Why Are RIAA Supporters So Scared Of What Actual Musicians Think?

from the interesting... dept

Last week, I wrote a post about the idea for something called Project EquilibRIAA. The idea was to reach out to the various musicians whose music was used in the trial against Joel Tenenbaum and here what they felt about it. Obviously, this had no legal basis, but was interesting from a cultural perspective, especially considering that just a day earlier the RIAA had declared that the trial wasn’t about the RIAA but about how “Joel Tenenbaum and his egregious illegal behavior which robs artists and music creators of the right to be paid for their work.” So, according to the RIAA, it’s about the artists and their music, and I thought (as did the original poster of the suggestion) that it would be interesting — no matter what they said — to hear what musicians thought about the whole trial. No one suggested that it would have any bearing on the outcome. We just thought it would be a good experiment.

But what amazed me was the vitriol in the comments from the standard (small) group of RIAA supporters concerning this idea, and their absolutely dripping contempt for the actual musicians. Some samplings:

Comment #2: “It is entirely irrelevant, as the artists have signed away many of their rights (including those things that Joel was sued under). It would sort of like putting a dairy farmer in touch with a kid who stole milk posters at school. The relationship isn’t relevant.

Comment #11: “I suspect you will get “wanna be cool party line” stuff, as each artist will dump a little crap on the RIAA, and then quietly cash the checks they keep getting.”

Comment #12: “The artists don’t have any rights. I don’t care what the former owners of my car think about whether I’ve been maintaining it well or not and I don’t care what the creator of a song who assigned the rights to someone else is now having cold feet about taking money from a record company. Bought, paid for, gone.”

Comment #17: “What the Artists think doesn’t mean crap. They all signed the distribution rights over to the record labels, and they are the ones that were wronged. I could care less if the artist stood on stage and told everyone to download their music, if they signed the distribution rights away, they are equally guilty of copyright infringement by telling people to download the music too.”

This fascinates me. Statements like “it is entirely irrelevant” and “the artists don’t have any rights” pretty much makes the point right there, doesn’t it? These are the same people (yes, with the same IP addresses) who yell and scream about how what we discuss around here is insulting to artists and an effort to take away their “right to get paid.” If this is all about respecting artists and helping them get fairly compensated, why are they so damn afraid of actually letting them speak? And why do they treat them with such contempt?

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Comments on “Why Are RIAA Supporters So Scared Of What Actual Musicians Think?”

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131 Comments
Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Two on the money

No, Mike’s purpose isn’t to provoke insults it’s to provoke thought. But people who ether don’t know crap about what they are doing or know that what they do is wrong will jump to insults to try to hide those facts. The vast majority of people will debate points and have thought provoking arguments for their side, not ignore the points brought up and call the people they’re supposedly defending idiots.

It’s all about presentation. Who’s going to get more respect, the guy who posts points and counter points relevant to a debate or the guy who posts “you’re a moron”?

zenasprime (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Two on the money

Isn’t that the point? To get attention to the current situation. I don’t know about you but most people don’t get called into action by reading technical manuals. They are energized by passionate speech and prose.

As for respect, I respect the opinion that is honest in it’s design more so then if it’s entirely based upon absolutes of knowledge. The recording industry is basing their rhetoric on a lot of “shady business” where as the opposition doesn’t really have much to gain in return for their opinion, except, ultimately, their own personal liberty and political freedom of expression.

zenasprime (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Two on the money

you make it sound as if there needs to be some special accomedation to be creative for creative sake. Making music for other people to enjoy has nothing to do with things needing to be “free” or any sort of “legal access” to it.

In the begging our ancestors gathered around the camp fire and shared company with each other, some banged sticks together, some sang, other danced, all after a hards days work of hunting and gathering. Music isn’t any different today (except for perhaps the size of some peoples sticks πŸ˜‰ ), and sharing the experience shouldn’t change either.

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Two on the money

Not correct. The RIAA claims to “represent the artists”. Mike’s intent is to figure out if that is true. What better way to do this than to ask the artists if they agree with the RIAA’s policies and actions.

If the result of this is insulting to the RIAA, is it Mike who is insulting them, or their own hypocrisy? Clearly the latter.

If, on the other hand, a good proportion of artists acknowledge that the RIAA IS acting in accordance with their wishes, then the RIAA is vindicated on the point of “representing the artists”.

Does Mike have a hunch which of these two outcomes are likely? I’d guess he does – he’s already talked to a bunch of artists and got a good feel. Now he wants to hear, specifically, from the artists who are being “represented” in the Tennenbaum case. It’s a useful experiment – if finding out the truth is useful to you.

zenasprime (profile) says:

Re: Two on the money

well when someone (RIAA) repeated state that what they do is for the ARTISTS and CREATORS but repeatedly do what they do NOT for the ARTISTS or CREATORS but for the CORPORATIONS and the STOCKHOLDERS, that’s what is called HYPOCRISY (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypocrisy). They justify their lobbying efforts with congress and the public at large using this kind of hypocrisy. In other words, they are having the laws of this country (an many others) changed in their favor under false pretenses (ie lies).

There is no misunderstanding, just a desire to point out the falsehood of their statements so that other less informed people do not get fooled by them. Sounds pretty simple to me.

What don’t YOU understand (though my guess is that you really do understand it’s just that you are a shill for the industry, but that’s just my opinion).

πŸ™‚

Designerfx (profile) says:

Re: Two on the money

I think your comment is abrasive, but unfortunately not *that* far off.

Contracts have clauses if you break them, or ways to get out, and it’s the fault of the musicians that let themselves get taken advantage of and not go “hmmm, this is an ENORMOUS legal paper. Maybe we should talk to someone who knows about these?” instead of just signing for the smiling exec who guarantees them rainbows and sunshine.

Meanwhile, I think that signing away everything is what has made the RIAA feel like they have so much power, even.

zenasprime (profile) says:

Re: Re: Two on the money

Exactly, which is why it’s good to have an informed public. The source of that information (even if it’s just opinion) is in this context, Techdirt.

There are plenty of artists that don’t sign to the big industry and sign away their rights to their music. Unfortunately, the industry and some of the ACs here, want you to believe that they do so simply because they “can’t make it in the real world”.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Two on the money

But again, this isn’t about what’s going to happen legally, or even about these artists now. It’s about the future, and a whole world constantly being fed propaganda about the RIAA defending the poor artists who can’t get paid and who are destroyed by file sharing. The kids who are out there starting to experiment with making music right now are hearing all of this, and they need to hear the voices of the artists themselves and know what they think, so that they WILL make a smarter decision when an exec drops that enormous contract in front of them.

zenasprime (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Two on the money

precisely. I’m an artist. I give away my music for free. I do so simply because I enjoy doing it. My motivation has never been for fame or notoriety, or even financial success in doing so. Even in those cases where I did sell my music (http://zenapolae.com) I did so simply because it was the status quo to do so. Oddly enough it’s been a lot more enjoyable since I’ve stopped going that route.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Two on the money

“I’m an artist. I give away my music for free. I do so simply because I enjoy doing it. My motivation has never been for fame or notoriety, or even financial success in doing so.”

Could that be because fame, notoriety and financial success were never in the cards? I listened to a few of the tracks on your website and they all sounded like a broken TV hissing static. Perhaps there are people who enjoy that but I’d be willing to bet it’s a niche enough thing that you never stood a chance of fame or fortune in the first place. So to say those were never your motivations is a bit ridiculous.

zenasprime (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Two on the money

I make a lot of different kinds of music, broken TV hissing just being one of them. And believe it or not, there are a lot of fellas out there that are a lot smarter and a lot more talented then I am at such things (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_music for a quick history lesson on the art of electronic music, you may be surprised who else is responsible for lots of broken TV hissing). It’s totally okay that it’s not your thing and I can understand your perspective. Sometimes art can be a difficult thing to get. So can science. You may also want to read up on causation and correlation for a better understanding of what the universe may hold in store for you.

Thanks for taking some time to listen to some of the work I have available on my website, even if it’s not your cup of tea. It’s always nice to get someone’s opinion (even the negative ones). πŸ™‚

dmntd says:

thoughts?

no no we are puny humans/artists and thoughts and right of speaking about how bad an idea was only go to label gods and paid mobs. SO my point? We are absolutely surrounded by cognitive dissonance wrapped in flesh talking and ONLY hearing things that utterly benefit them and nothing else. SO in a mad dash to create balance from the obvious imbalanced ideas.

John Doe says:

Interesting...

Gotta wonder if those people are trolls being paid by the industry?

I must say, in the months that I have been reading this blog, you have convinced me on much of what you say. There are real problems with copyright and patent law. I am getting ready to launch a new internet based service that I hope will be a success. I am already cringing at the thought of getting sued by patent holders over some of the stuff I am doing. I am not using anybody’s code as I have written the entire site myself.

You wrote about patents on electronic notifications last week that have me worried. I have written a notification’s process that might very well infringe. No, I didn’t steal the code and no I didn’t use some from the net though I am using Java Mail to do the email interface. This code is entirely mine but since you seem to be able to patent ideas and not just implementations I may get sued. Only time will tell.

The Infamous Joe (profile) says:

Just a fun idea.

What I find strange is that out of the 4 comments, only 1 has input a name. However, they are a “standard (small) group of RIAA supporters concerning this idea” who have obviosly posted on this issue before.

Why the secrecy guys? I don’t except a real name (Obviously; I don’t post mine!) but just any handle so I can assign the appropriate amount of credit (or lack thereof) to the poster.

I think it would be fun if Mike had his site admin change the “default name” (aka, Anonymous Coward) to “Semi-anonymous Mouthpiece” when coming from those IP addresses.

It would make me smile, anyway. πŸ˜›

Name Me This or That Or Whatever says:

Re: Just a fun idea.

“Why the secrecy guys? I don’t except a real name (Obviously; I don’t post mine!) but just any handle so I can assign the appropriate amount of credit (or lack thereof) to the poster.”

Does it matter? We are here to discuss ideas, not people. Ohyeah, NO, I don’t work for the RIAA, I don’t work for the MPAA, and I don’t have an album or movie under copyright with them.

Now, that being settled, let’s get back to Mike’s “point”.

Mike, it is pretty simple. The artists as a whole will say “it sucks”. Then ask them how they would have made their album(s) without the record company advance, and they would all say “we couldn’t”. There is the rub. They sold their souls to rock and roll. That’s really all there is to it. The rest is a suck-butt attempt to get all touchy feely on contract law. It’s a good try, but just like trying to kill copyright on 1st amendment grounds, it is a non-starter.

The Infamous Joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Just a fun idea.

Does it matter? We are here to discuss ideas, not people.

You’re saying that no matter who the person, everything out of their mouth should be weighed as equal on every subject? Let’s face it, some people here I’m more likely to skip their comments. (Angrydude, I’m looking at you.)

Furthermore, I think you missed the point of Mike’s post, too. I didn’t read anywhere that Joel was asking the musicians how they felt about their contract. You’re right, it does suck, and in the past, it was the easiest/best may to “make it” as a musician. Of course, that’s not the case anymore, and I think a little social education campaign enlightening new musicians to the fact that the record labels are at best, just a middle man and at worst a sinking ship.

The point was to see how the musicians felt about a fan being punished for sharing their art. The RIAA always says that they “have no choice but to sue” because filesharing “robs artists and music creators of the right to be paid for their work”, but if the artists/music creators don’t care, or even encourage it, then it’s not really “about the artists”, but instead “about the labels” which puts an entirely different spin on the situation from a PR standpoint. (Legally, of course, it makes no difference, and I know that.)

You’re an IP lawyer, aren’t you? No, your *brother* is a musician. No, don’t tell me…! πŸ˜›

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Just a fun idea.

I’m not sure that’s entirely true. Decent recording equipment is relatively easy to buy and even top-of-the-line stuff is *extremely* cheap to rent nowadays. Garage Band comes with every mac and, while far from perfect, is an impressive little piece of software — and programs like Reason, Logic, certain versions of Cubase and lots of VLC machines are well within the reach of anyone who saves a bit of money. Plus artists can collaborate on this sort of thing – I know people who have set up their houses or garages or what-have-yous and let countless artists get in on using and maintaining the studio.

There will be those that say this isn’t the same and you still need custom-built studios with digital boards and pro-tools and hey, I guess for some things you do. But for most things you don’t. And those studios will still be around, and the business models that allow the artists to get access to them without signing over all their rights will emerge – they are already emerging.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Just a fun idea.

And yes, a little bit of software piracy goes into the career many self-made musicians too. It seems pretty harmless to me, since if they do find any success they usually end up pouring lots of money into additional software and equipment. Especially in the world of production, I would say most of today’s big names got started with some cracked software. And anyone who works with music on their computer probably knows the name “Peter Quistgard”

Urza9814 says:

Re: Re: Just a fun idea.

Yea, except that’s complete bullshit. This isn’t the 50’s. You can make an album on your own. And you can _certainly_ make it without the RIAA. Try Peaceville Records. Or K Records. Or Dischord Records. Or, do as my band did and get a crappy old PC, stuff it full of soundcards (taken from other crappy old PCs), add a hundred bucks of software for recording and editing, and get the CDs professionally printed at $2 each. Then put them up on Amazon marketplace, go to some more indie-friendly record stores and set them up there (very easy), get them onto college radio stations (or hell, get your own show and promote them there, it’s easy enough), etc.

Michael says:

Re: Re: Just a fun idea.

So, you don’t think that it would be interesting to know what the creators think about what is done in their name? The RIAA is pretty specific about claiming to represent the artists, Mike didn’t put that on them. So if they make the claim, is it not relevant to explore that claim? It obviously a very controversial topic and as such I think the consumer would like to hear from those who the RIAA claim to be defending. I don’t see how it could be MORE relevant really.

Heidi (profile) says:

Knee-jerk, not reasoning.

I think that getting the artists opinions would be interesting. I’d also like to know if the artists are informed that the RIAA suing a person over unauthorized distribution of their music and then are actually compensating the artists if/when they win. Interesting and academic, even though, as the RIAA supporters claim it’s legally irrelevant.

Then again, I’d also have liked to know what Wells would have had to say over the whole Kindle fiasco. Sure, he may have signed away his distribution rights but as the creator of the the work, I would think that his opinion of the situation would add a very interesting point of view.

weneedhelp says:

Won't someone please think of the children?

So its OK if the record industry takes advantage of an artist? THAT’S OK. I know of at least one band in Philadelphia that was doing the Rap/Rock thing before it became popular. They were just as good if not better than any other band. They didn’t “make it” because they would not sign away their publishing rights.

So its either sign a contract you don’t really want to sign, or stand your ground and maybe not do anything. That’s looking out for the best interest of your artists? Bulls*it. Record companies don’t give a sh*t about their artists, and don’t let them fool you into thinking they do. They have been raping artists for years. And don’t YOU rape them, that’s our job. You really want to support an artist? Go to a show, and buy a t-shirt.

weneedhelp says:

Won't someone please think of the children?

So its OK if the record industry takes advantage of an artist? THAT’S OK. I know of at least one band in Philadelphia that was doing the Rap/Rock thing before it became popular. They were just as good if not better than any other band. They didn’t “make it” because they would not sign away their publishing rights.

So its either sign a contract you don’t really want to sign, or stand your ground and maybe not do anything. That’s looking out for the best interest of your artists? Bulls*it. Record companies don’t give a sh*t about their artists, and don’t let them fool you into thinking they do. They have been raping artists for years. And don’t YOU rape them, that’s our job. You really want to support an artist? Go to a show, and buy a t-shirt.

J says:

My view

Just read how much the artists get
http://www.downhillbattle.org/itunes/
I buy independently released albums, I.E. Gray Cell Green, Radiohead’s “pay what you want” etc, record labels mostly suck up money like sponges and give, pretty much 3 percent at more to their artists. Why not just send the 10 dollars to the artist not the record label?
I mean seriously, the big labels screw the artists royally, barely giving them 3% at most after all cost are recouped. Support the artists by buying merch, going to see them live etc.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBkuiChImb8

Anonymous Coward says:

I cannot speak about the motivations of those who used the word “irrelevant”. I did use that word in comment #1, but only in the sense the survey is one initiated by the Tenenbaum Team at HLS, it is limited to just the 30 songs that were raised during the trial (if it had been necessary, there were certainly many, many more songs waiting in the wings), of course some of the musicians/bands will say “share away”, and in the mix what will go unmentioned is that contracts with labels are relevant and quite important.

More disconcerting, however, is that this activity seems to pit “artists” against “executives”, when in fact these two groups make up only a small portion of the music industry.

Enrico Suarve says:

Re: Coward @ 1:06pm

But the fact that you’ve jumped so quickly to a “oh Noos you can’t ask the artists it would be… irrelevant” rant says something in itself

It says that although they may only be about to ask 30 artists out of a larger pool of possible artists you are already fearful of what they are going to say, why is that?

To me and others you look like the 5 year old stood in front of his bedroom door going “honest I cleaned it mommy honest I did – you don’t need to look”

Besides this excercise is just that – an excercise; the RIAA were quite happy a bit ago that those 30 artists were representative enough for a trial, why are they now not representative enough for an article on a blog? That seems an odd set of priorities

As for your other point, as someone who spent years in the music industry I appreciate there are many more people involved than just artists and executives, but most of the people I used to work with are now making more money as a result of increased concerts and increased competition of little labels, and virtually all of us have been screwed over by those self same executives at some points in our careers. So no it’s not just artists vs executives – I think you’ll find there’s a lot more little people enjoying the spectacle of red faced tycoons

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Pft, IP addresses mean plenty. They may not point to a name and a face, but if you have consistent hits from the exact same IP address, it’s a fairly safe assumption that they’re all from the same person.

Well, I suppose you could believe that 5 people were all spoofing the same IP…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Heh. You’re arguing like you’re in a court room.

No one needs to pin anything on you., and we don’t need absolutely certainty to make fair assumptions. Just follow Occam’s Razor.

Sure, we COULD assume that multiple people with the same IP in the same physical location all make comments with similar attitudes and styles, but where’s the fun in that?

CrushU says:

Re: Re:

“You should know IP addresses don’t mean anything. We have a few guys posting here from the same IP address and some of us think you’re a moron while others agree with you hit/miss.”
So… You purposefully make sure all those guys are thought to be one person because you can’t bother to put anything into the little ‘Name’ box?

The ‘no, really, there are several people at this IP!’ arguement isn’t worth the bits that encode it. (Which is close to nothing anyway.)

winstonsmith6076 (profile) says:

these musicians want their cake and to eat it too

At some point, the musicians made an agreement for the record companies to make music for them. That agreement transferred the rights of ownership and reproduction to the record companies in exchange for money. The musicians agreed to the terms, they were not forced to accept the terms, that is; were not under duress.

Now, after the fact, the musicians don’t like the restrictions that supported the millions of dollars they received in royalties. Well, in my mind, that’s just too bad. For a few dollars a month, they can build a Website and sell as many mp3 files of their music as they want, with no entanglement by the evil record companies. Oh, if the musicians can’t sell enough of their music to make a living, then maybe they should reconsider their art as an income source.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: these musicians want their cake and to eat it too

“The musicians agreed to the terms, they were not forced to accept the terms, that is; were not under duress.”

That’s laughable, at best, and blatantly ignorant. Care to name the other options available to artists?

Decades ago workers received bare minimum pay, worked 12 hour days (or more), and had absolutely no work place safety. But that’s okay, right? They weren’t forced to accept those terms at all.

Lack of choice is the same as being forced.

“For a few dollars a month, they can build a Website and sell as many mp3 files of their music as they want, with no entanglement by the evil record companies.”

Ignoring the fact that contracts encompass multiple albums…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: these musicians want their cake and to eat it too

That question should probably be amended to “What other options WERE available”. Most of these artists signed on before today’s options were created.

Even with other options, though, you can’t ignore the fact that artists get screwed over with their contracts. They sign over all their rights, and only get a fraction of their total profits.

I’m sure most people would be pissed if 90% of their income was going to marketers and sponsors before they even saw any money at all. Especially if they were contractually bound, and couldn’t get a better deal.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 these musicians want their cake and to eat it too

What aobut people who bought their houses before there were cheap mortgages? Or the people who bought them after and got screwed? Do they get to call a mulligan and do a take over? You sign a contract, you honor your contract. That is the way things are.

I suspect that most struggling acts, if you offered them another X years of struggling playing dives and flogging lots of t-shirt to pay for gas or getting a record label deal, a disc, a tour, and a chance for stardom would tell you exactly where they would go.

I do have to say too, the title of this thread is another nasty bait of the day. Mike, nobody is “scared” of anything – that is just baiting terms for “you won’t listen to me ranting mommy!”.

anymouse (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 these musicians want their cake and to eat it too

Or that the government has never come in and said, “Well you guys did such a crappy job running your company with all that contracted debt you rolled over and over…. Here’s a couple billion, try not to screw up so bad next time”.

Oh that’s right, that only happens for the ‘mega-corps’ who are ‘too big to fail’… So we learn that contracts need to be honored, UNLESS you are bigger than the other party OR you just really screwed up so bad that you can’t honor the contract, then you get free money from the government…

Luci says:

Re: these musicians want their cake and to eat it too

That’s fine, but misses the point entirely. We want to hear from the artists. We hear enough from people like you, whose opinion is that their opinion doesn’t matter. It matters as much as your’s does, actually. We’ve heard your’s over and over. Now sit down, shut up, and let someone else have the floor.

Thanks.

llama says:

Re: Not their job

So if they really care that the artists get paid for their works, then if they convince the court that every song is worth, oh let’s say $25,000, do they give the artist the $25,000 that he/she supposedly lost by the downloader/sharer sharing their song? I’m betting the artist doesn’t get a cent of the settlement.

TW Burger (profile) says:

The RIAA Has a Right and is Right.. but is Wrong

The recording industry has a right to defend its property in any legal way at its disposal. It’s their music, they paid the artists for it and you do not have the right to download it for free any more than a stranger has the right to come into your home at random times and use you computer.

However, the RIAA is fighting to maintain a business model that will no longer function. Artists can record, mix, publish, and distribute music/video by themselves using inexpensive equipment and off the shelf software. The recording industry has made itself irrelevant. In a few years the RIAA and any record label that does not adapt will be gone.

The next big and influential recording label will be the one that embraces internet downloads and add so much added value that it becomes the brand of choice. Apple is the obvious leader.

Record companies have to provide more than an album by a corporately created band, that is based on recommendations from a focus group, with only one good song, on a CD that skips on three tracks, in a “crystal” case that breaks on the first opening.

llama says:

Re: Re: The RIAA Has a Right and is Right.. but is Wrong

Now you’ve got it. But let’s flip the model around. Instead of selling the rights to your works in perpetuity, the recording label gets a certain set payment for each sale made. At that point they really have an interest in selling albums/songs and defending the artists’ rights (and theirs as well). What — you say that they are taking a risk with new artists? Gee — welcome to the real business world of the 21st century. Now that artists can do the work themselves (put a great song out their on Youtube — it will get noticed — for free), if they don’t want to take a chance, the artist can do it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: The RIAA Has a Right and is Right.. but is Wrong

If the artists finance the stuff themselves, they can contract out the selling of the shiny plastic discs to anyone. But if all the plastic disc sellers use the same sort of contract, they get what they can get.

Just to press and distribute enough copies so there is a half dozen in every music store in America is a big (and expensive) undertaking. Again, it’s nice ideas, but unless the band is showing up with a really big check, they have no chance.

llama says:

Re: Re: Re:2 The RIAA Has a Right and is Right.. but is Wrong

Well, I never see crowds in the music stores in my area. Most people I know use iTunes or similar. As more vehicles have iPod / MP3 / USB ports, fewer and fewer people will buy those little plastic disks. My TV and my settop box already have the inputs. I haven’t bought a music CD in several years (I pay through iTunes, would certainly support any good artist that decided to sell directly through iTunes without a label.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The RIAA Has a Right and is Right.. but is Wrong

Now power to them. Do it. Enjoy it. Have a nice day. Just enjoy doing things like promotion, distribution, and whatever else by yourselves too.

You mean iTunes and Amazon?

Listen buddy, if you guys charge 30% more for virtually the entire catalog (at the $1.29 pricepoint) as we predicted back starting back in January, and all the indies continue to charge $0.99 and venture into 69Β’ territory, tell me, which is more economically appealing if indies charge less? Do they need promotion?

Indies are charging less, and in a customer’s mind it’s like getting 30% more free. Now we just need to sift thru it and have a recommendation engine like, um, I dunno, Apple Genius?

You say “But, but, it’s *only* 29Β’ more”.
I say “It costs 30% more, and you took the artist’s rights away.”

zenasprime (profile) says:

Re: Re: The RIAA Has a Right and is Right.. but is Wrong

“Now power to them. Do it. Enjoy it. Have a nice day. Just enjoy doing things like promotion, distribution, and whatever else by yourselves too.”

Absoultely and there have been a few that have done so successfully. You say that as if it was some kind of unrealistic expectation of an artist. There are plenty of examples of artists who were successful of promoting and distributing their own works, whithout the need for some middle man to take 90+% of the profits generated by their endeavors. Take a look at The Offspring as an example.

The problem doesn’t lie in the abilities of artists to do these things “by themselves” but rather the expectations of aspiring artists for what they want to become. Why is an musical artist performing their craft? Is it sex, drugs, and rock & roll? Not exactly a healthy combination of aspirations that make for a good business model, in any business. But that seems to be the public image of what being a “rockstar” is about, rather then making music that people will enjoy and connect with. Just look at American Idol. Note the key word, idol? Not American Singer, or Best Gosh Darn Country Band Ever. The emphasis is on the adoration of their starhood rather then the absolution of their talent.

How many morbidly obese, pasty skinned, diva stars are there in the popular music world? I haven’t see any, but I doubt that it’s only perfectly per-portioned African American beauties that have the rhythm & blues enough to move the world. But that’s all we get, and that’s because “sex sells” (well to young, and some not so young, boys and girls who have been brainwashed into believing that this is visual prettiness the only measure of success).

And all this is totally mute when promotion and distribution are becoming less and less cost prohibited by the advent of the internet. Anyone with a good head on their shoulders, a good idea (or musical talent in this case), a little know how, and the ability to beat some feet, can make some sort of mark on the world if there is even a minute amount of interest at large. We are talking about a world of over six billion people, a good proportion of whom (at least those with money to burn on your product) are connecting to the internet hoping that they find what it is they are looking for, and that might just be you.

So, what does it even mean these days when we start talking about the “recording industry”? What is their purpose when all those things that they did in the past, studio recording, promotion, distribution, etc… are no longer out of reach of the smallest mortal being at a tiny fraction of the cost of what it had once been? In reality, it means they are now irrelevant. Irrelevant to the degree that those in charge of that industry are doing everything they can to make sure they keep their control over what they were once able to keep by fiat. In today’s world, that means paying big money to those who make laws, and specifically they want them to make laws to prevent those now empowered “little guys” from encroaching into their territory, recording, promotion, and distribution.

Reed (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: The RIAA Has a Right and is Right.. but is Wrong

“make laws to prevent those now empowered “little guys” from encroaching into their territory, recording, promotion, and distribution.”

Yes, I think just about everyone who has looked at the debate in detail can agree this is the end result of Intellectual Property in general. One only has to “follow the money” to see who is really motivating the increasingly draconian and restrictive laws for the digital age.

The argument that they(RIAA) are irrelevant may be true from a technological point of view, but they are hardly irrelevant yet as they still have billions to lobby with. IP holders are using their government granted monopolies to continue to slow progression, restrict access to technology, and prevent the exchange of information for purely selfish goals.

It is already costing us as a society and if they can push through taxes on cultural expression and sharing they will continue to exist for a long time into the future.

On a social policy level IP is clearly a class tool to restrict upward mobility. It gives “first right” which is the hallmark of oppression. I am not sure I am comfortable with the concept at all let alone the way it has been twisted and applied in modern IP law.

At any rate, they are not a “dying dinosaur” rather an old and terrible T-Rex who has a lot of years of killing left.

zenasprime (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 The RIAA Has a Right and is Right.. but is Wrong

“At any rate, they are not a “dying dinosaur” rather an old and terrible T-Rex who has a lot of years of killing left.”

Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that they were not a “force” to be reckoned, just that their time as the only gatekeepers to “stardom” is comming to an end. Technology has surpassed our cultural understanding of the music making process.

And I agree, their main weapon against their competetors is the perpetuation of idea that “real” music can only be made through their own “man behind the curtain” magical efforts rather then through the creative efforts of the common man.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The RIAA Has a Right and is Right.. but is Wrong

Why would they do it by themselves?

When there’s a market available, someone will step up to make money off of it. Some aspiring entrepreneur will see that artists have more control than ever before, and will see that they want the promotion and distribution done for them without losing all of their rights.

All it takes is one company to provide all of those benefits on a “per hire” basis, and do it well. After all, distribution and marketing has gotten cheaper than ever (as long as you’re not selling plastic disks and buying TV space).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: RE: IP Addresses...

yeah, huh. Except that information provided in private should remain private. Interestingly, I didn’t find a privacy policy on this American owned site, which I find at least somewhat disturbing. If that user is based in Europe and Mike did it, he would be in violation of privacy laws there.

For a guy that apaprently spents lots of time in the company of lawyers, he is awfully public about disclosing confidential user information.

Luci says:

Re: Re: Re: RE: IP Addresses...

No private information has been divulged. Hell, he didn’t even give out the IP addresses. Just because /HE/ knows, or thinks he knows, where these comments are originating from doesn’t mean he’s breaking any laws, even the restrictive ones in other countries.

People just going out of their way to find some fault to piss and moan about.

Talmyr (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 RE: IP Addresses...

Yes, sounds like Anonymous Cowards being upset that they aren’t anonymous to Mike… even though they are (and remain so) to the rest of us. As long as he doesn’t identify them publicly, then there is no breach of privacy.

Of course, that also depends on what standard of privacy is offered by this site, and whether there is any legal requirement for it to exist, let alone be respected (other than it is sensible to ‘respect’ your users as much as possible).

. says:

Brilliant minds/Narrow thought process

Now that we know what is wrong with the system today and we know that the reason for many of the the 55+ comments to this post are due to industry shills and claqueurs.

How about the multitude of brilliant minds reading this engage in a open, honest discussion on what you are doing to change the system, or at least not support the system you hate.

I don’t buy CDs/MP3s except directly from the artists with actual real green US currency. I listen to the radio quite a bit and go to the local performances of the artists I like. Pretty simple, the “industry” does not get my money and I’ll vote with my $$ when something better comes along.

zenasprime (profile) says:

Re: Brilliant minds/Narrow thought process

This is a good start, but it doesn’t prevent the recording industry from buying laws to make this kind of thing harder. You might not be directly contributing to the industry but they are able to prevent you from enjoying Did you know that in Philadelphia, you cannot have live music in your establishment without a proper license. Many small coffee shops cannot have musicians perform in their establishments and many of the venues that had once provided a wide variety of musical entertainment have disappeared only to be replaced by venues own by big corporations like Clear Channel. Where do you think such a requirement for this license came from?

The time for intellectual discussion and debate is well behind us as most of the intellectuals already know and have debated the topic 10 years ago. Now is the time for action, and that is only possible by educating the general public of what that opinion is. This will probably no longer seem open or engaging because in reality it’s not.

zenasprime (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Brilliant minds/Narrow thought process

Well that’s the thing, we should have to “get around” it. People, businesses, and whoever, should be able to play live music (within reasable parameters) without any government intrusion.

Also, even if you play recordings, BMI/ASCAP will harras shop owners for mandatory license fees. It really is a no win scenario on that front. Most shops just chaulk it up as an expense they just can’t afford.

Enrico Suarve says:

Re: Re: eh

Hi Derek

Minor correction – I’m an ex sound engineer rather than what is usually termed an artist in arguments like this – it’s kind of an art tweaking soundwaves and dealing with some of the more precious darlings, but most people don’t see it that way ;0)

Just in the spirit of disclosure – sorry if I was misleading

Anonymous Coward says:

Just a point for Mike, BTW:

I read the four quotes carefully, I made one of them but not the other three. Therefore, you have a bit of a credibility problem here. have you considered that the users may be on a network that uses a gateway, asymmetrical routing, caching, or internal IPs to a common connection? Have you considered that the address in question might be a public area (say like in a school), in an office, or might be on an open wireless in a coffee shop?

Like I said, I very carefully read the quotes, and I will say that I made exactly 1 of them. The other three are other anonymous cowards.

If nothing else, it is a very good attempt to make it look like there are few dissenting voices, when in fact there are at least 2 (and quite possibly 3 or 4). Judging by the quotes, 2 and 11 are likely the same person, and the other two are two different people.

Again nice try, please play again.

JJ says:

Re: Re:

> I read the four quotes carefully, I made one of them but not the other three. Therefore, you have a bit of a credibility problem here.

I don’t think Mike has a credibility problem. I think you have a reading comprehension problem. He didn’t say all four were from the same individual. In fact, he clearly claimed it was from a small _group_ of commenters. The point about the IP addresses appears to note that these are the same IP addresses that regularly defend RIAA actions.

Posting Fiend says:

Re: Re: Re:

So I understand: what you are saying is that Mike thought that 4 posts form 4 different people were signficant enough to merit another post?

If these are four different people, maybe there is something here. Do you think that the RIAA hired 4 people to come onto techdirt and shill? Do you think that Mike has created four strawmen to make things more interesting here? Do you think maybe four people just don’t agree with the pap being spooned out here?

It may be amazing to some, but there are a fair number of people on here who don’t agree with Mike, don’t agree with his agressive anti-copyright stance, and have a different opinion. His attempt by labeling their posts as part of some sort of RIAA tactic is almost more amusing than can be imagined. ‘Scared’? That is the type of word that is used to sucker your classmate in grade one to steal the teacher’s chalk. It’s an attempt to be a bit of a bully, actually, and not a very polite one.

JJ says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

> So I understand: what you are saying is that Mike thought that 4 posts form 4 different people were signficant enough to merit another post?

I can’t speak for Mike, but again I believe the post is pretty clear that he was questioning why this small group of folks who claimed to support artists were so against letting those artists speak.

> If these are four different people, maybe there is something here. Do you think that the RIAA hired 4 people to come onto techdirt and shill? Do you think that Mike has created four strawmen to make things more interesting here? Do you think maybe four people just don’t agree with the pap being spooned out here?

I’m sure a lot more than 4 people disagree with Mike. I disagree with him often enough. But that wasn’t the point of the post. It wasn’t calling out people who disagree (if you’re new here, lots of people disagree in the comments, and Mike has never deleted their comments or tried to shut them up, but often engages with them).

But the point was asking what seems like a valid question. Why are they so against letting the artists speak themselves, and why do they express such hatred towards artists.

> His attempt by labeling their posts as part of some sort of RIAA tactic is almost more amusing than can be imagined.

I’m afraid I don’t see where he did that at all. Again, I believe you are reading way too much into this post. He never said that it was from the RIAA. He just noted that you seem to go to ridiculous lengths to defend the RIAA. I might suggest that misinterpreting the post (repeatedly) only seems to support that stance.

> It’s an attempt to be a bit of a bully, actually, and not a very polite one.

The only thing impolite I’ve seen in either thread are people insulting artists. And it seems to be coming from people like yourself.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

THanks JJ.

I am one of the posts. I am not against artists, I am not insulting artists in the slightest. I am only saying that artists have to understand that they have signed contracts, have legal rights and obligations, have benefited from those agreements, and need to respect them.

My opinion is as stated. “”I suspect you will get “wanna be cool party line” stuff, as each artist will dump a little crap on the RIAA, and then quietly cash the checks they keep getting.” “

Thom Yorke pees all over the record industry now, the same industry that turned him from a likely 3rd rate Cambridge professor into a rock star. Without the industry he so disdains, he wouldn’t have the luxury (and the millions) to thumb his nose at them.

The idea to bring the artists to talk to Joel is pretty pointless, at best an attempt at face saving for the “free music” people, who are attempting to put a brave face on two (three if you consider Ms Thomas losing twice) very significant court rulings, plus the whole mess of TPB.

That Mike feels the need to highlight these posts in another thread to me is just like having a scarlet X painted on my house. Basically, we are being bullied out the door,silenced by someone who doesn’t want to face up to the idea that not everyone thinks that free music is good for artists, song writers, producers, studio musicians, and all sorts of other people who make the music that the vast majority of people listen to and enjoy every day.

JJ says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

> That Mike feels the need to highlight these posts in another thread to me is just like having a scarlet X painted on my house.

I have to admit that I’m at a total loss how that’s possibly true. No one has any clue who you are. Mike did nothing to identify you at all. I’m confused as to what your complaint is here.

> Basically, we are being bullied out the door,silenced by someone who doesn’t want to face up to the idea that not everyone thinks that free music is good for artists

Again, I have to admit I’m totally confused as to your point.

Mike owns this site. Most sites have moderated comments and delete posts and block those they disagree with. If Mike wanted to silence you, wouldn’t he have done that? Instead he did the polar opposite. He promoted your views to the level of a post, and asked you a question about it (a question you still have failed to answer).

I don’t see this as him trying to silence your or call you out or put a scarlet letter on you at all. I don’t even see how you can read it that way.

I’m not trying to be mean here, honestly, but your claims about Mike and the rather obvious reality of this actual post suggests you may have a bit of a persecution complex. Again, I’m not trying to be mean, but as a concerned person, do you have a psychologist?

If Mike wanted to silence dissent on this site he could do so easily by changing how the comments work. I’ve disputed things with Mike in the past, and he could have easily blocked me. But he never did and I’ve never seen any evidence of any users, no matter how obnoxious, being blocked on this site.

Seriously, if Mike wanted to silence someone, which option makes more sense:

– Do a post highlighting that person’s comments
– Delete their comments and ban them from posting

I can’t see how anyone would choose option one.

Luci says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

These posts are hilighted as they seem to indicate that the artists’ opinions do not matter. They are also brought forward because, as Mike intimated, these posters (you among them?) keep popping up with disparaging comments in any open IP discussion, saying that other opinions don’t matter because rights were signed away. Sorry, but you can’t sign away your right to having an opinion, and open discourse requires the opinions of many. Even people you seem to think don’t matter.

Anonymous Coward says:

Illigal IP?

So wait, it is illegal to know an IP address? OH you must mean it is illegal to link two events together by the same IP address. No wait… it is illegal to mention you can link two events by IP? No, uh. Wait. What is the problem?

As far as I can see, he did not post the IP addresses, which are not considered private, or at least it is not a violation of privacy when the Industry collects it. He did not post any information beyond the IP address, like owner, address, MAC, or other single identifiers. One could even question if the reference was directly related to those four posts. Even if so, he did not list all the other posts, or even a single post by the same person.

So what is your problem exactly?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Illigal IP?

No, it’s only the disclosure of posts from the same IP address being mentioned that is an issue. It’s an attempt by Mr Masnick to “out” an anonymous person or persons.

Since IP address is not a public item on this site, I don’t think that it should ever enter into the discussions here.

Mike recently also mentioned that one guy was answering himself. Again, that could only be determined by using IP address information. It would seem that Mike has no problem using private user information.

It’s going to be time to start using proxies to visit.

Banhammah says:

Re: Re: Illigal IP?

Not sure how it works with this blog, but as an admin on a couple of forums, I see IP addresses whether I want to or not – it’s how the forum is set up for administrators. Regular members don’t see them (or only see their own), but for admins the IPs are right there on every user’s post.

It’s useful for banning the odd troll or not so clever PITA sock puppet.

Enrico Suarve says:

Re: Re: Illigal IP?

You’ve been “outed” by someone stating that several posts seem to come from the same IP address but not publishing any data relating to the actual IP address, only your actual comments which you wrote (and therefore outed) yourself?

That’s your beef? Seriously?

So if I tell you that someone I know somewhere in the world is gay I’ve outed him? Wow the previously unbeknownst hidden power of the intertubes

My friend is gonna be pissed

Or is your real beef that you’ve just realised you’re going to have to go to a lot more effort to convey the impression that your opinions represent anything other than a tiny minority on this site, than just refusing to name posts?

Guess which I find more likely?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Illigal IP?

Enrico, one of the great luxuries of posting on a site that uses the same name for all anonymous posts is that your comments are mixed in with those of others. So rather than debating the person (which has happened in the past here), people debate ideas. It is very clear.

So now when Mike says that there are effectively only 4 people posting as AC that don’t agree with the Techdirt party line, he has made it much easier. Effectively, he has defeated the idea of the AC, and told everyone there there is at most 4 people who don’t agree. I think that information is false, there are plenty of different people that disagree. But Mike is attempting to limit the opposition and make us all easier to attack personally rather than having people considering the comments as they are.

As Doctor Strange said:

“Permitting anonymous posting on a site, and then using insider information to “out” anonymous individuals is the epitome of a dick move. Legal, illegal, public, unpublic, personal opinion: it’s a dick move and completely out of bounds. Even Slashdot, home to GNAA trolls, “Netcraft Confirms It,” and the worst detritus of 4chan, is classy enough to keep anonymous postings truly anonymous, even (they claim) in the face of “legal correspondence.””

Effectively, Mike is making a move to silence dissent. Banning people (by IP) would be meaningless, this is a tech blog and most of us know what proxies are. It could be accomplished MAYBE by requiring all poster to register and then banning users, but that too would be useless. However, shining the spotlight on dissenters and trying to convince readers like you that there are only a very few of us is an attempt to undermine his own system.

I don’t agree with Mike, but I had a higher opinion of him. This one is very, very low, IMHO. Plus, without a privacy policy on the site, well, who knows what it might actually mean.

Enrico Suarve says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Illigal IP?

I really couldn’t care less what Dr Strange thinks (sorry Dr),

If you consistently come to a site, write troll posts, slag off everyone there and even post threads where you argue with yourself, expect a little ribbing

The above may be you, it may not, I don’t know since you’re all anonymous cowards but that’s another part of the deal – expect to be painted with the same brush

At least weird Harold had the guts to argue his point with a made up name, if he’d been vaguely coherent or consistent I might even have respected him (not that he would care either way)

I still fail to see how a post which says “the authors of these four posts write loads of similar stuff”, but does not link to previous posts, name an IP or in any way identify people further is an ‘outing’

If that’s what it takes to out you guys, you need help, you are taking yourselves farrrrr too seriously

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Illigal IP?

“told everyone there there is at most 4 people who don’t agree”

He did no such thing.

He said there is a “standard (small) group of RIAA supporters” that are active in the comments. That by no means suggests that there are “at most 4”. There could be hundreds more dissenters who pop by, read an article, post a disagreement, and never return. But the usual group consists of a smaller, undisclosed number.

Then, Mike says “These are the same people (yes, with the same IP addresses) who yell and scream about how what we discuss around here is insulting to artists..” So he is merely pointing out that the very same people who argue that their position is “for the artists” also DON’T want to hear the artists opinion. How do you claim to work in their interests if you hold their opinions in disdain?

Mike knows the IP addresses of posters. That’s how a blogging system works for admins. There are things that may need to be managed like spambots or pure profanity. If that bothers you, you should anonymize all your browsing, because websites, email servers…almost every service you use on the web tracks the visiting IP. Mike, however, did not “out” anyone. He didn’t publish the IP, the geography, the ISP…nothing. All he did was link things those individual IP addresses have written, and pointed out there is some hypocrisy.

You retain your anonymity. What you don’t retain is the ability to write one thing and write something contradictory later on if it serves your purpose. Boo hoo if it’s harder for you to be a stone-cold hypocrite.

Let me tell you. It’s a lot harder for people like Mike or me, with consistent names or even…gasp…real names to make our arguments. We have to try to be correct, consistent, and willing to stand behind what we say. Personally, as an “outed” poster, it kills me that you are moaning about the trivial piece of light that has been cast towards you, in that Mike can barely see the curtain that you hide behind, wearing a disguise.

Don’t worry. We don’t know you. You can still hang out with your friends, your family, and go to the local McD’s and order without those people knowing that you make duplicitous arguments in a dickish manner. It’s cool, we’re on the down-low.

herodotus (profile) says:

“I’m not sure that’s entirely true. Decent recording equipment is relatively easy to buy and even top-of-the-line stuff is *extremely* cheap to rent nowadays. Garage Band comes with every mac and, while far from perfect, is an impressive little piece of software — and programs like Reason, Logic, certain versions of Cubase and lots of VLC machines are well within the reach of anyone who saves a bit of money.”

Not really arguing with you, but there are many free alternatives to these programs that do the job just fine.

Most of the advantages of the more expensive software packages (assuming there are any) are related to things like convenience (or in the case of ProTools, compatibility with other studios, so they can take their files and go whenever it is convenient and open them up someplace else without having to go through the tedium of importing audio files and whatnot).

In terms of sound quality, free hosts like Audacity or Kristal Audio Engine work the same way that expensive hosts like Samplitude work. Then there are the dirt cheap alternatives like Reaper or Cantabile or Energy XT. All of them do the job just fine. If the Beatles in 1967 were stuck on an island with any of these and some microphones they would have been in hog heaven.

The same goes for signal processors and virtual instruments. In some cases, the freeware alternatives are quite striking. One great example is Xhip: a software synthesizer that hands down sounds better than many very expensive alternatives.

All of these things and about 5000 others can be found with a bit of research at http://www.kvraudio.com

This is a great time to be a recording musician. Don’t let the naysayers fool you.

herodotus (profile) says:

“Thom Yorke pees all over the record industry now, the same industry that turned him from a likely 3rd rate Cambridge professor into a rock star. Without the industry he so disdains, he wouldn’t have the luxury (and the millions) to thumb his nose at them.”

So let me get this straight, you think that if Thom had never been signed, he would not be saying bad things about the industry?

“The idea to bring the artists to talk to Joel is pretty pointless, at best an attempt at face saving for the “free music” people, who are attempting to put a brave face on two (three if you consider Ms Thomas losing twice) very significant court rulings, plus the whole mess of TPB.”

It’s about the disconnect between the RIAA’s rhetoric and the reality of the situation.

If the RIAA would just be honest about the whole matter and say “we are doing this not for musicians, but for shareholders” then there would be no point, I agree. I for one would find such honesty refreshing and amusing. But that would probably be considered a PR disaster.

“That Mike feels the need to highlight these posts in another thread to me is just like having a scarlet X painted on my house. Basically, we are being bullied out the door,silenced by someone who doesn’t want to face up to the idea that not everyone thinks that free music is good for artists, song writers, producers, studio musicians, and all sorts of other people who make the music that the vast majority of people listen to and enjoy every day.”

Oh, poor you. For god sake, it is Mike’s bandwidth and servers that you are using. It is his site. The fact that you are here is due solely to his success in making such a popular site.

If you don’t like it, go away. You could even MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN BLOG! It takes about 5 minutes to set one up using Fantastico. There you would have all the freedom and anonymity you could want.

Of course, no one would ever read it, but that sure as hell isn’t Mike’s fault.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“So let me get this straight, you think that if Thom had never been signed, he would not be saying bad things about the industry?”

No, I am saying both that it is a little hypocritical to pee all over “the indsutry” that was instrumental in making him wealthy, and it is also unlikely that we would heard his bad things had he not been signed. He would be just some bloke in Chipping Norton, not rock star quoted worldwide.

“It’s about the disconnect between the RIAA’s rhetoric and the reality of the situation.

If the RIAA would just be honest about the whole matter and say “we are doing this not for musicians, but for shareholders” then there would be no point, I agree.”

Sorry, they are doing for the musicians and for the artists, just not as directly as you might like. The artist are financed and supported by who? The labels. If the labels aren’t making income and cannot support the artists, it is the artists that lose, no? Remember too, the “artists” isn’t just the performer that is named, but all the song writers, arrangers, producers, and what not that all have percentage interest in the whole affair. It isn’t as simple as you are trying to paint it.

“Oh, poor you. For god sake, it is Mike’s bandwidth and servers that you are using. It is his site. The fact that you are here is due solely to his success in making such a popular site.”

Again, not the point. I can stand in a corner and talk to myself, or I can walk out on this stage and say my piece under the brighter lights and in front of a larger audience. My beef at this point with Mike is that he is all over various evils, real or imagined on the net, and yet he himself is using data that should be part of a privacy policy to make public posts.

Worse yet, it appears that he is trying to shut up dissenting views. The true test of an idea (or set of ideas) is it’s ability to stand up to challenges, to picking, and to dissection by all sorts of people. When you see someone moving to “shut up the mob”, you might want to listen more closely to the mob, because they are probably saying something that is a little more true than anyone wants you to know about.

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“he is trying to shut up dissenting views”

By repeating them and highlighting them? Mike did the opposite of what you claim.

“The true test of an idea (or set of ideas) is it’s ability to stand up to challenges”

Which is what is happening to your ideas now – although you seem remarkably uncomfortable about it.

“When you see someone moving to ‘shut up the mob’, you might want to listen more closely to the mob, because they are probably saying something that is a little more true than anyone wants you to know about.”

Good point. But Mike didn’t do that, so meh. When I see someone move to “shut up the mob”, I’ll let you know.

Whoops, just saw it. Someone doesn’t seem very keen on hearing what the creators of the 30 songs in the Tennenbaum case have to say… but that was you!!

Dude, Mike called you out for being a hypocrite, and what’s so funny is that you can’t even keep from being a hypocrite in the single comment above.

herodotus (profile) says:

“When you see someone moving to “shut up the mob”, you might want to listen more closely to the mob, because they are probably saying something that is a little more true than anyone wants you to know about.”

That is the most beautifully ironic thing that I have ever seen on this site.

But one last thing before I go back to working. The whole ‘rock star’ thing isn’t necessarily as wonderful as you are making it out to be.

Paul Westerberg was once asked if he was bitter about the fact that he never quite became a rock star, while later indie artists like Kurt Cobain did become rock stars.

His response?

“What did it get him? Oh yeah, I wish that was me!”

Doctor Strange says:

“In fact, it’s quite difficult to establish, with any degree of certainty, who a particular IP address belongs to.”

“…the important fact that an IP address does not identify a specific user.”

“IP address-based evidence is notoriously unreliable.”

“…many of their cases consist of little more than an IP address, which as we’ve discussed frequently isn’t specific evidence of individual guilt.”

“These are the same people (yes, with the same IP addresses)…”

– – –

Permitting anonymous posting on a site, and then using insider information to “out” anonymous individuals is the epitome of a dick move. Legal, illegal, public, unpublic, personal opinion: it’s a dick move and completely out of bounds. Even Slashdot, home to GNAA trolls, “Netcraft Confirms It,” and the worst detritus of 4chan, is classy enough to keep anonymous postings truly anonymous, even (they claim) in the face of “legal correspondence.”

PaulT (profile) says:

Quick thoughts

Meh, might as well add to this for what it’s worth to clarify for the clueless…

Mike’s original post wasn’t saying that artists should be consulted about what happens with their music necessarily, he was merely pointing out the disconnect between the RIAA’s “we’re doing it for the artists” stance and the fact that their actions go almost completely against the artists’ wishes. (This is besides the fact that many of us see the actions as completely counter-productive regardless of who approves of them).

This follow-up post is also pointing out a disconnect between the (often anonymous) commenters’ posts. That is, one day they’re saying “artists deserve to get paid and people who download free music are screwing them over” (not really true, by the way). The next day they’re saying “who gives a f*ck about the artists, they signed away their rights and should shut up”. It’s a complete contradiction and deserves to be pointed out.

Also, the IP address thing isn’t new. Many of the regular trollish posters here try to remain anonymous (presumably to avoid getting caught up in actual dialog with intelligent people), and Mike has called people out before when they’re tried to change identity or obscure their posts in order to confuse a conversation. He’s also done it to defend people – I remember a few fake “weird harold” posters get called out back when he was trolling here. Like it or not, IP addresses are public information and it’s Mike’s site. He has the right to call people out on bullshit, and if he has to use publicly available information to do so, then so be it. Don’t like that? There’s other sites you can use, or you can start your own…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Don't sell stuff you want to control

Hi Cenobyte, it isn’t complicated

The artists aren’t asking for control of their music or even anything similar, as of this point it’s not even clear if any of them have even been approached

All that is happening is that since the RIAA have consistently claimed they are acting “on behalf of the artists”, someone has decided to ask the artists what their actual opinions are

Nothing more

Hey it could turn out the general expectation on this site is wrong and the artists all turn around and say “we love the RIAA and the way the music industry works, stop messing with it”, unlikely in my opinion but its a possibility. Either way it’s bound to be an interesting insight

Think about it this way, how about if I bought IP for an album off you then went around without your involvement suing people saying “I’m doing this on behalf of Cenobyte” but giving you nothing, surely people would be interested to know your opinion? Turning around and saying “I hate Enrico” wouldn’t stop me or have any real effect but it would be interesting to those I was suing

Actually you might even be able to sue me for misrepresentation (or whatever the legal thingumy is) if I went too far – perhaps that’s why the RIAA don’t like the exercise?

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Thoughts about comment lines

So reading a bunch of the comments, and skipping a bunch, it seems mostly like the ACs will gladly say the lawsuits are for the artists, but then turn right around and say it doesn’t matter what they think.

As one comment said, hypocrisy.
Thoughts like that, and the idea of trying to hide something so simple as an IP address just destroy all credibility.

And if there really were more than one person posting from behind a gateway, enter a name. What do you get by my name being Killer_Tofu? Absolutely nothing except the ability to tell when it is me posting instead of somebody else. That way you can keep my thoughts tracked better and it offers you a better chance to reply.

Then again, we all know you guys would love it if everybody just bent over a took it. Too bad so sad that we won’t. Really, it takes like an extra 2 seconds to type in the name. You should try it some time. You will remain just as anonymous as you are now. So stop being a bunch of crybabies about him saying that a bunch of ACs from a few IPs keep posting stuff. You are arguing in completely the wrong direction.
The discussion should not have been about how anonymous you can be, but about how you are contradicting yourself.
Try answering those questions for a change.

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