His logic really falls flat if you apply it outside of the recording. His premise is that if you release recordings into the public domain no one will then pay for recordings and no one will record. But hey this guys is a musician right? What about the public domain compositions that these recordings are going to record? Is having those in the public domain for free for anyone's use diminishing the output of composers? Did having that music for free in the public domain stop him and his band from composing and profiting off of their composing? Has it stopped people from making money off of their compositions? Absolutely not. So why would it be any different for recording?
The other thing that really bothers me is that he insists that musicians need to get paid. What he is completely overlooking is the fact that museopen is going to pay the damn musicians. I highly doubt that individual orchestra members profit directly from CD sales. Not just because the record label will take most of it, but because that isn't how it works. Sure the orchestra might have more cash flowing allowing a possible higher salary or something, but most of that money comes from endowments and gifts not from the recordings. His whole article is total bunk when he waxes eloquent about how musicians won't get paid when museopen is absolutely going to pay them.
A final note. I live in Boston. I really like the BSO and the BPO. If there is an option for a recording from them I tend to default to them because I know the quality is good. Of course I also know that New York Phil and Chicago Orchestra are pretty damn good as well. In the end I don't mind having multiple recordings of the same piece by different orchestras. Not only do orchestras sound different, but they have different conductors. Maybe one does something extraordinary. The idea that I won't buy a recording because these are free is absurd.
The price is the key point that I come too plus the venue. My favorite venue in Boston is the Paradise club. They'll get top notch indie artists but the venue holds at tops 500...my guess closer to 250. The price is never over $20. And the best part is that there isn't a bad place in the joint and it is kind of more intimate with the artist. I just recently went to the house of blues for Modest Mouse. Typically I avoid that place because while it is larger and tends to get bigger bands the venue is shit...absolute shit. But the tickets were free so I went only to remember how much I hate the venue...plus the tickets were closer to $40.
Now I don't know, but when I realize that for the total of one ticket at House of Blues I can get two tickets at Paradise club and still see the bands I like I almost always do the latter. It worked out great for me once. I wanted to see Dirty Projectors. The first concert they came through was at House of Blues. Tickets were closer to 40, so I opted out of the concert. A few months later they came to the Paradise Club. Paid $20 stood closer and had a much more enjoyable time I'm sure.
Another venue in Cambridge is the Middle East club. This probably panders to even smaller or less known bands, but typically it is $15-20, but includes 3-4 acts. The show I went to the band I liked performed 3rd and after they were done they stood in the audience with us...dancing and having a good time. I still remember the experience to this day.
Of course those are the prices before your booking fee, printing fee, and whatever other fee they decide to throw at you. I've thought about seeing if purchasing the tickets at the venue would avoid the price, but haven't done so yet. For paradise a $20 ticket usually gets an extra 5 or 6 added on per ticket. Still a lot cheaper as a total price then other venues, but I hate the fact that they do that.
Last thing to add. I also got free tickets to go to a U2 concert...normally wouldn't. Now this was at the Patriots stadium. The tickets were only 25 or 30, but we were like 3 rows from the top of the stadium. The sound was so horrendous with the echo that you couldn't understand a word he said...and if it weren't for the large screen's we wouldn't have been able to tell Bonno from any other spec dancing on the stage. We tried to move up, but yea they were bitchy about that whole thing. I really shy away from large venues as a result. Even if were a die hard fan of U2 in order to get good sound I'd probably have to shell out upwards of 80-100 just to avoid the echo. But for $20 I can see world class acts that I actually enjoy in a venue where bad sound isn't even an issue.
It was reported in the Metro in Boston that apparently one group coming out against this bill tied the issue to immigration. Basically saying that by passing this bill they would be giving illegal immigrants access to jobs. It was so absurd I sort of ignored it, but now that I'm thinking about it that would fit. Anything to keep your IP protected.
I think it is so funny. I heard this on the radio the other day and my wife looked at me and said, "Why does she think she deserves 2 mil?" And I said, "Because obviously people bought and downloaded that album solely because of the front cover, and without that front cover they wouldn't have sold any of their music, because people only by music because of the album cover." She laughed, but you know that is exactly what this woman is thinking and exactly what she'll try to say. Funny thing was my wife didn't even remember the cover..."We always listen to it on iTunes, I'm not looking at the cover." When I showed her the cover she did recognize it, but she certainly didn't like the music or buy the album because of it.
That got me thinking about the current culture. My music was purchase legit and the cover in the download world means less and less. I appreciate a good album cover, I thought this one was really good, but I purchase the music and download it. Back when you bought a physical CD I think it mattered a bit more, but now...I don't think it matters much at all. 2 Mil way to much.
So we shall see. I don't think it will get very far.
On the Watchlist for worst IP infringement or whatnot
How long before they'll top the list of worst IP offenders on the planet. They'll be placed above Canada, China, and whoever usually tops that list. They'll site some nonsense about whatever, but we'll all know it is because of this law.
Another thought is, some musicians I like are because of them being shared to me by certain friends. I read certain books only because a friend shared it with me. And I've watched certain movies only because a friend wanted to watch it with me and share the experience. I like the Cohen Brothers now only because a friend shared one of those movies with me. In a world where that ceases to be so does the value of those things. It will be those people who are willing to allow their information to be shared that will truly exceed.
I'm finishing up a book was loaned to me by a friend. I started to think about how we've functioned as a society for years upon years. Sharing is at our core. The value of a product increases as we are able to share it with other people. The more we like it the more we want to share it. Obviously mass P2P file sharing doesn't share some of those same benefits directly. Since most P2P is anonymous, but private sharing amongst individuals has this same value. I listen to music that I like and immediately want to share it with my friend 1000 miles away. However, that is technically illegal. Fortunately for music there is no DRM to prevent such things, but when it comes to movies, ebooks and other things it is pretty much tough luck.
If my friend had bought the ebook rather than the paper back I wouldn't be able to barrow it right now. At some point there will have to be a day of reckoning. What will libraries do, and how can you truly stop people from doing what they do naturally and have for centuries? File sharing isn't much different from a mass library system. Sharing is what we do. And if something cannot be shared, thus having the shared experience, then its value is greatly diminished. The MPAA and RIAA doesn't realize that if their wet dream is realized (no more file sharing) that their content will cease to be as valuable. If they successfully change human behavior I'd be that their bottom line would actually be doing worse. How would I know if I like the latest album of Lady Gaga (not that I listen to her) if I can't hear it first. How will I know if I like an author if I couldn't sample his work first? It puts the past few decades of fighting by the *AAs into a self defeating battle and they don't even know it.
With precious few examples, and I do mean precious few I haven't bought anything from the major labels since they started suing people. As soon as I learned what they started to do I ditched them. I didn't really like the music anyway and there so much more out there.
Success is keeping your fan base happy...and that doesn't happen by suing your fan base.
When I graduated and started hunting for a job I joined a state university in my town. To me the pay was excellent, but I quickly found out that their pay was a fair bit lower than industry standard. However, the benefits in some ways could outweigh the higher pay at industry jobs. I was doing Systems Administration. My first year on the job gave me over 20 paid vacation days and 12 sick days. I was able to choose from 3 different health insurance companies. I had dental and vision. My co-pay and monthly for insurance was WAY below anyone else in town. And my employer was flexible with my hours (If you worked 40 great, but no sweat if you didn't, after all you were salaried and in a few weeks you might have to work late fixing a server). In short I basically had the dream job when it came to actual benefits and work environment. The pay may have been lower, but the intangible benefits in some ways outweighed the direct monetary reward. What good would a higher salary do you if you can't enjoy everyday life with your family or go on a simple vacation.
There are, of course, industry jobs that pay well and have good benefits, but it isn't the norm or a guarantee.
This is may problem with the NYT. I started reading it because so many of my friends linked to it. Now I only continue to read it because I can share it. Once that changes I hardly think I'll continue to read it.
I think the two should be put together. Because the extremely high statutory damages could equally defeat fair use. If fair use were better defined, but infringing copyright could net millions in damages than fair use is essentially meaningless. I wouldn't risk it. The risk outweighs the reward. Think of all the businesses that have been sued out of existence even though they had a strong fair use argument. Most of this is due to fighting it in the courts, and the risk of losing and paying the price.
So yea I think they should be put together. Lowering damages encourages fair use. Of course the AA's won't want that, but that is a different story ;-)
Years ago I encountered this same problem. People would send me a NYT link and sometimes I could read it and often I would hit a paywall. Especially troubling was when I would close down FF and restart the tabs only to find the paywall...this happened a lot. The problem was so acute that I just gave up altogether. If someone sent me a link or I saw a link to NYT I'd just ignore it. For years that was true long after they removed the paywall. It wasn't until I got my iPhone and realized all the content was free that I started to use NYT. I now use it all the time and link to it liberally. It opens some great conversations on FB and Twitter.
If they do go through with the paywall I am afraid that I'll have to leave NYT for good. I might occasionally look at it or link to it if I absolutely need to, but in general I won't trust it because of the frustration it causes.
When I worked at the University of IL we were a business entity. The Engineering school did not provide a college wide IT department. That meant that each department within the college had to provide their own IT. On top of that there was a competing service provided by CITES that you could hire in. My specific department (ECE) did not require any faculty within the program to use us, and, in fact, any faculty member would have to hire us using their research funds. We did our job well and would still provide some very minimal services to faculty and research groups who didn't pay, but there was an inherent downside to all of this. To our supported groups they got top notch service, but the rest of the department suffered accordingly.
I believe now the ECE IT department is heading into more departments college wide...and may become the default service for computer support within the entire College of Engineering. I think it makes more sense to have a centralized common goal rather than putting the support crew in such a position. The inefficiency was quite apparent. Any one department may have repeat services or workers that easily could have been shared, but since we were separate entities with separate budgets we couldn't. I was thankful for my job, but pooling resources would have made us more efficient.
However, the one good thing about our services was that to those who paid they got top notch service. I've seen IT departments that are centralized and no one person stands out (in the lower tiers). My wife works at a public school and apparently it can take days to respond to a ticket. At the U of I we were at your call anytime and fast. I think we officially gave ourselves 24 hours to respond to minor issues, but we never used the full 24. College wide operating this way was inefficient, but to the people willing to pay they got great service that they couldn't get from anyone else. Especially given our diverse skill set.
Quote: "improved rights management would make it much easier to expand rights, because the rights owners would feel more confident that their rights are being respected."
Expand who's rights? You make it sound like it might expand my, the customer, rights, but in reality all that this will do is continually take my rights away while expanding the "rights" of the "rights owner."
Plus we already know that they want to charge us for every use of their content. If I can't move it to my laptop than they can charge me, if I can't watch it more than once they can charge me. Stop pretending like this would help the customer it won't.
So normally I get my music from eMuisc. It works great and they have the artists I love, but I wanted the New Moon sound track because of all the great Indie artists. Of course it was almost $15 through iTunes...I figured if I am going to pay that much I need something more than just some digital files, but if you wanted the "bonus" tracks you had to buy from iTunes. I went to Amazon and the price was $9.00. I sampled the bonus tracks from iTunes and didn't find it all that compelling to spend so much more money...so I bought it from Amazon.
If the price across the board had been $15 for DIGITAL download than it just wouldn't have happened to be honest.
What about all those people who record a sporting event for the purpose of watching it on their own time. I mean with the movies at least there is some logic since it would be VoD, but a sporting event is just absurd. I recorded the Wimbledon finals one year because I had something going on during the showing. And I know many people who regularly record sporting events and watch them in full after the fact. Another good method is letting the game start and watch it on a 30 minute, or so, delay to skip some commercials at the beginning. In this case not only would it "break" people's systems, but really, really, piss off a bunch of people who have perfectly LEGAL and legitimate uses for time shifting the game.
Bad form from whomever suggested this as a fix. Bad, Bad, Bad!
The core of his content is absolutely free. Most users go blissfully through their entire day not only not knowing, but not caring that he has a "paywall." I know, but couldn't care less and so far haven't found a reason to pay. But for those people who do find it valuable more power to them and Mike. I think any fessing is needed. If I like a techdirt article I share the link and *anyone* can view it. Works like a charm.
It was much the same with New York Times. I remember getting links from time to time that I could read because of the paywall. Almost worse were the ones I could read, but try to browse to more content only to be denied. I even refused to create a free account to most sites I am only passing by. It got so bad that I refused to follow a link to NYT and didn't read them for a very, very long time. It wasn't until just this year when I got my iPhone and downloaded the NYT app. Everything on it was free and I found the content to be very good. I now share plenty of links with friends and read them weekly (though not daily). I don't know when they dropped their whole walled garden stuff, but the stigma lasted through college and up to 3 years after.
O'Reilly has been trying for some time to open up Government and provide more transparency. There is actually a pretty big push from Tim O'Reilly. The idea is to get the "geeks" together to churn through data and do something useful with it.
"I gathered questions from a variety of sources, including on-line discussion groups and twitter, and have been doing email back and forth with both Ray and Mike. Hope this is useful (it certainly has been fun to do)!"