I know artists who are making money now, who couldn't under the old system. Some are giving music away, some aren't. Some are using a combination system. Some are using The Pirate Bay as their major distribution mechanism.
This is their choice, not mine. I just follow what they do because I know them and like them.
As someone who owns their own recording studio, and works with smaller acts, my response to you is bullshit. I know a bunch of people who now have full time jobs in music, who ten years ago could NOT HAVE DONE THIS. The addition of the internet has given them extra tools to make money.
I've pointed a lot of people who are looking at ways to make money at Techdirt. Mike often talks about different methods other artists have used. Take them, modify them, and run with them. That's what the smart people are doing.
Update: The situation has now been resolved, with Universal admitting -- yet again -- that it does not have any claim or rights to Keating's music. Separately, SoundExchange wanted to make clear that the "conflict" in data came from a (nameless) webcaster, who incorrectly listed Keating's music on their playlist as belonging to Universal Music. They insist that Universal had nothing to do with the actual claim. What's unclear is why SoundExchange relies on webcasters for the copyright holder info. I can understand getting a listing of songs and artists, but asking them to figure out who the label/copyright holder is seems like a situation that is going to turn up all sorts of bogus data, something that SoundExchange admits outright is "a challenge across the industry."
Separately, SoundExchange claims that they do not give preference to labels as I stated in my post. But in the letter sent to Keating on Monday, it states: "our policy is to give preference to repertoire that is claimed directly by a label. Therefore, if we haven't heard from you within 90 days, we will adjust the claim in favor of the new claimant." That certainly sounds like they would have given preference to Universal Music. If that's not the case, it seems like they should clarify the language in such emails.
Which make me wonder, how many other artists are getting hit the same way, and don't know it?
That may seem like a strange thing to say, but a lot of artists are terrible at the business side. They might read the statement, and not even realize that the payment should have come to them.
And the obvious next step is to make it illegal to use these alternate DNS systems because the only reason that they could possibly exist is to steal content. That is the logic that they will use, and they will be hurt to the quick that anyone will question their logic.
However there is an alternative. I've started writting a series of articles about publishing, and while doing it I've found out that most writers really don't know a hell of a lot about their own business. Most don't know a damned thing about the money side of their business.
The answer is to educate them on the money side, so that they have the knowledge to cut the cord from the publishers, whether they are book publishers, music publishers, or video publishers, so they can go direct to their customers.
I'd rather not try to explain all of the details in an answer here, so instead I'm going to post links to my articles, and suggest you read all three. I also suggest that you look at the spreadsheet in the third article, which shows the difference in earnings if the writer goes directly to the reader as compared to going through a publisher. Several writers who have seen it, and read the article have called the numbers scary.
You look at the money flows, estimate the changes due to the changes in technologies, competition, etc., and pray like crazy.
Then you check every single Microsoft SEC filing to see if anything looks odd. So far they appear to be following the script. Which doesn't mean that something won't change in the future. Microsoft has taken several actions that are show they are aware of the problem, look at the patent deal with HTC.
I could quite easily be wrong. But I think I'm right. It's only a bit over three years now.
That's part of the reason I predicted Microsoft filing for Chapter 11 in the fall of 2014 back in 2009. Microsoft never was an innovator. All of their products have either been purchased from someone else, or are an imitation of someone else's product. But at least they used to be able to imitate with some success. They can't even do that now.
Microsoft is in the process of destroying themselves.
If they really felt that strongly that they had a case, they would simply sue and force the issue.
But they're not. They're hoping to try and get a couple (at best) of the seizures tossed on what will ultimately be viewed as an irrelevant technicality. It's BS.
Here's the bottom line: Mike Masnick hates copyright.
But he isn't an artist so he does not understand the mindset of one.
He thinks that the world should change the way it works because of how he happens to view copyright.
His followers here lap it up because they're scared to death of losing their free lunch and having to pay for the content that they are so hopelessly addicted to- despite claiming that it "all sucks" or that "they wouldn't buy it anyway". Yeah, right.
There isn't a single reason to listen to a person like this, who is putting his interests ahead of those whom these laws are designed to protect.
His selfish crusade is massively fucked up and narcissistic.
Unlike you, I'm not afraid to attach my name to my post. Unlike you, I hold a series of copyrights, on music, software, and literature.
I can assure you that Mike 'doesn't hate copyright'. I don't hate copyright either. I do however have a rather cynical viewpoint towards the CRIA member companies, who I've been having an ongoing war with for the last couple of years. They are the ones who hate copyright.
I'm serious. It's not safe to do business there any more. And it won't be safe to do business there until Joe 'MPAA' Biden and his ilk are pushing up daisies.
That may sound harsh, but consider this situation. If Mike is telling the truth (and I have good reason to believe that he is) the people who would like to fight the Justice Department in court are being blocked by the Justice Department, by the simple method of avoiding giving the complainant any information.
Joseph Heller would recognize the situation. So would Kafka. I wasted a fair bit of time trying to warn the International Music Score Library Project of the dangers of working with a .ORG domain. It went in one ear and out the other. The next time someone decides to take them down, if they may end up staying down permanently, if they don't setup an alternate safe domain.
Could you please reword the article so that it's clear that the Canadian government is ignoring Canadian Creators in favor of American Businesses. A lot of people who I know misunderstood the article, and thought you meant the general public.
Yes, the Canadian Government ignored the general public as well. But they betrayed writers and musicians. I know. I are one.
I have a bunch of old DOS games that still play. Pool of Radiance. Curse of the Azure Bonds. Jumpman. The original Duke Nukem. Wing Commander and Wing Commander 2. Great stuff.
The problem is that the current crop of games is shit. It can't match the classics. Sure, it's 'shiny' but it isn't fun.
Fun is what sells games.
My wife is an Angry Birds addict. She says it's fun. It's something she can sit down to, and blow of steam when she's ready to kill something (usually me). The current crop of mainstream computer games leaves her cold.
If the industry doesn't bring back the 'fun' factor it's going to kill itself.
While my last comment doesn't have anything to do directly with this article, it points in the direction my thoughts are going.
Someone thinks that there is more money for them this way. It doesn't matter that it might cause a lot of other people misery, they think that they can make an extra 0.05% if the rules work in this manner, so they are going to push for it. And they are pushing hard.
Last night I caught someone in a lie. An interesting lie. They claimed that a new band, that had released it's first album, had gone Platinum in Canada based on illegal downloads from torrent sites. They were claiming over 100K downloads.
One Soul Thrust is the band. The play Rock, pretty good stuff really. The fun part of this is, that when I tried to follow up the numbers, I couldn't find a SINGLE torrent of their music. Not one. I also couldn't find it on the Gnutella network.
I've talked to the band members by email. They seem like nice people, but not technologically savvy. So my feeling is that someone is trying take advantage of them. I don't know exactly how or why, the only thing I'm certain of is that there's money involved somewhere.
You can use my stuff any way you want, just as long as you give me attribution. So far I've been mirrored, and translated into Russian and Spanish. I like being told about it of course, because I like knowing when people use stuff, but that's just ego boost on my end. It's not necessary.
Could also be a timing issue. Possibly Senator Wyden is waiting for someone to commit themselves to something spectacularly stupid, and then he's going to release it. Politics is after all, the roughest of all the Blood Sports.