Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the bonus-comment-included! dept

If you woke up today thinking "darn, I sure wish there was more Techdirt on Sundays," then you're in luck—because we've got a fairly long post with a lot of great comments this week. First, on the insightful side, there was a tight race with the winner pulling ahead by a single vote at the last moment. Ever-so-slightly in the lead was an anonymous commenter, responding to Mike's post that asked why those who preach respect for artists are so eager to disrespect artists themselves. This AC had an answer:

Mike, these people do respect artists - they just have a slightly different definition than you.

When you say artist, you mean "someone who creates art."

When they say artist, they mean "someone who makes money for major multinational corporations."

That would explain it. Neck-in-neck with that was a comment from another AC, which also racked up a decent number of funny votes, directly responding to Jonathan Taplin's assertion that Nina Paley is "untalented" by putting things in perspective:

Nina Paley is so untalented that her first feature had the "dishonor" of being one of the highest rated films ever, being forced to be praised by the likes of Roger Ebert, put in film festival after film festival. And now she can't give it away without a significant portion of her fanbase trying to give her money and gifts. I feel sorry for her and her "lack of talent".

Sita's Rotten Tomatoes rating seems to agree. To his credit, Taplin recently apologized for his comments about Nina on Twitter—though not before he re-dismissed her (while half-apologizing in the same breath) in a blog post. And I quote: "I may have been a little rough with Paley over what she claims to be art."

That post was actually one of several posts with similar themes this week, all of which spawned a lot of overlapping conversation and debate. The disrespect for Nina is closely linked to Tim Cushing's discussion of the new elitism in music, from which we draw our first editor's choice. To counter the claims of some people that the internet is an unfiltered mess of crap content, one AC pointed out that the gatekeepers are still here, but they've changed:

These guys seem to think that the internet is just some giant cesspool where you have to randomly sample a bunch of shit before finding that one rare gem. And some people do this. They scour the dark recesses of the internet to find music, movies, books, and all sorts of content to find what is good. Here's the thing, they don't keep it to themselves. They write about it. They get involved in communities to discuss it. They run websites and blogs that talk about it. They are the new gatekeepers. And for the most part, they do a better job at finding what's good than someone who's motivation is simply money. And if you don't like what's coming out of their gate, there's hundreds more to choose from.

Whether or not the term 'gatekeepers' is the right one for this new role (and it's being used somewhat ironically here anyway), the description is perfect. The next editor's choice comes from the first post about Nina Paley, in which she explains the concept of intellectual disobedience. Frequent commenter Richard highlighted an important fact about where culture really comes from:

Actually culture is not created by the artist - culture is created by the audience. Without the endorsement of the audience art is merely self indulgence!

Artists remix existing culture as a way of acknowledging the audience's contribution - not just that of the previous artists.

If you want to see how art can even be created by the audience look here: http://darwintunes.org/

Darwin Tunes is a pretty cool experiment, by the way.

We've actually got one more extra-special bonus editor's choice for insightful this week, but it's quite long, so we're saving it until the end—for now, on to the funny stuff. Out in the lead is an Anonymous Coward on our post about Charles Carreon's court filing, with a theory about how the trial will progress:

I predict that the first thing Inman's lawyers will do after reading this complaint is to ask the court for an extension until such time that they can stop laughing.

A well-deserved win—flippant responses are always hilarious when expressed in dry lawyer speak. A little ways behind in second place is another anonymous commenter, on the post about the FBI & DEA's concerns about IPv6 and how it might make it easier for people to get away with stuff. That got this commenter's mind rolling:

You know, these fancy automobiles make it harder for us to catch fleeing suspects. We should just get rid of them.

In fact, Polio helped make sure that suspects couldn't get away at all, we should just start warning that the Polio vaccine is also hindering our work.

The first editor's choice comes from el_segfaulto on the same post. What can I say? I'm a sucker for a dead horse trope, and el_seg beats this one well:

I just ran a whois on my IP address (127.0.0.1) and it told me that the call was coming from inside my own network!

Welcome back! (That's for those of you who who just spent two hours on TVTropes.) Our second editor's choice for funny comes from a post that would itself be funny if it wasn't so horrifying: the story of the police sending a SWAT team to catch an internet troll (and raiding the wrong house). Josef Anvil pleaded for some clarification on the cops' assertion that "this is a little more difficult than a traditional crime scene, because we’re dealing with the Internet", and Chris Brand offered a possibility:

They couldn't figure out how to put that brightly-coloured "police line" tape round a crime scene in cyberspace...

Don't worry, I'm sure legislation will be introduced to take care of that at some point.

As I mentioned, we're throwing in a bonus editor's choice. On our response to David Lowery's condescending letter to NPR's Emily White, the always-insightful Karl took the time to provide his own thoughts on several of Lowery's statements. Here it is in full, with the quotes from Lowery in bold—and with that, see you next week!

But most record contracts specify royalties and advances to artists. Advances are important to understand–a prepayment of unearned royalties. Not a debt, more like a bet. The artist only has to “repay” (or “recoup”) the advance from record sales.

What he doesn't mention is that all of the recording costs are taken out of these royalties. Plus, usually, a good portion (standard is 50%) of the promotional costs. The only thing that is not taken out of artists' royalties are the physical costs of pressing a CD and printing the artwork (of course, designing the artwork might be). And, if you're signing your first contract with a label, all of the production options - producer, studio, etc - are determined by the label; diverging from their plan will cost you "points," or a percentage of your royalties.

In the end, most artists will make far less than minimum wage from their advance. In return, they lose all the rights to their music.

Secondly, by law the record label must pay songwriters (who may also be artists) something called a “mechanical royalty” for sales of CDs or downloads of the song. This is paid regardless of whether a record is recouped or not.

This is true. He does, however, leave out the fact that if the songwriter is also the artist, they will be paid only 75% of both artists' and songwriters' royalties, under a "controlled composition" clause. It's also important to realize that these royalties usually max out at 10 songs per CD. And that only 50% goes to the songwriter, the rest to the publisher (which is often, not always, the record label).

Let's say a label presses 30,000 full-length CD's. To keep it simple, we'll assume it's a solo record by a singer-songwriter (the "best-case scenario" for these sorts of royalties). The royalties from those CD's that go to the songwriter will be $10,237.50.

Now consider that if a recording artist only sells 30,000 CD's, they will earn nothing from performer royalties. This is quite literally all they will get from the label.

Oh, and sites like iTunes? They pay more for these royalties than the record labels. Oh, and those songwriter royalty revenues? They're rising, and have been for years.

Meaning that the file sharing sites could get the same license if they wanted to, at least for the songs.

This is total and complete bullshit. File sharing sites legally cannot partake of these royalty schemes.

Artists can make money on the road (or its variant "Artists are rich").

This is just conflating two different things. "Artists can make money on the road" is a statement of the undeniable fact that most artists - even those on a major label - make more money "on the road" than they do from record sales. For example, the 2004 top earner in music was Paul McCartney. How much of his money was from recording and songwriter royalties? Less than 15%. Musicians have always made money from touring, not from record sales.

I agree, however, that there is a bit too much "artists are rich" BS bandied about by the general public. But, most of the complaints are not that "artists are rich," but that "abel guys in suits are too rich." The fact that those same suits love to sue the public, or pass draconian laws, doesn't help.

If you are one of those "screw the Top 40 artists" type people, then remember this. The whole "rock star," hookers-and-blow, trashing-your-hotel-room persona? It was always a total myth. Generally speaking, even Top 40 artists work 60+ hours per week, get up at 6am, and have no time to sleep in hotel rooms, much less trash them.

The "rock star myth" is a deliberate creation of the major labels, in order to entice young wanna-be musicians into being exploited. It has no bearing in truth. The fact that this myth is now backfiring at labels is poetic justice; the fact that it's backfiring against the musicians themselves is tragic.

Over the last 12 years I’ve watched revenue flowing to artists collapse.

What he's actually saying is that revenue flowing from major labels to artists has collapsed. He's right. But that's not because of piracy. It's because of things like a la carte music purchases; the decision by major labels to kill CD singles; their decision to stop dealing with record stores, and focus on "big box" stores like Wal-Mart; and other bad decisions made by an industry that is used to being a monopoly. There is plenty of blame to go around for the collapse of the CD market; none of it lies with pirates.

And, notice that he doesn't go further back than 12 years. That's because 12 years ago was the year the record industry made the most money in its entire history. It did that because people were re-buying their LP's on massivly-overpriced (and price-fixed) CD's. In fact, the profits from record sales now are roughly equivalent to sales at the height of the 1980's. (He chose 1973 for a similar reason; prior to 1999-2000, this was the year when people spent the most on recorded music in history.)

There is no other explanation except for the fact that “fans” made the unethical choice to take their music without compensating these artists.

There wouldn't be, since Lowery never even considers any other explanations. Nor does he offer a single iota of evidence that "fans" sharing music caused even a single one of the ills that he claims.

It's also incredibly insensitive and tacky that he uses Chestnutt's suicide to advance his own agenda. There is no reason whatsoever to suspect that Chestnutt's suicide had anything whatsoever to do with filesharing. In fact, in his last interview, his biggest concern was that his hospital was suing him for $35K. (This is far, far less than what file sharers like Jammie Thomas are facing. Something to think about...)

Similarly, there is absolutely no reason to think that Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous committed suicide due to file sharing. On the other hand, his dire financial situation just might have something to do with the fact that EMI refused to release his album with Dangermouse, over continuing resentment about "The Grey Album." In other words, it makes more sense to say copyright enforcement killed him, not piracy.

What a douchebag.

You know, I could go on with this. But there's just too much of it. It is all bullshit.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 12:15pm

    http://www.futurehitdna.com/breakthrough-trends-in-the-music-industry/

    The presentation had many amazing facts about where the music business is and where it’s heading. For one, 94% of all new releases sold fewer than 1000 copies (singles or albums). Wikipedia traffic is an accurate predictor of future sales. File trading is on the wane. Meanwhile, sales are up overall and more revenue is coming to artists and labels via SoundExchange every quarter. There’s been a lot of requests for the slides, so here is the deck presented at the panel. What’s your take on these figures?

     

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    The eejit (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

    Re:

    First off, nice shilling. :)

    Secondly, that definitely makes interesting reading, given the projections (especially the illegal downloaders/revenues correlation.

     

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    GMacGuffin (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 1:09pm

    Welcome back! (That's for those of you who who just spent two hours on TVTropes.)

    Now that made me laugh, when I came back ... although it was really only about 20 minutes.

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 3:44pm

    Re:

    It's an interesting link, though if intended to be shilling it rather misses the target by one or two country miles.

    Yes, Wikipedia traffic is an accurate predictor of future sales but so is file sharing according to the slides shown. The trends are showing and anyone surprised that sales are moving heavily from CDs to digital sales of albums or singles, tracks in the slides lingo, hasn't been paying attention the last few years. The securing the future slide is so full of marketing-speak that it's hard to tell if the recording industry will actually do anything remotely like what's outlined there or continue the bully boy role.

    The more important link is contained inside the story:
    http://www.futurehitdna.com/is-stealing-music-really-the-problem/
    which directly addresses David Lowrey's screed. While Frank agrees with Lowrey on his ethical argument that spending more to protect third world migrant workers while denying musicians an income is hypocritical he ends up saying that what Lowery has to say doesn't really matter all that much. The reality is that neither he or his band(s) register with the people Lowery is trying to reach.

    "The biggest problem that David Lowery has to face is exemplified by Zach, the 24 year old New Media indie label guy at the end of Bob Lefsetz’ response post to Lowery’s “screed”. When told by a co-worker that David is the founder of Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, he replies, “Not sure what either of those are…”" In short, he doesn't matter a jot.

    In the meantime major labels are fattening themselves up, according to Frank, marketing the hell out of digital singles. They might not get the internet but they do get marketing.

    The link to Frank's post on "Is Stealing Music Really the Problem is well worth reading whether or not you agree with him."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 4:23pm

    Re: Re:

    I wasn't shilling, I swear! Just trying to make the point that none of this stuff is black & white, and I hate the conversation of "Stealing bad!" without a recognition of the landscape as it is today, as opposed of what it should or is supposed to be.

    It's a very complicated ecosystem, with some doing well, and others not so well, as is life, no?

    "Stealing bad!" does nothing to move the conversation forward.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 4:35pm

    I see the disrespect for music artist David Lowery continues, both from TtfnJohn and Beadon "douchebag".

    Personally I STRONGLY disagree with Paley, but I respect her right to hold an opinion, and I even more respect her right to make films and distribute them how she wishes.
    The tragedy of this site is the terrible hypocrisy.
    You regularly scream "shill", "maximilist", "asshole" and "douchebag" at any artist who disagrees with your industry view. The get all nurturing and protective of any 'friend' who is questioned and criticised.
    You are either for open debate and disagreement, or you aren't.
    Instead of "shill" and "douchebag", put up a better thought through argument.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I disagree there is nothing complicated.

    Don't grant lifetime monopolies to anyone and sell whatever you produce directly without minding what others are doing or not doing is not that hard.

     

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    Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 5:14pm

    Re:

    "Personally I STRONGLY disagree with Paley, but I respect her right to hold an opinion, and I even more respect her right to make films and distribute them how she wishes."

    Actually, you don't respect her right to hold an opinion or her right to distribute her films as she wishes. If you did, you wouldn't be one of those people crying about sites and the illegal exploitation blah blah blah. Sites like that are used by some artists such as Nina Paley to distribute their material. Just because some material is being illegally distributed, NOT EXPLOITED, DOES NOT give people like you the right to say "Shut them all down!" Once you do that, you are attempting to control distribution methods to what you see as acceptable, thus limiting options for artists very much like Nina to distribute their art as they wish.

    "The tragedy of this site is the terrible hypocrisy."

    I'm sorry, but that you say this and immediately post a list of terms used to describe some of the ACs on here is more hypocritical than anything on this site. Or should we forget that myself and others are routinely labeled as "pirates" and "piracy apologists" and "freetards" and "Techdirtbags"?

    Or should we ignore the cries of how biased and hypocritical this site is while at the same time people like you don't bother explaining the hypocrisy of actions such as denying artists royalties and cheating them out of their own monies, by the record labels?

    "You regularly scream "shill", "maximilist", "asshole" and "douchebag" at any artist who disagrees with your industry view. The get all nurturing and protective of any 'friend' who is questioned and criticised."

    Really? I've never seen any of those words applied to an artist on this site. I have seen some described as being out of touch and similar things, but that's because they were doing the Lowery thing of wishing for a bygone era and foaming at the mouth over the internet and new consumer trends (namely, buying one single rather than a full album, like they were previously forced to do).

    However, I have seen those words used on some of the ACs who come here regularly to insult others and to spread propaganda, lest we all forget the guy who can't back up anything he says and thus puts nothing but links to thetrichordist site. And also, again, a bit hypocritical of you to point out the insults and how they're used without bothering to wag your finger at people like average_joe. Then again, you may have missed some of his recent comments, so just for the sake of clarity, I refer to the ones where he was calling people (and Mike in particular) an amoral douchebag. Sounds like the people on your side of the aisle are a bit quicker to start tossing about insults.

    "You are either for open debate and disagreement, or you aren't."

    I see. So on a site where you can comment as you just did, you're saying that we're not willing to debate here? I think the fact that you were able to comment shows how open this site is to debate. Compare it to propaganda and disinformation spewing sites like the MPAA blog or like Lowery's site and you'll quickly realize (unless you just don't want to) that your posting that comment on the wrong place. But good luck making any comment on sites like the two previously mentioned. Well, then again, your comment thus far seems like one that would definitely be allowed on Lowery's site, so you might have some luck there.

    "Instead of "shill" and "douchebag", put up a better thought through argument."

    See previous responses I made about hypocrisy. Basically, rather than call people thieves and argue morality, bring a better argument. The reason people call back to insults and "but but but I think it's wrong!" is because they lack any kind of reasonable argument, or better said any kind of reasonable argument that they can support with ACTUAL facts.

    Frankly, I find it quite disheartening to see you use the AC moniker. I'm unregistered but I've chosen a "Name" for myself, so my comments are traceable back to me. Because I'd really love to see you say what you did to some of those people like the usual ACs who come here insulting myself and others and people like average_joe who sound reasonable when it suits them and hurl the word "douchebag" around like it's going out of style when it doesn't suit them to be reasonable.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 5:34pm

    Re: A better argument?

    "Instead of "shill" and "douchebag", put up a better thought through argument."

    David Lowery wants to make it a moral debate, so let's do that.

    The ability for consumers to "take" music, was due to a shift in recording format and distribution channel. In other words, technology advanced. Format change is something the recording industry absolutely loves, usually. As the technology advances and the format changes, that means that consumers have to once again buy music that they have already purchased. It didn't happen with the latest format change.

    Vinyl ->$$$ 8track ->$$$ cassette ->$$$ CD ->??? mp3

    So exactly why is it morally correct for me to have to pay an artist 4 times for the same thing product? Explain the ethics in that, because it sounds more like extortion.

    Technology giveth and it taketh away. Its not immoral, it's amoral.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 5:34pm

    Re: A better argument?

    "Instead of "shill" and "douchebag", put up a better thought through argument."

    David Lowery wants to make it a moral debate, so let's do that.

    The ability for consumers to "take" music, was due to a shift in recording format and distribution channel. In other words, technology advanced. Format change is something the recording industry absolutely loves, usually. As the technology advances and the format changes, that means that consumers have to once again buy music that they have already purchased. It didn't happen with the latest format change.

    Vinyl ->$$$ 8track ->$$$ cassette ->$$$ CD ->??? mp3

    So exactly why is it morally correct for me to have to pay an artist 4 times for the same thing product? Explain the ethics in that, because it sounds more like extortion.

    Technology giveth and it taketh away. Its not immoral, it's amoral.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 5:54pm

    Re: Re: A better argument?

    So exactly why is it morally correct for me to have to pay an artist 4 times for the same thing product? Explain the ethics in that, because it sounds more like extortion.

    For two solid reasons..
    1) It's the law of the land. Don't like the law? Change it through democratic means. You don't get to choose which laws suit your lifestyle and reject laws that don't. Neither do I.
    2) Independent musicians who release in one format are still subjected to piracy. If you only pirated an older release you'd already bought on vinyl, 8 track or CD you might have a tiny point. But I know brand new artists who are self releasing new music on vinyl. It sells until a fan uploads the vinyl as an mp3 on to a torrent site. On that day the vinyl sales basically end.

     

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    BreadGod (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 6:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: A better argument?

    Obscurity is a far bigger problem than piracy. Even if people were buying CDs for $10,000 each, if no one has heard of you, you're not gonna make any money. If someone downloads your music and they like it, they'll be more inclined to attend your shows and buy your merch.

    All in all, the times have changed. There is now more to music than just buying a CD. When the environment of the market changes, you either adapt or you die.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 6:39pm

    Re: Re: A better argument?

    Technology giveth and it taketh away. Its not immoral, it's amoral.

    Technology hasn't taken a single product from me. It's people who 'taketh', not technology.

     

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    JMT (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 7:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: A better argument?

    "It's the law of the land. Don't like the law? Change it through democratic means."

    By "democratic means", you mean voting for the politician you despise the least, hoping they might give a damn about your petty concerns as opposed to chasing corporation dollars? Ha! That's quite the fantasyland you live in. As has been said many times, democracy does not end after the election. History is littered with examples of laws that were eventually changed because it became clear people did not agree with them and ignored them as a result. That's just as democratic as voting.

    "You don't get to choose which laws suit your lifestyle and reject laws that don't. Neither do I."

    Of course we do. Any one of us, including you, can decide to ignore any law you want, as long as you're prepared to face the consequences. In case you've missed it, a significant proportion of the population have decided not to follow copyright laws. They have done so for a myriad of reasons far more complex than is given credit for by the likes of you.

     

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    Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 7:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: A better argument?

    Actually, you do get to choose which laws suit your lifestyle and reject laws that don't.

    You don't get to choose what is or isn't a law, but you do very much have the choice as to what laws you will follow and which ones you don't. Much like morals, laws and the choice to follow them or not is a very subjective choice made by each and every person.

    I'm not saying it's right, nor am I saying it's wrong. I'm just pointing out that you are stating something as an absolute when it is very much not.

     

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    Leigh Beadon (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 7:26pm

    Re: Re: A better argument?

    I actually have another huge issue with the moral/ethical argument: it's neither as obvious nor as one-sided as those who preach "artists' rights" try to make it sound. Forget details about buying music multiple times - there is a much deeper ethical opposing side here.

    As it turns out, I went into this in great detail with a musician friend of mine on facebook. The following is adapted from that conversation:


    I'm not saying there's no ethical aspect, but I really don't see it as that simple. For one core reason: I don't believe there is an inherent human right to control your creative output. For me, that is a /big/ aspect of the ethics of it all.

    The idea of 'property' is reinforced by society, but it stems from something natural: I can defend my property with a pointy stick. Society comes together and agrees that, because we don't all want to be standing guard all day, we'll treat each others' property as if it's defended - and appoint a few men with pointy sticks to enforce that contract. But it all extends from natural principles: an item of property is rivalrous, it's excludable - only one of us an have it.

    Ideas and creative output have no such natural property. If you write a song, the only way you can /naturally/ control it is to keep it to yourself. If you play it for me, it's in my head - not only can you not take it back, but I can't even give it back if I want to. My having it does not lessen how much you have it, and my passing it along does not lessen how much I have it, so on into infinity.

    That is a fundamental difference between ideas and property. And I believe it has serious ethical implications, going right down to the basis of why human language and culture exists at all.

    Now, as a society, we can decide that we want a mechanism for rewarding creativity, and we can all agree to treat ideas with some of the aspects of property. I can't give you your song back, but I can promise not to share it. We can come together and turn that into laws and structures and licensing schemes. But it's artificial to its core - it isn't built on top of a natural right like property. There's nothing wrong with that - but it IS a societally granted right. Thus I have a very hard time with people who talk about artists having an /inherent/ right to payment for /every copy/. It's not inherent. It's granted by society, which includes the artist themselves granting it to others, and as such society determines how far those rights extend - and then artists must determine whether or not they will share their work under those conditions. Not the other way around.

    Now, it can be argued that too much of society is rescinding artists' rights too much, and this will lead to decreases in quality/quantity of art -- though I'm not sure that's true. Part of the reason is that the notion of artists' rights have been heavily abused by companies - what was once a brief commercial monopoly of a few years that required you to opt-in by filing a copyright registration, is now a life+70yrs exclusive monopoly that gets passed on to your kids, is automatically granted to everything (even this comment I'm writing right now) and has no official legal opt-out method. From Disney being the authors of copyright extension several times in U.S. history, to the many companies around the world that have attacked the exceptions to copyright like fair use/fair dealing and caused them to dwindle in the courts, large commercial entities have turned copyright into a one-sided mechanism of control over the vast majority of human culture. This crashed into the internet -- technology that created really beautiful culture-sharing and participation opportunities that have never existed before -- and the companies told the people that virtually everything they do is illegal. And so people lost all respect for copyright.

    Are artists to blame for that? No, not entirely. But I don't think very highly of artists like Lowery who defend the status quo, which benefits only a tiny minority. Some of his ideas are utterly ridiculous - did you read his "Old Boss, New Boss" essay where he argued that it's better for a band on a record label to sell only a few albums and go un-recouped, because that means that when you factor in the advance they actually got a lot per-sale, which is apparently more important than actually being popular? Basically he's arguing for the destruction of the very system he's defending, since labels rely on some bands actually making money for them -- but Lowery says the best situation is one in which they don't actually recoup their investment. Hard to see that as a functioning system when his best-case-scenario is the one that breaks it.

    Don't get me wrong. I believe everyone should find ways to support artists for their work. I do think that's an important ethical concept. However, I believe it is an at-least-equally important ethical concept that it is wrong to monopolize the infinite. Thus, I don't think that a true conversation about the issue can come from the position that artists have an /inherent/ right to control everything they create; that right is societally granted, and MUST be balanced with the inherent infinite nature of ideas and information.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 7:43pm

    When they say artist, they mean "someone who makes money for major multinational corporations."

    Actually that is insightful, as Google is a huge multinational corporation that is making money off the exploitation of artists. Nice work.

    And I know you guys are seriously butthurt about all the attention Lowery got for destroying a decade's worth of your piracy apologism, but seriously, get over it. You got completely pwned. Deal with it.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 8:06pm

    DarwinTunes?? A perfect illustration of how it is not society that creates music and evolutionary force acting on "memes" is a figment of Dawkins' imagination.

    DarwinTunes is exactly what you expect music written by committee to be. Bad. Not bad bad, dull inane bad, which is far, far worse.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 8:06pm

    Re:

    That's great! I guess we were wrong and it's only a matter of days or weeks or months until all the artists are swimming in cash.

    You've finally defeated piracy.

    Good job.

     

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

  20.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 8:08pm

    Re:

    You regularly scream "shill", "maximilist", "asshole" and "douchebag" at any artist who disagrees with your industry view.

    Can you point to where a writer -- not a commenter -- applied any of those words to an artist?

    Maximalist probably is true -- but I don't think of that as an insult, why do you? It's a descriptor of your views on copyright. But the others, which are insulting terms, please point to where a writer used those terms. Otherwise, you might try not making such claims.

    Because if you're just talking about commenters, I can point to many, many, many more commenters who have called us those and much worse names. But I don't claim that all people who are maximalists are any such insulting word.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    [citation needed or GTFO], Jun 24th, 2012 @ 8:23pm

    Re:

    And I know you guys are seriously butthurt about all the attention Lowery got for destroying a decade's worth of your piracy apologism, but seriously, get over it. You got completely pwned. Deal with it.

    You're doing it wrong. What you meant to say was:

    You're dead.
    Your friends are dead.
    Your family's dead.
    Your fucking pets are being skinned alive.
    Your mom's a fucking whore.
    You suck at life.
    The whole world hates you.
    You're going to hell.
    Live with it.

    Game Over

     

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  22.  
    icon
    Leigh Beadon (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 8:31pm

    Re: Re:

    In fairness, I think I did call Taplin an asshole on twitter last week. But, in even greater fairness, he was kind of being an asshole last week.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 8:36pm

    Re:

    A perfect illustration of how it is not society that creates music

    So artists aren't a part of society? What are they, completely feral living in the middle of nowhere?

    Can't have art without an audience but you can have an audience without art.

     

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  24.  
    icon
    Leigh Beadon (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 8:40pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm going to assume you meant to say "can't" both times there and -- yes, exactly. It's symbiotic.

    Which is why the notion that artists alone get to dictate the terms under which the audience experiences their art is wrong.

     

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  25.  
    icon
    SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 9:23pm

    Re:

    You regularly scream "shill", "maximilist", "asshole" and "douchebag" at any artist who disagrees with your industry view. The get all nurturing and protective of any 'friend' who is questioned and criticised.


    I receive the same treatment everywhere else, you know, the rest of the internet, only because I don't kiss copyright ass.

    I get called "troll", "thief", "pirate", "freetard", "copycat", "unimaginative", "brainless moron", "uncreative", "radical" and all sorts of shit for daring to question the status quo.

    You people can go to hell.

     

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  26.  
    icon
    SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 9:28pm

    Re:

    Google is a huge multinational corporation that is making money off the exploitation of artists. Nice work.

    Oh boy, want a tinfoil hat to go with that conspiraburger?

     

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

  27.  
    icon
    SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 9:30pm

    Re: Re:

    Yup. You get rid of search engines and artists will suddenly get rich. What? You didn't know that being unknown nets the most cash? Well it worked for me! ...Wait.

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 9:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: A better argument?

    For two solid reasons..
    1) It's the law of the land. Don't like the law? Change it through democratic means

    There is no law against format shifting although certain groups are determined to try to make it illegal, albeit through rather underhand, indirect methods like popping DRM into content and getting laws passed to make breaking DRM illegal even when the actual copying or use would otherwise be legal.
    So that doesn't seem like a terribly solid reason, it'd be more appropriate to call it bs.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 9:44pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I don't believe he did mean "can't" both times.
    In fact, I believe he meant it exactly as he wrote it.
    Art is not art without an audience, but there can be an audience ready and waiting to appreciate art who are not being served.

    I don't totally agree with it, but it does make some reasonable sense.
    I think you can have art without an audience but that it is a bit of a waste if it never finds one, but certainly no artist can make a living without finding an audience, whether everyone would agree that what they do is art or not.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 10:57pm

    Re:

    "You regularly scream "shill", "maximilist", "asshole" and "douchebag" at any artist who disagrees with your industry view."

    Anyone who disagrees with me by thinking that murder is OK is a jerk.

    Likewise, anyone who thinks its OK to wrongfully use the law to restrict my inherit right to freely copy as I please is likewise a jerk. It is my right to freely copy as I please and anyone who wants to try and tell me what to do either to serve their interests (against mine) or because they think they know what's in my best interest better than me is a jerk. and those who disproportionately benefit from IP laws are shills. and anyone who favors anti-competitive laws and thinks they can tell me that I can't freely, without any legal restrictions, start a competing taxi-cab, broadcasting, cableco, or mailbox delivery company is likewise a jerk. Stop forcing others to act against their interests (or thinking you can decide for them what's in their best interests).

    "You are either for open debate and disagreement, or you aren't."

    No one is stopping you from raising an argument. Your entire post raises zero substantive arguments. IP extremists call others names and they don't raise any valid points while IP critics make valid points.

    You are completely free to come here and comment. No one is stopping you. However, the government established IP extremist mainstream media would hardly ever allow someone like Mike Masnick the opportunity to criticize IP laws on mainstream television. and to the extent that they are only now more permissive it's only because of the Internets influence on the media and attempts to curtail the public's dissatisfaction with the mainstream media. They wrongfully abuse their wrongfully granted government established monopoly power to indoctrinate everyone with their pro-IP propaganda while disallowing anyone to criticize their indefensible and immoral position. These people, these thugs, have zero moral standards. I'm all in favor of free speech which is why I think government established broadcasting and cableco monopolies should be abolished. They are the antithesis to free speech and they are unconstitutional because they effectively use the power of the government to restrict free speech in the sole interests of government established monopolists.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20101005/12204511290/why-won-t-universal-music-let- you-see-the-20-20-report-from-1980-about-how-the-music-industry-is-dying.shtml

    http://www.techdir t.com/articles/20100727/10432810380.shtml

    Anyone in favor of these government established broadcasting and cableco monopolies are against free speech. Techdirt is not against free speech, no one is preventing you from freely commenting here. Yes, we may criticize you and call you a shill/jerk, if the shoe fits, but we still support your right to freely comment. IP extremists do not. The only way they can convince others of their indefensible position is by resorting to censorship - government established censorship.

    "Instead of "shill" and "douchebag", put up a better thought through argument."

    I don't want IP laws and I expect a representative government to proportionately represent me instead of disproportionately representing the interests and intentions of those willing to fund political campaigns and provide politicians with revolving door favors. My argument is that I should get at least as much representation as those monopolists that buy legislation and I'm sick and tired of receiving disproportionately less representation. I don't value IP laws, I don't value any anti-competitive laws (ie: govt. established broadcasting, cableco, taxi cab, mailbox delivery, etc... monopolies), it is and should be my every right to oppose these laws, and a representative government should also proportionately represent those who hold the opinion that our IP (and anti-competitive laws) are too extreme instead of only representing the opinions of those who contribute the most to campaigns and revolving door favors.

    While my opposition to IP and other anti-competitive laws is well justified, I don't need to 'justify' my position in your eyes or anyone else's. I hold a position, it is my right to express my position to others, and a representative government should proportionately represent my position. If a government wants to impose laws on me it must justify those laws, it holds the burden, I hold no burden to justify not having a law imposed on me.

    IP critics have brought forth plenty of well thought out arguments and I have yet to see one from IP extremists. Your entire post doesn't argue anything, for example.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 11:08pm

    Re: Re:

    IOW, I want IP laws abolished because I want proportional representation and that's reason enough. I don't need a reason to want IP laws abolished (even though I have good reason), I want all anti-competitive laws abolished and I don't need to justify my position to you or anyone else. and a representative government should proportionately represent me and if enough people hold my position then these laws should go. and if you want these law then you should justify them to me (and to others). That you disagree with me is not reason enough and it's not good enough to convince me of anything. Try harder.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 11:12pm

    Re:

    If an artist feels so exploited he or she can stop making art and find another job. I'm fine with that.

     

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  33.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 11:53pm

    Re:

    I see the disrespect for music artist David Lowery continues, both from TtfnJohn and Beadon "douchebag".

    I am the one who called Lowery a "douchebag." Don't bring TtfnJohn or Beadon into it.

    And Lowery is a douchebag. He exploited the tragic deaths of two music artists to advance his anti-tech agenda. He quite literally claimed (without one shred of evidence) that without piracy, Vic Chesnutt and Mark Linkous would still be alive.

    This is shameful propaganda in the extreme, and it is utterly disrespectful to Chesnutt and Linkous. It shows just how little Lowery respects his musician "friends."

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2012 @ 12:21am

    Re:

    If you find reading Techdirt to be so disturbing, you could always, you know, try not reading it, and go read something you agree with instead...

     

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

  35.  
    icon
    techflaws (profile), Jun 25th, 2012 @ 12:34am

    Re:

    You got completely pwned

    Keep dreaming, skin tube. Comical Ali, anyone?

     

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

  36.  
    icon
    Josef Anvil (profile), Jun 25th, 2012 @ 1:44am

    Re: Re: Re: A better argument?

    Ok, so I wasn't signed in when I posted "A better argument". I hate being an AC.

    "It's the law of the land. Don't like the law? Change it through democratic means. You don't get to choose which laws suit your lifestyle and reject laws that don't. Neither do I."

    One word reply: Prohibition.

    Explanation: Think about it. The law wasn't repealed democratically. Years of crime and violence erupted, until Congress realized they had made a mistake. You have to look at how Prohibition came to be. A LOT of propaganda aimed at different groups and every group thinking that it wouldn't affect them. Then when the law is passed everyone finds out it affects everyone.

    One date reply: 18 January 2012

    Explanation: People were made aware of a bad law trying to be passed and they woke up and spoke up against it. Democracy? Not hardly. A bunch of congressmen saw the end of their meal tickets if they went against the people. The point being that when you legislate things that go against the nature of humanity and affect the majority in ways they see and feel, then you are going to have backlash.


    I was going to respond to your second reason but it really isn't valid since my point only applies to music that has already been PURCHASED more than once.

    But I have to respond to this...

    "But I know brand new artists who are self releasing new music on vinyl. It sells until a fan uploads the vinyl as an mp3 on to a torrent site. On that day the vinyl sales basically end."

    SERIOUSLY???? People who buy vinyl are not the average consumer. UGH, I can't even believe you made such an idiotic argument, it hurt my brain. If I have a turntable and I need vinyl to use it, why would I pirate an mp3??? If you are blaming digital piracy for a drop in vinyl sales, you're simply deluded.

    I really hate when people suggest changing laws through the democratic process. Ok sure, let me just raise a few million dollars so I can bribe (lobby) 51 members of the US Senate. Hmmm maybe kickstarter...

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2012 @ 1:53am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Crosbie Fitch: as I have needed to put out to your buffoonish, zealous, L00ny self dozens of times, we'll abolish IP laws as soon as you return my "natural right" to repeatedly kick you in balls.

    IOW, never.

    Now go tilt at some more windmills. We need some comic relief.

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2012 @ 1:56am

    Re: Re:

    Well Crosbie, society isn't.

    Just as they aren't fine with any of your crackpot notions.

    And for good reason.

     

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

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2012 @ 2:04am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Aside from the citation needed, artists have threatened to do so. Yet they haven't.

    Who's the hypocrite now?

     

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

  40.  
    identicon
    Lord of the Files, Jun 25th, 2012 @ 2:32am

    Re: Re: Re: A better argument?

    Interesting, but I see a problem with the points you raise.

    1) Are you saying you've never gotten a speeding ticket, parking ticket, or ticket of any other kind... ever? If you say yes I'll know you're lying. Getting through life without breaking a law at some point is impossible, no matter how law abiding one believes themselves to be.

    2) Those "brand new artists" you know? Releasing their music in vinyl only is likely why it's showing up somewhere as an MP3. The people who desire vinyl as much as the music on them are a small niche crowd, similar to people who love to collect spoons. Your pretty much forcing everyone else who likes your music (and is likely willing to pay for it) to pirate it just so they can get it in their preferred format. Someone else was willing to do what you weren't. Don't get mad at them for providing a service/product people wanted but couldn't get from you. That's just stupid and shortsighted. As for someone who downloads something they already paid once for, I don't see that as a problem, especially in light of the fact that those in the industry want us all to believe we didn't buy the song, we only licensed it. If I truly paid for a license, switching formats shouldn't at all be an issue, nor should it cost me anything to do so. I'm not going to buy a song over and over just because the old format it was on is obsolete, replaced by something new. IMHO it's immoral for the industry to expect everyone to do exactly that (i.e. planned obsolescence), more so than any piracy borne out of such an attempt. Some days it feels as if the industry would love to charge every single individual on a pay per play basis. If they could find a way, I have no doubt they'd attempt it. People pirate for a reason. There is always a reason. Figure out what it is and offer something better, something of true value. Most folks are willing to pay despite all the lies the trolls spout. Consumers are not, however, willing if it enables you to screw them over on a whim, every chance you get. You've tried the stick. It didn't work. Now try the carrot!

     

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  41.  
    icon
    Chargone (profile), Jun 25th, 2012 @ 2:38am

    Re:

    some people lose Days to that one the first couple of times they stumble across it.

    fortunately, for most folks, after a while you stop running into things you aren't familiar with and it becomes somewhat less addictive and instead simply becomes a useful and interesting resource.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Lord of the Files, Jun 25th, 2012 @ 2:43am

    Re: Re: Re: A better argument?

    "It's people who 'taketh', not technology."

    Actually it's people using technology. Consumers use things like bittorent and encryption, while the industry uses DRM and format shifts. Both will use whatever comes along that works even better towards their goals and anyone who thinks their chosen side is blameless and moral is a damn fool. Like I said above the stick ain't working, so how about trying the carrot for a change? It's not so hard, provided you can find a way to put your hate and bile aside for a while and stop throwing temper tantrums in the form of mass lawsuits and draconian laws. I won't hold my breath though, the self destructive side of human nature being as strong as it is.

     

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  43.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Jun 25th, 2012 @ 2:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm more than happy for thgat to happen, on the proviso that I can do the same to you.

    Oddly enough, that's how most people work.

     

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  44.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Jun 25th, 2012 @ 2:50am

    Re: Re: Re:

    There's one where youy can do that, and that's theatre. And that's only for that particular performance run. Everything else is down to the consumer.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2012 @ 4:23am

    Re: Re: Re: A better argument?

    LoL

    LoL

    LoL

     

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  46.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 25th, 2012 @ 5:06am

    Re:

    Why would I disrespect David Lowery....
    Ummm did not you read the thread?

    He took every opportunity to misread/misrepresent what I said, and then ran with his new definition to its hysterical end point.
    He managed to avoid any response to actual serious discussion once his bag of moral anecdotes was empty.

    He gleefully blames everything on consumers and consumers alone, ignoring how the system is broken because he is now part of that system.

    He bemoans how he is making so much less, but seems to ignore that being an anticonsumer ass might lead to consumers voting with their dollars.

    If you want to pick on my debate skills make sure you cover Lowery's failings in the same arena.
    He took a one off comment about throwing rotting fruit at minstrels who weren't good and tried to present it as my view of artists, missing the joke and trying to present me as evil. He ignored the followup asking why HE liked Beiber as Beiber is only famous for violating copyright and uploading the results of his crimes to the internet.

    I'll totally own calling people naughty names, in my defense they started it.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    riste, Jun 25th, 2012 @ 6:18am

    ignore

    Just as they aren't fine with any of your crackpot notions.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    ld, Jun 25th, 2012 @ 6:32am

    Re: Re: Re: A better argument?

    1) Laws are not morality. Laws are often not even a product of what society as a group have decided is "moral" at the time the law was passed. Laws that allow people to charge 4 times for the same product, such as what was being spoken of here, are not morally sound products of the society as a group, but are instead the products of one small portion of that society, the music label industry, seeking an edge for itself against the rest of the group.
    2) The only reason to buy vinyl is because you like the unique sound of vinyl, which is lost in compression. If you know someone who has released a vinyl record and no one bought it after it was released as an MP3 by someone then they need to stop wasting their cash pressing records and start selling cheap MP3 downloads instead. Real vinyl junkies would buy it anyway if the music appealed to them, the sound's not the same as an MP3, at all.
    3) Flawed business models or outmoded ideas can never be fully corrected by laws. It is impossible to stop people from copying stuff. If it can be viewed or heard with a device it can be copied by another device that records sounds or video, it's just that simple, it's only a matter of setting the devices up properly to dot he job and someone will always spend the time to figure it out.

     

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  49.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jun 25th, 2012 @ 7:16am

    Re:

    I protect myself by not clicking on any tvtropes links. I already spend way too much time reading techdirt and reddit.

     

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

  50.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jun 25th, 2012 @ 7:23am

    Re:

    Says the people that have often called "us" freetards, pirates, thieves and other such words.

    Boohoo, do these words hurt you, shill? Cry me a river, anonymous coward!

    Most of us have tried to get an open debate about this stuff with people such as yourself, and every time the 'discussion' devolves into a "you just want stuff for free, stupid freetard" accusations from your side of the aisle. Look into the history of the comments on this site, there have been many attempts at open discussions.
    And also on other blogs, such as the RIAA blogs, where our comments immediately get deleted.

    So, for a lot of us, we've given up the debate, and will call you for what you are, a trolling shill.
    As long as your side keeps equating file sharing with theft, am I not interested in any kind of debate.

     

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  51.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jun 25th, 2012 @ 7:41am

    Re:

    as Google is a huge multinational corporation that is making money off the exploitation of artists


    Explain how Google exploits artists. And please give proof for your assertions.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Milton Freewater, Jun 25th, 2012 @ 9:48am

    Re: Re: Re: A better argument?

    "So exactly why is it morally correct for me to have to pay an artist 4 times for the same thing product? Explain the ethics in that, because it sounds more like extortion.

    For two solid reasons..
    1) It's the law of the land."

    No, it's not. It's LITERALLY not the law of the land in that there are are plenty of perfectly legal ways to make copies of copyrighted material. In addition, most of what big media markets as "copyright infringement" is legally gray, off-white or pure ivory.

    Spotify is looting, according to David Lowery. It's also legal.

    "You don't get to choose which laws suit your lifestyle and reject laws that don't. Neither do I."

    Yes, we do. If the laws are reasonable and enforceable you will then face consequences, social and legal respectively.

    As for 2, the AC was talking about making copies for personal use, not piracy,

     

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

  53.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Jun 25th, 2012 @ 10:19am

    Re: Re: A better argument?

    If you want moral debate, then why is a sound recording made in 1930, by an artist that's been dead for 50 years, still under copyright? That's where the moral debate needs to start. Not file sharing.

     

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

  54.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Jun 25th, 2012 @ 10:22am

    Re: Re: Re: A better argument?

    You can change the law only if Disney lets you change the law.

     

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

  55.  
    identicon
    Milton Freewater, Jun 25th, 2012 @ 10:27am

    Re: Re: Re: A better argument?

    "So exactly why is it morally correct for me to have to pay an artist 4 times for the same thing product? Explain the ethics in that, because it sounds more like extortion.

    For two solid reasons..
    1) It's the law of the land."

    No, it's not. It's LITERALLY not the law of the land in that there are are plenty of perfectly legal ways to make copies of copyrighted material. In addition, most of what big media markets as "copyright infringement" is legally gray, off-white or pure ivory.

    Spotify is looting, according to David Lowery. It's also legal.

    "You don't get to choose which laws suit your lifestyle and reject laws that don't. Neither do I."

    Yes, we do. If the laws are reasonable and enforceable you will then face consequences, social and legal respectively.

    As for 2, the AC was talking about making copies for personal use, not piracy,

     

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

  56.  
    identicon
    Milton Freewater, Jun 25th, 2012 @ 10:33am

    Re: Re: Re: A better argument?

    "I know brand new artists who are self releasing new music on vinyl. It sells until a fan uploads the vinyl as an mp3 on to a torrent site. On that day the vinyl sales basically end."

    I believe you know of cases where this has happened, but marketing studies have overwhelmingly found that free mp3s online do not usually have this kind of an impact on sales.

    Think about it - the markets for vinyl and mp3s are different. It might simply be that the vinyl market was sated at about the same time as the work broke online.

    In my experience, a LOT of leaks are past the sell-by date and used to promote a producer or artist overall.

     

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

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2012 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You're the only one here being laughed at

     

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

  58.  
    identicon
    milsonshun, Jun 26th, 2012 @ 3:48am

    A great natural medication for this is sad peacemaker. Sad peacemaker contain homeopathic ingredients designed to combat such change Sad Quotes in people's emotional state. Sad soother is designed to particularly target emotional gloominess or sadness that is caused by recurrent change.

     

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


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