Asking Fans For Support Isn't Begging, It's Solidifying Our Relationship

from the an-artist's-perspective dept

Yesterday, we wrote about El-P (emcee/producer and co-founder of Definitive Jux records) and his positive reaction to the early leak of his upcoming album, Cancer4Cure. El-P showed up in the comments that evening, and after an email exchange this morning he posted this excellent longer reply and invited us to turn it into a guest post. Big thanks to El for getting involved and giving us a clearer picture of his stance on these issues.


First off, thanks to Leigh for emailing me today and thanks to everyone here for your ideas and comments. It’s clear he (and all of you) care about this subject. The truth is I really don’t fully know how I feel about it all and I’m not sure that I’m smart enough to fully tackle the subject. It’s tricky.

All I know is that I believe in operating within the realties that exist now and treating fans with respect within the context of those realties. I don’t agree with the draconian and aggressive manner in which the RIAA and others have reacted to those realities and I wont be caught trying to put band aids on cracks in the dam. I’d rather let that bitch flood and build a boat. That said, I cringe a bit when people disregard how tough it is for working musicians to deal with the new paradigm. Cut us some slack. It’s all relatively new and we are trying our best to navigate choppy waters.

I want to trust that if people like my music they will support me. My heart tells me that’s the case. I also know for a fact that many of the people that say they will support or even genuinely intend to may not, being that they have the finished product (or at least the most important piece of it) in their hands already. It’s just common sense.

So how do I feel? What’s the right way? Fuck if I know. But I’ll adapt and I’ll do it with respect and class and not kicking and screaming. There’s a hell of a lot I could say about both sides of this particular subject, but honestly does it matter? You all have formed your opinions on it already and in the end people like me are still out here trying to make a living no matter what those opinions are… right, wrong or in-between.

I will say (and this is a portion of what I wrote to Leigh today):

In these debates (no matter what venue) the artist almost always seems to be treated/viewed as a child. Either we don’t understand what’s good for us, can’t control what’s happening to us, can’t comprehend what’s bad for us or we are not wise enough to be grateful for what we are handed. It’s a debate that rages on almost exclusively without the input of the artist themselves.

And maybe thats how it needs to be. At the end of the day we are trying to make a living doing what we love and it’s on us to determine how we handle it. I’m not sure any artist owes any explanation to anyone about the nuances of that, and I’m not sure anyone else can really understand what it’s like as an artist to negotiate all this unless they deal with it in the same way. Everything takes on a different tone when paying your rent enters in to the debate. But don’t make the mistake of treating us condescendingly or with pity. I am not “begging” for anything by asking people to support by pre-ordering if they enjoy the record. I’m trying to solidify and encourage the relationship I have with the people who I make the music for in the context of today’s reality. Simple as that.

I for one am determined to make the realities of today’s music business work for me as best I can. I do not see the point in blaming the fans for a technological (and now cultural) reality that we all are involved in. They are my fans. They are my supporters. I think if I do my job and make something passionate and good then they’ll be motivated to engage with me. Between me and them I’m sure we can figure out how to give each other what we need so we can continue to have a relationship. I’m not too worried about it.

For now I think we are finally settling in to a decent place with it all. Of course if my record drops and I don’t sell shit I might end up with a bit of a different take on it all. I reserve that right, but I doubt it.

Anyway thanks for reading and thanks for taking the time to talk about all this. I’m going to drink some coffee and eat a bagel now. Also, my cat won’t stop meowing.

— best, el

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513 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

El, thanks for your comments.

I would have to say that you are pretty much dealing with the shit sandwich of piracy as best you can. But in the end, I think it’s clear that you know you are having to eat a lot of shit here to try to make a living.

Your attitude is wonderful, but it is to me incredibly demoralizing to see the position you are in. It’s incredibly hard for you to making a living as a musician when people are taking for free the very product you are trying to sell. You may not think you are begging, but in the end, that is really what you are doing. There is nothing left except hoping that you can convince people to pay you for what they already have for free.

Good luck with it. I wouldn’t wish the current situation on anyone.

Anonymous Coward says:

“In these debates (no matter what venue) the artist almost always seems to be treated/viewed as a child. Either we don’t understand what’s good for us, can’t control what’s happening to us, can’t comprehend what’s bad for us or we are not wise enough to be grateful for what we are handed.”

How true, and it’s always been that way – reminds me of those old black and white clips from the early 60s of John Lennon and the other Beatles being interviewed, and the condescending way in which the reporters would speak to them – as though they were children.

DC (profile) says:

I think you have a very clear perspective on reality. Anyone who would treat you as a child is a moron. In fact, admitting what you don’t know is a sign of exceptional maturity.

I do hope, and expect, that your fans will support you.

I also hope you spend some small bits of time you can afford lurking here so you can see the debate around these topics. Or even comment, or better yet … guest post again ๐Ÿ™‚

I think you would see in the posts (comments are more dodgy) that artists that reject the idea of suing fans, and 1 copy = 1 lost sale are celebrated here as actually having a firm grasp on the sorts of things that they can understand / control / comprehend.

Thanks again for the post.

ChurchHatesTucker (profile) says:

Love it

I don’t agree with the draconian and aggressive manner in which the RIAA and others have reacted to those realities and I wont be caught trying to put band aids on cracks in the dam. I’d rather let that bitch flood and build a boat. That said, I cringe a bit when people disregard how tough it is for working musicians to deal with the new paradigm. Cut us some slack. It’s all relatively new and we are trying our best to navigate choppy waters.

Well said. Just remember that the fans are also navigating these new tides. I think the recent breakout of kickstarter shows that most (or at least enough) people’s hearts are in the right place.

DC (profile) says:

Re:

Do you people run in shifts?

1 copy != 1 lost sale.

The vast majority of musicians have never made a living solely performing music, even if you add recording to that (which the music industry initially rejected violently — see player pianos … etc … Ad infinitum).

People seem to think El-P is talented and entertaining, and I wish him the best. He certainly comes off as sincere.

So … do subway buskers suffer more from piracy than obscurity?

So you can digitally copy the experience of a live performance?

The only shit sandwich here is the one you are serving which has 1 topping of 1 copy = 1 lost sale, and 1 topping of there used to be a golden age where the labels made every promising artist rich.

I wouldn’t wish your world view on anyone.

Oh … is shit sandwich the new shill phrase of the month?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

“Do you people run in shifts?

1 copy != 1 lost sale.

Perhaps the ultimate strawman. Can you please find me anywhere, anywhere, ever, anyone on the label side saying that.

It doesn’t exist. Don’t believe the hype, right?

“The only shit sandwich here is the one you are serving which has 1 topping of 1 copy = 1 lost sale,”

That is your flawed interpretation of things. Again, please point me to a single person on the label side saying that. It doesn’t exist.

DC (profile) says:

Re:

Sorry for too many posts, but you responded to 1 point.

I made 6 points, none of which you responded to.

That’s a pretty pathetic argument.

By the way … I’ll let the more research inclined here support this, but if I recall, the *AAs report each download as more than 1 lost sale. I could be wrong, but I am not wrong about the 1 lost sale equation.

Funny you call something you know you can not punch down a straw man.

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

It is so nice to see you here, El-P.

Musicians are not children, they are independent business persons. The reason why they were formerly treated as children is because they signed abusive contracts with record labels. The labels then treated them badly, thus they ended up with child status. Arguments have been made that the abusive contracts were inevitable, but musicians need to step up and take responsibility. Signing an abusive contract is never a wise move. Seek alternatives.

The magic of the internet has now given musicians a way forward with a lot less pressure to sign an abusive contract. The peddlers of abusive contracts are as mad as hell about that, it is costing them money. Their shills comment here regularly, then the community calls them out. However, nobody is entitled to be the beneficiary of an abusive contract, no matter how long they may have been engaged in the practice.

The economics of infinite goods is difficult and counter-intuitive. Art is difficult, too. So artists have a learning curve. Here at Techdirt we aim to help artists find their way. The answer is the doctrine “Connect with Fans then give them a Reason to Buy”, abbreviated here as “CwF+RtB”. You are doing fine with connecting with fans. Now you need to give us real scarcities with reasons as to why we might buy them. Infinite goods are infinite and the price of them inevitably goes to zero. Shiny disks and concert tickets are just two of a whole universe of scarce goods possibilities. If you have fans who love you and you offer them reasonable things to buy, you cannot help but make money. There are many stories on Techdirt about artists who have followed the doctrine and succeeded.

We want you to succeed, but do it without violating our human rights and with giving us art that we want. Do not get misled by the erroneous arguments of the shills. They are not your friends. Your fans are your friends.

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

His friends (who ever they are) pay him for his music.
I don’t know where to start, phew.
This idea that generations of intelligent, articulate and independent thinking musicians ALL signed ‘abusive’ contracts is beyond demeaning. I wouldn’t mind quite so much if I thought the majority of people who parroted this crap had ever had ANY experience of a record label. You believe the crap about abuse because it makes you feel better when you rip off ordinary musicians like EI-P.

In the end, the whole debacle is about freedom of choice.
If EI-P is ok with fans downloading his music before it’s released, that’s absolutely fine. If I’m not OK with that, you should respect my choice to continue to sell my music. If you don’t want to buy it, don’t take it against my wishes.

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

Okay, 1) Why are you implying that in the act of accepting a leak, he’s not selling his music?

2) Piracy isn’t all black and white. Take this for example. I’d never heard of the band Nightwish before. I downloaded ((re: Pirated)) their latest album, Imaginaerum, to give it a listen. The next day, I went out and brought the 2-CD physical album, having to take busses all over town to find who had it in stock.

3) Anyone who signs with the RIAA or associated labels is in an abusive contract. If you don’t believe me, then point out ways I’m wrong, give citations.

4) I have never heard of El-P before now. If his album hadn’t leaked, I wouldn’t have even heard of him. Now I know he’s out there, and I feel like taking a look at some of his stuff, and maybe buying an album if I like it.

5) I respect both of your opinions, but I also have my own. Don’t knock it.

freakyleakydahboatasinky says:

Re:

well el-p, I feel you man, but I hate to break it to you, you ain’t gettin’ paid from here on out unless you fight for it. these cats don’t believe you are owed anything for your work unless you sing for yer suppa every night. sad but true.

I understand your desire to be reasonable, to be fair, to want to focus on making the best music possible and getting paid for the consumption of that work and labor. but it’s not gonna happen.

haters are gonna hate and thieves are gonna steal. but what’s worse is that this isn’t about downloaders, it’s about the internet and tech corporate fat cats getting rich of your work (like google aint got enough dough, right?), and the pirate bay, and those cats…

so good luck to you man, but you look like road kill on the information superhighway to me.

freakyleakydahboatasinky says:

You Will Be Fine

“The magic of the internet has now given musicians a way forward with a lot less pressure to sign an abusive contract.”

yeah, the internet magic is awesome… no contracts, no payments, nothing… how is replacing on injustice with an even greater injustice progress?

labels pay artists tens of millions of dollars a year… how much is the pirate bay paying artists? oh, whats’ that? Nothing? The Pirate Bay pay’s artists nothing? Wow, Really?

So what would I prefer? Getting paid or not getting paid. I think I’d chose getting paid?

Hmmm… contracts you say? Where can I get a contract to get paid by the pirate bay and other sites operating illegally? Oh… what? There are no contracts?

Hahhahahaah I get it, that’ funnnny. You can’t have oppressive contracts if there are NO contracts! hahahaha! knee slapper…

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

Anyone who signs with the RIAA or associated labels is in an abusive contract. If you don’t believe me, then point out ways I’m wrong, give citations.

I dunno, maybe you can post the mental health records of David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Sting, Mick Fleetwood, Bruce Springsteen proving how crazy they were to sign a major label contract time and time and time again. And how disturbed they were to come to their senses one day only to realise they’d amassed millions of dollars and several mansions around the world.

I have never heard of El-P before now. If his album hadn’t leaked, I wouldn’t have even heard of him. Now I know he’s out there, and I feel like taking a look at some of his stuff, and maybe buying an album if I like it.

It seems to me you actually found out about him because people on a blog you go to are talking about him.
This is the dumb paradox we are supposed to swallow. The internet helps artists by people downloading their work against their wishes. While apparently the internet has no power to promote artists through thousands of people talking about those artists on thousands of blogs and forums.

freakyleakydahboatasinky says:

You Will Be Fine

news flash, you can’t have a contract dispute without a contract… the only point you’ve made is that artists actually get contracts and payments from labels. you’ve also made the point that they can audit the label, and because they have a contract they can move to resolve disputes, in the courts if necessary.

the same mechanism that makes every link you posted above possible, is the mechanism you are arguing to take away from artists, copyrights.

so when you can show me an artist contract with a pirate site like the pirate bay (and others), that offers better terms than labels, and pays on those terms, than you’ll have a point.

until than all you have is the usual BS…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

really, could you cite that… because a 95% piracy rate still only equals a 60% drop in sales. So unless the IFPI think the business should be 20x’s bigger I think you are grossly confused on simple math.

every download does not equal a 1:1 lost sale, but every lost sale can be attributed to an illegal download. there’s a difference.

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

Wow, bringing up the ultimate strawman; something completely unrelated to the labels being asses.

I’m sure being a part of the RIAA is -great-, I’m /suuuuuuuuuuure/ that you guys can’t find /aaaaany/ other method that wont’ screw you over.

Also, reposting your comment after it’s been thoroughly burned isn’t generally a smart idea.

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

Who the fuck says I’m telling artists to make a contract with pirate sites? Are you delusional? The only BS is coming from you right now.

Try sites like kickstarter. Or, I dunno, monetize on youtube. Or, I dunno, go independent; sell your music without a third party via digital means.

I’m not saying it’s easy.

But it’s not like the record labels make it easy on you either.

Oh, and there are plenty of stories floating around about artists who don’t get paid royalties from labels. You just block ’em out of your mind because “Oh, artists can sue them. I don’t care that the labels fuck up their contracts all the time or screw with artists.”

Labels only care about two things.

Themselves.

And money.

The truth hurts, doesn’t it?

freakyleakydahboatasinky says:

You Will Be Fine

the truth that hurts is that you don’t have a point, you seem kinda riled up there… yer an angry fella aren’t ya?

when the pirate bay offers artists a contract and terms better than the labels you’ll have a point, until then you got a hand full of gooey stinky brown stuff.

there are NO contracts and payments to artists from pirate sites. the failure of your logic is to promote a greater injustice to replace a lessor one.

so where are all those contracts for artists to get paid from the pirate bay? where? let’s see those links? you got those? Huh? Where are they?

Oh yeah, pirate sites rip off artists so they they the pirate site can profit 100% and pay the artists ZERO, Nothing, Nadda, Zippo…

really man, why do you hate artists so much?

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

No contract needed.

http://www.techdirt.com/blog/casestudies/articles/20120430/04432118703/dan-bulls-free-single-hits-charts.shtml

“Last week we wrote about Dan Bull’s experiment to release a song, “Sharing is Caring” for free via The Pirate Bay (and other sites) and to see if he could still get it to show up in various charts. As we discussed, it definitely was making its way onto the lists of Amazon UK’s top hip hop sales. And, on Sunday, the official UK charts came out — with Sharing is Caring coming in at number 9 on the Indie singles chart and number 35 on the RnB singles chart.”

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

it’s not a strawman, if you are arguing about the injustice of labels, why don’t you just provide the links to the contracts and payments the pirate bay is offering to artists so we can all see how much more fair that is than a label contract where the artist actually get’s paid.

it’s your argument back up it up, don’t be weak and hide behind some bogus strawman claim, you’re smarter than that.

Where are the contracts and payments to artists from the pirate bay? Why do you hate artists so much? Why?

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

Yer all “Pirate bay, pirate bay, PIRATE ARRR PIRATE”

You sound mightily intent that I’m somehow trying to connect this all to saying artists should go on pirate sites and allow themselves to have music shared? When I said -nothing- of the sort? You really -ARE- delusional.

Why do you hate rationality so much? Umad, bro? Or just trollin’?

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

You’re offering a strawman.

” if you are arguing about the injustice of labels, why don’t you just provide the links to the contracts and payments the pirate bay is offering to artists” Has ZERO relevance to a damn thing I’ve said, and is completely out of left field.

It is *not* my argument. It’s the words you’re pulling out of your ass.

freakyleakydahboatasinky says:

You Will Be Fine

of course not, Rolling Stone doesn’t provide contracts when promoting artists, but then again, Rolling Stone isn’t illegally exploiting artists against their will, violating copyright, and ripping off the artist for profit, the pirate bay is… that sounds like real oppression to me.

so where are all those contracts for all of those other THOUSANDS of artists? if the pirate bay is not afraid of the way they abuse artists why don’t they let them remove their material?

the real abuse and oppression is by the pirates who profit and pay artists NOTHING, EVER, not a single penny, while they the pirates continue to get richer and richer.

Where are those contracts and payments again? Oh, they don’t exist… yup, you got nuthin but BS.

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

you want to make a point, provide those fair and non-oppressive contracts that pay artists from the pirate bay?

what? the pirate bay and other pirate site rip off artists 100% and don’t offer any kind of contract or payment? wow. crazy…

just provide a copy of those great artist friendly non-oppressive pirate contracts for artists that actually pay the artists, let’s have it.

let’s see how well artist are being treated by corporations profiting from the artists work without ANY contracts or payments.

Go ahead, provide those contracts.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

“Pretty much every label study of losses to copying assume 1 copy = 1 lost sale. “

Not true in the slightest. They do indicate that, if all pirate copies were sales, they would be X amount. Nobody specifically says that each pirated item is a lost sale, only that IF they were lost sales, they would be worth X.

It really isn’t the same thing. It’s a bad argument from those looking to belittle the recording industry and to deny what is going on.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Jay, incorrect. As I mentioned above, it’s a question of “if every pirated copy was a lost sale, this is the value”. There is no direct statement that every pirated copy is a lost sale – at most, it’s a lost potential sale.

The thing is, we know that the recorded music industry dropped 60% in the Napster decade. You would have to be more than slightly daft not to accept that there is some causation here.

Well, daft or Mike Masnick.

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

no, you fail to make a substantive argument, so you claim strawman. oh mommy, strawman, strawman, I can’t make a point, starwman, strawman… FAIL.

labels may be asses, but they are assess who provide contracts and pay artists. there are no contracts or payments to artists from pirate sites who profit 100% while paying the artists 0%

so your solution to one injustice is to create and promote an even larger injustice. sorry, that’s not a strawman, that’s just a poor argument on your part and you lose on those grounds.

the argument is coming from your mouth, so… you might want to watch you are putting your face if you think the argument is coming from my ass, lol.

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

it’s all above. you can’t answer the point because you know you can’t.

there are no artists contracts with the pirate sites who profit 100% while paying the artists 0%

so are you now saying that pirate site should respect artists and remove any material the artist doesn’t want there? are you saying the pirate sites should offer contracts to artists that are more competitive than label contracts and that the pirate sites should honor those contracts?

pick a lie and stick to it already!

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

f you aren’t uber successful, or do something that the labels don’t like, they -will- screw you over.

And yet thousands of less than ‘uber successful’ artists work with labels all the time, releasing records, making money. I mean getting back to my original point, it’s just demeaning to the intelligence of the creative community to suggest even the majority of them (let alone all) blissfully signed abusive contracts, and so far haven’t complained other than a few well publicised moans.
You oh so want it to be true, so you just keep repeating it, hoping it will stick.
Ask any artist, any artist, almost all of them will tell you they’d prefer a record contract to widespread piracy – if it has to be a choice between the two.

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

Wow, you’re taking this into whole new levels of territory. First, you can’t even cite a source, insisting it’s “ALL ABOVE ZOMG”, when it kinda… Isn’t. Direct quote pl0x.

I’m not going to try an defend an imaginary argument that you are flat out lying I said.

This isn’t even a strawman any more. It’s gotten stupider than that.

It’s a -chewbacca defence-.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ChewbaccaDefense

You’re not even worth replying to from here on out.

Karl (profile) says:

Re:

but what’s worse is that this isn’t about downloaders, it’s about the internet and tech corporate fat cats getting rich of your work

Nice rant, but you’re totally wrong. The “tech corporate fat cats” treat artists 100x better than record labels ever did, which is why the labels are running scared.

El-P, I’m glad you stopped by. Artists’ voices are always welcome here. But please do not listen to idiot shills like this guy, for everyone’s sake (especially yours).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

“You may not think you are begging, but in the end, that is really what you are doing. “

A lot of musicans are fan supported. I hope more and more are. There was a recent article on Amanda Palmer and she appears to be doing better with her fans than with her label. I know Marillion was a pioneer in asking fans for pre-orders and tour locations. I heard about them through their efforts to organize a tour and checked them out.

One of the falliacies is expecting every download to be a sale or lost sale. I’m going to have to look up who this is and their music to know if it is something I’m interested in. One thing confusing to me is why does anyone expect me to buy something before I’ve heard it.

Nearly 100% of what I’ve bought based on a 30-60 second sample, I’ve deleted. It wasn’t what I thought it was. Most of my all time favorites and must-have’s I discovered after I had listened to it for awhile. Good music can take time to grow. I like listening as a single, in context with the album and as part of a compliation. It can mean different things to me at different times.

I’m not going to buy just “to check it out”. Consider it advertising that’s better than playing on the radio. I also know that I do buy a lot more music when I can explore a wide variety to find what I like. The only way I have of discovering a new band or music is through the internet and transferred to disc or device so that I can actively listen.

Before the internet I bought zero. I kept to the same stuff that I had listened to for decades largley because I had no idea what I had been missing. When I run into friends now that are listening to decades old “hits” I try to explain there’s a lot more out there and it’s kind of hard to do because of this myth that music is dying, no money in it and everything comes from a major label or anything that’s worth listening to is on the radio / hit chart (which is rubbish).

Not everyone is going to like everything anymore than not everyone should make a living in the music business just because they want to.

I would like to make a living at being a visual artist and it’s a gamble. Do I expect to be paid everytime someone looks at my work? How do I handle it when someone buys something and in a few years resells it for much more money – why don’t I get a cut off that sale too (based on music major label laws)? Does any visual artist make a living (or even a profit) off of a gallery – and if not, why do they keep showing there?

I keep showing for exposure, i.e. promotion. One of the foundations of copyright law was to encourage new works – not to live off the old forever. If someone copies or reuses, it’s because I did something they liked, iconic maybe. But I’m going to try to do it even better next time and that’s where I want to make money – not on something old. I have to love what I do and have something to say or add if I expect to make a living at it. It has to be better than just “good”. It has to be great and really special. I would be doing it with or without money.

I tend to expect that of musicians too. They have to love it and have something unique that puts them above the rest. I am amazed (and a little scared) by how creative and talented the average person is. Sometimes I think the only divide is those that are professionals would do it anyway and can’t stop. The hobbiest has other priorities.

I want to see my stuff out there first. Then I’ll look at making a living from it. But I never want to feel entittled to make a living at it.

I haven’t read the first article, nor do I know who this is.

Karl (profile) says:

honesty

the majority of people (62%) downloaded their album without paying for it.

You missed the second part of the headline: “Even with only a minority paying for the album, a former record industry executive estimates that Radiohead may not have done too badly.”

The number of people who don’t pay for an album means absolutely nothing. What matters is if more people paid than would have otherwise, and how much of that goes directly to the band.

In the end, it turns out that Radiohead made more from that record than from any record they put out on EMI. That’s really the only thing that matters… at least if you’re truly pro-artist.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Nice rant, but you’re totally wrong. The “tech corporate fat cats” treat artists 100x better than record labels ever did, which is why the labels are running scared.

Puuurleeese.
Keep dreaming.
Spotify pays artists way less than any label ever did.
You think I’m grateful to Google who post links to my work on pirate sites, then make some money from advertising off my loss.
Wake up and smell the coffee dude.
By the way, I’m an artist so thanks for the welcome invite to have my voice heard here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

To some extent this is because many artist’s just want to create their art and have given up control to do that. It’s only been within the last two decades that artist can interact with their fans and publish / produce their own quality material.

One way to end the copyright battle is to stop signing away management and the business side of their career. You also have to remember that many labels make all sorts promises, shiny new things, big advances that they are selling. They also have a distribution network. It can be hard to turn down.

Anonymous Coward says:

honesty

he number of people who don’t pay for an album means absolutely nothing. What matters is if more people paid than would have otherwise, and how much of that goes directly to the band.

You guys keep talking like no one can take advantage of the internet without the help of pirates.
Yeah, the internet is great. because of it I don’t need a label to reach fans. because of it I can publicise myself on blogs and forums. But because of pirates my music is taken against my wishes. If you were all doing us such a huge favour, the majority of musicians wouldn’t be complaining about it.

Karl (profile) says:

Re:

every lost sale can be attributed to an illegal download.

This is a joke, right?

A “lost sale” is simply a consumer who decided not to buy your particular product, for any reason. That can’t be attributed solely to “illegal downloads” even in the wettest dreams of a lonely RIAA lobbyist.

Every potential customer who decides the price is too high is a “lost sale.” Every potential customer who can’t get the product because of regional restrictions is a “lost sale.” Every potential customer who won’t buy your product because of restrictive DRM is a “lost sale.” Every potential customer who decides to pay rent instead is a “lost sale.”

Most importantly of all, every potential customer who buys an MP3 instead of a CD is counted as a “lost sale” – at least if you’re talking about the drop in revenue to the recording industry post-2004.

Illegal downloads have very little to do with it.

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

“and so how do I get a contract with the pirate bay to get paid, could you please provide me with that link? “

I’d like to know where the attitude came from that thinks anyone who is a musican / artist is entittled to be paid? Some people enjoy making music and would do it whether they got paid or not.

I’m not saying that no musicians should be paid. What I am saying is that it is a competitive field with a lot of extremely good people in it and a lot more people would like to do it as a profession, but that doesn’t mean they should all be successful or making money doing it.

A lot of people are actors or actresses. Do they all deserve to be in the movies?

Anonymous Coward says:

Tell me why it’s apparently a fact that the RIAA doesn’t abuse artists in favour of money. I’m not saying it’s in the contracts, I’m saying that it -happens-. Contracts can be devilishly worded so that they can be twisted in favour of the other party.

I never said that piracy was an alternative. I’m arguing that it’s shades of grey, and that not every pirated copy is a lost sale, which the labels seem to drive into everything. In fact, labels argue that every pirated copy is worth much, much more than a single sale, to the point where they argue billions of dollars in damages, which, in my opinion, is bullshit. And, any -successful- lawsuits, all the money goes to the lawyers and the labels. Not the artists.

The solution to piracy is not attacking it. The solution is actually offering a service that’s up to date with technology.

I’m in NZ. I can’t view netflix. I can’t view hulu, or hulu plus. Where can I watch movies online? Where is a legal way to do that?

Oh, right.

I can’t.

Arbitrary licensing restrictions placed on by the folks at the MPAA/etc.

I can’t use Google Movies. I can’t watch TV shows through iTunes or buy season passes.

The only damn thing the industry does here is provide Steam. And guess how many steam games I own? Over a hundred. Because they’re reasonably priced, and readily available, without intrusive, clunky DRM that restricts customer rights.

I want to be served. And it’s just not happening. This is meerly an example.

If they offered Netflix here, with a decent selection? HELL YES I’d pay for it.

But, why stop there? Why not go further. You see, pirates are going to pirate, whether they like it or not. What’s to stop them from offering DRM-free copies of shows that you can download and store on your hardrive in formats like AVI, MKV and MP4? People would pay through the nose to get that privilege. Instead, the entertainment industry shoves it’s foot in the idea, accusing piracy of making them unable to do it. Do they not realise that if they don’t offer content in a similar way that pirates do, only paid, people would 100% use it?

Sorry, I’ve gone off on a tangent here, but this is one of the things that really grinds my gears. They bitch about piracy so much, yet the obvious solution is right in their face, and they seem to think that suing people is a better alternative than innovating.

It’s a similar situation in the music industry. But the difference is, with stuff like iTunes? The music industry is farther along than the movie and TV industry. The web is world wide. Why can’t they take advantage of that?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

And don’t get me wrong. I don’t pirate often. I go to movies to see ones I like– I saw Transformers 3 twice, in 3D. I saw The Avengers in 3D.

I buy DVD’s. I buy CD’s. I buy games.

What bugs me is that they aren’t doing anything to solve the apparent problem that’s worth trying to pass draconian laws that shatter privacy and the first amendment.

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

Show me a Walmart site or a radio station with a contract with a muscian.

P2P is a distribution system. It’s also exposure. Radio is dead. They aren’t comparable to a record label.

Why would anyone buy something they hadn’t heard before? There is a much greater chance of selling your music after someone hears it.

This whole thing sounds anti-competitive. It used to be the radio was the gateway with apx 50 singles making a rotation. There would be one song that stood out from the rest.

Now there are thousands easily available with a handful standing out from the rest. The odds got a lot worse for musicians. As a listener, I can sample regional and foreign markets in addition to traditional national and local acts. I can also sample unsigned or hobbyist musicians. That raises the bar.

As a consumer I like to think that talent will be rewarded over marketing and promotion. I know that’s not entirely true, but I think a no label, talented musician has a much better shot of making it now than they did 20 years ago. It also means that potential fans need to do a lot of sampling in order to find them.

What Pirate Bay offers is exposure to a potential market. People buy zero of what they haven’t been exposed to.

ttp://boingboing.net/2012/04/17/pirate-bays-promo-bay-fl.html

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re:

Spotify pays artists way less than any label ever did.

Spotify isn’t a label. However, I *did* just see the details of a study done by someone *inside* the recording industry, showing that Spotify actually pays *significantly more than radio* when you compare on a per-play basis. And considering that’s what Spotify is really replacing, the evidence certainly suggests Spotify pays quite well.

drew (profile) says:

honesty

“But because of pirates my music is taken against my wishes” I think the word is “copied” not “taken”; your music is still there, right where you left it.
“the majority of musicians wouldn’t be complaining about it” citation please? Guess what I can pull a “majority of musicians think that obscurity is a bigger problem than piracy” statement out of my arse too, based on all the musicians I know.

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

Silly you thinking you need a contract to get paid.

The only one spewing complete BS here is you. Clearly you must work for a label because every post of yours has “contract” in it somewhere. Either that or you truly enjoy getting bent over the table for your regular flesh to flesh colonoscopy after signing away all your rights.

drew (profile) says:

You Will Be Fine

“Ask any artist, any artist, almost all of them will tell you they’d prefer a record contract to widespread piracy – if it has to be a choice between the two.” aaand let’s have that citation again.
You’re a musician right? You’re selling your music right?
Where are you selling it? How are you selling it? Who are you even?
You obviously really care about this stuff, but here you are in a thread that hundreds of people are reading, and you’re not even linking back to your music site?
Here’s the thing, I’m a musician too. In two clicks you can go from my comment here to my bandcamp site where people can buy my music (this has happened a few times already when I’ve posted here).
But I’m not a great musician.
I’m ok and, thankfully, some people like my songs enough to support me and pay me some money to cover things like producing limited run CDs and paying my petrol to gigs and the like.
But I am not good enough to have been picked up by a label. That’s the way it is. Pre-internet I would have made the square root of fuck-all from my music – I know this, because that’s what’s happened.
Instead I’ve got many more people listening to our music, I can do gigs further afield (when I can pull my finger out of my arse and sort it out) and I’ve got people who’ll pay for downloads.
So a load of people have downloaded and listened to it for free?
You know what I say to them?
Woohoo! Enjoy! Hope to see you at a gig sometime!

Anonymous Coward says:

honesty

That just sounds like the arguments people made against radio and still you people make money.

Everybody takes from the musician apparently except the musician OMG how musicians survive?

Also explain why you are different from a fashion designer that has no protections and still manage to make a living, how are you different from a carpenter that has no protections and still manages to make a living.

That you people don’t like to talk about it because it exposes, that nonsense you call it yours, your music is the one you perform, is the one you sell to others through your merch, it is not what others enjoy for free, that is a vector and can lead to other places but you don’t like that do you, in your little world everybody should pay only you, but that is not going to happen anymore.

Anonymous Coward says:

honesty

From your poor choice of a link to attempt prove your point…

“Castle, who has represented singer Sheryl Crow and worked for A&M Records, said that the money-generating lifespan of an album can last as long as two years. It starts when an act releases a record and is extended when the performer goes on a concert tour.”

So tell me then, if 2 years is the “money-generating lifespan of an album”, how is it in anyway just for copyrights to extend 70 years after the death of the artist?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re:

“Spotify pays artists way less than any label ever did.”

How much do Wal Mart, Sirius and ClearChannel pay them? You may as well start comparing apples to apples. Spotify are not, nor have ever claimed to be, a record label.

“You think I’m grateful to Google who post links to my work on pirate sites, then make some money from advertising off my loss.”

I’m sure they also point to the legal retailers selling your stuff as well, Do you also hate them for that, or are you sulking because you don’t think legal retailers pay you enough? Judging by your level of business sense and maturity displayed here, you’ve probably boycotted all legal retailers then whine when your music doesn’t sell. Hell, you don’t even know the difference between a record label and a radio station, so your business credentials are rather suspect…

“By the way, I’m an artist”

As ever, citation needed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Since when people couldn’t get music for free?

I do remember radio putting “1 Hr non-stop music” what do you think that was for?

3M made a fortune in cassette tapes, nobody complained then.

Even today you can find all the crap you want for free and legally.

Are you going to stop putting music on VEVO?

So no, piracy is not really your problem nor is free, is your crazy entitlement mentality and laws that enables you to be that dense.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re:

“They do indicate that, if all pirate copies were sales, they would be X amount. Nobody specifically says that each pirated item is a lost sale, only that IF they were lost sales, they would be worth X.”

Which is a strawman and an idiotic misdirection. If they’re fully aware that this will never happen, why are these figures even discussed?

Perhaps if these studies were based on realistic figures and not pie-in-the-sky unachievable figures, they would be taken more seriously? Perhaps start with an intellectually honest study that accepts that free downloads can have effects in the opposite direction (e.g. people buying copies and/or supporting artists in other ways after having listened to a pirated copy – and YES this does happen).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Well if the musicians didn’t act like spoiled brats they wouldn’t be treated condescendingly.

How condescending is to say “Look you don’t understand how hard it is to work as a musician”, everybody understand perfectly, everybody knows how hard it is to work, because everybody works or worked at some point so everyone understands how hard it is.

Which is why nobody is going to accept special treatment for any class of people, specially if it impinges on their own rights.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re:

“but every lost sale can be attributed to an illegal download. “

Bullshit. The last album sale a major label lost from me was the soundtrack to The Raid, which I wasn’t allowed to buy due to regional restrictions. I can cite other sales lost as a direct result of high pricing, low quality previews or tracks unavailable outside of an album package. None of these have anything to do with piracy.

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

Not really, fans are those who like something and look for it and get whatever they can get their hands on.

Recently though I don’t see crowds of people screaming or stalking musicians anymore do you?

There are no more superstars is there?

Keep threading on people and you will have your wishes come true.

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

How open source people get contracts, when everybody is free to copy, distribute, modify and even sell without asking for permission to do anything?

How fashion people survive?

How McDonalds become one of the biggests restaurants business in the world?

How Coca-Cola managed?

Why do you believe you are entitled to a monopoly that is so out of reality is now threatening democracy itself?

PaulT (profile) says:

You Will Be Fine

“Getting paid or not getting paid”

False dichotomy, which not only assumes that using TPB will not get you paid, but that using traditional methods will. History is full of people with different experiences than the outcomes you assume…

“Where can I get a contract to get paid by the pirate bay and other sites operating illegally?”

Why do you think you need a contract to get paid by a system offering you free advertising?

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

But you guys don’t even want to pay once.
OK, let’s talk copyright, but you can’t negotiate copyright while you’re taking the product without paying for it.. not even once.
Everyone on your list gets paid at least once.
Are fashion items free, is coca cola free, the happy meal?
So why should records be free?

The eejit (profile) says:

Re:

+1. I may disagree with El-P on where his outlook is, but I can absolutely appreciate the why. A well-thought assessment of what may be needed in the copyright arena.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: being a human being and explaining why you’re unhappy with things is a lot better than demonizing the opposition in opening negotiations.

John Doe says:

Same could be said of the fans

In these debates (no matter what venue) the artist almost always seems to be treated/viewed as a child. Either we don’t understand what’s good for us, can’t control what’s happening to us, can’t comprehend what’s bad for us or we are not wise enough to be grateful for what we are handed. It’s a debate that rages on almost exclusively without the input of the artist themselves

This same thing could be said about how the fans/public are treated. The copyright industry is doing their best to turn the public into criminals and locking down content for forever minus a day. We get rootkits, DRM, FBI warnings, license servers that may or may not be up when we play our video games and so on. All this for people who actually paid for their content. As for the pirates, well they circumvent all this stuff so it is of no bother to them.

The artists are on the other side of the equation and often have little to no control over the situation as well. So what we are stuck with are the middlemen making a lot of noise trying to exert control over the rest of us. So what needs to happen? The middlemen need to be eliminated. They are quickly becoming unnecessary overhead and yet they have all the power. This needs to end.

Hopefully what you will find here is not a bunch of freetards and pirates, but people who are fully willing to pay for content and Mike advocating ways for artists to make money through smarter, modern business models.

BTW, thanks for stopping by, it is always nice to hear from someone on the other side of the equation.

Richard (profile) says:

honesty

the evidence is just not there, even in radiohead’s experiment the majority of people (62%) downloaded their album without paying for it.

And of those quite a few probably downloaded the album without listening to it (doen that a few times – even for things I have paid for)

and how many of those 62% would have paid if that was forced on them?

The point is never how many paople downloaded and didn’t pay. The only point is those who did pay and how much they paid.

I would regard anyone who received the amount of money Radiohead received for the amount of work they did and then proceeded to whine about the people who didn’t pay as an ungrateful idiot.

Richard (profile) says:

Re:

actually they do buy stuff, they buy video games which are harder to pirate, but not much music, which they can get for free.

Then the solution is to create music for video games then.

Seriously you need to accept that videogames have created a new option for entertainment spending – and that was always going to reduce the market for music, with or without piracy.

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

To all those saying “well why doesnt pirate bay give contracts to artists, if their sooo much better then media company’s, whahh whahh wahh”, which i might add, was started by some twat here, putting words in another commenters mouth, which is usually a sign of someone who values their own opinion above all else, truth honesty and betterment optional, but not required.

But back to my point, where is pirate bay gonna get this “mony” to pay artists?
What do you think would happen if pirate bay started a business model in order to earn “this cash” which they will be paying to the artists?
I tell you what will happen, more direct intervention and cock blocking by those in the same business, and then the inevitable techdirt whiners

” YOU SEE, bunch of thiefs making money of media company PROPERTIES, i was right always have been, in your face, freeterds”

While convienintly ignoring the reason behind it, and the “in your face” FACT, that these actions would create a direct competitor, in this case superior competitor in regards to delivery, to those that are trying to bash, shame, and creating laws to make it legal to essentially destroy competition

In a nut shell, to those particular techdirt commenters putting words in other peoples mouths in order to BASH, and that IS what their goal is, i say

“Fuck Y’all, kool aid drinking, motherfckers”

Stay stale, and rot, metaphysically speaking

Richard (profile) says:

Re:

The thing is, we know that the recorded music industry dropped 60% in the Napster decade. You would have to be more than slightly daft not to accept that there is some causation here.

No – there is only correlation – and here are some other correlated things

1) The cost of CD’s stays high – despite the fact that evryone knows they now cost pennies to make.

2) My generation have completed the process of replacing their vinyl with CD. I stopped buying CDs duriing that period – apart from purchases made direct from the artist at concerts.

The piracy hypothesis is not required to explain the figures.

Richard (profile) says:

You Will Be Fine

I dunno, maybe you can post the mental health records of David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Sting, Mick Fleetwood, Bruce Springsteen proving how crazy they were to sign a major label contract time and time and time again.

You cite artists who had long enough careers to survive the first contract. Once you are an established artist the deals are better because they know you can always walk away and get a better deal somewhere else.

Those artists you mention will have had a 2% royalty on their first deal (information supplied by Pete Townsend of The Who).

Richard Branson built a huge company on the basis of offering a better deal than the established labels – according to economic and business theory that should not be possible if those deals were already fair.

PaulT (profile) says:

honesty

“and how many of those 62% would have paid if that was forced on them?”

…and the other factor people who whine about this tend to ignore – how many downloaded for free, listened *then* decided to pay? IIRC there was no way to simply donate, so paying for another copy would have meant downloading a “paid” copy on top of the “free” copy, thus skewing the statistics.

Among the many assumptions made in this by the pro-label folks, the idea that someone may obtain an album for free, and then are guaranteed to never, ever pay a penny later on down the line is one of the silliest. It’s not only ridiculous, but it betrays an utter lack of understand of how people actually consume music.

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

Take a read at the comments, remember DeeLite? Well the singer replied and said that Lowery’s claims of 30%+ royalties were unheard-of in her circles. 12% was more realistic so she says.

I would not make the assumption that because Lowery claims the good ‘ol days were good and now sucks (the rest of his article(s) were mostly a rant and were built off the concept that you have to sell copies to make money, along with some anti-tech company banter with wrong assumptions for his rant).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Artists that say the every pirate just tells them to sell tshirts are dumb. They have proven that they have not read a damn thing. Look more into the articles of CwF+RtB. RtB does not say “sell tshirts and you’ll do fine.”

You want to be taken seriously? Stop cherrypicking a piece of the argument and extrapolating that premise to the entire argument, thus providing yourself with a strawman fallcy.

Instead read all presented premises and the actual argument presented. Otherwise expect backlash when you complain “you just want us to sell tshirts and give our music away” which isn’t want anyone here suggested.

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

Is the Pirate Bay taking ownership of their rights? No.

Is the Pirate Bay charging them fees for distribution? No.

Is the Pirate Bay providing them with an advance which they must fully recoup otherwise the artist has to declare bankruptcy to avoid paying back the advance? No.

Is the Pirate Bay making money off of the artist and charging them for services (but not paying for said service with the money they already made)? No.

Is the Pirate Bay’s income supporting the FREE distribution mechanism for any artist to disperse (or fans or enemies or people who just want to share and do care or don’t care) via ads but charging the artists nothing more? Yes.

Is the Pirate Bay loaded with money and charging users fees, in addition to ad-revenue, and raking in the cash? No (see the damn court case – proven they ain’t got the cash IFPI said they did).

So when you have a free service, that is free to you, should you be paid in addition to being provided a free distribution service? NO!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

“Nice rant, but you’re totally wrong. The “tech corporate fat cats” treat artists 100x better than record labels ever did, which is why the labels are running scared.”

That’s fantastic news, just show me that contract and terms from the Pirate Bay is issuing artists, and how much they are paying and we can compare that to a record label contract.

Don’t worry, I’ll wait for you to show me the contract artists are getting from the Pirate Bay? Uh what? The Pirate Bay actually makes 100% of the money and pays the artists 0% of the money… oh, yeah, that’s definitely 100xs better… for The Pirate Bay…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Spotify is NOT replacing radio. Radio wasn’t on demand. Spotify is actually launching an internet radio service to compete with Pandora. Man, you guys don’t even understand the most basic concepts do you?

Pandora = Radio. Spotify = Retail Subscription. Pandora = Win. Spotify = Fail.

Spotify is a disaster for artists, which is why many of them are leaving the service. Spotify in a panic is now launching a Pandora like service so that 1) no one can opt out (due to it being like radio and not retail) and 2) so they can grow a subscriber base to (hopefully) migrate to the on demand (not radio) service.

Pitching Spotify’s on demand service as a replacement for radio is an outright lie. Terrestrial radio is still the #1 driver for music sales. Spotify cannibalizes music sales.

You really need to educate yourself. Actually I’m sure you already know all this, it’s just in your interest to not tell the truth.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

hating on tech companies taking 100% of the money and paying the artists 0%. where are the contracts for artists to get paid from piracy?

tell you what, when google starts sharing the ad revenue with the artists they are monetizing advertising against on pirate sites you’ll have a point, until than you have the usual BS.

let’s just see how fair these artists contracts are from the pirate bay? Oh, what’s that? The pirate bay does not give artists contracts or payments? FAIL.

Anonymous Coward says:

honesty

Radiohead could only have made more because EMI invested millions and millions of dollars into the band being “Radiohead.”

For the bands without the support of millions in corporate financing there is no upshot. More music is stolen than purchased and if every band had no label, the numbers would not grow. Ask all the hobbyists on Tunecore making an average of $277 a year. Wow, that’s a living. That will pay the rent.

FAIL.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

And the price fixing had nothing to do with that.

Nor the fact that people were replacing worn out vinyl and stretched/chewed cassette tapes.

The devil is in the details and the only people will the full demographical information containing proof that new sales were dropping before Napster and people were replacing old, previous purchased formats are the labels. The same companies who won’t ever let that cat out of the bag because they know it would discredit their so-called studies. All we have are samples that prove such. No mass collection.

Want that proof? Indict the labels and subpoena their financial and data records.

Anonymous Coward says:

honesty

no, the point is the OP in this thread asserted, “I truly believe most fans will support the artists they like.”

that is not true as 62% of Radiohead FANS paid nothing for the bands album when the band gave them a choice to pay, or not. So this argument is FALSE.

you can move the goal posts, and you can change the conversation, but the fact remains the assertion that “fans will support the artists they like” is absolutely false if given the choice to obtain the album for free, even if illegally so.

FAIL, Next…

Anonymous Coward says:

honesty

They made more because they EMI had already spent millions making them “Radiohead.” Why don’t you show me an example of this model working for a band that wasn’t built on millions of dollars of promotion and marketing money?

Go ahead, let’s see that LIST of artists? You know like all the artists on Tunecore making an average of $2179 per year.

Wow, That’s success!

http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/stories/042511tunecore#dLuDbcK_0fMVeNKJf4N0QQ

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re:

That’s fantastic news, just show me that contract and terms from the Pirate Bay is issuing artists, and how much they are paying and we can compare that to a record label contract.

First, the Pirate Bay isn’t a label. Second, the Pirate Bay isn’t distributing music, they are pointing to where music is being distributed, and third, Pirate Bay is not the tech corporate fat cats.

You complain because nobody else understands what is going on here, but it is quite clear that you sir, are the clueless one.

But keep thrusting your fist in the air. Eventually you’ll stop the world, or get struck by lightening.

Karl (profile) says:

Re:

Spotify pays artists way less than any label ever did.

But they pay more than terrestrial radio, which is their closest analog equivalent.

You think I’m grateful to Google who post links to my work on pirate sites, then make some money from advertising off my loss.

You think Google posts links to your work on pirate sites? That’s utterly ridiculous. Not even the rabid Google haters claim this.

And none of the big “pirate sites” use Adwords. I’m sure there are a few that slip through the cracks, but almost none of Google’s profits come from them.

On the other hand, if you’re a YouTube partner, most people can make more money from YouTube videos than they ever could from traditional media companies. (Not hard, since the amount of money most artists make from traditional media companies is zero.)

Besides, “tech corporate fat cats” don’t just include Google and Spotify. It also includes iTunes (which pays much more directly to artists than labels ever did), Amazon, SoundCloud, CD Baby, Tunecore, etc.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

no cherry picking. simple logic. by telling artist the money is in t-shirts and touring, you are admitting there is no money for artists in the cyber/digital/online economy. that is self evident. if it needs further explaining I can’t help you.

also, forcing artists to make money from touring and merchandising is a step BACKWARDS. It’s not innovation to take a 40 year leap BACKWARDS. So much for your argument of innovation when the best thing you can offer is sending artists BACKWARDS 40 years.

if the online models were truly innovative they wouldn’t need to illegally exploit artists and creators to get the models to work. the models would work with innovative new content.

So where are all those bands and movies being financed by the pirate bay and other pirate sites? how come these guys have a business model ONLY when they can monetize the work and labor of someone else?

Even Google’s Chief Economist knows you are WRONG…

PaulT (profile) says:

Re:

OK, so Spotify is a retailer rather than a radio station. That still doesn’t make them a label nor a substitute for a label, which was your original claim.

Are you capable of presenting an argument without strawmen, misdirections and outright lies? Can you even keep up the same argument without moving goalposts every time you’re shown to be wrong? It really doesn’t look like it to me…

“Pitching Spotify’s on demand service as a replacement for radio is an outright lie. “

No, it’s not. That’s what I use it for, and I suspect a great many other people as well. For many people, it’s also a replacement for PIRACY (it’s usually far quicker and easier to stream a Spotify album than download a torrent of the album). That means people who would normally pirate actually pay for their content. Why do you oppose this?

“Spotify is a disaster for artists”

Citation needed. A few indie labels leaving doesn’t prove this, especially since most of those labels seem to have had the same panics over other services (e.g. eMusic).

At least provide a citation for how artists (not labels) get less from Spotify than they did from labels, because all the figures I’ve seen suggest the opposite…

“Spotify in a panic is now launching a Pandora like service”

Huh? Sorry if I’m not sure what the hell you’re blathering on about here, not least because unlike Pandora, I’m actually permitted to use Spotify. Care to explain?

“Terrestrial radio is still the #1 driver for music sales.”

Citation needed.

“Spotify cannibalizes music sales. “

Citation needed.

“You really need to educate yourself.”

Oh yes, everybody else is wrong apart from you, yet you fail to present even a shred of proof for your own claims. I wonder why…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Did you pay royalties for the people who enable you to be a musician like the software people, hardware manufacturers, car manufacturers, farmers and so forth?

No, why should Google has to pay anything to you then?
They don’t use anything from you, their job is to index the web and they do that and you want a cut?

That is why don’t feel sorry for you people.
Pirates should take it all and give nothing because you guys are not worth anything.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

“No they actually file lawsuits claiming that crap and get bitch slapped in courts all over the world.”

looks to me like it was Jaime Thomas and Joel Tenenbaum who got bitch slapped. Even a Harvard Law Prof couldn’t argue effectively against the illegal exploitation of artists work without consent or compensation.

FAIL.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re:

One of the recent developments I’ve noticed in the ACs’ loosening grip on reality is that now they’re flailing out against anybody in the tech sector, regardless of their actual role. They seem to be trying to apply the same expectations on the likes of Spotify and Tunecore as they would a record label, even though they do completely different things. They whine about Amazon and Apple not doing the same things as a traditional book publisher, despite the fact they don’t claim to. They whine that Kickstarter don’t get directly involved in the businesses they help fund, even though that’s not their aim nor their remit.

They’re increasingly not even addressing reality at this point. It’s pathetic, but it makes countering their “points” a lot easier…

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

Is the Pirate Bay paying artists anything. NO.

Is the Pirate Bay respecting artists. NO.

Is the Pirate Bay sharing the profit with artists. NO.

The pirate bay is NOT a free service, nor does it provide the artists with any service. The Pirate Bay is a FOR PROFIT company making 100% of the money and paying artists 0%.

If anything you are saying is true, than why not let the artists decide for themselves? Hmmm… probably because the pirate bay has no business without illegally exploiting artists and keeping 100% of the money… that number again is the pirate bay keeping 100% of the money and paying artists ZERO percent.

FAIL.

Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

honesty

You do realize there are a bunch of ways to support an artist right? Radiohead routinely sells out HUGE concerts. And the 62% figure from their experiment does not take into account anyone who also went out and bought the album at a record store or from somewhere online. Pre-release sales of that album beat their previous album, which was not available for free. The vinyl edition was also the top-selling vinyl album of the year.

Radiohead is doing just fine. Their fans are rabidly supporting them. You can’t just pluck one figure and claim that it proves it’s “FALSE” that people want to support artists.

Lowestofthekeys (profile) says:

honesty

Here’s a response from Jeff Price, head of Tunecore, on that:

” … if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts, we are not going to be able to solve our problems…[W]e get distracted by side shows and carnival barkers…”

This “average income” conversation is the strangest I think I have come across in quite some time. First off, the “Average” income is a useless, silly and non-sensical figure to calculate. Some artists make a lot of money from the sale of their music, others make a moderate amount and still others make very little. I’m not certain what the point is. It would be the same as stating the average amount of money for a band on a major label is Lady GaGa + Eminem + Jay-Z’s income added into all the other bands and then divided. Huh?

In addition, revenue generated is not limited to income from the sale of music: this is a calculation that those unfamiliar with the industry tend to quote. The instant an artist writes or records an original song, whether writing it down on a cocktail napkin or singing it into an iPhone, the artist gets six exclusive legal copyrights as granted by the government.

These six legal copyrights (in no particular order) are:

Reproduction
Derivatives
Public Display
Public Performance
Distribution
Digital Transmission

Each one generates revenue for the songwriter/artist. The sale of music just touches on one of the six, “Distribution.” The other five also generate revenue, and in some cases, that money comes to more than what they make on the sale of the music. And then there is merch income, touring income and many more (Future Of Music Coalition is going a great study on this)

But the real story is that actually more music being distributed, bought, sold, streamed, shared, discovered and generating revenue now than at any point in history We are sitting in the middle of a transformation of a sector, and the conversation is about a silly useless statistic around dividing Lady Gags’s income into other people’s bottom line?

There are hundreds of thousands of artists who, for the first time, have access to distribution and the opportunity to be discovered, and are actually making at least some money off their art. No, not everyone is going to be a mega superstar–to suggest as much is ridiculous (and also why the major labels have a historical 98% failure rate). Yes, there are still the mega superstars, but now we have an emerging lower, middle and upper class of musicians who are able to generate revenue, fame and notoriety through their craft.

Let’s not get distracted by the sideshows, carnival barkers of other pseudo music sites who make up silly little numbers to be sensational in an attempt to drive web traffic to make money off advertising.

Jeff Price
TuneCore

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

what’s desperate is the attempt to justify the wrong doing of the pirate bay who make 100% of the money and pay artists 0%.

that’s ZERO money paid to artists. ZERO.

That’s desperate indeed that a business model is sooooo bad, that it requires ripping off artists 100% so that they can make their MILLIONS.

Labels Pay Artists. Pirates Don’t.

jupiterkansas (profile) says:

honesty

I read that as 62% of the people who would have never bought my album are now listening to it. That’s much better than having a bunch of people NOT listen to my music.

How does El-P expect me to become a fan? Because of his clever name? I have to hear the music first. The first goal is to get the music into everyone’s ears. If radio’s not going to do it for you, what are your options.

Artists complain about people downloading for free, but they have no qualms about people watching their video for free (which is actually much more work to produce), or streaming the music for free, or hearing it on the radio for free. From the fan’s point of view – what’s the difference?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

and uhm, labels actually pay the artists, and pirates actually don’t. so when it comes time to pay the rent, it’s better to get paid.

but what’s worse is, if an artist doesn’t sign to a label, they still can’t get paid from pirates (who are making 100% of the money)

so you are asking artists to not get paid, so that they can have no hope of getting paid for the consumption of their music.

asking artists to tour and sell t-shirts is an outright admission that there is no money for musicians in the online economy, and further more, it’s a step backwards of about 40-50 years… that’s how artists did it before the internet and you want them to go backwards not forwards.

of course anyone can put an album up via tunecore, but the average tunecore artist is only making $179 a year…

http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/stories/042511tunecore#dLuDbcK_0fMVeNKJf4N0QQ

Anonymous Coward says:

honesty

The point, Marcus, is that the potential of such “DIY” services, as a replacement for label support, have been routinely overblown. If you support art and artists, then ultimately you do want some of them to have the chance to make an okay living from their work. For now, the label system is helping artists do that far more than Tunecore or the battery of “DIY” services.

Anonymous Coward says:

honesty

and guess which gig is actually paying the bills? youtube or glee? hmmm, let me guess… Glee.

same with beiber, is youtube paying the bills or interscope records. hmmm, let me guess… Interscope Records.

pick a lie and stick to it.

you are just pointing out how youtube can’t support artists and they need to get real gigs that really pay. thanks for making the point so clear.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

wow, just wow, what a great work of delusion fiction.

pretty much everything you’ve posted is dead wrong, but here’s one biggie…

“Terrestrial radio is still the #1 driver for music sales.”
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2011/12/active-vs-passive-fans-why-radio-tv-still-rank-tops-for-music-discovery-best-of-hypebot.html

Spotify is NOTHING like radio. Radio sells records, Spotify cannibalizes sales.

http://www.tested.com/news/news/3194-music-distributor-pulls-200-small-labels-from-spotify-and-rdio/

“A recent study conducted by NPD Group and NARM found that streaming music services like Spotify and Rdio are detrimental to the sales of individual pieces of music. “

http://digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2012/120207mccartney

http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2012/120113vanhalen

http://www.vh1.com/music/tuner/2011-12-13/the-black-keys-discuss-their-controversial-spotify-decision/

Richard (profile) says:

honesty

In the end you have to consider basic economic maths. The money the labels pay doesn’t come from them – it comes from fans. Fans only have a limited amount of disposable income. They will spend that on music whatever the system. Taking the middlemen out of the equation can only mean lore money for musicians. One side effect is that now we have a larger number of musicians making less money each. There are winners and losers from this – but overall musicians are winners.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

why is the tech sector so worried about what artists think? why not just keep on illegally exploiting artists work and profiting in the millions just as they have for the past decade? I don’t see why you should even care. carry on, just keep ripping off artists, and just keep doing it worse than any label ever did… yup, tech are the good guys, screwing artists in new and inventive ways the labels weren’t smart enough to do… yup, it takes a different kind of self entitled selfishness to screw artists in a way that only tech companies and engineers could dream up.

carry on, just keep ripping off artists, that always ends well. you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all of the time.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Tell you what when you understand what a search engine does we can talk because you just sound like an idiot when you say Google monetize artists and forget that Google actually monetizes everybody and it is legal to do so they broke no law, but you seem to think that indexing your shitty crap is somewhat different and should get a cut?

Blood sucking leech that is what you are.

The Pirate Bay is not a label either so why should they have the need for a contract, further since they are not the ones doing the sharing why are they responsible? because they didn’t block something you wanted it censored?

Torg (profile) says:

honesty

“what data we do have is that 62% of the bands FANS decided not to pay the band for their album.”

No, the data we have is that 62% of albums were acquired without payment. That does not necessarily translate to 62% of fans getting it without payment. For one thing, a person can download an album and then buy it if they like it, contributing to both slices of the pie chart. Then there’s the people who hadn’t heard of the band before, and so at the time of downloading could not be considered fans.

And even discounting those, you’re still getting mad at the fact that that number of people didn’t buy the album. I can’t begin to count the number of albums that I haven’t bought; whether or not I’ve listened to them doesn’t have any financial effect on the artist.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

How exactly is the tech sector ripping off artists in any way?
The ones apparently doing the ripping off are artists not tech, and talking about ripping off those same artists should be more concerned with their own support platforms(i.e. labels) which are infamous for doing exactly that.

As for pirates, well I hope they continue to rip you off, from today till the end of times, because that is exactly what you people deserve.

Anonymous Coward says:

honesty

the wild west wasn’t wild forever, and neither will the internet be, so “for now” there is lawlessness, but it won’t be that way forever. so yes, I’m good with where we are at “for now” as you realize the current path is unsustainable for the tech industry illegally exploiting artists without consent or compensation.

Cowardly Anonymous says:

You Will Be Fine

Copyright: the right to make copies.

“So why should records be free”

They shouldn’t, there is physical stuff in a record.

A digital copy, however, doesn’t cost a darn thing.

Kickstarter is successful because it moves things to commission model, where you get paid (once) up front and anything else is gravy. This is also the model for work for hire, but that will lock you out of your own work.

The commission model is very likely to be the future of copyright industries.

Picture this, a new artist makes a work on the side and releases it while asking for donations so they can spend more time making future works. Once they have a decent fan base and have proven themselves, they make a transition to crowd funding sources and full time artistry.

Before you go saying that someone can’t make a living that way, I’d encourage you to check out some of the more popular webcomics. It generally takes a few years, but the donations eventually reach a point where they can quit any other job they have and go full-time artist. There is no onus on anyone to ever pay beyond understanding that paying means the artist keeps making art, and that is actually sufficient.

No, you won’t strike it big going down this road, but you also won’t have to play by the rules of a corporate entity or worry about being dropped or scammed. There is no big leap of faith, as you just need to get a small sample out there every so often to start attracting fans, and you’ll have a solid metric to judge the transition.

It is harder for established artists to make the transition, but most already have the fan base and it is more finding the way to make the connection that is difficult. Kickstarter and social media tend to work pretty well though. I’d recommend advertising a social media outlet of choice if you’re going to make the jump over, and then doing an event to introduce the donate button.

In short, you’re still watching the water and the dam, when El P has specifically stated that he’s looking to build a boat. He wants to talk with a carpenter, you’re directing him to masons.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

the pirate bay pays artists ZERO money. ZERO. they are illegally exploiting the artists work without consent or compensation. if they have such a great model either 1) let the artist decide to participate or not, and/or 2) pay the artist.

your right the pirate bay is not a record label. record labels PAY artists. the pirate bay keeps 100% of the money for themselves. uh, yeah, that’s fair. 100% Greed.

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

http://www.amptoons.com/blog/2003/09/12/how-record-labels-exploit-bands/

Hey, TPB sounds better than this:

“For instance, if the artists grosses $3 million dollars, that translates to $750,000 of profit for the record label. How much does a band member get? $4031.25.

But not really. Because the band is also $14,000 in debt to the record company. So for a deal which gave the label $750,000 profit, the band profits approximately $5,000. Put another way, after all expenses are accounted for, and everyone but the band and the label has been paid, of the remaining money 99.4% is paid to the label; the remainder is paid to the artists.”

Anonymous Coward says:

honesty

Further, lets be clear here – the number of albums owned by people is increasing, not decreasing (the MP3 generation) – yet the sales of recorded music are 60% lower than they were pre-MP3.

One can very easily draw a conclusion that, the arrival of MP3s and piracy have directly lead to the falling recorded music sales.

It would seem that the numbers correlate very nicely here. Denying it is pretty much admitting you don’t want to see anything that blows up your pro-piracy views.

Cowardly Anonymous says:

You Will Be Fine

The Pirate Bay doesn’t make the decisions either, the users do. The Pirate Bay just offers a way to find torrents, just as Google offers a way to find domain names. The difference is that The Pirate Bay has gone out of its way to try and help artists with promotions.

Yep, definitely a horrible wretched hive of scum and villainy there. /s

Tor is an internet protocol. The Pirate Bay is a search engine. Go after the host of the infringing tracker, for there is the distributor.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

You have obviously never used spotify if you think there is no discovery. I can see what my friends and acquaintances listen to and check that out. I can search for playlists with bands I like. I find tons of new music on spotify.

radio wasn’t on demand. Right like I said services evolve.

spotify does not sell records. My credit card statements say otherwise.

Anonymous Coward says:

honesty

Correction, 62% of PEOPLE downloaded it didn’t pay.

What percentage of the 62% were fans? Citation needed.

What percentage of the 62% purchased the album physically or purchased the album by downloading it again, paying for it this time?

What percentage of the 62% purchased other material from Radiohead?

You do not have the answers and you cannot assume, because you want to produce an argument, what you have no evidence for.

And when supplied evidence from IFPI is mathematically impossible, their studies lose credibility.

Anonymous Coward says:

honesty

“that is true as 62% of the people who downloaded a free Radiohead album paid nothing for the bands album when the band gave them a choice to pay or not. But all of their fans paid for it and they made more money then they did on any label record they released so this statement is TRUE.”

FTFY

Not to mention that each download was probably not a unique person. You also don’t know how many people that never bought a radiohead album before bought that one.

A monkey with Attititude says:

Thanks

First thank you El for your input and thoughts, it helps to show the real people affected are the artist (and all the talk by both sides seems to leave this out).

Just so you know by doing this I have now heard of you and will check out your album, and if I like it I will purchase it, if not I wish you success (and I may still buy it to support you because you spoke out reasonably and intellengently and should be rewarded for it in a time when so few do).

drew (profile) says:

You Will Be Fine

Yep, I get to make the choice for myself, but when it comes to material being released back into the public domain, that choice appears to be only at the behest of the legacy industry players. Funny that.
But I digress.
Yes, I choose to accept how the world is working and use that to my advantage. Not accepting this doesn’t seem like a good solution to me, let me know how it works out for you.
As to the Pirate Bay, dude, I would love to be significant enough to figure on the Pirate Bay. That would tell me that people actually liked my music enough to consider sharing it.
But it one of my friends lends a copy of my album to a friend of theirs (and they take a copy) i don’t expect them to pay me either…
I appreciate that there’s a lot of stuff on this thread and you probably haven’t read my previous post, so I’ll clarify. I’m an average musician. That’s all. So yes, I work a day job, I will always work a day job. In the label model that’s all that would be open to me. In the new model I can get a few fans and a few contributions from across the globe that both helps me cover a few costs but also gives me a nice little boost about what I do.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

“of course anyone can put an album up via tunecore, but the average tunecore artist is only making $179 a year”

Yes when anyone can put an album up the average an artist makes goes down. I can upload myself farting on a snare drum it won’t sell but it can be on there. It brings down the average of the talented acts that do make money. Also these are acts that did not have access to this revenue stream before. Going from 0 a year to 179 a year is a 80 bazillion % increase.

Also every time you say that the average goes down. At least keep your bullshit straight.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

1) Wrong assumption, still strawman with the “tshirt and touring” argument and the denial that copies can’t earn money
2) Wrong understanding, copies do not ALWAYS equate to money – meaning you can’t say that selling copies is guaranteed income because it isn’t – which does NOT mean you cannot sell copies, just means you can’t guarantee it will be income
3) Exploitation? Talk to Billy Corgan about that, no one exploited artists more than the labels
4) Pirate Bay does NOT make enough money to provide FREE distribution AND advances to artists — can you stop insisting otherwise?
5) “How come these guys have a business model ONLY when they can monetize the work and labour of someone else” — that’s EXACTLY what a label does!

The work of the artist, producer, mixer, marketing people, etc… – they monetize the work and labour of someone else – provide a loan (and ARE PAID BACK so don’t hand me that “unrecouped loss” funded by successful acts) which is akin to your bank lending you $50000 for your dream store you want to open, of which you have to pay for the tellers and loan officers who worked with you, pay for storage of your information in the banking system, and the bank takes all your revenue and gives you back a small portion, from which you have to pay back the $50000. But you can’t buy any merchandise to sell because you didn’t earn a profit despite selling everything in the store, so you have to get another loan for $20000 to buy stock. Now you’re in debt to them $70000 and they take all your revenue and give you a pittance.

Don’t you get it? The Pirate Bay is not a bank lending you money and taking your revenue. The Pirate Bay provides the roads to your store so people can find you and your stock. And it is free, you didn’t have to pay for those roads to be installed.

You want to compete with free? Give THEM A REASON TO BUY and THEY WILL!!!! Otherwise the downloaders who never would have bought anyhow will listen to you in the background while they play Wii (which they PAID for – that is the money they COULD have paid to you if you gave them more of a reason than “I recorded this”).

The real problem is competition now exists amongst the entertainment industry members. It’s no longer movies and music. It’s movies/music/video games (no longer a fringe group – but instead mainstream!!!!)/social networks etc.. some people pay for some they don’t.

Who is going to pay for music if they don’t feel they get anything from it and would rather play video games free on Facebook while chatting with friends?

What is their incentive to purchase the music? If they are a fan, that’s the incentive.

You have NO idea who was a fan and who was not, neither does Radiohead or EMI. So cut the “62% fan” bullshit.

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

This guy has to be a troll. I can’t believe anyone can be so stupid, so bad at having a rational discussion, so horrible at following the thread of conversation and constantly reaching for strawmen without doing it on purpose.

Do people like this really exist? Is this level of pigheaded stupidity real? Even the labels know it isn’t really about piracy its about control of the market. This guy…this guy can’t be for real.

AzureSky (profile) says:

Re:

thats pretty funny, considering spotify is alot like youtube, and I have bought alot of music due to youtube music videos (user made) that featured songs from a band i had never even heard of.

I even imported a few pieces from the EU because nobody sold them on this side of the pond.

I also know many people who use “internet radio” or “streaming music” services and just set it to random so they can hear new stuff, one of my friends has bought thousands of songs thanks to services like slacker radio and spotify….

Your lies also suggest you cant find new music via torrents, and funny enough, I have found alot of what I have bought over the years via torrents as well, because I was able to find it free at good quality and try it….

to this day, I will que up some random stuff thats popular and give it a listen, if I like it, I buy it(on cd, never buy mp3’s or aac files, quality sucks compared to a good flac rip.)

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

Is the Pirate Bay CHARGING the artists anything? NO and they are not OFFERING anything beyond distribution for free.

And what rights are they not respecting? Infringement by pointing PEOPLE (the subclass could be fans and another subclass could be non-fans who just want music numbers because that’s impressive to chicks).

The Pirate Bay is not a free service? Citation needed on that one. Since when does the Pirate Bay send bills to artists for distributing their work?

How much money does the Pirate Bay make? The court case proved they make barely enough to survive.

Who gives a shit if they are for profit, their profits are covering the costs of free distribution! Yes free to any artist who wants to.

True, some don’t want it and they are lucked out because people (some might be instantiated objects of the sub-people class known as “fans”, or in Java, class Fans extends People) share. But those sharing who ARE fans or who WOULD NOW BECOME fans WILL pay if they feel to do so.

Again it does NOT matter if the Pirate Bay is for profit, they use their profits to pay for their service, which is NOT charged to the users. If it were, then you could have a point, but since TPB does NOT charge for the service, it is NOT a requirement that they PAY artists for their FREE service.

And quite with the “FAIL” bullshit, you sound like a damn kid. Grow up. Attempting to sound witty when you argue does not improve your chances of winning an argument.

And again, TPB IS free and DOES provide a service – it’s called exposure and distribution, and many artists ARE taking advantage of that.

Anonymous Coward says:

honesty

No, artists who go in half-assed get little. Artists who let go of the “old days” mentality and give it all they got, work with people who are marketers and managers who are NOT out to maximize profits, will do well and do.

Look at what artists really do when they succeed. And don’t forget, just because you can sing and play a guitar does NOT mean people feel your creative efforts are worth paying for!

Right now ANYONE can release music or art online, but NOT anyone will be able to earn a living at it. This is NO different from the days before the web when the Gatekeepers (labels/movie studios) decided what was exposed and what was not.

So here ANYONE can release and EVERYONE WHO DOES HAS A FAIR CHANCE! But does NOT mean that everyone who releases will be a success.

Why are major label big earners losing some cash, competition! There’s more art being created and more forms of entertainment (especially since video games went mainstream). That’s why there’s less money for people, but there’s still enough for people to earn a living.

You won’t be rich, but you CAN earn a living.

Caveat: you are NOT entitled to earn a living, you have to have created something people want!!! There’s no gatekeeper. If people don’t want your material or only a few do, you won’t be fileshared much either, so blaming piracy for being unpopular is NOT a means of dealing with the situation.

But that’s what we have. “Oh I suck but if I was with a label I’d have more money than Google will give me.” Sorry but if you’re not popular now, you would not even be on a label or you’d be dropped for not being profitable. And then without the internet, you would not even be heard!!! that’s ZERO chance of exposure or income!

That’s reality. Not a whole lot has changed except you have to do more yourself and you don’t have a gatekeeper preventing you from trying and failing. 20 yrs ago you would not even be given that chance. Don’t forget that!!!

PaulT (profile) says:

honesty

It’s the AC moron playbook: make false/unsupportable accusations and claims, change the subject when challenged, when finally cornered act like a 3 year old throwing a hissy fit, throw out random insults and then disappear to the next thread to do the same again.

It’s stupid, but I fear there’s more than one person actually sticking to this tactic, which is as pathetic as it is counter-productive, but there you go…

Jay (profile) says:

Re:

This is why nuanced argument is lost on most shills, they never notice the “devil in the details” approach that most people on Techdirt look into. Instead, they can’t support their arguments so they must try to inundate people.

Active vs Passive

I am doubting that the study is as nuanced as need be. In it, it says that 80% of the people considered active find new music from people they’re fans of. This begs the question of how does a respondent become a fan via the study? I doubt they’ve asked that question but maybe you can point to the answer for me.

Spotify is NOTHING like radio. Radio sells records, Spotify cannibalizes sales.

What’s amazing is how you’ve stated this assertion but can’t notice what has occurred in the interim. Spotify is its own platform. And seeing as Mike already posted about how they’re making more money, they don’t seem to be cannibalizing sales, they’re just learning how to make better toys for artists.

A recent study conducted by NPD Group and NARM found that streaming music services like Spotify and Rdio are detrimental to the sales of individual pieces of music.

Key caveat. Individual, as in singular. Such as CDs and tapes. The unbundling of the CD has been going strong since that Napster days.

But still, just this one aspect may be occurring but that doesn’t mean artists aren’t making money.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re:

“wow, just wow, what a great work of delusion fiction. “

What? Me asking for citations and giving an example of my own personal Spotify usage to back me up? Which claims exactly are delusional?

Reality = delusion to you it seems, explains a lot, but at least you’ve provided multiple citations instead of just the insults this time. Let’s have a look…

Hypebot link: some commentary on a study (which I don’t seem to be able to access with paying for it). The NPD link itself says the following:

“AM/FM radio and family/friends/coworkers are the most common avenues for discovery, and discovery via online radio and Web videos were also important for the most active music fans. “

So, while they’re still the major drivers, but are being complemented and/or replaced by other media. So, while what you say is technically true – for how long? It also doesn’t address Spotify specifically, and doesn’t mention the scope of the study. I’d assume US only from how it’s discussed, so I’ll take that with a pinch of salt, especially since Spotify would have been available for less than 4 months in the US before the study was published.

Realistic conclusion: doesn’t say a damn thing about Spotify, and you’re an asshole for calling me a liar when I related my own usage of the service. I’d expect the next study to find major changes since Spotify became mainstream in the US and beyond.

Tested.com link: says exactly what I asked you not to use as a crutch (some labels, mostly affiliated with each other have pulled out). It’s an opinion piece on the news that some labels pulled out, but doesn’t address anything I asked you to cite. Some LABELS are unhappy with Spotify (and Rdio)’s rates. That doesn’t mean that ARTISTS (as per your initial claim) are suffering. It also doesn’t prove a damn thing about your claim that Spotify cannibalises sales other than that some legacy players are scared of that. Well, duh….

Realistic conclusion: you’ve got nothing.

..and oh dear, the last bunch of idiocy:

1st link – says nothing about why the albums were pulled. Also states “That of course encompasses Spotify, though a representative emailed Digital Music News on Wednesday morning to clarify that removals on Spotify actually happened in 2010.”, when Spotify was a hell of a lot smaller than it is now.

2nd link – Has sod all to do with whether sales are being affected, as it notes that an exclusive period had ended with iTunes and that was causing the delay. Also states “The label screwed up”. Also ends with this: “Updated, Saturday, 4:15 pm PCT: The track has now been reinstated on Spotify.”. Also states that Amazon sales were affected by the same action. Is this what you consider evidence of your claims, because it actually states the exact opposite?

3rd link: An opinion from a band, so nothing binding and nothing to show which data they’re basing this on. There’s more there than in your other links, but this an opinion, and realistically means nothing more than the opinions of those who are there and happy with the service without additional data.

Realistic conclusion – you’re talking out of your ass again. You provided 2 links that have nothing to do with what you were claiming, and one that’s an opinion at best.

Do you have any REAL DATA to back your assertions up? Thought not… back to our regularly scheduled service where AC pretends that Spotify is a record label and personally attacks those who point out he’s wrong…

AzureSky (profile) says:

honesty

another point is, how many downloads from the didnt pay catagory where record lable people downloading to scew the numbers and try and drive radiohead back into the “right” way to do things?

dont tell me that the lables dont do stuff like this, because they have been caught at it quite a few times, having their reps seed stuff just so they can send dmca notices out or even sue people….pretty dishonest if you ask me….

PaulT (profile) says:

Re:

I love the fact that you people use the examples of LEGAL service to attack people now. Guess what, if you assholes had licensed legal services 15 years ago when people first demanded it, you wouldn’t be in this mess!

“carry on, just keep ripping off artists,”

Like I proven to you and your ilk many, many times, I’ll continue to consume music legally. Then I’ll laugh my ass off because your ultimate failure could have been avoided if you’d listened to people like me telling you what they want. Instead, you attacked us as “pirates” when we tried telling you how to take our money. You refused my money, sorry, it’s your own fault.

PaulT (profile) says:

honesty

One could make those assumptions. they would be totally wrong, for reasons explained to you and those like you many, many times.

“It would seem that the numbers correlate very nicely here.”

It also correlates to people buying singles instead of albums. Also to the rise in popularity in DVD sales. Also to the rise of videogame sales. Also to the rise in the price of gasoline in the US. Also to the unemployment rate. Also to the availability of hybrid cars and the rise in smartphones leading to planking, probably.

“It would seem that the numbers correlate very nicely here.”

Everything looks like a nail to a hammer owner. That doesn’t mean you can make my TV work by smashing it with a hammer.

Anonymous Coward says:

honesty

Google had 0 dollars 30 years ago. The music industry made X% of money spent in America 30 years ago.

Now the music industry only makes Y% and google makes billions. Therefore any difference between y% and x% is money google steals from the record labels.

Of course ignore all the other new options for entertainment that are taking money use to spend on music. Because if people couldn’t get free music they wouldn’t buy these other things because they NEED music. The fucking NEED our content they are shitty pop music junkies. We spend millions on marketing getting them to need this content. No way someone could just play video games all the time without playing their pirated Bibier cds.

/retard

I imagine its some kind of broken logic like that. Works for any *woe is me, piracy!* industry.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

posted real data, provide your real data.

citations please.

again:

“Terrestrial radio is still the #1 driver for music sales.”
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2011/12/active-vs-passive-fans-why-radio-tv-still-rank-tops- for-music-discovery-best-of-hypebot.html

Spotify is NOTHING like radio. Radio sells records, Spotify cannibalizes sales.

http://www.tested.com/news/news/3194-music-distributor-pulls-200-small-labels-from-spotify-and-r dio/

“A recent study conducted by NPD Group and NARM found that streaming music services like Spotify and Rdio are detrimental to the sales of individual pieces of music. “

Anonymous Coward says:

You Will Be Fine

Again, even more simple:
Fees to Pirate Bay by artists or users for distribution service: 0%

Therefor, percentage of operating revenue delivered to users or artists for using the service free of charge: 0%

Hence, profits to Pirate Bay: 100%

NOTE: a company that keeps 100% of its profits does not necessarily mean they are rich, case and point, The Pirate Bay.

khory (profile) says:

honesty

I don’t think you are correct in saying that people own more albums. A lot of people buy tracks, not albums. They buy the one or two songs they like for a couple bucks and avoid the filler that most albums are full of.

The advent of MP3s made unbundling possible for the consumer so there is a correlation to that and declining sales, but not for the reasons you were implying.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

“evidence that suing fans and promotion of draconian laws and enforcement, along with alienation of consumers, ignorance to economics of disposable income, Maslov’s hierarchy of needs, concepts of competition, concepts of monopolistic control and price fixing” all detrimental to an even greater extent than Spotify or RDio to the sales of individual pieces of music.

None as detrimental as quality and obscurity.

And you don’t graduate from obscurity with the help of terrestrial radio, playing pre-approved play-lists (supported via payola).

BTW, citing two articles, one which refers to the second as the source of information, really doesn’t count as two separate points.

That’s the same as “John says Elvis is alive” and “Chris says John says Elvis is alive” counting as two separate sources, which they do not.

Ophelia Millais says:

Re:

If El-P does continue to get paid without “fighting for it” and singing for his supper every night, are you going to publicly eat crow and advocate copyright reform, or are you just going to continue to stand under the bridge and shout at every passerby that artists and everyone else in the music is starving on the streets because of piracy?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

If spotify is really that harmful then no label would be on there. It wouldn’t just be a bunch of indie wub wub bands pulling out it would be the majors.

“the Spotify model is adding, and will continue to add, huge value to the music industry. Right now we have already convinced millions of consumers to pay for music again, to move away from downloading illegally and therefore generate real revenue for the music business.
In addition, ?revenue per stream? totally misses the point when considering the value generated by Spotify. The relevant metrics are: 1) how many people are being monetized by Spotify; 2) who these people are (usually young people previously on pirate services which generate nothing for artists and rightsholders); and 3) how much revenue per user Spotify generates for rightsholders.”

We can all quote shit its fun isn’t it?

“Home Taping Is Killing Music” Look I qouted someone saying radio would be the death of music. I guess that means its true right?

“Phonographs and Player Pianos Will Kill Music!”
The sky, the sky is falling!

As far as your love of terrestrial radio, did you actually read the study, or even the press release? https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/news/pressreleases/pr_111110
It doesn’t paint the picture you think it does.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

“?Committed? consumers are the youngest group, with a mean age of 32 (20 percent are age 13 to 17; 42 percent are 18 to 35). They represent 10 percent of all consumers who listened to or purchased music within the prior three months. ?Committed? consumers also account for 46 percent of per-capita spending on music, and they are the most engaged consumers in the report. While they use a variety of discovery sources ? including radio, video, streaming, and movies ? they also value ownership, and they are the most open to discovering new artists. They find their current means to discover new music is good, but still wonder if they are missing something.”

The larger groups who get their “new” music from radio, don’t buy much music and prefer “new” music from familiar bands. You are talking about old people who find out on the radio that one of the three artists they still listen to released a new album.

The smaller groups spend the majority of the money. And they do their discovery on new media. But hey skew the data and try to make it look like the sky is green and your ass is clean. Maybe you’ll even buy your own bullshit.

fairusefriendly (profile) says:

honesty

an how many of those people had not heard radio head and simple gave them a try because the content is free.

you might want to read the statement you are responding too

I truly believe most fans will support the artists they like.

people who haven’t decided if they like the band yet are not fans.

They won’t be fans until the next album.

Oh and btw radio head now has all those people on their mailing list.

And they made more money selling those new fans tickets/merchandise/old albums/ pushing them to their youtube videos and collecting ad payments/ then they would have made selling them the album at full price given the standard record deals.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Haha, you never do your research do you?

“[The reason] why this is so debated is that is it is a perceptional issue,” added Edgar Berger, president and CEO, international, Sony Music Entertainment, who also spoke at the Digital Music Report launch. “Obviously, for streaming you get way less then you get for a download, but it streams so often and for such a long period then in the long run actually the money might be higher and it’s incremental.”

http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/record-labels/rob-wells-universal-music-s-global-digital-1005968752.story

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

I really, desperately hope the music industry gets all the regulation you want, just so that you have to live through the hell that it would be.

If you’re an artist and you’re not making the money you want to, I’ll give you a hint- The problem isn’t the mean internet people taking your money away. Either not enough people know who you are, or you’re music is shitty. Given that you’re not even advertising who you are in this thread, where thousands of people would see your name and, even if they despise you, might take a moment to listen to your work, I’d bet the answer is that you’re just absolutely terrible at promoting yourself. So, you can work on the problem you can solve (promoting yourself better) or you can yell angrily into the night that your life should be handled for you and everything should be simple and easy for artists.

Go ahead, try out both solutions, come back and tell me which one works better…

Ophelia Millais says:

Re:

Even if your claim about there being no money for artists online were true, why do you feel they are entitled to continue having X% of their income be derived from selling copies of their work (and/or selling at a particular price point)? Talk about being stuck in the past. It is not my job, as a consumer, to ensure that artist revenue sources remain within certain proportions to each other!

Anonymous Coward says:

honesty

Why do you jump to the conclusion that it is inevitable? How do you know this to be true? You don’t. So, right there we have identified a key leap in logic on your part. No one knows how things will shake out, or if they ever will. Hence, the wisdom of entrusting artists with the right to decide the best course for themselves, whatever that may be. If labels are as awful as some people here make them out to be, well, obviously artists would gradually (or perhaps abruptly) cease to partner with them. Artists aren’t stupid.

But that hasn’t happened. Just ask A$AP Rocky or Azalea Banks or Bon Iver or Neon Indian or Best Coast. They are choosing the label. Just because you perceive one change or another occurring (and clearly we are observing a massive amount of change in many directions) doesn’t mean you can reasonably extrapolate it to some binary extreme that happens to be convenient for your argument. It just isn’t sound reasoning.

writeem (profile) says:

Question

I’m a songwriter. Just wondering how I, and all the other behind the scenes types who create the content that drives 99% of p2p traffic, get paid? We don’t gig (been there, done that), sell CD’s or T shirts, we license music to those who do.
Just checked today’s top 10 search results for mp3raid, where my songs are always found, making $ for everybody w every click-everybody but me of course.
Interesting that all are either from a major label, or an “indie” financed and distributed by a major. Bet the same is true for most p2p’d movies. If the labels and studios are so hated, why, in 2012, are they still responsible for the creations everybody, especially p2p’rs wants?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re:

Repeating the same links you already posted – and I discredited with no actual defense from you – is hardly a compelling tactic.

“Spotify is NOTHING like radio. Radio sells records, Spotify cannibalizes sales.”

Unproven, and my personal experiences prove you a liar. If you think you have data that alters this, cite it. DATA not summaries on whatever random site you dredged up on Google, not “oh I know someone else who uses it differently”. Evidence.

“”A recent study conducted by NPD Group and NARM found that streaming music services like Spotify and Rdio are detrimental to the sales of individual pieces of music. “

A study which, conveniently, is unavailable to support these claims without payment. Especially if it only covers the US market, where Spotify could hardly have been available for more than a month or 2 before the study was undertaken – and so any such study would be questionable with regards to Spotify’s effect..

Also a claim which is NOT stated on the actual NPD site (in fact, Spotify’s name doesn’t even get mentioned). The above you posted is an opinion of a blogger, and only present in the headline. Spotify is not mentioned anywhere else on that page.

Again, if you have more information (preferably a full copy of the study itself), cite it.

Also, stop posting back to others’ opinion blogs as evidence. Isn’t that what you attack people here for when they link to Mike’s previous articles? I suggest you start by reading beyond the headlines in stories, preferably looking at the linked primary sources as well.

Lowestofthekeys (profile) says:

honesty

Actually…

http://www.app.com/article/20091231/NEWS/91228067/In-digital-age-musicians-flourish-without-major-labels

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/business/businesstruth/the_disrupters/3568130/Artists-Without-a-label.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jason-schmitt/rethinking-the-music-busi_b_857434.html

These are all examples of change in motion.

Besides, the Rolling Stones, Nine Inch Nails and quite a few other bands have given up on labels because they have been screwed in one way or another.

With that in mind, think of things this way…

If a newer band signs with a record company and incurs debt, but no success they end up paying back that debt yet if they attempt to market themselves their own way, even if they fail they will probably not accrue the same amount of debt (considering the free advertising avenues available) and still retain the rights to their music.

Anonymous Coward says:

Question

It is interesting. It is because many, many people would prefer to continue to get things for free and wrap their entitlement in digital utopian rhetoric than confront the obvious fact that they are choosing to illegally exploit you (and other like you) for your labor and creativity. As Peter Sunde himself said, “If I want it I take it.” In most cases, I believe it is as simple as that. Instant gratification.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

honesty

Put another way 38% of Radiohead fans paid up on the initial download. We have no way of quantifing what the number who paid after the download and listening to the album paid which would then bring that number up.

All in all your argument is pointless unless you can do a direct comparison between what Radiohead made of sales of that record even using your numbers and what they would have been paid by EMI for moving a similar number of records. Until you can do that your figures and arguments mean nothing.

Keep in mind that Radiohead isn’t universally loved or liked and that a significant number of people who weren’t fans downloaded for nothing, listened to it then deleted it, found that they really did like the band and paid later. How many of those downloads were people who just heard about what they were doing said “why not, I’ve got nothing to lose” and made up a large proportion of that 62%. The curiosity factor. Let’s posit 20% of that number and now you’re approaching a different situation where nearly half the downloads were paid for up front. Remembering that Radiohead took that into account with the option to buy now pay later built into the offer.

If I take the number of records I never bought but had access to, one way or another, compared to what I did buy in the days before the Internet I’d say it’s more than half of them I listened to so, in effect, I pirated that music because the owner of the LP/CD/Whatever let me listen more than once or loaned it to me because I said I was curious about the artists. A fairly common practice back in those dark ages. Actually it still is commonplace. Therefore I MUST be a pirate by your definition in that the artist never got paid for what I temporarily had in my possession and listened to before returning it.

On the other hand I did buy more than 40% of the recordings I was loaned before returning them. Which must mean I became a FAN by your definition because they were loaned to me.

This was long before the wasteland of the 1990’s and early part of this century where it was commonplace to slap down money on a CD and end up with something that had one decent song on it. Not at all unusual there either.

(Tangential question…was it the label or the artist trying to rip me off?)

Acts that I know and that I’m a FAN of I always buy, often before any listen. Fan, of course, is the short form of Fanatic so that does mean I’ll support them even if “free” is available. I’m not alone there either.

The OC, as you call him is actually right. FANS will support him. The curious might after listening to the cut or CD as a whole but those who have no interest will never pay for his stuff no matter what. They can download from pirate sites, borrow the CD from a friend burn their own copy but they will never pay. The same way it’s always been.

The only FAIL here is you and your black and white (and angry) world.

The artist who guest posted here will SUCCEED. Just because you claim to be a musician doesn’t mean you’ll succeed or make a living off music. That never was or ever will be the case. Like everyone else in this would you’re gonna have to work at it. Recording contract or not.

Anonymous Coward says:

honesty

Your last paragraph is convoluted. In theory, any number of things could happen, sure. and I am all for better profit margins for artists. But you haven’t even approached debunking my point that many many artists continue to partner with labels of their own choice. And there are now new opportunities for artists to do what Amanda Palmer is doing or what NIN did and I think that is fantastic, but it is no excuse for piracy — at all. Why celebrate one choice of the artist to cut ties with a label, and not the other choice to partner with one? If the artist isn’t the good guy here, who is? (don’t say “the internet”)

Lowestofthekeys (profile) says:

honesty

I wasn’t debunking the fact that some artists choose to side with labels…how would I even debunk that. I linked articles explaining that some musicians have found success without a label to back them up. Frankly, a lot of them are happier collecting more profits than the ones they received from signing on with a label (they’re all living proof that you can be screwed by a label).

Also, I never advocated piracy, I merely addressed one portion of your argument.

And as for the last paragraph, that was meant to emphasize the fact that doing things your own way incurs much less loss than going with a system that puts you into debt.

Anonymous Coward says:

Question

Yes and we have laws to restrain our worst impulses, when they are determined to be violating the legal rights of others. Fast food and iTunes are lawful and consensual. Labels are in business to make money for themselves and artists can partner with them or not. The labels have legal rights to what they produce (otherwise they wouldn’t garner any investment capital). Which is worse, a label with perfectly legal rights “whining” when their rights are being ignored, or a consumer who is knowingly exploiting another person’s legal rights “whining” when they are told they can’t do it as much as they would like?

You are not entitled to unlicensed content. Deal with it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

here’s the math for those of you at home keeping score:

The Pirate Bay = 100% of the Artist Money

The Artist on TPB = 0% of the Artist Money

yes, that is called a rip off.

why are you defending a proven illegal business? just blocked in the UK by the way… more to come, house of card, falling… enjoy your post sopa victory lap…

http://www.technewsworld.com/story/74996.html

fairusefriendly (profile) says:

honesty

you might want to look up the definition of the word fan

because you obviously don’t know what the word means.

62% of the people who were offered the choice to pay nothing

took that choice. You still haven’t proven that every single person who downloaded the album was a fan.

Just like everyone who listens to the radio is not a fan of every single band played on that radio.

There is a difference between down loaders and fans.

Just like there is a difference between radio listeners and fans.

Anonymous Coward says:

Question

No one said Itunes and fast are not lawful, but the mentality of the average consumer is when I want something, I want it now.

Why not cater to that, provide consumers what they want when they want. You may say that denotes entitlement, but…I’d feel pretty entitled if it was my money being invested into something I was unsure of.

Yes, labels do have the right to what they produce and they also have the right to whine about things. They also apparently have the right to screw their artists out of royalties when it suits their needs (http://gizmodo.com/352762/riaa-wants-to-cut-artist-royalties-to-9-apple-wants-them-at-4-artists-just-want-to-eat). And sue people. Attempt to strip copyrights from their artists (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIAA). Sue people who did not even pirate music (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_group_efforts_against_file_sharing).

Sorry, but I could care less how piracy affects the labels considering that they take most of the earnings of the artists.

AzureSky (profile) says:

You Will Be Fine

according to the riaa you damn well do, they raided a music store for selling cassettes and cd’s made by indi artists, excuse was they where sure it was piracy, turned out all the stuff they found was being sold by the shop FOR THE ARTISTS, the RIAA defense of their actions was that tapes and cd’s that are not pressed/professionally recorded=piracy….

so yes, according to the RIAA you need a contract with an RIAA lable to legally distribute, if you dont, they will do their level best to insure your content never sees the light of day.