Supporters Of SOPA/PIPA Make Arguments That Make No Sense

from the please-make-it-stop dept

A few folks pointed out Bruce Iglauer’s opinion piece in the Chicago Tribune, urging support for PROTECT IP. It’s a little odd, because the piece never mentions SOPA at all, and applauds the “introduction” of PROTECT IP (PIPA), despite that happening many months ago. Either way, while I’m sure that Iglauer, an old school indie label founder and operator, means well, his arguments make almost no sense. First, he runs through all the usual tropes about how “you wouldn’t steal a stick of gum.” Of course, that should be a sign that perhaps (just perhaps) something is different online. Instead, people like Iglauer, after fundamentally recognizing digital works are different, then pretends they should be treated the same. Then it’s time for strawmen:

This kind of theft is often rationalized as “all musicians are rich anyway” or “all the record companies are ripping off the musicians” or “music should be free.”

Thing is, almost none of these arguments are regularly used by those worried about PIPA and SOPA. I’ve never heard anyone say that “all musicians are rich anyway.” And while I’m sure someone, somewhere, may have made those latter two arguments, they’re far from common, and not the reason most people are opposed to this overly aggressive, draconian legal mess.

He then goes on to knock down the strawmen he set up, pointing out that many musicians are poor. Um. Yes. That’s how it’s always been. That’s got nothing to do with copyright infringement. In fact, the internet has allowed many, many more musicians to make money from their works than ever before. In the past, most artists made nothing (or went into debt). Now it’s much, much easier to make some money. That seems like progress. But Iglauer seems to be suggesting that copyright should be welfare for artists who can’t succeed. I don’t see how that makes much sense. He puts forth some sob stories of artists who don’t make much money and then proudly states that “about one dollar of ever four that my company takes in is paid to a musician or songwriter.”

Is that really something to be proud of? Perhaps it beats the much lower royalty rates of the majors, but for artists adopting new platforms like Kickstarter and TopSpin, they can retain the vast majority of money that people pay for their stuff. That seems like a good opportunity for artists. Though, perhaps not for Iglauer.

Later, he laughably calls the IFPI’s piracy estimates “the most conservative estimates.” That’s ridiculous. The IFPI’s estimates are not conservative in any way, and are based on the group’s desire to push for more draconian copyright laws and enforcement.

Finally, he fails to acknowledge even a single reason why so many people are up in arms about PIPA and how it is overly broad and leads to a very high likelihood of abuse and censorship. Reading this, all I can think is, there’s a label that failed to adapt to changing times and now thinks that it’s the government’s responsibility to fix his business mistakes. Sorry, Bruce, but that’s not the way things should work.

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Comments on “Supporters Of SOPA/PIPA Make Arguments That Make No Sense”

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114 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

If I buy gum I can resell it, I can build a business reselling gum without having to pay the original producer, why with music do I have to pay the “content owner” if I want to sell that music once I have bougth the CD?

Why do I have to pay the “content owner” to create a business around something I bought?

DJ’s working should not have to pay no bum for the work they do if they have the original CD or LP or cassette or whatever the physical container was at the time of purchase it should come with all the rights one would expect for a real item like a gum but it does not and they complain people “steal” from them, personally I believe people don’t steal enough, they should do it every chance they get, those people don’t deserve protections they deserve scorn for stealing the rights of everybody.

Random person says:

Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 6th, 2011 @ 4:47pm

While I understand what you’re saying, you cannot buy one pack of gum and easily make many copies of it. You can, however, do that with digital media.

I think people should “steal” more from big media companies as well. Though it isn’t even stealing, as you are not actually taking money from them but, rather, keeping them from getting your money in the first place. I also don’t get how Hollywood can complain about losing money and spend millions on this bill at the same time.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

What are you talking about?

Do you live in some fantasy world where all musicians receive their instruments for free?

This article is just more of the intellectual dishonesty we see from piracy apologist Mike Masnick every day here.

Bruce’s quote “This kind of theft is often rationalized as “all musicians are rich anyway” or “all the record companies are ripping off the musicians” or “music should be free.” “
is exactly the type of thing we see in the comments section on Techdirt all the time.

And Masnick knows it.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Bruce’s quote “This kind of theft is often rationalized as “all musicians are rich anyway” or “all the record companies are ripping off the musicians” or “music should be free.” “
is exactly the type of thing we see in the comments section on Techdirt all the time.

Where? Point out such comments in the last 24 hours. If we see them all the time then you can find examples of each of them today alone, right? There have been over 500 comments on the site.

And I’m asking blind, since I’ve barely had time to look at comments today, but I doubt you can find a comment that says “all musicians are rich anyway”.

And as I mentioned in the article, those other comments you see sometimes, but they’re not common at all. For those, I dare you to find more than 5 of them today. That would be less than 1% of the comments here.

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re: Re: @ Mike Masnick

Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:12pm

Bruce’s quote “This kind of theft is often rationalized as “all musicians are rich anyway” or “all the record companies are ripping off the musicians” or “music should be free.” “
is exactly the type of thing we see in the comments section on Techdirt all the time.

Where? Point out such comments in the last 24 hours.
————–

I think the very first comment in this thread fits even your use of the old “exact” ploy:
Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 4:47pm
“personally I believe people don’t steal enough, they should do it every chance they get”
Reading the whole comment, it’s clear that, besides AC not grasping the difference between physical media and the content or legal distinctions, the intent is to steal from studios when doing a public performance for money.

Mike, you NEVER comment to correct such ACs as #1 even when clearly mistaken on the law and morally wrong about copyright. You only comment to defend your essentially pro-piracy stand. — And only when you think you see a definite point where you can “win” the comment war. This one you try to restrict by time as if last week is off limit. — Anyway, your commenting isn’t “fair and balanced” except in the Murdoch-ian Fox New sense.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 @ Mike Masnick

Why the law is wrong, you are wrong and everybody should “steal” more.

At the course of a lifetime every single person inside a country will pay thousands of dollars for all the music they hear, they pay when they get on a cab, they pay when they shop, they pay when they get a coffee, they pay evertime they go to the gym it has already been paid once, why should they pay more?

Because you say so? LoL
Because the law says so? LoL

Remember the Tea Party in the 18th century it was all about not having to pay such things.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 @ Mike Masnick

It is incredibly easy to criticize what someone is doing when you have not a clue what is involved. So many here seem to be so fixated on the “artists” that they overlook (perhaps even ignore) that it costs money to make a product, and there are far more people involved in the process than just the “artists”, not to mention those nasty things that we call overhead costs (rent, insurance, utilities, equipment purchases/rentals, maintenance, etc.). Maybe music “wants to be free”, but creating it is an entirely different matter. It costs money to make money last time I looked. Maybe marginal cost tends to zero, but other costs certainly do not, and it is misleading to fixate on marginal cost to the exclusion of all others.

It is also easy to criticize and try to marginalize another’s comments by selectively taking comments out of context, or focusing solely on verbiage that may not be perfectly stated.

After a while it becomes clear that the inevitable two sides to every story are not tolerated here.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 @ Mike Masnick

So many here seem to be so fixated on the “artists” that they overlook (perhaps even ignore) that it costs money to make a product, and there are far more people involved in the process than just the “artists”, not to mention those nasty things that we call overhead costs (rent, insurance, utilities, equipment purchases/rentals, maintenance, etc.).

We don’t ignore those costs. In fact, we repeatedly point out how the internet has made them much lower. The same recording studio that 30 years ago would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars can now be done for a few thousand in someone’s garage.

After a while it becomes clear that the inevitable two sides to every story are not tolerated here.

No, what isn’t tolerated here is bullshit. If you’re being deliberately misleading, or can’t support your views with real evidence, expect to get called out on it. And there are almost never only two sides of a story. There are dozens of different sides on pretty much any copyright discussion here at Techdirt.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 @ Mike Masnick

I think the most successful people who made it out of the internet spend a lot less than that.

Also have you seen what one can do with the right computer these days?

You can have entire orchestras playing and it would cost zero.

Why LMMS is awesome!

Another one that I didn’t even look at it just picked at random.

LMMS – Rock Song
$100K LoL
Thank God people can do it for $0K, it will take some learning but that is what life is all about. Learning new things.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 @ Mike Masnick

Funny. People here claim to support the artists, but you seem so impressed by something that has pretty much made it impossible for string players to get gigs at places like cruise ships and even some restaurants. Oh, that’s right; they need to adapt according to some of you here. But that’s kinda hard to do when gigs are kinda of poofing due to people cheaping out and using a computer instead.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 @ Mike Masnick

“The same recording studio that 30 years ago would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars can now be done for a few thousand in someone’s garage.”

Sure…if you don’t mind paying for something that ISN’T professional quality equipment. That setup might be fine for people who only work with small groups like a string quartet or band, but you still need the expensive stuff if you need more people than that. (or if you need better quality…let’s face it. a cheapo mic is probably gonna produce something that isn’t so great.) Most musicians (like me) will STILL want professional equipment…you can get it yourself, but it’s not cheap. Go to guitar center and see how expensive some of the pro mics, keyboards and mixers are…off the top of my head, I remember seeing a pro quality mixer for 10 GRAND. That is TOTALLY payable by just giving music away and hoping you sell enough stupid bs like t-shirts and stickers. LOL.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Quote:

“Do you live in some fantasy world where all musicians receive their instruments for free?”

So you agree that people can make money without having to pay nobody after they bought something right?

That is great since I can now buy a DVD and open a rental service without having to pay nobody right?

I can buy a CD and open a radio station, or I can buy a CD and play it on my store or for my services without having to pay nobody else right?

If not, then musicians should have to pay the manufacturers of their instruments for every single time they make a penny from the use of those products or that is just stealing from the manufactureres because without them musicians wouldn’t be able to play anything or is just just nonsense?

Is the theft of musical instruments not being rationalized by you too?

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Bad business models are no excuse for megalomania.

The cost of production for an album is about 5 cents.

That is what one usually means by production cost.

“Engineering cost” is usually not factored in or at the very least no one cares about it. This is why you have a lot of trouble convincing people to buy media these days.

They know what it would take for them to “produce” themselves. They’ve might have seen solicitations from small scale CD/DVD fabs.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Bad business models are no excuse for megalomania.

Are you saying it cost more to produce a CD than a guitar?
Are you saying you can buy the heavy machinery necessary to make bubble gum in mass?

Hint: with bubble gum they don’t even have protections anyone can go and copy them, why can’t I copy music again?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Bad business models are no excuse for megalomania.

I read it and like you I believe is incredibly stupid since you are not willing to pay the manufacturers of the instruments musicians use to make money anything except a really tiny one time for it that doesn’t cover their cost of R&D or production.

Oh wait you believe that needing to pay others that do no work is fair right, my bad.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Bad business models are no excuse for megalomania.

So bubble gums are different from music right?

So when bubble gums are being stolen they are like music, no different right, but when you have to acknowledge that bubble gums don’t have that many rights as copyrights and that you would laugh in the face of anybody who tried to claim rights for bubble gums analogue to what one gets with copyrights suddenly they are intangible goods that don’t reflect reality?

C’mon, you can do better than that can’t you friend?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Bad business models are no excuse for megalomania.

Also bonehead explain how bubble gum manufacturers keep producing gum when the law doesn’t protect them from other bubble gum manufacturers from copying them?

Is there a law that protects bubble gum interests?

If you find that statement silly, imagine how I find your claims that copyright is needed or that artists are not getting paid or that pirates are “stealing”.

xenomancer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Bad business models are no excuse for megalomania.

You appear to be promoting the unlicensed distribution of fire. Consuming ones body is a means by which a person seeks to mass distribute one’s derivative works. By suggesting the wholesale deconstruction of the above person via immolation you are promoting the violation of said person’s biological creators’ rights to determine the means by which licensed derivative works of said person may be disseminated. YOU ARE TO CEASE AND DESIST ALL FURTHER PROMOTION OF PERSONAL IMMOLATION UNDER PENALTY OF SUBSTANTIVE HUMOR AT PERSONAL EXPENSE. Please comply within 30 minutes or people may stop caring what you have to say.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Bad business models are no excuse for megalomania.

If I am willfully stupid so are you for not recognizing that the same principles that you want others to fallow seem like nonsense to you and are outrageous to the point that you call me willfully stupid.

You don’t believe musicians should pay the instruments makers after they have paid them once even though the price they ask is based on volume and it doesn’t include all the costs for the manufacturing or R&D, it also doesn’t cover the salaries of all the employees of that maker, it also doesn’t include their utility bills, it is crazy for them to ask for musicians to have to pay them every time they use what they produced right?

But you don’t think it is absurd for musicians to do exactly that to others.

xenomancer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Bad business models are no excuse for megalomania.

W-I-L-L-F-U-L-L-Y-A-L-L-O-W-I-N-G-R-E-C-O-R-D-L-A-B-E-L-S-T-O-H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-I-C-A-L-L-Y-E-X-P-L-O-I-T-G-O-V-E-R-N-M-E-N-T-G-R-A-N-T-E-D-M-O-N-O-P-O-L-I-E-S-I-N-A-W-A-Y-T-H-A-T-H-A-R-M-S-T-H-E-A-R-T-I-S-T-S-T-H-E-N-C-O-M-P-L-A-I-N-I-N-G-H-T-A-T-I-T-S-T-H-E-C-U-S-T-O-M-E-R-S-F-A-U-L-T-F-O-R-N-O-T-P-A-Y-I-N-G-E-N-O-U-G-H-T-H-R-O-U-G-H-M-U-L-T-I-P-L-E-O-B-F-U-S-C-A-T-E-D-T-R-A-N-S-A-C-T-I-O-N-L-A-Y-E-R-S-T-O-S-U-P-P-O-R-T-T-H-E-L-A-B-E-L-S-T-H-A-T-A-R-E-S-I-P-H-O-N-I-N-G-A-L-L-T-H-E-M-U-S-I-C-I-A-N-S-M-O-N-E-Y-A-N-D-L-E-A-V-I-N-G-T-H-E-M-U-S-I-C-I-A-N-S-W-O-N-D-E-R-I-N-G-W-H-O-I-S-L-E-F-T-T-O-B-L-A-M-E

I hope that helps.

xenomancer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Bad business models are no excuse for megalomania.

I took the time, which is in deed limited, to spell what I said out with humor in mind. I’m not the senile Spaniard staring down illusionary dragons. I do not hate IP, I simply wish the law governing it to represent its original purpose of benefiting the public AND compensating those who contribute to the public domain with limited monopolies, granted by the government at the largesse of the public. Since you seem to believe I do not understand the definition of a monopoly, I’ll consult a reference source:

mo?nop?o?ly/məˈn?pəlē/
Noun:
1. The exclusive possession or control of the supply or trade in a commodity or service.

There, now that the definition is settled upon, examining the privileges a copyright confers should be equally easy:

cop?y?right/ˈk?pēˌrīt/
Noun:
The exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or…

So, as you can clearly see, an “exclusive legal right to to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something” constitutes a legal monopoly as it is the “exclusive possession or control of the supply or trade in a commodity or service.”

Please tell me where the definitions of the words we all agree to use in the English language are not clear enough. If you are unclear as to the meaning of the word “is,” go speak with Slick Willy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:14 Bad business models are no excuse for megalomania.

Yah right, that is why the Pirate Bay is so fringe right?
Go Cpt Ahab! Go!

Have you noticed how hard is getting to close down things?
Napster took a year, Limewire was easy, but Bittorrent is impossible and the Pirate Bay just keeps rising and is still around after 8 years those people learned something and all those lessons learned are getting spread around the world, like making an LLC preferably in the Bahamas or Texas and using multiple accounts to receive money, every little dirty trick used in Hollywood accounting is being used against you and if you try to force the issue it will also come back to bite you in the ass.

But even if all those other people didn’t exist, I could still pirate anything and with little risk to myself or others, you can stop me from copying a DVD can you?

I can prove you wrong just by doing it, that is how I know you are full of shite. You remind me of the Iraq general in the Gulf War. “Americans are not here”(American Tanks roll behind him), but in your case is “We can stop you”(kids everywhere start ripping a DVD),

People have the power today to end copyright just by ignoring it, what power do you have to enforce copyright?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Bad business models are no excuse for megalomania.

He doesn’t need luck, the only thing he needs if he wanted to is to ignore copyrights.

Can you put every citizen, anywhere under surveillance all the time?

Nope you can’t, millions are ignoring copyright right now, millions are pirating right now, and what are you doing about it?

Oh that is right, you are doing nothing, because that is the only thing you can do about people not respecting copyright.

You can’t jail millions, you people tried scaring people and they ignored you, so now what more ineffective laws? More laws that only serve one side?

Yep that will do wonders for respect LoL

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Bad business models are no excuse for megalomania.

Author: Melville, Herman, 1819-1891

Title:
Moby Dick, or, the whale

m.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2701.mobile

The book portrays destructive obsession and monomania, as well as the assumption of anthropomorphism–projecting human instincts, characteristics and motivations onto animals. Moby-Dick is ruthless in attacking the sailors who attempt to hunt and kill him, but it is Ahab who invests Moby-Dick’s natural instincts with malignant and evil intentions. In fact, it is not the whale but the crippled Ahab who alone possesses this characteristic.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Bad business models are no excuse for megalomania.

Lego patents have expired they have no protections everybody can make legos and sell them now.

So no, the Lego company may not be the one being paid there.

Also I don’t see the Lego people getting a cut from every commercial use others make of the Legos do you?

If you made a stop motion picture using Legos you think Lego could come to your home and extract money from you asking for a percentage of your earnings?

Do Ford ask for royalties when their vehicles are used for commercial purposes?

Do bubble gums manufacturers get royalties from their use in movies? Oh that is right bubble gum manufacturers have to pay movie makers to have their products placed in there, so why is that musicians are not paying clubs for their songs being played there too?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Bad business models are no excuse for megalomania.

“The cost of production for an album is about 5 cents.”

Wow, really? I can get an album recorded, mixed, and all the other fun stuff for JUST 5 CENTS? Holy shit! Sign me up!! Because I was totally under the impression that this shit cost at LEAST 30k+ depending on the album and amount of studio time and musicians needed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

This is not my problem and nor is anybody else problems, if I by a gum for cents and resell it the gum producer can’t complain about it what makes you think I should pay anything to a bum that does no work if I’m using that music in my store?

If it is too cheap ask more for the CD’s and lets see if the market cares about your costs of production.

Ford spend billions of dollars in R&D, can they sell cars for millions of dollars? Can they stop others from manufacturing cars? they can’t even stop others from copying them since patents don’t forbid derivative of solutions found.

So when are artists going to pay the manufacturers of their instruments royalties for the money they make?

After all those instruments producers are the ones that enable musicians to exist without them you wouldn’t be able to play anything would you? so why are you not paying them what is fair and just and all that nonsense you want others to fallow?

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

When you buy a musical instrument, the entire cost of production has been figured into the price.

Is that what happens when you buy an album?

Yes.

The cost to reproduce an album is negligible, and always has been. The mechanical costs to produce a CD, including artwork and packaging, have never been more than a couple dollars each. The rest of the price is recouping “the entire cost of production.” Same as it is with a guitar.

And that’s just physical media. The costs to reproduce a digital file are negligible to the point of being non-existent. So, the entire price of a digital file is there to recoup “the entire costs of production.”

If guitars were like albums, then the musicians would have to pay a licensing fee every time they made money using it. Same as they do for musical albums.

Thank goodness that’s not the case, or there would be no music to speak of.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Every pirate pays for music in one way or another or do you live in a fantasy world without stores, elevators, ringtones, games, TV, radio, gyms?

So your complaint must be that people are not paying more for it, well when artists start paying more for the people who produce their instruments and equipment then they can start complaining about stealing until then they are just like the pirates, freetards that won’t something for free while benefiting greatly from it without paying for it, is that not how you think?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

BUT

They only paid for their instrument once… when they bought it.

GUESS WHAT… I CAN HEAR THE INSTRUMENT IN THE SONG EVERY TIME IT’S PLAYED (radio, internet, ipod, etc), SO THE INSTRUMENT MAKER SHOULD BE COMPENSATED FOR EVERY ‘PERFORMANCE’ OF THEIR INSTRUMENT.

I mean that’s what ‘performance’ rights are for right, so that the ‘items’ performing can be properly compensated. Artist, instruments, mic’s, lights, stage, etc I mean they were all part of the performance, and without any one of them the performance would have been nothing (if a 3 second sample can make or break a song, not having properly compensated performance lighting can break a performance).

Why aren’t all these parts of the performance being properly compensated? The **AA have been stealing from the performing items union (someone should start one of these) for far too long, it’s time for the instruments, sound equipment, and stages of the world to stand up in a united voice and say, “NO MORE WILL WE BE USED WITHOUT PROPERLY ATTRIBUTED PERFORMANCE RIGHTS AND COMPENSATION.”

When this happens, then all will be right with the world…..

Anonymous Coward says:

Let’s just pretend SOPA is a good idea. What if this act was Sponsored, and Supported by Terrorists. Oh Wait what is a Terrorist? Is it Imposing your beliefs on others? Is It
bombing a country for thier resources? Is it buying your way out of a hole, you put yourself in? MPAA and RIAA are the new Terrorists on the block, not internet users. Who is SOPA really protecting?

Let’s Think About Giving Control To Someone Who Doesn’t Care About YOU, Unless you give them all your money.

Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile) says:

But Iglauer seems to be suggesting that copyright should be welfare for artists who can’t succeed. I don’t see how that makes much sense. He puts forth some sob stories of artists who don’t make much money and then proudly states that “about one dollar of ever four that my company takes in is paid to a musician or songwriter.”

First of all, 25% is a good thing? I understand overhead, promotion, etc., but I’m not sure I’d be tooting my own horn in this day and age by stating that 75% of the money my signed artists earn goes back to the label.

Secondly, this statement clouds his defense of the bill. In essence, he’s stating that he wants copyright to be a government-enforced form of welfare for artists because 3/4 of that welfare will trickle down to his label.

Arguing for the artists from a label’s perspective is fine, I suppose. But the copyright argument is moot for the non-earning artists if THEY DON’T HAVE CONTROL OVER THEIR OWN WORK. Arguing for it from this perspective is nearly as disingenuous as justifying piracy because “all artists are rich.”

Alligator Records may be better about relinquishing control of artists’ catalogs than many of the majors, but the 3-to-1 “split” seems only marginally better than what they could get elsewhere and somewhat convinces me that his views will only be aligned with the artists as long as it remains personally advantageous.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

What work does a content owner does when he collects levies on others who do the work?

What work one does when he squeezes others for money without doing any real work?

Do musicians go play at bars or do DJ’ing in every single party?

Nope they are parasites that do no work and want money in return.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Or you just don’t want to understand the issue.

Musicians get paid, just not in the way you like then you call everybody a thief and that is not what is happening, because if it was you and your kind should be paying for everything you own and make use of it, not once but everytime you use it, because that is what you are complaining about, that people are not paying you every single time they make use of something they already paid once in some form.

Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Welfare implies no work is being done by the artist. Spare us using such a retarded and insulting analogy.

It becomes a form of welfare when copyright lasts the ridiculous amount of time that it does. When you have surviving family members using copyright to collect income from creative works that they personally had no hand in creating then, yes, it is a form of welfare. At best you could call it a “pension,” but even pensions rarely pay surviving family members for 70 years past the death of the income earner.

You have no idea what the costs of producing, manufacturing and promoting a record are, so no one really gives a fuck if you think too much money is going to the label.

And no one gives a fuck who you think gives a fuck.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

You have no idea what the costs of producing, manufacturing and promoting a record are

That might have been true … in 1980, but that information is now widely available. You really need to get with the times and I don’t just mean in business; I mean you need to take about 3 months to just browse the internet and get your brain into this century.

Welfare implies no work is being done by the artist.

This is insulting, most welfare recipients have to do a lot of work to get on and stay on welfare. It involves paperwork, possible visits from social workers, you have to apply for jobs on a consistent basis (and prove that you are applying). A lot of artists can spend a week in the studio “singing” music written by other people and digitally altered so that it sounds good and collect checks for the rest of their lives. Welfare recipients everywhere should feel insulted when compared to “artists.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Looking at Belgium and what happened there one can pretty much be sure the same will happen in other places.

They blocked the Pirate Bay on the DNS and IP fronts and Belgians just contacted people who where not censored to acquire a new way to connecting to it again.

So any delusions that this will stop the masses from accessing something are just that delusions it does no such a thing and people in charge know that, that is not the real goal, the goal is to stop new business from emerging the legal ones, that is what the industry is really afraid of and that is what they want the power for to destroy them because a new Apple shows up and erodes even further their control.

MrWilson says:

“you wouldn’t steal a stick of gum.”

But if your friend wanted to share a piece of gum from a magical pack of gum from which sticks of gum can be infinitely replicated, you’d certainly accept a piece and maybe share it will others if the gum tasted good. You might even go out and buy your own magical pack of infinite gum…

MrWilson says:

Re: Re: Re:

Actually, yes, that joke has been made: http://boingboing.net/2010/10/14/piracy-jesus-did-it.html

Best comment: “Jesus copied and distributed loaves and fishes, thus he violated the copyrights of the bakers and the fishermen. The disciples participated in this food-sharing network as well, so they’re also liable for contributory infringement.

He also format-shifted water into wine and thus engaged in unfair competition with the vintners.

The crucifixion was one hell of a DMCA takedown notice. “

John (profile) says:

“Thing is, almost none of these arguments are regularly used by those worried about PIPA and SOPA.”

While not used a lot by those worried about PIPA and SOPA, the argument that “musicians are rich anyway” is one that is used often in mainstream discussions of copyright. For example, this was the argument behind the episode of South Park named “Christian Rock Hard” (Season 7, Episode 9). Yes, it’s a straw man, and yes, I agree with your overall point, but don’t dismiss the argument because you don’t believe it’s used much. that doesn’t really address the logical flaw of Mr. Iglauer. Rather, directly address the issue – “Bruce Iglauer created a strawman, regardless of how widely that strawman is in use, that misses the point of SOPA and Protect IP. Those pieces of legislation go way to far to ‘fix’ something that isn’t a legal problem, but a business one.”

By claiming no one says “musicians are rich anyway,” you lose the argument as soon as one person claims that. But if you say “you’re not talking about protectIP, because no matter what the conclusion of that is, you’re still wrong here, here, and here,” you’ve argued the point correctly.

Again, I don’t agree with the overall message, just the means in which you criticized Iglauer. You coulda done it better, dude.

out_of_the_blue says:

The Masnick technique of attack with Questions...

>>> ‘[Iglauer] proudly states that “about one dollar of ever four that my company takes in is paid to a musician or songwriter.”

Is that really something to be proud of?’ (Mike asks.)

Well, IS IT, Mike? You should have some general sense by now (ten years or more on this topic) of actual rates and whether worthwhile for musicians. But instead of informing, you leave it a question, so I conclude that you don’t KNOW.

>>> “Perhaps it beats the much lower royalty rates of the majors, but for artists adopting new platforms like Kickstarter and TopSpin, they can retain the vast majority of money that people pay for their stuff. That seems like a good opportunity for artists. Though, perhaps not for Iglauer.”

Here again you’re vague even though promoting new media. And while no doubt that returns for artists MIGHT be higher on those platforms, there’s a major unknown in that Iglauer or whoever in “old media” might be able to promote them better and break out in wide publicitly so that even if rates are lower, more people throw money at them. Seems to me “old media” methods are more likely to actually do so because know how to do it, who to communicate to, and possibly can even guess which bands have the right sound and personalities to work at it.

You rely a heck of a lot on vagueness, Mike, more so than even the uncertainties of the music biz necessitate.

xenomancer (profile) says:

Re: The Masnick technique of attack with Questions...

>>> ‘[Iglauer] proudly states that “about one dollar of ever four that my company takes in is paid to a musician or songwriter.”

Is that really something to be proud of?’ (Mike asks.)

Well, IS IT, Mike? You should have some general sense by now (ten years or more on this topic) of actual rates and whether worthwhile for musicians. But instead of informing, you leave it a question, so I conclude that you don’t KNOW.

If you were trying to sarcastically dismiss a rhetorical question, I’m afraid you didn’t. You came off looking like a bitter ass instead.

>>> “Perhaps it beats the much lower royalty rates of the majors, but for artists adopting new platforms like Kickstarter and TopSpin, they can retain the vast majority of money that people pay for their stuff. That seems like a good opportunity for artists. Though, perhaps not for Iglauer.”

Here again you’re vague even though promoting new media. And while no doubt that returns for artists MIGHT be higher on those platforms, there’s a major unknown in that Iglauer or whoever in “old media” might be able to promote them better and break out in wide publicitly so that even if rates are lower, more people throw money at them. Seems to me “old media” methods are more likely to actually do so because know how to do it, who to communicate to, and possibly can even guess which bands have the right sound and personalities to work at it.

That clairvoyance you ascribe to the likes of the RIAA is entirely born of their government subsidized exclusivity. Were they not the sole gatekeepers of the market, they wouldn’t have created an inefficient infrastructure to perpetuate their business via hearsay and personal influence.

You rely a heck of a lot on vagueness, Mike, more so than even the uncertainties of the music biz necessitate.

Unfortunately, this sojourn down the path of Heisenberg and Aufbau leaves me pondering the finer nature of whether the combined vagueness of an open market and the government granted monopolies you collectively reference as the “music biz” exceeds that of your means for comparing them. I don’t mean to come off as insulting here, but nowhere in your diatribe did you once explicitly mention your direct means of comparison. I submit that there isn’t and oughtn’t be one as it is of spurious consequence.

Look at your comment, now look at mine, now back to your comment, back to mine. Sadly, your comment is not mine, but if you stopped eating lead paint chips and started using logic, it could look like its mine. Look down. Back up. Where are you? You’re on techdirt, viewing the comments your comment could look like. What’s in your head? Back to my comment. My comment is. Its a comment with two strawmen that you crave and love. Look again, the strawmen are now cohesively organized thoughts. Anything is possible when your arguments are whole truths and not poorly thought out.
I’m on a horse.

LyleD says:

I have a question?

Copyright serves pretty much the whole of artistic (and commercial) creation doesn’t it? So what’s so special about the Music (or Video) business?

A painter paints a picture and sells it to make money.. A sculptor makes ‘something’ and sells it to make money.. And on, and on… They don’t get paid every time it is sold.. They don’t get paid every time someone looks at it..

So why the fuck do musicians and record labels think they’re so special!

Make it, sell it and then fuck off and stop pestering the world for handout!!!

/endrant

khory (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: I have a question?

Why should he be forced to do that? He paid for the movie fair and square and would like to have it in a central location with his other media. There is nothing wrong with that.

A little thought about how people use their media with today’s technology would do the content producers some good. Providing convenience for your customers is always good for repeat business.

MAJikMARCer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: I have a question?

Don’t you see that THIS is the problem? Media piracy is simply a black market responding to customer demand. Just John wanted to do something reasonable with the media he legitimately paid for, but was unable, so he was able to get what he needed from the black market. If the media companies would just start listening to it’s customers instead of assuming we are all immoral pirates, perhaps much of this piracy would die off naturally. Think of all the money that would be saved, not having to pay for lawyers and buy politicians.

But it’s not about the money is it? It’s not even about the law. It’s about control. The Internet has given control of reproduction to the world, free and fast. The thing is, if you supply the goods at a reasonable price and in the ways that consumers want to consume the goods, they WILL pay for it.

MAJikMARCer (profile) says:

Welfare for the labels more than the artists perhaps

Let’s face it, with digital distribution labels are less relevant, unless your goal is to be the next big top 40 star. Even then I bet it is or will very soon be attainable without a major label backing the artist. The need for the resources to record and press CDs (previously tapes and LPs) is either no longer needed or attainable with reasonably priced software/hardware that anyone can use.

I’m not saying that a professional studio can’t/won’t sound better but for a true artist, is all of that truly needed to get your art out to those who can appreciate it? 15 years ago, short of maybe your local audience, you’d be unknown. Today, with digital content and delivery, the music is accessible to anyone with an Internet connection, and thanks to Facebook and Twitter and other social media, self-promotion is easily done as well.

So, the real issue is that the traditional music empire is crumbling. Yes people will lose their jobs, it happens every time a new disruptive technology comes out. Music is becoming democratized, not destroyed. The music industry may be dying but the artists and music creation will continue without them just fine.

THAT is the reason SOPA/PIPA are being pushed so hard by the industry. They are dying and they know it and they are trying desperately to hold onto the few fragments they still retain control of, namely their music libraries. It’s not about protecting the investments they have made into the latest American Idol winner, it’s about protecting the income they are still making from music created (and paid for) years ago.

I’m not saying this is wrong, but it’s not going to be sustainable in this new digital environment. More and more music will be created and kept by the artists and the labels will become more and more irrelevant and looked upon with further scorn as they hold on to their dead business model.

Or they can figure out a way to adjust and become relevant again. Even if these laws are passed, they will not prevent the demise of the old business models.

(oh and i do not support or advocate ‘piracy’)

Yankee Infidel (profile) says:

copying != stealing

Copyright infringement is *not* the same thing as actual theft or *real* property.

The only reason people who incorrectly believe that copying is the same thing as stealing is due to their sense of *entitlement* for getting paid for something that is rather debatable whether or not someone should be paid at every instance.

Copyright was never meant to be a welfare check to both successful individuals (musicians, songwriters, authors of literature, graphic artists, etc.) and big corporations (e.g., Disney, who has done everything in its power to lobby Congress to keep poor old Mickey Mouse out of the public domain by increasing the term limits for copyrights to an asinine “lifetime of author + 95 years”).

Public domain is the rule; copyright is the exception. This axiom needs to be kept in mind when determining if copyright laws have gone too far in scope with draconian restrictions and penalties. Copyright does *not* give the author of a work *absolute* control over how their work is referenced, alluded to, used, etc.

SOPA in the House and PIPA in the Senate do *nothing* to “fix” the alleged problems of piracy of copyrighted works. Instead, it is an attempt to skirt 1st Amendment and 4th Amendment protections in order to have more swift and unaccountable actions taken not only by government but by private individuals and businesses in attempts to curb piracy.

darryl says:

25% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

“about one dollar of ever four that my company takes in is paid to a musician or songwriter.”

Ahh,, so according to Masnick 25% of something is not nearly as good as 100% of nothing !!!

Great logic,, and were those artists who signed the contract for 25% forced to sign ?

Did they READ the freaking contract ?

What percentage of profit does Google pay you Masnick for hosting their adds ?

Did you enter a contract with Google (you stated you have),

DID you READ that contract ? did you agree with it, and did you accept the terms of the contract, with the understanding that.

a small percentage of something is far better than 100% of nothing

Hiprocicy

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: 25% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

In support of common sense, and in the support in the fight against stupidity.

When was the last time you heard of an artist getting kidnapped off the street by a record company, and being dragged kicking and screaming into a dingy office, and being FORCED to sigh a contract ?

DO you honestly believe that the world actually works like that ?

No wonder the US has gone to shit, with all that is happening all you morons can think about is where you are going to get your next freebee from !

Which is after all a luxury item, it’s not like you are talking about food on the table, of your house, or your job.

It’s all about how you can be a freetard and justify your actions with excuses and piss poor arguments.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: 25% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

All we hear is you guys saying that artists are still flocking to labels because it’s pretty much the only way to get noticed. But at the same time, if labels fail to do anything to support the artists (such as actually paying them royalties, not holding onto their albums for over a year), somehow it’s the artist’s fault for not reading the fine print.

Has it never occurred to you that the labels might be responsible for not even bothering to offer the artists a better deal?

And while we’re on the subjects of “common sense” and “dragged kicking and screaming”, the labels had to be “dragged kicking and screaming” when cinema, television, VCRs, CDs, MP3 players and iTunes were introduced, and now they make killings off these technologies.

My argument is piss poor? Yours isn’t even worth subatomic particles, let alone piss.

Anonymous Coward says:

to all the people bitching about royalties:

My teachers that have albums out make around 2-5k a year off of royalties. They play classical music, so they are the ones “doing the work” and not just doing some shitty cover song. I wouldn’t demand you take 2-5k out of YOUR income, so please tell me why hardworking people who deserve the money should happily give it up with nothing to replace the gap?

no says:

Re:

It wouldn’t be illegal if you were selling the song and getting rid of it afterwards. People used to sell CDs all the time. It’s illegal if you make a copy of your CD and sell it much in the same way it would be illegal if you made a exact copy of the Wrigley’s gum and sold your copy as Wrigley’s gum withuot their permission while you chew on the one you bought.

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