You Would Think The Recording Industry's Main Magazine Wouldn't Copy Other's Works Without Permission

from the wouldn't-you? dept

Well, well, well. While I actually enjoy Billboard Magazine, and think that the current management there is doing some interesting things (and actually has a somewhat forward-looking attitude) even if they occasionally write bizarre hit pieces on me, it still is the magazine for the legacy recording industry in many ways. So I have to admit a bit of amusement in seeing that it apparently copied a blog post from Ethan Kaplan and posted it as a "guest post" on their own site... but did so entirely without permission from Kaplan.

Kaplan is being cool about it, saying he's happy to have it reposted, but would have liked Billboard to have asked him first. You would think that a magazine that believes so strongly in copyright law would have done so. But, I guess it's one of those situations where it doesn't seem like such a big deal when "we" do it. It's only when those dirty "others" do it that it's "theft."

Anyway, as with other thoughts by Kaplan, I highly recommend this post as well, though, you should probably read the original on his own site, rather than giving Billboard the traffic. The post discusses Kaplan's discussion of why it's time to kill off the shiny plastic disc (and how he once made that suggestion at Warner Music... and was rapped on the knuckles for it, since "the shiny disk still paid for my shiny servers.")

The crux of Kaplan's argument:
Consider for a moment the amount of supply chain management, staffing and processes in place just to produce a CD and get it out to third party retail. And consider the CD itself: a 74 minute bit conveyance mechanism that is pretty much disposable. They are often used just once: to rip the bits.

So in the end, the CD is this:

A once major source of high margin revenue which is now taking disproportionate back line expense to prop up, in order to justify the size of an industry which does not exist anymore. And even if that expense is not significant in hard numbers, the inertia it creates at the resultant diverted and stifled innovation sure is.

It's time to kill it. Bring it out back and shoot it. And then really take a look at what is left.
Go read the full thing (at Kaplan's site). It's well worth it.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    A Dan (profile), Mar 29th, 2011 @ 1:42pm

    Wrapped

    I think perhaps you mean he was rapped on the knuckles.

     

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  2.  
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    Cojeff, Mar 29th, 2011 @ 1:48pm

    The only problem I have getting rid of the shinny disc is that there really isn't way to buy lossless digital copy. I just bought some CDs only because I can't get the lossless. I'll rip it into itunes myself with the setting I choose. Also the digital copies (IMHO) are still a little overpriced.

    So for me, bring down the digital price some, offer lossless copies and of course no DRM.

     

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  3.  
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    Pickle Monger (profile), Mar 29th, 2011 @ 1:55pm

    Spelling?

    "The Recording Industry's Main Magzine"... is that anything like a magazine? ;-)

     

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  4. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2011 @ 2:01pm

    Funny to see someone committed to open source bitching about their writings being reused.

     

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  5.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 29th, 2011 @ 2:02pm

    typos

    Fixed. Thanks. :)

     

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  6.  
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    mrharrysan (profile), Mar 29th, 2011 @ 2:12pm

    Re:

    FUD... FUD irrelevant trollBot

     

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  7.  
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    The eejit (profile), Mar 29th, 2011 @ 2:13pm

    Re:

    No, he's pointing out the hypocrisy. From Kaplan's Twitter: "Glad you ran my post, but please ask first."

     

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  8.  
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    sehlat (profile), Mar 29th, 2011 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Re:

    "please ask first"

    It's called courtesy, and it's never appeared to be anything the recording industry has given much thought.

     

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

  9.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 29th, 2011 @ 2:19pm

    Re:

    Do you anontrolls ever get tired of this particular strawman?

    Every single time someone points out the hypocrisy of the copy maximalists with a "Hey, I don't mind, but doesn't that go against everything you say you believe in?" some idiot rushes in here with a "I THOUGHT FREETARDS DIDN'T MIND LOLOLOLOL".

    Seriously, can you connect even two neurons in your malformed brain and form some semblance of a rational thought before you hit the Submit button? Please? Do it for the children.

     

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

  10.  
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    Markus Hopkins (profile), Mar 29th, 2011 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Re:

    Just to play devil's advocate, maybe it's Kaplan that's pointing out the hypocrisy of the music industry with that tweet. They get made and sue, so he says "why didn't you just ask nicely? I'm willing to share." Or maybe not.

     

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

  11.  
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    Markus Hopkins (profile), Mar 29th, 2011 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Correction: mad

     

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

  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2011 @ 2:37pm

    How about instead of having a third party store distribution, have a single shipping/storage center, since there is still a demand for the discs, and rather than trying to guess where and how many will be sold, have it be mail/internet order only, while still keeping the prices reasonable for the disc.

     

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  13.  
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    Planespotter (profile), Mar 29th, 2011 @ 2:43pm

    Once the shiny disc is no more the walls should start to crumble. The current cost of downloads seem to have some parity to the cost of a track on a physical object.

    No physical object = no parity.

    IMHO anyway.

     

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  14.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Mar 29th, 2011 @ 2:44pm

    Funny...

    ...how all the Big Copy shills never seem to come barreling into threads like this demanding the violators be held strictly accountable for whatever infringement has occurred.

     

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

  15.  
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    Planespotter (profile), Mar 29th, 2011 @ 2:46pm

    Re:

    oh... and we should know by now with people who wish to ramp IP laws...

    "Do as I say not as I do", worked for Sarkozy!

     

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  16.  
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    PlagueSD, Mar 29th, 2011 @ 2:47pm

    Re:

    If you really want a lossless copy of music, you'll need to buy vinyl. Nothing beats a good analog recording...

     

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  17.  
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    Joe, Mar 29th, 2011 @ 2:58pm

    Others'

    Others'

     

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  18.  
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    trish, Mar 29th, 2011 @ 4:22pm

    garbage

    plastic discs are garbage waiting to be thrown away. In 2011 music and movies should not be sold in plastic discs, because it's bad for the environment. Has anyone thought of the landfills? (or the planet we will leave our children...)?
    Maybe the recording industry hasn't heard of this nifty thing, been around a few years now, called the Internets. Maybe they could sell their music there? Environmentally-friendly-ly and oh so cheaply?

     

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

  19.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Mar 29th, 2011 @ 4:39pm

    Re: Vinyl Lossless?

    Over how many plays?

     

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  20.  
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    abc gum, Mar 29th, 2011 @ 6:21pm

    Re: Re: Vinyl Lossless?

    Record it (lossless) the first play ... duh

    I agree, vinyl is awesome. I have quite a bit of old stuff in good shape.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2011 @ 6:57pm

    Re:

    CD's are terribly unreliable in the long run. When they first came out, I used to somewhat fall for the hype "oh, they last 100 years without any quality loss if you take good care of them". Over the years, my experience shows that not to be true at all. It's just a marketing gimmick. DVD's seem somewhat more reliable than CD's (they have some improvements in their design that help) but I still think they have problems. The type of CD/DVD you buy also seems to make a slight difference as well.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2011 @ 6:59pm

    Re:

    You almost described Netflix.

     

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  23.  
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    Kaden (profile), Mar 29th, 2011 @ 7:27pm

    Re: Re:

    As a medium unto itself, vinyl isn't lossless. You're scraping a hard pointy thing through a groove in a soft piece of plastic... do that 30 times in a row and the high frequency transients are audibly reduced.

    An analog pressing of a digital master has had the dynamic range, bass content and phase based imaging effects drastically reduced for the sole purpose of keeping the stylus in the groove... it's lossy before it ever sees the turntable.

    Vinyl is warm, soft and nostalgic, but it most certainly is not lossless.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2011 @ 8:21pm

    Re: Re:

    Chris, if he is all for open source, shouldn't his blog posts be the same way? There is no indication of copyright claim on his site (except, oddly, for the design by someone else), and only mentions in his "about" page that he supports open source and other initiatives.

    It seems that he shouldn't be shocked to have his content re-used without asking. It seems to be what he supports.

    After all, if you guys are going to call out any copyright supporter on little things, you need to grow thicker skin and accept the same sort of questions will be asked back.

    Or perhaps you remaining neurons can't manage to understand that. Please, do it for yourself, child.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2011 @ 9:57pm

    WTF?

    When has td ever promoted asking before copying? Geez, everyone here knows it would stifle innovation if everyone had to ask before copying something. And what if the answer is no?

     

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

  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2011 @ 11:23pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You see nobody is going out to sue them for having copied that, people just noticed that they copied and didn't ask for permission while those same people insist that is the thing to do, so is rather amusing to see the ones that support the permission culture and scream bloody murder when they are not asked doing exactly the opposite of what they preach.

    It is that not a sign that the world really works better with less permissions to ask? When even the supporters of said permissions can't make use of it?

    Also you forgot to mock Mike's very recent post still on the front page about how it is better to just let others copy, while making fun of people who didn't ask, you could almost imagine that he did that on purpose to bait people, to come and get the articles and then mock them when they do, but enough of the tin foil theories.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2011 @ 11:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Vinyl Lossless?

    Plywood and liquid silicon are your friends if you know how to use it vynil will last for centuries LoL

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2011 @ 11:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    One thing about bias.

    I'm more likely to let things go of those little mistakes everyone makes about the people I like or don't care, that is why I don't trash Mike all the time, because I don't have nothing against him and he mostly is aligned with the way I see the world.

    Not to say he doesn't suffer from cognitive dissonance from time to time(i.e. the article "Sometimes It's Better To Just Let People Copy Your Content Than Deal With Licensing" is the complete opposite of what he is doing here in this one, also his position on supporting new legislation about federal anti-slapp laws but not net neutrality rules), but I just don't care that much and I wouldn't care either about the mistakes of the entertainment industry if they didn't annoy me and tried to change social norms that are dear to me.

    Sharing is a basic fundamental of all societies, that is more important then any business interest in this world could ever be, business are transient, they don't last, sharing on the other hand has been with us for 10's of thousands of years since the dawn of humanity on earth, you really think I would support anything that threatens that?

     

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  29.  
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    Nick Coghlan (profile), Mar 29th, 2011 @ 11:56pm

    They need a replacement first

    CDs are currently the only way to consistently get lossless DRM-free recordings suitable for transcoding to the format du jour.

    When they bring out a digital music store that is actually an adequate CD replacement (ie. one that offers DRM-free lossless recordings), then they can get rid of the shiny plastic discs.

     

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

  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2011 @ 12:05am

    Re: Re: Re:

    How that can be minor?
    If somebody took an article from them do you think you people would be quiet about it and grow a thicker skin?

    Nope you would be screaming bloody murder, bloody thieves and all that hyperbole that is customary to ip-maximalists.

    The whole stand of you people is that others need to ask for permission and pay for it, so when you people don't follow those rules you hold so dear what that makes you guys?

    People are not shocked because somebody took it, but because of who took it.

     

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  31.  
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    The eejit (profile), Mar 30th, 2011 @ 1:32am

    Re: Re: Re:

    He's not surprised at all. Kaplan was mentioning that Billboard wasn't being helpful to its cause.

     

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  32.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Mar 30th, 2011 @ 6:26am

    "they occasionally write bizarre hit pieces on me"

    Wanted dead or alive Mike Masnick!!!

     

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  33.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Mar 30th, 2011 @ 6:57am

    I just read the Billboard "Hit Piece" Article

    Billboard is a very well known site and publication. When I read the "Hit Piece" article it had a single "Like". My first article here at techdirt got over 100 tweets and 500 plus facebook likes.

    Several questions and thoughts came to mind. Do people actually still read billboard? Is this guy a real writer? Did people in the music industry see Mikes name have a panic attack and fail to finish reading the article? Perhaps it is considered blasphemy in music industry circles to say "The Masnicks" name. Perhaps they consider him "he whose name can not be spoken aloud". Perhaps they looked away in fear.

    I do wonder about the single "Like" on that article and what it means for the record labels.

     

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  34.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Mar 30th, 2011 @ 7:39am

    Re: garbage

    Without a physical token, you don't really have any means to establish your right to own a copy of that work.

     

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

  35.  
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    Huph, Mar 30th, 2011 @ 10:06am

    Re: garbage

    Actually, I don't see it quite the same way. CDs are somewhat collectible to many people. I don't think they are thrown out in the volumes that disposable packaging/bottles/etc are thrown out. Well, except for those AOL discs in the 90s.

    And consider this: if we can make the manufacture of carbon-heavy plastic as "green" as possible and primarily use it to manufacture items that a person would hold on to forever, then we are successfully removing carbon from the atmosphere and trapping it in a plastic tchothke that hopefully *won't* end up in a landfill.

     

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

  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2011 @ 10:29am

    Pointing out hypocrisy is not the same as being hypocritical - Mike is pointing out that the magazine of a group that believes strongly in copyright copying someone else's work without permission is amusing.

    This does not mean that Mike thinks the action was wrong (or right), simply that it was inconsistent with their stated beliefs. The correctness or incorrectness of the action is a separate topic.

    This doesn't seem inconsistent with Mike's thoughts about avoiding licensing in the future by giving permission to use what they like ... after all, by telling them to use what they like, he is giving permission before the item is used - exactly as did not happen in this case.

    By the way: the blog post / article that was copied wasn't Mike's.

     

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


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