Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt
from the rocking-the-insight dept
It appears that the top two winners for most insightful this week were both on the same story… I don’t recall that happening before, though it’s possible that it has. That story was about ex-RIAA boss Hilary Rosen asking, in response to my post about the problems of SOPA & PIPA, “if a store doesn’t sell u what u want, u are justified in stealing?” An anonymous commenter quickly pointed out the rather obvious issue here:
um. if the store doesn’t sell it, that means they don’t have it in stock, how would i steal it?
For what it’s worth, that comment also came in third in the voting for funniest (and juuuuuust missed second).
If you don’t put what I want in the store, don’t be pissed if I look elsewhere for it. Don’t be mad if I explore CC licensed music, or artists skipping over your archaic business model. If you can’t figure out how to release something worldwide within a week, don’t cry when people forget they wanted it when you get around to releasing it in region 5 6 months later.
Your approach to dealing with infringement has been to try and get more laws and make people think it is as horrible as home invasions with people breaking in to steal your last brick of ramen. How much longer until you stop playing the helpless victim and figure out you have so many more ways to make money today than ever before. That there is a world wide market, if you’d stop trying to treat each piece of the world as unconnected from the others.
Maybe you haven’t noticed, there are many artists using this internet fad to launch careers and they make more than they ever would have made under your system. How much longer before more artists decide your not needed? It might be time to innovate to keep them rather than try to legislate a perfect world where everyone pays you every 5 minutes.
There were just too many other insightful comments for me to pick just two for editor’s choice, so you’ve got some bonus comments.
First up an anonymous musician responding to some questionable analysis by Digital Music News, totally misreading Tunecore data to suggest that it’s difficult to make a living using Tunecore, because lots of musicians just make a little bit of money. This musician explained the key point: under Tunecore, lots of musicians make some money. Under the old system most musicians lose money:
What DMN’s critique neatly ignores are all the artists that LOSE money as a result of trying things the “traditional” way.
I spent four and a half years in a pretty good band, with a substantial regional following. We practiced, we wrote, we played out, we recorded, we did all the things one might expect musicians to do. And we made money…for other people. In the end, we figured out that (collectively) we were about $22,000 in the red — while those we were working for were about $47,000 in the black.
We would have been happy to make minimum wage — on a per-hour basis, given the thousands of hours we put into our craft, we would have at least had something to show for all our effort. But that’s not how it went down.
And we we’re not alone.
Everyone in the business knows this. Everyone learns, sometimes rather quickly, that musicians are the last to get paid. This is the “business model” that’s been in place for decades, and it’s been immensely profitable for everyone BUT musicians (with rare exceptions). The question thus becomes: why doesn’t DMN know this? Why doesn’t DMN recognize that when any musician is making any money at all, that’s probably a huge win over the status quo?
Oh — we would have done it for minimum wage. We loved what we were doing. That’s why we put thousands and thousands of hours into it. That’s why we held down second jobs to fund it. That’s why we sacrificed, why we slept in a van, why we played lousy gigs in lousy joints, why we fought through all the setbacks, why we gave up time with girlfriends (and sometimes gave up girlfriends). So if we could have actually afforded to keep doing it, if we hadn’t been forced out by financial reality, we would have kept right on.
Then we’ve got the folks from MAFIAAFire, responding to someone claiming that their new system to route around DNS and IP blocks would be illegal. They pointed out why that didn’t matter:
Illegal in the US.
A lot of what we do is illegal in China (like watching porn) and we give a crap about breaking Chinese laws as much as we give a crap about breaking US laws.
We are Swedish citizens, we are not breaking Swedish law.
US lawmakers can go suck an egg for all we care.
If it becomes illegal and Mozilla asks us to move, we’ll host this on our own _Swedish_ website (in English of course).
It’s not about piracy, that’s just a talking point, just a narrative. (the sugar to make the medicine go down Congress’ throat)
The real issue is about control.
The middlemen of the RIAA- and MPAA-backed labels and studios can’t control what gets released to the market anymore, because of the internet.
Indie artists suddenly have about as much opportunities for profiling their works to the public as artists who have signed up with the large corporations.
And these corporations are running scared. They are so fixed on keeping their old cushy jobs, that they don’t dare to change their business models to suit the new reality more, because that would mean more work for them and possibly less profit. So intent they are on keeping that control, that they are willing to destroy the internet and criminalize the fanbase of their artists.
Mike, SOPA/PIPA was never designed to provoke intelligent conversation about solutions to legitimate concerns. It was a pure rent-seeking rights grab, and the only open Q is if the proponents have enough muscle to push it through without actually addressing its “details.” I wouldn’t rule out the proponents’ ability to do so.
It’s when you download a movie in sweat pants and a T-shirt, instead of your buccaneer hat, puffy shirt, and eye patch.
Dear RIAA and MPAA
I am sorry you are drowning, please accept this anvil as a gift.
Signed the Internet.
SOPA makes it a felony to upload a video of someone singing a copyrighted song with up to 5 years in prison. Dr. Conrad Murray was convicted of manslaughter for killing Michael Jackson and only got a 4 year maximum sentence.
So it’s a bigger crime to sing one of Michael Jackson’s songs than it is to kill him.
That one actually got more insightful votes than funny votes, but we were already full of insightful comments… and it got plenty of funny votes too. And our final editor’s choice also got a ton of both insightful and funny votes. It’s ScytheNoire, responding to Senator Joe Lieberman demanding that Google add a “report a terrorist” button to Blogger. Scythe had a different suggestion:
I want a ‘Report Senator As Idiot’ button.
Don’t we all?