The More Things Change… The More They Stay The Same, Music Piracy Edition

from the those-darn-pirates dept

Via Boing Boing comes this link to a NY Times article from 1897 (yes, you read that right, not 1987) about the struggle of the music industry against “pirates” (you can see the original via the NY Times site here). This really old article really does sound like pretty much any of the more recent news about music “pirates” except they’re talking about sheet music, rather than MP3 files. The fact that it focuses on Canadian copyright laws as the problem, again nearly perfectly mimics today’s claims from the recording industry. The article even talks about a recent conference held by industry members to create a committee to fight piracy. Basically, it’s the same exact story we see today — and the same bogus complaints. If the industry has shown one thing, it’s that it will consistently overreact to any new change in technology, claiming it’s some massive threat, rather than learn how to embrace it and turn it into an opportunity.

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Comments on “The More Things Change… The More They Stay The Same, Music Piracy Edition”

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Tgeigs says:


That article is a great catch, and got me thinking about some other parallels:

*Fake/Allow an attack on the homeland, thereby allowing you to circumvent civil liberties and put a stranglehold on your constituents so that you can go to war for “patriotic” or “defensive” reasons –

Sound familiar?

UBW says:

Posted this a few weeks ago in another article, but very relevant here. Very accurate speech from 1841 basically describing what is happening today.

Just posting the ending, though the full thing is worth reading

“I am so sensible, Sir, of the kindness with which the House has listened to me, that I will not detain you longer. I will only say this, that if the measure before us should pass, and should produce one-tenth part of the evil which it is calculated to produce, and which I fully expect it to produce, there will soon be a remedy, though of a very objectionable kind. Just as the absurd acts which prohibited the sale of game were virtually repealed by the poacher, just as many absurd revenue acts have been virtually repealed by the smuggler, so will this law be virtually repealed by piratical booksellers. At present the holder of copyright has the public feeling on his side. Those who invade copyright are regarded as knaves who take the bread out of the mouths of deserving men. Everybody is well pleased to see them restrained by the law, and compelled to refund their ill-gotten gains. No tradesman of good repute will have anything to do with such disgraceful transactions. Pass this law: and that feeling is at an end. Men very different from the present race of piratical booksellers will soon infringe this intolerable monopoly. Great masses of capital will be constantly employed in the violation of the law. Every art will be employed to evade legal pursuit; and the whole nation will be in the plot. On which side indeed should the public sympathy be when the question is whether some book as popular as Robinson Crusoe, or the Pilgrim’s Progress, shall be in every cottage, or whether it shall be confined to the libraries of the rich for the advantage of the great-grandson of a bookseller who, a hundred years before, drove a hard bargain for the copyright with the author when in great distress? Remember too that, when once it ceases to be considered as wrong and discreditable to invade literary property, no person can say where the invasion will stop. The public seldom makes nice distinctions. The wholesome copyright which now exists will share in the disgrace and danger of the new copyright which you are about to create. And you will find that, in attempting to impose unreasonable restraints on the reprinting of the works of the dead, you have, to a great extent, annulled those restraints which now prevent men from pillaging and defrauding the living. If I saw, Sir, any probability that this bill could be so amended in the Committee that my objections might be removed, I would not divide the House in this stage. But I am so fully convinced that no alteration which would not seem insupportable to my honourable and learned friend, could render his measure supportable to me, that I must move, though with regret, that this bill be read a second time this day six months.”

Spyder says:

Re: Re:

Perhaps you should reread it then. Or perhaps read this breakdown:
1. Foreign pirates are distributing copies of our IP (sheet music/songs through unauthorized distribution channels (mail/torrents)

2. They form a committee.

3. That committee produces some probably bogus stats on how this is destroying their business.

4. They suggest that some other businesses (Post Office/ISPs) change their business instead of adapting themselves.

Am I missing something? Simply update the technologies and that article could be printed today and seem new and relevant.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Please correct me if I am wrong, but that long ago NYT article involved sheet music publishers raising a ruckus about others who were copying the sheet music and selling what was essentially the identical “thing” for a small fraction of what the domestic publishers were charging.

I am sure that even today a book publisher would take umbrage if foreign parties were photo-copying the pages of a book, binding them into a neat package that looks like the original, and then selling them in the US for a fraction of what a book would otherwise cost.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Why am I left with the firm and definite conviction that the NYT article of years gone by was read by you using a highly selective filter to present yet another tedious rant?

If you’d care to point what was filtered out of that article, then please do so. Otherwise, I’m left with the firm and definite conviction that you’re another lying apologist.

Space Pirate (user link) says:


…”Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”…

Humanity is a wonderful merry-go-round, all we seem to have accomplished is having a spectacular ability to recategorize the present such that the past no longer seems to apply. Guess we can’t be surprised when the idiocy of our elected officials is only surpassed by that of our educators.

RD says:


“Sure, except the whole “fake/allow” part. If by that you mean 9/11 was “fake[d]/allow[ed]” you are both mistaken and an idiot.”

Yes, because when it was found out over 2 years later that several of the supposed hijackers were STILL ALIVE (proved through multiple sources), it makes you an “idiot” to question what happened and whether we (the public) were lied to about any part of it.

Keep the blinders on there Spyder. Dont question anything, just believe everything you are spoon-fed. After all, to question when something doesnt look right is to be an “idiot.”


Tgeigs says:

Color me surprised

I have to say I’m encouraged by most people’s willingness to question on this site. As to the dissenter (who is of course within rights to call me an idiot):

“Sure, except the whole “fake/allow” part. If by that you mean 9/11 was “fake[d]/allow[ed]” you are both mistaken and an idiot.”

Please translate to Yiddish with a period German accent and resubmit so that the irony can be complete.

Spyder says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Color me surprised

Fahrenheit 9/11? I’ve seen it and was not impressed. Most of their “facts” are easily debunked.
One was that the heat of jet fuel was not enough to melt steel. A competent metallurgist will tell you that any significant heat will cause the metal crystals to start fusing, resulting in weakening LONG before melting.
Most everything else can be explained similarly. His experts (IIRC) were mostly academia without any real-world experience answering questions that, while generally correct, didn’t exactly mean what he tried to say they meant.
If there any any others that seem particularly convincing I can explain/point you to the counter-arguement

Spyder says:

I agree that the circumstances made the war an easy thing to do. In fact, I’d say war was inevitable at that point. That does not directly lead to anything else.

Jim Marrs sounds like a ultra-far-left nut at first glance (assuming he thoroughly believes all the conspiracies he writes about, although his JFK novel was really, really good if it is the one I’m thinking of), but I’ll have to read some of his books to see.

Tgeigs says:

Re: Re:

A. It IS the one you’re thinking about (I say this because his is usually one of the first books pointed to for a dissenter’s view on the topic)

B. Interestingly, while much of the conclusions Marrs draws are very “out there”, the evidence that he relies on is well documented and thorough, and can be used to draw all kinds of OTHER conclusions. Personally, when I read an expose like those that he writes, I’m less interested in the conclusions and more interested in the evidence. Also, it bears noting that Marrs routinely expresses distrust in BOTH sides of the aisle, although his evidence for Nazi collusion w/the right wing in this country going back into the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s is far more expounded upon, so yes, he probably has an agenda as well.

Raybone says:

@ Spy-der You have not looked at real evidence

I apologize to Mike and all of you who could give a rats ass for being off-topic, but Spyder’s gauntlet has been thrown. Spyder I’ll be happy to acquaint you with the hard physical evidence of the 911 false-flag attack. Before I do, some background on myself. Though I am now a musician and sound engineer, in my younger days, I worked in plant services all over the country. In that capacity, I earned a level 2 classification as an Explosives Tech. All of my bosses and most other employees were ex EOD. We worked with charges and det-cord to clear the solid waste that accumulated around the heat exchange tubes inside the fire boxes of coal power plants. As soon as I watched the towers explode, and heard the familiar crackling of det-cord, and saw the flashes of explosions encircle the buildings, I knew there were explosives set to bring the towers down. Not to mention all the witnesses and reporters who kept mentioning “secondary devices” going off all over the buildings. The networks never again played that footage after the 1st day, but you can find video evidence of this online.

First you must understand that their are many BAD and sensational docu-dramas claiming all sorts of craziness including that there were no planes at all, but were “holograms” and the Towers were downed by a space laser.

Make no mistake. This is not the evidence to which I am referring. In fact, I suspect many of these “nuts” are in reality agents-provocateurs working to discredit and distort the message of the real scholars. This would be a smart maneuver since it allows those parroting the “official” conspiracy theory the ability to say to those who dont know any better “see?” the 911 Truthers are all nuts.

there are many, many problems with the “official” lie. I will mention some quick examples since this is too huge a subject to explain here. I will lead you to the water, though it is up to you to have a taste

1.Building 7…look it up

2.Pentagon stands down….many are uneducated about air security over Washington, Langley and the Pentagon but there are several
batteries of surface-to-air missiles stationed around the White House and the Pentagon. These missiles are automated to shoot any object flying into restricted airspace unles that object transmits a safe code to the batteries. How did
men in caves achieve this stand down without an inside man?

3.Hole in Pentagon is too small and there is no evidence of a plane anywhere. Titanium engines do not vaporize upon impact.

4.Particles from the dust contain particles and even unexploded evidence of Thermate which is a military grate of Thermite. The difference is Thermate achieves high temps even faster.

5.Photographic evidence of the aftermath of the collapsed buildings. Including huge pieces blown into other buildings hundreds of feet away. This is impossible without explosives
as it defies the Laws of Momentum and Gravity

6.The wall street put-options that would’ve had the CIA up in arms any other time, and yet the SEC refuses to disclose the identity of the investors since “They had no known affiliation with terrorists”. As backward an investigation can get.

7.No plane in Shanksville…see #3

I will stop there, but give some links

Check out the online video 911:Blueprint for Truth. A talk given by Richard Gage who started Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth.
Videos by David Ray Griffin, another good researcher
911 Myths
911 Lets Get Empirical

Just these should get you started. Good Luck

Anonymous Coward says:

Times have changed, our kids are geting worse.
They won’t obey their parents, they just wanna fart and curse!
Should we blame the government, or blame society?
Or should we blame the images on TV?

NO! Blame Canada, Blame Canada
It seems that everything’s gone wrong,
since Canada came along
Blame Canada, Blame Canada
We need to form as full assault, it’s Canada’s fault

Don’t blame yourself for your son Stan,
He saw that darn cartoon and now he’s off to join the Klan!
and my boy Eric once had my picture on his shelf,
but now when he sees me, he tells me to (gasp) myself

Blame Canada, Blame Canada
Because when Canada is gone,
There’ll be no more Celine Dion
Blame Canada, Blame Canada
They’re not even a real country anyway

Kenny could’ve been a doctor or a lawyer, it’s true
instead he burned up like a piggy on the barbecue
Should we blame the matches? Should we blame the fire?
or the doctors who allowed him to expire?

HECK NO! Blame Canada, Blame Canada
with all their Hockey hallabaloo, and that bitch Anne Murray too
Blame Canada, Blame Canada
all I can say is oy Gevalt, it’s Canada’s Fault


Blame Canada, Blame Canada
With Brain Adams’ Beady Eyes
Margret Trudeau’s friendly thighs
Blame Canada, Shame on Canada!

For the smut we must stop!
The trash we must smash!
The laughter and fun,
this will be undone!
We must blame them and cause a fuss
before somebody thinks of blaming us!!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Little known fact; Generally speaking pirating something that’s available as a torrent is a complete waste of time and effort. Why would anyone pay for something that’s free?

Sheet music is a similar concept. It isn’t very expensive to begin with. What profit would you make pirating it?

Of course the big thing comes in where people today don’t even seem to know what piracy is, so they just throw the word at whatever they want it to mean.

Anonymous Coward says:

Hmm…with all of these conspiracies going on…I wonder if Swine flu actually exists…or really any flu at all.

I bet they’re all just govt/industry experiments so that we’ll all be just sick enough to buy up all of the excess pharmaceuticals out there.

Or, maybe it’s a way to ensure lower rates of unemployment since sick people can’t work a full-time job. With lower unemployment, more of us will go back to being full-time consumers and generally acting like sheeple proper again.

Hey, this is fun!!

Tgeigs says:

Re: Re:

No, what’s fun is digging up the fact that the same people that own most of the pharma industry (Rockefellers) also own or are involved in illness causing behavior (water floridation, asbestos production, cancer causing weapons, etc.) or work closely with those who do (like the fact that Rumsfeld single handedly produced Aspartame and then appointed the FDA chief who pushed it through over the rejection of the rest of the panel).

But yes, I agree, conspiracies are fun when they leave the facts out for you to find.

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