Piracy Isn't The Problem, A Bad Business Model Is The Problem

from the but,-but,-but-piracy dept

I've mentioned before how often it seems that those who used to make their business model relying on artificial scarcity can't seem to shake the "but, but piracy" claims. For example, a few years back, when I attended a music industry conference, I was amazed at how many conversations went something along the lines of "We've got to stop treating customers like criminals... but we also need to wipe out those damn pirates." It's as if, when they hear about "piracy" they forget about everything else. I'm always encouraged by the first part (yes, stop treating customers like criminals), but always feel the latter part is a bit misguided. Ross Pruden points us to an interesting blog post by independent filmmaker Michael Barnard, with whom I've debated on this topic before, giving his views on "piracy." Like those other conversations, it starts out on the right track, noting that the entertainment industry started off making a big mistake in handing the "piracy problem" over to the lawyers, whose only solution to everything is to sue (or to change laws). Barnard, correctly, notes that this is not a solution that works -- and he specifically rejects proposals that would "cripple the internet." I think he's absolutely on the right track there.

He also then tries to dig in -- especially in the "movie piracy" space to see if he can separate different types of users and participants -- noting that not everyone who shares unauthorized files can or should be classified in the same manner -- though, I still disagree with his terms. If you call someone a "thievery pirate," you've pretty much shut off any opportunity to think about how they might be of assistance to you. Now, I know that those who think that anyone who falls into the classification of "thievery pirate" could never, ever possibly be of assistance at some point, but I think that may be a bit short-sighted from the standpoint of a content producer.

The problem, that I see, is that Barnard then shifts the essay to a "but, but piracy" type of argument:
The argument in favor of abdicating to piracy is that "it's tough to fight" and "easy to copy." This argument is weak and unimaginative. Abdicating is a roadblock to finding creative solutions. It's just as weak as when corporations blindly turn piracy issues over to the Legal Department. Both are devoid of the creative and moral spark to find a worthy solution for all involved.
I think there's a subtle, but important, mistake in what Barnard is saying here, and it's in the word "abdicating." While I'm sure there are some folks out there who say something along those lines, that's silly. Most of the folks who talk about embracing new business models and new technology never suggest "abdicating" to unauthorized file sharers. To me, abdicating is giving up. Or, at best, it's a form of "give it away and pray." What we're talking about is recognizing how those folks are a form of underserved customers, and then looking for ways in which they can be served.

Barnard is absolutely right that movies and such have value. If they didn't have value, no one would want them. However, he suggests that part of the problem is that because culture is a shared phenomenon, it's tougher for individuals to realize that someone else "owns" that, as they take a bit of ownership of it themselves, in terms of their experience with the work.
But there is a difference with music and movies that doesn't exist with cosmetics or sundries. With our creative endeavors, we enter into people's imaginations and emotions. It's very personal. Individuals don't maintain clarity of ownership over something that is so emotional and imaginative, since we enter their soul, manipulate their feelings, inspire their emotions. The clarity of who created what becomes muddy.
That's an interesting angle I hadn't thought of before, but I'm not so sure that it's the clarity here that gets muddy. I've found over and over and over again, that when a creative artist really does enter someone's soul, manipulates their feelings and inspires their emotions, that those individuals will then go out of their way to continue to support that artist. We see it all the time with musicians like Amanda Palmer or filmmakers like Kevin Smith -- both of whom have fanbases who love to support them, no matter what they're doing.
The choice to download without paying--and most people I've talked to acknowledge they feel as if they should pay but don't want to--is often driven by a sense of anger against filmmakers, as if we were all pompous, elitist millionaires trying to pry $10 out of their hands for something that "really" has no value. Weird. (Frankly, I'm now annoyed by the number of times this meaningless, angry, rote argument is foisted as the justification for piracy and I dismiss it.)

We should work on the issues of perceived value and ease of legal acquisition, rather than abdicate to the piracy and buy into the anger argument, or follow the Legal Department lead and attack our consumers.
What's "weird" to me is that I almost never hear the argument he discusses above. Time and time again when I speak to people who download unauthorized works, I hear quite different stories. They talk about how they don't think the price is reasonable -- or they don't want to get stuck with annoying DRM, or they don't want to have to deal with noisy people at the theater, or who knows what. The ones who actually are touched or moved are happy to support the artist -- but much of that often comes in the form of support for future projects.

And this is where I think some of the confusion often comes in in these discussions. No one (well, I'm sure there are a few, but they're a minority) denies that there is value in the works created. The question is where is that value captured. Many content creators feel that it should be captured in you paying up before you've consumed their work for the first time. Many content consumers don't like that bargain. And so they seek out something else. But that doesn't mean there still isn't value created when someone experiences the music or the film. It's that value that Barnard was discussing in the emotional impact of the work. The trick then is not to worry about getting paid for every copy or every download, but to set up all sorts of opportunities for people to support you as a content creator. Now, this can come in all sorts of formats. Fan-funding has become popular these days, via platforms like Kickstarter, and that can work for some artists. Others are doing creative things like selling related tangible goods that are made more valuable due to their connection to music or movies (Amanda Palmer selling off special ukuleles). Others are selling their experience (Kevin Smith is offering a wonderful 10-week "film school" discussing how he made his latest film). Others are selling a wide variety of things (Nina Paley's long list of ways in which she makes money from her film, Sita Sings the Blues).

The point is that we need to get away from "but, but piracy," and worrying about the fact that, yes, some people are going to download the work for free. That doesn't mean "abdicating" to piracy -- it means working to figure out ways to capture some of the value created from those who download. That means setting up all sorts of opportunities where there is additional scarce value for supporting your future works, rather than worrying so much about getting paid for the past work.

Yes, content creates value. Part of the complaint, right now, is who is capturing that value. Many content creators feel that consumers (or other third parties) are capturing too much of that value, and the content creators aren't capturing enough of it. That may be true. But the point is that the way you do that is not by talking about "pirates" or worrying about the one guy over there downloading your work and not paying for it. The way you deal with it is by creating a series of opportunities where you can provide scarce value in the future for a price, and getting people to pay you for it. Some people will never pay. Forget about them. They're meaningless. Focus on the folks who now appreciate your work, and look for ways to get them to pay to keep you moving forward.


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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 1:00pm

    Lets hope RIAA and the MPAA keep the lawyers ...

    A sure fire way to ruin a business or government is to let lawyers run it. They have no vision, think only of billable hours, don't have a clue about business, and don't care who they piss off or step on.

    Its a sure fire way to accelerate the failure of these industries.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 1:08pm

    True, but don't expect those who worship at the cult of ip to understand this.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Lets hope RIAA and the MPAA keep the lawyers ...

    Artists look past, present, and future.

    Lawyers look past and present. It's not in their job description to think about the future because the law is based on what is now and what was.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re: Lets hope RIAA and the MPAA keep the lawyers ...

    From the article ... "To a hammer, every problem looks like a nail." he uses it to describe lawyers.

    With lawyers its more like, its what they know, the thrill of the chase, making of the deal, and the competition. That and the billable hours. :)

    Your line "Lawyers look past and present. It's not in their job description to think about the future because the law is based on what is now and what was." Just gave me insight into why lawyers are the way they are. Thanks.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 1:48pm

    It is rather entertaining, a great ripping apart of the concept, but as always, ignores the basics:

    piracy.

    You can't get away from it. You can make fun of the people who mention it, you can laugh at them, you can make rude comments, but in the end, there is still piracy, and piracy nearing levels that will make the system collapse completely.

    Good you say?

    How many netflix movies did you enjoy this month?

     

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    Michael Long (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 1:51pm

    "...as if we were all pompous, elitist millionaires trying to pry $10 out of their hands for something that "really" has no value."

    You never hear this argument? It comes up all of the time. It comes up for music, for software, for movies, and even for books.

    As to price... hah. Pick ANY price, and sure enough there will be someone who will suggest that even that price is too high for a "digital copy that costs nothing to produce." Cut THAT price in half, they say, and they'd be a customer. They'd more than make up the difference in volume. Right.

    It's all about evil corporations who are looking only to screw the consumer. Heck, even here you hear that argument just because Amazon charges people 20 cents more for a digital book than Amazon (NOT the publisher) charges for the print version. Oh, the inhumanity of it all.

    "They talk about how they don't think the price is reasonable -- or they don't want to get stuck with annoying DRM, or they don't want to have to deal with noisy people at the theater, or who knows what."

    Precisely. Who knows what. Solve almost any problem, and they'll switch to a different argument. It's almost as if most of those arguments were little more than rationalizations.

    As if they were simply justification for stealing anything and everything that they want, and paying ONLY when it suits them... or on those rare occasions when they have no choice.

    "Some people will never pay. Forget about them. They're meaningless. Focus on the folks who now appreciate your work, and look for ways to get them to pay to keep you moving forward."

    Unfortunately, that's subject to the "free rider" problem. And game theory tells us that sooner or later the sucker who's paying for everyone else will eventually get tired of being the sucker.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 1:52pm

    Don't argue semantics, your point is the same.

    Mike, I think you and he agree about "abdicating" as it seems most of your argument revolves around the semantics of "abdicating to pirates". You say "Some people will never pay. Forget about them. They're meaningless." and he says "We should work on the issues of perceived value and ease of legal acquisition, rather than abdicate to the piracy" - basically meaning (imho) "We should turn more pirates into customers" a sentiment I believe you share. He also seems to agree that "pissing off legitimate (and potential) customers is a bad idea" and "threatening people is a horrible business model" which I've seen you reiterate a lot.

    Speaking of which, do you have a way to conduct surveys through the site? It hit me as I read this article that this argument may be mostly academic, as some of your (and his) conjectures are educated guesses and possibly out of touch with consumers. While I agree with your conclusions (people don't want to pay up-front before "sampling the goods" because they don't know what they're getting into and it may not be worth it, and also that the movie/song/etc is overpriced ($30 for a new release Bluray? Are you kidding?) - this may not be the way the average consumer feels or the things that drive a potential customer to pirate a work. Have any studies been done in this area, or surveys or something of the sort?

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 1:57pm

    Re:

    "but in the end, there is still piracy, and piracy nearing levels that will make the system collapse completely."

    Wait, what system are we talking about, exactly? Because we occasionally see studies detailing the more music and movies are getting made than ever before.

    Maybe you can be more detailed in your supposition?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 1:59pm

    Re:

    Is Netflix even available in my country?

     

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    J.J. (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 2:07pm

    Uhmmm...

     

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    J.J. (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 2:08pm

    Uhmmm...

    Any Buisness model that relies on you not being outsmarted by a 12 year old ... is a BAD one.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Don't argue semantics, your point is the same.

    You should always work on the issues of perceived value. Marketting is always going to be important. I don't see what that has to do with "piracy" at all.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 2:13pm

    Re:

    As if they were simply justification for stealing anything and everything that they want, and paying ONLY when it suits them... or on those rare occasions when they have no choice.

    I don't think that's inconsistent to what is often said on this site. The key is to maximize the opportunities to buy when it suits the customer.

    As for the free rider analogy, I question its applicability to to digital goods. A million pirates downloading an mp3 doesn't diminish my ability to pay for said mp3. I guess your argument would be that it would affect future mp3s if the artist goes out of business?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Don't argue semantics, your point is the same.

    Some people might not feel that 30$ is too much for a blueray, but that also might be because they only buy their 1 favorite blueray for every 10 movies they watch.

    Much I would enjoy them, I think the results of a survey done through this site would be a bit biased due to the fanbase if you are looking for overall consumer information.

     

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    TN, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Uhmmm...

    touché

     

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    TN, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 2:39pm

    I have a real bug bear with music clips I see on YouTube or elsewhere, say, a band that did a session at a radio station and it was filmed, and it's really good, but you can't find it for sale anywhere. The tune, sure; the official clip, yep.
    The clip I'm looking at now? Nada. Then I become a disgruntled (thievery pirate) customer and just convert the clip to hard drive and be damned.

     

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    Anonymous, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 2:40pm

    Re: Uhmmm...

    I didn't know it was a 12 year old that built the Pirate Bay site...
    Name another business model that allowed itself to be ruined by illegal behavior.

    If someone can take something without paying for it and know they know they can get away with it, they'll take it. Arguing against an obvious flaw in human nature is futile. And stale.

    We now have 10+ years worth of examples of that. Which is why gov realizes that it is a problem that has to finally be addressed.

    No amount of whining about it on this blog is going to change that. They have decided to do something and they're not going to stop.

     

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    Greevar (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 2:40pm

    The problem is that they're selling the wrong good.

    It's true. Economically, digital art is worthless to the market. So, maybe the artists are selling the wrong goods? I've said this many times in the past, but I think artists should using the business model of a landscaper. They attract customers, estimate the job, set a price, and then they do it. This works well because the customer gets what they want and the landscaper gets paid. Their work stands as evidence to their skill and advertises this to anyone who lays eyes upon it.

    What if your customer wasn't just one person? What if it was many people? Create a public presence for yourself online and attract customers who want to pay you to do what you do well (e.g. music, movies, games, etc.). You have ideas and samples posted for them to see and they throw money at the project they want you to do. As long as you get paid enough to cover your costs of production, pay your employees, and pay yourself, you can create things that can be shared without worry of lost revenue because you already got paid.

    If you stop selling a "product" and start selling your skill, you don't have a thing to fear from "piracy". In fact, the so-called "pirates" actually serve as your distribution and publicity department. They'll share your work all over the place, and more eyes on your work means more potential customers. This model requires no copyright, adding to the public domain encouraging and inspiring new works, for love and for money, to be created.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Re:

    Not mine, though I would gladly pay twice as much as Americans do for it...

     

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    PaulT (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 2:45pm

    Re:

    I remember when Evanescence first started hitting it big, I saw a few gigs of their in the UK, bought CDs, merchandise, etc. But, my favourite songs of their were some acoustic songs they did at a US radio station (I forget the name, can't be bothered to look it up now). As far as I'm aware, they've only been legally available on a Brazilian special edition CD, that's difficult to get hold of outside of Brazil or torrents. So, most fans pirate despite being willing to pay for those specific performances...

     

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    J.J. (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 2:47pm

    Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    i LOVE how you industry shills always point to TPB as the lead target, don't mind the other 200,000 torrent sites, oh no, nono.

    "They" might have decided to "do something about it" but the flaw is that all political power stems from the people, and if you ask the people you'll probably get a different answer than if you ask the lobbyist-spoonfed-politicians.

    Once the polls start showing the result of "Doing something about it" they will back off, any politician would. afterall, it's their job on the line.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 2:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Lets hope RIAA and the MPAA keep the lawyers ...

    It's what artists are supposed to do!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 2:50pm

    Re:

    Unfortunately, that's subject to the "free rider" problem. And game theory tells us that sooner or later the sucker who's paying for everyone else will eventually get tired of being the sucker.


    You are right the suckers got tired to paying for everybody's else, now they just don't pay and take it.

    I find its kind of poetic justice here.

    I for one will never pay anything to those people ever, I will also not consume that crap.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 2:52pm

    Re:

    "Amazon charges people 20 cents more for a digital book than Amazon (NOT the publisher) charges for the print version."

    Indeed. A digital version. That costs far less to produce and distribute and therefore makes more money for the publisher and retailer. That can only be read on a certain number of pre-determined devices, and is illegal to consume in a non-pre-determined form. That Amazon or the publisher can choose to revoke and remove at any time without recourse. That you cannot lend, nor resell nor trade. Which has no value past your initial reading session for many people, and is therefore far less valuable and yet costs MORE than a paperback to which you can retain any of the above rights and more.

    You're an idiot if you can't see the problem here.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 2:52pm

    Piracy isn't the problem greed is

     

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    Tomek, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re:

    volume of work does not = success. anyone in the music industry will tell you that there is no $$ - especially for artists who are at the bottom of the food chain.

    people are just cheap asses that feel entitled to art. it's a lack of respect and understanding for the process. it's just sad. Amanda Palmer having to sell ukulele's is pathetic. do you really think that's what she wants to do. no, she wants people to buy her songs - but since you can't pirate a ukulele - that's the answer?

    if you haven't invested tens of thousands of dollars in a project then your opinion on this matter is pretty mute to me.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    No amount of whining about it on this blog is going to change that. They have decided to do something and they're not going to stop.


    Pirates everywhere are crapping in their pants right now.

    Oh the horror.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 3:06pm

    Re:

    And game theory tells us that sooner or later the sucker who's paying for everyone else will eventually get tired of being the sucker.

    Game theory? Seriously?

    Game theory tells us no such thing!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 3:07pm

    Re:

    ...piracy nearing levels that will make the system collapse completely.


    And that is why people should go to school or at least the library to study things and not make this ridiculous statements.

    Assuming of course that this dude is not a troll LoL

     

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    Ben (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 3:10pm

    Re:

    I am one of the people who refuses to pay for DRM, or an exorbitant price (more than the physical version) for a virtual item, etc. You are wrong about them being simply "justifications." When a service appears that meets my expectations, I use it, regardless of the free options, because it is more convenient and provides more value. allofmp3.com was an example of this. The prices were reasonable (and directly linked to the cost of providing service) and the content was provided in many formats, leaving me free to choose.

    Of course, instead of learning from allofmp3's model, the RIAA just threw money at lawyers and lobbyists to try to shut it down.

     

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    Anonymous, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 3:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    Politicians could care less about lazy, parasitic kids that rip off music and movies.

    It's hilarious that you are so delusional as to think that they would.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 3:16pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Culture changes. Always has and always will.

     

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    Richard (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 3:16pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    anyone in the music industry will tell you that there is no $$ - especially for artists who are at the bottom of the food chain.

    Always was true always will be true. Fact is that if things get better for musicians all that happens is that more people try their hand. At present more people are trying than ever before - because the business is doing well. Of course the failures are in the majority - they always were and they always will be - and so the better the business is doing the more of them there will be.

    In the past if you failed it was possible to blame other people (the gatekeepers). Now you have no-one to blame but yourself.

     

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    Anonymous, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 3:17pm

    Re:

    Piracy is greed.

    Thinking it's ok to just take a creative work that's for sale because you don't want to pay for it? Greedy. Duh.

     

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    RadialSkid (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 3:19pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "she wants people to buy her songs"

    Wouldn't that make her a "cheap ass" that "feels entitled" to money?

    Business models come and go. If you don't like that, stop making movies. At least five more filmmakers who ARE willing to innovate will take your place.

     

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    Anonymous, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    Judging by the posts here and on the other pirate sites, it does indeed seem like they're starting to freak. It's pretty funny.

     

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    el_segfaulto (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 3:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    We ARE entitled to art. Copyright is a contract between content creators and society. We grant them a temporary monopoly on distributing their work, and they let their work go into the public domain after a reasonable amount of time. The media cartels have not upheld their end of the bargain and can't figure out why people are rebelling. Why should I pay a premium on Marx brothers movies or Buddy Holly albums when what I pay doesn't benefit the artist at all and the works themselves should have been in the public domain decades ago.

     

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    RadialSkid (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 3:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    1. "Could care less" means they do care to an extent. I assume what you mean to have written was they "couldn't care less."

    2. Given how much guys like Biden whine about piracy, how we now have an "IP czar," and seeing how the U.S. government has leaned on Sweden and Spain to blindly adopt U.S. copyright standards, I think it's pretty damn obvious that they DO care, quite a bit.

     

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    Richard (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    Politicians could care less about lazy, parasitic kids that rip off music and movies.

    It's hilarious that you are so delusional as to think that they would.


    Their parents vote - I think the politicians will worry about them.

    It's strange that you are so delusional that you ignore the connections between people.

     

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    Richard (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 3:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    Judging by the posts here and on the other pirate sites, it does indeed seem like they're starting to freak. It's pretty funny.


    Actually what people don't like is the collateral damage that you and your ilk propose to inflict on people who are not party to your dispute.

     

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    Richard (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Re:

    Thinking you should be paid again and again for something you did once - that's real greed.

     

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    Anonymous, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 3:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    Freetard: "mommy, daddy, don't vote for him, he's trying to stop me from ripping off music and movies"

    Parents: "Go get a job. And a life, you worthless leech."

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    RTD, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 3:34pm

    please stop beating the drum of piracy and consumer file sharing

    I don’t know the issues concerning movies, but I do know about music and piracy to me are the individuals who reproduce copy written music and films and sell them on the streets and they generally do this in countries around the world where laws or enforcement of copyright laws on weak or unenforced. File sharing is akin to airplay and should be treated as such and for the right to file share a royalty revenue should be paid by DSPs or sites based to the publisher/label similar to how YouTube tracks and pays for use of copyright material. The industry could have done this in 2,000 w/ Napster, but they knew best.

    The music industry, dominated by Warner Music, Universal Music, Sony and EMI is now essentially a Ponzi scheme, having consolidated to the last 4 companies that control 65% of current and catalogue music have in the process have accumulated enormous debt. Their combined gross sales are back to where they were in 1991, after peaking in 2000 and 1999 as the biggest years of the business (and the height of Napster). In the last decade the number of releases have exploded to well over 150,000 releases (majority being digital only) up from 35,000 releases in 2000 and yet sales have decreased to where they were in the early 1990’s even has music has become more pervasive than ever.

    For once I would like to see an article that furthers the conversation as to why the music business is in the state it’s in and as we enter a new decade and put to bed the meme of: ‘Piracy Isn't The Problem, A Bad Business Model Is The Problem.’

    Consider instead the rampant consolidation that on the label side has destroyed creative vision in favor of market share. Or, how radio consolidation , (another industry on the precipice of failure and irrelevance), is playing 40% fewer songs than they were in the earlier half of the decade. The decline in airplay on current music (Post-Elliot Spitzer’s payola investigation) where the beneficiaries where the major labels who effectively broke the back of independent promotion and unwittingly cut their own throats in the process. The radio groups, who used what revenue they could get from independent, said ok major labels, ‘we will play your music if and when we want to.’ Another catalyst in declining sales was the decision to hand ITunes and Apple a virtual monopoly on digital music by insisting on DRM that is proprietary to Apple (ITunes is the #1 music retailer over Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Amazon and has been for the last few years). The insistence on DRM is even more insane when you consider the fact that the majors had abandoned any DRM protection on CDs and that each CD is a digital delivery device. Also when considering the ITunes’ monopoly on digital music sales please also consider the fact that there is not a single hardware device for the consumption and storage of digital music that is less than 50 dollars. 99 cents or $9.99 are great until the entry level of owning a computer, smart phone w/ plan and of course internet service get in the way. CDs never had that limitation to consumption of the software in CDs. If you are fortunate enough to have a computer and you are sharing w/ Mon, Dad, brother and sister then there needs to be consideration for how personal music really is as stated in the article…”there is a difference with music and movies that doesn't exist with cosmetics or sundries.” Yes music is different it’s personal and unambiguous owner ship and security of music purchased is an important factor to music fans. I could go on about how physical retail has shrunk from over 9,000 stores across the US to less than 2,000 stores today but when every article is about file sharing and perceived piracy what would it matter.

    UHF/VHF went away last year, AM/FM and the handful of companies that controls these frequency have amassed so much debt that they will never recover even if the radio ad business got better because they have lost their own art and generations of kids have no use for them. Universal Music the largest music company and has made money by suing internet companies for copyright infringement and in spite of market share their music business is failing. When the costs of doing business are measured in today’s cost, the bottom continues to fall out of physical retail and you have amassed more debt from consolidation, what you owe on mandatory mechanical royalties is more than you earn and your sales are where they were in 1990 what happens? Same thing that happened to Bernie Maddoff.

    In spite of all this do I think Music sales will boom again, just not anytime soon. But as a new year’s resolution perhaps for a change please stop beating the drum of piracy and consumer file sharing unless you are actually looking at the cause for this disaster.

     

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

  44.  
    identicon
    RTD, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 3:34pm

    please stop beating the drum of piracy and consumer file sharing

    I don’t know the issues concerning movies, but I do know about music and piracy to me are the individuals who reproduce copy written music and films and sell them on the streets and they generally do this in countries around the world where laws or enforcement of copyright laws on weak or unenforced. File sharing is akin to airplay and should be treated as such and for the right to file share a royalty revenue should be paid by DSPs or sites based to the publisher/label similar to how YouTube tracks and pays for use of copyright material. The industry could have done this in 2,000 w/ Napster, but they knew best.

    The music industry, dominated by Warner Music, Universal Music, Sony and EMI is now essentially a Ponzi scheme, having consolidated to the last 4 companies that control 65% of current and catalogue music have in the process have accumulated enormous debt. Their combined gross sales are back to where they were in 1991, after peaking in 2000 and 1999 as the biggest years of the business (and the height of Napster). In the last decade the number of releases have exploded to well over 150,000 releases (majority being digital only) up from 35,000 releases in 2000 and yet sales have decreased to where they were in the early 1990’s even has music has become more pervasive than ever.

    For once I would like to see an article that furthers the conversation as to why the music business is in the state it’s in and as we enter a new decade and put to bed the meme of: ‘Piracy Isn't The Problem, A Bad Business Model Is The Problem.’

    Consider instead the rampant consolidation that on the label side has destroyed creative vision in favor of market share. Or, how radio consolidation , (another industry on the precipice of failure and irrelevance), is playing 40% fewer songs than they were in the earlier half of the decade. The decline in airplay on current music (Post-Elliot Spitzer’s payola investigation) where the beneficiaries where the major labels who effectively broke the back of independent promotion and unwittingly cut their own throats in the process. The radio groups, who used what revenue they could get from independent, said ok major labels, ‘we will play your music if and when we want to.’ Another catalyst in declining sales was the decision to hand ITunes and Apple a virtual monopoly on digital music by insisting on DRM that is proprietary to Apple (ITunes is the #1 music retailer over Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Amazon and has been for the last few years). The insistence on DRM is even more insane when you consider the fact that the majors had abandoned any DRM protection on CDs and that each CD is a digital delivery device. Also when considering the ITunes’ monopoly on digital music sales please also consider the fact that there is not a single hardware device for the consumption and storage of digital music that is less than 50 dollars. 99 cents or $9.99 are great until the entry level of owning a computer, smart phone w/ plan and of course internet service get in the way. CDs never had that limitation to consumption of the software in CDs. If you are fortunate enough to have a computer and you are sharing w/ Mon, Dad, brother and sister then there needs to be consideration for how personal music really is as stated in the article…”there is a difference with music and movies that doesn't exist with cosmetics or sundries.” Yes music is different it’s personal and unambiguous owner ship and security of music purchased is an important factor to music fans. I could go on about how physical retail has shrunk from over 9,000 stores across the US to less than 2,000 stores today but when every article is about file sharing and perceived piracy what would it matter.

    UHF/VHF went away last year, AM/FM and the handful of companies that controls these frequency have amassed so much debt that they will never recover even if the radio ad business got better because they have lost their own art and generations of kids have no use for them. Universal Music the largest music company and has made money by suing internet companies for copyright infringement and in spite of market share their music business is failing. When the costs of doing business are measured in today’s cost, the bottom continues to fall out of physical retail and you have amassed more debt from consolidation, what you owe on mandatory mechanical royalties is more than you earn and your sales are where they were in 1990 what happens? Same thing that happened to Bernie Maddoff.

    In spite of all this do I think Music sales will boom again, just not anytime soon. But as a new year’s resolution perhaps for a change please stop beating the drum of piracy and consumer file sharing unless you are actually looking at the cause for this disaster.

     

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

  45.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 3:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    Doesn't sound like any real parent - child relationship I'm aware of (speaking as a parent).

    (Btw you just lost all remaining credibility with that last comment).

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 3:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    Collateral damage? Ahahahahahahahahahahaha

    what collateral damage?

    Like record stores going under across the country? Like bands not being able to afford touring? Record labels and recording studios going out of business? That kind of collateral damage? The concert business is now starting to crap out too...

    There is not a single positive thing to have come from your parasitic behavior. Just carnage. That's why gov had to step in.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 3:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    They sure have stepped in it.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 3:47pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    BUT COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT!!!

    Plus, it's pretty obvious by now that art has been completely destroyed. Thanks, thanks for nothing, basic human nature.

     

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  49.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 4:28pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "volume of work does not = success. anyone in the music industry will tell you that there is no $$ - especially for artists who are at the bottom of the food chain. "

    You mean, apart from where they're making more money than ever before?

     

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  50.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 4:29pm

    Re: Re:

    "Assuming of course that this dude is not a troll LoL"

    The benefit of the doubt is a heavy burden here sometimes..

     

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  51.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Re:

    "Of course, instead of learning from allofmp3's model, the RIAA just threw money at lawyers and lobbyists to try to shut it down."

    As I've said before, if I'm a small enough minority that it isn't worth providing music in a decent range of formats then they aren't going to miss my money. The few that do offer what I want will just get more of it.

     

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  52.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    "I didn't know it was a 12 year old that built the Pirate Bay site..."

    I was pretty young when I started file sharing via internet relay chat.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 4:43pm

    Re: Re:

    Volume isn't related to piracy. Volume is related mostly to technology making it easier for less technically inclined people to produce content. In ticket sales (movies) and recorded music sales, there is no signficant increases to offset this increase. The numbers pitched around on TD from a year or two back was a doubling of the number of released movies in the US, and only a very slight increase in income (but a decrease in ticket sales, the difference made up by higher ticket prices for 3D and Imax).

    In reality, the excess of content creates a situation where the same amount of money is shared over twice as many players, which means each on receives only half of what they did before on average. If the average movie was barely breaking even before, now they are losing their behinds bigtime. There are plenty of examples, and outside of the small percentage of successful movies, there is just tons and tons of money, time, and effort being poured into movies that just plain suck or never catch on in the market place.

    Piracy means that people can "break the windows" that the movie industry depends on to maintain higher perceived value by consumers, and higher market prices. The theatrical release (at $10 a head), followed by the PPV release (at $5 a view) followed by the retail / rental market ($15-$20 to buy, $1 to $3 to rent), followed by broadcast and network licensing (depends on the movie). Piracy means that consumers can skip all the windows and get the product for nothing, sometimes before the movie even get released in the theaters. That pulls money out the system.

    So now you have the worst possible thing: continued increases in the number of movies, shortening of theatrical windows, more competition for PPV space, shelf space, and rental list space, all of which means less and less income for each movie.

    Something has to give. The public's demand for good movies, is not matched by their willingness to pay. Just like in music, consumption is at an all time high, by payments are not. Piracy feeds the greed of people who want more, more... but who are not willing to pay. That creates a broken system.

    Your local mall stores would not tolerate 20% shrinkage, nor would they tolerate another mall sending over buses to take 20% of their visitors away before they enter the mall. Piracy is a leak at least as big as that, and it isn't tolerable. Those who are getting something for nothing think it is fine, but the actions are incredibly short sighted.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 4:49pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Techdirt definition of troll: Anyone that doesn't agree with Masnick's moronic piracy apologism.

     

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  55.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 4:52pm

    Re: please stop beating the drum of piracy and consumer file sharing

    "For once I would like to see an article that furthers the conversation as to why the music business is in the state it’s in"

    I didn't think you were new here, but have a look around.. There are plenty of articles addressing that issue.

    "how radio consolidation , (another industry on the precipice of failure and irrelevance), is playing 40% fewer songs than they were in the earlier half of the decade."

    The few times I hear the radio I could swear they must have less of a collection than me considering the amount of repetition. People have increasingly less reason to use radio to hear songs they already know, if it has a future it has to be in introducing people to new content.

    "insisting on DRM that is proprietary to Apple"

    To be fair, the DRM is now gone. For all the good that does someone like me who can't install iTunes because he doesn't run Windows or OSX.

    "In spite of all this do I think Music sales will boom again, just not anytime soon."

    I think they'll boom as soon as the industry stops thinking that iTunes and Amazon can be the extent of their commitment to digital distribution. There should be more choice on the internet than the high street, not less or limited to mail order only.

     

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  56.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 4:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    "(Btw you just lost all remaining credibility with that last comment)."

    This makes me wonder, is the benefit of the doubt the same as credibility? Perhaps more akin to charity..

     

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  57.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 4:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Techdirt definition of troll: Anyone that doesn't agree with Masnick's moronic piracy apologism."

    Ahah! Only a troll would say that!

     

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  58.  
    icon
    RadialSkid (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 5:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    What collateral damage? How about the innocent people who get accused of "copyright infringement" and are put in a situation where they have to pay exorbitant legal fees (if they're among the lucky few who can afford them in the first place) to prove that they AREN'T guilty?

    That same "parasitic behavior" that you're bemoaning is what created the digital music market place in the first place. Had it not been for Napster and the sites that followed, commercial music consumers would still be paying $18 for CDs.

    But then again, that would be a good thing to people like you, wouldn't it?

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 5:07pm

    if you haven't invested tens of thousands of dollars in a project then your opinion on this matter is pretty mute to me.

    Here's a clue for you. It's only valuable to you. It's not valuable to me. If I see no value in it, I'm not paying. Period. Get over it as you are not going to take it out of my wallet.

    I wish I had the money back for all the times I got ripped off buying records and albums that were stuffed with filler resulting in the one song that was wanted being jacked to the price of the album. Guess what? I no longer buy music. Not only that, I don't hear new music. There's no where on a public channel that isn't buried in commercials to hear it. They are all still broadcasting stuff 20 years old or older and I'm not interested in it. Since I don't hear new stuff, I have changed my entertainment values and music isn't part of it.

    Hope the shills scream piracy till it jumps up and bites them in the a$$.

    It's the same with movies. Each and every blurb you read on a dvd jacket sounds like you got the next potential Oscar winner in your hand. Truth of the matter is, the industry doesn't usually put out more than 2 to 3 movies a year worth watching. The rest are a total waste of time and money. No thank you for that.

    I'll make the entertainment industries a deal. Don't make any more of whatever you do. Close it down, burn the place to the ground. I won't spend money on it, won't pirate it, and the pirate part will be eliminated with it.

    Sounds good to me.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 5:25pm

    Re:

    Buy "digital content" is like unicorns.

    There is no "buying digital content", there is only renting and all those moronic rules imposed on people who fall for the "buy" part.

    The industry executives sterelized the business environment and with it all that could save them.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 5:30pm

    The choice to download without paying--and most people I've talked to acknowledge they feel as if they should pay but don't want to--is often driven by a sense of anger against filmmakers, as if we were all pompous, elitist millionaires trying to pry $10 out of their hands for something that "really" has no value. Weird. (Frankly, I'm now annoyed by the number of times this meaningless, angry, rote argument is foisted as the justification for piracy and I dismiss it.)


    Right just put the hand in the sand and forget about it.
    Best line ever demonstrating how out of touch those people really are.

    Is not just pirates that are angry, there is a growing number of people who just don't want to buy anything from them at any price and don't want to consume anything from them either.

    Those people are turning their backs on the industry and their mouth pieces and going to places with alternatives that gives them freedoms and rights back, no amount of grandstanding or verbosity will change that and when it becomes popular those people who think consumers are like cattle and need to be prodded to go along will find themselves in the middle of a desert with no one to help or care for them.

     

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  62.  
    icon
    Chris Lounsbury (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 5:39pm

    Make something worthwhile

    The best selling MP3 album on Amazon for 2008 was a Creative Commons licensed work, and could be downloaded for free, legally, from any number of sources (which are easy to find via Google).

    Produce something worthwhile and people will buy it. Lost sales only occur if the person would pay, but doesn't. Does anyone really think that someone who has downloaded $5,000 worth of movies or music would actually pay $5,000 to buy it retail? No.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 5:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    You see when your dad can't do anything for you, you will learn to take responsibility.

    The government can't do nothing about piracy, that is just a fact.

    Rampant piracy has been going on for at least 40 years and nobody found a way to stop it. Not even in places where they used to execute people for doing it like the USSR.

    But piracy is the least of concerns you have.

    Good alternatives are already on the market people don't need you.

     

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  64.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 6:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Amanda Palmer having to sell ukulele's is pathetic. do you really think that's what she wants to do. no, she wants people to buy her songs

    That is a poor assumption on your part. Amanda has discussed this right here on techdirt:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090731/1501475731.shtml

    She loves her fans and has a lot of fun coming up with crazy new ways to connect with them. It appears she considers those "pathetic" things like selling ukeleles to be the most rewarding part of her career.

    This is the problem with people like you: you have an extremely narrow and entitled viewpoint, and you seem unable to comprehend that lots of other much more creative people are flourishing, succeeding and having fun by trying out new media business models.

     

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  65.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 6:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    In your original comment, you completely ignored every single point made in this article. You just tossed it ALL out by saying it misses the "basics", then made the broad and unsupported statement that the system is about to "collapse." It was a slightly more verbose way of saying "Nope sorry you're wrong because I say so"

    I'm not sure if that's the definition of troll, but it's a good example of a six-year-old's debate tactics.

     

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  66.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 6:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    There is not a single positive thing to have come from your parasitic behavior.

    Yes there is. Lots and lots and lots of art. Frankly I've been loving life ever since technology made media more accessible to everyone, and I've spent more money on art too.

    Life must be bleak for you folks who can't see the forest for the trees.

     

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  67.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    if you haven't invested tens of thousands of dollars in a project then your opinion on this matter is pretty mute to me.

    Ahh... so now we see the motivation behind your view.

    Perhaps you should spend less time fighting against something you can't change, and arguing about it on a blog, and instead go turn your investment into something useful.

     

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  68.  
    icon
    Nina Paley (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 6:34pm

    Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    Name another business model that allowed itself to be ruined by illegal behavior.

    Slavery.

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 6:42pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, it is thinking that rather than charging someone the full cost of what you did once (tens of thousands of dollars) that you can instead charge people a little bit for the enjoyment of a copy they can play for themselves any time they like, and getting enough people to pay that little bit in order to pay it all off.

    Greedy is people who want access to the product, want to be able to give it away to all their friends or use it to support their commercial websites, and don't feel that there is any reason to pay even a small amount for it.

     

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  70.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 6:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Something has to give. The public's demand for good movies, is not matched by their willingness to pay. Just like in music, consumption is at an all time high, by payments are not. Piracy feeds the greed of people who want more, more... but who are not willing to pay. That creates a broken system.

    I think this is the core of your argument right here. But if we're going to talk about demand and consumption, it's only fair to acknowledge that technology has made the supply side of the equation infinite.

    I think it's interesting that you talk about "willingness to pay", because that really is exactly what we are talking about: it's the will to pay that creates a market in the first place. If that shrinks, so does the market.

    Now you could argue that they would be willing to pay if there were no free alternative, but do you really believe consumption would remain at these levels? One of the main things piracy enables is people watching movies they never would have watched otherwise. Movies they were not willing to pay for at all.

    But more importantly, fighting piracy is completely impractical. Though it may do harm to traditional models, there is sufficient evidence that free and infinite digital goods can be leveraged for profit. So when weighed against the insurmountable task of "ending piracy" somehow, tolerable or not it would seem that the best choice is to embrace it.

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 7:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yet again you've made the same mistake most pirates have made:
    lack of previous enforcement = permanent victory for piracy.

    whoops.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 7:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    It goes without saying that a parasite would call his parasitic behavior "a positive thing."

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 7:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    Bzzt. Wrong.

    And fucked up also; dancing on the graves of 360,000 dead Union soldiers. Charming.

    Read up on this some time:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reconstruction_Amendments

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 8:10pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "people are just cheap asses that feel entitled to art. it's a lack of respect and understanding for the process."

    I hope you're good at something that'll earn you a regular wage or salary, because with that attitude today you're going to fail badly at making a living as a content creator. Adapt or fail, your choice.

    "if you haven't invested tens of thousands of dollars in a project then your opinion on this matter is pretty mute to me."

    If you want us to be your customers (i.e. pay you) you should absolutely be paying attention to our opinions.

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 8:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You cannot have art without some form of unlawful copying but you can have art without any laws whatsoever.

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 8:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    You're adorable!

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    JMT, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 9:01pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Piracy means that people can "break the windows" that the movie industry depends on to maintain higher perceived value by consumers, and higher market prices."

    Are you really surprised by that? The only people who perceive higher value in windowed releases are the gatekeepers, not consumers. I'm sure most consumers detest them, or would if they realized they're just an artificial construct attempting to squeeze more money out of them. It's completely understandable that when people could get around them they would.

    "The public's demand for good movies, is not matched by their willingness to pay."

    Correction: The public's demand for good movies is not matched by the movie studios willingness to make good movies. A significant chunk of the movies I've watched without paying for I would have paid to see anyway, and some I'm damn glad I didn't. However some I enjoyed so much I then went and paid to see at the cinema or bought the DVD. In those cases my "piracy" provided a benefit to the film industry, not a loss.

    "Piracy feeds the greed of people who want more, more... but who are not willing to pay."

    It's ironic that you would accuse consumers of being greedy, when a lot of the "problems" you describe are a direct result of, and a response to, the greed shown by the film and music gatekeepers over many decades. Hollywood accounting anyone?

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    cram, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 9:21pm

    Re: Re:

    I think he's talking about the Internet itself. You know...all these outages, thanks to extremely high usage of bandwidth, mainly of course due to filesharing.

     

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  79.  
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    RadialSkid (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 9:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    Maybe you, in turn, should try reading up on this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underground_Railroad

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 9:54pm

    Re: Re: please stop beating the drum of piracy and consumer file sharing

    Sadly, most of what you get on TD isn't a discussion of why the music industry is in the state it is in. Most of the discussion is finger pointing, name calling, and ignoring the very basic concept that widespread piracy is bad for business.

    Really, it should be a boom time for the music business. More people have more music players, more space for music, and apparently more desire for music, and yet piracy has pretty much killed any growth in the last 10 years. So rather than it being a boom time with more new artists, expanding playlists, and the like, the industry instead has contracted to core acts, narrow markets, and the like.

    The "non-label" music out there for the most part is like a white noise, very little of it is gaining traction. Even the great acts built up by the label system over the years and now without contracts are using the label system to quietly distribute their "indy" records.

    As for the concept that the internet and all this pirated music will lead to more live music from more bands, consider that the two largest tours for 2010 were Bon Jovi and AC/DC, two label stalwarts.

    So in the end, piracy is a huge issue. You cannot discuss how the record labels (and music in general) got here without considering the long term negative effects of piracy on that business. Instead, TD is mostly about calling the execs fools and blaming them for everything, while entirely ignoring the true issues of piracy and the effects it has on long term prospects for any musical act.

     

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  81.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 10:16pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    it's a lack of respect and understanding for the process. it's just sad. Amanda Palmer having to sell ukulele's is pathetic. do you really think that's what she wants to do.

    Actually, knowing Amanda, yes, actually, I'm positive that is part of what she loves doing. It's not a lack of respect, nor a misunderstanding the process. Nor is it sad. It's the opposite of all that. The ukulele (which is just one of many things she's done) is truly valued (a lot!) by her fans, and she loves them for valuing it so much.

    if you haven't invested tens of thousands of dollars in a project then your opinion on this matter is pretty mute to me.

    Ok. I've invested a hell of a lot more than that. So what's your point?

     

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  82.  
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    Jay (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 11:34pm

    Re: Re:

    Please re read Mike Masnicks post. Looks like you missed the first five paragraphs.

     

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  83.  
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    J.J. (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 11:35pm

    Re: Re:

    A lot, and i do mean a LOT of content is not for sale in various regions around the world.
    If a label decides that 'this special version record with a new intro to one of the songs' should only be for sale in one country, then they're effectively encouraging piracy.
    Other times it's not special versions but just different releasedates, again, encouraging piracy.

     

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  84.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 11:44pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "volume of work does not = success. anyone in the music industry will tell you that there is no $$ - especially for artists who are at the bottom of the food chain."

    ...and this would be just as true if piracy did not exist.

    "people are just cheap asses that feel entitled to art."

    ...and many "artists" are just people who bitch when their work fails to sell, without looking at the real reasons why.

    "Amanda Palmer having to sell ukulele's is pathetic."

    Ukulele's what? Seriously though, she doesn't *have* to do that. Nobody's forcing her. She's free to come up with a model that involves selling anything else - she just can't depend on only selling copies of songs.

    You know what? That's exactly what she is doing - she's selling a lot more, including her skills as a musician, the ukulele thing was really just a gimmick to help promote her new album.

    "if you haven't invested tens of thousands of dollars in a project"

    Why? Is art somehow only valid if it costs thousands of dollars? What if I've created songs on my laptop or written books that cost next to nothing in terms of materials, in my spare time? Also, why do the opinions of artists only matter here? Don't the non-artists you're trying to get to pay for your work get to have an opinion on how they're allowed to buy? Selling what I don't want to buy is not the way to get my money.

    "pretty mute to me."

    You haven't mentioned what area of art you've spent (wasted?) thousands of dollars on, but I hope it's not writing. The word is "moot" and there's 2 shift keys on your keyboard...

     

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  85.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 11:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    As a matter of interest, what proof do you have that Marcus is a "pirate" or a "parasite"? You seem to be basing your insults on a lot of assumptions.

    Meanwhile, I notice that Marcus is an "insider", meaning he's paid Techdirt some money, whereas you don't even have a login. That means you're using this site without having paid money - doesn't that make you a "parasite"? Pay up!

     

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  86.  
    identicon
    JMT, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 11:57pm

    Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    "Name another business model that allowed itself to be ruined by illegal behavior."

    Copyright laws have been twisted and expanded so far from their original intent that they can now be considered to be immoral, and most people have no problem engaging in behavior prohibited by immoral laws. Those businesses have brought this on themselves by

    "If someone can take something without paying for it and know they know they can get away with it, they'll take it. Arguing against an obvious flaw in human nature is futile. And stale."

    Fighting against an obvious flaw in human nature is also futile and stale. So quit fighting and look for ways to adapt to how things are because there's no way we're going back. That's how humans have always dealt with paradigm shifts.

    "They have decided to do something and they're not going to stop."

    How's that war on drugs working out?
    How's that war on terrorism working out?
    How's that war on piracy working out?

    Yeah, same answer for all three...

     

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  87.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 12:05am

    Re: Re: Re: please stop beating the drum of piracy and consumer file sharing

    "Sadly, most of what you get on TD isn't a discussion of why the music industry is in the state it is in."

    Then you haven't been reading closely enough.

    "Most of the discussion is finger pointing, name calling, and ignoring the very basic concept that widespread piracy is bad for business."

    See what I mean? Most of the discussion does not ignore that "basic concept" - it challenges it. The discussion points out that there are ways to make money that either aren't affected by "piracy", or that actually leverage it as a positive. Try reading the concrete case studies and innovative suggestions, instead of attacking those who are doing this as "pirates", then you might learn something.

    "yet piracy has pretty much killed any growth in the last 10 years"

    ...and yet another sign that you don't read the articles or discussions properly. It *is* a boom time for the music industry. It's just not a boom time for the music *recording* industry. Get your head out of the labels' asses and you might recognise that this is what's being said.

    "The "non-label" music out there for the most part is like a white noise"

    Subjective opinion. Meaningless, and rather insulting to the many successful independent musicians out there.

    "As for the concept that the internet and all this pirated music will lead to more live music from more bands, consider that the two largest tours for 2010 were Bon Jovi and AC/DC, two label stalwarts. "

    OK, how many artists were out there making money compared to last year? How does the fact that the 2 most successful (and presumably most expensive) tours were major labels artists negate the idea that there's "more live music from more bands"?

    "You cannot discuss how the record labels (and music in general) got here without considering the long term negative effects of piracy on that business. "

    No, but again we're discussing the music industry, not the labels. The labels may have been an important part of recent history, but there was a thriving music industry before they existed, and there will still be a thriving industry after they die. "Piracy" has nothing to do with the strength of the music industry, unless your only concept of the music industry is how many copies of songs you sell - the one part of the music industry that's failing (and this failure is far from 100% due to "piracy" - try considering the many other factors as well).

     

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  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 12:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    True but also true is that kids don't care about corrupt parasitic politicians either or the industry interests and they don't need to, piracy didn't decrease in Germany, France, Sweden, South Korea, Japan, U.K, Australia, Brazil, China, Italy, Russia, Nigeria, South Africa, Canada and specially not in the U.S., the trend is up despite measures taken. Kids everywhere are laughing at the legislative bodies, this even may pose a threat to current ways of doing things since it is so ineffective that people just give up trying to play by those rules and start thinking of new ways to do things, then your kind can forget about trying to stop anything.

     

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  89.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 12:10am

    Re: Re: Re: please stop beating the drum of piracy and consumer file sharing

    Change is hard.

     

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  90.  
    identicon
    Yogi, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 12:13am

    Exactly!

    "The question is where is that value captured. Many content creators feel that it should be captured in you paying up before you've consumed their work for the first time. Many content consumers don't like that bargain. And so they seek out something else."

    This is the crux of the matter - it is a shift in power from the producers of content to the consumers, and the producers, at least the largest ones, will do everything they can to preserve their former power, even if it means turning every consumer into a criminal and turning the internet into a version of network television devoted solely to the profits of the MPAA-RIAA.

    Psychologically it is very difficult to give up power - this is why so many people love babies - who are helpless - but hate them when they grow up and become people - with wants and desires and rights and demands that are difficult to ignore.

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 12:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No greedy is a chump that tries to collect money from everything he ever seem because he feels that he is entitled.

    You guys try to get money from people charging not only the direct consumer but the business that do business with people that is just wrong, people pay many times over for the same thing and still is not enough?

    That Sir is real greed.

    Not people sharing things with one another.

     

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  92.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 12:20am

    Re: Re: Re: please stop beating the drum of piracy and consumer file sharing

    Why piracy is bad for business?

    Red Hat build a billion dollar business around piracy(letting others share and distribute your product), so did Google, so did others and you say is bad for business?

    Why?

    The only thing bad for business is this ridiculous monopoly that tries to be immortal and never die.

     

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  93.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 12:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And you're also, for some mind-bogglingly mysterious reason, paid in US dollars to espouse your pro-piracy agenda to dumb suckers.

    I admire you for nothing, but never cease to be amazed by that fact.

     

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  94.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 12:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    I've been loving life ever since technology made media more accessible to everyone

    A parasite celebrating his leeching. And?

    Is Marcus an artist that has given his life to creating art?

    It will be a cold day in hell before I give money to a site that defends the ripping off of artists like Masnick has.

    btw Paul, do you think Mike is going to end up owing Musicares $500?

     

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  95.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 12:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    I'm sure the children, wives and parents of all those dead Union soldiers would have been grateful if the Underground Railroad had ended slavery.

    But that's not the way it worked out, was it?

    Disgusting.

     

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  96.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 12:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Why do morons always assume that people who disagree with them have an "agenda" and that they must be paid to push that agenda?

     

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  97.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 12:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    How's that war on drugs working out?

    LOL Reagan-era propaganda? That wasn't a war on drugs at all. Educate yourself.

    How's that war on terrorism working out?

    If you only knew.

    must... bite... tongue...

    Exceedingly well, actually. Feel free to post all the examples of successful terrorist acts on US soil since 9/11.

    How's that war on piracy working out?

    :)

     

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  98.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 12:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    SNORE

    If the artist wants it out for mass distribution, they'll take care of that, THANKS VERY MUCH.

    Why are you an entitlement monkey that thinks they get to decide how access to SOMEONE ELSE'S WORK is decided by you and not the artist?

    Would be funny if it wasn't so deranged...

     

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  99.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 1:14am

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

    Why are some people willfully ignorant, Paul?

    You have experience with that, so how about you enlighten us?

     

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  100.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 1:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    "Reagan-era propaganda? That wasn't a war on drugs at all. Educate yourself."

    Ah, if you can't defend something, just redefine it... Typical. I'm sure the people who are shot dead during no-knock drugs raid and incarcerated for possessing naturally-occurring plants will be happy.

    "Feel free to post all the examples of successful terrorist acts on US soil since 9/11."

    Off the top of my head, the Washington snipers, the anthrax attacks, the abortion clinic shooting of Dr. Tiller, the guy who flew a small plane into the IRS building in Texas...

    Oh, unless you specifically mean those attacks related specifically related to Islamic fundamentalists, in which case nothing successful so far - but then how many were there before 9/11? The bigger question being of course - was stopping such a small number of attacks worth the price you're paying for it?

    ":)"

    Insightful and in depth commentary, as ever. "Piracy" is exponentially larger than it was when you started "fighting" it.

     

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  101.  
    icon
    J.J. (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 1:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "If the artist wants it out for mass distribution, they'll take care of that, THANKS VERY MUCH."

    Actually they have no say in it, nor does most labels, they have contracts with distributors for different markets.
    For someone defending the music industry as hard as you do you sure seem to know very little about it.

    "Why are you an entitlement monkey that thinks they get to decide how access to SOMEONE ELSE'S WORK is decided by you and not the artist?"

    Maybe you had a bit of bad luck while reading there, i'm pointing out that something in the current system that you so clearly adore is actually CREATING pirates because the content is not available for legal purchase.

    For your information though, i'm not a pirate, nor do i feel entitled.
    i do however think that Copyright is an outdated and increasingly problematic construction.

     

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  102.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 1:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    BUT ALL THOSE LAWSUITS AGAINST INNOCENT PEOPLE

    oh wait...

    Please post below all examples of where someone that secured their connection as per ISP TOS, got sued incorrectly.

     

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  103.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 1:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    Sad to see you lowering yourself like this, Paul.

    The war on drugs was/is a sham originally created by the CIA as a skimming operation.

    Since it appears you wanted to play semantics with me, I guess I should have specified terrorist attacks by outside entities.

    I hope your zealous approach to defending not paying for music when musicians request you do, works out for you.

    Actually, no, I don't.

     

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  104.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 1:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: please stop beating the drum of piracy and consumer file sharing

    All you're doing is demonstrating how you have no idea what really goes on in a situation you have no experience with.

    You're just making yourself look like an ignorant fool at this point.

     

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  105.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 1:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    "The war on drugs was/is a sham originally created by the CIA as a skimming operation."

    That's a little different from your earlier claim that it doesn't exist, isn't it?

    "Since it appears you wanted to play semantics with me, I guess I should have specified terrorist attacks by outside entities."

    You're the one playing semantics. You asked for a list of successful terrorist attacks, I gave you one. If you want to now redefine that request, go ahead.

    "I hope your zealous approach to defending not paying for music when musicians request you do, works out for you. "

    Once again, attacking a paying customer because my opinions on the subject don't match yours. Your faulty assumptions don't stop you from looking like an ass.

     

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  106.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 1:57am

    Re:

    Several hours a day average. More if it feels like a Voltron marathon and liquor type of evening. Streaming, mind you. Disks are not even close to as convenient as poking a remote a couple times from the couch.

    Even a poor selection like Netflix offers for no hassle, no headache streaming is value above torrent sites. Unless you absolutely have to watch a specific something that Netflix doesn't have. Even then though, you'd still have to wait on a torrent download. It's not hard to compete with free in the movie/tv area; the studios just won't allow it for some reason.

     

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  107.  
    identicon
    JMT, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 2:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    "Exceedingly well, actually. Feel free to post all the examples of successful terrorist acts on US soil since 9/11."

    Who mentioned the US? It's a global war on terror remember. Iraqis and Afghanis must be thrilled to know that things are going exceedingly well. And probably a bit surprised.

    Interesting that you didn't respond to any of my points on piracy...

     

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  108.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 2:05am

    Re:

    Think what you like. Personally, I'm a non-ebook-buyer precisely because I will not pay more for less.

    Yes, Amazon sets the prices of print books. It's called competition with other retailers. It's the cornerstone of capitalism. That the publishers will not allow them to set the prices on ebooks is insane, probably illegal, and most certainly fundamentally un-American.

     

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  109.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 2:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: please stop beating the drum of piracy and consumer file sharing

    Once again, thanks for the insightful criticism of how I'm wrong and intelligent analysis of what the "real" situation is.

    If you try that, maybe you can stop looking like a moron yourself.

     

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  110.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 2:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This is standard boilerplate freetard/entitlement monkey drivel; your "argument" fails simply on the fact that if there was no value to the art, you wouldn't bother downloading it and experiencing it.

    Work on those debate skills and c'mon back when you realize 2001 was 10 years ago... k bye

     

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  111.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 2:16am

    Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    They have decided to do something and they're not going to stop.

    They're also not going to succeed. Take a lesson from history. Prohibition could not stop the sale and consumption of alcohol and it was a whopping fuckload less mobile and difficult to track than data on the Internet is.

     

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  112.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 2:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Both sides are greedy. Neither care. But there are a hell of a lot more piratical types than there are artists, media publishers, lawyers, and judges combined.

     

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  113.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 2:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: please stop beating the drum of piracy and consumer file sharing

    Paul- despite your ignorance of the particulars, do you also go to surgeon message boards and offer advice on how they should behave?

    Let's all hope not.

    Stick to what you know. Whatever the fuck that might be, if anything.

     

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  114.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 2:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: please stop beating the drum of piracy and consumer file sharing

    Ah, the usual personal attacks coupled with an attack on my possible credentials (where are yours?) and a refusal to explain exactly what it is I'm meant to be so wrong about.

    Why are you so afraid to explain your own position?

     

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  115.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 3:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And you're also, for some mind-bogglingly mysterious reason, paid in US dollars to espouse your pro-piracy agenda to dumb suckers.

    Why do you lie? I am not paid to espouse any views.

    It's amazing that you repeatedly have shown you don't understand what we say, and when we point that out, your best response is to lie and break out false insults.

    Anyway, who do you think pays me to espouse "pro-piracy" views (which, by the way, I do not have). I am not "pro-piracy." This has been explained to you many times over. That you still can't understand is odd.

    I'm pro-business. This whole post is about how focusing on piracy is the wrong thing. We've already demonstrated this empirically. You and the bands you work with, focus on piracy, and you have admitted they now make less money.

    Yet, the musicians I've worked with all now make more money by not worrying about piracy but coming up with better business models.

    So, I'm curious why anyone should listen to you over me?

     

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  116.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 3:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    I, like many that lurk here, eagerly await the day you and Masnick post receipts that demonstrate how much money you spend on the recorded music you so obviously consume.

     

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  117.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 3:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: please stop beating the drum of piracy and consumer file sharing

    Ah, the usual personal attacks coupled with an attack on my possible credentials (where are yours?) and a refusal to explain exactly what it is I'm meant to be so wrong about.

    Why are you so afraid to explain your own position?


    This AC has admitted in the past that he works with a number of bands, and that all of them, listening to his advice, are now making less money than in the past.

    His credentials appear to be that he's a terrible business person.

    But apparently he's made some music, so that means he understands... um... music? Of course, we're not talking about music, we're talking about business, and it's something he's admitted that he's totally clueless on.

    It's so weird. He's flat out admitted that the bands he works with are struggling these days, while the musicians who I've worked with are all doing much better. Yet he insists that *I'm* the clueless one an a "pro-piracy" defender.

    I honestly don't get where he's coming from and how he can continue to defend his position when he's admitted that he's a failure.

     

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  118.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 3:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Of course, you're not a pirate. There are no pirates here.

    Just like everyone in prison is really innocent.

     

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  119.  
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    J.J. (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 3:23am

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

    Oh, i assure you that me being a pirate is not from any moral quarrels, it's because there's simply very very little music that is being produced today that is worth my time, money or drivespace were i to pirate it.
    I add to my vinyl collection every now and then when i run across something, but calling what Bieber and his ilk does music is an insult to musicians everywhere.

     

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  120.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 3:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: please stop beating the drum of piracy and consumer file sharing

    The established bands aren't struggling, Mike. They're just being ripped off.

    And you know it.

    Anyway, when are you going to write that check to MusiCares for $500?

    You're not going to stiff a charity that tries to help musicians, are you?

    You know, those musicians you try to "help" every day when you post blog entries defending piracy?

     

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  121.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 3:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yet again you've made the same mistake most pirates have made:
    lack of previous enforcement = permanent victory for piracy.


    I've been involved with computers for 40 years now and it is absolutely clear to me that enforcement is technically impossible. I've seen several instances of attempted enforcement in situations where the would be enforcers had considerably more control of the physical assets than they do currently. All that ever happens is a spiral of measures and countermeasures that just cost time and money to everyone involved.

    There is nothing new on the scene now that can change that.

     

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  122.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 3:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    I currently use Spotify for most of my daily music listening, a paid-for legal service (the first such service that I've ever been allowed to use in Spain, where many other legal options are unavailable):

    http://open.spotify.com/user/aphexbr

    I'm at work at the moment so can't access my personal email, but I'd be happy to post a few of my most recent iTunes receipts with the relevant personal information redacted. Same with my receipts for the games, DVDs and books I've recently purchased.

    So, given that information, are you still going to attack me as a "pirate", or listen to my opinions about the mistakes being made by the industry. Mistakes that not only threaten their own way of business, but put unnecessary, frustrating and stupid barriers between themselves and myself as a consumer trying to make legal purchases?

     

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  123.  
    icon
    J.J. (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 3:42am

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

    Actually, if we look away from music then yes, i have pirated a TV show for almost a year before a local TV network came to their senses and started buying and airing the current season of it.

     

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  124.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 3:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

     

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

  125.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 3:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: please stop beating the drum of piracy and consumer file sharing

    "The established bands aren't struggling, Mike. They're just being ripped off. "

    Hmmm... I must have missed the posts where you name the bands you're working for. I have strong suspicions of the motives of anybody who claims to be working on the behalf of bands or labels but refuses to identify either himself or the bands he's working for.

    I'll make you a deal, same as I do for any AC who claims to be an industry insider. Create a login and use that to create a link back to a site where the bands are shown (preferably with previews of their music and ways to buy it). If I like them, I'll buy their music and/or some other merchandise that's available to me.

    As a bonus, a feature of this site allows you to tie previous comments to that login, meaning that everybody here will finally be able to see a consistent opinion from an insider, and you'll no longer get confused with all the other ACs lurking here.

    Or, are you just going to continue to personally attack and misrepresent the opinions of those who post here?

     

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  126.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 3:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    what collateral damage?
    Like all the online videos that get taken down for no good reason.

    Like the domains that got seized when their operations were legal.

    Like the torrent search engines that have been legally attacked - cutting off the ability of those who WANT their work to be freely available from using this zero cost distribution channel.

    Like all the DRM that clogs up recent MIcrosoft operating systems causing hassle to legitimate users.

    Like the people who can't copy stuff they created themselves because of mis-engineered DRM.

    I could go on and on and on.

     

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  127.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 4:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, it is thinking that rather than charging someone the full cost of what you did once (tens of thousands of dollars) that you can instead charge people a little bit for the enjoyment of a copy they can play for themselves any time they like, and getting enough people to pay that little bit in order to pay it all off.

    The cost can still be shared out - you just have to raise the money up front - as in Kickstarter.

     

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  128.  
    icon
    jcar2 (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 4:24am

    consumed?

    I so enjoy reading Techdirt, it's one of the few sane voices in the world of copyright madness.

    However, I'm always dismayed at the use of the word "consumer", or of the phrase "having consumed", in regards to the acts of listening to, or watching, music and movies.

    It seems to play directly into the hands of those who believe their content is somehow being stolen when today's young people merely copy for personal use.

    I have watched a great many movies, and listened to a lot of music in my 60 years, but never once have I actually consumed any of them. They always seem to still be there for me to watch or listen to again.

    In fact, if the act of listening actually consumed a song, then all those old LPs, cassettes, CDs (and, yes, even a few old 8-tracks) I still own would have been emptied decades ago.

    If people can be led to believe they've actually 'consumed' a song after listening to it, then they'll be happy to re-purchase it every time they want to hear it again, right?

    Sounds silly, doesn't it? But that's basically the way language works. If the so-called Content Industry can actually get the world to accept a new meaning to the word "consume", then they'd be happy to charge all those gluttonous consumers for each and every instance.

    Anyway, just wanted to add my thoughts. I might be labelled a music fan, and I can certainly be called a customer after all the music I've purchased (since 1958, when I bought my first 78 - OMG, Elvis! - with my allowance money, it cost 35 cents), but I refuse to ever be called a "consumer." My music collection is still here, to be inherited by my son when I'm gone.

    So it can't have been consumed if it outlives me.

     

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  129.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 6:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    Seriously, adorable!

     

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  130.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 6:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    So adorable!

     

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  131.  
    identicon
    Colin, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 6:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    You probably illegally downloaded those receipts, pirate.

     

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  132.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 6:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    "A parasite celebrating his leeching"

    ...because the only way to use technology to access media is to pirate? Wow.

    "Is Marcus an artist that has given his life to creating art?"

    Why do you idiots think that only fellow artists can have an opinion on the best way to access it?

    "It will be a cold day in hell before I give money to a site that defends the ripping off of artists like Masnick has."

    Then stop leeching. Go elsewhere, where at least you can understand the concepts being raised.

    "btw Paul, do you think Mike is going to end up owing Musicares $500?"

    Since your lack of a login doesn't allow me to look at your previous posts, I have no idea what the original discussion was about.

     

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  133.  
    icon
    Nina Paley (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 6:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    More information on how illegal behavior was posited as a threat to that form of "property ownership" uncannily as it is today: Redefining Property: Lessons from American History

     

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  134.  
    identicon
    Jose_X, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 7:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The comment you are replying to said nothing about a lack of value.

    That comment was about differing expectations between those charging and those consuming through various means.

     

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  135.  
    identicon
    Jose_X, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 7:56am

    Re: The problem is that they're selling the wrong good.

    And you can get extra mileage by creating for customers personalized derivative works that you spin up easily (since you have the skills and are in tune with the original work). This would be an example of reusing not just your skills but your prior work (much less costly to do this in the digital realm.. and with a much greater degree of recycling).

    [Creating the derivative works is something that you should not try to hog up.. eg, by releasing using a license like CC-by-sa]

     

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  136.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 8:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm not making a "mistake" when I say that, I'm making a statement of what seems to me to be the truth.

    Absolutely zero progress has been made in the fight against piracy. Levels have not decreased, and every technological solution has been crippled within weeks, days or hours of its inception.

    I see no evidence to suggest that enforcement will ever be possible.

     

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  137.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 8:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    Is Marcus an artist that has given his life to creating art?

    Am I a career artist? Not exactly. But my career is one of the traditionally IP-based ones: I am a graphic designer and copywriter. However I have never defended or even claimed copyright on my work (though obviously I do have those copyrights since there is no simple way to give them up - but I would if I could)

    I have found success in my field by focusing not on my work which can be copied, but on ME, which cannot. My strength as a designer and writer is the level of understanding I bring to complex projects, and my ability to bring disparate ideas and elements together into a cohesive final product with minimal direction. These things require my personal attention, which is a scarce good, and so I focus on selling myself. My clients are free to do whatever they want with the work I produce, with zero restrictions. Even when the conditions of the contract do not make it a "work for hire" (which would transfer the copyrights to them) then they are still free to re-sell, create derivatives or do whatever else they choose.

    That approach has been working out quite well for me, thanks.

    And as far as more "pure" art? I can't speak for those who base their career on it, but I have always worked hard on both music production and fiction writing simply for the joy they bring me. The most important thing to me with art that I create is that others enjoy it, so I do my best to make it freely available to everyone with no restrictions. If ever I were to develop a significant fan base (not something I actively pursue) then I would certainly interact with them to find ways to turn it into a business - namely by selling associated scarcities and attempting to put on more live performances (which I love but have only done on a handful of occasions).

    But I will never ask people to pay money for simple digital copies of my creations.

     

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  138.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: please stop beating the drum of piracy and consumer file sharing

    The established bands aren't struggling, Mike. They're just being ripped off.

    A good manager makes money, not excuses.

    What, do these bands hire you just to whine on their behalf while they fail?

     

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  139.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:01am

    Re: please stop beating the drum of piracy and consumer file sharing

    I found your comment quite interesting, and packed with good information, but I'm not sure what you mean by this:

    ...put to bed the meme of: ‘Piracy Isn't The Problem, A Bad Business Model Is The Problem.’

    Everything you go on to describe - all those factors that are crippling the industry - are all business model problems (or at least business decision problems). TechDirt has always been dedicated to demonstrating the real reasons the recording industry is struggling: poor decisions and an insecure business model.

     

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  140.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: please stop beating the drum of piracy and consumer file sharing

    The established bands aren't struggling, Mike. They're just being ripped off.


    Funny, then, that the artists I've helped don't complain about being ripped off, but are focused on how they're making money.

    So, again, seems odd that you keep complaining about how I'm supporting piracy, when the only artists who seem to have to worry about piracy are the ones who are relying on you, and you've given them a bad strategy where "piracy" is a problem.

    Anyway, I find it amusing that you still refuse to say who's paying me for some non-existent "pro-piracy" agenda. I am not "pro-piracy." Why do you lie? Are you really that desperate?

    Anyway, when are you going to write that check to MusiCares for $500?


    You're cute. The deal was, if one of the sites mentioned files a lawsuit concerning the improper seizure of their domain name, and then if they succeed (at the highest level they can) in getting the court to rule that the seizure was improper, then you would pay $500 to EFF. If the court rules that the seizure was proper, then yes, I will give $500 to MusiCares. We already established that.

    But why are you asking me to pay now, before any of the requirements have been met?

    I guess, if that's the case, I should ask you when are you going to write that check to the EFF? You're not going to stiff a charity that helps protect your civil liberties, are you?

    You know, those musicians you try to "help" every day when you post blog entries defending piracy?


    Once again, what's with the misleading and childish insults? How is it "defending piracy" when we've already established that the acts who pay attention to what I have to say are making more money, and the ones who listen to you are making less? I'm really at a loss as to why you continue to defend a system where you (yes you) are screwing the artists you work with, and telling them to make use of a strategy where they make less money.

    Why would you screw over artists like that? Such a shame. No wonder you remain anonymous. If they knew how badly you were ripping them off, they'd never work with you.

     

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  141.  
    icon
    RadialSkid (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    The anti-slavery movement was illegal, and it undermined a business model.

    Whatever lionizing you choose to do over Union soldiers (who, by the way, burned half of the South down and massacred civilians - and slaves), it does nothing to disprove the point.

     

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  142.  
    icon
    RadialSkid (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    Sure...as soon as you post an example of everyone who has ever been wrongly convicted of murder. Unless you're stupid enough to believe nobody ever has...

     

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  143.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    As per ISP TOS? Which ISP? Note that not all of them have the same TOS, and the TOS has nothing at all to do with being incorrectly fingered by the industry.

     

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  144.  
    identicon
    Jose_X, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:57am

    Re:

    >> As if they were simply justification for stealing anything and everything that they want, and paying ONLY when it suits them... or on those rare occasions when they have no choice.

    >> Unfortunately, that's subject to the "free rider" problem.

    In other words, expecting people to pay for something they can get easily and which they know is reproduced at zero marginal costs and deprives nobody else of similar enjoyment is a risky proposition, especially when you already gain by having the world see what you were able to create. You now have let the world know you are skilled and would like to charge for future use of that skill. Alternatively, (as explained by Greevar below) you can start collecting after you have a proof-of-concept but before finishing everything up.

    However, you can certainly monetize past works. See for example: http://questioncopyright.org/sita-distribtion-numbers
    > Q. So how much money did you personally make releasing a Free film under an open ShareAlike license?
    > A. In the film's first year, I got about $132,000. I've received more since then.
    > Q. How much would you have made had the movie not been Free?
    > When I was still trying to sell conventional monopoly rights to distributors in 2008, the highest advance I was offered was $20,000; I was told by one reputable distributor that the most I could expect in my wildest dreams to make in a 10-year contract was $50,000, and more realistically I could expect about $25,000.

     

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  145.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Lets hope RIAA and the MPAA keep the lawyers ...

    Lawyers do care who they piss off...they don't want to piss off their client. The general framework is that the lawyer has a duty to the client and no one else, just as a CEO has a duty to the shareholder and no one else. To expect either to do otherwise is probably a little unreasonable - a person cannot have two masters. However, the job of leaders (and government should be run by leaders) is to serve the people. That is the problem as I see it. The lawyers don’t write the statutes. Trust me - many lawyers wish DEARLY that the statutes said something else. It is CONGRESS that has abdicated the role of serving the people - which is seems should be the real role of Congress.

     

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  146.  
    identicon
    Darryl, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 12:10pm

    Re: please stop beating the drum of piracy and consumer file sharing

    The music industry, dominated by Warner Music, Universal Music, Sony and EMI is now essentially a Ponzi scheme,

    Ok, would you like to explain how that is the case ? how those music industry companies are conducting a ponzi scheme.

    Do you know what a Ponzi scheme is ? or are you just picking out brain dead terms that you think will generate some hatred ?


    I do not think there is any point trying to explain to you what a Ponzi scheme is or how it is conducted. Look it up if you like.

    As for their business model being 'flawed', or whatever mike claims it is.

    That is not the case, no business should have to compete against their own products.

    that is the bottom line, if they produce a song, it is not competition for them to have to compete with an identical version of that product sold or given away.

    You cannot continue in business with that occuring, and like all crime, you will never eliminate it, you can just do you're best to control it.

    Which is exactly what they are doing, they do get lawyers in because it is a crime, and it cost's investors money.

    Investors like normal people, you or me.. (probably not you, and not actually me either but)..

    So there is no 'rightfull' or moral way to take the product off a company, sell it or give it away, then claim that company is not doing so well, not because of your actions, but because of something they are doing.

    And again, if you do not find value in the stuff you pirate, you would not want it, and therefore you would not pirate it.

    So either you just want stuff you like and want for free, or you want stuff you DO NOT want, and do not value for free.

    Either way, you are not willing to buy the product, even though the product cost money, time and risk to produce?

    you declare it valueless, and you determine that even though it has no value, you want it anyway.

    And somehow you try to justify that theft as something else.

    Very sad, double standards.

     

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  147.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Re: please stop beating the drum of piracy and consumer file sharing

    value != price

    Yet another basic-principles-fail by Darryl.

     

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  148.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 12:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    Exceedingly well, actually. Feel free to post all the examples of successful terrorist acts on US soil since 9/11.

    Terrorism is working just fine.

    Look at all the hoops that you now have to jump through to board a plane.
    Our response to the threat of terrorism IS their success.

    They have made us inconvenience ourselves and spend lots of money. Every few years they come up with a new bizarre plot and our security measures acquire yet another contortion to infuriate the travelling public.

     

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

  149.  
    identicon
    JMT, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 2:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "This is standard boilerplate freetard/entitlement monkey drivel..."

    Wow, such hostility. It speaks volumes that you have to resort to namecalling instead of making a rational argument.

    You call my argument "boilerplate", which means you must have heard similar points quite often. This is probably because more and more people are thinking like me and less and less are thinking like you.

    "...your "argument" fails simply on the fact that if there was no value to the art, you wouldn't bother downloading it and experiencing it."

    Actually I don't download much, I tend to get given stuff instead. But even if I did download a movie, if it turned out to be crap, or even mediocre, it would have no value to me. Paying for it wouldn't have made me value it more, but I would be pissed off about wasting my money.

     

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  150.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 4:10pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If some of the opinions on this site come from your potential audience, then even if they haven’t invested lots of money, their opinion should probably still matter to you. If you don’t understand your audience, you might not be very successful.

     

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

  151.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 4:17pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    This is exactly what comes up on this site often. Content creators think that there opinions are all that matter since they create it. But how the AUDIENCE feels about the work has always been more important.

     

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

  152.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 4:27pm

    Re:

    Yes this SHOULD be the worst fear of any content creator. Not piracy, but simply being obsolete. Not being needed anymore. We are seeing that perfectly good stories can be told with hundreds of thousands of dollars, not hundreds of millions of dollars (see foreign movie industry budgets). If I can see those in theaters for a dollar and rent them for a quarter, that is something I would be excited about.

     

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  153.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 11:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Uhmmm...

    Off topic, but you're right. The thing that a lot of people forget about "terrorism" is that the goal isn't to kill people. The goal is to affect political change through the imposition of fear, something which often but not always includes killing people.

    The "war on terror" is a failure even if nobody further has been killed (at least on US soil), because the US has been forced to give up certain principles (political change has been affected) in response to the fear generated by the 9/11 attacks.

     

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  154.  
    identicon
    Jose_X, Dec 31st, 2010 @ 5:21am

    Re: Make something worthwhile

    >> The best selling MP3 album on Amazon for 2008 was a Creative Commons licensed work

    Thanks for the info. http://ghosts.nin.com/main/faq . I'm going to write them to see if they might consider in the future changing the license to CC-by-sa since that makes their work much more likely to be reused, spread, and commercialized by others. Assuming they might at some point feel good about their earnings, they might want to consider the new vistas.

     

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  155.  
    identicon
    Jose_X, Dec 31st, 2010 @ 5:29am

    Re:

    >> Unfortunately, that's subject to the "free rider" problem.

    "Free rider" stops being an issue when everyone has access to all the music they want.

    They can use their dollar as a vote to promote more of the music (performances, speaking engagements, merchandise, commercials, etc) they like.

    There are many scarce items people will want and some of this money **inevitably** makes its way back to those most responsible for its value.

     

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  156.  
    identicon
    Jose_X, Dec 31st, 2010 @ 6:05am

    Re: Re: Make something worthwhile

    >> I'm going to write them

    ..on second thought, I'll pass for now. I'm not established as a fan, and they have probably had a number of people already make a similar suggestion.

     

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

  157.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 1:15pm

    Re:

    Yes - the greed of the public in not wanting to pay just 69p for a song.

     

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


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