The Debate Over Copyright Gets Loud At Digital Music Forum

from the hide-ya-kids dept

I attended that excellent Digital Music Forum: East conference yesterday in Manhattan, where I appeared on stage to interview Gary Shapiro, the head of the Consumer Electronics Association and the author of the (really excellent) new book The Comeback. It's really worth reading, and I think a ton of Techdirt readers would enjoy it, as it hits on a ton of points we regularly discuss, concerning innovation, policy and intellectual property. That discussion was fun, and Gary made some great points about trying to look towards the future, and avoiding mistakes like the recording industry suing its own customers.

However, the panel that was the most fascinating was later in the day with a panel called "Lawyers, Guns & Money," discussing questions around music file sharing and what should be done about it. The lineup of panelists included Rich Bengloff (who later told me that I should have the word "editor" stripped from my badge because it gave me too much credibility -- nice guy, that Rich) from A2IM (who represents independent music labels), Michael Petricone from the Consumer Electronics Association, Julie Samuels from the EFF, Mark Eisenberg who has worked at the major labels and is now a consultant, and Bryan Calhoun from SoundExchange. The whole thing was moderated by Jonathan Potter who certainly knows how to make a panel get... lively.

Not surprisingly, there was a fair amount of disagreement on some of the issues, with Bengloff doing the usual song and dance about "piracy" destroying the music industry. Julie Samuels, correctly, pointed out that Bengloff was being misleading, and it was the recording industry that was having trouble adapting, not the music industry. Bengloff insisted this wasn't true, and insisted (contrary to every single study we've seen) that every other aspect of the music business was in massive decline. Petricone then responded by bringing things around to a key point: copyright law was designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to act as an incentive to create content. And, if you look at the market today, you'd have to be delusional to say that the market is having any problem in that area whatsoever. More music is being created today than ever before. More people are spending more money on music and music related goods than ever before. There's a massive variety of music available today. Basically, the content space is absolutely thriving. So, arguing that there's a problem in the market seems misguided.

And this is the point where the panel went off the rails a bit. Suddenly, Bengloff decided it was time to directly attack Petricone (with a brief jab thrown at me for some reason). He pulled out some paper, showing that he came prepared specifically to try to do a character assassination on Petricone. What was the piece of paper? Apparently a petition to try to get an independent musician to become the new head of SoundExchange -- with Petricone's signature supporting the petition. Whether or not this particular musician was qualified to be the head of SoundExchange may be a fair question, but Bengloff effectively said that the very act of supporting an actual musician to be head of SoundExchange showed that he didn't care about musicians and he was just trying to help consumer electronics providers. If someone can explain the logic here, it went over my head. The suggestion that Petricone doesn't actually care about music or musicians was quickly debunked by other panelists, who point out that he's a massive supporter of musicians, and the whole attempt to paint Petricone as some anti-musician person just made A2IM and Bengloff look petty and focused on character attacks rather than the key issues at hand.

This resulted in a bit of a meltdown on the panel with people starting to scream back and forth at each other over various issues, and it took a bit of time to get the panel back under control, at which point it went back down the same old road, with one group claiming "woe is me, the industry is dying," while others pointed out that's simply not true and there are ways to adapt and change and succeed. Petricone pointed out -- as we were just discussing that it's silly to present the tech companies as being somehow "evil" in all of this, as their interests are very much aligned with the content creators' interests. This is the same frustration point we've reached before.

As the panel wound down Eisenberg tried to make a point about where the industry needed to go, saying "we all know that everybody needs to get paid, and the real question is how do we best bring that about." I have a problem with this statement, because no one needs to get paid. In a capitalist free market economy, the whole point is that it's your own responsibility to figure out how to get paid, and if the market shifts, you need to learn to shift with it or perish. That's the nature of innovation and creative destruction. When the automobile came along, no one said "but the horse buggy creators need to get paid!." The horse buggy creators figured out how to adapt, or they went out of business. The fact that we have so many people creating music today, and the various research shows musicians making more money than ever before in the past certainly suggests that musicians are adapting. As for the record labels? Well, some are adapting, but it still appears that many are not.

Finally, Julie Samuels pointed out that it took nearly 50 minutes into the panel before anyone mentioned the fans of music, and how to actually respond to what they want. This is another key observation that sort of highlighted the problem. The fans are the people that the industry needs to be paying attention to, listening to and engaging. Instead, they declared war on them. When that backfired, the industry declared war on the tech innovators -- the companies who were creating the infrastructure and tools to lead them through this. It's as if the recording industry can't help but to attack those it needs the most.

Either way, it was an entertaining panel to watch, if only for the screaming match in the middle. Still, I am hopeful that someday soon, we can have discussions on how to move forward and embrace opportunities, rather than fighting over how do we go back to a past that isn't coming back.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 1:05pm

    I have the solution!

    If we simply remove ALL technology from the recording industry--and I mean everything, computers, cell phones, CD burners, cars, completely everything, even ball-point pens and paper--they will no longer be able complain (at least, in any meaningful fashion) about the evils of technology.

    : D

    Let's do this today~!

     

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    Miles Barnett (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 1:16pm

    Reconvene the Panel

    Maybe you could reconvene the panel on the Jerry Springer Show. Also invite Hulk Hogan to bust some heads. It would generate enough cash to fix the entire recording industry.

     

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    Scote, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 1:31pm

    "I have a problem with this statement, because no one needs to get paid. In a capitalist free market economy, the whole point is that it's your own responsibility to figure out how to get paid, "


    Yes, there is a real sense of entitlement in the recording industry's insistence that they are supposed to be paid regardless of whether their business model is viable. They insist that if they aren't making money then the law is wrong, not their business model, and they want the government to bail them out by forcing the market to their outdated model. Funny how few so called free-market capitalists accept real competition.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 1:48pm

    Nobody needs to get paid. Mike, take down all those ads and sponsorships. I have decided that you don't need to get paid.

    See how that hurts?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 1:52pm

      Re:

      In a capitalist free market economy, the whole point is that it's your own responsibility to figure out how to get paid, and if the market shifts, you need to learn to shift with it or perish.

      The market for ads and sponsorship hasn't shifted, yet, so . . . .

       

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        Shawn (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 1:59pm

        Re: Re:

        That's odd. I am someone who visits this site several times a day and agrees with Mike (and other 'editors') more often than I disagree, yet I installed an ad blocker years ago and do not 'whitelist' any site including techdirt. So He does not get any revenue aside from my onetime 'insider' purchase from my traffic. I have never been pressured by him covertly or overtly to view the adds so if it 'hurts' it does not show.

         

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      Kaden (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 1:54pm

      Re:

      That's all ya got?

      Mike has a business model that works. The recording industry doesn't.

      He gets paid.

      The recording industry is kind of the opposite of this.

       

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        Anonymous, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 2:42pm

        Re: Re:

        I must be missing something cuz I just saw music for sale on iTunes, amazon and at a record store.

        Just because people are currently able to easily break the law and rip off your product doesn't mean you stop selling your product. That's retarded. You call the cops and get the problem taken care of. That's what is fnally happening, and that's why Masnick complains so much: Because he's one of the biggest supporters of piracy on the net.

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 2:48pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If the law is so easy to break then maybe it's not a real law?

           

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            Anonymous, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 3:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Everybody has the means to kill someone. I guess the laws against murder aren't real.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 3:32pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Yes, I guess that's why more people aren't murdered. Because it's against the law! That's why I don't murder people.

               

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              Jose_X, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 10:42pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              >> Everybody has the means to kill someone. I guess the laws against murder aren't real.

              Oh, the laws against murdering are very real, Anon "Against" Ripper.

              But I think the commenter meant to say that if a law is so easy to break by accident or if a law is so easy to be tempted into breaking, then maybe having such a law around in the books is not in the best interests of society.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 8:17am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So your only motivation not to kill people is because there is a law against that!?

              I'm gonna stay the hell away from you freak!

               

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              JMT, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The vast majority of people don't murder because they know it's wrong, not because it's against the law. The fact that copyright infringement is so widespread indicates that many people don't believe it's wrong, even if they know it's against the law.

               

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          Jose_X, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 10:34pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          >> Just because people are currently able to easily break the law and rip off your product

          Rip off product??

          Do you mean the copying of digital information among friends?

          And did you mean breaking the law like when those evil people would help a man's bona fide legal slave leave the plantation?

          Though I've mocked you in the past, please don't think I meant to consider as equals (a) the criminalization of information sharing and (b) the criminalization of that vile act of helping a human being escape bondage.

          People should not be ever never be sharing information with each other that might lead to outbursts of creativity if that information was deemed to be copyrighted, unauthorized by the holder, yet that work would likely have been created anyway or your sharing would be helping draw attention and money to that unauthorized work. Don't share under those circumstances. It is verboten! and I am talking about hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties and jail time if you "copy-to-download-links" on the wrong web page by accident before turning in for the night.

          On the other hand, I can think of perhaps two (maybe three) instances where a free human should feel they have impunity to do anything that would ever help another human escape bondage.

          Finally, (and I have kidded you on more serious matters) I absolutely don't mean to imply that making copies of something to learn about it could ever be considered an exercise of free speech rights or of any natural right or be considered an action that could possibly promote progress. Please don't infer this conclusion from anything I have ever said earlier or at other times.

           

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      Gwiz (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 1:55pm

      Re:

      Did you even read the whole article???

      To quote Mike from above:

      ...the whole point is that it's your own responsibility to figure out how to get paid..

      Mike HAS figured it out, see how that hurts?

       

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        Anonymous, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 3:20pm

        Re: Re:

        You guys really have your head in the sand about where the trend is going regarding enforcement.

        Need some chairs?

        http://mediamemo.allthingsd.com/20110222/limewire-is-gone-but-its-gorgeous-office-furnitu re-lives-on-want-to-buy-it/?mod=ATD_skybox

         

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          Gwiz (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 5:53pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You guys really have your head in the sand about where the trend is going regarding enforcement.

          I am not sure which "guys" you are referring to.

          As for me, my head is not in the sand at all. I do see the draconian measures that are trying to be enacted and I also see that these types of actions will most likely step on things that I value dearly, such as privacy. I also fear that our already skewed justice system will be slanted even more against those without bottomless coffers to defend themselves.

          I also honestly believe that none of these actions will actually decrease piracy in the slightest. So, no, my head is not in the sand, I just don't see these things with the same nativity that you do.

          As for your link....um.....so what? Limewire is out of business and their office furniture is for sale and that means what exactly?

           

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            Gwiz (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 5:57pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            er...naivete *

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 7:47pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            draconian measures

            See, phrases like that make you (and many others like you) so freaking hard to take seriously. What is so draconian? Is the music or movies you want suddenly not going to be available to you? Or are you just upset that you have to wait 30 extra days if you do want to pay $10 to see the movie in theater?

            Is there something going to stop you from making your own music, your own movies, your own software?

            The rules aren't draconian, but they sure do get in the way of people who want to take, take, take.

             

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              Gwiz (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 8:33pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              See, phrases like that make you (and many others like you) so freaking hard to take seriously.

              First off, I don't give a rats ass whether you take me seriously or not.

              What is so draconian?

              Here are 10 examples that perfectly fit the definition of draconian measures:

              http://blog.torrentbit.net/2010/03/25/ten-most-expensive-file-sharing-lawsuits/

              Is the music or movies you want suddenly not going to be available to you? Or are you just upset that you have to wait 30 extra days if you do want to pay $10 to see the movie in theater?

              Nope. None of those even remotely upset me. What upsets me is watching my privacy and Constitutional protections slowly being taken from me.

              Is there something going to stop you from making your own music, your own movies, your own software?

              No....what's your point here?

              The rules aren't draconian

              Ummm...yes they are.

              but they sure do get in the way of people who want to take, take, take.

              I wouldn't know - I don't take, take, take.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 7:12am

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

                10 examples of piracy. Nice. Not draconian. Just 10 examples of people knowingly breaking the law and getting called on it. I suspect you will also get pissed off later in life when you get your license and get a speeding ticket, you will call those laws draconian as well.

                Nope. None of those even remotely upset me. What upsets me is watching my privacy and Constitutional protections slowly being taken from me.

                What is really funny here is that you are touching all the hot button words like some recent convert to a religion. Can you please show (without linking to opinion pieces or op-eds,and that includes internal techdirt links) where your privacy has been invaded or your constitutional protection taken away.

                Please... explain to the class.

                 

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                  Gwiz (profile), Feb 26th, 2011 @ 8:38am

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

                  10 examples of piracy. Nice. Not draconian. Just 10 examples of people knowingly breaking the law and getting called on it.

                  Do you even know the definition of draconian? Let me copy it here for you:

                  Dra·co·ni·an
                  –adjective
                  1. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of Draco or his code of laws.
                  2. ( often lowercase ) rigorous; unusually severe or cruel: Draconian forms of punishment.

                  Did you see that part that said "unusually severe or cruel"?

                  I suspect you will also get pissed off later in life when you get your license and get a speeding ticket, you will call those laws draconian as well.

                  Too funny my silly AC friend - I have had my drivers license for 30 years now.

                  What is really funny here is that you are touching all the hot button words like some recent convert to a religion. Can you please show (without linking to opinion pieces or op-eds,and that includes internal techdirt links) where your privacy has been invaded or your constitutional protection taken away.

                  If you really care to learn about such things, here are a couple of places to start:

                  http://www.eff.org/issues/privacy

                  http://www.eff.org/issues/free-speech

                  And, no, I am not a recent convert at all, these types of issues have concerned me for a very long time.

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 9:52am

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

                  Please, do us all a favor and do your own goddamn legwork for a change.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 10:46am

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

                    To be fair, it's all they have left, really.

                     

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                    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 11:57am

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

                    Wait, you want me to do the legwork for someone else? He is calling the actions "draconian" and I am asking him to provide an example of draconian measures being taken. He cannot, because there are really any to look at.

                    So again, I ask him to please explain to the rest of us what is so darn draconian. I just think the claim is hyperbole and a bit of FUD.

                     

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                  Kirk (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:43am

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

                  I suspect you will also get pissed off later in life when you get your license and get a speeding ticket, you will call those laws draconian as well.


                  If a fine for speeding were more than the cost of a new car, would you not? Please refer to the definition of draconian provided above for your convenience. Punishment alone is not draconian. I think you're pretending not to see that.
                  Pack your spray paint and head take a vacation in Singapore for an object lesson.

                   

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 1:52am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Who cares about enforcement when you got Intel's Thunderbolt with 10Gb/s?

          Want and invitation to a LAN party?

           

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      chris (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 2:52pm

      Re:

      Nobody needs to get paid. Mike, take down all those ads and sponsorships. I have decided that you don't need to get paid.

      ZING!

      congratulations, you beat the internet.

      that's it everyone, party's over. turn off your computers and go buy some CD's.

       

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      Vagabond66, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 3:17pm

      Re:

      I think you prove his point. He doesn't need to get paid. He has found a way to monetize his particular product. You don't see Mike screaming to the government "Hey I'm not being paid for my Blog! Force everyone to read it by RSS feed to every browser and then I must be paid for all who read it."

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 3:24pm

        Re: Re:

        You don't get it either. They have found a way (many ways in fact) to get paid, but they do depend on people actually no breaking the law.

        It's more misdirection. If they aren't allowed to have their legal business models, why should techdirt?

         

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          SteelWolf (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 3:34pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You don't get to choose the environment your business model is in. A business model that needs the government to step in and make it work is flawed. How about a model that works right now instead?

           

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          The eejit (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 3:35pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Because they bought changes to the law. You know, like the Illuminati run the fashion industry. OR how Cthulhu heralds the end of sanity everywhere.

          Wait a second, that last one doesn't fit! Sanity in IP law went they way of the dodo, and at around the same time.

           

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          Jose_X, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 11:54pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          >> It's more misdirection. If they aren't allowed to have their legal business models, why should techdirt?

          The point others are making draws a contrast, not between legal and illegal business models, but between business models supported by over-cooked monopoly legislation vs something that is much closer to free market participation.

          >> but they do depend on people actually no breaking the law

          The assumption you are making is that applying our existing over-done copyright laws as they have been applied frequently this decade is Constitutional. It's natural for you to assume that, but it's not a given by any means.

          And the broader question is if the people should support such a law or demand it be changed.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 7:15am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The point others are making draws a contrast, not between legal and illegal business models, but between business models supported by over-cooked monopoly legislation vs something that is much closer to free market participation.

            But you see, it isn't a monopoly. That is buzz word bullcrap that means nothing. The only thing they have a "monopoly" over is the work they created. They don't own the copyright on making movies or making music, they don't control the ability for anyone to go out and do the same. They control the rigths to the work they created.

            If you think that is a monopoly, you really need to work on your education.

            A monopoly would leave you with no choices. You have hundreds, nay thousands of choices every day. There is no monopoly here.

            When you start from such a warped point of view, it isn't surprising that the rest doesn't make sense.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:53am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              When you start from such a warped point of view, it isn't surprising that the rest doesn't make sense.

              Ditto.

               

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              Kirk (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 10:52am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              monopoly (məˈnɒpəlɪ)

              — n , pl -lies
              1. exclusive control of the market supply of a product or service
              2. a. an enterprise exercising this control
              b. the product or service so controlled
              3. law the exclusive right or privilege granted to a person, company, etc, by the state to purchase, manufacture, use, or sell some commodity or to carry on trade in a specified country or area
              4. exclusive control, possession, or use of something

               

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              Kirk (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 12:22pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:Monopoly

              "The only thing they have a "monopoly" over is the work they created."

              That is exactly the one being referred to. Welcome to the discussion. We're glad to have you!

               

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              Karl (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 4:12pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The only thing they have a "monopoly" over is the work they created.

              No, they also have a monopoly on the work that other people create... if it's too much like their own work.

              they don't control the ability for anyone to go out and do the same.

              Depending upon how you define "same," that is exactly what they control.

               

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      Jeremy7600 (profile), Feb 26th, 2011 @ 7:52am

      Re:

      Uh, just install an adblocker. He's said many times its your browser, do what you want with it.

       

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    JimmerSD, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 2:07pm

    Nice to see that the CEA is actually included in the debate. Usually they just get dictated to.

    The technology of digital media have been consistently stonewalled and stifled in the name of Digital Rights Management. Had there been less hand wringing early on we would have had digital broadcast and cable TV in the 1980s. We all know that there are even instances where the manufacturers have been forced to break their own technology in order to forestall legal action by the media zealots. Cablecard technology and ATI's HDTVWonder cards, come immediately to mind. Digital Flagging was also a failed attempt at controlling every bit and byte that switched each and every transistor on and off.

    Too many people and corporations have invested too much effort into creating an infrastructure that protects their rights to the exclusion everybody else. Once you release an idea into the wild it belongs to the wild, and even totalitarian tactics can't control it.

    The sooner there are real limitations on copyright duration the better for all. Intellectual property has an expiration date. No matter what Hollywood, the MMPA, RIAA or any number of publishers might have to say about.

     

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    crade (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 2:52pm

    Dad get me outta this.

     

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    Bill Wilkins, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 5:37pm

    Great article, Mike. You're right on the money.

    I have long been a proponent of changing with the times, and changing along with the 'winds of change'. Almost all of the worlds combat military books on strategy make focused points about that ability, and being the test of life or death.

    After nearly 14 years, the major labels are 'still' crying like babies, while the rest of the industry has bitten bitter bullets and moved on. There is simply nothing left to say, except comment on the continued demise of the majors, who simply would rather cry like babies rather than 'innovate' like the rest of us have had to do.

     

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      Anonymous, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 6:14pm

      Re: Great article, Mike. You're right on the money.

      ?

      Who has "moved on"?

      What is the new primary business model for movie makers, game makers, software makers, ebook makers, etc.?

      Haven't heard of it. Enlighten us please.

       

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        TDR, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 6:36pm

        Re: Re: Great article, Mike. You're right on the money.

        It's different for everyone, as you should well know, having commented here for as long as you have. Or trolled here, to be more accurate. The days of monolithic centralized distribution are over thanks to the distributed and individualistic nature of the internet.

        Your problem is you're so afraid of change that you can't even see straight, and you're like Uncle Andrew in the Magician's Nephew: you've told yourself so many times that what you're seeing isn't really what's happening, but only what you want to happen. But, as C.S. Lewis wrote, the problem with trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed. And you have. Spectacularly.

         

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          Anonymous, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 6:59pm

          Re: Re: Re: Great article, Mike. You're right on the money.

          I'm sure no one noticed you gave zero examples. LOL

           

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            TDR, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 7:02pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Great article, Mike. You're right on the money.

            I don't need to. They're all over this site. You see, TD has this nifty little search tool. You might try using it sometime. Though I'm sure people will be along to provide said examples for you, since you've shown yourself incapable of doing actual research.

             

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              Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 7:23pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Great article, Mike. You're right on the money.

              Search is significantly more effort than required. Just click the Case Studies tab at the top.

               

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                Anonymous, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 8:24pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Great article, Mike. You're right on the money.

                Random examples of unknown artists are not what I asked for.

                I wrote: What is the new primary business model for movie makers, game makers, software makers, ebook makers, etc.?

                I'm sure no one notices that you apparently can't answer the question.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 8:53pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Great article, Mike. You're right on the money.

                  Connect with your fans and give them a reason to purchase from you. For example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minecraft

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 8:55pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Great article, Mike. You're right on the money.

                    "As of February 25, 2011, Minecraft had over 4,660,000 registered users, and over 1,400,000 purchases."

                    Oh! You said known artists! Not some unknown nobody who's made over 1.4 million sales.

                    What a fucking nobody. Hate to be that guy!

                     

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                      Anonymous, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 10:46pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Great article, Mike. You're right on the money.

                      So you need to buy the game to get the full featured version, which has components only accessible via the company's website.

                      Sounds like the NY Times letting you read the first few paragraphs of an article, but must be a subscriber to get the full article.

                      Isn't that a paywall? The thing you guys always bitch about?

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 11:14pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Great article, Mike. You're right on the money.

                        Many sources for the news. One source for Minecraft. Paywalls work with the Economist. The Wall Street Journal.

                        You guys?

                        Yes, we're all the exact same, with the same beliefs and the same motives.

                         

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                        Atkray (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 11:19pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Great article, Mike. You're right on the money.

                        Actually no it isn't at all like a paywalled newspaper, but given your predisposition to argue pointlessly I suspect you know that.

                        Free minecraft = a game you can play and enjoy without spending any additional money. If you want extra features then you can pay and get them.

                        NY Times letting you read the first 2 paragraphs != an article you can read and enjoy. You have to pay extra to get the article.

                        One is a full usable product the other is just a small part of a full product.

                        Now if the NY Times let you read the full article for free and then had additional insights and commentary from the writer and editors explaining what went into writing the article your comparison would make more sense, but then it would no longer support your trolling.

                         

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                  Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 1:58am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Great article, Mike. You're right on the money.

                  The same as it was before, making and selling their products, or asking people to fund their projects, or making deals to with toy manufacturer's, promotion companies and so forth.

                  One thing I do know, piracy is never going away and I will never buy another plastic disc ever.

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2011 @ 6:31pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Great article, Mike. You're right on the money.

                  Unknown artists don't make movies, games, software, (e)books???

                  Well fuck me if you didn't get EXACTLY what you asked for: an example. I note how immediately you go into "this example doesn't work cause... too [random/unknown/small/large/specific/generic..]"

                  Ask and ye shall receive, create and ye may try many business models NONE of which guarantee ye shall get paid.

                   

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                  Twilight (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 7:21am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Great article, Mike. You're right on the money.

                  "What is the new primary business model for movie makers, game makers, software makers, ebook makers, etc.?"

                  You seem to be missing the point. Absolutely nothing has changed or needs to change with the business model of any of those. All of those are doing just fine. The ones pushing so hard for draconian laws (yes, they are draconian because they have significant impact on legal activity outside of what they claim to do) are the *distribution* companies (represented by RIAA, MPAA, and other similar misleadingly named associations). The producers have been figuring out that they don't need the middle-men (or not the same ones anyway).

                  If you want a specific example, look at Baen books. They have been giving away free eBooks of most of the novels of many of their top authors. Guess what? Their sales have significantly *increased* since they started doing that.

                  Game producers use the old distribution channels as a secondary delivery method now. Many are using Steam/Direct2Drive/Impulse or just using torrents or similar to directly distribute their games.

                   

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 5:03am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Great article, Mike. You're right on the money.

            I'm sure no one noticed you gave zero examples. LOL
            So he's still produced more examples than you who have managed the impressive feat of producing a negative number of examples.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 2:08am

        Re: Re: Great article, Mike. You're right on the money.

        The same one people have been using for a long time now and has given no signs of reductions, except for the music labels that are sinking to the bottom faster than a meteor.

        I do remember vividly in the 80's publishers complaining that TV was killing them and nobody wanted to read and lo and behold they are still making millions in that sector, games have increased their revenues to the point that they are actually interactive movies and surpassed the movie industry, how is piracy having an effect on them?

        The movie industry is another one that keeps having record revenues every year even despite with DVD's and Blurays not selling that much.

        Musicians keep making millions in tours alone, they don't need the record labels anymore.

        Now care to enlighten us how piracy is having and adverse effect on the industry?

        Because frankly I see nothing there, except for the chicken little screams from some people.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 6:08pm

    Who cares I just heard that Intel Thunderbolt technology will get people 10 Gb/s transfer speeds.

    LAN parties just got more attractive.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 7:18pm

    Hilarious claims.

    Piracy is destroying us all! It is the end of the world!

    Then you see, them posting record profits year after year WTF!?

    Labels are suffering!

    Who cares?
    When you look at why they are suffering you see that CD sales are declining and that was their bread and butter and one may be excused for thinking that could be related to piracy after hearing the industry folks chicken little routine, but if you look close you see that the industry tried and failed to come up with another format because they wanted all these rules and grabs in those formats and for their troubles they ended up with nothing which I see kind of poetic justice. While musicians continue to get millions, I dare anybody show me a top hundred list today that is making less than any other top hundred before it(inflation adjusted or not).

    Piracy takes away the ability to make money!
    How exactly does that happen? Nobody can stop the artist from selling his own version, nobody can stop an artists from stopping business from using his stuff, because if the reasoning is because people can get for free they won't buy it, there is at least 20 billion dollars in revenue that says otherwise.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 7:17am

      Re: Hilarious claims.

      Piracy is destroying us all! It is the end of the world!

      Then you see, them posting record profits year after year WTF!?


      if you are going to be a whiny child, at least work with facts. Recorded music sales have been dropping and continue to drop. No record profits. Where are you getting this information from?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 7:31am

        Re: Re: Hilarious claims.

        CD sales are going down just like vinyl did go down when people changed formats, for games it is a record year, for books it is a record year, for movies it is a record year, for musicians it is a record year, for everyone except labels that sued everyone, call everyone a thief and keep proposing ridiculous laws and they wonder why nobody buy anything from them LoL

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 6:25pm

        Re: Re: Hilarious claims.

        SOI Tax Stats - Corporation Data by Sector or Industry

        Consumer Spending

        Gross-Domestic-Product-(GDP)-by-Industry Data

        Incredibly the U.S. government puts out a lot of information that is useful to track trends LoL

        Can you believe you can plot graphics with that data?

        The only think missing is an easy way to see that data, but it is all there.

        ps: EVERYONE SHOULD TAKE A LOOK AT THAT DATA.

         

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    Nick Dynice (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 11:46pm

    Mike, will audio or video of this talk be available?

     

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    ras, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 9:43am

    So, lost in this fray

    So, lost in tihs fray was likely the fact that SoundExchange's new president is a former deputy
    general counsel with the RIAA -- someone who developed "programmatic (anti piracy) enforcement plans" for them during the mid-2000's. This of course was right about when the RIAA started suing 13 year olds and grandmothers off the face of the planet.

    So Bengloff seems to want to yell at someone else merely for *supporting* the idea of having an actual artist head SoundExchange -- but he manages to somehow completely miss mentioning this new ex-RIAA-enforcement SoundExchange head while literally sitting on a panel about "music file sharing and what should be done about it"? Really?

    And nobody thought to mention this?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 11:12am

    http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2013230&cid=35320996

    They will clutch at every straw and leave no stone unturned in their quest to increase sales... except for the myriad ways that they are their own worst enemy. It will never occur to them that suing your own customers is not good for business. They will never think that what is in my opinion the obvious "buy-a-law" political corruption (designed to institute perpetual copyright) in which they engage makes people with a conscience decide not to support them.

    They will never consider that threatening tens of thousands of people with lawyer letters demanding they either pay a settlement or face a lawsuit they could not possibly afford, with no regard for the fact that many of them were innocent, might earn them some ill will. Nor will they think that taking children to court and using interrogation procedures obviously designed to intimidate them is something that decent people don't care to reward financially.

    Nope, it's them evil pirates, those horrible music streaming services, etc. Of course it is. That adequately explains everything.

    It's at a base level and I openly acknowledge that, but I can't help but to smile when I see that they are showing signs of desperation. They deserve more failure than they are experiencing.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 12:22pm

      Re:

      It will never occur to them that suing your own customers is not good for business.

      They aren't customers, they are pirates. They have already shown the are not going to buy. What more is lost that hasn't already been lost?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 12:32pm

        Re: Re:

        Then why sue?

         

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        JMT, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 12:49pm

        Re: Re:

        "They aren't customers, they are pirates. "

        And that is why you fail.

        Unless this attitude changes, the content middlemen will continue their death spiral into obscurity.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 1:06pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Where they see an opportunity to sue, others see an opportunity to sell. I wonder which business model will last?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 3:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            What do you sell to a virtual shoplifter?

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 4:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Virtual lock-picks and virtual ski-masks and virtual getaway cars silly! So uncreative.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 6:12pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Well there was this Chinese woman that made a million bucks in Second-Life what did she do?

              For starters she used a virtual world and made millions buying and selling virtual land.

              One could setup a Music Virtual World where people could see their idols and interact with them, sell virtual clothes and get a cut from those sales.

              But you people are just to dumb to think of solutions that work, it is too much trouble to create something new.

              Labels are a parasitic industry that is no longer relevant and all that imaginary wealth is going down the drain, whether you like it or not.

              But I won't help you with ideas, you believe you must get paid right? pay others to make something that works, others tried and the industry destroyed them, the industry doesn't allow innovations to happen and that is why those people will go away.

              Piracy on the consumer level is not going away, either they learn to survive despite piracy or we all wait until the current players die off and new ones come about, because there are opportunities to be had is just not recognized or accepted by you people yet, but give it time it is inevitable.

              Kicking and screaming you people will be dragged into the 21th century.

               

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        Karl (profile), Feb 26th, 2011 @ 4:38pm

        Re: Re:

        They aren't customers, they are pirates.

        I guess you missed all the studies that showed pirates by make more legitimate purchases than non-pirates:
        http://news.cnet.com/2100-1023-898813.html
        http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/artic le794638.ece
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4718249.stm
        http://venturebeat.com/2009/04/21/s tudy-finds-file-sharers-buy-ten-times-more-music/

        Can we finally put the "pirates aren't customers" myth to bed?

         

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    marcyrw (profile), Feb 26th, 2011 @ 1:37pm

    DMFE

    Mike, I was there and you were great. I thought the discussion you had with Gary Shapiro was one of the most informative of the day. Some others were very much less so, boring and repetitive, in fact. Eric Garland was good as usual, but why oh why are we STILL talking about record sales as if they are important? REALLY? It was stunning that one panelist, early in the day, stated that the recording industry has done so much for consumers and consumers "fucked us". WHAT? I figure he was a Republican, because they are fond of revisionist history. The panel you speak of in the above article was wild, to be sure, and showed the recording industry's fatally flawed thinking. One of the major topics missing, IMHO, in the entire day's discussion was the issue of conduit companies (like Comcast) buying content companies (like NBCU) and potentially barring entrance to many of these panelists' bright and shiny new services. Locker here, subscription service there - it will all be meaningless if network neutrality dies.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 6:37pm

    http://www.irs.gov/taxstats/index.html

    Everyone should go look at the tax from the industries that are complaining and see what they are all about.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2011 @ 3:21am

    As a musician from a least developed country I follow discussions on the music industry, especially when in the context of law, technology and access/costs. I struggle to understand the lip service people give about changing the industry when Governments and those purported to help us do the contrary behind the backs of the musicians themselves. For example, I quote Masnik "...When that backfired, the industry declared war on the tech innovators -- the companies who were creating the infrastructure and tools to lead them through this. It's as if the recording industry can't help but to attack those it needs the most. "

    And now industry 'through the revolving door' of WIPO, is building an infrastructure that will just increase the cost of accessing music. While WIPO states that the intended objective is to "make it faster, easier, and simpler for those who want to use music for legal services to find who owns what rights in music - and not just in the developed world, but throughout the world." what discourse have they had with us musicians in the developing world? They obviously have the views of the music industry in the developed world and follow their agenda. I find this tantamount to corruption!

    See http://www.internationalmusicregistry.org/portal/en/index.html

    If I have correctly read between the lines of the media clippings on the project, the IMR seems to be a personal project of Francis Gurry, especially with industry personalities, such as civil society 'lobbyists' such as Nick Ashton-Hart.

    If you want the list of companies and names, go to
    http://www.internationalmusicregistry.org/portal/en/who_we_are.html

    (from WIPO website) - In addition, the following are observers or providing staff support to the Steering Committee (alphabetical order):

    Nick Ashton-Hart Secretariat, organising committee
    C. Trevor Clarke WIPO Secretariat
    FX Nuttall Technical Adviser, D Uwemedimo
    Richard Owens WIPO Secretariat
    Sylvain Piat Technical Adviser, D Uwemedimo
    Victor Vazquez WIPO Secretariat

    Well .... !!!!!!!!

     

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    mosiac user, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:25am

    perhaps just one finer point ?

    I understand using the phrases "music industry" vs "recording industry" to clarify different segments of the business. However,I wonder if it isn't time to refine how, and what parts of the "recording industry" are in trouble. Many of the traditional recording methods have changed, but with more content being created by more people, it's still being recorded. It has to be, in order to be distributed. Otherwise we would now be overrun with new roving minstriels. The recording industry; i.e., the act of actually recording tracks HAS adapted to new tech and thrived. Perhaps it's time to be more specific the copyright problem is about "the content aggregation" industry. THEY seem to be the ones in trouble regardless of what medium is used.

    Their business model seems more like "music patent trolls".

     

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      Karl (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 10:34am

      Re: perhaps just one finer point ?

      The recording industry; i.e., the act of actually recording tracks HAS adapted to new tech and thrived.

      Well, that's not actually true.

      The top-tier studios are suffering... because they're almost 100% dependent upon major labels as clients.

      The lower-tier studios are suffering... because bands can buy their own equipment for less than the cost of recording a single track in their studios.

      The middle-tier studios are suffering less than others... but they're still suffering, for the same reasons as above.

      And all studios (especially those that have musicians, not labels, as clients) are suffering, because of the economy.

      Of course, piracy has nothing to do with any of this.

      Plus, that's the recording studio industry... And like the label system, the fact that DIY is cheaper has been a positive boon to artists themselves.

      So it's certainly not going to result in less music being produced. And as far as copyright is concerned, that's all that matters.

       

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    musicdebater, Mar 5th, 2011 @ 8:49pm

    horse buggy is wrong analogy

    True, under free enterprise you have to adapt to compete with LEGITIMATE competition ... but millions of people using
    technology for unauthorized music downloading doesn't seem like legitimate competition.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 2:16am

      Re: horse buggy is wrong analogy

      but millions of people using technology for unauthorized music downloading doesn't seem like legitimate competition.
      It's a point, (and peripherally I'd love someone to come up with a better analogy than the horse and buggy one), and the analogy only stretches so far, but there's a number of counter points there.

      First, competition is competition whatever it's source because you're not competing with "illegitimate" from the viewpoint of the law, but "illegitimate" from the viewpoint of what people are willing to accept - if you don't like the horse and buggy analogy try another tired one, prohibition. Again not accurate but the point I'm trying to make is that people will source what they want whether it's legal or not. If you have a few people doing it it's "fringe" if legal and "a few criminals" if illegal. If a decent percentage of people do it it's called "society" and that's rather harder to change.

      Second, an amount of the "illegitimate competition" is only illegitimate because it's been defined so after the fact (again somewhat similar to prohibition in this limited sense) - people naturally have always shared music, books, video tapes when they came along, and any other content that they have. It doesn't fit naturally to suddenly start trying to say "well it's OK to share this record and let your friend tape it" (yes I know that was always illegal but it was never enforced unless you started selling them so that doesn't count), "but let your friend record that CD (with the same thing on it) and we'll sue you for a gazillion pounds". Sure the one causes more "problems" than the other because of scale, but the individual is never going to see that scale because he's just doing what he's always done.

      Third, a lot of the competition is perfectly legal because it's not just "piracy" you're competing with, but now you are competing with the hundreds of other forms of entertainment enabled by the internet age - computer games, online gaming, across internet co-operative play (which far more people are interested in than solo gaming), phones, tweeting, blogging and all the other leisure activities competing for people's money. You just can't say "well THIS is our price and f*ck you, you pay it or you don't get it" in that environment, you have to entice people to pay you rather than say Nintendo.

      Forth, to an extent you're not competing with anything illegitimate at all because the competition isn't in the production of the music(/film/whatever) itself, but in the distribution method. People want convenience and value and are (generally) willing to pay something for it. Whether "piracy" exists or not, an increasing number of people simply aren't willing to pay the inflated prices for inferior content. As an example lets take a film:
      Currently it's probably a tiny bit harder for most people to download the latest blockbuster than it is to go order a DVD online. Not much but a bit - Small win for "legitimate" Downloading it with an average internet connection takes (bit of a guess) about 4-5 hours? Ordering it online takes (lets be generous) perhaps a day on overnight delivery. Small win for "piracy"
      A tie so far.
      Once you get the film downloaded you can play it on TV, media box, DVD player, iPod, any one of the 3 PCs in the house, you can stick it on a laptop or 2 to take away with you or anywhere else you want it. Once you have the DVD you can play it in one of the 2 DVD players in the house. If you try and do any of the other things with it it suddenly becomes "piracy" anyway. If it comes with a "digital copy", you can probably play it on 2 of the 3 PCs (assuming 1 is Linux for example) and not a lot else due to the DRM and it's lower quality anyway. HUGE win for "piracy".

      Now play the film. The downloaded one starts, is (lets take best case because it's not that hard to acheive) excellent quality and you're straight in to whoosh-bang hi-def action of Mr Willis (or whoever) blowing up aliens and buildings. Meanwhile the DVD you bought is still busy carefully explaining why you're a criminal, what happens if they catch you being a criminal, showing you trailers you can't skip for things you've seen or have no interest in, getting into a menu including special features you have no intention of watching... Win for "piracy"

      Then price. Download free, DVD £15. HUGE win for piracy.

      Now lets imagine there's a legitimate p2p route for films - perhaps the distributors seed the original file (without DRM) and host the torrent files and a hashsum check so you can be fairly sure your file hasn't been tampered with (or whatever technology) for which they charge, lets say £3-£5 (or whatever the market will bear without driving people off). The extra convenience of a guaranteed quality, safety and the attraction of being legitimate are going to outweigh the small cost. Sure your friends, who know and trust you, will copy your files (as has always happened anyway), but are you really going to download a file created by a total stranger that may be crappy quality and virus ridden when you can get a kosher one for a relatively tiny payment?

      Like I said, not competing with the content so much as the distribution method.....

       

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    name, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 8:30pm

    subject

    If you count blank media CD sales are at an all time high.

     

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    Screwbengloff, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 11:54am

    Rich Bengloff

    Rich Bengloff is a miserable person and anybody who has been in a room for a second will tell you that. His personel attacks are telling of his character. You don't like the way the business is going boo hoo adapt or die. It's people like bengloff that hold back progress. He doesn't care about music he cares about his own personel gain in the industry and compensating for his small penis

     

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    identicon
    Mike Cirasuolo, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 6:16pm

    Theft

    The analogy of a horse and buggy is wrong- If companies wanted to perhaps copy a ford car and start selling it under a different name would be a correct analogy- When a writer spends most their years horning a craft to right just the right song to meet just the right opportunity to possibly make a living NO ONE should be able to just use their songs (copyright)for FREE!

     

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    identicon
    Joey, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 6:31pm

    104

    Good point Mike but your spelling is off I would quess you meant honing not horning? I'm a writer myself and definitly agree- If we could copy any thing we wanted without recoarse-Books would be fair game-Company names? Clothes lines why not all this was developed to be shared Why should anyone beable to duplicate someones hard work without paying for it

     

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