It's Amazing The Lengths 'Music Supporters' Will Go To In Trying To Trash Success Stories

from the and-sad dept

One thing I often find amazing in debates and discussions about new business models for content creators and artists, is how those of us who are often (falsely) accused of "hating" artists cheer on and celebrate the creative success stories, while those who position themselves as "defenders of artists rights" are often spew all sorts of vile and hatred towards those artists who find unique and amazing paths to success. Take, for example, the case of Amanda Palmer. I won't bother to link to one (somewhat well known) individual (a lawyer, of course) within the entertainment industry, who simply doesn't deserve the publicity, but he publicly dismissed Palmer's massively successful Kickstarter campaign by suggesting that it was entirely based on the fact that she was (1) once on a label (2) has a famous husband (who this person believes, incorrectly, is running a copyright reform group) and most ridiculous of all (3) that he "wouldn't be surprised" if it turned out that Google was really behind her success. If you know anything about any of this, you would know that all of that is paranoid rantings that have no basis in reality.

Other claims might not go that far, but they do seem to go to great lengths to attack Palmer's success here, with reasoning that doesn't hold up under much scrutiny. Take, for example, the long and rambling argument of Daniel Brockman, suggesting that Palmer's success here does not bode well for the future of the music industry because (and really, the leap of logic here is astounding) using Kickstarter is similar to using a SuperPAC:
the Internet has allowed artists and fans to have a more direct relationship, but it has also given artists a more direct way to shake their fans upside down for pocket change. Much has been made of the fact that, in the traditional model, the $14.99 you plunked down for a CD at Sam Goody resulted in a pittance actually finding its way to the artist’s pocket. But if you give that money directly to the artist, don’t you now have a greater say in what music that artist makes? The traditional model allows artists to do their thing, with the label as an intermediary between the artist and the desires of fans. Without that intermediary, fans can and probably should feel free to express their opinions on the work that they are paying for directly.

What this may mean is that a small, rich, vocal cabal of music fans could grow to have an undue impact on the way music progresses, as artists within this direct patronage model have to appease those that put food on their table. I can’t help but see this as not dissimilar from the way that election fundraising has developed in recent years; in a sense, Kickstarter success stories like Palmer’s are the Super PACs of the music world. Think about it: someone like Newt Gingrich, for example, should have been out of the race a long time ago, except that he had the massive financial backing of an extremely small and extremely wealthy group of backers. Were he to be successful in his bid, he would be completely in the debt of those that paid for him to be there-- and the less people that pay for him to be in that position of power, the worse it is for everyone, right?
Brockman supports this position by claiming that these few "big donors" have too much power. Of course, the math doesn't really show that. The "small donors" add up to quite a bit of money here. Furthermore, it seems kind of insulting and ridiculous to claim that this is "shaking fans upside down." The whole reason that these models work so well is that they let fans support artists at a level with which they are most comfortable. That's not shaking fans upside down. In economics, it's called differentiating your market, and it's a sign of a good business.

Furthermore, this whole theory seems to be based on the idea that fans "don't get anything" out of supporting artists they love. He seems to be at a complete loss as to why anyone would pay for anything if they weren't getting money back. To wit:
I guess the head-scratching aspect here, for me, is who are these people giving thousands of dollars? In the traditional record label model, investors give money to the label, the label finds talent and songs and matches them up together, and that investor money is spread out amongst a roster of artists; most of those artists lose money for the label but then the label will hit on a Mariah Carey or a Nickelback and make back enough money to recoup any losses. The investors are re-paid, the artists are paid (barely, maybe), and the label retains dough to keep the thing going. In this Kickstarter model, though, there aren’t investors, there are only donors; meaning that the artist isn’t beholden to the label, but is instead in some manner beholden to the donor.
It's as if he's never recognized that people get all sorts of value and benefits in the non-monetary fashion. It's as if he ignores all of the great things that Amanda provides the fans who pay up. It's as if he ignores the fact that people aren't supporting Amanda specifically because of the dollar value of the return, but because they want to support Amanda. And they get value in that fact alone. This is the kind of thing you would think the defenders of "the rights of artists" would embrace. It highlights just how much fans really value artists. But, for some reason, it seems to make them really upset -- perhaps because it shows how much the fans value the artists, rather than the gatekeepers who used to take most of the money.

There's nothing head-scratching about fans supporting the artists they love. There's no reason to fear the "undue influence" of superfans. A big part of the reason they're superfans in the first place is because they absolutely love what comes from the artist's own creative work, and they're actually pretty loathe to tamper with that. Contrast that to the traditional record deal, wherein there is a single entity, who usually has overwhelming control over the direction of the product, and only has one thing in mind: how can it profit the most, rather than how can it create the most meaningful work.

Call me crazy, but I can't see an argument that suggests true fans supporting an artist creates worse output than a large corporate entity controlling the process. It seems bizarre to complain that artists won't get paid in the future, while also complaining that they aren't getting paid now because of piracy -- and then to complain even more when an artist figures out how to get paid.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), May 10th, 2012 @ 2:53pm

    Speaking of cabals...

    The mind boggles. I may have to stop reading Techdirt because Mike goes and quotes things so astoundingly insane that it breaks my brain. Please Mike, think of those without paradox-absorbing-crumple-zones.

    What this may mean is that a small, rich, vocal cabal of music fans could grow to have an undue impact on the way music progresses, as artists within this direct patronage model have to appease those that put food on their table.

    Replace one word here: "fans" to "executives" - and you'd have much of what was wrong with the recording industry for decades. And instead of most of the money from fans getting to the artists as with Kickstarter, almost nothing went from the executives to the artists (except for the miniscule number of superstars).

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Mason Wheeler, May 10th, 2012 @ 3:28pm

      Re: Speaking of cabals...

      Umm... that's exactly the point he made at the end of the article. Why are you calling him out on it as if it refutes his argument somehow?

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Dave Xanatos, May 10th, 2012 @ 3:37pm

        Re: Re: Speaking of cabals...

        I think you are mistaking agreement for argument. Easy to do. The words are very similar.

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Mason Wheeler, May 10th, 2012 @ 4:52pm

          Re: Re: Re: Speaking of cabals...

          *sigh*

          Not "argument" as in "disagreement." "Argument" as in "rhetorical argument," or the premise that the article is trying to advance.

           

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2012 @ 6:25pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Speaking of cabals...

            Now you seem to have explanation confused with argument. I'm not disagreeing with you, btw, just in case you might think I am...

             

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

          •  
            identicon
            Dave Xanatos, May 10th, 2012 @ 8:25pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Speaking of cabals...

            *sigh*

            Point: He seemed to be agreeing, not arguing. Not calling out, emphasizing. Not refuting, adding additional perspective. Hence your confusion.

            To wit:
            What this may mean is that a small, rich, vocal cabal of music executives could grow to have an undue impact on the way music progresses, as artists within this direct patronage model have to appease those that put food on their table.
            Phrasing the quote like this makes it obvious what is wrong with the music industry. The executives have undue influence on the direction of music. The exec's quote was easily refuted by showing the inherent hypocrisy.

             

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

            •  
              icon
              Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 11:49am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Speaking of cabals...

              Dave has my thinking right.

              I guess the sarcasm didn't come through on the first part, but my brain was still recovering from the astoundingly insane quote.

               

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

    •  
      icon
      Franklin G Ryzzo (profile), May 10th, 2012 @ 3:46pm

      Re: Speaking of cabals...

      Reading these quotes pretty much made my head explode too. I was so stunned that after I convinced my brain to return to it's cubicle and get back to work, that I actually had to look up this Brockman guy and find out who the hell he is and why anyone would value his opinion...

      My record so far is one for two... found out who he is, but still no evidence to suggest he matters... oh well.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2012 @ 2:19am

      Re: Speaking of cabals...

      Since there's a lot of great music on the internet that's done just for the joy of making it I wouldn't worry about the rich having an undue influence on music, provided the internet remains free and open.

       

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

  •  
    icon
    Richard (profile), May 10th, 2012 @ 3:19pm

    It's an old saying

    He who pays the piper calls the tune.

    It's a fact of life - always was true - always will be - except whe a middleman gets in the way!

    They'll be complaining about the law of gravity next!

     

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

    •  
      icon
      :Lobo Santo (profile), May 10th, 2012 @ 3:24pm

      Re: It's an old saying

      For many a year Gravity has been my greatest nemesis!!!

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        AB, May 10th, 2012 @ 3:35pm

        Re: Re: It's an old saying

        YES!! I say we start lobbying to have gravity made illegal. Think of all the damage done by gravity: heart attacks, short people not being able to play basket ball, sagging breasts... Factories can function far more efficiently with the constant burden imposed by gravity, without it we could eliminate world hunger (except for those people who obviously must want to be hungry), and stop all bad things. So let's get to work banishing gravity - we can start by charging people an extra fee for using it, and then go on to create trade agreements ensuring that other countries will do the same!

         

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

        •  
          icon
          :Lobo Santo (profile), May 10th, 2012 @ 3:38pm

          Re: Re: Re: It's an old saying

          On the other claw, once could argue that most places on the universe/galaxy have very little gravity, and here we are, sitting on an abundant supply of natural occurring gravity, and all we do is whine about skinned knees and "it's hard to make it to orbit".

          ;-P

          Sagging breasts though, that's a good idea. Let's outlaw gravity being able to affect breasts.

           

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2012 @ 6:56pm

          Re: Re: Re: It's an old saying

          Gravity doesn't stop people from playing basketball - it's pretty much the opposite!

          (And yes, I realize I'm nitpicking a comment made in jest, but that's just how I'm rolling right now...)

           

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2012 @ 9:51pm

      Re: It's an old saying

      No, no. You see, fans want to use money to influence the artists, this would make the artists sellouts that just want to just cater to the whims of a minority of rich fans. The labels are protecting the artists from this awful money, so that their creative vision remains intact. Thanks to the labels, the corrupting influence of the money never touches the artist.

       

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

      •  
        icon
        The Groove Tiger (profile), May 10th, 2012 @ 9:53pm

        Re: Re: It's an old saying

        Oops, forgot that I switched to private mode while surfing for porn, and that my login cookie wasn't active.

         

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2012 @ 3:20pm

    FTFY

    What this may mean is that a small, rich, vocal cabal of labels could grow to have an undue impact on the way music progresses, as artists within this label model have to appease those that put food on their table. I can’t help but see this as not dissimilar from the way that election fundraising has developed in recent years; in a sense, label success stories like Metallica are the Super PACs of the music world. Think about it: someone like Newt Gingrich, for example, should have been out of the race a long time ago, except that he had the massive financial backing of an extremely small and extremely wealthy group of backers. Were he to be successful in his bid, he would be completely in the debt of those that paid for him to be there-- and the less people that pay for him to be in that position of power, the worse it is for everyone, right?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    MrWilson, May 10th, 2012 @ 3:27pm

    "Much has been made of the fact that, in the traditional model, the $14.99 you plunked down for a CD at Sam Goody resulted in a pittance actually finding its way to the artist’s pocket. But if you give that money directly to the artist, don’t you now have a greater say in what music that artist makes? The traditional model allows artists to do their thing, with the label as an intermediary between the artist and the desires of fans. Without that intermediary, fans can and probably should feel free to express their opinions on the work that they are paying for directly."

    Because only studios, not artists, should be able to ignore what paying customers think!

     

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

    •  
      icon
      vegetaman (profile), May 10th, 2012 @ 5:26pm

      Re:

      It's almost as if we think that if we paid the artist directly for doing good work, they'd want to make more music for us to enjoy... Instead of the label saying they were losing them money, and the artist beholden to make an album like the industry wants instead of what they want.

       

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

  •  
    icon
    Keroberos (profile), May 10th, 2012 @ 3:34pm

    What this may mean is that a small, rich, vocal cabal of music fans could grow to have an undue impact on the way music progresses, as artists within this direct patronage model have to appease those that put food on their table.
    Isn't this what the producers and record labels have done almost since day one? Most art and music throughout history have been done by the artist to put food on the table for payment by some schmoe who wanted it done.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2012 @ 3:37pm

    the main problem being that those who are condemning what Palmer and other artists are achieving, shout their condemnation louder than anyone shouts the achievements. this is typical of how the entertainment industries 'play there games'. add to that game that the majority of the national media outlets are controlled by the same people that control the entertainment industries and we see why there is much less publicity for anything that displays independent artist success.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), May 10th, 2012 @ 3:40pm

    Ummm. In the past, fans would spend money on records, CDs, tapes, concerts, T-shirts and mugs -- and get ABSOLUTELY NOTHING BACK FOR THEIR INVESTMENTS.

    Enjoyment? I don't get it. Who cares about that? If there's no monetary return, what's it worth?

    Now, of course, you can expect a fast 2:1 back in short order if you invest wisely. Because, you know, that's what being a fan is all about.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Milton Freewater, May 10th, 2012 @ 5:23pm

      Re:

      "In the past, fans would spend money on records, CDs, tapes, concerts, T-shirts and mugs -- and get ABSOLUTELY NOTHING BACK FOR THEIR INVESTMENTS."

      Not true. They got records, CDs, tapes and T-shirts, which are resellable commodities even today.

      It's apples and oranges, really, but it's driven by the fact that MP3s are literally worthless. iTunes and Amazon customers pay for convenience and reliability, not product.

      Nobody has ever paid for enjoyment. Happiness comes with or without goods.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2012 @ 7:06pm

        Re: Re:

        Hmm - I don't know what you'd consider to be "paying for enjoyment", but the existence of bars and brothels would seem to indicate that people are willing to spend money on transient experiences which I'd assume they're finding enjoyable.

         

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

      •  
        icon
        PaulT (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 1:32am

        Re: Re:

        "Nobody has ever paid for enjoyment."

        Really?

         

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

      •  
        icon
        ltlw0lf (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 6:45am

        Re: Re:

        Not true. They got records, CDs, tapes and T-shirts, which are resellable commodities even today.

        I've got a couple Abba T-Shirts and CDs. How much do you think I can reasonably get from reselling them? I hope to make back my investment and would love to make twice the amount I bought them for.

        I also have some Creed CDs. Those ought to be worth at least three times what I bought for them. Yeah, good investment there.

        I am sorry, Fans don't resell CDs, T-Shirts, etc. Fans buy them to support the artist (though most of us are realizing the artist isn't getting much for them) to continue making music we want to listen to. MP3s may be worthless to you, but I think Creed CDs, T-Shirts, etc., are equally worthless. The only value they have to me is to support the music, and I suspect that is a common attitude you'll find outside of the music industry.

         

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

      •  
        icon
        ltlw0lf (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 6:47am

        Re: Re:

        Not true. They got records, CDs, tapes and T-shirts, which are resellable commodities even today.

        I've got a couple Abba T-Shirts and CDs. How much do you think I can reasonably get from reselling them? I hope to make back my investment and would love to make twice the amount I bought them for.

        I also have some Creed CDs. Those ought to be worth at least three times what I bought for them. Yeah, good investment there.

        I am sorry, Fans don't resell CDs, T-Shirts, etc. Fans buy them to support the artist (though most of us are realizing the artist isn't getting much for them) to continue making music we want to listen to. MP3s may be worthless to you, but I think Creed CDs, T-Shirts, etc., are equally worthless. The only value they have to me is to support the music, and I suspect that is a common attitude you'll find outside of the music industry.

         

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

    •  
      identicon
      JEDIDIAH, May 11th, 2012 @ 7:42am

      Overpriced Has B

      I dunno. I can pay $1000 for a couple of really good seats at a single concert of some 80s has-beens or I can spread that money around to new talent.

      That's a lot of potential new capital to go around.

       

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

  •  
    icon
    lavi d (profile), May 10th, 2012 @ 3:47pm

    What Next?

    What this may mean is that a small, rich, vocal cabal of music fans could grow to have an undue impact on the way music progresses...

    Would they call themselves the VCAA?

     

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

  •  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), May 10th, 2012 @ 3:49pm

    Hilarious

    Daniel Brockman is absolutely hilarious! It has to be intentional comedy. Such a densely packed arrangement of wrong cannot be simple misunderstanding.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Manabi (profile), May 10th, 2012 @ 3:50pm

    We've had the "super-fan" thing in the past, it worked fine

    I find it amusing that he's so worried about a few large donors having undo influence because... historically we've had something similar happen before. Back when the great classical composers were doing their thing the vast majority of them would be sponsored by one person, often a monarch. And somehow, even being horribly influenced by one "super fan", they managed to produce what are widely recognized as some of the greatest works of music ever made. That includes composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Handel, Mozart, etc.

    So what's the problem again?

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Richard (profile), May 10th, 2012 @ 3:55pm

      Re: We've had the "super-fan" thing in the past, it worked fine

      Yes but sometimes it was more of a crowd - eg the London Philharmonic Society commissioning Beethoven's 9th symphony.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      harbingerofdoom (profile), May 10th, 2012 @ 4:40pm

      Re: We've had the "super-fan" thing in the past, it worked fine

      apparently the problem is that if you give money DIRECTLY to an artist, you then are expected (rightly so) to say if you like the art thats being produced and then can influence an artist to make more art that you like.

      if you give money to a large corporation, you are (not quite so rightly so) expected to just shut your mouth about the art thats being produced and continue to fork over dollars and just OBEY.

      so when you boil it all down, apparently the actual problem is, we have brains and can think.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2012 @ 7:13pm

        Re: Re: We've had the "super-fan" thing in the past, it worked fine

        Yeah, the fact people have free will is a pretty major inconvenience for any number of businesses. Perhaps that's why they're lobbying so hard to get that addressed...

         

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

  •  
    icon
    sehlat (profile), May 10th, 2012 @ 4:05pm

    Real Objection to Kickstarter is: It undercuts the labels' control.

    And that's really what all the brouhaha is about.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Mike42 (profile), May 10th, 2012 @ 4:17pm

    I couldn't get past this part:

    most of those artists lose money for the label but then the label will hit on a Mariah Carey or a Nickelback and make back enough money to recoup any losses.
    The fact that he chose these two acts as "successes" shows how out of touch with reality he is.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2012 @ 7:26pm

      Re: I couldn't get past this part:

      If you don't care about anything other than money, I guess you can class those 'artists' as successful. It's a bit of a sad way to look at the world though.

      Honestly, listening to some of these people, you'd think money was some kind of physical force of nature, rather than a human-devised method of social control.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      PaulT (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 1:44am

      Re: I couldn't get past this part:

      To be fair, those acts are financially successful, and that seems to be all he cares about. They're also indicative of what the major labels are best at - bland, generic, radio-friendly, lowest-common-denominator fare that can be sold purely as a product, then discarded for a new model when sales drop.

      No wonder they don't get situations where people who are passionate about the art itself are inspired to support it, or situations where people choose what they actually want as opposed to whatever product is being pushed by the majors.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Rich Kulawiec, May 10th, 2012 @ 4:42pm

    Furthermore, this whole theory seems to be based on the idea that fans "don't get anything" out of supporting artists they love. He seems to be at a complete loss as to why anyone would pay for anything if they weren't getting money back.

    Apparently he's unfamiliar with the concept of "supporting the arts", which some people do because it pleases them to support the arts. What Kickstarter and similar do is to make it possible for the overwhelming majority of us who can't write $50,000 checks to each kick in $5 and thus collectively support artists merely because we want to. Not because we're getting something, not because we think it's an investment that will yield a profit, not because we want control of the artist, but because we think they (like Amanda Fucking Palmer) are cool people doing cool things and we'd like them to be able to do more without having to sell out to parasites, I mean, record company executives. (My apologies to any actual parasites reading this for the negative comparison.)

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      JEDIDIAH, May 11th, 2012 @ 7:46am

      Sticker shock.

      Precisely. I can support the production and release of public domain recordings of classic symphonic works for about as much money as it would cost to go see some 80s has-beens.

      Being a patron of the arts is not where the sticker shock is here.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    DMNTD, May 10th, 2012 @ 4:49pm

    Really..

    I think it's actually a romp that you guys REALLY think it's about money. It's about control, bottom line. Who gets to do what and why, the money is the straight jacket that binds the "artist". Stop looking at the []

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    DMNTD, May 10th, 2012 @ 4:54pm

    Silly thing ate my message...how quaint.

    (cont.) [] small picture and step back to get a view of the BIG PICTURE. The real argument is in the details and realizing how large of a beast you are dealing with.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Kevin Williams, May 10th, 2012 @ 5:47pm

    These suits are out of a job...

    ...but they're going down swinging aren't they? Fuckers. I'm going to go contribute to AP's Kickstarter just to help drive the nail in the coffin of those labels.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2012 @ 6:36pm

    its true, look at George Lucas, because of the rabid fanboys who go nuts on him for every minute change/upgrade/redo of the movie HE CREATED, he doesn't want to make star wars films anymore, because the fans now feel they "own" the movies and have the right to tell him what to do

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2012 @ 6:42pm

      Re:

      Yeah, it must be awful to be George Lucas, to never have to work again a day in your life, or to be able to create anything that you want in any medium that you want just for the joy of creating it. Terrible. Hideous.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2012 @ 7:42pm

        Re: Re:

        Oh I don't know if being George Lucas would be all that great. The prospect of having to wake up every day and see George Lucas's beard in the mirror staring back at me gives me the fear, quite frankly.

         

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2012 @ 8:40pm

      Re:

      >because the fans now feel they "own" the movies and have the right to tell him what to do

      What kind of bullshit is this? Fans are not exercising "creative license"; they are providing negative feedback over minor changes they deem unnecessary. Are fans not allowed to provide negative feedback?

      The next thing we know, you'll be insulting everyone who thought Transformers 2 was a bad movie, and that includes most critics.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      PaulT (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 2:06am

      Re:

      "the fans now feel they "own" the movies and have the right to tell him what to do"

      I can't speak for other fans, but I've been asking for one thing and one thing only - the films I grew up with. I want a decent digital or Blu-Ray copy of the version I saw multiple times as a child, which inspired me to buy the merchandise that built his fortune in the first place. I don't want CGI, 3D, extra scenes, people from the prequel trilogy inserted or music changes. I just want the movie I loved as I remember it.

      Apparently that's too much to ask for and asking him to allow me to buy it is telling him what to do. Oh well, at least he's not getting another penny from me with the crappy versions he's been working on for the last decade.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        JMG, May 11th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

        Re: Re:

        They did release the theatrical version of the original trilogy as a second disk with the special editions a while back. Wasn't the greatest quality as it was basically just the laserdisc versions put on DVD. But it's the only version of the original movies I will ever own on DVD.

         

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

  •  
    identicon
    Xavier A. Torres, May 10th, 2012 @ 7:44pm

    Ridiculous

    I get the point: artists may lose track of their 'art and music' when fans start giving the money directly to them, because if empowers the fans to "boss" the artists around.

    But I find it illogical. If I give money to an artist I love, it is because I love the person's 'art and music'. Yeah, there might be parts of it that I may dislike, but hell, that's just how it is. I will never try to change the artist; his/her uniqueness is what makes him/her valuable to me.

    To suggest that a Record Label is 'healthier' for the music industry because it gives back to "investors" and in a sense patrols what happens is awful. The point of the music industry is the music, which can only be made successfully with performers. Performers who aren't fairly paid or who don't really get to see as much profit as they should get for their art is 'unhealthy' for the industry, in my opinion. Record labels can't function by themselves. Real artists can.

    And to suggest that Amanda Palmer's Kickstarter is successful because of her "famous husband" is outright disgusting. I got to know Neil because of Amanda. Crazy, right?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2012 @ 8:39pm

    "rich...cabal of music fans"

    "rich...cabal of music fans"

    "rich...cabal of music fans"

    Somebody's jealous.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 12:11am

    Responsible for Nickleback... your argument is irrelevant.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2012 @ 12:28am

    AFP being on a big label with lots of success is important, because of the way that capital investment works. She is in a unique position. While it makes sense for her to do what she's doing, it is not a model that will work for everyone, and frankly I believe you're being willfully naive.

    Structural position is important. If you look at the sociology of network theory, and of attainment, you'll find that one) people need networks for success and 2) those who are structurally situated with network connections are more successful. The danger here is that local bands will never scale the cliff that record labels previously gave artists (like AFP) climbing gear for. And to chalk it all up to her spunky personality is an attribution error--cause her spunky personality didn't magically produce the money necessary for the project and get Ben Folds to produce it.

    This argument is laid out in more detail here: http://www.angrymetalguy.com/angry-metal-guy-speaks-on-kickstarter-remaking-the-industry/

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Richard (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 1:56am

      Re:

      The danger here is that local bands will never scale the cliff that record labels previously gave artists (like AFP) climbing gear for.

      The record labels only gave climbing gear to a tiny tiny tiny minority.

      There are now other ways to achieve instant notoriety - look at Rebecca Black.

      Your argument is irrelevant to the majority of musicians - (and to the music I like to listen to).

      I can do without the big stars - and so can music.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2012 @ 11:43am

        Re: Re:

        I don't think that's really true. And I would say that the majority of moderately successful bands that have label support these days would be unsuccessful if they hadn't had it. More specifically, genres like metal—where no one is earning massive amounts of money anyway—have labels that specifically work to promote the underground and labels that work to be on the cutting edge of what's cool in the underground.

        I don't have a clue who Rebecca Black is and don't care. I'm not talking about stars, I'm talking about the kind of funding given to small bands so that they have something to promote in their van around the country. The kind of funding that those small bands could never have raised themselves.

         

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

    •  
      icon
      explicit coward (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 2:56am

      Re:

      - People need networks for success

      Correct. Nowadays artists have INSTANT access to the biggest artificial network known to mankind: The WorldWideWeb.

      - those who are structurally situated with network connections are more successful

      Correct. And the lesser connect points you have to pass through to reach your target, the more efficiently you can serve your target.

      - The danger here is that local bands will never scale the cliff that record labels previously gave artists (like AFP) climbing gear for.

      Because the WorldWideWeb isn't... worldwide?

      As a side note: What is better: To have a few thousand artists living like kings off their arts or having a few million artists living off their arts? I definetely know what enriches society more...

       

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

    •  
      icon
      Richard (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 3:23am

      Re:

      Had a look at your link and would like to repent of the tone of my previous comment - because I have another response that I hope you will find more constructive.

      You say that you hope Kickstarter is not the future of music because it cannot provide the bootstrap support needed by bands in early career (well to be precise bands in your genre).

      Well the answer to that is that indeed Kickstarter (on its own) is not likely to be the future of music. However a clade of different crowdfunding platforms certainly are the future of music. It is naive to think that because the first (big) platform of a certain business model does not cater for a particular need it must follow that the business model cannot cater for that need. Kickstarter is very broad in its coverage. A similar platform dedicated to a particular genre of music could well provide the development expertise and funds you are looking for.

      The label system would not provide what you want if there was only one label.

      It is going to take a few years to educate the public into the crowdfunded patronage business model so please be patient - the things you are looking for will eventually arrive via this route - maybe you could take the initiative in setting up some of the infrastructure yourself?!

       

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

    •  
      icon
      drew (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 3:38am

      Re: "The danger"

      "it is not a model that will work for everyone" - I think this point has been made about a gazillion times. There is no SINGLE new business model.
      There are many, that's what's so great about it.

      "The danger here is that local bands will never scale the cliff that record labels previously gave artists (like AFP) climbing gear for" - The real danger is that small acts continue to believe that their only opportunity is to sign-away their rights to the current label structure.
      Each act is its own business and, accordingly, they need to find their own business models.
      A lot of them will undoubtedly fail, but that happened before and will always happen in an open market. There is no glorious past to hark back to here, just a more flexible future that, at the least, allows artists to be directly in control of how they fail and how (and if) they have the wherewithal to take that into account and learn how to succeed.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      Jeremy2020 (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 10:18am

      Re:

      This is a logical fallacy.

      You obviously have not looked into the issue because you state:

      "it is not a model that will work for everyone, and frankly I believe you're being willfully naive."

      The entire point is that no one model will work. There is no magic bullet.

       

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

  •  
    icon
    JMT (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 1:05am

    "...but then the label will hit on a Mariah Carey or a Nickelback..."

    ...and we all suffer because of it.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Richard (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 3:27am

      Re: Nickleback

      People say that if you play Nickleback backwards you hear "Satan"... but then again that is preferable to playing it forwards...because then you hear Nickleback!

       

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

  •  
    icon
    Tim K (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 6:24am

    the artists are paid (barely, maybe)

    ...resulted in a pittance actually finding its way to the artist’s pocket

    Does it seem ridiculous to anyone else how it's mentioned several times how they admit the artists frequently get almost no money?? How is that better for the artist then us giving them all the money?

     

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

  •  
    icon
    BentFranklin (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 7:02am

    It is telling that the man likens direct donations to artists to political donations to politicians, and having fans expect a quid pro quo. It shows you exactly where his mind is.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, May 11th, 2012 @ 7:35am

    Hobbit Birthday Celebration

    Some people like being patrons. Some people like to pretend that they are the Duke of Milan giving the gift the world of DaVinci and making it a better place.

    Gift culture does exist. Not everyone is Gene Simmons.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Karl (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 8:02am

    Entertainment lawyer?

    I won't bother to link to one (somewhat well known) individual (a lawyer, of course) within the entertainment industry, who simply doesn't deserve the publicity, but he publicly dismissed Palmer's massively successful Kickstarter campaign by suggesting that it was entirely based on the fact that she was (1) once on a label (2) has a famous husband (who this person believes, incorrectly, is running a copyright reform group) and most ridiculous of all (3) that he "wouldn't be surprised" if it turned out that Google was really behind her success.

    You know, I'd actually like to read that. I need a good laugh today.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This