Hollywood Accounting Strikes Again: Universal Sued For Screwing Over Its Own Sister Company

from the family-feud dept

We've discussed a few times the concept of Hollywood Accounting, which covers the various tricks of the trade pulled by the big studios to basically keep all the money for themselves, and guarantees that the movie is never, ever seen as "profitable," as that would mean they would need to share some of the profits. It appears that we may be about to see significantly more dirty laundry revealing some of that Hollywood Accounting in detail. And this time, it's extra special because it involves two companies who were corporate siblings for much of the time in dispute, as both were owned by Vivendi. However, StudioCanal is now suing Universal, claiming that Universal pulled accounting tricks to deny giving StudioCanal many, many millions of dollars that were owed.
For nearly ten years, Universal was delighted to accept StudioCanal's investment of hundreds of millions of dollars to offset Universal's financial obligations. During most of this period, StudioCanal and Universal were corporate siblings through common ownership by the French company Vivendi. The StudioCanal/Universal joint venture financed forty-four Working Title motion pictures, including About A Boy, Bill Elliot, Bridget Jones Diary, Frost/Nixon, Love Actually, O Brother Where Art Thou?, Pride And Prejudice, and United 93.

Last October, StudioCanal concluded an audit of the joint venture's development and overhead expenses, which Universal had managed. StudioCanal also concluded audits of Universal's distribution of several of the joint venture-produced motion pictures, in several (but hardly all) Universal-assigned territories and in several (but hardly all) media.

Those audits revealed that Universal was violating its fiduciary and contractual obligations to StudioCanal. For example, based on the audit reports, StudioCanal is informed and believes, and based thereon alleges that: (a) Universal intentionally hid from the partnership and kept for itself benefits it derived from off-balance sheet financing arrangements; (b) Universal failed to report, or reported negligible amounts of, ancillary revenues from sources such as music publishing, only to somehow "find" several million dollars in such revenues after receiving the audit reports; (c) Universal retained for itself financial benefits from vendors, thereby profiting for itself at the expense of its partners; (d) Universal double-charged the partnership for producing and other fees paid to Working Title without StudioCanal's knowledge or approval; and (e) Universal deducted millions of dollars in unsubstantiated expenses before reporting the results to its partner StudioCanal.
Of course, none of this should be remotely surprising. We've seen so many stories of movie financing shenanigans that these stories hardly sound unique. It's just that the lawsuit might make some of the actual details public, which would certainly be educational.


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  1.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 6:31am

    If you ask me, what's killing music, movies etc are not the pirates but the big studios themselves.

    Much of the really creative stuff come from outside those big traditional places unless there's a director that has a whole freaking lot of power to get enough autonomy inside them. Other than that they seem like big wastelands with a few oasis here and there.

    But what's really mind boggling id that these kinds of practices where the MAFIAA companies screw the artists and creators are pretty much common knowledge now and yet they keep having the last maximalist say in any copyright matter. Sure money speaks louder but, really?

     

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  2.  
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    Jay (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 7:16am

    Re:

    If it were merely the movie studios, I wouldn't be so quick to judge. The problem is it's the publishers in every gorramn industry .

    People talk all day about artists and how they need to be paid but think for three seconds about every time those artists and creators demand payment.

    Judges seem to ignore them for industry interests, creating the mercantilists that Adam Smith argues against.

    Yet, what's amazing here is how these people accumulate wealth by destroying public utilities and all competition similar to RCA during the 1930s. The public is worse off when there are monopolists making obscene profits while the industry is worse off by being unable to advance and disrupt as needed to make the public better able to utilize technology.

    It's sad, but there seriously needs to be better ways to create than Hollywood Accounting and using major movie studios as bankers. I'm glad for Kickstarter, but it's time to recognize that every time we hear a plea for the artists, we need to watch who is trying to take money out of our wallets.

     

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  3.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 7:47am

    I am SHOCKED just SHOCKED that this sort of thing happens...
    Wanna see the bridge I just bought? Its in Brooklyn

     

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  4.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 7:51am

    To think these are the people calling file sharers crooks.

    Hypocrites the whole bleedin' lot of them.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 8:19am

    Don't worry.

    I am certain that six strikes will fix this.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 8:20am

    "Of course, none of this should be remotely surprising."

    "We've seen so many stories of movie financing shenanigans that these stories hardly sound unique." -- Oooh, you've materially LOWERED the level of NON-surprise! But still went with the item, HMM. -- OH, I SEE. You're trying to avoid reporting unique anomalies, but go too far the other way to not even remotely surprising! Surely you can find SOME items in between extremes, Mike.

    Anyhoo, still NO mention of what you'd like to see done to correct what you see as immoral and illegal, but I CAN partly agree with your last sentence this time: if more info about what corporations actually do was made public, we'd be entertained by many executives dangling from lamp posts.



    Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up at same place!
    http://techdirt.com/
    Where fanboys assert that multi-billion industries are doing it all wrong!

     

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  7.  
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    Wally (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 8:31am

    Re:

    Yes because NBC Universal owning Comcast is a good thing isn't it...

    /s

     

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  8.  
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    Robert (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 8:38am

    Re: "Of course, none of this should be remotely surprising."

    If you read what Mike has suggested, you would know he already answered what he'd like to see done.

    He's answered stupid "you didn't answer me" comments like yours so many times it is getting tiring.

    Maybe Mike should just copy-paste a response from before? Why should he bother telling you the same damn things over and over when you refuse to listen and just attack?

    That's why you get called a shill.

    To your question:
    0) Stop suing/prepetuating copyright with extensions - set it to a reasonable amount
    1) Stop copyrighting works already in the public domain
    2) Stop region blocking, DRM, pushing forth ridiculous laws that don't help society as they were first intended
    3) Start listening to customers by providing services that are easy to use and have the full movie selection - that means 2000 NetFlix movies (Canada number) is way way below the actual count - 200 000 titles is much better
    4) Start offering additional means for consumers to purchase, not just copies, but even investment in new films with free cinema tickets or free downloads (bonus not just copies) without worry that some might make it online
    5) Start helping existing services by not threatening them with legal death because they can't afford to pay you absurd $$$ you think you're entitled to
    6) Create films with substance, which don't require $100million budgets, which have fully developed characters, a lot less gratuitous violence and sex
    7) Pay the damn people who bust their ass to make something from nothing

    That's just a few points of the general consensus on this site, and Mike's views are similar on some points - I am not Mike so I won't claim it to be an exact match.

    Why not shock the shit out of every reader and NOT counter with your usual banter, actually read what people have written, respond intelligently, and actually thank people for having an opinion different from yours and sharing it nicely.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 8:41am

    Sharing is stealing.
    Recording is stealing.
    Copying is stealing.
    Pirating is stealing.
    Skipping is stealing.
    Stealing is stealing.

    What this? This isn't stealing, it's 'Creative Accounting'.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 8:44am

    Re:

    Oh I forgot a couple.
    Disruption is stealing.
    Being Accused is stealing.

     

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  11.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 8:49am

    Re: "Of course, none of this should be remotely surprising."

    If we knew more about corporations, we'd know how much wrong they're doing, and Techdirt is a loopy place because we say wealthy corporations are doing it all wrong.

    I..........wow.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 8:53am

    Masnick gets awfully upset if a Hollywood studio rips someone off, but quite silent, even supportive, if pirates do.

    Silly rabbit, only pirates get to steal.

     

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  13.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 8:55am

    Re:

    If you ask me, what's killing music


    I still don't think music is dying. To my ears, there is more music, of higher quality and of wider variety being produced than at any other time in my life.

    But, to your point, most of it isn't coming from the big labels -- so we agree.

     

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  14.  
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    MadCow (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 8:57am

    Re:

    I find this response quite curious and deluded. Content industries have been ripping off artist and committing questionable accounting practices LONG before piracy has been around.

     

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  15.  
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    yaga (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:01am

    Re: "Of course, none of this should be remotely surprising."

    Those multi-billion dollar industries are doing it wrong if they care about the long-term. In the short-term you're probably right to scoff.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:01am

    Another imposter!

    Mike, I DEMAND you stop allowing these scurrilous and libelous little sock puppets of yours to keep stealing my identity! A man's words are the coin of the realm. I INSIST that I be known by the totality of my illumination of your crummy little site.

    Right is right, and stealing is stealing.






    Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up at same place!
    http://techdirt.com/
    Where Mike sez: uploader + file host + links site + downloader = perfectly "legal" symbiotic piracy.

     

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  17.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:01am

    Re: Re:

    Agreed, it's not dying. But it's thriving in spite of labels, studios and whatever.

     

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  18.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:02am

    Re:

    Way to miss the point entirely. If we're going to have a logical debate, we need to decide if the premise that anytime someone takes a dollar away from content creators and rights holders, it's wrong or it isn't. If it is, then companies need to be held to the same standard of law as downloaders. If it isn't, then the whole discussion on piracy is irrelevant.

    Take your pick, but studios can't have it both ways....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re:

    Sorry, it's an obvious observation to all but the willfully blind.

    And piracy in the past 13 years dwarfs every instance of studio or label malfeasance ever committed combined.

    So yeah, keep spinning.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:03am

    Re: Re:

    I agree.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:04am

    funny how everyone everywhere can see what the various studios are up to. everyone, that is, except the politicians that are continuously 'encouraged' to look the other way over profits, spout bullshit over potential job losses that were/are never in the offering and then look at only increasing laws that restrict file sharing and imprison people who do file share. if ever an honest politician were found, i wonder how long it would be before the entertainment industries corrupted him/her like the rest, with massive campaign donations?? the short sightedness is quite astounding. we will never know how many new inventions and services never came to fruition because of the fear and self-preservation shown.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:08am

    Re:

    As someone else already stated, Mike has posted his views and responses to stupidity like yours plenty of times.

    He's routinely stated he DOES NOT support or condone piracy. But he understands some of the reasons for why it happens, to that end he's repeatedly and consistently advocated that the best way to beat piracy is through better servicing customer wants/needs, as opposed to beating them with a stick of "enforcement" (a.k.a. lawsuits/draconian DRM/six strike(s) policies, etc.)

    He also isn't so much upset, from my understanding of the article, as pointing out what's going on and commenting on it, to the effect that isn't it a bit hypocritical for Hollywood (and your kind) to decry piracy at every turn and label everyone who doesn't denounce it as "pirates", yet every opportunity it gets Hollywood (and your kind) actively go out of their way to ACTUALLY steal profits from the artists or cheat them out of monies due.

    Seriously, get some fucking new material douchebag.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:15am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "And piracy in the past 13 years dwarfs every instance of studio or label malfeasance ever committed combined"

    You like to make big claims, but where is the evidence?

    You got nothing. You remind me of those UFO shows on History Channel: lots of talk, no evidence.

     

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  24.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:17am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Way to dodge the question entirely. Debates MUST be based on logically consistent positions, otherwise it's all nonsense. Either those utilizing Hollywood Accounting need to be held to the same standard that they hold infringers to or they simply have no argument.

    As for "And piracy in the past 13 years dwarfs every instance of studio or label malfeasance ever committed combined", that's a hell of a grandiose statement to make. I'm sure you have some numbers to back it up?

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:18am

    Re: Re:

    unfortunately they can, simply because they have bribed so many politicians to be on their side, leading to them being able to pick and choose what they want to apply, when they want it to apply and who is/is to be affected. playing by any rules other than those that suit the industries would lead them into having to admit what they were up to and that they have been wrong for decades!

     

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  26.  
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    Ben (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:19am

    Re:

    Much of the really creative stuff come from outside those big traditional places
    I don't know... it seems their accounting is quite creative.

     

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  27.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:24am

    Re: Another imposter!

    Easy, register the thing and login ;)

    But in all seriousness this made me laugh. I mean you are damn annoying but it's worth it for the laughs!

     

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  28. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re:

    He's routinely stated he DOES NOT support or condone piracy

    Nah, he just complains about the enforcement of it every day.

    Who the fuck do you think you're fooling with bullshit statements like this?

    Oh, and here, I fixed this for you:

    isn't it a bit hypocritical for pirates (and your kind) to decry "Hollywood accounting" at every turn and label everyone who doesn't denounce it as "legacy entertainment players", yet every opportunity it gets, pirates (and your kind) actively go out of their way to ACTUALLY steal profits from the artists or cheat them out of monies due.

    Seriously, get some fucking new material douchebag.

     

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  29.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:33am

    Re:

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"

     

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  30.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re: "Of course, none of this should be remotely surprising."

    I know, I know.. Calm down and breath deeply, your brain will come back from the spasm in a few moments.

     

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  31.  
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    BentFranklin (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:37am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I think it's fair to say that the Hollywood and recording industry accountants are also actively going out of their way to steal and cheat.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:38am

    Re:

    I think you're partly right: however, the problem is bad gatekeepers, rather than the actual studios. All it will take to partially alleviate the problem (and thus buy time) is a shift from requiring huge profits of the content becomes a tax write-off, to one where a symbiotic relationship occurs.

    However, there is a psychologically difficult aspect of doing that, and that is breaking from the herd (in this case, other publishers in the industry). Once that hurdle is overcome, then there will be fewer major issues until the cycle repeats itself over the next 25-50 years.

     

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  33.  
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    nasch (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re: Another imposter!

    But in all seriousness this made me laugh. I mean you are damn annoying but it's worth it for the laughs!

    I think this one's actually the fake and the other one is real. Kind of an entertaining game though.

     

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  34.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "isn't it a bit hypocritical for pirates (and your kind) to decry "Hollywood accounting" at every turn and label everyone who doesn't denounce it as "legacy entertainment players", yet every opportunity it gets, pirates (and your kind) actively go out of their way to ACTUALLY steal profits from the artists or cheat them out of monies due."

    You don't seem to understand how logic works. Let me try to help.

    In a logical debate, it is incumbent on the side making an assertion to adhere to both provide evidence for that assertion and to behave upon it. The assertion in this regard is "Anything that deprives money from content owners that is unethical is wrong" and it is made chiefly by the content industry. In this way, the content industry has either failed, or mostly failed, both tests of its position in that it:

    1. Engages in unethical behavior themselves, and
    2. Has yet to provide empirical evidence for their claim that withstands scrutiny

    It is NOT incumbent on respondents to the claim to either behave based on the assertion or provide evidence to its contrary. The only task for the respondents is to malign any bad evidence.

    So we'll all thank you for not trying to hold our side of the debate to the incorrect standard. Now, if you want to debate the assertion "Piracy is a good thing for the industry", then the roles are reversed. However, since that isn't the debate content industries want to have, please try using logic in your debate....

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Would you even trust the numbers if he gave them to you? I mean just look at who he's representing.

     

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  36.  
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    Mr. Applegate, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:44am

    Re: Re:

    "Take your pick, but studios can't have it both ways....
    Obviously, they can. In fact they have been having both ways for years! Just got to know which palms to grease.

     

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  37.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It isn't a matter of trust for me, but I always welcome more numbers, particularly if the methodology for reaching them is included. Numbers and their methods are simply right or wrong. Numbers can be spun, but the method for reaching them can't. The conclusions, if there are any, are simply right or wrong. That's why I love them....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I dont rip off any artists. So the "a few of them steal, so it's ok for all of us to pile on and steal", doesn't pass the sniff test, sorry.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Another imposter!

    This one speaks better than the other one.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Nah, he just complains about the enforcement of it every day."

    And? Is it wrong to complain about something that doesn't fix a problem? I mean sheesh! It's like you want people to support measures that cause more damage than the problems they're supposed to solve.

    Here let me help you out.

    Mike is not complaining about enforcement as you would have us believe. He is complaining about INEFFECTIVE enforcement. Which the majority of it is. There is no currently effective and collateral damage free method of enforcement.

    The best way to reduce piracy is to give the people what they want. I don't know how many times this point has to be stated before it gets through your thick skull. Nor am I attempting to fool anyone, I'm stating an actual fact. Mike has stated he DOES NOT support or condone piracy numerous times. You might not like this fact, or even believe it, but it remains true nonetheless.

    Six strikes. Ineffective. And it's just barely started. Too many methods for IP addresses to be spoofed. Too many instances of notifications/legal threats being sent out in the past to IP addresses that were incorrect.

    Seizing websites. Too much collateral damage with minimal oversight/judicial review. I'm sorry, but "they're putting up links!!!!" is not sufficient evidence to warrant the shutting down of any site. Or do we need to point out examples like Dajaz1 where no infringing material was found whatsoever?

    Imposition of U.S. law on sovereign nations. This doubly is going to backfire. Not only will non-U.S. citizens denounce and decry their own nations, but they'll disrespect the U.S. (and it's laws, including copyright) that much more. Forcing/imposing your will on others never works out well for you in the end.

    I could go on, but it'd fall on deaf ears. The way your mind works is simple (no shocker there). Anyone who takes issue with enforcement and doesn't 100% support it is "for piracy". Simple as that. Or better said, moronic as that.

    And like I said, get some new material. I can write logically and use reason to argue my points. I all but guarantee you're the same idiot who post in every article, "Mike Masnick just hates it when copyright is enforced." So yeah, the one needing new material, and who is quite clearly (an angry) douchebag is yourself.

    It must be hard not being a rational human being or being able to debate without resorting to hurling insults or being dismissive. Then again, I'm sure that does wonders for your ego. Thinking everyone else is wrong and that you're always right. [pats you on head] There, there little Troll.

     

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  41.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I dont rip off any artists."

    Perhaps, but you're defending those that do against a critique, so you're on their side of the debate. Keep trying....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:58am

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

    I represent no one but myself, but I certainly support all artists.

    I'll tell you what: you come with a number for all the money you think studios and labels have stolen, and I'll come up with my number. We'll see where it goes from there.

     

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  43.  
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    btrussell (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 9:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "The pending list dates back to the late 1980s, when Canada changed its copyright law by replacing a compulsory licence with the need for specific authorization for each use. It is perhaps better characterized as a copyright infringement admission list, however, since for each use of the work, the record label openly admits that it has not obtained copyright permission and not paid any royalty or fee.

    Over the years, the size of the pending list has grown dramatically, now containing over 300,000 songs."
    http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/4596/135/

    This is for financial gain from Canada alone.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They'd better not be. They'll lose their jobs and be sued.

     

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  45.  
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    MadCow (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:02am

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

    That's not how it works. The studios, along with you, made the INITIAL claim. Therefore the burden of proof lies with you FIRST. Not to mention there was an article a while ago that did actually show the numbers that the studios completely manifested.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:03am

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

    Nope.

    You'd like to paint all studios and labels the same way, but that's only because you're trying to rationalize behavior.

    That's just good old fashioned intellectual dishonesty.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Six strikes. Ineffective.

    lol

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This is Masnick sock puppet as well. Exact same writing style.

     

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  49.  
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    btrussell (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:09am

    Re:

    "...if ever an honest politician were found,..."

    Garth Turner

    "...and the clash between backroom-style politics and the open blogging Turner pioneered as a web-based MP."
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garth_Turner

     

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  50.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:10am

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

    That'd be an interesting debate. I certainly don't have a number for either side, but again, I'm not making any claim here. You are. You're saying "ripping off" artists causes harm, but then you don't want studios to be critiqued for doing likewise.

    I'm not sure what point you think you're making....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:11am

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

    No one asked you to get butthurt about providing numbers, guy...

     

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  52.  
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    MadCow (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:13am

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

    What a truly thought provoking, intellectually non-stimulating response.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:16am

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

    It would, but you're one of the more reasonable people here, so I'd try it.

    It would involve coming to an agreement about how much of the record labels disappearing revenue since 1999 was from piracy.

    I don't claim it's all from that, but would you suggest none of it is?

     

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  54.  
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    Robert (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Don't be so naive. They bought Congress. Chris Dodd, who happened to have received (from banks and hollywood - combined) over $4 million in campaign contributions. That was exposed during the whole 2008 economic tank-mess.

    Now he's a mouthpiece for them.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:19am

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

    Masnick sock puppet

    Quit stealing other people's intellectual property.

    Masnick Sock Puppet Copyright 2007 Floor64, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    We're all familiar w that one, dude; you guys always trot it out.

    Too bad pirates ripped off that many songs just in the time since I ate breakfast today.

     

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  57.  
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    Gothenem (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:22am

    Re: Re:

    ***Straw Man alert***

    OK, Mike does not support or condone piracy. The defense you think he gives to pirates isn't that pirates are right, but that the punishments are out of line with the crime.

    Since you seem to think that piracy is stealing, let's go with an example of actual theft. If a kid walks into a store and pockets a chocolate bar (for the sake of discussion, let's say its a dollar). Now, the kid makes it outside and splits the bar with two of his friends, but is then caught. What is the punishment? A fine (probably a couple hundred dollars) or restitution (that's a dollar). There may be a small amount of jail time, but most courts would wave that considering the small amount of the theft.

    The kid committed a crime. What he did was wrong and illegal.

    Now, if the company that produced the chocolate bar decided that the kid had stolen potential revenue because he split the bar with his friends (that would be 2 dollars if each other kid paid for it on their own), they could sue him for actual damages ($2) or they could sue for statutory damages ($300,000). So they decide to go after the kid for $300K. That is what Mike is complaining about. The companies are going after pirates for damages FAR IN EXCESS to the amount of loss.

    Let's move over to a sample of "piracy". If someone downloaded a song, and shared it with say, 10,000 people the actual damages would be in the range of $20,000 dollars (that's at 2 dollars a song, which is about what iTunes sells them for). But why go for actual damages, when you can go for statutory damages and net a massive 1,500,000,000 (150K per infringement, 10,000 infringements). That is the issue. Companies feeling justified to go after someone for 1.5 billion dollars for a loss of 20,000 dollars.

    His case isn't a question about right and wrong, it is a question of the punishment fitting the crime. More and heavier enforcement doesn't eliminate the problem, it only makes the problem harder to solve. The criminals go to more lengths to hide their tracks, and make law enforcement's job that much harder.

    This is especially true when you consider that you can reduce the amount of piracy (or 'theft' if you want) by offering a better service at a reasonable price.

     

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    Robert (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:30am

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

    If you REALLY want the numbers, you'd have to sequester all of the data, all of it!

    All the shippings from 1970 forward. Every year, every location, globally.

    All the reported sales. All the reported income from each sale, sale prices, which stores (Mom and Pop or Walmart), artist contracts, lawyer fees, every employee salary, amounts paid to promotion, amounts paid to studios, amounts collected and paid by artist.

    You'd need all of their data and you will NEVER get it! For one, they don't have it all and they don't want the truth to be revealed.

    Remember the famous dropping sales - in dollars - that they promoted? It was actually data manipulation:
    http://www.businessinsider.com/these-charts-explain-the-real-death-of-the-music-indus try-2011-2

    That's just roughed generic total data, not even the full demographics of the sales (such as what numbers of albums released in 1970 are selling in 1999, aggregated by format).

    If you're up for a major hack-a-thon and assume the risk (as hacking to steal information is illegal) and you can find people capable of doing such things (likely most stuff is still done on paper and pencil to prevent such hacks from being possible - or we would have heard of someone trying by now), you'd be able to get it all. All!!! Probably take you at least a year to process and categorize that data too.

    But wow, all that raw data would silence so many - at the same time it would be manipulated by "experts" in the industry who know how it "should be calculated" like they do in Hollywood now. Along with the paycheques to politicians, the "committees" who consult "industry experts" (aka non-economists but lawyers), would conclude everything is as Hollywood/Music Industry says - take their money and retire.

     

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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Another imposter!

    I think this one's actually the fake and the other one is real.
    Yeah, "scurrilous" and "coin of the realm" kinda gave it away, don't you think? Ootb generally not known for erudition or indeed coherence....

     

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  60.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Another imposter!

    See what I'm telling! I'm gonna answer only the impostor.

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I appreciate that you took the time to write this, but honestly, that's not what it's about here.

    Btw, Jammie Thomas could have gotten off the hook for the 1700 songs she got busted for, with a much smaller settlement. Instead she decided to take it to court, where she lied to the judge and the jury.

    So her punishment wasn't harsh at all. She could have gone to jail.

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So in other words you want numbers and facts, but only if they happen to support your position, and any that you don't like you'll just try and handwave off.

    Explain to me again how people are supposed to take you seriously?

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:36am

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

    "It would involve coming to an agreement about how much of the record labels disappearing revenue since 1999 was from piracy.

    I don't claim it's all from that, but would you suggest none of it is?"

    Well, I think first we need to agree on where to place the goal posts. Are we advocating for creator's revenue, or rights holders? Those are often two very different entities.

    With that said, I'm not going to suggest that piracy hasn't created lost revenue for labels. That would be ridiculous. However, I will claim two things. One, that that lost revenue lost to labels doesn't really translate as lost revenue to the actual creators, in part directly because of "hollywood accounting" that the labels also practice. Downloads aren't taking money from creators, because creators were never going to see that money to begin with.

    Secondly, you can't seriously argue that piracy/downloading/whatever hasn't also done some things to INCREASE revenue for both creators and labels, depending on the contracts they have with artists. So we need a full balance sheet to determine whether piracy results in more lost revenue than it generates.

    On the other hand, and back to the article, nobody can seriously suggest that this type of accounting practice EVER results in more revenue for the creator, so it seems that it is inherently worse, or at least more easily maligned, than piracy to engage in hollywood accounting.

     

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    Robert (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re: Re:

    But but if you don't set an example, the others will just thieve and thieve and there will be no music created anywhere, ever! It's all going to be gone, nothing new created, no more culture, we'll all just become robots without emotion, like Equilibrium (movie - cool fight scenes).

    So you see you MUST go for blood (if public executions were possible, they'd go for that too!).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:37am

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

    Interesting reply, but I guarantee you that revenue loss was real. Take a look at the layoffs at the labels some time, both the majors and indies.

     

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  66.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:38am

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

    Actually, it's not a "Masnick sock puppet". I'm formerly "Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style". You know nothing of writing styles. I've also been accused of being "Dick Helmet" by out_of_the_blue, because I have a propensity to comment on the intelligence (or lack thereof) of some of the people leaving comments, not to mention my love and use of sarcasm.

    Like I said already though, you know nothing. It's seriously sad that rather than refute anything I stated you went with "lol" and called me a "sock puppet". Kudos to you. Why debate when you can insult/dismiss. If this were an actual debate though, I'd win solely for presenting an argument and backing it up with some evidence/facts.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:40am

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

    would you suggest none of it is?


    Logically, some amount is. But all of the reputable data and studies I've seen have indicated that the amount is relatively insignificant.

    For the most part, it looks like pirates fall into one of two camps: those who also buy as much or more than average, and those who would not start buying more even if piracy actually became impossible to do.

     

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    Robert (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:40am

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

    Consolidation.

    Take a look at when those layoffs started.

     

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  69.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:42am

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

    I'm all for crackdowns on any malfeasance by the film studios or record labels when it comes to paying creators. And I think it should be legislated.

    Maybe these folks will help:

    http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/legal-and-management/1549751/house-representativ es-form-creative-rights-caucus

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:45am

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

    The layoffs were throughout the last decade and followed the arc of their revenue decline. And the indies were not a factor in any consolidation issue.

     

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    btrussell (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well dudette, did they also sell them for profit?

     

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    nasch (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If someone downloaded a song, and shared it with say, 10,000 people the actual damages would be in the range of $20,000 dollars (that's at 2 dollars a song, which is about what iTunes sells them for).

    At the absolute maximum. Actual damages would be whatever the plaintiff could prove they suffered.

    But why go for actual damages, when you can go for statutory damages and net a massive 1,500,000,000 (150K per infringement, 10,000 infringements).

    I think it's $150K per work infringed, not per act of infringement.

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:50am

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

    "Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style"

    who was/is...

     

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  74.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:55am

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

    It's seriously sad that rather than refute anything I stated you went with "lol"

    "lol" was the only worthy response to a bizarre statement like that about something that is 7 days old. I've debated the rest of the garbage you wrote ad infinitum over the years in comments to your posts.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 11:00am

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

    Are you saying that even if there were no such thing as piracy, the digital revolution in music wouldn't have produced massive layoffs? What industry hasn't undergone an equally massive efficiency upgrade that DIDN'T result in massive layoffs?

    I think you're going to have a problem pointing to piracy as directly causal of label layoffs....

     

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  76.  
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    btrussell (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 11:01am

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

    "Despite the extra income, the MPAA reduced its number of employees from 247 to 205 in a year. However, the group didn’t cut back on total employee compensation which rose from $21.7 to $24.5 in the same time frame, with 10% going to MPAA boss Chris Dodd."
    http://torrentfreak.com/mpaa-revenue-grows-chris-dodd-gets-2-4-million-130301/

     

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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 11:01am

    That and $5

    will get you a nice latte at Starbucks! My guess (and 2 cents worth) is that they will settle out of court before too much of their dirty laundry gets displayed in the back yard... :-(

     

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    Robert (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 11:11am

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

    I'm not so sure about that:
    http://www.mail-archive.com/postcard2@u.washington.edu/msg03360.html (1995)
    http://articles.latimes.com/keyword/recording-industry-layoffs (1988, 1994, 1995)


    Mergers, Consolidations, Layoffs: step by step through the business

    [edit]1991
    "Synergetic" merger (by Sony) August 11, 1991 Sony attempts to create "synergy", by merging content companies (CBS Records), (Columbia pictures) with their electronics company. "Never again would something like the Betamax machine languish for want of products." However, in the earlier 90s, DAT recorders languished for exactly that reason. In 1991 (for many reasons) they were drowning in debt and in trouble.
    Nicholas Garnett heads International Federation of Phonographic IndustriesNovember 16, 1991
    [edit]1992
    More synergetic mergers by Bertelsmann (buying RCA Records, the Literary Guild and the book publishers Bantam, Doubleday and Dell), Matsushita (buying MCA), Sony (bought Columbia Pictures) October 18, 1992 Clive Davis, president of Arista Records, owned by Bertelsmann
    Branson selling Virgin March 5, 1992
    Blockbuster buys Sound Warehouse and Music Plus October 20, 1992
    Polygram buys Interscope August 11, 1992
    INSIDE: Time Warner/EMI merger Actual article:1/24/2000[1]
    Bronfmen buys Warner November 24, 2003[1]
    EMI (still) in trouble January 13, 2007
    [edit]Probably uninteresting
    Polygram buys Andrew Lloyd Webber's company August 6, 1991

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:CharlesGillingham/Drafts/Timeline_of_the_music_industry


    Now, how many of those layoffs were blamed on music piracy before filesharing even became popular? Wouldn't that be an interesting data question to answer.

    Consolidations are nothing new, Indie labels do the same, to cut costs and maximize profits. The point is, while we're not denying filesharing has hurt the industry we question the EXTENT to which piracy has hurt the industry.

    The industry doesn't like competition and wants total control so they can go back to "being the old boss." And things will be much worse than before! So the industry likes to blame everything on filesharing.

    How about home videos and home theatre systems? Think that took money away from cinemas and music sales? How about singles from iTunes instead of albums, of course singles don't cost the same price as an album, so revenue will be down. How about videogames? Those damn consoles are so freaking addictive it's insane, they even have camps in China trying to beat the addiction. Think the money went to that instead of music?

    So even if people "did without" (aka didn't file share) the music industry and movie industry would STILL see reduced sales! People are spending their money elsewhere.

    If you buy a home theatre system, you may rent (brick and mortar and then iTunes and NetFlix or borrow from library or buy what's on sale only). That's money NOT gone to cinema because you spent it on sound system and larger screen TV.

    Same goes for gaming consoles.

    Not to mention the death of the record store is partly due to a) increased rent, b) competition from department stores (Walmart, BestBuy, Target, Zellers, etc...), c) big chain stores like HMV (whom buy in bulk and save $$ and also sell videos and posters).

    There are so many factors, it's not just filesharing. To think it's only filesharing that causes layoffs is really being naive.

    Hell, while searching for those articles I saw loads of layoffs form industries who are NOT subject to filesharing consequences (automotive - hurt by competition and economic downturns, computer - off-shoring the manufacturing, just to name two).

    Look at the mergers that happened in the 80's and 90's, provided in some of the links I posted, you'll see that too results in many layoffs. What about the latest, post-filesharing mergers? Same thing, where possible to cut costs, they do it!

     

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  79.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 11:13am

    The people you hire are the people you get

    If you hire someone to cheat, lie and steal for you, why are you surprised when they cheat, lie and steal from you?

    That's what playing all these accounting games comes down to.

    If you condone it's use one place it's going to be used elsewhere.

     

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  80.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "They'd better not be. They'll lose their jobs and be sued."

    Not if they hide it behind creative accounting.

    I mean, come on...how naive are you?

     

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  81.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Aren't you the one who's asshurt because his music is supposedly being pirated?

    We never did get any proof of it, but obviously if it was good music, then you'd have no reason to whine about it.

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 11:21am

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

    " I've debated the rest of the garbage you wrote ad infinitum over the years in comments to your posts."

    By "debated" you mean "told us we were wrong with no evidence to backup your argument."

    It's okay, I know it's hard to be part of a minority who actually believe Hollywood isn't a corrupt corporate entity.

     

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    Baldaur Regis (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 11:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Impressive.

    I don't believe I'd like to meet a sober DH in a darkened debate hall without a shiv in my back pocket.

     

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  84.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Maybe you could tell us what kind of copyright enforcement Masnick supports. He seems to get laryngitis every time he's asked. And I'm talking about enforcement not his stale CwF+RtB shit.

     

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    Robert (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 11:39am

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

    More Merger-related layoffs (1999)
    http://www.mbsolutions.com/articles/merger_mayhem.html
    "When all is said and done Seagram will issue pinks slips to over 3,000 employees worldwide (including many middle managers and a number of executives) and let go of 300 artists by the end of this year."

    Read the rest of the article for some realities of "the old boss."

    Like:

    The statistics on record sales are dismal. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, 9 out of 10 new record releases fail to recoup their production costs. Nine out of ten &endash; that's a mortality rate that would easily sink any other business. But because of the music's profit-to-cost ratios it's been allowed to exist. One hit fills the coffers fast.


    Based on personal observations of Warner Bros. releases over a four month period, I noticed that the label averages 25-30 new releases per month. That's more than one per working day. There's little chance record company marketing departments can give more than scant attention to most of these records. There is simply not enough time nor people on staff to form a strategic plan and then effectively work that plan. Most new artist releases are given a generic marketing plan and thrown against the wall, while the label crosses its fingers hoping they stick.

    Could that be why so many fail to sell? Could that be why people prefer singles to albums?

    Faced with this tough reality, the music industry is now downsizing into a more compact, cost-effective version of its former obese self. Big Mac-sized marketing campaigns are out (or, at least, not quite the priority they were) and "we-care-because-you-do" artist development is coming back in as the music industry wakes up to the fact that bands cannot live on hype alone.


    And a nice summary by decade what's happened in the past.
    http://www.playlistresearch.com/recordindustry.htm

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 11:45am

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

    "I represent no one but myself, but I certainly support all artists."

    If that's the case, then why are you defending studios that steal from artists, boy?

    Or would you like to explain to James Cameron why, according to 20th Century Fox, Avatar still hasn't shown a profit?

     

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  87.  
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    Robert (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Enforcement isn't the solution, that's what you don't get. Mike has said (I can't remember the number of times because it was too many) that he doesn't know the right way to enforce because enforcing doesn't work!

    Enforcement means are already at crazy levels and yet it has done SFA to encourage people to buy. In fact, it's done the opposite.

    CwF+RtB IS how you accomplish the desired goal, which isn't to curb piracy, but to get artists paid!

    If your goal is to eliminate piracy, you still won't solve the issue of getting artists paid. Or even rights holders paid because you'll piss people off who won't buy anything (or trade/share it either) from major labels. You'll still be fucking broke!

    Enforcement will not stop piracy!

    Giving people an option that they like WILL reduce piracy and put money into the artists pockets (and rights holders).

    That's what we've been advocating and that's what we've been outlining with CwF+RtB and with the case studies and articles.

    Yet you still think enforcement is the only means, hence why you and the labels and studios will never get it and never even curb piracy.

     

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  88.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 11:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    CwF+RtB won't stop piracy either. Both are needed. But Masnick and the rest of you piracy apologists don't believe in any enforcement. You think its fine for the guy in Texas and Ninjavideo to make hundreds of thousands of dollars selling a product that doesn't belong to them. That's bullshit.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I don't believe I'd like to meet a sober DH in a darkened debate hall without a shiv in my back pocket."

    Interestingly, I've been considering trying to put together something of a coffee shop / pub debate group in Chicago, that would have a roster of people willing to debate topics and allow the bars/shops we partner with have their patrons choose a debate topic once a month, then two members of the group or more would take up sides and perform the debate on site w/a moderator.

    I have no idea whether or not that could be successful, but it would sure as hell be fun to try....

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:03pm

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

    how much of the record labels disappearing revenue since 1999 was from piracy.

    Even if we can agree what portion of decline in revenue for the major labels is due to piracy, it still doesn't tell the whole story.

    Less revenue is not necessarily a bad thing. If costs to produce/market/distribute are far lower (thanks to the internet), then the return on investment may be greater even with less revenue.

    And there is the slice-of-the-pie discussion we've had so many times, yet you have never acknowledged. If you narrowly define where the decline in revenue is occurring (the major labels, responsible for "recorded music"), you miss the tremendous growth of the pie and where all the rest of the money is going.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:06pm

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

    "That's bullshit."

    Wow...you are retarded.

    People here are against enforcement that impedes on their rights.

     

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  92.  
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    Robert (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:08pm

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

    Where does it say that we don't believe in any enforcement? Commercial infringement requires enforcement.

    Piracy requires being creative and giving people simple, easy means that do not require credit cards, unrestricted, has the ENTIRE catalog, even shit no one listened to the first time.

    CwF+RtB was already said to NOT eliminate piracy, but to get people paid in spite of piracy.
    "Giving people an option that they like WILL reduce piracy and put money into the artists pockets (and rights holders)."

    No where does it say that CwF+RtB will "stop all piracy." That is not the goal! If it is, like I said, you will never attain it!

    Where's your citation to "the guy in Texas" and "Ninjavideo" making "hundreds of thousands of dollars." ?

    Is it like the supposed hundreds of millions that The Pirate Bay was making, only to be proven in a court of law that such numbers did NOT exist and they required a financial backer for that very reason (otherwise they would have paid for upgrades with their own profits)?

    Your claims need to be backed up by facts, not speculation or numbers pulled from the air.

     

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    Sneeje (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:12pm

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

    I'm confused, either you're granting DH's premise or you are avoiding the question and premise entirely. Could you please stay on topic?

     

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    DanZee (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:12pm

    The Usual

    In the Wall Street Journal today an industry group claimed the movie-tv industry was losing $58 billion a year from piracy. That's 5x the entire theatrical gross of North America and 2.5x the theatrical gross of the ENTIRE WORLD! I don't think the movie-tv industry can prove any losses at all. The music industry is another thing, but Adele, Taylor Swift and One Direction seem to have singlehandedly boosted music sales in 2012. Good music sells, bad music don't.

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:13pm

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

    You'd like to paint all studios and labels the same way, but that's only because you're trying to rationalize behavior.

    You'd like to paint all people-who-aren't-paying-the-studios-all-their-money the same way, but that's only because you're trying to rationalize behavior.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

     

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  96.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The Internet may have reduced the Labels Income, but that is not all, or even mainly, due to piracy. The rise of self publishing and sites like Jamendo also have to eb allowed for. The labels now have competition that is taking some of their sales.

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:27pm

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

    CwF+RtB won't stop piracy either.

    Nothing will completely stop piracy without the kind of collateral damage that western democracies will tolerate.

    Yet CwF+RtB and providing useful goods and services that people want to pay for will greatly lessen any negative impact piracy can have. We only need to look at a service like Spotify to see how easy it can be. We could've had Spotify ten years ago, yet the music labels were trying to push services that sucked (PressPlay? MusicNet?).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 1:12pm

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

    Well, according to the GAO (http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-423):
    In a more narrowly focused study on downloads of music, Oberholzer-Gee and Strumpf used modeling to determine that illegal downloads have no effect on record sales. They concluded that, in contrast with industry estimates, declining sales over the period of 2000-2002 were not primarily caused by illegal downloads.

    and:
    Hui and Png’s 29 study provided another example that used modeling. This study estimated that piracy in the music industry caused revenue losses of 6.6 percent in 1998. The authors stated that their estimate is significantly less than the industry loss estimate. In particular, for the year 1998 in the United States, legitimate sales of CDs were 3.73 CDs per capita, and the average loss in sales per capita due to piracy was 0.044 CDs.

    but ultimately:
    While experts and literature we reviewed provided different examples of effects on the U.S. economy, most observed that despite significant efforts, it is difficult, if not impossible, to quantify the net effect of counterfeiting and piracy on the economy as a whole.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 1:29pm

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

    to quantify the net effect of counterfeiting and piracy


    I'm concerned that they combined counterfeiting and piracy. They are two very different things. Counterfeiting often (but not always) does represent real lost income, in that that the person buying the counterfeit thought the money they were paying was going to the actual producer. It's apples and oranges.

    Conflating these two is a standard trick in the industry to pad their numbers, though, so it's not a surprised.

     

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  100.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 2:04pm

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

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 2:06pm

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

    Where does it say that we don't believe in any enforcement? Commercial infringement requires enforcement.

    At last; an opening.

    What manner of enforcement would Techdirtbag Nation support?

     

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  102.  
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    Robert (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 2:11pm

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

    "...Techdirtbag Nation support?"

    And there's your closing.

    How, exactly, do you expect people to engage in a healthy debate with you when you start by casting stones?

    And to answer your question: any manner that is reasonable, does not violate rights, benefits the artists and the public.

    Which means: not the current system!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 2:47pm

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

    Well, as someone else already said, there you go ending the discussion by starting with the insults from the get go.

    But, because unlike you some of us ARE adults and ARE capable of discussing things without resorting to insults, to answer your question:

    The current six strikes system is a step down the right path. With a few flaws. They can be addressed by publicizing the method through which IP addresses will be obtained by the third party doing monitoring on behalf of the copyright holders. Specifically how they are doing it and how they are then directly verifying the information is correct and accurate before forwarding it to the ISPs.

    In addition to which, they would also change the policy regarding arbitration. Namely, changing it to include legitimate uses of copyrighted content (like fair use), as opposed to the current method. Then, to make things fair, reviews (or "making an appeal/fighting the strike") would be possible immediately after a six strike has been received by an account holder, as opposed to the current time frame of not being allowed to take place until after the sixth strike has been received. The arbitration would then be given and should the strike be deemed to not count, the copyright holder/ISPs foot the bill for the appeal. Should the strike be correct, the account holder pays the $35 fee. Like this it is much more in line with due process, as far as the customers (of the ISPs) are concerned.

    Another step to be considered would be MAKING SURE that the material being claimed as copyrighted is actually owned by the copyright holder. (Need I point you to the article about game mods falling being confused for copyrighted movies/television shows?)

    But to sum it all up, basically they have to do everything they aren't doing now. Putting a bit more work into their methods of enforcement to ensure accuracy and allowing the public to actually see all this and review it for themselves before putting it into action. You know, a nice variation of "CwF + RtB".

    Now, your douchebag rebuttal?

     

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    Anonymous, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 2:59pm

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

    Well, I can't speak for anyone else here, but as an anarchist, I don't believe in any enforcement.

     

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    btrussell (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 3:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If I remember correctly, it was 24 songs not 1700.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 4:01pm

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

    Thanks for the non-reply. Once again; "don't do what you're doing, but I can't come up with anything else"

     

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  107.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 4:04pm

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

    Now, your douchebag rebuttal?

    I don't need to rebut every douchebag, but thanks for the invitation.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 4:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Enforcement? And what was your success rate like? Decades of suing kids and grandmothers and dead people and you only managed to barely convict two?

    You've had your fun. There isn't a single job out there where you get to get away with such a hilarious rate of failure.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 4:26pm

    These are the same folks that are wanting to use moral stance to say piracy is wrong.

    These are also the same folks that claim file sharing is stealing.

    This is also the same industry that claims it can't pay it's actors royalties because after 15 years, one of the top ten highest grossing movies has never made a profit.

    If they keep this up they will be able to author the The Definitive Global Hypocrisy Reference Book all by them selves.

    Talk about high creativity from the major media and you get an example!

     

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    Robert (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 5:01pm

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

    We HAVE suggested things, but you don't listen.

    Do you honestly expect us to repeat our suggestions every reply you give? Each person reiterating the same "our suggestions" message gets tiring fast!

    "Don't do what you're doing, " but look around on here, even this article has comments from me that give suggestions to ways forward.

    I grow tired of re-writing it so you can deny it, much like the person now calling Mike a chicken.

    I'm not repeating myself. You can easily click on my profile (refer to comment you replied to for profile link as I have not bothered to sign in at the time of posting nor to 'take ownership' of this comment at this time) and see my comments.

    If you choose not to, that's not my problem, but stop the "you only tell us we're doing it wrong but never tell us how to do it right" bullshit. We have been, you just don't listen!

     

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    JMT (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 5:38pm

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

    "You'd like to paint all studios and labels the same way..."

    Hypocrisy much? I'd I bet you're one of the regular AC's who continually "paint" all Techdirt readers as being pirates who never pay for content. I'd check your earlier comments to confirm this but you apparently don't want people to be able to hold you to what you've said before...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 6:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Care to prove you do not steal from artists, or use creative accounting at your studio.

     

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  113.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 8:22pm

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

    I'd I bet you're one of the regular AC's who continually "paint" all Techdirt readers as being pirates who never pay for content.

    I doubt there are any regulars that have never paid. But I'll bet that every last pirates shit in varying degrees.

     

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  114.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 8:23pm

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

    every last *one*

     

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    techflaws (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 11:24pm

    Re: "Of course, none of this should be remotely surprising."

    Where fanboys assert that multi-billion industries are doing it all wrong!

    Where clueless jackasses blare obvious logicall fallacies like "might is right".

     

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    techflaws (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 11:58pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And piracy in the past 13 years dwarfs every instance of studio or label malfeasance ever committed combined.
    Which is why they have record year after record year at the box office.

     

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    techflaws (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 12:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    all of us to pile on and steal", doesn't pass the sniff test, sorry

    Your "all of us" doesn't pass the sniff test, sorry.

     

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    techflaws (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 12:09am

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

    And failed miserably at it. So?

     

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    techflaws (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 12:31am

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

    CwF+RtB won't stop piracy either. Both are needed.

    Says you. And you still haven't proven one bit that piracy does the damage you claim it does nor that stopping people from consuming without paying will increase your bottom line one bit.

     

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  120.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 2:43am

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

    What manner of enforcement would Techdirtbag Nation support?


    Ignoring the absolutely gratuitous ad hominem (why even go there?), isn't that kind of like asking "what manner of trepanation would the medical community support?"

    The point is, you're starting from the wrong premise: that we need "enforcement." The problem here is twofold: (1) enforcement doesn't work and (2) enforcement tends to get in the way of legal and authorized solutions that do help generate revenue.

    So, personally, my concern is that until you show a form of enforcement that actually works... why should we start from the premise of "which enforcement do we support."

    Which kind of trepanation would the medical community support? The answer is none, because they know it doesn't solve anything and causes all sorts of problems.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2013 @ 6:23am

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

    you're starting from the wrong premise: that we need "enforcement."

    This, in a nutshell, demonstrates why you're fringe, and ultimately doomed to fail.

    You will likely rant every day for the rest of your life against copyright, and it is going to accomplish absolutely nothing. Copyright is not going to ever go away. Ever. And your life will ultimately be viewed as one ginormous waste of time that was spent attempting to harm the few rights artists and creators possess.

    It might be understandable for a person to suggest law enforcement doesn't work if that person was ignorant of society and history, but when someone has a degree from a reputable university like yourself, it's just intellectually dishonest. Law enforcement is designed to be a deterrent to lawbreaking, and it works often enough that society has decided laws are good to have. That fact isn't even open to discussion.

    Law enforcement does not get in the way of, say, Spotify. I think you just threw in a second point so you wouldn't have 'enforcement doesn't work' hanging out by itself, looking ludicrous.

    Enforcement has made pirating a more difficult endeavor. Perhaps not the hard-core sociopaths that follow you on this blog, but for many, it most certainly has. For a great many people, it has become less of a PITA to pay than pirate, and enforcement has played a huge role in that. And you know it.

    You'll probably counter with, "i've been suggesting making it easier all along", to which I say: that new reality is here, and yet you're still bitching about copyright and enforcement. Your true motives are clearly not that music is being paid for again.

    And I know you continue to be dishonest and write things that are going to get you in trouble. Just remember that they were your own boneheaded choices.

     

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    Robert (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 7:05am

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

    FTFY:

    you're starting from the wrong premise: that we do not need "enforcement."

    This, in a nutshell, demonstrates why you're fringe, and ultimately doomed to fail.

    You will likely rant every day for the rest of your life against piracy, and it is going to accomplish absolutely nothing. Piracy is not going to ever go away. Ever. And your life will ultimately be viewed as one ginormous waste of time that was spent attempting to harm the few rights artists and creators possess and the public.

    It might be understandable for a person to suggest law enforcement does work if that person was ignorant of society and history, but when someone has a degree from a reputable university like yourself, it's just intellectually dishonest. Law enforcement is designed to be a deterrent to lawbreaking, and it works often enough that society has decided laws are good to have. That fact isn't even open to discussion. And when society determines the laws are useless and no longer relevant, the laws must be changed (eg: prohibition).

    Law enforcement does get in the way of, say, the next Spotify. I think you just threw in a second point so you wouldn't have 'enforcement does work' hanging out by itself, looking ludicrous.

    Enforcement has made pirating a more popular than ever. Perhaps not the hard-core sociopaths that derail this blog, but for many, it most certainly has. For a great many people, it has become less of a PITA to pay than pirate though it still has a long way to go , and enforcement has not played a huge role in that. And you know it.

    You'll probably counter with, "i've been saying we've made it easier all along", to which I say: that new reality is here, and yet you're still bitching about copyright and enforcement. Your true motives are clearly not that music is being paid for again, but that it be locked up and no competition allowed, with people being forced to purchase every time they hear a piece of music .

    And I know you continue to be dishonest and write things that are going to get you in trouble. Just remember that they were your own boneheaded choices.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2013 @ 7:16am

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

    Enforcement has made pirating a more popular than ever.

    What? You are saying that greater enforcement leads to increased piracy? And that by extension, I'd guess you'd claim that if all enforcement was dropped, there'd be lower levels of infringement.?

    You're out of your fucking mind. Technology is what is driving the proliferation of piracy.

     

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    Robert (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 7:29am

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

    Evidence says otherwise.

    For example, when they sued Napster and threatened to shut it down, people jumped on pirating like mad. Then more sites showed up. The more they took down, the more showed up.

    How about the raw data around The Pirate Bay trial, remember when they were on trial and the file sharing numbers skyrocketed? How about announcements of suing people, yeah, same result - skyrocketed.

    So yes, being a douche and trying to beat people into submission has INCREASED piracy - part of that was the awareness of free stuff as a result of all the media coverage. Part of that due to anger from those who used to purchase.

    Technology is not driving the proliferation of piracy, draconian enforcement has a greater impact on that.

    Technology has enabled anyone to write, record and release, self publishing means no more gatekeepers! That's what technology has brought you!

    You sound like the ghost of Vivendi.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2013 @ 7:33am

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

    I see. So, I start with the premise that long standing-laws protecting the creative output of individuals is appropriate and you contend that's the wrong premise? I'd maintain that without enforcement, things would be far worse. I've never suggested that enforcement alone resolves piracy. More robust distribution is equally, if not of greater importance.

    So, personally, my concern is that until you show a form of enforcement that actually works... why should we start from the premise of "which enforcement do we support."

    Come on Mike. This is laughable. You'd oppose it before it got off of the ground.

    enforcement tends to get in the way of legal and authorized solutions that do help generate revenue.

    Since you didn't offer an example, I'll infer that you are talking about things like Aereo- which are not settled matters of law. I don't think any solutions that have people paying for content are hindered. It is when people seek to not pay for content, yet still profit from it where there's a problem.

     

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    Robert (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 7:38am

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

    Do a bloody search. There are articles on this site (and elsewhere) that give examples. Since you're obviously too lazy to do any research we can conclude you're angry and require enforcement of copyrights because you're too lazy to work and earn money. You don't just create anymore and expect to get paid. Times have changed, adapt or go get a job where people tell you what to do (and soon be replaced by a robot).

    Stop expecting people to spoon-feed you. Do a little research instead of sitting there like a baby expected to be waited on hand-and-foot.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2013 @ 7:57am

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

    The name of this blog might as well be anomaliesandoutliers.com.

    Masnick doesn't discuss the whole picture, just what buttresses his zealot agenda. That's intellectually dishonest, and people have been pointing that out for years.

     

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    Robert (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 8:07am

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

    That applies to the RIAA and your belief system as well!

    Too many factors came in to play, from suddenly no one needed to spend $18 on a whole "album" when they only wanted 2 songs ($2 revenue - that's $16 "lost" revenue do to industry crap - not every album is crap, but a statistically significant, very large, amount is!), to video games, to home theatre, to streaming (legal and otherwise), to every stupid band from the 80's who hasn't released anything since then going on tour to generate income while dropping the revenue new artists would have if they could tour --- there's only so much $$ people have regardless of what the RIAA thinks, to economic downturns, to exposure and competition from indie artists (not just those on indie labels, many of which are owned by RIAA labels) and true indie artists who self publish, to Spotify, etc..

    Too many factors but rather than say "well it's a combination of things, part of which is our own fault for not listening to Todd Rundgren, let alone Silicon Valley upstarts we sued or muscled out of business - RICO?" they say "Blame Piracy!"

    That's you! That's your same crap. Don't acknowledge the other factors, piracy is an easy sell to ignorant people (artists who don't take the time to read everything they can - positive and negative, label execs who listen to lawyers who need the execs to pay them salaries so they distort facts and manipulate data, and politicians who if not bought by campaign contributions are muscled through connections or offered jobs if they "play along").

     

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    nasch (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 8:08am

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

    "So, personally, my concern is that until you show a form of enforcement that actually works... why should we start from the premise of "which enforcement do we support."

    Come on Mike. This is laughable. You'd oppose it before it got off of the ground. "

    So... you're not going to describe any effective method of copyright enforcement. What a surprise.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2013 @ 8:31am

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

    Six strikes, search engine delisting/demotion, cutting off ad revenue, cutting off payment processing, licensing of encryption

     

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  131.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2013 @ 8:37am

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

    You don't just create anymore and expect to get paid.

    You sound like a failed creator whose talentlessness has led you to the belief that no one is entitled to be paid for their creative output.

     

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    Robert (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 8:39am

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

    I think you misunderstood, he was asking for effective means of enforcement. HADOPI shows how ineffective that was, where as Spotify shows an effective means of curbing filesharing.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2013 @ 8:48am

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

    "You sound like a failed creator whose talentlessness has led you to the belief that no one is entitled to be paid for their creative output."

    That belies the point.

    The claim of entitlement goes both ways. You can say pirates feel entitled to free shit, but on the other side of things, there's a lot of artists who don't put effort into what they create. They want free money, much in the way pirates want free stuff.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2013 @ 8:56am

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

    "people have been pointing that out for years"

    People? Who? A tiny majority comprised of copyright lawyers?

     

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

  135.  
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    Robert (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 9:00am

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

    Um no actually. I get paid for what I do and I bust my ass for it too! I am highly valued where I work, so I am told.

    However, I believe in being humble and busting your ass is the only way to be worth something. Busting your ass though, alone, does not mean you deserve to be paid.

    No one owes you a living, you have to earn it! I do, thank you very much.

    I pay people for their creative output if I like it, I don't download or listen to it or watch it if I don't like it. I don't like paying for DVD's that are full of 20 minutes of unskippable ads and piracy lectures. That makes me want to go find the pirated version, which contains the "content" I want, not the horseshit ads and lectures about piracy. Especially when they are bullshit to begin with.

    So you're wrong on every front. But thanks for coming out.

     

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  136.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2013 @ 9:39am

    However, I believe in being humble and busting your ass is the only way to be worth something. Busting your ass though, alone, does not mean you deserve to be paid.

    No one owes you a living, you have to earn it! I do, thank you very much.


    This reads like you weren't quite sure where you were going. Creators bust their ass just as much as you. If people want to enjoy the fruits of that labor forever, they need to pay the measly amount required to do so. This stuff isn't hard.

    That makes me want to go find the pirated version

    Translation: "I'm one of those dissembling pirate douchebags".

    F off, loser.

     

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  137.  
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    Robert (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 9:50am

    Re:

    Translation - you are a waste of time. "Makes me want to go find a pirated version" does not translate as you said, clearly I've ALREADY PAID, but I want a copy that isn't laden with bullshit. And I DON'T pirate, I simply fast forward for 3 minutes (until they block that too).

    So sorry, you fail yet again. And you're just so intelligent too, simply amazing.

    Some creators bust their ass, many do NOT!

    Fruits of their labour forever? Yeah I don't think so and neither does the general public. Want to get paid? Work, and keep working, not once and think you deserve a free ride for the rest of your life.

    Want funds for your kids? Work and save, like everyone else.

    "This stuff isn't hard" but apparently it is for you to grasp.

    And finally you can't understand anything, it reads just fine, but clearly you're incompetent so let me translate:

    "However, I believe in being humble and busting your ass is the only way to be worth something." - pretty much self explanatory, no confusion or uncertain direction. 1) Be humble and 2) Bust your ass at all you do!

    " Busting your ass though, alone, does not mean you deserve to be paid." - again very self explanatory. 1) You don't deserve to be paid simply because you worked hard. Which means I work hard at what is relevant and needed, that's called working smart. Working hard at something no one wants or can use is stupid.

    "No one owes you a living, you have to earn it! I do, thank you very much." -- Again, reiterates the points above.

    Is that clear? If not, I don't care, anyone who isn't being disingenuous clearly gets it.

    Whatever, you're a complete waste of time.

     

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  138.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2013 @ 10:05am

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

    Technology is not driving the proliferation of piracy, draconian enforcement has a greater impact on that.

    Seriously? You don't see how faster download speeds, bitorrent, greater accessibility to the internet, etc. have driven this? Talk about willful blindness.

     

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  139.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2013 @ 10:07am

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

    I pay people for their creative output if I like it, I don't download or listen to it or watch it if I don't like it.

    Really? How do you know whether you like it?

     

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  140.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2013 @ 10:09am

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

    there's a lot of artists who don't put effort into what they create.

    Who creates merchantable creative output without an effort? How does that work?

     

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  141.  
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    Robert (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 10:12am

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

    Trailers! Samples on iTunes. Radio. Hearing it at someone's house.

    So no, I don't buy or care to listen to U2's latest releases. I don't download them either. I've heard enough to know I don't like it and have not liked what they have releases after Auchtung Baby.

     

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  142.  
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    Robert (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 10:23am

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

    Highly subjective question. I know of artists who think because they write something they are owed money - they come on here claiming to be authors or musicians. They go to other sites (some of those sites are gone) that I've been on and ranted that because they created something, it's worth millions.

    "Merchantable" is a highly subjective claim and a lot of what comes out today, through "hit machines" that cost a few million are not worth it! The masses buy it, good for them, those who can't afford it or don't have credit cards download it. Or copy it from friends.

    Enforcement is not going to work with them. They'll find another way to get it or do without. Either way, just because someone releases something doesn't mean it's merchantable and worth the money they demand!

    And you're arguing semantics. Obviously some work is required. And obviously it varies. Neil Finn doesn't have to work as long and as hard to create as John Rzeznik - both have explained publicly their artistic creative process.

    Does that mean Finn deserves nothing? No. But you can't claim that everyone works very hard and therefore deserves money, which is my whole point!

    I've already said, hard work does not mean you deserve income.

    And there are lots of artists who's work appears to be effortlessly generated and they go about demanding huge dollars, as though it took them years.

    "You hear my latest record, spin on the radio. Ah it took me years to write it, they were the best years of my life. It was a beautiful song, but it ran too long, if you're gonna have a hit you gotta make it fit, so they cut it down to 3:05" - Billy Joel.

    Some work hard, some don't have to, some claim to but what they produce does not sound like it was and is not worth what they think.

     

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  143.  
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    Robert (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 10:36am

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

    Have you the details of who is downloading and from where? Are those areas serving their public by providing reasonably priced copies, available in an easy manner?

    Answer that first then you can understand why people use such faster speeds and greater accessibility to the internet to download material.

    You think just because it is available people do it? Yeah that makes sense.

     

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  144.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2013 @ 10:40am

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

    Creating content is one thing, making it "merchantable" is a completely different and subjective thing.

    A market saturated with hundreds of bands playing the same genre of music is harder to break out in unless you put effort into sounding different and unique.

     

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  145.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2013 @ 10:49am

    Re:

    "Creators bust their ass just as much as you."

    How do you know this? Making music has become relatively easy in this day and age. On top of that, a lot of people assume that their work is the bees tits and worthy of getting them stardom, but it doesn't work that way.

    Some of them believe the value of what they create lies in how much they sell. That may have been true years ago, but the market has changed and it's become a two way street where the artist has to do more than just sit on his ass and wait for the paychecks to come rolling in.

     

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

  146.  
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    Robert (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 10:50am

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

    Thank you, that's what I meant to say.

     

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

  147.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 11:12am

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

    This, in a nutshell, demonstrates why you're fringe, and ultimately doomed to fail.


    I love it when critics insist that I'm "fringe," at the same time I get yet another call from a big name musician asking if I can find some time to help them. Yup. I'm "fringe."

    It might be understandable for a person to suggest law enforcement doesn't work if that person was ignorant of society and history, but when someone has a degree from a reputable university like yourself, it's just intellectually dishonest. Law enforcement is designed to be a deterrent to lawbreaking, and it works often enough that society has decided laws are good to have. That fact isn't even open to discussion.

    It is very much open to discussion, because we have yet to see any evidence that enforcement actually deters infringement in the long run. I have seen data suggesting it works in the short term, but fails miserably in the long run.

    Law enforcement does not get in the way of, say, Spotify. I think you just threw in a second point so you wouldn't have 'enforcement doesn't work' hanging out by itself, looking ludicrous.

    Spotify took over 2 years to secure licenses to launch in the US. If the industry was actually focused on innovation, rather than enforcement, I guarantee you that would have been a LOT shorter.

    Similarly, enforcement has killed off lots of interesting new services, like MP3.com, iMeem, Veoh, ixi, Zediva, and on and on and on. Killing off technologies that lead to new markets is no reasonable strategy.

    Enforcement has made pirating a more difficult endeavor.

    If true, why does the amount of infringement keep rising?

    You'll probably counter with, "i've been suggesting making it easier all along", to which I say: that new reality is here, and yet you're still bitching about copyright and enforcement. Your true motives are clearly not that music is being paid for again.

    My "true motives" are to encourage what's best overall for the creation and consumption of content. Sorry if that bugs you.

    And I know you continue to be dishonest and write things that are going to get you in trouble. Just remember that they were your own boneheaded choices.

    What kind of "trouble" are you suggesting?

     

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  148.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 11:15am

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

    What? You are saying that greater enforcement leads to increased piracy? And that by extension, I'd guess you'd claim that if all enforcement was dropped, there'd be lower levels of infringement.?

    You're out of your fucking mind. Technology is what is driving the proliferation of piracy.


    I think there's significant support for the idea that the campaign against piracy helped catapult it from a marginal activity to one in the mainstream. Suing Napster was incredibly dumb. Raiding the Pirate Bay turned it from a tiny site into a HUGE site practically overnight (well, the 3 days it took to get the site back online).

    Whether it would have developed that way eventually is a reasonable question to ask, but your friends in the industry have an incredibly long track record of doing exactly the wrong thing.

     

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  149.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 11:19am

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

    I see. So, I start with the premise that long standing-laws protecting the creative output of individuals is appropriate and you contend that's the wrong premise? I'd maintain that without enforcement, things would be far worse. I've never suggested that enforcement alone resolves piracy. More robust distribution is equally, if not of greater importance.

    Yes, that's the wrong premise. You should start with the premise of what is going to create the best overall situation: overall most quality content produced for society to make use of. And, obviously, a part of that is going to be making sure that creators are properly compensated. But is that enforcement? Or is it better services and business models? You start from the assumption that enforcement is key. I've seen no evidence to support that.

    Come on Mike. This is laughable. You'd oppose it before it got off of the ground.


    Oppose what? If you can show that enforcement actually met with the goals of copyright law, I'd embrace it.

    ince you didn't offer an example, I'll infer that you are talking about things like Aereo- which are not settled matters of law. I don't think any solutions that have people paying for content are hindered. It is when people seek to not pay for content, yet still profit from it where there's a problem.

    No, not Aereo. We've seen tons of services shut down. ixi. Zediva. Veoh. imeem. Mp3.com. Napster. The list goes on and on.

    But even things like Spotify. As I discuss above, the industry ran around for so long focusing on "oh, woe is me, piracy" that they couldn't bring themselves to license something like Spotify.

     

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  150.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 11:23am

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

    Masnick doesn't discuss the whole picture, just what buttresses his zealot agenda. That's intellectually dishonest, and people have been pointing that out for years.

    Heh. Actually, we focus on the full picture. It's folks like you who try to narrowly focus on one small aspect of the industry: payments for recorded music. When we look at the overall industry we see MORE money going to MORE musicians.

    Maybe you're just upset you have to compete, and the gatekeepers don't keep everyone out any more?

     

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  151.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 11:24am

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

    Six strikes, search engine delisting/demotion, cutting off ad revenue, cutting off payment processing, licensing of encryption

    Which one of those has been shown to be effective? Seriously. We'll wait.

     

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  152.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2013 @ 11:48am

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

    "I don't think any solutions that have people paying for content are hindered."

    Here's a quote from Copyright and Innovation: The Untold Story. The following is from an interview about Napster losing the court trial against the labels.

    "One innovator thought expansively about how, if the court had
    come out the other way, “every television broadcast, every piece of
    music ever created, [and] every image ever taken” could be “available
    unfettered to all of the devices we have,” including the PC, mobile
    phone, and tablet. In addition, “everything would be brought” to
    each user. The respondent concluded that, if Napster had won, “I
    guarantee you, it would be a $50 billion market right now."

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2099876

    Pay-for-content was set back almost a decade because the record labels were uncomfortable with the idea of streaming media.

     

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  153.  
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    Robert (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 12:02pm

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

    It goes before that, Todd Rundgren had approached the labels 3yrs before Napster with the idea to sell music online and offer a unique experience. He was shot down.

     

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  154.  
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    JMT (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 8:18pm

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

    "Technology is what is driving the proliferation of piracy."

    Technology is what has enabled the proliferation of piracy. It doesn't make people decide to pirate.

    And when you weigh up technology versus copyright, guess which one is far more beneficial to society? Hint, it's not copyright.

     

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  155.  
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    JMT (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 8:22pm

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

    "And I know you continue to be dishonest and write things that are going to get you in trouble. Just remember that they were your own boneheaded choices."

    First Mike's "his own worst enemy" and now he's "going to get in trouble". What exactly is it you think's going to happen? We really want to know!

     

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  156.  
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    JMT (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 8:26pm

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

    Oops, responded to Robert's excellent response instead of the AC...

     

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


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