I'm so glad that so many people here, ACs & registered alike, pointed out the insanity & uniqueness of the pre-paid benefits requirement, as well as the equality of access for rural areas and the price differences between USPS and all private carriers.
I'll add one more thought: like health care & public transit, a postal service should be run for the public benefit, NOT run like a business.
While efficiencies are important, a public service shouldn't have to show a profit to survive. Trying to make something that's inherently not cost-effective break even means skyrocketing fees & less service. (see: public transit's decline in the US in these most recent decades when we really need it) (or the post office- delivering a single sack of mail to Bumfuck, Alaska is truly inefficient)
That's what taxes on the super-rich & large corporations are for- to fund public services.
This. Our recycling bin's literally right under the mailbox for a reason.
If I could "like" this a hundred times, I would.
Seriously, techdirt shouldn't fall into trying to debunk inane, inaccurate comparisons. It just perpetuates them.
"thus hiding the fact, that avid readers often are socially challenged"
Excuse me? Do you have data for this?
Sounds like a sweeping generalization to me, much like the generalizations about social media that you're complaining about.
Second hand as in it was already purchased once. Obviously it's still valid, otherwise it'd be a REAL jerk move to sell it, ha ha ha...
And no, just because I think it's a jerk move to resell something that one got for free doesn't mean that offering a free d/l isn't a really positive thing for our company to do. It is, & the rare occurrence of this selling pieces of a d/l code isn't a worry for us.
(Just so it's clear, it's a "jerk" move because it's selling something that they got for free, not because it's a digital version)
1. This story is really about eBay & their unclear reasons for yanking the listing. They work in mysterious ways so I think until there's more information about WHY, a lot of this discussion is just wasted bandwidth.
2. We offer a free download as part of every new LP we sell because we want to entice The Kids (tm) to buy the physical product. It's not a digital sale (they can go to iTunes, eMusic, wherever for that)- it's a free add-on to the package. The price of the LP isn't higher because of the download card.
If someone pulls a jerk move and sells the code, well, that sucks but it's only 1 download. It's unknown if the buyer would've bought the full-priced record anyway. Maybe they will after they hear the music.
But I agree completely with the philosophy of "if someone buys something, it's theirs." I buy used physical content all the time.
There shouldn't be a difference between selling 2nd hand physical media and 2nd hand digital media.
Didn't Maximillian end up in the Black Hole, not "hell"?
And yeah, Maximillian was definitely the cooler robot, even though he was the heavy.
""Yes, some pirates are completely unwilling to give you money, ever. Ignore them.
The point of going after a pirate isn't to suddenly get them to pay, as much as to get them to stop poisoning your current paying customer pool by "teaching" them it's free. "
It's not worth the time at this point- I'm pretty sure that everyone on-line is aware that one can get content for free. (Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying do nothing- send take-down notices for illegal full d/ls etc- but the bulk of the efforts should be on the consumer side)
It's like Obama trying to get support for his policies from life-long Republicans- they're not going to support him no matter how many of their ideas he incorporates into his legislation (see: Obamacare's insurance mandate, which is literally a Republican plan that the Heritage Foundation came up with in 1989).
Concentrate on building loyalty, answering customer's needs, and making it just as easy to legally access content as it is to pirate it.
"These two stories should remind those of us in the US that our votes really do matter, and we have an election coming up in about six months. So don't waste your vote on someone who doesn't get it, and don't waste your vote on the "least bad" major candidate. Vote for someone who respresents your values, even if you have to write them in. That will really start scaring those politicians and their whole parties."
I think this is where I put forward the largest 3rd party in the US, the Green Party. We don't take corporate donations. http://gp.org/index.php
From the US GP platform:
"The Green Party opposes patenting or copyrighting life- forms, algorithms, DNA, colors or commonly-used words and phrases. We support broad interpretation and ultimate expansion of the Fair Use of copyrighted works. We support open source and copyleft models in order to promote the public interest and the spirit of copyright."
There's not much else about copyright, except discussion of software patents vs. software copyrights. The expected anti-monopoly, anti-corporation language permeates the platform too, as well as a call for clean elections, getting big $$ & $$ lobbyists out of politics, and the use of the public airwaves/broadcast spectrum for public benefit, not solely for private profit. It doesn't go into much detail about other issues that pop up here.
Sorry to inject a partisan note into this discussion, but since it was brought up I figure it's kosher. Carry on.
I am not a pirate, I am in favor of people paying for the art that they consume since that is my day job, and I FULLY back the statement below.
When Netflix doesn't have the movie I want because it was pulled due to an expired license, or it was never on Netflix because the licensor will not license it to the service, I try the library or my local video store (both of which, by the way, are one-sale situations for the licensor, instead of on-going ones like Netflix). After that, I give up and find something else to do with my time.
"Every movie they watch illicitly is a movie that, under different circumstances, they would have given you money for.
Yes, some pirates are completely unwilling to give you money, ever. Ignore them. Your efforts to punish them are futile because, even if you succeed, you will never see their money. They will feel no remorse, and will learn no "lesson".
The others are fertile ground, though. Just try to see what they want.
Are they pirating because you have decided to enact release windows based on geography? Don't do that.
Did they pirate because you waited too long to release your product to homes? Don't do that.
Are they pirates because you priced your product at it's weight in gold, when it's really just worth a watch? Don't do that."
This. I think "normal" people- i.e. people who don't read up on this stuff- are going to be shocked by this. When cameras and tape recorders and video cameras weren't in everyone's cell phone, it was a lot easier to "ban" recordings.
Now, artists just grin and bear it, and try to minimize the disruption of jerks with their flashes if it's appropriate. I know that I and my peers (even though we're "old") check out youtube videos of our favorite bands the morning after a show & post 'em on facebook, etc.
Imagine the word-of-mouth the IOC could get by embracing technology instead of trying to stuff the cell phone back into the rotary age.
Friends of mine have pulled their catalogs off of Spotify because the streaming income is so paltry.
I take the opposite tack- I want our catalog every legal outlet possible, regardless of the income stream. It'd be a betrayal of our due diligence to distribute our artists' work.
Of course, we're not 20th Century Fox.
I'm a Netflix customer but I've also kept my local brick & mortar video rental membership for just this reason. There are always really puzzling gaps in Netflix' offerings, and movies have "Watch By" dates because their licensing is expiring.
(Also, the selection really sucks once you get below the surface of various cult & specialized genres- I end up buying a fair amount of PAL & non-Region-1 DVDs from overseas because it's literally impossible to find the DVDs with extras etc, even via torrent, through domestic means)
It's astonishing how stupid really educated, experienced suits can be.
So actually, it seems like it's an open and shut case, or it should be. If one licensee was intruding on another licensee's territory, that'd be an open and shut case too, just in the other direction.
Yes, this seems more like an issue of a product licensed in one territory being sold in another territory where there is a different licensee.
Licensing in different territories happens all the time in music, but the only way to get in trouble is if a licensee (label or distributor) from territory A turns around and sends a ton of product to territory B, thereby flooding the market & taking away sales from the licensed label/distributor in that territory. But the key is that the violator is the licensee who sells directly to a forbidden territory.
It happens a fair amount, and when a licensor grants licenses to multiple countries in a tight area (think: Europe) this kind of stuff pops up more often.
Usually it's not cost-effective though- you see it in the higher prices that import records & cds get in record stores.
But if I read the post right, the initial sale from the licensee already happened in the licensee's territory. The importer is just reselling it, which should be kosher.
While I am pro-grassroots publishing, a viable business has to be able to sell the latest John Grisham along side the Anna Joy Springer and the Charles Romalotti books.
Charles Romalotti http://laymanbooks.com/
Anna Joy Springer http://jadedibisproductions.com/VICIOUS.html
For a lot of the reasons above I've never made the jump to ebooks. I'd rather stick a paperback in my back pocket when I go out and risk losing it sometime during the night than risk losing/breaking a few hundred bucks of technology.
Hey, I resemble that remark! (At least about the love of vehicles- I am clearly not Generation Y: http://placeshakers.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/generation-ys-great-migration/ when it comes to cars or age, I'm a Gen-Xer!)
Interesting way to look at these topics- but big picture posts shouldn't ignore the fact that a fair amount of the world (& a sizable % of the US population) isn't on-line or has a smart phone, or their on-line access is very limited. Are these people just not worth discussing? Seems like if anyone out there is going to be swayed by big $ campaigns, it'll be the folks with little/no internet access.
Thanks guys! (blushes)
Sorry, I should've been more specific- the parts of the DMCA that relate to terrestrial and on-line radio. The whole royalty process through the Librarian of Congress, the machinations of the National Association of Broadcasters, the shameful collaboration of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, etc. Those "representatives" of radio almost deep-sixed their tiny non-commercial relatives at the behest of the RIAA.
AT uses DMCA take-down notices for blogs that post full-albums of our artists. If it's clearly a fan blog we usually contact them beforehand- especially for the KBD/super-obscure reissues. We say, "Hey, thanks for keeping this band's music alive, we've just released a great sounding version of this and other songs by this band and the band is getting royalties. Please replace the d/l link with a link to their record on our website." It works 95% of the time.
Sorry for the misunderstanding!
This is just my personal take on things, not the label's. (We don't have an official stance)
Some equally independent-minded labels are very much in favor of things *like* SOPA, though I don't know anyone who's pro-DMCA who understands how it's being manipulated by the RIAA. It's not a function of our size or audience at all, though you'd think it would be.
As for airplay, if this was 10 or more years ago, I'd answer that college & community stations were very important to getting our bands out there. Now, they're still important but a lot more air in the room is being taken up by web-based promotion. Commercial airplay has rarely even been an option.
So community radio airplay & word-of-mouth & touring have always been key for us. (Now a lot of that airplay is online)