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Yet Another Study Shows File Sharers Buy More Media

from the but-they-just-want-stuff-for-free? dept

We've seen a bunch of studies like this in the past, but people keep submitting this, so figured we'd do a quick post on it. Yet another study has shown that people who are more active in unauthorized file sharing, also tend to spend more on authorized entertainment purchases. Now, to be fair, the study was paid for by a file sharing provider -- so, take it with a rather large grain of salt. But similar studies have been done in the past as well, and it seems to once again call into question the rallying cry in Hollywood that people just want stuff for free.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2009 @ 8:02pm

    Oddly, almost every criminal in jail innocent too.

     

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  2.  
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    Mike C. (profile), Aug 28th, 2009 @ 8:25pm

    Re:

    Even more unusual, every RIAA executive is just in this to help the musician....

    :-)

     

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  3.  
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    yourrealname (profile), Aug 28th, 2009 @ 8:59pm

    Free

    Paying for music and movies only encourages the major record labels and movie studios. Art shouldn't be only for those who can afford it, and if nobody could make a living making movies or music, I suppose we'd find who the true artists are. Artists don't create to make money, artists create because they can.

     

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  4.  
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    Bill, Aug 28th, 2009 @ 9:03pm

    This is a great blog but I wish you guys would take a course in English grammar. You seem to have no idea how to use commas or properly construct a sentence.

     

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  5.  
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    some old guy, Aug 28th, 2009 @ 9:12pm

    Re:

    how is that relevant?

     

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  6.  
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    MikeP (profile), Aug 28th, 2009 @ 9:25pm

    being a grammar nazi is always relevant to some people.
    Not entirely sure why, i class it with similar neurosis, like compulsive masturbation. They're both unattractive, but can be amusing.

     

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  7.  
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    Doctor Strange, Aug 28th, 2009 @ 10:09pm

    Wow, could that article be any more content-free?

    There's a marginally better article on the study here with a PowerPoint containing limited results from the study here.

    Unfortunately, aside from a few bullets labeled "methodology," there's little way to determine how much of the study results we're seeing. It's a little surprising that, in this study, there was only one category in which the average Vuze user did not "beat out" the average Internet user.

    The headings of the PowerPoint also make it clear that the results will be used to "sell" Vuze's userbase to somebody...venture capitalists, big content companies, who knows?

    The study draws its results entirely through self-reported survey answers. They have some demographic data up front that indicates that Vuze users are "Single, Male, Fully Employed, With No Children." It's unclear whether the sample of Vuze users vs. the sample of Internet users for the remainder of the questions skewed the same way (although it seems likely that it did).

    The idea that these studies somehow exonerate P2P infringers is sort of funny, because if they do that at all, they do it only indirectly. What they clearly say is that someone who is very interested in movies and music is going to consume more of it - through legal and illegal channels - than someone who isn't interested in them at all. This demographic is going to find ways to satiate its demand for content, either by paying for it or not.

    Before it was trivially easy to download massive amounts of infringing content, did these sorts of people consume more or less media than they do now? Do people who are equally interested in media and technology, but who don't infringe, buy more or less than these people?

    The most interesting question, of course, is: if these people can and do get media for free, why do they buy it at all? This is a study I'd love to see. Apparently, although it is likely diminishing, they have an "RtB" - what is it?

    I know that everyone in the Techdirt community who pirates music and movies only uses piracy for evaluation, and they dutifully go out and buy the official media for anything they like (or, in the alternative, they send the artist a check for the full amount directly). However, even if I were on a peculiar cocktail of meds that caused me to believe that everyone who said this was not utterly full of shit, I would still have a hard time believing this phenomena spreads far outside the community.

    I imagine the real reasons are somewhat more practical: it's still hard to make exact copies of a DVD to play in the DVD player that's conveniently hooked up to your living-room TV, mostly due to technical limitations and, yes, DRM. Piracy and pirate networks are still illegitimate, and they lack the "polish" of an interface like iTunes or the Amazon MP3 store. Rips from those networks aren't always done correctly or consistently, the metadata is wrong and hard to fix, and so on. Were piracy not illegal, it would be relatively easy and profitable for anyone to duplicate the "iTunes experience" without actually charging for the songs. (Note that when I say "profitable" here, I mean a model in which you only pay for bandwidth and the cost to develop the "store" application and support it with advertising, but not where you would have to subsidize the creation of the actual music).

    The study uses theatergoing as one of its metrics. Theatergoing is a confounding metric because it's difficult to figure out what that means in the copyright debate. People do go to the theater for the "theatergoing experience," but in the absence of copyright, what sane theater operator would pay the moviemakers a cent? Or perhaps we expect that the moviemakers would be paying the theaters for all the free advertising for...something.

    I imagine nontechnical reasons keep people buying as well. People have a moral idea that infringing is wrong, for example, or, yes, that they fear getting caught. I would also speculate that gift-giving is probably also a big driver of media purchases: getting someone a burned DVD with "PROPERTY OF WARNER BROS. STUDIOS" across the movie on the bottom for their birthday is probably not a way to impress them.

    Since these folks are obviously still paying for content even though they can get it for free (though perhaps not as much as they would be if they couldn't), there must be an RtB. Since we know that the content providers are Big and Evil, it can't be a particularly innovative RtB. So it must be that, to an extent, copyright (backed by a little DRM, fear and guilt) does provide that RtB, and that the oldest RtB--to get the right to access the content--isn't quite dead yet.

    For all those that believe that copyright and DRM don't work and don't provide a RtB (or, in the alternative, provide a RntB--a reason not to buy) why are all these pirates paying for content?

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2009 @ 10:35pm

    No one ever said buying to get the right to access the content was dead. We just want more for our money, and less DRM. Actually, I want a lot more for my money and no DRM, but that's just me.

     

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  9.  
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    Mr Big Content, Aug 29th, 2009 @ 12:19am

    Is There No End To The Conspiracy?

    All these so-called evidence-based studies showing the benefits of file-sharing come from the same place as the “proof” that the Moon landings really took place.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2009 @ 12:50am

    Re: Is There No End To The Conspiracy?

    Nasa?

     

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  11.  
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    Cixelsid (profile), Aug 29th, 2009 @ 2:32am

    Re:

    I imagine the real reasons are somewhat more practical: it's still hard to make exact copies of a DVD to play in the DVD player that's conveniently hooked up to your living-room TV, mostly due to technical limitations and, yes, DRM. Piracy and pirate networks are still illegitimate, and they lack the "polish" of an interface like iTunes or the Amazon MP3 store. Rips from those networks aren't always done correctly or consistently, the metadata is wrong and hard to fix, and so on. Were piracy not illegal, it would be relatively easy and profitable for anyone to duplicate the "iTunes experience" without actually charging for the songs. (Note that when I say "profitable" here, I mean a model in which you only pay for bandwidth and the cost to develop the "store" application and support it with advertising, but not where you would have to subsidize the creation of the actual music).

    You're joking right? "Its hard to make exact copies of a DVD"? Where are you from? The 1990's? Pirate network sites lack the "polish" of commercial sites? Have you actually ever visited any "Pirate network" sites, as you call it? You seem to have absolutely no clue about the reality of the matter. Here, let me provide you with a simple case study:

    (1) A movie comes out which you really want to see but cannot because you live in a country where all films are dubbed to the local language (which takes a few months before they are released to cinema). If you want to watch it in English, you have to wait for the DVD or BD (BluRay Disc).

    (2) A news site such as Zerosec or RLSLog publishes information regarding a BDRip of said film, long before the BD will ever reach your country.

    (3) You retrieve a torrent of said BDRip via any number of convenient torrent search engines. Google works just as well.

    (4) You download the content using a client on your NAS. Which, with your 32Mbit connection takes only a few hours.

    (5) You watch the content, streamed from your NAS, at full HD and DTS encoded sound on your HTPC which is connected to your 50" LCD and 7 speaker surround system.

    (6) A few months later you get an email from Amazon, in it the film you downloaded months ago has been released in BD in your country.

    (7) You decide to purchase it because you found the film rather entertaining and you would like the director, cast and crew to continue making those movies.

    (8) Two days later your BD arrives in the mail.

    (9) You decide to watch it on your Blu Ray player because you'd forgotten the film a bit and besides, afterwards you could watch some of the extras included the BD.

    (10) The BD doesn't play because your player needs an update. You tell you wife to put the popcorn in the oven because the player needs to connect to the internet for a bit.

    (11) You wait a few minutes while your player updates. But after a waiting for 15 mins you decide, fuck it, you'll just play the rip from the NAS, at least that version was encoded without the black bars at the top and bottom.

    Feel free to subsititude the terms "movie" and "film" in the above case study with "Console or PC Game" or "TV Show" or "Music".

    See my friend, the reality is exactly the opposite, if the commercial offerings were even close to the convenience of the pirate offerings they'd be making money hand over fist.

    The few successful commercial sites, such as iTunes, are as successful as they are because they provide the offerings of the "pirate network" sites (rapid access and convenience) at reasonable prices.

    If anything commercial sites should be more like the pirate network sites, and not the other way around.

     

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  12.  
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    Doctor Strange, Aug 29th, 2009 @ 3:49am

    Re: Re:

    Wow, this puts it all in perspective. I mean, before reading your page-long, likely fictional anecdote, I was skeptical that all the buying that's still going on is coming from the "noble pirates" out there. You know - the guys who buy content (even if they will never actually view the copy they bought) because they're such nice folks! I thought there might be some alternative explanations, but I guess I was wrong.

    But now I have the proof I need!

    Hold on, I have to print this out and jump on a plane to Washington. With this kind of evidence, I think Congress will finally be convinced that those pesky copyright laws aren't necessary and can be repealed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2009 @ 5:52am

    Here's the problem with all of this:

    People who spend a huge amount of time and effort to collect and listen / watch music and movies are the "super fans". Now, superfans are those people at the top of the scale (call it 20%) that enjoy movies way more than most of us, have the high end electronics, actually know how to use it, etc. They have the big Ipod, the big stereo in the car, etc.

    These people should be spending a ton of money on content. The top 20% should be spending significantly more than the next 20%, and should be well beyond the average.

    These are the same sorts of people (but not the same people) who will pay $500 for a concert ticket or $75 for a "scarce" t-shirt. These are the top fans.

    Yet, when a study was done in Canada (which was on techdirt), they didn't buy significantly more, and in fact,considering they are the "top fans" they obviously were not spending like they should.

    The Vuse study had similar numbers - the downloaders spent more than average internet user, 34%, but that number is signficantly tilted by internet users who don't buy anything. True "top fans" should be in a class of their own, perhaps something like double or even triple the average.

    In the Canadian study, if you removed all the file traders from the game and replaced them with just average internet users, the effects were negligible. In a 10,000 seat arena for a concert, it represented about 400 seats sold. A band able to sell 9600 seats without the downloaders should be able to find 400 more takers without having to give stuff away.

    All of these studies come down to the same thing: people who are heavy downloaders are the "top fans", but they buy at rates not that much better than an average person, even taking into account total non-buyers. In the Vuse study, if you remove the "non-buyers" and concentrate only on people who actually purchase music or movies, the downloaders were not that significantly higher than the average, maybe only 10%. That is a really quite different.

     

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  14.  
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    ..., Aug 29th, 2009 @ 6:03am

    Re:

    Sarcasm aside, there is some truth to your statement.

    A large percentage of poor people are convinced by the prosecutor that they will be convicted and should therefore take he plea bargain, even though they are innocent.

     

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  15.  
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    Adam Wasserman (profile), Aug 29th, 2009 @ 6:06am

    Re:

    Inappropriately attaching the label Nazi is always relevant to some people.

    Not entirely sure why, I class it with similar examples of bad taste, like compulsive overuse of popular movie catchphrases. They're both unattractive.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2009 @ 6:07am

    Re: Is There No End To The Conspiracy?

    Oh no, not a mooner

     

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  17.  
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    Jan Hopmans (profile), Aug 29th, 2009 @ 7:19am

    Re:

    True "top fans" should be in a class of their own, perhaps something like double or even triple the average.

    Why?

     

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  18.  
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    ChrisB (profile), Aug 29th, 2009 @ 8:09am

    Re:

    I think regardless of file-sharing or not, people have a budget for entertainment. Before Pirate Bay, people spent $X on movies, DVDs, video games, concerts, etc. and after PB, they spend about the same, it just goes to different places. They may spend the same amount, but now they buy a few new blu-ray discs rather than a bunch of used DVDs.

    If they succeed in stopping all filesharing, people will just go back to spending the same on other things. Do media companies really expect that if they stop filesharing, their sales will shoot up. We're in a recession, dummies!

     

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  19.  
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    Richard, Aug 29th, 2009 @ 9:33am

    Re: Re:

    Yes I always wondered where the "lost" revenue from filesharing was supposed to come from...thin air?

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2009 @ 9:47am

    "Paying for music and movies only encourages the major record labels and movie studios."
    -----------------

    ...to make more music and movies.

    LOL

    "Art shouldn't be only for those who can afford it"
    ------------------

    Collectivist tripe.

    The newest movies and music are LUXURIES. You are not entitled to them for free out of some whimsical notion that everything belongs to everybody.

    "and if nobody could make a living making movies or music, I suppose we'd find who the true artists are."
    --------------------

    And who are these mythical TRUE artists? The finest, most lauded artists throughout history SOLD their art.

    "Artists don't create to make money, artists create because they can."
    --------------------

    Which orifice did you pull these ideas from? Why can't artists create for its own sake AND to make money? What are you basing all of this on? Obviously, it isn't history, or logic. I would guess it's simply a mommy-fostered sense of coddled entitlement. Speaking of mommy, isn't it time you banged on the wall and screamed for some more cookies and breast milk?

    Get to it, kiddo.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2009 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Re:

    THEM STEALERS ARE DESTROYING WASHINGTON POLITICS!!!

     

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  22.  
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    bigpicture, Aug 29th, 2009 @ 10:35am

    Re: Perception?

    "Oddly" perception is in the eye of the beholder. When the RIAA and recording companies manipulate the rights away from the ARTISTS who create the music for pennies on the dollar, just to gain monopolistic and exclusive legal rights, that is not theft?

    Or is it a "rose by any other name"? But the play is still a tragedy which will come to an end.

     

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  23.  
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    bigpicture, Aug 29th, 2009 @ 11:05am

    Re: Character?

    There is no need for the character assignation. That is just intellectual ego that is a reflection of your own nature.

    Creation of Art (of any kind) is and always has been distinctly separate from finances. A lot of the great artists, whose creations are enduring and fetch high prices today, actually lived in poverty.

    There has been quite an amount of literature on this subject but I suspect that it has something to do with Maslow's Theory as it relates to the items and to the order that money is spent. Teenagers notwithstanding.

     

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  24.  
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    Jon B. (profile), Aug 29th, 2009 @ 1:46pm

    Re:

    "Collectivist tripe"

    Um, no. Pointing out the futility of "scarcifying" infinite goods is not collectivism. If you could copy food or cars infinitely at no marginal cost, then it's not "collectivism" to say that we should get to copying. Why is art different? You may well be able to argue that art is different, but at least that's where your premise should start if you're going to make such a case.

    "The finest, most lauded artists throughout history SOLD their art"

    No, the finest, most lauded artists throughout history performed their work on commission, or worked full time as directors. This is something you learn in a basic art or music history class. They did *not* make their money by selling copies of easily-copyable bits. In fact, the statement holds true that many artists work not for the money at all. Many of the "most lauded artists throughout history" died poor and were barely acknowledged in their lifetime, but yet they still kept creating art. You may see that as a shame, but you can't just rewrite history by making statements that "most lauded artists throughout history SOLD their art"... it's just not true.

    Get to your history books, kiddo.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2009 @ 2:52pm

    Re:

    Unfortunately America is one of the few nations that makes laws that put so many people in jail for non - violent crimes.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2009 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Is There No End To The Conspiracy?

    Wow, Nasa must be doing a lot of research on file sharing. Uhm... Maybe it's because they want to setup an intergalactic file sharing network among scientists.

     

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  27.  
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    you want a name well for now my name is fred., Aug 29th, 2009 @ 3:44pm

    Re: Re:

    Yet, those artists also didn't have the work seen by very many people. Do you think that everyone in the world saw all of the work of the great masters within a few days of completion? Did the great masters works get revealed in 3000 Europe at the same time? No, we do that with movies today.

    In the end, artists before the 20th century had very limited distribution they mostly did their own promotion, often giving away their work for free just to get known. The very best of them would be lucky and get a benefactor who would pay for them to have a studio and the materials they needed, effectively to do work for hire for the benefactor.

    Sort of sounds a bit like what Mike is trying to propose for "infinite" distribution, give it away, and hope to find a few rich benefactors to foot the bills. Jill Sobule did it. How quaint, we have gone back 500 years to find a business model? What's next? Kings and Castles?

     

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  28.  
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    Jon B. (profile), Aug 29th, 2009 @ 4:09pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Ok... so their distribution was limited. I don't know what that has to do with anything. The (false) point was that art won't get made if they can't sell it as the best art has always been sold. My counterpoint was that the best, most historic art did in fact get made without a pay-per-copy business model, and art continues to get made today without a pay-per-copy model. Don't know what's "quaint" about something that's worked since the dawn of art.

    It depends on the point you're trying to make. Are you saying that art won't happen or it will be harder to get rich off of it?

    As someone who cares about production and the economy, what do I care about more: the price of milk or the production of milk? If, due to economic forces, 1B gallons of milk are produced in 2008 for $1B, and then 1B gallons of milk are produced in 2009 for $500M, sure, the GDP has dropped by $500M but the amount of actual production is the same. As long as there's still a healthy milk industry, milk is still being made, why do I care if those producing it make less money? That's just economics.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2009 @ 4:23pm

    Re:

    The most interesting question, of course, is: if these people can and do get media for free, why do they buy it at all? This is a study I'd love to see. Apparently, although it is likely diminishing, they have an "RtB" - what is it?

    The "RtB" is a good product, so called "P2P infringers" would not be called that if the reasons to buy out weighed the reasons not to buy. "P2P infringers" offer a better product in some cases, for example, there is no online store with an iTunes size catalog that has CD quality and/or DVD Audio quality downloads. When people can buy what they actually want then they will buy. Artificial restrictions on content are reasons not to buy. Sure some "P2P infringers" just want stuff for free but there are more than a few that are willing to buy, willing to buy a product that is not available.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2009 @ 4:45pm

    "Um, no. Pointing out the futility of "scarcifying" infinite goods is not collectivism."
    --------------

    Uh, that is not what he was "pointing out" nor then, what I was responding to. Straw man fail.

    "No, the finest, most lauded artists throughout history performed their work on commission"
    --------------

    Yes. They worked on commission to make...ART.

    LOL

    What is your point here? That there is some big glaring distinction between paying for a painting and paying for a painting to be made? In either case, they're still PAYING FOR THE PAINTING. The point is, the most lauded artists throughout history sold or tried to sell their art. Had they instead been the mythical artists who create out of nothing but sheer altruism (as the idiot I was responding to, suggests "true artists" should) then they would have rejected any commission offers on principle and given everything away instead.

    Why do Freemunists have such a raging boner for semantic posturing?

    "They did *not* make their money by selling copies of easily-copyable bits."
    -----------------

    Who are you replying to? Who said this? Straw man fail.

    "Many of the "most lauded artists throughout history" died poor and were barely acknowledged in their lifetime, but yet they still kept creating art."
    -----------------

    ...In a desperate attempt to eek out a living BY SELLING ART (through benefactors or otherwise). Straw man fail.

    If only T-shirts had been invented earlier, right?

    LOL

    "You may see that as a shame,"
    -----------------

    I do indeed! And not just "a shame" but "a goddamn shame". This is the only relevant comment you managed to make!

    "but you can't just rewrite history by making statements that "most lauded artists throughout history SOLD their art"... it's just not true."
    -----------------

    Most artists did. Through commission. No rewriting needed.

    Try again.

     

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  31.  
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    lightning-1, Aug 29th, 2009 @ 4:54pm

    hmmm

    just listening to both sides of this argument, WOW, people do get so overworked about this, i come from a working class home, i am 19 now, and only just able to have all the new dvds, games and music i want, but it is getting ridiculous!!
    on average a new cd here will cost me £12 that is 2.5 hours work, and with a dvd £20 about 4 hours work, now we go on to games, just look at the R.R.P for the new modwern warfare 2 coming out later next month just the plain basic no extras version going to cost me £60 nearly, that is nearly 3 days wage for me, when people need to keep cars on the road, and bills paid to keep roofs over their heads, it is very hard to actually find the money for all these luxories, as if i was going to buy all the media i had i would never have the money, it is so hard to be able to do it, i would love to be able to afford it all, but all the companies, ditributors and retailers want is just to make some easy cash, and how better than to actually keep upping the price on things aye? so when you also think they are in talks of goin from £50-£70 average on the brand new blockbuster games coming out how many people will actually go out and buy the real thing as much as they'd like, and how many would just down load it?
    think about it its a loss loss situation for both sides!

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2009 @ 5:18pm

    Re:

    No one pays me money to make art yet I still make art. I do not sell my art yet I still make art. Stop calling me mythical.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2009 @ 6:21pm

    There is indeed nothing mythical about dishrag hobbyist artists who give away for free what no one wanted in the first place.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2009 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "My counterpoint was that the best, most historic art did in fact get made without a pay-per-copy business model"

    Pay per copy doesn't matter if it is a unique (only one) or multiple copies. It is the same thing. A benefactor is just someone paying for the only copy, but someone is still paying for the art.

    The pay per copy model is done to permit a relatively expensive product (say a hollywood movie) to be sold on the market at a price point that people can afford. Few of us have $100 million in our checking accounts, but most of us have $10 (or $20 for the DVD). You are trying to seperate out one type of paid art (benefactor pays) to another (group pays). There really is no difference.

    "As long as there's still a healthy milk industry, milk is still being made, why do I care if those producing it make less money?"

    The problem is that when there is a significant drop in income, what is the next stop in economics? Production adjustment. If the cost of production per unit of milk has not changed, but the income has dropped in half, you can bet there will be less product next year. It's the nature of the game.

    So in music (or movies) when you take away the income, you take away the money that would be used to make the NEXT item, so instead of 10 movies, maybe they only make 5. So less art is made, and we are all poorer for it.

    You cannot select one tiny silver of economics and ignore the repercussions of the income movement you suggest.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2009 @ 7:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "So less art is made, and we are all poorer for it."

    Less art isn't made. Art is the width and breadth of human expression. If it ain't being made in those 5 extra movies it just ends up being made elsewhere.

     

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

  36.  
    icon
    senshikaze (profile), Aug 29th, 2009 @ 7:59pm

    Re: Re:

    What I find funny is that violent crimes doesn't mean you are going to stay in longer than the dude with the pot or the white collar idiot who embezzled.
    Yay! America! Making our world safer! by releasing all the psychopaths back into the wild. Nothing like having a justice system that works!
    Isn't it great?

     

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  37.  
    icon
    senshikaze (profile), Aug 29th, 2009 @ 8:00pm

    Re: Re:

    Is it as bad as copying MikeP but not coming off as funny?

     

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

  38.  
    icon
    senshikaze (profile), Aug 29th, 2009 @ 8:01pm

    Re: Re:

    Ahhhh!!!
    Wall-O-Text!

    Wall-O-Text 1, me 0

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    spanky, Aug 29th, 2009 @ 8:07pm

    re

    I've seen about 4 independent studies now that can find little effect on industry profits from file sharing. A fifth study suggested, as i recall, losses in the range of 5-10%. Wish I could find the link.

    Seems like something very hard to measure. But the industry's standard of one loss per download is ridiculous. I stuck a landlord for about $50 in rent once, and by the time it hit the credit report, it was over $1000. Its that kinda thing.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2009 @ 8:14pm

    Re:

    "All art is quite useless." - Oscar Wilde

     

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

  41.  
    identicon
    TFP, Aug 29th, 2009 @ 9:00pm

    Movies as art!

    If P2P died tomorrow, the great British public would go back to buying their films / music, etc. from car boot sales. An activity, according to our government, that funds, drug dealers, prostitution and terrorism, Hollywood still wouldn't see any money. How could they make more money? see the market as global, not stagger their releases, then people who actually want to see it, will pay good money to go to the cinema.

    I paid to see Star Trek 13 twice at the imax, say, just under £20 sterling, the Blueray 3 disc set is £30, which I'll buy as it will have deleted scenes, loads of extras, a comic book and (exclusive to amazon.co.uk), a digital copy which will let you watch it on different media.

    Compare to 'Day the Earth stood still', a simple film to remake, hard to screwup - yet the reviews tore it a new one and, yes, I downloaded it, to see for myself how they could ruin such a simple anti war film. I deleted it after viewing.

    Neither of those films could I class as art (or even approaching Hitchcocks style of film making), ST was a lens flare a gogo with mindless action scenes, splosions, spaceship porn, and a storyline you could drive the Enterprise thru, whilst DtEss was utterly miscast, stupid human motivations, retarded alien motivation (oh okay, your non blood related son nearly died and you showed sadness - so I guess you guys can keep raping the planet even tho your governments, clearly faced with a superior alien force, showed utter xenophobia and will clearly go onto a war footing the instant I leave to cause interstellar war against us - oh, and ecologically speaking, if you do go too far, the planet itself will self regulate, probably destroying 90% of the human race before going back to a paradise, so I guess this whole mission has been pretty pointless as the alien race that took my DNA 50 years ago could probably have worked all this out - and I'm still trying to work out why the other alien was there in McDonalds...)

    Completely forgotten my point. God, that film bugged me!

     

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  42.  
    icon
    Jon B. (profile), Aug 29th, 2009 @ 10:00pm

    Re:

    Ok... so you agree that historically, artists worked on salary or commission, and even the ones that didn't continue to make money continued to make art. These things have nothing to do with copyright or copyright infringement, so what was the point of your first post again? I mean, you agree that artists were historically paid to create art and not paid for individual copies (unless they did the copying by hand) and not paid for each individual view/consumption of the art. Did you actually have a point?

     

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  43.  
    icon
    Jon B. (profile), Aug 29th, 2009 @ 10:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "The problem is that when there is a significant drop in income, what is the next stop in economics?... you can bet there will be less product next year. It's the nature of the game.

    So in music (or movies) when you take away the income, ... less art is made, and we are all poorer for it."

    Yes! You found my point! Except what if the production of milk DOESN'T go down? Do you still cry for the milk farmers or just be happy that we all have milk?

    Because that's exactly what's happening with art. More art continues to be made even though the cost of production (both the original creation and the individual copies) is dropping dramatically. You astutely pointed to movies where the cost of original creation is huge (as opposed to movies and books where one can create that for damned near free at home). However, even the cost of movies is decreasing. Movies that rival big-budget movies are released every year with very small budgets. The costs are decreasing. Even then, the benefactors (we call them producers) have plenty of ways to make back their investments outside of $20 DVD sales. I don't think any of us (including Mike) have all the answers to exactly how that will happen, but it is out there happening, even with filmmakers, as long as there's a reason to buy. The only point I'm adding to that is that even if the pot of gold shrinks, the production can still continue or increase. Plenty of economic shifts have happened historically where there's less money to be made on a particular product yet more product is out there.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Paul`, Aug 30th, 2009 @ 1:53am

    Re:

    And who are these mythical TRUE artists? The finest, most lauded artists throughout history SOLD their art.

    Actually, Van Gough, for one example sold one painting while he was alive and used the proceeds to buy a wheel of cheese.

    The majority of true artists, those who do it for the love of the art and not to cash in(So not people like Brittany Spears, manufactured American idol contestants and your average corporate boy band like the Johnas Brothers) would rather be heard then paid.

     

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  45.  
    icon
    Cixelsid (profile), Aug 30th, 2009 @ 2:25am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Sarcasm is the escape for those with no counter arguments. I'll just chalk this one up for the good guys, shall I?

     

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

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2009 @ 5:27am

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

    "Yes! You found my point! Except what if the production of milk DOESN'T go down? Do you still cry for the milk farmers or just be happy that we all have milk?"

    Short term, production of Milk doesn't go down, but in the long run, it does. Supply and demand are natural checks and balances in the whole game. The farmer knows how much they need to make, and if they can't afford to support their current herd, they will shrink the herd a bit. Each producer does the same over time, and finally supply meets demand (and the price of Milk tends to go back up afterwards).

    So example, in the movie industry, if the income drops, then the production in the next cycle gets smaller.

    Now, some would point to the increase in indy movies and "no budget" productions as maintaining the level of production, but like the milk concept, it would be like putting a couple of buckets of water in with the milk and saying you have the same thing. The chinese were doing that, and in the end, plenty of people got sick and some children died as a result of trying to fake how much milk they had.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    AVERAGE PERSON, Aug 30th, 2009 @ 5:44am

    HOW ABOUT TiBYBi

    some of the software we have used in the past could cost thousands of dollars. So we have found ways to, "Try it Before You Buy it." If the software did what we needed it to we bought it, if it did not we deleted it saving us hundreds of thousands of dollars in failed to perform product. on the more personal side i really wish as a gamer that game software was the same i cant tell you how much i have spent on a game only to hate it in the long run. on both aspects if i like it i buy if thus not supporting software that does not deserve my support and supporting those that do same with music movies ect if it is worth if ill buy it if not then its gone this saves me money and allowes to to buy all the stuff i do like

     

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

  48.  
    icon
    WammerJammer (profile), Aug 30th, 2009 @ 7:48am

    Yet Another Study Shows File Sharers Buy More Media

    Try before you buy. I am Soooo sick of getting ripped off by cheap Chinese goods and Albums that only have one good song.
    I go to the movies and pay the exorbitant fees. I buy records that I like and have heard the whole thing. If it's only one song that's good then I listen to the radio.
    Most new release movies available for download are inferior in quality. So if you want to watch it free while it's in the theaters then you watch blurry movies with sound that echos. How does a movie company lose on that? Many people can't afford to pay for the theater. I went to see District 9 and it was 9 bucks just to get in. I had to sneak in the snacks because they sucked up my cash just paying for the seat. So they screw themselves.
    I spent years writing software for money and it's easy to sit and dream of the money you lost because of illegal downloads. But the truth is: Unless you have an exceptional product that everyone wants. Most people uninstall as much as they install. I only lost if someone got value from it and didn't pay me.
    Under the current copyright laws everyone breaks the law. If you hum a tune you are performing it. If you sing songs around a campfire you are performing them. If you sing a song at Karaoke and didn't pay royalties, you are breaking the law!!!!
    If you make a copy of anything you break the law, when it used to be you were allowed to make an archival copy in case your original broke. But now companies even try to stop you from doing that with copy protection schemes.
    When will our governments start protecting the people by passing laws against these predators (Record and Movie companies in particular, with software bullies thrown in) and protect the people of this world from them?
    The copyright thing has gotten totally out of control where everyone is either a spy or a lawbreaker.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    cracksquirrel, Aug 30th, 2009 @ 10:30am

    Re: Free

    I like music and appreciate it just like the next guy. I tend to shy away from pop and anything that smells of sell out. But dont be so extreme about it, everyone needs to put food on the table, and artists cant go around giving away everything for free. At some point they need you to pay them, because shit, its kinda obvious, without food and a roof over their heads they wont be getting their art out to anyone.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Richard, Aug 30th, 2009 @ 11:33am

    Re: Re: Free

    OK here's how it works..
    These filesharers have an entertainment budget (=income-living expenses)
    If they spend it on recorded music typically 2-15% goes to the artist. Sites that use cc licenses will give more - maybe up to 50% (eg Magnatune).

    If they get their recorded music by filesharing then they will probably spend most of what they save on live concerts - typical doorsplit deals give the artist 70-80% so the musician is better off than if they boought the recordings instead.

    OK the Musician now has to play a bit more for their money but I would be suspicious of any musician who objewcted to this.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2009 @ 12:52pm

    Funny, but I have never really looked at personal electronics (HDTV, Home Theater, Blu-Ray Players, etc.) as entertainment media. I guess what this means is that if one saves money by using P2P for freebies, they will have more discretionary income to buy electronic toys.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Richard, Aug 30th, 2009 @ 2:05pm

    Re:

    So Sony music's loss is Sony Electronics' gain...

     

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

  53.  
    identicon
    Doctor Strange, Aug 30th, 2009 @ 2:12pm

    I'm just glad that the best music comes from musicians who can sell the most electronics.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2009 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Free

    70-80% of the "doorsplit" goes to the artist, less their management fees, less the cost of transport, less their incidental expenses, yadda, yadda... and boom, they have not all that much money.

    Remember too: 15% of a big number is still more than 80% of a small number.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Richard, Aug 30th, 2009 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Free

    "
    Remember too: 15% of a big number is still more than 80% of a small number"

    If you bother to pay attention you'll see that point I was making was that the number is basically the same number - because the money that would have been spent on recorded music is now spent on live music. (if not then where else would it go?)

    Net result transfer of money from record company to musician.

    Of course the record company doesn't like that.

    Also remember that 15% is the top end - many musicians have got no more than 2%.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    ..., Aug 30th, 2009 @ 3:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    " before reading your page-long ... "

    Pot, meet kettle

     

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

  57.  
    identicon
    Evan, Aug 31st, 2009 @ 2:19am

    Re: Free

    I highly doubt that every artist would agree with you on that sentiment. Some artists create to make money, and that's that.

     

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

  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2009 @ 2:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Free

    "70-80% of the "doorsplit" goes to the artist, less their management fees, less the cost of transport, less their incidental expenses, yadda, yadda... and boom, they have not all that much money."

    And exactly the same sort of equation applies to the recorded music.

    Fact is that since filesharing came along live music has boomed and ticket prices have gone through the roof.

    Ticket touting used to be a sports event phenomenon - now it happens with music events in a big way

    Touring used to be a loss making exercise to promote the album. Now the situation has reversed.

    There is an underlying fact here that the copyright lobby is ignoring.

    Whatever you do with DRM or "re-education" it cannot change the fact that the public knows that the cost of producing copies is trivial - that became clear when CD's first appeared as giveaways on breakfast cereal packets.

    This fact on its own has turned the public off recorded music - but has diverted interest towards live music - where the value is still obvious.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    telephone engineer london, Aug 31st, 2009 @ 3:25am

    I think piracy should be dealt first.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Richard, Aug 31st, 2009 @ 3:46am

    Re:

    "I think piracy should be dealt first."

    I presume you mean dealt with - but you will wait a long time for that to happen - because regardless of whether you think it should be done - it can't be done - that's the point.

     

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

  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2009 @ 4:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free

    "Value" is realtive, obviously you wouldn't be going to see the artist if you hadn't heard the music, thus value is in the recorded music.

    In the end, ticket prices are higher than ever (to cover for the lost sales) and more of these "360" deals means that the record labels are getting their hands on the door too.

    I assume you don't do any Live Nation shows because they tend to get part of the door, right?

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Richard, Aug 31st, 2009 @ 5:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free

    "ticket prices are higher than ever (to cover for the lost sales) "

    You can't push up ticket prices to cover lost sales - you push up ticket prices because there is demand and people are prepared to pay.

     

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

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2009 @ 5:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "...before reading your page-long, likely fictional anecdote..."

    Good call... you're right to dismiss overly-long posts as self-serving diatribes.

    All except your own, of course.

     

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

  64.  
    identicon
    Richard, Aug 31st, 2009 @ 5:45am

    Record Labels

    "more of these "360" deals means that the record labels are getting their hands on the door"

    So you have correctly identified the true villains in this piece!

     

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

  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2009 @ 6:13am

    Re: Re:

    Bill the grammar nazi post - funny
    MikeP the compulsive masturbater post - funny
    Adam Wasserman the buzzkill - not funny, go kill yourself.

     

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

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2009 @ 8:03am

    As a person who downloads lots of music, I can verify that at least for myself, I DO buy more music than most people I know. I just use downloading as a way to see if the whole album is actually worth forking over the cash. If it's a good album, I'm more than happy to support the artist.

     

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

  67.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Aug 31st, 2009 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: Free

    One could argue that those people are not actually artists.

     

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

  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2009 @ 2:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free

    Incorrect. The demand is somewhat artificial in the case, because the amount of demand far exceeds the ability to delivery. A band can only do 250 concerts a year, each one seats no more than 20,000, so in a year, there are only 5,000,000 available seats period. In any city, there is typically only 20,000 seats for the whole year for that band (1 visit a year, these days more like 1 visit every 4 or 5 years). It's a scarcity that ends up driving up the price, because they only need a small percentage of fans to pay the price. So demand might say "$50 tickets" but 10% of the 200,000 fans in a city are able to pay $500. So tickets are $500.

    Selling the scarcity means higher prices for those scarcities, which appears to be a major downfall. Instead of selling 200,000 CD in an area, you sell none, but then you have to make that money back up somehow. Ding! Expensive concert tickets and other artificial scarcities (tour t-shirts) that people will overpay for. The fans that can afford the high end stuff. For the average fan, it's more downloading online and wishing they could have scraped together $500 for a ticket.

    This is the downside of the "FREE!" revolution, to maintain the same economic output, every free product has to be offset with a higher price somewhere else, or the whole system is falling behind.

     

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

  69.  
    icon
    Adam Wasserman (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 6:51am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Finally got around to reading your comment - not funny
    Killed myself as per your suggestion - not funny either

     

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

  70.  
    identicon
    Jonas, Feb 27th, 2010 @ 9:22am

    Selling the Enzyte scarcity means higher prices for those scarcities, which appears to be a major downfall. Instead of selling 200,000 CD in an area.

     

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

  71.  
    identicon
    Darryl, Dec 20th, 2010 @ 12:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Free

    and what do you do to work for ??

    Just for the love of it ? so, you would happily go to work every day, and not ever be paid for that work ? why, because that is what you do right.

    And if you expected pay for it, then you are really not what you claim to be !!!.

    No artists, and musicians do not need money, food, a house, insurance, medical care, equipment, training, clothes..

    They just do it for the LOVE of it, and just may be someone will put a few coins in their can, as they rattle it, begging after the concert..

    And trying to thumb a ride to the next gig..

    you guys live in a dream world... WAKE UP !!!!..

     

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


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