The Sky Is Rising: The Entertainment Industry Is Large & Growing... Not Shrinking

from the let's-dispense-with-the-doom-&-gloom dept

Announcing the release of our new research report, The Sky Is Rising


Today, in Cannes, at the Midem conference, I did a presentation that was something of a follow up to the presentation I did here three years ago, about how Trent Reznor's experiments represented the future of music business models. This time, the presentation coincided with the release of a new research paper that we've spent the past few months working on, sponsored by CCIA and Engine Advocacy, in which we did a thorough look at the true state of the entertainment industry. For years, we've been hearing doom and gloom reports about how the industry is dying, how customers just want stuff for free, about analog dollars turning into digital dimes... and (all too frequently) about how new laws are needed to save these industries.

Yet, what we find when looking through the research -- from a variety of sources to corroborate and back up any research we found -- is that the overall entertainment ecosystem is in a real renaissance period. The sky truly is rising, not falling: the industry is growing both in terms of revenue and content. We split the report up into video & film, books, music and video games -- and all four segments are showing significant growth (not shrinking) over the last decade. All of them are showing tremendous opportunity. The amount of content that they're all producing is growing at an astounding rate (which again, is the most important thing). But revenue, too, is growing. Equally important is that rather than consumers just wanting to get stuff for free, they have continually spent a greater portion of their income on entertainment -- with the percentage increasing by 15% from 2000 to 2008.

This all points to the fact that what is happening within the industry is not a challenge of a business getting smaller -- quite the opposite. It's about the challenge of an industry getting larger, but doing so in ways that route around the existing structures.

The Sky Is Rising


Some of the key points:
  • Entertainment spending as a function of income went up by 15% from 2000 to 2008
  • Employment in the entertainment sector grew by 20% -- with indie artists seeing 43% growth.
  • The overall entertainment industry grew 66% from 1998 to 2010.
  • The amount of content being produced in music, movies, books and video games is growing at an incredible pace.
Of course, some of this is a challenge for many existing players, but it should be seen as an opportunity. In fact, we conclude:
  • For consumers, today is an age of absolute abundance in entertainment. More content is available in more ways than ever before. If we simply go by the terms of the US Constitution’s clause from which copyright came, it seems clear that the "progress of science and the useful arts" is being promoted -- even as copyright is often being ignored or foregone. There is just a tremendous amount of content, a tremendous variety of content, it's more accessible to more people than ever before.
  • For content creators, it is an age of amazing new opportunity. Traditionally, to take part in the entertainment industry, you had no choice but to go through a gatekeeper, which served to keep the vast majority of people who wished to be content creators from ever making any money at all from content creation. Today, that is no longer true. More people are making more money from creating content than ever before -- with much of that coming via new tools that have allowed artists to use the internet to create, promote, distribute and monetize their works.
  • For the traditional middlemen, the internet represents both a challenge and an opportunity. There is no doubt that the internet has eaten away at some traditional means by which these businesses made money. But, as the data shows, there is more money going into the overall market, more content being created, and many new ways to make money. That shows that there is a business model challenge -- and a marketing challenge -- but much more opportunity in the long run. The key challenge for business is in figuring out how to capture more of the greater revenue being generated by the wider entertainment industry. Legacy players certainly face a lot more competition (and fewer reasons that artists have to do deals with them) -- which can explain some of the public complaints about the "death" of various industries -- but overall, it's clear that by embracing new opportunities, there are plenty of ways to succeed.
We're hopeful that having this kind of evidence and data will shift the debate from how to stop the sky from falling (when it's not) to one that looks at how can companies and individuals tackle the key challenge: succeeding in a much more competitive market.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 6:04am

    Yes, but...

    This is their answer:

    If it wasn't for all these freeloaders downloading stuff for free then we would be making a lot more money from our investments and IP.

    /sarc

     

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    Jon Snow (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 6:37am

    But, but, but, PIRACY!

    :)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 6:37am

    Yesterday a post appeared on Reddit titled 'The Free Internet Act - A Bold Plan To Save The Internet'. The author suggests to change tactics in our fight for a free internet. Instead of fighting against SOPA,PIPA,ACTA or any piece of bad legislation individually he suggests crowd sourcing Text for a 'Free Internet Act' - legislation meant to protect the internet and prevent censorship, third party liability and any kind of future government overreach - using the net to raise public awareness and getting congress to pass it. Here is the Thread:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/ACTA/comments/p0zn2/the_free_internet_act_a_bold_plan_to_save_the /

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:19am

      Re:

      saw this on another site myself. excellent idea! what is needed is someone like Wyden to champion this and see it through to fruition! i do hope he or someone with his ideals and tenacity takes the challenge on! but my god, is there a struggle ahead to achieve anything that once again resembles an internet free from the entertainment industries ridiculous, self-preserving restraints and lies!!

       

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      cc (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:45am

      Re:

      They should call it the Immunising Necessary Technological Entrepreneurship by Reinforcing our Networks against External Threats bill.

       

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        Rikuo (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:19am

        Re: Re:

        I saw what you did there ;)
        Immunising
        Technological
        Entrepreneurship by
        Reinforcing our
        Networks against
        External
        Threats

         

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        Samuel Abram (profile), Feb 4th, 2012 @ 7:30pm

        Re: Re:

        Well, if we have a PATRIOT act and close to having a PROTECT IP act, we certainly can have an INTERNET act.

        I just hope Congress never passes the Fixing Up Commercial Keepers of Young Organizational Undertakings act. Tee-hee!

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:57am

      Re:

      They need an iLaw Maker website :)

       

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    Violated (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 6:40am

    MPAA

    The MPAA like to say that piracy is rampant and a major threat to them. The reality is that the MPAA saw a 65% increase in income between 2000 ($52.8 billion) and 2010 ($87 billion).

    Lets hear you say it MPAA... "Thanks piracy for adversing and previewing our products for FREE and helping us to much improve our SALES"

    MPAA Result = Busted.

     

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      Bruce Hopkins, Nov 25th, 2012 @ 11:20pm

      Re: MPAA, experience from Lord Of The Rings

      Interesting read, I love seeing the way many indie artists are embracing the new platforms that enable distribution of their work and generate income doing so.
      Living in New Zealand not only are we one of the more isolated countries to operate in, pre-internet we had a small audience with a total population which has just hit 4 million in recent years. It was very difficult for performers or creatives in any genre or discipline to survive. The internet meant instead of a local niche market, kiwi artisans can now work into a global niche, so a few thousand potential audience/customers is now millions.
      Yes the overall spends and incomes may be growing but the scruples of those at the controls need to be more transparent. I can draw on my experience as a featured actor in Lord Of The Rings as anecdotal evidence. NZ is being sold as a destination for Hollywood and other global film making studios. Instead of enjoying a residual income from merchandise bearing my characters likeness in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, we were advised by New Line and partners that they had in fact made a loss after selling over US$11 of merchandise bearing my characters likeness!
      These companies will do whatever it takes to wrest money away from the independents, the Kim Dotcom case in NZ being a perfect example of the influence they can call upon and power they yield. The increase in box office etc does not automatically translate into a healthier industry unless there is transparency in the accounting at the business end.
      I'm raving, it is a bitter pill to have had to swallow, being significantly involved in work that generates billions of dollars and then to have to continue to survive on a month to month basis.
      Keep up the great work Twchdirt

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:02am

    What about income per-creator?

    It's nice to see that these industries aren't hurting (and are therefore lying through their noses about that to try to regain the ultimate control they previously had).

    However, I get the feeling that the boom in the number of people trying to earn money from being creative means that, on average, they all are earning less. Is this true?

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:19am

      Re: What about income per-creator?

      However, I get the feeling that the boom in the number of people trying to earn money from being creative means that, on average, they all are earning less. Is this true?

      Yes and no. I made this point in my presentation today: there is a lot more competition, so that's the marketing challenge.

      In some ways you could claim that, on average people are earning less... but that's ONLY if you ignore the fact that most people used to make $0 from their content. That is, the vast majority of people who tried to make money made none... because the way the industry worked, they were blocked out or failed out without making a dime. But rather than average in those zeroes... they just don't count them at all.

      What's happening today is that some of those people, rather than earning $0... are earning *SOMETHING*. So for *most* artists, they can each make more. But, if you average out the amount made AND ignore the $0 that most made, you could argue that people are making less today.

      I'd argue that if you actually included the $0s of everyone who tried but made no money, that the reality is that people on average are making more today.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:17am

        Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

        Indeed - it's simple supply and demand.

        The supply of content is HUGE - so the demand is low, causing the value of content to decrease.

        This forces people to create more content in order to increase their monetary gain, further increasing the problem. Here lies the problem with non-tangible goods - there will never be scarcity, so the demand will always decrease - furthermore the existing content that was created doesn't "disappear" from the market, and future generations can still enjoy it, creating even less demand.

        In the long run, monetization of copyrighted works must go down - it's simply the nature of this type of "goods".

         

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          Yoshord, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:53am

          Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

          Those things - no scarcity and no destruction of old works - increase supply, but have no effect on demand. Directly, at least: high supply lowers price (not value) yes, but a lower price increases demand.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:06am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

            A lower price increases quantity demanded, not demand.

             

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              The eejit (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:05am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

              Not necessarily (See, for example, Team Fortress 2, where the monetization is in keys to access crates: there's an interesting secondary and tertiary market for said keys to unlock crates to obtain items that would otherwise be unavailable for a long time.

               

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              ltlw0lf (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:30pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

              A lower price increases quantity demanded, not demand.

              Huh? While I'd agree that a lower price might increase the quantity demanded by a particular user, I disagree that it would have no impact on the overall demand. It doesn't make sense mathematically and it certainly doesn't make sense economically.

              If I want something, there is a demand for it. However, if I am not really interested in something, but would procure it if it cost lest, despite not really wanting it, how do you quantify the demand in that case. I really don't care to have it, and am only picking it up because the cost is right. Obviously I have some demand for it otherwise I'd ignore it altogether, but not enough of a demand that I'd pay for it at the higher level.

              And that doesn't even work for virtual goods, because once I have something, there is no demand for me to have more because I already have it. So in that case, quantity is 1 because I already have it.

              If you mean that more people will buy it because it is cheaper, than both quantity demanded and demand are the same thing.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:57pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

                Demand is in reference to the demand curve. All other things constant, quantity demanded is a point on the demand curve, demand references the relationship (often expressed as a curve) between quantity demanded and price. Usually that relationship is said to be downward sloping or they are inversely related. Decreases in price lead to increases in quantity demanded.

                This is even (kinda) true with things like social or online video game networks, increasing the price will cause some people to leave and that reduces the value to others reducing the quantity demanded as a whole (on a macro scale, which can all be expressed as a single demand curve). Lower prices will increase the number of people who join a network and more participants will increase the value for others which will increase the number of participants even more.

                On a micro scale higher prices may reduce participants which may reduce individual value which may shift the demand curve for some individuals. Depends on whether you are looking at it from a macroeconomics standpoint or a microeconomics standpoint.

                 

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                  ltlw0lf (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:14pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

                  Demand is in reference to the demand curve.

                  Heh. I guess the standard disclaimer IANAE would have worked here then. It makes sense, having demand be a function of price and quantity, but I never saw it that way. Learn something new every day.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:32pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

                    Quantity demanded is a function of price, the demand curve can be said to be the function itself (or a graph/rendition of the function).

                    For example, a demand curve may say Q = -3P + 200

                    Where Q = quantity demanded and P = price.

                    So, if the price is zero, quantity demanded is 200 units. If the price is $1, quantity demanded is 197 units, and so on. The demand curve is the curve you see when you graph Q = -3P + 200.

                     

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                darryl, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 2:33am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

                Price and demand have little relationship with each other.

                If you have a demand for 20 litres of fuel, a lower price for that fuel does not increase or decrease that demand.

                The demand is what you need, not what you can afford.

                If you run a big office that consumes a certain amount of A4 paper, if A4 paper becomes cheaper or more expensive that does not change the demand for the paper that you need to buy.

                Demand in that case will be determined by what you NEED, not what you can afford.

                This also applies to supply, because there is more A4 paper available, does not mean your office will have to use more, or that the demand for A4 paper in your office will increase or decrease.

                A person does not go and buy a song or a movie because it is cheap, they buy the song or movie because they have a demand for it.

                If they did not have a demand for that product they would not purchase it AT ANY PRICE !!!

                Masnick, why do you have so much trouble with this concept ? or is it willfull ignorance ?

                Or just straight out lying to try to convince the weak minded ?

                it is correct that quantity (and quality) and demand (and supply) are not the same thing. (they are not even the same words!!!)..

                 

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                  btrussell (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 4:23am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

                  "If you have a demand for 20 litres of fuel, a lower price for that fuel does not increase or decrease that demand."

                  So, when fuel prices go down, demand doesn't go up because people don't travel any more than they normally would?

                  Or, when fuel prices go up, people don't travel less?

                   

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                  Niall (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 5:07am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

                  Darryl... in some ways you are looking at this backwards.

                  If I have only enough money for 20 litres of fuel at a certain price, and somewhere does it more expensively, I cannot buy 20 litres, only 19 or 18. So yes, price can and does affect demand.

                  If I go into a shop and I see a product for a cheaper price than usual, then I might well buy it even if I wouldn't have normally. This is the whole point of 'Sale' promotions in shops - just ask Tesco how much extra I spend at the Reduced counter sometimes!

                  Why do you think supermarkets have racks of DVDs at 3 or whatever? A lot of those, many people wouldn't bother to buy at higher prices, but they might get if suitably low. For instance, I've had friends on a low budget that won't buy a DVD for more than 3 or 5 - price is way more important than content, as they have a fair choice of content even at that price point. Or, if nothing is interesting, they'll go spend 3 on something else which may or may not be entertainment-related. It's been shown time and again, bring prices below a certain threshold, and people buy not only a lot more, but a wider choice of things.

                  Obviously, Need is an issue along with Desire, but they both play a part. A person may often buy something they Desire but don't Need - look at the average credit card! But likewise, people often don't buy things they Desire - or even some things they Need - because they cannot or don't want to afford them.

                  What you are also doing is confusing general demand for some sort of entertainment, with specific demand for a specifc product. Price that product too high, and less people will buy it, unless you can somehow convince them that the high price is a buying point. (Stella Artois?)

                  With the A4 example, I can only say that if supplies are low, people will tend to be more careful. If supplies are plentiful, they will be profligate and use a lot more than normal, unless some other 'cost' is applied.

                  Good to see you still doing the usual faulty (i.e. non-existent) logic, and resorting to automatically ad hominem-ing Mike. Tell me, have you EVER had anything non-negative/nasty to say to him? Or is that why you wake in the morning, eager to stick it to (in?) him?

                   

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        Janis, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 11:33am

        Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

        This makes sense to me -- we used to see a vanishingly tiny number of people making squillions of dollars and the vast majority make nothing. Now, we have a larger number of people making modest livings. I'd say that's definitely a step upward. As a pianist and composer, I don't want the old way of doing things nor do I feel the need for it. I'm 46 and I have a great day job unrelated to music, I don't dye my hair, and I don't want fake tits or fake teeth. And I don't have to listen to some label shill tell me that I haven't a chance because I don't give a half-crap if 15 year old boys will jerk off over me or not. I just want to write and play my own music and sell it without someone blocking my way for stupid reasons unrelated to music.

        My chances of being in that microscopic sliver of old-time label mega-successes is precisely zero. Now, I have a chance of at least making some money off of what would have been a completely unprofitable hobby that no one else ever knew about, plus maybe having people listen. I'm delighted that I no longer have to ask some jerk's permission before making my music.

         

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          Claiborne (profile), Feb 5th, 2012 @ 7:19am

          Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

          I would love to hear what you are creating, as solo piano and piano-centric pieces tend to speak to my inner voices (the ones that make all of the noise in my head), and quiet the cacaphoney that it generates.
          I am sorely disappointed in the complete lack of any "commercially" available works lately, as the large studio model does not waste money on producing anyone who cant generate a minimum bottom line of profit.
          We need individual producers who have a goal of sharing there creativity with the hope that passionate fans will help support the created product. Studios only want to control front, or want nothing to do with any other business model.

           

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          Graham (profile), Feb 5th, 2012 @ 12:31pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

          I'd like to hear your music; is there a website link you could post please?

           

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          Samuel Abram (profile), Feb 5th, 2012 @ 2:08pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

          I too would like to listen to your music. My music is in the link that goes with my login name.

           

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      Loki, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:42am

      Re: What about income per-creator?

      Not necessarily. It could mean (which I think we might be seeing to some small extent) is that the top earners are getting smaller pieces of the pie.

      For example let's say there is a million dollars to be made, and there are ten people to divide the pie up. The top dog gets $820,000 while the other 9 make $20,000 a piece.

      Now another ten people enter the market, and do so in a way that redistributes the incomes, making it easier for everyone but the top dog to make money. And let's say we still only have a million dollars to play with. If the top dog is only able to make $430,000 (his income is cut almost in half), the other 19 people can be making $30,000 a year.

      So a lot more people can actually be making a lot more money (the original 9 have actually seen an increase in their income of 50%). The only "loser" (from his point of view) is the top dog who's income went down by almost a half (despite the fact that he's is still making almost 15 times what everyone else is making.

      This is really what the old gatekeepers are fighting against (although they can't yet justify they even actually seeing any "losses" yet). They aren't content just to even make many magnitudes of money more than everyone else, they want to control as much of the pie as possible.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:03am

        Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

        "Not necessarily. It could mean (which I think we might be seeing to some small extent) is that the top earners are getting smaller pieces of the pie."

        That isn't supported by reality.

        http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/u2-taylor-swift-had-highest-grossing-tours-of-201 1-20111229

        "The top 25 acts in North America for the year grossed a total of $1.19 billion, down a fraction from $1.24 billion in 2010."

        The rich got richer, the poor didn't get a damn thing more.

        If you have twice as many people fighting at the bottom for the small sliver of pie that is left, they will on average make less. Yes, some will make more, but on average, they all make less. Simple economics, even for Mike.

         

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          Richard (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:11am

          Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

          If you have twice as many people fighting at the bottom for the small sliver of pie that is left, they will on average make less. Yes, some will make more, but on average, they all make less. Simple economics, even for Mike.

          Err reality disconnect here!
          This is bad exactly how? Whose fault is this exactly?

          Maybe all those extra people should get out of the way? Is that what you mean?

          The fact is that the supply of people who wish to make a living in the entertainment industry is effectively infinite. If there are more of them just proves that it got a little easier.

          That is just human nature. There have always been struggling artists, "resting" actors and musicians who need a day job to make ends meet.

          The day that isn't true will be the day that the Pope becomes a Buddhist and Bears are provided with sanitary plumbing!

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:56am

          Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

          "The rich got richer, the poor didn't get a damn thing more."

          Your quote and your article do not support your conclusion.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:01am

          Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

          "If you have twice as many people fighting at the bottom for the small sliver of pie that is left, they will on average make less."

          But, as Mike points out, most of the people at the bottom didn't make anything because there was no pie for them, but due to information distribution improvements those at the bottom now have a pie.

          Their pie was artificially taken away from them through laws that made it more legally risky and expensive for restaurants and other venues to host independent performers (and even for bakeries to allow children to put custom drawings on cakes). Their pie was/is artificially taken away from them through wrongfully granted cableco and broadcasting monopolies that make it more difficult for independents to get their content distributed. Before the Internet, there practically was no pie for them at all as their pie was practically outlawed through anti-competitive laws. Now they have a better opportunity to reach an audience and create a larger pie for themselves. The point that Mike is making is that the pie for them is bigger.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:09am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

            The problem is the pie that the people at the bottom got came from the people right above them, and not off the top. The top acts still account for the vast majority of concert ticket sales (in dollars), so the remaining pie is cut up differently, but with the same net result.

            Think of it in simple terms. If your town has 5 places to play live, and your band can play each one once a week for $100 net, you can make $5200 a year playing in clubs. But if the number of artists competing for that space doubles, you only get to play 50% of the time, and so you make $2600 a year. Now, for the new band that was making nothing, they went from zero to $2600, and they think they are doing pretty good. The small piece of pie being sliced differently, but it's the same pie.

            The rest of your post is the usually bullcrap and "blame everyone else" type concepts.

            The pie isn't bigger, and that is the problem. Live is increasing, yes... and some artists are getting more money - mostly because they are the ones now paying expensive after take rather than before.

            It's manipulating numbers to get them to say what you want... not much more.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:20am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

              "The problem is the pie that the people at the bottom got came from the people right above them"

              That problem doesn't exist and is a fabrication of your imagination backed with zero evidence. There is no problem, the overall pie is bigger. The people 'right above them' before hardly existed, just like there is a huge gap between the rich and the poor, there was a huge gap between the people at the bottom who didn't make content because they didn't have the means to distribute it and acquire an audience without going through a monopolist gatekeeper and the people at the top who had their content distributed over these monopolized information distribution channels.

              "Think of it in simple terms."

              Why should I think in terms of your purely fabricated hypothetical that's not backed by evidence and doesn't resemble reality?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:23am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

                Not really a discussion - please show the increased size of NET pie for everyone under the top 100 acts.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:27am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

                  Please show that you have read the OP and are paying attention to Mike's various posts.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:12am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

                    To paraphrase Mike, "I have already shown" that Mike is being slippery with the numbers, and is using "best cases" to try to prove his point in the graphics. Mix and match data sources, trying to get the best picture by switching the focus from "world" to "US" and so on is a nice, sneaky sort of way to try to build a big fact out of a bunch of small data points - by ignoring data points you don't like.

                    So once again... "please show the increased size of NET pie for everyone under the top 100 acts".

                    Thanks!

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:02am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

                      ""I have already shown" that Mike is being slippery with the numbers, and is using "best cases" to try to prove his point in the graphics."

                      No you haven't.

                       

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                      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:04am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

                      So because Mike uses multiple sources that all say the same thing and you haven't provided a single source supporting your position, Mike must be cherry picking the data, right?

                       

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                      Rikuo (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:26am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

                      No you haven't. Mike has sourced his research. You haven't cited one source at all. You could be absolutely correct, but I won't believe a word you say unless its properly researched and sourced.

                       

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                        Rikuo (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 12:52pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

                        Correction to above - It seems Mike HASN'T sourced his research. I've skimmed the document and there isn't a single link or footnote or a list of sources at the end.
                        Basically, the entire document is useless. I agree with what he's saying...but unless he shows us exactly where he got his research from, its useless.

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:04pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

                          The thing is, Mike does what many do: They cherry pick "factoids" and put them together to paint a picture that is not real.

                          He generally won't footnote stuff like this because then we could read the full sources and understand that the facts he chose are not the complete truth, just the parts he likes.

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 4:29pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

                            "The thing is, Mike does what many do"

                            The thing is, you do what shills do. You make things up as you go, you accuse others of whatever suits your interests, and you say anything that's convenient to your position with no regard for facts, logic, or truth. You do no fact checking of your own because it requires too much work but you require the highest standards of fact checking from everyone else.

                            I agree that Mike could have done a better job sourcing his references and I hope he amends the book to do so. However, he does mention his sources throughout the article and if you did a google search you could have found them. Then again, you probably didn't even read or click on the PDF document, you just gave a knee-jerk reaction to the post you are replying to.

                            For example, he says

                            "Globally, the amount that consumers spend on video games -- for hardware, software and accessories -- has grown impressively (more than tripling!) from about $20 billion in 2000 to approximately $70 billion in 2011, according to various reports from PwC, Gartner and iDATE."

                            http://www.techdirt.com/skyisrising/

                            He doesn't cite the exact article but a quick Google search finds other references to it.

                            http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=9793

                            He still needs a bibliography, I agree, but his analysis are well backed by plenty of research.

                             

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                              Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 4:36pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

                              "
                              The thing is, you do what shills do. You make things up as you go, you accuse others of whatever suits your interests, "

                              Hey, if you don't want to discuss the issues, and want to make personal attacks, that is your issue, not mine.

                              As for the video game quotes, when you consider what the industry was as a whole in 2000, and what it is today, there is no comparision. I find it interesting that Mike could find no more current reference than 2006. A lot has changed in the world since those forecasts were tossed around.

                              Do you think that maybe using something from 2006 is not cherry picking?

                               

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                                Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 7:36am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

                                "I find it interesting that Mike could find no more current reference than 2006."

                                I find it interesting that you just made this up out of thin air. Did you even read the quote I gave? It cites 2011 data, and that's just the quote I gave within the very post you responded to. You, on the other hand, have cited absolutely nothing.

                                 

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                        Michael Ho (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 10:29pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

                        The sources for this research can be found here:
                        http://bit.ly/wRDlkV

                         

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              Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:26am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

              "The rest of your post is the usually bullcrap and "blame everyone else" type concepts. "

              You mean like how the RIAA/MPAA blames everyone else for its failures.

              Do you support anti-competitive laws? Are you suggesting that the price fixing they create is a good thing? Do you, against well established economic theory and with no logic or evidence to back you up, claim that (our existing) anti-competitive laws are not socially detrimental and that they are somehow a good thing?

              "The pie isn't bigger, and that is the problem."

              Yes, just keep ignoring facts. Your unsubstantiated opinion is all that matters. Economic theory, facts, and evidence be ignored.

              "It's manipulating numbers to get them to say what you want... not much more."

              Because anytime the numbers say something you don't like it must be a manipulation.

               

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              The eejit (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:07am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

              Reagan called. He wants his economics back.

               

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              Richard (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:09am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

              The problem is the pie that the people at the bottom got came from the people right above them,

              SO your solution is to (somehow) exclude the people at the bottom from the market - good luck with that - it won't win you many friends.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:02am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

                You don't get it. I don't want to exclude anyone from the pie. The point isn't including or excluding anyone, that isn't even a subject of discussion here. The only discussion is that if you try to feed 2000 people with the same amount of pie you gave 1000 people yesterday, everyone gets a skinnier slice. That is all, nothing more.

                If a million bands want to work it, more power to them. But it is dishonest as heck to suggest that money has come out of nowhere to pay them - it came out of someone else's slice of the pie. Since the major acts are still raking it in, where do you think the money is coming from at the bottom?

                 

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                  Rikuo (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:30am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

                  The pie has gotten bigger! Before, you had limited TV channel airtime, limited radio airtime, limited magazine/newspaper/book/whatever printspace. In that case, yes, the size of the pie more or less remained the same.
                  Because there was such a huge demand to be in that limited space, prices skyrocketed (this is normal, high demand + limited supply = high price).
                  Now look at the Internet, specifically, Youtube and e-publishing. The size of the pie now more or less equals INFINITE. Now the equation is different. High Demand + Infinite Supply = Zero price.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:07pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

                    "The pie has gotten bigger! Before, you had limited TV channel airtime, limited radio airtime, limited magazine/newspaper/book/whatever printspace. In that case, yes, the size of the pie more or less remained the same."

                    it doesn't matter if you double the amount of airspace, because you cut it's market price in half (or worse, actually). Supply and demand is basic and simple here, if you double the amount of available airtime, the value of airtime drops. Remember, we aren't adding enough new consumers in the top to make the difference. You offer them more choices, but they can still only make one choice at a time.

                    There is no infinite supply, because when you reach zero price, nobody is in business anymore.

                    At that point, the "pie" is now a null. So 100% of nothing is, well, nothing.

                     

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                  btrussell (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:55am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

                  "Since the major acts are still raking it in, where do you think the money is coming from at the bottom?"

                  From the labels getting less pie.

                   

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                  dcee (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 4:03am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

                  Well, in you example, a 1000 people will now have something to eat from the pie, which they didn't before.

                   

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              bongo houzi (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:01am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

              so the pie is just for the top tier and no none else deserves any?

               

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              Rikuo (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:25am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

              So what you're arguing here is...is that the first band, the ones who were earning $5200 a year, should be free from competition, that their income MUST stay at $5200 a year and that the second band must not have the opportunity to make even $2600, because they cause a drop in income for the first band.
              Sorry mate, all I saw up there is exactly what the legacy entertainment industry has been wishing for for years: that they must be protected against competition and that their incomes must be protected by law.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:10pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

                No, I am not arguing anything like that at all. What I am saying is that if you ask 50 bands who were making nothing and are now making $100 if things are improving, they will say yes. If you ask the one band that gave up $5000 so that all the small bands made their $100, they would say things are bad.

                What Mike does is say "look, it's 50 to 1 that things are getting better for musicians!". The money moved around a bit, but the end results are about the same. You just have more people trying to make a living on the same amount of income.

                I don't care if there is or is not competition. I care about the misrepresentation that suddenly things are so much better at the bottom end. They are not.

                 

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          Loki, Feb 5th, 2012 @ 3:42am

          Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

          You claim my comment isn't supported by reality then produce a quote saying the top 25 acts grossed less (even if it's just a fraction) than the year before.

          I am not sure you are working with the same definition of reality as most everyone else is, but whatever.

          You are also missing the point that the big entertainment conglomerates still control the vast majority of the distribution outlets, whether it is suing them into bankruptcy (like Veoh), buying out or into competitors and burying any content they don't control in the "back" of the sites (like they have done with MySpace and eMusic), or other forms of anti-competitive practices.

          While I do not personally know any of the big name acts (although I have friends who are good friends with some of these people/acts) I do know a lot of people who are "fighting at the bottom". And most of them tell me, to the extent the can keep Big Content from cockblocking the alternative distribution channels, they are almost all doing better than they were just a few years ago.

           

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        Greevar (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:04am

        Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

        America, the land of more. How much do they need? More, always more. If they could have all of it and still, they would want more.

         

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          Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:17am

          Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

          I truly believe that this attitude come from an economic system that is predicated on growth. If you don't grow, you aren't doing well.

          So where does it end? Growth forever? By that standard movie seats will eventually cost a million bucks apiece.

          Can you say inflation?

           

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            bongo houzi (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:06am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What about income per-creator?

            capitalism is an onward and outward spiral. To be successful there has to be an abusable base of say third world population, think average consumer, to build off the back of. It'll be like the Wiemar Republic; people bringing wheelbarrows of cash to watch 'Turner and Hooch IV" at a dilapidated facility.

             

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      John Fenderson (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:35am

      Re: What about income per-creator?

      "However, I get the feeling that the boom in the number of people trying to earn money from being creative means that, on average, they all are earning less."

      I think the more interesting question isn't the average earnings, but rather the median -- counting, as Mike commented above, those who have historically earned nothing.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:51am

      Re: What about income per-creator?

      "and are therefore lying through their noses about that to try to regain the ultimate control they previously had"

      It's not the 'industry' that's lying, it's a few players that are complaining about competition. Competition sucks, it means these players must work for a living. and why should a few players have so much control over an industry so that they can fix prices so high against the consumer? Laws shouldn't be designed to better enable higher prices, they should be designed to facilitate competition for consumers so that they have more choices and they have the choice not to pay so much. They should be to help the general public, not just the profit margins of a few players. Why should a few players have ultimate control over an entire industry? Is that what you want? Price fixing?

       

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      Filip, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 4:13am

      Re: What about income per-creator?

      Theoretically speaking, as the number of creators goes up, given an unchanging consumer spending amount, the income per-creator goes down. It's simple economics.

       

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    fogbugzd (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:03am

    RIAA's real fear

    >>with indie artists seeing 43% growth.

    This is why the RIAA is afraid of. Artists empowered to get along without the blessing of the RIAA cartel is their nightmare scenario.

     

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:08am

      Re: RIAA's real fear

      Small scale reflection of the governments fears about citizens & the internet...

       

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        Hephaestus (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:03am

        Re: Re: RIAA's real fear

        Watching this whole "citizens & the internet" - Party of we, thing unfold is interesting. It seems to be a routing around of normal big content news, combined with speed of communications and a robin hood syndrome. Pretty cool in my book.

         

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      gorehound (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:29am

      Re: RIAA's real fear

      RIAA & MPAA Not Needed Nor The Big Studios
      And this Government is loving the idea of Controlling the Citizens.
      Both of them will lose in the end.

       

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    Loki, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:12am

    Equally important is that rather than consumers just wanting to get stuff for free, they have continually spent a greater portion of their income on entertainment -- with the percentage increasing by 15% from 2000 to 2008.


    This is one of those comments I find questionably misleading without greater context.

    For example, my entertainment spending has gone down by about 10% in the last five years.

    But, thanks to the economy imploding in 2008, I'm actually making about 20% less than I did about 5 years ago.

    So while I am indeed spending a greater percentage of my income on entertainment, in terms of overall dollars I am still spending less in terms of total dollars.

    Of course all the content industry sees is a decrease in income and attacks the wrong problem (infringement) instead of working on real efforts that might actually help expand the overall economy (instead of just their small slice of it) and give me more money to spend on entertainment in overall dollars.

    Now I don't have a problem with combating infringement (as I've said before ten years ago I used to be a very pro-copyright/pro-industry supporter) except that the method used have been repeatedly shown to do little more than inconvenience infringers while at the same time causing much greater inconvenience and financial hardship for their actual customers.

    This has resulted in me shifting my entertainment dollar (even before my overall income went down) away from those companies who treat me like my opinion doesn't matter, who inconvenience me, and cause harm to other to find new sources to spend my entertainment dollar.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:14am

    The next step in the evolution of a lobbyist: Misleading happy graphics.

    WTG MIKE!

     

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      Gwiz (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:23am

      Re:

      The next step in the evolution of a lobbyist: Misleading happy graphics.

      Besides the first part of your statement being rather stupid, do you have anything to back your "misleading" assertion?

      I, for one, would be interested in seeing your intelligent rebuttal complete with facts and data to back up your claim that the graphic is misleading.

       

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      rubberpants, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:17am

      Re:

      Troll Rule #14: If you get totally decimated by facts and are shown to be utterly wrong, post something juvenile, irrelevant, and impotent.

       

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    anonymous, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:14am

    i hope this information has been passed to Senator Wyden and that he has passed it on to the rest in the Senate as well as it having gone to those in the EU. i am curious to see what sort of negative response comes from the advocates of stricter, more draconian IP laws that support SOPA,PIPA, ACTA and TPP etc. none of these laws are needed and there is no excuse or reason for them to be introduced, let alone under a cloak of secrecy. the bills that are in place atm are what need discussing. discussing on how to get rid of them, and damn quick!!!

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:14am

    ?????

    Unfortunately, the artists are not funding the politicians and that is what really matters.

     

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    Mitchell Featherston, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:21am

    As usual, Mike gets it right.

     

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    Anon, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:22am

    Sky is rising: Trust but verify

    Would have liked to see a page of URLs at the end that tied back to primary sources. Need to be open about the data, so that facts can be checked.

    The problem with MPAA & RIAA reports is that they cite numbers that can't be verified. Let's make sure that isn't a criticism of this report.

    Good work!

     

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      crade (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:54am

      Re: Sky is rising: Trust but verify

      I agree.. Wheres the beef / sources!?

       

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      Rikuo (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 1:00pm

      Re: Sky is rising: Trust but verify

      Agree here. While I agree with what the report says...Mike has often criticized the legacy entertainment industry for publishing reports with either incorrect sources, misleading sources or made up sources.
      I've skimmed the document, had a look at each page, and there's no link, no footnote, no source, nothing to say where he got what he says. It's great to say, for example, the Humble Indie Bundle is a great economic success for making $X million dollars...but without sourcing that number, what you've just argued is pointless.

       

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        Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 4:33pm

        Re: Re: Sky is rising: Trust but verify

        I've skimmed the document, had a look at each page, and there's no link, no footnote, no source, nothing to say where he got what he says

        We'll be posting the fully footnoted version soon...

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:22am

    Usual propaganda from mike, this is a bubble that when those that pay are out numbered by those that wont this will fall in on its self. Google and other companies taking billions of jobs and thousands of dollars off content creator companies.

    Now he is using fancy graphs to distract from this.

     

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      Gwiz (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:31am

      Re:

      Google and other companies taking billions of jobs and thousands of dollars off content creator companies.

      Billions?....umm...lol...this is really hard to get out without laughing so hard....

      [citation needed]

      Now he is using fancy graphs to distract from this.

      Distract from what? You spouting absurd figures?

       

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        Togashi (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:37am

        Re: Re:

        What, you didn't realize that before Google, content creator companies employed almost every person on the planet?

         

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          Call me Al, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:06am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think that AC is repeating a joke from another discussion and is likely highlighting the hyperbole of some trolls rather than trolling himself.

          Either that or he is an idiot.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:17am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            you are correct, 1+ internet for you. Yes i think the internet has opened up so many opportunities for distribution/working with other people/making money. Thinking back to pre-internet days of how anything got made or publish > Gallery/tv company/games company/large music company/film comanpies/publishers. Now makers have access to a gobal market that will increase as more people get online, improved access to the net. Exciting times :D

             

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            The Groove Tiger (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Billions of jobs and thousands of dollars...

            That should give it away.

             

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:37am

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:22am

      Oh, you mean like those of the MAFIAA from the past fifteen years?

       

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      David Muir (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:43am

      Re:

      Wow. Just... wow.

      Google and other companies taking billions of jobs and thousands of dollars off content creator companies.


      I think you mean that the jobs and dollars are shifting from one place to another. This is actually pretty common in the historical sense: industries rise and fall. I also think that the studies show that during periods of economic shrinkage (like we've seen) the first thing to go was always non-essential spending. Yet entertainment spending has kept pace. Thus, when people can afford less, they are spending more on entertainment. It is an UNPRECEDENTED time for content creators. By the way, when you said "content creator companies" I think you meant "content distribution middlemen".

      Finally, about that bubble that you predict will eventually fall in on itself... The number of people NOT paying has ALWAYS been bigger than the number paying. Millions listen to the radio and a portion of them go out an buy the music. Many more people used to watch a movie on TV than pay to see the movie in a theater. Many more people read Dickens in serial form in the penny press than bought the books when they were compiled. And those newspapers and books were more widely shared -- bought once and read by many people.

       

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      Keroberos (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:59am

      Re:

      What kind of math are you using where you get increased revenue + increased content creation = lost jobs and money?

      Now I agree that some of the jobs and money are going to independent creators/alternative distribution methods, but I don't see that as a problem--that's a plus--if the old content companies can't--or as I see as most likely--won't compete in the new market, that's their problem and they need to go away and let the market take care of itself and the consumers (which it seems to be doing just fine).

       

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        PaulT (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:32am

        Re: Re:

        "What kind of math are you using where you get increased revenue + increased content creation = lost jobs and money?"

        The same kind of fantasy maths that shows that refusing to licence content legally will cause sales to go up, presumably.

         

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      Richard (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:15am

      Re:

      Usual propaganda from mike, this is a bubble that when those that pay are out numbered by those that wont this will fall in on its self. Google and other companies taking billions of jobs and thousands of dollars off content creator companies.

      Now he is using fancy graphs to distract from this.


      Alert - AI trolling progrma malfunction!

       

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      Keroberos (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:26am

      Re:

      billions of jobs
      Oh Noes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111 They're responsible for the unemployment of almost half the worlds current adult population!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111 Them evil bastards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111

       

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      Wes, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:33am

      Re:

      I don't understand all the animosity toward Google... This is a search company that provides links to content people want to find. Somehow this takes money from content creators?

      If Google's algorithm doesn't give your website a high pagerank, it is because people don't want what you are providing. How is this Google's fault?

       

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        John Fenderson (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:46am

        Re: Re:

        It's easy to understand. They're trying to make Google a scapegoat. They don't care that the assertion is so far from reality as to be obviously laughable.

        Google is a handy target because:

        1) They're a wealthy megacorporation and therefore suspect on their face. This distracts attention away from the wealthy megacorporations that comprise the **AAs.

        2) A lot of ignorant people really do think that google is the internet.

        3) There is widespread and increasing mistrust of google in other, unrelated areas (privacy, etc.) making them an easier target.

        4) The main reason: it's hard to get legislation passed that overtly harms the public at large simply for the benefit of a handful of companies. It's much easier to get legislation passed that overtly harms the public at large if they can convince legislators that it is overall in the public's interest because it restrains a single, larger evil. An easily identifiable enemy is necessary, and so they're trying to manufacture one.

         

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      Jeff (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:30pm

      Re:

      Awesome job man! I'd give that effort 9/10! Look at all the *whooosh* below! META-TROLL FTW!!1!

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:36am

    I love how Mike is very selective with the info he uses. I love that he even uses licensing income to try to justify it.

    Video games? Why use two American numbers and one international number? Why not hit all three American ones? Why not point out that the vast majority of the video game players are playing free or penny games, not buying the big titles? People playing farmville isn't really something to use to justify anything, sorry!

    Music: Wow, talk about playing with the numbers. You couldn't get away from the fact that the biggest percentage gainer for artists is licensing. You know, that thing that you are totally against? Music wants to be free, not licenced! Again, Global, who knows, who knows, and US for each of the squares. Why wander back and forth? You might also want to point out that the "live" end of things is concentrating the money in a very small number of hands, as most of the increases aren't in tickets sold, but in the price of the tickets.

    Books? You might want to break that publishing revenue down a bit. The upswing may be related to people buying self help books, or going back to school and buying books for school. There are reasons for things to happen. You might also want to point out that, with new ebook technology, there is a bit of a run on older titles as people try to rebuild their libraries, in a similar manner to what happened when music moved to CDs. Number of titles is pretty meaningless, proof of more noise but not proof of any more signal. The best part is your ebook graphic. Of course it is growing, duh! It's a new technology, and it's growing. But 120 million is a 26 billion dollar industry isn't huge yet. Put the overall industry and ebook on the same graph, and try again!

    As for movies, you need to break away from "dollars" in movie sales, and look at the "number of butts in seats". Box office is rising only because of increased ticket prices in many places, not because of huge increases in attendance. The amount of video uploaded to youtube isn't really an indication of much of anything, lumping it with movies is dishonest.

    So, in the end, you played games with selective numbers, you used measurements that are favorable to your desired answer, shied away from data that would contradict it, and avoided looking at the human elements of movie and music sales (number of actual people buying the products, attending the live events, etc).

    You can attempt to use it as cover for your "anti-everything that exists" campaign, but it's a fail for anyone who looks critically at it, rather than just sitting back and eating the shit you are shoveling.

    BTW, when are you going to register as a PAC or lobbyist? You seem to be doing mostly that these days. Or are you already registered, and just failed to mention it?

     

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      Planespotter (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:45am

      Re:

      Books? You might want to break that publishing revenue down a bit. The upswing may be related to people buying self help books, or going back to school and buying books for school. There are reasons for things to happen. You might also want to point out that, with new ebook technology, there is a bit of a run on older titles as people try to rebuild their libraries, in a similar manner to what happened when music moved to CDs.

      Just a snippet of what you wrote but... do you agree then that the fall in CD sales may not be down to piracy but due to "the run on older titles as people try to rebuild their music libraries" with CDs?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:06am

        Re: Re:

        "Just a snippet of what you wrote but... do you agree then that the fall in CD sales may not be down to piracy but due to "the run on older titles as people try to rebuild their music libraries" with CDs?"

        The bump happened a long time ago (about 15 years ago). The issue in music these days is the lower sales of "current" music when compared to sales of "current" music in the past. The reference to the bump is only in reflection of the new techology stuff, where there is a rush to buy that cannot be supported over time.

         

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          Richard (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:17am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The bump happened a long time ago (about 15 years ago). The issue in music these days is the lower sales of "current" music when compared to sales of "current" music in the past.

          Why do you avoid the first obvious conclusion from this - that the quality of "current" music has fallen off?

           

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            PaulT (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The same reason these people avoid the effects of unbundling - that newer music is more often being sold in cheaper small bundles of individual tracks rather than more expensive album packages. Or, the fact that younger purchasers prefer to buy other forms of entertainment such as videogames, which are far more popular than they were in the CD's heyday. Or the effects of a global economic crisis on a product that's totally trivial.

            It's inconvenient to them because it shows them that there's other factors that have nothing to do with piracy. They can't whine and get people to pass laws that force people to buy a product they literally don't want, so they pretend it's all due to piracy. It's easier that way. False, and stupid, but easy.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:21am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Nobody ignores unbundling. It is a factor, amoungst many. However, since this is only a recent effect (since Itunes, basically), it doesn't explain what happened between Napster and Itunes.

              Nobody in the industry blames it all on piracy. But you have to be stark raving mad not to see the issue that, in times where the media is more focused than ever on new music, in a time when everyone has music devices, have huge music collections, and have all the latest tracks that it is a little weird that sales are down and not up. It quite simply doesn't add up.

              Ignoring reality is your issue on this one.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:03am

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

                Nobody in the industry blames it all on piracy. But you have to be stark raving mad not to see the issue that, in times where the media is more focused than ever on new music, in a time when everyone has music devices, have huge music collections, and have all the latest tracks that it is a little weird that sales are down and not up. It quite simply doesn't add up.

                If that's the case, then why is the industry insisting on laws against Piracy? How many millions/billions of dollars and untold amounts of time and effort have they spent on these failed efforts?

                Also, I question that everyone has huge music collections. Any informative source on that? There doesn't seem to me to be more people who have massive music collections than in the past. Devices with the capacity, yes - devices filled to the brim...not so much. These are observations from people I know, so, admittedly anecdotal. It would be nice to have hard numbers on this.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:16am

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

                  "If that's the case, then why is the industry insisting on laws against Piracy? How many millions/billions of dollars and untold amounts of time and effort have they spent on these failed efforts?"

                  Because piracy isn't the ONLY issue, but it is a truly significant one.

                  Look, piracy is like a leaky roof. You can keep redoing the floors and redo the kitchen, but if you have a nasty water leak, the house is going to get destroyed. Piracy isn't the only issue in "this old house", but without addressing it, the rest is moot.

                  As for the huge music collections, consider:

                  http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2011/01/size-of-the-average-music-library-7160-songs.htm l

                  That perhaps is as good an indication as any. It's a good place to start a discussion, especially considering how far music sales have dropped.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:29am

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

                    Piracy is not a problem period!

                    If it was, TV and radio also would be.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:04am

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

                      Not at all. TV and Radio pay for their content, in the same manner that Netflix does. Just because the consumer doesn't pay for it directly doesn't mean that the consumer doesn't pay.

                      Until pirate sites start paying royalties for the stuff on their site, your argument is just plain wrong.

                       

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                        Rikuo (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 1:10pm

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

                        Until pirate sites start paying royalties

                        Sure - if the pirate site admins/mods/whatever you want to call them put the content there themselves! 99.999% of the time, its users putting the content there.
                        Think about it. Let's say I build a brand new web site, right now, completely empty and allow users to post links to cyberlockers/torrents (the two preferred methods these days of sharing copyrighted files).
                        With each new piece of content that a USER puts up (and I'm not gonna get into the difference between a site that hosts data versus a site that merely links), I now have to pay royalties. I pay more royalties the longer my site stays open and the more content that is placed there by the users.

                        Eventually, my royalty payments far outstrip whatever income I have and I decide to shut the site down. Note that in this, I didn't do anything wrong, merely had a completely user-generated sites (and let's assume I complied with DMCA takedowns).
                        Thus, a potentially useful increase in the progress of technology and communication is stopped. Instead, all we're left with is TV and radio.

                         

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                    AB, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:29am

                    considering how far music sales have dropped.

                    This is what we keep hearing, yet every survey/investigation/review shows the exact opposite: that music sales are actually rising! As are sales in all aspects of the industry.

                    Just think how far the entertainment industry could have gone if they had sunk all that money into innovation instead of politics...

                     

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                    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:38am

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

                    LoL
                    All my digital music is just 329 files(counting sub folders as files).

                    I wonder how many folks are just like me and don't buy crap from labels anymore.

                    I didn't even bother to digitize my CD's.

                    But I use PuddleTag and MusicBrainz Picard to organize the music for my wife.

                     

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                    bongo houzi (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:40am

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

                    flawed study to begin with, the sample is too narrow to produce any meaningful data beyond that for the group who use TidySongs. I have over 1200 physical LPs, over 800 CDs, countless cassette tapes, etc., etc. at an average of 10 songs per unit I have well over 20,000 songs, all bought and payed for. Oh the humanity.

                     

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                      bongo houzi (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:42am

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

                      oh ya, it's mostly back uncatalogued stuff, new music is mostly for the birds, some good but the ratio of bad to good has skyrocketed, and I like music of all kinds.

                       

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                  btrussell (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 1:51pm

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

                  "Also, I question that everyone has huge music collections."

                  My collection is almost the smallest it has ever been.
                  Other than the first year or two of buying. Many many moons ago.
                  Labels and artists alike have turned me off.
                  Not only have I quit buying, but unless you are playing in front of me, I don't listen either.

                   

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                  PaulT (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 1:42am

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

                  Oh, and...

                  "Also, I question that everyone has huge music collections. Any informative source on that?"

                  Probably not, but what the "wahhh piracy!" types tend to forget is that there's many legitimate ways to get large music collections. I remember filling up my first MP3 player quite quickly (a 30Gb Creative Zen). The sources for most of the music were either rips from the 200+ CDs I already owned, or downloads from free, legal services like MP3.com and eMusic. Nowadays, I regularly fill my devices with free content such as podcasts, and I find that I buy less new music as a result of that and my Spotify subscription, although I do still support artists I like. So far, no laws broken.

                  If you think that having a large digital music collection is somehow indicative of guilt of piracy, you're letting your baseless biases show again...

                   

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                JMT (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 4:51pm

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

                "Nobody in the industry blames it all on piracy."

                Publicly, they do. Loudly, consistently, and to anyone who'll listen (or they pay to listen). I have never heard anyone from the record companies credit their income losses to album unbundling, the rise of competing entertainment forms, or the GFC. They never say "Piracy is part of the problem", they only ever present it as an industry-killing bogeyman.

                 

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                PaulT (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 1:31am

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

                "it doesn't explain what happened between Napster and Itunes."

                Que?

                iTunes was launched in January 2001. Napster shut down in July 2001. Which magical period are we talking about between the 2 services?

                "Nobody in the industry blames it all on piracy"

                Bullshit. Even when I'm describing how I use legal services to access entertainment, I'm still accused of piracy. I've been accused of pirating CDs because I dared to order them from outside my country of residence. The industry defenders ignore everything else.

                "It quite simply doesn't add up."

                Yes it does, if you account for ALL the factors. You, and those in the industry like you, do not. There's a hundred other factors that have nothing to do with piracy that are affecting the industry, yet the RIAA wastes its time on lawsuits and legislation rather than addressing them. If they do, they'd be facing reality for once.

                "Ignoring reality is your issue on this one."

                It's my issue when idiots in the RIAA ignore it, yes.

                 

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            John Fenderson (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:28am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            This. There was a brief period of time that the quality of music started to improve, but that was what, 10 years ago now? Nowadays, most mainstream music has gone back to being awful.

            On the other hand, there is a tremendous wealth of excellent music to be had at reasonable prices. The problem for RIAA is that the majority of this music is not from RIAA members, but is from the bands directly or small independent labels.

            I'm spending more on music than I have in decades, but none of it is being spent on RIAA labels.

             

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:46am

      Re:

      You forgot to call him chubby.

      So it's alright if the RIAA/MPAA messes with numbers but it's not alright if anyone else does it, eh?

       

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      E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:56am

      Re:

      Sure. Pay no attention to the actual report that shows all the data. Just laugh at the silly graphic. Why that's the only thing that really matters. No one cares about the actual data, just the way it is presented. After all, that is how the entertainment companies have done things for 100 years.

      Now for a couple of comments.

      Video games? Why use two American numbers and one international number? Why not hit all three American ones? Why not point out that the vast majority of the video game players are playing free or penny games, not buying the big titles? People playing farmville isn't really something to use to justify anything, sorry!

      The primary reason I can see is that he is showing that not only is the US games industry is growing, but the entire world wide game industry is growing. Doesn't take a genius to figure that out.

      As for the "penny game" comment, you are just misdirecting the issue here. The whole industry is growing. This includes packaged retail (which will actually decline in the near future) as well as digital offerings. Whether those digital offerings are free to play/micro-transaction based games or are simply full priced downloads, the fact is that it is now easier than ever to make a game and make money than ever before. It is the same as all entertainment industries. It is far easier for two guys in a garage to make a game and make money off it today than it was 10 years ago.

      Why do you hate creative people making money?

       

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:57am

      Re:

      *yawn*
      "As for movies, you need to break away from "dollars" in movie sales, and look at the "number of butts in seats". Box office is rising only because of increased ticket prices in many places, not because of huge increases in attendance. The amount of video uploaded to youtube isn't really an indication of much of anything, lumping it with movies is dishonest."

      We don't report on how many butts were in the seats when we talk about the top box office earner. You can not spend butts in seats, but you can spend dollars.
      Attendance... maybe its down because theaters are crappy?
      That being stuffed into smaller seats with sticky floors might just might annoy people enough to not attend.
      The amount of video uploaded to YouTube shows a rush of people creating content, rather than a handful of people doing so as was the pattern in the past. God help us all but Rebecca Black would be NOTHING without having uploaded that video on YouTube.
      But with all of these things not happening, they are making more money and you try to say it is all based on higher ticket prices.

      While these industries claim they are loosing kajillions of madeup dollars and are poor here are the bare facts that the market is making more money. One might guess that it is the content gatekeepers crying the sky is falling because they are loosing control, not because they are being robbed.

      Oh so the claims of him being a lobbyist is this weeks buzzword.

      3/10 - you almost make it sound believable but your more selective in your criticisms than you claim Mike is.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:27am

        Re: Re:

        "We don't report on how many butts were in the seats when we talk about the top box office earner. You can not spend butts in seats, but you can spend dollars."

        The movie industry reports number of tickets sold and income. Dollars sold is one way to measure, butts in seats is another. You can't spend the butts, but the butts spend - Getting one idiot to spend $250 million for a single seat to a movie would make it a high grossing movie, but if that is the only ticket sold, it wouldn't be successful with the public, which is key.

        "The amount of video uploaded to YouTube shows a rush of people creating content"

        No, it is a reflection only on the number of people who have a video camera in their hands and feel the urge to expose their personal lives to the rest of the world. Most people aren't sitting down and actively "creating content", they are just recording stuff and putting it online, with no particular creativity. Mike is trying to show a great increase in creation of content, but again, it's just noise, not signal. MLK's "I have a dream" speech would have been lost if everyone else there that day had been speaking at the same time, if there were 50 PA systems, and 50 people speaking at the same time. It's a question of signal to noise, not just volume of stuff.

        Put it this way: Pink noise is an incredibly dense thing that has sound in all frequency ranges. But it is just noise. Listening to someone speak gives you much more information, even if they aren't using all of the spectrum. Volume of sound isn't important, it's the subject matter that counts. I'll take 1 avatar over 100 hours of "man hit in balls" home movies.

        Lobbyist isn't a buzzword. It's a reality. Mike doesn't seem to like to talk about it, but he seems to be spending most of his time talking to politicians these days, pushing an agenda. Seems like lobbying to me.

         

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          Keroberos (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:36am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Most people aren't sitting down and actively "creating content", they are just recording stuff and putting it online, with no particular creativity.


          One could also make the same claim about most of the content coming out of Hollywood these days.

           

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            Ben (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 2:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "they are just recording stuff and putting it online, with no particular creativity"

            Did you not just describe ALL reality TV shows?

             

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          WDS (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:38am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Getting one idiot to spend $250 million for a single seat to a movie would make it a high grossing movie, but if that is the only ticket sold, it wouldn't be successful with the public, which is key.

          Maybe if they had lowered the price of the ticket to $249 million that could have sold two.

           

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          That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:43am

          Re: Re: Re:

          And yet they keep making crappy movies that close within a week, not because they were pirated into oblivion but because they sucked.

          Dollars they earn matters more than how many seats the filled. If they get 1 sucker to pay them 250 million good for them. The metric is making money, not pleasing the fans.

          The "I Have a Dream Speech" is monetized, I think that says something.
          And there are a whole buncha partners on YouTube producing funny content and getting paid to do so.
          They seem to find a way to get their voice heard.

          Avatar, is that the ripoff of Pocahontas or Dances with Wolves? Because it remixed an existing story with new elements.

          Mikes job isn't to pay off and influence officials to vote how he wants. He might be a tiny little bit famous and a good goto guy for the tech sector because he doesn't have his head up his ass. I don't see him promoting a bill to have Floor 64 appointed the grand poohbah of Silicon Valley.

          Your agenda seems bent on making Mike and Google look evil for fighting back against bad legislation from people who lie about their position in the world.

          Because if you weren't a giant shill, you'd have an account with all of this amazing commentary your making here. Or at least use a different name to set yourself apart, but you like to hide and take your pot shots and run off when the wounds are mortal.

          I'd score this one, but it makes you sad...

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:11am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Avatar, is that the ripoff of Pocahontas or Dances with Wolves? Because it remixed an existing story with new elements."

            The point is here that they didn't do it by copying the work product (movies) and cut them together to make something new. There are only so many types of stories out there, you can match up almost any movie, stage play, or works of the great artists all the way back in time to very small very generalized templates.

            Avatar might be influenced by these things, but they certainly didn't take a copy of " Pocahontas" and digitally remix it. The difference is sort of clear. Both of them are work products, and they don't depend on each others work product to create the next one.

            There is no intent to make Mike look evil. Rather, I am only trying to point out that (like Google) he not only has a point of view, but he also have a business model to defend. Step 2 was an indication of where Mike really wants to go, he wants to end up at the top of the food chain of the "new" music business. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Like Google, he is trying to put himself in the middle of everything, and to profit from it. His motivations are clear, and it's why often his posts are transparent, because they are a means to an end rather than any attempt at fairness or to base things in reality.

            Taken as a whole, as I stated at the top, Mike's combined goals, causes, and movements appear to be aiming in one direction. It's just too bad that his business models generally will not work without first destroying copyright, the movie industry, the music industry, and so on.

             

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              Greevar (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:43am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You make some pretty grand accusations based on nothing but your opinion. If all you have to argue with is some petty ad hominem/strawman attacks without anything substantive to support it, you're just a wind bag trying to make a stink. Everything you said is just opinionated bullshit.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:16pm

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

                Sorry, I made my points. Mike's stands and opinions combine to show where he stands. He doesn't like to admit it directly, because one of the great things about running an opinion and advocacy website is that you never want to get completely pinned to a point of view unless you are 110% certain not to be wrong.

                Call me a windbag, like I care. My opinion is based on what Mike has posted here over 10 years. You may not like my opinion, but geez, respect my right to have one. Argue the points, not what you think of me personally. Add something to the discussion.

                 

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                  ltlw0lf (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 4:20pm

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

                  Call me a windbag, like I care. My opinion is based on what Mike has posted here over 10 years. You may not like my opinion, but geez, respect my right to have one. Argue the points, not what you think of me personally. Add something to the discussion.

                  Pot, I'd like you to meet my best friend Kettle.

                  I especially like how you tongue-wag Greevar for not adding something to the discussion and only attack you personally when all he was pointing out was that all you do is make pretty broad accusations and attack people personally. Is there a maximum point to your hypocrisy or is it a race to the bottom?

                   

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              Rikuo (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 1:16pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              And what's so WRONG about destroying copyright, the movie industry, the music industry and so on? There have been other industries in the past that once were powerful and wealthy, but are now gone, and the world is better for it.
              What is so holy and sacrosanct about copyright that any thought of destroying it, in your mind, runs up against the wall of "WRONG!". Please, give me your honest opinion on why it is wrong.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 2:31pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              " There are only so many types of stories out there, you can match up almost any movie, stage play, or works of the great artists all the way back in time to very small very generalized templates."

              Partially true. Its certainly easier and often resonates with audiences better if you use one of the basic story archetypes. But that doesn't mean its the only way to make a story, its just that the legacy companies are very afraid to deviate from these structures. Anything the doesn't fit a certain formula that they can quickly tie to cash value and a marketing plan will not get greenlit.

               

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          Colin, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:38am

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, it is a reflection only on the number of people who have a video camera in their hands and feel the urge to expose their personal lives to the rest of the world. Most people aren't sitting down and actively "creating content", they are just recording stuff and putting it online, with no particular creativity.

          Could you imagine if Hollywood started making these sort of...I don't know what a good name for them would be..."reality" shows?

           

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          BeeAitch (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 4:54pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Volume of sound isn't important, it's the subject matter that counts."

          You've obviously never watched an episode of Jerry Springer, have you? ;)

           

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          JMT (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 6:11pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "No, it is a reflection only on the number of people who have a video camera in their hands and feel the urge to expose their personal lives to the rest of the world. Most people aren't sitting down and actively "creating content", they are just recording stuff and putting it online, with no particular creativity."

          Ah, the "Cat Video" argument, where if it's not professionally produced by a movie or TV studio it's just crap that can't possibly compete. BS!

          I quite often watch high-quality, pro and semi-pro content on YouTube, often short (5-20 min) video clips on topics I'm interested in, watching one after the other from the suggestions column. I can get great pleasure out of doing this, just as much as I would watching a TV show or movie, and hence can spend and hour or two not watching studio content, and not financially contributing to legacy companies as a result.

          If you don't see that as competition to the studios, you're a fool. If you work for one of those legacy companies, you're a fool who might not have a job soon...

           

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        Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:39am

        Re: Re:

        Maybe we should forget about dollars and report butts in the seat or units sold. It is a much better metric.

        In the hospitality industry (good) operators use statistics all of the time, for projecting where we are going. Number of covers (aka butts in the seat) by meal period by day times the average check by meal period by season. We do all of next year around October. Then we write the marketing plan to impact whatever weaknesses we feel we might impact, and adjust the statistical forecast and THEN we write the Pro Forma sales projection.

        We use statistics, rather than percentages on the cost side as well. Lets use cloth napkins as an example. They get used for all kinds of things in a restaurant, but should the ratio be 1.5 napkins per cover? Or 2? Knowing what the history has been (actual) one can make a projection. Knowing what the actual ratio is, one can say 'does that make sense?'. If it does not, additional controls, or attention could be paid to that item.

        The whole point being, I believe (and have much practical application to back it up) that statistics are a much better representation of reality than pure $.

        Not just my opinion.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:58am

      Re:

      Wait? So short movies on YouTube don't count?!?

      That's downright silly, and I think you know it.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:00am

      Re:

      So why don't you do some actual research and produce your own picture?

       

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      Gwiz (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:13am

      Re:

      Up above I asked for an intelligent rebuttal and I have to admit that your comment, for the most part, was a reasonable response, although somewhat lacking on the actual facts and figures part.

      From reading your comment, it seems that the main thrust of your argument is that even though the overall picture is looking up, the legacy gatekeepers are still hurting.

      Well, newsflash, we basically already know that. What you need to remember is that for most people the overall benefit to society is infinity more important than any gains for an industry who is refusing to adapt to a disruptive business environment.

       

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      WDS (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:14am

      Re:

      " Why not point out that the vast majority of the video game players are playing free or penny games, not buying the big titles? People playing farmville isn't really something to use to justify anything, sorry!"

      Is it possible that the people choosing to play farmville instead of buying "the big titles" has more to do with the quality (or lack there of) of the big titles than with the sky falling. If more people are having fun playing games and the overall money being made is higher, why should I care that people aren't buying "the big titles".

       

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      Call me Al, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:18am

      Re:

      "As for movies, you need to break away from "dollars" in movie sales, and look at the "number of butts in seats". Box office is rising only because of increased ticket prices in many places, not because of huge increases in attendance."

      I go to the cinema once every month these days. I used to go two or three times. A ticket now costs 10 or more in the UK. It used to cost 5-8. Do you see a correlation here? Their greed in ticket pricing has made me choose to go to the cinema less. I've invested in my home system and invite friends round to watch films there. We now spend out money on pizza and beer rather than a cinema ticket and popcorn.

      I would have bought my home cinema system anyway (because it rocks) but I am fairly convinced that this would not have impacted my cinema visits if the ticket prices better reflected what I believe is a reasonable cost. Once the price went above that magic 10 barrier my interest dropped quickly and I rarely take a gamble on a film anymore.

       

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        DH's Love Child (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:51am

        Re: Re:

        "Once the price went above that magic 10 barrier my interest dropped quickly and I rarely take a gamble on a film anymore."

        Agreed. I only go to movies that I REALLY want to see anymore, which amounts to about 3 or 4 movies a year (at most).

        Part of that is that mine is a family of 6, so a family movie is a $60 adventure. and that's just for the tickets. Add in snacks and it hits $100 easily. There are just a lot of other things I can think of to spend $100 on than 2 hours of mediocre entertainment.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:42am

          Re: Re: Re:

          What you guys are missing is that you are in fact being victims of the old "CwF+RtB" mentality that Mike has pushed... it's the old selling the scarcity.

          The number of movie screens in the US has not increased dramatically since the year 2000 - 36,379 in 2000, 39,233 in 2009 - about 10% increase. The number of locations has dropped from 6992 to 5942 in that same period. Ticket sales (butts in seats) went from 1.383 billion in 2000 to 1.339 billion in 2009. (I am missing average number of seats per theater... but from what I can tell it is down as more multiplex units come into play).

          What has increased is ticket prices, from $5.29 in 2000 to $7.89 in 2009. They would appear to be doing a good job at selling the scarce, charging more money for it.

          There isn't any more money to be made in adding seats, or adding theaters. The money is being made by raising ticket prices, while at the same time technology (from the VCR to Netflix streaming, PPV and the like over the years) takes care of providing a solid secondary marketplace.

          What you are seeing is a small example of what happens when the move is made to make more money per ticket, to sell the scarce and make the money there.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:20am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "What has increased is ticket prices, from $5.29 in 2000 to $7.89 in 2009. They would appear to be doing a good job at selling the scarce, charging more money for it. "

            Apparently not if they are selling less tickets. You say more screens at less locations so we really don't know if the overall amount of seats has gone up or down. But I can tell you one thing, the theaters around me like to play the "big" movies 20 times a day. So they end up showing a movie with 4 people in the theater and charge 12 bucks a ticket.

            Is that the best way of selling scarcity then? They should either diversify their selection or sell cheaper tickets, because they are not doing a good job of selling scarce resources because a shit ton of those seats are going to waste.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 1:13pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "The number of movie screens in the US has not increased dramatically since the year 2000 - 36,379 in 2000, 39,233 in 2009 - about 10% increase."

            That is quite an increase. So now more movies are being produced than before (during a time period where the economy is getting worse) and you're somehow complaining.

            "What has increased is ticket prices, from $5.29 in 2000 to $7.89 in 2009."

            Yes, you increase price, you decrease quantity demanded. Econ 101. So theaters saw that their overall profits can be increased by increasing prices even though that decreases quantity demanded and so they did. Your point is that fewer people go to the theater (when prices increase). Yes, we know.

            "They would appear to be doing a good job at selling the scarce, charging more money for it. "

            Yes, and we see nothing wrong with that.

            "The money is being made by raising ticket prices, while at the same time technology (from the VCR to Netflix streaming, PPV and the like over the years) takes care of providing a solid secondary marketplace."

            and what's wrong with that. Now consumers are better served by a market of more abundance that increases aggregate output. You know, the thing that we have economies for. Consumers are choosing more diverse forms of entertainment and while this maybe bad for some industries, it's good for others. You act like it's a bad thing.

            "What you are seeing is a small example of what happens when the move is made to make more money per ticket, to sell the scarce and make the money there."

            A small example of ... something that's not really a problem. Yes, markets change and those changes hurt some people and help others. Those who are initially hurt need to find other jobs. That's free market capitalism. Companies come and go, industries shift, what's your complaint here, that nothing stays the same?

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:20pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The increase in screens is one of those things you have to look at more closely to understand. It's why I point out the number of locations having dropped. A 10% increase in screens does not equate to a 10% increase in seats. More often, multiplexes these days are built with fewer seats per screen, but with more screens showing the same movie with offset start times. It's not unusual to find the same movie in 2 or even 4 screens with opposite start times.

              " Consumers are choosing more diverse forms of entertainment and while this maybe bad for some industries, it's good for others. You act like it's a bad thing."

              When the consumers choice is "pay for the movie, or pirate the movie", then it is bad. It's an attempt to get the best of both worlds, to have the money to buy the new video game or whatever, and ALSO get the movie. That means it is done on someone's back. There is no reason why people should be able to get it both ways and decide who gets paid and who does not, while consuming both products.

              I would accept the idea that people don't go to movies because they are expensive. But using that as an excuse to pirate the movie isn't exactly honest.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:02pm

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

                "The increase in screens is one of those things you have to look at more closely to understand. "

                I'm not misunderstanding anything and you're not looking at anything closely.

                "A 10% increase in screens does not equate to a 10% increase in seats."

                Nobody besides you has suggested that.

                "More often, multiplexes these days are built with fewer seats per screen, but with more screens showing the same movie with offset start times."

                Yes, so that consumers can better choose more convenient time frames to see movies. What's wrong with that?

                "It's not unusual to find the same movie in 2 or even 4 screens with opposite start times."

                and your point?

                "When the consumers choice is "pay for the movie, or pirate the movie""

                The deception here is in assuming that because fewer people go to theaters, fewer people pay for entertainment (or people pay less for entertainment). We were discussing a "a solid secondary marketplace", a marketplace where people presumably pay. We were discussing the uprising in competition that allows more people to make money and provide content, as in the OP. We were discussing the allegation "that the vast majority of the video game players are playing free or penny games". The discussion had little to do with piracy but with the market outside of unauthorized piracy and then you went ahead and changed the subject to piracy when your arguments failed.

                At issue is the fact that there are more entertainment options now than ever before. With the uprising of things like social networks (ie: Facebook), blogs, improvements in home theater systems, Youtube, and better opportunity for anyone to more easily provide content to a much wider audience, the competition for entertainment now is more intense than ever before. This will cause shifts in the entertainment industry, it will harm certain businesses and help and create others.

                "It's an attempt to get the best of both worlds, to have the money to buy the new video game or whatever, and ALSO get the movie. That means it is done on someone's back."

                What?

                "There is no reason why people should be able to get it both ways and decide who gets paid and who does not, while consuming both products."

                Copy protection laws should not be about ensuring that someone gets paid and ensuring that people don't benefit "off of the backs of others". No, copy protection laws are monopolies that come at a cost to society, the monopolist benefits off of the back of the rest of society. No one is entitled to a government established monopoly and so if I copy content there is no wrongful 'harm' done to anyone any more than competition rewards people off of the backs of incumbents. The ultimate purpose of these laws should be to promote the progress of the sciences and useful arts and to serve a social benefit. These laws shouldn't be intended to prevent people from freely consuming content and "getting it both ways" (though if they are paying for it one way they are only getting it one way. Getting it both ways would be paying for it neither way), in fact, they should be to ensure public domain expansion so that people can freely consume more.

                Having said that, there is no reason that copy protection holders should get it both ways, they shouldn't be allowed to get copy protection monopolies and get them (effectively) indefinitely (or for what amounts to unreasonable periods of time). There is no reason they should be allowed to retroactively extend copy protection lengths after the fact. There is no reason why they should be allowed to require everyone else to police their content and identify infringing content while they are not required to do anything to help others identify infringing content despite the fact that IP holders are in a much better position to efficiently identify infringing content (there is no reason for copy protections to be opt out and there is no reason for DMCA safe harbors to be opt in). There is no reason for potential infringement damages to be disproportionately higher than false infringement accusation damages (the opposite should be true). There is no reason the government-industrial complex should get it both ways, there is no reason that they should have a government established monopoly on content (through copy protection laws) and on distribution (through government established broadcasting and cabelco monopolies and through laws that make it too legally risky and expensive for many restaurants and other venues to host independent performers and for bakeries to even allow children to put custom drawings on their birthday cakes).

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:09pm

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

                  BTW I'm not claiming that fewer people go to theaters, that statement is an assumption.

                   

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      rubberpants, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:22am

      Re:

      Remember how SOPA and PIPA were totally destroyed?

      That was awesome.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:24am

      Re:

      "BTW, when are you going to register as a PAC or lobbyist? You seem to be doing mostly that these days. Or are you already registered, and just failed to mention it?"
      What is the fallacy illustrated when someone tries to associate their opponent with an unrelated but disfavored group? Oh, that's right, Guilt by Association.

      Not only that, but you're disingenuously suggesting that citizens, while in the process of exercising their rights to free speech and press, need to obey the same rules as corporations or other collective interests groups. The problem with that is that the government serves at the pleasure of the citizenry. Corporations and indeed other collective groups such as unions or the Boy Scouts are created under laws which require them to temper their power and access to government, so that they do not interfere in the process of government to the detriment of the citizens.

       

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        Samuel Abram (profile), Feb 4th, 2012 @ 8:07pm

        Re: Re:

        What is the fallacy illustrated when someone tries to associate their opponent with an unrelated but disfavored group? Oh, that's right, Guilt by Association.


        He also asked two loaded questions.

         

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      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:31am

      Re:

      Why not point out that the vast majority of the video game players are playing free or penny games, not buying the big titles?

      The top 10 best-selling video games sold 35 million copies. Add the next 10 and the total is over 50 million. And that's just console games. (Source: http://www.vgchartz.com/yearly/2011/USA/) Perhaps they're playing more penny games because they shot their wad on retail already.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:46am

      Re:

      "Why not point out that the vast majority of the video game players are playing free or penny games, not buying the big titles?"

      So you're complaining that prices aren't being artificially fixed as high as they used to be and that they should be fixed at monopoly prices again? Are you supporting monopoly price fixing? Aren't anti-trust laws supposed to stop this sort of thing? Apparently they don't work and it's competition stopping it, to your disapproval.

       

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      John Fenderson (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:51am

      Re:

      +1 for not leading off with a gratuitous insult!

      Other commenters have handled other points. Here's one that has been missed:

      "You couldn't get away from the fact that the biggest percentage gainer for artists is licensing. You know, that thing that you are totally against? Music wants to be free, not licenced!"

      Please, tell me where Mike (or most commenters here) are against licensing music. I've been hanging out here a long time and don't remember that being a dominant theme anywhere.

      There's been a lot of commentary about bad and misguided licensing arrangements, but that's very different.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:33am

        Re: Re:

        "Please, tell me where Mike (or most commenters here) are against licensing music. I've been hanging out here a long time and don't remember that being a dominant theme anywhere."

        You have to go back to the basic issue: They are against copyright, and want to severely limit the term. They also support much greater fair use of content.

        Example, if you cut copyright back to, say, 15 years... that would mean that all of the music of the 80s (and most of the 90s) could be used without license. So movie makers would just avoid current music, use older popular music, and call it a day. It would hurt licensing. Further, because the term of copyright would be shorter, the cost of licensing would be shorter as well, because you are covering a shorter period of time.

        Put in terms people here would be familiar with, WKRP in Cincinnati could be sold "as original" because all of the music in the show would be out of license. That would reward the producers of that show who cheaped out and didn't buy a full license at the time.

        Greater fair use would have the same result. If you move fair use to "less than 10 second sample", as an example, then you remove much of the current licensing for rap music and sample jockeys. That would directly hurt licensing income.

        Finally, consider the old safe harbors of DMCA and the like. If nobody is ever responsible for content appearing illegal online, it continues to erode the value of licensing it. Why should Youtube pay a licensing fee for music when they can just let everyone else upload it for them?

        The real deal when you deal with Mike's statements is that you have to put it all together and look at the implications as a whole. It's the erosion of the business models like melting snow - it happens from the inside first, so you don't see it happening until it suddenly all falls down. This is what Mike seems to be hoping for, based on his overall approach, topics pushed, causes supported, and such.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:48am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Licensing (royalties) hardly benefits artists, it mostly benefits distributors, who are mostly artificially needed thanks to laws that make it too legally risky and expensive for restaurants and other venues to host independent performers (and they even make it too legally risky and expensive for bakeries to allow children to create their own independent drawings on birthday cakes) and thanks to government established broadcasting and cableco monopolies that work to prevent the distribution of independent content to the detriment of independent content creators. Artists have traditionally (and still) make most of their money from things like concerts.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:52am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "So movie makers would just avoid current music, use older popular music, and call it a day. It would hurt licensing."

          So then you admit that what you want isn't to promote the progress of the sciences and the useful arts, it's not to facilitate a social benefit, it's not to create more works in the public domain (or even to create more works in general), it's not even really about stopping infringement, it's to stop competition.

          Which is why these corporations tend to be against things like Creative Commons licensing. You don't want to help artists, you want these laws to be used to stifle competition.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            and most newer content is built on older content. You have distorted the purpose of copy protection laws, they aren't to ensure that no one can use content without paying royalties, they are to create more works that people can eventually freely use and build upon.

            "That would reward the producers of that show who cheaped out and didn't buy a full license at the time."

            Yes, copy protection laws should be a give and take. The public rewards content creators with a free, unowed, monopoly, and in return, they should get 'rewarded' with the free use of that work (within a limited, reasonable, period of time). But what you want is for that work to never enter the public domain. You want the laws to be entirely one sided and only to reward IP holders (not even content creators) with free unowed monopolies in return for nothing. The public can never benefits from the fruits of its state granted monopoly.

             

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          John Fenderson (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:01am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "They are against copyright"


          Not true, as is frequently restated here. They are against bad copyright law. There's a difference.

          "want to severely limit the term. They also support much greater fair use of content."

          If by "severely limit the term" you mean "bring it back to a reasonable term" then yes, you're correct on both counts. I agree with the sentiment, too.

          The rest of your argument doesn't support the assertion that techdirt is "totally against licensing". In fact, it supports my assertion that techdirt is against unfair licensing.

          You are arguing that the positions taken here would reduce the long-term value of licensing deals. This is correct. But that's a side-effect of making copyright true to its original purpose. That licensing deals have been so lucrative due to usurious and unfair copyright rules does not mean we shouldn't fix the system because it might cut off the gravy train. This doesn't mean that the argument is anti-licensing.

          Copyright was never intended to provide a perpetual gravy train for content owners. Copyright was never intended to create a real property right. Copyright was a deal between the public and artists: a limited term monopoly in exchange for the public owning the works when the monopoly ends.

          "It's the erosion of the business models like melting snow - it happens from the inside first, so you don't see it happening until it suddenly all falls down. This is what Mike seems to be hoping for, based on his overall approach, topics pushed, causes supported, and such."

          I read it very differently. The business models you speak of are eroding regardless of copyright. However, in the course of futilely trying to maintain them the content industries are pushing for policies that do great harm to society.

          Techdirt does not want to see these industries destroyed. In fact, as he makes very clear time and time again, he wants to save them, and until/unless that happens, to help save us all from being harmed by their death throes.

          He recognizes piracy as a factor that must be addressed. He also recognizes that the way the industry is addressing it is counterproductive and is only hastening its demise. He offers alternative ways of handling the situation.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:12pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "If by "severely limit the term" you mean "bring it back to a reasonable term" then yes, you're correct on both counts. I agree with the sentiment, too.
            "

            The number tossed around here is 20 years. On that basis, Vna Halen will be touring playing public domain music. Don't you think that a little odd, and a little off?

            "That licensing deals have been so lucrative due to usurious and unfair copyright rules does not mean we shouldn't fix the system because it might cut off the gravy train. This doesn't mean that the argument is anti-licensing."

            The argument is against licensing, because it is removing long term benefit, stacking it in short term, and making it even harder to get that deal done.

            "He recognizes piracy as a factor that must be addressed. He also recognizes that the way the industry is addressing it is counterproductive and is only hastening its demise. He offers alternative ways of handling the situation."

            The only alternatives Mike suggests is "lube up, bend over, and take it in the ass like a big boy". That really isn't an alternative most people are looking for.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:20pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              >The only alternatives Mike suggests is "lube up, bend over, and take it in the ass like a big boy". That really isn't an alternative most people are looking for.

              This is different from the industry's ways of doing things how, exactly? The RIAA famously declared that "when you fish with a driftnet, you're bound to catch a few dolphins".

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:44pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It's sad that you would pretend to defend artists just to defend the interests of the middlemen and then claim that what you want for abusive middlemen is to defend artists from being abused. Using artists are your poster child is more abusive than abolishing IP laws that promote the interests of middlemen.

               

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              JMT (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 6:55pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "The number tossed around here is 20 years. On that basis, Vna Halen will be touring playing public domain music. Don't you think that a little odd, and a little off?"

              Only because you're not used to it, but that doesn't mean it's not a completely sensible idea that would substantially correct the imbalance in the copyright system. You know, the one that's supposed to provide a net benefit to the public, not copyright holders.

               

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              John Fenderson (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 8:50am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "The number tossed around here is 20 years. On that basis, Vna Halen will be touring playing public domain music. Don't you think that a little odd, and a little off?"

              No, I don't. Nothing is stopping Van Halen from making new works that are covered under copyright. In fact, that's the point of copyright -- to encourage the creation of new works. Having a very long copyright term encourages the opposite, as your Van Halen example demonstrates.


              "The argument is against licensing, because it is removing long term benefit, stacking it in short term, and making it even harder to get that deal done."

              What I think you're saying is that it's anti-perpetual-licensing. If so, then you're correct. I still would argue that's different than being anti-licensing as a blanket statement.

              Copyright is not intended to provide a long-term benefit to the artist. It is intended to provide a long-term benefit to the public, and a short-term benefit to the artist.

               

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                PaulT (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:04am

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

                "Nothing is stopping Van Halen from making new works that are covered under copyright."

                In actual fact, at that point copyright really has no effect anyway. Most people going to one of their concerts will already own most of their music, and certainly the bigger hits from 20+ years ago. Whether or not they still make residuals from older albums is almost certainly trivial for the most part.

                So, what do VH do? Same as they do now. The fact that their music is now public domain doesn't make their concerts any less appealing to fans. The fact that the garage band down the road can now play their songs without needing to play royalties does not reduce the attendance of a real VH gig. If they want more recording royalties, they can still sell their old albums (they just don't have the exclusive right any longer), or they can create new material.

                None of this is a problem, unless you're the kind of artist who doesn't want to work and wants to retire off work you did decades previously. In which case, sorry, that's not how it works nowadays.

                 

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          bongo houzi (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 12:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          to what end? I cannot see how "utter collapse" of the industry would benefit Mike in any way.

           

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          Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 12:33pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Example, if you cut copyright back to, say, 15 years...

          Oh, you mean back to the original, Constitutional length of copyright?

           

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          RadialSkid (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 2:33pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          WKRP in Cincinnati could be sold "as original" because all of the music in the show would be out of license. That would reward the producers of that show who cheaped out and didn't buy a full license at the time.

          You mean the unedited versions of the original episodes would finally be released? How exactly is that a BAD thing?

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:35am

        Re: Re:

        I think he's referring to the argument about a sale versus a license, which is the only thing that makes sense in this context.

        The lie hidden in his argument is that artists make the most money from selling licensing their music, which is false. They make money from licensing the scarcities attached to their band and likenesses, such as shirts, posters, and other consumables.

        The other arguments are just as stupid, such as the one referenced just above you that the majority of video game players are playing free or penny games. It's true to an extent, but only because the audience for free games is much larger than the audience for traditional PC/console games. For every gamer who has been playing and paying for years, there are 50 people who bought a smartphone that they can't stop fiddling with for much longer than a minute.

        The explosion of growth in the area of hand-held devices allows people to play free games using concepts they are familiar with, such as boardgames or puzzles. Those free games, by introducing a much larger audience to gaming in general, are beneficial to the whole industry.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:26pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "The other arguments are just as stupid, such as the one referenced just above you that the majority of video game players are playing free or penny games. It's true to an extent, but only because the audience for free games is much larger than the audience for traditional PC/console games. "

          You are right. But saying that "number of gamers is up!" is rather dishonest in context, because the number of gamers actually paying for the product isn't up there at all. When you realize that only a very small percentage (2-3%) of facebook gamers every pay for a game, you can understand that claiming huge increases in "gamers" is misleading.

          The handheld basic games appear to be actually taking away from the market, training people to get stuff for free. Once you have them hooked on an endless supply of stuff for nothing, why do you think they would suddenly start paying for more of the same? They can just go get another free game in the next app on the list. Why bother paying?

          Free is the easiest sale. It's also the hardest sale to convert later.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:43am

      Re:

      "You couldn't get away from the fact that the biggest percentage gainer for artists is licensing."

      Musicians hardly make anything from royalties, most of their money comes from other activities like concerts (as someone else has pointed out). Not sure where you're getting your 'facts', oh wait, I know, your imagination.

       

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      Keroberos (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:47am

      Re:

      The upswing may be related to people buying self help books, or going back to school and buying books for school.
      So what? That's typical market shift seen in all industries. You didn't see people saying we needed laws protecting CRT tube manufacturers from those evil LCD/Plasma panel manufacturers--in fact we saw US law help kill off the CRT market (the OTA switch from analog to digital).
      You might also want to point out that, with new ebook technology, there is a bit of a run on older titles as people try to rebuild their libraries
      [citation needed]

      Hmm, A quick look at the New York Times ebook bestseller list shows the top 10 were all published within the last 10 years, with most more recent than that.

      And in my own experience most of the paper books I would most like to replace with electronic copies are not currently available as such (from the publisher at least, electronic copies do exist elsewhere ;) )

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:22am

    Does anybody knows how to use GNUPlot to plot 3D graphics?

    I would love to see a graphic showing the number as a carpet, so you can actually see the trends like if you were watching your skin,

    x = months (horizontal)
    z = years (depth)
    Y = sales (vertical)

    The vertical should start at a base point for green and every million/billion should shift the color to red, so we can see the carpet changing color over time.

    Something like this:

    Blender Audio Visualization Test 2

    But instead of using Fourier transforms as input for the height I like to see sales figures, creating a carpet or skin where we can see when it gets hot or not and how it is trending.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:38am

    Epiphany

    Based on some of the above comments, I have had an epiphany of sorts.

    The SOPA protest brought something else with it. A disruption in the lobbying industry from technology. Similar to what the entertainment industry is going through now and similar to what many other industries have gone through in the past, like manufacturing, engineering, basic office management dynamics and many more.

    It remains to be seen how they will actually react, but, based on comments here, they are apparently at the denial stage.

     

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    Capt ICE Enforcer, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:38am

    Faith

    My friends, I know you are concerned about these reports that shows the entertainment industry doing great compared to all others. But as a member of the entertainment industry err government. Let me tell you that you shouldn't trust what the facts say. Instead trust what we tell you. After all, most trust the bible which was written by a bunch of sheep farmers from two thousand years ago rather than science and all the technology that we have today. Consider us, not just as your friend, but also your protector or entertainment gods. Trust me, the facts lie. believe in our propoganda.

    Capt ICE Enforcer.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:23am

    I don't suppose you could post this report somewhere it could be downloaded from without installing a browser plugin?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:36am

    I am going to login to my Netflix account and demand that Netflix start focusing on Bollywood and Nollywood feature films. Same for HBO Go.

    With their emphasis on Hollywood fils, I feel as if I am being cheated artistically and culturally.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:17am

    "Traditionally, to take part in the entertainment industry, you had no choice but to go through a gatekeeper, which served to keep the vast majority of people who wished to be content creators from ever making any money at all from content creation."

    This cannot be more true. If I wanted to produce a show (let's say for example, I created and filmed Epic Meal Time) I would have had to negotiate with a TV channel to get some air time. This would have added to my costs and possibility seen me lose control of my creation.
    Nowadays, we have Youtube (and Vimeo, before it was killed financially in a lawsuit). I can film my show, and upload it. I can promote it however which way I want (or not at all, I can just rely on word of mouth).
    When I was in school, I was once featured in the evening news...once. It was seen as a big event by all my friends, family and teachers. Nowadays, if someone were to come up to me and say "I'm gonna be on TV!", I would direct him to Youtube, which is free and easy to use. With TV, his audience is limited geographically. With Youtube, your potential audience is GLOBAL. After all, aren't ratings the most important thing in show-business?

     

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    The Prosperous Artist, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:12pm

    A New Music / Arts Business Model That Works

    It's good to know that demand (and dollars) for entertainment are still growing. But as Mike's data show and many commenters have pointed out, supply is increasing a whole lot faster, as technology that used to belong to industry gatekeepers has been put into the hands of, well, everyone.

    As any working artist will tell you, this has not made it appreciably easier to make an actual living from the arts. How many people do you personally know who are doing it?

    Nevertheless, there are many quiet success stories making a prosperous living from their music and creativity. They've discovered a new business model the same technology makes possible, in fact, virtually requires.

    The keys: a combination of Niche Marketing and basic Internet Marketing.

    If you want to be sustainably successful in music and the arts, master these keys.

    For more info on this new model, including a free video interview with one such Prosperous Artist, send an email to NewArtsModel@TheProsperousArtist.com.

     

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    Content Creator Wannabe, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:37pm

    The "low barrier" has actually been raised

    "For content creators, it is an age of amazing new opportunity. Traditionally, to take part in the entertainment industry, you had no choice but to go through a gatekeeper, which served to keep the vast majority of people who wished to be content creators from ever making any money at all from content creation. Today, that is no longer true. More people are making more money from creating content than ever before -- with much of that coming via new tools that have allowed artists to use the internet to create, promote, distribute and monetize their works."

    I disagree with a lot of these points. I'm a writer, an aspiring novelist who's struggling with this whole idea of "marketing platform" as it relates to getting books in the hands of readers (or at least of a legitimate agency and publishing company). There'd be no way either that I would allow my creative words to be ripped of their soul and heartache and put into a moneymaking format of ones and zeroes and cold machinery with regards to the Kindle. The cat-video argument applies to self-published books just as it once did to "direct-to-video" movies. Amanda Hocking won't win a Pulitzer, that's for sure.

    While I know I have enough creativity and talent (and even drive and discipline) to write a book, I just don't have the promotional skills, nor do I have the interest, to market myself to "potential" millions of readers rather than targeting my proposal or query just to prospective agents and editors. The oft-maligned "gatekeepers" the nerdy new-tech "artists" love to yap about. Video may not have killed the radio star, but the Internet sure put a nail in the coffin of quality writing.

    I don't have the attention span either to blog and tw@t while I'm trying to avoid distractions and write a damn good novel. I don't listen to new music, and haven't been to the movies since, I don't know, "Titanic" was still a crappy first take of a still-crappy SFX-fest. But I do look out for "new" books, albeit usually from the old favorites like King/Evanovich/Grisham. The "big names" that the gatekeepers made into megastars, and probably 99% of them introverts not fond of the whole "look at me and my pretty kitty" internet crap. Not that anyone reads anymore, I guess, despite those numbers above...

    As a writer offline, I think I'm at least halfway decent, but I'm more willing to spend time improving my craft than I am engaging the public. Salinger/Pynchon I may be, but it's not like there's any real verifiable data that says a well-written blog = a well-written book, regardless of whether well-written = bestseller. It used to; the quality of the writing, rather than the "interesting-ness" of the author or the gimmick of the promotion, would sell the book on its own -- the publishers and agents, the "team," picking up the slack for the introverted, world-weary writer. I don't think in terms of books that agencies, editors, or even publishers are as much the elitist "gatekeepers" these spamateurs want to demonize them to be, as they are a team of colleagues, an indispensable resource and a safety net that allows you to focus on your craft rather than some dog-and-pony show for hypothetical fans.

    Now, however, thanks to the demolishing of the "traditional" model, the onus is on the content creators to be jack-of(f)-all trades and fail at 99% of their "work" putting out useless crap like book trailers and blog tours when their true strength is writing the best book you possibly can. The sad fact is that the pub co's aren't willing to gamble on a new person, so regardless of whether you go the lame, failure, spamateur Kindle route or aim for the more reputable Random House/Simon & Schuster/Macmillan et. al., you've got to hustle, you've got to promote, you've got to act like you really give two $h!ts about what 800 million people on Facebook are doing in the bathroom, because you want at least 1 million of them to give two $h!ts about you -- and fork over $20 to buy your damn book. Over time you get exhausted and suffer from burnout and before you know it, you never even want to write a grocery list again.

    Music, movies, and software I don't care about. I listen to mostly '70s and '80s stuff on regular FM radio, cassette, or CD. Most of what I watch is actually on VHS; I don't even subscribe to cable or satellite, and I don't care about some teenage stripper or illiterate hip-hop "artist" (to use the term loosely) on YouTube. Books, on the other hand, are my field and my ambition. And as a content creator who isn't at all (or is reluctantly resigning myself to be) a content promoter, I'm seriously lamenting the death of the great American novel and the birth... of 800 million salesmen.

    I just have to keep reminding myself that even Vonnegut was once the Willy Loman of the used-car arena. But then, he also worked as a postal carrier, and we're seeing what the Internet has done to that fading industry... :(

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:46pm

      Re: The "low barrier" has actually been raised

      "The sad fact is that the pub co's aren't willing to gamble on a new person"

      More books and content is being written now than ever before. On average your chances of getting your content distributed by major publishers before wasn't all that great and the overwhelming majority of writers didn't make it regardless. So what we have now is little different in that respects except now anyone can attract some audience members through the Internet. Yes, that places competition as your writing must compete with many other writers but if you can't write as well as your competitors than that's no one else's fault. You still have a better chance at getting an audience now than before. and even before much of the marketing wasn't done by publishers but by the authors themselves, just like with music creation.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:52pm

      Re: The "low barrier" has actually been raised

      "There'd be no way either that I would allow my creative words to be ripped of their soul and heartache and put into a moneymaking format of ones and zeroes and cold machinery with regards to the Kindle."

      But you would gladly grant all copy'rights' over to a, purely profit driven, third party in opposed to keeping them for yourself so that you can have more influence over how your content is distributed? You would deny future generations the ability to benefit from your works for 95+ years after which your works would likely be forgotten never to be recalled in future literature again all because a cold profit driven corporation who 'owns' your works decided that's OK?

      You can keep your content and distribute it how you like and decide that it automatically be released under a creative commons license ten or twenty years from now for future generations to benefit from. Instead you would rather a cold hearted purely profit driven corporation deny you that right, a corporation that doesn't care about your content and probably won't really do much to help distribute it anyways.

       

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      Narcissus (profile), Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 5:02am

      Re: The "low barrier" has actually been raised

      For a self proclaimed writer you seem to need a lot of words to make your point... No short stories for you then? (Sorry, cheap dig)

      If you've followed TechDirt for some time you'd know that Mike is not advocating the end of the middlemen. He just says their role should change from gatekeepers to facilitators. See initiatives like Kickstarter etc.

      I'm sure there are a lot of writers like you that don't want to make the effort to promote their own books. That means there is a hole in the market that somebody will fill by offering editing/promotional/management services and services like that probably already exist. However, since basically everybody can offer these services now because you don't need expensive printing presses anymore, it will be a much more competitive market which will mean you'll be able to negotiate much better terms than with the current gate keepers AND you'll be able to guard the integrity of your work yourself. Sounds like a win to me.

      Additionally: Quit whining. Every job has good and bad sides. If you want to make money with something you have to be good at all of its facets.

       

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    Al Bert (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:46pm

    right

    I appreciate the new-model economics aspect of this whole topic, but for those who take these numbers as evidence against the false claims of industry: congratulations, you've discovered something both simple and obvious. They certainly aren't paupers if they buy congress and pollute our judicial system for decades. In fact, one might begin to think that they aren't likely engaged in any respectable form of business if they can even afford to continually spend so much on these often risky ventures.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 2:14am

    This time, the presentation coincided with the release of a new research paper that we've spent the past few months working on

    So WHERE IS IT ????????

    Or dont you propose to release that 'research paper' for your readers ?

    Is it that it is not based of fact ? or is it based on the 'sources' of your 'information' ??

    or is it you just want to censor your IP ?

     

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      PaulT (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 2:28am

      Re:

      You know, if you weren't such a wilfully blind asshole, you'd have noticed the link to the paper at the top of the article, which you must have skipped past to exercise your moronic rage.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 2:54am

        Re: Re:

        what about the sources for masnicks claims, footnotes and confirmations ?

        as has been clearly stated before here, that it is clear Masnick is cherry picking 'factoids', to paint the picture he wants to portray..

        Masnick seems to believe there is a fixed size "pie" that you can or cannot get a slice off, that that pie is owned by some nasty monopoly.

        that basic concept is flawed, wrong, and trying to relate price and demand, or the "top" few taking all the pie is just stupid, really stupid.. (at best, total lie in reality).

        If you have 5 venues and 5 bands in a town that does not mean there is no room for others bands or venues, or that there is a fixed amount of money (the pie) that is available to distribute between all the bands and venues.

        If these bands charge less to see them, that will not (NOT) increase the demand for them, nor will it increase the supply !!

        The demand will be whatever it is, if you can create demand you create value.

        But to create demand you have to get people to WANT to buy your product or go to your shows.
        If they do not like your music, you have generated NO demand, and no matter what the price, the punter will not pay to see them.

        You dont buy shit at any price,

        if that was not the case, then Open Source for example would hold the entire software pie right? !!!!!

        After all, they have reduced the price to zero, but there has been no increase in demand !!! how do you explain that Masnick ?

        I can explain it by simply stating that there is no demand for shit, people will happily pay a fair price for a fair product.

        Making it cheaper does not increase demand, you demand what you need, and no more. If supply exceeds demand, that does not change your demand, if supply drops below demand that just means you cannot get what you need.

         

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          PaulT (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 3:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So, moving the goalposts again after having been proven wrong yet again with your moronic attacks? OK.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 3:11am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            who has proved me wrong ?? certainly NOT you.. HAHA

             

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              PaulT (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 3:18am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Hmmm... let's see... you claim the paper was not made available. I point out 2 places *on this very page* where it is available.

              Yep, looks like you're wrong to me. The fact that you then moved the goalposts to the content of the paper to try and attack Mike instead of conceding doesn't mean you're not wrong about your original attack.

              Again, reality is your enemy.

               

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      PaulT (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 2:37am

      Re:

      Or, actually, now I check again it's embedded at the bottom of the article as well.

      How is this stupidity not deliberate, I wonder?

       

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    darryl, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 3:07am

    Like picking cherries ? Mike

    "1. For consumers, today is an age of absolute abundance in entertainment. More content is available in more ways than ever before. If we simple go by the terms of the US Constitution's clause from with copyright came, it seems clear that the "progress of science and the usefal arts" is being promoted -- even as sopyright is often being ignored or forgone."

    a. Copyright did NOT come from the US Constitution.

    b. Lets be TOTALLY HONEST Masnick, if possible....


    Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution, known as the Copyright Clause, empowers the United States Congress:


    To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.


    by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

    by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

    by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

    by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

     

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      PaulT (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 3:18am

      Re: Like picking cherries ? Mike

      "a. Copyright did NOT come from the US Constitution."

      "Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution, known as the Copyright Clause"

      So, which is it?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 3:40am

        Re: Re: Like picking cherries ? Mike

        copyright came from Europe, well before America was discovered.

         

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          darryl, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 12:35pm

          Re: Re: Re: Like picking cherries ? Mike

          Do you understand now Paul ??? I guess you do, because you had no response to that simple and obvious FACT !!!!...

          So both you and Masnick believed that because of the US constitution copyright came into existance !!!!

          and neither of you appear to have the concentration span to read TWO sentices of the constitution.

          But that is understandable, willfull ignorance is rampent here. as is cherry picking words and arguments to suit your belief system and not the actual FACTS...

           

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            PaulT (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:10am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Like picking cherries ? Mike

            "read TWO sentices of the constitution."

            I'm not American and I can spell sentences, so I have those.

            But, please, furnish me with the facts. You ranting, incoherent, often incorrect screeds are difficult to understand sometimes.

             

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      btrussell (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 4:27am

      Re: Like picking cherries ? Mike

      Please define "limited Times"

       

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        btrussell (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 4:29am

        Re: Re: Like picking cherries ? Mike

        In people terms, not geological.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 12:29pm

          Re: Re: Re: Like picking cherries ? Mike

          That would be a time, above zero and below UNLIMITED....

          do you need me to define anything else from your constitution ?

          I was making the point, (the correct point) that Masnick never states the FULL text of the constitution..

          He CHERRY PICKS, 'factoids' to suit his wild claims.

          If you are going to quote the constitution at least be honest when you do so.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 3:17am

    none of this amazing growth according to masnick research is due to population !!!

    "More people are making more money from creating content than ever before -- with much of that coming via new tools that have allowed artists to use the internet to create, promote, distribute and monetizae their works."

    More people are not making more money and create more content because there are MORE PEOPLE ???

    not because of some amazing thing the internet has done to people, or any other bullshit. there are more artists, and more people buying content because there are more freaking people !!!

    Masnick, I thought you could have worked that one out !!!, I guess not...

     

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      PaulT (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 3:22am

      Re: none of this amazing growth according to masnick research is due to population !!!

      Wow, do you ever tire of making false assertions and attacking strawmen? This is getting silly. At least try to comprehend the actual words you're attacking, they might make sense.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 12:44pm

        Re: Re: none of this amazing growth according to masnick research is due to population !!!

        I have to ask if Masnick has ever read a real "research paper", or if he honestly considers this crap to be actual research or opinion. I have read it, and it appears my understanding of written english is much greater than yours, (I at least can read the second sentence of the copyright clause of the constitution !!!)..

        None of his sources are shown, and many of the 'sources' of this information are not even provided, or ledgable..

        Did someone actually PAY masnick for this ? I guess so, if so they were ripped off... and Masnick has confirmed that he is incapable of creating a serious peice of research.

        Real research papers are big on facts and data and short on words, masnicks is the total opposite of that...

        D

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 11:42pm

          Re: Re: Re: none of this amazing growth according to masnick research is due to population !!!

          > I have read it, and it appears my understanding of written english is much greater than yours

          I can tell from the standard of your written English that you have none.

           

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          PaulT (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:13am

          Re: Re: Re: none of this amazing growth according to masnick research is due to population !!!

          So, please furnish us with the facts. Going "waahhh he's wrong" doesn't mean shit unless you show when and where, using citations and not false, unfounded assertions like you normally do.

          Is someone paying you for the crap you spew here? I somehow think they're lacking their value for money as well if so...

           

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    Ray Beckerman, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 6:37am

    Great job

    Great job, Mike.

    Lot's of luck on "changing the debate", though :)

    If it were a sincere debate, then this might change it. But it's not. The so called debate is just a bunch of self-interested executives at 10 large corporations (4 music, 6 film) lying in order to try and keep their jobs, covering up their failures.

     

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    Bonnie (profile), Feb 5th, 2012 @ 6:58am

    The Sky Is Rising

    I am the Ultimate outsider here and from my point of view the possibilites for the internet and the entertainment industries are amazing and any inbalances will be addressed by the market. In this case a market that is fully open and avaiable to anyone with access and the technology. I think it is a really "good day" for all involved if they step back and become inclusive rather than confrontive.

     

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    Jeppe Kirk Bonde, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 2:54am

    Are the numbers adjusted for inflation?

    I think they should have added some pages with sources, and some facts behind the numbers. Does anyone know if the numbers are adjusted for inflation?

     

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    Speedlight, Jun 30th, 2013 @ 10:18am

    Growing Due to Internet and Technology

    The industry is growing because of so many artists with access to do-it-yourself computer programs to create music and market their music online. The only problem are the CD Duplication companies are taking a hit as time passes.

     

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    NicolaECManduley, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 9:03am

    Traditional publishers

    Hello everyone, it is normal that traditional publishing companies and others art's business being trying to keep their supremacy, and still want to restrict the individualism creation of art in general. This time, the business use technology fighting against them back.
    Nowadays, we have being blessed with The Internet and the great amount of different mediums that we can find, and use to promote our business. We have a largely participation without the traditional publisher, and even the new "On Demand Press" allows us to expend less money in our publications. Now the traditional publish and records companies need to be our collaborators and not our controllers.

     

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


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