Music Publishers Keep Lashing Out At Consumer Groups; Those Who Respect Individuals' Rights

from the you're-not-doing-yourselves-any-favors dept

It appears that music songwriters and publishers don't yet recognize that going on the attack against groups representing public interests and consumers' rights is a strategy destined to backfire. They just keep doing it, and it's really making them look both petty and petulant, with no desire to actually understand these issues. Instead, they just think the world owes them their business model, and anyone looking out for larger interests is, quite literally, "the enemy." We've already covered ASCAP's (long planned) attack on Creative Commons, EFF and Public Knowledge. These attacks are so distasteful that even many ASCAP supporters are upset about them.

Now, it appears that the National Association of Music Publishers is getting in on the misplaced anger. In a recent speech, its CEO, David Israelite lashed out at these groups, and lumped CEA and CCIA into the bunch. CEA and CCIA, of course, have both been pretty strong supporters of making sure that copyright law is not harming innovation or the economy. These are important issues if you believe that a stronger economy is important for everyone -- including musicians and songwriters -- but it appears that Israelite and the NAMP take a very narrow, zero-sum view of the world, which is that, if the gov't isn't handing over greater and greater protectionist policies, something's wrong -- and anyone who supports looking at the actual evidence should be shouted down as an enemy. It's not a position that can be supported by logic, so it's pure emotion:
But there is a growing enemy that does not have respect for copyright at all. And this is a very different enemy.

When the U.S. Government Accountability Office released a study in April on the economic impact of intellectual property piracy, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, the Consumer Electronics Assn. and the Computer and Communications Industry Assn. took out a full-page ad in newspapers around Washington, D.C. "Content industry piracy claims are bogus," the ad read. "For years, claims of huge losses from digital piracy have been used to justify harsh restrictions on innovators and consumers . . . They have harmed our competitiveness, hampered legitimate businesses and impeded innovation."

Who are these four groups and why would they take out full-page ads to suggest the ridiculous--that theft of intellectual property isn't really bad? The answer is, this is the new face of our enemy.
Yup. They call these groups "enemies" twice. Very subtle there. What's really glaring, however, is that Israelite doesn't even respond to the actual study at all. I mean, you would think that the actual evidence presented by one of the few parts of the government that is widely respected for its objectivity in doing research, would be worth commenting on. Nope. He skips right over the actual evidence and blames these four groups for actually highlighting what the evidence says. And then he claims that they're "suggesting the ridiculous"? In other words, Israelite has taken such a faith-based position, that when actual evidence is presented that goes against his faith, he doesn't just shoot the messenger, he shoots anyone who repeats the message. Convincing.
These four groups have an extremist, radical anti-copyright agenda. They all have an economic interest in the theft of our music or paying little to nothing for it. [And] they are intellectually dishonest in how they approach these fights.
Radical extremists, huh? Isn't that what the Canadian politicians behind the new copyright law, James Moore, just called critics of his bill? Sounds like the talking points on anyone actually interested in consumer rights is making the rounds, and "radical extremists" is the key phrase in trying to tar and feather anyone who suggests consumers have rights.
I have put together a top 10 list of the positions taken by these groups that I will define as their extremist, radical anti-copyright agenda.
Oh, do tell. This is going to be a great list, I'm sure. Please make sure that it's in Letterman-style countdown format too...
No. 10: They support changing the law to reduce damages for copyright infringement.
That's radical extremism? Wow. Of course, when the damages for copyright infringement are so far out of line with the actual harm of copyright infringement -- such that someone sharing a single album's worth of music for non-commercial purposes can be fined $2 million -- it seems like it's actually kind of a pretty good question why the damages are so high. Even judges in these cases appear to find the damages results laughable. When the damages are entirely out of line with actual harm, it seems perfectly reasonable to suggest they be brought more in line. How is that radical or extremist?
No. 9: They support the elimination of statutory damages for secondary copyright infringement.
Again, how is it either radical or extremist to suggest that liability for breaking the law should fall on those who actually break the law, rather than some 3rd party with deeper pockets? Personally, it seems a lot more radical to blame one party just because it's easier and they have more money, rather than those who actually break the law.
No. 8: They favor rolling back copyright extension; in some cases, radically.
Again, I'm at a loss as to how this is either radical or extremist. Actual evidence (again, the stuff Israelite would apparently prefer to avoid at all costs) has shown the net loss to society and culture from copyright extension. Our original copyright law lasted for, at most, 28 years. The entire point of copyright law was supposed to enrich the public domain, but we haven't had anything enter the public domain in years, and it's unlikely we'll see much enter the public domain in our lifetime. That seems radical.
No. 7: They favor the elimination of the songwriter and publisher rights for server, cache and buffer copies.
Again, this is not at all radical. Nor is it about "eliminating" rights. It's about accurately applying the law so that ridiculous results don't emerge -- such as cases where cache or buffer copies of songs require additional royalties and licenses, when they're clearly in transit. It was about not outlawing technology based on how long the wire is (i.e., the Cablevision case, where Israelite apparently supported the blatantly ridiculous position that a DVR hosted by Cablevision is illegal, because it hosts cached versions in transit, while the DVR in your home is legal).
No. 6: They oppose efforts to obtain the identities of individuals engaged in massive copyright infringement.
Not quite. They oppose efforts that expose individuals' privacy without fair and due process. Who knew it was "radical extremism" to insist on privacy rights and due process. These groups have no problem with exposing the identities of those who break the law when there is due process involved. It's hard to believe that Israelite is really suggesting that music publishers don't believe in due process or privacy rights.
No. 5: They support extreme versions of orphan works legislation.
Misleading again. Orphan works legislation is a red herring -- only brought about because of the ridiculous overreach in copyright law that wiped out the public domain. The sort of overreach that Israelite's group supported. So now when these groups try to fix one of the massive problems that this overreach created, it's dubbed "radical extremism." Yikes.
No. 4: They have filed legal briefs supporting anti-copyright positions of Grokster, Napster, LimeWire, Cablevision, Google, YouTube and Verizon.
Misleading in the extreme. None of those lawsuits involved "anti-copyright" positions, no matter how much the entertainment industry likes to spin these cases that way. The first three -- Grokster, Napster and LimeWire -- were never "anti-copyright" positions, they were questions about third party liability. Again these are just questions about who it's fair to blame: the user or the toolmaker. The entertainment industry wants to blame the toolmakers. Common sense says you blame the actual user. Claiming that a debate over properly applying liability is an "anti-copyright" position is deliberately dishonest. The Google/YouTube case is the same story. It's a case about liability. Not anti-copyright. The Cablevision case we described above. It was about whether or not the industry could veto technology based on the length of a wire. That's not anti-copyright at all.

Finally, it's pretty shocking that he includes Verizon in this list. I'm guessing he's referring to the RIAA's fight with Verizon way back when. To suggest that Verizon is "anti-copyright" is ridiculous. That was, yet again, a case about due process -- which I guess Israelite is admitting he doesn't believe in. This Verizon case involved the question of whether or not the RIAA could just demand Verizon hand over details of Verizon customers without a court-reviewed subpoena. The issue covered basic due process, which had nothing, whatsoever, to do with copyright.

It's really stunning how blatantly Israelite is basically admitting that due process is meaningless if you interfere with "his" business model.
No. 3: They oppose graduated-response protection for copyright owners.
Yes, it's "radical extremism" to support the view held overwhelmingly by consumers that kicking people off the internet is punishment that does not come remotely close to fitting the "crime" of sharing, distributing and promoting music you love for free.

And, again, of course, most of the arguments against graduated-response efforts are due the clearly unconstitutional lack of due process involved: cutting people off the internet based on accusations rather than convictions is pretty radical and extremist. Actually fighting for due process? Not so much.
No. 2: They oppose treaties that support copyright enforcement like the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.
Heh. This one is amusing, because he conveniently ignores the serious problems with ACTA. They're not "opposed" to these treaties just for the hell of it, or because of some "radical extremist anti-copyright" position. They're opposed to it because it has all sorts of ridiculous language that will do serious harm. But, I guess for Israelite to realize that he'd have to look at the evidence, and he's less a fan of that than he is of supporting due process.
No. 1: They actually argue that illegal peer-to-peer file-sharing traffic helps the economy and doesn't hurt songwriters.
I'm actually not aware of any of those four groups actually saying that, but I will say it. What's hurting songwriters is their inability to adapt to a changing market. The songwriters who are adapting seem to be doing just fine. We write about them all the time, but Israelite won't read this blog, I'm sure, because it's filled with "evidence." Yes, if you don't adapt to market changes, it can "hurt" your business. But that's what most of us here in capitalist America think is a good thing. Otherwise we'd all be riding around in horse buggies. So, sure, automobiles "hurt" the horse buggy market. And the printing press "hurt" the monks-writing-books business. But what happened? Much greater opportunities came about as a result, and the smart horse buggy makers who jumped ship to join automobile makers did just fine. We're seeing successful songwriters adapting all the time. It's just that they're doing it without kowtowing to Israelite and NAMP.

I don't see how any of that represents "radical extremism." I see plenty of attempts to falsely demonize those who believe in due process, privacy rights, consumer rights, innovation, correctly applying liability and (*gasp*) actual factual evidence. But, that's not radical extremism. It's called reality.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    crade (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 12:02pm

    They are right. In fact, anyone actually trying looking out for people is their enemy.

     

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      Designerfx (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 12:31pm

      Re:

      so they're declaring the world their enemy?

      thats quite bold for an organization which doesn't have the resources that the entire world has.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 1:32pm

        Re: Re:

        And therein lies the problem.... They WANT all the resources that the entire world has and won't stop until they control them.

         

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    TDR, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 12:28pm

    Let's see TAM try to defend his masters this time. Cue TAM rant in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

     

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    Care, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 12:32pm

    Sharing is caring.

    The industry should go after some pirates that are "sharing" peer to peer style in the real world.

    http://neighborgoods.net/

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 12:34pm

    Guess this makes you a "radical extremist" Mike. Curse you for pointing out logic.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 12:34pm

    "We are the world
    We are the children
    We got screwed and no better days are coming..."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 12:37pm

    I'll just come right out and say it...

    Anyone who doesn't support the industry-controlled chip in their brain that monitors the optic nerve for copyright infringement is a nazi communist pedophile zombie terrorist. Plain and simple. Now let's make with the stakes and torches.

     

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    senshikaze (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 12:37pm

    so, who are these people and how can i avoid sending them any money in any way what so ever?
    What companies should I avoid to make sure this asshole gets no money from me?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 12:41pm

    Consumers and Producers are the new terrorists.

     

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    R. Miles (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 12:41pm

    Some advice.

    Mr. Israelite should take the Apple play book of how to build back a dying business: rely on piracy.

    Let's see, mp3 evolves, gets used on the internet, gets us Napster, builds mp3 player business, gets Apple ipod, iphone, and ipad and is now making more money than its former competitor.

    All thanks to piracy.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 1:13pm

      Re: Some advice.

      yes, lets blame the tool makers. Why should we all be able to listen to our music any way we like to? Things were great when we were tied to record players.

       

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        R. Miles (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 4:51pm

        Re: Re: Some advice.

        You're completely missing the point. If it wasn't for piracy, Apple wouldn't be around today.

        In other words, a business was built *around* piracy (aka, the mp3).

        Really think this format would have taken off if people weren't exchanging music?

        If it weren't for the mp3, we'd all still be listening to midi or wav files.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 5:30pm

          Re: Re: Re: Some advice.

          I will always love this anecdote I read on the internet about the RIAA and them trying to build something online back in the 90s. Who they hired showed them this neat little thing called an .mp3 and what you could do with it. The RIAA response, "What? Why would people listen to music on their computers? Computers are for work! No, in the future, music will be delivered via set-top box that will sit on your television."

           

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            R. Miles (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 6:47pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Some advice.

            Wait. Are you implying the RIAA helped develop the mp3?

            This has been the funniest thing I've ever read. Dude, get a clue. The RIAA tried to sue the mp3 out of existence.

             

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          PaulT (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 12:05am

          Re: Re: Re: Some advice.

          This might surprised you, but MP3 is not a "pirate" format - it's merely a file format that can be used for either legal or illegal uses. Just like the computer you're looking at now. Or, are you going to also attack Dell and Cisco for having businesses built on "piracy" because without it there's be less demand for their products?

          My first use for the first MP3 player I bought? Listening to rips of the 400+ legally purchased CDs I own. My current use for my iPod Touch? Listening to perfectly legal podcast, which would also likely not be around without MP3s.

           

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            Mr. Oizo, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 2:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Some advice.

            The problem is that the format was originally patented in Germany but due to 'piracy' nobody paid for the patent, so from the 'intellectual property' point of view it has been extensively pirated.

             

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 12:42pm

    I have a question...

    "No. 3: They oppose graduated-response protection for copyright owners."

    When did "3 Strikes" become "graduated-response"? I hate these stupid PR mindfuck games. Graduated response sounds pleasant. Makes me think of a cap and gown or something. 3 Strikes reminds me of the dismal result of mose of my little league baseball at bats....

    Sort of like when Shell Shock turned into PTSD. And when we turned wars into operations.

    To me, this nonsense shows more than anything else the indefensibility of their position....

     

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      senshikaze (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 1:45pm

      Re: I have a question...

      but since normal people(read: idiots) will see graduated response and think that isn't so bad so won't fuss when it becomes bill then law then everyone gets kicked off the internet.
      I think internet only companies should be fighting these 3 strikes laws tooth and nail. less people on the net means less profits.

       

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        Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 1:59pm

        Re: Re: I have a question...

        Yeah, well, let's see what people think if major news actually covers the raids that Customs and the DoHS just did on several domain names and residential properties on the east coast in Operation: In Our Sights.

        This is starting to get downright frightening....

         

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          jjmsan, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 2:15pm

          Re: Re: Re: I have a question...

          When did this happen? I haven't seen any coverage.

           

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          Hephaestus (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 7:23pm

          Re: Re: Re: I have a question...

          Its Pretty cool isnt it?

          You have desperate people doing desperate things. People who have been backed into a corner by technology, their way of life threatened. They are trying to stop a disruptive technology (the internet) any way they can, lobbying, getting a president elected via astroturfing, having an IP czar's created to protect their interests, using presidential influence to get all the people in the justice department replaced by their own, news black outs on ACTA, creating an off switch for the internet.

          Its going to be a total failure for them, they can't adapt, the plan they set up, it is in motion. They can't turn back now its the only chance they have.

          What they didn't plan for is the way the rest of the world would react. China, India, Spain, several South American countries, and eeek!! the citizens of Canada fighting draconian IP Laws. Then throw in the EFF, CC, and the rest of the "Radical Extremists" daring to fight back for their rights, and you have opposition they didnt count on.

          Basically they get it done right now, or they fail totally as businesses and organizations. They have two maybe three years to get everything they want done or its impossible. Even then, it will only delay the inevitable failure of their businesses by three to five years as people work around them.

          As I said at the beginning of this "Its Pretty Cool isnt it?"

           

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      interval (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 1:55pm

      Re: I have a question...

      ~wave hand~ "These aren't the graduated responses your looking for..."

       

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        Hephaestus (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 7:57pm

        Re: Re: I have a question...

        "~wave hand~ "These aren't the graduated responses your looking for...""

        You are right they are looking for the death penalty for infringement.

         

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          posing as RIAA, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 10:46pm

          Re: Re: Re: I have a question...

          Now that's just unfair. How would we be able to milk a dead body for money? Maybe if we can change the law so that a dead person's belongings go to us regardless of what is said in their will, in case they get accused of posthumous copyright infringement?

          And their kids will inherit the rest of the debt, of course.

           

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      posing as RIAA, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 10:40pm

      Re: I have a question...

      Dark Helmet, we're still figuring out the best name. Obviously people don't like the policy because it's name is not cool enough. If "graduated response" does not appeal to you, maybe we should use a different name.

      How about "Very Reasonable Disconnection"?

       

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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 12:44pm

    NAMP? Disturbing similarities to NAMBLA.

    Maybe NAMP is just a cover for the National Association of Mutant Pedophiles? Just a thought, but I wouldn't put it past them.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 12:56pm

    one word ....

    "I mean, you would think that the actual evidence presented by one of the few parts of the government that is widely respected for its objectivity in doing research, would be worth commenting on."

    Denial

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 12:58pm

    Yes, these groups seem to be full of crap (and attacking some seriously wrong targets).

    On the other hand, it seems like your blog has yet to provide any examples at all of non-performing songwriters succeeding using new business models (to monetize the scarcity of their time and their skill).

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 1:07pm

      Re:

      How much do you get paid?

      Does it cover dental?

       

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      senshikaze (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 1:46pm

      Re:

      why did you add the non-performing clause? are non-performing artists better than the performing artists?

       

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        Russ (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 2:19pm

        Re: Re:

        He means that unlike a performer, the song writer who only writes is dependent on his ability to sell the song repeatably. Copyright gives him the monopoly that allows him to sell the same thing over and over again.

        Although I don't understand why he should get paid for the performance instead of the sale.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 3:41pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Why not?

           

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            Bruce Ediger (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 6:44pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Why not"?

            Ha ha! The Argument from Ignorance. Very good, old bean!

            Perhaps because giving anyone a monopoly (enforced by the government) distorts whatever market exists for the songs?

            Perhaps because giving anyone copyrights that extreme has side effects that cause the rest of us harm way beyond the good given to that songwriter, and is hence non-Pareto-efficient?

             

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          Niall (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 3:17am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well, the simple argument goes like this:

          A carpenter makes a chair. He gets paid once. Fair enough?

          A designer designs a chair. He gets paid every time someone buys the 'right' his 'design'. Fair? Maybe.

          A songwriter writes a song. He gets paid every time someone PERFORMS his song. Fair? Not in the least.

          Unless you live in some land where 'creative works' have more inherent meaning than 'sweat of the brow' or so-called 'work-for'hire' - oh, and which type of contract do the rrecord companies love to try and pretend their artists should be in, ideally?

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 3:47pm

      Re:

      The most recent non songwriter example on this blog is the Kahn Academy.

      http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100628/0104039978.shtml

      and Mike has provided examples of non performing songwriters who have made money from selling music just as well. Perhaps very few non performing songwriters making a living off of only selling music but that doesn't justify monopolies.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 3:49pm

        Re: Re:

        If anything, it is a market efficiency. People can create and provide music and contribute labor to other sectors of the economy just as well instead of dedicating their entire efforts towards creating music which takes away labor that can go to other sectors of the economy. Nothing wrong with that.

         

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      JEDIDIAH, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 4:03pm

      Welfare for wannabe song writers.

      > On the other hand, it seems like your blog has yet to
      > provide any examples at all of non-performing songwriters
      > succeeding using new business models (to monetize the
      > scarcity of their time and their skill).

      Dunno about Mike.

      I don't see that as a problem really.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 4:35pm

      Re:

      Perhaps they could sell their work, like most other workers.

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 5:10pm

      Re:

      On the other hand, it seems like your blog has yet to provide any examples at all of non-performing songwriters succeeding using new business models (to monetize the scarcity of their time and their skill).

      First of all, why the limitation on "non-performing" songwriters? Does NAMP only work with non-performing songwriters?

      Second, the artificial limitation on "non-performing" songwriters feels to me like "and how do you recommend horse buggy makers who *don't* want to put engines in their buggies survive?" It's sort of a pointless question.

      Finally, there are lots of ways that non-performing songwriters can continue to sell scarcities: such as their ability to write songs. Reporters are content writers who don't sell their work with royalties attached. Why can't songwriters sell their time and their ability to create songs?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 5:14pm

        Re: Re:

        "Why can't songwriters sell their time and their ability to create songs?"

        But the fact that not everyone can become a successful songwriter without copy protection laws means we need copy protection laws. Never mind that not everyone can become a successful songwriter with these laws.

         

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          nelsoncruz (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 10:18pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          But the fact that not everyone can become a successful songwriter without copy protection laws means we need copy protection laws.

          Since when do we justify laws like that?

          If I say I cant have a successful cleaning business without a law making it illegal for people to clean their own homes, do you think that law would make sense?

           

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        Hephaestus (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 7:52pm

        Re: Re:

        "such as their ability to write songs. Reporters are content writers who don't sell their work with royalties attached. Why can't songwriters sell their time and their ability to create songs?"

        You are so wrong on that. There is software to write lyrics its been around for almost 30 years. Its gotten alot better. The music piece has and is being done better. Its becoming cut and paste.

        When anyone can do his job. This is going to be one of those times where the robot replaced worker needs to get retrained.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 10:52pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          A job that can be automated satisfactorily with low or no cost is a trivial job and once it's automated it becomes unreasonable to hire people to do so unless the client wants their products "organic".

           

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      Hephaestus (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 7:45pm

      Re:

      " it seems like your blog has yet to provide any examples at all of non-performing songwriters succeeding using new business models (to monetize the scarcity of their time and their skill)."

      Here is a business model for you that will nake that happen. It will only work for non label affiliated big name stars. There is a major backlash coming for the labels.

      So how do you make a really big artists with out spending millions on promotion like the record labels do. Apprenticeships by current, non label affiliated, big name stars. With musical contests, song writting contests, connectiong with fans, crowd sourcing and collaboration on remixing out sourced to the world, openning up the music for all non-commercial use.

       

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      Hephaestus (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 7:46pm

      Re:

      Also about your ...

      "non-performing songwriters succeeding using new business models "

      There is no way to succeed. I wrote an app to write lyrics a short while ago, it had already been done by severral other people starting in the early 80's. Today someone forwarded a link to an app that does the music for lyrics. Song writing is going cut and paste and anyone will be able to do it soon.

       

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      identicon
      non-performing songwriters, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 4:55am

      Re: non-performing songwriters

      i am a non-performing songwriter. I have been making music since 1980. From 1980 to 2000 i spent a lot of money on recording, practise rooms etc.. and was barely heard. Now i am a i am a non-performing songwriter, i give away my music and i get about 10,000 downloads a month AND i make a few quid selling on itunes etc..
      I am very happy about this.
      Its like painters. A few hundred years ago only a few people could afford paints and had the time to paint - and now millions paint and many make a small amount selling in local shops etc... A few do very well.

      Is this called democratisation? Anyway, music is going the same way - many more making music out of love for small money. I think thats a good thing.

       

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    nasch (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 1:09pm

    Finally

    I see plenty of attempts to falsely demonize those who believe in due process, privacy rights, consumer rights, innovation, correctly applying liability and (*gasp*) actual factual evidence. But, that's not radical extremism. It's called reality.

    Finally in the last sentence you get to the core of what this guy really opposes: reality.

     

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    Jay (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 1:18pm

    Best advice

    I swear...

    The big companies of America need just one thing to really stay solvent and flexible in this country and abroad:

    A team of economists. Someone who looks at a course of action and can tell the CEO and board that hey, maybe something isn't a good idea.

    The problem quickly becomes that everyone has a lawyer but no one employs economists and then they can't look to what their course of action will cause them in grief, only sue and hope to cover the (invisible) damages that their actions reap.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 1:18pm

    RED vs Blue - Revelation - Chapter Ten - This One Goes to Eleven.:

    "What do you have against my balls?"

     

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    Karl (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 1:55pm

    CC

    Well, at least he's not lumping Creative Commons in with them, since CC has (as far as I know) not advocated any of those things. Though they probably should.

    Personally, I think that if you don't agree with the EFF et. al. regarding at least one of the Top 10, then you're the one that is a radical extremist.

    Number 1 might be debatable (though I won't debate it), but the rest are just commmon sense. For example, I know of not a single musician that would get upset if people shared their out of print albums (aka "orphaned works"). To believe this is a "radical" position is just ridiculous.

     

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      Karl (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 2:16pm

      Even worse

      Also, Mike, you didn't even address one of the most wrong-headed things he said:

      They all have an economic interest in the theft of our music or paying little to nothing for it. [And] they are intellectually dishonest in how they approach these fights.

      What I mean when I say that they are intellectually dishonest is these companies make money off our copyrights. But instead of just coming out and saying that, they try to disguise themselves as something different.


      Seriously? He believes the EFF and Public Knowledge actually make money off the "theft" of music? Both are donor-funded non-profit organizations, and neither one has any economic interest in music. By what possible stretch of the imagination are they making money off of NAMP's copyrights?

      It shows a horrible mindset: Anyone who doesn't agree 100% with Israelite is only a thief.

       

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    Russ (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 2:14pm

    "They oppose efforts that expose individuals' privacy without fair and due process. Who knew it was "radical extremism" to insist on privacy rights and due process." Actually individual rights and due process have ALWAYS been radical extremism in all societies. The founding fathers were considered radical and extremists for expounding those principles in the Declaration of Independence (something that Israelite should read this weekend) The fact that over two hundred years has passed since then doesn't mean that the ideas aren't still radical and extreme.

     

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    Russ (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 2:20pm

    Looks like a very good list of things that needs to be fixed in Copyright law.

     

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    MPK, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 2:47pm

    Another Version

    OK, here's a list outlining why the *music publishers* are "radical extremists", as adapted from Mike's post...
    No. 10: They support changing the law to increase damages for copyright infringement.
    Talk about "radical extremism". Today someone sharing a single album's worth of music for non-commercial purposes can be fined $2 million -- that seems way too high already. Even judges in these cases appear to find the damages results laughable. When the damages are entirely out of line with actual harm, is it reasonable or "radical extremism" to suggest they be further increased?
    No. 9: They support the expansion of liability for copyright infringement to second, third and further parties.
    Again, is it reasonable or "radical extremism" to suggest that liability for breaking the law should fall on one party just because it's easier and they have more money, rather than those who actually break the law?
    No. 8: They favor copyright extension; in some cases, radically, as in "forever minus a day".
    Is construing "a limited time" to mean "forever minus a day" reasonable or "radical extremism"?
    No. 7: They favor the extension of songwriter and publisher rights for server, cache, buffer and other transient copies.
    Again, this is radical. It is not about "protecting" rights. It's about exploiting applying the law so that ridiculous results emerge -- such as cases where cache or buffer copies of songs require additional royalties and licenses, when they're clearly in transit. In some cases they even support outlawing technology based on how long the wire is (i.e., the Cablevision case, where Israelite apparently supported the blatantly ridiculous position that a DVR hosted by Cablevision is illegal, because it hosts cached versions in transit, while the DVR in your home is legal).
    No. 6: They support efforts that expose individuals' privacy without fair and due process.
    Is it reasonable or "radical extremism" to insist on elimination of privacy rights and due process?
    No. 5: They oppose orphan works legislation.
    They oppose reforming the ridiculous overreach in copyright law that wiped out the public domain. The sort of overreach that they supported. So now they oppose fixing one of the massive problems that this overreach created. Reasonable or "radical extremism"?
    No. 4: They have represented the positions of Grokster, Napster, LimeWire, Cablevision, Google, YouTube and Verizon as being "anti-copyright".
    Misleading in the extreme. None of those lawsuits involved "anti-copyright" positions, no matter how much the entertainment industry likes to spin these cases that way. Again these are just questions about who it's fair to blame: the user or the toolmaker. The entertainment industry wants to blame the toolmakers. Common sense says you blame the actual user. Claiming that a debate over properly applying liability is an "anti-copyright" position is deliberately dishonest. Blatantly misrepresenting lawsuits: Reasonable or "radical extremism"?
    No. 3: They support kicking people off the Internet based on accusations rather than convictions
    Is it reasonable or "radical extremism" to believe that kicking people off the Internet based on accusations rather than convictions as punishment comes remotely close to fitting the "crime" of sharing, distributing and promoting music you love for free. Never mind that most of these proposals would be clearly unconstitutional due to the lack of due process involved. Reasonable or "radical extremism"?
    No. 2: They support treaties that support copyright enforcement like the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.
    They conveniently ignore and deny the serious problems with ACTA and its ridiculous language that will do serious harm, especially to due process. Reasonable or "radical extremism"?
    No. 1: They actually argue that peer-to-peer file-sharing traffic only hurts the economy and doesn't help songwriters.
    What's hurting songwriters is their inability to adapt to a changing market. The songwriters who are adapting seem to be doing just fine. However, peer-to-peer file-sharing is more efficient and lets them bypass the less efficient established distributions systems. But that's what most of us here in capitalist America think is a good thing. Otherwise we'd all be riding around in horse buggies. So, sure, automobiles "hurt" the horse buggy market. And the printing press "hurt" the monks-writing-books business. But what happened? Much greater opportunities came about as a result, and the smart horse buggy makers who jumped ship to join automobile makers did just fine. We're seeing successful songwriters adapting all the time. It's just that they're doing it without kowtowing to Israelite and NAMP. Anti-file-sharing: Reasonable or "radical extremism"?

     

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    Simon, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 3:01pm

    These people are Luddites - however instead of using tools to destroy looms, they use lawyers and politicians to destroy competitive businesses and advancing technologies.

     

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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 3:19pm

    Better than Letterman's

    This Top Ten list made me laugh harder than Dave's has in years. I wonder if Worldwide Pants should be notified of Mr. Israelite infringing on their Top Ten schtick, as I doubt he obtained permission to use that format.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 6:17pm

    The music industry will die without knowing why it died.

    New blood need to take their place but first they need to die, and by the looks of it they will do it all on their own.

    Piracy is not what is killing them right now, if others are like me they wouldn't buy anything from those people even if it was for free.

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 9:01pm

    Now I Get It

    Let's just hand over the sum totality of human culture to these people and their allies who are obviously much better at protecting, persevering and extending it than anything in human history ever has.

    Let's forget the Smithsonian, The British Museum, The Louvre and everything that came before. Forget universities, places which preserve and protect ancient and older works.

    Forget political and civil rights! What the hell's wrong with you!? Don't you know there's money to be made!!!!!!!

    These entertainment people know exactly how to protect it, now and forever under permanent and eternal copyright and patents going back to the construction of the pyramids!

    After all, we are the entertainment industry, monopolists through and through and we own your governmnets!

    In fact we are Vandals LLC, and we own everything!

     

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    nelsoncruz (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 10:07pm

    Radical extremists

    I guess it's time to start calling NAMP, ASCAP, RIAA, et all, what they really are: radical extremists! Radical faith-based extremists. Period.

    Two can play that game. And lets look at what they are defending...

    Due Process? Doesn't matter. Privacy? Doesn't exist. Properly assigning liability to those who actually break the law? Dont care.

    All they care about is their precious copyright laws and business models. It's as if Moses himself carried them down the mountain. If they have to shred Constitutional protections along the way to bigger profits, then so be it.

    Repeat after me, people:
    R-A-D-I-C-A-L EXTREMISTS

     

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    Nick Dynice (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 5:43pm

    Mike, you know I am a fan of yours and I detest organizations who make statements like NAMP have, but I have a question about your response Israelite's to point 6. If they cannot obtain the name of the accused infringer, how can they put the accused through the judicial system's due process? They can sue them as "John Doe" but that person cannot defend themselves.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 11:00pm

      Re:

      Mike, you know I am a fan of yours and I detest organizations who make statements like NAMP have, but I have a question about your response Israelite's to point 6. If they cannot obtain the name of the accused infringer, how can they put the accused through the judicial system's due process? They can sue them as "John Doe" but that person cannot defend themselves.

      Hey Nick. No one's saying they can't go through due process to get the names. Israelite's upset that they have to do that. It is possible to sue John Doe's and inform the Does, giving them the opportunity to fight for their rights anonymously. If the judge is then convinced that there is still an issue, s/he can order the Doe revealed. That's basic due process, and I don't know anyone against that process. Israelite isn't complaining about that, though. He's upset that these groups have argued that Does have the right to stand up for themselves before they're revealed.

       

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