More And More People Seeing How Collection Societies Have Distorted Copyright

from the it's-not-what-it-seems dept

Over the last few years, we've seen a trend around the world for various collection societies to become increasingly more aggressive. More aggressive in trying to increase the statutorily-defined rates. More aggressive in expanding what it is they cover. More aggressive in finding small businesses to pay up. And, more recently, more aggressive in lashing out at any organization that seeks to help musicians embrace alternatives. There are a few reasons for this. Obviously, the recorded music side of the music business has seen revenue decrease, so collection societies have tried to pick up the slack. But, more generally speaking, it's an indication that the process of collection societies is broken. From their very design, they're set up to allow certain industry interests to take charge and influence them, and then to aggressively seek to expand their own rights, influence and ability to collect.

Thankfully, more and more people are seeing this. Glyn Moody points us to a recent article by Ben Eltham at Inside Story that highlights how collection societies in Australia are out of control. The whole article is worth reading, but here are a few snippets. First, it notes how these groups are really acting as fronts for industry interests:
Copyright law has evolved largely as a response by governments to the demands of powerful media and content industries. As new forms of recorded media have been invented, legislators have created new spheres of copyright to fence off that intellectual property from perceived threats to the earnings of artists and corporations.
It later highlights this by pointing out how these groups often have leadership plucked directly from record labels:
In fact, as a glance at the composition of the PPCA's board underlines, the agency is run largely by and for the record industry. The board is stacked with record industry executives such as Warner's Ed St John, Sony's Denis Handlin and Universal's George Ash, along with former Go-Betweens drummer Lindy Morrison and prominent artist manager Bill Cullen. Representing around 75 per cent of the recorded music industry by sales, the PPCA is effectively a legalised cartel.
The article also points out how very anti-free market the whole setup is:
Who should set the prices for copyrighted music in Australia, for instance? Most economists would say "the market." But in Australia, these decisions are in effect being made by a court, in a process closer to early twentieth-century wage- and price-fixing than the kind of open and free market process most Australian consumers have come to expect.
What may be even more fascinating is that, in the comments, various copyright industry interests lash out at Eltham, including one of the board members he mentions above, who refers to those who support free market pricing as "neo Marxists." Huh? How is supporting a system that lets the free market set prices, rather than various government bodies, "neo Marxist" at all? That commenter, Lindy Morrison, also uses it as an opportunity to attack Creative Commons and the EFF again. But that neo Marxist comment is really the most misleading of all:
However the question that Ben cannot answer, is how do creators make a living in the neo Marxist world of free music they propose? It is necessary to introduce new laws with new inventions to protect the rights of owners and to pay remuneration for compensation for new uses.
Of course, we've already described how it's basically the opposite of Marxism, so that's already far off-line. And, it's important to recognize that no one is "proposing" a world of free music. They're describing what's already happening. It really stuns me how many people in these debates blame the messenger for explaining the basic economics of digital content, by suggesting it's what we're "proposing" or saying "should" happen. We're not proposing anything. We're not saying what should happen. We're saying what is happening or what has already happened. Morrison's statement also totally ignores the fact that there are many smart ways for creators to make a living, even if the music is free.

It is, of course, difficult to recognize the need to adapt when you've been making money from one specific system for so long, but it's really sad to see the sheer anger with which those who feel entitled to gov't granted monopolies lash out at people pointing out the problems and distortions of such systems.


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  1.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 13th, 2010 @ 10:29am

    5 stages of grieving ....

    "but it's really sad to see the sheer anger with which those who feel entitled to gov't granted monopolies lash out at people pointing out the problems and distortions of such systems"

    5 Stages of Grieving

    Denial
    Anger
    Bargaining
    Depression
    Acceptance

    So they have begun to get past the Denial stage this is a good thing. I wonder what form Bargaining is going to take.

     

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    Hulser (profile), Aug 13th, 2010 @ 10:31am

    Corner pubs

    On an intellectual level, it's a shame to see Australian collection agencies warping copyright law to their own advantage, but the real shame, the thing that hits at an emotional level is the affect on music itself. In my experience, Australia is a giant engine that cranks out great music and great musical artists. No small part of this is the culture of live bands playing at the local pubs. There are (or at least were) so many venues for live bands that a huge number of people could cut their teeth on playing in front of a live audience. If the Australian collection agencies continue as they are, I fear they'll destroy the very thing which makes Australia a musical powerhouse. It would be another example of the triumph of short term profits over long term profitability.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Aug 13th, 2010 @ 10:33am

    "Marxist"

    If reading political discussions online have taught me anything, it's that there's a lot of people who don't know what that term means and will use it to describe anything they don't like. See also: fascist, communist, socialist, etc.

     

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    coldbrew, Aug 13th, 2010 @ 10:38am

    Re: 5 stages of grieving ....

    I believe it is called ACTA.

     

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    cc (profile), Aug 13th, 2010 @ 10:42am

    Re:

    Indeed. So, let's do a bit of that here...

    I'd say copyright is a neo-Marxist thing: it's a government-granted monopoly, and it's totally anti-free market.

     

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    cc (profile), Aug 13th, 2010 @ 10:46am

    Re:

    Indeed. So, let's do a bit of that here...

    I'd say copyright is a neo-Marxist thing: it's a government-granted monopoly, and it's totally anti-free market.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2010 @ 10:48am

    Re: 5 stages of grieving ....

    Not really on topic, but it reminds me of a Dilbert strip:

    http://www.dilbert.com/fast/2003-06-22/ [Dilbert.com]

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2010 @ 10:49am

    Re:

    Maybe it's neo-Marxism in the sense that "free music" is kindred to abolishing private property...

    Though, oddly, it seems that the idea of having mucisians as unpaid labor is strikingly anti-Marxist, so I'm not really sure where they're going with that line...

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 13th, 2010 @ 10:52am

    Re: Corner pubs

    "If the Australian collection agencies continue as they are, I fear they'll destroy the very thing which makes Australia a musical powerhouse. It would be another example of the triumph of short term profits over long term profitability."

    You have to think, what will the unintended consequences of this never ending escalation of monopoly rents be. Its not something that the collection societies or agencies seem to think about. The short term profits will be the driver that pushes people over the edge to other sources of music. When it happens expect their profits to tank very rapidly.

     

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    Nina Paley (profile), Aug 13th, 2010 @ 10:56am

    Free as in Free Markets

    Today's Mimi and Eunice cartoon is about exactly this. And its copyleft and you can embed it. Hint, hint.

     

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    IronM@sk, Aug 13th, 2010 @ 11:27am

    So what's going to happen when the world finally gets sick of their (collection agencies, industry lobyists) crap and ditches their content in favor of cheaper (or free) content with more reasonable licensing terms?

    Who are they going to compain to because their artists works aren't being heard? The government? How exactly will they argue that one? Will they ask the government to then force venues to play their content so they can continue collecting revenue? Or will they then be forced to concede they were wrong to begin with and remove the barriers they have themselves put up in order to get their artists works to be consumed?

     

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    charliebrown (profile), Aug 13th, 2010 @ 11:40am

    Lindy Morrison

    Lindy Morrison is relentless. Sere she is representing the PPCA explaining why gymnasiums need to pay more in public performance fees http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5AQeAbpjLU from the Channel 7 Australia morning show "Sunrise" (similar show as Good Morning America)

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Aug 13th, 2010 @ 11:43am

    Re: @ IronM@sk

    Obviously that's a scapegoat sort of situation. Blame mysterious somebody (music pirates are starting to be passe, I suspect it'll be music ninjas) and get some ludicrous bullshit legislation passed in the name of "Defeating" the nonexistent "music ninjas".

    Likely the legislation will be exactly what you've described--forcing venues to play their over-crapped content so they can continue to force via legislation their ridiculous collection.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 13th, 2010 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re: 5 stages of grieving ....

    Bargaining is more like set your own price ... :)

     

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    Richard Corsale, Aug 13th, 2010 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re:

    The distinction that you're not making (intentionally I'm sure) is the freedom of the artist to do what he wants. If he wants to make mud pies and try to sell them, hes free to do so. When people start realizing that mud pies are vastly overpriced, then they stop paying for them. The reasoning goes, why pay for something we can make our selves, with more choice and diversity. In all reality, it's not the people making their own mud pies that "enslave" the artist. If anything, it's the sleazy contracts and perhaps, lack of vision on the part of their handlers.

     

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    Steven (profile), Aug 13th, 2010 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Free as in Free Markets

    That comic just got added to my rss list. fricken hilarious.

     

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  17.  
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    Steven (profile), Aug 13th, 2010 @ 12:16pm

    New Agency?

    If I remember correctly BMI was created to get around having to pay fees to the existing agency.

    Why is it taking so long to setup a new agency to cover CC music and offer nice low fees for commercial use? Given the modern tech it could even offer ala-cart pricing for specific situations so simple blanket licenses.

    Hell it could probably start with a handful of musicians and one guy with a decent web site...

    Hmmm... Maybe I need to find some free time...

     

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    Jay (profile), Aug 13th, 2010 @ 12:35pm

    Re: New Agency?

    Jamendo actually does licensing at $185 a year. It continues to be free and if an artist chooses to cancel a song, that works. I don't think that a collection service would really help because it starts the same problem with a different beast.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2010 @ 1:11pm

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2010 @ 1:16pm

     

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    Matt P (profile), Aug 13th, 2010 @ 2:08pm

    For most of these people, the actual politics or economics don't enter into the picture. "Marxist" or "Communist" translates to "things I don't like" or "things that are different from my preference".

    It's not at all unusual for these types (read: corporate worshipful) to point to anything that moves away from Big Centralized Business as "Communist".

    It's just another shade of tribalism. We like things this way, and that's how they should be.

     

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  22.  
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    NullOp, Aug 13th, 2010 @ 2:28pm

    Warped

    Every group involved with making a living off someone else's work tried to bind the deal so it never ends. Contracts, copyrights, trademarks, you name, these are all methods of making someone rich from someone else's work!

     

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  23.  
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    Interestingly enough, Aug 13th, 2010 @ 3:17pm

    Copied from the inside story comments section

    As big fans of Inside Story, we were disappointed to read the article “Copyright Cops”. Unlike the usual reflective and well-informed pieces featured in Inside Story, “Copyright Cops” takes a small pinch of information and whips it up with liberal doses of innuendo and emotive posturing.

    We are told conspiratorially: “Copyright law has evolved largely as a response by governments to the demands of powerful media and content industries”. We are also told – again without analysis or substantiation – that copyright law in Australia is now, “tilted decisively towards copyright holders, including famous artists and big publishers, and away from rights users like libraries, schools and gyms”. Should we readers deduce that the moral of this tale is, ‘big is bad and small is good’?

    Regardless of what you think about the Copyright Tribunal’s decision in the PPCA/ Fitness First case (there are many and different perspectives on both sides), if you are going to use it as a springboard to launch an attack on collecting societies, then find out a little more about how collecting societies work (e.g. regular reporting to the ACCC) and let this produce a more enlightening story about the public benefits sought in Australia by allowing collecting societies their special operating privileges.

    In relation to the case itself, if ‘big is bad and small is good’ then perhaps we should consider that Fitness First generated revenues of $327.6 million in 2008-2009, in a fitness industry that turned over $2.5 billion in revenue in the same year. The average creative income of a composer in Australia currently stands at about $12,000 per annum. Furthermore, because it would be logistically impossible for individual composers to collect payments from users, their incomes would be much lower without collecting societies to do so on their behalf.

    Copyright ascribes a value to culture and gives those who create cultural works the right to be rewarded for their creative effort. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights enshrines both the rights of creators to such a reward and the rights of users to access cultural works. It is true that copyright law is complex area and also true that it has become more complex in the digital age. But please Inside Story, can we have a little more rigour in future articles on this subject?

    Mary Anne Reid
    Chief Executive
    Australian Copyright Council

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2010 @ 7:54pm

    Re: Copied from the inside story comments section

    Copyright ascribes a value to culture . . .

    Culture can do that all by itself. No need for copyright to do so.

     

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  25.  
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    lindymorrison, Aug 14th, 2010 @ 5:30am

    copyright

    So how does one make a living as a musician in this world you are creating? What are the mechanisms for incomes for creators of product called music? Basically where do you see income coming from for a musician? Music sells to who? The income is distributed how? Where? Describe a policy?

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2010 @ 8:29am

    Re: Copied from the inside story comments section

    (To continue where http://inside.org.au/the-copyright-cops/ leaves off)

    and for more evidence lets not forget the fact that the Department of Homeland Security now works for Disney et al in order to enforce copyright law.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100630/14391410029.shtml

    I highly doubt it’s the citizenry that wants this, this is the corporate will. The Department of Homeland security really should have nothing to do with copyright.

    and lets not forget about the ACTA secrecy, whereby only industry reps are invited. How is this the will of the public, it’s clearly the will of giant corporations.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2010 @ 8:38am

    Re: Copied from the inside story comments section

    "Copyright ascribes a value to culture"

    You are confusing value with price. Something doesn't have to have a price to be valuable.

    "and gives those who create cultural works the right to be rewarded for their creative effort."

    They have that right without copy protection laws. Copy protection laws give monopolists the privilege of monopolizing content that they really shouldn't have the privilege of monopolizing. It's a necessary step to ensuring that both the distribution channels (ie: public airwaves and cableco infrastructure) and the content delivered on those channels are monopolized. Right now, outside the Internet, we have a system that monopolizes both, making it difficult for those who want to freely give their content away to gain recognition and making it difficult for the public to acquire cheaper or free alternative content that artists wish to give away for free, instead attempting to force consumers to pay monopoly prices for all content. The artificial obscurity that the system creates for independent artists (making it difficult for them to deliver their work through restaurants and other venues because those venues get harassed by collection agencies, denying them the right to broadcast via public airwaves without first going through a monopolist gatekeeper who will likely insist that a hand full of people have copy protection control of the content, ditto for cableco infrastructure) is arguably one of the biggest impediments to content creators that there is. Anti copy laws are just a way to ensure that the content delivered via monopolized information distribution channels is also monopolized so that the public has little choice but to pay monopoly prices for everything. There should be no monopoly on both the communication channel and content at the same time, that is unacceptable.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2010 @ 8:40am

    Re: Copied from the inside story comments section

    "We are also told – again without analysis or substantiation"

    It's funny how you say that with no analysis and how your entire post contains absolutely no analysis or substantiation while those who critique you do provide analysis and substantiation that you merely ignore.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2010 @ 8:53am

    Re: copyright

    There is no definite and simple and easy to implement mathematical formula to success. What you want is for the government to provide with with a simple and easy to implement formula for guaranteed success and that's just not how free markets function.

    Different artists can make a living in different ways. Musicians can give free content away and, upon gaining recognition, can charge restaurant owners for live performances, or they can charge for concert tickets. They can sell accessory items like autographed CD's, T - Shirts, maybe books, and perhaps items that have to do with the content that they deliver. They can ask for donations.

    Really, their biggest problem now is gaining a large audience, but that's partly because monopolists have managed to monopolize many of the information distribution channels in an effort to ensure that they control both content (ie: via copy protection laws) and delivery.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2010 @ 8:56am

    Re: Re: copyright

    Also, some artists can make music as a hobby while getting another job as well. I see nothing wrong with that. Perhaps they can make some money via their music production but if it's not enough to make a living by itself another job could help. Or maybe they want to make content and give it away without making any money off of it because they want others to enjoy their content. What's wrong with an economy that enables artists to contribute content and contribute to the economy in other ways as well. It's more economically efficient. It also enables artists to better write and sing and express their experiences with their other job, which could help others better relate.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2010 @ 9:08am

    Re: Re: Re: copyright

    and if you disagree my question is this.

    Why should content production necessarily be a full time job. Why can't it be a part time job and why can't it be complemented with other jobs as well? Why should there be musicians that create music and do nothing else for a living?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2010 @ 6:02pm

    The reason the arguement is being made that music creators should only do it for the passion or as a pert time job or because theyn are hobbyists is because those making it do not value the time, money and skills required it takes ti make a recording.It takes a long tiime to get the skills on an instrument, to get a band together,write arrange and produce the material, included are costs of lessons, rehearsal rooms, toours that lose money, promotion, and finally the recording iitselof. Keping a band together and setting it up as a business is a full time job.
    The other discussion point that musicians can make a living from touring and merch is flawed. Musicians product id their music. We dont expect the manufacturers to give their fridges away for free but sell a tshirt with the give away to make some income! In relation to touring, as a small young group, you can only play in one or two venues a month if you want the bookers to keep getting you work. A new band does not have the capacity to carry an audience. It is very expensive and gruelling to tour the world constantly. Basically there are hobbyists and professionals. Hobbyists can give their music away for free - dont dign up to the collection agencies and license the works yourselves to the rstaurant owner. But dont wreck a system that works for professionals.

     

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    lindymorrison, Aug 14th, 2010 @ 6:05pm

    that comment is mine above i hit submit by mistake -

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2010 @ 8:44pm

    Re:

    Please put all your food inside your music and see how that works.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2010 @ 8:47pm

    Re:

    You want a better allusion here is one.

    Music is like talk, everybody talk everyone can emit sounds, now how ridiculous is to tell others you cannot emit the same sounds as they, that some creature owns sounds and frequencies and should get paid for the use of those things.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2010 @ 9:03pm

    Re:

    dont dign up to the collection agencies and license the works yourselves to the rstaurant owner. But dont wreck a system that works for professionals.


    The "professionals" should have thought of the consequences of trying to annoy the people before they did it.

    I think every establishment should put in BIG F'ing LETTERS how much does it cost to their clients to play music to them and when they found out that it cost more then iTunes, I want to see how collection agencies will explain that.

    Every establishment should start putting in BIG F'ing LETTERS why they can't allow anyone to sing inside.

     

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    Jay (profile), Aug 15th, 2010 @ 12:50am

    Re:

    I can't agree with that position. The fact remains that by referring to part of the market as hobbyists and part of the market as supposed professionals, you have effectively limited who you are marketing to. Furthermore, it seems that you've set up an effective strawman of saying that the labor of a manufacturer is the same as a musician when, as any person truly knows, there are some tradeoffs for these pursuits. A technician is paid for his skills. Most artists don't necessarily need a booker. Musicians, currently, have quite a few ways to make money, with a CD being one option. Enforcement of music fees does little but anger the very people you should be hoping to win over. As I watched the video of the fitness case, and I do have to agree with Susan Kingsmill. What you're effectively doing is forcing your customers to look elsewhere for music. So in effect, by going to the government, you're destroying a good relationship for a belief in a higher profit margin.

    As I saw on the fitness site, they are in negotiations. But how the artists are entitled to the fitness organization's profits is beyond me. The artists are focusing on connecting with their fans. Some of their fans happen to like the gym. What may happen is that if a Spanish band happens to play in the gyms now, they may not even hear of music from their own country. I find that particularly depressing given the increase from .97 cents to $15.

    Did Elvis need one when he stated swaying his hips?

     

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    Jay (profile), Aug 15th, 2010 @ 12:55am

    Re: Re:

    Curses, I made a few errors.

    "Did Elvis need one when he started swaying his hips?" refers to his needing a booker.

    I'll add more. You say you are all for the artist but I'm having trouble seeing that. What most copyright defenders unfortunately not understand is that their actions do have negative consequences. It's okay to feel entitled to more money, but I just don't see how this can end well for all involved with this litigation approach.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2010 @ 7:16am

    Re: Copied from the inside story comments section

    Mary Anne Reid, can you sleep at night?

     

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    lindymorrison, Aug 15th, 2010 @ 4:00pm

    Ok look at this way, recordings no longer sell because of p2p, in your model businesses playing recordings should not have to pay a fee for use even though the music is an essential business input like electricity. Then income in your model comes from merch and touring. You have to agree it is simply impossible to stay on the road all year, income from touring is sporadic, the costs are enormous. The choice of staying and playing in the same town is difficult because an audience is finite.
    As for criticizing my choice of divisions that exist in the industry hobbyist /professional this choice follows on from the threads above, The writers are insisting that musicians should be part time or not ask for fees for their music. I am talking about those who choose to make a living from music. Those who want to be paid for the amount of skill required. Those who work towards best practice. Some people's music business models include a theory of free music but this shouldn't define the choices musicians make.
    Many are professionals and expect to be paid commensurate with their skill and product. Dont forget copyright is property and each time that property is hired out it is to be paid for unless the maker decides the music is unprotected. (Free culture) . That is the choice hobbyists can create unprotected music if they like.
    Can we try to keep these threads rational by the way. Insults are absurd .

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 16th, 2010 @ 6:29am

    Re: Re: @ IronM@sk

    "Likely the legislation will be exactly what you've described--forcing venues to play their over-crapped content so they can continue to force via legislation their ridiculous collection."

    They will probably use the line "They need to pay this fee JUST IN CASE they play music from out catalogs" so everyone will be forced to pay it. It will be like the Canadian CD levy.

     

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    Jay (profile), Aug 17th, 2010 @ 4:55pm

    ???

    I'm sorry... what?

    " recordings no longer sell because of p2p, in your model businesses playing recordings should not have to pay a fee for use even though the music is an essential business input like electricity."

    Unfortunately, I don't agree after reading this site for quite some time. The music industry has been doing quite well with P2P exposing more people to MORE music, not less. Just because the business model has changed, you can't tell me that recordings are suffering if more people are buying mp3s than they are CDs or cassette tapes.

    Artists are already being exposed. Why put an arbitrary monetary value on this music? As stated in the debate, people will go elsewhere for music uncopyrighted, which makes Australian musicians lose in the end.

    " Then income in your model comes from merch and touring. You have to agree it is simply impossible to stay on the road all year, income from touring is sporadic, the costs are enormous. The choice of staying and playing in the same town is difficult because an audience is finite. "

    We agree that bands need time off. But there's a plethora of options from streaming online, to little giveaways. Touring and merchandising can continue to make money for a band even if supplies and resources are finite, such as the move from Sydney to another town.

    "The writers are insisting that musicians should be part time or not ask for fees for their music. I am talking about those who choose to make a living from music."

    I will have to ask you to reread that thread above. From what I understand, they were giving examples of what musicians could do. Some can make a comfortable living of of proceeds for their shows. Some can make a lot of money in touring.

    " Some people's music business models include a theory of free music but this shouldn't define the choices musicians make."

    True, but the business model has a chance to fail if it doesn't take into account what people would like.

    "Many are professionals and expect to be paid commensurate with their skill and product. Dont forget copyright is property and each time that property is hired out it is to be paid for unless the maker decides the music is unprotected."

    There is a difference between copyright laws and laws for land. Copyright law is a government mandate which is supposed to take away a person's natural rights for limited times. What I am criticizing is that this dependence on government won't win in the long run and there could possibly be better models than enforcement as the gym membership fiasco can attest. In the end, you may have a "moral right" to try to force others to pay money. Just don't expect that others will agree with you when basic economics will tell us they may look elsewhere when your music becomes too expensive.

     

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

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:02am

    Re: Re:

    I wish they would too. Put a sign on the wall explaining each of their problems with collection societies. That should get the attention of more people.

     

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

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:16am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Also, as another saving journalism idea, perhaps restaurants can have their own newspaper. It can be an international newspaper, restaurants can have a printer that prints out a few sheets of paper on demand (so no paper gets wasted, only what people pay for and demand gets printed and everyone who wants a newspaper gets one) and people can put a quarter in the machine to have it print out the newspaper, a few 8 /12 by 11 sheets of paper. The newspaper can be printed from a centralized Internet website, where some central source automatically comes up with new stories every day. Or perhaps people can choose which sections they would like printed on the machine and pay less for a specific section in opposed to the whole thing. They can also choose color or black and white, color can cost more, and they can choose from a variety of online news sources perhaps.

    It doesn't have to be just restaurants that do this, perhaps other venues can do it too. Restaurants can have, as a default option, restaurant industry related news sources. Other venues can have news sources relating to their industry as the default option.

    Perhaps that's a good idea. With the improvement in printing technology these days a professional copier can easily be adapted to serve such a purpose.

    BTW, this idea is non patentable (or copyrightable).

     

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

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Also, people should have the option of selecting yesterdays news to print out, or the day before yesterday, or any day's news. Perhaps even a search feature to search for specific past news articles they want to print out. The selection process can be done on a computer with a keyboard and mouse.

    It's really not that difficult to implement. Schools already implement such a printing system where you have many machines and when they print something it goes to the cashier and the cashier has a screen of print jobs and the person tells the cashier which computer they're on and if they want a color or black and white print out and they pay the cashier accordingly and it prints out. Of course restaurants already have a cashier that needs to take orders so they can benefit from economies of scale. But if there is just one computer and printer a cashier is not even necessary, the person who wants to print can simply select what they want printed, the price can display on the screen, and the person can stick quarters (or dollars) in the printers collection box to pay for it and upon paying it prints out. Implementation would be easy.

     

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

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Now, generally the target audience for this would probably be people without the Internet. As more people adopt the Internet this business model will die.

    Another option could be for restaurants to simply hang a Plasma T.V. somewhere that scrolls and discusses the news and especially restaurant related news. It can scroll the restaurants past history with collection societies, discuss them, perhaps some International organization can organize it so that they can collect ever restaurants story and have some news "journalist" discuss them on a video and they can burn these videos to DVD's and distribute them to various restaurants who can then play them for their customers on plasma televisions.

    But then again, such news would probably be depressing and such depressing news might drive customers, who want to go to restaurants to enjoy themselves, away, so the restaurants would have to be very careful how the present the information on television.

     

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

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:36am

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

    how they *

     

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


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