Piracy Is Over Like The Web Is Dead

from the The-Fat-Lady's-A-Mute dept

Attention everyone.  If I could have all of your eyes looking forward please, I have an announcement to make: the pirating of music on the internet has officially ended.  So says Wired's Paul Boutin:

"Mark down the date: The age of stealing music via the Internet is officially over. It’s time for everybody to go legit. The reason: We won. And all you audiophiles and copyfighters, you know who fixed our problems? The record labels and online stores we loved to hate."

That's quite a whopper, isn't it?  Particularly from the same esteemed publication that brought you the news that the web is dead.  You'd have to imagine there would be something pretty substantial in his article to make the claim that the record labels had somehow fixed things so that online infringement no longer should exist, right?  Sadly, not so much.  He starts off by listing out a couple of the problems most folks had with things like DRM, transferring legit purchases to multiple devices, etc.  Then he tells us all why everything is okay now (and for a fun little game, see if you can spot the demeaning slight he sneaks in on music fans):

"Well played, protesters: In January 2009, Apple announced that it would remove the copyright protection wrapper from every song in its store. Today, Amazon and Walmart both sell music encoded as MP3s, which don’t even have hooks for copyright-protection locks. The battle is over, comrades."

So...because, after years of fighting, iTunes finally stood up and removed the DRM, followed by a few retailers, we're supposed to look to the record labels as our saviors?  For not treating us like criminals? And while they're still pushing for new laws and demanding money from ISPs (that will come out of consumers pockets anyway)? That doesn't really pass the smell test.  Paul then goes on to declare the joy audiophiles should feel now that MP3s are being sold with 256 Kbps audio quality, compared to the initial 128 Kbps offering, stating that if anyone wants quality better than that, "you can get a pretty good turntable for around $500" and go spin vinyl.  Oh, and he wants to make sure you know that if you steal vinyl records, that's called shoplifting.  Mmkay.  What else you got, Paul?

"That leaves one last war cry: Music should be free! It’s art! Friends, a song costs a dollar...Most download retailers send about 70 percent of each sale to the record companies that own the music. Artists with 15 percent royalty deals get 15 percent of that 70 percent, or about 10.5 cents per dollar of sales. Those who write their own music and own their own music publishing companies—an increasingly common arrangement—get another 9.1 cents in “mechanical royalties.” Every download sends almost 20 cents straight to the band."

Yup, you read that right.  This, of course, is pure nonsense.  That isn't the way royalties with modern day recording contracts work.  Through the magic of recording label accounting, the average musician makes roughly $23 for every $1000 in music sold -- and that's only if they actually recoup, which is difficult to do, thanks to the way the record labels account for things. For those of you who share my math skills and don't want to reach for a calculator, that's barely 2%.  Some of that result stems from necessary things the bands may need to spend on: managers, lawyers, taxes.  But a good deal of it also comes from neat little, and sometimes recoupable, charges from the record label, things like independent radio promotion, tour support, roughly fifty percent of the music video costs, etc.  Other times, the record labels flatout don't pay the royalties from truly successful albums.  Bottom line is, at the end of the day, record labels make money off of selling music, musicians do not.

And, even if we go with Paul's bogus number of 20 cents on the dollar, is that really that good of a deal? A musician today can use a service like Bandcamp, and get 85% of whatever money they bring in -- and can do so in more creative ways with pay what you want offerings, that can actually bring in much more money. The idea the "record labels" have solved "piracy" by offering musicians 20 cents that they'll never get because they'll never recoup is laughable.

But Paul chooses to ignore those things and instead offers up a pithy conclusion as to why music is still being pirated:

"You're cheap."

Uh huh.  Nuanced arguments would probably be more appreciated from the group of folks you're talking to, who actually spend more money on music than those who do not "pirate".  Funny definition of cheap you're working from...

In the end, there are many reasons why people still file share (and they are still file sharing in droves, which sort of debunks Paul's entire premise), but you don't learn any of that from Paul's article. Since when did Wired switch from thought-provoking analysis to pure trollbait?



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 9:03am

    Mark down the date: The age of stealing music via the Internet is officially over.

    That is the most astonishingly stupid lead I have ever read. I mean really... "mark down the date"? So what, tomorrow all file sharing will be gone? That's some pretty pathetic sensationalist journalism.

    ... 256kbs ... It’s certainly better than most of the stuff out on BitTorrent. If you still hate the sound of digital music, you probably need to go back to vinyl

    That is either a flat-out lie, or Paul has never actually looked for music torrents. Personally I'm happy with 256kbps, but I know lots of audiophiles whose main given reason for pirating music is quality. Not only is it easy to find torrents with MP3s at 512kbps and up, there are also torrents with giant FLAC (fully lossless) files all over the place - and those are virtually impossible to find through legitimate channels.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 9:33am

    Re:

    Why are you arguing instead of marking down the date? You're making Paul sad....

     

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    Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:04am

    Only a dollar!

    And some on itunes are going for more than $1.00. About 16 tunes makes a CD, so it's still an outrageous $16.00 per CD. I do believe there is some traction to lower prices further, and that itunes will succumb to the "Walmarts" eventually. When a song goes for a quarter, piracy will diminish. There will always be some who can't get a credit card, so there will always be some piracy. Is Wired in cahoots with the record labels?

     

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    A Dan (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:04am

    Reasons for piracy

    There's a song from a video game that I want to get. I searched for it. You can stream it from, maybe, 2 legal websites. It's not available for sale anywhere online, isn't on a CD (including the game's soundtrack, which I own), and I got several torrent sites on the first page of my search results. Would downloading it be considered "piracy", if it can't be acquired legally? How does this fit into the "age of stealing music over the internet is over" argument?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:05am

    ...So put your fingers in your ears, squint your eyes closed, holler neener neener at the top of your voice, and it all goes away, pitiful.

    He doesn't address another main reason for file sharing to exist. Every time the music industry changed formats, there was always music that didn't make the cut and was never seen again on the market. Through file sharing that music didn't die, even if it was no longer up for sale. It was simply unattainable in any other method.

    That still hasn't changed and so I am very sure file sharing will be around long after these clueless people are doddering around looking for their canes and walkers.

     

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  6.  
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    Free Capitalist (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:06am

    Re:

    I read through the article but all I could make out was 'pop... pop... shiizzzz... pop...'

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:06am

    I read that article

    I read that article the other day and walked away from it feeling more stupid than I have since I was five. How the hell did the publishers let that steaming pile of stupid get out?

     

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    John Doe, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:08am

    You are both right on the cheap argument...

    You both are right on the cheap argument. I am cheap which is why I don't buy music. Can't afford very many songs at $1 or more per song so why bother at all? So I spend $0 on music per year. On the other hand, if songs were $0.10 or $0.20, then I would buy music because I could afford to build a collection. So in effect, you both are right about the cheap argument.

     

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    Brig C. McCoy (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:10am

    So does this mean...

    That Wired magazine has officially 'jumped the shark' and we can go back to ignoring it?

    ...brig

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:15am

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:18am

    Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    "You both are right on the cheap argument."

    I don't think that's being cheap. It's not being in a viable position to buy a lot of music. But I bet if you found an artist you really liked via downloads, infringing or otherwise, and they came to your town and put on a show, you'd at least consider going.

    That's why I called for nuance. Paul didn't do that; he went for a one-liner....

     

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    Gwiz, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:18am

    Dead Web

    Wait... if the web is already dead than how are filesharers sharing these files?

     

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    big al(tiny tear fallin), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:35am

    end of the world

    it's dead???? file sharing is truly dead????? (sob, whimper,deep depression) now i'll never get that ebook i've been looking for..or that set of wallpapers or....or...or..
    my life is in ruin...oh woooooo is me...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:36am

    Wired is dead.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:36am

    Re: So does this mean...

    Mark down the date.

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:37am

    Re: Dead Web

    It's pretty spry for a dead thing!
    ; P

     

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    Berenerd (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:40am

    Re: Re:

    I am marking it down for him and me. i am cool like that...i have an app for that..it was free...

     

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  18.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:40am

    Re: Dead Web

    "Wait... if the web is already dead ..."

    Shhh!!! don't tell anyone at wired, its our little secret!

     

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  19.  
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    Berenerd (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:44am

    Re: Dead Web

    there is this new fangled invention called...8track tapes...

     

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  20.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re: Re:

    After all, we're all "comrades". Why do people insist on using the devolving socialism/communism scare tactics in bad arguments?

     

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  21.  
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    Joe Magly (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:47am

    Re: So does this mean...

    Wired jumped the shark a loooong time ago.

    It happened sometime in their first year in business.

     

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  22.  
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    Freak, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:48am

    Nice article, DH.

    Although, TBH, I don't have much to say about illegal file-sharing in the first place.

    GRAY legal, now that, I've been guilty of for a very long time. Abandonware, fan-subbed anime, fan-made hacks of popular games (using the original artwork or game engine or both), . . . stuff that is technically covered by law, and is technically illegal, but very, very few companies will actually send out C&D's or prosecute anyone even if they ignore C&D's.
    I wonder if we'll start seeing more activity from the companies on those fronts?

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:55am

    Re:

    You know who else is dead? Hitler.

     

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  24.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:59am

    It's not Dead Like Web

    it's On Like Donkey Kong!

     

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  25.  
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    Howard the Duck (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re:

    I had a truck like that once.

     

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  26.  
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    pringerX (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    It's not being cheap, it's being economically sensible. People are simply comparing the value offered by the package to the sale price. In the vast majority of those cases, sale price >> package value because either the songs are crap, album is full of filler, etc., or there is a more cost-effective way to get it.

    The main offerings of an online service are legality, convenience and breadth. Currently, they are at best on par with filesharing on #2, far behind on #3, and the strategy seems to be focused on increasing the value of #1 (through litigation, threats, etc.)

    We can look at this from a CwF+RtB point of view as well. What the record companies are doing is cutting out the CwF and forcibly applying a RtB by artificially increasing the value of their goods. Nothing good can come of this, especially in the long run.

     

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  27.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 11:03am

    Whew!

    Imma just goin to celebrate the end of filesharing in a most public fashion.

    (Shut up, everyone!)

     

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  28.  
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    AR (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The reason that they invoke the "you are a communist" phrase is to redirect the attention from what they are actually doing. If you are too busy defending yourself, then you wont see that they are protecting corporations from capitalism, competition, innovation, and market demands.

    Then these same corporations use govt. agencies (ICE) to enforce their will of what to buy, how to buy, and at what price. Very much like how totalitarian govt.'s use their secret police to do the same thing.

    But even they still had a black market.

     

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  29.  
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    Greevar (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 11:14am

    Hooray!

    Hallelujah and praise Jeebus! The piracies is overs! Now excuse me, I need to go seed some more torrents to keep my ratio up.

     

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  30.  
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    Greevar (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 11:15am

    Re: It's not Dead Like Web

    Trademark violation!

     

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  31.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    Personally I think another part of it is, its to much of a bother for most people. You are surfing the web you come across some music you like, please register, and then they ask for a credit card. Then the next site you find something you like, same thing register, and then credit card please. For 1 dollar or less purchases its just not worth it.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 11:33am

    Grooveshark

    Alas groove shark is free, and built on what the users send to it. I guess it isn't piracy because they pay ad money to the labels? Wait didn't some of the other people try to do this?

     

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  33.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: Dead Web

    yeah...but don't forget about those crazy kids swapping piano player rolls

     

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  34.  
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    AR (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 11:44am

    YEAH, Piracy is dead!!!

    Now they can fire the IP lawyers (no more infringing lawsuits)
    Disband ICE (no more need to protect the labels)
    Get rid of DRM (no one is copying so its just a wast of money)
    Throw out ACTA
    Get rid of three strikes policies

    SHHHHH!! Let them believe it. What they dont know wont hurt them.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 12:01pm

    Grooveshark

    Alas groove shark is free, and built on what the users send to it. I guess it isn't piracy because they pay ad money to the labels? Wait didn't some of the other people try to do this?

     

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  36.  
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    Alexthedogman (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 12:09pm

    More excellent news!

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Don't complain about being a Marxist if you do indeed espouse Marxist ideas.

    Demanding that creators donate their work to the collective, and saying that they already make too much money... is Marxism.

    The US fought two hot wars, a long Cold War, and spent billions to destroy communism.

    Why would they stop now?

     

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  38.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 12:17pm

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

    "Demanding that creators donate their work to the collective"

    No one here is doing that....

    "and saying that they already make too much money"

    Or that....

     

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  39.  
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    chris (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 12:20pm

    i don't really pirate music anymore

    as hardcore a pirate as i am, i just don't download much music anymore. i have just about everything i can think of.

    i occasionally find new stuff, but for the most part it's indie and i get it for free legally.

    it's to the point now that i have to find new music to steal.

     

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  40.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Only a dollar!

    Wired is getting a little too in lock step with its corporate overlords. Web is dead. iPad the hero of newspapers. Pay for Apps. Piracy is gone. Climate change. It would be nice if they gave something a skeptical eye every once in a while instead of just buying in to the popular fad/topic.

     

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  41.  
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    AR (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 12:23pm

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

    SEE... there you go. A perfect example redirect the attention so as not to see that his argument has no merit.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 12:23pm

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

    Hi there, Strawl Marx.

     

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  43.  
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    Furcifer, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 12:49pm

    Re:

    Of course Wired is dead, hence that article, they are merely after page hits.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Reasons for piracy

    Because, shut up.

     

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    Memyself, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 12:56pm

    Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    Years ago, the rallying cry was "if songs were $1.00 then I would buy music because I could afford to build a collection."

    Things will never be cheap enough for certain people, though they often claim otherwise. But when companies try to meet the supposed demands of the consumers, the goalpost shifts.

    At this point, many of the original "demands" of those pirating have been met. But it's never going to be enough for pirates unless things are absolutely free. Free of cost, free of ads, free of DRM...

    Ultimately, if the price is to high for someone, if they're to "cheap" to pay it, that's fine. Totally understandable. But that's not a reasonable justification for anyone to pirate.

     

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  46.  
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    Jason, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re:

    See there, to the right of his name, after the (profile) link, there it is.

    I think Paul was sad already, b/c his article is not letting me comment in spite of being logged in. Sad because the page is not working or page is not working because sad? I don't presume to know.

     

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  47.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Re: Dead Web

    Oh please tell me that's a Firefly reference.... :D

     

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  48.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Nice article, DH.

    With old games, there is at least one example: Square Enix shut down a truly amazing fan-made RPG set in the Chrono Trigger universe and based on original ROMs. This was not some hackish game mod either, but a comprehensive RPG for which they had already developed 35 hours of gameplay and 10 different endings.

    Although, on the flip side, Activision eventually allowed a fan-made sequel to King's Quest to move forward (though they had previously sent a C&D to the creators)

     

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  49.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Grooveshark

    I've wondered this too. I use Grooveshark to host some of my own music since it has a pretty decent embeddable widget system - but I have a feeling it's another one of those great services that is just quietly getting by while it waits for the lawsuit-hammer to come crashing down.

     

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  50.  
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    Karl (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 1:18pm

    I certainly hope piracy isn't dead

    If "piracy is dead," it's not because it's easier and cheaper to find "legitimate" content (it's not, yet). It's only because people have lost interest in art.

    So, as an artist, I certainly hope it's not true. Better a million pirates and a thousand fans, than a thousand pirates and no fans.

    You know who else doesn't want piracy to be dead? Labels and studios. Without piracy as a scapegoat, they'd have nobody to blame for their own failures.

     

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  51.  
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    Jason, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 1:25pm

    Free love is dead!

    Long live prostitution! Long live the pimps!

    Prices today are so unbelievable! You still want free love? Frankly, I think you're just cheap.

    /mmhmmright

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 1:31pm

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

    Creators already donate their work to the collective. It's called the internet and everyone is a creator and everyone contributes. Some charge but most don't.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Re: Reasons for piracy

    BUT COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT!!!

     

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  54.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 1:50pm

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

    Demanding that creators donate their work to the collective, and saying that they already make too much money...

    I'm curious as to who on this site has made either argument? Certainly not any of the posts. We have never suggested "donating works" to any "collective" nor do we think anyone makes too much money. It's why we spend so much time showing artists how to make more money.

     

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  55.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    Years ago, the rallying cry was "if songs were $1.00 then I would buy music because I could afford to build a collection."

    [Citation needed]

    I've been involved in this debate for years, and I never heard such an argument.

    What's with all the strawmen lately?

    At this point, many of the original "demands" of those pirating have been met. But it's never going to be enough for pirates unless things are absolutely free. Free of cost, free of ads, free of DRM...

    Not about "demands," it's about the market. Supply and demand.

     

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  56.  
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    Memyself, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 2:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    You seriously never heard people make that argument? Where were you in the Napster days?

    Demands: No DRM. Lower prices. More money paid to artists. No advertisements. These are the arguments often advanced by pirates over the years. You might have missed them, I suppose. But I really don't understand how. Now, I get that YOU are talking about supply and demand. Good for you. I'm talking about something else, and you'll please notice that I did not address my argument to you nor did I attach it to you. Strawmen indeed.

     

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  57.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 2:15pm

    Re: Only a dollar!

    True, I would absolutely buy more music if it were a quarter per song.

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 2:20pm

    I'm playing with hydrogen any one wants to make a beat since P2P is over?

    http://www.hydrogen-music.org/

    So there’s really no reason not to buy—and surely you understand by now that there are reasons why you should.


    Well actually I didn't forget I was called a thief, commie, freeloader, parasite, bloosucker and other things, I didn't forget how those people threated their fans and above all I didn't forget what copyright really is, so pardon me if I will not buy for any price what those people are trying to sell unless it has a open license on it. I will support good people those being the ones that make it for the love of it.

    Recently CNN has put an article about garbage pickers in Brazil and what the women said at the end stuck with me.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/11/30/brazil.gramacho.landfill/index.html

    Paula is 32 years old and has been working in Gramacho for nine years. She has a bright smile and is wearing a plastic shower cap and dangly silver earrings.

    She says the landfill workers have become like an extended family.

    "We all work in the same place, we laugh, we sleep when the sun goes down, one person helps another," she says.

    "We'll all have to find something to do. Recycling is what I know, but if I have to sweep streets, I'll sweep streets," she says. "The important thing is to keep working."


    The important thing is to keep working, not fighting. She is faced with a life changing situation, with the prospect of being left without a job and it is choosing to adapt instead of fight which would be costly is like nothing can break her spirit. I look at those artists claiming they will be ruined and all I see is weakness.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Tom, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 2:34pm

    Re:

    Not only is it easy to find torrents with MP3s at 512kbps and up MP3s don't go higher than 320kbps. Technically incapable. Maybe you should look at music torrents too?

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 2:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    The one $1 yep, before the crisis after the meltdown people are going for the .010 cents.

    But I think music piracy is over, not because the labels did anything but because good alternatives have sprung up and they are free.

    Jamendo I luv you.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 2:44pm

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

    Why it has to be Marx you don't know history do you?

    Pitagoras spread those ideas(His village was burned to the ground for it).
    The Bible did it.
    A lot of Saints did it.

    All of them well before Karl Marx.

    Besides you don't need to put it on the collective, I will just never know about it otherwise, you think I would spend money on people like you?

     

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  62.  
    icon
    RadialSkid (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 2:47pm

    Re: Re:

    Last I checked, LAME encoding allows up to 640kbps. 512kbps MP3 is pretty common.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 2:54pm

    How did we get here?

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 2:56pm

    Re: Re: Only a dollar!

    I doubt it.

    Music cannot be bought currently only rented, copyright laws make sure you have no rights to what you paid for.

     

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  65.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    I don't remember hearing that either. A dollar per song is only about 25% off the price of a CD at their most expensive (assuming 12 tracks per CD, and CDs mostly didn't go for more than about $16 IIRC). Hard to imagine a large number of people saying they could afford to buy music if only it were 25% cheaper. I mean, 100 songs would be $100 instead of $130. Not a great discount, and so I still don't buy much music. 100 songs for $20-30 is starting to sound more like it. There's a bunch of music I would buy in that price range.

    But of course you won't believe me. BTW I don't download the music at all, they just don't get any money from me, instead of the some money they could be getting.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 3:22pm

    Re: More excellent news!

    Google knows how things are trending.

    Everything that has happened in 2010 demonstrates that piracy as you once knew it is indeed dead.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 3:24pm

    Artificial Rights

    > Demanding that creators donate their work to the collective

    THAT is infact part of the bargain. That's part of the bargain for the conflict that such monopolies have on the rights of everyone else.

    > Don't complain about being a Marxist if
    > you do indeed espouse Marxist ideas.

    You mean like state backed monopolies?

    Anarchism is a better and more accurate way to describe
    the state where your creative works are not "protected"
    and they can be copied freely by anyone that chooses to
    exercise their own liberties.

     

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  68.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 3:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    You seriously never heard people make that argument? Where were you in the Napster days?


    Right here, writing about it. Never heard anyone say that if songs were just $1 everyone would be happy. At least not among the folks who were actively using Napster. There was some talk about "what if Napster charged" and everyone said they wouldn't use it, which seems like the exact opposite of the claim you're making.

     

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  69.  
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    Memyself, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 3:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    You pretty much take a shit right on civil discourse when you throw in "But of course you won't believe me."

    Why would I assume you're lying? I absolutely believe you didn't ever hear that. Hardly means it was never an argument advanced.

    At the time, a CD might cost upwards of $20 and have a few as 10 tracks. Admittedly, that's the hyperbolic example. But extreme examples are typically what people would rally around and that was the example often given in support of piracy, at least the frequent argument I would encounter a decade ago.

    Did I say that YOU download music?

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Ryan Peters, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 3:27pm

    Piracy will go down if:

    "Piracy" will be down to a reasonable level when the following things happen:

    1) All of the music/movies/games (or just the good ones) are sold DRM-free (or at least make it easy to make them DRM-free, like DVDs)

    2) I'm able to buy media internationally (I'm looking at you, Japan-only albums and video game soundtracks).

    3) They actually bother to distribute/sell the media instead of hiding it forever. (Video game soundtracks, old public-domain movies and shows, non public domain shows that people would actually watch, etc.)

    4) NO OVERPRICED MEDIA ($20 hour-and-a-half movies with barely any decent bonus features and won't let me rip it DRM-free legally, I hate you)

    The internet is here; there's no excuse to not release something anymore! And if something wouldn't sell well, price it lower than average; simple.

     

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  71.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 3:30pm

    Big Fat Red Herring

    No. That's the wrong perspective. The problem with this article is that it fixates on one small aspect of digital media while ignoring just about EVERY THING ELSE.

    Just look at the iTunes store itself. Sure, they got rid of the DRM on the music but it's still there for everything else.

    Also, things aren't nearly as simple as the industry would like to make out. There are other factors in play including the other side effects of technological change. One important aspect of that is the fact that there hasn't been another forced media format change in music since the Internet age started will likely never be one again.

    Thus something like the Beatles coming to iTunes becomes much less important.

     

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  72.  
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    Memyself, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    How is that the opposite of my argument? I agree, everyone was very clear on a disinterest in Napster charging.

    Like I said, I don't know how you missed that particular argument. It was quite common. It was along time ago, so much has been eaten by the web. However, a quick search found a valid example:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2000/01/06/technology/l-music-to-download-by-230588.html

    And that one, in 2000, was arguing that two bucks a song would be reasonable. This was a prevailing argument at the time. I'm sorry you missed it, but it was. And now we see the goalposts shift.

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 3:33pm

    As much as Masnick wants it to happen...

    Record labels are never going to go away.

    And the reason is that despite the fact that the internet provides another outlet for promotion, success on a large scale requires the effort of many. And artists are always going to want to reach and please the largest possible audience. Some things are simply done better by a team of people than an individual.

    And artists will always be looking for a way to get a leg up on the competition when it comes to exposure. They'll look for help in doing so.

    They'll look to record labels for that.

    The music business is never going away. And neither are the labels.

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 3:33pm

    Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    > Years ago, the rallying cry was "if songs
    > were $1.00 then I would buy music because
    > I could afford to build a collection."

    Too bad Walmart stepped in, interfered and changed the landscape.

    Now I can get a major studio movie for $5 on DVD.

    Times continue to change even as some companies struggle to get current with 10 years ago.

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 3:54pm

    Re:

    That may or may not be true, what I do know is that 2 are gone, 1 just filled for chapter 11 and the other remaining 3 are craping their pants.

    What I do believe is that tech companies will step up and be the new bosses around, the old players your dear "labels" will cease to exist.

    Can you say "Google Records"?

    LoL

    BTW Jamendo is another contender is a record label but it is modern, so I guess you are right record labels are not going away but there will be some new ones on the top.

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:07pm

    Re:

    Who said he wants that? He wants them to change and adapt to the times. Because if they don't, they will become irrelevant (to be replaced, I guess, by better adapted record labels).

     

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  77.  
    icon
    AR (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:08pm

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

    "Why it has to be Marx"

    Thats because it has more shock value.

    My point was that our government and these corporations are the ones acting like a communist state and that their defenders are calling the opposition communists in order to hide it. The reasoning for this is to to put them on the defensive, marginalize what they are trying to say, and get them to shut up and go away.

    They also get VERY upset when you call them on it.

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    $1 dollar was in 2000 before the economic meltdown, before people realized they don't own the music, before people realized that digital music is being rented not sold and can be deleted and for all of that people now think that $1 is too high and if it will be "sold" as a service then the price for it should be $0.010.

    Banks charge pennies, water utilities are charged in pennies, electricity is charged in pennies so this other new marvelous services should be in pennies too.

    No?

    Then I don't want it.

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:18pm

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

    Those rationalizations are two of more popular cries of the Freetards.

    "music should be free"- translation: "creators should donate their work to the collective."

    And don't tell me this blog isn't crawling with piracy apologists. There's some in this thread even.

     

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  80.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    How is that the opposite of my argument? I agree, everyone was very clear on a disinterest in Napster charging.


    Forgive me if I am wrong, but the implication of your original comment was that it was those who were file sharing who argued "if only the music would be priced at $1, we'd stop file sharing." Now you seem to be changing that argument to say that totally different random people made that argument.

    On that, I agree. Certainly some people thought that charging $1 was reasonable -- which is seen in iTunes. But, that's quite different than arguing that if the price is $1 it will convince people to stop file sharing.

    If you were just arguing that some people somewhere argued for per song pricing, I'm not sure what point you're making. That's got nothing to do with whether or not such pricing would impact file sharing.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:23pm

    Masnick rails on the record labels constantly here. You'd have to be blind to not see it.

    He wanted them to "to change and adapt to the times"? You mean give up on fighting piracy and go out of business?

    Ain't gonna happen.

    Piracy as you knew it is over. Mike is the one that needs to evolve, adapt, and accept the way things are now and will be in the future.

     

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  82.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:24pm

    Re:

    As much as Masnick wants it to happen...

    Record labels are never going to go away.


    My goodness are you ever good with the strawmen. I have never said that record labels would go away. In fact, I've argued *exactly the opposite*.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100811/18040910598.shtml
    http://www.techdirt.com/a rticles/20080318/173833576.shtml

    It amazes me how desperate you are to directly misstate my argument over and over again.

    And artists will always be looking for a way to get a leg up on the competition when it comes to exposure. They'll look for help in doing so.

    Indeed. As they should and as I've said time and time again that they should.

    They'll look to record labels for that.


    Yes. That's been my point all along.

    The music business is never going away. And neither are the labels.


    Agreed. Now why do you think you're saying something that goes against what I've said. I've said the exact same thing for years.

    And you wonder why people think you're a troll when you roll out so many strawmen.

     

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  83.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:26pm

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

    "music should be free"- translation: "creators should donate their work to the collective."


    Except we've never said music "should" be anything, either.

    My goodness, you really have to make up lies all the time, don't you? It's sad. It also shows why you don't actually get what we're saying. You're so desperate to hate on the messenger that you won't even bother to comprehend what we're saying. No wonder you're failing.

     

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  84.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    In addition to what Mike said, the real question for these businesses shouldn't be "how can we stop file-sharing" but "how can we maximize revenue?" If they think they get the most revenue by charging a dollar then they're doing what they think is best. I'm not sure they're right though, and I think a lower price could very well increase revenue.

    Moreover, I'm not even sure they're asking the right question. It seems a more common question is "how can we get people to stop 'stealing' our files" or "how can we get people to value our output*". If they want to make money, I don't think those questions should even come up.

    * I think this is the one that keeps them from dropping their prices

     

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  85.  
    identicon
    Memyself, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    My point really was that no amount of price restructuring will eliminate piracy, and that a subsection (not all) of pirates use shifting goalposts to justify piracy. The future IS in free distribution. I do not like this, but I do believe that free distribution is what the market will ultimately force and have supported this probability with free distribution of much of my own work.

    Anyway, I was responding to someone saying that they would download if the price were more reasonable. I think that may be true of some (including the person I was responding too), just as it has been shown to be true that some people will purchase at $1.00. But that it is also used as a false justification for those who really have no intent on purchasing.

    That was part of what I took from the original article. Not that piracy was literally dead, but that many standard justifications for piracy were no longer relevant.

     

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  86.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:39pm

    Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    I won't be paying for any music.
    I already pay a levy on CDs. The music industry owes me a lot for music I haven't downloaded or made a back-up of.

     

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  87.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:42pm

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

    Go sell your BS somewhere else, Masnick. No one's buying it.

    Read some of the comments in this very thread and tell me there's no pirate contingent here... LOL

     

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  88.  
    icon
    AR (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 5:10pm

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

    "music should be free"- translation: "creators should donate their work to the collective."

    Thats YOUR interpretation

    If I see or hear something that I want to own then I look at how much it costs. If I feel that they are charging too much, I wont buy. If you dont like it, thats too bad for you. Create something that will make me want to part with my money. Thats how supply and demand really works. If they think piracy is too big of a problem then they need to look at why. THATS THEIR JOB. But I'LL help out a little.

    If their price is too high then lower it. If they arent making enough money to cover their costs. find a cheaper way. If they feel that the money isnt worth their time and effort find a different job and leave it to someone who does.

    Sharing/piracy/black market has been around as long as civilization. Have you veer borrowed something because its not worth paying for? Or bought second hand because its cheaper? Its not going to go away anytime soon. Its also the publics answer to an elitist-entitlement mentality. Thats just the way it is, "Sweat of the brow" means nothing except to the one sweating.

     

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  89.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 7:38pm

    Re:

    In light of the lack of a "Laughably Desperate" button, I'll just mark your trolling down as "funny."

    Thanks.

     

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  90.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 8:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    I didn't mean that, I mean it sounds like you wouldn't believe me when I say I would buy a lot more music if it were 20-30 cents per track. But maybe I'm wrong - do you believe me? :-)

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    zaydey, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 8:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    "You are surfing the web you come across some music you like, please register, and then they ask for a credit card. Then the next site you find something you like, same thing register, and then credit card please. For 1 dollar or less purchases its just not worth it."

    Are you that clueless? You set up your itunes and amazon accounts, and that's it. Whenever you hear something you like, you download it. It's fantastic.

     

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  92.  
    identicon
    Irkt Abitnow, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 8:14pm

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

    No, you've got it backwards. Music is free and it always has been. By default the work already belongs to the public domain. However, we as a people have decided to grant control over copying to the artist as a capitalistic incentive to promote arts, science and progress. That's how the US Constitution words it anyway. (Granted, you may be somewhere else.)

    It is starting to seem however, like this right to control copying is being carelessly expanded just as its usefulness is dwindling. That is a problem. That is an economic problem that makes for inefficient markets and wasting of resources. That hurts all of us.

    I'm not some socialistic idealist here. I'm as capitalistic as it gets. I'm all for competition, but I expect a level playing field. I also want the agreed upon return that we paid for in copyright, namely a rich, ever expanding public domain.

    What we have instead is an increasingly limited one. That is NOT what we bargained for, and it's clear some adjustments need to be made.

    You pontificate about copyright infringement like it's theft of some kind. Copyright is, by nature, statutory. Infringement is no more a moral wrong than speeding, and as with speeding, sometimes the posted limits no longer make sense. In fact most states have a system for conducting speed surveys so that appropriate changes can be made by the simple process of people doing a little bit of speeding within reason and with statistical consideration for the outliers. A similar adjustment really must be made for copyright so that we're not stunting our growth as a species.

    Instead content industries have lobbied for even more control while returning back even less. Mike pipes up and tries to explain how reasonable we can all be about this, how all the hoarding is just spinning your wheels and limiting your profits, and how there are so many alternatives to the worst case scenario that you hold so dear, and you ridicule him and insult honest hardworking people as if we're the freeloaders here.

    Listen jackass, if anyone is being cheated, if anyone is being stolen from, it is we the people. If anyone is a pack of thieving hucksters, it is the monopoly subsidized consolidated media corporations and content industry lobbyists who continue leach off of artists, leach off the public, and beat down the public domain like a bastard step child. HOW FUCKING DARE YOU CALL US PIRATES?!

    No, I don't apologize for piracy, thank you, now kindly STFU, PIRATE!

     

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  93.  
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    \r (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 8:21pm

    Re: Re: Reasons for piracy

    that's funny - I may have peed a little - yup. ahh, yup that's funny not yup I peed, at least not more than a little

     

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  94.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 9:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    Gasp! You...you mean...the market is calling the shots?

    The dickens you say!

     

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  95.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 9:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    I recall it was more the recording industry pushing the 1 dollar a song pricing more than anyone else. I might've been in a different room...

     

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  96.  
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    Memyself, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 9:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    As I recall it, the recording industry attempted first to price things more around $3.00 a download, and argued that the $1.00 download was unsustainable.

     

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  97.  
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    Memyself, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 9:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    If you say you would, I believe you. But I do not believe it as a rule. Free is still cheaper than 20-30 cents (which does add up quickly). And many people find free too alluring to resist.

    Price is an easy target for the justification of piracy. Same as DRM and other related issues. A percentage of those who make said justifications are certainly honest about their beliefs. But a percentage are likely using the rationale as a shield (intentionally or not), and will simply shift goalposts when needed.

     

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  98.  
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    Memyself, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 9:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    Also: Sorry if I misunderstood your intent. I though you were being aggressive. But it seems that was just me being overly defensive.

     

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  99.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:20pm

    Re:

    Maybe not all but the big 3 are about to get chopped.

     

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  100.  
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    misterdoug (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 11:59pm

    The web isn't dead.

    But it did call in sick for a couple days just because, you know, it needed a break.

     

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  101.  
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    Anonymous, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 2:26am

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

    When we decided to expose this blog, our plan was to let you guys hang yourselves with your own rope.

    To you, and everyone else, thanks for making it easy.

    You, Masnick, and everyone here, have never once defended the fact that a creator's work is supposed to be shared on their own terms, not yours.

     

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  102.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 2:56am

    Re: Re:

    Mike- please remind us again why anyone would give a flying fuck about how you think the business of music should be conducted?

    What, exactly, have you ever contributed to art?

    Convince us that you're not just another geek/nerd/hacker that believes the vessel is more important than the content.

     

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  103.  
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    martyburns (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 4:28am

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

    expose this blog

    You mean I have you to thank that its available on-line now? I only wish you'd done it sooner so that I didn't have to get Mike to send me the hard copy via secret courier for all those years.

     

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  104.  
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    Irkt Abitnow, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 4:46am

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

    A creator's work is supposed to be shared on their own terms (there, you happy now?). The purpose of their copyright is also supposed to be to promote art and science - not corporate commerce. It's supposed to be an incentive to share, not an incentive to hoard. It supposed to be a great many things that it isn't.

    You don't get to have it be just one sided. Here I stand, gasp, exposed, for what? For wanting copyright to be reasonable and fair? Sure okay.

    I think based on today's ease of producing and distributing work and the added value that can be had from sharing, that copyright should be controlled on the creator's terms - for somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 to 20 years for most works of actual art. Software I think really is something else and should be treated altogether differently for purely economic reasons (2-5 years).

    As for whose terms it "should" be well, that's really a meaningless issue here has the terms are statutory. I think the statute should be changed.

    As for hanging ourselves? What is my viewpoint, that the current laws are wrong and should be changed, is that somehow hanging myself? You WANTED to be a jerk to people on purpose just to get them riled up so they sound angry when they share their opinion. Dude, go get your auto-erotica somewhere else.

     

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  105.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 5:26am

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

    Wait... did you just tell the blog's owner to go 'sell his BS somewhere else'?

    epic fail

    Hey, let me come over to your house and tell you to get out and go away.

    Wow... just.... wow.

     

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  106.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 5:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    "Anyway, I was responding to someone saying that they would download if the price were more reasonable."

    If I may interject... and remember, this is my opinion... I would buy directly more often if two things happen... 1) those rare can't-find-them-legitimately songs are made available and 2) if I knew that the money went directly (or at lease MUCH more) to the artists. I LOVE to support musicians... but I don't like to support the record labels that use and abuse them.

    If I knew the money was going to the artist, I would be more willing to pay even more than $1/song.

     

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  107.  
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    Howard the Duck (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 5:32am

    Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    That's absolutely not true. Sharers never had anything to do with the $1.00/song price. This price was set by the industry, not to appease file sharers but to appease record labels. Itunes had to negotiate for quite some time to get $1.00/song. I bought several complete albums from a now defunct Russian site for $4.00 or less. There is a tipping point, and the record labels need to dig deeper.

     

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  108.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 5:38am

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

    HUZZAH! A beer for you my good sir!

     

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  109.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 5:43am

    Re: Re: Re:

    And why is your opinion any more important? At least Mike's is informed and based on an understanding of the original intent of copyright law and the free-market economy.

    Yours however is based on the same mindless protect-our-monies blather that we hear from the recording industry trying to keep little plastic disks a form of currency.

    All we ever hear from you is "You are so wrong LOLOL!!!1!11" while Mike actually takes a moment to explain his opinion with fact and case law.

    So I ask you, please remind us again why anyone would give a flying fuck about how YOU think the business of music should be conducted.

     

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  110.  
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    AR (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 5:48am

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

    "You, Masnick, and everyone here, have never once defended the fact that a creator's work is supposed to be shared on their own terms, not yours."

    I know I dont speak for all here, but thats the biggest crock Ive heard in a while. Setting aside all the bleeding heart crap, how can I put this ...wrong!!!

    If someone is expecting to receive money from me, then they need to deliver on my terms. They want something from me. Not the other way around. I can prove my point by stating it this way. If I dont like their terms do I starve or do they? Domt get me wrong. They have every right to do it on their terms. Just dont demand that I pay for it. Dont cry and whine that you cant survive on the money you get for a service that not enough people want. I think someone listened to the song "Money for nothing" one too many times. Get over yourself already.

     

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    nasch (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 6:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    Definitely piracy will not stop. That's one thing we keep saying around here: it's not going to stop, so adapt to it. Reducing piracy to zero is a pipe dream. However, it is absolutely possible to convert some pirates to customers. I'm certain there are other people like me who would buy more at a lower price.

     

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  112.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 7:36am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you care so little about what Mike thinks, then by all means ignore him. Take your attention elsewhere and leave his little blog in peace.

     

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  113.  
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    Greevar (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 7:44am

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

    Communism is not equal to a dictatorship. If the US government was truly communist, then all things would belong to everyone equally. There would be no rich people and there would be no poor people. No one would be more powerful than the other. Communism is a concept of social and economic equality. The Soviet Union as Stalin created was as far from communism as slavery is from freedom.

     

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    artistrights, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 8:30am

    Piracy is Dead?

    Piracy certainly isn't dead, but the claims made in the article are worth discussing.

    The issue of how much artists make under a label contract can be disputed, however it seems to me to be besides the point. If an inventor signs over his rights to a discovery for a modest sum to a corporate entity, and that entity later makes billions off of the inventor's discovery, does this suggest that infringing the corporation's patent is just? If the inventor would have it otherwise, he is free to invest the time and energy to market the invention independently, just as authors are free to do today. To me, the argument that record labels rip off artists is just another way to justify infringement. If you don't like the labels' business practices, simply obtain your music elsewhere. If consumers choose to buy independent music because the companies justly compensates artists, for example, major labels will be forced to strike deals more favorable to the artist to stay afloat. That, to me, represents true market forces at work.

    And a larger point: many on this blog make a fairly straightforward argument: music and movies are only worth what people will pay in the market, the market is flooded with free copies, and thus, copyright owners and artists must be more thoughtful in delivering content to consumers. My issue is with the premise that the market is flooded with free copies, and the idea that it will necessarily be that way forever. As has been made quite clear in recent years/months, copyright owners are working to change this via laws, regulations, and lawsuits. We can debate the effectiveness of these attempts, but it seems far from clear that entrenched online piracy is a foregone conclusion that copyright owners must accept before they can become "innovative."

    Moreover, I take issue with the idea that copyright owners can only do one thing at a time: fight piracy or come out with new and innovative products and marketing. Movie studios, publishers, and labels can innovate while simultaneously pursuing options to control the wholesale reproduction and distribution of their works. For those who claim they truly do not support copyright infringement, these attempts should not be met with hostility. Pursuing new ways to reach consumers and market ancillary products is certainly something that all copyright owners should endeavor to do. However, I don't see how protecting intellectual property is in any way in tension with this.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 8:33am

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

    When we decided to expose this blog, our plan was to let you guys hang yourselves with your own rope.

    So..you are admitting that you have an agenda to discredit this site. Very interesting.

    The only ones I have seen hang themselves with their own rope is you.


    You, Masnick, and everyone here, have never once defended the fact that a creator's work is supposed to be shared on their own terms, not yours.

    I have seen this defended on this site quite often. What I have not seen is many defending sharing a creator's work on the gatekeepers's terms. Perhaps that is what you really meant to say.

     

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  116.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 8:53am

    Re: Piracy is Dead?

    "The issue of how much artists make under a label contract can be disputed, however it seems to me to be besides the point."

    To the overall global issue, perhaps. But I was discussing an article in which the author seems to tell everyone that one of the reasons you SHOULD buy music is because of all the wonderful ways that labels compensate creators....and that simply isn't true.

    "My issue is with the premise that the market is flooded with free copies, and the idea that it will necessarily be that way forever."

    It's the simple nature of the medium. When your customer can recreate your product at zero cost, you don't have anything to sell, unless you give them a reason to give you money for that infinite good. Digital reproduction is done at zero cost. What the labels are asking people to buy is digital reproduction. That simply doesn't make sense.

    "For those who claim they truly do not support copyright infringement, these attempts should not be met with hostility."

    The problem is that their strategies against pirates don't affect the pirates, and instead only encumber their actual customers. DRM is absolutely useless. And I mean TRULY useless, unless its goal is to annoy legimate purchasers. The question is one of effort vs. benefit, and there's little evidence to suggest that fighting "piracy" brings about a net benefit....

     

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    nasch (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:20am

    Re: Piracy is Dead?

    My issue is with the premise that the market is flooded with free copies, and the idea that it will necessarily be that way forever. As has been made quite clear in recent years/months, copyright owners are working to change this via laws, regulations, and lawsuits.

    Have you seen any evidence that those efforts have found broad success in curbing infringement? I sure haven't. Nor have I seen any indication that they have anything in the pipeline that will be any more effective.

    Movie studios, publishers, and labels can innovate while simultaneously pursuing options to control the wholesale reproduction and distribution of their works.

    They can, yes. But generally they haven't been innovating very well and have been suing instead of competing, not in addition to it. For examples of lackluster innovation and suing competitors, see Hulu and Redbox.

     

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  118.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:20am

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

    When we decided to expose this blog, our plan was to let you guys hang yourselves with your own rope.


    Forgive me if I do not see any hangman's noose. What, specifically, are you talking about? What have you "exposed"? That some people who *read* this site also engage in unauthorized file sharing? Um, no one has denied that. You do realize that even some people who work at major record labels engage in file sharing. What does that mean?

    You, Masnick, and everyone here, have never once defended the fact that a creator's work is supposed to be shared on their own terms, not yours.

    Because that's not how markets actually work. In a market, the creator of a product gets to set the initial terms, and that's it. Same thing with content. After that, it's up to the market. I would suggest reading an economics text, but you have mocked that suggestion in the past.

     

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  119.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:24am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Mike- please remind us again why anyone would give a flying fuck about how you think the business of music should be conducted?

    No one has to, but many who have listened to me have ended up making a lot more money. Seems like a simple calculation. Meanwhile, last I checked, you were complaining about how the artists you worked with were losing money for listening to your strategy of whining.

    So, I'm a bit confused as to why you would suggest listening to you makes more sense than listening to me.

    What, exactly, have you ever contributed to art?


    Art, of course, is in the eye of the beholder, but I thought we weren't discussing art, but business. If you are just concerned about art, sir, you should be thrilled to note all the creativity going on around the world. If you're interested in business, then you should also be happy because, as we've highlighted, more musicians are making more money than ever before. Life is good if you just opened your eyes.

    Convince us that you're not just another geek/nerd/hacker that believes the vessel is more important than the content.

    Once again, you appear to have assigned to me beliefs I do not have. I have always said that the content has tremendous value. It's all a question of how you monetize it. I'm not sure why you feel the need to repeatedly resort to silly strawmen, rather than listening to what I actually say. It's as if you simply don't want to hear things. Very odd.

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I have always said that the content has tremendous value."


    That made me think about the anonymous accusation again...

    By insisting that the only legitimate distribution of content (especially music) be in the hands of the industries which produce CDs and DVDs etc... Doesn’t that mean that the recording industries and their supporters feel the vessel (distribution method) is more important than the content?

    Trolling, logical fallacies, and a hypocrisy... HAT TRICK!!

     

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    Memyself, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    Anyone who ever believed that the usual purchase price entitled them to distribution rights has always been ignoring very easy to understand information always readily available. You say no one understood how the law worked in 2000? No. We knew it then. We knew it in 1990. We knew it in 1980.

    You don't want it, that's fine. Don't buy it. But don't acquire it illegally either.

     

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    Memyself, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    Is it worth it to sell at a lower price to acquire you as a customer though? Will the new influx of customers balance out the lost income as current consumers shift to purchasing at a fraction of what they pay now?

     

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    Memyself, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 10:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    1: If you can't find the music legally then you just can't find it. One of the things I do under those circumstances is basically time shift my purchase. I pirate, then purchase something I no longer need when it becomes available.

    2: Pennies on a dollar are still more than 0. And no musician is ever abused by a record label without being a willing participant.

     

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    Memyself, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    If the market would support it, the price would be higher. Customers absolutely set the price.

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 10:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    1) At the risk of continuing into the rhetorical and hypothetical, what if it never becomes available? You've already pirated and thus broken the law haven't you?

    There are a few CD's (such as the Rockula soundtrack... yes, I liked it. :p ) that are tied up in litigation over copyright ownership that I'd very much like to get my hands on. There just happens to be no source that I can find to download them, legitimate or otherwise (some pirate I am. Heh). So if I happen to download it, are you saying that it'd be ok someday when I pay for it later? While that makes good ethical sense, I doubt the law would really be on your side for it.

    2) I've read and heard about artists who didn't understand the situation they were getting into with particular labels and the abuse they suffered since. Young artists with "Jukebox Hero" going through their head are very easy to capture with promises of money and glory. A) I know there are three sides to every story, and I don't take the artists' stories on face value. B) Is it their fault that they got into the situation? yes. But I'm not going to support an industry that treats its artists like sweatshop workers... Just like how many people won't buy clothes made in actual sweatshops.

    So I'm sure those pennies the sweatshop workers are being paid is better than nothing, but that hardly justifies supporting the industry.

     

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  126.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    Also on 2) Musicians make more money on merchandise and touring anyway, so they're not making $0 just because people pirate their songs.

     

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    Memyself, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 10:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    1: I'm sure that my perspective on this issue is not in lines with the law. But if the product is not available legally... That's about the only time I think piracy makes sense. What can you do if they won't sell it to you?

    2: My point with this aspect is that if record labels are taking advantage of artists by only paying pennies on the dollar, what are pirates doing by paying less than the labels pay?

     

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  128.  
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    Coward (Anon), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 10:45am

    Wired

    At least they spelled "you're" correctly!

     

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    nasch (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    I don't know for sure, of course. I suspect they're not even willing to find out though. It would be great if they could figure out some kind of experiment to determine the point of maximum revenue.

     

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  130.  
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    Memyself, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    Agreed.

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    1) I'm glad we're on the same page on that one :) Although I do admit that I have pirated a couple of Disney’s in the past because of that limited release BS they pull on their movies. Screw the Disney Vault >:( I wanted my 9 & 10yos to see Fantasia and Fantasia 2k recently. I think it just became available now. But because of my anger at Disney, I'll delete the files before I'll buy a ligit copy.

    2) Most 'pirates' actually do more to support artists than the people who just pick up a CD every now and then. Now, before anyone asks, I don't have any hard evidence of this... just the understanding that if I pirate and album then pay to see a show and buy some t-shirts there, I'll do more to support that artist than someone who goes to FYE and buys the same album and just listens to it.

    Now I would have a problem of people who would go download a bunch of songs and burn them to CDs to be sold as bootlegs; but honestly, I've never seen that happen.

     

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    Memyself, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    1: Yup. Same page. Always nice to find common ground.

    2: I think it's perfectly reasonable to assume that both pirates and those who purchase are equally likely (or unlikely) to go see a show or buy a t-shirt. Besides, the comparison was not between pirates and paying customers, but pirates and record labels.

    3: I've seen lots of bootleggers over the years. Flea markets or just downtown "shops" operating out of the back of vans. Quite common, from my experience.

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    Dropping the numbers since we're done with #1

    I was drawing the comparison between pirates and paying customers (of CDs) to show where support comes from. Now, granted, I was giving a comparison to CD purchasers who don't go to shows and I know that there are those who do. The point I was making was that pirates are not about trying to defraud musicians and just get all they can for free.

    I also wanted to illustrate that if I pirate and album then pay to see a show and buy some t-shirts there, I'm supporting the artists more than the label is since all the money (or most, damned Ticket Master) goes to the artist, not the label. Simply put, artists see more money from us supporting pirates than from their own labels.

    I guess I'm looking in the wrong place for bootlegs. :\ Maybe I can find a copy of the Rockula Soundtrack at a flea market.

     

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    Memyself, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    I never said that pirates are only about defrauding musicians and getting what they can for free, though that description is certainly true for some percentage of pirates. More the point, pirates are not necessarily aware of 100% of the intricacies of finance involved in all aspects of the system.

    I'm reminded of work I used to do for Disney. It was 100% creator owned, financed by Disney. I met multiple people who told me they pirated the work rather than pay because Disney was taking advantage of artists such as myself. Well, that certainly was never true in my instance. I was very well paid for my work and was granted full rights to my work. It wasn't even an unusual contract. Many of my peers worked under the same conditions.

    Every contract is different. Even a company with a reputation as negative as Disney can be held up as an example of a company who has respected and even championed artist rights. So justifying piracy because artists are suffering and exploited... it doesn't hold up under real-world scrutiny. Not as a hard rule. No artist is compelled to enter a contract that is unfair. And many corporations offer contracts that side in the favor of the artist.

    How is the purchase of a t-shirt more support for a band than what the label provides? You're ignoring all the invisible benefits of corporate sponsorship, such as promotion, production, management and distribution. That's all in addition to the pennies per album. If you circumvent the label in favor of getting a small amount of money directly into the hands of the band, the label has no motivation for continuing all these aspects of support it potentially provides.

    You might do better searching for the soundtrack at a comic convention. The larger ones usually have some well stocked bootleg booths.

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    I do see your point about the added benefits of corporate sponsorship... and that is very true of the past. However, there are many new ways for artists to get their works out to fans. I don't think that the traditional label method is better than the new self-promotion for many artists.

    And I still stand behind my belief of exploitation of artists... especially the fad-of-the-hour artists that the labels gloss-up and toss out for mass consumption. I don't like that music, so I don't buy or pirate it. But they are the uneducated (in the ways of business) artists that are suckered in by promises of fame & glory. I remember reading somewhere that artists were so indebted to the label when they first sign on and do their first album that they actually don't see a thing for sales for quite a while, and then it's only a trickle.

    You can argue all you want about the added benefit of being promoted, but if all you're going to get is a pittance, what's the point? And if you're in it for the art, then why pay someone else to show your art? Just record it for yourself and your friends or play it at the coffee shop on the corner. Basically: if you sign with an artist, you expect to sell your wares. Under those traditional contracts, you didn't get paid much at all, while the label is raking in the lion’s share of the profit (yes, profit, not just gross sales). That’s exploitation in my book.

    All of that is for CDs... between tickets and merchandise,
    artists do make more money touring than they do from album sales.

    Sorry if all that seems rushed, but I'm trying to get out the door and didn't want you to think your points weren't worth replying to.

     

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    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 1:41pm

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

    if nobody's buying it, mission accomplished right? I guess you don't need to keep coming here and making pathetically weak counterarguments! Off to greener pastures and all that. Have a nice life!

     

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    Memyself, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    No worry. Your argument doesn't seem rushed. I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

    I'm not saying artists aren't ever exploited. Just that it can be nearly impossible to tell who is being exploited by who and when. So if the decision to pirate is based off speculation of exploitation, there is a good chance that the decision has been made off a misunderstanding of the facts.

    The value of promotion is massive. Worth far more than... well really any other aspect of the immediate equation. For right or wrong, the validation of a corporate backer can go very far with a percentage of potential fans. Sure, you may only get a small percentage of sales. But you earn something very difficult to purchase. As you go forward, you can use that validation when setting up your independent efforts and then reap very large rewards. This method has worked for many.

    And the benefit isn't just the promotion. It's the value of having a professional marketing team behind you. The value of having distribution professionals behind you. These are services the artist benefits from that they would normally be unable to afford.

    Regardless: The key point I was making was this: If record labels are exploiting artists by paying very little, what are pirates doing when they do not pay at all? Yes, maybe some of them support the band in some other fashion. But that certainly isn't true of each and every pirate. In fact, I highly doubt it is representative of the majority. You might feel differently, but neither of us is likely to have definitive facts to back up what percentage of pirates compensate in other ways.

    But even lacking definitive numbers, I suspect we can agree on the argument that not all pirates find a way to compensate. So what about those people? How are their actions not worse than the actions of the labels? Labels pay something. Pirates who do not compensate... well... they don't compensate. Not at all. They just take.

     

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    Jason, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 2:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    "But that it is also used as a false justification for those who really have no intent on purchasing."

    Why is it false justification? If a person was never going to make a music purchase in the first place and streamed a song, the possible outcomes are 1. they still never purchase the song 2. they are so enchanted with the music that they become huge fans and eventually do purchase. The ultimate outcome is a creator (musician + label + distributor) who gets x% of a sale (x~Prob(#2)) versus one who never gets a sale, and in either case has incurred no additional cost that was not awarded with a profit margin.

    Help me here.

     

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

  139.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 3:06pm

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

    Thank you, that is a great point. I'm going to remember that one.

     

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

  140.  
    identicon
    Memyself, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 3:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    If someone says: "I would buy this, IF it were price X" and they wouldn't, then it's false justification. Conversely, if someone says: "I would never buy this so I'll pirate instead", as you suggest, then it's not any form of false justification.

     

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

  141.  
    identicon
    Jason, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 7:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Mike- please remind us again why anyone would give a flying fuck about how you think the business of music should be conducted?

    What, exactly, have you ever contributed to art?"

    Ah, what exactly as the business of music ever contributed to art?

     

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

  142.  
    identicon
    spc, Dec 4th, 2010 @ 4:24am

    OMG!
    How could I missed this?!

     

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

  143.  
    icon
    Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 5:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are both right on the cheap argument...

    "But even lacking definitive numbers, I suspect we can agree on the argument that not all pirates find a way to compensate. So what about those people? How are their actions not worse than the actions of the labels? Labels pay something. Pirates who do not compensate... well... they don't compensate. Not at all. They just take."

    But that's making the assumption that every pirated song is a missed sale, which is still under argument in my (and others) opinion. You're right thought, that we don't have the numbers to really look one way or another. All of the studies I've heard about are a bit slanted one way or another.

    But my logic tells me that if 50% of pirates contribute more to the artist than their proportionate CD purchases would have netted the artists (which I think a few concert tickets and a bit of merchandise would do), that would pay the artist more than what the 100% of both contributory and non-contributory pirates' purchases of CDs would have netted.

    So 1000 pirates: if 500 purchase tickets and merch, that would be more money to the artist than 1000 CD sales through legitimate channels. But that's my logic based on incomplete data, so I could be wrong.

    I'm not arguing that non-contributing pirates don't help the artist, but I don't think they hurt them either. Unless you want to look at the "what they could have purchased", which I think is a bottomless argument.

     

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

  144.  
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    ryanve (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 8:55pm

    number of seeds

    Nowadays the number of seeds I've been seeing on Pirate Bay are huge. Kanye West has 7,000 seeds right now. Were torrents two years ago like that? I don't think so. If anything P2P is growing. More people are learning to BitTorrent or gaining home computer access.

     

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


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