Is Uncompensated Commercial Use Of An Artist's Content Really That Bad?

from the free-promotion dept

We've discussed a few times how the whole distinction between "commercial use" and "non-commercial use" can be somewhat arbitrary. Even though many Creative Commons supporters insist that a "non-commercial" license is the way to go, there are some good arguments as to why such a limitation isn't a good idea either.

Long-time Techdirt reader SteelWolf sent in a blog post he recently did on the subject, where he makes the argument that uncompensated commercial use of an artist's work isn't something to worry about. The idea that some company will come along and "profit" from your work without giving you a cent is misguided, because there are all sorts of opportunities for you to take advantage of such a use directly yourself:
A budding musical artist writes and records a song, putting it into the Public Domain/copyleft on his website for his fans to share and enjoy how they wish. Somebody from a major television network finds the song and use it in a new show without even giving credit. The show goes on to become a hit, making the network millions while the musician remains poor. How should he respond?

First of all one has to understand that it is highly unlikely that the show was successful solely because of the inclusion of the song. Commercial success does not suddenly mean money is owed. While it may have been nice to get free money (royalties and the like) from repeated airings of the show, it is not that but the lack of proper attribution that is the real cause for frustration.

Assuming the network will never deign to correct its mistake, I think one of the most important things to do is use the internet connect the song and show back to the artist. If the song really brought that many people to the show, they are likely to start searching for it online. Something like a post on the artist's website will show up clearly in search results, and it gives the artist an opportunity to direct new visitors to free downloads of the song, concert dates, and his other reasons to buy (perhaps tweaked to appeal to fans of the show). It's also a good idea to have a way for people to send donations.

Granted, these things aren't going to make you rich, but then neither are royalties. What it does do is save the artist tons of money in legal costs trying to fight the network, and help build his name as somebody who creates quality music and expand his fanbase -- all despite the network's "oversight" in crediting the person behind the work.
On top of that, we've seen over and over again, that when a company makes use of someone else's work for such uses without properly crediting the artist, it usually doesn't take much for that word to spread, and get more attention drawn to the artist. The artist can put up a blog post, noting that the TV show didn't credit him or her, and that even helps the story spread as well. It's yet another case where social mores work better than not just copyright, but non-commercial Creative Commons license as well.

And, with that, we'll leave the last word to Nina Paley:
non-commercial


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 7:59pm

    Just ask

    Most artists are so eager to have the exposure that they will give the TV show free use of the music. That's the kind of deal many bands/artists give to MTV. MTV doesn't even give you a heads up as to when a song might be used. You just give them blanket permission to use whatever songs you are willing to have them use, you provide the songs to them, and they are free to use them if and when they wish.

    But TV and film companies do go through the process getting permission first, and I think that is reasonable.

    In other words, the production companies ask, the artists give permission, and no money changes hands.

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 8:36pm

    Uncompensated use is really not that bad, even without "compensation" in the form of promotion. None of us get what we deserve in life. Not you, not me, and not artists. Everything we have is a gift.

     

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

  3.  
    icon
    Esahc (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 8:54pm

    The literary world would would have died centuries ago if authors needed permission to elude to another authors work.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 8:58pm

    Sounds like someone has been reading Thomas More' "Utopia".

     

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

  5.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 9:09pm

    Re:

    The literary world would would have died centuries ago if authors needed permission to elude to another authors work.

    The amount of music available that creators having willingly made available for commercial and non-commercial use is expanding all the time, so I think there will be plenty to choose from. In fact, support the artists who want the exposure rather than those who won't give permission.

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 10:23pm

    Commercial vs. non-commercial

    The problem with this attitude is that, in the long run, it won't help artists out any more than the copyright system does now.

    There have been plenty of posts on TechDirt (and other places) about how major labels completely screw over recording artists. These articles are accurate.

    CC (and other licenses) have a big advantage in that they put the power of copyright back into artists' hands (where I think they belong), while also guaranteeing the public's use of copyrighted material (which should be a condition of copyright existing in the first place).

    Here's the rub: the most popular CC license is a non-commercial license. That makes sense, frankly, from an economic perspective, and I have no objection to it.

    Now, does an artist - presently - have the power to make money on unlicensed use of their content? Yes, they do. But if this is allowed in a blanket sense, then the result is that artists won't get paid for their work. Artists (unlike e.g. programmers, even GPL programmers) produce work without getting paid up front, and have to count on making money down the line.

    One of the most lucrative ways to make money is (and always has been) licensing your work for commercial use. Unfortunately, if we take Mike's advice here, this revenue stream will be rendered null.

    Aside from the fact that it's a loss of revenue (which is an economic question), it also means that companies will be free to make money from artists' works, without those artists having any say in the matter. And that will not sit well with artists.

    Given the fact that the difference between an "artist" and a "citizen" is becoming smaller everyday, perhaps you might see my point. If you, Techdirt reader, made a YouTube video, and GM used that video to sell cars without paying you a dime or even asking permission, would you be OK with that?

    If you are OK with that, then how can you criticize Universal (for example) when they don't pay artists any royalties? Why forgive car commercials, when you won't forgive the RIAA?

     

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

  7.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 10:41pm

    Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    If you are OK with that, then how can you criticize Universal (for example) when they don't pay artists any royalties? Why forgive car commercials, when you won't forgive the RIAA?

    And that is why many artists did sign major label deals and some continue to do so. They know they won't see any money from the recordings, but they feel the promotional opportunities are worth it.

    Lady Gaga is a huge star because of her label. And since she has a 360 deal with it, the label doesn't really care if people buy the recorded music. As long as Lady Gaga generates money from any source the label gets a piece of it.

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    r4ltman, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 11:11pm

    rear view thinking again

    Ultimately if the artist wanted to set up a pay what you feel situation they could, yea they'd have to part with some money if they didn't want to invest in the web design themselves.

    Commissions based on influence that is clearly able to be analyzed is the future, we simply need to do away with concerning the existing infrastructure of copyright and create an additional infrastructure that can gauge who created the content, who took that content, who wants that content and who's selling that content and thankfully we all have information forensics so we can see the file date and it is THE FILE DATE that will save the day, to build the case that proves the origin regardless of legal resources. And thus, the result of the irresistible force and the immovable object give birth to the precendentless version of intermediary commodification resulting in the distribution of some type of incentive...IN some type of Form.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 12:23am

    Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    Why people can just be happy with what they got?

    Just sell what you can and if other do a better job why bother with what they make or not?

    Eventually those people making a lot of money out of that work will pay you to produce something else, just like it happens on open source projects people pay to produce something, once the music is out there it shouldn't matter who sold what and for how much, what matters is the continued production of works, you think people will pay to see a look a like or the real thing? where do fans go to find about their idol?

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 4:16am

    Is Uncompensated Commercial Use Of An Artist's Content Really That Bad?

    Yes, it is.

    The blog post quoted in the article is a fairy tale but wh'ev'. A major TV network isn't some mom filming her kid lip-synching to a Prince song, pay up OR give credit, or fuck off, tyvm.

    Also the comic strip's 3rd panel is a baffling non-sequitur.

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 5:10am

    There's more than money involved here

    There's more than money involved here. The non-commercial clause allows one to retain some control over how the music is used. Regardless of whether I get paid or not, I still don't want the likes of the RIAA using my output.

     

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

  12.  
    icon
    iamtheky (profile), Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 5:33am

    Confusing "uncompensated", "unpaid", and "without permission" is a fantastic way to end the week.

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 5:41am

    Re:

    Only a fool would deny exposure on a TV network because they didn't get credit or a fee for it. Credit finds its way back, and the broadcast is worth far more than any royalties would ever amount to.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    roller, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 7:22am

    Full Circle

    I generally agree with the direction most of the articles on Techdirt go, but... It's ok to not pay, it's ok not to get paid, as long as you're smart enough to figure out how to get paid by those not wanting to pay? At this point we're all on a commune in the middle of nowhere asking each other "How'd I get here?" The buck has to stop somewhere.

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    steve, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 7:34am

    Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    The difference is the car company in your example is not collecting money saying they will help video producers and then keeping the money like the RIAA does for musicians.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 7:50am

    Re:

    Why would anyone want to escape from another author's work?

    http://www.dailywritingtips.com/allude-and-elude/

     

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

  17.  
    icon
    R. Miles (profile), Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 8:28am

    Standing Ovation! *whistles*

    Steelwolf's write-up nails it perfectly.

    By the way, Nina: this is my favorite strip you did. I think this one points out the problem unlike any other.
    :)

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Bob S, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 9:07am

    Get real

    You're pretty clueless about how people actually make a living in performance, journalism or media production. Or maybe this is just meant to be intentionally wrong to provoke visibility, in which case you might be more savvy that I am giving you credit for.

    There is no justifiable reason why large extremely wealthy companies would fail to compensate the people who produce the content they use. Moreover, the vast middle ground for people who produce media as a living is in between total obscurity and large success: it is people who get by without big "web enabled" success by selling a steady stream of content. THis is what most people do (if they are making a living in media) and it depends completely on people getting some compensation for their work. Just getting people to see or hear some of your work is usually worthless, so stop kidding yourself. That's good if you aspire to making it REALLY big, which less with one in 100,000 ever manage to do (and many, like me, would not even want).

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 9:30am

    Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    Neither the RIAA nor the MPAA are so-called "collection societies". They are solely industry organizations, just like the IEEE, the AIA, the AIAA, etc., etc., etc.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 10:01am

    Re:

    BUT IT'Z TEH GREAT MYKE MASNIK SAYING THIS. HOW DARE U QUESTION HIM?!!!! HE IS ALWAYS RIGHT ABOUT EVERYONE BEING GREEDY AND IS CLEARLY CORRECT WHEN SAYING THAT EVERYONE SHOULD WORK FOR FREE AND SHARE AND HUG.

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 10:10am

    This is inexcusable. Even giving "credit" for the song isn't going to pay the musician's bills. Everything can't be a free promotional tool. If someone is selling something, that includes someone's music, they should be compensated. "Royalties aren't going to make you rich" True, but will anything make you rich in the music business? No. But royalties are the bread-and-butter of many artists who create music for TV & film. You can make real money doing it. But not if you are expected to give your music away for free just for "promotional" value.

     

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

  22.  
    icon
    herodotus (profile), Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 10:14am

    Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    I knew that no one would give an adequate response to this.

    The people that lose when commercial concerns use other people's music without compensation are not the cute singers like Lady Gaga or buzz bands like Sigur Ros. The people who lose out are composers, who really have no hope of making money, EXCEPT through licensing.

    Even if you can 'get your name out there' with the promotional value inherent in a commercial, if no one is paying to license things, the only value that you will get out of said promotion is the knowledge that people like your music. Woohoo.

    Now, how is that I know that someone is going to come along and say something like: 'If you chose to be a composer even when no one wants to pay to use your music, then that is your mistake. That doesn't give you an excuse to hinder the creation of cultural artifacts like commercials with obsolete concepts like licensing.'

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    Ray Dowd, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 10:25am

    A musician's career usually has an arc. In the beginning, a license for a nominal fee, with credit, is great to get the name out there and to have a credential to build buzz. But over time, the smaller payments become hopefully larger. If the television production submits cue sheets (many don't, particularly cable), the money they already pay to ASCAP will be attributed to the artist.

    I think your post is a little too theoretical. Credit is very very important in the creative arts. Exploiting young or undiscovered talent for next-to-nothing is the tradition: film, music, photography, painting, whatever.

    Television shows already pay blanket licensing fees for music. Not registering copyrights, not filling out the ASCAP/BMI paperwork, and not making sure that you are credited properly is simply poor business behavior, letting a stream of money go to the other artists who do what they are supposed to do and does not in any way implicate the evils of the copyright system.

    In terms of the television production not licensing a sound recording, it makes no sense to argue that they should just borrow what they like. A "fresh" song, a "fresh" photo or a "fresh" vision is what high-end content creators are looking for. They don't want tired/played stuff. So by "exposing" the product, the desperate artist can destroy his/her most desirable market.

    You can't use some kind of Chicago-School social Darwinism theory to argue that the best songs kind of rise to the top on their merits. It's just not how humans work. The right song, played in the right film, with the right director, will "pop". Absent control, the song will be burned and "flop".

    So yes, uncompensated commercial use is really really bad.

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 11:17am

    TECHDURT will be my website where I steal err copy EVERYTHING from this website removing all traces of techdirt. I will profit from their work but hey it's cool. If someone wants to do the work they will find the original person who made the content.


    Yea,and how fast will the C&D show up?

    And "starving artist" wasn't coined from nothing.

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 11:39am

    I don't think it is bad, I believe people will distinguish and punish the bad players no need for law to get involved, more like the article says it opens other doors is just some people want to have absolute control of what they put out and that is the root of all the evil today, it is how it started, people want to control were or how something is used and that is just not cool it is not productive.

    I don't like the RIAA and other entities like it, will I give them money? no.

    Would I endorse an artist? sure, there are other ways to make the same mechanism to ensure people are correctly attributed and paid that can be enforced in a more open way, like Nina Paley using the endorsed logo she doesn't need to worry about others her fans will start looking for that logo because that means she is in the win or the fail, people can use but they can't claim it is endorsed by her if they don't have the logo.

    I don't like the NC(non commercial) thing, but I do put up with it because I do recognize that out there at the moment there is no alternative way that got traction, but I think people should keep moving on and stablish the new mechanism that will permit others to be free and at the same time guarantee a fair chance at remuneration for artists.

    What I like about open source is that anybody can go there and fork it, that is what keeps projects alive, and that works for every other type of work once it is out there the original creator don't have control he lost that and he have to prove that he is worth the trouble, it is beautiful it benefits people who work and care and are able to adapt and people get credits and paid why shouldn't it work with music or any other type of endeavor?

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 11:45am

    Re: There's more than money involved here

    You want freedom but don't want to grant that freedom to others?

    I have more faith in people, they will notice something is wrong and start using those things, that is the major incentive big companies will have to endorse artists and pay them, because they don't won't to be cast in a bad light that could hurt their bottom line, and sure there will be people who will take it and not pay anything or give credit, but people are smart they notice those things and care about and that didn't change much throughout history why would it change now?

    Open source depends on it and it works.

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 11:55am

    Re:

    I think mike should have a FAQ and put the answer to that question there so people can point out to other that arrive.

    It was stated many times before that you can use any and every piece of material posted here, you can even try to make it your own if you can get away with it and don't have anyone point out and humiliate you for not giving credit, Google is a bitch in this case because if you get any piece of text and search it for it, it will probably show Techdirt first at which point people will start noticing from where the content is coming LoL

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 12:16pm

    Great example of a success story.

    http://www.sintel.org/sharing/

    And it is not the first is the third time already, I remember Tom bitching about not getting paid but I never heard the man ever complain about others using his stuff.

    Today he not only get paid he got money to pay for the Blender foundation headquarters, servers, trip expenses, staff and salaries, the community came through for him and he is building up a strong community(fan base) that will give him whatever he needs to accomplish things and many Blender programmers got high paying jobs elsewhere, and they still keep contribuiting to Blender.

    This is not a one off story either, the open source community is filled with those cases.

    If you let others create a market and gain from it those people making money out of it eventually will come to you, because they need you to keep creating, this is not fantasy or some theoretical, is how it really works.

    Don't be afraid to set work free, it will bear fruits if you can prove you deserve it.

    Not having exclusives rights also guarantee that somebody somewhere will create some fantastic thing that people will want to have it opens the door for creative entrepreneurship where the people who work can go in to take what they need to succeed.

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 12:34pm

    Re:

    Homo unius libri

     

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

  30.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re: There's more than money involved here

    I have more faith in people, they will notice something is wrong and start using those things, that is the major incentive big companies will have to endorse artists and pay them, because they don't won't to be cast in a bad light that could hurt their bottom line, and sure there will be people who will take it and not pay anything or give credit, but people are smart they notice those things and care about and that didn't change much throughout history why would it change now?

    The average consumer probably isn't going to know which companies are paying artists and which ones aren't. How are they going to know? Sure, there may be websites that point out which companies don't pay artists or musicians, but to what extent do people monitor those sites? Generally people only boycott companies when there is a big campaign and it's centered around a major social issue.

    Let's say you are out somewhere and your kid wants a t-shirt with some tv star or sports image on it. You see two of them in the mall. One is noticeably cheaper than the other and your kid is screaming that he wants one. One might have been officially licensed and other other may involve an unauthorized use of the image. Do you think the average harried parent is going to think to himself, "I better look for the official licensed tag and buy that one"?

    And how many of you make sure that you only support companies that pay for licensing?

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    Bob, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 12:54pm

    While we're saying "it's not so bad..."

    There's a flip side to this to, "Is compensating the artists really that bad?"

    Seriously. Consider the wonderful blogs that love to use Flickr photos that are licensed with creative commons licenses. Techdirt is one of the few blogs that doesn't dress up their text with cute images. Many major ones like Wired and BoingBoing make plenty of money but somehow they seem to think it's cool to cut photographers out of the gravy.

    If the photographers complain, first someone says that the "publicity" is a good reward. When the photographers get sick of never getting any real money from publicity and start complaining again, we get the kind of knee-jerk openness is great argument that somehow Galileo discovered the earth went around the sun because there were no patents. And like we're all supposed to be cool.

    But let's look at it from the other direction. The rectangle that is BoingBoing may be 50% covered by photos taken by people who get nada, zip, zilch from the ad revenue. Many blogs uses photos in the same way. If the people are enjoying the blog and the advertisers are paying to be associated with a seductive, well-produced web site, why shouldn't the image creators get their share? Is paying them really that bad?

     

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

  32.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 1:13pm

    Re: While we're saying "it's not so bad..."

    Huffington Post is a great example of not feeling the need to pay contributors. That's just how it is going with everything these days. People want audiences to such extent that they will give away their photos, their writing, their music, their videos, etc. In some cases they hope to make their money via whatever fame they might accrue from the exposure. In other cases, they don't care if they make money because they aren't depending on these creative efforts to pay their bills.

    I'm primarily concerned with the bigger economic picture of how anyone makes any money doing anything. If consumers don't have jobs, they don't go to shows, they don't buy t-shirts, etc., so artists don't get paid no matter what they hope to sell. We end up with a lot of people giving each other free stuff, which works well for a lot of things online, but less well when there are things you need to survive and can't find anyone to give you those for free.

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    Jose_X, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Get real

    >> There is no justifiable reason why large extremely wealthy companies would fail to compensate the people who produce the content they use.

    Are you saying companies prefer to pay or have no preference paying Americans $20/hour rather than shipping work across seas for $1/hour plus shipping and handling, given the choice?

    Yes, there is a reason a company would hold back compensation. It's called maximizing profits, and it is the explicit goal ("bottom line") of most for-profit corporations. In fact, law actually pushes them to think first of their investors and later of society + dog.

    This is why they want monopolies and as much control as possible in as many areas as possible.

    A key point is what about the rest of society? What about the many that can do great work by leveraging others (ie, copy X% and add their own spin Y%)? How should copyright law be written if at all?

    Another key point is that if no one owns the music, is this better for those that create a work or not, and are they more likely to create more and better works or not? How about those that add on to existing works but would borrow more than a token amount? How do these affect the dynamics?

    Fact is that if you have skill, there will be demand. One thing that is almost sure is that those with money will pay if only to have you host an exclusive event where they can hear new stuff not generally heard elsewhere and of decent quality. Those of large size wanting to sell something will pay you something for various reasons if they don't already own the music. Companies will pay employees to use others' material and add their own spin. Those that like breaking new ground will attract teaching and speaking positions and awards (and further fans afterward). So point is that whether you prefer to stick with the most original stuff or are versatile and prefer to use existing material, there is money to be made if you develop skills.

    Hey, why should a company pay someone to push buttons, talk to customers, etc? And why would they pay some more than others?

    In any case, I am not libertarian because I think there are many imbalances and network effects that can lead some to acquire lots of control and hang in there for a long time to the frustration of many more. I find value in having a government that tries to represent the people (and there are better ways to execute in that department). So I accept imperfect laws. But our current copyright system and supporters have gone too far and are in denial.

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    Jose_X, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 1:28pm

    Re:

    Let's look at one example.

    As they gain fame, their endorsement will gain value. Without doing much except having their music spread, the price their endorsement will command will go up.

    And there are many ways to endorse. You don't have to endorse exclusively. You can endorse those that, eg, give you something in return (eg, some cash).

    Also, as fame grows, opportunities will open up for them.

     

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

  35.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 2:23pm

    Re:

    TECHDURT will be my website where I steal err copy EVERYTHING from this website removing all traces of techdirt.

    Go for it. It's been done in the past, and Mike has never sent a C&D.

     

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

  36.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    Just sell what you can and if other do a better job why bother with what they make or not?

    If those others are corporations, and the profits from my music fund efforts to take away the rights of artists and the public, then I'm going to have a problem with that.

     

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

  37.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 2:43pm

    Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    The people who lose out are composers, who really have no hope of making money, EXCEPT through licensing.

    Actually, there are plenty of composers who do work for hire, and are paid a flat fee rather than a cut of the licensing.

    And if exposure helps you get more gigs on a "work for hire" basis, then allowing commercial use could be very beneficial.

    But you're right, the artists who currently make the most through licensing are the composers, and they have the most to lose.

     

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

  38.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 2:46pm

    Re:

    To be fair, they're all related. If you give up one, you give up the rest.

     

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

  39.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Get real

    it depends completely on people getting some compensation for their work.

    To be fair to Mike, nowhere does he say that artists shouldn't be compensated for their work. He just doesn't believe that a non-commercial license is the best way to do it.

    For example, plenty of people who work in the media do so on a "work for hire" basis. Perhaps even most of them. These folks never hold the copyright in the first place, so their income wouldn't be effected.

     

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

  40.  
    icon
    Auditrix (profile), Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 4:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    Hi Karl,

    I thought you would be interested in this information:

    Artists may earn as much as writers (50%) in connection with synch license fees, so artists have a lot to lose as well as composers.

    Also, most composers of works for hire continue to collect writer performance license royalties, and often other writer royalties or bonuses, even if they are paid an up-front flat fee. If there were "plenty of composers" willing to work without contingent compensation, there would be little demand from composers for my services. Also, up front fees would be higher.

     

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

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 4:54pm

    Re:

    Well, if you could point me towards an artist who starves from copyright infringement, I'll stop treating it as "nothing".

    I've asked the same at least two dozen times now, and not once has anyone followed me up on the request.

     

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

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 5:02pm

    Re: While we're saying "it's not so bad..."

    So what?

    Do you see builders trying to get money from the buildings they build after they have build it?

    Do you see the manufacturing industry trying to cash in on those things they manufacture after they sold it?

    Nope, because work done is not to be charged again, and again and again and again and again.

    Shouldn't those photographer's be asking for money before they show the pictures to the world?

    Why should they care what happens to those photos after?

    Is there any other worker in the world that can keep charging their employer's for work they have done once?

     

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

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 5:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    Can't you call the out in the public?

    They can't sue you for telling the truth and even if they do that, you will get popular support to defend yourself and your work you don't actually need more than that to give them a bad day.

    You think corporations are happy with the fragmentation of their control?

    Nope control is what give them power to cash in and stop other from creating wealth that could be used to undermine their position, in this case no control is a better choice even if it has some drawbacks.

     

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

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 5:13pm

    Re:

    You can't use some kind of Chicago-School social Darwinism theory to argue that the best songs kind of rise to the top on their merits. It's just not how humans work. The right song, played in the right film, with the right director, will "pop". Absent control, the song will be burned and "flop".



    And this is exactly the reason why unauthorized use is a good thing: it maximizes usage of your music, which maximizes your chances of "popping".

    There's a good reason why public domain, classical music is the most recognizable across all generations: because they're used often and repeatedly. They're all quality songs - obviously, which is why people use them so much - but it'd be a joke to suggest that's why a 14 year old wannabe rapper knows the sound of Beethoven's 5th.

     

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

  45.  
    icon
    herodotus (profile), Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 5:26pm

    "Do you see builders trying to get money from the buildings they build after they have build it?

    Do you see the manufacturing industry trying to cash in on those things they manufacture after they sold it?

    Nope, because work done is not to be charged again, and again and again and again and again."


    This line gets really, really tired.

    Builders and manufacturers are paid in ways that are simply not available to musicians. Either they bid and get a contract, or they get paid an hourly wage. Musicians, on the other hand, rarely have this option. The ones who have such an option offered to them take it sight unseen, because it's such a rare opportunity.

    And there ARE people who get paid again and again and again long after you are in possession of their product: mortgage lenders. And yet no one complains about this. Why? Because they understand that the mortgage company didn't get all of their money up front. The same is true with musicians who earn money off of royalties. Why people have so much trouble understanding this is beyond me.

     

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

  46.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 5:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    They can't sue you for telling the truth and even if they do that, you will get popular support to defend yourself and your work you don't actually need more than that to give them a bad day.

    Bands have tried to steer their fans clear of unauthorized merchandise, but the fans aren't necessarily sympathetic.

    Similarly, while some companies emphasize that they use "fair trade" practices or that their products are certified organic, you have people who don't want to pay extra and will go with the cheapest price. There have been boycotts (e.g., grapes, Nike products), but generally to have much effect it requires quite a bit of organizing.

    I can't see shaming companies that don't pay artists to use their music gaining a lot of traction. All the companies have to do, like MTV has done, is ask artists to submit their artwork/music/writing for free and sign a licensing agreement for those terms. There's just so much content/art out there that most companies can get what they need for free. In fact, that's what crowdsourcing is all about now. Get lots of submissions and pay little or nothing for them.

     

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

  47.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 5:41pm

    Re: Re: While we're saying "it's not so bad..."

    Do you see builders trying to get money from the buildings they build after they have build it?

    If you build a building (like a museum), pay for all the materials, the construction, etc., and then charge admission each time people go through the door, isn't that the same thing? You're not even delivering a different experience each time. Same exhibits. Same staffers. Why aren't users charged a one-time fee that covers them for life? Why do they pay each time they enter? Because in order to recover costs, the museum would have to charge a fairly high one-time fee, so it is more affordable for most people to pay per visit.

     

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

  48.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 5:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    Hi, Auditrix.

    What you say is true of many composers, but not all (e.g. jingle writers, Muzak employees).

    My point was that if you get rid of the necessity to pay royalties (which means effectively the end of royalties), then these types of jobs would still exist. And the jobs that exist now, would go from royalty-based to flat-fee-based.

    But I have no idea how this would translate to artists making more money than they do now. Frankly, I think they would make a lot less, while the businesses that used the content would end up making more.

    That doesn't sit right with me. There is a very solid argument for allowing non-commercial use; namely, that disallowing it takes away the rights of the public. I happen to agree with that argument, and I think non-commercial use should be allowed by law.

    But that argument doesn't apply to commercial entities, because businesses aren't members of the public. They don't, and shouldn't, have as many rights as any citizen. If their commercial rights are infringed upon, so what?

    The argument that Mike and Nina (among others) make is that preventing commercial use can also infringe upon the rights of the public, in that certain public uses can be seen as "commercial," even when they really shouldn't. That is also a good argument.

    But I think a better solution is to more accurately differentiate between commercial and public use. Doing away with the -NC clause is throwing out the baby with the bathwater. In my opinion.

     

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

  49.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 6:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    But that argument doesn't apply to commercial entities, because businesses aren't members of the public. They don't, and shouldn't, have as many rights as any citizen. If their commercial rights are infringed upon, so what?

    I agree with the idea that it's nice to share the wealth. The reasoning behind having artists receive payment from a for-sale use is that if they contribute to the sale, they should share in the sale. Michael Jordan has an arrangement from Nike that he gets a percentage of every Air Jordan being sold.

    Most musicians don't have the clout to negotiate that kind of deal, however. And with so many musicians willing to provide their music for free in exchange for exposure, most companies do not have to pay much for music. In a few cases the song may be so iconic that the company wants that particular song and nothing else, but relatively few companies are that committed to any particular piece of music. Substitutions can be and are found. And as more music libraries are amassed, where music is pre-cleared and organized by type, it becomes increasingly easy for music supervisors to find what they want quickly and without much expense.

     

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

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 6:24pm

    Re:

    Hahahahaha

    Do it. We're all very curious to see how much money you can make. Hurry up! Do it already. And don't forget to tell us. What's taking so long? Hurry up and do it!

     

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

  51.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 6:25pm

    Definition of commercial use?

    It seems to me that "commercial use" should actually be pretty easy to define. For a use to be commercial, one of two things needs to be true:

    1. You are charging for copies of, or access to, the content.

    2. You are legally registered as a business.

    ("You" means the entity actually offering the content, not third parties such as YouTube or Rapidshare.)

    If neither of these things is true, the use isn't commercial.

    Now, obviously there are still going to be some grey areas, but I think this criteria solves about 99% of the problems.

     

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

  52.  
    identicon
    Textynn, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 7:27pm

    free use.

    I used to have an artistic rubber stamp business. These are rubber stamps that have artwork for hobbyists to make cards , etc with. The seller , obviously, has to allow users a limited copyright to make cards or whatever. Most artistic rubber stamp businesses have an official policy about the use of their images. They usually require that work done with their images can be sold up to 500 or some arbitrary number like that.

    When publishing rubber stamp art, artists list all the rubber stamps by image with company name somewhere in the text. It may sound a little funny to do this but this is the way it is done.

    One thing that can happen if an artist does not protect themselves when it comes to free images is someone can claim the image after a while and then turn around and forbid the actual artist to use the work. You have to be heavily protected which free art usually is not. If a wealthy company wants to steal your work and you're not protected, it's gone. period.

    Another problem is if someone's work is believed to be the property of another and the artist tries to sell something of theirs that is similar, potential buyers wonder if the artist really owns the work or worry that it looks too much like something owned by "they think" someone else, etc.

    The user should always give credit for free art and the artist should always stipulate that credit is required for use,as well as, the work is not available to be sold by others outside of small numbers at what I would call a "Craft Level". Selling an artist's work at the national or international level would obviously be prohibited under this stipulation.

    Many stamp artists also stipulate that their images cannot be altered and also their copyright mark must remain. If you are going to pay to copyright your work, you might as well retain control of it. Otherwise, someone else will.

     

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

  53.  
    identicon
    Textynn, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 8:00pm

    Re: Definition of commercial use?

    I agree. Obviously, the artist of the free work doesn't want someone else selling their free art. Which the people distributing the show are doing if they are selling a product in which this free work is a subset. Obviously, the artist doesn't want to lose their control of the work by having it claimed by another person. Particularly, another person that has a popular public work documenting existence of said work aka Nine tenths of the law AKA OWNERSHIP.

    Also: It is not always about money, the actual copyright itself comes into question very fast when ownership is questionable. What if the show was popular and they were selling copies of the song for musical merchandise?

    Sure it could be good for the artist or it might just be a trumpet call to other rich and wealthy interests to snatch an armature's work.

    Good Art is very valuable and lots of untalented people damn well know it.

     

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

  54.  
    icon
    Jon Lawrence (profile), Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 9:09pm

    Re: Cue Sheets

    Just a brief response - all cable programming I've worked on for the last 7 years have always required cue sheets as part of our deliverables.

    No cue sheets, no final payments.

    What the networks ARE requiring though, is royalty free music.

     

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

  55.  
    icon
    Jon Lawrence (profile), Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 9:15pm

    Context, Context, Context

    What if the Artist WANTS the art to be free?

    Case in point. I put over $40,000 in materials, and 50K in labor into something I produced. It was all donated, granted, but it was my work that got it all donated. And the content I wanted created, I wanted to be free.

    Another producer has taken that work, and is now trying to sell it online.

    I put the time and energy into it because it was important to me that people got access to a part of my business they don't usually get to see. Now it's tied up in legal limbo and even I can't release it myself at the moment.

    I'd be happy for people to have it for free. But stealing what I want to be free, for commercial purpose... well...

     

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

  56.  
    identicon
    colleen, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 9:28pm

    doesn't make it all OK

    Artists get screwed no matter how you cut things.

     

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

  57.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 10:35pm

    Re: Context, Context, Context

    Now it's tied up in legal limbo and even I can't release it myself at the moment.

    Actually, even if your content is licensed for commercial use, this should not happen.

    That is, even if this producer is selling the work online, he can not legally prevent others (including yourself) from distributing that same content.

    If this is actually happening to you in real life, then something else must be going on - either he's committing copyfraud, or he somehow acquired your copyright. If the former, then others (including you) should go ahead and sell or give away the content, since the producer has no legal right to prevent it. If the latter, then you're probably SOL.

     

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

  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 12:55am

    Re: Just ask

    In other words, the production companies ask, the artists give permission, and no money changes hands.

    I know about the laws that let them sue, but where's the one that says that artists must give permission with no money changing hands? I must have missed that one. Or are you just making stuff up like you usually do?

     

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

  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 1:20am

    Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    CC (and other licenses) have a big advantage in that they put the power of copyright back into artists' hands (where I think they belong), while also guaranteeing the public's use of copyrighted material (which should be a condition of copyright existing in the first place).

    Licenses, in general, do not guarantee "the public's use of copyrighted material".

    Here's the rub: the most popular CC license is a non-commercial license. That makes sense, frankly, from an economic perspective, and I have no objection to it.

    Why? Just because you say so?

    One of the most lucrative ways to make money is (and always has been) licensing your work for commercial use.

    The available evidence says otherwise.

    Given the fact that the difference between an "artist" and a "citizen" is becoming smaller everyday, perhaps you might see my point.

    Considering that there never was a difference, no, I don't see your point at all. I do, however, consider it to be arrogant snobbery to posit, as some do, that "artists" are some somehow "special" and should be granted privileges and protections above that of common "citizens". People who think that can fob off as far as I'm concerned.

    If you, Techdirt reader, made a YouTube video, and GM used that video to sell cars without paying you a dime or even asking permission, would you be OK with that?

    Yep.

    If you are OK with that, then how can you criticize Universal (for example) when they don't pay artists any royalties?

    If they aren't violating their contracts, then I don't. How about you?

    Why forgive car commercials, when you won't forgive the RIAA?

    Umm, you do realize that the RIAA isn't a record company don't you? It's a "club" that record companies belong to. Therefore, artists don't sign up with "the RIAA".

    However, artists do sign up with RIAA members. And I do criticize those members for using fraudulent accounting practices. But beyond that, I say that any "aritsts" that get into bed with an RIAA member then get screwed without fraud being involved are just getting what they deserve. Sometimes I help but snicker at their stupidity.

     

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

  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 1:26am

    Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    Lady Gaga is a huge star because of her label. And since she has a 360 deal with it, the label doesn't really care if people buy the recorded music.

    Oh, really? Well then, have you got something in writing from them promising that they won't sue anyone for distributing "unauthorized" recordings? If not, I'd say "there you go again, making stuff up" and that they actually do care very much about selling such recording themselves.

     

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

  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 1:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    If those others are corporations, and the profits from my music fund efforts to take away the rights of artists and the public...

    Just what "rights of artists" are you talking about? Some of those special rights you seem to think "artists" should have?

    then I'm going to have a problem with that.

    Sounds like a personal problem, to me.

     

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

  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 1:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    Bands have tried to steer their fans clear of unauthorized merchandise, but the fans aren't necessarily sympathetic.

    Bands have tried suing their fans too, but the fans weren't "necessarily sympathetic" to that either. Stupid fans.

    Similarly, while some companies emphasize that they use "fair trade" practices or that their products are certified organic, you have people who don't want to pay extra and will go with the cheapest price.

    Oh, horrors! Quick, we need laws to make people buy "organic" products! And we need the FBI to enforce them! Kind of like they're starting to do with copyright.
    /s

    I can't see shaming companies that don't pay artists to use their music gaining a lot of traction.

    No, free markets never work. That's why we need patents and copyrights and FBI enforcement instead!
    /s (again)

     

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

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 1:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    If there were "plenty of composers" willing to work without contingent compensation, there would be little demand from composers for my services. Also, up front fees would be higher.

    Yah, there are always lots of people looking for that "easy money".

     

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

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 1:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    That doesn't sit right with me. There is a very solid argument for allowing non-commercial use; namely, that disallowing it takes away the rights of the public. I happen to agree with that argument, and I think non-commercial use should be allowed by law.

    Your problem, I think, is that you seem to be unaware that "the public" is engaged in commerce. So the very idea that use should be allowed by the public but not by those engaged in commerce is nonsensical when they are one and the same. This weird idea that there is "the public" and then there are those engaged in commerce and that they are somehow different is just fantasy.

     

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

  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 1:59am

    Re: Re: Re: There's more than money involved here

    Do you think the average harried parent is going to think to himself, "I better look for the official licensed tag and buy that one"?

    If you care, you will, and if you don't, you won't.
    Pretty simple, really.

    Or are you saying that people should be allowed choice because they might not always make the choice you want them to, especially if they're "harried"? Oh yeah, freedom's a terrible thing, isn't it? Gotta eliminate that! But then, that's in line with your usual positions.

     

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

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 2:06am

    Re:

    TECHDURT blah blah blah...

    It's always amusing when the industry trolls show up here with that line. They just can't imagine, even in the not-so-far recess of their tiny little minds, that anyone would possibly pass up any opportunity to initiate any sort of legal action. To them, that just doesn't make sense! And you'll never convince them otherwise either. It's kind of like a religion to them.

     

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

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 2:11am

    Re: While we're saying "it's not so bad..."

    Hey Bob, how much did you pay Techdirt for the privilege of posting here? Or do you just think it's "cool", as you put it, to use Techdirt's resources without paying?

     

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

  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 2:15am

    Re: Re: Re: While we're saying "it's not so bad..."

    If you build a building (like a museum), pay for all the materials, the construction, etc., and then charge admission each time people go through the door, isn't that the same thing?

    Nope, not unless all the original construction artists who constructed the building get a cut of each ticket sold.

     

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

  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 2:22am

    Re:

    Builders and manufacturers are paid in ways that are simply not available to musicians. Either they bid and get a contract, or they get paid an hourly wage. Musicians, on the other hand, rarely have this option.

    That is just flat-out untrue. Musicians can choose the terms under which they are willing to work. It wasn't always so, but slavery was outlawed in the US a long time ago. To suggest otherwise is just plain dishonest.

    Why are copyright supporters so often such big liars? Is that the only way to justify copyright? If so, let's get rid of it.

     

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

  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 2:33am

    Re: Definition of commercial use?

    1. You are charging for copies of, or access to, the content.

    So, you're saying that using it for advertising, marketing or other promotional purposes isn't "commercial", huh? You have a pretty different idea then of the meaning of "commercial use" from most people.

    2. You are legally registered as a business.

    You do realize that you don't have to be "legally registered as a business" to engage in commerce in most places, don't you? No, of course not. That would require that you know at least a little bit about what you're talking about. Not your style, obviously.

     

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

  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 2:46am

    Re: free use.

    One thing that can happen if an artist does not protect themselves when it comes to free images is someone can claim the image after a while and then turn around and forbid the actual artist to use the work.

    Not legally. What you seem to be talking about is filing a false copyright with the copyright office is called "fraud" and is illegal. Of course, if it weren't for copyright such scams wouldn't be possible in the first place.

    You have to be heavily protected which free art usually is not.

    Why not? "Free" art gets copyright protection just like any other.

    If a wealthy company wants to steal your work and you're not protected, it's gone. period.

    Not true. You don't know much about the law, do you? You need to hire a good lawyer to straighten you out.

    If you are going to pay to copyright your work...

    Copyright is automatic, even without payment or registration, as soon as you create a work. Registration basically just allows you to sue for bigger damages in case of infringement, but you still have copyright without it. Again, you sound like you really need to talk to a real lawyer.

     

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

  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 2:52am

    Re: Context, Context, Context

    Now it's tied up in legal limbo and even I can't release it myself at the moment.

    Why not? Are they claiming copyright? And so now everything gets tied up in court with lawyers getting rich off the whole deal? Wow, sure sounds good, huh? Such a situation is only possible in the first place due to the copyright system. Isn't it great? Think about that.

    Abolish copyright.

     

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

  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 3:23am

    Re:

    A musician's career usually has an arc.

    Who's doesn't? And that makes them special how?

    Exploiting young or undiscovered talent for next-to-nothing is the tradition: film, music, photography, painting, whatever.

    Don't forget the "whatever" part because that's actually true for most fields of endeavor.

    Not registering copyrights, not filling out the ASCAP/BMI paperwork, and not making sure that you are credited properly is simply poor business behavior, letting a stream of money go to the other artists who do what they are supposed to do and does not in any way implicate the evils of the copyright system.

    Yeah, that's the way "systems" usually are. You either work the "system" or you get screwed. And of course, there are always lots of folks, sometimes known as "leeches" or "blood suckers", in such "systems" that make their living entirely off the "system" with contributing anything of value on their own. Especially lawyers, accountants, agents, and their ilk. Often, these "systems" will be so infested with leeches that they make more than the ones actually producing things of value. Of course, the leeches all support the system.

    In terms of the television production not licensing a sound recording, it makes no sense to argue that they should just borrow what they like.

    Why not? Oh, that's right, the leeches don't get a cut that way.

    The right song, played in the right film, with the right director, will "pop". Absent control, the song will be burned and "flop".

    "Control" is used to control which songs get played and have a chance of getting popular in the first place. "Control" is used to make sure that songs that the leeches can't feed off will be burned and "flop".

    So, what do you do for a living, Ray? On, I see, you're one of the leeches. Well, no wonder then.

     

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

  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 6:20am

    You must state any exclusions in advance. i.e. Free to download and copy except for commercial use. The artist must become part attorney especially in basic contract and copyright law. It's not hard, remember Lawyers learn how to do it. If law school is like other schools in the US then 40% of the curriculum is never used in real life, so that makes it way easier. What I did to get help is go to my local Law School and put up a notice on the bulletin board stating that an Artist/Songwriter needs a student lawyer. Found one for life that way. He still practices and advises me 30 years later. This is not Rocket Science it is songwriting.

     

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

  75.  
    identicon
    Leon Phelps, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 6:50am

    I was recently contacted by a national monthly publication who desired to run several of my photos in conjunction with a story about a car. Fourteen photos in all with one being the cover shot.

    The car builder had already paid me to shoot the photos for them - paid for the physical labor and time to make images - and they have the right to use the images in this like promo cards, on their website; but cannot redistribute them.

    The magazine wanted to use the photos for free - "this would be great exposure for you."
    The car builder wanted me to give the images to the magazine for free - "this would be great exposure for you"

    I declined the "free offer" and instead billed them a fair rate for usage.

    When the magazine hit the store shelves I started tracking the traffic to my website and noticed a 0% increase in web traffic. I received zero phone calls in regard to the images. I received a zero increase in inquiries for photographic work.

    In other words, the "great exposure" I received from this internationally distributed magazine resulted in absolutely nothing positive happening for me; thankfully I billed them for my work and collected my money before publication.

    I recently asked the car builder if the exposure helped them. Yes it did. They had a significant increase in traffic to their website, email inquiries, and potential new work.

    Images, music, literature have value. Those who want to use it have prescribed some value to it or they would not want to use it. If those who want to use it have potential to gain value - sales of a product - as a result they should then be required to pay an appropriate royalty for it's usage - after all they have already prescribed value to it.

     

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

  76.  
    icon
    Pete Braven (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 7:27am

    Wot? No credits?

    I've had EXACTLY the scenario mentioned here happen to me, a major TV company used my music with no credits to me. (They even credited it to their own in-house composer!)
    I didn't waste time with legal crap that would have seen me paying a stack of money to some smart-ass legal team, I just contacted another TV network and sold them the story, complete with permission to use the track. It worked a treat! 1st company took issue with 2nd company, got very red-faced and also gave me a few more quid to say sorry. I sold a few hundred albums straight off the back of that and I couldn't have bought that kind of publicity as an independent!

     

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

  77.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: Definition of commercial use?

    So, you're saying that using it for advertising, marketing or other promotional purposes isn't "commercial", huh?

    That's taken care of by #2. Remember, only one of these conditions needs to be true, not both.

    You do realize that you don't have to be "legally registered as a business" to engage in commerce in most places, don't you?

    The idea is that if you're not legally registered (e.g. you don't file taxes as a business), then the "commerce" is so trivial, it shouldn't be considered "commercial use" at all.

    One example of a grey area of "commercial use" would be an individual who runs a free music sharing blog, but pays for the webhosting by using something like Google AdSense. Money is changing hands, so is it a commercial use?

    Under my criteria, the answer is "no," which is as it should be.

     

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

  78.  
    identicon
    DB, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 11:41am

    Isolated Hypothetical

    Many situations are facts-driven. The above hypothetical and the cartoon assume certain facts and if we change the hypothetical we could change the result. Actually, the hypothetical reminds me a lot of the Nancy Sinatra case.
    My take, though, is simply that there may be reasons "credit" or linking back or something, may be more valuable than getting paid for using one's work. Would the student filmmakers in the Iowa State case have been better off getting the $300 or so, or getting credit for including their Dan Gable clip in the Olympics, or getting jobs? It doesn't matter because the Network simply stole it. Is there a "non-commercial but with linking back and credit" option or something?

     

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

  79.  
    identicon
    Bob, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 11:58am

    Re: Re: While we're saying "it's not so bad..."

    Suzanne is right. This is a bogus argument. There are plenty of builders who work for a fixed price and there are other builders who create things on spec and hope to make money by renting or selling the building later. It's perfectly fair for builders to use either method of meeting their payroll and creating jobs for construction workers.

    By the same token, I see nothing wrong with movie makers who choose to sell access to a movie at $10/seat. Sure, they might find one buyer with $30m it takes to pay everyone whose name scrolls by at the end of the movie, but they're probably more likely to find 3 million people who will pay $10/piece.

    Copyright is a democratizing force. It allows the people without $30m to work together to fund a piece of art. The downside is that the world has to respect copyright.

    In theory we can get all of the film makers at the end of the movie to donate their time in the hope of attracting the attention of that one person with $30m. It might work. I'm sure there's someone on Flickr who's gotten a commission after releasing a CC photo. But I think it's not that common just as it's not common for someone with $30m to just hire someone making cat-on-roomba videos and say, "I've got $30m to spend. Would you like it?"

     

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

  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 12:11pm

    Being a musician or artist is rarely like any other field. All analogies to other jobs and careers are simply *wrong*.

    As artists trying to gain exposure, we are the ones that spend thousands of dollars on equipment, hundreds of hours of practice and production time, seeking out community help, promotion, studio rental (or building your own), free or next-to-nothing shows for exposure, etc. All of this out of our personal pockets at a huge risk of never getting it back. Add to that the fact that many are young or in college and most likely not earning enough to support this lifestyle without going into debt a few times.

    So please quit acting like it's similar to going to a 9-5 job where you get paid every two weeks with benefits and regulations, and where you aren't expected to spend all the money ON the job.

    Other than that, uncompensated commercial use is acceptable only in CERTAIN CASES:
    1. Does the artist WANT general public exposure? Most average joes here assume everyone wants to be famous, but the truth is a lot of art is subversive, anti-capitalist, counter-culture, etc. It's insulting to have the business world even use this art.
    2. Does the artist NEED general public exposure? Quite frankly if I'm making enough money off my tracks to not have to have another job and if I have a large extended network and some fame, acting like an ultra-minute amount of effective exposure is fair trade for Cadillac to make a few extra 50 million is plain-and-simple bullshit.
    3. Is the artist being credited, being made aware that the art is being used, and is it easy for the general public to find the credits?
    4. Finally, is the artwork being *appropriately* used (what portion of the art is being displayed, is it thematically matchin). There is such a thing as detrimental exposure, bad publicity, etc.

     

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

  81.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    I agree with the idea that it's nice to share the wealth.

    I don't think of it as "sharing the wealth," just as I don't believe workers' rights are about "sharing the wealth." It's a matter of basic fairness. If your work adds monetary value to a product or service, then you should be compensated.

    Now, it might be that the other person's use will also add value to your work. If that's the case, then that added value might be worth more than any monetary payment. But that's something that the market should work out.

    ...And before anyone jumps on me, yes, I know that copyright is an artificial restriction on the market. But the market has several such restrictions: minimum wage laws, child labor laws, etc. When those restrictions exist to prevent exploitation, I don't have much of a problem with them.

    But these restrictions should always be confined to the market. Child labor laws shouldn't prevent parents from making their kids clean their rooms.

    Most musicians don't have the clout to negotiate that kind of deal, however.

    If you don't have the clout to negotiate any kind of deal, then you're not going to benefit by copyright, no matter what you do.

    But if you do manage to get that kind of clout, then a blanket allowance for commercial use might not be the best option.

    And with so many musicians willing to provide their music for free in exchange for exposure, most companies do not have to pay much for music.

    That has nothing to do with copyright laws. It's just the market at work. Nothing wrong with that.

     

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

  82.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    That has nothing to do with copyright laws. It's just the market at work. Nothing wrong with that.

    As I have said before, I don't really take a stand on copyright. I'm far more interested in how everyone makes a living. I do see market forces working against most content creators because the market is flooded with art/photography/design/video/music, etc. Crowdsourcing has made it quite easy for anyone who wants content to find it for little or no money. So if you aren't selling your creative output, then you need to find other ways to pay your bills or to eliminate the bills altogether.

     

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

  83.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: While we're saying "it's not so bad..."

    work done is not to be charged again, and again and again and again and again.

    There is an entire category of economic goods where this applies. They are called Club Goods.

    Examples are museums, art galleries, golf courses, theaters, etc. This would also apply to cable TV, ISP's, or phone service providers.

    That's not all. If you think about it, an advertisement would also apply. A successful advertisement will add value to a product by convincing people to buy it, and that value is provided long after the commercial is paid for.

    In fact, the vast majority of commercial uses that involve copyrighted works, are providing club goods as a business model. And that would still be true even if copyright didn't exist.

    So - since the businesses who use your works are getting paid again and again and again, why shouldn't you?

     

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

  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: Definition of commercial use?

    "...to engage in commerce..."

    Even more to the point, the new health care provision mandating the purchase of insurance was being defended in court by the DOJ under the Commerce Clause in part because by choosing not to purchase insurance one is engaging in commerce.

     

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

  85.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 5:49pm

    Re:

    "Sounds like someone has been reading Thomas More' "Utopia"."

    And noted it was in the Public Domain?

     

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

  86.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 6:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: While we're saying "it's not so bad..."

    Service is the key word here, those Club Goods are for the most part always services, a theater is a real physical object that needs maintenance, cable TV is a service which people pay for, your ISP and phone too, how that compares to writing music and trying to take ownership of that group of sounds?

    People should get pay when they go to a concert, that is a service, but people shouldn't have to pay for making their own concert with their own resources.

    Should everyone start charging for past work done then?

    How would you feel to have to pay a fee everytime your radio plays anything, how about having to pay more so you can get your car fixed because you have to pay a fee for the manufacturer?

     

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

  87.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 6:19pm

    So, Michael Bay decides to use my song in Tranformers IV, something that is costing him 400 million bucks to make.

    'Splain to me why he shouldn't toss a little of that my way to pay for the inclusion of the song, please.

     

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

  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 6:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    "If your work adds monetary value to a product or service, then you should be compensated."

    Your work not the work of others, that sound reproduced by another person is his work too and that should be the limit of IP, if people use your recording that could be fair, but someone else playing, performing and having to pay for it is just absurd, the music once in the wild is a public resource, not a private one.

    I see open source as a great example, people write code and everybody can make use of it, nobody can stop others from using it or improving it, and so music, books, movies and photos should be the same, people don't need to ask permission, don't need to worry about the law, they can just use those resources to make something and eventually those people who make something and help create a market will find their way to the source and help that source to continue producing and incentives the continuation of production.

     

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

  89.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 6:35pm

    Re:

    "As artists trying to gain exposure, we are the ones that spend thousands of dollars on equipment, hundreds of hours of practice and production time, seeking out community help, promotion, studio rental (or building your own), free or next-to-nothing shows for exposure, etc. All of this out of our personal pockets at a huge risk of never getting it back. Add to that the fact that many are young or in college and most likely not earning enough to support this lifestyle without going into debt a few times."

    All other fields need those same things.

    Carpenters expend thousands of dollars in equipment and countless years in training, doubt? Try to make a bowl or a chair and see how easy is that, try differentiating between the various types of varnish.

    Computer programmers expend thousands of dollars in equipment and years of study to be able to do something still many produce and work tirelessly.

    Musicians are just another type of worker that creates something and try to sell it, most other workers sell their services and wouldn't dream of trying to claim ownership on their work why musicians or artists are different?

    If you go there an play live I can see you deserving payment, now if someone else use the music you played to do something else why you should get paid? you did not do the work another person did he got and abstract resource and made a performance he should get the benefits of that performance not you, he was the one who also expend money, time and work to realize that sound not you and if he does a better job and get more audience he should rip the benefits alone, the only thing he should have to do is to give credit were credit is due nothing else.

     

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

  90.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 6:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: While we're saying "it's not so bad..."

    Service is the key word here, those Club Goods are for the most part always services, a theater is a real physical object that needs maintenance, cable TV is a service which people pay for, your ISP and phone too, how that compares to writing music and trying to take ownership of that group of sounds?

    You may think you have paid for something and don't feel you should have to pay for it again. But if the true cost of one item is $1 million, do you think no one should get it until one person or company pays $1 million?

    If you want to compare music to working for an employer with the idea that everyone should only be paid once, then it would make sense for musicians only to do custom music and write one song per fan/company and charge a significant amount for each one. And maybe it will come to that.

     

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

  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 7:01pm

    The American biggest failure in history.

    The American government is using artists to enact the biggest desperate attempt to continue to be relevant in the 21th century.

    Bush hinted at that when he said "Those jobs gone oversea are gone they are not coming back" and that was the acknowledgment that America couldn't compete in manufacturing, instead they focused on trying to patent and copyright things, they saw this as their only way to salvation, believing that people would lock down all actual knowledge and permit America to create a mantel of morality to enforce that into the future.

    It ain't happening, if Americans where beaten in the manufacturing sector it was not only because the work was cheap abroad it was because people found ways to make it work and with that work comes necessities and of course inventions, the creativity depends tremendously on the medium it is in and America lost that and it won't be long until other countries start creating their own IP and start excluding "American creators", this has nothing to do with artists which although cute are not essential to any society, they are being used for what some believe is the last good shot at maintaining economic relevance of America.

    Locking up that has some drawbacks, it kills every minor entity inside the country, it kills the creativity that could create jobs here it foments the attitude that competition is to destroy others. Maybe it is time to shift the focus on not letting others work and start focusing on how do we create and medium where cooperation foments the good type of competition that doesn't depends on exclusion but needs to be there in a full cooperative environment.

    End of rant.

     

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

  92.  
    icon
    Esahc (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 7:38pm

    Re: Re:

    Thanks for being my editor.

    :-)

     

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

  93.  
    icon
    wordsworm (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 7:49pm

    Solution

    I say that artists should not be compensated for their investment or work. Now, back in the days of Picasso, he could walk around his village, go to the restaurant, and eat there for free. Apparently he'd doodle on the table cloth or some other little sketch in payment. So, I propose that artists should not have to pay rent, for food, for cars, or anything else. That would even the score. People love art and music, but don't want to pay for it. Artists love to eat and live, so maybe they shouldn't have to pay for it.

     

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

  94.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 7:51pm

    Re:

    TECHDURT will be my website where I steal err copy EVERYTHING from this website removing all traces of techdirt. I will profit from their work but hey it's cool. If someone wants to do the work they will find the original person who made the content.


    I've already explained (multiple times) why this is allowed:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090116/0348223430.shtml

    Yea,and how fast will the C&D show up?


    It won't. Doing so is entirely legal. Of course, it may harm your reputation -- as explained in that post above -- but it's entirely legal if you want to risk it.

    Please let us know if you do.

     

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

  95.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 7:54pm

    Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    If you are OK with that, then how can you criticize Universal (for example) when they don't pay artists any royalties? Why forgive car commercials, when you won't forgive the RIAA?

    Totally different situations. The point, with showing Universal not paying is to show how their claims of helping artists are hypocritical. It also shows how little musicians actually make from the record labels.

    The idea of suggesting users themselves no worry so much about commercial uses is to suggest ways that they can actually get more (and earn more) out of their content than in limiting it.

     

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

  96.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 7:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    Neither the RIAA nor the MPAA are so-called "collection societies". They are solely industry organizations, just like the IEEE, the AIA, the AIAA, etc., etc., etc.

    To be fair to the original commenter, SoundExchange is a collection society, and was spun off from the RIAA, who still retains a large number of board seats, and (many suggest) still has effective control over the organization.

     

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

  97.  
    identicon
    butterfly crazy town, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 8:53pm

    Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    The issue simply measures the morality of a person or a company who uses other peoples works to gain something. We'll that really depends on once beliefs, i'm just speaking for myself...

     

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

  98.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 8:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    Did not know that. Thank you for the input.

     

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

  99.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 8:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: While we're saying "it's not so bad..."

    Service is the key word here, those Club Goods are for the most part always services

    They don't have to be. Any good that is excludable, but non-rivalrous, is a club good.

    In any case, so what? Your question was why companies should pay more than once, and the answer is because those companies, themselves, get paid more than once. If it is a service, that means that your labor is continuously generating new income for that service. The monetary value of your labor is increasing, so your compensation should also be increasing.

    Compare it to a sales job. Once a salesman lands a client, he gets a commission of that client's sales, for as long as he's their sales rep. What you're essentially saying is, "that's not fair, he should only get paid once, when he lands the client."

    how that compares to writing music and trying to take ownership of that group of sounds?

    We're talking about permission or compensation for commercial use. That's very different than outright ownership.

    People should get pay when they go to a concert, that is a service, but people shouldn't have to pay for making their own concert with their own resources.

    You're right, they shouldn't. Nobody should have to pay royalties to perform their own songs.

    How would you feel to have to pay a fee everytime your radio plays anything,

    Um, every time a song is played on the radio, the songwriter gets paid (in theory at least). I have no problem paying the same amount as I've always paid, which is zero.

    But other people have no problem paying a fee every time the radio plays anything. It's call Sirius. They're also willing to pay every time they watch television (cable TV) or stream movies (Netflix).

    Are you saying that none of these entities should pay for their content?

     

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

  100.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 8:57pm

    Re: Solution

    So, I propose that artists should not have to pay rent, for food, for cars, or anything else.

    I've been seriously pondering this actually. Here's one real example.

    Brooklyn hospital swaps health care for art: "Among the sacrifices many artists make in pursuit of their passion is health care; it's simply too expensive for those struggling to live off of their creativity. However, Woodhull Hospital in the New York City borough of Brooklyn has come up with an ingenious plan to address this problem; allowing artists of all types to swap their art for health care."

     

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

  101.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 9:21pm

    Re:

    Royalties for WHAT?

    A group of sounds?

    How difficult it is to go play on a bar?
    How difficult is to record some songs and sell it?
    How difficult it is to work?

    Why royalties on public goods?

    Mortgages are about people entering an agreement, royalties are a compulsory tax how hard is to understand that?

     

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

  102.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 9:25pm

    Re: Context, Context, Context

    Well you should have put a GPL license on it, so everything there would have to be released with the source to make that music.

    And freedom means people should be able to sell it too not only use it, it means freedom to do what you want with that, I don't believe that in this case half freedom works that well.

     

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

  103.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 9:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    have you got something in writing from them promising that they won't sue anyone for distributing "unauthorized" recordings?

    Well, the label's opinion is not on record, but Lady Gaga's is:
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100524/0032549541.shtml

     

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

  104.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 9:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: While we're saying "it's not so bad..."

    "In any case, so what? Your question was why companies should pay more than once, and the answer is because those companies, themselves, get paid more than once. If it is a service, that means that your labor is continuously generating new income for that service. The monetary value of your labor is increasing, so your compensation should also be increasing."

    Did I mentioned companies? I apologize my concern is not companies but individuals and small starups the people on the fringe not stabilished players, that get resources cut out from them with such rules.

    Now explain the labor thing, because I don't think I understand what you want to say. I see labor as a continous experience, not recording once and expecting to get paid forever, they have to work it in some way, being through public performances, putting it in a container and selling it but never ever "licensing".

    A theather service their costumer to gain acess to their premises can you do that with music? can you physically stop people from listening to music?

    A financial transaction will be made with and agreement between two parties not through compulsory regulation.

    How music is equal to that?

    "We're talking about permission or compensation for commercial use. That's very different than outright ownership."

    You are talking about permission, I am talking about freedoms, you start limiting something and it will get expanded, you start adding little exceptions and soon you have maximus copyrights again. If it is to be free as in freedom it needs to be free all the way, sure that benefits some big players, but it nobody will stop you from profiting also and you want be able to stop others from profiting let the best one win, I am all for competition and freedoms.

    "You're right, they shouldn't. Nobody should have to pay royalties to perform their own songs."

    Or when they are covering someone else songs.

    "Um, every time a song is played on the radio, the songwriter gets paid (in theory at least). I have no problem paying the same amount as I've always paid, which is zero.

    But other people have no problem paying a fee every time the radio plays anything. It's call Sirius. They're also willing to pay every time they watch television (cable TV) or stream movies (Netflix)."

    Does sirius force people ot hear them?
    Do cable TV have the power to watch them?
    Have Netflix the power to force everybody to sign with them and only them?

    Paying a fee it is not a problem when it is a choice, when it is mandatory then we got a problem.

     

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

  105.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 9:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    In this case it means I have no problem but the record label with sue your ass to oblivion if you do it.

    Is Lady Gaga the owner of the copyrights in question?
    I doubt it, so she is not really the one to authorize anything she plays or create, because in fact she is work for hire, most probably.

     

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

  106.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 10:08pm

    To those that keep saying that they expend a lot of money in equipment and training, you people offend every person who works for a living.

    http://www.break.com/index/climbing-a-1786-tall-tower

    So should everyone register how they work and their work improve anything and ask for payments for the rest of their lifes?

     

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

  107.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 10:40pm

    Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    Totally different situations. The point, with showing Universal not paying is to show how their claims of helping artists are hypocritical. It also shows how little musicians actually make from the record labels.

    Okay, but let's turn this around. If Universal had never claimed that they acted in artists' interests, would you be OK with them screwing over artists?

    I wouldn't, and am not. And I am certainly not happy with any change in licensing that would grant them even more power than what they have right now. Especially considering how they are using it...

    The idea of suggesting users themselves no worry so much about commercial uses is to suggest ways that they can actually get more (and earn more) out of their content than in limiting it.

    That may very well be true in certain circumstances. (And almost everything is better than the "nuclear option" of getting lawyers involved.)

    In fact, I've actually done it myself. An experimental filmmaker, who is a friend of mine, used some of my work in one of her films, which she intends to eventually sell. I decided that it was better to get exposure than to demand money, and signed over (non-exclusive) rights to use my music, without payment. And I have a DVD collection of my performances, including one that was filmed by someone else. She was more than happy to let us use her recording of my performance, her only payment being a copy of the DVD. So I am by no means totally opposed to the idea.

    But I'm not really convinced this would work as a blanket strategy. Especially if permission is not involved.

     

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

  108.  
    icon
    herodotus (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 10:46pm

    Re: Re:

    "Royalties for WHAT?

    A group of sounds?"


    No, the commercial use of a group of sounds.

    You did read the post that this comment of yours is on, no?

    There are many things called royalties. It is possible to support some forms of royalties without supporting others. For the record, I am generally skeptical of the activities of organizations like ASCAP and BMI. But that has nothing to do with what are called 'sync rights', which deal with the use of music in commercials, movies, television and so on. Sync rights, too, are royalties.

    And yes, it would piss me off if something I wrote ended up in, say, an Audi commercial and no one payed me a dime for it. If that makes me a fascist I am truly sorry.


    "How difficult it is to go play on a bar?
    How difficult is to record some songs and sell it?
    How difficult it is to work?"


    This is not idiomatic English, and so it is hard to know what you are asking exactly. Could you phrase this more clearly?

    "Why royalties on public goods?"

    A song that I wrote is a public good? How do you figure?

    "Mortgages are about people entering an agreement, royalties are a compulsory tax how hard is to understand that?"

    Again, there are many kinds of royalties. How hard is it to understand THAT?

     

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

  109.  
    icon
    herodotus (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 11:15pm

    Re: Re:

    "That is just flat-out untrue."

    Really?


    "Musicians can choose the terms under which they are willing to work. It wasn't always so, but slavery was outlawed in the US a long time ago."

    So you are saying that because I am not a slave that I can get paid an hourly wage to write songs?

    Here's the deal: go to the website of a company called Taxi. This is the kind of organization that composers go to find work. Taxi puts up listings from agencies looking for music to license for commercials and movies and so on. If you pay a yearly membership fee and an additional per song fee, Taxi submits your song to the relevant agency if they think that it's good enough.

    Now the terms of these contracts are set by the agencies. None of them, NONE OF THEM will offer you an hourly wage to write music. If you wait for one of them to offer such a deal, you will pretty much never get work.

    Seriously, if you find information to the contrary, post a link. Like I said, musicians will flock to any organization that offers such a deal, because they are almost non-existent.


    "Why are copyright supporters so often such big liars? Is that the only way to justify copyright? If so, let's get rid of it."

    You called me a liar. I just explained exactly what I meant above, and provided a link to prove what I said. Furthermore, I am on record here and on my website as a firm supporter of copyright reform and of a very generous interpretation of fair use.

    I would demand an apology, but I am quite certain that I won't get one.

     

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

  110.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 11:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    Okay, but let's turn this around. If Universal had never claimed that they acted in artists' interests, would you be OK with them screwing over artists?

    Come on. "Screwing them over" is such a meaningless phrase. Would I be okay with them using the music without compensation, if the artists could then take that use and turn it into something greater for themselves? Sure.

    But, again, the point here is about social reputation and its value. And if Universal regularly "screwed over" artists in such a world, it would seriously harm its reputation, and there would then be consequences.

    So I believe the system would take care of itself.

    But I'm not really convinced this would work as a blanket strategy. Especially if permission is not involved.


    Okay. On that we differ. I believe that, in the long run, more open access will always lead to greater economic opportunities.

     

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

  111.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 11:23pm

    Uncompensated Commercial Use is a wide variety of potential uses.

    Here's what would happen if commercial use didn't require to pay any compensation: a store like itunes or amazon could take an artists work, say: an mp3, sell it at whatever price they choose, through their wide-reaching advertising they would rake in cash that they would never have to give to the artist. Fans, thinking they are supporting an artist, end up just supporting these private commercial entities against their own will.

    If you think this is acceptable, then you are fundamentally not someone I wish to attempt to carry on any more logical conversation.

     

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

  112.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 11:26pm

    Re:

    Here's what would happen if commercial use didn't require to pay any compensation: a store like itunes or amazon could take an artists work, say: an mp3, sell it at whatever price they choose, through their wide-reaching advertising they would rake in cash that they would never have to give to the artist. Fans, thinking they are supporting an artist, end up just supporting these private commercial entities against their own will.

    Why do you think that would be the case? If it were known that commercial use did not require compensation, then everyone would quickly learn that iTunes and Amazon were not compensating the artists, so why would they pay there?

    Instead, they (1) might get their content for free, and (2) seek out ways to give those artists money *directly* such as via their own websites, concerts, alternative offerings, etc.

     

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

  113.  
    icon
    herodotus (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 11:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    "I believe that, in the long run, more open access will always lead to greater economic opportunities."


    Do you have evidence of this with regard to composers?

    Are there any stories of composers who got known through the unlicensed use of their work who ended up making money on something other than licensed uses of their work?

    Seriously, I am not being sarcastic. Are there any examples of this happening that you can point me toward?

    I mean, I know how it could work in theory: say, your unlicensed song is used in an Audi commercial, you somehow convince the world that you wrote the song, and you get a contract to write, say, the music for a new Broadway musical on the strength of the resulting fame.

    But I haven't heard of anything like this actually happening.

    I mean, seriously, I have been accused of plagiarism for a song (well actually, a Sonatina, but whatever) that I put up on my site for free. Sure, I challenged the guy to find the work that I had plagiarized and he couldn't, but that isn't the point. My point is that I can't see how I could convince the world of my authorship of something after it was actually used in a commercial without pay or credit, when people have accused me of plagiarism for something on my own website.

    Now of course, if one had filed a copyright on said song before it was used in said Audi commercial....

    ;)

     

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

  114.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 4th, 2010 @ 2:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    Do you have evidence of this with regard to composers?


    You're asking the wrong question.

    It's like asking "do you have evidence that automation for telephone switching will lead to more money for telephone operators." You're defining it too narrowly.

    By opening up the market, you create more opportunity for everyone, even if some of the roles may shift.

     

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

  115.  
    icon
    R. Miles (profile), Oct 4th, 2010 @ 3:43am

    Re:

    and that was the acknowledgment that America couldn't compete in manufacturing
    It's true because of one thing: our salaries. We have one of the highest salaries per capita than anywhere else on the planet. There's no way in hell our salaries and our ability to produce can compete unless something gives.

    The entire point of capitalism is to expand a business, but if competition can blow out the bottom line, this states the markup was based on an artificial demand, not a reasonable cost of operation.

    Sound familiar? Remember the TV strike a few years ago in which people "demanded" their "fair share" of "royalties" from "TV online"?

    This attitude is embedded in damn near every American business. I made it, so you will pay for it.

    I've said it once before: There's no goddamn reason why a loaf of bread has to cost more than a $1 in a country where the wheat harvest can feed the planet.

    It's not greed, unfortunately. It's just bad business and trying to fix it now will be... problematic.

    Especially when those businesses rely on "IP" to "survive", and now must use copyright and patents to pay their employees for the very same fear of competition which drove out America's production ability.

    Why do you think America's trying to get the world to adhere to draconian copyright protection?

    It's the only thing we've got left as a nation. No one disputes our ability to make movies and music.

    I just feel sorry for anyone who can't use Photoshop in the upcoming decade. They'll be unemployed.
    /sarcasm

     

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

  116.  
    icon
    herodotus (profile), Oct 4th, 2010 @ 7:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    "You're asking the wrong question."

    Sorry about that.

    "It's like asking "do you have evidence that automation for telephone switching will lead to more money for telephone operators." You're defining it too narrowly."

    Defining what too narrowly?

    The issue is using an artists work without compensation or credit, which you say will open up opportunities. I asked how this would work for a specific kind of artist.

    If you are making a comparison between telephone operators and composers, it sounds quite a bit like you are saying that composers of original music are, like telephone operators, obsolete.

    Which promotes the progress of music how?

    "By opening up the market, you create more opportunity for everyone, even if some of the roles may shift."

    What does that mean? You are saying that by not paying for the work of living composers, opportunities are opened up for....who exactly?

    No, don't tell me, that, too, is the wrong question, isn't it?

    I'm sorry, but this sounds like waffling.

     

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

  117.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 4th, 2010 @ 7:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Commercial vs. non-commercial

    No, I'm just saying that you don't know entirely how the changes will impact the market, but I've yet to see a market where everyone swears new openness will destroy it, not come out much stronger in the end.

    So I have no doubt that composers would be better off because I recognize the overall economic benefits of more open and free use of music. Just as any other market where more open and free resouces have shown up have grown, so will music (as is already happening). And that will increase the demand for composers, because the demand for music has also increased. Out of that, certainly, new business models will form that work well.

    Especially in a competitive market with so much music, composers who can do a good job and stand out from the crowd will be in much greater demand.

     

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

  118.  
    identicon
    Jason, Oct 4th, 2010 @ 9:19am

    What mistake??

    "Assuming the network will never deign to correct its mistake..."

    What mistake? Public domain is public domain. The network has no obligation to pay for commercial use of a work in public domain.

     

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

  119.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Oct 4th, 2010 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: While we're saying "it's not so bad..."

    Did I mentioned companies? I apologize my concern is not companies but individuals and small starups the people on the fringe not stabilished players, that get resources cut out from them with such rules.

    If we're not talking about companies, then we shouldn't be talking about "commercial use," but all use. I, too, disapprove of copyright law when it's used to attack the public (as is the case with the RIAA suing file sharers). Even if it was a good business move somehow, it would still be trampling on the public's rights. But business entities aren't members of the public, and don't have those rights.

    That's why I suggested that an entity needs to be registered as a business, or actually selling the content, for the use to be considered commercial. Individuals would be exempt.

    Whether the company is a startup or an established player doesn't really matter to me, just as a startup company couldn't ignore minimum wage laws.

    Now explain the labor thing, because I don't think I understand what you want to say.

    The value of your labor is not in how hard you work, it's in how much monetary value your labor brings to the market.

    You understood the salesman analogy? He is still earning a commission on income from his clients, even though it is much harder to land a new client than it is to be a rep for an existing client. It's not how hard he works, it's how much money his work is bringing in.

    Think of a song as being a salesman. The song, like the salesman, is continuously bringing income into the company. So, the company owes it a commission. The flip side is if that song isn't generating sales, then you don't owe it any commission at all - as is the case with non-commercial use.

    A financial transaction will be made with and agreement between two parties not through compulsory regulation.

    If companies are allowed to use works without compensation or permission, then there is no "agreement" to be made. You effectively remove the artist from that market.

    You are talking about permission, I am talking about freedoms, you start limiting something and it will get expanded

    Minimum wage laws are also a limitation on a business's freedom. Have those laws expanded? Would that expansion be bad thing for society in general?

    Or when they are covering someone else songs.

    That would mean that you don't think songwriting is labor, or that this labor doesn't add value to a song. If that's the case, then you should do your own labor, and write your own song.

    Also, people should only have to pay if that cover song is used for commercial use, and only paid for by the commercial entity that generates income from that use.

    Does sirius force people ot hear them? [...] Paying a fee it is not a problem when it is a choice, when it is mandatory then we got a problem.

    Are you forced to eat at McDonald's? No. That doesn't mean McDonald's employees shouldn't be paid. And paying McDonald's employees for their work is not a choice, it's mandatory.

     

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

  120.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2010 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "And yes, it would piss me off if something I wrote ended up in, say, an Audi commercial and no one payed me a dime for it. If that makes me a fascist I am truly sorry."

    Getting piss off is normal, now doing something about it that doesn't involve carving out a exception that will be used to create a real facist state is not.

    Big companies depend on their image, social mores apply to them more then others, no one wants bad publicity especially people who can pay for it, so you don't need to worry about that, because every big company that tried that came to regret it, but your line of thinking affect the little guy's the guy's who can't pay and probably wouldn't give you any money anyway unless you are willing to carpet bomb the field to collect all those little quantities which will give you what copyright is giving the labels today, you can't have it both ways, freedom is not negotiable and if you start chipping away soon there will be no freedom and no market.

     

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

  121.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2010 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "A song that I wrote is a public good? How do you figure? "

    You wrote it but what gives it life is people, it is not really yours once it is out in the open, now "your" performance of it, "your" merch that is all your work and you deserve to get paid for that, not the song but your version of that song, the performance, the products that you create and sell, that is what you deserve, like other deserve to use the song and improve upon, make a remix, do a different or use it to get some money if you are a busker, besides openness creates demand and you will benefit from it without even noticing.

     

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

  122.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Oct 4th, 2010 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Big companies depend on their image, social mores apply to them more then others, no one wants bad publicity especially people who can pay for it, so you don't need to worry about that,

    I don't think it will come to that. What I think will happen is that everyone will freely use everyone else's stuff and when someone objects, the answer will be, "Hey, we were giving you exposure."

    I think the social mores of using content created by others will change. Maybe there will be a system to at least give credit, but I think we are evolving to a point where more and more people think it is fine to freely borrow from everyone else.

    The only likelihood you might have to shame a company is if they are using your music in a reprehensible way and you point that out.

    I'm watching the political landscape right now and there are some major distortions of the truth. And yet at least some part of the public eats it up. So I don't think there is a social more we can depend on. People find ways to justify a lot of things.

     

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

  123.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2010 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Seriously, if you find information to the contrary, post a link. Like I said, musicians will flock to any organization that offers such a deal, because they are almost non-existent."

    I'm not the person who you are responding too, but here, Jamendo is for that no, and they do a pretty big promotion on those things.

    I saw some bands putting what they do and don't do in their descriptions is Jamendo terms not better?

    The infra-structure behind music also needs to change, create the demand and the market will be there, today nobody wants to deal with copyrights it is to cumbersome and scares people, if you ask me, I believe it is more harder to be a musician today then it was when there was that openness about it.

     

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

  124.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2010 @ 1:43pm

    Re:

    Did it happen to open source?

    Nope, not one big company dominates the field and if they try to do so, programmers every where just flock away from that type of thing.

    Programmers got tired of being manipulated, scorned and burned by such entities and united to create something wonderful and they still get paid if you don't want to be part of a community then is we who don't want you dude.

     

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

  125.  
    identicon
    scoremore, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 6:59am

    How To Build Credit

    What does that mean? You are saying that by not paying for the work of living composers, opportunities are opened up for....who exactly?

     

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

  126.  
    identicon
    http://www.writemypapers.org/, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 3:36am

    I can't say that it's really bad. But sometimes it's awful

     

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

  127.  
    identicon
    Qwerty, Jul 19th, 2013 @ 6:08am

    Twig:
    1) To criticize others

    Only when they deserve criticism. This site is devoted to exposing scam writers/companies, after all.
    Twig:
    2) To make unsubstantiated claims

    Not at all. i substantiate my claims as much as possible, and clearly acknowledge when I am voicing suspicions rather than facts.
    Twig:
    3) To trade insults

    I'd rather not, and actually "insult" other posters a lot less than they attempt to insult me. The fact that you take criticism of your language skills as an insult does not mean that it was my intent to insult; it is more evidence of your emotional state than of mine.
    Twig:
    4) To write crap

    Like what, exactly? Is this the kind of lucid and well-thought-out statement you provide your clients with?
    Twig:
    5) To show off that you are the most talented writer in the world.

    Not even close. I have never claimed to be the most talented anything in the world, and am certainly not the most talented writer. I am very good at what I do and I take pride in that, but that isn't the same thing as arrogance. That's something a lot of the Kenyan writers that have appeared on this forum seem to have a problem with.
    Twig:
    Do they really help anyone?

    Yes. There are many customers that have thanked me quite openly on this forum and via PM for my information and assistance.
    craftywriter:
    never argue with a fool (pheelyks), he will lower you to his level, and then beat you with experience.

    Ahh, arguing with other people's words. What a crafty plagiarizing writer, indeed.

    Twig Jun 26, 11, 10:21AM | #15
    pheelyks:
    Wow. 20. They must all be really pleased at the barely passing grades you are able to earn with those ESL skills.

    Showing off as usual. Did you grade those papers?
    pheelyks:
    That's something a lot of the Kenyan writers that have appeared on this forum seem to have a problem with.

    Making unsubstantiated claim as usual. Are you always a fool or you simply repeat some mistakes to amuse us? Who told you I am a Kenyan Writer? Your degree of madness is extremely high.

    pheelyks Jun 26, 11, 10:59AM | #16
    Twig:
    Did you grade those papers?

    No. Did you?
    Twig:
    Making unsubstantiated claim as usual

    What unsubstantiated claim? There have been numerous posters on this site claiming to be from Kenya (something the mods occasionally verified using IP information) and insisting that other writers must recognize their superiority, that Kenyans are the kings of the world and we should bow down before them, etc. I do not know whether you're from Kenya or somewhere else, but your tone is similar to that of these Kenyan writers, if toned down somewhat. The fact that you misinterpreted a fairly simple sentence is still more evidence of your lack of English fluency.

     

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

  128.  
    identicon
    watson, Nov 11th, 2013 @ 7:05am

    That’s right, this website is one of the top 12,000 most viewed in FUCKING PAKISTAN.
    Why? Because they are the “English speaking writers” this fucked up company hires. I have also found evidence that suggests they have other writers in India and the Philippines. I know of a couple of companies that offer real English writers and I thought was one of them. Turns out they’re just a bunch of liars.

    The scam is real. They are thieves who could care less about you. Maybe you’ve had a couple decent papers from them. But sleep well knowing that they will take any measure to screw you over.

    That’s enough. Rant’s over. Fuck you,

    Sincerely,
    A VERY PISSED OFF FORMER CUSTOMER

    Reviewed by Sean Evans on March 25,2013 – Rating: 1.0
    Miserable experience.They ripped me off for $600 for a dissertation and refuse to give me my money back.”
    2 THOUGHTS ON
    Taylor on June 4, 2013 at 10:52 PM said:
    You are right. I have been debating with them for at least a month now, trying to get my refunds, it’s because the writer can’t even write shit or follow the prompt. Claimed to be “professional” yeah right. They also claimed that they refunded my money already by just clearing out my balance. However, the email I received from money bookers still saying I was charged on that date. They lied & keep on saying “your refunds should be in 4-6.” i waited & after 2 weeks, still nothing. I keep on checking back even though they closed my inquiry many times. I mean, I only uploaded $55 for the balance, but I didn’t use it. The money isn’t that a big deal, it’s just the writers & their service is poorly done. I cancelled the writer because 1. Passed deadline 2. The paper was off topic, completely vague, lacks development & much more. 3. way different from U.S writing style 4. Busy schedule & I just want to try how this service work. Personally, i definitely to not recommend this service.

    Reply ↓
    admin on June 20, 2013 at 9:42 PM said:
    Thanks for your feedback, I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • 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>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This