The old copyright thing again

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t.a.j.
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The old copyright thing again

#1 Post by t.a.j. » 02 Jun 2010 00:12

continued from: http://www.blind-guardian.com/forum/vie ... 3&start=50
Then what is music? From the first tune played to the very end of a complete album, music is "a thing" that has to be invented and worked on (written down, played, rehearsed, rewritten, recorded, mixed, mastered, produced) by at least one person (usually a lot of people), involving the usage of normally quite expensive equipment and devices. Sounds like a product to me, or at least I think it shares the qualities with cars, houses, pens - or computers - that qualify them as products.

None of these features have anything to do with anything being a product. In a general sense a product is anything produced, that is made by human labor. It is irrelephant how much effort or capital goes into it. But we were talking about commodities (maybe I should have used that term instead of "product" in the quote you gave. It was the beginning of my post and I didn't have everything layed out yet.) and it is products as commodities that are relevant here.

But I guess your general point is: Recording music is expensive.
My general reply is: Yes. And even if it can be done in less expensive ways, it is still an effort to record music.

Of course the data medium is exchangeable, therefore the media change as time goes by, from gramophone records to blu-rays, and nowadays quite a lot of music is sold "without" such a medium, via the internet. It´s still a product and the makers deserve their money if you want to have it.
You could also say that a book is just the medium for a text, and since you can copy a text easily with a computer you shouldn´t be charged for it.
Exactly. I buy books because I like to read longer text from hardcopy stuff. But to be more to point: You say: The people who record music should be compensated for their effort and I agree. You say that therefore one should buy every album or song one wants to listen to on CD and I disagree. There are many other ways this could work. E.g. Bands could consider recording and spreading music a method of marketing in order to get people to come to their shows.

Quote:
Of course not everybody that downloads an album illegally would have bought it if he/she wouldn´t have had the opportunity to download it for free. But some certainly would.
I would like to stress that the point of what I said is one of rhetoric. We agree on the factual truth of "... not everybody that downloads an album illegally would have bought it..." But I would rather say: A comparatively small number of people who freely download albums would have paid for CDs or proprietary downloads.
Like you said, having a cd in a jewel case isn´t crucial nowadays, so a lot of people will download the music illegaly instead of buying it since they don´t get any corresponding added value.
By downloading it, the even get extra value. They get great usability (transfer to any mp3 player without copy protection fucking stuff up), no wear and tear (CDs often become scratched,...) and finally control and power over something they care about and that is a part of the cultural identity. All things they lack under the monopoly of the reproduction industry.

Quote:
So saying the artist deserves to be payed for his work is "nothing but the lies and moaning of a handful of people" who are "perfectly willing to ruin the lives of school children, turn huge masses of people into criminals and sacrifice everyone's freedom."? I would like to meet one single artist who lives on his work to approve this view.
Who ever said anything about the artist not getting payed? You must have misunderstood me. I go to many concerts and buy a lot of band merchandise, I fully intend to reward the artists I like for giving such enjoyable art by what lies within my meager means.

But this far different than arguing that I should pay a company for the right to listen to a particular piece of music.
I do not see how producing art, information and knowledge, free or not, is an "important part of digital freedom". Especially when talking of music, I don´t see what its production has to do with digital freedom.
A simple example of digital freedom: The ability to let JoeyHell676, nice guy I just met, listen to some music I really dig. In a post in metal section, where someone asked for power metal recommendations, I posted a long list of youtube links, all illegal, to let him check out what I thought was great music.
Here is more: When a record company feels that I cannot sell enough of a certain album anymore to make a profit (or if the company goes out of business), the album goes out of print, being lost to future generations and consigned to the "rare" stack. Digital freedom allows for the preservation of music no longer considered profitable by the reproduction industry.
Structures, such as the GEMA in Germany, exist that force artist into licensing their music on pain of commercial failure.
Finally, there are traditions of sampling and playing covers, which clearly fall into the field of production rather than reproduction. But if you really are curious, google "creative commons".

About the reproduction, that point is very contentious. Not only when talking of art, but also of "information and knowledge". I don´t actually know what you do for a living, based on some of your utterances I assume it is something academic/scholarly, and more or less the whole academic branch is based on the valuation of information and knowledge, respectively on how to gain and distribute it. Don´t you think a scientist deserves money for books he writes?
I don't know about other fields, but in my field, the number of people who recieve amounts of money worth talking about from book deals is minuscule. Daniel Dennet maybe.
And at least in philosophy there is a growing tendency of everyone just publishing their stuff on their personal websites (in addition to publishing in journals, because that's what you have to do to get a name and a good position, which is a bit silly and bad for science and scholarship all by itself). In any case most professionals earn their money by teaching or through research grants.
And that is the essence of science: the achieve the greatest possible understanding by a free and open exchange of ideas. And if some people are excluded from that exchange because science books cost a bloody fortune, than so much worse for science. People should be paid for the work they do, not for its marketability.

And what is your point? That the artist deserves money for people who want to see them play their music but not for the fact that they record music, giving people the opportunity to listen to it whenever they want instead of once in four years? That artists are generally overpayed?
My point is simply this:
1. Art as a industrially reproducible commodity is a very young phenomenon.
2. There was art before that.
3. For a time, a certain group of people (record labels, the music industry, the recording industry, the film industry, whatever you call them) had the means and power to cheaply and quickly reproduce art and no one else had that power. This allowed them to make a good profit.
4. This situation is changing. Now a vast number of people have the means and power to cheaply and quickly reproduce art and no one has a technological monopoly on that anymore. And that means that the business model of the reproduction industry is about to fail.
5. The reproduction industry, having already invested vast amounts of capital in their business scheme feel very threatened by this and lash out with any means available and in utter disregard of the costs of their actions.
6. Among other things, they tell you that if they are no longer around to hand out some morsels to the artists, no one will hand out any morsels to the artists.
7. But remember 2., there was art before and there will be art after their business model.

I don't make it my business to predict the future, but I can tell you that thinking that the way things have been done for the last 100 or so years is the only way things can be is mistaken.
Who are you to judge on what part of their work they are allowed to put a price on?
By the way, if you consider it right to listen to their music anytime and see them playing anytime(since probably you don´t exclude dvd´s from your list) for free, why should they be allowed to charge you for a live concert? They can´t really charge you for the athmosphere, since that´s hardly a product. They could charge you for the time and money they need to go to a certain location and play there so you could see them, but following this trail they could also charge you for the time and money they need to record and produce the music you want to listen to for free. That´s just contradictionary.
And who knows about merchandise, maybe in a few years we can produce shirts and sweaters at home as easily as we now can rip and burn a cd. Why sell merchandise then?
Merchandising and gigs are two ways that currently offer an alternative (and generally much higher) income to musicians than selling records to labels who reproduce them and sell the reproductions is. I don't think that paying people for live performances will ever go out of fashion and I don't see clothes and posters and bottle openers and mugs being digitalized anytime soon either. Maybe with nanotech factories. But that is all science fiction. Maybe our children's children will get a Star Trekian post-scarcity socialism. In Star Trek, copyright would mean you would only be allowed to replicate certain things, while to replicate certain other things, you would need to buy a license.
What is a fact is that reproducible art has technologically moved beyond scarcity and for the first time ever, thanks to the internet and the abundance of computers "we, the people" have a shot to actualize at least a small part of a post-scarcity world. That is worth a high price. Even Hansi and company losing out on some profits. Certainly, it is worth record companies going out of business.
Before you could purchase recorded music, it was popular to purchase sheet music of well-known pieces, edited and transcribed for piano, what was a common instrument in the wealthier households, so you could play them yourself and catch a glimpse of the original enjoyment at home. Of course, these editions were sold for money. And how do you think Mozart and his contemporaries could afford being full-time musicians? They were either quite rich themselves, or they were employed by patrons or churches and payed for composing by them. Not to mention that orchestra musicians (that are usually required to perform a piece) weren´t cheap either. But they´re just a medium too, if you want to put it that way. Don´t you see where that leads to?
When sheet music had to be hand copied, it was naturally scarce, mostly made to order and therefore not a commodity. Later it was printed for a certain part of the population who could afford it and acquired some commodity features. All in all, an tiny opportunity for printers and publishers to make some money, but hardly a way for composers to live. Indeed, most where paid by patrons. The same goes for orchestras.

But look beyond that. People playing not the rich and lordly but for normal people. Mostly, they were just their peers, not dedicated musicians. And they still composed and made up songs. Traditional music did come from somewhere. And ironically enough, classical music still is not possible outside of patron ship. It was the traditional music and what came of it that allowed for commercial success once it became reproducible.

And again: The point is simply that different ways (call them social technologies if you will) to enable music (and other art) to be created existed, many still exist in some form or another and the business model of the record industry is just one way among many. The future, with changing technologies, will hold different ways, I am sure.
But they do! Nearly every western country puts large amounts of money into the education of musicians and other artists. Most of them also subsidize selectet exhibitions, performances of plays or music, and other stuff. Why sould they instead (or additionally) pay for the expenses of artists who can earn their money themselves? - oh yeah, we don´t pay them anymore, I forgot.
Arts and culture, next to education, are among the fields were most cuts came. Between bankrupt communities and national budge cuts, there is not much being done. I admit to having exaggerated, though.

But, to come up with some handy conclusion:
I assume that your point is that we need to support the reproduction industry in its business practices because else, musicians will not be able to live by making music anymore.
I disagree.
I argue that the business model of the reproduction industry is outdated and their attempts to save it are disastrous to the general public and public interest.
I argue that said business model has been around for only a rather short time and that other ways for musicians to make a living existed before, exist now and we can expect that unforeseen ways will exist in the future.
But even if you were right, that would still be a price worth paying.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#2 Post by Dentarthurdent » 02 Jun 2010 00:22

thanks for that post, I understand your point much better now.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#3 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 02 Jun 2010 06:49

I think I'll wait for the movie.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#4 Post by Dentarthurdent » 02 Jun 2010 10:51

The Rider Of Rohan wrote:I think I'll wait for the movie.
kids today...
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#5 Post by Desert_Storm » 02 Jun 2010 15:59

In a general sense a product is anything produced, that is made by human labor. (...) But we were talking about commodities (maybe I should have used that term instead of "product" in the quote you gave.(...) and it is products as commodities that are relevant here.
I don´t really see what difference that makes. My dictionary gives me numerous definitions of "commodities", some of them being identical with the definitions of "products". I suspect you mean "Handelsgüter", but please correct me if I´m wrong. Anyway, I don´t see what difference that makes.
The people who record music should be compensated for their effort and I agree. You say that therefore one should buy every album or song one wants to listen to on CD and I disagree. There are many other ways this could work. E.g. Bands could consider recording and spreading music a method of marketing in order to get people to come to their shows.
There may be actually other ways this could work, but neither you nor I have the empirical knowledge to tell. I know of some bands who put entire albums online for free downloading, among them some quite big ones (e.g. german pop-punk band "Die Ärzte"), sometimes for the purpose of advertisement, sometimes as a "thank you" for something (like in the example above). Interesting side note: Some bands do the opposite: the play shows for free as an "advertisement" for their album. To most people, this is a generous gesture and makes the band more sympathetic, because they put much effort in something and then gave it away for free. Now in your eyes, if I understood you right, they should give everything away for free and its an affront that they have the cheeks to demand money for it.
Like said above, you cannot tell if it would work in any other way, since there is not a single (commercially) sucessful band that gives away all recorded music for free. It may not be a proof for what I´m saying, but its certainly an argument that you cannot thrust aside off-handedly.
Also, giving people albums doesn´t oblige them to go to your concerts. I have enjoyed some albums for many years without ever seeing the band that recorded it, and there are numerous reasons for why that could happen easily, like:
- The band sucks live
- Not having the money to go to the concert (you can buy an album a month later when you have the cash, that´s harder to do with a concert)
- Not having time for the concert (whether because of obligations or just other plans)
- The band doesn´t tour in my area
- The band doesn´t tour at all (see some black metal bands/musicians but also some [famous] classical artists like Glenn Gould in his later years)
- The band doesn´t exist anymore (What is quite likely to happen at some point if you´re into prog or metal)

Also if you just look at bands that tour regurarely and world-wide, there´s a good chance that you didn´t know them when they were near you the first time and didn´t like them anymore when they came the second time. Blind Guardian would be a very good example for that, not everyone listens to the band for four years without losing interests. I have numerous albums of such bands, that I liked for a certain time but then never went to see because I wasn´t that into them anymore (or it wasn´t worth the effort, I rather pay ten bucks and listen to an album every once in a while then pay some fifty bucks to see them live once).

Furthermore, if bands shouldn´t charge money for recorded music, they would have to rise the ticket/merch prises tremendously to compensate for the loss of money. That, on the other hand, probably would keep the people from going to their concerts (like it keeps me and lots of people I know from going to Iron Maiden shows, though I´m quite into them. One hundred bucks for the ticket and eighty for a Steve Harris football shirt? I´m glad BG doesn´t pull that off).

To come to an end on this point: Even if there were other ways the band could still make compareable amounts of money without the fans having to pay much more, it is still the band´s decision which way to choose, since it´s their product. Just taking it because you disagree with their choice of how to make a living doesn´t make anything better. I could with your exact arguments print fake tickets for concerts and give them to other people, stating that I support the artist with buying albums and therefore shouldn´t be charged for the shows too. You see where that leads to: A live show and a recorded album are two different things, if you want one, pay for one, if you want both, pay for both.
(...)I would rather say: A comparatively small number of people who freely download albums would have paid for CDs or proprietary downloads.
That doesn´t make any difference.
By downloading it, the even get extra value. They get great usability (transfer to any mp3 player without copy protection fucking stuff up), no wear and tear (CDs often become scratched,...) and finally control and power over something they care about and that is a part of the cultural identity. All things they lack under the monopoly of the reproduction industry.
Yes, the copy protection on CDs is a problem. No, that doesn´t allow you to get the music without paying. Most people are still able to transfer their CDs to computers and harddisk players with tools as sophisticated as Windows Media Player :wink: . Once that is done you have the same abilities that you would have if you had got the mp3 file in the first place, plus a hardware copy of it with lyrics and other stuff. If you don´t want that, why not just download the mp3 file in high quality from an online shop? Yes, you can get it for free elsewhere. That leads us to our fundamental disagreement: You talk as if it was your right to own any music ever produced by anyone. This is not the case. People worked for it, if they want money for it, give it to them in exchange for the enjoyment of their music, no matter what other things you might or might not do to support the artist.
Who ever said anything about the artist not getting payed? You must have misunderstood me. I go to many concerts and buy a lot of band merchandise, I fully intend to reward the artists I like for giving such enjoyable art by what lies within my meager means.But this far different than arguing that I should pay a company for the right to listen to a particular piece of music.
You may fully intend to "reward the artists I like for giving such enjoyable art by what lies within my meager means", but you simply don´t do that if you only pay for half of his products/(piece of) service/commodity/whatever. You don´t want to pay the company? That´s ok, but you´ll have to bite the bullet as long as you want the music, like I automatically have to support a certain party I don´t like if I want to vote for a certain candidate I do like. There are numerous bands that share your view in this aspect, like Steven Wilson´s Porcupine Tree. They dicided at some point to form their own lable, like other bands did. Funny as it is, SW himself is (however) one of the greatest enemies of illegal downloading. He says, like you do, the artist should be payed and not the company, but he concludes that he has to work with a different concept, while you conclude that you simply won´t pay for that piece of service but still get it. I can in no sense understand how you justify that (as said above, just paying for another product isn´t a justification). The one thing I see that you actually could do would be to illegaly download the music and send BG a cheque worth the ~15-20% of money that you would pay for the album itself (15-20% is more or less what the band gets, in germany it´s around 16,83%, depending on other circumstances). That would be, if at all, the "right" thing to do if you want to support the artist but not the company. It´s not like the rest of the money would go to the lable by the way: with around 20% it gets indeed more than the band (no, I don´t consider that a good thing), but the major parts of the album price go to sales tax, trade, distribution (nearly 55% in Germany). The mighty GEMA gets 0,42%.
A simple example of digital freedom: The ability to let JoeyHell676, nice guy I just met, listen to some music I really dig. In a post in metal section, where someone asked for power metal recommendations, I posted a long list of youtube links, all illegal, to let him check out what I thought was great music.
Yes, I do that too. Heck, I also know of people that download music illegally to check it out and buy it if they like it or delete it if they don´t. I see no problem with that, in contrary I really think that is a great part of the computer age, like also being able to get (and preserve) music that isn´t reproduced any longer. But I make a difference between pirating to check things out or to get things that aren´t available anymore, and downloading with the intention to keep and enjoy it for longer times when the artist wants (and deserves) money for it.
And that is the essence of science: the achieve the greatest possible understanding by a free and open exchange of ideas. And if some people are excluded from that exchange because science books cost a bloody fortune, than so much worse for science. People should be paid for the work they do, not for its marketability.
I see your point here. I didn´t say it´s wrong to make information available freely, just that it´s maybe not all good. After all, somebody has to pay for the book, and if it´s not the one who reads it, then it has to be some kind patron or the state. As nowadays patrons are quite rare, and the state gets its money from the citizens, I think it´s the lesser of two evils to have the one pay for it that needs it, instead of letting the community pay for it. Research, too, costs lots of money (and so does teaching), therefore I wrote "(...)more or less the whole academic branch is based on the valuation of information and knowledge, respectively on how to gain and distribute it". I apply the same argument here as I did above, I think its justified that states like Switzerland and Germany have "Studiengebühren" (tuition fees?), because this way, the person that pays for the knowledge is the same person that profits from it. That is IMHO the problem in states like Austria, where the community pays for the piece of service that only a few profit from (of course that is simplyfied and Swiss and German students only pay a fraction of what they cost). But that´s another topic.

The seven points you mention next, I think they are all very good arguments against paying recording companies, but none justifies the "not paying the artist"-point. If you really think that you´re unable to bring yourself to pay the company too when paying for a band, then download the music and send the band their share directly. Other bands, like Porcupine Tree mentioned above, allow you to download music directly from their page for as much as three to six pounds an album, afaik without a pence going to a recording company.

As you may expect by now, I agree with most of your final points (your conclusion). I do not say we need to support music industry. I have no sympathy whatsoever towards any recording company, the bigger, the less. However, I see absolutely no justification to not support the band in order to not support the company/publisher. It´s still the bands work, and they deserve money for it. They deserve money for other things like concerts and merch too, but if you want the music in order to listen to it when- and wherever you want, you have to pay for that too, that´s only fair. I cannot judge whether the business model of the music industry is outdated, certainly they are digging their own grave (especially in the pop music section - metal, jazz, classical or schlager music don´t suffer as much from illegal downloading). As long as it is present, though, you have to respect the band that signed the contract, and thus co-finance the recording industry. You cannot simply refuse to pay them what they deserve because you don´t like the idea of giving certain companies your money. If there is a way to seperate both things, nobody will blame you for doing so. If there isn´t, the right thing to do is not to get the album.

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Re: The old copyright thing again

#6 Post by t.a.j. » 02 Jun 2010 17:43

I see your point here. I didn´t say it´s wrong to make information available freely, just that it´s maybe not all good. After all, somebody has to pay for the book, and if it´s not the one who reads it, then it has to be some kind patron or the state.
As a first point here, I would like to point out that you pay for commodities (Were I writing in German, I would have used to term "Waren", but "Handelsgüter" should amount to the same), not for everything. In fact, many things that require human labor are not paid for, just think of the work of a house wife, who supports her family. What she gets is support: A place to life, food and water, a social group she is integrated into,...
Similarly, if you do not treat something as a commodity and if you don't treat someone as a salesperson, you do not have to pay for it in any meaningful sense. Instead, there could be an arrangement that supports that person for doing valuable and important work, the same way that there are arrangements that support those who do housework. Now, of course housework is generally looking down upon in our society, which might have something to do with a widespread tendency to consider anything that is not paid for, hence that is not a commodity, as worthless. You could say that we suffer from commodity fetishism.
As nowadays patrons are quite rare, and the state gets its money from the citizens, I think it´s the lesser of two evils to have the one pay for it that needs it, instead of letting the community pay for it. Research, too, costs lots of money (and so does teaching), therefore I wrote "(...)more or less the whole academic branch is based on the valuation of information and knowledge, respectively on how to gain and distribute it". I apply the same argument here as I did above, I think its justified that states like Switzerland and Germany have "Studiengebühren" (tuition fees?), because this way, the person that pays for the knowledge is the same person that profits from it.
This is a slightly different situation and my main argument against intellectual property does not hold there. But there are two other points that I feel are important and overlooking in your argument.
You say that the student is the person that profits from his knowledge. I think you are wrong.
Several reasons:
1. From one person's knowledge, many can profit, from one person's research, many can profit. The scientific community as a whole (and their project of science) depends heavily on having many capable, well educated, motivated scientists. Each further good scientist is a boon to the whole endeavor. No one works alone anymore, you read other people's research and use their knowledge and understanding to further your own work. Simply put: the economy of knowledge is highly interdependent. But it is not only the scientific community which profits from research. Imagine someone discovers a cure for aids outside of a lab owned by the medical industrial complex. He could license it for free, allow many people the world over to profit from his knowledge. Imagine that he was a wage slave in a Bayer lab, with an education financed through loans from that company. Do you think the poor in africa would be more likely to get the treatment then under the former scenario? Science and knowledge in general is best when it is a communal investment into a communal project.
But even if you find such thoughts to be soft hearted liberal idealism, consider how much companies profit from well educated people. Aldi e.g. runs it's own study program: You work for them while you study, they pay you and guarantee you a job once you graduate. Of course, the price is integrity. In the beginning, they give you a three-ring binder with the "philosophy" and if you find that at all disagreeable, you're out.

2. I don't think that people in general profit financially in a big way from their degrees. For one thing, your career prospects heavily depend on what kind of education you get, meaning not only which field, but also which university you study at. Many fields do not lead to jobs that are in any way significantly better paid than jobs acquired after job training. And nobody tells trainees (Auszubildende) to pay for their training or for admittance to trade schools (Berufschule). Instead, what kind of job you can get after acquiring a degree depend mostly on who you know and where you're from. Think about it for a moment. A university education takes several years, during which you earn no money (trainees do earn money for learning their job) but have to expend a lot of effort. After that, if you go into academia, you will spend another 4-6 years doing a phd and post-doc work, again earning no or rather little money. And if you are very lucky, you might earn a professorship after teaching for a few more years and then you finally earn a substantial amount. But professorships are few and far between and every other position at least in German academia is horribly paid.
Yes, if you happen to be one of the very best in your field, you can demand a lot of money, no matter what your field is. But only a handful of people can ever be among the very best. The rest has to see where the end up.

Which leads me to a rather simple conclusion: For most people studying at university, others are much more likely to profit to a considerably higher degree from their education then they themselves are.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#7 Post by t.a.j. » 02 Jun 2010 17:44

Didn't ignore the rest of your post, but I'm a bit out of time and the above I could do off the top of my head.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#8 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 02 Jun 2010 19:29

What a long bunch of stories. But c'mon guys.... It's a matter of choice if you buy the album or download it, and everybody should decide what they want to do. We live in a free world, after all.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#9 Post by Desert_Storm » 02 Jun 2010 20:29

@ t.a.j.: I can more or less agree with you in your first point about education, though of course it depends on the field you study. Without saying that one is "better" than another one, the society/the collective is much more likely to profit from a medicine/medical research graduate than from somebody studying philology or history of arts. About the second point, I´m not sure. Wages of course always depend on the country you live and work in, but in Switzerland (and also Austria) you can generally say that a degree equals (much) higher income. I have to go through some newspapers to get you the numbers, but I remember that the added value when having an academical degree (compared to non-academical jobs) is quite high both in Austria and Switzerland, and I´d be surprised if that was very different in Germany.
I will later reply to your comment on my first quote, since that goes together with the other things I wrote concerning copyright issues in music, whereas the educational discussion, though related, is not really part of the original discussion. I´ll therefor wait for a post of you that covers (some of) my other points too.
The Rider Of Rohan wrote:It's a matter of choice if you buy the album or download it, and everybody should decide what they want to do. We live in a free world, after all.
We do not live in a free world. This is a very strange statement, considering that most parts of your life and tons of possible descisions you make are regulated or restricted by laws of all kinds - no matter where you are. Of course you could simply ignore the laws - but then your sentence could also be
It´s a matter of choice if you throw a pipe bomb into that supermarket, and everybody should decide what they want to do
, and I don´t really think that was your intention. You maybe wanted to say that we (should) be free in our descisions as long as they don´t cause harm to anyone else, and the very essence of this discussion is whether downloading an album ilegally can be placed in the "causes-harm-to-other-people" category or not. :roll:
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#10 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 02 Jun 2010 20:55

It´s a matter of choice if you throw a pipe bomb into that supermarket, and everybody should decide what they want to do
There's a difference between downloading a cd, which doesn't cause any harm to anyone, and throwing a bomb into a store, which is a criminal act. So this reasoning doesn't make any sense from a practical point of view. Especially because I don't know where to get a bomb.
This is a very strange statement, considering that most parts of your life and tons of possible descisions you make are regulated or restricted by laws of all kinds - no matter where you are.
I am not breaking any laws. I don't know about how stuff is run in your country, buy in this country it is legal to download movies and music for your own use. So your reasoning doesn't make any sense on a factual basis either.
You maybe wanted to say that we (should) be free in our descisions as long as they don´t cause harm to anyone else, and the very essence of this discussion is whether downloading an album ilegally can be placed in the "causes-harm-to-other-people" category or not.
And what if listen to a song on the radio? Also: my choice.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#11 Post by Desert_Storm » 03 Jun 2010 00:31

The Rider Of Rohan wrote: There's a difference between downloading a cd, which doesn't cause any harm to anyone,
We are debating this very point here right now. Ask the band whether it causes harm (in any way) to them if you take there music and listen to it, possibly over years, without giving them anything in return though it cost them lots of money before just simply making that statement.
and throwing a bomb into a store, which is a criminal act. So this reasoning doesn't make any sense from a practical point of view. Especially because I don't know where to get a bomb.
p2p networking bases on not only downloading but also distributing other peoples properties, which is considered to be a criminal act in most countries I know. "Especially because other people may not know where to get download programs" - in our time it´s not very hard to get information on either of these, if you´re interested. But hey, thanks for frivolously calling my reasoning pointless anyway!
I am not breaking any laws. I don't know about how stuff is run in your country, buy in this country it is legal to download movies and music for your own use. So your reasoning doesn't make any sense on a factual basis either.
So even if in this case you wouldn´t break laws, how does that make our world a free world?
And what if listen to a song on the radio? Also: my choice.
You could maybe explain to me how this has anything to do with the discussion here. Just for starters, you cannot control when the radio plays what, and even if you choose one that matches your taste more or less you will never end up with a station that plays complete albums every time you want to hear them.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#12 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 03 Jun 2010 18:58

So even if in this case you wouldn´t break laws, how does that make our world a free world?
Okay, I'll rephrase my previous statement. It's a free country, after all.

The equation remains the same. I can download an album legally, nobody can stop me, and it is my own choice if I use my rights to do so. So it's a personal choice.
You could maybe explain to me how this has anything to do with the discussion here. Just for starters, you cannot control when the radio plays what, and even if you choose one that matches your taste more or less you will never end up with a station that plays complete albums every time you want to hear them.
You didn't answer my question. Is it okay to listen to the radio, yes or no?
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#13 Post by Joost » 03 Jun 2010 19:03

I don't think radio is really comparable, as the artists do get royalties from radio broadcasts. (At least in the Netherlands they do. It seems, in other countries, such as the US, they don't.)

The situation is kind of messed up, though... even on a blank DVD you pay some royalty money (in the NL at least, that goes to Buma/Stemra), but on an iPod, you don't. Is that weird? Yes, a bit.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#14 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 03 Jun 2010 19:07

I'm trying to establish a line of thought here, hence the question.

You raise a good point in your second part. I'll get back to you on that in a couple of posts.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#15 Post by Desert_Storm » 03 Jun 2010 19:56

Yes of course it´s ok to listen to the radio, but that´s a completely different affair. AFAIK most radios pay royalities to the artists. Furthermore, you get single songs from single artists at more or less random times. That is the main point about the radio: it cannot serve as a replacement for an album you would pay the artist money for, a downloaded copy can. And as I sad above, all legal conviction aside, some people that download a Blind Guardian album would buy it if it wasn´t available online for free, including most of the people in this forum, I suppose. So the band doesn´t get the money they deserve for this piece of work -> it "hurts" them (or at least their financial stability). But please, go on and make your point, though I don´t really know why you wouldn´t answer my arguments first.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#16 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 03 Jun 2010 20:11

I will in due time.

Another question. Is it okay if I never bought an album again, because I considered the radio to be good enough for me, and don't care about spending money on cd's?
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#17 Post by Desert_Storm » 03 Jun 2010 20:29

I assume, though I see you coming up with some web 2.0 thing that I do not know of that´s labeled "radio" and allows you to control the things that I called "random" on traditional radio to contradict my argumentation ;)
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#18 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 03 Jun 2010 20:43

No, that wasn't the point I'm trying to make. In fact, I don't have a pre-conceived point at all. I'm just trying to find a logic behind your reasoning.

Now that we have now established that it's acceptable to listen to music without paying for it, I'm wondering to which extend. Imagine that I sing a song on the streets where others can hear it... is that acceptable or not?
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#19 Post by Dentarthurdent » 03 Jun 2010 20:54

Radio stations pay the artists royalties for their music. If you only listen to ther adio, that's your choice. Usually you have to pay for Radio as well (either directly with the ones financed by the state, or indirectly by buying stuff of companies that have ads on hte private stations).
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#20 Post by Desert_Storm » 04 Jun 2010 16:47

The Rider Of Rohan wrote:No, that wasn't the point I'm trying to make. In fact, I don't have a pre-conceived point at all. I'm just trying to find a logic behind your reasoning.
You seek the logic behind my reason?
I beg your pardon, but that sounds rather strange to me.
Ever since music has been recorded, people were charged for it. It's always been costs for the plain material, the manufacturing and also for the music itself, going to the owner of the music (normally the one(s) who wrote it).
Before music has been recorded, people printed it (and they still do). Naturally, they charged money for it. It was their good right to do so, because they worked on it, and I'm quite sure you want to be payed for your labour (whatever that may be) too. What t.a.j. brings into the discussion with his housewife example is something completely different. Normally, husband and wife agree on a certain arrangement they make (and if they don't and it's just the husband commanding, there's something wrong with the situation). They are in a, more or less, close relation to each other. That is not the case with the average band you listen to. Name me one single commercial band that makes a living of their work that would agree with you.
You may argue that you don't want to pay for a medium (the raw material). Well, you're free to do so nowadays, while still giving the artist his piece of the cake. You may argue that you don't want to support a certain company/system. Well, sometimes there's a way to do so and still paying the band for their work, too. Maybe someday there also will be a way to get around sales tax, perhaps there already is and I don't know it yet. However, based on you probably wanting to be a decent and honest man, you will still have to pay the artist for his work and that has been like that since professional music started to exist.
So what makes you so sure of your opinion?
Feel free to listen to the radio, you pay fees for that. Feel free to whistle the songs and sing them and nobody will have anything against it. The point is that for me (and most music lovers), none of these things suffice as a substitute for a full album,and if you want to have the full album, if you want to listen whatever song in whatever order wherever you are, whenever you want, you will have to pay for it. (I'm sorry if I sound rude, I don't mean to, but I feel that I have stated my reasons over and over again and you didn't even bother to respond to them and chose to pose seemingly irrelevant questions about listening to the radio or singing in the streets instead)
You're still asking why? Certainly not because I say so. Also, not because thousands of people have thought so since the beginning of professional music, and not even because a certain law may force you to.
But because every single professional band you listen to demands it from you.
You may not find that justified or whatever, OK. You want the album anyway? Pay for it anyway! I'm sure quite a lot of bands gave you many joyful hours, emotions, tunes that stick in your head for years and longer, that uplift your spirits in bad times, maybe inspire you and much more than all that. They demand a little money in exchange for it. And you spit on that. Who are you to do so, and what is your justification?
I am eagerly awaiting a response with answers to at least some of my points, as I answered yours too. I may be a little redundant here, but I feel that you either didn't read my previous posts or didn't care to respond to them, and IMHO that is not how a discussion works.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#21 Post by Bender B. Rodriguez » 04 Jun 2010 19:03

i download and keep music on my hard drive,don't see any harm in that for the simple reason that i believe we are free to share stuff.i also upload music so others can listen to.i don't even consider it "piracy".Fortunately i have the law on my side.On the other hand,it is illegal to sell mp3's,be it online or flea markets,or any other form.

Artists do deserve retribution to their work,and as many have stated,i also support the bands by going to their concerts and buying merch(especially t-shirts)

as a last important aspect...i really do not imagine how metal bands would be if it wasn't for file sharing,really,they'd have to limit their gigs to only rich countries.i can assure you,metal is not the most popular thing to buy at record stores in chile,and metal record stores here are awful and few,file sharing has given us the oportunity to get to know more music and get more bands coming this way.

i won't go any further on this issue,some people here are giving tooo much argument to something that is way more simple.Internet has changed everything as far as music/media goes.Besides,sharing has always been around.

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Re: The old copyright thing again

#22 Post by t.a.j. » 04 Jun 2010 19:54

Good point. A free internet gives power to the less wealthy and takes it away from the very wealthy.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#23 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 05 Jun 2010 02:03

@ Desert_Storm: trust me if you will. I did read your posts, I do care to respond to them, and I hereby promise to commit myself to responding to every part of them in due time. And I am serious about getting some insights into what your reasoning is. You might have noticed that a lot of discussions on this place revolve around people passionately trying to burn each other's opinions to the ground without looking behind the surface. I'm trying to avoid that, and instead want to ask you for your opinion. I have to know what I am (dis-)agreeing with.

So once again the question: if someone sings a song in the streets where other people can hear it, is that acceptable or not?
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#24 Post by Desert_Storm » 05 Jun 2010 12:12

Of course it is
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#25 Post by t.a.j. » 05 Jun 2010 12:14

If I have a cell phone and play a song on the street and someone hears it, is that ok?
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#26 Post by Desert_Storm » 05 Jun 2010 12:20

:roll: by this time I just feel stupid for wasting my time writing
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#27 Post by t.a.j. » 05 Jun 2010 12:35

You say that artists, including recording artists, should be paid for their work and creativity.
Nobody disagrees with this.
But you also say that this implies that one music recordings should not be free and that one should buy proprietary data media.
And it is here we disagree.
You think that "piracy" and all that is wrong because it implies that artists are not paid.
We argued that this is not so and that there are many other ways, some certainly that no one has thought about yet, for artists and composers to make a living apart from being a part of the outdated business model of the reproduction industry.
All the rest is really just other arguments for why information and data should be free. Most of them political and not concerned with the activities of artists. And at least I believe that the political advantages for the whole world, and in particular the less than wealthy far outweight any considerations over the profits of a few rich music salesmen and famous superstars.
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?

#28 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 05 Jun 2010 13:16

Desert_Storm wrote:Of course it is
I agree. Now imagine that someone proposed a law, which said it is not allowed to sing somebody's song on the streets, without prior permission of the author. What would you say to such a law?
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#29 Post by Desert_Storm » 05 Jun 2010 14:49

t.a.j. wrote:You say that artists, including recording artists, should be paid for their work and creativity.
Nobody disagrees with this.
But you also say that this implies that one music recordings should not be free and that one should buy proprietary data media.
And it is here we disagree.
It really hasn't so much to do with an agreement or a disagreement on whether it is right or not, but mostly that the artist demands it from you. But staying on your track: Does this imply that it is morally wrong for an artist to do so, to demand money for his album?
You think that "piracy" and all that is wrong because it implies that artists are not paid.
We argued that this is not so and that there are many other ways, some certainly that no one has thought about yet, for artists and composers to make a living apart from being a part of the outdated business model of the reproduction industry.
I feel that I have written enough on this point, including ways you can pay the artist for a certain product without supporting the "reproduction industry", but you don't seem to care. May I ask why?

All the rest is really just other arguments for why information and data should be free. Most of them political and not concerned with the activities of artists. And at least I believe that the political advantages for the whole world, and in particular the less than wealthy far outweight any considerations over the profits of a few rich music salesmen and famous superstars.
I don't know who you are referring to as "famous superstars", but in metal you normally don't become one without having worked your way up. Small bands will have to exhibit a certain fan base in order to get a contract. Stating that you have sold X cd's normally helps. Medium sized bands will have to constantly sell records to get the label's attention, to tour more areas and such. You don't really go for a world tour if you have sold ten CD's to you friends and relatives.
Now imagine what happens to those not-so-famous not-so-superstars. Yes, they can spread the music over the internet and thus gain new fans. Most of the time though, such spreading and fan-gaining is practiced in hope for an audience that will buy your records, especially for the smaller bands. You will follow me if I say that my buddy *shallownickname* from Australia will rather purchase a copy of my friends' new demo tape (maybe he will purchase a digital copy) than come and see them in suburban-hicksville here in Switzerland. You may also see that my friend is helped much more with that than with shallownickname's promise to come and see them on their world tour and buy a baseball-cap with their logo on it, since that may never happen. But I've listed quite a lot of other reasons why you may not be able to see a band in one of my previous posts. Not all to surprising to me that they didn't seem to be worthy enough for you to answer them.
The Rider Of Rohan wrote:I agree. Now imagine that someone proposed a law, which said it is not allowed to sing somebody's song on the streets, without prior permission of the author. What would you say to such a law?
That would naturally be a bit of an impudence.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#30 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 05 Jun 2010 15:48

Desert_Storm wrote:
The Rider Of Rohan wrote:I agree. Now imagine that someone proposed a law, which said it is not allowed to sing somebody's song on the streets, without prior permission of the author. What would you say to such a law?
That would naturally be a bit of an impudence.
True, and it would be a little bit hard to enforce, doesn't it? Yet this is true for the current situation. In reality no-one would propose such a law, because this law already exists and has done so for about a hundred years.

Allow me to elaborate.

Copyright is born through creation, by creating something that carries the hand of its maker. This could be anything from a song and a movie to a doodle written on a piece of paper and in fact this very post. Copyright law grants the exclusive rights of reproduction to the author of the material, which means that the author is the only person who has the right to reproduce the material.
Copyright-law in essence doesn't really distinguish between various forms of reproduction, which means that the following are explicitly forbidden without the prior consent of the author.

- Singing a song in public
- Putting a cd-player in a public place (or, as TAJ pointed out, playing music at a volume so large other people can hear it)
- Covering somebody else's song
- Putting a bootleg online
- Putting a painting or sculpture on public display
- Taking a photograph of a painting
- Putting a tab or lyrics online
- Posting a picture on a forum
- Mixing a song with footage from Final Fantasy
- Copying this post of mine and putting it on your own blog

It is funny to see your over-extension of arguments based on the reasoning that musicians should get money for their work. Funny, because in all copyright-laws I read there's not a single paragraph about money, only about the reproductive rights. Judging by the facts above I think it is safe to say that the way those rights are described are fairly unrealistic and impossibly difficult to enforce. Just as it is impossible to prevent people from singing your song in public, it's impossible to prevent people from downloading it. If you don't want people to reproduce your music there's only one simple solution: don't release it.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#31 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 05 Jun 2010 16:10

I promised to reply to your other posts, and seeing that I am a man of my word, I'll give you my reply here.
nd I don´t really think that was your intention. You maybe wanted to say that we (should) be free in our descisions as long as they don´t cause harm to anyone else, and the very essence of this discussion is whether downloading an album ilegally can be placed in the "causes-harm-to-other-people" category or not. :roll:
Causing harm to people is an argument that makes sense from a Biblical point of view but imo doesn't belong in this topic. There are numerous examples of copyright-infringements that don't harm anybody. In fact, no harm comes to anyone when I push a button on my computer to hear a sound.
p2p networking bases on not only downloading but also distributing other peoples properties, which is considered to be a criminal act in most countries I know.
Coypright-law is part of civic law - which describes where the freedoms of individuals begin, end and overleap - and not criminal law, which describes which things are considered a crime and punishable through prosecution and judgement. This is the case in all countries who participated in the Berne Convention (participating countries are marked blue on this map). The Berne Convention is widely accepted as the birthplace of modern copyrights.

You could maybe explain to me how this has anything to do with the discussion here. Just for starters, you cannot control when the radio plays what, and even if you choose one that matches your taste more or less you will never end up with a station that plays complete albums every time you want to hear them.
Irrelevant. I consider the radio a great alternative for buying cds. I am a huge fan of regional music in my own dialect and I frequently listen to a local station which plays music like this. I got to know some of my favorite artists this way, yet I don't have the intention of ever spending a single dime on their albums.

I will continue later on, just got a phonecall with a beer-invitation. ;)
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#32 Post by Joost » 06 Jun 2010 01:01

The Rider Of Rohan wrote:- Singing a song in public
- Putting a cd-player in a public place (or, as TAJ pointed out, playing music at a volume so large other people can hear it)
- Covering somebody else's song
- Putting a bootleg online
- Putting a painting or sculpture on public display
- Taking a photograph of a painting
- Putting a tab or lyrics online
- Posting a picture on a forum
- Mixing a song with footage from Final Fantasy
- Copying this post of mine and putting it on your own blog
The difference between downloading and many of the above (and even between downloading and tape trading), is that by downloading you are actually making a faithful copy of the original, that can in turn be copied again. As such, downloading is much likelier to significantly lessen the reproductive control (and, very much related, the amount of cds sold) as exerted by the original artist, than things such as singing songs in public, or even playing a cd in public or tape trading.

Good points can be made why downloading and p2p filesharing are much more problematic than e.g. singing songs in public or playing a cd in public.
Causing harm to people is an argument that makes sense from a Biblical point of view but imo doesn't belong in this topic. There are numerous examples of copyright-infringements that don't harm anybody. In fact, no harm comes to anyone when I push a button on my computer to hear a sound.
But it does make sense to talk about harm, as the basis of the whole legal system is to prevent certain harmful actions (whether on a civil plane, or a criminal plane) from happening. As you pointed out, yes, some copyright infringements are less harmful than others, and frankly, I think good points can be made to say that file sharing is significantly more harmful than e.g. singing a song in public.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#33 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 06 Jun 2010 12:48

Dentarthurdent wrote:Radio stations pay the artists royalties for their music. If you only listen to ther adio, that's your choice. Usually you have to pay for Radio as well (either directly with the ones financed by the state, or indirectly by buying stuff of companies that have ads on hte private stations).
Kinda like buying a t-shirt at a concert, after you downloaded the cd for free?
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#34 Post by t.a.j. » 06 Jun 2010 13:58

Desert_Storm wrote: It really hasn't so much to do with an agreement or a disagreement on whether it is right or not, but mostly that the artist demands it from you. But staying on your track: Does this imply that it is morally wrong for an artist to do so, to demand money for his album?
Not at all. What is morally wrong is to prevent people from copying it once they have it.
I feel that I have written enough on this point, including ways you can pay the artist for a certain product without supporting the "reproduction industry", but you don't seem to care. May I ask why?
In that case I might have misunderstood you. We agree than, that artists should be able to produce art and that society should find ways to enable them to do so. That includes allowing them to make a living. And that such a thing is possible without having to resort to the business model of selling reproductions of art. Why then are you so against file-sharing?
Let us share files and find ways for artists to make a living by making art beyond being a part of that industry.
I don't know who you are referring to as "famous superstars", but in metal you normally don't become one without having worked your way up. Small bands will have to exhibit a certain fan base in order to get a contract. Stating that you have sold X cd's normally helps. Medium sized bands will have to constantly sell records to get the label's attention, to tour more areas and such. You don't really go for a world tour if you have sold ten CD's to you friends and relatives.
In metal, there are very few famous superstars. The vast majority of metal musicians cannot make a living from metal as it is. They still do it. Why? Because of the culture, because its art and artists can be passionate. The metal scene is a prime example that art and culture can strive even when the artists cannot live solely from their art. Most metal musicians play in tiny bands, making no money at all, even loosing it. They do it because they cultural and social capital within the metal scene. Recognition, camaraderie, support, status and cultural identity. And those things do not go away when the reproduction industry disappears. They are still great reasons for producing art.
Now imagine what happens to those not-so-famous not-so-superstars. Yes, they can spread the music over the internet and thus gain new fans. Most of the time though, such spreading and fan-gaining is practiced in hope for an audience that will buy your records, especially for the smaller bands. You will follow me if I say that my buddy *shallownickname* from Australia will rather purchase a copy of my friends' new demo tape (maybe he will purchase a digital copy) than come and see them in suburban-hicksville here in Switzerland. You may also see that my friend is helped much more with that than with shallownickname's promise to come and see them on their world tour and buy a baseball-cap with their logo on it, since that may never happen. But I've listed quite a lot of other reasons why you may not be able to see a band in one of my previous posts. Not all to surprising to me that they didn't seem to be worthy enough for you to answer them.
I gave ways how bands can make money beyond selling records and your reply amounted to "but you can't do that for all the bands you listen to". I never claimed it would. I don't care whether or not I personally give them the money. I don't have the money to support all the bands that I like. Many of them disappeared during the nineties after releasing an album or two in the 80ties. Others are from Australia. The point is that those bands can have people within reach who would pay for concerts and buy merchandise. The point is not that I make up for my downloading by going to concerts and buying shirts from every band I like. It's that those are ways for bands to make money. It's not about anyone's personal relationship with bands, but about business models. I also kept on saying that other ways of making a living by being a musician or composer will probably be discovered, just like the reproduction industry discovered it's business model with the development of certain technologies (like the wax cylinder).

But to make a very simple point: Due to the nature of computing technology, you cannot suppress file-sharing or piracy without deeply cutting away from people's freedom to use this wonderful technology. You would need to implement a way to control every single operation on every single person's computer in order to do that. And that is a price much too high for saving a business model.
The difference between downloading and many of the above (and even between downloading and tape trading), is that by downloading you are actually making a faithful copy of the original, that can in turn be copied again. As such, downloading is much likelier to significantly lessen the reproductive control (and, very much related, the amount of cds sold) as exerted by the original artist, than things such as singing songs in public, or even playing a cd in public or tape trading.
Most original artist from a certain level on up sign away reproductive control to labels. And it is a good thing to significantly lessen their control. That is the whole point after all. To democratize, to make public the power to control reproduction. There was a pic going round that said "When you download music, you download communism." or something. And there is a great truth to that. This is one of the first large scale events were the control over the means of production of some good, which used to be a commodity, is being socialized. And it happens without a revolution, without any violence, merely by the spread of an affordable technology which can circumvent the scarcity which is at the heart of capitalist economic processes.
And people do it not out of political idealism, but because they can see how it serves their own interests. They have been given power and they are now using it. That is at the heart of file-sharing and piracy. A revolution, a shifting in power from the haves to the have-a-good-deal-less. Give it some time and the have-nots will be in the boat, too.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#35 Post by Joost » 07 Jun 2010 15:26

t.a.j. wrote:Most original artist from a certain level on up sign away reproductive control to labels. And it is a good thing to significantly lessen their control. That is the whole point after all. To democratize, to make public the power to control reproduction. There was a pic going round that said "When you download music, you download communism." or something. And there is a great truth to that. This is one of the first large scale events were the control over the means of production of some good, which used to be a commodity, is being socialized. And it happens without a revolution, without any violence, merely by the spread of an affordable technology which can circumvent the scarcity which is at the heart of capitalist economic processes.
And people do it not out of political idealism, but because they can see how it serves their own interests. They have been given power and they are now using it. That is at the heart of file-sharing and piracy. A revolution, a shifting in power from the haves to the have-a-good-deal-less. Give it some time and the have-nots will be in the boat, too.
Well, I actually agree with most of this. I just have my doubts with the reasons Ferdi uses to defend downloading, the underlying arguments seem to lack consistency. Or, as I found today on a download blog:
If a really really good album is lost forever to the world because the only people who own it are a couple of collectors guarding it in a bank vault safety deposit box, isn't it kind of a tragedy for humankind? I think because of my children I worry about this kind of thing a lot, and this is my reason. A given album on the blog is downloaded by perhaps 1000 people total, but this is in the whole world. And that's pathetic, out of a population of 7 billion humans almost. Instead let's try to spread the word and share everything.
Of course I'm on the pirates' side myself too. I am very passionate about music, and am more than happy to share the few hidden/forgotten gems that I happen to discover on my search for great music.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#36 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 07 Jun 2010 20:36

Joost wrote:
The Rider Of Rohan wrote:- Singing a song in public
- Putting a cd-player in a public place (or, as TAJ pointed out, playing music at a volume so large other people can hear it)
- Covering somebody else's song
- Putting a bootleg online
- Putting a painting or sculpture on public display
- Taking a photograph of a painting
- Putting a tab or lyrics online
- Posting a picture on a forum
- Mixing a song with footage from Final Fantasy
- Copying this post of mine and putting it on your own blog
The difference between downloading and many of the above (and even between downloading and tape trading), is that by downloading you are actually making a faithful copy of the original, that can in turn be copied again. As such, downloading is much likelier to significantly lessen the reproductive control (and, very much related, the amount of cds sold) as exerted by the original artist, than things such as singing songs in public, or even playing a cd in public or tape trading.
True, but that's not the point. The point is that the whole reasoning behind copyright-laws are unrealistic to begin with. They're aimed at the idea of restricting something which is bound to happen. Ever since the first monk picked up his pencil and started to write a copy of the Holy Bible, people have copied art, be it books, films or music. It's an inevitable fact of life and something that cannot be prevented once the art becomes part of popular culture and part of our collective awareness. If people want to consume a reproduction they will - in one way or another.

It's true that people don't get money from cd's unsold, but I say boo-frigging-whoo to that. You cannot force anyone to buy a cd, just as you cannot force people to stop choosing the way they want to watch a movie; ie in the cinema, on a dvd or for free when it's broadcasted on the telly. If people won't want to buy cd's any more they just wont, and artists will just have to get used to it.

The only thing you can do is doing the sensible thing and realise downloading is here to stay because we likes it and we wants it, and find alternative sources of income. I trust bands are creative enough to think of new initiatives - the opportunities are countless and although the disadvantages of the internet have been discussed, the advantages are a little-explored. After all: if the Pirate Bay is able to make whopping millions a year by offering unlimited access to media, I don't see why the music-industry couldn't make a legal alternative at a reasonable price.

Think of it like this. When the LP was invented over a century ago, artists feared that it would end their careers. After all, if people would be able to listen to music at home, nobody would see them live and they didn't make any money. Musicians adapted very well though - which this thread proves.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#37 Post by Desert_Storm » 07 Jun 2010 22:54

t.a.j. wrote:
Desert_Storm wrote: It really hasn't so much to do with an agreement or a disagreement on whether it is right or not, but mostly that the artist demands it from you. But staying on your track: Does this imply that it is morally wrong for an artist to do so, to demand money for his album?
Not at all. What is morally wrong is to prevent people from copying it once they have it.
So you're basically saying that its good if the band sells one copy of an album and then copies it and gets it for free? No money losses for the band?
btw. @ Rider: there you have your harm
I feel that I have written enough on this point, including ways you can pay the artist for a certain product without supporting the "reproduction industry", but you don't seem to care. May I ask why?
In that case I might have misunderstood you. We agree than, that artists should be able to produce art and that society should find ways to enable them to do so. That includes allowing them to make a living. And that such a thing is possible without having to resort to the business model of selling reproductions of art. Why then are you so against file-sharing?
Because it should be up to the artist to decide what is done with their work. Thus, not "we" or "the society" should "find ways" for the artists to make a living, but the artists themselves. It's really the law of supply and demand. We have the demand for music, and the artists supplies us with music and prices it, more or less, as he wishes. You play this game along with pretty much everything you buy, so why not here with the music you like?
I don't know who you are referring to as "famous superstars", but in metal you normally don't become one without having worked your way up. Small bands will have to exhibit a certain fan base in order to get a contract. Stating that you have sold X cd's normally helps. Medium sized bands will have to constantly sell records to get the label's attention, to tour more areas and such. You don't really go for a world tour if you have sold ten CD's to you friends and relatives.
In metal, there are very few famous superstars. The vast majority of metal musicians cannot make a living from metal as it is. They still do it. Why? Because of the culture, because its art and artists can be passionate. The metal scene is a prime example that art and culture can strive even when the artists cannot live solely from their art. Most metal musicians play in tiny bands, making no money at all, even loosing it. They do it because they cultural and social capital within the metal scene. Recognition, camaraderie, support, status and cultural identity. And those things do not go away when the reproduction industry disappears. They are still great reasons for producing art.
Please, can we please leave the reproduction industry out of this? In every post I write how bands and artists loose money due to illegal downloading and you every time answer with how it's alright that the industry loses money. OK, if you will, it is. But please look at it from the perspective of the bands that loose money too, independent from any of those things that stay. Every small band of course looses money, usually quite a lot, because everything is expensive and they aren't payed much money (sometimes none at all). So that makes it all right that illegal downloading takes a part of what's left of their small income and thus makes them lose even more money? With the same right you could propose that they shouldn't be payed for their gigs either. They lose money anyway. And for the reasons why they're doing it: Leave it to them to decide why they do it, and what they want money for, as you leave it to the Zewa corporation why they make toilet paper and if they want money for it. Gigs etc. are fine for further money, yes. But they don't replace the money bands deserve for their albums. I hardly see you (or anyone else) stealing pants in a store and then, when caught, explaining to the security that you didn't pay because you bought a shirt there last week, and how that is another great way for stores to make money. So why do you apply such an argument to bands and their gigs and records?
You may argue that the stolen pant is a loss for the shop and the copied record is no loss for a band, since in the second case they still have their product. But that's a fallacy. If X number of people buy the album if they don't have the opportunity to get it for free in the internet (there are enough people like that, independent of the number Y of people who would have completely abandoned the album), than every copy downloaded by them is a copy not sold by the band. Thus, it's irrelevant to the band if a "fan" who would have bought the album otherwise goes into the shop and steals a hardcopy of the album or just gets it from the internet. They lost the money in both ways.

Now imagine what happens to those not-so-famous not-so-superstars. Yes, they can spread the music over the internet and thus gain new fans. Most of the time though, such spreading and fan-gaining is practiced in hope for an audience that will buy your records, especially for the smaller bands. You will follow me if I say that my buddy *shallownickname* from Australia will rather purchase a copy of my friends' new demo tape (maybe he will purchase a digital copy) than come and see them in suburban-hicksville here in Switzerland. You may also see that my friend is helped much more with that than with shallownickname's promise to come and see them on their world tour and buy a baseball-cap with their logo on it, since that may never happen. But I've listed quite a lot of other reasons why you may not be able to see a band in one of my previous posts. Not all to surprising to me that they didn't seem to be worthy enough for you to answer them.
I gave ways how bands can make money beyond selling records and your reply amounted to "but you can't do that for all the bands you listen to".
No, you misunderstood me there. Of course bands have other ways to make money too. But you pay one, you get one. Buy a ticket and get to see the show, buy the album and get to listen to the music. What's so hard to understand about it?
But to make a very simple point: Due to the nature of computing technology, you cannot suppress file-sharing or piracy without deeply cutting away from people's freedom to use this wonderful technology. You would need to implement a way to control every single operation on every single person's computer in order to do that. And that is a price much too high for saving a business model.
It's not about that. It's about doing the right thing in this matter. It's about you and me here (and maybe a little about The Rider Of Rohan, too :wink: ), and since we are both reasonable men I believe that we don't really need a law that forces everybody to do something that most people have considered (or do still) right anyway. To quote Aristoteles here: "(...)that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law." Most points in this discussion weren't about the law situation, but about whether it's OK or not to download something for free if you would have bought it if you didn't have the possibility to download.
t.a.j. wrote:
Joost wrote: As such, downloading is much likelier to significantly lessen the reproductive control (and, very much related, the amount of cds sold) as exerted by the original artist, than things such as singing songs in public, or even playing a cd in public or tape trading.
Most original artist from a certain level on up sign away reproductive control to labels. And it is a good thing to significantly lessen their control. That is the whole point after all.
And here you go again. You may detest the industry and how it works, but your also lessen the income of the band. You cannot always neglect that. Also, as I pointed out numerous times, you can also buy mp3/flac/wav files online, so it's not about "reproductive control anymore". I wrote a good deal about that in one of my previous posts. May I ask you to answer to it?
The Rider Of Rohan wrote:It's true that people don't get money from cd's unsold, but I say boo-frigging-whoo to that. You cannot force anyone to buy a cd, just as you cannot force people to stop choosing the way they want to watch a movie; ie in the cinema, on a dvd or for free when it's broadcasted on the telly.
Again, you pay for telly too.
If people won't want to buy cd's any more they just wont, and artists will just have to get used to it.
That seems like an extremely selfish way to look at things. So it's OK that artists, among them the ones you like, have lesser income just because you don't feel like paying them for their work anymore. Nice. What's wrong with paying for something you get?
if the Pirate Bay is able to make whopping millions a year by offering unlimited access to media, I don't see why the music-industry couldn't make a legal alternative at a reasonable price.
You can do that already. I wrote about it before. Why don't you download it from places were bands make profit?
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#38 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 07 Jun 2010 23:31

Okay, one more before I go to sleep.
So you're basically saying that its good if the band sells one copy of an album and then copies it and gets it for free? No money losses for the band?
btw. @ Rider: there you have your harm
Still no harm done in downloading. In the old days we used to trade tapes. Same thing.
Please, can we please leave the reproduction industry out of this? In every post I write how bands and artists loose money due to illegal downloading and you every time answer with how it's alright that the industry loses money.
First of all, bands don't make money from cd's: recordcompanies do. As I argued in this thread its a perfectly good alternative to buy a ticket and a t-shirt to support the bands you deem worth supporting. When it comes to this question, it's never the artists complaining: its the suits at the recordcompany.
You may argue that the stolen pant is a loss for the shop and the copied record is no loss for a band, since in the second case they still have their product. But that's a fallacy
No, what you wrote is the fallacy. Downloading doesn't remove the original while theft does. And as I argued above, both are part of different books of law. So although they might evoke the same emotional response from some people, they're different things when we consider them on a factual basis.
If X number of people buy the album if they don't have the opportunity to get it for free in the internet (there are enough people like that, independent of the number Y of people who would have completely abandoned the album), than every copy downloaded by them is a copy not sold by the band. Thus, it's irrelevant to the band if a "fan" who would have bought the album otherwise goes into the shop and steals a hardcopy of the album or just gets it from the internet. They lost the money in both ways.
Another fallacy, as not everybody actually buys the album - this wasn't even true in the nineties. Compare it to other media. Even without copying...

a) books are generally read more often than they are sold
b) magazines are read by more people than the abount of copies sold
c) More people played certain videogames than there were copies sold
d) and more people have seen a movie than the amount of tickets and dvd's sold indicate.

As soon as a form of entertainment - which is an item of luxury and certainly not a necessity - comes out, people will judge it for what it's worth to them and then pay that amount of money. That's why you will always have people who collect vinyl or jewelcaseversions, and people who don't.
No, you misunderstood me there. Of course bands have other ways to make money too. But you pay one, you get one. Buy a ticket and get to see the show, buy the album and get to listen to the music. What's so hard to understand about it?
Aside from the fact that you somehow cannot get through your head that some people don't want to buy an album?

What's so hard to understand that there are people who don't want to buy cd's any more? I am fed up with them. They take up too much space, it's too much of a hassle to put them in just to listen to two songs, they get mixed up, and I don't give a rat's buttocks about the artwork and the lyrics. I prefer my music-collection as it is: stored on a 120gb portable devise with a round wheelie to help me find the songs, which are neatly tidied up by id3-tag.
Again, you pay for telly too.
I don't, as I find the tv a remnant of a time long gone. I don't want a machine telling me when to sit down and when to get ready to watch something. I want to be able to choose what I watch and when I watch it. As I pointed out in this topic I applaud any thoughts about a modern alternative. I already pay for unlimited access to newsgroups. I would gladly cancel that subscription and hand my money to a good alternative... if only they made one.
That seems like an extremely selfish way to look at things. So it's OK that artists, among them the ones you like, have lesser income just because you don't feel like paying them for their work anymore. Nice. What's wrong with paying for something you get?
Like I said: artists don't make money on albums.
You can do that already. I wrote about it before. Why don't you download it from places were bands make profit?
Because there are no good alternatives, and Itunes and all these other sites doesn't even come close. I want to find an artist without having to browse dozens of pages and millions of transactions. I want to be able to download an entire discography and be able to delete half the albums I don't like. I want to be able to put it on a second computer and on my iPod. I want to be able to watch a dvd once, then decide if I want to watch it a second time.

So untill the entertainment-industry comes up with a decent alternative with a decent, all-you-can-eat model, they are one step behind reality.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#39 Post by Dentarthurdent » 07 Jun 2010 23:55

The Rider Of Rohan wrote:
Dentarthurdent wrote:Radio stations pay the artists royalties for their music. If you only listen to ther adio, that's your choice. Usually you have to pay for Radio as well (either directly with the ones financed by the state, or indirectly by buying stuff of companies that have ads on hte private stations).
Kinda like buying a t-shirt at a concert, after you downloaded the cd for free?
erm, not really.

You indirectly (via several stations inbetween) pay for the music that plays on the radio by buying products of companies advertising.

By buying a t-shirt or a ticket for a live-show, you pay for the t-shirt resp the live-show. Sure, the band gets some money that way. But not as much as if you'd bought t-shirt, show and CD.

Now you might say, if I bought the CD, I couldn't have bought a t-shirt. Well, Boo-friggin-whoo to you. I'd like to have so many things, unfortunately I don't have to money to buy them all. Still, I don't go and simply take them.

How would you lke it if the people you get your money from suddenly fet like not giving mney to you and still have you do whatever you do?
The Rider Of Rohan wrote:Okay, one more before I go to sleep.
So you're basically saying that its good if the band sells one copy of an album and then copies it and gets it for free? No money losses for the band?
btw. @ Rider: there you have your harm
Still no harm done in downloading. In the old days we used to trade tapes. Same thing.
Proportions. Your tapes went to maybe 20 people. You upload an album, thousands can get it.
When it comes to this question, it's never the artists complaining: its the suits at the recordcompany.
You never heard an artist complaining about that? It wasn't Warner who sued Napster, it was Lars fucking Ullrich. Sure, he seems like an asshole msot of the time, but a LOT of musicians, als in metal, complain about this. Not only the companies.
You may argue that the stolen pant is a loss for the shop and the copied record is no loss for a band, since in the second case they still have their product. But that's a fallacy
we're turning in circles...
If X number of people buy the album if they don't have the opportunity to get it for free in the internet (there are enough people like that, independent of the number Y of people who would have completely abandoned the album), than every copy downloaded by them is a copy not sold by the band. Thus, it's irrelevant to the band if a "fan" who would have bought the album otherwise goes into the shop and steals a hardcopy of the album or just gets it from the internet. They lost the money in both ways.
Another fallacy, as not everybody actually buys the album - this wasn't even true in the nineties. Compare it to other media. Even without copying...

a) books are generally read more often than they are sold
b) magazines are read by more people than the abount of copies sold
c) More people played certain videogames than there were copies sold
d) and more people have seen a movie than the amount of tickets and dvd's sold indicate.
Again, proportions. See above.
No, you misunderstood me there. Of course bands have other ways to make money too. But you pay one, you get one. Buy a ticket and get to see the show, buy the album and get to listen to the music. What's so hard to understand about it?
Aside from the fact that you somehow cannot get through your head that some people don't want to buy an album?

What's so hard to understand that there are people who don't want to buy cd's any more? I am fed up with them. They take up too much space, it's too much of a hassle to put them in just to listen to two songs, they get mixed up, and I don't give a rat's buttocks about the artwork and the lyrics. I prefer my music-collection as it is: stored on a 120gb portable devise with a round wheelie to help me find the songs, which are neatly tidied up by id3-tag.
You can rip CDs and throw them in the trash afterwards. Or buy downloads.
That seems like an extremely selfish way to look at things. So it's OK that artists, among them the ones you like, have lesser income just because you don't feel like paying them for their work anymore. Nice. What's wrong with paying for something you get?
Like I said: artists don't make money on albums.
Yeah, the Record Companies get the money. And they, in turn give some of it to the band. And also, the record companies gave the band a budget to record the stuff. That money has to come back some way as well.
t.a.j. wrote:Let us share files and find ways for artists to make a living by making art beyond being a part of that industry.
I'll happily start sharing files, once we have found ways for artists to make a living by making art beyond being a part of that industry.

By the way, I am already sharing - in the proportions of your tapetrading. I'll send the mp3s of albums I own to any of my freinds if they ask - but I don't put them online for anyone to download it. Same, I have albums sent to me by friends - if they bought it, as CD or download or whatever.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#40 Post by Desert_Storm » 08 Jun 2010 00:26

The Rider Of Rohan wrote: First of all, bands don't make money from cd's: recordcompanies do. (...) When it comes to this question, it's never the artists complaining: its the suits at the recordcompany.
Look man: If you want to keep on arguing with statements that are just plain wrong, good luck. I gave you numbers in a previous post that stated how many percent go to the band for every cd sold. I can imagine that number to be a little lower or a little higher in the Netherlands, but they'll hardly be zero. And to the artists complaining: Have you read any music magazines lately? (by lately I mean the past five years). Have you heard about napster?
You may argue that the stolen pant is a loss for the shop and the copied record is no loss for a band, since in the second case they still have their product. But that's a fallacy
No, what you wrote is the fallacy. Downloading doesn't remove the original while theft does. And as I argued above, both are part of different books of law. So although they might evoke the same emotional response from some people, they're different things when we consider them on a factual basis.
Slowly but surely I think you're doing it intentionally. Cut my answer in half and tell me I'm wrong. Ok, I'll quote myself again for you, now in a way that you hopefully won't take apart further:
They lost the money in both ways.
That's as essential as I can get I think.

And for the next one I won't even reply to that anymore. Read carefully, I highlighted it for you. I gave you the answer to your statement in the very sentence you quoted. Why are you doing that?
If X number of people buy the album if they don't have the opportunity to get it for free in the internet (there are enough people like that, independent of the number Y of people who would have completely abandoned the album), than every copy downloaded by them is a copy not sold by the band. Thus, it's irrelevant to the band if a "fan" who would have bought the album otherwise goes into the shop and steals a hardcopy of the album or just gets it from the internet. They lost the money in both ways.
Another fallacy, as not everybody actually buys the album - this wasn't even true in the nineties. Compare it to other media. Even without copying...

a) books are generally read more often than they are sold
b) magazines are read by more people than the abount of copies sold
c) More people played certain videogames than there were copies sold
d) and more people have seen a movie than the amount of tickets and dvd's sold indicate.
As soon as a form of entertainment - which is an item of luxury and certainly not a necessity - comes out, people will judge it for what it's worth to them and then pay that amount of money. That's why you will always have people who collect vinyl or jewelcaseversions, and people who don't.
Yes. Exactly. People judge it for what it's worth. If it is worth something, they buy. If it's not, the don't. You just take and don't pay. Does that mean that you wouldn't have bought any music you have on your hard-disc if it had not been available online? Of course, that's not even relevant. You didn't pay, so it's worthless to you by your own logic. And before you say anything: Paying for concerts is not paying for the album.
No, you misunderstood me there. Of course bands have other ways to make money too. But you pay one, you get one. Buy a ticket and get to see the show, buy the album and get to listen to the music. What's so hard to understand about it?
Aside from the fact that you somehow cannot get through your head that some people don't want to buy an album?
I have no problem with that. I didn't address those people. If they don't want it then why download it? You didn't answer to my question. That is the longer the more making me angry.

What's so hard to understand that there are people who don't want to buy cd's any more? I am fed up with them. They take up too much space, it's too much of a hassle to put them in just to listen to two songs, they get mixed up, and I don't give a rat's buttocks about the artwork and the lyrics. I prefer my music-collection as it is: stored on a 120gb portable devise with a round wheelie to help me find the songs, which are neatly tidied up by id3-tag.
For the ten thousandth time it is not about cd's here. Go buy mp3 files. Please.
That seems like an extremely selfish way to look at things. So it's OK that artists, among them the ones you like, have lesser income just because you don't feel like paying them for their work anymore. Nice. What's wrong with paying for something you get?
Like I said: artists don't make money on albums.
Like I said: that's not true.

You can do that already. I wrote about it before. Why don't you download it from places were bands make profit?
Because there are no good alternatives, and Itunes and all these other sites doesn't even come close. I want to find an artist without having to browse dozens of pages and millions of transactions. I want to be able to download an entire discography and be able to delete half the albums I don't like. I want to be able to put it on a second computer and on my iPod. I want to be able to watch a dvd once, then decide if I want to watch it a second time.
So untill the entertainment-industry comes up with a decent alternative with a decent, all-you-can-eat model, they are one step behind reality.
Look I can understand you here. When I buy a suit, I don't want to go to the mall. It is far away, that means it costs me time and money to get there. Then, when I'm there, there's an awful lot of people that annoy me. The vendor hardly has time for me. I have to queue for hours, first for the dressing room and then for the checkout. Plus, the prices are quite high.
So until the suit-industry comes up with a decent alternative, I am going to steal my cloths, and also shoot people because I still have to go for the mall for stealing them and that makes me angry.
Long story short: Stealing is not an alternative because it is easier than buying. The sites are good alternatives, because the bands make money when you buy there. Don't you think that's the more important part rather than you saving a little time?
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#41 Post by t.a.j. » 08 Jun 2010 01:54

Desert_Storm wrote:
t.a.j. wrote:
Desert_Storm wrote: It really hasn't so much to do with an agreement or a disagreement on whether it is right or not, but mostly that the artist demands it from you. But staying on your track: Does this imply that it is morally wrong for an artist to do so, to demand money for his album?
Not at all. What is morally wrong is to prevent people from copying it once they have it.
So you're basically saying that its good if the band sells one copy of an album and then copies it and gets it for free? No money losses for the band?
btw. @ Rider: there you have your harm
No, that is not what I am saying. That's not even what what I am saying implies. What I am saying is that it is morally wrong to prevent people from copying content that they have access to.
Apart from the fact that your sentence does not make much sense, I guess you want to say that I would "basically say" that it is good, if a band sells only one copy and everyone else gets a free copy. I would say that that is certainly acceptable and far preferable to twelve year olds being convicted to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in reparation in staged trials.
And to put in some philosophy: the opposite of bad is not good, but ok. Just as the opposite of being forbidden is not being mandatory, but being allowed.
Because it should be up to the artist to decide what is done with their work. Thus, not "we" or "the society" should "find ways" for the artists to make a living, but the artists themselves. It's really the law of supply and demand. We have the demand for music, and the artists supplies us with music and prices it, more or less, as he wishes. You play this game along with pretty much everything you buy, so why not here with the music you like?
The law of supply and demand requires scarcity. Or rather, markets can only operate on commodities and goods become commodities by being both scarce and desired. Nobody has tried to sell air for exactly that reasons. It is not scarce. What the internet does is make content not scarce. It makes content cease to be commodities. And no amount of liberal market moralism is going to change that. The only thing that can change that are totalitarian structures. And the abolishing of the internet. And one other thing. I find it a peculiar fiction how people, including you, tend to attribute everything to individuals. It is not the artist alone, heroic creative genius and entrepreneur that we imagine him as, who decides what happens with her music or how she makes a living. It is always the greater society around them, which prestructures and decisions she might make, that enables her to do as she does and disables her from many others ways to act. The artist does not manufacture cds, she does not organize the construction of live p.a.s, she does not spread the word about her music on facebook. Simply put, we live in highly interdependent world and yet we tell each other the fiction of individual achievement and responsibility.
Please, can we please leave the reproduction industry out of this? In every post I write how bands and artists loose money due to illegal downloading and you every time answer with how it's alright that the industry loses money. OK, if you will, it is. But please look at it from the perspective of the bands that loose money too, independent from any of those things that stay.
Every small band of course looses money, usually quite a lot, because everything is expensive and they aren't payed much money (sometimes none at all). So that makes it all right that illegal downloading takes a part of what's left of their small income and thus makes them lose even more money?
I've said before that the amount of money artists lose to downloading is not very large. Most big stars get huge bonus payments anyway, most small bands never see much of the income their albums generate.
What is your argument? That it is morally wrong to download albums because there is a moral rule that you should pay for every good you use? Or is it that downloading is wrong because it hurts the bands?
I disagree in both cases, but of course I would argue in different ways against them.
With the same right you could propose that they shouldn't be payed for their gigs either.
Not so. I have never argued that bands getting less money is a good in and of itself. My argument depends on the fact of easy reproducibility of digital content de facto negating scarcity of said content. And that is simply not the case regarding gigs. Therefore my argument does not apply to gigs and I could not "with the same right" (as in the right deduced from my argument) propose that bands shouldn't be payed for gigs.

And because of this:
They lose money anyway.
I believe you misunderstood me. That was not part of an argument for why file sharing is morally acceptable and even good, but it was meant to counter the argument that without a reproduction industry controlling the reproduction of artistic content, artistic content would vanish. It was simple intended as an example of people making art without commercial profit, showing that this is possible.

My argument is firstly economical: The internet makes content be not scarce anymore.
The question which arises is how to judge this.
I have argued that it is good for two reasons. One is utterly utilitarian: The price of preventing it is so high, that preventing it is bad. This does not give us that file-sharing is good yet.
For that final part of the argument, I rely on socialist ideas about power and control over means of production and say that file-sharing represents the realization of the empowerment of the many against the few. You could of course deny that empowering the massive low classes and depowering the tiny higher classes is a desirable good and by that counter the second part of my argument. I hope you do not what to do that.

In all of this I have never talked about artists.

You counter was, I suppose, either or both of the propositions I mentioned above:
That it is morally wrong to download albums because there is a moral rule that you should pay for every good you use? Or is it that downloading is wrong because it hurts the bands?

I have tried to show by example and extrapolation into the future. Art was possible and present, both professionally and non-professionally, before the reproduction industry arose and in recent times as non-profitable art, so why should it not be around in a future after the reproduction industry (and with it intellectual property) is gone.

As for the first argument, let me just say that I disagree with that rule deserving the status of a moral rule, because a) it is just a rule required for a certain kind of market to function and b) it reinforces power inequalities, which brings it into conflict with justice principles. But this certainly would require a longer reply just to adequately write out.
Leave it to them to decide why they do it, and what they want money for, as you leave it to the Zewa corporation why they make toilet paper and if they want money for it. Gigs etc. are fine for further money, yes. But they don't replace the money bands deserve for their albums. I hardly see you (or anyone else) stealing pants in a store and then, when caught, explaining to the security that you didn't pay because you bought a shirt there last week, and how that is another great way for stores to make money. So why do you apply such an argument to bands and their gigs and records?
You may argue that the stolen pant is a loss for the shop and the copied record is no loss for a band, since in the second case they still have their product. But that's a fallacy. If X number of people buy the album if they don't have the opportunity to get it for free in the internet (there are enough people like that, independent of the number Y of people who would have completely abandoned the album), than every copy downloaded by them is a copy not sold by the band. Thus, it's irrelevant to the band if a "fan" who would have bought the album otherwise goes into the shop and steals a hardcopy of the album or just gets it from the internet. They lost the money in both ways.
As I said above, my argument does not apply in those cases. You seem to insists that those cases are no different than the case of reproducing content, yet have not bothered to show how my analysis is faulty. You insist that downloading is the same as stealing, yet it is not. It is a reproduction.
How do record labels make money (some of which goes to the bands)? They mass manufacture reproductions of a certain content. The content itself is a good. But the product sold is the reproduction - or rather the medium that it is on. This is a working business model for as long as the means required to do this are expensive and rare. If you need a factory to produce a copy of a vinyl record, only the few people who own such factories can reproduce records. But now, everyone has the equivalent of a factory and we can all reproduce records. The loss is accrued not because of stealing, but because the business model cannot work, if everyone can easily do it themselves.
Saying that file-sharing should be illegal because it hurts the reproduction industry (bands) is like driving cars from city to city should illegal because it hurts the railway companies (train designers).
Yes. Bands will lose money. That's bad for them. But ,if anything, that is a downside to a development that is both overwhelmingly positive and - apart from terrible measures - unavoidable.
And again, I have never denied that bands lose money to this. I have said that the actual losses so far are rather small and certainly much smaller than the very objective and impartial spokespeople of the reproduction industry say.
No, you misunderstood me there. Of course bands have other ways to make money too. But you pay one, you get one. Buy a ticket and get to see the show, buy the album and get to listen to the music. What's so hard to understand about it?
It's easy to understand, it just doesn't apply.
I don't pay for the air I breath, for the birds I hear, for the company I keep, for the cherished words of friendship and the kisses of my beloved. I don't not ask payment for my support, for my company or my kisses. I speak and write my poetry into the world and receive at most a thank you. All of these things do not fall under the rule of "you buy one, you get one." because none of them are commodities and I am not part of a market for them. And in the digital age, content also ceases to be a commodity.
I guess you know Star Trek? Imagine someone were to invent a replicator and withing 20 years, most people have one at home. Would you support legislation that bans people from replicating pants because it hurts tailors? Food because it hurts farmers? Guns because it hurts arms manufacturers? We now have replicators for digital content. You're sitting in front of one. We have both grown up and lived in societies that grew ever more market-like, where the culture of capitalism, originally confined to economy colonized almost all other aspects of live. To the point of imagining "partner markets" and the point of sports being not athletic excellence but financial profit. It is difficult, in such a world, to see that it's rules are not natural laws, and that are ways of life beyond it. Our little content replicators have opened to door to a context where those rules do not apply. And we do grave damage to it, if we try to force the rules that we grown so used to to it.
It's not about that. It's about doing the right thing in this matter. It's about you and me here (and maybe a little about The Rider Of Rohan, too :wink: ), and since we are both reasonable men I believe that we don't really need a law that forces everybody to do something that most people have considered (or do still) right anyway. To quote Aristoteles here: "(...)that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law." Most points in this discussion weren't about the law situation, but about whether it's OK or not to download something for free if you would have bought it if you didn't have the possibility to download.
The right thing to do, would be to abolish copy right and intellectual property law, to empower the people to do for themselves that which others have done for them. The wrong thing to do would be to support a structure which hurts and exploits so many people, to support a class of businesspeople who do not shirk from heaping massive amounts of debts on young children, college students and single moms in order to "send a message". The right thing to do is to shake of the fear of the law and boldly state that it is unjust and hurtful and that it serves only to keep the powerful powerful and the rest in subservience.
And your main point, about supporting bands and about bands having a right to make money by selling reproductions of their recordings seems to me to be a very minor point, compared to this. Those bands are not under threat of a live in debt, a debt that they in a likelihood will never be able to pay off. The are not called criminals, nor are the the victims of scare and shock tactics. They don't get the sanctity of their homes invaded by policemen, who search through their most private files in order to find evidence of the crime of self-empowerment.
And here you go again. You may detest the industry and how it works, but your also lessen the income of the band. You cannot always neglect that. Also, as I pointed out numerous times, you can also buy mp3/flac/wav files online, so it's not about "reproductive control anymore". I wrote a good deal about that in one of my previous posts. May I ask you to answer to it?
Last time I checked most sold mp3s were DRM infected. Also, I have replied several times to the suggestion that bands lose money from downloads. My answer has always been: Yes, but it's not that dramatic yet.
I also said that I agree that recording artists should be compensated or payed or rewarded for the work they do in some way. But it need not be financially. But even for that, ways can be found. And again, if one can only download, or copy, from certain sources, than those sources have reproductive control, not the people, the users. If I cannot or am not allowed to copy something from my hard disc, to my friend's hard disc, I do not have reproductive control. The issue is still there.
Furthermore, access would be restricted to people who can afford to pay or, as in the case of youtube and the like, to people who happen to live in the right country. The question remains: do we own and control our computers, or do others own and control them. The first option leads to file sharing and file sharing just implies that selling reproductions is not a viable business model anymore (at least for large scale profits, cars have not completely killed trains or horse carriages for that matter). And that's the end of it. It is the interests of a few against the interests of the many.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#42 Post by t.a.j. » 08 Jun 2010 09:58

Let me get out of all the quotes and say something in general in reply to what I suppose is your argument. To do this, I would like to introduce two crucial distinctions. The first is whether file-sharing in general or anyone's specific act of file-sharing is under consideration.The second distinction is what grounds are given for the moral condemnation of file-sharing.
Here I have already pointed at two different reasons I think you gave: A general moral principle of "buy one, get one" or paying for what you use and a utilitarian argument to the end that downloading causes harm.
I think that the later, utilitarian reasoning does not suffice to conclude that any specific act of file-sharing is bad, only that file-sharing in general is bad. Here is why:
If you agree, that every cd downloaded is not a cd not sold, than a general argument that me (or anyone's) particular act of downloading hurts a band (or even a label) does not work. You would need to show in each particular case that the downloader would have bought the album, had he not downloaded it.
Therefore you could only argue that downloading in general hurts bands. This, I agree with. But since this is a utilitarian argument (one that judges the moral quality of an action by the amount of hurt or benefit it generates), I would counter it with a utilitarian argument: Preventing file-sharing in general has such a high cost that it far outweighs the damage that is does cause. It also has beneficial social and cultural effects. Finally, if you are a socialist (and you don't have to be) it represents a step towards socialism.
Secondly, you proposed a general moral principle which I assume is self-evidential and intuitive to you. It is not to me. I believe that, while it might be part of our capitalist culture, it is not general, but conditional. Only if you want some good to be a commodity, you should apply that rule to it. I have given some examples of things that are not considered commodities today, because they have not been successfully made scarce. Other things were at times, by some cultures not considered commodities, that we do consider commodities. Land in pre-colombian america e.g.
The internet makes content be not scarce anymore. Therefore the condition of the conditional imperative is not fulfilled for content. And therefore said rule does not in a strict moral sense apply to it. I grant that more can be said on this topic, but my time is limited and I am not willing to work it all out for a forum discussion. I guess the argument would go along the lines of relativism and ethical judgment over whole social structures and systems in order to argue for or against rules conditional on certain form of sociality.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#43 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 08 Jun 2010 19:36

Ooh, two people to take on at once. I'll reply to the two of you in separate replies.

@ Dentarthurdent
You indirectly (via several stations inbetween) pay for the music that plays on the radio by buying products of companies advertising.By buying a t-shirt or a ticket for a live-show, you pay for the t-shirt resp the live-show. Sure, the band gets some money that way. But not as much as if you'd bought t-shirt, show and CD.
This is true in theory, but not in practice. The heights of royalties didn't rise in the last couple of years, but the price of concerts and t-shirts did. T-shirts at concerts are sold quite directly from the band to the fan, with the only middleman being the busdriver or singer's girlfriend ho stands behind the merchandising-booth. In fact: I know of a lot of bands who attract larger auciences nowadays (BG and IE of example) through their advertisement of their albums on the internet, which means more shirts sold -> lower price per items -> higher profit.
Proportions. Your tapes went to maybe 20 people. You upload an album, thousands can get it.
Perhaps you need to read a bit into the tapetrading-scene of the nineties. 20 people might copy a tape, but another 20 people copied it from them, another 20 from them, ad infinitum. Take Emperor's demo-tape for example. Literally thousands of people had it before their album came out - that thing was amazingly huge in the underground back then.

Also, I would like the record to show that I don't upload albums, I just download them.
Yeah, the Record Companies get the money. And they, in turn give some of it to the band. And also, the record companies gave the band a budget to record the stuff. That money has to come back some way as well.
Labels don't 'give' a band money, that's the most naive thing I ever heard. Labels provide the band with a loan to cover the expenses of recording, and deduct the royalties from the recordsales from them in order to allow the band to pay off their debt.

Typically a band starts to make their first 80 cents from an album at 100k copies sold. By that time, the recordcompany has made half a million of an album. This money isn't given to the band either, it disappears in the wages of the suits and on the bankaccounts of the shareholders. In that light, it is pretty safe to generalise and say that bands don't make money from albums. They never did, they never will.
By the way, I am already sharing - in the proportions of your tapetrading. I'll send the mp3s of albums I own to any of my freinds if they ask - but I don't put them online for anyone to download it. Same, I have albums sent to me by friends - if they bought it, as CD or download or whatever.
In that case you are a bigger pirate than I am, so I am wondering why we we are having this conversation in the first place. I never share mp3s, I only download albums - which is legal and my right to do.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#44 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 08 Jun 2010 20:14

@ Desert_Storm
Look man: If you want to keep on arguing with statements that are just plain wrong, good luck. I gave you numbers in a previous post that stated how many percent go to the band for every cd sold. I can imagine that number to be a little lower or a little higher in the Netherlands, but they'll hardly be zero.
I didn't want to rub the facts in your face, but your arrogance l leaves me little choice. You mentioned that an artist gets about 20 percent of an album-sale. That's true in a way, but you failed to mention of what price this is a percentage of. Royalties are granted on a percentage-basis taken from the wholesale-price and definitely not the resale-price, which is a significant difference.

And in case that is to hard for to understand, I will elaborate even further. Take the retail-price of a cd, and deduct all of the costs added after the guys in the factory finished pressing the cd's: packaging, shipping, distribution, taxes, the wholesaler and the reseller, and you have the wholesaleprice - and that's what the band takes a percentage off. As the wholesale-price is typically 60 to 80 percent lower than the resale-price, you'd end up taking 20% of about 3 or 4 euro and giving that to the band.

And that isn't even what they make. As I pointed out, the band doesn't even get that money until they have paid back their recordcompany for the investment they made (studio-time, art-design, the video). And I am not even mentioning the fact that bands have to pay their manager and possibly pay back any other advance they got: I think you get the picture.

As a rule of thumb, you have to sell half a million albums to make money from cd's. Not a lot of bands we like here at this place sell those amounts of albums.
And before you say anything: Paying for concerts is not paying for the album.
And paying for an album is not giving money to a band, which is something you clearly advocated in the beginning of this thread. So it is safe to say that the more this argument keeps going around in circles, the less sense your arguments start to make.

And once again, it's a free choice the other way around. If you want to see a band so badly that you want to give your hard-earned money to a venue, that's your choice to do so - just as it is your own free choice to stay at home. There may be people like you who think this is sad because no band deserves to play in an empty hall - but that's not my problem.
Long story short: Stealing is not an alternative because it is easier than buying.
Downloading is not stealing when you take the facts into account. They come from entirely different books of law. When you steal you take something away and when you copy, you make a copy. And I know I wrote this before, but I am just repeating it because you seem to be forgetting it.
The sites are good alternatives, because the bands make money when you buy there. Don't you think that's the more important part rather than you saving a little time
No, I don't. Like I said: those website certainly don't suit my need the way alternatives do. When I look at a newsgroup, I am using a subscription I paid for and I get a huge library of music which is easily accessible. There I can download what I want, discover if I like it, and delete the stuff I dislike. None of the alternatives on the internet offer that ease of use, the same amount of quality-material of different media, no drm and the ability to discover new music on my own.

As soon as the entertainment-industry comes up with a piratebay where I can pay a set amout of euro's to download what I want without drm - I'm all ears for it. Until they do I'll stick to my newsgroupsubscription, download what I want, and support the bands worth it by seeing them live and buying their shirts.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#45 Post by Desert_Storm » 09 Jun 2010 01:03

I shortened the quotes a little to make the thing more readable.
t.a.j. wrote:
Desert_Storm wrote: Because it should be up to the artist to decide what is done with their work. Thus, not "we" or "the society" should "find ways" for the artists to make a living, but the artists themselves. It's really the law of supply and demand. We have the demand for music, and the artists supplies us with music and prices it, more or less, as he wishes. You play this game along with pretty much everything you buy, so why not here with the music you like?
The law of supply and demand requires scarcity. Or rather, markets can only operate on commodities and goods become commodities by being both scarce and desired. Nobody has tried to sell air for exactly that reasons. It is not scarce. What the internet does is make content not scarce. It makes content cease to be commodities. And no amount of liberal market moralism is going to change that. The only thing that can change that are totalitarian structures. And the abolishing of the internet. And one other thing. I find it a peculiar fiction how people, including you, tend to attribute everything to individuals. It is not the artist alone, heroic creative genius and entrepreneur that we imagine him as, who decides what happens with her music or how she makes a living. It is always the greater society around them, which prestructures and decisions she might make, that enables her to do as she does and disables her from many others ways to act. The artist does not manufacture cds, she does not organize the construction of live p.a.s, she does not spread the word about her music on facebook. Simply put, we live in highly interdependent world and yet we tell each other the fiction of individual achievement and responsibility.
I disagree with your statement that goods can only become commodities if they're scarce. Nobody has tried to sell air for the reason that air (in its "natural form") is not a product of somebody. It's the same thing with water, nobody demands money from you for drinking the water of a lake that you swim in because it's naturally there without anyone having produced it or done anything with it. Apart from a lake, where you are not surrounded by water, you have to pay for it, as you have to pay for air (respectively oxygen) when not surrounded by it (e.g. when you're diving). It involves labour to bottle the water/oxygen, and of course, like everywhere else, people that subsist on it want to be payed for their labour.
Then about the artist acting as an (group of) individual, I'm not completely sure what you want to say about that. But certainly there are artists that "manufacture cds", "organize the construction of live p.a.s", "spread the word about her music on facebook" and thus decide what happens with the music and choose how to make a living. Every of those aspects is normally taken care of by the artists themselves, until they reach a certain size. From that point on, they pay people for it or sign a contract so that other people do it for them, but of course that makes it still their decision, since they are not forced to do so.
I've said before that the amount of money artists lose to downloading is not very large. Most big stars get huge bonus payments anyway, most small bands never see much of the income their albums generate.
What is your argument? That it is morally wrong to download albums because there is a moral rule that you should pay for every good you use? Or is it that downloading is wrong because it hurts the bands?
I disagree in both cases, but of course I would argue in different ways against them.
It may be that most of the small bands never see "much" of the income their albums generate, but how large or small that "much" will be, it's always smaller if they sell fewer albums.
About what my argument is: First and foremost the second that you mentioned, which I would more or less leave there in the wording you wrote it.
I would also use the first one, but I would phrase it differently: That you should pay for every good you use that is produced by somebody who wants money for it.
It's mainly the first argument, though.
My argument is firstly economical: The internet makes content be not scarce anymore.
The question which arises is how to judge this.
I have argued that it is good for two reasons. One is utterly utilitarian: The price of preventing it is so high, that preventing it is bad. This does not give us that file-sharing is good yet.
For that final part of the argument, I rely on socialist ideas about power and control over means of production and say that file-sharing represents the realization of the empowerment of the many against the few. You could of course deny that empowering the massive low classes and depowering the tiny higher classes is a desirable good and by that counter the second part of my argument. I hope you do not what to do that.
I can agree with your first reason. To your second one: If the "many" are the audience of a certain band, and the "band" the few, I'm not sure if that's really a good thing.
In all of this I have never talked about artists.
That is probably what bothers me about your argumentation.
Leave it to them to decide why they do it, and what they want money for, as you leave it to the Zewa corporation why they make toilet paper and if they want money for it. Gigs etc. are fine for further money, yes. But they don't replace the money bands deserve for their albums. I hardly see you (or anyone else) stealing pants in a store and then, when caught, explaining to the security that you didn't pay because you bought a shirt there last week, and how that is another great way for stores to make money. So why do you apply such an argument to bands and their gigs and records?
You may argue that the stolen pant is a loss for the shop and the copied record is no loss for a band, since in the second case they still have their product. But that's a fallacy. If X number of people buy the album if they don't have the opportunity to get it for free in the internet (there are enough people like that, independent of the number Y of people who would have completely abandoned the album), than every copy downloaded by them is a copy not sold by the band. Thus, it's irrelevant to the band if a "fan" who would have bought the album otherwise goes into the shop and steals a hardcopy of the album or just gets it from the internet. They lost the money in both ways.
As I said above, my argument does not apply in those cases. You seem to insists that those cases are no different than the case of reproducing content, yet have not bothered to show how my analysis is faulty. You insist that downloading is the same as stealing, yet it is not. It is a reproduction.
I thought I had, by writing that there exists a group of people who would buy the album if they couldn't download it. Therefor, within this group, every album downloaded is an album not sold, and every album not sold is a loss for the band. It hardly makes a difference for the band whether an album of them is physically stolen or just not bought due to downloading. The ones it makes a difference for is the manufacturers of the physical medium (e.g. the CD), but we all (I think) agree on that they're not the ones supposed to make the money anyway (due to the reproduction possibilities now everybody has). The other ones it makes a difference for are the shops that sell the CD, but that's not the ones we talk about here. If that argumentation is invalid, please show me how.
How do record labels make money (some of which goes to the bands)? They mass manufacture reproductions of a certain content. The content itself is a good. But the product sold is the reproduction - or rather the medium that it is on. This is a working business model for as long as the means required to do this are expensive and rare. If you need a factory to produce a copy of a vinyl record, only the few people who own such factories can reproduce records. But now, everyone has the equivalent of a factory and we can all reproduce records. The loss is accrued not because of stealing, but because the business model cannot work, if everyone can easily do it themselves.
I see you point here, too. Now please see mine when I talk about the artists again and take the model of your sentence above:
If you need a creative person to write and record music, only the few people who are such creative people can write and record music. Now, as always not everyone has the ability to do that. So nothing has changed, except for the medium on which the music is sold. And I never said you should buy CD's and support the reproduction industry, but that you should buy music and support the band.
Saying that file-sharing should be illegal because it hurts the reproduction industry (bands) is like driving cars from city to city should illegal because it hurts the railway companies (train designers).
Yes. Bands will lose money. That's bad for them. But ,if anything, that is a downside to a development that is both overwhelmingly positive and - apart from terrible measures - unavoidable.
And again, I have never denied that bands lose money to this. I have said that the actual losses so far are rather small and certainly much smaller than the very objective and impartial spokespeople of the reproduction industry say.
Yes, it is unavoidable to prevent music from being downloaded for free against the will of it's author by law. I still think you shouldn't do it, because the bands lose money and that's bad for them. So why do you do it?
I don't pay for the air I breath, for the birds I hear, for the company I keep, for the cherished words of friendship and the kisses of my beloved. I don't not ask payment for my support, for my company or my kisses.
There are places where you pay for the air you breath. Apart from that:
OK. You said it yourself, you do not ask for it. A tax accountant or a lawyer though will ask payment for their support.
There are escorts who accompany people professionally and they will ask payment for their company.
Don't get me started on kisses and beyond, but as we both know, there are a lot of people who ask payment for that stuff too, and as we all know from the frequent lawsuits against certain "customers" who don't pay them for their "services", they have to be in the right to ask payment, since most judgments are in their favour.
Do you not see the difference between doing something for friends or out of altruism and making a living on something?
I speak and write my poetry into the world and receive at most a thank you. All of these things do not fall under the rule of "you buy one, you get one." because none of them are commodities and I am not part of a market for them. And in the digital age, content also ceases to be a commodity.
Yes, I, too, write and play my music into the world and receive at most a thank you, and I was always happy with that. On the other hand, I'm not a professional. For the second part of your statement, "content also ceases to be a commodity", I really hope that that will never happen. As I skim through the authors in my bookshelves, I see many great names, both in fiction and non-fiction, that probably would never have had the time and the money to write some of their greatest works, if it wasn't for the books, the "content", they sold. Does that not strike you at all?

The right thing to do, would be to abolish copy right and intellectual property law, to empower the people to do for themselves that which others have done for them. The wrong thing to do would be to support a structure which hurts and exploits so many people, to support a class of businesspeople who do not shirk from heaping massive amounts of debts on young children, college students and single moms in order to "send a message". The right thing to do is to shake of the fear of the law and boldly state that it is unjust and hurtful and that it serves only to keep the powerful powerful and the rest in subservience.
And your main point, about supporting bands and about bands having a right to make money by selling reproductions of their recordings seems to me to be a very minor point, compared to this.
I don't really see how I am "supporting a structure which hurts and exploits so many people, (...) a class of businesspeople who do not shirk from heaping massive amounts of debts on" everyone just by buying an album by a band I like and thinking that you should buy one too.
Those bands are not under threat of a live in debt, a debt that they in a likelihood will never be able to pay off. The are not called criminals, nor are the the victims of scare and shock tactics. They don't get the sanctity of their homes invaded by policemen, who search through their most private files in order to find evidence of the crime of self-empowerment.
Of course, the legal consequences of filesharing (if that's what you are talking about here) are all terribly exaggerated. That is the thing that's wrong, and not the general idea that you should pay the band.
I also said that I agree that recording artists should be compensated or payed or rewarded for the work they do in some way. But it need not be financially. But even for that, ways can be found. And again, if one can only download, or copy, from certain sources, than those sources have reproductive control, not the people, the users. If I cannot or am not allowed to copy something from my hard disc, to my friend's hard disc, I do not have reproductive control. The issue is still there.
Furthermore, access would be restricted to people who can afford to pay or, as in the case of youtube and the like, to people who happen to live in the right country. The question remains: do we own and control our computers, or do others own and control them. The first option leads to file sharing and file sharing just implies that selling reproductions is not a viable business model anymore (at least for large scale profits, cars have not completely killed trains or horse carriages for that matter). And that's the end of it. It is the interests of a few against the interests of the many.
Here I see your point. You, though, being born in "the right country", and probably having enough money, I don't see why you shouldn't pay for it.
The Rider Of Rohan wrote:I didn't want to rub the facts in your face
I thought that's what a discussion's about.
but your arrogance l leaves me little choice.
I didn't mean to be arrogant, I'm sorry for that.
Royalties are granted on a percentage-basis taken from the wholesale-price and definitely not the resale-price, which is a significant difference.
And in case that is to hard for to understand, I will elaborate even further. Take the retail-price of a cd, and deduct all of the costs added after the guys in the factory finished pressing the cd's: packaging, shipping, distribution, taxes, the wholesaler and the reseller, and you have the wholesaleprice - and that's what the band takes a percentage off. As the wholesale-price is typically 60 to 80 percent lower than the resale-price, you'd end up taking 20% of about 3 or 4 euro and giving that to the band.
Though you may be right about the differences between wholesale- and resale price, you're wrong about what the band takes percentage off. The graphic I looked at was about the percental segmentation of the (average?) price of an album sold in a German store, matter of expense 15€. That's what I took my numbers of percents from. Thank you for considering my ignorance and elaborating "even further", though.
And that isn't even what they make. As I pointed out, the band doesn't even get that money until they have paid back their recordcompany for the investment they made (studio-time, art-design, the video). And I am not even mentioning the fact that bands have to pay their manager and possibly pay back any other advance they got: I think you get the picture.
OK, that's not what they make (in terms of what they keep in the end), agreed. But they got to take the money for all the expenses they have you mentioned above from somewhere. If it's not from the records they sale then from somewhere else. It's not like your boss wouldn't pay your salary because he thinks "That's not what he makes anyway, most of it will go away to big companies when he pays his bills".
And paying for an album is not giving money to a band
Yes It is. No matter if it's 15, 5 or 0.5 € from what you pay for the album.
If you want to see a band so badly that you want to give your hard-earned money to a venue, that's your choice to do so - just as it is your own free choice to stay at home. There may be people like you who think this is sad because no band deserves to play in an empty hall - but that's not my problem.
Why are you doing this? What goals do you pursue with such a sentence?
Again, for the ten thousandth time. I do not say people should buy albums. I say people should pay for the album if the want to posses it, as I say people should pay for the concert , if they want to see the band . Please reply to this sentence. It's hard to know for me if you're seriously arguing or just making fun of me. It's not like I have nothing else to do, and I want to know if I'm wasting my time.
When you steal you take something away and when you copy, you make a copy. And I know I wrote this before, but I am just repeating it because you seem to be forgetting it.
Let me quote myself one last time:
If X number of people buy the album if they don't have the opportunity to get it for free in the internet (there are enough people like that, independent of the number Y of people who would have completely abandoned the album), than every copy downloaded by them is a copy not sold by the band. Thus, it's irrelevant to the band if a "fan" who would have bought the album otherwise goes into the shop and steals a hardcopy of the album or just gets it from the internet. They lost the money in both ways.
I wrote that originally to answer you. In your next post, you neglected it. I then quoted my original sentence again to show you what I meant. You didn't reply once again.
And now "You seem to be forgetting it". Why do you do that? I replied to you. Are you making fun of me?
The sites are good alternatives, because the bands make money when you buy there. Don't you think that's the more important part rather than you saving a little time?
No, I don't.
So we have reached a point where further arguments won't bring us any closer together. I would still be glad to hear some answers to my posts above, since I'm a persons that likes to get along with people.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#46 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 09 Jun 2010 07:05

Though you may be right about the differences between wholesale- and resale price, you're wrong about what the band takes percentage off. The graphic I looked at was about the percental segmentation of the (average?) price of an album sold in a German store, matter of expense 15€. That's what I took my numbers of percents from. Thank you for considering my ignorance and elaborating "even further", though.
So you are saying that bands actually make money from albums? I would like to see your source and a little explanation of how money from a band enters the pockets of the bands.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#47 Post by t.a.j. » 09 Jun 2010 08:07

Desert_Storm wrote: I disagree with your statement that goods can only become commodities if they're scarce. Nobody has tried to sell air for the reason that air (in its "natural form") is not a product of somebody. It's the same thing with water, nobody demands money from you for drinking the water of a lake that you swim in because it's naturally there without anyone having produced it or done anything with it. Apart from a lake, where you are not surrounded by water, you have to pay for it, as you have to pay for air (respectively oxygen) when not surrounded by it (e.g. when you're diving).
Take land or space as a good example. It is a commodity even though it is not a human product in our sense. Nobody has put any work into it. Yet, we trade it as a commodity. Why is that then? My answer is that through the power of ownership and through population concentration, it has been made artificially scarce. And it is still useful and desirable. Therefore it will be a commodity.
It involves labour to bottle the water/oxygen, and of course, like everywhere else, people that subsist on it want to be payed for their labour.
That sounded positively Marxist of you ;). It is still wrong. If the liberal market theorists have been right in one regard, it's that commodities are made such by their ability to be traded. Also, not all people who subsist on their labor want to be payed for it. Subsistence farmers subsist on their labor and do not expect payment, because they do not need to treat their labor as a commodity, they produce directly. And again, if you look beyond doing something to make a living, you find many areas where people work without payment and gladly so. Underground musicians produce music for the social, cultural and personal rewards and not for payment. All manner of hobbyists put their labor into projects without receiving payment. And finally, volunteers labor without payment.
Then about the artist acting as an (group of) individual, I'm not completely sure what you want to say about that. But certainly there are artists that "manufacture cds", "organize the construction of live p.a.s", "spread the word about her music on facebook" and thus decide what happens with the music and choose how to make a living. Every of those aspects is normally taken care of by the artists themselves, until they reach a certain size. From that point on, they pay people for it or sign a contract so that other people do it for them, but of course that makes it still their decision, since they are not forced to do so.
Yes, there are independent artists but they are few and far between and most of them do not get very commercially successful. Can you name one on the level of say Blind Guardian? I can't. But on the other hand, I expect any innovations to come from that daring and creative part of the business. Again, I said most and did not say all.
I can agree with your first reason. To your second one: If the "many" are the audience of a certain band, and the "band" the few, I'm not sure if that's really a good thing.
In all of this I have never talked about artists.
That is probably what bothers me about your argumentation.
I was beginning to suspect that.

I thought I had, by writing that there exists a group of people who would buy the album if they couldn't download it. Therefor, within this group, every album downloaded is an album not sold, and every album not sold is a loss for the band.
But can you say for any given person and any given album that that person has downloaded that she would have bought it, had she not downloaded it? How do you exclude her still buying it in the future, when it is sold for a lower price? What about people who download many albums and buy a few of those? Those would sometimes be in your group and sometimes not. The point is that if an act of downloading is bad only if it means one album less sold, than somehow one must be able to identify those acts of downloading and distinguish them from those that do not satisfy this condition. You want to do this by categorizing the persons who act, and I don't think it works like that. Take the download many/buy some type, where do they fall?
And your argument excuses the people who only download and never would buy or have bought before. People e.g. who only listened to the radio and now download.
If you need a creative person to write and record music, only the few people who are such creative people can write and record music. Now, as always not everyone has the ability to do that. So nothing has changed, except for the medium on which the music is sold. And I never said you should buy CD's and support the reproduction industry, but that you should buy music and support the band.
I agree that bands should be supported, I just disagree that the only way to do that is by turning the reproductions of their recordings into commodities. And even if that were the case, the kind of law enforcement that would require would be terrible.
Yes, it is unavoidable to prevent music from being downloaded for free against the will of it's author by law. I still think you shouldn't do it, because the bands lose money and that's bad for them. So why do you do it?
I think they should do it, because it weakens the reproduction industry whose business practices are bad for everyone involved and the corrupt governments who put the interests of the economic elite before the interests of the people. That is, simply put, I do not believe that it is wrong, even if some bands lose a little bit of money. Last number I heard was 80 cents per CD after the loan for study etc. has been paid off. You are merely exaggerating that point. I also do not take kindly to suggestive attacks on my personal moral integrity. It seems to me that your question was merely rhetorical. "It's wrong. Justify yourself!" is what I see. And furthermore, "why do you do it" is a rather bad question. The only true answer anyone can ever give to this is "I don't know." At best we can guess at our motivations. And that should mean that is some important sense why we do something is irrelevant. What matters is what we do.
But I will indulge you and give you my interpretation of what I am personally doing.
But I do it for love of music. For the desire to preserve music otherwise lost. Political liberation. The satisfaction of being able to use the technology I have in the way I want to. The power acquired by being in control. Finally you might miss your mark by a bit. I tend to spend a certain amount of money on buying albums, merchandise, going to concerts. That is, I try to show my appreciation by supporting artists when I can and in the ways that I can. I couldn't afford to buy more albums, shirts, concert tickets, so I guess I do not fall in the category of bad downloaders ;). I try not to support the system, but sometimes other desires of mine clash with that. The future will have other ways but I am here now and I cannot change things very rapidly.
The point for me is not one of personal morality, but of political power and freedom.
I don't pay for the air I breath, for the birds I hear, for the company I keep, for the cherished words of friendship and the kisses of my beloved. I don't not ask payment for my support, for my company or my kisses.
There are places where you pay for the air you breath. Apart from that:
OK. You said it yourself, you do not ask for it. A tax accountant or a lawyer though will ask payment for their support.
There are escorts who accompany people professionally and they will ask payment for their company.
Don't get me started on kisses and beyond, but as we both know, there are a lot of people who ask payment for that stuff too, and as we all know from the frequent lawsuits against certain "customers" who don't pay them for their "services", they have to be in the right to ask payment, since most judgments are in their favour.
Do you not see the difference between doing something for friends or out of altruism and making a living on something?
I do. But you kept on denying that there are ways of production and relating to one another that do not involve trade of commodities and that this can apply, too, to the sphere of art and culture. I was merely giving some very obvious examples for exchanges and goods that are not commodities, yet still valuable. It was after all a reply to your suggestion of "you buy one, you get one" as a general rule of exchange.
I speak and write my poetry into the world and receive at most a thank you. All of these things do not fall under the rule of "you buy one, you get one." because none of them are commodities and I am not part of a market for them. And in the digital age, content also ceases to be a commodity.
Yes, I, too, write and play my music into the world and receive at most a thank you, and I was always happy with that. On the other hand, I'm not a professional. For the second part of your statement, "content also ceases to be a commodity", I really hope that that will never happen. As I skim through the authors in my bookshelves, I see many great names, both in fiction and non-fiction, that probably would never have had the time and the money to write some of their greatest works, if it wasn't for the books, the "content", they sold. Does that not strike you at all?
Again you miss my point. Yes, artists should be supported and enabled to produce their art. No, the commodification of reproductions of their art is not the only way to do that. Therefore, since content becomes ever more difficult to commodify, we need not ultimately fear for art nor artists.
Hell, if I had the money to do that, I would patron Skyclad myself.
I merely say that rules of market exchange are not general moral rules, but just that, rules required for markets.

The right thing to do, would be to abolish copy right and intellectual property law, to empower the people to do for themselves that which others have done for them. The wrong thing to do would be to support a structure which hurts and exploits so many people, to support a class of businesspeople who do not shirk from heaping massive amounts of debts on young children, college students and single moms in order to "send a message". The right thing to do is to shake of the fear of the law and boldly state that it is unjust and hurtful and that it serves only to keep the powerful powerful and the rest in subservience.
And your main point, about supporting bands and about bands having a right to make money by selling reproductions of their recordings seems to me to be a very minor point, compared to this.
I don't really see how I am "supporting a structure which hurts and exploits so many people, (...) a class of businesspeople who do not shirk from heaping massive amounts of debts on" everyone just by buying an album by a band I like and thinking that you should buy one too.
You keep saying that you support bands by buying albums, but you keep ommiting the fact that only a miniscule percentage of the retail price of a cd goes to the artist and that only after all the desires of the industry are fulfilled and paid for. If we take Ferdis numbers, take 17,- for a CD,0 0,80 for the artist. That amounts to a whooping 4.7%. The other 95.3% of your money support the people who [url=http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,299486,00.html]sue single mothers for 220000 dollars for sharing 24 songs.[/quote]
I don't really see how you could want that.
I wrote:Those bands are not under threat of a live in debt, a debt that they in a likelihood will never be able to pay off. The are not called criminals, nor are the the victims of scare and shock tactics. They don't get the sanctity of their homes invaded by policemen, who search through their most private files in order to find evidence of the crime of self-empowerment.
you wrote: Of course, the legal consequences of filesharing (if that's what you are talking about here) are all terribly exaggerated. That is the thing that's wrong, and not the general idea that you should pay the band.
I wrote: I also said that I agree that recording artists should be compensated or payed or rewarded for the work they do in some way.
Here I see your point. You, though, being born in "the right country", and probably having enough money, I don't see why you shouldn't pay for it.
Yes, we should all contribute in our way to humanity having a rich and diverse cultural sphere. Yes, that includes supporting artists. No, the best way to do that is not to buy CDs, In fact, that is probably the worst way, since it mostly supports the industry. A best ways are usually to buy merchandise and go to concerts. Not only big name concerts, but to your local underground concerts. And if you buy CDs it's best to buy them from bands who manufacture them independently and to buy them from the bands personally. The amazing german black metal band Farsot sold me both of their albums when I saw them live. I am very happy with that, they are gorgeously packaged and contain some great music. As such opportunities appear, you might want to take them. It's better than ordering from Nuclear Blast or EMP or buying at Saturn or Media Markt.
To put it straight forwardly again:
I agree that while there is a moral duty to support artists, there is no moral duty to buy CDs or proprietary downloads. There are other- and far better - ways to support artists in the current situation. Also, if artists should not have to sell their art, but instead found public support because the value of having art, even art most people do not understand nor even like, is recognized, that would be even better.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#48 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 09 Jun 2010 18:49

I thought I had, by writing that there exists a group of people who would buy the album if they couldn't download it. Therefor, within this group, every album downloaded is an album not sold, and every album not sold is a loss for the band.
But can you say for any given person and any given album that that person has downloaded that she would have bought it, had she not downloaded it?
Good point. Desert_Strorm could try to argue this, but that would be just the same as saying that masturbation is unfair to prostitutes. Because if we would apply his logic to this example, we would end up saying that masturbation = stealing from prostitutes who deserve to be paid.
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#49 Post by Desert_Storm » 10 Jun 2010 01:41

t.a.j. wrote:
Desert_Storm wrote: I disagree with your statement that goods can only become commodities if they're scarce. Nobody has tried to sell air for the reason that air (in its "natural form") is not a product of somebody. It's the same thing with water, nobody demands money from you for drinking the water of a lake that you swim in because it's naturally there without anyone having produced it or done anything with it. Apart from a lake, where you are not surrounded by water, you have to pay for it, as you have to pay for air (respectively oxygen) when not surrounded by it (e.g. when you're diving).
Take land or space as a good example. It is a commodity even though it is not a human product in our sense. Nobody has put any work into it. Yet, we trade it as a commodity. Why is that then? My answer is that through the power of ownership and through population concentration, it has been made artificially scarce. And it is still useful and desirable. Therefore it will be a commodity.
I see your point. I have not said that scarcity is not an aspect that defines something as a commodity though, I just said that there certainly are products that are treated as commodities without being scarce.
And again, if you look beyond doing something to make a living, you find many areas where people work without payment and gladly so. Underground musicians produce music for the social, cultural and personal rewards and not for payment. All manner of hobbyists put their labor into projects without receiving payment. And finally, volunteers labor without payment.
Of course, I never argued against that. However, I say it should be their choice to do something out of goodwill/altruism and they shouldn't be forced to do it without payment (hence the term volunteer).
Then about the artist acting as an (group of) individual, I'm not completely sure what you want to say about that. But certainly there are artists that "manufacture cds", "organize the construction of live p.a.s", "spread the word about her music on facebook" and thus decide what happens with the music and choose how to make a living. Every of those aspects is normally taken care of by the artists themselves, until they reach a certain size. From that point on, they pay people for it or sign a contract so that other people do it for them, but of course that makes it still their decision, since they are not forced to do so.
Yes, there are independent artists but they are few and far between and most of them do not get very commercially successful. Can you name one on the level of say Blind Guardian? I can't. But on the other hand, I expect any innovations to come from that daring and creative part of the business. Again, I said most and did not say all.
I fail to see the difference that makes. They do it themselves or they pay somebody for it, so it remains their responsibility.
I thought I had, by writing that there exists a group of people who would buy the album if they couldn't download it. Therefor, within this group, every album downloaded is an album not sold, and every album not sold is a loss for the band.
But can you say for any given person and any given album that that person has downloaded that she would have bought it, had she not downloaded it? How do you exclude her still buying it in the future, when it is sold for a lower price? What about people who download many albums and buy a few of those? Those would sometimes be in your group and sometimes not. The point is that if an act of downloading is bad only if it means one album less sold, than somehow one must be able to identify those acts of downloading and distinguish them from those that do not satisfy this condition. You want to do this by categorizing the persons who act, and I don't think it works like that. Take the download many/buy some type, where do they fall?
Of course I cannot say "for any given person and any given album that that person has downloaded that she would have bought it, had she not downloaded it". I'm not planning on making a law out of this ;). I just tried to show that there is a loss of money involved because there are always some people that would buy an album if they had no downloading ability (naturally not always the same people). I brought that up in the first place because somebody argued (though I'm not sure whether that somebody was you), that there is no loss for the band if you download the album, but I think we agree on that point by now, so there's no further discussion necessary.
And your argument excuses the people who only download and never would buy or have bought before. People e.g. who only listened to the radio and now download.
My argument really more excludes than excuses (since this people who wouldn't have bought in the first place thus don't cause any financial loss whatsoever). If you scroll up a little, you see that my post you were referring to didn't even do that. I wrote, directly following my sentence about the people who would buy in the other case: "independent of the number Y of people who would have completely abandoned the album" had they not the opportunity to download it.
As I skim through the authors in my bookshelves, I see many great names, both in fiction and non-fiction, that probably would never have had the time and the money to write some of their greatest works, if it wasn't for the books, the "content", they sold. Does that not strike you at all?
Again you miss my point. Yes, artists should be supported and enabled to produce their art. No, the commodification of reproductions of their art is not the only way to do that. Therefore, since content becomes ever more difficult to commodify, we need not ultimately fear for art nor artists.
Hell, if I had the money to do that, I would patron Skyclad myself.
I merely say that rules of market exchange are not general moral rules, but just that, rules required for markets.
I can agree with you about the character of the rules, but since you and I (and probably 99% of the world population) lacks the financial means to patronize the artists we like, I still think we have to worry about (at least) the writing artist once the doctrine about content/product relation you share is generally accepted. While bands still may have concerts and merchandise to rely on, writers normally lack such other supporting pillars. I hardly see anyone walking around in Douglas Adams T-shirts, and an average writers' public reading normally isn't too much of a crowd puller (of course with the casual exception, take Daniel Kehlmann as an example of our own language and (?) generation). So what will they be left with once their books are freeware, downloaded and read on e-paper?
The right thing to do, would be to abolish copy right and intellectual property law, to empower the people to do for themselves that which others have done for them. The wrong thing to do would be to support a structure which hurts and exploits so many people, to support a class of businesspeople who do not shirk from heaping massive amounts of debts on young children, college students and single moms in order to "send a message". The right thing to do is to shake of the fear of the law and boldly state that it is unjust and hurtful and that it serves only to keep the powerful powerful and the rest in subservience.
And your main point, about supporting bands and about bands having a right to make money by selling reproductions of their recordings seems to me to be a very minor point, compared to this.
I don't really see how I am "supporting a structure which hurts and exploits so many people, (...) a class of businesspeople who do not shirk from heaping massive amounts of debts on" everyone just by buying an album by a band I like and thinking that you should buy one too.
You keep saying that you support bands by buying albums, but you keep ommiting the fact that only a miniscule percentage of the retail price of a cd goes to the artist and that only after all the desires of the industry are fulfilled and paid for. If we take Ferdis numbers, take 17,- for a CD,0 0,80 for the artist. That amounts to a whooping 4.7%. The other 95.3% of your money support the people who sue single mothers for 220000 dollars for sharing 24 songs.I don't really see how you could want that.[/quote]
I wrote:Of course, the legal consequences of filesharing (...) are all terribly exaggerated. That is the thing that's wrong, and not the general idea that you should pay the band.
For the numbers: I would rather take the ones that are provided by the "Verband unabhängiger Musikunternehmen", since this were the indication that I've used since my first post (and seemed quite trustworthy). Now, once you deduct the roughly 17% that go to the artists, you will maybe also want to deduct the percents that go to production, trade, salestax, distribution (summed up ~60%). GEMA, lable and publishers are then left with not 95 but 23%. That makes a difference.
I agree that while there is a moral duty to support artists, there is no moral duty to buy CDs or proprietary downloads. There are other- and far better - ways to support artists in the current situation. Also, if artists should not have to sell their art, but instead found public support because the value of having art, even art most people do not understand nor even like, is recognized, that would be even better.
We are again at the point were I think that it's quite OK that I pay for the bands I like, you for the bands you're like, and the mainstream for the "artists" it likes, since I'm the one that benefits from the first, you're the one that benefits from the second, and the mainstream from all others. You surely have reasons to think otherwise, though I'm not sure if either of us would be very happy if we had to pay in a fund that would support artists from black metal through gangsta-rap to techno (I'm talking about the above discussed patronization/collective pays for individuals here, if you meant something different then I misunderstood you).
But for now, "It's getting late for scribbling and scratching on the paper". Good night ;)
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The Rider Of Rohan
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Re: The old copyright thing again

#50 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 10 Jun 2010 07:09

For the numbers: I would rather take the ones that are provided by the "Verband unabhängiger Musikunternehmen", since this were the indication that I've used since my first post (and seemed quite trustworthy). Now, once you deduct the roughly 17% that go to the artists, you will maybe also want to deduct the percents that go to production, trade, salestax, distribution (summed up ~60%). GEMA, lable and publishers are then left with not 95 but 23%. That makes a difference.
This graph is clearly erroneous as well as misleading, but now that I see it I do see why you are making such a fuss. If I was led to believe that artists make 1,5 euro per cd, I would blame downloaders too. But artist don't make that kind of money, trust me.
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