by Leigh Beadon

Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the the-truth-will-set-you-free-(if-you-set-it-free) dept

This week, we applauded the ruling that blocked ASCAP's requested rate hike and highlighted the collection society's collusion with publishers to marginalize Pandora. Of course, some people still insist that innovative services like Pandora — the people working hardest to create a strong digital market for music — are just trying to withhold money from artists, and it was one such claim that prompted both of our most insightful comments of the week in response. First place goes to Karl for refuting the idea that Pandora pays less than more traditional distribution platforms:

Actually, it's the Silicon Valley crowd acting as usual giving as little to the artists as possible. And before you raise the usual blather about the major record labels sharing only a small percentage, it's dramatically larger than the percentage shared by the tech world.

Provably false. In fact, that's part of what this lawsuit was all about.

The rates that Pandora paid (and, now, will continue to pay) are higher than the rates that traditional radio stations pay, for streaming on the Internet.

Pandora's rate is 1.85%. IHeartRadio, run by Clear Channel (the owner of the majority of radio stations), pays just 1.7% for its Internet streams.

And as far as comparison with "the major record labels:" No, they do not share a "dramatically larger" percentage of their income. Pandora pays more than half their income to sound recording rights holders. Major labels pay around 15% of the income from records, to the artists (depending upon contract). And that's only after the artists have paid back the recording costs, packaging costs, some of the marketing or video, etc.

So, no. Pandora pays a dramatically larger percentage to artists than any traditional label or publisher.

You're lying, once again.

Not far behind, John Fenderson for further highlighting the absurdity of branding Pandora as the bad guys:

You mean the same Pandora that gives as little to the artists as possible by willingly agreeing to licensing terms that has them paying out more than other businesses in the same line of work are doing?

The same licensing terms that the content producers agreed to and then backed out of purely to destroy Pandora through illegal collusion?

You mean that Pandora?

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out on another indirectly-related post that also, ultimately, revolves around the question of what music is "worth". When musicians sue for figures like $52-billion, as Roland Chambers recently did, then, as That Anonymous Coward pointed out, they just expose how arbitrary (and ridiculous) the industry's appraisal of music's value really is:

Even with his insane math and presumptions, they are based on what has been claimed by each of the **AA's on multiple occasions.

IP is our most valuable thing, in the minds of a few who only see dollar signs dancing because they made something that one time. While one could dismiss him outright for being out of his mind, this perfectly highlights the response we see time and time again. I made this and its worth kajillions that you owe to me, because I think its worth that much. You owe me, my heirs, my heirs heirs a living forever.

Creating is hard, but it does not entitle you to all of this. Until we can stop the insane thoughts from the other side, who lie and distort the truth, we will see more and more of these cases.

My only hope is that he used that awful Dash woman's poem as a refrain and the 2 of them will be forced to do gladiatorial combat.

And, since there is a surprising dearth of NSA comments on this week's leaderboards, we'll close off the insightful side with a strong anonymous declaration in response to the lack of oversight at the NSA:

The NSA has betrayed the American people
If you're afraid to conduct the business of the American people in full view of the American people, and if you're afraid to be held accountable to the elected representatives of the American people, then you do not serve the American people. You serve yourselves. You're not patriots. You're not brave. You're not upholding the Constitution. You're not defending the country. You're just indulging your vanity and self-importance delusions.

Over on the funny side, we start out on the not-so-funny story about a man who was arrested for possession of... "Scentsy" wax cube candle thingies that maybe kinda sorta looked like drugs at first. Bt Garner suggested that this might be a great opportunity for the brand:

Scentscy should come to this guy's aid and turn this into a freaking genius PR campaign.

"Scentscy: So good it should be illegal."

In second place on the funny side, we've got (slightly bizarre) a comment from hutcheson which compares and contrasts some American political values in the international sphere:

Why No Warning: Edmundovich Snowdenski Reveals All

Apparently Moscow was only planning to shoot people, not do anything really dastardly--like share music or video with them.

But it is not too late! Even now, all the power of the Obama administration can be harnessed! Call your lobbyist today! Tell him to get out the word: THE RUSSIAN SOLDIERS MAY BE LISTENING TO UNLICENCED MUSIC!

Speaking of Snowden and Russia, our first editor's choice for funny goes to an anonymous comment responding to Rep. Rogers' wild speculation that the former is to blame for the latter's aggression against Ukraine:

I offer a counter speculation that may make a little more sense than Mike Rogers. Sometime in the future the NSA's data harvesting reaches critical mass and becomes sentient, turning against the world and ushering in an era of machines. Snowden, leader of the human resistance is sent back in time to stop this from happening by revealing the secret data collection to the public in order to inspire change. However, the sentient NSA data collection learns of this plan and sends Mike Rogers back to discredit Snowden so that data collection can continue.

And, finally, we step away from all these messy topics to the would-be-purity of science — except that some senators are afraid about forcing researchers to disclose funding, because truth and lobbying rarely go well together. Baldaur Regis nicely summed up the broken thinking behind this affront to reason and rationalism:

The science of 'full disclosure' isn't settled yet.

That's all for this week, folks!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2014 @ 10:44pm

    "giving as little to the artists as possible."

    IP law should not be about giving to the artist. IP law should only be about serving a public interest. That you have misconstrued it to be about something else is the biggest reason I want IP law abolished.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Mar 2014 @ 1:05am


      Art does not serve the public interest. It serves a function to the person who creates it, and a psychological one to those who view it.

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

      • identicon
        Beech, 31 Mar 2014 @ 2:08am

        Re: Re:

        " to those who view it." AKA, the public. Thanks for trying though.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Mar 2014 @ 2:58am

        Re: Re:

        "Art does not serve the public interest."

        If people in the public are interested in art then it does.

        IP law does not serve the public interest. For one thing the social cost of enforcing it goes against the public interest (taxpayer dollars. The cost to services like Megaupload being taken down which limits others from having alternative content distribution systems and limits the content that the public gets distributed to them and how content gets distributed to them for another).

        The person who creates art is free to not release it and to have whatever function is serves them privately served. But if they release it they shouldn't expect the rest of society to bear the burden of enforcing expensive monopoly privileges.

        If someone digs a hole to serve a personal function (the need to dig a hole) that's fine. But that doesn't mean that society should pass laws around the fact that they decided to dig a hole. Just because someone wants to serve a personal function is no reason for society to start passing laws around it.

        Abolish IP laws. I do not want these laws. If they are designed to serve the interests of artists (not the public) that's one good reason I want them abolished. and you yourself said, art doesn't serve the public interest so, by your logic, there is no sense in promoting it through IP law so even if IP does promote art, by your logic, it should still be abolished.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 31 Mar 2014 @ 3:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If they are designed to serve the interests of artists (not the public)

          Despite claims that they serve the artists, the reality is that copyright serves the publishers, labels and studios, by granting them a means to gain control of an artists works for their own profit.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 31 Mar 2014 @ 4:18am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I absolutely agree. Of course that's who these laws are truly intended to benefit and that's the true reason I want them abolished. But playing into the narrative that these laws are intended to benefit artists, if true, that would then be the biggest reason for their abolition.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 31 Mar 2014 @ 4:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I suspect that both you and Beech have missed my point - that even if art were to be created because it was in the public interest, that does not mean that the artist gets to tell me what I can or cannot do with it. More importantly, it should not allow anyone to turn anything I have purchased, under the concept that I actually own it upon purchase, off.

          ...Maybe I should have been clearer on that.

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

  • identicon
    alternatives(), 31 Mar 2014 @ 12:29am


    Say, wasn't there a Michael Moore documentary where US Soldiers in Iraq spoke of the large MP3 collection that sure sounded like it was not properly licensed?

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

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