NY Times: RIAA & MPAA Exaggerate Piracy Impact Stats... But We're Going To Assume They're True Anyway

from the really? dept

Sometimes you have to wonder if the NY Times is simply trying to hurt its own credibility. That's the only conclusion I can come to after reading the editorial by Eduardo Porter concerning the impact of unauthorized file sharing on the economics of the creative industries. While he admits that the RIAA and MPAA have "tended to exaggerate piracy's economic costs and threat to jobs," he then goes on to more or less repeat their arguments anyway. But the editorial is a classic case of how one misleads with statistics in a variety of ways. First, he shows the declines in recorded music sales and in-home movie sales, as if that's proof that the industry has been harmed by infringement. But, as we just recently showed with our The Sky Is Rising report, people are still spending more on entertainment -- it's just that some of the money has gone elsewhere.

And is it really any surprise at all that money has moved away from direct sales? It's not a piracy problem, it's a market adjustment thanks to the shift in the ability to buy singles in music, combined with the more efficient means of distribution, meaning that people no longer have to pay $20 for a CD to get the one or two songs they want. In the meantime, all of that money stayed in the wider industry (something that Porter completely ignores -- why?!?). The amount of money that's gone to concert tickets has gone way up. The amount of money from publishing? Up. The amount of money from licensing? Up. And here's the key part that Porter totally and completely ignores: those other areas of the business which are all up? Those are the areas that give much bigger cuts to actual artists. Artists rarely made any money from direct music sales in the past anyway. So, today more people are making more money from music than ever before... but you wouldn't know that from Porter's laughable analysis.
The top album in 1999, “Millennium” by the Backstreet Boys, sold 9.4 million copies. The top 2011 album, Adele’s “21,” sold 5.8 million.
Two things on this: (1) again, while not everyone is buying the music, the money is still going to the artists -- in fact I'd bet that Adele made out nicely on the live side. (2) What Porter completely ignores is that there's a lot more competition today. So of course the top selling album sells less. Because unlike in 1999, not everyone is being pressured into listening to just one or two superstars, but we can all find our own niches. Some of us think this is a good thing. And then there's Porter.
Hollywood was hit by piracy somewhat later because movie files are bigger and require more Internet bandwidth. But home entertainment sales -- a huge chunk of movie revenues -- fell every year from 2004 to 2010.
Perhaps we should stop here to mention that if Hollywood had had its way 30 years ago, there would be no home movie business. That's because the MPAA fought hard to ban the VCR as an evil tool of piracy -- just like torrent search engines and cyberlockers today. So, forgive me for not exactly caring when Hollywood whines about this particular bit of revenue going away.

But, once again, let's look at what really happened here. The key reason why the sales fell over that time was because as most people shifted online, the studios fought as hard as possible to keep movies from being sold online. Instead, they focused on a ridiculous, years-long fight over which would be the new physical disc standard: HD-DVD or Blu-ray. That fight is what killed sales more than anything else. People didn't want to buy because they didn't want to commit to a standard that only had some movies, and which might go away, leaving people stranded. By the time Blu-ray finally won, there was enough bandwidth that people just wanted their movies online... but Hollywood had no interest in delivering it. When Netflix finally was able to start offering some movies online, the massive success of that setup caused Hollywood to freak out, and spend the next few years trying to either limit Netflix (and any competitors) or jack up the prices on Netflix to make it hard for Netflix to make money without raising its own prices.

So, sorry, but the problems Hollywood has with home theater revenue? That's got nothing to do with piracy.
While box-office revenues have benefited from rising ticket prices, movie attendance has been steadily declining.
I've seen this point made a few times, and all I can think is who cares? I mean, honestly, the whole point is to maximize revenue, not to maximize attendance. If the goal was to maximize attendance, then that's easy: just throw the doors open for free and you'll have maximum attendance. But, of course, that's not the goal. As for fewer people going, once again, we're talking about a market with much more competition, especially from the internet (legally!) and video games.
Of course, not every pirated download displaces the sale of a book, album or movie. But when it comes to music, most economic studies have concluded that piracy accounts for the vast majority or even entirety of the sales decline.
Sorry, but we have to call bull on this one. "Most" economic studies? I've never seen any. In this case, the study points to a recent study done by Stan Liebowitz, the entertainment industry's favorite economist. He's been making the same claims for years, and I've yet to see a single other economist agree with him. So I have no idea where this "most" comes from. Most of the economic evidence I've seen suggests otherwise.

From there, Porter just gets downright insulting. He dismisses all of the tons of new content being produced by claiming that it's just hobbyists, and somehow those people don't count:
Many Internet enthusiasts say that this change isn’t unhealthy, and that the Web makes more ventures possible. They point out that while piracy may be cutting the pay of record label executives, it doesn’t seem to have stopped musicians from making new music. According to Nielsen, 75,300 albums were released in 2010, 25 percent more than in 2005. But new releases that sold more than 1,000 copies fell to about 4,700 from 8,000 during that time. The wave of creation that is more hobby than profession has little to do with piracy, and would likely be unaffected by laws to curb illicit downloads.
This isn't just insulting, it's missing the point. First, Nielsen numbers are hardly complete, as Jeff Price at TuneCore constantly reminds the world (apparently Porter doesn't pay much attention to anyone outside of Nielsen). But, more importantly, Porter once again seems to assume that the only way to make money is through selling music. That's wrong.
But if professional musicians, movie directors and writers can’t make money from their art, they will probably make less of it.
Probably? The evidence says two things: (1) they're actually making more money -- perhaps just not from "selling their art," and (2) they seem to be making more of it, not less. Instead of Porter's "probably" why don't we go with reality? Independent producers say piracy is already making it harder to raise money for small and mid-budget movies. And yet, as was just reported in the NY Times (the paper Porter writes for), new technologies and services are popping up every day to help finance small and mid-budget movies... such as Kickstarter.

The big problem with Porter's analysis is he assumes a static world in which no one can change or adapt. What we've seen, out here in reality, is that content creators are adapting. So, sure, as we've said, infringement will hurt your business if you're stupid and don't adapt. But if you actually take the time to understand what the market wants, and then embrace your fans, the artists who do that are finding that they're making more money than they were before. So, yes, piracy harms you: if you're stupid. That's no reason to change the law.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Matt T. (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 7:49am

    But...But...$100 Million Movie!

    But how can I /make/ a $100 million movie and have a \profit\ on it? That's the problem with your \new\ /business/ \model\ /idea/.

    I never thought I'd miss OOTB...

     

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    Karl (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 7:54am

    Wave bye-bye

    This is also flat-out wrong:

    The wave of creation that is more hobby than profession has little to do with piracy, and would likely be unaffected by laws to curb illicit downloads.

    The laws that have been suggested (and, luckily, rejected) thus far would have little effect on "illicit downloads," but would make it much harder for internet industries (especially startups) to exist without huge compliance costs.

    So, the industries that allow this "wave of creation" would be hit hardest of all by "laws to curb illicit downloads," even though they have "little to do with piracy."

     

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  3. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 7:56am

    Mike Masnick's new post-SOPA propaganda pitch:

    Piracy hasn't affected anyone, and definitely has not had a negative influence on anything.

     

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    Nathan F (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 7:57am

    Re: But...But...$100 Million Movie!

    Silly troll, no movie that cost 100M to make ever turned a profit! Haven't you seen their accounting sheets?

    /s *grin*

     

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    Marcus Carab (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 7:58am

    Re:

    Ummm....

    ... as we've said, infringement will hurt your business if you're stupid and don't adapt. But if you actually take the time to understand what the market wants, and then embrace your fans, the artists who do that are finding that they're making more money than they were before. So, yes, piracy harms you: if you're stupid. That's no reason to change the law.

    Seems to be acknowledging piracy's impact to me - you just disagree on the underlying cause and the suitable remedy.

     

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    fogbugzd (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:00am

    Porter missed one huge reality shift. A year ago journalists could get away with just using industry-supplied phony statistics and arguments without getting called on it. Yes, Techdirt would call them out, but most mainstream journalists were not even aware that there were sites and blogs like TD. Now a lot of other journalists know that the issue has more to it than industry-sponsored studies. That is probably not good news for Porter's or the NYT's reputation.

    So, once again I have to say "Thank you MPAA/RIAA for giving us SOPA." Your hubris has opened a lot of eyes. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. ACTA is going down in flames in Europe. Some countries are getting more cautions about TPP. Members of Congress no longer automatically run where you point. Great job. We never could have accomplished so much without your help. Please give Chris Dodd and his lackeys an even larger bonus this year; they have done a great service to independent artists around the world.

     

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    MAJikMARCer (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:04am

    Re:

    I can't tell if you are being sarcastic or just a troll who's not trying very hard.

     

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    Benjo (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:06am

    If it weren't for content owners backwards thinking

    And the pressure they put on distributors like Amazon/Netflix, so many of these problems would fix themselves. While I think it may be true that digital media / streaming services (like Amazon Instant Video / Netflix Instant Video) probably cannibalize sales of traditional media, there's a huge opportunity to reach a much wider base of people (similar smaller margins, MUCH higher sales, more profits?). Also, I'd imagine they do a lot to reduce piracy, especially cases of piracy where the industry is potentially losing money *citation needed*.

    Big content should be trying to make starting services like Spotify/Netflix/Video On Demand/eBooks more appealing. Their ensured welfare for the next generation is staring them in the face and they keep trying to suck the well dry.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:07am

    Re:

    Whereas the troll/shill AC new post-SOPA propaganda pitch remains unchanged: "I'll just attack this strawman I built because I can't face the real points people are making".

     

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    DH's Love Child (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:12am

    Re: If it weren't for content owners backwards thinking

    More like they keep pouring poison in the well and then can't figure out why people go drink from a different well.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:12am

    "That's because the MPAA fought hard to ban the VCR as an evil tool of piracy -- just like torrent search engines and cyberlockers today."

    Are you seriously comparing VCRs to torrent search engines? How is that even remotely close to the same thing? Torrent search engines are links to stolen movies and music.

     

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    Endtimer (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re:

    That's still a pretty silly argument though when you think about it. "People are breaking the law and getting our products for free!" "Well, you should learn how to market your product better, or make your stolen products an advertisement for other products that are hopefully much harder to pirate.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:20am

    Re:

    "The VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston Strangler is to the woman alone." - Jack Valenti, 1982

    "Waaaaah! Internet piracy is killing our industry!" - MPAA, 2012

    There does seem to be some similarity.

    "Torrent search engines are links to stolen movies and music."

    No they're not. Stop typing if you can't see at least 2 things wrong with this claim, you don't have the facts or logic to back your claims up.

     

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    Tim K (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: Re:

    that are hopefully much harder to pirate. No, you're supposed to provide a product that people can easily purchase and want to purchase. If you are focusing on stopping piracy you're doing it wrong

     

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    Michael, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:22am

    Re: But...But...$100 Million Movie!

    "But how can I /make/ a $100 million movie and have a \profit\ on it? That's the problem with your \new\ /business/ \model\ /idea/."

    Throw as much money at the wall as possible and hope it sticks. Yup, that's Hollywood.

    Now, as for the subject matter of the article, it hardly qualifies as news when big corporate media does big entertainment's dirty work by acting as their intermediary, relaying the same old talking points and faux-statistics to *ahem* brainwash the unsuspecting citizen into their line of thinking.

    After all, it's not like the paper is in bed with big business. I mean, it's not like the legacy players would ever use their printed media as a platform for advertising and promotion, giving them nice perks for their continued allegiance. They wouldn't dream of misleading people -- after all, their media brand is one with honesty and integrity. *wink wink*

     

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    fogbugzd (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:23am

    >>Torrent search engines are links to stolen movies and music.

    VCR's are devices for making illegal copies.

    It took the movie industry a few years to get beyond their view of VCR's as evil Boston Strangler copy machines. But they did figure out how to make money on them. Huge amounts of money, in fact. Because the industry figured out how to make money on such an evil contraption they saved the industry itself. Now they have forgotten that they once saw it as evil. Now the ability to sell into the home market that was created by the VCR is what the industry is moaning about loosing.

    The industry has not yet figured out how to make money off of torrents. If they don't figure that out they are doomed. If they do figure it out then there is some hope the MPAA companies might be able to save themselves. My guess is that the industry is too inbreed to come up with new ideas. They have done too good a job of convincing themselves that piracy is the cause of all their problems, and they cannot see the opportunities that are staring them in the face.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:24am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's only a silly argument if you make the faulty assumption that the "free" part is the only thing that drives piracy.

    Reality is rather different, where regional, format and other restrictions, DRM and overall quality, among many other things, are the main drivers.

     

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    Tim K (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:26am

    Re:

    Torrent search engines are links to stolen movies and music.
    I guess all that OS software companies put out as torrents so they don't have to use their own bandwidth doesn't show up on those torrent search engines, or public domain items, or items artists upload themselves to get out there...

     

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    Marcus Carab (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's only silly if you think about it in that way. Here's how I think about it:

    Technology has changed the nature of information, fundamentally and irreversibly. Business that relied on portioning out information for a price are going to have to adapt, because progress is unstoppable. "Piracy" is just one manifestation of that, and while it may be currently illegal, it's already a firmly entrenched social norm.

    There is absolutely no workable solution to piracy other than to compete with it by offering better services and building sensible business models around them. I've reached the point where I'm not even interested in having the moral/ethical debate with people - I don't care if it's wrong or illegal or unfair, it's reality. Every legal attempt to stop piracy is, almost by definition, also an attempt to stop technological progress - and that's just a foolish battle to fight.

     

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    Marcus Carab (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:29am

    Re:

    Are you seriously comparing VCRs to torrent search engines? How is that even remotely close to the same thing? Torrent search engines are links to stolen movies and music.

    Learn some history. The MPAA claimed that the VCR would destroy their industry (famously calling it the Boston Strangler of movies). It was a new technology that gave people the ability to copy and share more than they could before, and they freaked out. Exactly like they are freaking out now, about yet another technology that gives people the ability to, yet again, copy and share more than they could before.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:34am

    Re: Wave bye-bye

    Bozo is in the house!

     

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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re: Wave bye-bye

    Oops, this was intended for Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 7:56am

     

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  23.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:40am

    Re:

    Are you Canadian?

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I went shopping yesterday for seven albums, and only one of them was actually for sale where I could legally buy it (but only in an over-priced box set with two other albums I already have). However, they could all be found on the pirate websites.

    They're not competing with free. They're competing with availability.

    The major labels have such vast holdings that they're incapable of properly servicing the market. They only focus on the recordings that are going to give them a massive return and have spurned or just completely forgotten about much of what they own. This is what happens with 100 year copyrights - their library holdings become so bloated they can't even sort through it all. I imagine for the movie studios it's even worse.

    Copyright has made much of our culture inaccessible. The law should be make it available or lose the right to make copies.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:44am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's actually not a silly argument at all. This is a business decision about how to address piracy.

    The legal approach has the downside of further harming your own market (not to mention society), even if you managed to beat piracy, because the measures required to even hope to have an impact are draconian and have a cause a huge amount of collateral damage. Also, they can't work, so the effort will fail anyway.

    Another approach is to restructure your business in a way that it can thrive in a world where piracy is a fundamental part of the landscape. The downside is that you have to start doing things in a different way. The upside is that you generate goodwill, increase sales volume, and can leverage piracy to help you out.

    The smart business move is to do the latter.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:46am

    Re: If it weren't for content owners backwards thinking

    Since it is obvious that *IAA's are leading the charge in these attacks on services like Amazon/Netflix/Pandora, I am having a hard time understanding why the Commerce Department isn't charging them with restraint of trade and monopolistic bullying?

    I understand that copyright is a government granted monopoly, but not for the conjoined market interference that is currently going on.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well if they made their back catalog widely available and at a decent price then people would expect them to do the same for new material, and lord knows we can't have that.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:48am

    And the lack of comments is one reason I don't read the New York Times.

     

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    fogbugzd (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:50am

    Re: Re:

    >>Are you Canadian?

    I am wondering why you are asking, eh?

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:51am

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

    It used to be fun to hunt down rare and obscure recordings by my favorite artists. It felt like a treasure hunt. Perhaps that's the feeling they're trying to keep alive?

    But today it's just a massive pain in the ass.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re:

    Lets see, I am currently torrenting 4 versions of Ubuntu, 4 versions of Kubuntu, the current version of Libre Office, the Kahn Academy's complete file list (at least from when I downloaded it, they have updated and I may need to get the latest version),several TED.com videos that I enjoyed, and Make Magazines premier show. All of these are from torrents supplied by the creators.

    Go ahead, tell me what I stole?

    PS, I am continually surprised at the number of folks looking for the older versions of those Linux distros!

     

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  32.  
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    Michael, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re:

    "Learn some history. The MPAA claimed that the VCR would destroy their industry (famously calling it the Boston Strangler of movies). It was a new technology that gave people the ability to copy and share more than they could before, and they freaked out. Exactly like they are freaking out now, about yet another technology that gives people the ability to, yet again, copy and share more than they could before."

    Except that unlike in the past where they wanted to restrict the general public from copying films, now they're using it as a justification to take over the entire internet.

    I'm reminded of The Beatles - 1 album. Their music has been around for decades and people just kept purchasing their work over and over again, no matter what format. When the internet arrived and the file-sharing wave began, The Beatles were far and away one of the most downloaded. Despite all of this, the 1 album sold like hotcakes, which proves that if the industry offers people the kind of quality product they want, they will come, despite whatever is happening on the internet.

    The real reason why the major music labels are on the decline is because they don't have anything new that's of comporable quality. There is a stunning lack of quality present in the majority of new major label releases. Because of this lack of new quality music, the labels cling tooth and claw to the remnants of their past successes, constantly looking for ways to resell the same product over and over again. A great deal of the CD boom involved people replacing their old record & tape collections with the new format. The internet took the proverbial wind out of their sails.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Most people 30 and under don't care that they're breaking the law because the law is stupid. Give us cheap digital content with no DRM whenever we want, from whatever market we want, then we might pay. In the mean time, you can get better product by breaking the bs law then by paying, so that's what a lot of people choose.

     

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    TheStupidOne, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:59am

    Re: But...But...$100 Million Movie!

    You make a $100 million movie as one corporation and then spend $500 million from another corporation paying 10 million people to spend $20 each to watch the movie. The second corporation then declares bankruptcy and the first corporation will have made $100 million in \profit\

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:03am

    "The top album in 1999, “Millennium” by the Backstreet Boys, sold 9.4 million copies. The top 2011 album, Adele’s “21,” sold 5.8 million."

    I think another improtant point here is that the majority of people aren't buying albums anymore but individual songs. Historically single song availablity was tightly controled and you usually had to buy the whole album just to get the song you wanted. With the ability now to pretty much get any song you want as 'single' of course you would expect album sales to fall. Someday lets home this happens to cable 'albums' as well.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:05am

    NYT is just defending Obama/Democrats. They always do in some way, although sometimes they do it in a very subtle way.

    The title alone makes it sound as if the war is only between "pirates" and "creators" - as if it's the creators (i.e. MPAA/RIAA) who are the good guys here.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:07am

    Re:

    i refuse to see your point, for as long as you refuse to see our point

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:08am

    Re: Re:

    says the politician

     

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    fogbugzd (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: Re:

    >>PS, I am continually surprised at the number of folks looking for the older versions of those Linux distros!

    I blame Unity. At least this month.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:18am

    "all of that money stayed in the wider industry "

    A combination of "unproven" and "creative accounting" to get to this sort of idea. You have to expand the definition of live, you have to consider concert gross rather than net, and so on to get to this.

    You also have to ignore the idea that concert ticket prices at the high end have risen explosively in the last few years, so much so that in many cases. The dollars may still be there, but the big pieces of the pie are going to the high end, and not the low end.

    What it does is remove money from artist development, makes it less likely that people will take a risk on new acts, and instead dooms even very good acts to suffering along as regional acts rather than getting a chance to break through.

    The money isn't staying in the eco-system, it's going outside. It's off to costume designers, staging companies, big rig drivers, and all those people who are the "ends" of the music industry, not the middle. They aren't re-investing in music, they aren't financing new acts. They are doing other things that takes the money out of circulation for music.

    So yeah, if you want to stretch and play, you can claim that everything is net the same... but really it isn't.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:18am

    Re: Re: Re:

    That's still a pretty silly argument though when you think about it. "People are breaking the law and getting our products for free!" "Well, you should learn how to market your product better, or make your stolen products an advertisement for other products that are hopefully much harder to pirate.

    What you are describing is competing with someone who is giving away for free the exact same product you are selling. Whether it's legal or not is immaterial and has nothing to do with your business model really. Competing with free can be done successfully, just go ask Aquafina or Dasani how.

     

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    Vidiot (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:21am

    Movie attendance is up, on my couch

    "While box-office revenues have benefited from rising ticket prices, movie attendance has been steadily declining."

    Actually, it's the moviegoing experience, as provided by the legacy Hollywood system, that's been steadily declining. The new metrics: my FiOS On-Demand and Amazon Prime Instant Video usage.

     

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    Endtimer (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:21am

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

    I totally agree with you on the hard to find and obscure recordings, but I can't count the number of friends I have who download movies and tv shows that came out maybe a few months ago. There's no availability issue there, or in any other examples in the article (Adel's latest album, the Hurt locker, ect).

    @ Jupiter, Also, out of curiosity, if you were to come accross the albums in the future, would you buy them? If the answereis no, then allow me to help you off your high horse.

    The law should be make it available or lose the right to make copies.

    That sounds like a great idea! Lets call some Britsh parliamentarians and tell them about your great idea! We can call it the statute of Anne.

    The concept of copyrights expiring has been around for centuries. Admittedly the laws have been changed to a rediculous notion of the copyright being enforcible essentially "70 years after the publication."

    If this was really about being able to get a hold of hard to reach albums or obscure movies, lobby the government to reduce the time for them to fall into the public domain. You'll have to deal with the artists who are living off the residuals from albums they made 20 years ago, but since under the current system people will just download their stuff anyway it shouldn't be too hard a sell.

     

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    MrWilson, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: If it weren't for content owners backwards thinking

    And sadly the answer is likely found in the lobbying expenditures and campaign contributions of the entertainment industry and the Obama Administration's cozy relationship with Hollywood's lawyers who now work in the DOJ.

     

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    Marcus Carab (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Well, at the time they wanted to prevent consumer sales of VCRs, so it's not that dissimilar from them trying to control the internet - though yes, they've gotten even more ambitious and controlling over time.

    I have to say though, I don't agree at all with the assessment that a lack of good music is the problem. That might be your personal opinion, but people are listening to more music than ever before, and that disproves it: the definition of "good" music is music that people want, and people still want the hell out of what's being released. To look at today's music and scoff at its quality is to take yourself out of the debate, to admit bias and obsolescence. People are still consuming music, they are still packing stadiums - that's all the indication we need that the quality of the product is not the problem.

     

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    DandonTRJ (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:27am

    [Liebowitz has] been making the same claims for years, and I've yet to see a single other economist agree with him. So I have no idea where this "most" comes from. Most of the economic evidence I've seen suggests otherwise.

    Have you read Peter Tschmuck's The Economics of Music File Sharing – A Literature Overview? I ask not to challenge your conclusion, but because I know Terry Hart at Copyhype was brandishing it as vindicating Liebowitz. It apparently looks at 22 studies and finds that 14 conclude unauthorized downloads have a “negative or even highly negative impact” on recorded music sales. And according to a comment in the relevant Copyhype post, only two are from Liebowitz. I haven't had time to read the overview or underlying studies myself, but if you have any information/opinions on it, it'd be very helpful to the underlying debate occurring here.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:29am

    What it does is remove money from artist development, makes it less likely that people will take a risk on new acts, and instead dooms even very good acts to suffering along as regional acts rather than getting a chance to break through.

    And what percentage of artists "broke through" with the labels at the helm? Something like 1% or 2% I believe. That was when all of the pieces were most definitely going to very high end.

    A even better question is this: What percentage of artists are actually able to make a living from their art as opposed to when the labels controlled everything? The answer is: A hellva lot more today.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:29am

    Re:

    Above is supposed to be response to Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:18am.

     

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    Endtimer (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I just spent 10 minutes trying to find studies that support your statement. While they usually lists those types of factors as main reasons, the main reason seems to be cost.

    Keep in mind, that it's entirely possible that you are one of those people who download for all the 'good reasons,' (I've stated time and time again that if it's a genuin lack of access then I have no problem with that. I don't even have an issue with downloading a song or tv show on a 'try before you buy' basis, as long as you either delete it after awhile or purchase a legit copy) it wouldn't surprise me if over 75% of the tech dirt community wouldn't download something they can easily buy through legal means. Based on what I've seen though, that is not the reasons most people download illegally.

     

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    nasch (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:39am

    Re:

    NYT is just defending Obama/Democrats. They always do in some way, although sometimes they do it in a very subtle way.

    Too subtle for me. What does this article have to do with Obama or Democrats?

     

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  51.  
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    Endtimer (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Abandon the moral and ethical debate around piracy? How is that better then the ACTAA/MIAA creeps who abandon the moral and ethical debate around privacy?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Can you provide more information, expand upon "Based on what I've seen..." ?

    I am curious to what you have seen. If you can point to studies or data, that would be an added bonus.

     

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    Endtimer (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, I'm not describing a competition between me and someone who is giving away an identical product. I'm talking about someone giving away MY product, without my concent. There's a huge ethical issue. And a legal one. Especially if I put a lot of money into developing these products.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't care if it's wrong or illegal or unfair, it's reality.

    I want to plaster this all over the world - both meat and cyber space. This is a point that the maximalists always conveniently overlook.

    There comes a time when pragmatism must prevail. Otherwise you are tilting at windmills.

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:51am

    For all the trolls... I agree with you

    I have to say that I do agree with the trolls on a point. Piracy has affected the sales of CDs and DVDs and caused a decline.

    With that said, we need to look at other things as well. First, as has been said, sales of CDs and DVDs is not the whole of the music and movie industry. Second, while all the fuss was being made over piracy, the tech was moving forward and new services emerged and many pirates shifted from piracy to those new services.

    Continuing to whine about piracy will not bring back the sales of CDs and DVDs. As much as the content industry would love that, it's just not going to happen. Why? Because the best customers for music and movies don't use CDs or DVDs. Try shoving a CD into an iPod and see how that works. Most netbooks don't even have a CD drive. DVRs are taking the place of DVD players. The more tech savvy people get, the less they want plastic discs cluttering their space.

    People keep telling the industry that this is about business models. It really is. Piracy has been around for as long as people could record and share media and it will continue even as the next advance in technology occurs.
    I guess the constant whining about piracy would be more palatable if the gatekeepers just admitted that they are upset about the loss of control of distribution, and the more level playing field for new entrants to the market.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Because that's a smaller group (industry/government) attempting to dictate to a larger group (the public).

    Piracy is about a larger group dictating to a smaller group.

    Is it a case of tyranny of the majority? Maybe it is. But there's a very short list of groups whom we've chosen to protect from this type of tyranny (racial minorities, religions, etc...). None of the copyright-based industries is on that list.

     

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    Endtimer (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's a silly argument because it puts the onus on the victim of piracy. It'd be like if you lived on an orchard and someone kept stealing your apples. When you called the police, rather than try to catch the thief, they said "Well, you have a whole orchard and he only steals a few, mostly the ones you wouldn't sell anyway. Have you considered opening up your orchard to the public and charging admission to let them take the apples? Perhaps even put ladders near every tree so they're more accessible during the day? That might make them less likely to steal."

     

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    Digital Consumer (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:55am

    Piracy

    I do not engage in piracy. The reason being is I do not want to risk being on the wrong side of the law. Another reason is I do not want to give my computer exposure to viruses and spyware. The main reason is I think it is wrong to steal something that doesn't belong to me. That being said, I don't see any moral problem with pirating something you have already
    bought, or pirating something that is so unreasonably licensed that it is not released in current media consuming devices. Fuck George Lucas for example. I wanted to buy both of his trilogies digitally so I could watch them with my wife and son. 100 bucks? So what, it was worth it to me. To my surprise it was not available digitally, not to buy, not to rent, NOTHING. I just bought a digital copy of Reckoning from EA Origin to play(terrible on pc btw, won't let you key bind movement or attack differently). To start the program I see my pc is connecting to the internet to check licensing, and god knows what other information this software is porting to EA. Really, to play a single player RPG I have to check in online to play? FUCK EA. Now, I am looking at this as a war on the consumer. In war there is no right and wrong, only winning and losing. I wanted peace, but you delivered blood and not flowers. So I say this now. I am going to develope a neigborhood filesharing network that does not use the internet. Good luck getting another penny from me, all of you license nazis.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:57am

    Re:

    Apparently you were not around for VCRs.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:58am

    Re:

    Here's something I find shocking:
    Finally, radio already allows unlimited music listening at zero cost and Liebowitz finds neither a positive impact of radio airplay in a historical context nor an empirically tested positive network effect on record sales (Liebowitz 2004, 2006b).

    I call bullshit on Liebowitz. Payola would not exist if radio did not impact record sales. People taped from the radio (unauthorized) and would buy the albums or singles (to remove commercials, get the full song, and remove DJ commentary over the song). People played mixed radio tapes with their friends and I highly doubt the same impact was negligible on said friends.

    I don't think Liebowitz really looked into it. Or maybe he simply could not collect radio playlists and correlate the frequency of song-plays with album sales. Just because you can't easily find the data doesn't mean there is no impact.

    You can't easily quantify free downloads to album/single sales/concerts etc... but if you try hard enough (survey for example) you can find the correlation.

     

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    Endtimer (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 10:13am

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

    Government...government...you mean the body of people chosen to represent the public. Chosen BY the public? If you don't like what your elected officials are doing, either vote them out this november or put pressure on them with good lobbying and protests. But when you're out there, don't simply state that you don't care about the amorality of piracy, or they'll flip the arguement around and say 'then why should we care about the autonomy of the internet?'

    PS, on a slightly more cynical note, if you really don't believe that those industries are on not on the list, google 'corperations are people' and cry silently at the results.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, I'm not describing a competition between me and someone who is giving away an identical product. I'm talking about someone giving away MY product, without my concent.

    No, you are not really. Say for example, I reverse engineer your widget, manufacture it in China and sell it cheaper than you do?


    There's a huge ethical issue.

    I don't argue ethical issues. What may be unethical to you may be perfectly reasonable to me and vice versa. My ethics will be determined by me and me alone, not you, not some trade group and not the government. Sorry.


    And a legal one.

    Like I said above, that should have no bearing on your business model, only reality actually counts.


    Especially if I put a lot of money into developing these products.

    Umm, any business venture has inherit risks. Just because you spent x amount of money developing anything doesn't give you any sort of "right" to earn your money back. The market determines that.

     

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    Endtimer (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 10:20am

    Re:

    Well to be fair it's always going to SOUND biased as long as the term for illegal downloaders is pirates. We should try and spread some new terminology around like "file sharers" or "copyright liberators" and see if they stick.

     

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    Endtimer (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re:

    God, do you remember how ANNOYING it was to get tape a song though? Unless you stood there by a radio just WAITING like Wylie Coyote waiting for the road runner to fall into his trap. Plus, if you wanted to make a copy that song onto another tape, you had to get a second tape player and retape the already taped song (unless you had some good recording equipment).

    It’s a lot easier to pirate music these days when you just have to load up the pirate bay or bear share and just search for the song in question. I think that shear ease of internet piracy probably triggered the cultural change, along with other things like market saturation (it’s getting harder and harder to buy ALL the new songs you like, let alone any old ones).

     

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    ASTROBOI, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 10:38am

    Declining dvd sales

    I've seldom seen this discussed: There are people who just like to collect movies. I'm one of them. I've had collections of actual film prints, betas, vhs, laserdiscs, and now dvds. People like me replaced large collections of old media with dvds when they became availiable. A very few people were reponsible for a disproportionate number of dvd sales. Along with us were the public libraries who also replaced their old format movies. But there comes a time when most of the library updating is done. From there on we buy only obscure movies that were never released in the past and recent movies. Our old wish lists are largely fulfilled. I believe this accounts for a substantial portion of the dvd sales shortfall in recent years. Also, the wide availability of used copies contributes as well. Used dvds simply didn't exist in quantity years ago. Now they are everywhere.

     

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    Alex V, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 10:42am

    The NY Times has no credibility

    When you allow an institution to provide you with your identity and sense of self-worth you become an obsequious pawn, no matter how much talent you possess. You live in perpetual fear of what those in authority think of you and might do to you. This mechanism of internalized control—for you always need them more than they need you—is effective. The rules of advancement at the paper are never clearly defined or written down. Careerists pay lip service to the stated ideals of the institution, which are couched in lofty rhetoric about balance, impartiality and neutrality, but astutely grasp the actual guiding principle of the paper, which is: Do not significantly alienate the corporate and political power elite on whom the institution depends for access and money. Those who master this duplicitous game do well. Those who cling tenaciously to a desire to tell the truth, even at a cost to themselves and the institution, become a management problem. This creates tremendous friction within the paper. I knew reporters with a conscience who would arrive at the paper and vomit in the restroom from nervous tension before starting work.

    http://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/item/the_myth_of_the_new_york_times_in_documentary_form_ 20110706/

     

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    Endtimer (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 10:43am

    Re: For all the trolls... I agree with you

    No, but there are other, less invasive solutions then SOPA/PIPA that could be used to help curve piracy. Off the top of my head, I've heard reports of the special 'acedemy viewing only' copies of movies making their way onto the pirate bay. Why not put serial numbers or barcodes into, say every 16th or 34th frame of those copies, so if one does surface a production company can narrow down whose copy was leaked, and investigate appropriatly. What if, by law, companies that manufactured cameras or phones so that when they started recording they had to make a loud and obvious noise, and maybe even repeat the noise every 10 or 15 minutes (this would also be good from a privacy standpoint against peeping toms and such). No, we can never totally prevent piracy, but we can do alot more then just throw our hands up and say "Well, suck it Hollywood."

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's a silly argument because it puts the onus on the victim of piracy. It'd be like if you lived on an orchard and someone kept stealing your apples. When you called the police, rather than try to catch the thief, they said "Well, you have a whole orchard and he only steals a few, mostly the ones you wouldn't sell anyway. Have you considered opening up your orchard to the public and charging admission to let them take the apples? Perhaps even put ladders near every tree so they're more accessible during the day? That might make them less likely to steal."

    Actually, that analogy is completely wrong. With copyright infringement no one is stealing your apples at all. You still have them. A closer analogy (closer, but not perfect since apples are a finite resource) would be that I bought the land next to you and I open a orchard that is in competition against you. Instead of simply offering apples for sale, you now have attract customers with extra benefits and services, because I am selling my apples much cheaper than you are.

    The other element you are missing is human nature. Yes, people want the best bargain they can find. But, when it comes to the arts, most want to contribute to the artist, if for no other reason than the hope that the artist will continue to make art they like. The best solution to piracy is to offer your product as easily and convenient as they can get the illegal version at a reasonable price. Most people would prefer to give the artist the money in a case like that. Netflix is prime example of that.

     

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    Franklin G Ryzzo (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 10:48am

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

    As for your friends that download recent releases, how many of them would spend money, and how much do you think they would spend on these products if they weren't available for download?

    Availability isn't the only force that drives piracy, but it on of the main forces that will convert downloaders who are actually willing to pay into paying customers. The artificial release windows drive paying customers to pirate because they don't have the product available through a legitimate channel. People who pirate because they don't want to pay are not the industries customers and no amount of availability will ever change that. The goal of the industry should be to stop lost sales and not focus on people who aren't going to do business with them in the first place.

     

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    dgingras (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 10:50am

    Billboard report

    Here's the complete Billboard Report that Porter referenced.

    Missing from Porter's NYT article is that in addition to the 5.8 million physical Adele albums that were sold, there were 1.8 million digital sales of the same album. In contrast, there were 14.247 million sales of her digital tracks.

    The numbers are similar for all the top artists and seem to show a preference for tracks over albums.

     

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    Lowestofthekeys, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 10:55am

    Re: Movie attendance is up, on my couch

    ^This plus if you have a family it is much cheaper to order a VoD movie then deal with the loss of cash and hustle and bustle of a theater.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm ignoring the fact that the analogy fails by equating piracy with theft, as Gwiz addresses that pretty nicely above. I'll go with the analogy anyway, jsut for the sake of argument.

    The orchard owner is dealing with people stealing his apples. Nonetheless, he is not allowed to sprinkle his orchard with land mines and ring it with automatically targeting machine guns to keep the thieves out. This is not a silly prohibition because that solution causes harm that is disproportionate to the harm caused by the theft and dramatically increases the chances that innocent others will be harmed.

    The orchard owner has to find another solution. It may very well be that the other solution is a change to marketing or other business practices. A bit like how supermarkets must accept that they will have things shoplifted from their stores, and have adapted their business model to accommodate that.

    Your point about putting the onus on the victim is a bit of a red herring. Every victim of everything has the onus of whatever wrong they suffered put on them. That's what makes them a victim.

    In this case, however, I'm not even talking about putting the onus of anything on anybody. I'm talking about the cold, hard reality that to be successful, a business mus operate in the environment in which they exist. If they cannot change that environment using methods that at a minimum do little harm to society at large, then they must adapt their business to that environment instead. It's really just basic logic.

    In the case of piracy, adapting to the environment is actually smart. It's the least costly and most effective way of addressing the issue.

    This does not even mean that the business must embrace or approve of piracy, although at least in some cases they may gain more if they do. It only means running the business in a way that works best in the world in which it exists.

     

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    Wayne Andersen (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 11:03am

    While box-office revenues have benefited from rising ticket prices, movie attendance has been steadily declining.

    I cannot be the only one to look at this sentence and wonder why fewer people might be going to take in the latest Hollywood remake?

    Same theater, same recycled content, same high priced food, the exact same experience year after year but at a higher price.

    Don't need to be an economist to see a problem there.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 11:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "There's a huge ethical issue."

    Perhaps so, but that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about how you can realistically operate in the real world.

    Besides, the people who fight piracy because of the ethical issue the hardest actually set up opposing ethical issues. They fight because the are Right, but the nature of their fight victimizes others who are doing nothing wrong. So they are committing their own ethical sins in the name of ethics.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 11:07am

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

    vote them out this november

    No, you're talking about politicians. Only politicians can be voted in/out. Bureaucrats cannot be voted out, and they overwhelmingly run the government. And very few of them get booted when new politicians take over.

     

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    Endtimer (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 11:08am

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

    Well, aside from most of my friends telling you that most of my friends download music illegally because there's just so much out there, here are some of the studies I've found

    http://www.sitepoint.com/why-people-pirate-software/

     

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    Torg (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 11:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That may sound ridiculous, but when I decide which apple orchard to visit, I consistently go to the one with ladders and an admission price. It's annoying when Appleflix doesn't have the particular apple I'm looking for, but there's a whole orchard to choose from. I'll still buy the occasional apple individually every now and then if it looks particularly juicy, but for the most part I avoid them.

    And even that aside, if the apple farmer ever gets to the point where he wants to search everyone's houses in order to make sure they don't have any stolen apples, set fire to the area around any tree he finds that was grown from one of his apple cores, and put razor blades in his apples in the hope that the thieves will cut their mouths, that is the apple farmer's fault and a good indication that he's starting to become unstable.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It is easier and more people do it because it is easier. They wanted to do it before, but were hindered by waiting for the DJ (though now you can almost bet when the song will be played, thanks to corporate radio control).

    I would not call it a 'cultural change' because that culture already existed. I'd call it a cultural expansion.

    The waters have been diluted, there is a great deal of music out there, so much that it can be difficult to find what you're after. However, if you are patient you can find EXACTLY what you are after, instead of what was being offered. Sorta like the fast food joints, BK and McD's offer you a choice, Harvey's is like "whatcha want?" and while you wait longer at Harvey's because they are making it, you get what you want.

    Right now we have an even playing field. Everyone has to work hard to compete, not just with major label music, but really talented musicians, video games, movies, ebooks, etc... If you have the creativity, you can make a viral video and be heard. If you are "awesome" like Louis CK and embrace file sharing (if Louis could have used my idea of linking to the Torrent files - seeing I think, have to look this up -- could have saved himself on bandwidth and server hardware costs) and be creative and mostly, make it EASY to pay for and acquire your material, you will benefit.

    And if you want others to buy, give reasons to. Connect with your fans, even if there are only five. Connect and embrace and make it easy. Be creative.

    I'm a cyclist (musician, engineering graduate etc..), I was thinking of using Google+ as a means of connecting with fans that are cyclists. You ride your own machines, no promotion (but could I suppose) but you chat and cheer each other on. How cool is that as a fan, cycling with your fav musician? And maybe call an ambulance for me when I push up the simulated hills and hit 208 beats per minute heart rate again and then pass out.

    I'd also host cooking hangouts, preparing the same dishes together via Google+. Free. But it's a bonus to fans. You chat while cooking.

    Impromptu concerts, etc... plenty of ideas.

    Here's the thing, don't keep using the same ideas, you have different fans, come up with ideas so each fan gets a connection. Could be canoeing or hiking or picnic or maybe even just simple like a Google+ hangout (I am NOT promoting Google, it's just a free thing and does anyone use MSN anymore, besides me?) and watching a movie, providing hilarious commentary (each participant has a copy of the movie playing in synch). Maybe even reciting or acting small scenes out for laughs.

    With this you give people a reason to buy and you save money by using the networks like P2P or bitTorrent to your advantage, no license/tax/levy required.

     

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  79.  
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    Endtimer (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 11:14am

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

    For some reason my other post got cut off when i try to post multiple links, so I apologise but I'm gonna have to multipost

    I especially like the second page of this when it states that while many people site price as a factor, another factor is a sort of devaluing of digital media and software. I guess it's harder for humans to wrap our brains around the value of a product that we can't touch and theoretically can make infinite copies of.

    http://computer.howstuffworks.com/pirate-software.htm

     

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  80.  
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    Endtimer (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 11:15am

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

     

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  81.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "People are breaking the law"

    When you're dealing with a situation where there seems to be widespread disregard or disrespect for a law, at some point in your analysis, you might want to spare a few moments to think about that law itself. Laws were all written by mortals, for all kinds of reasons, not all deserving respect. The connection between the law and morality can sometimes be very weak indeed. In a well-functioning democracy, the laws should be exactly what the majority of people want - no more, and no less. Especially for copyright, I would have to say its extremely dishonest (and stupid) simply to say, "People are breaking the law", without at least acknowledging how that law contradicts what a large part of the population sees as moral or ethical.

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 11:29am

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

    5% "because they can" the remaining 95% is not because "there's just so much out there."

     

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  83.  
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    Torg (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re:

    Obama is a Democrat. Democrats are liberal. People in Hollywood also call themselves liberal. Therefore, any defense of Hollywood is also in support of Obama. QED

     

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  84.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 11:32am

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

    BSA is known for not listening to the real reasons, your first link illustrates the real reasons people take for free better than this does.

     

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  85.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 11:33am

    Since when is art about money? I know that society connects financial greed to everything now, but art doesnt have to be part of it. Vincent Van Gogh never hit a huge payday but is considered one of the best artists ever. If they, the so called "artists", want to get rich they should go into banking. I cant believe a word of what is said when someone refers to the Backstreet Boys as artists.

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 11:37am

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

    This affirms what has already been mentioned, the laws are out of touch with reality, obsolete if you will.

    Only legacy content providers who do not want to adapt (anytime actually) with changing technology fight it and think the laws are not strict enough.

    The point from this article is they do not respect the law because they law does not respect them (and those who wrote it, Hollywood/labels don't respect their consumers - they want sheep who pay for whatever is released).

    Look at the history of MPCC and how they went about business and why people flocked to the soon-to-be-Hollywood movies instead of MPCC's (Edison's Trust conglomerate). Look at WHY!

    Now look at what's been the business practice of the labels and studios - the same damn thing! They are acting just the same, releasing only what they expect to make steady profits for the lowest cost. Just like the MPCC's policies.

    There's no art or value in that and the "products" they produce are directly derided in art and value as a result.

    Cheers!

     

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  87.  
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    Endtimer (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 11:40am

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

    Wow, where to begin. Let's start with the whole theft isn't piracy arguement. I may still have the product, but I invested my time and money into the making of it. I planted the seeds, I watered the tree and I sprayed it for pesticides. When you pirate the movie/steal the apple you are essentially getting the fruits of my labour (pun intended) for free. Weather I still have my original product or not isn't the point. The point is I got nothing for my troubles, leading me to ether scale back (in the case of say a record label that could mean less support for new and upcoming artists) or close down entirely.

    Now, the orchard owner may not be allowed to set up landmines, but if the situation got bad enough there is alot he can do. Build bigger and better fences, hire people to watch his orchard ect ect (he'd even have the legal right to shoot anyone he caught tresspassing). Moreover, he'd expect SOME help from local law enforcement, not for them to throwup their arms and say "Change you business model nub."

    Also, as I stated in an earlier post, you better be carefull about saying that this is the cold hard reality and we better get use to it. There are alot of antipirating techniques that can be used that either haven't been tried yet or haven't been used widespread enough. They won't solve the problem entirely but they'll mitigate it, along with good marketing stratagies like the ones people have been suggesting. If however we continue to shrug our shoulders and say 'meh, there's nothing that can be done about it,' then expect alot of over the top legistation like SOPA and PIPA, because as far the big media companies are concerned that would solve alot of the problem.

     

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    Torg (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: For all the trolls... I agree with you

    Putting barcodes into movies is, more or less, what usually happens with video game DRM. So people remove it. The bar codes would delay the piracy only for as long as it took for someone to write a program to find and remove bar code frames, or if they're unusually dedicated manually go through and remove the offending frames. And the movie would still be up before it left theaters.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 11:44am

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

    This study is a survey of European children. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that European children don't have the same spending power or access to legitimate, easily-purchasable content as your typical American consumer. I'm also going to assume most European children don't have credit cards. The only way for them to legitimately obtain content, even when it's readily available for a reasonable price, is to ask their parents to buy it for them. If their parents say no, their only option is to pirate. I fail to see how this supports your point, unless you're equating American consumers to European children.

    Also, this study is form 2007, when the widespread availability of legitimate outlets for online streaming content (Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Pandora, etc.) was very different from today. The market is different now. This "study" would not be something I would cite if I were looking to prove your point.

     

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    Endtimer (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 11:55am

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

    What do you mean legal issues should have no bearing on my business model? So if my competitor develops a superior product, should I be able to firebomb his factories or steal his finished product, repackage it and sell it as my own?

    And while we can argue about the issues of you reverse engineering my product, that's not quite the same as pirating a song or movie. It's not like the guys who made starwars uncut are trying to compete against George Lucus, or the most pirated downloaded song is a cover of Adele's Hometown Glory sung by an unknown artist on youtube, it's EXACT copies of much newer works. Even if they were, do you not think Robot Chicken had to get the rights from fox before they made their starwars spoof episode?

    See, I know it's kinda weird but in the states if your business model involves stealing/pirating someone else' work and then profiting off it, then the copyright holders have the right to sue you. I know, crazy!

     

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  91.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 11:57am

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

    This is a study of why people pirate software, which I'm not sure maps 1-to-1 across the board with why people pirate music/movies. But Harris's points actually support the theory that access and availability are among the most important, if not THE most important reasons for software piracy:

    "DRM – “People don’t like DRM, we knew that, but the extent to which DRM is turning away people who have no other complaints is possibly misunderstood. If you wanted to change ONE thing to get more pirates to buy games, scrapping DRM is it.

    "Ease – Writes Harris: “Lots of people claimed to pirate because it was easier than going to shops. Many of them said they pirate everything that’s not on [Valve's] Steam. Steam got a pretty universal thumbs up from everyone.” (Harris said that he would love to get his games on Steam, but it’s not open to everyone.)"

    And the pièce de résistance? Only 5% of the replies came from people who admitted that stealing games online was easy to do because it was easy to get away with.

     

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    Endtimer (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 11:59am

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

    Not neccassarily true, there are lots of solutions that will stop piracy without violating the rights of people who don't. I listed a few in a lower post so I wont repeat them here, but it's not impossible. Moreover, if we start addressing the problem rather then ignoring it, we have more highground when the big corperations try to ram stuff like ACTA down our throats.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 12:00pm

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

    Also, as I stated in an earlier post, you better be carefull about saying that this is the cold hard reality and we better get use to it. There are alot of antipirating techniques that can be used that either haven't been tried yet or haven't been used widespread enough. They won't solve the problem entirely but they'll mitigate it, along with good marketing stratagies like the ones people have been suggesting. If however we continue to shrug our shoulders and say 'meh, there's nothing that can be done about it,' then expect alot of over the top legistation like SOPA and PIPA, because as far the big media companies are concerned that would solve alot of the problem.

    The same can be said of any technique used to lock things down. Remember the link you gave me? Well DRM is a major no-no and that guy got it.

    Lock it down, go ahead, hell why not make it impossible to access the content and watch just how fast people say "fuck this" and spend their money elsewhere.

    You are not LISTENING to what people want. That's the whole point. People want what they want, when they want it, and where they want it. Any attempt to change that will simply turn paying customers into "thieves" because like many a paying gamer knows (PC games) you have to acquire the cracked version to PLAY the game you PAID for!

    Lock it down and we'll rebuild, work around etc... stop fighting and damn well listen to what we want.

    Do you honestly believe that locking it down is the only answer? If that's what politicians are pushed into, then the pushers don't understand and DO NOT DESERVE the consumer support. Good riddance as they fade away.

    Art and culture will survive just fine without their attempts to monetize everything and lock it down so it has to be monetized. Culture will not be monetized. Understand it and LISTEN to what the people want!

    You will have a far better financial future.

    And You can shut down the Internet, it won't stop the file sharing. Nothing will stop the sharing of culture.

    You'll definitely shoot yourself in the foot.

    Um.. you do have a strong sense of entitlement though. Because you laboured you deserve to be paid? You do know that most apple seeds produce apples that are not editable right? You have to graft the tree to make an editable apple.

    That aside, if you forget to graft, labour, and no one wants your apples it is your loss. If you provide apples people kinda want but lack flavour and juice and charge what YOU think you should be paid to everyone, except the people who you refuse to make them available too (other than the true thieves who steal from EVERYONE regardless of price or offerings - but those are ACTUALLY FEW IN NUMBERS), then it is your loss if you don't sell your apples.

    You only want one stand on your street, then you are not catering the apple lovers on other streets who can't make it to your street because you live in a gated community.

    Let's not forget your many crops too where you forgot to graft your trees, ugh, those were horrible. Who eats blue apples that are only good for moonshine? But you feel you should be paid for those terrible crops too?


    I hope this helps bring your analogy a little closer to reality.

     

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    The eejit (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 12:09pm

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

    But bureaucrats can be buried alive...

     

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    Torg (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 12:09pm

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

    While the bigger fences and patrols were apparently a problem for some people, the real problem is that now that they didn't work, it turns out the orchard was built next to a highway and the farmer has been trying to push through legislation to demolish the highway in order to make room for a crocodile-filled moat around his orchard. It'll seriously interfere with the average commuter and interstate commerce, but at least the thieves will need to develop bridge technology before they can steal any more apples.

    An apple farmer does have the right to protect his own property, but there comes a point where you have to stop and think about whether or not the apples are really worth it. We are at that point.

     

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  96.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 12:10pm

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

    People have been addressing it, every cool new technological breakthrough idea for sharing and paying the artists has been crippled or crushed because the backing company hasn't the financial means to scare away "big content."

    Crap supported by the labels/studios is NOT what the people want, because no one creating it listened to the people. Everyone who listened was squeezed by the balls by the strong financial hands of MPAA/RIAA represented companies.

    Except Apple who has the cash to say "piss off Hollywood" but instead says "We'll work with you, but I ain't your bitch!"

     

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  97.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re:

    "Well to be fair it's always going to SOUND biased as long as the term for illegal downloaders is pirates. We should try and spread some new terminology around like "file sharers" or "copyright liberators" and see if they stick."

    I vote for "Merry Men".

     

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  98.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 12:14pm

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

    What do you mean legal issues should have no bearing on my business model? So if my competitor develops a superior product, should I be able to firebomb his factories or steal his finished product, repackage it and sell it as my own?

    Yeah, OK. I didn't word that quite right. What I meant is that it doesn't matter whether piracy is illegal or not. The simple fact is that it exists whether you like it or not. You can either spend your time and money playing whack-a-mole trying to stop it or you can create a business model that takes into account the fact that there is piracy and works whether it's there or not. Your choice.

     

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    Torg (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 12:18pm

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

    "Even if they were, do you not think Robot Chicken had to get the rights from fox before they made their starwars spoof episode?"

    I'm pretty sure parody is fair use, actually.

     

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    Marcus Carab (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 12:21pm

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

    The problem is that sweat of the brow does not automatically entitle you to profit. You need to match it with a business model that works.

    So let's try an analogy that actually makes sense: forget the orchard, and let's imagine you just have a garden. A really, really nice garden full of well-kept wildflowers. You tend it, and then you charge people admission to walk around inside and admire the view.

    But there's also a big hill in a public park right next to your garden. A lot of people spend time in the park, and they like to sit on top of the hill and gaze out over your beautiful garden - it's one of the public park's top attractions. People are enjoying the fruits of your labour without paying you. They do it because it's free, but also because it's easier, and because in fact several people have complained to you that there are no good high vantage points inside your garden, so the hill next door is actually a better way to enjoy your work.

    What is the solution to this problem? Do you demand a law that forces people to cover their eyes whenever they look towards your garden? Or do you accept that you have a flawed business model, and need to find new ways of getting people to pay you?

     

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  101.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 12:22pm

    Re:

    Let's add this: Madonna ticket prices, San Jose:

    Best seats - $358
    Great seats - $173
    Good seats - $93
    Seats - $48

    "seats" refers to anything that might be obstructed, behind stage, or similar.

    Not really working out, is it?

     

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  102.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 12:25pm

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

    "The problem is that sweat of the brow does not automatically entitle you to profit. You need to match it with a business model that works."

    Once again, we have to explain things slowly for you Marcus.

    Sweat of the brow entitles people to NOTHING, and in turn, it doesn't entitle you to take a copy for free or use it as the basis of your next opus.

    Nobody wants to be entitled to a profit, they just want a fair chance. If you don't like the business model, then don't buy it. But not licking the business model doesn't grant you permission to be an asshole pirate.

    WAKE THE FUCK UP ALREADY.

     

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  103.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 12:26pm

    Re:

    Since when is art about money? I know that society connects financial greed to everything now, but art doesnt have to be part of it. Vincent Van Gogh never hit a huge payday but is considered one of the best artists ever. If they, the so called "artists", want to get rich they should go into banking.

    I think you're right that art will carry on with or without money - even if 0% of artists made a living at it, people would still create art. But the societal question is: do we also want it to be possible for art to be a career? I say yes - though I suppose I can envision arguments for no, as well.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 12:29pm

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

    If you want a fair chance, listen to what the CONSUMERS want and you'll get your fair chance.

    Don't listen, do what YOU think THEY should do, and you have no reason to complain, it is your OWN fault.

    People sit at that hill enjoying your garden because you refuse to listen and provide a nice walk-way (and coffee shop and free gardening books including with walk-through price) that's elevated but close enough so people can smell the flowers (something they can't do from the hill).

    That's how you EARN profit via fair chance in today's reality!

     

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  105.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 12:31pm

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

    Did you not even read past the first line of my comment?

    GIVE THE FUCK UP ALREADY.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 1:02pm

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

    But not licking the business model doesn't grant you permission to be an asshole pirate.

    I never lick business models. Too many germs and they taste kinda funny.

    Umm. Not everyone who disagrees with the current state of copyright laws is an "asshole pirate". Take me for example, I pay for DirectTV, I pay for Netflix (twice even, because some my in family like watching on their laptops and some prefer DVD's), I occasionally will buy a movie on DVD (if I have seen it and I think it's worth owning), I still occasionally buy CD's even (old stuff usually), I purchase computer games, I put my eyes on TV ads and my ears on radio spots.

    My problem with current copyright laws is two-fold. First, the escalation of copyright laws and enforcement is encroaching on my free speech rights and my privacy. Those are two things I will fight to the death for. Second, is the fact that the original deal between creators and the public is broken beyond belief. That complete tilting of the scales of balance towards the creators has offended my inherent sense of fairness.

     

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  107.  
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    Upshot Baker, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 1:25pm

    Re:

    Van Gogh?!?! Are you serious.

    The man lived his whole life in broken misery. He tried to murder Gauguin. He spent his his later years in and out of mental institutions *and then* he killed himself with a bullet.

    That's your example? Jesus wept... I feel like Professor Farnsworth when I read stuff like this: "I don't want to live on this planet anymore."

     

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  108.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 1:38pm

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

    "If you don't like the business model, then don't buy it. But not licking the business model doesn't grant you permission to be an asshole pirate."

    And nobody has said otherwise.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 1:45pm

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

    "Weather I still have my original product or not isn't the point."

    If you are using the word "theft," then that is the point. It's not theft, not ethically, not logically, and not legally. It is infringement, and it is illegal, and it is immoral. But it's not theft.

    "(he'd even have the legal right to shoot anyone he caught tresspassing)"

    In my state, he would go to prison for doing this. Your state may differ, I suppose, but if so then I'm awfully glad I don't live in your state.

    "Moreover, he'd expect SOME help from local law enforcement, not for them to throwup their arms and say "Change you business model nub.""

    And that is the situation with copyright law right now, so I'm not sure of your point here.

    "If however we continue to shrug our shoulders and say 'meh, there's nothing that can be done about it,'"

    And nobody is saying this either. What we're saying is that there are plenty of things that can be done about it that don't harm the copyright holders or the innocent public at large. So far, the major media companies are extremely resistant to trying any of those things. They'd rather do things like SOPA and PIPA, which not only fail to address the problem but harm both them and everyone else.

     

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  110.  
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    ben, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 2:30pm

    If I buy a cd its legal to loan it to a friend. It is legal to make a backup copy in case my original, paid for , cd is ruined. I can record music from the radio. How is it possible to steal something that people put out for public use? If someone is disabled and do not pay taxes is it theft if they walk on the sidewalks that they didnt pay for?

     

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  111.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 3:26pm

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

    While everyone on Techdirt lies about why they pirate, there are some places where people are honest about their behavior:

    http://bored.knockknockrecords.com/index.php/topic,142290.0.html

     

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  112.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Re: But...But...$100 Million Movie!

    Silly troll, no movie that cost 100M to make ever turned a profit! Haven't you seen their accounting sheets?

    Heh, according to their accounting sheets, very few movies turn a profit, whether they are 100M or 100K.

     

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  113.  
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    JMT (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 3:51pm

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

    "Nobody wants to be entitled to a profit, they just want a fair chance."

    Actually, given the constant and unrelenting pressure to expand copyright in both length and scope, it's hard not to come to the conclusion that copyright supporters do feel entitled to a profit, certainly far more profit than many believe they deserve. If you knew your copyright history you'd know that the original "fair chance" has become grossly unfair to the public.

    "If you don't like the business model, then don't buy it. But not licking the business model doesn't grant you permission to be an asshole pirate."

    Pro tip: Calling potential customers "asshole pirates" tends to make them less interested in giving you money, not more.

    And why should we care about a business model that has been made obsolete by significant changes in technology and societal attitudes? Perhaps it's you who should "wake the fuck up already" and adapt to the way things really are.

     

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  114.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 4:43pm

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

    Congrats, you found some of the 5%.

    Nice ad hominem attack "While everyone on Techdirt lies about why they pirate..." to begin your argument.

    Great way to start trolling for emotional responses.

     

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  115.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 4:45pm

    Re: Re: For all the trolls... I agree with you

    So your argument to stop piracy is to make the experience worse for legitimate users? Um, that's the reason a lot of people switch to piracy.

    The barcode idea has already been done. Reviewers started lowering their scores due to the lowered viewing experience.

    The noise laws are already around in places. Modifying those devises to remove the annoying noises is easy. Plus, people buy your product less due to the lowered usage experience.

    Look, Oldtimer, making your product worse is not an answer to piracy, it's a cause. Forcing others to make their products worse is also not an answer to your piracy "problem", it's a direct challenge to the pirates. Making your product better/easier is the answer.

     

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  116.  
    identicon
    Michael, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I have to say though, I don't agree at all with the assessment that a lack of good music is the problem. That might be your personal opinion, but people are listening to more music than ever before, and that disproves it: the definition of "good" music is music that people want, and people still want the hell out of what's being released."

    I'll have to stop you right there. I didn't say that there is no longer any good music; I said that there's an obvious lack of new quality music coming from the major labels.

     

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  117.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Re:

    Actually, he makes a damn good point. Van Gogh's mental state is irrelevant to the argument. He would have ended up much the same way if he went into banking and had money.

     

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  118.  
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    Karl (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:07pm

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

    While everyone on Techdirt lies about why they pirate

    Well then, why are you lying about why you pirate?

    I lie about it because I only pirate porn of female-to-male transsexuals dressed as Abraham Lincoln, and I don't want anyone to find out.

    ...Oh, crap.

    there are some places where people are honest about their behavior:

    Interesting. There were plenty of posts about how they pirate, but there was only one post in that entire thread saying why that person pirates. Here it is:
    Because of my vision it's hard to watch tv on a regular tv but with my monitor i'm able to adjust the size to fit my needs.

    Winner of a rebuttal there, buddy.

     

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  119.  
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    Karl (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It'd be like if you lived on an orchard and someone kept stealing your apples.

    No, it's like someone buying one of your apples, then taking the seeds and planting a tree in their back yard. Then you coming over with the police, cutting my tree down, and kicking me out of my house.

    This is neither an exaggeration, nor theoretical. It is exactly how Monsanto enforces their patents.

     

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  120.  
    identicon
    William Cox, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:12pm

    All the News That's What?

    What credibility?

     

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  121.  
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    Jay (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:25pm

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

    This is neither an exaggeration, nor theoretical. It is exactly how Monsanto enforces their patents.

    Yes... And we gave this company access to the world seed vault to preserve horticulture.

     

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

  122.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:34pm

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

    I went looking for those seven albums cash in hand, ready to pay. I'll admit that two were available as imports for about $60, which is unacceptable for me (I've never even heard these albums before).

    I pay for music all the time.

    The lack of availability is a major driving force behind piracy, and once they get used to finding things that aren't available on pirate sites, it's pretty easy to just grab more and more.

     

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

  123.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:35pm

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

    and I will lobby the government as soon as I save up a few million dollars.

     

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

  124.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 10:56pm

    Re:

    Have you read Peter Tschmuck's The Economics of Music File Sharing – A Literature Overview? I ask not to challenge your conclusion, but because I know Terry Hart at Copyhype was brandishing it as vindicating Liebowitz. It apparently looks at 22 studies and finds that 14 conclude unauthorized downloads have a “negative or even highly negative impact” on recorded music sales.

    I've read it -- and I think it actually supports my position: yes, for stupid companies who don't change with the market, yes there's a problem. But it's not file sharing that's causing the problem, it's file sharing that's demonstrating that they failed to change.

    I'm sure a century ago we could have produced the same studies showing that the automobile was the sole cause for the decline in horse carriage sales. That wouldn't mean that we'd want to outlaw the automobile. Instead, we'd expect the carriage makers to adapt.

    What we've seen -- repeatedly -- is that any time an artist or label does adapt and embraces what fans want, they DO BETTER. That says that it's not "file sharing" that's the problem. It's the unwillingness to adapt. That leads to file sharing.

    In other words, it's a correlation issue, not a causation issue. Economists should know better. But they often don't.

     

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  125.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 11:47pm

    Re: Re:

    Flat out false.

    iTunes, Amazon, Spotify are all available in the US, and haven't stemmed piracy in the US one iota.

    Why do you lie about this issue when it is obvious to everyone that you're wrong?

     

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

  126.  
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    PaulT (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 2:06am

    Re: Re:

    What, specifically, is wrong with the example apart from his mental state? He's an example of an artist who created many fantastic pieces of art despite having virtually no financial incentive to do so. That is, a person who shouldn't exist according to copyright maximalists.

    Sure, as a person he was a screwup, but is he really any worse than Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse in that respect?

     

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

  127.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 2:21am

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

    Ah, yes, "I found a thread online that fits my preconceived stereotype so I'll assume everyone else is lying". One of the fallbacks of disingenuous morons everywhere.

    Oh, and I've never "lied about why I pirate" because I don't pirate. I have, however, details huge numbers of things that block me from buying legitimate content. I'm honest about my behaviour, you idiots just ignore me because I don't fit the strawman you wish to attack.

     

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  128.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 2:24am

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

    And you know these are honest because?

     

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  129.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 2:29am

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

    Wether I still have my original product or not isn't the point.

    Oh, but it is as the "sweat of the brow"-argument is null and void when it comes to IP. And the fact that you still do have the fruit of your labour is what makes all the difference when it comes to how people feel about taking it without paying you.

     

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

  130.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 2:29am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "iTunes, Amazon, Spotify are all available in the US, and haven't stemmed piracy in the US one iota."

    1. Citation needed, as usual. Especially with something like Spotify - did you honestly expect an instant change in consumer habits over less than 6 months? You also need to take into account the effect of VPNs, proxies and other systems that could fool regional IP collections (e.g. someone using a VPN to access the Hulu service they're not otherwise allowed to view, but not turning it off while torrenting).

    2. I notice that you've deliberately left out at least one service whose traffic can be shown as having a major effect in a short amount of time (Netflix). What's the matter, finally becoming aware that evidence does not meet your assumptions?

    3. Most of the "foreign rogue sites" you people are so scared of exist purely because most countries aren't as well served as the US. Perhaps instead of trying to slice up the world into convenient chunks and pretending that one set of information is all that matters, you should look at the entire market.

    "Why do you lie about this issue when it is obvious to everyone that you're wrong?"

    You might do well to explain yourself first, since you're the habitual liar.

     

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  131.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 2:33am

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

    Even if they were, do you not think Robot Chicken had to get the rights from fox before they made their starwars spoof episode?

    So what harm would the Star Wars brand have suffered without being asked first?

     

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  132.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 2:35am

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

    We have moral highground already. Last time I checked it wasn't my job to come up with solutions to any coportions problem. But I do consider it my job to protest when rights are taken away from the public.

     

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

  133.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 3:28am

    Re: Re: Re: But...But...$100 Million Movie!

    very few movies turn a profit,

    Wouldn't that be "none at all"?

     

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

  134.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 4:42am

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

    More padding. I can keep going if you'd like.

    First of all, when a supposedly "journalistic" article uses loaded words like "justify," "rationalize," and "excuse" - rather than "give reasons for" - you know it's bound to be a crock.

    Second of all, there is no link to this "major European Commission survey," nor does it even mention who conducted it. So there is no way to look at the actual survey, nor the underlying data - for all we know, it might not even exist.

     

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

  135.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 4:50am

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

    And we gave this company access to the world seed vault to preserve horticulture.

    Worse: We made Monsanto's VP head of the Food and Drug Administration.

     

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

  136.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 4:54am

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

    "aside from most of my friends telling you that most of my friends download music illegally because there's just so much out there"

    Your anecdotes based on your limited circle of friends prove nothing.

    "here are some of the studies I've found"

    Where? I don't see any study on that link, I see a 4 year old blog post where a single developer raised a question on his own blog. Whatever questions are asked there are going to be skewed, and the audience equally unrepresentative.

    Is this what you call a conclusive study, honestly?

     

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  137.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 5:01am

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

    No offence, but you're really not very good at critically thinking about the articles you're using to base your judgement upon, are you?

    That's an uncited news report of a study based on children in the EU for nearly 5 years ago, with no information about who did the study, let alone what the methodology was. As another poster comments, you don't even know if the study really exists from the information in that article, let alone if it's an unbiased, reliable source. That 5 years is enough for the marketplace to have changed completely, especially in the targeted area of Europe where services like Netflix still don't exist in many areas. On top of that, the target demographic listed there is children, which hardly accounts for the entirety of people who pirate.

    You're not proving your point here.

     

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

  138.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 5:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I just spent 10 minutes trying to find studies that support your statement. While they usually lists those types of factors as main reasons, the main reason seems to be cost."

    Do you want to link to any of these - actual studies, not the random assortment of uncited blog posts and press releases you seem to have gathered below? I don't want to argue too much, but to be honest most of your argument so far seems to be "I know people who download because it's free and I've found a few random webpages that reinforce this assumption", rather than any actual reasoning.

    Even then, you admit that there are other factors. Why should these be ignored?

     

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  139.  
    icon
    Torg (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:28am

    Re:

    I look at that and see "rising prices and decreased demand, isn't that basic economics?" I'm not an economist, but it seems weird to assume that the rising prices and decreased attendance have nothing to do with each other.

     

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

  140.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:31am

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

    And you know these are honest because?

    Because they confirm his position!

     

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  141.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I guess so, but it still seems like a LOT of people want a LOT of the music coming from the majors - so who am I to say it's low quality just because I don't like it?

     

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

  142.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:53am

    Re:

    Wait - you think it's harder for acts to break out of their region in the internet era than it used to be? That's... insane. You are acting like everything was peachy for new musicians pre-internet, but I think you know that's not true.

     

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

  143.  
    icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 8:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: But...But...$100 Million Movie!

    Wouldn't that be "none at all"?

    Probably. I was trying to be kind and giving the industry the benefit of the doubt that they weren't all greedy trolls.

     

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

  144.  
    identicon
    Me, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:21am

    It was sarcasm

    And you're the troll if you don't agree with him as fogbugzd is right on the money.

     

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

  145.  
    icon
    rkhalloran (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:37am

    Re: evil torrents

    The movie/music industries may have failed to realize the value in torrents, but I know the usual torrent network ports have to be available on my machine for WoW to run its updates...

    A lot of torrent sites require registration; a subscription site, run by , allowing torrents of their media products, would let them distribute easily and offload most of the bandwidth requirements to their customer base.

     

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

  146.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 2:23pm

    This seems to be a debate about the rich becoming richer. The artists make most of their money in ways other than selling cds. The only people making less are the already wealth record companies. If a musician gave away his music he could then sell more concert ticket and liscensed items like shirts. Look at the band Kiss to see how a musician can get rich. The middle men are the only ones hurt, not the creator of the art and not the consumer of it. The record industry extinction is on the horizon. It is a business model that worked for around 100 years, not before and not after. Maybe people of the future will wonder why there was a small window of history when people had to pay for music.

     

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

  147.  
    icon
    Aaron Silvenis (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:44pm

    Appetite for Destruction - Corporate Cannibalization and Major Record Labels

    One thing not to overlook is the sheer decline in outlets to purchase the physical product, leading potential consumers to an online ecosystem that offers several options to acquire new music.

    The days of Mall outlets like Record Town and Sam goody, as well as local indie stores are long gone. Even the big box stores that labels whored themselves out to - at a devastating cost to indie outlets - have significantly reduced the retail space for music.

    As a result, those seeking all but the most generic of titles have no other place to turn but the digital atmosphere, regardless of preference for the quality and (occasionally) legality of the avenue.

    There is also a certain distrust consumers hold towards major label a a result of the way the labels have entered the digital marketplace kicking and screaming. From (1) Price-fixing CD's [after a successful FTC prosecution] (2) the Sony root kit disaster and especially, (3) Major label collusion [and corresponding DOJ investigation] in online music licensing markets; the hesitancy of these companies to embrace digital distribution has been done on the backs of consumers.

    Theses decisions have consequences and the most recent SOPA protests are yet another inscription on the epitaphs of these corporate monsters.

    Acta est fabula.

     

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


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