Much as you love to spread this lie, nobody here hates musicians. Many of us here are musicians. Techdirt wants them to actually be successful - and fighting against your fans won't make you successful.
1) You tell us give you our music for free and make up for it at live shows
Giving people our music for free, and making up for it at live shows, is how performing musicians have always made money. Musicians don't, and have never, made anything more than a sliver of their income from royalties. Nine out of ten musicians on a major label never make a single dime from artists royalties; they sign to a label because it provides promotion, which leads to things like endorsements, selling merch, or live performance revenues - and those are the ways musicians make money.
The difference is that now we can give away our music to fans for free, rather than give away our music to labels for free. And those fans will end up paying us more than a label ever would.
Plus, Techdirt has never said it is a requirement that you give away music for free. They have always advocated for crowdfunding models like Kickstarter or Sellaband, and have advocated for subscription models like Pandora or Spotify. It is not necessary that musicians give away their music; what's necessary is that fans (potential and actual) are able to experience it in the way that they want. They are, after all, your customers.
2) You tell us we should charge a little as possible at live shows to be and be'fan friendly.'
First of all, that will net good will with the fans, which can be leveraged in other ways.
Second of all, cheaper tickets do not translate to less money. It translates to many, many more people who can afford to see your live shows. If the balance is right, the increase in concert goers will more than make up for the difference in price. And if those concert goers could afford to pay more for a ticket, then they have more money to spend on your merchandise - and artists usually get a greater cut of the merch than they do of the ticket money.
Lowering prices will often result in greater overall profits. That's basic economics.
Indeed. We should all call this for what it is: the advocacy of terrorism.
He's using almost exactly the language that Al Quaeda used to justify the 9/11 attacks - the view that the world is divided into "we" and "they;" the threat of an undeclared war; the moral innocence of its soldiers, and the virtue of following orders without question; the notion that there are no "innocent" civilians, and that the general population is a legitimate target.
He is saying that the U.S. should turn into a terrorist state, and that nobody who lives here should do a damn thing about it.
so you listen to Reggae music, you get curly hear, change your skin color, and call your friend "mon"?
If you think that's the extent of the influence of Bob Marley (or of reggae music in general), then you have absolutely no idea about music or culture.
You might have well have said, "you get straight WASP-y hair, take no showers, and smoke lots of weed." Or: "You dress yourself in polo shirts, join a college fraterniy, and spend the next few years doing keg stands." Bob Marley's music is now at least as much a part of these peoples' culture as it is a part of Jamaican culture. And that's the point. Simply because Marley communicated his expression, he has become part of their culture. And, make no mistake, it's because of this spreading of his culture that his music is valuable; his music would be worthless (in all senses of the word) if he had never peformed his reggae songs at all.
Plus, let's not forget that he didn't invent reggae. There were many, many people who did before him. And he did not start out doing reggae; he originally wrote ska music. Any historian of ska music will tell you that it started in Jamaica, but was adopted by 70's British working-class youths. They adopted it so completely, that any person on Earth now associates ska music with 70's Brithish working-class culture, and not with the Jamaican culture that spawned it. No matter who your fictional listener with "curly hear, [darker] skin color, and call[s] your friend 'mon'", I'm betting that they enjoy The English Beat.
Your stupid little "rebuttal" just proves my point. The entire Western world listens to Bob Marley, and so the entire western world is part of the culture that Marley's music has spawned. And it is not a one-direcional communication. I don't know much about Marley himself, but I know for a fact that he was himself influenced by the American musicians that he encountered. That's how culture works.
you personal culture is who you are and what you believe and what you do, sure, it is influenced by other culture and other people (and their cultures) and your culture may influence others, but it DOES NOT BECOME the culture of others.
If you actually believe that - which I'm certain you don't - then it means that it is impossible for culture to be transmitted at all. If a Japanese person dedicates his or her live to performing Beethoven, then by your argument, they are nonetheless not any kind of any part of any culture that Beethoven is a part of. That is utterly ridiculous, and any person who is a fan of classical music would agree.
The truth is that the only way any culture can become the culture of others, is exactly through being influenced by other cultures and other people, and is exactly through your culture influencing others. That is the only thing that culture is. Being influenced by other peoples' ideas, and influencing the ideas of others, is the entirety of culture. Without it, culture can not exist.
You know, you seem to be very good at being dismissive (and very good at typing multiple question marks), but you are very bad at reading and comprehension. I thought I was pretty clear, but just in case:
that's right Karl, you have your personal culture that YOU contribute too, for your own benefit, and cultural advancement.
It is not just my personal culture, because there isn't such a thing. And it is not just me because I communicate things to other people. Just as an artwork is not simply the artist's "personal culture," because when they communicate their art to me, it becomes part of my culture too.
that is YOUR culture, not "THE CULTURE"
There is no such thing as "THE CULTURE." Certain expressions may be more widely communicated than others, but that is all.
And like you, I can listen to music written by someone else and played by someone else (from their culture) and share in that, but that does not mean I am part of that culture.
Yes, that is exactly what it means. If you listen to music written by someone else and played by someone else and share in that, then you absolutely are part of that music's culture.
You are also a part of "the Techdirt culture," even if you don't agree with Techdirt's views here are not. You are part of this culture simply by posting here, whether you (or I) like it or not.
Your expression may or may not be valuable here, but that is a slightly different question. For example, I dislike Nickleback. I do not voluntarily listen to that band, and nobody in my little sub-culture of friends does either. But that does not mean that Nickleback is not part of my culture. It is part of my culture simply because I have heard them (voluntarily or not); simply because I've heard people talk about them; simply because I formed an opinion of them. They hold no value to me, but that doesn't mean they are not part of my culture. Just as a critic who writes a negative review of a piece of music is still part of that music's culture.
you think there is no difference between culture and communication ? Really !!!! Did you even think about that statement before you wrote it?
Yes, but you apparently did not think about that statement before you made fun of it.
In order to communicate, something must be communicated. That "something" is culture, or a part of culture. It becomes a part of culture precisely because it is communicated. Without culture, communication is impossible; without communication, expressions cannot become culture at all.
what the hell does that mean? are you saying now somehow culture is tied to value? "and until a work of art does that" DOES WHAT ??? does culture??? does communication ?? speaks ??
When it comes to expression, yes, culture is tied to value. More than that: for expressive works, its cultural value just is its artistic value.
This becomes readily apparent when you consider monetary value (and not value in the wider sense). Would you pay for a CD, without having any clue what the music sounds like, or who performed it? Would you buy a DVD that you've never heard of, then store it in the basement, sight unseen, without ever watching it, or even knowing what's on it?
No, of course not. An artwork is valuable because it communicates something with you. It becomes more desirable because you talk about it with others, share ideas about it, critique it. Its entire value is its value as an instance of cultural communication. It is valuable because it communicates, because it "speaks" to us. And the more people it "speaks" to, the more valuable it becomes.
and until art does "SOMETHING WE DONT KNOW" 'is why the special privilege of copyright is granted in the first place'..
We all know what it does, even if you want to deny it. And, yes, that's why the special privilege of copyright is granted in the first place.
The purpose of copyright is to promote the progress of "science" (here, meaning "learning" or "culture"). In the words of Fox Film v. Doyal, "The sole interest of the United States and the primary object in conferring the monopoly lie in the general benefits derived by the public from the labors of authors." The copyright laws are designed to benefit the public by "promoting broad public availability of literature, music, and the other arts." (Twentieth Century Music v. Aiken.)
It is this "broad public availability" which is what makes works valuable, benefits the general public, and promotes the progress of learning and culture. It is the only way that art can possibly entertain, enlighten, or inspire others. And it is what copyright is designed to achieve.
tell me something you do that contributes too, or derives from your (or a) culture?
I write and perform music. (Not popular music, of course, but it still contributes to the culture of a minority.)
I am, right now, writing a comment in a public forum. For better or worse, I am contributing to the culture of everyone who reads this post.
I listen to music, watch TV and movies, and go to art galleries. These things affect me in some way: the words I use to express myself, how I think about myself or the world, and so on. Those effects may be (and usually are) fairly trivial, but they are still internalized, and become part of me to some degree. They all become part of my culture.
I also talk about music, TV, movies, and art with my friends and acquaintances (online and offline). We use words, phrases, or jokes that we've seen in these works. We share likes and dislikes, criticism or praise, or (if we're lucky) how those things changed our world views. These things are now part of our shared culture.
Fundamentally, there is no difference at all between "culture" and "communication."
And until a work of art does that, the work has absolutely no value at all. In fact, that value - and that value alone - is why the special privilege of copyright is granted in the first place.
I just got back from shopping and found nary a store that sells "culture kits".
Really? Because almost every store that I visit sells "culture kits." Pencils and paper, cameras, musical instruments, art supplies - all of these things are nothing but "culture kits." They may not be marketed as such, but that's what they are.
They create music, movies, photos, paintings, books, etc., each of which are a discrete "object"
No, actually, they are not discrete "objects." They are fixed in a discrete "object" (an "embodiment in a copy or phonorecord" in the parlance of copyright law). And copyright law only covers other objects in which that music, movie, etc. is fixed. It's a subtle distinction, but it must be made, because it reveals that copyright is a restriction on the "objects" of others.
This is especially significant when it comes to fair use. Without fair use, copyright holders would have absolute veto power over other works of art. This would go against the very purpose of copyright, which is to promote the production of artworks for the public. And the public may gain just as much from an artwork that makes fair use of another, as it does from the original artwork. To grant copyright holders veto power over these works would be detrimental to the very thing that justifies copyright's existence in the first place.
I can accept that such works may contribute to the wealth of works that help define our culture, but to say that someone makes culture is inapt.
The only way it would be "inapt" is if such works were never published. Sure, not every work is a part of culture; I write short stories in my spare time, none of which make it out of my typewriter (or hard drive, as the case may be). These works are not part of culture, because nobody else sees them.
But the moment I publish them, the moment I make them available to the public, is the very moment that they are part of our culture. They may not be a very large part, but they are a part of culture nonetheless.
And this also reveals something about artworks. If they are not part of culture, they have no value whatsoever. I may write a book or make a movie, but until the public values them, they are useless as works of art - and certainly useless as commercial products. It is culture that creates value in art - not the other way around.
As for "innovation economy", it remains undefined.
Re: NOTHING NEW HERE except that OOTB is wrong instead of lying
spare me the "they still have their data" excuse
That is not an "excuse." That is precisely the reason that infringement is not stealing. No less than the Supreme Court said so:
The copyright owner, however, holds no ordinary chattel. [...] The infringer invades a statutorily defined province guaranteed to the copyright holder alone. But he does not assume physical control over the copyright; nor does he wholly deprive its owner of its use.
- Dowling v. U.S.
In my view they should get far less for making cheap entertainments full of 'splosions, besides that the dimwits addicted to that crap should reform themselves and make their own entertainment
Stronger copyright laws act against making your own entertainment. I've already explained this to you: because a copyright monopoly is treated as transferrable property, it ends up being hoarded by multinational corporations, who can then control the avenues of distribution. These are the exact same people that are "making cheap entertainments full of 'splosions," and because they hold a monopoly on distribution, they make sure that popular art is nothing but "cheap entertainments full of 'splosions." Make no mistake about it: supporting copyright is supporting corporate monopolies and the "art" they produce.
The only way to break these monopolies is through distribution channels where copyright is relaxed, such that major media corporations cannot effectively gain monopolies on those channels. At the moment, these are internet media companies such as YouTube. In other words, the entities that people need to "make their own entertainment" are the same ones you consistently call "grifters."
As the Writers Guild itself said: "Such venues are critical to the promotion of independent content and are only available online because television and film are controlled by a handful of media companies who decide what content consumers have access to."
the basic problem is people stealing. Just quit stealing and problem is solved!
Most of the problems with copyright have nothing to do with people "stealing." You may never pirate a single thing in your entire life, but you would still have those problems.
Your content can be removed by a false DMCA notice, even if you're not infringing. When they say "the threat of such large damages and the cost of litigation may deter further investment in web sites that serve as venues for independent production," they are not talking about Megaupload. When they say "allowing felony charges for such activities could have a chilling effect on artists," they are not talking about artists ripping off other artists.
So, no, the problem is not people "stealing." The problem is that copyright punishes people who don't "steal" at all.
The problem with your line of logic at the end is that it then not only becomes immoral to stop people from walking into a movie theater without paying, or walking into a book store and taking whatever they want
That is a false equivalence. There is nothing immoral about selling a ticket to a specific seat in a theater, or with selling a specific copy of a book. Nor do you need copyright to do either of those things.
Instead, you are claiming that it is immoral to read a different copy of a book, or to watch the same movie in a different theater. You are saying that the "original" bookstore has the moral right to prevent other bookstores from giving away that book, that the "original" theater has the moral right to prevent other theaters from having free screenings of the same movie. And you are saying that everyone who partronizes the other bookstores or theaters is morally no better than a thief.
In my opinion, that is an untenable moral position.
By saying 'It's unethical to stop people from taking cultural works' you're essentially saying that it's immoral for people who make art, movies, books, and videogames to charge for their work, or profit in any other way than voluntary donations.
Far from it. Selling copies of artworks is not immoral. Just as there is nothing immoral about selling public domain works either.
What is not moral is preventing others from providing the public with those same artworks. This is, literally, the only thing that copyright does.
Nor is there anything wrong with the people who make art (&etc.) to charge for their work. And you certainly do not need copyright for this; it's the way most workers make a living. Most workers, however, do not hold any kind of right in what they produce after their labor is sold (e.g. assembly-line workers don't get royalties on every car sold). So you are arguing that the people who make art have moral rights that nobody else has.
Beyond that, the thing about libraries is that they illustration part of the reason why it's immoral to obtain cultural works illicitly. For those that can't afford a cultural work, there's general a cheap or free means of obtaining it if they're simply patient. It being morally right to create avenues of free access does not make it moral to use illicit avenues simply because someone is impatient.
First: Public libraries can (and do) get books at exactly the moment that they are available to the general public. "Patience" has nothing to do with it. I have no idea where you're getting that idea.
Second: If an act is moral, it doesn't suddenly become immoral because it's illegal, nor does it become an immoral act because people do it for the "wrong" reasons. If libraries became illegal tomorrow, it would not become immoral to run a public library. Public libraries would not be immoral, even if people only checked out books because they were too impatient to wait for those books to show up in second-hand stores.
To use the Oatmeal Game of Thrones example, the problem is that digital options for watching Game of Thrones is insufficient, and piracy much easier.
Not "insufficient," but "nonexistent." The choice was between watching a pirated copy of Game of Thrones, or not watching it at all.
And here is the thing: both options affect HBO exactly the same. From the point of view of HBO, there is absolutely no difference whatsoever between someone watching a pirated copy, and that same person simply not watching at all. Since the outcome to the copyright holder is exactly the same, the only difference between the one and the other is that without piracy, that member of the public is deprived of the work.
By arguing that people should do without, rather than pirate, you are arguing only that it is a moral good to deprive the public of works of art. That is literally your only moral argument.
How do you spin Section 3931 of the Penn. criminal code:
That section of the criminal code was explicitly dealing with unpublished works.
Laws regarding unpublished works are entirely different than laws dealing with restricting use on works which have already been published.
For example, even Wheaton vs. Peters, the first copyright court case, unequivocally decided that post-publication monopoly rights were not based in common law rights,, but that the right of "first publication" is a common-law right. Nobody here has argued against them, and we all argue that infringement upon those rights is "stealing," because it's infringement upon personal property rights. There is no controversy.
The Pennsylvania statute was restricted to "first publication" rights, which are "first publication" rights. They do not have anything to do with post-publication rights, which is what anyone here discusses when debating copyright rights. Infringing upon "first publication" rights might or might not be theft; but even if it was, it doesn't mean infringing upon a post-publication right is theft. In fact, the two questions are completely distinct.
Re: Re: Re: Umm, sure. Declare victory and get out, kids!
I believe he's not arguing in favor of copyright infringement. I believe he's arguing that everyone should accept their fate as serfs and just shut up and obey their masters.
Actually, he's arguing is that everyone should recognize that they're serfs, scream incoherent rants about "the Rich" - and then accept their fate and obey their masters. It's exactly the same except for the shutting up part.
Re: Good rant, but YES, copyright infringement IS theft!
copyright infringement IS theft!
You can scream this as loud as you want, but it doesn't make it true.
Legally, it is not theft. Infringement is not stealing, and infringing copies are not stolen goods. This was decided, unequivocally, in Dowling v. United States.
And in the Hotfile case (where the court found that Hotfile was infringing), the court said that the MPAA could not use terms like "theft" or "stealing," as they were purely "pejorative terms."
It is not "theft" in any other term, either, because creating a copy is not "taking" anything. It is not "theft" in the economic sense, because nobody's bank account goes down with infringement, and no stock is lost; there is absolutely no economic difference between infringement and simply not buying a copy. It is not "theft" in the colloquial sense, either, as it does not deprive the copyright holder of the original works, or of any right to exploit the works economically.
So, go ahead and scream all you want. You'll only make yourself angry. You still won't be right, and you won't convince anyone else that you are.
Umm, this is going to be unpopular, but piracy is in part a moral issue. Generally speaking, when you can't afford something, the moral thing to do is to go without it, not seek out illicit means of obtaining it.
This is absolutely not true with cultural works. Generally speaking, when the public can't afford works, the moral thing to do is to create free access to those works.
It is why public libraries are an ethical good. It is why copyright exceptions for public schools are an ethical good. It is why it is an ethical good to create public performance exceptions for churches and non-profits.
It is such an ethical good, in fact, that early copyright laws explicitly stated that publishers had to produce editions that would be affordable by the general public. If they didn't do this, they lost their copyrights.
The question you should ask yourself is not whether it is unethical for the pubic to "take" cultural works. The question you should ask is why it is in any way ethical to stop them.
And it is not ethical. It may be a necessary evil, but it is an evil nonetheless.
Re: Lawful circumvention is lawful. Illegal as in piratage still illegal.
Lawful circumvention is lawful. Illegal as in piratage still illegal.
In fact, neither is true, and it shows how wrong your thinking is on copyright.
In the U.S., there is no "lawful circumvention." The DMCA makes all DRM circumvention unlawful, whether that circumvention is used for copyright infringement or not.
"Piratage" isn't a word, but if you mean "consuming media for free," then there are plenty of cases where it's legal. Libraries, free radio and TV, CC works, GNU software, etc.
In fact, "illegal piracy" is a redundancy, because if it's not illegal, it's not piracy. As an example, merely viewing or listening to pirated content is not piracy. And, so far as I know, buying and owning a counterfeit DVD or bootleg record is not piracy either (copying or selling them is).
Well, at least you're starting to actually make actual arguments, rather than just ad hominem attacks and rants against "the rich." I already debunked your previous arguments, so now you're making new ones. Your new arguments are still wrong (mostly), but are worth replying to.
You cannot fight entrenched moneyed interests that buy politicians. Neither producers nor politicians actually mind putting in place more DRM and other controls. Fits right with other plans.
If we "cannot fight entrenched moneyed interests that buy politicians," then we cannot fight through legal means, by changing the laws. If we cannot fight through legal means, then make no mistake about it, you are advocating for fighting copyright through illegal means. In your example, means like ignoring the law and breaking DRM.
You are, in other words, arguing for illegal copyright infringement. If you want to do that, fine; but I'm not going to agree with you, and it makes you an utter and complete hypocrite.
You're NOT fighting by stealing their content.
I personally agree. As do groups like the Free Software Foundation, who advocate against software piracy, and advocate the use of open-source software instead. As do entities like Creative Commons, which advocates against piracy, and instead advocates the use of licenses that allow free copying and use.
Yet I have never, ever, seen you defend organizations like these (or their solutions). Instead, you post your usual bullshit about how doing exactly what these organizations advocate "is NOT sharing, not fair use, nor fair to its creators."
On the other hand, you are fighting if you consume the content for free (lawfully or not), then find some other way to reimburse the actual creators (and not the copyright holders). This is, in fact, what the vast majority of pirates do.
by consuming their content, you are being molded into passive consumer of utter CRAP.
This is, in all likelihood, why sharing can increase sales. If it's media content, it simply increases demand for that content, or content very much like it, and gets the public acclimated to consuming it in their daily lives. That is exactly how radio works.
Also, if it really is "utter CRAP," then there is no reason to grant it copyright protection. If it does not benefit the public, then it should not have copyright protection.
I personally do not believe in such judgements - one man's crap is another man's treasure, and it should never be up to the government to decide which is which. But it does seem inconsistent to complain about the "utter CRAP" that is being produced, then to defend that "CRAP" against the very people who treasure it.
And you will NEVER get around "I made it therefore I own it" as common law
It is unbelievable that you are still harping on this. I'll spell it out for you in bold.
Coyright is not, and was never, based on common law. It is, and always was, purely a creation of statute.
"I made it therefore I own it" is not the reason copyright is granted. What you're describing is the "sweat of the brow" argument, which has been soundly and repeatedly rejected by the Supreme Court. Copyright's purpose is to provide the public with works of art, nothing more.
In fact, copyright does not say "I made it therefore I own it." It says "I made it, but I don't own it, because it's too much like something someone else made." It says "I bought it, but I don't own it, because someone else has rights over my personal property." It is not a property right in anything but a statutory sense; it is, instead, a right in someone else's property.
particularly not for the higher investments of either time or money.
As I said to you before, if you advocate rewarding "higher investments of either time or money," you are advocating for big businesses. Those are the only ones who can afford higher investments of time or money. It sure as hell isn't the original authors who do so, at least not with works that have been historically covered by copyright. And it certainly isn't the poor.
You thereby doom yourself to the "100 songs a day" type of world where all content is cheap, nothing excels even for 'splosions.
You are saying that no artworks can excel unless there is significant investment involved. That is an incredibly elitist stance to take. You are dismissing art made by the working class, and saying that only art funded by big businesses is valid.
There is nothing hypocritical about this attitute, if you're an elitist. But it is incredibly hypocritical for someone whose politics seem to be defined solely by a disdain for "the Rich."
You provide an incredible example even in this very post. First, you post this:
Things cannot be dumbed down any further, warn experts
...Then, your "tagline," the revealing quote that shows where your sympathies lie:
Where arrogance meets ignorance to conspire what they'll do with someone else's $100 million movie.
Where, exactly, do you think this "dumbing down" is occurring? Where do you find artworks where "nothing excels even for 'splosions?"
I can think of no form of art that exemplifies this better than the $100 million movie. In fact, the article that you quoted said as much: it was talking about media produced by the same people that produce those $100 million movies. For example: "Even a film about The Rock driving a jeep into explosions will leave viewers confused and angry at its pretentiousness."
So, when you are defending those movies, you are defending the dumbing down of the public. And you are defending the dumbing down of the public by big businesses.
At least if you buy the "dumbing down" argument. Personally, I think those claims are completely overblown (they have been leveled against whatever is currently popular for centuries). But you cannot defend the works produced by big businesses on the one hand, then decry their social effects on the other.
Of course, we've seen plenty of copyright holders directly allege that failure of a internet account holder to stop infringement is somehow a violation of the law itself, but that's not what the law says at all.
Indeed. That's why I wish the legal profession would use a term other than "facilitated."
Facilitation is not per se unlawful. It must be intentional facilitation, or at the very least involve some sort of willful negligence standard. One can even "facilitate" an act unintentionally, but such a facilitator is not secondarily liable for that action.
Have they ever had more than an I.P. address in the history of infringement lawsuits? Why is this coming up now?
Usually in these cases, the rights holders go to a judge with an I.P. address, and attempt to get a subpoena to identify the owner of the I.P. address. In theory, this is for discovery, so that the rights holders can investigate the owner and determine who is the actual infringer.
In reality, of course, such subpoenas are almost exclusively used to send threat letters to the I.P. owners, whether they are the infringers or not, in order to coerce a "settlement."