by Mike Masnick

Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the were-you-funny-or-insightful? dept

A pretty close race in the insightful category this week, with the two top vote getters ending up neck and neck, with Killer Tofu coming out just a bit ahead, with his comment about competition in the entertainment industry:
With all of the competition in the entertainment industry these days, obscurity is a much larger threat to any artist, producer, programmer, or author than piracy will ever be. Any band that gets pirated should at least be happy that people care enough to do that, even if not enough to pay.

Kind of goes back to the true fan idea. The more your music spreads, the more true fans you will find that will donate money to you if they have to (in absence of merchandise) just because they love what you have done or want you to continue doing it (or in most cases I would think, both).

I know there are a few musicians I help support just by donation (note that they are in no way under the RIAA, thank you ). There are others that offer merch, and I partake of the goods in exchange for my cash because they are just that darn cool. There is tons of music out there I will listen to. I like it. But not enough to be a true fan. I only have so much money I spend over any given duration on entertainment. Video games eat some of that up. Netflix gets some (haven't bought a movie in awhile because of that one actually). And then there are these bands that I keep a good eye on.

Only so much time and there are lots of entertainers trying to get it (and my money). I support what is in my opinion the best. I know other people's opinions differ from mine, and I am fine with that. That's just life. As long as I am never forced to support the likes of the Bieber or other such acts that somehow make it to the top of the charts (which I don't believe in) and never seem to enjoy anything from them, then life is good
Second place goes to an anonymous commenter, who explained why the media/entertainment industries aren't good at innovating themselves, and always leave it to others to do (and then freak out and sue them):
Because they are terrified of it.

They can not figure out a way to keep it locked down, missing the point that trying to keep it locked away just makes the consumer angry.

They think if you can just press a button and make a copy everyone will do just that! They miss the idea that if you price it right, people will buy it instead. They think if 1 person hears a track they did not pay for hundreds of thousands of dollars have been lost. They miss the idea that Billy sharing that track with Suzie might lead Suzie to explore more of that bands music buying more. Suzie might play the purloined track at a party, and more people might then explore that band. Instead they have these mental images of the party descending into an orgiastic cd burning party as they all just copy everything!

So they do their best to keep it locked away tightly, blithely unaware how annoying they make it for the consumer who hits their limit and then looks for ways to work around it. And then after they find their way around it once, they then look there again and again to avoid the limitations in the first place.

I bought the DVDs for a TV series I enjoyed, and I've never watched a single disc. It was easier to find them online in a format that more suited how I wanted to watch them. Am I a lost sale, a pirate, or a consumer frustrated by an industry that insists on forcing more advertising and FBI warnings on someone who actually paid them. The show was available as a digital download, but was loaded with DRM that left me at the mercy of a company that might just turn off the server and leave me "owning" nothing
On the "editor's choice" list, I've got two comments, both from professional musicians, discussing the question of which would you prefer: 100,000 unauthorized downloads or none. While we actually saw someone on Twitter say "hands down: none" (and I think he was serious!), the professional musicians in our comments seemed to feel quite differently. First up was Jason Parker, the wonderful jazz artist we've mentioned a few times before, explaining why he'd prefer 100,000 downloads:
I would SO love it if my music was torrented 100,000 times. The more the merrier!

And AC...there's no way that it equates to 100,000 missed sales. Most people who torrent fall under two categories: those who would never buy the music anyway, and those who are looking to see if they like it before purchasing more. The former category is worthless, and the latter category are the potential fans that free downloads capture.

That's why all my music is on Bandcamp and fully streamable before purchase. I'd much rather have people be able to listen and decide if they are fans before spending any money. This way, I know that the people purchasing my music are fans and potential long-term backers. I'll take that over one-time disappointed purchasers anyday!

Another professional, but anonymous, musician talked about the difficulty of getting people to hear your stuff:
As a professional musician, I would wet my pants with joy if we managed 100,000 downloads. We've considered ourselves fortunate to get to 8000, and that took an insane amount of hard work.

100,000 downloads means 100,000 people who might come to a show or buy something from us or tell 100,000 other people. We don't need any sales out of this, we need publicity, because we can't AFFORD that kind of publicity, and because the lack of it is a killer. (We do all our own promotion -- record company contracts SUCK.)

We hand out already-ripped (to MP3) songs at shows, by the way; not to everyone, but to anyone who says hi before or after, anyone who strikes up a conversation at the bar, anyone who seems like they give a damn. Sometimes it's stuff from the show, sometimes it's new stuff, once it was three completely different versions of the same song. (Country, metal, reggae, if you were wondering.) We tell them to upload, share, whatever -- we don't care as long as people are listening.

Pirates? No, they're our best friends. And if we manage to attract 100,000 of them, then we'll try for a million
Over on the funny side, the dominant winner, which had more votes than any comment has ever received before by a lot, was Dark Helmet's response to someone complaining about his recent post, but focusing on me as the author of it... DH apparently felt that if someone else was going to complain about "my" writing, he ought to take it up a notch:
Yeah, Mike! Obviously you were on crack when you wrote this story? I mean, come on man, WTF? This story was complete nonsense. I'd honestly rather read a blog about steaming shit piles than this travesty of an article.

You're clearly a horrible writer, Mike, as evidenced by this very article that you yourself wrote...
And, while it came in fifth, I'll just lump in this followup comment by DH as well, since it's along those same lines:
I'll tell you one thing, if I wrote articles for Techdirt, they certainly wouldn't look anything like this. Mine would be filled with hardhitting factual journalism, the kind you see so sparingly these days. And I'd have graphs! Pretty, pretty graphs, with big pictures and bold text so that pregnant nuns everywhere could understand that Viacom is basically Godly and saint-like in a way that gives us all a boner.

Instead we get this crap article written by The Maz. What a joke this site has become...
Coming in second was an anonymous commenter's response to a lawsuit that found forwarding a single sentence question from a listserv was not copyright infringement:
The judge is *clearly* legislating from the bench! If we don't grant copyright over sentences like this, how will people *ever* be incented to ask questions on mailing lists?

I'm sure that Mr. Stern will win on appeal!
Finally, on the editor's choice side of things, we have Liz's comment (which actually came in fourth in the running) discussing the 10 dying US industries, and her interpretation of why they're dying:
These 10 industries are obviously impacted by Internet Piracy.

Wired Telecommunications? Those land-line phones don't offer enough speed to download movies in a reasonable amount of time. You're looking at around 9 hours download time for a 750mb/90 minute feature!

News Paper publishers are loosing money because people are obviously pirating news from other sources. Ignoring pay walls and going to other news outlets for information. The young and lazy are to blame for this injustice.

Because of all the "downloadable" movies, games and music, rental houses and record stores are loosing businesses to online downloads and those store front kiosks. If the entertainment industry isn't getting paid at LEAST four (4) times for one (1) product, then it's theft!

Manufactured Home dealers are suffering because of... PIRATES! Yeah, I'm gonna stick with that one.

Textile Mills, Apparel manufacturing and Costume/Formal wear rentals are suffering because the decline in movie sales means fewer movies are supposed to be made. Film companies don't rent as many costumes. Plus fewer actors and musicians don't go to as many award shows due to the rampant theft of movies online. So, they stop renting formal wear. Without costume rentals, people that create clothing purchase fewer bolts of cloth.

It's just like how corn farmers are suffering because people don't go to movie theaters any more.
And, there we go. No more funny and insightful comments for you. You'll have to just come up with your own.

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  1. icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), 11 Apr 2011 @ 9:06am

    Most Insightful?

    Thank you guys! Don't know what else to say. I was not expecting that. I am glad you all enjoyed it. =)

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