Comments
Build something like OCremix.com ocremix.org, post adds. Get revenue from your adds + sale of merchandise on the site, while giving away the music.

{Correction above by billy hollis - site originally entered is a link aggregator and we don’t want to encourage those jacka$$e$}

Written By: the Brain
URL: http://
That site appears to be nothing more than an ad aggregator, of which there are thousands on the net. No value add.

If you’re serious, or I’ve missed something, come back and tell us why. Otherwise, I’m deleting that comment because it’s nothing but promotion.

Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
he’s almost certainly referring to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocremix .. the site itself is blocked at my office, but wikipedia says it’s ocremix.org, not .com.

Written By: kevin r
URL: http://
I was using Blogpatron which let me pay a couple of bucks per month to blogs like Michael Totten, but they went out of business. I definitely liked to pay the creator directly.

Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Thanks, Kevin, I think you’re right. I’ve fixed the original comment.

Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Just a comment on the first quote:

There is NO accounting for what CD’s they were giving away for free. It could be very well that the kids had all the music they wanted downloaded for free already. It is almost equally likely that the free promo CD’s were for crappy bands the label was trying to push into selling more or random overstock that they can’t sell for $1 (or apparently give away).

It’s nice to think that this means that the teens didn’t see any value in the music because of piracy, which is what EMI wants us to think. It could also mean that EMI has crappy CD’s that teens don’t want. Even more counter to the EMI argument is that all the teens had the albums already because they already bought all the music they wanted from the pile.

Written By: afischer
URL: http://vdov.net
"Thou shalt not steal."

Try a society based on that and approximately nine other precepts.

Does knowing how to use a computer justify "teenagers" walking into a convenience store and stealing cold cuts?

If "everyone" steals cold cuts, no one will continue to make cold cuts.

Well?

In a "bad neighborhood" convenience store clerks keep shotguns behind the counter.

Intellectual property creators need their clerks to keep a digital shotgun behind the digital counter.

In fact, the digital shotgun could be the the most valuable item of intellectual property of all time. And just as valuable in defending one’s property as the original shotgun.

Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
I think that aggregate patronage has a lot of appeal. Imagine a service that you pay say $15 a month into. It then doles our your patronage (- a %) to the music you’ve been listening to for that month. It could be set up to pay off based off just the number of songs you listen too, or bias toward unsigned artists, or just ones you manually "Check Up" in Pandora, for example.

This is a lot like what Blogpatron was, but with a larger potential base, and for an industry that’s got a lot more cash floating around anyway.

Hmm, does anyone know if there are any tax writeoff implications in patronizing the arts?

Written By: DrObviousSo
URL: www.zigguratofdoom.com
Patronage — It is my belief that audiences WANT to pay creators. Fans like to reward artists, musicians, authors and the like with the tokens of their appreciation, because it allows them to connect. But they will only pay if it is very easy to do, a reasonable amount, and they feel certain the money will directly benefit the creators
Not so sure about that. I remember Radiohead releasing a "pay what you feel is fair" album online not so long ago that didn’t do so hot...



Written By: shark
URL: http://
Martin, a society can make as many rules or laws as it wants based off ethical considerations, but when it stops doesn’t take into account the facts of a situation, it ends badly for most everyone. Just look at boarder security laws, child porn laws, and wiretap laws that make it illegal to record a police officer making an arrest in public.

The ’digital shotgun’ you talk about is a joke. It’s called DRM, and it’s called rootkit. Ask sony how useful they are.

Written By: DrObviousSo
URL: www.zigguratofdoom.com
Not so sure about that.
It’s clear that at least some people will do it. Radiohead says about 40% of their downloaders paid some amount. The best speculation I’ve seen says it was between two and three bucks average per person who paid.

Maybe that’s not enough to fuel the model by itself, but there’s nothing that says one revenue stream has to cover everything. If it contributes to the economic viability of alternative models, then it’s a factor worth including in remodeling the business.

Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Well, SONY should make itself a better digital shotgun.
a society can make as many rules or laws as it wants based off ethical considerations, but when it stops doesn’t take into account the facts of a situation,
The fact of the situation is that when someone is stealing from you, you need to make it worth their while not to do it. Otherwise, you encourage the stealing, and you will soon have no business and no property. That might look like a mere ethical consideration, but it’s also a law of nature.

If you want to give your stuff away, that’s your right. No one has a right to steal it from you.

Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Well Martin your point is well-taken BUT the digital store clerks are more like geeedy Robber Barons. It’s not that contenet should be free, but if it weren’t for pirates we probably wouldn’t be where we are now. Why would record companies change their model? After all the Internet "disintermediates" and record companies are intermediaries...downloads are a threat to their phoney-baloney jobs.

Written By: Joe
URL: http://
There were never any "greedy Robber Barons." That’s a pejorative term applied to the business masters who created the modern industrial world. Not paying for something that someone else owns and has up for sale is called stealing, and the middle men between creators and buyers — the record companies — provide a service to creators: i.e., bringing their creations to market and selling it.

When someone steals that creation, they are stealing from the creators and the record companies.

Now, if your point is that creators can directly market their products, removing the middle man, that’s fine. But stealing that product from them is stealing that product from them. So, when it comes to stealing, it’s stealing, whoever is being stole from.

Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Right now, they’re very open to ideas about what they should do next.
They need to stop selling hardcopies of their product on pieces of plastic that have a shelf life of 40 seconds when handled by a teenager.

Seriously, I would love to own the original hardcopies of music I love, but as it is now, I see no distinction between downloading the music (and paying iTunes, though I know how to get them for free and choose not to) and owning the CD, because CD’s are so flippin’ fragile.

I uploaded my entire CD collection onto my PC, and the CD’s are stored in basement until they self destruct.

Remember floppy discs that had the disc protected by that thin plastic sheath, well why not build a hard case around CD’s that can be inserted right into a (redesigned) CD player, with the actual CD never being exposed until it is in the CD player. The art could be better, and these things could last for ever, making them worth owning.

Also, look at the DVD market and special features. My kids LOVE the special features and they can usually only be had by BUYING the DVD. You could have artists talking about the songs, what they are about, pointing out who played what parts, etc.

I don’t want to avoid paying artists, but I can go the rest of my life without ever owning another fragile CD.

Cap

Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
If it keeps on though you’re going to end up with 2 classes of musician (again) -

professionals who can support themselves by people wanting to hear them play live (and their recordings are a byproduct to draw more people)
and
those who make music because they like to make music.

The two will overlap of course.

Which is the way music used to be before we could capture and reproduce the sound.

Your alternative is near total control the sound reproduction devices and algorithims.
Yet somehow when people try to implement those schemes people are outraged as if being able to play pirated music is some kind of natural right, and that having bought an album grants the right to reproduce ad-infinitum (all for personal use, of course....)



Written By: looker
URL: http://
Billy;


AFisher stole my fire, here.



See, back in the day when radio stations used to give *records* away to visitors and whatnot, often as not in my experience they would get turned down, because the stations were giving away stuff that nobody had ever heard of. (And that for a reason... most of it was crap) Give away some Bruce, or some Police, or whatever, and folks would go nuts. Give away Some Captol City Rockets....(A fairly decent LA bar band that got a record contract with Electra, years ago.. and yes, I actually took home a copy of that.. nobody else did, though) and the folks would look at you like you had four heads... they’ve never heard of ’em, and don’t really want ’em. They’re not on the "Cool" list. Most certainly stations were not giving away stuff that was being played on the air... unless that act was in town, and was being promoted.

I have to wonder if that isn’t at least part of the story here. The tendency among record labels has always been to give away the stuff that they are trying to promote not the stuff that’s already making money.

I doubt that’s changed.

Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Well I still ahve problems with the cost of legal downloads....and the current DRM sucks, from what little I’ve seen. So whilst I’m sympathetic to the ARTISTS, much of what passes for concern for artists is really concern for the MIDDLEMEN.

Written By: Joe
URL: http://
And no, there were Robber-barons, Rockefeller was one...he was a monopolist and wanted to remain one...like many monopolists or oligopolies he supported the status quo and opposed new market entries. He, ostensibly, felt that competition was disruptive, and I’m sure it was, disruptive to his profits and profit margins. So too RIAA and the companies they represent. I agree that Alice Cooper or Ted Nugent have every right to making money from their music, but less sympathy towards Virgin or Elektra Records.

Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I have problems with the price of automobiles, do I get to steal them because I don’t like putting money in the pockets of the car salesmen?

There are a lot of people out there who do steal cars. Are they justified because they have the tools at their disposal to break into a car and start it without a key?

Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Whoops, sorry about that. .org is correct. My point was that the artists make their music for free, and have set up their own site to rate and critique said music while giving it away for free. They have built quite an audience via their efforts and can tap into that via ads and physical merchandise in order to recoup costs.

As media becomes easier to copy and spread, the value will shift from possessing it to filtering through the garbage to find really good stuff. When I have access to hundreds of thousands of songs, it quickly becomes an issue of "what do I listen too" rather then "how much do I have". Those artists that find a way to profit from high standing in the various social networks will be the professionals, while those who treat it as a hobby will remain as such.

Written By: the Brain
URL: http://
I have problems with the price of automobiles, do I get to steal them because I don’t like putting money in the pockets of the car salesmen?
You can buy a Hyundai or you can buy a Saturn, with a No-Haggle Lot....but what are my alternatives vis-a-vis RIAA? If it hadn’t been for Napster downloads would still be "experimental"...as it is now there are still many obstacles to downloading. Record companies are fighting a tough rear-guard action against them. Bottom-line: the market is finding its level...price the product too high or offer it in a format the market doesn’t care for and you will see "problems." Personally I don’t think music ought to be over much beyond $0.25 a song, not $0.99 like I have seen a number of places. I don’t think I’m violating anyone’s "rights" if I buy a song and then transfer it to another medium (but some systems think I am).

Again, if I’m stealing from Ted Nugent I’m hurting myself in the long run, as well as Mr. Nugent...but if I "steal" from Virgin am I stealing? Only to the extent that say their artists don’t get a fair amount of royalty....but I don’t know if I feel too bad about it.

Written By: Joe
URL: http://
but I don’t know if I feel too bad about it.
That’s not a justification though.
There’s a lot of stuff I wouldn’t feel bad about not paying for.
Deals are deals, and if the ’middlemen’ own the license for distribution that’s the way it goes.

Change the system, which the guys who distribute their own stuff are trying to do (Tom Lehrer, for example distributed his own music, way back in the 50’s).

Meanwhile if it’s not legal, it’s just like anything else that’s not legal, we aren’t supposed to be picking which laws we obey and which we violate at will simply based on our impression of how much profit someone is making.
I think they’re charging me too much for milk these days, so I’ll sneak into someone’s pasture and milk the cows myself and that’ll be okay?

I don’t see how an improved ability to distribute and the owners of the distribution rights not moving fast enough to suit a savy segment of the public makes it okay to violate their property rights.

Written By: looker
URL: http://
Oh, you got me Joe. I didn’t realize that this was one of your parodies.

And The Brain is offering a new paradigm for recording artists that resembles the broadcast TV model, with the exception that the number of channels is infinite and the customers are presumed to have an infinite amount of shopping time. O.K. But is that a voluntary paradigm shift or is it driven by having your stuff stolen when you put it up for sale? What would that be called? Theft coercion in the marketplace? "We won’t pay you for it, but if you want to get advertising to support you while we take it, that’s cool man."

Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Change the system, which the guys who distribute their own stuff are trying to do
You mean like Martin Luther King...boycotts and other illegal actions? You see when the "system" is corrpt and self—serving changing, within the rules isn’t easy.

I believe libertarians point to Prohibition...it wasn’t change WITHIN the system that ended it, it was the widespread VIOLATION of it that ended it...

Martin I’m not parodying here...Napster and other "pirates" forced change on the music industry. IF we waited around like good little sheep for the folks who make money from the old system to change the system that benefits them, we’d still be waiting....

Again note it wasn’t the slave masters that ended salvery it wasn’t the segregationists that ended segregation...it generally isn’t the ancien regime that kills itself....I view Napster as the "Creative Destruction" that moved the market in a certain direction.

And I’m not sure that we are any where near where we need to be in this area. And no RIAA is not some heroic group seeking artists rights, it’s an industry group hiding behind artists rights trying to prevent as much cnage as is humanly possible. I view them as the Horse and Buggy Defense League. They may want you to think of themselves as an animal protection group, "think of the horses before you buy the horseless carriage!" But they are really in it to prevent the loss of thier control of the music....

Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I agree that Alice Cooper or Ted Nugent have every right to making money from their music,
Since I don’t like Ted’s politics and I do like Ted’s music, I am forced to steal his music to prevent him from using my money to spread his message of Wang Dang Sweet Poontang.

I am kidding, I am not a big fan of all of Ted’s politics (though I agree with some), but I am not one of those people who gives a sh*t about an artists politics if I like their art. I did not boycott the Dixie Chicks because of their politics, I don’t buy their records because I don’t like their music.

I think that online purchasing will be important, and the market will find it’s level, but I think that’s where they are really missing the boat is in the physical product itself. CD’s suck and no one should want to own them, but if they developed a physical product that less fragile and included more than just songs, they could increase sales and reinvogorate the product sales. Not to mention the redesigned players that would be required to play the redesigned physical format.
But is that a voluntary paradigm shift or is it driven by having your stuff stolen when you put it up for sale?
A morally relevant question, but commercially irrelevant. This is a marketing issue. Music today is the equivelant of water, anyone that wants it can go to the river and drink as much as they want, so why would they BUY it? The bottled water purveyors did not complain about people drinking from the tap, they found a way to get people to buy their hyper-inflated product.

I understand that there are moral issues that make this very different morally from drinking from the tap, but what is, IS, and one thing we know about the internet, for every security measure, there is a hacker counter-measure. So make the product WORTH buying. Or they can complain about people stealing and do nothing but watch their industry circle the drain.





Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Martin, continue to compare file sharing to theft of limited, physical goods, and all you to is point out that you really don’t know what your talking about. I hope you enjoy your simile-impaired life, but you won’t be changing anyone’s mind while you continue to spout blather.

Written By: DrObviousSo
URL: www.zigguratofdoom.com
Well, heck then, I guess it’s all okay.
Someone’s making too much profit and you’re going to fix it by seeing they don’t.

Sounds positively Democratic to me, you go after those evil robber baron dudes.
It’s probably a lot safer than holding up gas stations to show you don’t like someone elses ability to make obscene profits.
Like speeding I guess, since the chance that you’ll get away with breaking the law is good, might as well do it.

Sterling philosophy gang.
I trust no one is going to whine if they end up getting busted for illegal downloads and have to pay obscene fines for the music they ’liberated’.



Written By: looker
URL: http://
I think that there are two larger issues here: how to get more good music, and what theft is. Believe it or not, the two are related, and not in the way that Martin McPhillips seems to think they are.

If you want an artist to keep making music, it has to be worth their while to do so. That is, they must make enough money from their music that it is worth it to them to make more music, because they will get enough money (or other consideration) from that that they come out ahead. For a group that loves to make music, that cannot not make music, but where it is a sideline for them, that might be a very low amount. For a group that only makes music, where that is their only living, the amount is commensurately higher, and most of it has to be in cash or convertible to cash to be useful. So for now, let’s put aside the various ways artists can be compensated to make more art (music being just one example), and talk about theft.

Let us say that I have an object, say a CD-ROM, to listen to. Now, let us say that you take that object without permission. Clearly, that is theft. But why is theft bad? Theft is bad because it unjustly deprives me of the use of a good that I had justly acquired. If you have taken my CD-ROM, I can no longer listen to it. If you take my car, I can no longer drive it. If you take my land, I can no longer live on it. And so on. Sorry to be so pedantic, but most people these days simply do not realize that the whole idea of property arises from the Natural Rights concept that a person owns their own self, and thus the product of their labor (a product of the self), and thus the goods acquired from that labor (a product of the labor), or exchanged for the goods acquired for that labor (a product of the goods). So the key factor here is that theft deprives the property owner of the use of something they have justly acquired.

But if, as Jefferson so ably pointed out, I light my candle from yours, I have not deprived you of the use of your candle, or of the flame on your candle, or the light or the heat from your candle. Since I cannot deprive you of an idea by taking it from you, an idea is not property. The expression of an idea, though, a recording of a song or a sculpture or a painting, those may be property because they result in a physical good of whose enjoyment I can deprive you. But what if they don’t? What if the work of art is a copy of your work of art?

For example, let’s say (since it’s the topic at hand) that you record a song that you have composed. Now let us say that I record the same song? Of what have I deprived you? Not the song: that is still in your head. Not the recording of the song: that is still in your possession. You can argue that I have deprived you of potential profits from the song because someone might buy or obtain my version without paying you who would otherwise have paid you for your version (that is what the record companies and some artists do in fact argue).

Let’s be clear: the argument being made is that the possibility that your act deprives someone of the ability to profit from their labor is inherently theft. In that case, if I stop you on the way to work to ask for directions, and you are paid by the hour, then I have stolen from you the amount of recompense you would have gotten from the time that you took being stopped by me. Do you really want to go there? Yet logically, that is no different from me making a copy of your song, costing you no additional goods or labor, whether or not I then give it or sell it to someone else: no where in there have I deprived you of anything, except in the way that I deprived you of wages by asking you for directions while you were on the way to work.

Before you jump in, consider one more thing: if this were not so, if making a copy of a work of art (or "art") were to deprive you of something, then there would be no need for intellectual property laws distinct from normal property laws.

Before music became available, and usable, in digital form with easy copying, there was really no problem: to make a copy of a song was more expensive, generally, than just buying the song. As a result, the most valuable form of the music, the best quality and generally the cheapest when all costs were considered, was the media the record companies distributed: records, or various kinds of tapes. That allowed the record companies to make large profits, and to pass a surprisingly small amount of those profits on to the artist, from selling the tangible good. Note that the record companies did not actually sell the intangible good, the music, but the physical, tangible records themselves.

But once digital music was widely available (frankly, I think the MP3 format and the development of practical MP3 players was the real breakthrough) and could be copied with essentially zero cost, the record companies had no way to compete: they didn’t know how to sell the intangible product. So since the record companies cannot make as much of a profit as they once could, and the bands therefore make even less than they once did, the amount of incentive to create good (or at least salable) music, and thus theoretically the amount of good music, is declining.

There have been a number of responses to this, ranging from the recording industry’s "rent seeking plus suing our customers" model to Sony’s "making it impossible to use our music" model to Apple’s "convenient digital store, player, and device combo package" and Amazon’s "convenient digital store" model to Radiohead’s "pay us what you want for the album we have already done" model to Jill Sobule’s "pay me what you want so that I can record an album" model to numerous bands that are making and selling their CD’s themselves and largely getting paid for live performances. David Byrne has clearly put a lot of thought into the problem as well. There will be more models coming down the line, because fortunes depend on this getting done, and I suspect that most of the more successful models will involve direct payment to the artist (assuming they figure out how to market themselves without the use of the record companies). Someone, or some group, must solve this problem in order for good music to continue to be readily available. And since so many people want music to be readily available, someone will.

My take? The Sony route is doomed: people will not pay to be inconvenienced if they can simultaneously not pay and not be inconvenienced. Perhaps Sony would have a better chance with a Sony-only media format and player, but I doubt it (it’s adding cost to inconvenience, sure that’ll work). The lawsuit model is similarly doomed: you simply cannot win enough judgements from enough people to provide the deterrent effect, particularly once people start getting pissed enough to stop buying from major labels entirely, on the grounds that they are just financing lawsuits against themselves. I suspect that Radiohead’s and Jill Sobule’s models will both survive, but will mostly be useful for bands that already have a fan base. I suspect that the Apple/Amazon model will survive and thrive for some time, though it’s likely not the best deal for the bands themselves. I think that the live touring + make your own CD’s model will work for bands just getting established. And as looker noted, I suspect we’ll end up with two classes of musicians.

And I’m unconvinced that that is a problem for anyone except the music companies, who are going to go out of business unless they learn how to be relevant in the new circumstances.



Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
Jeff Medcalf hits it for me.... this is not about ARTISTS, it’s about record companies...as long as you want me to feel any sympathy for record companies...Fuggedaboutit...so the question becomes how can I listen to The Doors the most conveniently and cheaply and STILL help Jim’s estate? I don’t necessarily feel the need to help Mr. Geffen’s estate, just Jim’s....because Jim made the content, all Mr.. Geffen does is press a CD...he does more, of course and to the extent he helps Jim I’m willing to help HIM, but to the extent Mr.. Geffen hides behind the memory of Jim to enrich himself I really don’t care.

Though I think Mr Medcalf misses one point, by downloading the music, illegally, you deprive Jim of his royalties, his due for his content. So it’s not just lighting a candle from another candle, it’s like lighting a candle and then because you have done so, made it unnecessary to buy a candle from the candle maker.



Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Martin I’m not parodying here...Napster and other "pirates" forced change on the music industry. IF we waited around like good little sheep for the folks who make money from the old system to change the system that benefits them, we’d still be waiting....
The "system that benefits them" is the system that made recorded music widely available in the first place. Price is the irreducible element of the exchange of values that makes economic freedom possible. It’s generally never higher or lower than a market can bear because price is, in fact, the market. Where there is no price there is no product. And stealing a product that’s for sale will mean that eventually there will be no product, except that which people who like to give their talent away make for that purpose.

There are a lot of steer grazing openly in the American grasslands, but we don’t exactly see freelance butchers carving them up on the roadside and handing out beef at highway rest stops. Would they get off with the DNA defense: "But Your Honor, they’re really just copies! Why should we pay those middlemen at the supermarket? How can someone own a steer? Don’t you see this as the revolutionary solution to hunger?"

The presumption that there is a "right to steal" is something that car owners in large American cities have long experience with. And that was really never theft, you know, because it was always only The Man who was being ripped off.

And those "pirates" forced change too, leading to the development of the car alarm and various other anti-theft devices.


Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
For example, let’s say (since it’s the topic at hand) that you record a song that you have composed. Now let us say that I record the same song? Of what have I deprived you? Not the song: that is still in your head. Not the recording of the song: that is still in your possession. You can argue that I have deprived you of potential profits from the song because someone might buy or obtain my version without paying you who would otherwise have paid you for your version (that is what the record companies and some artists do in fact argue).
By this logic, you have the right to borrow a book from the library, run a gazillion copies of it, and give them away for free. I’m pretty sure you’d object to someone doing that to your creation.
Let’s be clear: the argument being made is that the possibility that your act deprives someone of the ability to profit from their labor is inherently theft. In that case, if I stop you on the way to work to ask for directions, and you are paid by the hour, then I have stolen from you the amount of recompense you would have gotten from the time that you took being stopped by me.
This is an inappropriate analogy. If you try to stop me on my way to work, I am not obliged to stop. Even if I do stop, I’m not obliged to give you directions. I further have the option of not helping you until you pay me, and neither of us are harmed if you decline. Even if I do give you directions, I can work a minute or two on the back end of my day and not be out a cent. But if you give my creation to someone, you have clearly deprived me of that royalty, since it cannot be regained any other way.


It amazes me that people these days pay upwards of $4 for a gallon of water but object to paying $15 for a CD they can listen to for years.


Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
It amazes me that people these days pay upwards of $4 for a gallon of water but object to paying $15 for a CD they can listen to for years.
Marketing, or should I say NEW MARKETING (as in NEW MEDIA) something the RIAA is avoiding at all costs, while artists are actively engaged in numerous marketing models, that will, in all likelyhood, eliminate the music industry and replace it with independent marketing efforts and perhaps some music portals.

Still, that $15 CD is only something you can listen to for years if you are extremely careful. If they designed a product that was less fragile and included more content and better cover art, they might be able to sell $15 physical products that people WOULD buy even thought they could buy it online or steal it, for much less.

Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Since I cannot deprive you of an idea by taking it from you, an idea is not property. The expression of an idea, though, a recording of a song or a sculpture or a painting, those may be property because they result in a physical good of whose enjoyment I can deprive you. But what if they don’t? What if the work of art is a copy of your work of art?
Correct, copyright law does not protect ideas but rather the expression of an idea. But any song — music, lyrics and performance — is the expression (each of the three is in fact an expression), and it is the property of the person(s) who created the expression(s). Think of books. They are dependent on being sold as copies. They are original expressions of ideas, not the ideas themselves. Hence Jonah Goldberg writes a book about "Liberal Fascism." He doesn’t copyright the idea of liberal fascism; he copyrights the 500 pages of expression in text that he writes about it. Joni Mitchell writes a song about "Love." She doesn’t copyright the idea of love, but her specific lyrics and music and performance of it.

If you record your own performance of someone else’s song, he is entitled to the going rate under an industry convention (according I think to ASCAP agreement) for the use of his music and lyrics. They are his copyrighted expressions and he owns them. The system of payments is an industry-wide agreement that covers the composers ownership rights under copyright law. Copyright is written into the U.S. Constitution, and Congress addresses it with specific laws.

So, when you copy Jonah Goldberg’s book by that title without paying him for it, you are stealing his property. Ditto when you copy the Rolling Stones latest album without paying for it, you are stealing their property, which is their lyrics, their music, and their recorded performance. That’s how it works.

Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Bear in mind, the argument that it gets better under some new system for the artists is bunk - by and large the same people who steal from the middlemen are going to shift their theft to the artists.

Only the justification will move from obscene profits made by middlemen to things like:
well, I liked that song, but it wasn’t GOOD enough for me to actually pay for, ya know? (nonpayee translation: I’ll listen to it, but it’s not quite good enough for me to actually buy)
Another one I will expect to see is,
oh, he made plenty off that song from other people downloading it (nonpayee translation: he made obscene profits! or that ain’t workin, ya play yer guitar on the MTV)
and finally the ever popular
I’m going to have to send him some money, man that was a good tune, I’ll send him some tomorrow (nonpayee translation: the check is in the mail)
The justifications for not paying for someone else’s efforts will be many and varied, but will ultimately end up the same, failure to pay for someone else’s efforts.

Sure, some people will pay (Joe, I believe you will), but I don’t think on the average the artists are suddenly going to do remarkably better than the system you see in place today let’s not kid ourselves about human nature. If people can get the milk for nothing, they are not going to buy the cow, especially if they can ’better spend’ their money on something else they want.


Written By: looker
URL: http://
Still, that $15 CD is only something you can listen to for years if you are extremely careful. If they designed a product that was less fragile and included more content and better cover art, they might be able to sell $15 physical products that people WOULD buy even thought they could buy it online or steal it, for much less.
I’ve had some of my CDs since 1989, and have played them about every other month since then. I’ve found CDs to be more durable than LPs, casettes or even reel-to-reel (yes, I used to have one of those, too). LPs were notoriously unreliable, even if you spent hundreds of dollars on needles, record cleaners, ad infinitum. On a cost-per-use base, considering all the equipment needed for faithful reproduction, CDs have been an outstanding bargain.

About the only medium that would be more durable would be printed scores, but it gets expensive to hire chamber music ensembles when I want to listen :)


Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
Record companies are dinosaurs. Too much unnecessary overhead; too many executives who add considerable cost but zero value. The guy who writes or performs the music provides the intellectual property and the artistic value for which we are willing to pay, yet most of those people get pennies per CD.

You do not need a tower in Hollywood or a team of lawyers to produce high quality music. High end MacIntosh computers are the tools the big labels use. I’m not talking about a garage or basement set up, but for $10,000 a band can have a studio capable of producing CDs, DVDs or download tracks. Build a web site. Distribution via FedEx. Legalzoom.com for a limited liability corporation form. File a DBA in Delaware and you’re good to go.

Music, I predict, will get less expensive and the artists will get a much larger slice of the pie.

Written By: Arch
URL: http://
Music, I predict, will get less expensive and the artists will get a much larger slice of the pie.
Perhaps. But not as the result of people copying their copyrighted work without paying for it.

And you might be underestimating the value of record executives. They might very well be the difference between an artist having a CD for sale and an artist selling ten million CDs.

Talent is finite, so are good business people. And they rarely co-exist in the same body. If you had a CD out, would you rather be selling it on your own or have David Geffen selling it for you?

Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Arch, record companies do add some value: they can separate the wheat from the chaff. They know what will sell and what is garbage, and will filter out the garbage. Imagine how much crud you’d have to listen to before you found a good band if everyone who could come up with a few thou put out their own CDs.

You can argue that’s not a good system, it’s something about which reasonable men can disagree. But that’s not a justification for stealing intellectual property.


Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
nonpayee translation: he made obscene profits! or that ain’t workin, ya play yer guitar on the MTV
I just downloaded that!!!

Yeah buddy, that’s his own hair.
I’ve had some of my CDs since 1989
Perhaps the problem is the ubiquity of the CD. I never had a problem with vinyl because they never moved. They would go from the sleeve to the turntable, and then back in the sleeve.

CD’s can go from house to car to computer to portable CD player. Maybe it’s just me and my family, but they just do not seem to travel very well.





Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Talent is finite, so are good business people
Do they exist in record companies...right now the record companies remind me of the Big Three Auto makers circa 1976...their business model is failing, due to import competition. Rather than make a better automobile, they complain about Low-Cost Japanese labour...and spend the 1980’s trying to restrict Japanese imports.
The "system that benefits them" is the system that made recorded music widely available in the first place.
Uh well "Duh"...but that model required a PHYSICAL object and a "bricks and mortar" distribution chain. Something that is no longer necessary for me to have to listen to "The End." This is akin to cable versus satellite TV. As long as it required a CABLE to view TV my options were limited and the cable oligopolies could charge as they desired. When it became possible to bypass the cable that changed....and cable responded as the RIAA responded, with administrative hurdles to the the new technology, e.g., "No local programming on satellite" rather than trying to compete on price or selection. So yes Geffen and Atlantic Records made my ’ute wonderful by providing music, because in my ’ute you needed an album to listen to the music. NOW I DON’T and the question is, "How is Mr. Geffen adapting to that new circumstance?"

And I stand by "Two Cheers for Napster!!" IF, I had to wait for Virgin Records and its executives to unemploy themselves, by offering cheap down-loadable music, my grand kids would be the beneficiaries of that! Just as MLK broke the law to force a change in the unjust system in place in the US in the 1950’s and 1960’s...If Blacks had waited for George Wallace to desegregate, we just might have gotten the first Black students into Little Rock High School. Mind you, this ia a much more trite issue than the CRM, I freely ackowledge....

Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Ah Cap, I see you have the ’full’ version, not the edited for something or other version.

Great tune ain’t it?



If there’s thousands of choices you can still rely on radio to promote, but the paradigm there is going to have to shift too because of the deals record companies have with radio companies (which I don’t understand, but am sure exist).

Unfortunately without promotion many promising groups will probably fail and have to go back to their day jobs because people aren’t going to take the time to weed out the junk and find them.

That’s what the ’middlemen’ do, weed the junk, promote the good.




Written By: looker
URL: http://
The "system that benefits them" is the system that made recorded music widely available in the first place.

Horses, mules and oxen fed the world and powered it for Millenia, does that mean that I need an ox cart just because they HAVE performed in the past? Or that if I get one of them new-fangled "Horseless Carriages" I must still buy fodder and have a stable and stable hand at my house?
That’s what the ’middlemen’ do, weed the junk, promote the good.
That’s fine... they don’t have to do it at $15 a pop via CD, do they? Don’t confuse the job with the product....rail companies saw themselves in the RAIL business, not in the transportation business, for the longest time. Exxon is not an OIL company they are an ENERGY company...if Virgin Records wants to promote music, and charge for the benefit by all means go for it....that’s not the same thing as publishing CD’s or trying to restrict downloads or to say, as some have discovered that your license really isn’t a license at all, but only a rental agreement and that you can’t transfer a song from your PC to your I-Pod...


Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I have no idea what it costs to find/produce/market so I can’t honestly answer for $15.00 a pop.

My suspicion is that it’s somewhat cheaper, but I can’t guarantee it, and what’s more with people stealing music every day, they may be forced to charge $15.00 to stay in business eh?

Since I can’t say how much cheaper it ought to be I’m not going to try and justify taking their stuff for free though.



Written By: looker
URL: http://
That’s what the ’middlemen’ do, weed the junk, promote the good.
1) I might add, that’s the CONSUMER’S job, the ultimate job of the consumer; and
2) Considering what I have heard on Top 40 Radio, then the music executives are failing in their job(s) so I say let someone else have a turn.

Written By: Joe
URL: http://
My suspicion is that it’s somewhat cheaper, but I can’t guarantee it, and what’s more with people stealing music every day, they may be forced to charge $15.00 to stay in business eh?
And that’s called a "Death Spiral" Our product doesn’t sell at the rate we charge, so we INCREASE the rate, which makes it even less exciting...so we sell even less...so we charge more....Weapon systems suffer from a variant of this, it usually ends badly.

Since I can’t say how much cheaper it ought to be I’m not going to try and justify taking their stuff for free though.
Neither am I...but I still say "Two Cheers for Napster" because if free is too little, apparently $15 is too much...there is some point where the cost/service/benefit versus liability for down-loading equation achieves an equilibrium...I’m not sure we’re there yet.

Off-Topic but I heard someone talk about one of the side effects of digital dwon loads...the death of the "album"-overblown I’m sure- but more and more, I hear folks are downloading SONGS, the idea of an album, a collection of songs is fading, or so I’m told. And that means that many folks are missing an experience, "Quadrophenia" or "Thick as a Brick" aren’t collections of songs, and to view them as such is to miss the full impact of the concept...in short Quadrophenia is far more than "5:15"....something I worry yonger folks may miss.

Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Horses, mules and oxen fed the world and powered it for Millenia, does that mean that I need an ox cart just because they HAVE performed in the past? Or that if I get one of them new-fangled "Horseless Carriages" I must still buy fodder and have a stable and stable hand at my house?
No, it just means that you don’t get to steal a new-fangled horseless carriage because you think that horses are obsolete. Just like you didn’t get to steal horses.

Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Just as MLK broke the law to force a change in the unjust system in place in the US in the 1950’s and 1960’s...If Blacks had waited for George Wallace to desegregate,
Quit pulling my leg, Joe.

Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
I would IF the horse industry made it too difficult to buy an automobile....I think your analogy is falling off badly...this isn’t just about stealing horses or music...it’s about an industry AND A BUSINESS plan. The traditional plan is failing. Now the industry is trying to prevent change as well as restrict theft....

So it’s as IF the horse carriage industry was trying to make it impossible to buy automobiles AND folks were stealing horses...the two issues are not related, but merely contemporaneous. Just as there used to be a "relationship" between the number of Storks in the US and the population of Sweden...they are separate events, not linked at all, they their fluctuations seemed linked.

Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Who’s pulling your leg, Martin? You keep saying, it seems to me, "Let David Geffen and Richard Branson and their companies ort this out." And since they benefit from the current system, what are they going to sort out? Akin to George Wallace...as long as Blacks couldn’t vote he benefited from segregation and Blacks relying on him to change a system that benefited him would be waiting in vain...


In fact, AFTER the CRM moved thru in the 1960’s Wallace changed his tune and became a "Populist" and captured a significant number of Black votes...Wallace represents the smart music executive, IMO. The market conditions have changed and they need to change with it.... So the revolution sparked by illegal actions and the outside agitators needed up changing the status quo and Wallace adapted.

Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Considering what I have heard on Top 40 Radio, then the music executives are failing in their job(s) so I say let someone else have a turn.
I am grateful for the advent of "Guitar Hero". Because of this game, plus some really good music tracks on the Tony Hawk video games, my kids really appreciate rock and roll. My 10 year old loves rock, metal, blues, folk, all the stuff I like, and he has no interest in Rap or Greenday. Life is good.

I was amazed a year ago when I was playing the radio and the Doors "Break on Through" came on, and my son knew the whole song. Thirty years ago, the Doors was my favorite band, and along with Zep, Stones, Clapton, Bruce and a lot of others, the music has taken a decided turn for the mediocre since that time.

I cannot think of a single Great album to have come out in the last 10 years, unless it was by an artist who was making great albums decades ago.

I know that there are bands playing some great new music, I have heard them live, but the bands that get recording contracts seem to just be the wrong ones.





Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
So, let me get this right. If the meat-packing industry isn’t slicing bacon the way you want it, you get to steal it?

Isn’t this about music, which is the work of artists brought to market as they and their record companies see fit, and not about your preferred method of receiving that music?

Why would a record company not sell music in any given way that it thought would make it a profit? Are they refusing to exchange their value for your dollar?

They sell it, you buy it. But your contention is that if they don’t sell it to you the way you want it, you’re entitled to steal it.

Let’s say your preference is for nothing larger than three-ounce bottles of Coca-Cola, is it your contention that you get to steal it if it’s not available to you in that size?

I think what you’re talking about here is really the opportunity that’s available for you to steal music (that’s the opportunity of "motive, means, and opportunity"). The rest is rationalization, as in "We liberated the supermarket, man" of looting during urban rioting fame.

Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Who’s pulling your leg, Martin? You keep saying, it seems to me, "Let David Geffen and Richard Branson and their companies ort this out."
I haven’t actually kept saying that. In a slightly different context I suggested that music executives are good at making artists successful.

My direct line of argument is about ownership and property and the right to dispose of same at an agreed upon price vs. people stealing said property, i.e. not paying for it.

And the civil rights aspect (which you have introduced via the George Wallace and MLK analogies) is on the side of ownership and property, not on the side of theft.

Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
This thread is starting to remind me of the one where the True Libertarians went after Dale: no one will ever give up the thought that they can break a law they don’t agree with, be it dope smuggling or theft.

Cap, you should see what happens to an LP when it’s left in the back of a hatchback for a few hours in the middle of summer. And can you imagine trying to play an LP in stop-and-go traffic or on a bumpy road? There’d be so many skips you’d think you were listening to one of Nixon’s tapes.


Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
Cap, you should see what happens to an LP when it’s left in the back of a hatchback for a few hours in the middle of summer. And can you imagine trying to play an LP in stop-and-go traffic or on a bumpy road?
I agree, but we never took our LP’s anywhere, at least not until we could tape them. My IPOD is much tougher than my CD’s, and it’s totally replaceable since it is storage device more than anything.

I am just saying that CD’s suck, and if the recording industry wants people to purchase physical product, they should improve the media, but that’s just my opinion.

Written By: Captin_Sarcastic
URL: http://
Technology has wrecked entire industries and business sectors before. It will happen again.

That aside, there’s a dynamic not mentioned here. The propensity of the formation of a black market is highly tied to how inflated the value of something is.

For example, people steal cars. Car prices aren’t that inflated, but car parts are dramatically inflated. A the parts for a car from a car dealership would cost 2 or 3 times the car new & assembled easily.

High theft items like jewelry, gold, etc have much more value attached to them then their practical worth.

With new digital technology, the cost of distributing music is negligible. So the Record Industry’s markup on distribution couldn’t bear the profit gained from the black market alternative. It was inevitable.

IF CDs cost $5 and, as was mentioned, the media updated to something this millennium, a black market may not have formed. Kids are lazy and the risk of getting caught and the effort to learn how to rip music would have deterred many from trying it. Without the numbers, the methods to rip music would still be crude and the available music would be limited. It’s a positive feedback.

But now that the methods and media are readily available the genie may be out of the bottle.

And Yes, I believe the music industry could survive on $5 CDs. We might have to give up multi-millionaire bimbo hicks who had bad parents only to become bad parents. Oh, what a loss.

But if the "CD" was replaced by something more versicle and cheaper the black market might shrink in time.

Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
The music biz needs a new business model....all this arguing about morality isn’t going to change a thing.

Drugs are illegal. Have we stopped the illegal drug trade. No, and probably never will.

Hence, a new business model is needed.

John McAfee did something that was unprecedented at the time (AFAIK). He built his antivirus empire by giving his software away for free.

Is that the solution here? Who knows, but it’s a place to start looking.

This naturaly leads to looking at Open Source software business models....(RedHat *cough*)

My two cents for them. Change now or have the change made for you (go out of business).

At least this solution, although not going directly to the artists, let’s the companies maintain their position in the industry, keep epopel employed, promote their artists to radio stations, along with concert promotion efforts and merchandising. Or they can become extinct.

Shrug.

Written By: Khepri
URL: http://
If you want to see a music group that really "gets" the new paradigm of the music industry, you might want to take a look at a band called They Might Be Giants.

TMBG are pioneers in the art of music distribution and building a fan base. Back in the 80’s they promoted their band by recording their songs onto an answering machine and advertising "Dial-A-Song". People could call their machine and listen to a song for free. This was waaay before the whole iPod thing, back when music piracy meant copying a cassette tape.

Nowadays TMBG puts out a 20-30 minute podcast of their music, about once a month. I gotta tell ya, it’s a really excellent promotional tool— I bought more of their music based on what I heard on the podcast than I ever have before, and I’ve been a fan since I was in high school. In an era of one-song stands, TMBG fans are loyal and faithful.

TMBG "gets it". They understand that if you give away free music, you’re also giving away free advertising. Every person that copies your music is spreading the word about your band; and people only pay for music if they know who you are.

Written By: Wacky Hermit
URL: http://organicbabyfarm.blogspot.com
So, can I download Mozart for free? He’s not exactly dying to get his royalties?

:)

Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Sorry to interrupt the discussion, but Billy said this:
Right now, the cachet of having a real, bound book in a bookstore still carries some weight. That probably won’t last more than another ten or fifteen years.
and I just wanted to say that I disagree. Books are different than music. I am so totally hip with the music revolution, having a small, compact extremely portable electronic device that carries all my music, that I can listen to anywhere. Moving from records to tapes to CDs to MP3’s hasn’t changed the way you listen, just the way you store and play it. Changing from books to electronic changes the way you read, the way you interact with the media. For reading, I don’t know, I just don’t see it. Books will never be outdated the way LPs are or CDs will be.

Written By: Linus
URL: http://
If I steal your car, you no longer have a car.
If I "steal" your music, you still have the music.

The whole notion that music can be "stolen" is simply ridiculous. I suspect is has more to do with the RIAA/MPAA trying to pervert the language to suit their agenda.

For the record, I pay for all the software I use, and I pay for all the music to which I listen. I look forward to the day that I can buy music directly from the artist. That day is coming sooner, rather than later, and these relics need to find other work in the meantime.


Written By: Jay
URL: http://
First, let me clear something up with my comments about theft above. I do not think that obtaining music without paying for it or in some other way having the tacit or explicit permission of the copyright owner is morally right, and it certainly leads to getting less good music than you would otherwise have available. My point was that intellectual "property" isn’t property (the name was drummed up to give the copyright holders artificially higher moral standing), and that since illegal copying is not a deprivation of the copyright owner’s ability to use his property, it is not theft, but copyright infringement. Or put yet another way, if we called tails "legs," dogs would still have four legs, because changing what we call something does not change its inherent nature; I’m not big on redefining words for political expedience.

But Martin:
So, let me get this right. If the meat-packing industry isn’t slicing bacon the way you want it, you get to steal it?
You are so far off base with your repeated analogies that I cannot believe I have to say this. No, no one that I know that would agree that you can steal bacon because the meat packers are not slicing it the way you want. But you know what, I live about three miles from a farm, where the farmer would happily work out a deal with me to take a pig down to the local butcher and get the bacon cut and cured any way I like it. That’s what we are talking about here — at least what I am talking about: we want to pay the artists that we like so that they will make more good music, and for some artists I would not take their CD for free and for others I would pay dearly (highest price I ever paid for a CD was about $100, for an out-of-print Japanese import that I couldn’t get any other way). I am not willing to pay the record industry $15 for a CD that I barely care about so that the artist can get about a dollar. If I care enough to get it in the first place, I want the money to go to the artist.

Yes, this means that we will need a new business model for recording music. We will need a new business model for advertising or otherwise marketing music. Right now, concert tours sell the recorded music; we may get a paradigm shift that reverses these. We will need a lot of changes, and the music industry — the middlemen, and in some cases even the artists (cough Metallica cough) — are leading the charge to make sure that these don’t happen. But the assumptions on which the old model is predicated no longer hold, and we will see a change. If the recording industry keeps going the way it is, they will be thrown under the bus in the process.

Let me be absolutely clear, since you don’t seem to be getting it: THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT I AM ADVOCATING STEALING FROM ANYONE, NOR THAT I AM ADVOCATING VIOLATING COPYRIGHTS EITHER AS CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE (which, by the way, only works if you are doing it in public!) OR TO AVOID SPENDING A FEW BUCKS. (Sorry for the shouting.) What I am saying is that trying to hide behind "theft" as an argument won’t work, because it is not apt. Trying to hide behind "the way things have always been" won’t work, because the assumptions the way things were were based on no longer hold.

Adapt or die.



Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools: Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment: