Future Of Music Coalition Says It Cannot Support E-PARASITE/SOPA In Good Conscience

from the it's-a-bad-bill dept

While some groups representing content creators feel they need to hold their nose and stay lockstep with folks like the RIAA and MPAA in support of such obviously bad proposals as E-PARASITE/SOPA, at least some musicians groups are intellectually honest enough to admit that this is a bad, bad bill for creators. The Future of Music Coalition, whom no one can ever claim as being "anti-IP," "pro-piracy" or (most ridiculous of all) "anti-artist," has come out with a thoughtful rejection of E-PARASITE/SOPA. The group notes that while it quite frequently agrees with the RIAA/A2IM/AFM and other such groups, on this bill it simply cannot go along. The bill is that bad:
We at FMC want to see the growth of a legitimate digital music marketplace that rewards creators and fans. We support efforts to protect rightsholders online and encourage fans to participate in platforms where creators get paid. We genuinely hope that if Congress gets involved that they find a way to support creativity without compromising free expression and innovation. In its current form, SOPA is not that bill.
As FMC notes, it hopes that musicians understand the real impact of such a bill, and after spending some time going through the details, they find some parts quite problematic:
SOPA’s definitions around “infringing” sites and services are seemingly broad enough to include sites that have perfectly legitimate uses. For example: some of us here at FMC are musicians and producers. We regularly use services like Dropbox, etc. to send files back-and-forth to collaborators. Under this bill, such services — and those yet to be invented — could be subject to blocking or other penalties. Unlike the Senate bill with its more tailored definition, SOPA could target any foreign site or service that “facilitates” infringement. That net seems too wide for comfort.
And, then, of course there's the serious concerns over DNS blocking, and not just over the technological aspects, but what signal it will provide to other countries, who will feel much more open to start blocking access to US sites:
Another concern with SOPA is that it impacts an underlying feature of the internet — the Domain Name Server system (DNS). Think of DNS as a global phonebook for the web, where a site’s numerical address is converted to words and letters. Instead of typing in a string of numbers like 69.65.119.60, DNS servers let users type in easier-to-remember names, like futureofmusic.org. If a site appeared on a government blacklist, these servers would be instructed to no longer “resolve” the address. Keep in mind that it is incredibly easy for an infringing site to switch domain names — the underlying content is still there. Additionally, a user could also simply type in the numerical IP address and go straight to the site. Worse, by switching to a domain name server in another country, those in the US seeking that material could end up surfing in some of the most parasitic and dangerous backwaters of the internet (and bringing back what they catch). The authors of the bill seem to recognize how easy it is to get around DNS redirects, so they’ve also authorized the attorney general to go after anyone who provides a product or service to do so. But we start blocking access to foreign sites, will other countries take that as a green light to start blocking access to ours? Is it a good idea to open this can of worms at a critical time for global information openness and security?
And, finally, the FMC recognizes that the DMCA's safe harbors are extremely important, and worries that this bill undermines them:
An important part of the DMCA are its “safe harbors,” which protects online service providers from liability for third-party content uploaded to their sites, provided they quickly remove or disable access to material upon receiving notification from rightsholders. Recent court cases have hinged on whether a site or service had “specific knowledge of infringement.” If not, a site may be within its safe harbors. There is concern that the language in SOPA could force a site or service to monitor activity, out of fear that they would otherwise be “avoiding confirming” non-infringement. Under such an obligation, we may never see the next amazing platform for user-generated expression (and creator compensation).
Definitely a big issue. It's great to see the folks at FMC, who are one of the few groups out there who truly look out for the best interests of artists (unlike groups that claim to, but who are really looking out for the best interests of middlemen), speak up about this bill. Contrary to what you'll hear, supporting E-PARASITE/SOPA won't help artists. It may help the gatekeepers... but those gatekeepers have a history of hindering, not helping artists. What the bill will do is hinder the ability of important new platforms and services to come forth -- and it's those new platforms and services that will help drive the new business models that make money for artists in the future.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 9:56am

    Mike, wouldn't you consider it important to mention that this group is your partner in the (seemingly failing) step2 project? Why leave out a key reason why you happen to be running their post here?

     

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  2.  
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    anonymous, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 10:04am

    and the entertainment industries en bloc definitely dont want that to happen. start something new, that would reward those it should, rather than those that are rewarded atm? no way! not gonna happen! exactly why this bill is being pushed forward so hard. strange that so many can see it, but are ignored, when the few that are doing the pushing and their political lackeys dont want to see it and are having their wishes brought to fruition. cant think why?

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 10:18am

    Re:

    What difference does that make?

     

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

  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re:

    it's seems sort of obvious.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    DogBreath, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 10:22am

    Re:

    Mike, wouldn't you consider it important to mention that this group is your partner in the (seemingly failing) step2 project? Why leave out a key reason why you happen to be running their post here?

    Because if he did say it, then you would have said something like the following:

    "Mike, why did you feel it important to mention that this group is your partner in the (seemingly failing) step2 project? Why did you run their post here? I'll tell you why. In an overt attempt to prop up your (seemingly failing) step2 project by advertising it in an article that you have complete control over. That's why."


    There is just no pleasing some people, no matter what you do.

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    rubberpants, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 10:27am

    Re: Re:

    Indeed, for you see the trolls' quest is not for truth, it's for disagreement.

     

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  7.  
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    Blaine (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 10:35am

    What would cost more?

    As a logic exercise, what would cost more in the long run?

    1. The entities opposed to this bill (ISPs, search engines, software creators, hardware companies, tech support... the list goes on) stop doing business with the people pushing this bill (Hollywood, music industry, politicians and other IP gatekeepers) right now.
    Factor in that there are entities in each set that support the other side (Godaddy is on the supporters side for example), so leave them to work with the entities in their camp.
    Factor in potential law suits, good/bad press and other fallout.

    2. The cost of compliance with these laws if they pass as they are now written.
    Factor in jobs lost from companies that would be shut down vs. jobs created to 'just make it work.'
    Factor in the costs of litigation over takedowns and defending against them.
    Factor in the companies either moving their business out of the US and/or companies that never consider starting in the US.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 10:40am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Obvious that they are working together? Still what difference does that make? Is that really a key reason? The key reason I see is that the article is about E-PARASITE/SOPA which has been a main theme for the past few days.

     

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  9.  
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    DogBreath, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 10:41am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I hope he paid Mike the 1 pound before he started posting.

    Argument Clinic
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI6gn9Y

     

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  10.  
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    Karl (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 10:44am

    FMC

    These guys are generally the good guys. I often disagree with what they say (and they often disagree with Techdirt), but on the whole, they're at least looking in the right directions, and looking out for the right people.

     

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  11.  
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    fogbugzd (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 10:44am

    Re: What would cost more?

    Yes, musicians groups may oppose the bills, but what does that matter since we know that the firefighters support it? /sarc

     

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  12.  
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    Karl (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 10:55am

    Re:

    this group is your partner in the (seemingly failing) step2 project?

    They are not a "partner," they are a sponsor - one of many. There is zero evidence that this is a "key reason" he is "running their post." Especially since he has "run" far more posts about SOPA from people who are not sponsors.

    I also love the fact that you describe a website that is barely a couple weeks old, and still growing, as "failing."

    Incidentally, this sort of tactic is the very definition of FUD. You don't actually discuss the issues, but try to paint some sort of shadowy conspiracy, in an effort to scare people away. And, while you're at it, disparage a small business whose purpose is to help artists.

    Not only are you looking desperate, you're also showing your true colors about artists. And those colors ain't rosy, chum.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 11:00am

    FMC teach-in on DNS omits that ISPs can block IPA.

    If you can follow the acronyms above, then you're up to speed, it's just re-hashing. To me, the worries don't pan out: it's just criticizing the necessary mechanism. There won't be much in the way of side-effects. You can't stop piracy as the FMC wants (read the entire piece) without imposing some rules on those who just don't play fair.

    But I have two pieces of specific advice:

    >>> "Worse, by switching to a domain name server in another country, those in the US seeking that material could end up surfing in some of the most parasitic and dangerous backwaters of the internet (and bringing back what they catch)."

    So don't use M$ Windows.

    Re "services like Dropbox" -- Set up an FTP server to transfer directly from your own desktop box. Again, your lack of knowledge about other easily available methods is the problem. In fact, a password-protected FTP server is likely better, doesn't expose the work on a public server.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 11:05am

    Re: What would cost more?

    Enforcement would cost a lot more, the higher bar to enter the market for the little people would also cost jobs and it is already costing jobs on the ground, it is not the middle ones that get hurt is the low paying jobs that the country really needs, unless of course some bright people found a way to make every American a high salary I don't see how granting a monopoly for life + 95 years can possibly benefit society as a whole, not just one dude somewhere that doesn't want to work.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 11:07am

    Re: FMC teach-in on DNS omits that ISPs can block IPA.

    Who da fuck use that ancient tech(i.e. FTP)?

     

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  16.  
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    Jay (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's pretty obvious you're just wanting to troll.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 11:09am

    Re: FMC teach-in on DNS omits that ISPs can block IPA.

    Use Omemo, FTP is not encrypted, it is not secure, it costs a lot and probably will have lower speeds, that a distributed alternative.

     

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  18.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 11:09am

    Re: What would cost more?

    I pass your logic test by seeing that your post is irrelevant. I guess you intend to argue for one of the numbered bunches of questions, but it ain't even clear which you favor.

    Here's a logic exercise similar to yours: Which is quicker, New York or by bus?

     

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  19.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 11:17am

    Re: Re: What would cost more?

    I pass your logic test by seeing that your post is irrelevant.

    Irrelevant to whom? You? So what.

    What you think is relevant or not is irrelevant to me.

     

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  20.  
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    Ninja (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 11:28am

    Trololol

    It'll be interesting to see how the furious TD trolls will react to this article. The troll above tried to imply this article is free advertising to FMC because of a totally unrelated project...

    On a more related comment, it's nice to see these guys being intellectually honest. Most artist defense outfits actually defend themselves and the MAFIAA so it's refreshing to see one that doesn't.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 11:33am

    Re: Re:

    Karl, why not mention it? In a post this long, why not mention that yes, Techdirt / Floor 64 has a relationship with this group?

    It seems so obvious, don't you think?

    As for my "true colors about artists", I am unable to see how you draw any conclusion from my pointing out that Mike forgot to mention a business relationship with a company he is covering on his blog. I would love to have your magical abilities to figure these things out.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 11:38am

    E-PARASITE/SOPA will hurt me as a musician.I have played in bands since I was 16 in 1972.I am an original 1976 punk rocker still rocking out.I am currently sharing on P2P public trackers 6 or 7 albums of mine which I give away for free.
    There are who knows how many 1,000's of small DIY Musical Acts like me who do the same thing.This saves me a few bucks in bandwidth from my main website: www.bigmeathammer.com
    This E-PARASITE/SOPA is a piece of shit.It will make the public trackers/public P2P sites illegal and cut me off from potential fans.But then again the MAFIAA is creaming in their pants knowing they will close the lights on all us DIY bands and leave the lights on for all their krap DRM mainstream corporate bland music.
    I have no idea about law but if this passes the first thing I will do is call the ACLU & my personal lawyer friend and find out if I can sue this government.I will not go down without a fight.
    FUCK YOU MAFIAA !!! BOYCOTT ALL BIG CONTENT !
    ONLY BUY/WATCH USED PHYSICAL MEDIA YOU OWN IT THEY DON'T AND THEY GET NO MONEY.

     

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  23.  
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    el_segfaulto (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 11:58am

    Re: Re: FMC teach-in on DNS omits that ISPs can block IPA.

    Some of the oldest technologies are still the best FTP, and Usenet may not be the latest and the greatest, but they're established and well supported. I do practically all of my work-related stuff via SFTP. Man-in-the-middle attacks are possible, but any transport protocol that utilizes SSL will run into that same issue.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Another AC, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 12:00pm

    Re: FMC teach-in on DNS omits that ISPs can block IPA.

    Both of your "two pieces of specific advice" boil down to:

    "We're banning cars so just use a horse and buggy instead."

    Pretty ridiculous really.

     

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  25.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Karl, why not mention it? In a post this long, why not mention that yes, Techdirt / Floor 64 has a relationship with this group?

    Probably because it's not relevant; Mike has "a relationship" with most of the new music industry. Unless you're suggesting that Mike told FMC what to say (or vice versa), which is ridiculous.

    As for my "true colors about artists", I am unable to see how you draw any conclusion from my pointing out that Mike forgot to mention a business relationship with a company he is covering on his blog.

    Your post, clearly, is designed to discredit both a non-profit (not "company") that advocates for musicians' rights, and a platform whose purpose is to help artists.

    It was mainly the latter that drew my ire, but either way, you're basically implying "if musicians aren't for this bill, they must be paid off somehow, so nobody should listen to them."

    But I've yet to see you, say, criticize Creative America for claiming to be a "grassroots organization" when they're not, while tricking their membership into supporting these bills (according to those members themselves).

    I'd say it's pretty clear where your allegiance lies, and it's not with the artists.

     

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  26.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 12:17pm

    Re: FMC teach-in on DNS omits that ISPs can block IPA.

    "So don't use M$ Windows."

    And the billions of dollars in legitimate games and programs US citizens have payed goes up in smoke. Yeah, that's not a reason to switch to piracy.

    "Set up an FTP server to transfer directly from your own desktop box."

    FTP is not distributed like dropbox is. It's also not encrypted or stored in a bunker like dropbox is. It's also not as easily integrated with my phone and tablet.

    And seriously, if this crap passes, Linux is going to be shut down (remember Microsoft says they're infringing) and FTP is next on the chopping block (just as bad as P2P for piracy).

     

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  27.  
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    rangda (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 12:18pm

    Re:

    This is an interesting (intended?) consequence of this bill that nobody is talking about. How much of this is about combating "piracy" as claimed vs. regaining total control of the distribution chain?

    Could not any service that provides distribution to small bands also be used to "facilitate infringement" and thus be illegal, leaving Big Content as the only way to get exposure and thus forcing musicians back into slavery.

     

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  28.  
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    Karl (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re:

    How much of this is about combating "piracy" as claimed vs. regaining total control of the distribution chain?

    To the MPAA, RIAA, et al, there is no difference between the two whatsoever.

     

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  29.  
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    Karl (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: FMC teach-in on DNS omits that ISPs can block IPA.

    Both of your "two pieces of specific advice" boil down to:

    "We're banning cars so just use a horse and buggy instead."


    Not even that. "We're banning these perfectly legal services, so use some other ones, until they get popular, and then we'll ban them too."

    See e.g. Usenet.

     

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  30.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 12:38pm

    Re: Re:

    How much of this is about combating "piracy" as claimed vs. regaining total control of the distribution chain?
    I think if you look hard enough, you'll see that monopoly creation is the motivation behind all regulation of business practices.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Brandon, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 2:29pm

    Question

    If this passes does anyone know how this would effect Canada or Europe? If a site is taken down does it disappear for everyone or just in America?

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Re:

    Because it speaks to what FOMC's real motives are.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 2:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    LOL at "new music industry".

    Artists/bands/songwriters still prefer working with what you folks like to deride as the "legacy companies", rather than your "new music industry" by a laughably wide margin.

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 6:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How many in the "new" music industry (what the heck is that, anyway?) are paying him?

    Not many.

    "I've yet to see you, say, criticize Creative America for claiming to be a "grassroots organization" when they're not"

    Why should I? Mike ripped them a new eye hole already. Do I have to post "ditto" like a stupid Rush Limbaugh bot to agree with something? HOLY CRAP, get off it.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 8:07pm

    Re: Re:

    Sorry Dogbreath, why do you think I would do that? If they are paying for the post here, it would be nice to know. If they are getting preferential treatment because of their sponsorship, it would be nice to know. Heck, just for full disclosure, don't you think he should mention it? I mean, look at the build up:

    "The Future of Music Coalition, whom no one can ever claim as being "anti-IP," "pro-piracy" or (most ridiculous of all) "anti-artist," has come out with a thoughtful rejection of E-PARASITE/SOPA. The group notes that while it quite frequently agrees with the RIAA/A2IM/AFM and other such groups, on this bill it simply cannot go along. "

    All Mike needed to do is this:

    " The Future of Music Coalition, whom no one can ever claim as being "anti-IP," "pro-piracy" or (most ridiculous of all) "anti-artist," has come out with a thoughtful rejection of E-PARASITE/SOPA. The group(which is a sponsor of our new step 2 site notes that while it quite frequently agrees with the RIAA/A2IM/AFM and other such groups, on this bill it simply cannot go along. "

    and it would have been clear and honest. Why leave out information that may be relevant, unless you think it will diminish the message, or provide context that would allow people to better measure it?

     

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  36.  
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    Karl (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 8:59pm

    Re: Question

    If a site is taken down does it disappear for everyone or just in America?

    If a site's domain name is blocked, it is inaccessible (through that name) around the world. Under these bills, your site can be blocked if the registrar for the gTLD (the .com, etc part) is located inside the United States.

    This includes everyone with a .com .net, or .biz gTLD, and most .org and .info domains. Other gTLD's may be safe, depending on where the registrar is located (e.g. Afilias is headquartered in Ireland). You also can't use U.S. domain name registrars (GoDaddy, Dreamhost, etc), even if the gTLD registrar is located in a different country.

    Of course, your site can also be cut off of funding from any U.S. credit card processors (e.g. PayPal), advertising programs (e.g. Google AdSense), and any U.S. search engines as well (Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc).

    Basically, it forces every vaguely internet-related industry in America to block you.

     

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

  37.  
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    BeeAitch (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 9:06pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Why leave out information that may be relevant, unless you think it will diminish the message, or provide context that would allow people to better measure it?"

    Um, because the information you speak of is not relevant (in addition to being obvious, as Mike supports artists with his step2 site)?

     

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  38.  
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    Karl (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 9:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Artists/bands/songwriters still prefer working with what you folks like to deride as the "legacy companies", rather than your "new music industry" by a laughably wide margin.

    Except they don't - look at the numbers for Tunecore, CD Baby, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and so on. Collectively, they have more musicians than the major labels do. This shouldn't be a surprise, since they're open and inclusive, and the major labels are not.

    And, of course, the two aren't mutually exclusive. You can be on a major label and still use Soundcloud, for example (assuming your label lets you).

     

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  39.  
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    BeeAitch (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 9:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Desperation smells good on you.

     

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  40.  
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    Karl (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 9:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How many in the "new" music industry (what the heck is that, anyway?) are paying him?

    Not many.


    I have no idea. At least three are sponsors of the Step2 site. Part of his business is consulting for musicians and tech startups, so I imagine a whole bunch have worked with him in the past. So what?

    Also, "new music industry" isn't a term I made up, but I can't remember where I first heard it. Probably on Hypebot or something.

    Why should I? Mike ripped them a new eye hole already.

    I'm pointing out what appears to be favoritism on your part. I kind of doubt that you would go on Creative America's own website, and publicly state that they're an astroturf organization. If I'm wrong, I apologize.

     

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  41.  
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    BeeAitch (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 9:20pm

    Re: Re:

    You hit the nail *SQUARE* on the head with this comment.

    +9000 internetz to you, Sir.

     

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

  42.  
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    Karl (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 9:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If they are paying for the post here, it would be nice to know. If they are getting preferential treatment because of their sponsorship, it would be nice to know.

    If you had even a shred of evidence to think either of these things, it would be nice to know. But you don't.

    Obviously, it's your intention to get other people to think this, though:

    Why leave out information that may be relevant, unless you think it will diminish the message, or provide context that would allow people to better measure it?

    The only one who thinks that information may "diminish the message" is you. It's pretty clear that's your intent: to bring up unproven assertions in order to diminish the message, and provide a "context" that you can discredit and dismiss.

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    mike savad, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 8:12am

    i just don't get it

    the movie people and music people want sites like youtube down because of infringement of this and that. but many of the people they get rich off of, came from that site. you would think they would realize that.

    anything on there that could be considered their music, is a free sample like you would have in a store. and it's not like anyone was ever going to pay for that content in the first place, so they wouldn't gain anything.

     

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  44.  
    icon
    brandon (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re: Question

    Thanks for the answer, I don't know what the chances are of this bill passing, but its pretty scary.

     

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