The Difference Between Nuanced Discussion And The Evil Underbelly Of The Internet Is Apparently A Fine Line Indeed

from the may-depend-on-where-you-stand dept

We recently posted what I thought was an interesting essay by musician Erin McKeown on her reaction to seeing someone copy a song of hers, and have that other song become a “hit.” We thought it was an interesting and nuanced exploration of some of the challenges of being a musician and thinking about copyright — from both an emotional and logical perspective — and thought it would make for an interesting discussion. And, in fact, it did make for an interesting discussion. With well over 100 comments, representing a variety of different viewpoints, there was a pretty deep dive into the myriad responses the piece brought out. Like pretty much any online discussion, some of the comments were more polite than others. But, when viewed on the whole, it struck me that the conversation was much more polite than most online discussions around copyright. In fact, what was interesting was that because the discussion was quite nuanced, most of our usual haters didn’t take part. So we didn’t have, for example, anyone calling me a slimy lying sociopath or a disgusting human being.

Some of the comments were pointed in their disagreement with Erin, but almost immediately others came in to defend her, and the overall discussion was quite interesting in my mind. And, yet, a bevy of the standard Techdirt critics took to Twitter to claim that Erin’s article was proof positive that Techdirt was pure evil, hated artists and was the disgusting underbelly of the internet (a very close paraphrase of actual statements). I’m not going to link to any of these, because I don’t mean to call out those people specifically. Similarly, there was a thread on a music site that was entitled “why does Techdirt hate musicians?” I suddenly had people tweeting at me, personally, about how I was somehow destroying music and why did I not want artists to get paid.

I honestly can’t figure out why this was the response. First of all, we’ve regularly been attacked because (we’re told) we never, ever post an article where we show sympathy for artists’ difficult plight these days. So here was an article, from a musician, explaining her plight — and we get attacked for that?!? Furthermore, I’m long since past the time when I could read all the comments on the site, but I do read a pretty large number of them, and the amount of hate and vitriol that has come from Techdirt haters (see above, for two very recent examples) is way, way, way, way beyond anything seen in that particular thread.

In fact, the further you read into the comments the more you realize it’s a detailed and nuanced discussion on many important issues. People don’t agree, but no one’s calling each other a slimy lying sociopath or a disgusting human being. Yet, because a few commenters (not even the majority, as far as I can tell) disagree with Erin, all of Techdirt hates musicians? There were a few tweets and statements elsewhere saying that Techdirt hates it when artists make money. Of course, that’s ridiculous. We regularly celebrate artists earning money — sometimes lots of money. What we get nervous amount is when artists start making use of laws in ways that may actually do them more harm than good in the long term, by attacking their fans as if they were criminals, or when they seek to abuse laws that take away fundamental rights of others.

But, really, what was most amazing to me was how quick some of these people were to jump on the entire Techdirt community, because a few comments disagreed with one musician’s opinion. They ignored everyone who came to her defense. They ignored the fact that we posted the story in the first place. They ignored all the people on other stories who attack Techdirt supporters in often extremely personal ways (I’ve been threatened with physical harm as well as seen multiple comments I won’t repeat about my family). But most people — myself included — see those kinds of comments as part of the price you pay for having an open discussion. Some people are going to disagree and some will use different levels of speech, some more polite than others. To tar and feather everyone on the site because someone on it disagrees with your personal views is to suggest that every community online is a problem.

Is it that difficult to distinguish a nuanced conversations where not everyone agrees with each other… from the “dark underbelly” of the internet?

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Comments on “The Difference Between Nuanced Discussion And The Evil Underbelly Of The Internet Is Apparently A Fine Line Indeed”

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401 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

The thing is, the article when presented here doesn’t read like a look at the artist’s plight, it seems more like something that would be held up for ridicule.

I didn’t comment in the original discussion because I couldn’t see anything good coming from it. I don’t expect many people here to understand the idea of “ask first”, it goes against so many people’s point of view on these things. I doubt many would understand the idea of the legal action being her last choice, not her first. Rather, they would just think “greedy musician wants to control an idea”.

The truth is, Mike, that your stuff is so incredibly one sided almost all of the time, that most of us won’t give you the benefit of the doubt when you suddenly go the other way. It’s on par with Rush Limbaugh admitting he is wrong, even when he does it you know it’s not very sincere.

My suggestion: Try putting a little more balance into EVERY article. Before you pull out the snark and the strawmen, before you attack the **aa’s at every turn, perhaps consider that there is another side to the story, another point of view. If you did that, I would say you would gain an incredible amount of credibility.

The backlash you got here is because for a significant number of people (me included) you don’t have credibility to present the other side. It’s something you need to work on to truly make this place inviting for ALL points of view.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Ugh. “Balance”? “Inviting for ALL points of view”?

No thank you. Take your fictional ideals back to whatever wishy-washy publication it is that you believe upholds them.

Balance is a cop-out. Balance is “I’m not prepared to say what I think about this, nor interested in pursuing the truth, so I’ll just say everything and then I’m off the hook.”

The world does not need more balance, and who the hell cares if some points of view feel uninvited?

Grow a spine. Take a stance. And accept it when others do the same.

Xenophorge (profile) says:

The spin is always amazing. What’s more amazing is the amount of people who fall for it. A person can be a saint, but one slip up somewhere’s and your “enemies” will use it against you in the worst way. Create the bias now, and steer anyone who doesn’t know any better towards the way they want them to.

It’s alright Mike, most of us regular readers know what third-party liability is.

Migzy says:

Re:

Along those same lines, to the original commentator, so we should through facts out the window and listen to the made up #’s from the aa’s?? Even considering that nearly all of their numbers about piracy, etc have been thoroughly debunked or are a tiny fraction of what they say? Should we also start calling “piracy” theft, even though SCOTUS has clearly ruled otherwise? Just so there is “balance”? If he did that he would lose all credibility.

And after all even artists say that the RIAA/their record company is ripping them off at every turn. The AA’s aren’t looking out for the artists one iota, they are looking out for themselves and how they can make the most money on the backs of artists and the public.

Anonymous Coward says:

All you have to DO Masnick is ban all AC comments and for registered commentators to not disagree with anyone wishing to use copyright to generate revenue off the back of similarish music.
What could be wrong with that?

If you also went the extra mile, to meet us in the middle, you would also have your articles screened and approved by the RIAA or MPAA or not publish, as it is your website is just one sided rant, even on the odd occasion when there is more than one side represented none of those sides exactly match RIAA/MPAA views and are therefore wrong so they don’t count.

There is just no way for musicians to make money while piracy exists and that explains why there are no musicians anymore, as if prove were even needed.

And you never have positive suggestions, and the internet doesn’t have any answers.
Can album funding be crowdsourced? NO
Can tours be crowdsourced? NO
Can you offer music or other data for sale from a website using some kind of micropayment system? NO
Is there anyway for teenagers and other people without credit cards to buy things online? NO

You just want every musician to sell cheap clothing in a desperate attempt to keep their heads over water and there isn’t a band in the world could follow that kind of pseudo business model.

Face it, the critics are right and techdirt is just so very, very wrong.

Anonymous Coward says:

Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 20th, 2012 @ 6:41pm

Fully agreed.

The regular stream of articles here demonizes or at least dehumanizes vast organisations and, by implication, their members. Governments, agencies, lawyers, lawmakers, and any artist who “doesn’t quite get it.” The consistent message is “we here are smarter than all these people, many of whom act like they do because they are at best ignorant and at worst evil.”

You can write the individual sentences with as much “nuance” as you like, but the holistic message is not very nuanced. Today there was an article posted about how copyright killed that guy from Men at Work. Now you can say “oh, well *I* didn’t say that, some other guy did.” But of all the articles that ran today and all the happenings that you could have reported on, you picked that one. And summarized it. And didn’t really strongly disagree with it. Put together, that’s endorsement. Even worse, it’s deniable endorsement. So you can endorse the idea and deny doing so simultaneously.

The extremism here in the articles breeds extremism in the comments, and while there are some good ideas in there, they’re packaged in a way that really alienates the moderates (let alone the people who are kind of on the other side of the debate). Do you want to win these people over? If so, do you want to do it by persuasion or ridicule? Do you want to try to win them over or just beat the alternative ideas out of them? I don’t know which one you think you’re doing, but I can tell you what it looks like to outsiders.

As for engaging with the “community” that’s here, wouldn’t CwF dictate more engagement from you rather than less? You’re busy – the price of having a measure of fame. How is that different from any artist? Why were you silent on the McKeown article and the subsequent discussion? Do you really agree she was wronged? Do you think her response (a lawsuit) is appropriate or the most productive thing she could be doing?

Were you silent because you were busy or because you agreed with the comments that she was out of line but didn’t want to risk alienating McKeown personally? Or do you disagree with the comments and think a lawsuit is a perfectly appropriate course of action? With silence, it’s impossible to tell and so readers will make whatever assumption they want, and not all of them may give you the benefit of the doubt.

I once read a comment (here? Slashdot?) that said something close to “you know what’s great about (people who work for) the RIAA? There is nothing bad that could happen to them that would possibly be too abusive or extreme.” That is the kind of sentiment that you want to quash or marginalize if you want to actually change anything.

If a post and a discussion here inspires a discussion elsewhere called “why does techdirt hate musicians” you can certainly ask “what is wrong with those people?!?” all you want. But it might be more productive to ask “what is it at techdirt that caused this in the first place?” especially because this is an environment you can directly influence and control.

Anonymous Coward says:

After decade upon decade of the copyright ratcheting, there are not a lot of folk that really like or believe them anymore. There is a believability issue just like with all the puff pieces that come out quoting reasons and monetary figures.

There’s something else I’ve noticed too. Seems like the internet attitude is changing. Like it’s getting more immature. I’ve run into a lot of that sort of thing where it doesn’t matter what you say, what matters is it’s against the ‘hivemind’. Once you are found guilty there is no hope of ever restoring sanity.

Anonymous Coward says:

Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 20th, 2012 @ 7:12pm

Balance doesn’t require agreeing with the other side. However, it would help if it did not involve treating them like baby-eating ignoramuses.

The other side of this debate is populated by people who have built billion-dollar industries, employee thiusands, and created much of the “culture” you enjoy. To many people, that’s a pretty good indicator that they did something right.

Some of them are doing some despicable things, though.

If you focus on the despicable, ignore all their previous achievements, and make no significant efforts to distinguish between what’s despicable and what’s not, you demonize the entire lot of them. That’s what many of the articles and more of the comments here do.

If the entire other side is despicable, what solution is there but to plot/eagerly await their wholesale destruction?

When that is your endgame, don’t be surprised when the other side “militarizes.” When you catch moderates or potential allies up in your net of “greedy, stupid, amoral,” don’t be surprised when they join up with the other side.

Pixelation says:

Hey...

The *AA trolls are posting today. It’s truly interesting to read. I get a good laugh at the complete BS being directed at the TD commenters.

Hey trolls, we’re not completely against copyright, trademarks or patents. (Not most anyway) We’re against the way in which the public benefits less and less from them as the laws change over time. We’re not against someone making money from their ideas. Should someone keep getting paid in perpetuity for one idea, probably not. We’re against our right to privacy and freedoms being infringed for legacy business that can’t keep up. We’re against trashing the internet only to support copyright holders. I would venture a guess and say most here are against how our government is pushing other governments to adopt our already overbearing rules. It’s pretty arrogant. Now get off our lawn!

/end rant

Anonymous Coward says:

The problem with this claim of ‘nuance’ is the amount of Techdirt members who continually frame the debate as ordinary people against ‘greedy, stupid, amoral’ billionaires, and those same Techdirters ‘eagerly await their wholesale destruction’.

So it finally comes to pass that average musicians on average working wages are starting to realise you’re talking about THEM when you post their industry’s destruction is ‘eagerly awaited’.
There isn’t enough music industry experience and therefore knowledge on Techdirt to have any ‘nuance’.

STStone says:

Re:

Nobody wants the music industry destroyed; in any case, the music industry will live on even if the RIAA “dies”.

People don’t much care for the record industry/music distribution industry, though. The RIAA sues customers/potential customers/potentially dead customers, screws artists out of royalties and payments and quality accounting practices, and pushes for greater copyright to benefit itself at the cost of killing off the benefit of copyright to the average person (the only true beneficiary of copyright).

The RIAA represents a time before the Internet when artists needed the RIAA and its services to become anything more than a quasi-famous “local celebrity” musician. Artists don’t need the RIAA any more to draw attention to themselves, distribute their works, and make money. One day, perhaps even in my lifetime, the RIAA must “die” — and once it does, every other major player involved with killing the public domain will take notice of the RIAA’s mistakes.

Anonymous Coward says:

Quote:
“The RIAA represents a time before the Internet when artists needed the RIAA and its services to become anything more than a quasi-famous “local celebrity” musician. Artists don’t need the RIAA any more to draw attention to themselves, distribute their works, and make money.”

This the perfect example of a rant with no nuance that Techdirt comments often represent.
The RIAA is far from the music industry. It’s a collective of a handful of North American labels, mostly majors.
European musicians, specifically many world class Brits, as well as millions of independents will justifiably laugh at the notion artists needed the RIAA before the internet. All of the artists I just mentioned had zero to do with the RIAA, still don’t.
So I think maybe this site does need more nuance, enough to recognise there is a world of music outside the RIAA.

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re:

Speaking of nuance, I see that you like to throw exaggerations. For example, I know of no musician that has become a billionaire. But there are a lot of non-musician people in the music industry that make millions while using deceptive accounting to keep money from their artists. However, there are lots of non-label musicians that make a lot of money, even while giving their music away for free. Jonathan Coulton comes to mind. On that article there was an idiot (how’s that for nuance?) that then said:

It’s a wonderful discussion, but it’s lacking in the basic “who is going to pay for it all”?

I don’t know who it is, but apparently there are lots of people paying for it all. Not a musician, but Techdirt has covered Louis CK’s experiment and praised it.

Average musicians don’t benefit from the RIAA. There whole model is based on instant hits and big stars. If they don’t think you have the chance to be a superstar they won’t sign you. If they sign you, they won’t promote you. If they promote you and the public doesn’t grant you instant stardom, they’ll dump you. The RIAA thrives on economy of scale. Average musicians don’t fit in that model.

Consider this: Queen’s label didn’t want to release Bohemian Rhapsody. They didn’t think it’d be successful. They didn’t care about music or art. They cared about profit. Queen got a DJ to play it anyway and after fans clamored for the single their label finally decided to release it.

Techdirt rarely has a problem with musicians, and almost always has a problem with controlling, self-serving, hindering middle-men. The reason it runs that way is due to control. Musicians and other artists are more likely to worry about their art whereas the middle-men are more likely to worry about control, often to the point of violating others rights or pissing on the good will of their fans and customers. It’s not always that way; just often.

The music industry will never go away. Music is too ingrained in human culture to ever disappear so long as humans exist. It existed before copyright law, it exists now despite copyright law, it would exist if copyright law disappeared tomorrow, and it would certainly exist if copyright law lengths and infringement punishments were severely reduced.

Anonymous Coward says:

she feels “entitled” to be paid, someone made a song ‘similar” to mine, so they must be “stealing” from me, I must sue for money that I dont deserve

erin in a nutshell

and truth be told, you do come off as a slimy disgusting human being, you “know” more about how everything electronic should work, if “only” all government/anyone involved would only do what you say, and everything should be free on the internet, that is how you come accross sorry, but its how a majority of people see you

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re:

Where’s the middle? Wouldn’t it be closer to halving copyright lengths? Wouldn’t it be closer to halving infringement punishments? Or is the middle allowing the RIAA to falsely accuse dajaz1 of infringement, have their domain seized, and then wait a year to give it back without any explanation? Is the middle the are where YouTube gets sued because they know that somewhere on their website is material that is infringing, even when some of what is “obviously infringing” was actually uploaded by the copyright holder and deliberately made to look unofficial? Is the middle suing Jammie Thomas for over $2 million for sharing 20-something songs? Is the middle the part where ACTA, TPP, and the ISP six-strikes agreement are signed behind closed doors? Is the middle where the MPAA deliberately picks on iiNet because they figured they wouldn’t have the money to defend themselves? Is the middle where RIAA and MPAA studies routinely blow out of proportion their losses, both money and employment?

I have no problem making compromises and meeting people in the middle in difficult nuanced situations. The problem lies in the fact that copyright has gone only one way for 200 years and yet maximalists think it’s only half way to where they want it. The middle was 7 years a century ago. Halving copyright lengths are now at 60 years or life + 30.

You want to meet in the middle? Fine. I’ll grant you copyright for 7 years. I require no DRM or a guarantee that all DRM will be removed once copyright terms end (after 7 years), and if neither of those terms are met, then you can rely on DRM but don’t get copyright law. I require that non-commercial sharing is no longer considered infringement. I require penalties for infringement be based on actual losses. Meet me in the middle.

Watchit (profile) says:

Re:

Yes, their is a world of music outside the RIAA and the big record labels, but regardless the record labels wants to think that they’re the center of the music world and want to punish others who think otherwise through awful legislation and copyright hammers. So, I’m glad to have a blog out there that covers things such as bad copyright legislation.

Watchit (profile) says:

Re:

“majority” is such a strong word… and relative to what exactly? anonymous commentors? anyone who’s ever met Mike? or perhaps the “majority” of people at the RIAA?

It’s pretty hard to determine how the majority “see” a person on the internet. Are you going by the number of AC’s that post nasty things? that’s not a very good indicator.

Anonymous Coward says:

Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 20th, 2012 @ 6:41pm

What you are talking about?
Dehumanizes?

Yah right, just like calling mothers thieves, students thieves and trying to link them to terrorrism and hardcore criminal acts is not dehumanizing others so you can justify the absurd lengths that you people go to to get what you want.

Anonymous Coward says:

Quote:
“Techdirt rarely has a problem with musicians, and almost always has a problem with controlling, self-serving, hindering middle-men. The reason it runs that way is due to control. Musicians and other artists are more likely to worry about their art whereas the middle-men are more likely to worry about control”

With widespread illegal downloading and copyright infringement who is now doing the self serving controlling? Yeah, it ain’t musicians.
There are two problems with the debate here, 1) the vast majority of musicians want to keep copyright. That’s an inconvenient truth for you i think? You respect musicians, but when it comes down to it, disrespect most musicians wishes. 2) There seems to be this idea here that bringing down the music industry and dismantling copyright wont destroy a lot of music industry careers for very ordinary workers on average wages.
If you are ok with abusing musicians for what you see as a greater cause, at least admit it.

AB says:

Re: Re:

1) Most of the people here don’t have an issue with basic copyright. Perhaps you were too busy spouting nonsense to actually notice but the main issue is about copyright abuse and excess litigation.

2) Um, aren’t you the one who just said, “The RIAA is far from the music industry. It’s a collective of a handful of North American labels, mostly majors.
European musicians, specifically many world class Brits, as well as millions of independents will justifiably laugh at the notion artists needed the RIAA before the internet. All of the artists I just mentioned had zero to do with the RIAA, still don’t.” in a previous post? So if that’s true how exactly will getting rid of the MAFFIAA effect the musicians who have “zero to do with [them]” as you you yourself put it? And “dismantling copyright” will have both negative and positive effects on musicians – So far what little evidence there is suggest there will be more of the former. I fail to see how it will effect the people who support the musicians at all so long as the artists continue to perform. On the other hand I can easily see how eliminating legal and maffiaa fees could really help most musicians (and their suppliers, drivers, merchandisers, marketers, costumers, agents, travel personal, etc,).

Anonymous Coward says:

Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 20th, 2012 @ 6:41pm

How about all the hyperbole about the evil of piracy that will destroy many lifes when you have real life proof that it will never happen?

Open source proved without a shadow of a doubt that you don’t need a monopoly to make a profit out of anything and still you despicable people keep demonizing normal people just so you can protect those granted monopolies and care nothing about the consequences of your acts putting even democracy itself at risk.

And for what?

The power to get screwed by mega corporations abusing accounting practices that if not illegal should be?

L. Charles Burch (user link) says:

Saul Alinsky's Rules For Radicals

In my opinion, this is a classic problem, reaction, solution tactic right out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals. The problem put forth is the copyrights of artists being infringed. As a musician, I believe most people would agree that copyrights should be protected. The question is how.

The solution being offered in government legislation, by many “trial balloons” like SOPA, PIPA and so forth, does not fully address the problem but goes directly to internet censorship in one form or another. CISPA can be used to usher in a Chinese style censorship to shut down government dissent and has little to do with copyright protection.

Let’s hold our government to the constitution and protect our freedom as well.

Anonymous Coward says:

quote:
“I don’t believe musicians get punished either way so why should I recognize it? you can argue that and I can respond, but if that is someone’s position it is their job to bring it to the argument.”

Then your eyes aren’t open to the vast amount of commentary by musicians that report they and others like them are being harmed by illegal downloading.

Atkray (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Then your eyes aren’t open to the vast amount of commentary by musicians that report they and others like them are being harmed by illegal downloading.”

1: I would like to see the studies and numbers that back up their claims. Not the debunked RIAA stuff that they bought into because the think RIAA is helping them fight piracy.

2: and this is important, your musicians need to come to terms with the culture of sharing that has become prevalent in today’s society. Even if you got all your wishes and shut down all unauthorized online transfers of music it would still continue and it would be on the same scale as it is now they would just do it differently.

People share music because they like it.
If they like it enough they support the artist.
When I was young I had albums. I wouldn’t buy the ones my friends had because we would share them, I’d take 5 to a friend’s house and bring back 5 of his. That way we had 10 albums to enjoy. Digital changed that only because now I don’t have to leave the 5 albums at his house I just give him the file. If we like the music we buy more but still not what the other bought. When the artist comes to town we go to the concert and buy an overpriced shirt and program. If the artist is on guitar hero we buy the game because of that artist.

Musician as a career is dead. You need to become an entertainer or a performer, and I strongly suggest you take some business classes so you can learn how to manage your success.

Things change…and they are changing fast, please try to stay current.

Liam Caden (profile) says:

I agree Piracy isn't the Problem - it's a Symptom

I have read many articles about the **AA or the MAFIAA as some of us like to think of them, but the only question is why do we and or the government(s) care if they are losing money. Seriously they have changed copyright laws multiple times to their benefit, with little to no give back to the people. They continuously take, take, take and take and give us some gems mixed into the crap they peddle. I don’t see why the Government needs to give these people more powers and rights without getting anything back (except the government officials with pockets lined with MPAA & RIAA money). Where is the innovation? What have they really given to us? At what cost to us.

Think about this for one minute – How would you feel if you were forced into using Paper Mail again, and email was banned, all to save the Post Office? Or bikes were outlawed cause it hurt the profits of GM too much. How would these companies fair if they actually had to compete in an Open Market – Especially after labeling their customers criminals and going on the offensive? They would die by their own actions, but they are a Monopoly and because Government officials like the money being stuffed into their pockets they are protected.

They won the war by setting the rules of engagement, by claiming financial losses to piracy, everyone thinks pirates are the bad guys.

But I will put it clearly again, Who cares if the MPAA RIAA are losing money?

Every Technology the RIAA and MPAA have claimed as destructive and try to stop it. Here is a few Examples.. Audio Cassette recorders, Audio Cassettes, VCR’s, DVR’s, PVR’s, CD’s, DVD’s, Mp3 Players the list goes on, and in case you were not noticing it is the internet in general under attack by ONE INDUSTRY. Online storage lockers, are the current target… stop and think about it, when is enough, enough already?

Watchit (profile) says:

Re:

I assume your use of ambiguous “you” refers to techdirt commenters as a whole.

for point one:

the vast majority of musicians want to keep copyright.

ok we agree on that.

That’s an inconvenient truth for you i think? You respect musicians, but when it comes down to it, disrespect most musicians wishes.

There will always be people who pirate, just as their always will be people who shoplift. The key is that the best way to combat piracy is not to fight the fans who pirate but to be awesome to your fans and convince them that it’s in their best interest to not pirate their work and to support them instead. Though there are times when piracy is “justified“, such as it’s the Author’s wish. Or if it’s not available in your country.

For point two:

There seems to be this idea here that bringing down the music industry and dismantling copyright wont destroy a lot of music industry careers for very ordinary workers on average wages.
If you are ok with abusing musicians for what you see as a greater cause, at least admit it.

No there’s not, new innovations always upsets older industries that are no longer needed or aren’t up to par with the new market. The Music Distribution and Record Industry are no longer needed. The artists who think they can survive by just creating content will fall behind those who create new and interesting content and engage and build support with those who will pay their content. This isn’t “abusing” musicians, it’s just what’s happening naturally in an over saturated market. Where the songwriters of the past being “abused for the greater good” when the printing press allowed for mass quantities of their work to be distributed like never before, and yes even pirated? No, it was an opportunity! Music writers where able to spread their music to even wider demographics and create more money than ever before. So no I am not “abusing” any musicians for the greater good, those musicians left behind are doing that to themselves.

Anonymous Coward says:

Well I am a musician, so I guess being told I ‘spout nonsense’ is just another nuanced comment I don’t understand huh?
So basically you’re saying the only way for artists to survive the dismantling opf copyright is to ‘continue to perform’.
That’s not really a very nuanced view of the music industry though.
Recordings are a product in of themselves.
It’s like saying it’s ok to pirate films because film actors shouldn’t be paid for film, only for theatrical work on Broadway….. oh and the days of the paid film cameraperson are over?

Anonymous Coward says:

quote]:
“Think about this for one minute – How would you feel if you were forced into using Paper Mail again, and email was banned, all to save the Post Office? Or bikes were outlawed cause it hurt the profits of GM too much. How would these companies fair if they actually had to compete in an Open Market – Especially after labeling their customers criminals and going on the offensive? They would die by their own actions, but they are a Monopoly and because Government officials like the money being stuffed into their pockets they are protected.’

Well neither emailing or cycling are illegal behaviors.
Look, average musicians are totally onboard with competition. Actually, creative people including musicians are enthusiastic adopters of new technology.
You create a false market by flooding it with illegally free content.
So you actually aren’t allowing musicians to live or die by the quality of their product, you’re just destroying the natural market by sharing their work without their permission.
The monopoly is pirates dictating to artists how much their product is worth to consumer for = $0

Anonymous Coward says:

quote:
“Musician as a career is dead.”

Wow! Amazing.
People share music because they like it, but at the same time you’re happy to announce to the people who make that music that their career is ‘dead’?
Firstly, just on a common sense level that makes no sense. Secondly, when does one dude get to tell a bunch of other dudes their career is ‘dead’.
Maybe you are drunk on your own perceived power.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

“After decade upon decade of the copyright ratcheting”

Possibly the biggest lie of all. You don’t think that we are currently in the period of the LEAST effective copyright laws, the least respected, and the period with the most violations of the law – ON NEWER MATERIAL? We aren’t talking the mythical mouse curve thing Mike is trying to spew, but rather what is happening to current movies, current music, current boobs, etc.

The only ratcheting seems to be coming from the people willing to pirate anything and everything, respect be damned.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

” so we should through facts out the window and listen to the made up #’s from the aa’s??”

No, that would be silly.

But Mike doesn’t have to call them lying dirtbags either.

Perhaps it might be helpful instead to look at their numbers and try to actually see how they get there. Rather than rip them down because you don’t agree, why not try to understand them first?

There is none of that.

Let’s also be fair here: Mike’s “Sky is Rising” pretty much does the same things as the AAs do, cherry picking, putting together non-related numbers and “summing them up” and ignoring the large swathes of scorched earth that many of these new “models” have brought with them.

He does the same thing – but nobody here dares call him out. That’s sad.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Fine. Instead of “balance” why don’t you try “realism.” After all, since artists are supposed to be realistic and not try to fight the inevitability of piracy, what realities are you willing to accept?

How about that copyright will not be repealed without decades of preliminary work, court cases, and lawmaking, if ever? How about that copyright lengths will not be significantly shotened without a organized movement that nobody is organizing? How about that all the extremism here has barely put a finger in an increasingly leaky dike despite more than a decade of complaint? How about that the IP reform forces have yet to put out anything resembling a coherent ideology much less an actionable plan for any kind of reform?

The minor victory over SOPA is great. They have 10 more bills where that one came from. That wasn’t even a victory, since you didn’t get anything out of it. No relaxation of copyright. No shorter terms. Mo facorable policy changes. It was just a non-defeat.

The other side has been winning for a long time and you have been losing. You can make fun of them all you want and they will continue to ignore you from the halls of power. At this rate it will be another 50 years until copyright is rolled back an iota – if ever.

The more you bicker, the more you call for the destruction of zillion-dollar companies that employ thousands of congressional constituents and make big donations, the more you spout anti-IP extremist fantasies, the more moderates that you alienate instead of turning into allies, the easier it is for them to continue steamrolling you.

Keep it up guys, you’re doing great. Turn off the Internet for a week next time, maybe they’ll only increase copyright lengths 10 years instead of 20.

heres a tip says:

dont want your orginizations to be treated like crap

wells heres something: stop giving people a reason to treat you like crap.

i did not even have a problem with the industry until they started doing things that made hannibel lector look decent destroy the internet and in general act like a a complete ass. exp: publishing statistics that show how bad things are for them that even the government has proven lies and continue to hold on onto it and talking so much about them losing money when hollywood is breaking records.

ther moral? pirates are not innocent. but then again niether are you. you are every bit as greedy as the people you say steal from you.

i dont feel pity for them or you. cuase you both destroy things. on just has the law behind it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Response to: heres a tip on Apr 20th, 2012 @ 10:59pm

Fine, don’t feel pity. What are you going to DO about it?

Are you going to pirate more as a form of protest? Really? You’re going to engage in precisely the form of “protest” that PROVES THE OTHER GUY’S POINT? Brilliant!

So this weekend you are going to continue your research group’s study developing accurate figures for the economic impact of piracy – positive or negative, right? No?

Ah you must be spending that time interviewing lobbyists who can help you get your thoughts in front of Congress, then? Oh, not that either?

Oh, I know, you’re busy organizing the local chapter of Musicians Against Copyright? Oops, not that, eh?

You’re working with the plaintiffs and attorneys suing the government for the harms they have suffered due to expanding copyright?

Holding your anti-copyright rally/fundraiser?

Town hall meeting?

Bake sale?

Anonymous Coward says:

I am heartened to see the deep and nuanced thoughts from Mike and the other Techdirt staff contributing to this healthy debate so far in this comment thread. I guess I should have expected it when the article ended with a question that was intended to spark discussion, as it has.

One of the real hallmarks of the CwF strategy is how much connecting its proponents actually do. the skillful moderation of the McKeown debate and the way they jumped into the “Techdirt hates musicians” thread on the other site really shows their selfless dedication to their ideals and their commitment to rising above the noise.

It’s so good to see how, having attained a leadership role through hard work, they are not just abandoning these discussions. It’s an important example of how critical good community stewardship is, and how many innovative ways there are to harness a community to achieve practical outcomes.

let me elaborate says:

Re:

im not saying illegally downloading is good at all. im saying orginizations are taking advantage of laws using less then savory means to get what they want. lying to get what they want. destroying peoples lives. and they expect them not to get flack over it?

they just tried to pass a law that whould make it legal to censor websites with just a freaking phone call.

if this is there idea of being a victim then there the kind of victim that leaves there kid in a hot car gets and kidnapped.

be realistic. does any of this sound deserving of any respect or pity when people do steal there things? yes its bad when it happens but when your response is a to luanch a skorched earth policy on everything it WILL backfire.

Anonymous Coward says:

Response to: heres a tip on Apr 20th, 2012 @ 10:59pm

The only thing he needs to do is walk away from you dude.

He can continue to pirate to his hearts content and never ever pay your kind ever again, I will make sure he has that option and when I am gone somebody else will do it for others.

The reason is simple, you people lost the humanity, artists selfishness and companies greed has destroyed the relationship that the former had with their audience and that is what will bring enormous financial impact upon you a-holes.

Art was always a shared experience, without the sharing part there could not be any art in any form, granting monopolies to a-holes is what brought about this whole mess and now we need to start saying no and people will do that first by pirating and then moving on to other places and creating their own things, books are not a problem anymore, there is a lot of CC by SA to go around and many writers who do it and are rewarded for it, there are many musicians that get it and are being rewarded for it and soon movies too.

Your kind on the other hand needs to be forgotten, you are the worst inside society and represent all the things people most hate and if you think we all will just accept your views you soon will find out what it really means to piss off people.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Survival of artists doesn’t depend upon copyrights, never did and never will.

It depends on the capabilities of someone to connect with people, the laws around it are irrelevant.

Copyright is a granted monopoly and it has no place in modern society or any other society that values democratic values or freedom.

Want to see a lot of people making money without copyrights?

The open source people made it, are you dumber?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Well it’s only been 15 years that pro-IP forces have been steamrolling you; I’m sure utter catastrophe is just around the corner for them.

In that time, Duke Nukem Forever was actually released. So was Chinese Democracy. I guess it hasn’t been the year of Linux on the desktop or the year of actual Democracy in China yet, so there are still a few things that we’ve been anticipating longer than legislation that includes real copyright reform.

Anonymous Coward says:

quote:
“The reason is simple, you people lost the humanity, artists selfishness and companies greed has destroyed the relationship that the former had with their audience and that is what will bring enormous financial impact upon you a-holes.”

Right, so clearly you are talking about more than 3/4’ers of musicians. 3/4’ers of musicians who release recordings are “selfish a-holes”, because 3/4’ers AT LEAST of the music community have not agreed with or signed up to this ‘information is free’ lifestyle.
Why? Probably because it’s a one way street. We share our music with you, and what do you do in return? Nothing, except call most of us “selfish a-holes”.
One thing is for sure, the more this debate rolls on, the more “nuanced” the comments section gets. Ha Ha!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

When you can show numbers that can be confirmed then we can talk about the harms of piracy.

I can show you people who don’t use copyrights and makes lots of money can you show anybody who got to the poor house because of piracy?

I very much doubt you can show harm because it is non existent and people saying otherwise are either ignorant or misinformed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

I am talking about all you a-holes that believe that a granted monopoly is your god given right, it is not and I am saying it to you to sod off.

I am not respecting those granted monopolies and will do everything in my power legal or illegal to undermine that crap and the great thing about it is that there is nothing you can do about it besides bitch and moan.

Anonymous Coward says:

Quote: “Copyright is a granted monopoly and it has no place in modern society or any other society that values democratic values or freedom.”

I LOVE this line that often gets trotted out.
Let me ask this.
If I pay for my own recordings, and I need to make some money from my release so I can pay the electricity bill etc…
When you download my music without paying me as I wished, where is my right to freedom? You just took it away, regardless that you claim to value democracy andr freedom.
And where is the democratic value in illegal downloading?
Musicians gained copyright by democratic means. If you don’t like it, AND YOU VALUE DEMOCRATIC VALUES, change copyright by persuading ordinary people and policy makers.
But you haven’t, you’ve just taken it upon yourself that copyright doesn’t apply to you. And that’s democratic????????

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

The problem with holding up open source or CC-SA as an example is because they exist and thrive in a copyright-heavy environment today. If open-source developers or CC-SA artists want to give away their own work, few people will conplain. (oh sure, a few nutters will go on about unfair competition or restraint of trade.)

But when you want to take away the choice of others to disseminate under a copyright regime, that’s where you’ll get a lot more pushback. At least an open source developer offers a car in place of a Microsoft buggy-whip. A pirate offers only pirated buggy-whips.

Open source also represents a fraction of the economic success commercial software does. A growing fraction, but a fraction. You want everyone to throw all the healthy babies out with the bathwater because one scrawny one has a lot of spunk. Commercial software vendors earned a lot of economic and political power based on proven success. You want all that power too, but you don’t want to have to earn it. You want a shortcut. Nobody is going to fall on a sword to give it to you.

Anonymous Coward says:

quote “I am talking about all you a-holes that believe that a granted monopoly is your god given right, it is not and I am saying it to you to sod off.”

Wrong, it’s a right won by ordinary artists through democratic means.
You guys just can’t accept it took true democracy to institute copyright, and it’ll take true democracy to dismantle copyright. But because you are in the minority, you disregard democracy.
And can we just mention it’s the anti-copyright posters who continually call their opposition “a-holes”. Maybe I’m just missing some nuance in that???

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

No I didn’t take it away I produced a copy, myself by my own means just like I would have copied a chair, a house or anything else.

It doesn’t stop you from being paid, it can limit market share, but I can’t stop you from selling anything and you shouldn’t be able to stop me from doing it either, so the best of us the more capable that understands the real market can do better that is work real work, or would you pay me for half a job done?

Open source is thriving, Arduino is an open source hardware manufacturer and they make millions and everybody can take their designs and copy it, share, modify and even sell, but people go back to them and buy from them why?

Because they know what they are doing, you on the other hand appears to be a baby who doesn’t understand anything and it is not capable of actually be in a market, now why should people reward you for anything if you don’t do nothing?

I can have ideas all day, if I don’t work on them, don’t find a public for them and don’t actually produce or do some service I don’t get paid, why should you punk get paid for doing nothing besides authoring some BS art?

Anonymous Coward says:

The true evidence of profit without copyright is not open source, it’s how many musicians and film makers are offering all their work for free.
In truth, it’s a tiny minority.
I actually doubt many of the anti-copyright posters at Techdirt offer their work for free.
Why do so few do it? Because society is set up to be capitalist, where money is exchanged for goods (in this case entertainment).
If free information worked, hundreds of thousands of artists would have abandoned the old business model and flocked to the more innovative (supposedly more popular) one.
So, errr, they haven’t. Does that make every artist less intelligent than the average Techdirt poster?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

You can’t accept that true democracy is being done right now and that people’s perception of granted monopolies are changing against you people, you are the problem not pirates.

Piracy is the solution for a problem that keeps happening over and over again because some people feel they are more important than the rest of society.

In the middle ages people killed a lot of priest exactly because of those types of “rights” you talk about it, this was not a democratic process, it was imposed on the people and they are saying no, where are the democratic representatives listening?

Even that paid shill Pallante readily admits that she only meets with people on the copyright side of the equation but never ever meets with others interests, that is no democracy, this is democracy being hijacked by you self centered crazy people.

Anonymous Coward says:

quote:
“No I didn’t take it away I produced a copy, myself by my own means just like I would have copied a chair, a house or anything else.”

But what you did was illegal in this democratic society.
I can’t compete fairly against someone acting illegally.
So here’s the thing, you guys are convinced you are right. So you should be able to win your fight IN A SOCIETY THAT VALUES DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM. Because if you download illegally you aren’t being either.

Anonymous Coward says:

quote: “You can’t accept that true democracy is being done right now and that people’s perception of granted monopolies are changing against you people, you are the problem not pirates.
Piracy is the solution for a problem that keeps happening over and over again because some people feel they are more important than the rest of society.”

The actual definition of people who think they are more important than the rest of society, are people who ignore democratic processes and ignore the law of the land.
Like I said, if your fight is righteous and is supported by the majority of the public, you will have no problem winning your changes democratically.
The mere fact you have bypassed democratic values, makes it seem like you are spoiled brats not getting your own way.

Anonymous Coward says:

Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 20th, 2012 @ 11:59pm

Does that make every artist less intelligent than the average Techdirt poster?

Not exactly. Some of them just haven’t heard the Techdirt wisdom, and so they are presumed ignorant rather than unintelligent. It’s only the ones that hear the arguments and then reject them that are less intelligent than the average Techdirt poster.

(Protip: if you run a site whose main message is “hey artists, I’m not saying you’re doing it wrong, but YOU’RE DOIN IT WRONG!!!”, do not be surprised when some of those artists think you might not be their best advocate).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

You are just full of it, open source doesn’t thrive because it is in an copyright heavy environment, it is thriving despite of it.

Can you offer a better pirated buggy wip than the other guy?
If you can than you sell more than he does, that is the whole point of a free market, to let the market decide what is best.

Now about open source being a fraction, well it is the standard for servers, the majority of which use Apache, it is the standard for smartphones since Android have more than sixth percent market share, Apple OS is open source, Microsoft is using open source, many hardware manufacturers use open source, the only place open source is a minority is in the desktop front.

You wanna know why a lot of people are moving away from proprietary software?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_Slicer

Because proprietary means you get locked in and when problems arise people can’t do nothing about it and that is why open source will continue to grow eclipsing those other players because it can deliver something that is equal or better and have a lot more freedoms that is exactly what will happen to music, books and movies too, because people are already getting very annoyed at the antics of those that want more copyrights and by hook or by crook those monopolies will end.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Laws only mean anything if the majority agrees to fallow it or are forced into submission, copyright doesn’t have a majority today of people who like it and can’t be enforced because I very much doubt that family and friends will start denouncing their friends for pirating music or anything else.

Even more so when they know that piracy is more likely to increase sales of tertiary products for the artist.

If that was not the case why are musicians giving away music on the radio?

Want to see more music for free?
Go to VEVO dude it is all free nobody pays anything to listen to that crap, if it is so harmful why are big labels doing it themselves?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

1. Open source is thriving.
2. Copyright is worse than ever.
3. Therefore we must destroy copyright.

Wait, what? That makes no sense. Of course it doesn’t, because that doesn’t follow at all, which is why that’s a terrible argument.

Open source may someday broadly eclipse commercial software in more domains than it does now, but even the zealots have given up waiting for the Linux desktop to overtake Windows and for the GIMP to exceed the capabilities of 1995-era Photoshop. Weakening copyright will not help either occur faster than they will now.

Voting with their wallets, people and businesses still like commercial software lots more than open source. There’s one billion-dollar open source company. There are many billion-dollar closed source companies. When those numbers flip and open-source companies start engaging seriously in the political system, maybe you will see reform without you having to lift a finger for it.

If I were you I would not hold my breath quite yet.

Anonymous Coward says:

I love the way this ethic of “freedom and Democracy” keep being trumpeted.

So stop trampling my freedom and democratically change copyright law!
It’s apparently a no brainer for society and just about everyone agrees. So where are your high ideals of democracy and freedom when it comes to actually changing copyright?
I’m currently complying by the law as created thru entirely democratic means. You are not.
How does that make me the bully and you the freedom fighter. Ha, ha.

Anonymous Coward says:

Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 21st, 2012 @ 12:05am

No the entire country is undemocratic right now where only a few people have a very large amount of influence and the rest is never heard, now it is becoming more democratic, with people noticing that they can in fact put people there and it is only a matter of time until they realize that they can write the legislation and put the people there to pass it, and this is not a matter of if but when, nobody yet succeeded in gaining the trust or developing the right tools but there is a large group of people experimenting and sooner or latter somebody will come up with a framework that will enable Joes and Janes everywhere to have a more participative democracy.

Anonymous Coward says:

quote “Illegal yes by current laws, but it shouldn’t be and many other people have been noticing that it shouldn’t be either.
Democracy means majority, you don’t have a majority dude.
Get over it or out.”

No, democracy means changing laws through democratic means. If you don’t like the current copyright laws, get people to vote against them. Simple right? Especially if you have majority support.

I have an inkling though that most people don’t really care two hoots about changing copyright. If you tell someone they can obtain free music without getting caught, they love it. That’s just about as far as it goes, or you would have affected democratic change by now.

Anonymous Coward says:

Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 21st, 2012 @ 12:05am

Let me translate that from DURF to English:

“I am outraged and my six friends and these people on the Internet are too! Now change is hard because for some reason people that work really hard to attain power and influence don’t want to hand it over to me just because I want to threaten their livelihoods. But they are wrong and will get their comeuppance! I can’t help with that, I mean that would require leaving the basement. But certainly someday, others to be named later will leave their basements! And they will fix this problem for me without me having to do anything!”

“And then the powers that be will know their error! Many slors and Zuuls will be roasted in the depths of the Torg that day I can tell you!”

Anonymous Coward says:

quote “No the entire country is undemocratic right now where only a few people have a very large amount of influence and the rest is never heard, now it is becoming more democratic,”

Great, good for you. But maybe you could stop ripping off ordinary artists while you get the democratic numbers.
And by ‘country’ I assume you are talking about the USA.
Piracy is a global issue, as is copyright law. Hundreds of countries, each with different political systems and cultural dynamics. And copyright legislation is hardly under threat anywhere, not even in Sweden home of TPB.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Quote:

“Voting with their wallets, people and businesses still like commercial software lots more than open source.”

Which business?

Paypal made entirely out of open source.
Google made of open source.
Microsoft gave in and have an open source portal and it is hosting code and contributing to other projects.
Many hospitals use open source, entire states use those open source to track patients data and it creates local jobs since you contract locals to improve the software for entity he works and gets paid, open source gets improved and the business gets what they wanted.

Open source proved that there is no need to grant a monopoly to others for anything to work, it works without monopolies so why should society agree to be harmed by the very very nasty side effects of monopolies again?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Well stop trying to force me to obey your point of view then, if you are so sure about your democratic power, why can’t you enforce copyright then?

People should be denouncing pirates like they denounce pedophiles right?

So why is that people don’t do it?
Because people don’t like your rights and don’t recognize them that is why.

Anonymous Coward says:

Yeah, but all you are doing is bringing up the name of a bogeyman, who has nothing to do with the music industry.
The actual talk is about the way a music forum discussed a recent Techdirt debate about Musician Erin Mckeown.
It’s largely a debate on music, musicians, and music copyright.
So the relevance of bringing up Chris Dodd, other than the fact you can ignore the reasoned input of thousands of musicians and just bring up your convenient hate figure?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Democracy is not just laws dude, it is bigger than that but at its most basic, the foundation of it is that you need the majority of society to agree to something and if they don’t that is not democracy, just because most people don’t want to get involved in politics and don’t have access to their own representatives doesn’t mean what they do in congress is democratic, which it is not, democracy in America was hijacked by corporate interests and the public is angry about it. OWS was just a taste, the hijacked Tea Party movement also was a sign of the growing discontent with a government that it is unable to cater to the public.

Make no mistake about it, you are not the majority and you don’t have the people on your side even if the political establishment is the people is not and that is why they don’t give two hoots about pirating anything, because they know it is not wrong. If they did feel it was wrong most wouldn’t do it and they wouldn’t love it, more importantly everyone would denounce them, so why is that pirates are not being denounced by the public?

Because piracy is not immoral, it may be illegal for now but it is not wrong, only in your world sharing is wrong.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

So why don’t you show us your power man.
Stop pirates, you have the public support right?
If piracy is so wrong why is not being denounced by everyone in the streets. I don’t see them covering for thieves,

Are the hotlines in police stations everywhere being floaded by calls of people denouncing pirates?

Of course not, because piracy is nothing to be ashamed of and it is not wrong.

Every single monopoly in history ended, yours will too.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

I am using my freedom and being democratic.

You can’t stop me because you don’t have the support you need to do so, otherwise I would be punished by people or by the state and the fact that you can’t do either just shows how much support you have.

Laws are nothing if people don’t respect them and it will be cold day in hell the day I respect a granted monopoly.

Apparently I am not the only one either.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

You people started this fight, and now people will end it.
I am thief remember, I am not your fan, I am not your customer, I am a lowlife thief with only a few friends living in the basement of my parents, this is what you people like to tell me, that is fine, the thing is, you are in my house now and in my house the one making the rules is me not you.

RonKaminsky says:

Re:

> … without a organized movement that nobody is organizing?

The German Pirate Party might disagree. And in this day and age, my guess is that it can take a _lot_ less than 50 years for them to grow strong enough to make a difference internationally. The protests against ACTA seem to reflect a growing awareness about these issues.

(And this growth in awareness is partially driven by Techdirt. Thanks, Mike, and all the staff!)

Anonymous Coward says:

Yeah, but despite all the bluster ‘dudes’, you can’t get the law changed and you can’t actually demonstrate a majority agree with you.
You’d be lucky if a majority pirate, but most of them are just opportunists, getting free music without being caught. They really don’t care about your copyright crusade.
To be legitimate and to respect democracy and freedom, you MUST get a mandate from the majority in society. If you don’t, which you absolutely haven’t so far, you’re just a rabble of entitled consumers taking stuff without paying for it.

RonKaminsky says:

Citation needed?

> When that is your endgame

Whose endgame? Mike _repeatedly_ states that he hopes that all of these megacorps and their execs will “get it”, and not write themselves into the corner of history where the dinosaurs found themselves.

The fact is that the subject matter of this blog is (partially at least) “how the megacorps DON’T get it”. Your call for balance because “they are megacorps” is a falacious “argument from authority”. Your call for balance because these megacorps, in the past, were a useful societal force which produced for us plenty of nice music is a falacious “argument from antiquity”.

And the whole point of this post is to point out that Mike _isn’t_ demonizing (as in, threatening them with violence, or calling them scum) people with points of view he disagrees with. For another example, in the post about Teller’s lawsuit, where Mike disagrees with Teller’s choice of action, the worst thing he says about it is that he is “disappointed” and that, even, only about the action itself (Mike doesn’t attack Teller personally, for example).

In this light, your argument boils down to: “since Mike isn’t a nice cheerleader for *all* points of view, he should expect to be excoriated” — which makes no sense whatsoever, except possibly if you mean that _everyone_ who wants to publicly state an opinion on the net should expect _someone_ to abuse him, even if it is totally unjustified.

Stephen Pate (user link) says:

Artists v copyright

Having read your articles for several years I’d say the slant is definitely not pro-artist. One story about one songwriter’s complaint does not make your site balanced. You didn’t create the problem of free music but support keeping it that way. Musicians need some changes to the system to help them earn a better return on the dollar and anecdotal evidence of people making money with “give them a reason to buy” and the big nasty record companies flies in the face of the vast majority of artists who make very little because it’s available for free.

There is no simple answer although I still don’t know why digital signatures for music and movies with micro payments won’t work. The technology is here for that. It’s fair since even small play numbers get recorded and compensated. And it doesn’t involve lawyers, courts and the law to enforce.

The only real reason why it won’t go forward is people want music for free, which is eminently unjust. Artists shouldn’t have to give away their lives to touring like wandering minstrels to make a living. Some people like the job – others don’t. Personal appearances is one form of delivery but the art itself has value.

In any event, your opinion isn’t going to change. The next round of legal protections for artists won’t be perfect but they may swing the pendulum back in the artists’ favor.

Not an Electronic Rodent says:

Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 20th, 2012 @ 7:12pm

The other side of this debate is populated by people who have built billion-dollar industries, employee thiusands, and created much of the “culture” you enjoy. To many people, that’s a pretty good indicator that they did something right.

Is is? By that rational the railroad barons of early America were also doing “something right” and so is the Chinese government.

Money is not the scorecard for “right” in the sense of “moral” or “good for society” that you seem to be trying to imply. Appallingly opressive behaviour can also promote progress, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best way to do it. Wars are well known for advancing technology, but I would hope it would not be the method of choice.

Me, I don’t blame the corporations as much as I blame governments that are supposed to be democratic allowing the coprporations to set society’s agenda.

Anonymous Coward says:

Why would the public ‘hate the artist’?

I mean apart from the fact it’s as nonsensical as saying ‘the public hate librarians’ or ‘the public hate pastry chefs’ it actually goes to the core of “why does Techdirt hate musicians”. It was never why does Masnick hate musicians? It was always about the “I’m going to rip you off anyway dude” type poster who roams free here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Quote:

You’d be lucky if a majority pirate, but most of them are just opportunists, getting free music without being caught. They really don’t care about your copyright crusade.

They also don’t care about your monopoly crusade dude LoL

To be legitimate I don’t need to respect you or your kind and I already got a mandate from the majority of society, they don’t care what I do, if I share something that is cool to everyone except the monopolists and you are not a majority.

Also your bought politicians are starting to lose appeal, have you noticed how many smaller political parties are gaining traction in elections everywhere?

How long do you think until people learn how to organized and realized they just need to write the laws they want themselves and use sock puppets to enact those laws?

You think lobbying congress for self serving interests will work then?

You are the minority, you or your fellow musicians are not representative of the majority of society and your needs are irrelevant to us and you will be sorry when we organize and it will happen and you wanna know why?

Because I know you people will screw it up and go to far.

Anonymous Coward says:

Great, so you are ‘organizing’ against all musicians? Or just most musicians?
kinda weird to share something ‘cool’ when you obviously despise the people who created the ‘cool thing’.
Also, you got to get out of your myopic US centric way of thinking.
I support small parties and I don’t have a congress in my country.

The eejit (profile) says:

Re:

The funny thing isa…we, the public, literally are not permitted to access any methodologies used in those studies. So that makes a good nunmber of people suspicious. At the very minimum, the **AA’s numbers are misleading, and at worst, oputright lies.

You cannot claim four times the US Debt as losses from a single company when your entire operations only make around $15bn (RIAA’s figures to the SEC, 2010.) Moreover, if your business model is seemingly failing, then the answer is really simple: change your business model.

And I have called Mike out when I’ve thought he was genuinely wrong on at least three occasions, and I know that a number of other regular commenters disagree with Mike on a number of things: however, when people call Mike a lying sociopath and a slimeball over seemingly innocuous things, and then misleading the discussion over an artist’s opinion of seemingly open-and-shut copyright infringement.

The eejit (profile) says:

Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 20th, 2012 @ 6:41pm

Lies and deception. Not hard to discover that.

Alas, youi may have a point: certain commenters who remain anonymous keep attempting to dehumanise Mike (and by extension, Techdirt) over seeming not wantint mnusicians to get paid.

And yet, time and again, the RIAA and its ilk are now regularly being sued over unpaid royalties (for example, the CRIA was successfully sued for unpaid royalties in a class-action suit).

Yes, there is a bias here, but I’m pretty sure it’s less extreme than “You’re all fucking sociopaths who have no empathy for the plight of starving artists everywhere!” In that regard, I have news for you: name me one other industry that gets paid over and over again for the same work 30, 40, even 60 years down the line, outside of entertainment industries. My hunch is that, you can’t.

The eejit (profile) says:

Re:

But copyright has risen far more in the last 15 years than in any other period before it. It’s getting to the point where people are laughing at copyright as a rpivilege that, in the age of near-instant communications, people are asking for things sooner, and the “windows” of releases are NOT WORKING IN THE INDUSTRY’S FAVOUR. So perhaps, instead of legislating, they should innovate.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Nonsensical is your view of how the world works, nobody and I mean nobody will feel love for something that hurts them specially if you are going against the grain of society trying to impose a ridiculous monopoly on public space.

If sharing is a crime every single child in America is raised to be a criminal from an early age.

The eejit (profile) says:

Re:

Queen is actually a wonderful case study: they did things that no-one at the time thought reasonable in pursuit of fans: they went to South Amnerica when it was mostly ruled by juntas and dictatorships: they went to South Africa in Apartheid times; they were written off more than five times as just being a fad.

And yet they made more money than just about any artist ever for their labels and themselves. They weren’t the longet-lived band, but they had a business-savvy manager and team around them. And THAT is what labels can provide. The current model cannot continue, lest they all die.

Anonymous Coward says:

quote “Being a musician is a job, a vocation: it might also ba a hobby, but to do well, you have to work at it, just like any other job.”

You make a good point.
Most musicians start working at it pretty hard when they are 5 to 7 years old.
They give up a lot of hours in youth, when other kids are partying.
They never get paid for their work unless they reach a certain level of popularity. Therefore, no it isn’t like any other job.
If you are an accountant or burger flipper, you get paid for every hour of work you do, whether people like you or not. When you work as a musician you can get paid nothing for playing a gig, you can get nothing for releasing a record you’ve invested your own money in.
Many, many musicians have a handful of years success. Maybe only one smalltime hit record. That’s out of a whole lifetime of investment in their own business and training themselves.
If you are in a regular job you can be paid for years, without ever investing any of your own money, or paying for a recording, then seeing people illegally download it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Not weird is called cognitive dissonance which is common, most people can find something cool and despise the creator of it, they filter out the bad part just like removing the rotten part from an apple and eating the rest.

They also can start moving away from people like you, that is ideal and it is already happening with music, I don’t need you or your crap music, I can go to Jamendo and find anything I want there, but for those who want to pirate your crap music, I can create the tools to make it easier, I also can teach every pirate or wannabe pirate how to do it, and I even can teach them how to find legal music tfrom legal places that can be ripped so they will never need to spend a dime on you if they so desire. What can you do about?
Nothing, except try to portray it as a bad immoral thing to do, which most people just don’t believe it or don’t care.
What happens next, you go complain to the government that you can’t enforce your monopoly and that is a good thing, because eventually you people will go to far.

IP can’t be enforced on the public level, it can be enforced on the commercial level because companies depend on the government to exist, people on the other hand don’t they can exist without a government.

You think all this bad publicity will not have financial consequences?
Than you are naive, if you think record sales are the only ways one can monetize music you are a poor business man which have no business talking about money since obviously you don’t know how to make it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Just like any other job, to be a good carpenter you need to train, to be a good chef you need a lot of practice, to be anything you need a lot of training it is not just musicians that are special.

And what is with the “only have a handful of years” it is not my problem, it is no one else problems, most futeball players only have a few years on the top then they slip into obscurity I don’t see the government granting them monopolies do you?

Musicians have this amazing power that nobody else has and they complain that they can’t make it still, when other get no such changes, that is just beyond belief, people to say such things can’t be nothing but completely self-centered.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

– Increasing costs like clearance of rights that is expensive so only the top dogs can do it right.
– Overjustification effect. Where the person start to produce less quality when it starts to do it for a reward(e.g. money). Also documented in a study in the 60’s with primates.
– Locking source material that could be used to create new things for extremely long periods of time.

Those are just a few, but there are others like reducing the places where people can play and thus reducing the opportunities where people could start a career.

james (profile) says:

thing is, i am a musician and ive grown over the years to seriously disagree with what a lot of my peers believe regarding copyright. what i have found is that most musicians take the spoon fed rhetoric from the music industry and consider it true, as opposed to the figures being “debunked.” we know this, we do, but when copyright issues crop up most souls are reticent and have no worked through response.

musicians sell their wares to conglomerates and tyrants in order to promote false promise, this should be questioned.

musicians cultural capital is in imbalance because promoted musos take more than they need. this distorts many local music scenes.

musicians must step up and educate themselves for their pop art not to fall into further demise.

the recorded music business looks like a c20th event. hehe.

RonKaminsky says:

Saul Alinsky's Rules For Radicals

> As a musician, I believe most people would agree
> that copyrights should be protected.

No, a lot of us think that you’re confusing the mechanism (copyright) with the goal (musicians getting paid). If you ask the _right_ questions, I think you’d see that most people would agree that “musicians should get paid” and they _wouldn’t_ agree with current copyright law, if they actually understood its ramifications.

JMT says:

Re:

“You don’t think that we are currently in the period of the LEAST effective copyright laws, the least respected, and the period with the most violations of the law…”

Has it occurred to you that that lack of respect is a direct result of the constant strengthening of copyright laws over decades? That all copyright law changes have favoured copyright holders at the expense of the public? No? Figures…

Respect is earned, not granted.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

There are better places to discuss music and the arts

I started to read the comments for this, and saw the same old arguments and gave up.

Generally the comments here cover the same ground over and over again and you already know what you’ll read before you come here.

So most people in music and the arts find more relevant conversation elsewhere.

And even on the issues of IP concerns or the P2P culture, there are more stimulating discussions elsewhere because here mostly you have anonymous people taking shots at each other with relatively little new material introduced. There’s a community here, and I’m sure to serves the purposes of the community members, but for a lot of other people, once you’ve read an article or two and read the comments, you know what they will all say, pro or con. Same old, same old, endlessly.

JMT says:

Artists v copyright

“The next round of legal protections for artists won’t be perfect but they may swing the pendulum back in the artists’ favor.”

The legal protections have always been in the artist’s favour, and every single change to copyright law has moved the pendulum further in that direction. There is no law change that will undo the effects of music digitisation and the internet. The more you try to use legal means to put things back the way they used to be, the less the public will respect those laws and the companies and artists that abuse them.

RadialSkid (profile) says:

Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 20th, 2012 @ 6:41pm

I once read a comment (here? Slashdot?) that said something close to “you know what’s great about (people who work for) the RIAA? There is nothing bad that could happen to them that would possibly be too abusive or extreme.” That is the kind of sentiment that you want to quash or marginalize if you want to actually change anything.

I actually agree with that.

……

The comment, that is, not your criticism of it.

RadialSkid (profile) says:

Re:

the vast majority of musicians want to keep copyright. That’s an inconvenient truth for you i think? You respect musicians, but when it comes down to it, disrespect most musicians wishes.

Disagreeing is not necessarily disrespecting. Try to remember that.

If you are ok with abusing musicians for what you see as a greater cause, at least admit it.

I admit it fully. I completely WANT to bring down the major media industries, in particular the recording industry, and I care not a whit about the people who work for them. My weapon of choice? Alternative licensed media.

But mine is only one of several opinions on this site, and I don’t represent the majority here. If everyone marched in lockstep, commenting on articles would be pretty pointless in the first place, don’t you think?

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

There are better places to discuss music and the arts

In terms of a site where the comments are worth the visit there is this: A VC

In terms of P2P culture changing the world, go here: P2P Foundation

Music and arts sites with interesting perspectives:

MTT – Music Think Tank
hypebot
Createquity.
Hyperallergic ? Sensitive to Art and its Discontents
Music Promotion for Independent Musicians | DIY Musician Blog

There are more, but those are some to check out. As I think of more, I will add them. I follow them all except the CD Baby blog, but I get pointed to that periodically depending on the topic.

The best artist blog is amanda palmer. She has insightful things to say about being an artist and her fans are smart and insightful as well.

Anonymous Coward says:

Abolish copyright

“As a musician, I believe most people would agree that copyrights should be protected. The question is how. “

What does it mean?

Let’s start with defining copyright. Under current law it’s copyright infringement if I copy a cd for my friend, or forward a ringtone without copyright holder’s permission.

Should all these activities which violate copyright law be stopped and if yes how?
The baseline for any debate about respecting copyright should be wwhat the law minimallly forbids.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

There are better places to discuss music and the arts

Dare I point out that you are guilty of what you are complaining about? If there is some other angle, I would love to hear it.

If that is the case, and maybe it is, then this further confirms the point. We’re all guilty of going round and round on the same topics here. Maybe it is time to discuss something else. I do post to a number of other sites, so I don’t cover the same topics everywhere. Just here.

Shane Roach (profile) says:

Morally Wrong

The problem is pretty straight forward. From the get go, “artists” have been told by people with a vested interest in controlling what people see, hear, and talk about that they are incredibly important, and that their work should be protected.

Who protected their work? The government. Why? To control information.

The fact is that “art” is nothing more than a way to get attention, and if you want to get PAID for people to pay attention to you, you had better be damn, DAMN good at it, because pretty much everyone else on the face of the planet with even the mildest interest in being heard or seen is competing with you. As such, according to supply and demand, entertainment has been and continues to be very cheap.

Times past, when mass communication was more specialized than it is today, huge corporations could easily control this, and the government was served. Now, information technology is such that we are a “global village”. Anyone can get on their soap box on any topic with potentially the whole world as their audience.

Artists who sell out to the very people who seek to control the flow of information and ideas, threaten the rest of us, and find some strange moral superiority in threatening people with fines and jail time for singing their songs and dancing their dances and watching them without their sainted permission while TROUNCING on the rest of us when WE have something we feel is important to say have NO grounds on which to speak of trust or good faith. Ask yourselves why it is carpenter’s don’t get paid a residual on every building they’ve ever worked on.

You betrayed your fellow man the minute you accepted the speech about how much more special you are than everyone else.

The Infamous Joe (profile) says:

Artists v copyright

You are exactly the type of pro-IP commenter we need around here, Stephen! Not one name calling, and a thoughtful argument to boot! It’s no wonder; you’re Canadian! πŸ™‚

For your first point, I’d have to say that between the record labels and TD, TD is far more pro-artist. The labels are pro-artist the same way a leech is pro-host. (Generally speaking, of course!) You don’t call someone who sees impending disaster and warns people about it “pro-disaster”, do you? To many here at TD, it is obvious that the current model is unsustainable. Unless, of course, you’re okay with letting people observe your every online action to ensure you aren’t arranging bits on your hard drive in an unapproved manner. As a self proclaimed social activist, you surely aren’t in favor of such a disastrous event to support an otherwise unsustainable business model, right?

Which leads to your question about micro payments and digital signatures; they won’t work because they can be defeated. I assure you, anything that one side thinks up, the other side can neutralize. If the solution ends in “to make people pay” then it will fail. The only solution is to make people *want* to pay. When you frame it that way, it’s easy to see the solution is the carrot, not the stick.

The simple fact is that technology often disrupts markets. Sometimes it causes people to lose jobs; sometimes it causes people to have to change the way they make money. It’s not a bad thing, it’s progress. It seems unfair to those directly affected, but it’s inevitable. If we invented cheap teleportation, imagine the industries that would fail. Would you be in favor of forcing people to use outdated methods of travel to make sure people didn’t lose their jobs, even though technology had made those jobs obsolete? I wouldn’t.

There is nothing unjust about sharing music. It’s always been done, it’s how culture is shared. The only difference between then and now is that the sharing is perfect; indistinguishable from the originals. That doesn’t suddenly make it unjust, it just means that it’s harder to convince people to pay for a copy of your music. There is nothing unjust about not wanting to pay for something you can create yourself, and I can create copies of music all day long. I can’t play the G chord, though, so you should tune your business model around my inability to make music, and not my former inability to make copies.

Your last paragraph is leading with the same error, you can no longer “protect” from digital copying. It’s not possible without giving up all of our liberties. Enough of the stick.

Dave (profile) says:

Re:

You have it *all* wrong. Your focus is completely out of place. Microsoft does not make buggy whips. They make software that is current and relevant. The whole point of the analogy is that buggy whips became irrelevant. Nobody wanted buggy whips because no one needed them. In that case, why would you pirate a buggy whip? We don’t see a whole lot of punch-card software pirates.

So to understand the analogy, you have to understand which part of the business model has become marginalized and unimportant. Then you’ll start talking about the same things as the rest of us.

Dreddsnik says:

Re:

Yup.

It’s a classic example of the ‘Argument from Authority’ logical fallacy. paraphrase .. I am x and you are not so I know more about y and thus am correct.

I am a musician also .. more than 30 years. I have no problem with my stuff being downloaded for free. None, whatsoever. Of course, my stuff MUST be crap, right ?

See. Arguments of this type carry no weight, and add nothing but emotional demagoguery to a debate.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re:

But Mike doesn’t have to call them lying dirtbags either.

If they are spreading around made up numbers, then they are lying. There’s no getting around that. I doubt that Mike has ever called them dirtbags, but calling them out as liars is perfectly fair.

Perhaps it might be helpful instead to look at their numbers and try to actually see how they get there. Rather than rip them down because you don’t agree, why not try to understand them first?
There is none of that.

Wrong. Every time Mike cites a new claim of losses or some other number, he tries to look into how it was come up with. It’s not Mike’s fault when the number seems to be entirely pulled from the air with no supporting evidence and the study’s methodology is kept secret.

Let’s also be fair here: Mike’s “Sky is Rising” pretty much does the same things as the AAs do

Wrong, again. Mike cites his sources and publicly shows how and why he arrived at those conclusions.

Dave (profile) says:

Re:

Don’t be a jerk. Make good stuff. Give your fans a reason to buy stuff. It seems like rocket science, but it’s not.

Also: encourage wide-spread free promotion of your work. Artists love getting on the radio, but most of them seem to hate that someone put their song up on a site for people to download and listen to. So with fewer and fewer radio listeners every year, why shun the free publicity?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

“Wrong, again. Mike cites his sources and publicly shows how and why he arrived at those conclusions.”

That is mostly true, but cherry picking data, combining non-related and non-comparable studies, news articles, and YES, opinion pieces doesn’t make it any more true. The conclusions are as made up as fresh apple pie, the result is nothing like the pieces.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Just a point of note. The RIAA does not create, distribute, etc. any music whatsoever, nor does it sue people. The RIAA is an industry association that has many members, just like AAA, AARP, AMA, ABA, etc.

The creation and distribution of music is what each of its members do, and these members range from the major labels to some that are relatively obscure.

The same can be said of the MPAA.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re:

1. Democracy does not guarantee a just and/or moral outcome.

This is the stuff that interests me. For the most part, I distrust big tech companies as much as any big company, old or new. So I see everyone at risk of having the tables turned on them unless they hold the power, which seems to be concentrating into fewer hands worldwide.

I don’t see the tech billionaires as heroes any more than I see any billionaire as a hero. I’ve also seen enough tech companies and the people who start and work for them come and go at a relatively rapid rate, so even though people see someone else having to adjust to economic forces, I think those economic forces will probably catch up to them as well sooner or later. That is why, for example, I look at the talk about Facebook with some skepticism. It’s the big company of the moment, but it is only a moment. Just as Facebook was able to come along and upset older companies (even Google), something will displace Facebook, too.

Dionaea (profile) says:

Saul Alinsky's Rules For Radicals

That is infact a very common problem these days, the fact that people don’t understand what the actual effects are of certain legislation, even amongst politicians. ACTA was set to go through the European Parliament smoothly, but after the protests you see a major change to the other direction. Some politicians have even admitted that they didn’t have a clue about the possible negative effects of ACTA, before the protests made them look deeper into available information.

Digitari says:

RE

My household does NOT, download Movies, or Music, or Software, that is not free ( as in without payment ). I have several free versions of linux and I have free games as does my wife. We have no children, and a secure wifi.

My wife and I do not pay to see movies, or go to concerts, Until Copy(Grant)right changes, we will continue to not support the status quo. We also do not vote Dem or Repub either and have not for 20 some years.

However, for some reason, while we are online we are called thieves and freetards and other names, (which is your right) yet then are also told we have no “respect” for the Artist’s

Maybe the Artists should find more respectful Mouthpieces, that don’t insult the person who “pays your wage”

My Boss at work does things that sometimes upset me, I do not call him names, nor do I dind ways to “screw” with his personal opinions. He is like a customer, because if I make him happy, he pays me. If he is Not happy, I don’t get paid, I do not call his Boss and tell them to make my Boss pay me.

the *AA’s called OUR boss’s and Demand that we pay them, and you sit here and say that WE (the Public, that pays your wage in the first place) have no respect for you. the artist, and you wonder why??

REALLY????

if I make start a restaurant, and serve awesome food (Everyone needs to eat right) and the dishes are not clean, or the location is not easy to get to, or the hours of operation and not convenient, Yet my food is awesome and the portions are great as is the pricing, should I blame the populace at large for not being able to make a profit??

This is EXACTLY what the entertainment industry does, but they also make laws against the people that PAY your wage.

and you wonder why folks do not wish to pay for what you create, really???

You say that if the “majority” really felt this way, we can change the law.

that is like saying we can stop crime on the streets (which we can do, just ban folks from using the public streets, easy, right?)

Money is considered free speech so now those with the most money get the most free speech, the more free speech to the lawmakers you have, the more you can change laws (for now)

Dreddsnik says:

Re:

” You addressed the first with “I’m Batman”, I addressed the second. :)”

Heh, you caught that πŸ™‚

I forgot to put my name on that post, but I use that ‘I’m Batman’ thing a lot whenever I see someone post something along the lines of ‘I am this so you are wrong’. First off, It’s very unlikely he/she is actually an artist of any kind, and if called out on that, they won’t identify any work they have done claiming fear of ‘stealing’ or reprisal.

In other words they’re usually full of shit, and not really interested in proper debate.

Dave (profile) says:

Re:

Try putting a little more balance into EVERY article.

Wow, you invoked the middle ground fallacy! And successfully hooked people in! Nicely trolled.

When deconstructing the *aa’s arguments, there is no middle ground. Either they have correct information and they are being upfront with us, or they have wrong information that they are intentionally deceiving people with. Either, pushing more and more draconian copyright will be successful at turning back the clock to the ‘good ol’ days’ when distribution was hard, or it won’t.

Balance? We don’t need no stinkin’ balance.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re:

Patent law *definitely* kills. Especially in the medical field.

Yes, but it’s a more complex law than just dropping patents. We need to figure out how to deliver low cost health care to everyone. For example, around the world people are dying because of lack of access to even generic drugs, so that fact that they can’t afford patented drugs isn’t even an issue.

IP laws are just a part of a much bigger picture. There are a lot of problems that won’t be fixed just by eliminating IP laws. So let’s push the creative thinking out much farther and see what we can do to challenge all sorts of conventional thinking.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re:

Yes, but it’s a more complex law than just dropping patents.

I meant to say it is a “more complex issue.”

That’s where I wish there was more nuance. Getting rid of IP laws won’t fix some of the problems attributed to them. So if we are going to be honest, we need to look at how the world economy functions and what will or won’t change once IP laws are eliminated. I like the P2P Foundation because it addresses a far more complex web of inter-relations than just want happens with patent and copyright laws. There are issues with money, debt, scarcity or lack of it, the distribution of wealth, how people work together on commons, how to increase commons, and so on. There’s so much to be looked at if we really want to transform how ideas and outcomes are shared and exchanged.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re:

Gee, now why would there be a shortage of generic drugs?

Or, more to the point, a shortage of generic drugs to the people who need them. Getting rid of drug patents does not affect getting generic drugs to those too poor to even pay for those. Generic drugs exist now, but their distribution is still dependent on existing economic systems which are often not set up to benefit the needy.

Anonymous Coward says:

There are better places to discuss music and the arts

The reality of the matter is that millions of people are born everyday.

What that has to do with anything, well as it happens unless they are born knowing something, millions of people come to this world without knowing about anything, thus you will have to repeat yourself millions of times or forever, that is part of how we function, the same thing will happen again and again and again, people will keep saying the same things over and over and over again, it is boring, but it is also not going to stop, once ideas take hold of something they will try to get spread and that only happens through repetition, maybe what you want is a new idea that nobody thought about it and nobody knows about it, start discussing it and you too will become a parrot for that idea.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

Long Since

“I’m long since past the time when I could read all the comments on the site”

Just a thought Mike, maybe this is something you should reconsider?

I am not suggesting that you accept the vitriol that comes out of the keyboards of the shills and trolls. But, from a ‘creators’ point of view, wouldn’t you be more ‘awesome’ if you did read all the comments?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

See Dave, comments like yours are just not helping here.

Balance doesn’t mean agreeing with them, it’s looking at their material and trying to understand it, rather than just trying to rip it to shreds. Both sides of the discussion use puffed up numbers, when we believe in something we tend to be overly inclusive on our side, and exclusionary to the other side.

One great example would be the question of how many people are employed by the movie industry in the US. There is one side (MPAA, with a number that is inclusive of everyone working from growing corn to producing the pulp paper used to make the edges of film and every person in the world making cameras) to the middle ground of the US government (direct employment) to Mike (seemingly limiting it to anyone working in the MPAA office only).

Who is right? Well, none of them. Oh, and all of them too. The question of balance is to understand HOW they get to the numbers and then to work from there.

One other part of balance that Mike (and more over, Marcus) has a problem with is the inability to separate their personal opinions from absolute fact. Sometimes, they need to step back and say “well, that’s our opinion, but it’s probably a little narrow compared to what might be considered in the mainstream”. That would go a long way.

What would I really like to see? I would love to see more “artist plight” stories, and less “torrent site of the week” stories. A little balance in stories would be nice.

I would love to see a little less of demonizing of the “current” industries. Honestly, if the new business models are that good, and so many people want to be with them, don’t worry about what was, worry about what can be. Work to make the new stuff happen, and ignore the old stuff. This constant kicking at the old guard and trying to piss on their graves before they are buried seems petty and mean spirited. It just makes the whole thing harder to take.

I know… it plays well to the audience. Then again, the Morton Downey Jr show worked well too. It didn’t advance much of anything.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

There are better places to discuss music and the arts

it is boring, but it is also not going to stop, once ideas take hold of something they will try to get spread and that only happens through repetition, maybe what you want is a new idea that nobody thought about it and nobody knows about it, start discussing it and you too will become a parrot for that idea.

True, but once people get the gist of the message here, there isn’t really a lot of reason to come back unless they want to cover the same ground over and over again. For those who want to cover a broader spectrum of issues, they are likely to go elsewhere.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

” I actually doubt many of the anti-copyright posters at Techdirt offer their work for free. “

You would be wrong.
60% of the time I work for free.
I have a skill, it’s worth a lot of money. Some that need my skills can never afford them. Those I give for free because it’s the right thing to do.
Some of those people have skills I don’t have. They later, willingly, happily offer their services in kind. It works pretty well for all of us. The ‘I’ll bet YOU won’t work for free’ is a really, really tired argument.

Seriously tired.

apauld (profile) says:

Mike, step 1

Mike, a good first step might be to increase the visibility of your Step 2 project on techdirt’s pages. Let artists that misunderstand you and techdirt get a better look at the project you support completely; and they might actually have a better understanding of what you and techdirt is all about. Hence they may be less inclined to jump on the band wagon of hate; started because someone else cherry picked some AC comments, without any understanding that those AC’s are already on said band wagon. apauld.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Actually I AM a musician, and I’m using my right offered by this site to remain anonymous. Why? because I’ve already been threatened, called an a-hole and the rest.
Why is being a musician relevant? Well it gives me an insight into the issue from a relevant point of view.
It’s my work that is being taken without my permission. Does that make me feel more free? Does it make me feel I’m living in more of a democratic society than ten years ago? No to both.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Well it seems we’re both anonymous. So who wins?
However I have a long career as a musician and literally have stuff pirated by people I don’t know.
Believe it or not, it’s no matter to me what you think, but I think my actual experiences are reflected in my comments here, they aren’t made up based on a National Enquirer level of understanding musicians (partying billionaires), nor are they parroting the RIAA or the anti-copyright crowd.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

quote: “You would be wrong.
60% of the time I work for free.”

Well I’m not wrong because I didn’t claim no one here worked for free. So you do, that’s one, how many more?
I also work for free. I think we are probably the same. We work for free on projects chosen by us. The big difference is when I’m forced to work for free, by some kid living in a nice house in bel Air. Are you forced to work for free?
That’s why it isn’t a tired argument. It’s effectively about digital slavery.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Your work will always be taken without permission nobody would heard of you otherwise, nobody is going to pay you for every instance of use of that music, nobody in their right minds would try to claim ownership on work done by others using tools you made, that is not how the world works and your monopoly days are over, your entitled way of thinking is over your self-centered world is about to come crashing down on you is that simple.

Nobody cares about selfish people and you are the epitome of it all.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Quote:

This constant kicking at the old guard and trying to piss on their graves before they are buried seems petty and mean spirited. It just makes the whole thing harder to take.

That be all fine and dandy if the creeps didn’t try to dissolve democracy and attack civil liberties to try and stop the tide of times.

That is why they deserve to be demonized, dehumanized and ridiculed in public.

People don’t care about their business they can make billions, people don’t care, they start caring when you say you need to watch everybody and want to criminalize mothers and children just to keep a monopoly up, now that is not going to happen and will cause backlash and that means demonizing the stupid people who believe they can do it all without consequences, now it is the time to say no.

Anonymous Coward says:

There are better places to discuss music and the arts

There is no gist, Techdirt functions as a lighthouse.
That is why people come here to see what is happening and to get the other side of the story, the mud playing in the comments is us venting against the other side whomever they are.

We all have our pet projects and things we do. Techdirt is not the beginning or end of it all but it is a good place to find out about what is becoming really important to a lot of people.

Also this place forge debaters good and bad.
All monopolists that come here get trashed and forced to rethink their debate strategies and they come back and trash the commenters here, and then those reformulate their talking points and things move along.

Anonymous Coward says:

For ‘monopolists’ read creative people.
This is the funny thing. You just can’t call a spade a spade. You have to call us monopolists, billionaires, a-holes.
It’
s clear the greater majority of Techdirt posters are content consumers. The great majority rallied against abandoning copyright, sharing freely and saying bye, bye to their careers as musician s are content producers.
There is your battle ground pure and simple.
The consumers believe it’s better to consume without paying.
The producers point out they have electricity bills to pay, mortgages to pay, children to feed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Well if your concept of working for free is having and idea and have others copy it, I am afraid to day but you are just another bum, work for me was always get up at 5 in the morning and it didn’t matter when I went to bed, wake up and go to work, not think of something or produce something and wait others use it to keep bitching about how they were stealing my work.

Do you pay the makers of your instruments?
You are stealing their work you know, why are you not paying them?

Cowardly Anonymous says:

Re:

Yep, it’s a one way street. The people gave up the right to straight out copy, in order to make a profit, for a short period of time and what happened?

Copyright industries decided that wasn’t enough and just started removing even more rights, for longer and longer.

Copyright: the right to make copies. These laws do not protect a right the author naturally has, they restrict a right the people would otherwise have. If the people decide they don’t need your industry, tough luck.

You might want to rethink your strategy a bit.

((By the way, I get it, these things can be frustrating. However, when dealing with legal questions you really have to escape how things impact you personally. That is why people think you are selfish, because you argue only what is best for you.))

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Patents only make it that more difficult for the knowledge that could save their lifes from reaching them.

I had diabetes type II. I did a diet and it is gone now.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jun/24/low-calorie-diet-hope-cure-diabetes

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1464-5491.2010.02992.x/abstract;jsessionid=CC867A7723857A314B01D175B2E81067.d01t03?systemMessage=Wiley+Online+Library+will+be+disrupted+8+Oct+from+10-14+BST+for+monthly+maintenance

http://www.ncl.ac.uk/biomedicine/research/brc/profile/Roy.Taylor

My doctor said I had no diabetes anymore and he was puzzled about it, I want to see his face when I tell him I did exactly what he told me not to do, when I asked him if I could do a extreme diet because I had a recent heart attack and he told me not to go ahead, since I was just a diet a did it anyways and now I’m cured of one of my illnesses.

If that was patented I probably never have access to it and would never had gone against my doctor after all he knows more than I do. So I probably have another risk factor to deal with, would be taking the tablets still, would have to watch what I ate very closely, but since I found knowledge for free and took the risk of checking it out I ripped the benefits and I can’t and don’t know how I could ever thank the people from the Newcastle University in the UK for it, but I will find a way to pass that knowledge to others.

About how to make medicine accessible to others well, my vision is that every house on earth will become a factory for some little part of something, individuals alone can’t make enough of anything but distributed production of something can achieve great things, and you don’t even need to make the whole thing yourself you can drastically decrease the costs of something just by producing part of it.

You see, alone we are nothing, united we build worlds, once that DIY mentality starts again then we may have nice things again, but a barrier to that are patents which are granted monopolies that exclude people from actually being able to help themselves along with enough regulation to guarantee that only the only the wealthy can afford to comply with those rules.

Patents are the things stopping people from actually being able to help themselves.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Before we can move to creative thinking we must get rid of the most important block and those are IP laws.

Those are the laws that make next to impossible to implement any kind of solution that would involve people helping themselves to achieve something, those are the laws that drive the insane regulations that make people scratch their heads asking why is that being done the way it is done.

So the first step to regain the ability to help ourselves with our own work is to slain IP laws or start going outside the law, which I highly support as a first step of experimentation to see what works and what doesn’t, they will call anybody who produce a drug a counterfeiter I will call them godsend saviors of the poor some will be crooks and some will be incompetent but some will produce something that can be useful, the processes used today to produce medicines are at their basic exactly like cooking and brewing all the same processes and controls apply but for medicine.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

There are better places to discuss music and the arts

There is no gist, Techdirt functions as a lighthouse.
That is why people come here to see what is happening and to get the other side of the story, the mud playing in the comments is us venting against the other side whomever they are.

I read some of the topics, but not all. And I post on some, but not most.

So, yes, I suppose Techdirt is reaching me. But I also read a variety of other sites to get a variety of viewpoints. Actually Techdirt is rarely the first with a story, but it is interesting to see how it is spun.

People on Techdirt have tried to peg me, but it isn’t that easy. I’ve been stereotyped, which suggests to me that there’s a lot of kneejerk thinking here. Whenever I disagree with Mike, people assume I am the enemy, but if anything, I am more to the left than most of you. I think competition will drive down prices/wages to such an extent that most of us will end up working for free. So I have jumped ahead to study what is coming out of the shareable and P2P movements because I see that as our collective economic future. I even see a future where money in the traditional sense will disappear. Money is essentially just virtual goods these days anyway, and cybercriminals have already figured out how to transfer funds from one account to another, so at some point the financial system loses meaning.

What I usually challenge is the idea that getting rid of copyright and IP will somehow transform the world. I don’t see that happening unless a number of other institutions also evolve. For example, as I have said elsewhere, patented drugs aren’t the reason low cost medicine isn’t reaching those in need in Africa. It’s because we don’t have an adequate system to get basic medicine to those who need it. The “real” revolution has to go much beyond fighting IP laws. Occupy Wall Street is more where I am coming from than Techdirt.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

quote
“((By the way, I get it, these things can be frustrating. However, when dealing with legal questions you really have to escape how things impact you personally. That is why people think you are selfish, because you argue only what is best for you.))”

Actually that’s 100% wrong.
I argue for what’s best for my industry, and for people like me. That argument is based on experience.
It would be easier to say any argument that removes a price tag from music and movies is only what is best for YOU.
About 100 posts ago I asked how copyright was specifically stifling creativity? Not one reply.
I think that says a lot.

bigpicture says:

Artists and Copyright

Opinions on this issue do tend to go around and around, and have confusing lack of focus. Also the Recording Companies want to keep it that way.

We need musicians and artists, they are the actual ones who create music and musical culture, and they need to be able to earn a comfortable living by exercising their musical talent.

It is the Recording Companies and their Business Model that is no longer needed, because musicians now have many other ways to market their music, and get a much larger cut than they get from the Recording Companies, and probably without invoking copyright monopoly.

It is the Recording Company spin that keeps invoking “copyright” as a means of protecting the interests of the artists when all it actually does is protect the Recording Company’s Business Model. (a monopoly to legally take the lion’s share of the music revenue.)

The Mega Upload fiasco was spun under the guise that they need to be stopped from sharing copyrighted content, while the real reason was that it was an alternate avenue for musicians to market their stuff and generate revenue. An alternate Business Model that the Recording Industry needed stopped.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

It doesn’t matter what they do if you are not using them and not making them part of your life.

The problem? Mike doesn’t want “new business models”, he just wants to club the old business into submission and piss on their wounds. Everything “new” seems to be built on top of the old, sort of like Marcus’s “music”.

It’s pretty simple: If you don’t want the legacy business to matter, stop kicking up a fuss and let them die if they are wrong. If they are stupid, they will fail, clearing the way for whole new business models to flourish.

Trying to force a dog to walk like a man is a nice trick – but he’s still a dog. Once you give up on that and insteqad just get a person to walk, your problems are over. All the time and effort wasted on trying to get the legacy guys to do it “the right way” is a waste. It’s why much of what gets posted here pissing on them isn’t doing much good.

The more you whip them, the more they resist. Stop it already.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

“So I think maybe this site does need more nuance, enough to recognise there is a world of music outside the RIAA”

Of course it does. But that’s not what this is all about. When you really look at it, it’s not about pushing the new as much as whipping the old.

Why? It’s because the new, the indie, the “music outside of the RIAA” isn’t doing well enough to dethrone the RIAA. It’s not doing well enough to take over. It’s just not the better business model. Unwilling to face that simple problem, Techdirt instead degenerates into a steady stream of alternating hate and fear mongering. It’s sad really.

I would love to see functional, exciting business models, ones that extend past a single act. I want to see what replaces the collection agencies, what replaces copyright to assure artists can make a living. I want to see how radio stations and online sites are going to see artists. I want to see how they are going to get known nationally, internationally, all over the world… and most of all, I want to know that there is a sustainable framework and infrastructure that is going to allow it to be a repeatable thing, not a unique one off t-shirt party. I want to know what the real replacement is for the music industry that everyone seems to loath – and support.

Until that happens, we are due for another year of sour grapes and name calling.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re:

It’s pretty simple: If you don’t want the legacy business to matter, stop kicking up a fuss and let them die if they are wrong. If they are stupid, they will fail, clearing the way for whole new business models to flourish.

That’s how I see it, too. The big content companies are disappearing anyway. I don’t bother with the piracy debates, pro or con, because I see it as yesterday’s story. What I enjoy, from an outsider’s point of view, is to watch Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon beating up on each other now. THEY are the big companies trying to exercise power now; Hollywood is old news. But the new power holders show just as much inclination to take over the world as those they accuse of having done so in the past.

Anonymous Coward says:

Artists and Copyright

“We need musicians and artists, they are the actual ones who create music and musical culture, and they need to be able to earn a comfortable living by exercising their musical talent.”

Mike tried that with Step2 – but most musicians and artists are smart enough to smell the garbage, and they stayed away in droves. You get a few on here, but not very many, and those few aren’t anyone you have ever heard of for the most part.

The copyright spin, the Mega fiasco, they all go away when you move to a new business model and stop dealing with the legacy players entirely. But that isn’t going to happen, and Mike knows it. It’s why he has gone from promoting the new to whipping the old. It gets a better crowd and I suspect it ups his speaking and appearance fees.

The Infamous Joe (profile) says:

There are better places to discuss music and the arts

I think competition will drive down prices/wages to such an extent that most of us will end up working for free.

Then you have completely missed the point of this blog, haven’t you? The entire point is that there are still ways to make money, but they’re not one-size-fits-all, and they require effort. Unfortunately, it seems that the legacy gatekeepers find these two things undesirable. Not that I blame them: I wish people would just hand me a boatload of money, too, but I’m not ruining anyone’s lives to make it happen.

The “real” revolution has to go much beyond fighting IP laws.

When IP laws are being extended to such a point that they are directly opposed to freedom of speech, then the revolution starts there. Without freedom of speech, any other “revolution” is dead in the water.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

There are better places to discuss music and the arts

Then you have completely missed the point of this blog, haven’t you? The entire point is that there are still ways to make money, but they’re not one-size-fits-all, and they require effort.

You realize that when I say I think most people will end up working for free, I’m not just talking about musicians and artists. I’m talking about everyone. Between worldwide competition and automation, labor is on the defensive. Yes, there are some very rich people. But the division between the very wealthy and everyone else is increasing.

The fact that Techdirt thinks everything will be fine if musicians just get a bit more creative with their selling is precisely why I look elsewhere for economic discussions. Again, I like The P2P Foundation for in-depth discussions about how world economics are, or should be, changing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

For every new guy or gal who’s coming on here, theres a bunch of fellas coming on here targeting new eyeballs hoping you have’nt decided just where you stand on all this.
It seems that their main focus is to argue any fact that might take away from any established industry, making broad assumptions to what they’ll argue is a one sided conversation, when in fact its just a bunch of people who feel the same way about a certain thing and want to exchange views and opinions.
Apparantly we cant do that, because that’ll mean were a bunch of imoral bastards.

Now you can identify these gents in the following way

– They like to mention ‘mike’ alot
Where would we be without a smear campaign?
Probably in a much better place!

– They make an argument, that implies that if you dont agree, then you are an abysmal character, they like to do that alot, atack the person and not the arguement! Always staying classy fellas!), then at some point in their argument they’ll mention mike, associating him to be this abyssmal character by default, they do that……ALOT

I dont know mike, but i agree with some of he’s ideas, i dont come on here to measure mikes worth, i come here to measure information on any given subject i have an interest in

-They like to over generalise much with what they now about the industry and in how it works while disqualifying similar knowledge from those with a different opinion on all this
A question, if they trully know so much about how certain things work in the industry, would’nt it be fair for some of us to perhaps assume that they could probably be biased

-They argue, that everything is fine the way things are, or need to change to a more stricter way of doing things for all our benefit…….well, no, i flat out disagree here…….i think the moment we stop trying to improve things is the moment we go stale, so to speak………i think these two sides have a complete difference of opinion on WHAT needs changing……..
I think what techdirt readers want, and this is an assumption here, is a complete revamp of our whole system, WHOLE system, realistically thats not likely to happen in any one lifetime, unless something drastic happens, and thats IF it happens.
The only thing that ill concede and agree with them on, is the monumental work that would involve, wont be easy by any means, and especially when you have people in a power of authority who stand to lose that power of authority, doing what they can to keep the status quo (be on the look out for someone, blasting someone for using the word ‘status quo’)

Right, Im gonna cut what quite possibly could turn out to be pure pages of rant, while i still can

Ill end with this
The popular troll stories here are not just an arguement on copyright and infringement, in most case it certainly goes beyond that.
Oh, thats another thing these fellas will ridicule, and claim to not exist,
or
call us a flat out liar
or
say “we dont know how things work”

in both cases, i think both sides are guilty of both, except i think we understand more how things work right now, more then they can imagine how things could be up there in that darn future thing, or perhaps they do, and dont want to risk the prospect

HONEST PEOPLE FOR GOVERNMENT

Anonymous Coward says:

There are better places to discuss music and the arts

quote:
“The entire point is that there are still ways to make money, but they’re not one-size-fits-all, and they require effort. Unfortunately, it seems that the legacy gatekeepers find these two things undesirable. Not that I blame them: I wish people would just hand me a boatload of money, too, but I’m not ruining anyone’s lives to make it happen.”

There goes that lack of nuance again. Have you ever been a content creator? I’m 100% sure not, because to describe the job as people handing you a boatload of money without you making any effort is so wide of the truth as to be risible.
That’s the problem in these music industry debates. One collective that have NO idea what it takes to run a music business, demanding the music business does it there way.

Anonymous Coward says:

Well I find your description of ‘legacy gatekeepers’ old language.
Fact is, since the 1970’s there has been a strong independent sector. Since the internet there has been no need to use middle men (or gatekeepers) to distribute music, film or the written word. But anti-copyright activists and pirates don’t target only ‘legacy gatekeepers’. They target content they want wherever it comes from, then excuse their action by saying they’re anti-copyright. And copyright provides income for doing nothing, hence you comment about making boatloads of money for no effort.
And you think record label personnel don’t work hard?

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

There are better places to discuss music and the arts

Let me point you to this.

Occupy Wall Street 2.0: A chat with the editor of Adbusters | Grist: “The neoclassical paradigm taught in Economics 101 classes has had its day. Back in 2008, when the financial meltdown happened and caught all the classical economists by surprise, there were a lot of bioeconomists and ecological economists waiting in the wings, hungry to shift that paradigm. And there will be a revolt of students against their professors. And we may find ourselves next year with hundreds of students occupying the economics departments of their universities. It wouldn?t just be a policy shift like taxing the rich. It would be a shift in the fundamental axioms of economic science and a tinkering with the bedrock of our economic system. The next generation of economists would have a totally different worldview.”

The economic model espoused by Mike is actually very traditional. Musicians are encouraged use recorded music as a promotional tool and then find something to sell to consumers. It’s still very much a consumer-based concept.

But others are looking at entirely new business/economic models that don’t involve selling, that reduce consumerism, that change the nature of work itself, and so on.

So there are times I do interject my vision of the “new music business model” and it isn’t like the old one, but it isn’t like Mike’s either. Mike has not cornered the market on the future of music, the arts, or the world economy. There is so much discussion going on outside of Techdirt that I like to remind people of it every so often. The discussion doesn’t need to fall into “Mike’s version of anti-IP” and “everyone else.” There are some impressive economic thinkers who don’t, as far as I can tell, post here.

The Infamous Joe (profile) says:

Re:

No, but working hard has absolutely nothing to do with it. It is pretty hard work pushing a boulder up a hill with my bare hands, but just because I do it doesn’t mean I should get paid for it

The point is that the only person who can conceivably be “harmed” by piracy are the middlemen that piracy replaces. There’s no good reason to keep an obsolete job around. (I am sorry if your job was one that has become obsolete, truly!)

Still waiting on that link. Also still waiting on you to figure out how the reply button works.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

quote “No, but working hard has absolutely nothing to do with it. It is pretty hard work pushing a boulder up a hill with my bare hands, but just because I do it doesn’t mean I should get paid for it”

Sure, but if you help me by doing it, and you also tell me in advance your hourly rate for boulder pushing, it would be wrong of me to not pay you when you’ve done the work.

quote “The point is that the only person who can conceivably be “harmed” by piracy are the middlemen that piracy replaces.’

No. Piracy replaces my product that has a fee, with the identical product that is cost free. I have no middle man, but if I put my song on the web with a $1.99 charge, piracy ‘harms’ me if everyone pirates it and I don’t get a single payment of $1.99.

quote “Still waiting on that link. Also still waiting on you to figure out how the reply button works.’

I’m still waiting on you to figure out that like others @ tachdirt, I’m using the ‘Anonymous Coward’ function because I wish to remain anonymous. If I posted a link to my content I would no longer be anonymous. If you want to delude yourself that I’m a wannabe posting from my Dad’s computer.. that’s your loss.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

There are better places to discuss music and the arts

It is difficult to find stuff there. I became aware of the site as I was doing research on gift economies. Many of the articles I referenced were archived there. I’ll point you to an article by Michel Bauwens, who started the foundation.

The $100bn Facebook question: Will capitalism survive ‘value abundance’?: The financial crisis beginning in 2008, far from diminishing the enthusiasm for sharing and peer production, is in fact accelerating the adoption of such practices. This is not just a problem for the increasingly precarious working class, but also for capitalism itself, which is seeing its opportunities for accumulation and expansion dry up.

Not only is the world faced with a global resource crisis, it is also facing a crisis of intensive development, because value creators are increasingly income-less. The knowledge economy turns out to be a pipe dream, because what is abundant cannot sustain market dynamics.

Thus we have an exponential rise in the creation of use value, but only a linear increase in the creation of monetary value. If workers have less and less income, who can buy the commodities that are offered for sale by companies? This, in a nutshell, is the crisis of value that we are facing as humanity. It is a challenge just as big as climate change or increases in social inequality.

Anonymous Coward says:

I have a lot of time for the Occupy movement, and I’m extremely concerned about the environment. However, the technology industries and the internet seem to be strengthening capitalism and widening the gap between rich and poor. Apple bring out a new phone or iPad every year, and some people, especially the young, literally throw the perfectly good versions away. If you look at The Forbes Rich list, the top 50 billionaires are not peppered with entertainment media folk, but young web entrepreneurs like Zuckerberg. If you look at Apple, Facebook, Google et al, they are not joining the rejection of patent, they are voraciously acquiring patents and hiring teams of lawyers to litigate in many patent disputes.
If you look at the Occupy movement itself, it had most impact in countries in financial crisis. In economies with low unemployment, that more or less avoided recession, Occupy came and went in the blink of an eye.
So I think it’s better to engage the real politics and economic realities, rather than assume there is some major revolution just around the corner.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

There are better places to discuss music and the arts

Are you asking if people WILL work for free or ARE working for free?

In terms of “will they work for free” there have been studies (even cited in Techdirt) that people have other motivations than money.

In terms of “are working for free” that touches upon how low wages get before someone is essentially working for free. In the US one could cite data that shows the gutting of the middle class. Many of the jobs now being created are low-paying service jobs, but people still take them because that’s all that is available. From there you can go to the articles on jobless recoveries, etc. One book I have seen cited concerning automation and jobs is this:
The Lights In the Tunnel – Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

There are better places to discuss music and the arts

Here’s another article that pulls together thoughts on work and income.

The Case for Shiftlessness: “U.S. worker productivity has increased 400 percent since 1950. ‘The conclusion is inescapable: if productivity means anything at all, a worker should be able to earn the same standard of living as a 1950 worker in only 11 hours a week,’ according to a MIT study.

“Obviously that’s not the case. American workers are toiling longer hours than ever. They’re not being paid more ?to the contrary, wages have been stagnant or declining since 1970. Numerous analyses have established that, especially since 1970, the lion’s share of profits from productivity increases have gone to employers.”

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re:

However, the technology industries and the internet seem to be strengthening capitalism and widening the gap between rich and poor. Apple bring out a new phone or iPad every year, and some people, especially the young, literally throw the perfectly good versions away.

That’s where I am coming from and why I am so frustrated with traditional economists. They are always looking for ways to grow the economy. I am more concerned with sustainability and actually reducing consumption, both because it will lessen impact on the environment and because it will get people off the treadmill working to pay for stuff they don’t need. What I like about the Shareable Movement and the Tiny House movement is a realization that more is not necessarily better. But as we downsize consumption, that means anyone who is hoping to sell more products for their income is going to be impacted. However, I think there is enough wealth to go around that there are economic solutions other than making stuff and selling stuff we don’t need. The advantage of new technology is that we can reduce consumption if we want. That perhaps means buying less, traveling less, sharing more, etc. It’s a different economy. In terms of musicians and artists, I envision a time where they can survive without necessarily having to sell stuff, to tour, etc. Perhaps we will support our artists with food from our gardens and letting them live in empty houses and giving them solar energy generators to use. They won’t make any money, but they won’t necessarily need any money either. The one issue could be health care. Either health care providers have to donate their services, or we need an expanded system that provides free health care to low income people.

The Infamous Joe (profile) says:

Re:

I’m going to respond to your post in reverse order, because I feel like it will help you understand where I’m coming from.

I’m still waiting on you to figure out that like others @ tachdirt, I’m using the ‘Anonymous Coward’ function because I wish to remain anonymous. If I posted a link to my content I would no longer be anonymous. If you want to delude yourself that I’m a wannabe posting from my Dad’s computer.. that’s your loss.

No where did I even suggest that I thought you were lying, or that you were a wannabe, or that you were posting from any computer but your own. I asked for a link to your art because I know that some people blame piracy when they fail (or, don’t do as well as they think they should) when it is not piracy, but any number of other factors. Most notably, that their art isn’t very good. (Please note, I’m not speaking of you specifically!) I wanted to hear your music for myself. I don’t buy music, but I do subscribe to Rdio, for which I pay $10/mo. I listen to a great deal of music, and were I to try and “purchase” all the music new music I listen to, I’d quickly run out of money. I find music streaming to be best suited to my needs. I also wanted to see if you would pass up what would amount to free advertising.. here I am, someone looking for new music, asking you to show me where I can find your music, and instead of pouncing on it, you’ll pass it up. This confuses me. Oh well, there’s plenty of music to listen to without yours.

No. Piracy replaces my product that has a fee, with the identical product that is cost free. I have no middle man, but if I put my song on the web with a $1.99 charge, piracy ‘harms’ me if everyone pirates it and I don’t get a single payment of $1.99

This may be a bit of a shock, but musicians make music. Their business is making music. Their business is *not* making copies of music. Distributors made copies of music and shipped them all over the place in an effort to get people to come see musicians do their thing. Somewhere along the way, everyone got confused about what was the product and what was the method enabling that product.

Let’s ignore all of that, for now.

If I buy your music and hate it, will you give me my money back? If I pirate your music and hate it, did you lose a sale? Studies have shown that the people who pirate also spend the most on music, so it stands to reason that more piracy + talent = more money, yes?

Instead of staying anonymous, I suggest you use this forum to connect with potential fans, and give them reasons to buy. I’d probably fall out of my chair if you actually did, so there’s always that to motivate you, too. πŸ™‚

Anonymous Coward says:

I just don’t think it’s a positive to force artists of any kind into charitable status.
There is never enough charity to go around and therefore someone somewhere makes a judgement as to which artist benefits and which doesn’t.
This makes art much more susceptible to tampering from politicians.
In that regard, the current, legal, payment framework, where consumers buy the art they enjoy, is completely fair. Even more fair if artists are paid directly, and not through middle men.
Secondly, your view of my career is quite alarming.
Friends of mine in normal jobs get to save up for a house, budget for holidays, raise a family etc, but just because I am a musician I have to live in a donated empty house (probably one no one wants), and live off your vegetable patch (a meal out occasionally would be nice).
I don’t know, the choice between me living as a somewhat outcast from society, relying on freebies and charity, when instead someone could buy my track for $1.99, when a coffee costs $3, it just seems like an appalling and unnecessary choice to force on creative people.

The Infamous Joe (profile) says:

There are better places to discuss music and the arts

I think I understand now! Looking back, I should have picked up on it sooner, but I’ve been a little distracted. I don’t think Mike, or anyone at TD, thinks that fixing this IP mess will fix the rest of the economy. I could be wrong, of course, but that’s not what I pick up when I read here. If you’re looking for a solution for solving the economic mess we’re in, obviously TD wouldn’t be a one-stop-shop for that.

As a side note, I agree mostly with what you’re saying about the widening gap between the top 1% and everyone else. I especially like the chart that shows how many hours of minimum wage it takes in each state to rent an apartment at fair market price. It’s ridiculous. (Please note, that was simply the first result from google, I didn’t read any of the words on that site, nor have I ever been there before)

However, the larger economic world is not really relevant to many, if any, TD posts, which is probably why you don’t see it addressed here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

[i] I also wanted to see if you would pass up what would amount to free advertising.. here I am, someone looking for new music, asking you to show me where I can find your music, and instead of pouncing on it, you’ll pass it up [/i]

My priority is to remain anonymous. The fruit of my labour is popular, also popularly pirated.

[i]
This may be a bit of a shock, but musicians make music. Their business is making music. Their business is *not* making copies of music. Distributors made copies of music and shipped them all over the place in an effort to get people to come see musicians do their thing. Somewhere along the way, everyone got confused about what was the product and what was the method enabling that product. [/i]

Firstly, you want musicians to make copies, because sites like this hate the ‘gatekeepers’ and ‘middlemen’. Sure, I could NOT make copies, then I would be like a pictorial artist. I would make one piece of music and sell it once, probably for a great deal of money out of the reach of most music fans. I would love nothing more than to have a Banksy on my wall, but I don’t have a spare ?2mill. If you don’t think musicians should copy their own work for sale, then we’d end up with million dollar original works.
Secondly, the recording is the product. It was never only to attract people to a show. The Beatles produced four or five amazing albums AFTER they gave up touring.

[i]
If I buy your music and hate it, will you give me my money back? If I pirate your music and hate it, did you lose a sale? [/i]

I appreciate your request, therefore most music is available for audition before purchasing. On the one hand, musicians have offered free auditioning so you aren’t disappointed with your purchase, and on the other hand, pirating has not diminished.
Hmmm, that’s weird.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re:

I just don’t think it’s a positive to force artists of any kind into charitable status.
There is never enough charity to go around and therefore someone somewhere makes a judgement as to which artist benefits and which doesn’t.

Yes, right now it sounds like charity. But I think in the future there will be more moneyless transactions, so more than musicians/artists will have the lifestyle.

I did a seven part series on gift economies because some people think that’s how art should be handled. However, artists can only give their art away as a gift if they get their basic needs for free, too, or if they get a day job or grants.

In terms of sorting out how we can use network technology to advance civilization, the P2P Foundation is the best place I have seen so far in terms of tackling these questions.

Here’s the last installment of my series and it has links to the previous six parts.

Music and the “Gift Economy” 7: Alternative Economies

The more I looked at how to support artists, the more I came to the conclusion that the best way to do it was to look at the overall economy. I also feel that creativity is something that should be encouraged in all people, so as the wall between those who create and those who consume blurs, I think this is a good thing, though it changes the dynamics of creativity economics.

The Infamous Joe (profile) says:

Re:

My priority is to remain anonymous.

Why?

Sure, I could NOT make copies, then I would be like a pictorial artist

I can’t tell if you’re being obstinate, or if I was unclear. I mean that you don’t have to pay someone to make copies of your work and distribute it because, if it’s good, people will do that for free. You’re trying to make people pay for something they can do for free. That sounds ridiculous, because it is. *YOU* wouldn’t pay for something you could do for free, and neither would I. The only reason that anyone will give you money for something they could do for free is because they want to. If that is something you want people to do, you’re going to have to switch tactics.

If you don’t think musicians should copy their own work for sale, then we’d end up with million dollar original works.

You could always play live. You know, that “work” thing people are always going on about. Do you honestly believe that if you bang out a song, once, you should get to get paid for it over and over? You’re anonymous, so there’s no reason not to be honest– is that honestly what you believe you deserve?

It was never only to attract people to a show.

Radio disagrees with you.

Anonymous Coward says:

quote “I mean that you don’t have to pay someone to make copies of your work and distribute it because, if it’s good, people will do that for free. You’re trying to make people pay for something they can do for free. That sounds ridiculous, because it is. *YOU* wouldn’t pay for something you could do for free, and neither would I. The only reason that anyone will give you money for something they could do for free is because they want to.”

And people do want the product, except someone else is distributing the identical copy without the fee illegally. So it’s not a fair and free market.
Paying for things you could do yourself free is extremely common. Going out to eat, having your accounts done, having your swimming pool maintained etc. Providing entertainment is no different. I think you are confusing the copy with the service being paid for. If I buy Electric Ladyland, I am buying the entertainment created by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. It’s no longer an option to copyright infringe but support the band by going to the show.

quote:
“You could always play live. You know, that “work” thing people are always going on about. ”
So you think making records is not work?
I spent more than a year making an album once. If everyone had pirated it on it’s release I would have received no income from a year’s work.
I find the recording is worthless, touring is work line a bit dumb to be honest.
I can’t remember seeing actors told they should make movies for free and their fans will repay them by seeing them on Broadway. Truth is, film and theatre are two experiences, same as albums and concerts.

quote
“Radio disagrees with you.’

You done much touring?
I have done a ton. In the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s people toured to promote the record. Yeah, right now with much less income from album sales, concerts are sustaining artists, but then you’ve seen concert ticket prices rise accordingly.

The Infamous Joe (profile) says:

Re:

People used to make money delivering ice to people’s homes. I’m sure you’re willing to get rid of your refrigerator so that they can have their jobs back, right?

The great thing about our discussion is that even as I have apparently failed to show you the faults with the path you are walking down, it doesn’t change the outcome at all. Technology has made buying copies obsolete. You can decide to adapt, or you can decide not to.

I truly wish you the best of luck with it.

Dave (profile) says:

Re:

See Dave, comments like yours are just not helping here.

Balance doesn’t mean agreeing with them, it’s looking at their material and trying to understand it, rather than just trying to rip it to shreds.

I’m not helping? I guess that’s fine, because it wasn’t my goal. You presented a faulty argument. I pointed out that it was faulty. You want more balance in the articles? About legacy monopoly rights. They are harmful. There isn’t a question here. I haven’t ever seen anything (even from the monopolists themselves) that has shown that IP law as a whole has any public benefit at all. The only one the content industries come up with is that by extending copyright, they will continue to make stuff for me to buy. Yippee?

So no. I won’t be helping to advocate balance on Techdirt. But don’t worry. I’m sure the media moguls that control most of the mainstream (non-internet) methods of information dissemination will fine *some* way to get their message heard if Techdirt doesn’t do it for them.

BTW… Looking at their material and trying to understand it? That’s almost all Techdirt does. Unfortunately, most of their material == wtf. And not pointing it out would be dishonest.

Anonymous Coward says:

Digital music isn’t obsolete. Only paying for it is perceived as obsolete.
the ice argument is entirely false.
Ice delivery wasn’t made obsolete by pirates delivering the same ice free of charge.
You pay for digital music because you perceive it has value as entertainment, and you want to support the creators. It’s as simple as that.
people who don’t see much value in good music, and don’t support artists have built up a coping mechanism of mythology to do with greedy artists, musicians being ripped off by record companies, future technology rendering professional music a thing of the past, even government corruption and fascist states!
But when it comes down to it, you either buy a recording for $1.99, or you illegally download it and spend that $1.99 on a coffee instead.

Dave (profile) says:

Re:

Of course it does. But that’s not what this is all about. When you really look at it, it’s not about pushing the new as much as whipping the old.

You keep harping on that. Whipping the old? You mean calling them on their bs? Why is that wrong? ‘Whipping the old’ as you call it is less about trying to fix the legacy guys, and more about helping frame their words and actions in a way that matches reality. Unfortunately, reality has a very strong anti-ip law bias. Well, unfortunate for the old guys.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Quote:

And people do want the product, except someone else is distributing the identical copy without the fee illegally. So it’s not a fair and free market.

I don’t see the open source people complaining they do it all the time and still manage to make billions of dollars a year.

More impressive allowing copying, distribution and modification also allow local markets to flourish who knew.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

You mean calling them on their bs? Why is that wrong?

It’s wrong whenever it isn’t BS.
If you’ve never worked in entertainment, and/or never created anything, a lot of your perceptions are going to be inaccurate, arguably BS.
So what is being suggested is that you all stop the talk, and walk the walk.
create something, give it away free.
If it’s good enough, the traditional creators who resist ‘free’ will die away quickfast.
The BS aspect is also not creating anything and giving it away free, because you’re expecting others to do something you’re not prepared to do yourself.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Quote:

Paying for things you could do yourself free is extremely common. Going out to eat, having your accounts done, having your swimming pool maintained etc.

If you know that where is the problem exactly with people distributing their own music bypassing you?
If people can cook but then chose to go to a restaurant there is a reason they go there right, if restaurant owners can do it why can’t you one of the guys from the most creative industry on the planet?

Are you not that creative, can’t you beat the pirates? are they better and distributing crap than you are?
Then you should be paying them, not they paying you.

Anonymous Coward says:

Please tell me you aren’t this dumb?

YES, we are happy to compete with free.
People aren’t competing with me by distributing their own music in competition with mine, they are distributing MY music in competition with mine.
Your analogy is stupid.
Gordon Ramsey is competing with home cooked food, not an identical dish made by himself.
If y’all would cook your own music instead of copying mine there would be NO debate.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Quote:

I appreciate your request, therefore most music is available for audition before purchasing. On the one hand, musicians have offered free auditioning so you aren’t disappointed with your purchase, and on the other hand, pirating has not diminished.

Want to see piracy diminish pull a Shatner on them and you see how that goes.

apauld (profile) says:

Mike, step 1

So, you have ignored, everything that I wrote. You try to toss unrelated crap into the ether. YOU FAIL.

You try to make it about the Pirate Party; when the actual story is about some DBAG using miscellaneous quotes (like you hope to do) and a segment of the net being fooled.

At this point I can only hope and pray that you have been castrated. apauld.

Dave (profile) says:

Re:

It’s my work that is being taken without my permission.

See, this is the part that mystifies me. You object to people listening to your art. Really? I love it when people hear my music. I would have no objections if someone wanted to support me and give me money, but I certainly don’t think that they HAVE to.

Meanwhile, you feel violated by the fact that someone likes your music enough to go look for it and download it. How does that work? The fact that copyright encourages these feelings of entitlement only adds another check mark against it.

Anonymous Coward says:

There are better places to discuss music and the arts

Quote:

Cohen’s post-ripoff story is remarkable. Penniless at nearly 70, Cohen moved into a Zen Buddhist monastery in California for five years, then emerged with a fantastic new album and a record-beating tour that netted him more than the $9.5M he was owed.

http://boingboing.net/2012/04/20/leonard-cohen-ex-managerthief.html

Maybe you should go to a Zen Buddist monastery in California for five years.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

quote:
‘Funny how the Beatles never saw a dime from those recordings though, since they weren’t the holders of the copyrights of those recordings.’

And yet by the late 1960’s they were all living in mansions with elaborate home studios and manicured acres of garden, and driving custom painted Rolls Royce.

How did that happen? The tooth fairy?
I think you are probably misinformed as to their finances.

Watchit (profile) says:

Re:

ah, here’s the post you were talking about… you have so many of them it took me forever to find! How do you have so much free time!?

Anyway, my spiel: Copyright,as it stands today, stifles creativity in a variety of ways. It severely limits copying and adaptions of current works, creativity does not exist in a vacuum. Examples include remixes and mixtape culture. Orphaned works that never see the light of day, and works who’s owner is not known can be locked away and never seen until the fall into disrepair, or the very medium on which they exist deteriorates. Examples include Jazz recordings caught in copyright limbo. The use of copyright law to to stifle, sometimes outright destroying, competitors or new innovations that threaten older markets. Examples include Veoh.com, and 3-D printing (though that’s technically patent law, but don’t even get me started on that!)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

quote:
“nyway, my spiel: Copyright,as it stands today, stifles creativity in a variety of ways. It severely limits copying and adaptions of current works, creativity does not exist in a vacuum. Examples include remixes and mixtape culture. Orphaned works that never see the light of day, and works who’s owner is not known can be locked away and never seen until the fall into disrepair, or the very medium on which they exist deteriorates. Examples include Jazz recordings caught in copyright limbo.”

Those are aspects that mostly stifle consumers. they don’t stifle CREATIVITY, except the case of sampling, which has more or less been dealt with in the industry.
I’ve been in bands since i was 16, and no one really wants to copy a previous band or song in a way that impinges copyright.
All musicians want to seem unique, want to have their own sound, their own voice. This idea that copyright stifles creativity is largely bogus in my view.
It encourages creativity because you have to create something new. And if takes you a year to write the perfect song, because of copyright someone else can’t just copy it and steal all your kudos without ever doing any of the work.