 1:28pm

    Re: BullS**t

    Ok PB is a search engine. If you do a Google Search you can find torrents via their search engine. Why are all the industries not going after Google?

    Duh..... Google is worth billions and would sink their ass in court. Not to mention, what if Google all of a sudden said" You are suing us so will will ban ever website and web page you own from our search."...... Holy shit how much money would these company loose then????????


    Google is not encouraging others to violate copyright law. It has not built a business model that revolves around others using it to violate copyright law. The Pirate Bay has. An honest look at the title of their website (believe it or not, "The Pirate Bay" implies that it is piracy-friendly) and it's blatant disregard for the interests of copyright holders (see its "Legal Threats" page) evinces to those who wish to engage in copyright infringement that TPB is the vehicle that they should use. Any assertion to the contrary cannot be said with a straight face.

     

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  230.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2009 @ 4:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, a typo in my...
    blah blah blah

    You used the wrong syntax. That's a little more than a "typo". No big deal, but your dishonest description of it is revealing of your character.

    Yeah, you've got me thinking. About you. And it isn't very complimentary.

     

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  231.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2009 @ 4:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Hmph. Links just aren't working for me, or there is some special formatting I don't know."

    The allowed tags are listed right under the very box where you entered your message.

     

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  232.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2009 @ 5:19pm

    Re: Re: BullS**t

    Google is not encouraging others to violate copyright law. It has not built a business model that revolves around others using it to violate copyright law. The Pirate Bay has. An honest look at the title of their website (believe it or not, "The Pirate Bay" implies that it is piracy-friendly) and it's blatant disregard for the interests of copyright holders (see its "Legal Threats" page) evinces to those who wish to engage in copyright infringement that TPB is the vehicle that they should use. Any assertion to the contrary cannot be said with a straight face.

    Oh, so if you have a fanciful pirate theme that makes you a copyright violator and that makes Google different, huh? Well, I guess you haven't seen this page then:
    http://www.google.com/intl/xx-pirate/

    Yep, Google has their very own pirate theme. I guess they've gone over to the "dark side" side now and have "built a business model that revolves around others using it to violate copyright law." Fairness now requires that the Feds immediately raid Google and throw the founders in prison.

    Any assertion to the contrary cannot be said with a straight face.

     

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  233.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2009 @ 5:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    I'd be happy to give Mike or anyone here $10 if they find such a law. I just know that they won't. Morality plays a huge role in law-making, as the reason why laws are made is to promote moral behavior.
    OK, take a look at most traffic laws. Go ahead, argue that those are generally "morality" based. I dare you.

     

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  234.  
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    Geoffrey Transom (profile), Apr 19th, 2009 @ 5:58pm

    Re: Food

    AJ - the point is, if a machine existed that could copy a loaf of bread (at no cost to the baker OR the person doing the copier), then the 'correct' price for that loaf of bread is ZERO.

    The cost of production of one additional unit of any DVD/CD/MP3/AVI... ANY digital content - is zero.

    In a competitive market, prices equal marginal costs. Not average costs, MARGINAL costs.

    That is one of the things that most people don't understand about economics - the supply curve is that portion of the marginal cost curve which is above average cost.

    If there is no portion of the marginal cost curve that is above average cost, then the optimum level of supply is zero, and anybody providing output is guaranteed to make a loss... unless they can co-opt the State and its armed goons to extort protection money from consumers.

    There is ONE caveat to this - and that is if producers give consumers the CHOICE to 'yield' some of their consumer surplus: that is, if individual consumers have the possibility of paying a greater-than-market price for a good, voluntarily.

    Every consumer who buys a thing, values the thing higher than the price they pay... maybe a little higher, maybe a lot higher, but they always think that they GAIN from the transaction. In the jargon, they obtain 'consumer surplus'; it is not the same for each person, and is not the same for each unit purchased by any one person.

    Those who value the thing a LOT higher than the price they pay, can often be encouraged to DONATE a portion of their 'consumer surplus' - that is what Nine Inch Nails understood.

    If bread was able to be photocopied, nobody would starve - but nobody would want to be a baker unless they could encourage SOME people to pay more than the bread was WORTH.

    Either that, or 'innovation' in bread would cease immediately: there would be no incentive to produce new and interesting types of bread. Bread would still exist though.

    Likewise with 'art': first of all, 'artists' always claim that they are driven by some Muse to do what they do... if their own lines of crap are to be believed, they're 'not in it for the money'.

    Well, cool. Be "not in it for the money" and I guarantee that you will get 'not money'.

    Once they have gone to the trouble of writing whatever half-assed pseudo-poetic pap they churn out, the cost of production of every subsequent digital copy of the master is ZERO. Everything above that is either voluntary ceding of consumer surplus, or extortion backed by government goons.

    Pop artists are not philosophers or intellectuals: they are grifters who try and parlay a set of not-remotely-rare skills (playing an instrument and writing schlock poetry) into a career.

    From Presley to KISS to Justin Timberlake; from Little Richard to Prince to LL Cool J; they have produced a 'social contribution' of exactly ZERO. There are no externalities to be remedied (even for music that I like).

    Even if there was some sort of significant social 'good' produced, nobody has the right to force consumers to pay more than marginal cost for a good. No extortion is ever right.

    Caedite Eos.

    Cheerio


    GT

     

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  235.  
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    qez, Apr 19th, 2009 @ 9:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    That clause is the basis for copyright laws. That is the reason to have the laws, at least it used to. The reasons why the laws exist is the relevant issue when it comes to morality.

     

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  236.  
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    Willton, Apr 19th, 2009 @ 10:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    OK, take a look at most traffic laws. Go ahead, argue that those are generally "morality" based. I dare you.

    Well, traffic laws are typically designed with safety in mind. Traffic lights, for instance, are designed to curtail collisions while allowing people to get to their destinations in reasonable amounts of time. Speeding laws are designed to prevent accidents by punishing those who travel at speeds where accidents are more likely to occur. Promoting safety is inherently a moral choice, as it is deemed a good thing to allow people to live healthy lives, even if they choose to use the roadways.

    Keep it coming, fellas, I can go all week.

     

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  237.  
    identicon
    Willton, Apr 19th, 2009 @ 10:26pm

    Re: Re: Food

    Someone needs to explain "sunk costs" to this guy.

     

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  238.  
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    Willton, Apr 19th, 2009 @ 10:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    I already answered this: Copyright laws are designed to promote the creation of art by offering creators limited market exclusivity for their works in exchange for the creation of said works. Congress enacted the Copyright Act because it deemed the promotion of culture through the creation of art and music as a good thing that enhances our quality of life. That is inherently a moral judgment.

     

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  239.  
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    qez, Apr 19th, 2009 @ 10:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts has nothing to do with morals.

     

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  240.  
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    Victor Trim, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 4:47am

    The Pirate Bay -v- John Kennedy, head of the IFPI.

    Dear All,

    RE: John Kennedy, the Chairman and CEO of the IFPI.

    WAS JOHN KENNEDY'S RECENT EVIDENCE FOR THE PROSECUTION OF THE FOUNDERS OF "THE PIRATE BAY" VALID, WHEN HIS SKELETON IN THE CUPBOARD IS THE COPYRIGHT THEFT OF "DREAMS" ON BEHALF OF POLYGRAM/UNIVERSAL, CREATED BY VICTOR TRIM AND SUNG BY GABRIELLE?

    SEE COMMENTS 11-13 IN THE LINK BELOW...
    http://www.blogto.com/tech/2009/03/canadian_musics_digital_divide/index.php

    SEE LETTER BELOW ADDRESSED TO JOHN KENNEDY WHICH HE OR THE IFPI HAVE NEVER RESPONDED TO.......
    ------------------------------------------------
    John P Kennedy From Victor Trim.
    CEO and Chairman IFPI
    54/62 Regent Street
    London
    W1B 5RE

    7 March 2005

    Dear John

    RE: “Dreams” - Gabrielle - The original master DAT recording.

    Congratulations on your new appointment as Chairman and CEO of IFPI.

    You may have received a copy of my letter addressed to the MCPS/PRS Alliance dated 23 December 2004, emailed same day to your offices, c/o lesley.spinks@ifpi.org.

    Go! Discs, the principle unauthorised exploiter (i.e. pirate) of “Dreams”, were condemned by Counsel in my original affidavit as “sinister”. This view of Go! Discs character now appears firmly borne out as they have remained silent ever since they were notified that I possess the original master DAT of which the sound recording copyright subsists under section 5 of the Copyright Design and Patents Act 1988. Moreover, Go! Discs are still receiving royalties for the unauthorised use of the sound recordings of which I am rightfully entitled to as sole owner.

    Any reasonable observer would take the view that it is “even more sinister”, that no response nor action has been taken against me by MCPS or the societies responsible for representing and protecting the rights of Zomba Music ltd and Perfect Songs Ltd, who authorised MCPS to grant licence for the manufacture of “Dreams”. Clearly, a demand for “delivery up” of the said original sound recording master DAT held under my control is an obvious step to take to protect their alleged members’ interest. What is especially “sinister” is the fact that all those parties, including the Societies, have already gained “and continue to gain”, financial benefit from the worldwide exploitation of “Dreams” through Go! Discs unauthorised dealings.

    When you accepted me as a client of your music/entertainment law firm, JP Kennedy & Co, you were personally aware of my creative ability to find, nurture and furnish the record buying public with talented artists, and that this did not begin with Gabrielle. It is indeed this creativity that has gone without reward and has been stunted and severed by Go! Discs unauthorised dealings with “Dreams”. The IFPI’s website referred to above makes plain; “unauthorised copying and dissemination of copyrighted works is theft, pure and simple”.

    It is apparent that the rights omissions in the Order dated 12th June 1996, my possession of the incontrovertible evidence of the original master DAT of “Dreams, (completed with Tim Laws handwritten confirmation of my copyright) and your personal involvement in the history of “Dreams”, has overwhelming significance on this matter. Even before the master DAT became available, you sanctioned Richard Bray’s notice to Go! Discs supporting my claim, as recorded in his Attendance Note dated 20 January 1993, which stated:

    “..I do not think that Tim Laws could claim to be the copyright owner. I believe that the copyright was vested in Trim Productions trading as Victim Records represented by Victor Trim. I said that I was sending copy invoices through that would substantiate this claim.”

    Indeed, your first Midemnet Keynote speech on 22 January 2005 as Chairman/CEO of IFPI reflects my entitlements, as sole owner, stating;

    “...copyright and its protection create the right environment for creativity and the investment of time and money in innovation. It's always good to invent things, and there is certainly an altruistic reward in doing so, but such is human nature that innovation is fostered even more by an opportunity to own the results of such innovation - and to benefit financially from the fruits of the labour.”

    In addition to your speech, you phrased “My dear friend the music industry”. Plainly, the worst enemy of your “friend”, and all creators’ must be those within the industry who set out to destroy the dynamic nature of a creator through envy, theft and suppression, robbing the industry’s lifeblood of future potential.

    As the IFPI represents the record companies who have reproduced my sound recordings of “Dreams” throughout the world, I look to the IFPI to initiate steps to prevent any further infringements of my interests in “Dreams” until the matter is resolved.

    I enclose photocopies of the Order, the master DAT and other various items of evidence referred to above to substantiate my claim and respectfully await your response.

    Yours sincerely

    Victor Trim

    CC:Ronald Mooij - Secretary General- BIEM
    Carl Palmer - Managing Director - JetStar Phonographics Ltd

     

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  241.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 6:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    Well, traffic laws are typically designed with safety in mind.
    blah blah blah
    Promoting safety is inherently a moral choice, as it is deemed a good thing to allow people to live healthy lives,

    Wow, talk about reaching, twisting and turning, that's a Willton classic! Look, I know I dared you to do it, and I could pretty well guess what you'd come up with if you did, but I seriously didn't think you'd be dumb enough to actually come out with it and stick your foot in your mouth like that. Sheesh! I guess I just overestimated you. But thanks for the laugh this Monday morning; that's a good way to start the week!

    Keep it coming, fellas, I can go all week.

    And I bet you can too. Here's hoping that you do! :D

     

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  242.  
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    Willton, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    Wow, talk about reaching, twisting and turning, that's a Willton classic! Look, I know I dared you to do it, and I could pretty well guess what you'd come up with if you did, but I seriously didn't think you'd be dumb enough to actually come out with it and stick your foot in your mouth like that. Sheesh! I guess I just overestimated you. But thanks for the laugh this Monday morning; that's a good way to start the week!

    Well, if you can explain how promoting public health and safety is somehow not a moral decision, I'm all ears.

     

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  243.  
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    Willton, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts has nothing to do with morals.

    Really? You don't think that using the law with the intent on improving the public's quality of life is somehow amoral? Why don't you try reading the legislative history of most patent and copyright laws?

     

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  244.  
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    Willton, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 10:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    Really? You don't think that using the law with the intent on improving the public's quality of life is somehow amoral? Why don't you try reading the legislative history of most patent and copyright laws?

    Sorry, should read "You *think that using the law ..."

     

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  245.  
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    qez, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    It seems that we have approached this from different definition of the word moral. I do understand what you mean but I still think that To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts is not a moral issue.

     

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  246.  
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    random, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 11:07am

    I think a lot of people here are confusing the fact that we are suggesting a business model for the entertainment industry and assuming two things; all of us are "pirates"(intellectually) and we are trying to get all of our music for free by convincing the entertainment industry to choose a new business model.

    1. Some of us are might be pirates.(intellectually)
    2. We are suggesting a new business model because the entertainment industry is failing. Things are going to change. It would be a lot better if the industry accepted the change because it would be a lot better for the artists and the fans. As it is right now fans are getting sued and artists are getting DMCA's for putting their own content on there website. Not mention the whole youtube issue with warner brothers where fans receive DMCA's for their own recreation of a song.

    It's inevitable that a change is going to happen I just think it would be a lot better for the artists and fans if the entertainment industry can adapt.

     

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  247.  
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    Steve, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 1:18pm

    So if the toolmaker can be held responsible, then how about we all clog up the U.S. courts with lawsuits against gun makers every single time there a shooting? My guess is we could shut down the U.S. "justice system" by this time tomorrow.

     

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  248.  
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    Willton, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    It seems that we have approached this from different definition of the word moral. I do understand what you mean but I still think that To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts is not a moral issue.

    Why wouldn't it be a moral issue? Is promoting scientific progress not something that can be considered right or wrong?

    Plus, keep in mind that "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts" is not a law; it is a basis for a law. Congress could have had additional reasons for enacting certain patent and copyright laws, particularly Section 101, 102 and 103 of the Patent Act and the Visual Artists Rights Act.

     

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  249.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 2:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    You are too, too funny, Willton! Really. I'm just glad I wasn't drinking something because I hate blowing drinks out my nose.

    Not only are you soooo easily goaded into making asinine arguments in the first place that my grandmother could probably do it from her grave, but you'll even start defending them! That's just like coming back for more. (Thank you, sir! Can I have another please!) And you know what the really funny part is? You can't help yourself! In fact, I bet you don't even know what's so funny, do you? Oh boy, this is fun.

    "I'm all ears."

    Oh great, now I've also got this image in my head of you standing there with some really honkin' huge ears sprouting from your head whilst earnestly declaring "I'm all ears", totally unaware of the joke!

    Now don't go away, you said you could "go all week", remember? Maybe I'll pop back by later in the week to lead you down some more merry paths, but I've got some real work to do just now. Sorry I won't be able to read your follow ups right now, but I bet you can make a fine fool of yourself all by your little self and do it with a perfectly straight face too!

    Again, thanks for the yuk-yuks!

     

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    Willton, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 3:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    AC, I think you need to take your meds. Clearly you don't want to have a conversation; you want to troll.

     

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    Aaron, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 8:21pm

    New business model

    I can't comment on a large scale because I don't have the experience, but I played in a local band for about 3 years. We started selling our CD's for $5 at shows. We didn't sell many. Later, we started offering our music for free download via Myspace. We got requests for hard copies of the $5 CD from all over the country. We sold three times as many CD's and our homemade T-shirt sales went crazy.

     

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    qez, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 9:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    Why wouldn't it be a moral issue? Is promoting scientific progress not something that can be considered right or wrong?

    Nobody loses anything if scientific progress is not promoted and everyone gains from it if it is. That is quite different than, let say, stealing. In stealing there's always someone who gains and someone who loses, and that is a moral issue.

    Plus, keep in mind that "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts" is not a law; it is a basis for a law.

    But that is the reason why there are the laws in the first place. So that makes the clause relevant.

     

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    Willton, Apr 21st, 2009 @ 12:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't Think Grokster Ruling Means What You Think It Means...

    Nobody loses anything if scientific progress is not promoted and everyone gains from it if it is. That is quite different than, let say, stealing. In stealing there's always someone who gains and someone who loses, and that is a moral issue.

    Moral issues do not require one person to gain while someone else loses. As per dictionary.com, "moral" means
    of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical

    In no way does that definition imply that someone must gain while another loses. Moral issues entail ethics: what is right or good versus what is wrong or bad, not whether someone gains while someone loses.

    No one would confuse stealing with promoting scientific progress, but that distinction does not render one issue a moral issue while rendering the other a non-moral issue. If promoting scientific progress is deemed a good thing, then that is a moral judgment, and laws pursuant to that end are thus grounded in morality.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2009 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    Did you miss the part where he does live shows? Those rake in money, even at a low cost to each fan.

     

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    chris, Apr 23rd, 2009 @ 8:33am

    Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    An artist or publisher could start by making their product available everywhere at some price. Lots of publish works are restricted by geography. Such works are demanding to be priced at $0.00 in regions where they are otherwise not on offer. The music/film industry is simply getting its demands met.

     

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    Ali, Apr 24th, 2009 @ 4:22am

    Nobody can stop

    Can you stop people from sharing digital info? That's like saying stop having knowledge. I agree business models have to change, not file sharers. Down with all of you wasting your time on trying to blame a single individual for the actions of mass amounts of people.

     

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    Hahaha, Apr 24th, 2009 @ 11:48pm

    What goes around comes around

    How about these losers get a real job? That is for all of them, singers/actors/publishers all of them. They make millions for doing something so trivial that millions of other people in the world can do, and do better yet by luck these few people do it for salaries that ruin the world.
    This is not about right or wrong, this is not about legal or illegal, it is about greed.
    How come a single parent working two jobs coming home more tired than any one of these assholes ever feel only to see that they can barely make rent and have to sacrifice anything for themselves so that their children can be clothed and fed when someone can prance onto a stage/in front of a camera and what can only be described as do their best impression of being a retard and make more money than they will ever need.
    There is always someone willing to do the exact same job for a hell of a lot less and can do it better so why do these companies feel like they need to invest millions/billions into one person and then have the balls to raise "concerns" about only making 50 billion dollars in a year instead of 60 billion or whatever stupidly high income these companies make.
    Everyone needs to stop bitching and moaning about new business models or whatever, some crying about illegal or legal and look at the real issue...
    The money these companies are making, even after the "loses" of "illegal activities" is enough for everyone involved to leave more than comfortably and still be able to fund curing diseases, housing the unlucky and making real differences in people's lives which will lead to a better world to live in.
    Their greed has resulted in all of this and in the music and movie industries they have turned what use to be real talent into nothing more than a sick and shameful "lets see how can make the next billion dollars faster" game.
    May they all die a slow and painful death for wasting many a decent person's time, ruining a vast number of lives and disgracing the human race.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2009 @ 11:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What's with the Morals?

    Flaming won't help you.

    Not flaming, just trying to keep a soul out of hell. That's when the real flaming begins. Something you might want to consider yourself.

     

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    Jason, Apr 26th, 2009 @ 5:10pm

    Re: What goes around comes around

    I see Obamas model of hate the rich people lives strong in you. I am by far rich, in fact i'm a city civil servant. Isn't what sets America apart from the other countries, the American dream? Those that have the will and desire to strive to be something more...can. And if some make more money than others, it's usually because they got off their asses and made something of themselves. I love how the rich "ruin other peoples lives" lol. The top 10% of the "rich" pay over 60% of the taxes collected of all Americans annually. Grow up and educate yourself. You want to blame someone for keeping the poor "down", blame the liberals that want to give more and more benifits to those that refuse to work and want to live off of the sweat of hard working Americans!

     

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    Hahaha, Apr 27th, 2009 @ 12:05am

    Re: Re: What goes around comes around

    Not quite sure what you are even talking about Jason.
    The post talks about how greed is out of control and how people with more money than they could ever spend wants to keep it all instead of making the world better.

    Congrats on being rich, hope that works out well for you and if you are one of the few people who have become by far rich, as you put it, who have not done so by cheating, stealing, lying and/or not caring about anyone but yourself then you have my respect... but for you to think that just getting an education is all it takes to be by far rich then you have obviously cheating, stole and lied your way to your money because you are much to stupid to have done it honestly.

    "Grow up and educate yourself. You want to blame someone for keeping the poor "down"" again what are you talking about? How does the original post even come close to talking about that? I do have an education and I may not be "by far rich" but I manage and I can see that with your "education" you obviously did not learn how to comprehend sentences and are much too simple minded to even realize so... maybe that is what it is all about... the majority of the rich people are just too stupid to see how greed is ruining a once great country.

    It is not about hating the rich though, in fact there are many wonderful people who are rich, who do care about more than just themselves and they should be applauded and no I do not think the rich should have to give all of their money away. If you have more money than you or the next ten generations of your family could ever use then why bitch and moan and more money? Why should a semi-decent athlete who never gets to play but is on the roster, someone who is good at pretending or someone who can somewhat sing but have no moral values be making a few million dollars a year when someone who dedicates their life to other people or to making the world a better place make a fraction of that?

    I do totally agree on the part about people refusing to work and wanting to live off tax money, then again I also find it sickening knowing about all of the wonderful loopholes and less than reputable ways the top %10 find ways to become even richer by using tax money. Some may not actually use tax money but by cutting deals with local governments or even higher up on the food chain so they do not have to pay a certain amount of taxes is just as bad. Oh wow, amazing huh? Rich bastards who have way too much money and time are complaining about a small percentage of their overall income and guess what they are doing? Wow... using the real hard working people's tax money by going to court in hopes of padding their bank accounts a little more.

    My post was not even remotely about rich or poor or Obama's model or any of your post. It is about greed and it is everywhere.

    Do you think it right these money whores are worrying about the difference in 5 and 6 billion dollars when public schools are using 10 year old textbooks? Or how about the new 5 million dollar church that was recently built in every other town over shadows the real hard working American's who are happy to have enough money to buy their children a new pair of shoes.

    Simple minded people like yourself is the problem the world faces today. The same people who are "by far rich" but still for some reason choose to throw a tantrum because the cashier short changed them by $5. So it is off to a manager to make sure this person, who more than likely has a degree but because their mother is sick or because their former degree-holding job went under had to take on being a cashier, is promptly fired all because of the fear of not having the before mentioned $5 to wipe your ass with.

    For you to even mention "Isn't what sets America apart from the other countries, the American dream?" really shows how bright you are. First off, do you think it is only America that people can work hard to have a better life? Is America the only place where people can go to college and hopefully turn that into a decent life? Let me guess, you are also the same type of person that thinks America is "the land of the free" right? Even after considering how every other half decent country in the world has a better education system and a better health care system? Do I really need to call you simple minded again?

    Oh and by the way, Mr. Civil Servant, I am guessing you would not be serving the public if you couldn't maintain your "by far rich" life style... and good job on doing just that, off the real hard working people's tax dollars I must add.

    If the lives of these people were actually adversely affected by people stealing songs and movies then it would be an issue and one that should be dealt with but they are not... and that is the real issue. Instead of throwing a tantrum and making it public about how much of a cry baby they can be, they should be spending their time and effort and using this to their advantage, as other have mentioned.

    Stop the greed, learn to live.

     

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    Jason, Apr 27th, 2009 @ 12:10pm

    Who has a better health care system Who, someone like Canada? Where the death rate of colon cancer is 41% as opposed to the death rate in the US of 32%. You know why? it's because the cost of the better drug "costs too much" for Canadas universal type health care model, and it was voted against in Canada.
    So what should the "greedy" record artists do? Work for nothing? Their albums are going to sell by the millions, and who should get the money? Shouldn't the majority go to the greedy artist? Mabye we sould make cd's $.50 so the artists arent made to be too greedy.
    "Let me guess, you are also the same type of person that thinks America is "the land of the free" right?" My response to this is simple... If you do not feel that America is...GET THE HELL OF THIS COUNTRY!!! Save our resources for someone more deserving.
    "maybe that is what it is all about... the majority of the rich people are just too stupid to see how greed is ruining a once great country" I hate to break it to you but that "greed" in this country has always driven people to be better. Hell, the "greedy" gold rush, in our nations history developed many new towns and cities. As well as made many poor rich!
    You have to ask yourself why certain things are in this life. Why does someone not have enough to buy new shoes of put food on the table? Some people have a legimate hardships. They may be disabled. But if someone did not strive to have a decent paying job. Or decided to have 14 kids selfishly that can't even afford to have one, like the moronic octomom. Than don't blame those that chose to make more of themselves!
    I agree with you in regard to this lawsuit being, in many ways foolish. I just don't unterstand this ever increasing "hate the greedy successfull" mentality that is spreading across the country thanks to Obamas shamefull campaign. He shouldn't be drawing lines and seperating this great nation, pitting the poor against the rich. He should be focusing on the preservation of our great constitution and uniting us against the real enemy of our day. Unfortunately right now thats extremist muslim terrorists. Who's very goal is to cause fear and take the lives of non-extremists all over the world.

     

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    Jason, May 2nd, 2009 @ 4:06pm

    Re:

    GOD BLESS AMERICA AND THE FREE WORLD!

    *******---------------
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    James, May 4th, 2009 @ 2:00am

    Re: Canada's healthcare

    Whomever posted the above post about Canada's healthcare is wrong but those who favour US style healthcare will highlight those statistics and studies that support their claim while ignoring those that do not. According to studies by such organizations as the National Bureau of Economic Research, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and World Health Organization Canada actually has a higher survival rate for many illnesses compared to the USA including colorectal cancer, kidney and liver diseases, especially those required transplants, and leukemia. Canada also have a life expectancy over 2 years longer than the US and a lower infant mortality rate than that the US. Statistically, Canadians are healthier than Americans despite the lower per-capita spending on healthcare in Canada ($6,714 in the US vs $3,678 in Canada, in American dollars). Canada's obesity rate is also lower, as its rates of sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy. Medication is also cheaper and universally accessible in Canada than in the US and it is a well-known fact that many Americans come to Canada to buy their drugs and/or order them via the internet from Canada. Further, who pays for pharmaceutical research in the US? The tax payers, same as in Canada. The difference is that in the US, tax payer money is going to fund research which will benefit private profit and healthcare that is available to only those who can afford, while in Canada the tax payer funded research primarily goes to fund a primarily and universal, public heathcare. Canada's healthcare may not be perfect but the supposed problems with Canada's healthcare we hear about in the media and by pro-business politicians are myths or exaggerated in order to push and justify Big Business's agenda to privatize healthcare.

     

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    Pat, May 9th, 2009 @ 4:16pm

    Re: Food

    If you were able to make free copies of food from the supermarket & distribute it to everyone... how do you figure the supermarkets will stay in business and continue to stock food? An then... who in their right mind would work to produce food fo resale if their food products are not selling as a result of pirates giving it away? When you destroy the incentive to produce something guess what... no one produces it. Communism is a failed effort & never in the history of mankind has it worked. I guess I should probably shut up now because my torrent is almost finshed downloading. ;).

     

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    Jason, May 11th, 2009 @ 9:02am

    You are really trying to tell me that Canada's health care system is better than our system? Tell that to the people that are dying everyday in Canada that are put on a long list to recieve life saving sugaries, but die before they can recieve them. The avarage wait time between a referral by a family doctor and an appointment with a specialist is OVER 8 WEEKS!!! The average wait times between referral by a family doctor and treatment range from 5.5 weeks for oncology to 40 weeks for orthopedic surgery! People shouldn't have to wait to recieve much needed treatment! PERIOD! These facts and these facts alone are enough to make you want to run from the idea of bringing this nightmare to the US. When the government runs something, they ALWAYS try to cut costs. COSTS CAN NOT BE CUT WHEN HUMAN LIVES ARE AT STAKE!
    You want statistics...if we measure a health care system by how well it serves its sick citizens, American medicine excels. Five-year cancer survival rates bear this out. For leukemia, the American survival rate is almost 50%; the European rate is just 35%. Esophageal carcinoma: 12% in the U.S., 6% in Europe. The survival rate for prostate cancer is 81.2% here, yet 61.7% in France and down to 44.3% in England!!
    One cancer center in the US spends more money on cancer research than the entire country of Canada. This is what socialized medicine will do to research in this country. If someone in your family god forbid developed cancer, would you want them to be treated in Canada?
    Canadian government researchers now note that more than 1.5 million Ontarians (or 12% of that province's population) can't find family physicians. Some hospitals in Canada have a FIVE DAY WAIT TO GET IN TO THE ER!!!!!

    I'm not even going to waste my time because liberals do not think rationally. Be carefull what you wish for,and try speaking to some of the many Canadians and Europeans that have either themselves of their family members suffered from these rediculous government run health care systems before you think you know what you are talking about.

     

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    Jason, May 11th, 2009 @ 9:05am

    Thank you Pat for your views!

     

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    club penguin, Jun 1st, 2009 @ 11:04pm

    I understand that fear will push you out of a comfort zone and drive you to find somewhere else to lay your business model, so I understand how fear can motivate innovation, and that, in a sense, is opportunity. I'm comfortable with market-driven fears, it's the extra-market fears that I'm curious about. I don't consider rampant copyright infringement to be the market speaking.

     

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    Jack, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 8:04am

    Diane Warren

    Sorry to get in on this discussion so late, but it appears to me that most are suggesting artists need to relenquish any monetary gain on their intellectual property (which is where their true value lies) and instead become T-shirt salesmen who sing and dance for a living. Diane Warren is an academy award nominated, grammy winning 53 year old songwriter with a lot of hits. Why does Diane Warren need to sell T-shirts, and more importantly, which one of you is going to buy one?

    Someone commented above that some will pay for everything, some will pay for nothing and some can be swayed. The reality is that most, when given the option, will pay for nothing. As for singing and dancing, I haven't seen a concert in years, and why would I want to? They are ridiculously loud, the sound is subpar and you can rarely afford a good view if the artist is coveted by more than a handful of fans. I'm also in my 30's and not prone to wearing artist T-shirts, because let's face it, who still does that and isn't in their teens? I don't care about announcing my affection for "The Dandy Warhols" to the world, nor would I get much value from seeing them live. I just like to listen to their music, which provides value as a soundtrack of sorts to my own world and my own experiences.

    Should a songwriter who writes good songs, goes through the expense of recording them and making them available be compensated? I certainly think so.

    Richard Buckner once said that free downloading is the death of art, and he's right. If artists of merit who produce worthwhile material, whether known or unknown, can't be compensated for their talent, they'll do something else for a living. What are we left with? People with too much time on their hands and nothing good, new or interesting to say with their music.

    The equivalent of the suggested model for the film industry is, "let's open up the movie theaters and see who pays". Again, very few would pay. I saw District 9 a few weeks ago, and I thought it was a good film. I was entertained for 2 solid hours and afterward, reflected on the message of the film in regard to people's differences not being truly significant when the chips are down. However, I didn't go looking for a "District 9 T-shirt" online afterward, nor did I spend 1 dime on overpriced concessions. I just paid to see the film, as I should have. We all know that films cost a lot more to make than most albums, so exactly how does the stealing of films pay the actors, studios, producers, key grip, caterers, makeup artists, etc, etc,? How? I'll tell you how, it doesn't. Free movies don't pay for anything, the cheapest athletes will get you the 1980's LA Clippers and free music gives you a bunch of no-talent hacks who make music in the absense of truly talented, creative people.

    I'm not suggesting that all music (or even a majority) released by major studios in the last 40 years has been of great merit, but I am suggesting that I've enjoyed a hell of a lot more of it than I ever enjoyed the truly "free", non-pirated stuff I've seen on Youtube or elsewhere.

    Just my $.02

     

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    Jack, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 8:27am

    Sorry, $.03

    One thing I forgot to mention...

    Which scenario seems more palatable?

    A) You or your parents have a 9 to 5 job, a roof over your head, food on the table and some disposable income (as most of us do). You decide that you are too cheap to pay $.99 when you want to put "Come on Eileen" by Dexy's Midnight Runners on your Ipod (or whatever music you like and whatever MP3,4 etc player you use), so you now want an aged Kevin Rowland, who's name you never heard of but who wrote that song, to go sell t-shirts and supposedly, you'll buy one because you like THAT song. Not every song - just THAT song, from a group who disbanded in 1986. You're gonna be the talk of the block sporting your "Dexy's Midnight Runners" T-shirt.

    B) The circumstances are the same as above except you stop being a cheap-ass and just pay the $.99. Kevin ROwland, who wrote a brilliant song, get's some of it in royalties as he deservedly should, and you get a great song you can listen to as much as you please for a whopping 99 cents. Unless I missed economics in college, most people don't have to take out a second mortgage to afford 99 cents.

    But what I'm seeing in this thread is that it's so much easier to steal and tell artists to hock Hanes T-shirts than it is to cough up a buck.

    What if your employer told you tomorrow that they've decided to stop paying you, but that "your prowess on the grill here at Burger King is legendary, so we suggest you go have some T-shirts made at your expense and sell them outside after your shift. You get to keep the no-pay job for free because it will allow your burger flipping legend to live on, thereby aiding your t-shirt business."

    Does that sound reasonable? If it does, then you don't work for a living.

     

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    dan, Sep 26th, 2009 @ 7:52pm

    your a jack ass

    the artists make millions on you idiots "you" buy there c.d's the money lost to piracy where music and movies are concerned is miniscule
    you are a turd

     

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    TJ, Oct 10th, 2009 @ 11:33pm

    Wow

    There were a lot of points addressed in all of these posts. I'll do my best to touch on each (relevant) one.

    First. The poster who used the jingles example as a representation for commissioned music is ignoring at least 600 years of history. Mozart, Bach, Beethoven ,etc. were all commissioned for their music. I would posit that not only does their music exceed the quality of jingles, but it also exceeds the quality of most modern music written today. A modern example of commissioning for music could also be soundtrack composition and private (or corporate) gigs. Needless to say. A decent living can still be earned by musicians.

    Second. I'm a musician with a 9 to 5 day job. There was a time when I dreamed of "making it", but it was quickly trampled after performing (sometimes for free) all over my city for years and never getting "noticed". I played alongside some pretty crappy and some pretty great bands (none of which "made it".) However, the music was still created and performed. Those who truly love music will always do so, paid or unpaid. Unfortunately, the vast majority of pop music isn't about songwriting skills. Teams of musicians write hook laden songs for attractive entertainers to perform in front of a camera or audience. These performers do tend to be puppets of the recording industry looking to make a big profit. Most of the monetery losers here are not even true musicians. So, I'm not really worried about non-musicians losing money on "music".

    Third. As with every industry, times change and basic economic principles determine financial gains and losses. Another poster already aptly explained basic supply and demand and I see no more reason to elaborate on the theory. The point everyone should take with them is; sometimes certain professions or industries dry up. All you can do is adapt. Music won't disappear just because a few people are less rich. There are many more poor musicians than rich ones anyway. Artists who painted portraits adapted to the introduction of photography. There are less artists painting portraits these days, but it is still in existence. Printed newspapers are losing a vast amount of money to the internet, but there will always be journalists (just not as many). As far as file sharing is concerned... I see no difference between copying a cd and giving someone a novel you bought and read. Do authors get compensation from everyone who reads their books? Intellectual property should be intended to protect the creator from having their work passed off as someone else's. I don't have to pay royalties when I quote an author, but I do have to cite the author if I am distributing their work and I face legal action if I claim their work as my own.

    Fourth. As record companies (hopefully) disintegrate, the biggest issue we will face will be quality control. I have spent countless hours listening to unsigned musicians on myspace and most of the time, they are awful. Of course, I don't want someone else telling me what I'll like or not either. Pandora seems to be one of the best solutions to this problem.

    Music will always survive. It's existence is essential to humanity. Record companies are not essential to music. If this means people will have to go to a venue to listen to some new music or rely on independant radio stations; I'm all for it. Why listen to Britney Spears when you could be watching the next Nirvana live in your hometown. I'm in full support of getting back to community based music. It has much more meaning.

     

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    Flamindogpoo, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 1:49am

    WTF

    The pirate bay isn't doin nu'in bad though, right? It's P2P! And if people have to download stuff for free because pices are so high, syop pissing about "people stealing your crap" and fucking lower the damn prices!

     

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    Falmindogpoo, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 1:52am

    Re: WTF

    EDIT: Besides... If ppl want to get things for free, they are gonna have to pay big prices to fix their computers if they get viruses. So there's risk. Computer companies should be pleased by this! They get to have ppl spend money on virus protectors, cleanings, new comps, etc.

     

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    Matt, Jan 23rd, 2010 @ 6:08pm

    False information

    actually they werent found guilty as law in sweden is much different than USA this entire info is falso and not even worth reading

     

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    noname, Feb 24th, 2010 @ 2:02am

    Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    Artist can consider their initial works as investments to establish a reputation.

    They can then offer to release new work only after receiving a certain amount of money.

    If the artist continues to create what people want they profit.

    If they don't.....

     

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    GSD, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 4:19pm

    Bigger than Just ThePirateBay

    They need to wake up and understand that this is a war that they can never win. The only way they could ever get ahead is to limit connections on the ISP side of things. The cheapest laptop runs what, 350 bucks? That puts the power in just about anyones hands to copy whatever media they so desire. And it wont stop with torrent search engines- its just as easy to rip a copy of a friends DVD locally. They HAVE to evolve. It would be nice if everyone would just pay but its not that easy anymore. And I hate how they blame rising movie costs to illegal downloading- 2012 had a 250.000.000 dollar special effects budget alone. Thats why its going up- and it was the worst movie I have seen all year.

     

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  277.  
    identicon
    GSD, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 4:31pm

    Re: Wow

    YOu addressed many great points. I would also like to add, basically to back up what you said about the actual musicians ever seeing this lost money. The only musicians that have really stepped forward are ones with a vested monetary interest in their work. Im pretty good friends with a band out of Seattle that toured with Owl City this summer - when talking to him about the business I quickly realized that musicians on these labels that are involved with these lawsuits make little money from their work. The label takes their cut of album sales, merch, and touring revenue- and it isn't small. These individuals make easily the same as many other signed musicians simply because they own their label. And they freely distribute their music and intellectual property. After all, you can't download a t-shirt or the experience of seeing them live. I'll be going to a show in a couple of weeks because a friend shared the bands music 2 months ago and after watching a couple live videos from YouTube, I decided that I could not miss it. One of the three bands is unsigned and the others are on small indy labels and will see some of that admission price. The industry will have to embrace this new trend and realize that it can't be beaten, they will have to learn how to use it.

     

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

  278.  
    identicon
    TheThoughtfulPirate, Jul 10th, 2010 @ 4:34pm

    Re: What should the new business model *be*?

    You have a very good point. They don't HAVE a new buisness model to present. The price range for pirated stuff is zero to none.
    I tend to try and avoid pirating, what i do is i buy the cd, then I get the torrent for my ipod. MY computer doesn't like cds. However, i see a huge problem with pirating the lower bands, who try and rise to the top. Some bands though, like Metallica, get so angry about pirating, but Metalica's rise to fame was by illegal cassetes and word of mouth. The fact is, sometimes it can be good, and sometimes bad. I want people to enjoy music, but music will be gone unless people stop pirating

     

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

  279.  
    identicon
    peter jerry, Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 7:32am

    I read

    I read through the report and it was a great source of information. Thanks for providing the great read!
    Best Buy USA
    Best buy Store
    Discount electronics

     

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


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