Paul McCartney's Confused About The Pirate Bay

from the speaking-out-of-turn dept

Paul McCartney is making some news by speaking out in favor of The Pirate Bay verdict, claiming he thought it was "fair," but the details of his comments suggests he is speaking about these things without being particularly knowledgeable about what The Pirate Bay does or is.
"Anyone who does something good, particularly if you get really lucky and do a great artistic thing and have a mega hit, I think you should get rewarded for that. I'm in favour of that sort of thing."
He says that as if there is anyone out there who claims that artists shouldn't get "rewarded" for doing something great. The problem is no one is saying that. We're just debating how they will (not should) get rewarded. And, of course, plenty of artists who embrace things like The Pirate Bay are getting rewarded for doing so. Claiming that they're not is simply false and suggests ignorance of the subject.
"The problem is you get a lot of young bands coming up and some of them aren't going to last forever so if they have a massive hit that's going to pay their mortgage forever. They're going to feed the children on that and if they don't get that money, if they don't see that money, I think it's a bit of a pity."
It's a pity that they might actually have to continue working, rather than living off one single hit? Perhaps we have different ways of thinking about things, but I think it's a much bigger pity when you think about all the musicians in the past who didn't have a wonderful free promotion and distribution system, and were unable to make any money because they were limited by gatekeepers known as the major record labels.

The fact that new musicians are popping up today and getting attention and (yes) making a living by embracing these tools and using them to their advantage, again, suggests that McCartney is speaking from a position of ignorance rather than knowledge.
"I've been very lucky because my main era with the Beatles was at a time when everyone did get paid."
That's simply not true. Most bands of his era did not get paid. That's because the only path to getting paid was to sign to a record label, and many bands were unable to do that. Today, on the other hand, bands have many more options to create their music, to distribute it, to promote it and to get paid for it. And one of those tools is The Pirate Bay... which McCartney wants to take away.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Cynical, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 10:19am

    Very well argued, Mike. Really blows his argument out of the water.

    I especially liked this bit: "It's a pity that they might actually have to continue working, rather than living off one single hit?"

    Exactly. No more get rich quick for a few undeserving, talentless "artists" to blow on drugs, the cult of celebrity and generally acting like pricks, etc

    Now they will have to work at their jobs, just like the rest of us and that's as it should be. Period.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 10:22am

    That's SIR, to you!

    How dare anyone question Sir Paul? He is never wrong!

    Thank you in advance for responding to this misleading post.

     

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  3.  
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    Freedom, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 10:28am

    Lucky?

    Interesting that he uses the word "lucky" to describe how someone would rise to the top of the old system. In many ways that was the case, you had a monopoly with the record companies and if you won the lottery, you would be set for life with wonderful royalty checks for a long long time. Interestingly though, that lottery winning was only for those that did above and beyond and were able to gain control over the label that created them. For many others, the labels took the lion share of the profits and despite their luck weren't nearly so fortunate as Mr. McCartney.

    Thankfully the Internet has removed the need for a monopoly in this industry any longer and just like the buggy and whip their usefulness (at least in current form) is no longer needed.

    This is truly an exciting time when the platform has been leveled and a true renaissance of sorts can play out.

    While Mr. McCartney might have been very lucky to be part of the music industry era that he was, I think most would agree that we are even more lucky to be part of this new renaissance.

    Freedom

     

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  4.  
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    R. Miles, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 10:37am

    Ignorance about how TPB operates is massive.

    I'm still not 100% sure how the torrent system works, but one thing I did get from my education is that trackers do not, nor ever had, copyright content within them.

    How this verdict was rendered is beyond me, as I'm sure all the damn idiots out there who support it will be more than happy to "enlighten" me.

    Save your damn breath. This verdict is wrong. You know it is. It came down because TBP scoffed at the entertainment industry.

    McCartney can't be blamed for his ignorance. It's apparent he, and millions more, can't take 10 damn minutes of their day to educate themselves, especially when they're too busy targeting the word "Pirate" in the Pirate Bay.

    Alas, I'm hopeful the appeal will overturn the verdict.

    On an interesting side note, someone compared the verdict of the 4 to someone who would scream "Fire!" in a crowded theater when no fire was present.

    I began thinking about this, as there seemed to be some merit to it. After a few hours, I dismissed it.

    Why? Because the analogy isn't the same. Only had the screamer been charged for yelling in an empty theater would the analogy be apt.

    Trying to educate people like McCartney is a waste of time. People are so damn narrow-minded about the verdict, they can't open their minds to see just how wrong it is.

    I pity McCartney and everyone else who favors this verdict.

     

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    sehlat (profile), Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 10:40am

    Definitely lucky

    I've heard "Sir" Paul's longer works. The man is simply incapable of putting any coherent music together that will take longer than three minutes fifty-nine seconds to play.

    He had Susan Boyle-level fortune, in an era when that was a lot less accessible than now, and got rich on music the best of which was composed by his fellow Beatle John Lennon. But if the Beatles showed up now they'd be lost in the flood of better musicians with internet access.

    Lucky? Oh, yes.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 11:08am

    Re:

    Artists having to work like common people? But that's not fair. They're artists. Why can't you understand that?

     

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    torchbearer, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 11:10am

    Re: Definitely lucky

    better than the Beatles? Blasphemer!

     

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    Ima Fish, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 11:15am

    "That's simply not true. Most bands of his era did not get paid. That's because the only path to getting paid was to sign to a record label, and many bands were unable to do that."

    Yeah, but more importantly even the bands which did sign to labels got screwed. Roger McGuinn from the Byrds claims, that other than some upfront money, he never made a dime in royalties. This is what McGuinn said about the original Napster:
    "(Napster) will give me exposure to people who will know where I'll be and come to my concerts. It's an audience that wouldn't be there otherwise. There are people who heard the Byrds on Napster and bought the CDs. Then they heard me and then came to my concerts."

    Grand Funk Railroad sold six gold albums right in a row, but all the money went to their label and manager Terry Knight.

    And the screw over of of John Fogerty is legendary. He doesn't get a dime for all the hits he wrote with Creedence Clearwater Revival. He was even sued for stealing from one of his own songs. Luckily he won.

     

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    John Doe, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 11:23am

    Think of the children!

     

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    almost?, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 11:29am

    Re: Definitely lucky

    If the Beatles showed up again today they would top the charts once again.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re:

    Pirates are forcing them to STARVE in the STREETS!!!111!1!

     

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    -V-, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 11:34am

    McCartney has become an old fart...

    Finally some intelligence on the matter and thanks for the article. I read the comments of 'Sir' McCartney a few days ago and couldn't even begin with all the flaws in his way of old thinking! You did though Mike. Nicely done!!!

     

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    Smithereens, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 11:40am

    As a musician, I'm fine with downloading. I'm fine with free distribution - because that's how a lot of folks are discovering music now. It's a granular, selective process more suited to the fragmented 21st century market.

    What I don't get is TechDirt's hang up with royalties - this bizarre attitude that you do the work once, you get paid once. Sorry folks, I'm not a fucking bricklayer.

    Royalties are for usage of an intellectual product. If I write a song, I own it in perpetuity. That unique artistic contribution did not exist in the world until I thought of it - so, no, I'm not giving away my rights to that willy nilly.

    When you buy my song (or download it for free), that doesn't make it "your song" - any more than giving me rent makes it your house.

    If that song is played on a commercial radio station and they earn advertising dollars because of it - they owe me a slice 'cos people wouldn't have been listening otherwise.

    If a big studio just made a blockbuster movie and put my song in the bit where the boy and girl play tonsil hockey - my song made that movie better and they should pay me.

    If a club has a dance where they charge $20 on the door and $10 a drink, and it's packed to the rafters with kinetic young bodies dancing to my song, you bet that some of that wedge is mine.

    If someone records my song (like, for example, Yesterday, which has been covered over 3,000 times) they're going to earn money from my work. I want some of it back, thank you.

    If you're a kid downloading my album, you're welcome to it. I know you'll come to one of my shows or buy a better copy if you like it.

     

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  14.  
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    Freedom, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 11:59am

    Re:

    Nice world you live in :)

    You know, before that 'fucking bricklayer' laid those bricks you didn't have a wall either. I supposed everyone that makes money inside those walls has to pay a royalty to that 'fucking bricklayer' as well since he made the experience better and/or provided an environment for someone else to make money.

    What makes writing a song so special that it is worth getting lifetime payments anytime it is used, but somehow the bricklayer doesn't get lifetime payments every time their work 'product' is used?

    Freedom

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 11:59am

    You all sound like a bunch of whiners who think that you deserve to get everything for free.

    As for this:
    "It's a pity that they might actually have to continue working, rather than living off one single hit?"

    If you came up with a single invention and lived the rest of your life off of the profits, would that be wrong too?

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 11:59am

    Re:

    I agree with you

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re:

    A bricklayer builds wall for somebody who pays. He can build one on his backyard and rent it forever.

     

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    chris (profile), Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 12:03pm

    Re:

    What I don't get is TechDirt's hang up with royalties - this bizarre attitude that you do the work once, you get paid once. Sorry folks, I'm not a fucking bricklayer.

    i totally agree. i can't get high and embarrass myself in the tabloids if i am working every day. i can't be expected to work like regular people. i also need more money than regular people because alimony, heroin, and rehab don't pay for themselves, so i need to make more while doing less.

    it really hurt when i compromised my artistic integrity to make pop tunes, so i deserve compensation, a lot of it.

     

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  19.  
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    Thomo, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 12:03pm

    and...

    everyone who shoplifted from the record store got rewarded, but now, there's no record stores.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 12:49pm

    Re:

    Patents don't last a lifetime

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 1:03pm

    Re:

    As a statistician, my firm is often paid ahead of time for a product - kind of like an advance - to gather data and do the analysis and so on. I, nor my employer, get royalties for our reports which are generally widely distributed...sometimes for free, sometimes for a specified price.

    I'm not a fucking bricklayer either...

    On an unrelated sidenote, my band does a decent cover of Blood and Roses...once in a while we actually get paid for a gig...do you want royalties from that?

     

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  22.  
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    Greg, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re:

    Musicians don't get paid upfront to write songs and hence need to recoup costs for recording etc (it's freakin' expensive even on the amateur side). If I could get an hourly wage to turn out an album every year or two and tour I would jump at the chance. Unfortunately only a small percentage that work as studio musicians get that.

    And secondly, whoever wrote Blood and Roses most likely does collect royalties from the venue.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 1:27pm

    Patents...

    Patents don't last a lifetime, but the money you make from a single invention or product could. That was the point.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Lucky?

    Stop picking on the buggy and whip industries, both of which are doing an increasingly booming business, thank you. Find something that has truly disappeared and that does not charge increasing prices for their products.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Patents...

    In extremely rare circumstances...

     

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  26.  
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    Tgeigs, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 1:42pm

    Re:

    Okay, here we go. I'll try to do this with as little vitriole as I can manage...

    "I'm fine with free distribution - because that's how a lot of folks are discovering music now"

    Agreed. Guess what, non-perpetual payments are going to be who artists get paid in the future. By your argument, you'll be fine with it. Glad we agree.

    "Sorry folks, I'm not a fucking bricklayer."

    Clearly not, since they have respect and pride in the honor behind actual WORK, and you seem to think you're somehow above them. You're not. You, the artist, are important. But no more important than other hardworking people.

    "When you buy my song (or download it for free), that doesn't make it "your song" - any more than giving me rent makes it your house"

    Great example. Here's the problem. If I host a party at my rented apartment and charge enough for drinks that I make money, I don't then owe my landlord a cut.

    "If a big studio just made a blockbuster movie and put my song in the bit where the boy and girl play tonsil hockey - my song made that movie better and they should pay me"

    Fair enough, but turnabout should be fair play. If your song makes the movie worse, then you have to pay them.

    "If a club has a dance where they charge $20 on the door and $10 a drink, and it's packed to the rafters with kinetic young bodies dancing to my song, you bet that some of that wedge is mine"

    See above.

    "If you're a kid downloading my album, you're welcome to it. I know you'll come to one of my shows or buy a better copy if you like it."

    Admirable. How does this statement not also reflect on nearly every other point you brought up?

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 1:42pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Musicians don't get paid up front? Then what are these advances I keep hearing about?

    My band has recorded a couple of EPs in the studio, I'm aware of the expenses. Since we're not signed to a label, we had to cover those costs ourselves...

    But I suppose not having accepted an advance (not really our choice, mind you, but we didn't seek such a thing either), we are not beholden to anyone but ourselves and can reap the financial benefits from our efforts, however minuscule they may be.

    But no royalties...oh well, gotta keep my other IP job for now, I guess.

     

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  28.  
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    rjk, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 1:47pm

    Re:

    Sorry folks, I'm not a fucking bricklayer.

    pretentious much?


    A reasonable argument can be made for royalties... but that kind of thinking strikes me as short-sighted.

    Sure plenty of artists are collecting royalties, but royalties also increase the cost of running a radio station, club, podcast, YouTube, or making a movie. Surely these additional costs make it harder for these enterprises to make a reasonable profit. I wonder, how many more radio stations, clubs, etc. there would be if they didn't have to pay royalties? just how much are royalties inhibiting new businesses and new innovation?

    More radio stations, more clubs, more podcasts, more youtube means more exposure... and for musicians, more exposure means more money.

    So fight for your pennies here and pennies there if you want, but it wouldn't surprise me if your royalties are costing you a lot of money.

     

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  29.  
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    Mechwarrior, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 1:49pm

    One phrase best describes this : Nonexistent Entitlements. When everyone has to work hard for their entire lives (especially in this economy), I find it difficult to care if an artist has to do the same.

    Oh woe is the poor artist who is terrible at making music or marketing themselves.

    Ill just go back to listening to Devotchka and Chopin.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re: Patents...

    Agreed, but the author's original statement that "It's a pity that they might actually have to continue working, rather than living off one single hit?" is the basis for the comment. If someone should be talented and/or fortunate enough to hit the jackpot on a single hit, then what does the author have against that, other than sheer bitterness or jealousy of not hitting the jackpot himself?

     

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  31.  
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    Jim, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 1:53pm

    Re:

    If royalties made sense there would be no such thing as payola schemes.

    Music industry execs break the law to PAY for air time! If free market economics were allowed to operate radio fees for radio play wouldn't exist because there is value in having your music played to thousands of people. Evidence? Payola!

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymouse, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 1:59pm

    Re:

    Smithereens wrote:
    "If I write a song, I own it in perpetuity."

    If you want to own it in perpetuity, keep it to yourself.

    If on the other hand you want your government to enforce your right to collect exclusive royalties from the song, then you must be prepared to give something in exchange. What (most if not all countries) currently require for this deal is your agreement that after some time the material enters the public domain.

    Copyright is a deal. If you aren't willing to fulfill your side of the bargain, don't expect your government to give you a free, no-strings-attached, perpetual monopoly on it.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 2:07pm

    ...which McCartney wants to take away.

    Having listened to his comment, I do not recall him saying this.

     

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  34.  
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    Shokk (profile), Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 2:22pm

    Re:

    Da Comrade! We will make them work in the gulags!!

     

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  35.  
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    RingoWas Right, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 2:25pm

    but what I don't understand is ...

    Whether Pirate Bay is making copyrighted material available for free, or not

    Whether the file sharing community assents in principle to artists being paid for their intellectual and artistic products

    Whether, if payment of artists is ethically acceptable, how that is to be done

    Whether the argument is being made that music fans can afford a computer, an ISP, and perhaps an iPod, but they can't afford a CD

    I'd be happy for any comments on these points.

     

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  36.  
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    Dave, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 4:34pm

    Don't listen to celebs

    You know, I like Paul's music. But he's clearly just as clueless here as he was when he was a Beatle about any legal issues. His stance then, as was true of probably most artists, was that he didn't want to think about business, that's annoying, and let the people who are hired to handle business take care of that. That's great, but if you don't pay attention, and know nothing at all about business, you might as well bend over, because you'll get reamed.

    Even though he made a lot of money, the group was screwed left and right. Sometimes innocently, as Brian Epstein was a guy who ran a store, not someone who understood the music business, and later on Apple Corp just bled money to any sycophant who could talk their way into a job, and still later signing away all his stuff to Michael Jackson. That's only a tiny number of incidents, but the guy has absolutely zero business sense. And smart people understand that about themselves and figure out how to compensate for it somehow.

    I don't know why anyone would take the opinion of any artist about legal issues without a huge amount of skepticism. 98% of the time, they don't know what they're talking about.

     

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  37.  
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    Mike (profile), Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 4:49pm

    Re:

    Having listened to his comment, I do not recall him saying this.


    Let's see... he agreed with the court decision that said the site was illegal. I think that's a pretty clear statement that he believes this tool should not be available.

    Can you explain your alternate interpretation?

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 6:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Patents...

    You still aren't making sense. If the songwriter/musician/artist makes that kind of cash in the first year or two of the piece, then great! If not? Why should they keep getting paid ten years later? Twenty? Thirty? Patents last how long? Why does copyright last so much longer?

     

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  39.  
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    Law, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 7:44pm

    Re:

    "If you came up with a single invention and lived the rest of your life off of the profits, would that be wrong too?"

    I know a kid whose dad invented the technology used in HD television, and he figured he would be set for life. Instead of getting another job and continuing to invent, he sat back and watched the royalty checks come in. Then, someone made a way to do it that didn't violate his patent, and now they aren't living so comfortable anymore.

    Its not that its wrong, its that it is not smart. Someone shouldn't expect to live off of something they did ONCE, but instead they should continue striving to better themselves.

    As for downloading music... the world is changing, and the way the music industry has worked over the past 100 years is not going to be enough to keep them going. Changes and adaptations must be made, and it looks as if there is no room for them and their old fashioned ways.

    Back before records, tapes, CDs, and MP3s, musicians were paid for their performances. It seems like now, we most go back to the way things worked for thousands of years. And whats wrong with that? Everyone knows that musicians make most of their money off of concerts, anyway.

    I download music illegally. I listen to the blues mostly, and nearly all the music I download is from musicians that have been dead for a long time, and even if they were alive, they would not be receiving royalties.

    And what's wrong with that?

     

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  40.  
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    Law, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 7:50pm

    Re: Don't listen to celebs

    Well said!

    Don't go to a dentist and ask how to fix your marriage.

    Don't go to Paul and ask about copyright laws.

     

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  41.  
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    nasch, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 7:51pm

    Re:

    If you came up with a single invention and lived the rest of your life off of the profits, would that be wrong too?

    If you can manage to do it by competing, fine. If you take profits for decades because of an artificial monopoly, then that is likely a problem, because it's enriching you at the expense of progress for everyone else.

     

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  42.  
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    nasch, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 7:58pm

    Re: but what I don't understand is ...

    Whether Pirate Bay is making copyrighted material available for free, or not

    Not exactly. TPB is indicating where it is available, in the same way that a web search engine indicates where various pieces of content are available.

    Whether the file sharing community assents in principle to artists being paid for their intellectual and artistic products

    It's impossible to characterize such a huge community as having one opinion. I'm sure some don't care, some haven't thought about it, and some believe that artists should and will be paid. I doubt there are many who believe that they should not.

    Whether, if payment of artists is ethically acceptable, how that is to be done

    Search TechDirt for "business model" for numerous examples.

    Whether the argument is being made that music fans can afford a computer, an ISP, and perhaps an iPod, but they can't afford a CD

    Not that I am aware of.

     

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  43.  
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    Ishan, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 8:23pm

    Oldskool vs Nu Skool

    I think Sir Paul's comments are exemplary of the state that the music business is in right now. Its all about the old ways of doing things, and making sure that doesnt change.

    Sir Paul, and most in the industry, want to keep their old ways of doing things - why would they want to change - think about how much money these guys were earning in the 80s. They would be completley adverse to any technological breakthru that would shake their utopian economy.

    Because of the great 80s/90s, the old skool had no need to turn to or at least understand new technologies. Just fight for what works. So when the old skool have no idea how things like Torrents work, how could they ever utilise it to generate revenue.

    This is where the Nu Skool must come in. Up and coming bands dont need to settle for the old distribution methods. Stop following Sir Paul's lead - theres some amazing online busienss models out there.

     

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  44.  
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    qez, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 10:51pm

    spectrial judge is working within copyright lobby

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 11:42pm

    paul mccartney pirate bay

    Stupid comment - Yeah, you know more about the bands and their pay in the 60's than anyone...at least Paul was actually experiencing it!

     

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    Azrael, Apr 23rd, 2009 @ 12:07am

    Re: Re: Lucky?

    Banking maybe ?

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Azrael, Apr 23rd, 2009 @ 12:09am

    Re: Re: Definitely lucky

    They would be lucky if someone would just show at their backyard performance, let alone stay until its end.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2009 @ 4:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Patents...

    Just one or two years to make your money, huh? Now suppose my first album does poorly and two to three years later I release a highly successful album, which results in people deciding to buy my first album. I'm outside of the two-year window, so I get nothing for the sales on the first album? I've hooked onto bands 5-10 years into their careers and gone back to buy their previous releases. I don't have a problem with them making money on those early releases that I buy.

    And I'm "not making sense" because you don't agree with me. Apparently I'm not allowed to have a difference of opinion...I'm just confused and wrong.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Henke, Apr 23rd, 2009 @ 4:58am

    In 2004, the Swedish artist Basshunter published his first album on the Internet via free downloads. At this point in time the artist where unable to get a contract with any record label.

    In 2006, the tune "Boten Anna" became a big success and one of the most downloaded hits(later translated to the english hit "Now You're Gone"). The song has today more than 18 million free-of-charge downloads via Youtube. The song spent 5 weeks at the top of the English charts (only Swedish song to more successful in England is Dancing Queen with ABBA).

    2006 Warner Music Sweden gladely wanted to sign a contract with Basshunter. Of course, all of a sudden they wants a piece of the cake.

    Today Basshunter tours the world (April and May in UK/Ireland and then off to USA) making great money.

    Record labels did not create the success. The internet with free downloads did!

    By the way.. seems like Piratebay didnt get a fair trial as the judge was a former member of copyright organizations.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2009 @ 5:09am

    Re: Re:

    "Its not that its wrong, its that it is not smart. Someone shouldn't expect to live off of something they did ONCE, but instead they should continue striving to better themselves."

    I agree, but this isn't really about whether the artist will be smart or not. If they want to rest on their laurels, then they're being lazy and taking a BIG risk. But that doesn't mean that they don't still deserve to reap the rewards of their creation.

     

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  51.  
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    Long John Silver, Apr 23rd, 2009 @ 6:06am

    Pennyroyal Tea

    Umm...
    Firstly, on behalf of fellow musicians and human beings, apologies for the effete fucker and his attitude to bricklayers.

    I'd agree with many of the points regarding expiration of copyright, and find it especially galling that the E.U. is considering extending the term of copyright.

    However I believe that many of the arguments here are based upon the false assumption that recordings are made with practically zero cost and working hours. The fact is that many people have to be paid, from studio and equipment hire, to producers, sound engineers, inlay designers, (sometimes)musical arrangers and session players, as well as the composers themselves. Even a budget recording in a cheap studio can easily run into tens of thousands of dollars, and this is to say nothing of the advertising, distribution etc. involved in a conventional release.
    This is to say nothing of the fact that music is typically an unpaid labour of love, and any competent player will have put in hours per day over years of work with little or no financial reward.

    Indeed, the more I think about this, the more tempted I am to delete the things I have pirated (at least, those where I know that royalties would be due).

    And I believe there to be a number of problems with the arguments put forward above, from weakest getting stronger:

    1, Creative careers rarely (if ever) create regular income streams or working patterns(given that youth and popularity are fleeting), making it more or less impossible for musicians or artists (save those that give up to do something else, or have conventional day jobs) to put aside for pensions or mortgages that require a regular fixed payment. How do you propose that anyone involved in an artistic career and unable therefore to put aside or maintain insurance payments live in the event of injury?

    2, Destruction of the royalty scheme might make some sense where the overplayed and overpaid are concerned, but what about instances where a little known tune is synchronized by a movie company or an advertising agency. Should the agency/studio get free use of the recording, or pay the record co?

    3, If a royalty system does not exist, all the money from any sales goes to the online distributor and the record company. Is that better?

    4, Let's assume that the idea is to have the musicians pay in advance for the studio time and recording costs, receive no royalty and live off gigs. All recordings are distributed by free file-sharing, and only your I.S.P. benefits. This creates a catch-22 situation where a musician without a recording will be unable to get the gigs required to make enough money to record. Therefore, record companies will manufacture most of the bands that record and perform. You get more people like Britney, and people like Paris Hilton, who had money from elsewhere, recording. Great?

    5, In addition, the absence of a royalty scheme means that it is free for nightclubs, pubs and other venues to put on records. This actively disincentivises them from putting on gigs. No gigs, no money for musicians, no musicians recording, lots of old records, Paris Hilton and Britney. Good?

    5, Did anyone think of composers whose tunes are covered, or who don't perform at all? How on earth are they ever going to get paid?

    5, Do actors in films, and all the production teams and supporting cast, have to hope for sufficient income from cinemas, or ought they to go out and act in the theatre, pushing plays out into the street?

    6, How about game studios and software devs? Can anyone propose a rational means by which they might receive any money for what they do, unless they are to begin gigging or acting on stage too?

    7, Would you like this to be funded through advertising? Do you want all of the tunes you listen to, the games you play and the films you watch to be created in the interest of sponsors who will have their own agenda in all aspects of politics and morals?

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Long John Silver, Apr 23rd, 2009 @ 6:11am

    Arrrrrrrrrithmetic

    Christ! Three number fives! Ooops!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Apr 23rd, 2009 @ 7:06am

    Re: Ignorance about how TPB operates is massive.

    Hey Miles, hope I am not too late responding here for you to catch this. While I cannot guarantee this 100%, I am really sure this is how torrents work. (I am only fuzzy on the creation and uploading section)

    An uploader says "I want to upload this" and uses some program that can or does to make a .torrent file.
    The .torrent file is then uploaded to a torrent tracker site such as the pirate bay.
    Inside the torrent file is basically a list of files and trackers. The trackers keep track of who is sharing the file.
    The uploader runs the torrent once they post it and his program connects to all the trackers saying "I am sharing this file". The sharer is the seed.
    Next, users perusing the tracker sites, such as Mininova or Pirate Bay see that there is a torrent for what they are looking for. They download the .torrent file. Once they run it in their client of choice, the computer connects to the trackers listed in the .torrent file.
    Their computer asks the trackers who is sharing this torrent? The trackers then report back with individual IPs for others sharing the file.
    Then the seed and the leechers establish direct connections and the seed gives the file to the leechers. The sweet thing about torrents though, is that unlike traditional P2P, when you are leeching a torrent, you are seeding the pieces you have so far at the same time. So once you are at 50% downloaded, you are at the same time seeding those pieces to other leechers who do not yet have those pieces of the file. This speeds up the file distribution because you do not have to download from only seeds, but you can download from anyone who has a piece that you don't.
    So the trackers really only keep lists of who is sharing, like the Pirate Bay folks stated in the trail.
    They themselves host no material. They merely point to those who are.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Smithereens, Apr 23rd, 2009 @ 7:50am

    Re: Pennyroyal Tea

    It sounds to me like you're talking about session musicians. I was talking about creative artists - people who write songs.

    Musicians who perform on a record do not deserve any more payment than - as my delightfully repeated utilitarian and misunderstood example suggests - a fucking bricklayer. Playing someone else's music is craft. Building a wall is craft. Writing a song is *invention*.

    Songwriters deserve payment for the lifetime of copyright in the same way authors and inventors do. Jobbing
    musicians deserve fuck all.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    SunKing, Apr 23rd, 2009 @ 8:04am

    Awww....

    "....but the details of his comments suggests he is speaking about these things without being particularly knowledgeable about what The Pirate Bay does or is."

    Exactly!! Hehe, poor Maca, hasn't a clue. It seems to me like he just got put on the spot with a few questions and simply gave as generic a response as he could without looking like a clueless noob!

    Ok, so he's ignorant (and wrong), but at least he's not sueing people like Metallica or lobbying politicians like stupid Andrew Lloyd-Webber.

    PS: Not a fan or anything.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Benefacio, Apr 23rd, 2009 @ 3:44pm

    Ummmm...

    It's a pity that they might actually have to continue working, rather than living off one single hit?

    Mike, I know you wrote this but I am only using it here as a point of reference; my following paragraph is meant for you and the general crowd of fellow Techpunks. I have seen this asked here and elsewhere but don't get what the point is. Are you implying nothing previously made (insert time frame here) has value because it is old, no one should attempt to sell it because it is old, no one should buy it because it is old or that anyone buying old stuff is getting ripped off? It seems to me that if you truly believe in a free market then there can be no objection. I think that as long as consumers find the song valuable and willing to pay the asking price then anything that stops that is market intervention.

    ...and were unable to make any money because they were limited by gatekeepers known as the major record labels.... That's because the only path to getting paid was to sign to a record label, and many bands were unable to do that.


    Now this is just not historically accurate. Granted they could not make the large sums of money that other bands made but they all had the opportunity to make money through concerts, bar gigs and, as some rap bands for a generic example proved, starting their own record label. The wall always had gaps in it and the gate keeping was never as all pervasive as some thought, and seem to still do.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    2persons, Apr 23rd, 2009 @ 9:17pm

    Re: Lucky?

    Bravo! Well spoken my wise friend.

    Freedom!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Apr 24th, 2009 @ 10:37am

    Re: Ummmm...

    Mike, I know you wrote this but I am only using it here as a point of reference; my following paragraph is meant for you and the general crowd of fellow Techpunks. I have seen this asked here and elsewhere but don't get what the point is. Are you implying nothing previously made (insert time frame here) has value because it is old, no one should attempt to sell it because it is old, no one should buy it because it is old or that anyone buying old stuff is getting ripped off?

    Not at all. You are putting "should" instead of "will" into this. And you are also confusing value and price.

    Old things can be valuable, and of course you can try to sell old things -- but the point is that in a free market, price is determined by supply and demand. If a good is infinitely available (as a digital file is), then the price will get pushed to zero.

    So the answer is to focus on business models that deal in scarce goods. You can always sell old scarce goods, but simply making a copy of an infinite good won't be able to earn you much money, because it's free.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    RingoWasRight, Apr 24th, 2009 @ 10:40am

    Thanks to Nasch, above, who answered questions I had asked.

    I have done some research myself into the questions being discussed here, including a brief look at the present status of Napster, which seems to be selling music these days.

    And of Pirate Bay and other such sites, I wonder, well, what they expected? The copyright and royalty systems are the law of the land(s), and the business of prosecutors is to enforce the laws. Napster wasn't housing protected music on its site, nor is Pirate, but the courts appear to have taken a dim view of facilitating the downloading of protected material, no matter where it was stored.

    It seems to me to be insufficient to say that the traditional music industry should just admit that they have been swamped by the wave of the future, and that if it can be downloaded, it will be, and that's the end of the argument. I don't see that that is an argument, first. Second, I wonder whether Pirate and similar sites have even attempted to find a way to observe perfectly legal protection arrangements that are already in place?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    Paul who?, May 16th, 2009 @ 7:25pm

    Who buys Paul Macartneys nowadays?... damn... that guy is confused... Beatles time is OVER!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    icon
    rawcookie (profile), Jun 4th, 2013 @ 11:57pm

    Re: Re:bricklayers and such

    The problem with the bricklayer argument is that he is doing work for hire. Whoever hired him will rent space in that building for as long as they own it. The same is true with music. If I hire musicians to play my music at a demo studio it is work for hire and I own the rights to it and can make money from royalties for as long as I own it. Those musicians, like the bricklayer, move on to the next job.

    I see no reason why sites like pirate bay should not have to pay license fees just like any brick and mortar club where music is played.

    As for the apartment, you have an agreement with your landlord to pay a certain amount for the use of it regardless of what you do there (except you might not want to advertise that you are selling liquor without a license) and if the owners of the club are using that music to make money they should have to pay license fees for it (or buy the rights to it) just like they are paying the owner of the brick walls that he paid to have laid (or buy the building) so they would have a place to fill with young bodies.

    Oh, and if the movie is bad no one is going to watch it and the royalties for the song will dry up.

    Now, that being said, you and anyone including me is allowed to give music we own the rights to for free but no one should be allowed to make that decision for us.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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