AndrewF's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week

from the new-model-vs-the-old-model dept

Oh hey, it’s my turn to pick my favorite Techdirt posts of the week! Woot!

Let’s start with the continuation of the David Lowery saga, of which there is absolutely nothing to write about. Nope, nothing at all. Moving on.

Oh wait, I did want to highlight the post on the Spotify numbers though, partly because of the entertaining (and persistent) AC who conflated downvoting with censorship. I’m hoping one of the posts on that thread gets funniest comment.

I was also fascinated by this statistic: “When compared to iTunes, the average listener spends $60 dollars a year into the creative community, whereas Spotify Premium users spend $120 per year.” If that’s the case, then why does our AC think Spotify is such a bad deal for artists? Here’s my guess. If I spend $60 on iTunes, I’m listening to only 60 songs. If I spend $120 on Spotify, I’m listening to way more than 60 (or 120) songs. Therefore, although the average Spotify user contributes more money to artists, that money is also being distributed across more artists than before.

What does that mean? Well, if you were doing well under the old system, then Spotify may not be all kittens and sleigh bells. But if you’re one of the vastly larger group of artists who failed to win the record label lottery, then Spotify (and similar streaming services) is a great deal! Before you got nothing; now you get something. The real problem our AC has with Spotify isn’t Spotify’s lack of contribution to the creative community; it’s that Spotify is changing the distribution of wealth within that community. As Zac Shaw points out, that redistribution may be more ethical than the previous one.

So if what you’re advocating is essentially the re-concentration of wealth, how do you justify that? Easy. Describe the content produced by the masses as “pink slime”. Because the stuff the top talent churns out is solid gold, like Battleship.

That’s my speil on that, but while I have the floor, I’d like to highlight a few other super important topics:

  • The tension between physical property and intellectual property. Because of the ambiguous language of the copyright statute, some courts have ruled that the First Sale Doctrine doesn’t apply to goods manufactured abroad. If that’s so, the copyrighting of everything from labels on bottles to the firmware on electronics threatens to kill the resale rights of almost everything.
  • Patents may not be necessary to encourage disclosure. One of the underlying assumptions of the patent system is that without patents, companies would (1) keep everything they could a trade secret, and (2) only invest resources in research if they could keep it a trade secret. So it’s nice to see some research poking holes in that hypothesis.
  • HIPAA may be killing people. I like my privacy to a degree, but it’s important to recognize that privacy is not some unmitigated social good, and that mandating privacy comes with it own set of costs.
  • Two posts on granting greater copyright powers to actors. My prediction: An actor will (mis)use these powers to go after a person making fun of him, Charles Carreon style.
  • Craigslist cuts off Padmapper. As someone who will be moving within the year, I am saddened by this. So if you personally know Craig, do us all a favor and tell him to loosen up, okay?

Finally, to round out the hilarity quotient this week, we have Long John Silver’s attempt to partcipate in Taiwan’s political process, mega screw-ups in New Zealand, and a basketball player who doesn’t want other people monetizing unibrows.

That’s it from me. Until next time, Techdirt readers!

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Comments on “AndrewF's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week”

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Cerberus (profile) says:

One comment on your Spotify comparison: if a hundred Itunes users contribute $ 60 each, that makes $ 6,000 total. If a hundred Spotify Premium users contribute $ 120 each, that makes $ 12,000. That means that artists + middle men (labels + stores?) as a collective get twice the amount of money, whichever way you look at it.

While the amount of money a single users contributes to a single artist may decrease?from $ 0,10 per Itunes song to $ 0,006 per Spotify play?many more of his peers will also contribute to this artist, because each user listens to many more artists than on Itunes, and plays each song far more often than the single time he buys a song on Itunes. Because the total volume of user-to-artist contributions goes up tremendously (could very well be x20 or much more), the lower amount per contribution can be compensated.

In fact, if you look at the $ 120 v. $ 60, it seems likely that the higher volume can more than compensate for the lower amount per contribution. If we assume that the percentage taken by middle men is equal, the money paid to artists should double. However, since artists get only 10 % of a $-0.99 Itunes song (“for major label artists, Apple collects 34 cents and the label keeps 55 cents”), perhaps artists get a bigger cut out of Spotify plays, although there, too, both the label and Spotify take significant shares. If that should be so, artists would get even more than double the Itunes income if they go through Spotify.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I don’t think so…

If all of this talk about the economics of spotify are so good for artists why is there such a lack of transparency? No wonder Jeff Price likes it so much. Ahhhh… there’s nothing like Black Box accounting, right?

Everyone knows Itunes takes a 30% margin flat on each transaction. Why doesn’t Spotify just show everyone the revenue’s and sharing? I mean, if everything they are saying is true, their greatest weapon is completely transparent accounting…

Unfortunately all we are getting is a lot of unverified claims, speculation, projections and mix and match stats that compare Apples to Airplanes…

But hey, if you guys can actually show transparent independently verified accounting, I’d love to see it.

Until then continue the choir preaching circle jerk of supporting your buddies at the RIAA ripping off artists.

Lurker Keith says:

since you mentioned Carreon...

… & I doubt this would be seen in any of the old articles (those seem to have stopped getting comments)

Oatmeal update:

Operation BearLove Good, Cancer Bad has ended. Now what?:

Operation BearLove Good, Cancer Bad ended early this morning with total funds raised at $220,024.00 — almost exactly 11 times the original goal of $20k. IndieGoGo takes 4%, so that puts the total money going to charity at $211,223.04.

I’ve been trying very hard not to post about all the insane drama surrounding Carreon and his better half and instead focusing on the fundraiser. Now that it’s ended, I wanted to address some specific questions about how I’m donating the funds.

When will you pay the charities?
Carreon has provided notice that he intends to ask the court for a restraining order which will stop the transfer of funds from Indiegogo. If we can’t get that silly bullshit dismissed, the money could be held up for days, weeks or months. Assuming we can, I should have the money in about a week.

Once the money is moved, I still plan on withdrawing $211k in cash and taking a photo to send to Charles Carreon and FunnyJunk, along with the drawing of Funnyjunk’s mother. After the photo is mailed I’ll be sending checks to the charities. I’ll also post receipts as well as public confirmations from both charities that they received every penny that was promised.

Is all the money going to the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society?
Yes. Previously I stated that because the amount raised was so much larger than expected I was going to divide the money into four charities instead of two, but unfortunately Carreon’s lawsuit claims that I’m holding an “illicit fundraiser” and not donating money where I said I would. To avoid further litigation with him, I decided to split the money between the original two charities. If Carreon wanted a minor victory, he got one here.

I’ll keep posting updates about the fundraiser here, so check back soon.


Accidently found via clicking on the Wil Wheaton link, out of curiosity, on Popehat.

Lurker Keith says:

Re: Re: since you mentioned Carreon...

Submitted… Though, since I didn’t know if that allowed the HTML codes, I just pasted the various links under a description (including links to where I posted).

Does the Story Submission form allow HTML code, if I were to have future stuff to submit?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 since you mentioned Carreon...

Look down there, right below the submit button here, to see what is allowed or not.

Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>

Lurker Keith says:

Re: Re: Re:3 since you mentioned Carreon...

I did look for the codes like are at the bottom of Comment Posts. There weren’t any. Why not actually check to see if you’re right before posting a correction?

Also, there’s no preview button when making submissions, so I couldn’t use the code & check if it’d work.

Lurker Keith says:

The Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk, Part VII: Charlie The Censor Files A Motion

Popehat has Part VII up:

The Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk, Part VII: Charlie The Censor Files A Motion

1st Paragraph:

Charles Carreon, fresh from amending his complaint against Matt Inman, IndieGoGo, and two charities, filed an application for a temporary restraining order, seeking court intervention to prevent IndieGoGo from distributing the astounding $220,000 Matt Inman’s BearLove campaign raised to fight cancer and help bears.

Some relavent links (via Adam Steinbaugh, as he scooped Ken):

Carreon?s declaration | exhibits | memorandum of points and authorities | the Proposed Order

& both have been updated already w/ Indigogo’s opposition, declaration of Indiegogo?s counsel (with an earlier copy of Carreon?s application), & declaration by Indiegogo?s CEO.

Then Adam links to Popehat.

Both Adam & Ken look to break it down, but I haven’t taken the time to read anything yet… though, as expected, it still doesn’t look like Carreon has a case.

Lurker Keith says:

Re: The Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk, Part VII: Charlie The Censor Files A Motion

Correction, that’s the first relevant paragraph. The true first paragraph is Ken jokenly going on about what his plans could’ve been for Saturday night, had Charles not tried to shoot off his other foot, while it was in his mouth.

I’ve now read Adam’s write up (I’ll start Popehat’s VII after posting this), & Charles donated his $10 to Inman’s fundraiser THE NIGHT BEFORE HE FILED THE LAW SUIT. I can’t see how that’s going to go over well w/ a judge. Also, since by that point, Carreon’s paperwork for filing the case had to be done, he lied about what he was supposedly led to believe he was donating his money for. He complains about the possiblity that the money won’t go where it was originally intended, but he had written up at least some of the paperwork to argue that before donating. & I’ll point out, & I could be wrong about this, but if the lawsuit was filed after Update 2 was posted (which I’m pretty sure it was), then Carreon had donated AFTER Inman had said he’d add 2 more Charities, invalidating Carreon’s entire complaint.

& his own Exibits demonstrate ALL of that!

Oh, & it looks like some of the money may have already been transfered to the ACS & NWF, but neither how that works nor how much has yet to be clarified.

Oh, & the reason for Part VII to be written, Carreon filed for a Temporary Restraining Order to prevent the money going to ANYONE until a court sorts things out.

Lurker Keith says:

Re: Re: The Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk, Part VII: Charlie The Censor Files A Motion

Reading Popehat’s breakdown, what happened w/ some of the money has been explained.

IndieGoGo only had whatever was donated by credit card (looks like about 1/2), which has already been sent to the Charities, & Charles was told that. Anything donated by PayPal went directly to Inman, so he may be able to take a pic w/ just the PayPal donations.

Also, the Temporary Restraining Order was filed AFTER IndieGoGo had sent the money it had.

Lurker Keith says:

Re: Re: Inman's Opposition to Carreon's TRO

One last one.

From the EFF’s filing of Inman’s Opposition (link in previous post)

Unwilling to allow Mr. Carreon to thwart his expressive activity, Mr. Inman photographed the appropriate amount using his own money.

So, there you have it. All the money is out of Carreon’s reach (though, I wouldn’t put it past him to argue to get the money back from the charities at this point), & The Oatmeal got the pic it promised.

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