A Business Model Failure Is Not A Moral Issue

from the sorry dept

We already wrote about David Lowery's rant against a young girl for not paying enough for her music, noting that his whole focus seemed to be on pining for some mythical past that never existed, rather than dealing with market realities. Some folks have suggested that we "ignored" the moral arguments he was making, which Lowery's supporters insist are "resonating" with people. Even the NY Times and the LA Times both have discussed it, among many others. The NY Times' Ben Sisario gets it right, noting that "history has shown that heavy-handed moral arguments about music — or any other form of online entertainment, for that matter — are seldom effective." The LA Times' August Brown, however, seems to skip over all the factual errors, misleading statements and just outright laughers to suggest that the post is worthwhile (playing to the hometown Hollywood crowd, it seems).

Lots of others have weighted in as well, including musicians like Erin McKeown, who notes that "artists must generate their own solutions", and another Emily White (who happens to have founded some record labels), and says that the other White's post was dead on and she's ashamed that the music industry is so far behind giving consumers what they want.

Then there's long-term music industry guy, Wesley Verhoeve who makes a number of good points in his writeup, including the key one on the moral question, which was why we didn't bother to dig into it originally:
This is not about morals. This is about smarts. It’s not about being right or wrong. It’s not about rebelling. It’s about a giant shift in consumer behavior and how we as an industry deal with that.
The moral claim is a silly one. It's a distraction that sounds good but is meaningless. The issue here has nothing to do with morals. And that's especially true if you read the details of Emily's original post on NPR, in which she notes that she doesn't do "file sharing" per se, but gets her music from a variety of sources, including friends and platforms like Spotify. Lowery's real argument isn't about "piracy", it's about a failed business model -- because he's even pushing this ethical guilt trip on legal offerings like Spotify, because (according to him) they don't pay enough.

When you look at the details, you realize that Lowery isn't making a true moral claim. He's claiming that any business model, whether its legitimate or not, that allows musicians to not make enough money is, inherently, immoral. But that's ridiculous. If that's the case, then the old record label model is even more immoral, in that it paid next to nothing to tons of artists and then got to keep their entire copyright. Lowery's math is laughable. He talks about advances, but leaves out that those "advances" are then used to pay for everything, leaving almost nothing for the actual artists.

This is about failed business models, not morals. If you have a bad business model, you fail. End of story. If you have good content, an ability to connect with fans, and a good business model, you'll absolutely succeed today. We see it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. And those were just the stories I could remember off the top of my head. There are tons more.

Point being: there are a ton of people who have realized that they're much better off under the new system. There are some people, like Lowery, who feel they're worse off. At that point, you have to realize it's not a moral issue, it's a business model or a market issue. If it were purely a moral issue, there wouldn't be so many stories about successes in the new world, because that would be impossible. All of those artists would be suffering. But the fact that so many are finding success shows that it's really about the choices being made by the artists themselves. Do they embrace what the consumers want -- which was all that Emily was really pointing out in her piece -- or do they scold them and demand that they support them in the old way?

It's got nothing to do with morals, because there isn't a moral question here. There are tons of business models that work today and work amazingly well. I am sure -- because he's brought it up before -- that Lowery or his friends will point to some Bureau of Labor stats claims about the number of full-time musicians declining. That is, at best, misleading. Remember, in the same period, the major record labels themselves have become even more focused on putting all of their effort behind one or two superstars. It's that old system that has resulted in a focus on a very very small number of professional musicians. If you look at independent artists they're growing rapidly.

And, if you know anything about the pace of innovation, you know that it takes those who are focused on the old system quite some time to catch up. So it's no surprise that plenty of musicians of Lowery's era simply refuse to really embrace what's available (and, no, pointing out that you have songs on iTunes is not the answer -- though I find it amusing that Lowery scolds White for not using iTunes when he, himself, once claimed that iTunes adds no value and is nothing but a parasitic "host").

About six years ago, we wrote about why there is no moral question to answer, because if the economics says that everyone can be better off -- i.e., musicians can earn more money and consumers can get what they want -- then there is no moral quandary or conflict. But, of course, there are some people who are "worse off": Lowery and his friends. But the question is whether that is due to the choices of the people he scolds -- the fans -- or through his own failure to put in place a business model that works.

Companies fail all the time. Lowery uses the emotional stories of two musicians who took their own lives to add additional weight to his moral argument. But, up here in Silicon Valley, you can't throw a stone without hitting a failed entrepreneur. And sometimes they, too, take their lives. It's very sad. Having your business fail on you is no fun at all. I know, I've been there. But it's not a moral issue. No one had a moral requirement to give me money when the startup I worked on in the 90s flopped. It was gut-wrenching, and massively depressing. But I had to move on and do something different -- something that had a market that was willing to pay. I figured that out. That's the same thing that many musicians are going through today. They are facing tough challenges, not unlike entrepreneurs. Many fail, some succeed. We recognize that as capitalism. But, for whatever reason, many of those failing today seem to want to turn it into a moral issue.

It may pull heart strings, but it won't solve the business model issue.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    RadialSkid (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:49pm

    I don't know why suddenly all these sources are paying attention to Lowery's writings. His stuff doesn't read any differently from the crap posted on the RIAA blog, the MPAA blog, Copyright Alliance, Copyhype, or any of a number of other pro-industry sites. He certainly doesn't say anything new...in fact, much as his material reads like something Lars Ulrich might have written about Napster more than a decade ago. Those arguments weren't convincing then, and they're less so today.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:12pm

      Re: haters gonna hate - enjoy jail...

      yeah... it's not a moral issue when people are convicted, sentenced to jail, and then the jail sentence is upheld by the supreme court, and the guilty are sent to jail...

      http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/02/supreme-court-of-sweden-upholds-pirate-bay-priso n-sentences/

      seriously? so it's not a moral issue? Ok, I believe you.

      It's legal, that's why people are going to JAIL...

      JAIL. GUILTY.

      Good luck with that...

       

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        RadialSkid (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 1:37am

        Re: Re: haters gonna hate - enjoy jail...

        it's not a moral issue when people are convicted, sentenced to jail, and then the jail sentence is upheld by the supreme court, and the guilty are sent to jail

        Correct. Never make the mistake of conflating legality with morality.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 6:55am

          Re: Re: Re: haters gonna hate - enjoy jail...

          right, but uhm... so your bottom line is that there is no wrong doing because philosophically you disagree with the law. So therefore if there were no law against illegal file sharing, there would be no crime?

          Problem is... uhmmm... there actually are laws, crimes are being committed and uhmmm... people are going to jail.

           

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            RadialSkid (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: haters gonna hate - enjoy jail...

            The bottom line is that morality is not an issue here. Try to keep up.

            Starting tip: It's always easier to listen if you don't say "uhmmm" in every verbal pause.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 9:48pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: haters gonna hate - enjoy jail...

              @ RadialSkid...

              Maybe you'd prefer to have the debate from jail? Up to you.

              http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/01/ninjavideo-queen-gets-22-months-in-jail- owes-200000-to-hollywood/

              http://torrentfreak.com/download-site-founder-receives-4-5-year-jail-se ntence-forfeits -4-7m-120615/

              so... you were saying? hmmmmmm....

               

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                Gwiz (profile), Jun 25th, 2012 @ 7:11am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: haters gonna hate - enjoy jail...

                @ RadialSkid...

                Maybe you'd prefer to have the debate from jail? Up to you.



                Why would RadialSkid be concerned about jail? He's already explained below he gets his music from free, legal services and has done so since 2008.

                You gonna put him jail simply because he didn't buy your product? Wow.


                Ya know, before all this David Lowery silliness came about I had no clue who Camper Van Beethoven or Cracker were. Now that I know, I most definitely won't spend a dime on anything he's selling. As a matter of fact, I will now actively avoid buying anything related to Mr. Lowery on general principals.

                Keep treating your customers like thiefs and scolding them as if they were small children is no way run a successful business.

                 

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                  RadialSkid (profile), Jun 25th, 2012 @ 11:51am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: haters gonna hate - enjoy jail...

                  Apparently on Planet Shill, anyone who disagrees with them is automatically a "thief," and will be spammed with snarky commentary and pointless links to the Trichordist accordingly.

                   

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        Eponymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 11:22am

        Re: Re: haters gonna hate - enjoy jail...

        People have also gone to jail for marijuana, are you going to tell m e smoking weed is morally wrong? The real moral issue is should citizens, especially in a democracy, be obligated by law that stands to benefit a few over the many. The law often deviates from the will of the people and subjugates them to it's letter while violating their own interests and rights. Eventually as this compounds and advances to egregious levels the constituency is left with no other choice but to push back to exert their rights and let their will be known. We see this fight all the time whether it is for the legalization of drugs or the rights of LGBT people on par with heteros, and this is because the legal and moral realms are always in flux. It was once illegal and considered immoral to be/engage in homosexual activity, but now we see the situation reverse itself where many consider it immoral to forbid homosexuals the same rights and privileges as others. In the end both the law and mortality are both fluid and in flux, thus they'll fill to fit any container you wish to put them in.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:34pm

      Re:

      *** I don't know why suddenly all these sources are paying attention to Lowery's writings. ***

      Because Lowery wrote honestly and sincerely which resonated with musicians. What happened this week was pure, viral, grassroots out of love and respect. Lowery is the patron saint of musicians everywhere and this week they came to give him praise, lock arms, and make public a decade of frustration listening to people like Mike Lessig and Larry Masnick.

      http://thetrichordist.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/roll-call-musicians-for-an-ethical-internet/

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 10:24pm

        Re: Re:

        And you all will get beaten again.

         

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        RadialSkid (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 1:41am

        Re: Re:

        Again, he didn't write any differently from anyone else who writes identical anti-piracy blogs. The only difference I can pick up is that those high up in the industry can pass it around as the "voice of a musician" and then pat themselves on the back, saying, "See? We're for the musicians' best interest!"

        And I suspect that half the people trading around the article are people who disagree with it...although since they conveniently don't allow dissenting comments on the blog, there's no real way of knowing.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 6:52am

          Re: Re: Re:

          *** Again, he didn't write any differently from anyone else who writes identical anti-piracy blogs. ***

          keep telling yourself that... "there are no monsters here..."

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 6:54am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            >Because Lowery wrote honestly and sincerely which resonated with musicians.

            C'mon, hurricane head! Get your sleeping giant artist friends to vote your comments insightful, already! You don't need all of them to lick your shoes at once, do you?

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 6:59am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              hahahaha... yeah... a single well written post makes national headlines because musicians supported another musician and you think there's nothing going on?

              don't flatter yourself, most musicians have never even heard of techdirt nor would they bother wasting their time here.

              as we saw this week, when musicians raise their voices there is meaningful change, and uhmmm... that's not happening on techdirt... sorry.

               

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                Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 7:28am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                as we saw this week, when musicians raise their voices there is meaningful change,

                What "meaningful change" has their been?

                Meanwhile, since you see to claim that only professional "musicians" can talk about the impact of what's happening in the music world, let me share a bit of advice as a long term "professional blogger." Having a single post generate some traffic and discussion doesn't get you very far. Traffic is fleeting. You have to be able to keep it up...

                You see to have declared victory because some people noticed you. That's not how it works.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 7:54am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I don't think anyone is declaring victory, that would be foolish. There is no victory anyway. There is only achieving fairness and an ethical internet for all citizens.

                  This week wasn't about a viral blog post. This week was about consciousness raising, awareness and a community rising up. If you think anyone is claiming victory that's about as foolish as those who did so after the SOPA blackout.

                  In both cases there is only awareness. But what makes this week unique is how truly organic the support is for David Lowery and how his words touched tens of thousands of musicians who have been getting the short end of the stick for a long time.

                  As you know, pirates and internet companies are not the first people to rip off artists and illegally exploit them for profit, they're just the latest and the worst we've seen so far...

                  Why you would want to be THE cheerleader promoting companies and business doing more harm to artists than record labels ever did is beyond me.

                  I think few could honestly, ethically and morally argue that artists should not be paid in the value chain where all other parties are - but maybe you can explain how it's not unethical to illegal exploit artists work so that pirate sites can operate for profit and pay artists nothing... zero, zilch, nadda...

                  http://thetrichordist.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/artists-know-thy-enemy/

                   

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                    SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 9:35pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    As you know, pirates and internet companies are not the first people to rip off artists and illegally exploit them for profit, they're just the latest and the worst we've seen so far...

                    Oh man, I just... Wow.

                    I don't even need to say anything, that snippet says more about the opposition than I ever could.

                     

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                    SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 9:36pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    but maybe you can explain how it's not unethical to illegal exploit artists work

                    lol

                    I don't have an answer.

                    The RIAA does.

                     

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 7:01am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And yet you fail to address the fact that dissenting opinion isn't at all allowed. It's just another good ol' boy back-slapping network. They aren't looking for a debate. They're scared of the debate. Why? Because their position is untenable.

             

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    dwg (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:01pm

    Legal offerings

    I still must be missing something. Spotify etc. may not pay "enough" but how does that implicate me as a user of a legal service? Record companies don't pay "enough," according to far more sources, BTW. And aren't the people complaining so the same ones who dislike the idea of someone downloading content for free, deciding if it's good and if so paying the artist WAY MORE than Spotify (not to mention the labels) would have?

    I'm sure there's a Latin term for "you can't have it both ways" but I'm too stupid to understand the above, let alone Latin.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:15pm

      Re: Legal offerings

      Than you have no need to defend piracy if you have legal options than? Do you?

       

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        dwg (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:18pm

        Re: Re: Legal offerings

        If you define "piracy" as "I'll get it however I want to and pay how I choose," then no, we don't agree.

        And you mean "then," not "than."

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:23pm

          Re: Re: Re: Legal offerings

          there is no right to steal. your choice as a consumer is BUY or NOT BUY, there is no right to steal, EVER. If you guys started robbing banks and gas stations I might start to respect you for having some consistency.

           

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            RadialSkid (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 1:44am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Legal offerings

            Holy argument from 2001, Batman!

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 7:00am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Legal offerings

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 12:32pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Legal offerings

                That's it, "we just don't understand".
                Go preach your bullshit propaganda to people who are stupid enough to believe it.
                "Everyone just doesn't understand"
                But what if they do understand, MORE than you ?

                Arts and profit from arts, didn't exist before copyright and cant exist without it. (aka...the bullshit propaganda you try to push)
                Not working.... most people are not as retarded as your personal grievances against the realities of culture.

                Ever wonder why the Pirate Party exists ?

                Maybe you just don't want to understand.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 1:04pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Legal offerings

                  Why do you hate artists so much? You're very angry about this. I'm curious why you believe artists have no right to fair compensation for the consumption of their work? Do you argue the same for software piracy?

                   

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                    RadialSkid (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 4:27pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Legal offerings

                    I'm curious why you believe artists have no right to fair compensation for the consumption of their work?

                    Why do you feel you're obligated to be paid for artistic output? Personally, I've only listened to freely available (non-retail) music since late 2008. Why should anyone pay you for what someone else can do for free? Why do you feel that farting around on a musical instrument is somehow worthy of being an extrasuperspecial protected class in society, where no one has the "privilege" of hearing your music unless they pay you a ransom upfront? And worse still, people like prop up these ancient media companies seeking to destroy the internet and deprive even people like me of my free, legal content (such as declaring the Internet Archive a "rogue site").

                    No one wants to hear you whine about how you aren't making money. Nobody cares about your personal finances, nor should they; that's only your own concern. If you can't make a living doing what you're doing, make it a hobby. If you don't want to make it a hobby, stop doing it. Those are your only choices in the end, and no amount of pissing and moaning is going to change that.

                    So here it is, short and plain: Shut up and play or get out of the way.

                     

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                    SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 9:41pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Legal offerings

                    Why do you hate artists so much?

                    Why do you?

                    You don't help us, you don't care for us, your methods make our lives hard, you exploit us, you cheat, you lie, you make life harder for everyone else too. And you cry when someone thinks this treatment is unfair, that it is trampling your rights to trampling our rights, under guise that it is 'helping' us.

                    You are not helping us. You are poison prescribed as medicine. Go away.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 11:20pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Legal offerings

                      @ SujaOfJauhnral - I agree techdirt trying to help artists is like Mubarak trying to help the Egyptian people... no thanks!

                       

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                RadialSkid (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 4:30pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Legal offerings

                I've been responding to that argument for more than a decade, and your side never listens. If you haven't paid attention yet to why it's idiotic to call copyright infringement "stealing" and comparing it to actual physical (and even violent) thefts, then you aren't going to start getting it today.

                So you'll just have to remain unenlightened. Sorry.

                 

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            dwg (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 10:25am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Legal offerings

            Listen: just because your gas station sucks and advertises to me the whole time I'm there but gives me no other features, and there's another gas source that's there wherever I need and I can take advantage of whenever I want--with no ads and with great features--that's no one's fault but your own. And maybe if you'd stop trying to follow me around to make sure I don't take some gas out of my tank to help another motorist with the gas I bought from you, that would be an improvement.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 1:09pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Legal offerings

              I'd have more respect for you if you were consistent in your views and were actually robbing banks and gas stations. but it's pretty obvious none of you have the guts to do that so like the school yard bullies your are, you pick on the defenseless. you rob form artists and enable the exploitation economy for one reason only, you can get away with it without consequences. enjoy it while you can I suppose, but a thieves mentality is no way to live.

               

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                dwg (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 6:43pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Legal offerings

                What's a form artist?

                Dude, I AM an artist, so fuck you for trying to make me feel bad.

                 

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                dwg (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 8:08pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Legal offerings

                Oh, and two more things: why do you repeat your stupid analogy when I've addressed it directly, and how in the world can you call the tech world "school yard bullies?" In your wildest imagination, can you imagine a world where computer wonks are the bullies in the schoolyard? Or are you basing strength on ability and knowledge?

                 

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            Eponymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 11:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Legal offerings

            "Your choice as a consumer is BUY or NOT BUY"

            That there is an outdated idea: whether to own or not own. It's probably indicative of why many on your side fail to see what others are trying to tell you. Let me spell it out for you clearly as I can. We no longer live in an ownership society where your only choices are the binary own/not-own, there are many options in between now. I can stream music without having to own it, just like I can rent a car for an hour without having to own it, and just like I can rent someone's condo for a day or two while in town without having to own it. And this is all thanks to technology fracturing that archaic dichotomy you speak of. This will only continue on this trendline too as innovation (is allowed to) advance. The point is we're steadily creeping towards a post-ownership society whether you like it or not.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 1:06pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Legal offerings

              *** That there is an outdated idea: whether to own or not own. ***

              Actually - No. Stealing is about the oldest moral code known to man. Sorry your compass is so far off. But then again, thieves are always the victims right? I would have more respect for you if you started robbing banks and gas stations, at least then you'd be consistent.

               

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                dwg (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 6:44pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Legal offerings

                ...well, by cutting and pasting your previous comment, you're certainly consistent. Is consistency one of your moral points of light as well? You know who was consistent? George W. Bush.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 11:21pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Legal offerings

                  nice non-response... been a lot of that in this thread.... hmmmmmm... and what do you have against George W Bush?

                   

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    saulgoode (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:16pm

    About six years ago, we wrote about why there is no moral question to answer, because if the economics says that everyone can be better off -- i.e., musicians can earn more money and consumers can get what they want -- then there is no moral quandary or conflict.
    Even if the economics say that one group of people ends up being worse off and another better off, it is still not a moral issue. To be a moral issue, the prerogative of taking away the public's right to share artwork, literature, and music has to viewed as an inherent entitlement of the author/artist, not the government-granted subsidy that better describes the nature of copyright.

     

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      Anonymous Coward of Esteemed Trolling (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 5:05am

      legal .....but illegal for dirty poor people types

      There is a "moral argument"
      How is it morally justifiable to restrict people from accessing LEGAL content, based on how rich they are, WHEN that legal content can be copied endlessly at no cost ?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:13pm

        Re: legal .....but illegal for dirty poor people types

        what on earth are you talking about... better not take your nonsense to Japan... or you'll be in JAIL...

        bwahahahahaha

        http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2012/06/japan-download-copyright-law/

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 10:56pm

          Re: Re: legal .....but illegal for dirty poor people types

          LoL

          You do understand that those laws are mostly window dressing right?

          Nobody in Japan is going to enforce those laws as they are written ever in Japan, because there they are truly afraid of public backlash.

          Doubt?

          Go to any combini and see the Japanese ignore copyright law all day long, they in Japan don't even have the courage to put magazines in plastic wraps because it would upset customers, it is ingrained in their culture the act of reading anything anywhere regardless of if they paid for it or not.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 7:02am

            Re: Re: Re: legal .....but illegal for dirty poor people types

            than you have nothing to worry about...

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 3:23pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: legal .....but illegal for dirty poor people types

              Correction:
              The Japanese have nothing to worry about.

              Did you know that statutory damages in Japan in general don't even surpass a thousand dollars?

              And yet is considered a mature and secure market, even though the Japanese law enforcement look the other side when they see all the pirates there.

               

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 12:12pm

          Filesharing is culture

          Change the subject faggot. The truth of the message hurts.

          All your "morality" are belong to us !

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:25pm

      Re:

      if some company is making money from the exploitation of the artists work, the artists should also be compensated in that value chain.

      http://ethicalfan.com/2012/04/wall-of-shame-april-2012/

      stealing is both illegal and unethical.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 10:53pm

        Re: Re:

        Stealing is bad, taking something from others and removing control of it from somebody is bad, sharing on the other hand is not stealing since it doesn't remove anything from anybody and it doesn't grant exclusive control of anything to somebody who copied.

        Now trying to impose a monopoly that affects the public space for the benefit of a small group of people in detriment of everybody else now that is theft, public domain theft.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 7:04am

          Re: Re: Re:

          right... how about trying that with your bank account. your atm is the ultimate dongle. currency has been virtual longer than music.

          hack your bank account and add a bunch of money to it. you're not taking any from anyone else and you can "share it". sounds very noble to me, but how long will it take before the black vans an helicopters are on your front lawn.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 12:09pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            False comparison is false.

            Spending "copied" money is fraud.
            Copy money all you want, just don't use it.

             

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    wanana, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:55pm

    Lowery got so much attention because he raised two interesting points:

    - "Support what you love, or you're an asshole"

    - "Ethics shouldn’t change because we are going through technological change. Ethics should guide us through times of technological change."

    No one can say he's wrong on these ones. But then he totally misses the consequences of these own words.

    For centuries, works on carriers such as books and later photographs and recordings could be freely shared between individuals without aim at profit. Actually, even some forms of commercial exploitation such as reselling and lending were authorized under the first sale doctrine.
    For the first time in its three century-history, copyright started regulating the rights of use of individuals including in the non-market sphere. THIS is unethical.


    we now have close to two billion people equipped with the capability to produce or share copies of works as efficiently as the publishing industry.
    We don't need the Old Major Companies system anymore. WHy would we need Brand New Tech Middlemen to replace them ? Why would we still need big corporations to provide the copy and distribution of cultural goods ?

    I don't like Spotify (lack of transparency, indies recieving less money than majors per stream, distorted and less efficient version of the best P2P protocols, and so on and so on).
    I don't like itunes (they contribute to create artificial scarcity in a world of invinite goods, 30% cut is ridiculous, furthermore apple exploits people in china and is evading billions in taxes).

    Culture Sharing, both offline and online, are legitimate. If we want to support artists, it is simple: just buy stuff to them directly from their merch table, or through bandcamp...
    Bandcamp takes small cut but it is weird to buy MP3's we already have in our computers just to support the bands. The amour & discipline donation app seems the most logical next step to me, can't wait for it to be online.

    Did you read their manifesto, by the way ? I guess you won't like it, Mike, as they don't explain the whole universe in market terms ;)

    http://amour-discipline.org/infos/manifesto/

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 8:14am

      Re:

      Freely copying as one pleases was never unethical to begin with.

       

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        JEDIDIAH, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 1:53pm

        Big fat liar.

        If anything is a case of "situational ethics" is it what Lowery is arguing for. He is also depending on the false assumption that anyone ever viewed piracy as immoral or unethical.

        He's arguing against the truth and pretending it's really on his side when it isn't.

        Ethics hasn't changed just because of technology. Ethics was never on his side. No one every viewed copying as immoral. People certainly didn't view it as immoral when not done for financial gain.

        The notion that copying is theft is actually a very new one.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:15pm

        Re: Re:

        “…somebody should fight for fellow artists, because this is madness. Music has become tap water, a utility, where for me it’s a sacred thing, so I’m a little offended. The Internet has emasculated rather than liberated artists…” - BONO

         

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 9:32pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          “…somebody should fight for fellow artists, because this is madness. Music has become tap water, a utility, where for me it’s a sacred thing, so I’m a little offended. The Internet has emasculated rather than liberated artists…” - BONO

          Bono? The same guy who just finished the highest grossing tour, ever? Doesn't seem like the internet is hurting him that much.

          Also, Bono's thoughts on the internet are laughable. He suggested that we should censor the internet the same way China does because he's not making enough money from it. And yet... see the paragraph above this one.

          Uh, ok.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 7:07am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Why don't you call Bono and let him know how you feel about that...

            what about elton john?

            “I am of the view that the unchecked proliferation of illegal downloading (even on a “non-commercial” basis) will have a seriously detrimental effect on musicians, and particularly young musicians and those composers who are not performing artists.” - elton john

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 7:41am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It's funny how many artists rallied behind David Lowery this week... all without him asking them too... artists like Amiee Mann, Michael Penn, Ben Gibbard, Jared Leto, Matt Nathanson, Neko Case, Talib Kweli, Mike Doughty, Geoff Barrow, Tom DeLonge and even Jonathan Coulton is now siding with Lowery...

              "like David, I think the right choice is to support the artists that you love by giving them money. I also think it’s kind of shitty that there’s a lot of money generated from filesharing activites that makes some people rich and never gets to the artists"

              hmmmmmm...

              You Can't be Pro-Artist, and Pro-Exploitation at the same time Mike. People see through it. Come to the light.

              Being pro-artist is not being pro-censorship, and you know it. Take that big brain of yours and be a friend to artists, not the enemy.

              Help stop the illegal exploitation of artists work and help to build those new business models that are fair, ethical and share revenue with the artists while giving them consent and free agency.

              Even artists like Jonathan Coulton are waking up, and now is the time to do the right thing. How do you really tell artists that piracy is fair to them?

              Would you really sit in front of a room of musicians and tell them you believe there is nothing morally and ethically wrong with advertisers paying pirate sites to illegally exploit the their work and pay the artists NOTHING in that value chain? Really? That's really morally and ethically OK to you?

              http://ethicalfan.com/2012/04/wall-of-shame-april-2012/

              http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009 /04/pirateverdict/

              If you really believe that Mike, than yes, your moral, ethical and legal compass is so far off course I wish you the best in navigating those seas because I believe you are headed for stormy weather.

               

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                Samuel Abram (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 10:45am

                Re: Jonathan Coulton

                I didn't read Jonathan Coulton's post as a "Now he's against 'free culture'" post. I read it as a thoughtful, nuanced post that recognized there may be another side of the story.

                I'll even quote from the end to show you what I mean:

                I believe it's a noble and just pursuit to try to get some of the money that's flowing to MegaUpload and Google to flow to artists. It is definitely on the side of good. And I agree that the ethical choice is to pay for music (because I am an old person). I think it would be nice of Emily and her generation to realize that artists she loves deserve her financial support, and I'm pleased to see that on sites like Kickstarter, patronage is alive and well, at least for now. But I don't know if I'm going to spend a lot of effort trying to convince Emily that what she's doing is wrong, or trying to convince Google to give some of their ad revenue to me. These feel like a short-term goals, a little like skating to where the puck was a few minutes ago. I submit that it is maybe not the right place to focus our efforts. Frankly, I'd prefer it if we could make some progress on this 3D printer technology, because I am missing a lot of Lego pieces.

                Even though they may spell doom for my profession, Emily's attitudes toward music feel a little bit like a piece of the future to me, a little bit like the way we're all going to feel about Legos and auto parts and eyeglasses in a few decades. Emily's kids are going to be born into a world that makes them think even LESS like us old people about the ethics of intellectual property in the digital realm (a realm that will increasingly include actual physical things). They're going to seem to us like depraved, heartless monsters who think it's OK to steal Legos. Even Emily is going to be shocked and surprised.

                This is my bias: the decline of scarcity seems inevitable to me. I have no doubt that this fight over mp3s is just the first of many fights we're going to have about this stuff. Our laws and ethics already fail to match up with our behaviors, and for my money, those are the things we should be trying to fix. The change is already happening to us, and it's a change that WE ARE CHOOSING. It's too late to stop it, because we actually kind of like a lot of the things that we're getting out of it.

                I don't know how to get all that artist money back, and I don't know if we ever will. I don't much like that Spotify pays out so little to me when their service is siphoning directly out of the gas tank of my mp3 sales. But I sure do love having Spotify here on this computer I keep in my pocket. The flood comes and it doesn't matter if the water is right or wrong - you get in the boat, you stack sandbags, you climb on the roof and wait for a helicopter, and sometime later the water is calm and the world looks different.


                So you see? It wasn't the Us-vs-them rant of David Lowery. It was a thoughtful second-guessing of his own position to see if maybe he was wrong. Keep on saying "Look, Coulton's on my side now!" but all this post means is that Coulton's a bit more open-minded.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 10:50am

                  Re: Re: Jonathan Coulton

                  You can be dismissive, but you lost your free culture poster boy this week...

                   

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                    Samuel Abram (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 11:18am

                    Re: Re: Re: Jonathan Coulton

                    You can be dismissive, but you lost your free culture poster boy this week...


                    Dismissive of whom? I wasn't dismissing Jonathan Coulton. And this certainly doesn't mean he's against free culture (I mean actual free culture such as via CC licenses or PD dedications; not pirate culture, which has no respect for copyright), as he profited immensely from it. All this means is that his mind has broadened that some of the old people from the old system aren't doing so well and may get worse.

                    Look, I read blogs other than TechDirt, and I don't always agree with Mike Masnick or some of the other posters. That being said, Mike usually has something sensible to say.

                    Also, "free culture" and "copyright" can coexist. In fact, they must coexist. That doesn't mean that we have to have crazy laws like SOPA and PIPA, or trade agreements like ACTA or TPP. Like Karl said down below (and Cory Doctorow said a decade earlier), copyright is a utilitarian proposition, not an ethical one.

                     

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                    Eponymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 12:04pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Jonathan Coulton

                    How can you say that when he's explicit in saying "free culture" is only going to grow? "Frankly, I'd prefer it if we could make some progress on this 3D printer technology, because I am missing a lot of Lego pieces." He's pointing right at the fact that eventually physical items will be "free", or freely copied like digital items are now. Did you not even read what he wrote, or do you lack the intelligence to understand what he was implying? "Even though they may spell doom for my profession, Emily's attitudes toward music feel a little bit like a piece of the future to me, a little bit like the way we're all going to feel about Legos and auto parts and eyeglasses in a few decades." If this is not a man confessing that this fight is well over before it really began then I don't know what it is. If that's the case let me know when you're ready to start arguing that printing your own autoparts and Lego pieces is theft so we can rehash these same arguments all over again!

                     

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                      Samuel Abram (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 12:19pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Jonathan Coulton

                      How can you say that when he's explicit in saying "free culture" is only going to grow? "Frankly, I'd prefer it if we could make some progress on this 3D printer technology, because I am missing a lot of Lego pieces." He's pointing right at the fact that eventually physical items will be "free", or freely copied like digital items are now. Did you not even read what he wrote, or do you lack the intelligence to understand what he was implying? "Even though they may spell doom for my profession, Emily's attitudes toward music feel a little bit like a piece of the future to me, a little bit like the way we're all going to feel about Legos and auto parts and eyeglasses in a few decades." If this is not a man confessing that this fight is well over before it really began then I don't know what it is. If that's the case let me know when you're ready to start arguing that printing your own autoparts and Lego pieces is theft so we can rehash these same arguments all over again!


                      Very well said. Most of the shills here have a Manichean "us-vs-them" mindset that is devoid of nuance. Jonathan Coulton has posted a thoughtful, nuanced opinion, but the shills here read it as "HAHA! Score! Now he's on our side!"

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 1:12pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Jonathan Coulton

                        no - I'm just reading his blog. jonathan prefers a world where he gets paid fairly - the fact that he accepts for today he's being ripped off is just reality for the moment.


                        "like David, I think the right choice is to support the artists that you love by giving them money. I also think it’s kind of shitty that there’s a lot of money generated from filesharing activites that makes some people rich and never gets to the artists"

                        hmmmmmm...

                        You Can't be Pro-Artist, and Pro-Exploitation at the same time Mike. People see through it. Come to the light.

                         

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                          Samuel Abram (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 1:27pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Jonathan Coulton

                          no - I'm just reading his blog. jonathan prefers a world where he gets paid fairly - the fact that he accepts for today he's being ripped off is just reality for the moment.


                          I'm an artist too, so I say: So do I. That being said, whining about the current state of affairs doesn't seem to be making any progress as to the making-more-money part.

                          Also, I don't see Spotify as competing with MP3 sales, but as competing with Piracy. I see it as a "try-before-you-buy" kind of thing. Then again, other people aren't me.

                          And I confess, I did make a tiny bit of money from Spotify streams: I made US$.07 after 15 songs were streamed. Not bad! It's not much, but it's something.

                          You Can't be Pro-Artist, and Pro-Exploitation at the same time Mike.


                          Are you sure you replied to the right post? I'm not Mike.

                           

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                          Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 2:59pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Jonathan Coulton

                          meh

                           

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                          Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 8:45pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Jonathan Coulton

                          >You Can't be Pro-Artist, and Pro-Exploitation at the same time Mike.

                          Yeah, you can't. So he's not. That you are unwilling to accept this is, frankly, no one's business.

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 9:36pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Jonathan Coulton

                            Actually he's very clearly pro-exploitation and has never once renounced for profit commercial pirate sites that exploit the artists work and pay them nothing.

                            But if you'd like to prove me wrong I'd like to see where Mike says he doesn't not support commercial piracy like The Pirate Bay, Grokster, Kazaa, Megaupload and Limewire.

                            Until than, you are both lying to yourselves.

                             

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                Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 12:44pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                It's funny how many artists rallied behind David Lowery this week... all without him asking them too... artists like Amiee Mann, Michael Penn, Ben Gibbard, Jared Leto, Matt Nathanson, Neko Case, Talib Kweli, Mike Doughty, Geoff Barrow, Tom DeLonge and even Jonathan Coulton is now siding with Lowery...


                And I can name just as many musicians who pointed out that Lowery was wrong/tilting at windmills (and, if you actually read what Coulton said, he agrees that Lowery's approach is wrong). That's meaningless.

                The real question is what can we do to actually have musicians making more money. That's what we're concerned with. You're trying to figure out who to blame because you don't want to adapt. We're helping artists adapt.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 1:16pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  No Mike - once again you're missing the point. You have absolutely failed at getting artists more money, that why the house of cards will fall. Musicians know the truth from their own experience, in the own wallets. Your arrogance has blinded you.

                  http://thetrichordist.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/why-arent-more-musicians-working-professionally/

                  Also you're making a false dichotomy. Artists CAN work towards new models AND protect themselves from exploitation at the same time, but you can't seem to comprehend that. You want it to be a choice between the two, when in fact, artists should be able to have both at the same time.

                  And you haven't answered the question...

                  Would you really sit in front of a room of musicians and tell them you believe there is nothing morally and ethically wrong with advertisers paying pirate sites to illegally exploit the their work and pay the artists NOTHING in that value chain? Really? That's really morally and ethically OK to you?

                  http://ethicalfan.com/2012/04/wall-of-shame-april-2012/

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 3:10pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    MM:
                    And I can name just as many musicians who pointed out that Lowery was wrong/tilting at windmills (and, if you actually read what Coulton said, he agrees that Lowery's approach is wrong). That's meaningless.

                    AC:
                    Well, I don't know about that Mike. I'd like to see the list of artists who say:

                    a) They want to get paid for their work and

                    b) Don't care if someone else makes money from their work when they don't.


                    Seems to me that's the basic crux of the argument with labels, and now the pirate sites are illegally exploiting artists work and ripping them off worse than labels ever did. When The Pirate Bay starts issuing contracts and payments let me know.

                    MM:
                    The real question is what can we do to actually have musicians making more money. That's what we're concerned with. You're trying to figure out who to blame because you don't want to adapt. We're helping artists adapt.

                    AC:
                    No. You're trying to convince artists that they're not losing money to the greedy corporate internet gatekeepers getting rich of the backs of artists by illegally exploiting their work and keeping 100% of the artists money. Saying you're helping artists is like saying Mubarak was helping the Egyptians...

                    Tell me Mike, how much of the ad revenue on these sites is being shared with the artists? Just tell me how much and who is getting paid other then the site owners and the ad networks?

                    http://ethicalfan.com/2012/04/wall-of-shame-april-2012/

                    Why not put on the white hat, admit this is an illegal business, and ALSO work with artists on new models? Why do you only favor artists who surrender their rights? DO you think Hollywood Films and TV show producers should have the same rights to use an artists work illegally? I mean, they're not taking anything, the artist still has their "copy" of the song, right?

                     

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                    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 3:15pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Would you really sit in front of a room of musicians and tell them you believe there is nothing morally and ethically wrong with advertisers paying pirate sites to illegally exploit the their work and pay the artists NOTHING in that value chain? Really? That's really morally and ethically OK to you?

                    Heh. I've keynoted or presented at a ton of music events, speaking to artists, telling them the same thing I write here all the time.

                    The problem, of course, is all of the bogus assumption that you put into your "have you stopped beating your wife" question. Fact is, most people who aren't like you and don't have an axe to grind, recognize that no one is paying anyone "to illegally exploit" work. Instead, the artists recognize that there are a number of different platforms out there, and that if they learn to use them to their own advantage, they can profit quite nicely.

                    And, so, if you know how to actually use the tech, rather than tilt at windmills as you seem to love to do, you can make a lot more money.

                    So I'm curious: how is it more ethical to whine & cry about how nothing can be done, when all these people who appear to be a hell of a lot smarter than you are doing what you insist is impossible. Perhaps the problem is with you.

                    I prefer to hang out with the smart people rather than the folks blaming the smart people. You, apparently, would prefer to whine and toss around blame because you're unwilling to look at your own failure to adapt. That's pretty sad.

                     

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                PaulT (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 3:15pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "It's funny how many artists rallied behind David Lowery this week... all without him asking them too... artists like Amiee Mann, Michael Penn, Ben Gibbard, Jared Leto, Matt Nathanson, Neko Case, Talib Kweli, Mike Doughty, Geoff Barrow, Tom DeLonge and even Jonathan Coulton is now siding with Lowery... "

                Citations needed. Plus, I don't think I've ever heard a song by any of those artists except Kweli and Mann. That's your definitive list? Aren't you the guy who usually attacks independent artists because they're less famous than Michael Jackson?

                 

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:24pm

      Re:

      yeah... bring your argument to Japan and let me know how that works out for you... hahahahahaha...

      http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2012/06/japan-download-copyright-law/

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 10:51pm

        Re: Re:

        Japan where everybody enters a convenience store to read a magazine in front of the clerks and even take photos of the magazines to show others, that Japan you are referring to?

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 5:03am

        Re: Re:

        hahahaha, you mean the same Japan where possessing child porn is legal? where you can buy blank media for pirating at checkout? Where the most popular sharing programs are still being updated a decade after? LOL, yeah, you are one delusional retard.

         

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        PaulT (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 5:22am

        Re: Re:

        Wow, you found another country where the clueless local leaders were taken in by your industry's lies? Yawn... wake me up when there's proof that such a law made any difference to your masters' profits...

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 8:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          @ PaulT why do you hate artists so much as to want to deny them rightful compensation for their labor? I work for me. I am my own master. I need to pay my own bills.

          https://thetrichordist.wordpress.com/2012/06/24/copylike-org-we-do-this-for-the-love/

          I'm not entitled to be paid because I make music. I'm entitled to be paid when my work is consumed. There is a difference.

           

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            Gwiz (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 11:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            ...deny them rightful compensation for their labor?

            There's something wrong with that assertion.

            In a normal employee/employer situation there is the "right to compensation for labor". It's by a legal contract. As in: "you rent my services and talents for 40 hours a week in exchange for x amount of dollars".

            Independent entrepreneurs (which is what most musicians would be considered) have never had a "right" to compensation for their labors. There has always been risk. As with any other business sector, if you can't handle that risk, get a comfy hourly job.

             

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            PaulT (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 3:23pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "@ PaulT why do you hate artists so much as to want to deny them rightful compensation for their labor?"

            I don't. Sorry, but that version of me only exists in your own head, as a result of your inability to address my real opinions. If you want to make a real argument, try addressing my actual opinions.

            "I'm not entitled to be paid because I make music. I'm entitled to be paid when my work is consumed. There is a difference."

            I listened to an album today at my friend's apartment. I "consumed" it, but I did not pay for it. I pay for lots of other music, though. It's only recently that assholes like you demanded to be paid for consumption that's happened for decades without complaint,

            Explain to me how I was immoral for allowing my friend to play me music I didn't pay for, please. I love your fantasies, they remind me why the real world is so much better than the paranoid fantasy you reside in,

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 5:52pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              In response to your comment "I listened to an album today at my friend's apartment. I "consumed" it, but I did not pay for it. I pay for lots of other music, though. It's only recently that assholes like you demanded to be paid for consumption that's happened for decades without complaint,", 17 USC 106(4) provides:

              "(4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly..."

              Your comment about having "consumed" is premised upon the mistaken belief that under the circumstance you mention you engaged in copyright infringement, thus demonstrating overreach by the law. You are mistaken as the performance right extends only to "public performances" which are defined in 17 USC 101:

              "To perform or display a work “publicly” means—

              (1)to perform or display it at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered..."

              Thus, the law you seem inclined to believe overreaches addresses precisely the situation you described and makes clear that copyright law does not apply to non-public performances.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 6:04pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                BTW, US copyright law has included this "public" limitation regarding performances since at least as early as the Copyright Act of 1909.

                 

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                Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 7:07pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                But the point that was being addressed as stated by the previous AC was that he consumed something, so by default he should have to pay. The law and what it says had nothing to do with the original comment, nor the follow up comment that you are responding to.

                I do wish people would try and stick to what's being said as opposed to bringing up things that weren't mentioned just to try and make a point.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 7:48pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I merely addressed the specific situation he posited.

                  If he or you have any other specific situations where the answer under the law is not clear, I would be willing to consider them as well.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 9:39pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I'd like to see the list of artists who say:

                    a) They want to get paid for their work and

                    b) Don't care if someone else makes money from their work when they don't.


                    Seems to me that's the basic crux of the argument with labels, and now the pirate sites are illegally exploiting artists work and ripping them off worse than labels ever did. When The Pirate Bay starts issuing contracts and payments let me know.

                     

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                PaulT (profile), Jun 25th, 2012 @ 12:19am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Erm, OK... I don't see what the hell that has to do my comment, or what US law has to do with me, but whatever...

                In case you missed it, the part you quoted was in response to the idiot who thinks that things can't be consumed legally for free. I don't think you need to quote the law to me for it to be obvious that this is not the case.

                 

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    wanana, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 9:01pm

    grrr, sorry for the spelling mistakes and my crappy english, it is very late in brussels...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 9:33pm

    Ignore all the arguments about people coping freebies and why it is good or not. Ignore arguments about "sharing" ("distribution" in the parlance of copyright law). Ignore all this talk about art and culture as well. They are beside the point and do little to illuminate what is transpiring in the market for music and movie content.

    In the final analysis it comes down to money. On one side we have an industry that is lambasted for not fulfilling consumer wishes. On the other side we have "innovative" companies lauded for trying to align what they offer with consumer wishes by employing new distribution models. In other words, a legacy structure versus a newer structure, all keen on making money by whatever means they believe best serves their respective bottom lines.

    The rub comes between the competing business models. The legacy-based models rely upon funding, just like VCs, the creation of new content that they hope strikes a responsive chord with consumers. The newer models, likewise VC funded, in large measure seem devoted to establishing means for distributing the content created by the legacy-based models, and in many instances even new content not created by the legacy industries.

    Viewed in this manner what in my view is really at play is legacy VCs versus new-wave VCs. Where the rub, and hence moral dimension, comes into play is that the latter have for the most part based their distribution models on the work product resulting from the legacy VCs' investments. Hell hath no fury like a VC scorned, and it is easy to see why legacy VCs get quite riled up at the latter. The former made the needed investment and assumed each project's success/fail risk to create product. The latter has not assumed that risk (they have assumed other risks, but not those pertaining to content production), choosing instead to piggyback on the efforts of the former because at this point in time the legacy VCs have the advantage when it comes to creating products that appear to enjoy widespread consumer interest.

    Frankly, and even though legacy VCs may be relying upon a business model that does not align sufficiently to meet consumer demand, it is not at all difficult to understand their taking umbrage at others taking a cut of their ROI.

    Thus, while consumers drive the market by what they want, consumers are the pawns in this "battle of the VCs".

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:22pm

      Re:

      the truly failed model is the one that relies on illegally exploiting the work of others to be profitable. if the exploitation economy was truly legitimate it would not require all of the "old media" content every one here seems to despise.

      if old media and content companies are so bad at creating content people want, why is stealing it the basis for illegal internet distribution companies like the pirate bay?

      http://ethicalfan.com/2012/04/wall-of-shame-april-2012/

      if some company is making money from the exploitation of the artists work, the artists should also be compensated in that value chain.

      there is no right to steal. your choice as a consumer is BUY or NOT BUY, there is no right to steal, EVER. If you guys started robbing banks and gas stations I might start to respect you for having some consistency.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 10:48pm

        Re: Re:

        If by stealing you mean the sharing of culture that by the way was until a decade ago legal, then yes this is what people do they share it they steal it so they can share it with others and pass that to others, it is not their problem if you cannot make money out off of that environment, it is not our problem if you are stupid and can't survive in that environment, it is not our problem that you cannot keep people interested in your distribution channel or loyal.

        I don't see carpenters complaining about other carpenters being able to use the same methods, materials or ideas that they use, I don't see any other class of people being able to exclude others from the market claiming that because they are being copied they are being robbed, in the real world that is a ridiculous claim, I doubt a restaurant can go shutdown another restaurant because one copied a dish from the other, so why should anybody specially a class of people so void of practical use have the power of a monopoly?

         

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          Andrew D. Todd, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 1:43am

          Carpenters are Still Concerned With Hand Labor (To Anonymous Coward, #139)

          What scares carpenters is prefabrication. If you build a building in a factory, you are not only insulated from the weather, but you can use all kinds of specialized tools which would not be practicable on a construction site. By and by large, you don't need skilled carpenters-- you can break the job down into little tasks which can be performed by operatives under supervision. And then, you use a sufficiently big truck to carry the building to the construction site, and a sufficiently big crane to lift the building off the truck and onto its foundations. It's basically the same principle as making automobiles in a factory. Making some allowance for the cost of materials, and the cost of transportation, I doubt that there is more than $10,000 of value-added-by-manufacture in a factory-built house. Carpenters fight back against prefabrication by lobbying for unique local building codes, in the hope that factory-builders will not be able to adapt.

          There is a distinction between house-scale construction (stud walls), and big construction (reinforced concrete). In big construction, carpenters build forms to cast concrete in, and this kind of work is generally better-paid, and more unionized, than house construction. The carpenter works with an Ironworker, who welds together reinforcing rods inside the form, which rods will eventually become part of the concrete structure. Laborers pour the concrete, and use giant vibrators to ram it into place. But of course, pre-fabrication applies here, too. A sufficiently big truck can deliver a massive pre-stressed concrete floor or wall slab, weighing perhaps twenty tons, made in a factory, with supporting beams, holes for pipes and cables, etc., already built into it. Twenty tons of concrete is usually compact enough that it will fit on a railroad car, and if so, it can be inexpensively hauled across the country. In one case known to me, a county in North Carolina bought a new jail from a company in San Antonio, Texas. Except for political issues, there is no obvious reason they couldn't have bought one from a company in Brazil.

          No doubt, the factories will eventually start arguing about copyrights and patents, but that is another story.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 8:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          when you start robbing banks and gas stations I'll start taking your argument seriously.

           

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        PaulT (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 3:11am

        Re: Re:

        "the truly failed model is the one that relies on illegally exploiting the work of others to be profitable"

        The truly failed argument is the one that depends on erecting strawmen and outright lies in order to address the supposed opinions of others. If faced with truth, that argument withers and diers in a second, as we see here time and time again. Why do you keep doing it?

        "your choice as a consumer is BUY or NOT BUY,"

        Yet, when I choose the latter, drooling morons like yourself accuse me of piracy. There would be no debate if you addressed my real actions and opinions rather than the stupid lies you make up in order to have any point at all.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 8:18am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If you're not arguing for theft, than why are you defending it?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 10:27am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You spelled copyright infringement wrong. What else do you get wrong?

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2012 @ 12:36pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            i'm confused, i thought you said my choices were BUY or NOT BUY?

            now you are saying they are BUY or STEAL? so if I don't buy, i am, by default stealing something.

            wow, this is complicated. i may have to sit down and think this over. you see, i went to lunch today, and decided to not get a drink with my sandwich. at the time, you know, i didn't think anything about it. but now, i am thinking i've stolen that drink!

            or... we could walk away from the obsurdities, and to the realities.

            my choice is NOT BUY. i stopped buying books from the big five. i've stopped buying music for the most part. I don't buy movies, i rent from netflix. i don't see them in the theatres.

            and, here is the hard part, so pay attention, i don't 'steal' anything either. i don't download. i don't pirate. i don't do whatever it is you seem to be ranting, railing and foaming at the mouth to claim people like me do.

            i don't have to.

            i can read, every day for the rest of my life if i want, for free, legally. and I do.

            i can listen to music, same way.

            there is, in this world right now, more free, legal entertainment than any one human being could ever consume. EVER.

            so. why should i buy your stuff? why should i pay for something? CwF + RtB. it makes sense, really.

            and calling me a thief, a liar, and telling me i am a horrible person for thinking that copyright needs to be changed for the better, that my RIGHTS are more important than someone's PROFIT, that dinosaur level companies need to go away so that artists can actually thrive is NOT going to convice me to buy your stuff.

            you know what is worse than being pirated? worse than your "theft"? being forgotten. being swept aside. being lost in the passage of time.

             

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 9:39pm

    BTW, my comment above should not be construed as "anti-inernet" or "anti-consumer". These new technology-created tools provide opportunities for aspiring creatirs of content that have not in the past been realistically available to them, and in my view the benefits cannot be denied.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:29pm

      Re:

      if the pirate sites are so innovative why do they need to ripp off artists to make money?

      https://thetrichordist.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/artist-exploitation-calculator-internet-edition/

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 10:43pm

        Re: Re:

        Are you saying that the source of material can't out compete a copycat?

        Why do you punks need life plus 75 years of a monopoly, drug companies that produce treatments for serious diseases only get 25 years and they expend billions in R&D, has anybody heard of a song curing a disease?

        Does it cost a billion dollars to produce music?

        And yet here we are with an entire class of morons that believe they are entitled to monopolies for life because they deserve it without having to do anything more than just stand there looking pretty, yah right.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 8:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          But even artists like Jonathan Coulton are waking up, and now is the time to do the right thing. How do you really tell artists that piracy is fair to them?

          Would you really sit in front of a room of musicians and tell them you believe there is nothing morally and ethically wrong with advertisers paying pirate sites to illegally exploit the their work and pay the artists NOTHING in that value chain? Really? That's really morally and ethically OK to you?

          http://ethicalfan.com/2012/04/wall-of-shame-april-2012/

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 3:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Not only that I would tell every musician that believes in a monopoly to sod off.

            I would ask them if they paid royalties for the makers of their instruments after all without those instruments they wouldn't be able to produce music and they are stealing those instruments from the people who make those if they don't pay them for every use that is under the sun.

            You don't need to understand those little facts of life, we don't pay for every use after we bought something, we don't have recurring expenses for something we bought, if I bought music I should never have to pay anything to anybody again, I should be able to use it in a commercial, ad campaign, business place, home or whatever without having to worry about a retard that believes I own him something just because a 100 years ago he wrote and sung something, fuck off.

             

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    philippe, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 9:50pm

    Do you realize the "new distribution models" you're talking about developped because P2P was stigmatized and made illegal ? Can't you see common people and non-profit organizations still take a huge place in the distribution of cultural goods ?
    Can't you see the non-market side of things ? Lucidity and narrow-mindedness aren't the same thing...

    Taking a purely consumption-oriented view on the cultural usage of the Internet, one might think that file sharing arose because of a market failure that is now corrected, and that it is thus no longer needed.
    This would be a major mistake. For one thing, the battle for a more diverse access to cultural works is by no means over. More importantly, those who reduce culture to the consumption or passive reception of works (or only a struggle between buisness models) misunderstand what is at stake today. The dominance of the publishing and distribution industries in the representations of culture in the last century is misleading. Even in this cultural industry era, artistic practice, the social appropriation of works, the sharing of knowledge, the expression of citizens in relation to works have always been essential components of our cultural world. But now there is more to this, and ever more to come. The period when culture appeared dominated by a direct production-to-reception flow will soon be remembered as a mere interlude, between the time when creative and expression works were essentially a matter of craftsmanship, and a new era in which they have become a societal activity. The cultural industry will not disappear, of course, but it will find new paths to serve the public.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:28pm

      Re:

      Peer to peer filesharing is not illegal, just as not all uses of a knife are murder or threatening gestures.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 12:45am

      Re:

      Wow, so you want to conflate the economic issue by introducing morality into the equadsion! What a fantactic new concept!

      You should patent "morality as a business model"

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 12:51am

      Re:

      Get back to work, Slacker!

      Recorded music is promotion, you are either an industry shill (and have been profiting of other peoples genius), or a lazy artist, who needs a wake up call.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 2:59am

        Re: Re:

        Recorded music is promotion

        OK.... so movies are promo and we should go see Robert De Niro on Broadway?

         

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          PaulT (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 3:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Classic AC - when faced with something you can't actually refute or argue against, move the goalposts to an unrelated industry. Especially an industry that's demonstrably thriving despite piracy!

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 8:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Answer the question PaulT... movie are Promo for Live Theater Shows? How quickly your argument falls apart...

            hahahahahahaha... phew... when are you guys gonna learn...

            http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2012/120619lowery

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 10:28pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Movies are really promos, since theaters don't make money out of the movie, they make money selling soda's and popcorn LoL

               

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              PaulT (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 3:14am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "movie are Promo for Live Theater Shows? How quickly your argument falls apart... "

              Explain, please. Are you saying that people don't go to the cinema to see movies they've already seen, or are you trying to imply that theatrical distribution is somehow in jeopardy? I have facts that disprove both of these assertions, so I hope you're just trying to lie again...

              "http://www.digitalmusicnews"

              I stopped there. I thought you were talking about movies, not an unrelated second industry that has fuck all to do with the supposed point you were making?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 8:14am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                PaulT - Why are you so angry? Just answer the question? Are movies promo to see live theater? Are you torrenting GoodFella's so that you can decide if you want to see the play or not? Di Nero needs to sing for his supper everynight?

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 3:11pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I don't know about you dude but I did go to the theater as a social experience, I was going with my girlfriend now wife, with my friends, but rarely alone so the movie there didn't matter it was a way to get in touch with friends and have a good time, just like going to dinner at some restaurant, you can copy all the dishes there and nobody would claim you are a thief, you can open your own restaurant and copy every dish served elsewhere and nobody could claim you stole anything, but somehow this art shit is different, it doesn't cure anything, it can't feed anybody, it can't shelter anybody, it doesn't really help nobody but gets a granted monopoly for life that is just mind boggling.

                   

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                  PaulT (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 3:37pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "PaulT - Why are you so angry? "

                  Because morons like you keep twisting my words and attack strawmen instead of the actual help I'm trying to give your industry?

                  "Are movies promo to see live theater?"

                  No, but re-releases of Star Wars and Titanic seem to be doing well and every re-release of Blade Runner seems to do well. If people are willing to pay to see a movie they already own on DVD, why would they not be willing to see the proper version of a crappy cam they downloaded?

                  "Are you torrenting GoodFella's so that you can decide if you want to see the play or not?"

                  No, despite your lies I already own that movie on VHS and DVD. I also pay to see other movies featuring the cast, the director, I own 2 books by the author Nicholas Pileggi on whose book Wiseguys the film was based, and would be willing to pay again to see it on the big screen if I get the opportunity.

                  Is this really not enough for you greedy bastards?

                  "Di Nero needs to sing for his supper everynight?"

                  If his livelihood depended on the sales of a movie from 1990, then yes. Luckily, he's better than you and has managed to carve a career out of well-paid movie roles based partly on his performance there. What's your excuse for your failure? Too shit for people to want to buy from you?

                   

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 9:54pm

    If there is a moral component to it, for me it is that it is immoral in this day and age to grant a monopoly to anyone and force steal the public space from the public so a minor part of society can benefit from it alone.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 8:23am

      Re:

      But, you Can't be Pro-Artist, and Pro-Exploitation at the same time. People see through it. Come to the light.

      Being pro-artist is not being pro-censorship, and you know it. Take that big brain of yours and be a friend to artists, not the enemy.

      Help stop the illegal exploitation of artists work and help to build those new business models that are fair, ethical and share revenue with the artists while giving them consent and free agency.

      Even artists like Jonathan Coulton are waking up, and now is the time to do the right thing. How do you really tell artists that piracy is fair to them?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 10:10pm

    It isn't about musicians not making enough money, as Masnick claims (sigh).
    It's about paying once for someone else's work you are enjoying.
    Fair point about revisiting copyright (democratically), but when ordinary people download an album they would have otherwise bought, that is depriving the artist of ANY income from that album - whether it is 20% income from a label, or 100% income from a self release.
    Lowery's main point is inarguable I think - if you like someone's music, support them by buying the music.
    I don't see how anyone could say that's wrong headed.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 10:27pm

      Re:

      ordinary people download an album they might have otherwise bought

      FTFY

      The other option is that they may not have bothered to get it at all if it wasn't freely available.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 10:29pm

        Re: Re:

        The other option is that they may not have bothered to get it at all if it wasn't freely available.

        True, but that's far from 100% of downloads isn't it.
        So there still is no valid argument for NOT buying the recordings of the artists you like and enjoy listening to.
        If you don't, you're a jerk as they say.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 10:58pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Which is why we have to legislate our way towards punishing the jerks. That never has any unintended consequences. Like ever. Not once.

          Seriously.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:37pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Wow, you just called every radio listner a jerk?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:45pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Radio isn't free (of course).
            So no.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:48pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Of course it is, people don't pay for the music on the radio do they?

              Have you ever took out money out of your pocket to listen to radio?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 12:02am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Have you ever took out money out of your pocket to listen to radio?

                Sure, I got bombarded with ads.
                And in the UK, BBC radio is funded by the license people purchase.

                 

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                  PaulT (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 12:47am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  So, you didn't get money taken out of your pocket then, did you? Unless you routinely use every service whose ad played on the radio, the advertisers paid and you paid absolutely nothing. You have probably listened to the radio many times without a penny of yours ever reaching the advertisers (and thus the station). Unless you're being very literal about time = money, in which case it;'s a rather silly argument.

                  This is possible because the record labels worked with radio stations to come up with business models that didn't involve the consumer paying directly. You know, the models that have been advocated here for years and people like Lowery are still petrified of because they don't get CD money through Spotify (services which are not comparable in any way, of course)

                  The BBC example is pretty unique, and doesn't apply to most stations.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 3:02am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    This is possible because the record labels worked with radio stations to come up with business models that didn't involve the consumer paying directly

                    Yeah, it's called advertising.
                    And one reason many musicians are against it is because the mighty dollar has ruined radio. And most of us don't want to be subjected to a shitty McDonalds ad every time we want to hear a Radiohead song.

                     

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                      PaulT (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 3:54am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "Yeah, it's called advertising."

                      Yes, and you don't pay for the advertising unless you choose to use a product by one of the advertisers. In other words, your previous assertion was false.

                      "And one reason many musicians are against it is because the mighty dollar has ruined radio."

                      By the same people currently whining about piracy and competition from the likes of Spotify. The market has spoken, and you still don't have to pay directly for a service if you choose not to, and despite the industry's constant fights against legal competition it's still there to be used (at least, in areas where the labels haven't blocked people from accessing otherwise legal services).

                      "And most of us don't want to be subjected to a shitty McDonalds ad every time we want to hear a Radiohead song."

                      Indeed. Which is why it's so great to be living in the modern era where ad-supported radio and buying full albums are not the only 2 choices. The fact that the industry fights this extra choice at every turn is just another indication of how desperate they are, and how clueless if they think that "piracy" is new and paying directly for music the only legal choice.

                      Of course, all of this contradicts the crap you're spouting above.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 8:26am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Musicians have been getting the short end of the stick for a long time. There are no shortage of stories about the wrong doings of managers, booking agents, etc and of course record labels.

                        If we were to believe the writings and ramblings of the tech blogosphere, than you would have us believe that our enemy is our fans. This is simply not true.

                        The enemy are the for profit businesses making money from our recordings and songwriting illegally. Let’s be clear about this, our battle is with businesses ripping us off by illegally exploiting our work for profit. This is not about our fans. It is about commercial companies in the businesses of profiting from our work, paying us nothing and then telling us to blame our fans. That is the ultimate in cowardice and dishonesty.

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 3:06pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          You wanna know why they always get the short straw dude?
                          Because they didn't learn to do it themselves and that is why they keep getting screwed and will continue to do so until the day they take charge of their own business, you know like open source programmers did.

                           

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:25am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Listening to ad or another part of service you don't like is not a form of payment, if service provider financially gains from it.

                  And as for BBC Radio if what you said is true, it the exception, not the rule. When people are listen most other radio stations they don't first buy a license to listen to that, they just turn the radio on and change to station they want to listen.

                   

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                  drew (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 8:00am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  But the BBC license is required for television only. Radio is absolutely, completely one hundred percent free.

                   

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              silverscarcat (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:00am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Radio's free in the U.S.

               

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          Robert (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 10:06am

          Re: Re: Re:

          There is NO collection of data to prove your assumption correct. In fact there are data collections that prove counter.

          Do you know why Lowery and labels don't understand it, because you cannot model human desires.

          If it were as you say, iTunes would not be the success it is.

          And people DO buy from the artists they love! Not everyone, some are restricted via stupid money-grabbing licenses (ie: Australia for NIN's music charing 1.5x what they should), some are simply not available, some simply don't have the money but buy what little they can (like a concert ticket).

          There should be no more "import" pricings this day and age. That's a bullshit cash grab designed to screw consumers.

          And some download music just to have a large collection of stuff they don't listen to and would never buy. Again, that's not a metric you can easily reference.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:36pm

      Re:

      If "lost sales" is theft than the entire free market system is theft.


      "poor joe worked so hard building his pizzaria and then those dirty thiefs at pizza hut stole his pizza!"

      "But they didn't take his pizza, they made their own an sold them in the same areas"

      "OMG HOW DARE YOU SIDE WITH PIRATE HUT!?"

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 8:28am

        Re: Re:

        right on! and anyone can make their own music it and give it away anytime they want!

        why don't you post a link to the music you have created, recorded and are giving away - just don't give away mine!

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:41pm

      Re:

      By paying once you mean, paying once on every use of it an pseudo artist can imagine.

      I want to see you pay once every year of your miserable life for every thing you ever bought from somebody else and see if that is cool.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:46pm

      Re:

      "Pay once"?

      Like when people have a levy on their hard drives to pay for music?
      Like when people have to pay royalties every time they go out or to any place they can hear music?
      Like when they buy tickets to a live show?
      Like when they buy merch from some company?
      Like when they pay royalties for music they hear in a shop?

      Is that paying once to you?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 2:05am

      Re:

      >It isn't about musicians not making enough money, as Masnick claims (sigh).

      Sorry, but no.

      One of Lowery's own posted URLs about the response to Lowery's piece lamented that things like Kickstarter and Spotify don't pay a lot, and they don't pay it fast. They said, and I quote, "It's not about file-trading. It's legal, but that doesn't mean it's fair." The main takeaway from Lowery's ranting is that modern methods of payment and consumer choices means that you're less likely to make a killing like Madonna or Jay-Z, and somehow, that's everyone else's fault.

      And by the way? I'm not convinced of Lowery's points. Every time he posts here under the pseudonym of hurricane head, Phil or googlypants it's to refer to his site and claim that everyone here is a thief and we're worse than labels. He completely whitewashes the fact that labels have consistently cheated artists, cooked the books, lied about statistics, and yet continues to claim that he's not with a label and doesn't want anything to do with them - all the while defending them.

      He might not be wrong-headed, but if you criminalise what is essentially entire communities, don't be surprised if people don't consider you particularly rational.

       

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      techflaws (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 2:15am

      Re:

      It isn't about musicians not making enough money, as Lowery claims.

      FTFY (sigh).

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 10:22pm

    Canned Music

    Lowery's moralistic rhetoric reminds me somewhat of the "Canned Music" conflict, especially John Philip Sousa (c.f. his widely-cited "The Menace of Mechanical Music," Appleton's, 1906).

    At a more abstract level, moralizing is the old-fella emotional-narrative response to conflict at an intersection of technological change (c.f. creative destruction) and generation gap (i.e. "you damn kids").

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:01pm

      Re: Canned Music

      Get off my lawn! Oh, you made a copy of my lawn?

      Get off my lawns!

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:02pm

        Re: Re: Canned Music

        Get off my lawn! Oh, you made a copy of my lawn?

        Grow a pair and grow you're own frikkin lawn.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:30pm

          Re: Re: Re: Canned Music

          You are still copying somebody's lawn though LoL

           

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            Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 5:41pm

            Re: You are still copying somebody's lawn though LoL

            Grass seeds are like a copying machine or P2P network for grass.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 9:37pm

              Re: Re: You are still copying somebody's lawn though LoL

              do you think monsanto should be able to orgnaic farmers out of business over genetically modified seeds?

               

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 10:25pm

    support them by giving them some money

    no need to buy a plastic circle or to buy mp3 you can get through file sharing

    global patronage is the future

    this amour-discipline.org seems the real thing, if it ever goes up and running...

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 10:27pm

      Re:

      Let me know when 'global patronage' gets going.
      Right now, my local Safeway, electricity company and ISP only accept cold hard cash. So right now, musicians need cash to keep making music.

       

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        DH's Love Child (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 10:46pm

        Re: Re:

        So right now, musicians need cash to keep making music

        So right now, musicians need inspiration to keep making music

        FTFY

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 10:58pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          There's no shortage of inspiration. Just a shortage of money to pay for the electricity to turn the guitar amp on.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 9:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          People were making music long before there was electricity. And generations of people have made music without being paid to do so.

          Its great to support yourself by making music people are willing to pay for but money is by no means a prerequisite to making music.

           

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        drew (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 8:03am

        Re: Re:

        no they don't. They need cash to live same as the rest of us. All they need to keep making music is time and talent.
        But unfortunately time and talent doesn't entitle you to an income.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 11:26am

        Re: Re:

        bullshit

        as said here many times by mike
        the make music cause they love it, they want you to steal their stuff, otherwise you would never listen to them, cause you don't want to pay for the music, that's why you illegally download it

         

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        Nick Dynice (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 11:32am

        Re: Re:

        That is because grocery stores, electric companies, and ISPs control the supply. Digitized creative works can be copied infinitely. See, that is the difference.

         

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        JEDIDIAH, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 1:59pm

        It's always someone else's fault.

        It's already getting going. You just seem to be missing the train.

        If you can't find a patron in the new system, that's really no different than not being able to find one in the old one. At some point, you just have to stop blaming other people for your lack of success.

        Some people are going to be a failure regardless of what the underlying framework is.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 10:54pm

    Lowery is being such an asshole because his income relies on teaching last century's music business.

    I've met people before of his ilk, trying to cash in on minor fame and charisma (in this case charisma equates to being a blowhard which some people like).

    The problem is, his real issue is, his bands never made it to the top of the charts, and he feels he has to prove himself being a valuable member of the music community to validate his life. His way of doing that is to teach try and teach the next generation of musicians "how to make it." He is really just looking for a protege, who makes it big, so he can point at them and say "You see, I knew all along I was right."

    Don't get me wrong, I remember seeing CVB (and am a fan) and enjoying Cracker, but the minute you start thinking you are an authority on the music bizz, you are no longer a musician, you've just fallin' into the snake oil bizz.

    I really wish Lowery were really interested in helping new (and old) musicians find their voice. I would respect him a lot more. Right now he seems to be only interested in validating his ego at the expense of musicians.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:00pm

      Re:

      Lowery is being such an asshole

      Taplin... is that you?

      I guess you didn't read Masnick's outrage at artists being attacked in this debate.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:12pm

        Re: Re:

        Huh.... Did you read the entire post or just read the first sentence in a millisecond and post.

        I know, spambots don't really read, they just see combinations of letters in patterns and react accordingly.

        But the next generation of bots might get smart and actually try and read and comprehend. The rest of us did that in the 3rd grade. It takes time for some folks to catch up.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:24pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Did you read the entire post

          Sadly yes.
          All you did was lambast Lowery for all kinds of failings as you see it. Pretty much word for word Taplin's view of Paley that 'our leader' was slamming a few blogs ago.
          I mean apart from anything else you had a complete logic failure.
          How can you justify never learning anything about your industry when you are in it for 20-30 years. That would be dumb right?
          You don't expect a doctor to not be an authority on the health service after 20+ years, or someone who's done 20+ years at Apple or Microsoft to NOT be an authority on tech business.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:36pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Just ask all those retired engineer and doctors if they know anything about the management side of things I am willing to bet that most of them don't know how it all works to this day.

            Besides why should anybody listen to someone that never got to the top of the management game so he obviously is not that good at it and who doesn't know how to make a living where others are thriving?

            I mean software engineers created open source and they are thriving, there are open hardware initiatives with multi million dollar companies that basically give out their products for free if you can build them yourself.

            Are you saying those people are smarter than the supposedly "creative" guys?

            What kind of a person defends a monopoly in this day and age?

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:36pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Then you understand me perfectly.

            I am a COMPLETE! logic failure. But, I understand where music comes from, and it doesn't come from "being in the industry for 20-30 years".

            Music comes from dumb hearts who want to see a world where dumb hearts make a difference.

            I am actually glad you responded. I've put off making songs for a long time (because my heart wasn't in it). But every step I take (oh shit another copywrite violation) helps me understand.

            Hope u do the same.

             

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:47pm

    Jeez, you all should go back a few days and read Masnick's passionate thread slamming Taplin for dissing artists. Because I can see a real trend building in this thread.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:49pm

      Re:

      Misdirection, is the hallmark oooooooooofffffff the shilllllllllllllsssseeesssss

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:16pm

        Re: Re:

        “I am of the view that the unchecked proliferation of illegal downloading (even on a “non-commercial” basis) will have a seriously detrimental effect on musicians, and particularly young musicians and those composers who are not performing artists.” - ELTON JOHN

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 8:09am

          Re: Re: Re:

          And I am of the view that Elton John is a washed up, washed out, husk of a has-been who never really /was/ in the first place. But my opinion means as much as his with nothing to support it.

          The man is clueless, and always has been.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 8:16am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            But it's funny how many artists rallied behind David Lowery this week... all without him asking them too... artists like Amiee Mann, Michael Penn, Ben Gibbard, Jared Leto, Matt Nathanson, Neko Case, Talib Kweli, Mike Doughty, Geoff Barrow, Tom DeLonge and even Jonathan Coulton is now siding with Lowery...

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 3:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It is even more funny to see how many people rallied against it LoL

              Did you read the comment on websites where people are allowed to express themselves freely?

               

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:55pm

      Re:

      Gee, the only trend I see is Lowerbrains and his believers bell curve taking a dive to the south.

      Want to know how much music I purchased in the last 10 years?
      Zero, nada, zilch and year after year, after year my resolve not to buy any grows, I don't even watch TV anymore, the only music I listen to is CC-by-SA, so good luck trying to force people to fallow absurd rules or respect ridiculous concepts of morality that nobody in their right minds would feel entitled to.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 12:06am

      Re:

      Sorry dude, didn't mean to shut your shit down.

      I want to keep the conversation going.

      It just makes sense

       

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      RadialSkid (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 2:04am

      Re:

      Has anyone here actually called Lowery "talentless?" I don't know if he is or not, since I'm not familiar with his output, but I don't see any personal attacks being leveled at his artistic integrity. Rather, I see a few people saying he's acting like an asshole, and others criticizing his blog writings.

       

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      techflaws (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 2:20am

      Re:

      So what?

       

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      The eejit (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 3:52am

      Re:

      Perhaps you should stop casting stones, as you kept insulting Nina Paley (whose works have been shown at international film festivals, i might add).

       

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    Richard (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 3:17am

    The point people keep missing.

    Whenever someone says something like "It's too hard for a musician to make a living." you should really ask: "Why do you think that a musician should be able to make a living?" together with "What puts a person into the category 'musician'?".

    If you are simply a self proclaimed "musician" then clearly you do not have any moral right to be able to make a living from music. Even having some kind of educational qualification does not necessarily qualify you. I have a PhD in theoretical high energy physics but I had to move into another field to make a living.

    The only reasonable definition of a full time professional musician is "someone who makes a living from music". With that definition statements like "musicians can't make a living" become oxymorons. (Usually perpetrated by the non-oxy variety!)

    What has actually happened is that the some of the things that used to guarantee a living (being signed by a record label) no longer do so.

    Remember that the number of people who would elect to be a professional musician if it were purely their choice far exceeds the number that could ever do so under ANY system.

    It follows that any measure to improve the lot of musicians at the bottom end will simply suck in more of these people and become self defeating. The only way in which the lot of musicians could be improved would be to introduce a barrier to practicing the art (as in medicine and the law).

    You would have to a have a regime where a formal qualification in music was required in order to be allowed to accept money for a musical performance.

    This would actually exclude many famous musicians (eg Paul McCartney) since they cannot read/write musical notation!

     

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      Richard (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 3:20am

      Re: The point people keep missing.

      Whoops

      "Remember that the number of people who would elect to be a professional musician if it were purely their choice far exceeds the number that could ever do so under ANY system."

      Should read:

      "Remember that the number of people who would elect to be a professional musician if it were purely their choice far exceeds the number that could ever make a living under ANY system."

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 3:33am

    "Remember that the number of people who would elect to be a professional musician if it were purely their choice far exceeds the number that could ever make a living under ANY system."

    Yeah, we know. We've always known. A recent myth seems to have been put about that musicians don't understand they are pursuing a fragile career. WE understand.
    Lowery's key point is not that he and his friends aren't earning enough money. His key point is that Emily White copied hundreds of CD's from her college radio office. And if she's honest when she claims to be passionate about music, she should think a little about how she can financially support her favourite musicians, instead of just assuming someone else will do it for her.

     

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      Richard (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 3:43am

      Re:

      Lowery's key point is not that he and his friends aren't earning enough money. His key point is that Emily White copied hundreds of CD's from her college radio office.


      That does not logically compute - and frankly I don't believe it for a minute.

      If he is earning enough money then what is it to him that she copied the CDs?

      He is only bothered about the copying because he perceives that it has some negative impact of musicians - maybe not him personally.

      IF he believes that it is somehow morally wrong to copy the CDs without paying even if this has no financial impact on the musicians concerned whatsover then I would say that this attitude itself is morally reprehensible.

       

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        Richard (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 3:46am

        Re: Re:

        The reality is of course that paying for music (or finacially supporting musicians in other ways) does today what it always did - It support future music production and in the process it gives the payer some influence over the future direction of music. By not paying Emily is denying herself that influence and hence the loss is hers alone.

         

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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 4:37am

    "because he's even pushing this ethical guilt trip on legal offerings like Spotify, because (according to him) they don't pay enough."

    Welcome to the free market, something that the record labels and Hollywood have never had to deal with before. 20 years ago when PC clones where just beginning to show up there were high profit margins, just 5 years later the profit margins became razor thin due to competition. Spotify's competition is 5 million MySpace bands, free music, YouTube, etc. The days of monetary gouging content are rapidly ending.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 4:40am

    haha

    Mike Masnick takes himself seriously.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 6:32am

    About six years ago, we wrote about why there is no moral question to answer, because if the economics says that everyone can be better off -- i.e., musicians can earn more money and consumers can get what they want -- then there is no moral quandary or conflict.

    Let me see if I understand you're tortured logic. Since you assume that your untested, novel, and alternative business models can make everyone better off, then there's nothing morally wrong with violating the shit out of other people rights. This sort of thing is precisely why the pirates flock to you in droves. And it's the reason your a amoral douche bag. Sorry, Pirate Mike, but you defend the pirates. You've sided with the pirates, not the artists. You have no morals, that much is obvious.

     

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      PaulT (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:00am

      Re:

      "Let me see if I understand"

      Given that your deduction was the clear opposite of the intention and you still seem to live in your gibbering fantasy world where people who don't support dated business models must be pirates?

      No, you still don't.

       

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        average_joe (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:22am

        Re: Re:

        I get the fact that there is a moral element to piracy, and Mike pretends like there isn't so he can rationalize things. Only an amoral, feckless dirtbag would pretend that since maybe there's another way to do things, anyone violating people's rights in the meantime is OK.

         

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          PaulT (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:45am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Go on, quote the articles where Mike has actually stated it's OK to pirate. Not where he's trying to explain to you people that it exists, not the ones where he's saying it needn't cause problems, not the ones where he's pointing out the inevitable consequences of draconian and unworkable laws with unacceptable collateral damage. Where he actually states it's OK to pirate.

          "Only an amoral, feckless dirtbag would pretend that since maybe there's another way to do things, anyone violating people's rights in the meantime is OK."

          Which is why you lot support the attempts by the record labels to do just that in the name of profit, I presume? One day, your thick skull might accept the idea that criticising your pathetic attempts to bulldoze the rights of others and destroy legitimate competition is not the same as supporting piracy. Today's not that day, clearly.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:46am

          Re: Re: Re:

          nah, he's an altar boy. The pin-up poster child for the ultimate American mba graduate...

          lol

           

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          Richard (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 11:38am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Would a moral person call another person

          "an amoral, feckless dirtbag " ?

           

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      Karl (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:33am

      Re:

      Since you assume that your untested, novel, and alternative business models can make everyone better off, then there's nothing morally wrong with violating the shit out of other people rights.

      This is not even remotely what Mike said, and you know it.

      And you might want to quit it with the "amoral douche bag" comments, Joe. It's clear that you know the law, but you know jack shit about morality.

      For example: copyright is not a "right" in the moral sense. It is purely a utilitarian bargain: the public gives up some of its rights, in order to gain access to/use of more artworks. It is supposed to be a system exactly like Mike described: "musicians can earn more money and consumers can get what they want." (The problem, of course, is that it is not that kind of system.)

      No artist has a moral right to prevent others from using his/her artwork. In fact, if you want to debate morals, I would say that copyright is absolutely immoral. To the extent that it is necessary, it is a necessary evil.

       

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        Jay (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 11:48am

        Re: Re:

        It's clear that you know the law, but you know jack shit about morality.

        Karl, even the law understanding is debatable when he can't understand CDT v Pappert or why all of the precedents and procedures don't matter when the exact basis for copyright is so that the public benefits from the policies the government creates.

         

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          Karl (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 2:39pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Karl, even the law understanding is debatable

          Well, whether his legal arguments are sound (in my opinion they're not), he at least understand the law. You know what they say about lawyers. In the words of Marilyn McNamara:
          If you put ten lawyers in a room with sufficient food, water and oxygen (and access to a bathroom and a telephone, of course), together with a one-page paragraph, plenty of paper and writing implements, you could then leave the premises, have dinner, go to a movie, visit a bar and finally return to find them still arguing about the use of the word “and” in the third line down.

           

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      drew (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 8:11am

      Re:

      "Since you assume that your untested, novel, and alternative business models can make everyone better off"
      no no no! That's the whole fucking point!
      They won't make "everyone" better off. Some people, who figure it out, will be better off. The market has opened up so that more people COULD be better off. Nothing is guaranteed apart from the fact that a significant number of people WILL fail.
      That's how it works. Read Richard's post above and have a think on that.

      The only obvious thing here is that you, either willfully or blindly, do not understand what is being written here.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 1:58pm

      Re:

      Morality is a human construct and in the eye of the beholder. One persons amoral dirtbag is another persons voice of reason in a sea of insanity.

       

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    Seektruth, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 6:40am

    Morals mean nothing because their very definition is skewed

    Interesting article, nothing about morals means anything in this day and age.

    The reason is: we have replaced the morals of our grandparents, the truth of scripture and Jesus Christ for our own fabricated morals. (thus making our morals meaning less)

    The reason that the greatest society the world has ever seen, became that way. Was because it followed closely the truths in Biblical Scripture.

    If we do not have a vast awakening, back to these time honored principles. I am afraid of what is going to happen.

    All things can be done through Jesus Christ.

     

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      Richard (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:41am

      Re: Morals mean nothing because their very definition is skewed

      The reason that the greatest society the world has ever seen, became that way. Was because it followed closely the truths in Biblical Scripture.

      No society has ever succeeded in doing that - and certainly not American society (assuming that is what you mean.)

      You are right if you believe that it is a good idea for society's leaders to believe that they are answerable to something higher than themselves - but even that can be dangerous if they do not recognise that the higher authority is represented on earth by those over whom they rule.

      At present I see many non-believers who are "a law unto themselves" (in the sense intended by St Paul) and a lot of those who still profess a Christian faith whose attitude falls far short of the reality of the Gospel. I do not think that a mass return to the kind of religious identity that prevailed 60 years ago would necessarily help.

      I find it puzzling that so many would be absolutely literal in their interpretation of some of the Old Testament laws wbut resort to finding weasel words to excuse themselves in the face of "turn the other cheek" and "judge not".

       

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      That One Guy (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 1:34pm

      Re: Morals mean nothing because their very definition is skewed

      I can't resist...

      First question: What's the most atheistic nation on the planet?

      Answer: That would be China.

      Second question: What's their crime rate(s) like there?

      (I'll give you a hint: it's not even close to what your argument would suggest it would be)

      Sorry, but the 'the more religious a person/nation is, the more moral they are' argument is blatantly false.

      Now to be clear I am not saying that being religious means low morals, just that the link you're pushing, that being religious means a person/group is more moral is total bunk.

       

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        Richard (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 2:46pm

        Re: Re: Morals mean nothing because their very definition is skewed

        First question: What's the most atheistic nation on the planet?

        Answer: That would be China.


        No China is not the most atheistic nation. It may be the most atheistic government.

        I don't think the Chinese government behaves in a particularly moral way. It certainly isn't better than governments that officially subscribe to religion.

         

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        The Logician (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 5:36pm

        Re: Re: Morals mean nothing because their very definition is skewed

        You may not be aware, That One Guy, but Maoist China, along with Stalinist Russia, were among the most brutal dictatorships of the twentieth century, killing tens of millions of people - estimates reach up to 100 million. By contrast, the Crusades (which were primarily defensive engagements), the Inquisition, and the Salem witch trials together took approximately only 1 percent of that total in loss of life, over a span of five hundred years. I merely state this as a point of comparison.

         

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          That One Guy (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 4:20am

          Re: Re: Re: Morals mean nothing because their very definition is skewed

          Fair enough to the both of you, I seem to have gotten my info wrong.

          I believe the problem was I was thinking of the wrong country, from something I'd read a good while back, and by making the mistake of naming china in the example, ended up with a taste of shoe in my mouth.

          What I get for relying too much on my occasionally spotty memory I suppose.

           

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    John Thacker, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:27am

    Remember, in the same period, the major record labels themselves have become even more focused on putting all of their effort behind one or two superstars. It's that old system that has resulted in a focus on a very very small number of professional musicians. If you look at independent artists they're growing rapidly.


    This highlights why drug patents are not the same as music copyrights (or software patents.) Music is largely a matter of taste. If superstars do worse, people aren't worse off because taste shifts to independent artists. If an artist is a "failure," they still produced music that some people could enjoy. The process of making it big involves starting small, touring, releasing music. There's no big reason for independent artists to care all that much about how much the superstars make (except for their dreams of making it big themselves, which does cause some people to pursue the dream.)

    Pharmaceuticals are entirely different. A drug failure is entirely useless for everyone; it's completely wasted money. For every drug that is a success and is released, many, many fail. There's no sense in which drugs are released small scale to see if they'll "make it big." Instead, the entire testing process and regulatory approval process has to happen first. The superstar drugs have to pay for the development costs of the failures, and there's little way to do that without patents. (And people keep citing studies on the costs of drugs that ignore the costs of all the failed drugs; taking the chance of failure into account increases the costs of developing a drug by well over an order of magnitude.)

     

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      Richard (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:54am

      Re:

      Pharmaceuticals are entirely different. A drug failure is entirely useless for everyone; it's completely wasted money. For every drug that is a success and is released, many, many fail. There's no sense in which drugs are released small scale to see if they'll "make it big." Instead, the entire testing process and regulatory approval process has to happen first. The superstar drugs have to pay for the development costs of the failures, and there's little way to do that without patents. (And people keep citing studies on the costs of drugs that ignore the costs of all the failed drugs; taking the chance of failure into account increases the costs of developing a drug by well over an order of magnitude.)

      Boldrin and Levine have suggested alternative ways of solving these problems without patents. I would add that the existence of patents has also distorted medical research in the direction of drug treatments and away from alternative therapies. Also much commercial medical research is built on top of public funded research.

       

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    Gerald Robinson (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:36am

    Moral issues

    There are moral issues that are real. Mostly the 'net is stricter about these than the alternates.

    They are:
    Correct attribution/identification—I have amoral right to be correctly identified as the composer/author, performer, producer… of the music, article,etc. That is the ONLY MORAL RIGHT!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:48am

    ugh.. knew just from the title

    this was going to be one of mikey's high-horse rants about piracy, and how it's no one's fault for stealing content, it's the content creators fault somehow. What a load of crap. Grow up and realize you aren't entitled to free content, it costs money to make, YOU need to pay for it.

     

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      drew (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 8:30am

      Re: ugh.. knew just from the title

      Alternatively, grow up and realise that you aren't entitled to a career doing what you want. You need to work for it.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 8:20am

        Re: Re: ugh.. knew just from the title

        funny - I'm just wondering why this comment was censored?

        this was going to be one of mikey's high-horse rants about piracy, and how it's no one's fault for stealing content, it's the content creators fault somehow. What a load of crap. Grow up and realize you aren't entitled to free content, it costs money to make, YOU need to pay for it.

         

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      Rikuo (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 10:10am

      Re: ugh.. knew just from the title

      Yes, we are entitled to free content. Free content as in the public domain, which thanks to draconian copyright laws, has not had any new works at all come into it in the year 2012.
      If someone creates a work today, according to copyright laws, I'm not allowed do anything with that work without permission until the 2100's at least. And I'm supposed to be okay with that?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 11:49pm

      Re: ugh.. knew just from the title

      No one here has ever stated that you are entitled to get things at no charge.

      We accurately point out that copying is not theft, but that's not the same as "I should get everything for free"

      And how is it not the content creator's fualt for going into a business where the supply can far outpace demand to the point that anyone with a computer can make new copies without even feeling the cost? Anyone else who tried something so stupid would be mocked.

       

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 8:08am

    Ever notice how when they can't make any real logical points for their argument they fall back on it being a moral issue?
    Of course this lets them paint themselves as having high morals and if you disagree your a moral-less bastard.

    Sorta like the game of "piracy" and "theft" being used to paint a picture of something that in fact is neither.

     

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    Gene Cavanaugh (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 9:22am

    Obsessions with "art"

    So some people would rather be "artists" than to be useful - fine, sometimes they even lighten the day with good music or other forms of entertainment, and because we live in a crazy, upside-down world, they even make more money than people who truly contribute.
    Even so, contributing so much of the available space to such trivial pursuits seems self-defeating in the long term. Every such obsessive article on how to make more by doing less turns me off.

     

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    bigpallooka (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 9:48am

    >Listening to ad or another part of service you don't like is not a form of payment, if service provider financially gains from it.

    And as for BBC Radio if what you said is true, it the exception, not the rule. When people are listen most other radio stations they don't first buy a license to listen to that, they just turn the radio on and change to station they want to listen."

    This may well be a US-centric forum but the arrogance of an argument that dismisses the rest of the world is mind blowing. IP/Copyright/File Sharing/Art as Business are global issues(obviously) and the way they are legislated, understood and accessed vary greatly worldwide.

    Public broadcasting is very common throughout the world and at the most basic level is payed for by the taxpayer or subscribers. Dismissing a model that is used daily by millions (if not billions) of people simply because it is not a model favoured in your neighbourhood is typical of the US-centric nature of the discussion and the politics of the issues. Get your head out of the sand and explore the topic from a broader perspective and you just might be able to put together some comments worth reading.

    The only truths that seem to stand apart from all the opinion are that:
    - The music industry representatives (who represent the companies who sell music) want to stop or curtail the sharing of music files unless they get a cut.
    - The current and recent methods to accomplish this revolve around technology (like DRM and chasing online file sharers) and legislation to block access to file sharing online.
    - It isn't working.

    I have opinions on the issues but no solutions. I just know that (like ebooks) the harder the "Industry" makes it for me to obtain, access and consume their product the more likely I am to turn to easier alternatives that they don't make a profit from. Most people who file-share easily justify it to themselves so pulling the moral card is a complete waste of time. Logically, those seeking income from the consumption of music need to figure out how to make it accessible and gain a financial benefit for themselves. The sooner they get to it the better.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 10:33am

    Perhaps I'm misreading this but I'm a little uncomfortable with the idea that economics should have no moral dimension to it. I agree that there is no moral obligation that you should be paid just because you work hard on something. I do think, however, that there is a moral argument to be made on whether you should support an artist in some form if you enjoy and listen to their music. This is not an argument for copyrights but rather I just simply disagree with the premise that capitalism should exist without morality.

     

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      Richard (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 12:15pm

      Re:

      I'm a little uncomfortable with the idea that economics should have no moral dimension to it

      Economics, as a science, can have no moral dimension.

      Economics exists to understand the the phenomena of human interactions related to labour and resources.

      As a secondary issue it may also be able to predict the outcomes of different systems of organisation.

      The rational thing to do is to decide the moral issues first and then not to even look at the economic possibilities that might exist if we did not make the moral choices.

      We do this in respect of murder, theft, slavery, racism etc etc. No one (I hope) is going to suggest that these things are OK just because there might be some economic benefits.

      The key point here is that copyright is not one of those things. I have studied the arguments that were made in favour of copyright when it was first proposed and the argument that copyright was a moral right belonging to the author only emerged gradually after copyright already existed. The earliest arguments for copyright were made on the basis that it would allow effective censorship and that it would guarantee the accuracy of printed works. Later the idea emerged that a temporary monopoly would encourage authors to produce more work. This concept found its way into the title of the Statute of Anne and into the US constitution. However it is important to note that this argument, which was the mechanism by which copyright first arrived, is itself an economic argument - not a moral one.

      Morally one could argue against it - as many on this site do.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 11:25am

    it is about morals, or your complete lack of them, she has something, she didn't pay for that something, the artist didn't give her the 11000 songs she claims to have, she illegally downloaded them,

    I am glad you admit you have no morals as well as no ethics

    So you obviously have no problem with rape, robbery, murder, incest, pedophiles

    Since nothing is about morals to you

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 11:52am

      Re:

      I didn't know that rape, robbery, murder, incest, and pedophilia were all a business model problem.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 2:02pm

      Re:

      You have a moral right to not be murdered, you do not have a moral right to monopoly.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 2:15pm

      Re:

      Because someone doesn't believe that infringement of copyright material is a moral issue, they also must not believe that violent criminal acts are a moral issue?

      This is where the "moralists" lose their high ground. Trying to claim that copyright infringement rises to the same level as rape, robbery, murder, incest and pedophilia...when no one is being physically harmed by copyright infringement.

      It's truly disgusting and a spit in the face to anyone who has truly been victimized to try and claim breaking a civil law is anywhere in the same ball park as a violent criminal act.

      Copyright infringement doesn't even rise to the level of criminal illegality, unlike actual theft. It's a civil problem not a criminal one, no matter how much "artists" and their corporate owners want to portray it as such.

       

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      PaulT (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 3:04am

      Re:

      "So you obviously have no problem with rape, robbery, murder, incest, pedophiles"

      ...and this is the sentence where you lost any valid point and had readers around the world thinking you're an idiot.

      Just so you know...

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 7:38am

        Re: Re:

        no, your only considering the acts themselves, you refuse to see the logic of your argument applied to other situations, because it destroys your little world, its "infringement" not theft, but you still have content you didn't pay for, real world laws don't apply to my fantasy internet world.....you are truly childish, much like Mike

         

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      drew (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 9:14am

      Re:

      " the artist didn't give her the 11000 songs she claims to have, she illegally downloaded them, "

      Thank you for so easily demonstrating that you haven't read the article at all.
      As a result of which your point is even less valid than usual, no mean achievement that, be proud.

       

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    Dreddsnik, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 12:26pm

    Personally, I rather enjoy it when the 'Morality Card' is played.

    When they have no real data or facts to back them up, the desperate play of the 'Morality Card' shows that they are losing and know it. The only way to get what they want now is to game the system. It's a consistent historical pattern.

     

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    Eponymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 4:05pm

    Lowery's whole argument can be sucintly summed up as: shame on you for wanting what you want for what you want conflicts with what I want, and I deserve what I want for I'm me (and you're not)! These are the arguments of a wannabe tyrant trying to dictate others' behavior to them, especially to personally benefit/enrich themselves and their "anoited" kind, and the only moral argument to me is do we allow such personalities to gain following at our own peril?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 4:16pm

    I'll support the RIAA once they start putting baskets of their CD's out around town, then start to complain that no one is leaving cash behind.

    If they don't do this, they might as well be admitting that their business model is bullshit and it's not the government's problem to enforce the honor system.

     

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    Phil, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 5:39pm

    Let me know when I can buy groceries to feed my family with your "new technology."

    I'm a musician, recording studio owner, and songwriter, and the situation is desperate for all people creatively involved in music right now. This blog is lying to you about our situation and trying to make you feel better about how we get fucked.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 6:18pm

      Re:

      'Like' button clicked.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 7:02pm

      Re:

      So, start a Kickstarter project.

      Sounds like you have plenty of resources, if it's something good people will pay.

      Stop complaining about not being able to make money making buggy whips and focus on how you can make money.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 9:24pm

      Re:

      I know several underground bands that share their albums freely on the internet (or ask for a small payment before you download) and it works fine for them. Are you so inept that you cannot do the same? I mean, assuming that you really are a musician as you claim.

      Anyway, the situation is desperate for everyone. You and the music industry you seem to love so much have no right to censor or persecute people just because they are making copies of something that is absolutely non-scarce.

       

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      RadialSkid (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 1:55am

      Re:

      I'm a musician, recording studio owner, and songwriter

      And if you can't feed your family doing those things, do something else instead and stop crying about it.

       

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      saulgoode (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 6:06am

      Re:

      Let me know when I can buy groceries to feed my family with your "new technology."
      As the old saw goes, "it is a poor musician who blames his instrument".

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 7:01am

      Re:

      I don't know, Phil; you and hurricane head/googlypants seem to be pretty satisfied running a weblog that takes four people to run, who can't seem to get their act together in getting all their sleeping giant artist friends to vote all your comments insightful. You seem to be pretty satisfied at coming to this site to call its entire audience filthy, lying thieves, regardless of where they are on the planet.

      You know what, I think I'll suggest that you market your spit as shoe polish. I mean, you think it works wonders on Lowery's shoes.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 7:17am

      Re:

      Sorry dude. You don't get to bitch to us because you can't cover your responsibilities. If you can't feed your family with your perceived musical talent, then you need to get a real job like the rest of us.

      When you talk about "getting fucked" I don't see how the old model of dealing with major record labels and getting pennies on the dollar for your hard work is any better than being able to use the internet as a promotional tool for live shows.

       

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    •  
      icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 7:36am

      Re:

      Let me know when I can buy groceries to feed my family with your "new technology."


      Well, since you don't understand "technology", let me explain something. You see the "blue" words in the post? Those are called "links." When you move that thing called a "mouse" (that sorta plastic device next to your computer on the table) which controls a little arrow pointer thing on your screen, and have that arrow go over the blue text, you can "click" (push down on the button part of the mouse) and it takes you to another website. An awful lot of those "links" are to stories of musicians who are making lots of "money" by using that technology wisely.

      None of them talk about feeding families with technology. They talk about making money with that technology.

      I think the problem may be that you seem to think you're supposed to feed your family technology, rather than using it to make money like everyone else.

      Perhaps that's you're problem.

      I'm a musician, recording studio owner, and songwriter, and the situation is desperate for all people creatively involved in music right now.

      Funny, but all the people spoken about in those links above totally disagree with you. Steve Albini -- who is also a musiican, recording studio owner, and songwriter (and one way way way more successful than you) disagrees with you.

      Point being: those who embrace the tech and have talent seem to be doing fine. Those who whine... um... don't. So maybe stop whining and start learning.

      Step 1: stop blaming the messenger and maybe take the time to learn a little.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 10:28am

      Re:

      I'm Still Batman

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 10:40am

      Re:

      Let me know when I can buy groceries to feed my family with your "new technology."

      Well, the way 3D printers are coming along, I would give it another 15 to 20 years.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2012 @ 2:13am

      Re:

      If you're concerned that you're not putting food on the table, maybe Step 1 for you is to stop whining.

      I have no idea who you are. If you think that Techdirt posting news somehow prevents you from putting food on the table, guess what: I don't download music (being satisfied with my diet of Linkin Park and "Weird Al" Yankovic), and unless you're Lowery, I have no idea whose music I should be buying if I end up deciding I want to support you. If you're established to the point that you have a recording studio, why are you here whining at people who aren't interested in your music, have no idea who you are, and won't be buying your music or downloading it? If you're this established, why not open up a Kickstarter? Hell, Lowery and you guys complain so much about how Kickstarter and the Internet are reputation-based - for goodness' sake, Lowery has precisely the experience and reputation to make these new initiatives a success. (Well, that is until he decided he wanted to be a jerk on the Internet.) I don't know why you insist those options aren't available to you and continue to scream at us.

      And, really? Instead of looking for options you'd rather spend your time and money to come here and tell us we're all thieves? Do you possess such liberty that you can shake your fist at the sky and yell at it to stop raining?

       

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    Gwiz (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 6:05pm

    Let me know when I can buy groceries to feed my family with your "new technology."

    I'm a musician, recording studio owner, and songwriter, and the situation is desperate for all people creatively involved in music right now.



    And I'm a purveyor of fine signage and displays and the situation is desperate for pretty much everyone, everywhere these days. What exactly is your point again?

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 2:21am

    the thing that is never considered by people like Lowery is what were things like before they changed to how he likes(d) them and what thought did people like him have for those whose 'business models' he and his kind were destroying to achieve what they wanted. that being the case, why should anyone give a shit about him and his now?

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 4:05am

    It is endlessly amusing to watch Mike Masnick use that thing from last century called "piracy" as his homebase when he lobbies for Google and their fantasy of eliminating IP.

    What a cartoon. Seriously, this type of behavior benefits not one person.

     

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    •  
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      PaulT (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 4:20am

      Re:

      You guys would do well not to depend on lies and distortions for your arguments. One day, you might actually attack an opinion someone holds!

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 8:19am

        Re: Re:

        Really? even Jonathan Coulton is now siding with Lowery..."like David, I think the right choice is to support the artists that you love by giving them money. I also think it’s kind of shitty that there’s a lot of money generated from filesharing activites that makes some people rich and never gets to the artists"

        hmmmmmm...

         

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          drew (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 9:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Appeal to authority - check
          Not addressing the point - check
          Appeal to morality - check.

          At what point has anyone on this thread said that donating or supporting artists directly is wrong? Go ahead, read up, take your time. You may find one i've missed.

          If someone else is managing to make money by giving your content away, ask yourself why you're not doing the same thing or better.

           

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        •  
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          dwg (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 10:27am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "I think it's kind of shitty that there's a lot of money generate from the sales of music over RIAA-approved channels that makes some people rich and never gets to the artists."

          FTFY.

           

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    identicon
    teka, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 1:09pm

    VALUE CHAIN VALUE CHAIN PIRACY VALUE CHAIN!
    ETHICS ETHICS ETHICS APPEAL TO AUTHORITY SITUATIONAL CLAIM!
    NAMEDROP APPEAL TO MORALITY VALUE CHAIN VALUE CHAIN!

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 3:21pm

      Re:

      yes, value chain or do you not understand economics?

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 5:11pm

        Re: Re:

        Do you understand the Internet?

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 9:40pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Do you?

          I'd like to see the list of artists who say:

          a) They want to get paid for their work and

          b) Don't care if someone else makes money from their work when they don't.


          Seems to me that's the basic crux of the argument with labels, and now the pirate sites are illegally exploiting artists work and ripping them off worse than labels ever did. When The Pirate Bay starts issuing contracts and payments let me know. Until then you and your friends are waaay worse than RIAA ever was...

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2012 @ 4:46am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            What work exactly?

            An old recording?

            That is not work stupid, that is imaginary property, for you to be paid you should have to work not try to extract rent from other using a monopoly.

             

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            Lowestofthekeys (profile), Jun 25th, 2012 @ 11:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Why bother posting any kind of logical response, if you're going to soil it with the claim that we're all pro-piracy?

            Just because someone disagrees with Lowery's "sit on my hands and whine" essay does not mean they advocate piracy.

             

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2012 @ 2:40am

    People can't be pro-artist and pro-exploitation at the same time. I agree.

    Which is why artists, after having their royalties scammed away by the labels that were supposed to represent their views, are fighting back.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    AJBarnes, Jun 25th, 2012 @ 7:57am

    Failed Models

    I'm pissed that there are no more live musicians in entertainment towns such as Pidgeon Forge, Tennessee. The unions have priced them so high that the venues choose to use recorded tracks as backing. So, once again, the musicians suffer at the hands of those that made a living off their backs, like the unions and the recording industry.

    Its a new world out there and, like the buggy whip makers of yore, you better find a new business or go down with your sinking ship.

     

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


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