UK's Digital Economy Bill Does Promote New Music... But It's Songs Against The Bill

from the dear-mandy dept

A little while back, we posted about Dan Bull's excellent song protesting Peter Mandelson's Digital Economy Bill, which (among other things) would force ISPs to kick off users accused of file sharing, and grant the UK Business Secretary incredible sweeping powers to change copyright law at will. And while the stated purpose behind such a law is to "help protect the entertainment industry" it seems that it's actually incentivizing the creation of new works in a different way. Martin points us to a competition that was recently held for songs about the Digital Economy Bill. The "winning" song is called "Only Idiots Assume" and is a punk ditty with some choice words for Peter Mandelson.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 11:04pm

    "Only Idiots Assume"......that they can have only one slice!!

    The nice thing about Peter Mandelson is that after politics, he has a very solid role in reshaping the pizza industry.

    As I'm sure you're aware, he'll become a real expert at cooking and, especially the pizza making (and baking) processes. I'm sure soon he'll sometime open a boutique in the Greater SFO area to make Mike's most scrumptious Kosher pizza pies. He'll be much more recognized and welcomed here.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 1:45am

    How much did the songs cost

    hey anti -Mike - those songs on that page must have cost $1000000 to make (by your counting) - wonder where they found the money?

     

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  3.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 2:25am

    Re: How much did the songs cost

    Where did I say that these songs would cost 1 million to make?

    Sorry, but as a troll, you generally fail.

     

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  4.  
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    Richard (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 4:00am

    Re: Re: How much did the songs cost

    Where did I say that these songs would cost 1 million to make?

    Here

    http://www.techdirt.com/article.php?sid=20100202/0216227999#c220

    You said $250000 for a recording in a paragraph that referred to $0.99 per song - so a reasonable inference is $250000 per song.

    There are >4 songs on that site so $100000 is a plausible result from your figures.

     

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  5.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 4:21am

    Re: Re: Re: How much did the songs cost

    Sorry, but the 250,000 number comes from an industry person, in regards to recording an album, not a single song:

    http://www.negativland.com/albini.html

    partially discussed in this thread:

    http://techdirt.com/articles/20100201/0028137983.shtml

    (search the page for "albini").

    So once again, someone is trying to quote me out of context and twist my words. How quaint.

     

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  6.  
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    PaulT (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 4:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: How much did the songs cost

    "As a consumer, you need to understand that the music you get for 99 cents a song is at a much lower rate than what it costs to produce it. When you are personally willing to pay $250,000 for a band to produce and distribute a new studio recording, you can decide what happens. Until then, you should consider that you are getting a great deal paying pennies to get access to the material."

    You clearly state that it costs $250,000 per song, without citing a source for the figure. You were accurately quoted.

    However, YOU are guilty of taking Albini out of context. The only place where he states $250,000 in that article is the following:

    "The first year's advance alone is $250,000."

    ADVANCE. Not the recording costs. Not the distribution costs. He breaks it down later in the article, and most of those costs are either negotiable/variable (cost of studio time) or not necessary for many artists (video shoot, buyout of contract from previous label, new instruments). The real figure is almost certainly lower than Albini states in his informative but rather outdated article, even if you mistake the advance for mandatory costs (it was originally written in the early 90s, well before current distribution and recording techniques had been invented).

    Again, you have been caught out in... well, I'll give you the benefit of a doubt and say you weren't lying but merely mistaken. I also enjoy the irony of you, the great defender of the status quo, getting your data from one of the great articles exposing and criticising the traditional models that rip off artists.

     

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  7.  
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    PaulT (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 4:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How much did the songs cost

    Of course, that should have read "per album", not "per song".

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Bad Analogy Guy, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 5:08am

    Re: "Only Idiots Assume"......that they can have only one slice!!

    Pro - Tip:

    For a really bad analogy, include a motor vehicle.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 5:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: How much did the songs cost

    "So once again, someone is trying to quote me out of context and twist my words. How quaint."

    Those damn people who do that. (I'm looking at you anti mike)

     

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  10.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 5:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How much did the songs cost

    I have not been caught out. The $250,000 is the amount of money needed to be put on the table to "produce and distribute a new studio recording". That includes promotion, marketing, and all that other stuff. I am using an industry insiders own numbers. If you have a problem with the numbers, talk to him.

    it isn't even a mistake, it's just taking numbers put out there from someone in the industry. I don't see anyone else putting numbers out there, so I have to go with what I can see.

    So in the end, I didn't say it costs $250,000 to record a new song, the 4 songs used in this example didn't cost a million to produce, nor did I suggest that in any way.

    Too bad you guys are busy trying to set up a high tech lynching for me rather than anything else. Keep going, it doesn't make me want to go away, just makes me laugh.

     

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  11.  
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    PaulT (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 5:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How much did the songs cost

    I'll break it down for you:

    1. The figures come from an article originally written in 1993. This is before most modern recording techniques existed, before digital distribution was possible, and when the only ways to get real widespread exposure were to tour, get radio airplay or get on to MTV. The industry then is not the industry now.

    Albini could only have dreamed of the drop in recording and distribution costs that have happened since then due to technology. You might as well be citing Hollywood figures in the silent era for all the relevance they have right now. Hell, even the Negativland repost of the article has been online for years, and that starts by apologising for the outdated figures. How is this proof of the modern industry we're discussing?

    2. When you originally stated those figures, you failed to cite a source. Therefore, the AC you originally argued with could not have known your source and therefore assumed you were plucking them out of your ass instead of from a 17 year old article.

    3. See the post I made directly after that. Yes, Albini's article does suggest album costs, but your original post was worded in a way that made it read like you were talking about songs. Again, if you don't bother citing your sources, people have to go on what you write. It's your problem if you're not clear.

    4. If you didn't troll every thread with half truths and dumb theories, you wouldn't be "lynched".

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    not today, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 5:59am

    flame war

    Flame war! Lets spend all our time insulting eachother, cos the arguements are irrelevant

    Both right, both wrong... both ****ers.

     

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  13.  
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    Richard (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 6:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: How much did the songs cost

    Sorry, but the 250,000 number comes from an industry person, in regards to recording an album, not a single song:
    ....
    So once again, someone is trying to quote me out of context and twist my words. How quaint.

    and that person would be you....

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    :), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 6:31am

    Numbers?

    Ardour $0
    LMMS $0
    Hydrogen drum beat $0
    TuxGuitar $0
    PC $3000(high end)
    Social Netowrd $0
    ISP $200(in the high end of the scale maybe)
    Guitar to USB $100(maybe)
    Arduino board $5
    Electronic parts $50
    Egg box to cover a whole room to create an ambient $0 - $500
    Foam mold for plating a room $50 + $5 for wood
    CNC(Computer Numeric Controller) drill - $200
    Thingverse ideas for trinkets $0
    Public Domain Music Sheets $0
    Youtube $0
    Vimeo $0
    Miro $0
    MythTV $0
    Apparell $1000(maybe?)
    Blue/Green sheet $0-$1000
    Cinerella/openmoviemaker/jashaka/jokosher/avidemux $0
    Kino/gnome subtitles/subtitleseditor/gaupol $0
    Audacity/rosegarden/denemo/musescore/muse/blender $0
    MIDI/fluidysynth/timidity $0-who knows.
    Joomla/silvestripe/ $0
    TinyERP $0
    xamp(LAMP tester) $0
    Public Domain media $0
    Gimp/synfig/inkscape $0
    Cinepaint 0$

    Total: $6000 minimum to make music today with art cover, website, promotion and everything.

    For commercial artists:

    Rent: month/year $500/$6000 (per starving artist)
    food: month/year $500/$6000 (per starving artist)

    Total: $18 000 with fix costs at $12 000

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    :), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 6:46am

    Numbers?

    oops!

    ISP month/year $200/$2400

    Fix cost are $14.400/year

    Legal representation not included.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    :), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 6:55am

    Numbers?

    http://steampunkworkshop.com/bus1.shtml

    Gorgeous steampunk bus for touring $3500-$10 000.

     

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  17.  
    icon
    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How much did the songs cost

    Paul, those numbers are the only ones I have seen from "the band side" that discuss the issue directly in that sort of format.

    1 - There is plenty of vague stories out there about advances and costs, but this is the only one that actually details it out. If you have something newer, I would love to see it.

    2 - if the AC was reading Techdirt as a whole, he would have seen those numbers come up in the previous discussion (which this AC actually posted in after my comments and a fairly long discussion back and forth on the issue). The AC was just trying to troll by bringing unrelated information into this discussion, trying to get my goat. He instead gave me a good laugh.

    3 - My original post does not suggest that a single song costs 250,000. Few artists (if any) product just singles, they produce albums (even the sainted Corey Smith makes albums). If I cite my sources for all my comments in each post, the comment section might run 20 pages. That is meaningless.

    4 - So you are saying that only Mike and this AC can run with half truths and dumb theories?

     

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  18.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How much did the songs cost

    I do have to add this, considering one of the songs is called "only idiots assume", I might think that the song is about intentionally misreading my post in another thread and assuming something that it does not say.

    Sort of classic, isn't it?

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    BBT, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:26am

    "It's songs"

    ooh, a rare double apostrophe fail. Impressive.

     

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  20.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How much did the songs cost

    "If you have something newer, I would love to see it."

    Sadly I don't, but then the recording industry is as notorious as the movie studios when it comes to accurately reporting their costs. Unless another major label insider has written a similar article, I don't think there's any non-independent figures available to the public. Given your usual form, I'd guess you really want major label figures. But, please, if you do come across such figures I'd be happy to look at them and see whether my own assumptions are correct.

    My main point stands, however - you cannot possibly claim that figures from an album made 17 years ago, in the pre-digital, pre-internet days have any direct bearing on the costs of an album today. Pretending that they do is disingenuous at best, especially when you don't cite where you're getting the figures from.

    "if the AC was reading Techdirt as a whole, he would have seen those numbers come up in the previous discussion"

    If the AC is like me in any way, he may only read the site sporadically. For example, I only tend to log in here while I'm at work during quiet periods. Unfortunately, the site is set up in a way that doesn't provide an easy way to see new posts in a discussion without finding the article and scrolling down to where you left off. Therefore, it's easy to miss parts of some discussions.

    It might be a pain, but if your entire argument depends on a previous thread, it's better to repeat the information or link back to it, rather than assuming that every reader will have read the previous discussion.

    "My original post does not suggest that a single song costs 250,000."

    You wrote 2 sentences, one after the other. The first said "songs", the second said "studio recording". A song can be a studio recording. The reasonable assumption, without any further clues to your intent, is to assume that you were referring to songs in both sentences.

    It's unfortunate that your words were misunderstood, but the problem was your wording and not an attempt to attack or misrepresent you.

    "So you are saying that only Mike and this AC can run with half truths and dumb theories?"

    You're free to refute any of their claims, citing good reasons and evidence of why they are wrong. You don't do this, and instead make wild and easily disproved claims (e.g. your claims last week about WEP being secure) or defend even the silliest corporate actions. Hell, your very identity here is as a contrarian to everything Mike says, often regardless of whether he's correct.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 11:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How much did the songs cost

    That's our TAMMY!

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    RD, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 5:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How much did the songs cost FUCK YOU TAM!

    Let me begin by saying FUCK YOU TAM YOU ASSHOLE HYPOCRITE!

    "2 - if the AC was reading Techdirt as a whole, he would have seen those numbers come up in the previous discussion (which this AC actually posted in after my comments and a fairly long discussion back and forth on the issue). The AC was just trying to troll by bringing unrelated information into this discussion, trying to get my goat. He instead gave me a good laugh."

    Oh, like you didnt JUST chew me out about referring to previous discussions and how you "dont have time" to "go through all the comments" to find where I replied in many instances?

    Oh right, you are a HYPOCRITE, so you only see things one way.

    FUCK YOU TAM!

    "3 - My original post does not suggest that a single song costs 250,000. Few artists (if any) product just singles, they produce albums (even the sainted Corey Smith makes albums). If I cite my sources for all my comments in each post, the comment section might run 20 pages. That is meaningless."

    Oh, you mean, like how you DONT constantly call people to the SAME carpet when it comes to relevant references and citing the statistics they claim? You do this yourself ALL THE TIME.

    Oh right, you are a HYPOCRITE, so you only see things one way.

    FUCK YOU TAM!

     

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