No Musicians Have Ever Been Guaranteed To Make Money Selling Music

from the let's-get-rid-of-this-myth dept

Another day, another "pundit" takes a righteous stand about the music business dealing with "thieves," but gets the whole story wrong again. Someone who prefers to remain anonymous alerted us to a writeup by a reporter/analyst, Ellen Ratner, entitled simply "stop stealing from artists," which discusses a musician friend who apparently is suffering because "She can't be guaranteed that what she records or performs will be compensated." Can someone point out when anyone was ever "guaranteed" compensation for recording a song?

Also, as the anonymous submitter pointed out, the artist in question seems to be doing just fine on her site, with a list of tour dates, and a merchandise site that includes some unique items (signed concert poster, handmade cowboy hats) in addition to CDs. Basically, she's like pretty much any musician both now and in the past, who has every opportunity to get "compensated," simply by putting in place good business models combined with good music. No one should have a right to compensation if they don't give people a reason to buy.

The rest of the article is a confused jumble of a few different issues, from performance rights, to China, to (seriously) comparing music sharing to copying a book on a photocopier. I can understand how someone approaching these issues for the first time might take such a simplistic view, but it's quite a jump to go from "it is hard to dispute the fact that the songwriter/artist is entitled to fair compensation for their work" to "Congress needs to recognize this and act now." Why? Every musician has numerous business models at his or her disposal to get fair compensation for their work. There's no need for Congress to get involved. What Ratner seems to be saying is that her musicians don't want fair compensation -- they want guaranteed, gov't-backed compensation. In other words, she seems to think the government should be providing welfare for musicians. If that's what you believe, then fine, defend why musicians deserve welfare. But don't claim that musicians have ever been "guaranteed" compensation.


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  1.  
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    hegemon13, May 8th, 2009 @ 11:48am

    Entitlement

    "it is hard to dispute the fact that the songwriter/artist is entitled to fair compensation for their work"

    Um, I would not even go so far as to say this. The entitlement mentality in this nation is out of control. No one is entitled to anything. You earn it. It is great to live in a nation capable of providing for it's people when they can't or won't provide for themselves. It's a wonderful privilege and provides peace of mind. But it is not an entitlement. Once upon a time, over 200 years ago, lots of people earned that privilege for us.

    People need to quit whining about what they deserve, and go out and get what they want or need, honestly and ethically. Is it hard? Sure, but it is for everyone else, too. Just because this woman wants to make millions, or even a living, from writing music does not mean she is entitled to it. She can, however, take a lot of small steps in the right direction to lead her closer to that goal. Whining is not one of them.

     

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    Luís Carvalho, May 8th, 2009 @ 11:55am

    And saddly the article doesn't provide comments, so we could help her understand and even help her help her friend.

    The only way is by sending a e-mail, wich I'll probably do, with a link to this article, if you don't mind Mike.

    I find it very sad to see someone pointing a finger to filesharing as the root of evil. By definition, sharing, is an act of kindness, of interest, even of praise.

    I'd also like to point the: "There was no Internet and certainly no way to share music files. You simply had to purchase a record, and that was that." because that is absolutely untrue. We shared music cassetes, recorded from friends albums, radio broadcasts, or even direct copies from commercial cassetes. It was different in scope, I grant that, but not in intention and purppose.

    This comentator, claims to be a liberal, and be proud of it, and yet... demands government regulation and protection? Maybe I'm confused about what liberals stand for in USA, but I thought freedom was a point.

    If Ellen Ratner reads this, please educate yourself and your friend on several other SUCSEFULL business models that have been largely discussed here in this site.

    Don't think that because someone shares a copy of your friends records they have stolen her anything, in fact, by doing that, and sharing that copy it is making your friends work reach persons that she wouldn't otherwise reach. Consider it free advertising. Consider it praise. Consider that we only share what we care for.

    Please, act as liberal, and use a FREE MIND, instead of corporativistic mumbo-jumbo.

    Have a nice one...

     

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    Tgeigs, May 8th, 2009 @ 12:05pm

    Re:

    "This comentator, claims to be a liberal, and be proud of it, and yet... demands government regulation and protection? Maybe I'm confused about what liberals stand for in USA, but I thought freedom was a point."

    Nope, both parties stand for "freedom", they differ in how to go about it. Generally, conservatives favor less federal intrusion, more control at the state/local level, and a more market-oriented system. Liberals favor more federal controls, homogenously adopted at the state/local levels, and are more end-consumer oriented. Neither is bad, both have good aspects, and most Amerians believe (I think) that the best approach is somewhere in the middle.

     

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    Mark, May 8th, 2009 @ 12:15pm

    I visited Kate Taylor's site to give her a listen. Not a single sound clip available!

    I guess we're supposed to buy her $20 CDs based on her looks?

     

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    refe, May 8th, 2009 @ 12:16pm

    Will somebody think of the artists?!

    It is fine to have the dream of a utopian marketplace where all of your ideas of how things should be are a reality. At a certain point, though, you have to step back and actually look at what you are saying.

    If you need the government to step in and enact regulations that ensure you will be compensated for your product than one of two things is likely to be true: A. You are not selling something that people want, or B. You are not selling it in a way that people want to buy it.

    This is the case with any industry - music is no different. To suggest that it is just causes it to lose yet more credibility.

     

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    Luís Carvalho, May 8th, 2009 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re:

    Thanks for clarifying.

    I have absolutely no political orientation, so my knowledge of the issue is near zero.

    I do, however, have a strong community orientation, and sharing is one of my main directives in life.

    Maybe that's why I feel so strongly about being called a "pirate" or a "thief".

    Anyway, I stand corrected and educated. Thank you. :)

     

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    Ryan, May 8th, 2009 @ 12:18pm

    This comentator, claims to be a liberal, and be proud of it, and yet... demands government regulation and protection? Maybe I'm confused about what liberals stand for in USA, but I thought freedom was a point.

    U.S. liberals are generally populist and advocate for the government liberally passing laws and regulations infringing on individuals' rights and freedoms. Conservatives are more on the side of property rights and limited government in theory, but the Republican party has lately been more concerned with legislating morality and exploiting terrorism for increased surveillance and the like.

    Anyways, the views of this woman, as hegemon13 pointed out, are emblematic of a more general entitlement complex across the U.S.(and much of the world as well), and not just symptomatic of the music industry apologists. The newspaper industry, as pointed out on techdirt, is making all the same arguments. I also see a lot of commenters online defend the U.S. government's recent actions by claiming that higher taxes and government intervention are necessary to provide them with the things they need, as if the American people are incapable of achieving that on their own without being babied.

    This mentality seems somewhat cyclic, and I can only hope that the backlash against this kind of populist shit will come soon. Some people are too stupid or stubborn or lazy or whatever to adapt and make a living for themselves; this woman feels that those people should be rewarded. I say let them eat cake.

     

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    Tgeigs, May 8th, 2009 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    No worries, and I only scratched the surface. Please note I used the words liberal and conservative, not democrat and republican, since they're no longer correlated :)

     

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    Anonymous Poster, May 8th, 2009 @ 12:29pm

    This woman is an idiot and nobody should take her seriously.

     

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    al, May 8th, 2009 @ 12:29pm

    todays radio..?

    file sharing is the equal of radio in the 60's...we find music
    and if we like it ,talk about,buy tickets to see them,buy cd's,and mdse.to show what we like..that said we resent the fact that we must spend $17 or so for a cd that has one good song.i tunes is a good answer but as we all know the music co. what that big $17. sale not the $1.29 for one song.radio cost us nothing and now is digital,cd quality.to my mind there is no difference,it's all getting fans to spend money and we do...!!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Entitlement

    good point hegemon13

     

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    jonnyq, May 8th, 2009 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Entitlement

    there's nothing wrong with the original statement, hegemon. *anyone* deserves fair compensation for their work, and should only work when they feel the compensation is fair.

    Of course, you have to define "fair". "Fair" is whatever the worker and the employer/consumer agree upon.

    And you have to define "compensation". Compensation can be money, favors, bartered services or goods, fame, glory, or something else.

    That original statement is fundamental to economics. The "unfair" entitlement only happens when someone misunderstands the words.

     

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    Wes, May 8th, 2009 @ 12:46pm

    Photocopying?

    Hi Mike, I appreciate your insight and ongoing commentary regarding copyright and the dialogue that it generates.

    You wrote that Ratner was wrong in "comparing music sharing to copying a book on a photocopier."

    Could you give a quick explanation as to what difference you find between someone digitizing and distributing a printed publication and someone doing the same with an audio recording? For example, if I scan a book and distribute the pdf is this different than ripping the author's audiobook cd and distributing the mp3?

     

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    Bill, May 8th, 2009 @ 12:46pm

    Ellen Ratner's piece is on worldnet daily, which is about as far as you can get from any kind of liberalism (incl the classic type), so her "liberal & proud" moniker is a bit suspect. But, from what I'm seeing, there is no clearcut lineup on this issue that relates to conservative/liberal or Repub/Demo. Maybe there's a little more consistency for those who call themselves 'libertarian' but that group is also all over the spectrum (there are conservative & left libertarians too), so this fight is probably going to be fought on a more personal level. Maybe Ratner really is concerned about her friend. If so, I think it's pretty obvious she doesn't have a clue about what's going on here but she's riding that 'entitlement' pony that too many of us have gotten on (right or left).

     

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    Just Another Moron in a Hurry, May 8th, 2009 @ 1:00pm

    Old School

    I wonder if her musician friend is more used to the old school labels type of contract. "We'll pay you $x,000 for the distribution rights to your next CD, plus some royalties on sales."

    It seems to me like what this artist needs is a manager, who is familiar with the new landscape, and can guide her on the best business decisions to make so that she can focus on the music, which seems to be her area of expertise.

     

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    Dave, May 8th, 2009 @ 1:04pm

    I say that all the time

    Since when is anyone guaranteed to make money on something. If I create a widget and go out and market it, I'm not guaranteed to make money.

     

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    Mysicman, May 8th, 2009 @ 1:14pm

    Y'all miss the point again!

    The friggen bottom line is, you all can't figure out that someone owns that piece of music you feel so entitled to get for free because you can!

    Writers, publishers, and the owners of the master recording do have rights! Just because joe public and the rest of the stunads don't agree don't make it untrue.

    Keep taking what you want, go for it... Pretty soon there will be nothing left but horrible bedroom recorded crap for you to have because there is no life left in an industry.

    I wish all of you who steal the woderful experience of having your livlyhood STOLEN by a bunch of dick heads such as yourselves who only know entitlement....

    All the best and fuck you too

     

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    lulz, May 8th, 2009 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Re: Entitlement

    That original statement is fundamental to economics.

    I dunno aboout that, let's look again....

    "it is hard to dispute the fact that the songwriter/artist is entitled to fair compensation for their work"

    You can charge whatever you want, it doesn't mean people will pay what you charge. You are entitled to set any price you deem fair, but if people don't think it's fair, they won't bite. They'll... just download your stuff. So set a realistic price and expect the money to flow. Conversely, set an unrealistic price and expect more pirating than purchasing.

     

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  19.  
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    YourMom, May 8th, 2009 @ 1:22pm

    Compensate Me!!!

    I just spent 3 days making origami cranes that you can hang from the ceiling. NO ONE IS BUYING THEM. Those damn websites telling every joe on the street how to fold a piece of paper into a bird is stealing from my market!!! I should sue them!

     

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  20.  
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    Jason, May 8th, 2009 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: Entitlement

    Yes, there is, jonnyq! You see, the work that goes into making a product in the hopes of selling it on the open market is an inherently risky venture. It is only "deserving" of compensation if the market will bear it at the price offered.

    If she produces something that easily copied, then she should expect competition based upon the complete lack of market entry barriers.

    If on the other hand she focused her energies on things that cannot be readily reproduced: like the experience of a live concert, or personalized merchandise, or even a cracker jack type prize in the box, if she can produce something, anything with both intrinsic value AND actual scarcity, then she has the basis for a good business model and a reasonable expectation of earning a profit.

    It is not her creativity that is being protected by copyright, but the lack of creativity to do something, anything more than simply recording her precious music onto a shiny plastic disc.

     

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    Ryan, May 8th, 2009 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Y'all miss the point again!

    Writers, publishers, and the owners of the master recording do have rights! Just because joe public and the rest of the stunads don't agree don't make it untrue.

    What rights are you referring to? There are two types of rights: natural and legal. Music artists have a natural right to make music and to distribute it, just as consumers have a natural right to download it.

    You must be talking about legal rights; but legal rights are based upon property rights and incentives for the public good. Since downloading does not infringe upon property rights--those artists still have their resources after you've copied it--any rights they have against downloading are strictly legal rights designed to improve the public good, not for the sustenance of the artists. Which means that if "joe public and the rest of the stunads don't agree", they should not be entitled to any legal rights against downloading music.

    And plentiful empirical evidence refutes your assertion that nothing but "but horrible bedroom recorded crap" will be left if we relax file sharing restrictions.

     

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    ChrisB (profile), May 8th, 2009 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Y'all miss the point again!

    The free market will sort it out. You are right that if no one is paying musicians (either through buying CDs, concert tickets, t-shirts, etc), then the only music left will be the ones that work for free.

    But to classify that as "bedroom recorded crap" is harsh. Did you ever think that people would take many hours out of their day, research subjects and write about them, FOR FREE? Welcome to most blogs. Welcome to Wikipedia.

    The problem is record labels (and other media corporations) had a monopoly which drove the price up. Now that it is relatively easy to create and distribute music, news, videos, etc, the market is adjusting. If you cut out the record labels, there is more than enough money to go around to each artist. Unfortunately, there will be some grey suits on the street; boo-hoo.

     

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  23.  
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    Tgeigs, May 8th, 2009 @ 1:39pm

    Re:

    "there is no clearcut lineup on this issue that relates to conservative/liberal or Repub/Demo"

    Well, no on Repub/Demo because BOTH get campaign contributions from the industry, you see. As far as liberal/conservative...well, in theory, BOTH would be against the copyright maximilists, at least in my opinion:

    Liberal POV: the common man is getting what he wants for how much he wants to pay for it. Big business certainly isn't starving. We're for it.

    Conservative POV: You want to write a law in Washington DC that has ANYTHING to do with Washington State on the other side of the country? No way. Let the counties handle it.

    Dems/Repubs: Waaaaahhhhh. They gave us MONEY!!! Waaaaahhhhhh. Our parties are different, honestly! Waaaahhhh!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 1:42pm

    No one ever said a artist is guaranteed to make money selling their music. Shouldn't they have the opportunity? If they are good, shouldn't they have the opportunity?

    Obviously around here, the answer is no.

     

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    Ryan, May 8th, 2009 @ 1:48pm

    Re:

    No one ever said a artist is guaranteed to make money selling their music.

    Ellen Ratner: "She can't be guaranteed that what she records or performs will be compensated."

    Shouldn't they have the opportunity? If they are good, shouldn't they have the opportunity?

    Mike Masnick: "Also, as the anonymous submitter pointed out, the artist in question seems to be doing just fine on her site, with a list of tour dates, and a merchandise site that includes some unique items (signed concert poster, handmade cowboy hats) in addition to CDs. Basically, she's like pretty much any musician both now and in the past, who has every opportunity to get "compensated," simply by putting in place good business models combined with good music."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re: Y'all miss the point again!

    The "free market" cannot sort anything out as it is not a sentient, unified entity. Our blind faith in the free market's abilities has recently caused a near-global meltdown, in case you hadn't noticed.

     

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    cvpunk, May 8th, 2009 @ 1:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It doesn't matter what you call them... they are all capitalists.

     

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    cvpunk, May 8th, 2009 @ 1:58pm

    Re:

    is she hot?

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Compensate Me!!!

    If you're going to make witty analogies to prove a point, please make sure they correlate first. Your analogy has nothing to do with the argument.

     

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  30.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, May 8th, 2009 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Y'all miss the point again!

    "I wish all of you who steal the woderful experience of having your livlyhood STOLEN by a bunch of dick heads such as yourselves who only know entitlement...."

    I invite you to come along and try to "steal" my livelihood. The skill set I have cannot be copied and I get payed for having that skill set. If you want to obtain that skill set you ether have to create a brain sucker (probably make more money that way) or spend decades working at it. That doesn't mean that other people are freely enriched by my efforts, I just don't get payed every time they do.

    For the record I don't download music nor do I buy it for the exclusive reason that I don't want to support assholes who think like you in any way shape or form.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Re: Y'all miss the point again!

    What is this magical skill set that cannot be replicated, affords you large sums of money, and entitles you to a lofty position from which you can look down on the rest of us peasants? And how do we get it!?

     

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    Just Another Moron in a Hurry, May 8th, 2009 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Y'all miss the point again!

    Hi, Mysicman.

    You are right. A lot of people don't respect the law, and download music illegally, without the artist's permission, just because they can. They feel entitled, so they just take it without considering what the consequences are. And that's wrong. Its illegal, and its immoral.

    But that's not what most people around this site promote. Instead, we try to encourage The Artists to consider a new approach... One where they leverage the internet and file-sharing to their advantage, so that they can make more money and make more music.

    And one of the ways we encourage this is by highlighting artists who have given their music away for free and still been economically successful. We also examine business models which incorporate the idea of 'free' and use it to increase their paying customer base.

    The internet has changed the landscape. For better or for worse, it seems like people need to adapt to that change, or else they will get pushed out of the way by people who have made the switch.

     

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  33.  
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    Jason, May 8th, 2009 @ 2:14pm

    Re: Y'all miss the point again!

    No, stupid, you don't own music, you don't own ideas, you obviously don't own the English language.

    Aside from that you don't own me, or my thoughts and actions. To think that just because you wrote a song or sang a tune somehow makes you the master and commander of whether or not I get to perform, re-write, or simply share it with my friends is the most absurd, audacious, anti-democratic, feudalistic, tyrannical BS I've ever heard of.

    An inaccurate, though in a sense true, account places Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher in a pub one day.

    Churchill says to Thatcher, "Meg, would you bed me for a million quid?"

    To which she reportedly replies, "Certainly, a million quid is a million quid!"

    Then he turns right back and says, "Would you do it for sixpence?"

    "What do you take me for? I am no whore, sir!"

    "Ah, but we've already established that fact, madam. Now we are simply negotiating a price."

    You see, you don't own forms, you simply cannot own ether, it is vapor, it is the wind. Once you've shared an idea, a thought, a tune, a concept - in whatever medium - like it or not you have given up the goods, per se, de facto. You can no more claim it back than you can your virginity.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 2:22pm

    Welfare for Musicians

    As a taxpayer, I already have a musician living on welfare on my couch. I don't need to be further taxed to pay for another.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 2:29pm

    Re: Re: Y'all miss the point again!

    No one owns facts or ideas, this is true. And, naturally speaking, once the specific expression of an idea is shared by that particular expression's creator, it is "free."

    The idea behind all of this copyright-related stuff was to encourage people to share those particular expressions by guaranteeing a limited monopoly: a guaranteed amount of time in which the creator, and the creator alone, could attempt to earn something by way of that creation.

    Because if you go through the effort to create something, it's valuable to you and it represents your efforts. For someone else to come along and capitalize on those efforts doesn't really seem fair. So, to keep that fear at bay, the limited monopoly was established.

    Also, this makes good sense. If we, as a culture, want people who are really good at creating fixed expressions of ideas to continue doing so, then we have to make it possible for them to do so and still do things like eat and have shelter. So again, makes good sense.

    None of this, of course, is about guaranteeing anything more than the opportunity to earn.

    This is a reasonable agreement and fair compromise between the culture as a whole (which is benefited by the creations), the individuals (who want them), and the creator (who spends time and effort making them). This all assumes that the creations are, in face, desirable and/or beneficial to the culture or some subset thereof.

    Where this all gets screwed is when "limited" becomes forever, when "opportunity to earn" becomes government-sanctioned extortion, when "benefits to culture" gets curtailed unreasonably (by overly-strict limits of fair use and works inspired by other works), and when "creator" becomes major corporations that influence legal action with their deep pockets.

    So, Jason, there is a reasonable and fair claim from the creator of a work that he or she should, in fact, be able to place certain limits, for a limited time, on what you can do with that creation in order to afford him or her the opportunity to earn from that creation. This claim is a reasonable compromise among the parties mentioned earlier. So, when one party begins violating that compromise (like your claim does), it leads to a breakdown of the whole thing.

    If you want to get pissed off and threaten people, threaten the original violators: the corporations. However, realize that your own violations do very little to bring us back to a balanced place of reasonable compromise.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 2:40pm

    stop stealing from artists

    "Stop stealing from artists" could easily be an article directed at the recording industry.

     

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    cvpunk, May 8th, 2009 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Re:

    ugh.... never mind

     

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    Luís Carvalho, May 8th, 2009 @ 2:48pm

    I do support the idea, that everytime a musician plays it's musics, he/she MUST be payed. It's work, takes skill, effort and unique knowledge.

    BUT...

    I don't support in ANY way, that everytime a recording of an artist playing it's music, is played, copyed, transferred, shared, etc... that the artist is entitled to a payment. NO.

    If and when, the artist performs, he/she should make sure they receive payment. If and when the performance is recorded, they can ask for a payment to receive it in special conditions. Like a boxset with extra content. But NEVER for copies of said recordings.

    Furthermore, if I find said recordings, and I download them, and afterwards share them in the same way I receive them, I'm actualy creating advertising for the artist, I'm helping in the distribution, I'm promoting that artist. If enough persons are interested, like the music, it's almost guaranteed that that artist will be called more times to perform and get payed for it.

    What the music business is saying is, the artists deserve to be payed indefinitely for a work performed only once. And I am the "pirate"? Is that ethical? Is that Moral?

    What would you answer someone that performed some work for you, and after you payed, they'll tell you, that anytime you would use it, or let anyone else use it, you had to pay again? Imagine you buyed a paint, and it had a visualization counter, that would bill you for each time the paint was seen?

    Money for nothing, and we are the "pirates"? Sueing to get that money, is tantamount to extorsion.

    Sorry, but I really can't accept that a digital copy should be treated as a physical copy. They are NOT remotely similar. If you need to regulate, ok, do it, create SPECIFIC laws to digital content, that concern the digital nature. Don't use the same laws, because you wouldn't apply the same set of laws to potatoes and to airplanes.

    And please... don't call it "theft". Or I will have to start insulting you also.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Tgeigs, May 8th, 2009 @ 2:53pm

    Re:

    "It's work, takes skill, effort and unique knowledge"

    So does a really good BJ, but they shouldn't always result in cash...

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold's former #5 fan, May 8th, 2009 @ 3:04pm

    I want a pony.

    Congress needs to act. Now.

     

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

  41.  
    identicon
    Luís Carvalho, May 8th, 2009 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm referring to the actual performance. I do believe that they should take the necessary steps to make sure they are payed. Of course they can play for free if they want to.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 3:08pm

    Re: Entitlement

    Um, I would not even go so far as to say this. The entitlement mentality in this nation is out of control. No one is entitled to anything. You earn it.

    Yeah, especially the government. What makes them think they're entitled to a portion of my income? And then there's child support payments. What did those little brats ever do to earn a monthly check? Nothing! Yet some judge seems to think that they're somehow "entitled" to it.

    Once upon a time, over 200 years ago, lots of people earned that privilege for us.

    Back when a man "owned" his children and they weren't "entitled" to anything.

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 3:09pm

    Re: Re:

    So you're suggesting ... what, specifically? Being cryptic only gets you so far if you want people to actually consider a point you're trying to make.

    The easy inference is that music requires no 'work' (i.e., skill, effort and unique knowledge). I hope that's not what you're saying ... so say something.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Jason, May 8th, 2009 @ 3:23pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I believe cvpunk has stumbled upon your point, Mark.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Musicman, May 8th, 2009 @ 3:24pm

    Ok y'all.... Answer me this

    Ok, so let's put it out there for real.

    I am a producer. I am a writer. I own a record label. My music is available via most legal download sites like iTunes, beatport, Traxsource etc etc...

    So I have a recording which I wrote, am the publisher, am the master rights owner, and have it registered with the us copyright office.

    I earn good enough money to get by, I'm not rich and I'm certainly not one of those evil corperations...

    So tell me, is it wrong for my music to be shared via p2p, torrents, blogs etc without my permission ?

    Please do tell...

     

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  46.  
    icon
    Yeebok (profile), May 8th, 2009 @ 4:03pm

    If she stopped to raise a family ..

    She's not a muso. A muso would record, write and play, regardless.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 4:07pm

    The point that you don't get, is that people are stealing content they find of value, and the creator is not getting compensated for it. It's also naive to think that the majority of musicians are capable of running their own businesses successfully, since these are completely unrelated fields. That's were record labels have come in, but again that system is broken.

     

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  48.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), May 8th, 2009 @ 6:41pm

    Re: Ok y'all.... Answer me this

    So tell me, is it wrong for my music to be shared via p2p, torrents, blogs etc without my permission ?

    It's not about right or wrong. It's happening. So why not figure out ways to embrace that to make more money? It's not like you're going to stop it from happening. Yet, we see musicians every day who end up making a lot more money than they were able to in the past because they embraced having their music on file sharing sites.

    It's got nothing to do with right or wrong. If you and your fans can both be better off when you actively encourage file sharing... the whole question of "right" or "wrong" goes away.

    We're not arguing whether or not it's "right" to have music shared without your permission. We're explaining how the question doesn't matter.

     

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  49.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), May 8th, 2009 @ 6:42pm

    Re:

    No one ever said a artist is guaranteed to make money selling their music.

    As Ryan pointed out, that's *exactly* what Ellen said.

    Shouldn't they have the opportunity? If they are good, shouldn't they have the opportunity?

    Yes. Which is exactly the point we've made.

    Obviously around here, the answer is no.

    Obviously, you've never read this site.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 10:56pm

    Re: Re:

    And that difference has already led to one civil war.

    Liberal POV: Slavery is wrong and should be abolished nationwide by the federal government.

    Conservative POV: Abolished nationwide? No way. Let the states or local governments handle it.

    The liberals won that one.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 11:04pm

    Re:

    The point that you don't get, is that people are stealing content...

    Copyright infringement isn't theft. To say it is is a lie.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Luís Carvalho, May 9th, 2009 @ 1:54am

    Maybe what is needed is a different kind of middleman. One that can help the artists in the new market.

    If anyone can pull it off, giving the artists true options and true help, it can really make a difference.

    I consider evident that the business model the record companies are fighting for, no longer applies to the reality, so, it's about time that somebody starts presenting artists with valid options.

    It was mentioned that artists aren't allways cappable to find their place in this brave new world, ending up following the only one method that is presented to them, that they can cope.

    Somebody, somewhere, needs to start helping them. And, both could make money.

    Just saying...

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Pete Braven, May 9th, 2009 @ 4:35am

    No Musicians Have Ever Been Guaranteed ANYTHING!

    Just a couple of points,..
    Copyright is really about someone nicking material and putting their own name to it. If fans like your music so much they spread it all over the place by sharing the one or two CDs they did actually buy, that's the sort of advertising money simply can't get!

    Any musician/songwriter who is signed up to a major label can and frequently does have their material held by 'the company' which can even be given/accredited to another artist on that label. Yes that sounds nuts but there are cases in court where artists are trying to get their rights back all over the world. A great record deal is in most cases a rip-off which is why so many stars end up on drugs or living in the bottom of a bottle!

    I am a performing artist myself. I have been for years and I enjoy entertaining my fans. Yes I know they copy and share my tracks but I make money from selling tickets to gigs,.. and playing a gig is the biggest buzz I get out of it, even playing a free 'open-mic'.

    If anyone thinks they are owed money for sitting in some bedroom/garage and churning out music on CD from a computer with no live performance,... honestly,.. get a f**in life!

    Music is a LIVE PERFORMANCE art-form and historically, most artists are only famous after they are dead!! If you need a 'business model' for that fact, take a look at classical music. Beethoven, Bach, Handel, Paganini, Brahms, Rachmaninov, Debussy,.. did any one of them make a single recording? Nope, so how come they are such icons of music history then? Simple, Millions of musicians play (copy/re-arrange) their art!

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2009 @ 7:50am

    No Mike, according to quite a few here and you, an artist can't make money off their music. They make money off the others things that they can do (which I fully understand) but the music itself, if "free" can't produce revenue directly.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2009 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: Entitlement

    Child support? Get real. That's not an entitlement, that's you paying for the mistake of not using a damn condom. You did the deed, you pay for the result.

    As to taxes, want to try that, again? Yeah, they waste a LOT of our money, but the government isn't saying they're entitled to the money. They're saying 'you want this? You're going to pay for it.'

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2009 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Y'all miss the point again!

    That wasn't the free market, that was megacorps doing idiot things and sucking up cash that wasn't their's to have.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2009 @ 9:37pm

    Re:

    No Mike, according to quite a few here and you, an artist can't make money off their music.

    Oh, so now you're explaining to Mike what he means, huh?

    (and by the way, I've never seen Mike say that either)

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Frank A, May 10th, 2009 @ 10:28am

    Re: No Musicians Have Ever Been Guaranteed ANYTHING!

    I think Pete's pretty much put this in perspective.

    How people relate to each other is what makes the business, and what differentiates those who make money from those that don't.

    Copyright is necessary up to a point to encourage folks to produce intellectual property whether it's a recording, a book, a piece of software, or whatever. Pirated downloads are on the one hand wrong, and taken to extremes would pretty well destroy a lot of musician's careers, but on the other hand in the real world are really a distraction as they really don't take away from the artist's 'real' income.

    We'd have to get into a discussion of marginal costs, price elasticity and all of the other wonders of economics but in a nutshell that 12 year old kid downloading whatever tune it was was never going to spend $15 as he didn't have it to begin with, wasn't going to run out and buy the CD at that price if he had it, might have bought at a lower price but as the only lower price happened to be $0......

    So calling each pirated download "lost revenue" and equating that lost revue to full retail is, well, just a big load.

    At the end of the day, what makes music work is the interaction of the various people in the chain of play from artist to audience, wherever that audience happens to be. People at shows, people in their cars listening to the radio, people in clubs listening to recordings, people talking about what they like, what they don't etc.

    I've often wondered if we've lost a little something through the advent of mechanically recorded sound. It did in live music in a lot of places. That's had profound impacts not only on musicians but also the listening public. There was a time when there was a gig to be had every time a movie played, and now they have such a predictable musical experience at times I think they've forgotten that there's a human somewhere in the loop.

     

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  59.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), May 10th, 2009 @ 6:18pm

    Re:

    No Mike, according to quite a few here and you, an artist can't make money off their music. They make money off the others things that they can do (which I fully understand) but the music itself, if "free" can't produce revenue directly.

    I love it when people tell me what I believe, when it totally contradicts what I actually believe. You clearly do not "fully understand" because you are repeating back stuff I do not believe.

    I did not say you "cannot" make money. I said that there are other business models that are better, and you should focus on those. Continuing to try to make money directly off the *sale* of music files is likely to become an increasingly bad business model, but that you can use that music to make everything else you sell more valuable. I still consider that to be making money from the music. I'm not sure why you do not.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Shon Gale, May 11th, 2009 @ 4:30am

    Radio

    We run a online Radio Station at TakilmaFM.com and we are good little boys and pay ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC approximately $1,200.00 a year for playing their music. We have never been asked to , or have we ever submitted a list of what we play to ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC. How they know who to pay? We don't send them a list. They have never asked for a list of songs player or even artists. They just assume that you will play one of their songs. Notice how I say 'their'. They own the song and pay the artist whatever they feel like. The RIAA should be RICO'd because it is a criminal enterprise. Using threats, intimidation and scare tactics.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, May 11th, 2009 @ 8:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Y'all miss the point again!

    "The "free market" cannot sort anything out as it is not a sentient, unified entity."

    Neither is gravity, but that does not mean it can't have a predictable effect. Plus, gravity can be used quite well to assist in sorting stuff out, especially items of vary mass or density.

    I understand that free market!=gravity. I am only pointing out that sentience has no bearing here. NO economy is sentient. It is the collection of the actions of all involved in commerce.

    "Our blind faith in the free market's abilities has recently caused a near-global meltdown, in case you hadn't noticed."

    Blind faith would have been much better, actually. Instead, we had politicians who talked like they loved the free market, but didn't allow it to operate. And I think it is quite clear that having the government throw billions around to fix and regulate it has not done much good, either. The propping of corporations over the years has created the meltdown. If the free market had been allowed to operate and those entities allowed to fail when they should have, we would not be in this mess.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Tgeigs, May 11th, 2009 @ 11:09am

    Re: Radio

    "We have never been asked to , or have we ever submitted a list of what we play to ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC. How they know who to pay?"

    I actually thought that was a great question so I forwarded it on to ASCAP to get a response. They responded:

    "First, Tgeigs, please stop referring to ASCAP as NAMBLA, as NAMBLA is a trademarked name. Secondly, the money collected by ASCAP is a pooled fund which is to be distributed to member parties in amounts equal to contributions of the whole, in terms of percentage. Once we, collect the money, we divide the total number of commercial records produced by the total number of member records produced, then we get a percentage. Unfortunately, by that time we're tired of doing math and we just keep the money for ourselves. Pretty cool, huh?"

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Valkor, May 11th, 2009 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, in the center they're all captialists. On the far left they're communists or socialists, and on the far left they're fascists or oligarchs. On both the extremes, you get powerful people trying to tell you how to run your life.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Omega, May 11th, 2009 @ 8:11pm

    Um... not sure about that comment Mike

    Mike, you said,

    "No one should have a right to compensation if they don't give people a reason to buy. "

    I don't understand how writing a kick-ass song is not a reason to want to purchase that kick-ass song. Which means the artist gets paid for their art not their stage show...

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Eldakka, May 11th, 2009 @ 11:48pm

    Re: Photocopying?

    A photocopier is not a digitizing device that produces a PDF file.

    Well OK, most modern photocopiers are scanners that digitize the image and use it to produce an immediate print output, however they do not store the image for later electronic distribution. If they are storing the digitized image etc, then they are not a photocopier, but a scanner.

    I think the issue here is that paper and ink are scarce goods. Therefore photocopying a book is not converting the book into an inifinitely reproducible form (electronic), but converting it to another scarce good composed of paper and ink.

    I may be wrong, but thats how I read it...

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 5:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Y'all miss the point again!

    I'm not Chronno, but I am a computer consultant, and I think I'm in a similar spot re:skill set. You can't 'steal' my livlihood because it's tailored to each client. Even if I sat down and explained all the fundamentals of where my advice comes from, that won't give you the depth of experience nor the ability to apply those fundamentals to a given situation.

    If you'd like to 'get' my skill set, it'll probably take you 4 to 6 years, depending on your current education and background, and likely tens of thousands of dollars to get a degree from an accreditted university. Nevermind that even after all that you might just not be very good at it.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    FAPORT International, May 21st, 2009 @ 11:15pm

    hmmmm!

    Thanks for your clarification...and i am agree with Omega...

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Muazzam Mehmood, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 2:42pm

    Article Information

    The information provided in this article sounds good and I appreciate bringing that to us at free. Thanks

     

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


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