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It's a brave new world of free.

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:40 pm

I saw a member of a group that I recently encountered at the MNB awards, posting online about their download site for their new record. When a friend of their's talked about buying it, the artist commented "Don't you dare pay!!! It's pay what you want! Just put $0 . I just want people to have it". When someone else commented about it being hard to make money when you tell people not to pay for your music, the artist said "We just want people to have the EP! We try to make money in other ways".

I just don't know.....
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Re: It's a brave new world of free.

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:41 am

It's a slippery slope as it devalues the product for everyone else when enough artists feel that way. The end user ends up feeling like they should pay anything for music. Then again... I guess we are already there, aren't we?
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Re: It's a brave new world of free.

Postby Jef » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:33 pm

The "traditional' ways of making money with music will soon be, if not already, going the way of the dinosaur. What the industry needs is more "out-of-the-box" thinking on alternative ways of generating revenue. Those who are innovative enough will prosper while those who cling to the old ways will most likely not survive.
On-line file sharing and downloading free copies of music has become more the rule than the exception. I think wasting resources on fighting that losing battle would be better spent investing in other ways to get paid for your work.
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Re: It's a brave new world of free.

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:35 pm

Jef wrote: I think wasting resources on fighting that losing battle would be better spent investing in other ways to get paid for your work.


Do you have any suggestion for an alternative method of getting paid for their work? Keeping in mind that if recorded music is no longer worth anything, then studio are worthless as well.
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Re: It's a brave new world of free.

Postby Jef » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:54 pm

Mathieu Benoit wrote:Do you have any suggestion for an alternative method of getting paid for their work? Keeping in mind that if recorded music is no longer worth anything, then studio are worthless as well.


No Matt, I have no suggestions for you. Just posting what I've observed.
It's like the Live Music Scene. At one time, we could make decent money playing bar gigs; could afford to own a high end PA & light show; had a tech crew that worked with for the band... Then a bunch of jamb-band hack players started gigging for next to nothing and totally destroyed that market too. Why would a club pay 1200 bucks for a well polished act, when they could get the hack band to play for peanuts? (....rant, rant rant).
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Re: It's a brave new world of free.

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:53 pm

Jef wrote:
Mathieu Benoit wrote:Do you have any suggestion for an alternative method of getting paid for their work? Keeping in mind that if recorded music is no longer worth anything, then studio are worthless as well.


No Matt, I have no suggestions for you. Just posting what I've observed.
It's like the Live Music Scene. At one time, we could make decent money playing bar gigs; could afford to own a high end PA & light show; had a tech crew that worked with for the band... Then a bunch of jamb-band hack players started gigging for next to nothing and totally destroyed that market too. Why would a club pay 1200 bucks for a well polished act, when they could get the hack band to play for peanuts? (....rant, rant rant).


That's just it, the whole industry has been devalued to the point that solutions are harder to come by.

Personally, I suggest that everyone gives up and gets a day job. No more music until people start to miss it. That way music becomes rare and valuable again, then you can start the cycle over. Hey... It worked for the diamond industry.
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Re: It's a brave new world of free.

Postby macrae11 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:16 pm

Jef wrote:The "traditional' ways of making money with music will soon be, if not already, going the way of the dinosaur. What the industry needs is more "out-of-the-box" thinking on alternative ways of generating revenue. Those who are innovative enough will prosper while those who cling to the old ways will most likely not survive.
On-line file sharing and downloading free copies of music has become more the rule than the exception. I think wasting resources on fighting that losing battle would be better spent investing in other ways to get paid for your work.


I disagree with this approach. If looters are smashing your store windows in a riot you don't just say oh well there's too many rioters and give up. At least I don't.

Any of the larger acts I've heard of who made attempts at "out-of-the-box" thinking have turned basically a 180º and are vocally for people paying for their music. eg Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails. So far those who have been innovative have gotten their shirt handed to them and those who stuck to the old models at least survived. I do agree that artists need to put more emphasis on publishing revenues, however getting Coke to pay for your art certainly limits the scope of what you'll be able to produce and sell. If we as a culture want to have an artist class something needs to change and selling t-shirts is not it.

I also think the problems are not nearly as insurmountable as people want you to believe. Far from breaking the internet if you made advertising on pirate sites illegal and have torrent et al searches not return any hits you'd be about 80% of the way there. However with massive lobbying happening on behalf of the tech sector this will be quite difficult to accomplish. Reducing the capabilities and effect of lobbyists will have a great overall positive effect not just on the arts but as a society as a whole.
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Re: It's a brave new world of free.

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:24 am

Basically... what Andrew said.

Huge tech industries making millions with content created by artists who receive little or nothing for their work, all under the guise of us needing to accept this as the "new age" of intellectual property.

Acting like this will never turn around, or that we will ruin the Internet for everyone in doing something about it is something that has been sold to many by the corporate cons.

This is something that needs to be talked about, and needs to be kept at the forefront of people's attitudes when thinking about where they are spending their money and why.

In case you haven't already caught this: http://vimeo.com/58809695

...and back to my original post. The fact that an artist nominated for, and winner of a regional music award, is telling fans to NOT BUY THEIR MUSIC but instead, download it for free, and well... they'll figure out a way to make money some other way.......... It's just utterly effed up to me.
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Re: It's a brave new world of free.

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:42 am

Jef wrote:It's like the Live Music Scene. At one time, we could make decent money playing bar gigs; could afford to own a high end PA & light show; had a tech crew that worked with for the band... Then a bunch of jamb-band hack players started gigging for next to nothing and totally destroyed that market too. Why would a club pay 1200 bucks for a well polished act, when they could get the hack band to play for peanuts? (....rant, rant rant).
As much as I understand the parallel with the devaluing of the service, the root of the problem is far from equal. People didn't stop buying popular music recordings because some "hack" bands started giving away their music. It came from the theft of popular intellectual property, delivered (for a fee) by highly profitable corporations who have done an excellent job of concealing their active involvement in the destruction of content creators' livelihood. After the fact, plummeting sales of music corresponding with availability of broadband Internet access in North American markets has been documented. This completely contradicts the old argument of "wouldn't have bought it anyway, so downloading it didn't actually change anything."

The fact that so many still parrot these arguments demonstrates how good of a job the tech industry has done of distorting the facts and influencing legislators.
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Re: It's a brave new world of free.

Postby Jef » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:31 am

Malcolm Boyce wrote:...plummeting sales of music corresponding with availability of broadband Internet access in North American markets has been documented. This completely contradicts the old argument of "wouldn't have bought it anyway, so downloading it didn't actually change anything."
The fact that so many still parrot these arguments demonstrates how good of a job the tech industry has done of distorting the facts and influencing legislators.

...but where is the contradictory data coming from? I mean studies such as this depict a totally opposite effect. Who you gonna believe?
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Re: It's a brave new world of free.

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:53 am

Jef wrote:...but where is the contradictory data coming from? I mean studies such as this depict a totally opposite effect. Who you gonna believe?

Too many businesses have shut down to support the concept of the music and creative businesses are "healthy" in any way.

Why are these 'scholars' calling on the government to "look at more objective data when deciding on future copyright enforcement policies"? Why will enforcing existing copyright law bother them and their group, even if the business is in this alleged wonderful, profitable state already?
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Re: It's a brave new world of free.

Postby Jef » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:20 am

Malcolm Boyce wrote:Why are these 'scholars' calling on the government to "look at more objective data when deciding on future copyright enforcement policies"? Why will enforcing existing copyright law bother them and their group, even if the business is in this alleged wonderful, profitable state already?

Indeed... all very good questions. Perhaps the copyright laws themselves need to be revised to 21st century standards.
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Re: It's a brave new world of free.

Postby macrae11 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:24 pm

Jef wrote:
Malcolm Boyce wrote:...plummeting sales of music corresponding with availability of broadband Internet access in North American markets has been documented. This completely contradicts the old argument of "wouldn't have bought it anyway, so downloading it didn't actually change anything."
The fact that so many still parrot these arguments demonstrates how good of a job the tech industry has done of distorting the facts and influencing legislators.

...but where is the contradictory data coming from? I mean studies such as this depict a totally opposite effect. Who you gonna believe?

Actually the opposite effect would be a booming creative and arts economy which we can all plainly see is not the case. In fact their best example of a thriving creative industry is the gaming industry. What's different in gaming than music. Why a strict DRM and proprietary hardware, two things that generated widespread disapproval when attempts were made to use them for music delivery.

In the music industry there's actually been about 15% drop in overall revenues when accounting for inflation. Music buying has been cut about in half while music consumption is at an all time high. They're claiming most of the shortfall is being made up by concert sales. The problem with this is is 3 fold.
1: concert prices have been going through the roof to try to compensate for lost revenue of record sales however the cost of touring has also gone up significantly so there hasn't been a large increase in the profit margin from touring.
2: pirates are one of the first to complain about high ticket prices and just use it as an excuse to steal more while claiming artists are greedy.
3. Ticket sales for small and mid level artists have not risen correspondingly with the larger acts but their costs have been rising at the same rate. This leads to the complete destruction of the musical middle class so there's lots of huge artists that make a larger percentage of the money and teems of artists who can't pay their bills. The ones at the top also are discouraged from innovation from label pressure to keep putting out the same hit of the week material and so they can sell Coke. This leads to a stagnant creative culture where the only people who can afford to take risks, can't afford to actually spend the required time creating their works because they're working at Starbucks.

I also didn't see anywhere in there where they proposed any type of causation, merely correlation that increased piracy actually helps creative industries.
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Re: It's a brave new world of free.

Postby macrae11 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:29 pm

Jef wrote:
Malcolm Boyce wrote:Why are these 'scholars' calling on the government to "look at more objective data when deciding on future copyright enforcement policies"? Why will enforcing existing copyright law bother them and their group, even if the business is in this alleged wonderful, profitable state already?

Indeed... all very good questions. Perhaps the copyright laws themselves need to be revised to 21st century standards.


Should we revise fraud laws to 21st century standards as well? I mean it's much easier to commit fraud online now than it used to be so we might as well make it legal no?

Actually I would be open to discussing copyright terms and how things should be moving forward. However in order to have an honest level playing field discussion about it I think we need to include all intellectual property such as patents, trademarks, design rights etc. If you can get Google et al on board with the new "21st century standards" I'd be willing to explore the option.

I'd be interested in hearing what your ideas of 21st century standards for copyright are as well but that's the lens that I'd be looking through.
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Re: It's a brave new world of free.

Postby Jef » Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:07 pm

So... I'm not choosing sides here. I just observe things that make me curious and question things. But in case you missed what my point was, the technology is advancing way faster than the laws etc. can keep up with. So, attempting to apply outdated rules and regulations to the new technology is probably one of the factors fueling the controversy. Things are changing rapidly and the mindset of people is changing as well.

No, I don't have any suggestions for solutions. I think we just need to observe the big picture of what's happening and find ways to use it to our advantage. I think it is the new ideas and innovation that will ultimately prevail and the people who cling to the old ways... well I guess they will eventually get replaced.
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Re: It's a brave new world of free.

Postby macrae11 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:26 pm

I guess I just don't see how the existing rules and regulations have been outpaced by technology other than it's easier to circumvent them. Actually there are a few I can think of such as the blank media levy that have become useless, but that law was only benefitting artists, and doesn't affect the actual laws of intellectual property theft.

re: solutions There have been a number of people who have tried adapting and innovating and everyone that I've read about has gotten their asses handed to them by the same people they were trying to cater to. Every time I hear buzzwords like innovate it's really just code words for screwing artists. I mean is Pandora innovative? Maybe some of their technology is (I have no idea) but there business practices certainly aren't.

Honestly if no one was making money I'd let this go a whole lot sooner, but the problem is that there's a lot of people making big money from the product of artists. And it's not the artists.
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Re: It's a brave new world of free.

Postby Jef » Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:39 pm

macrae11 wrote: ...but the problem is that there's a lot of people making big money from the product of artists. And it's not the artists.

True... major labels, concert promoters (TicketMaster) are still ripping off artists (and consumers).
A lot of artists are doing ok without them though. Promoting their own work and organizing concerts etc. by taking advantage of technology such as social media & such... for example.
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Re: It's a brave new world of free.

Postby macrae11 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:55 pm

Jef wrote:
macrae11 wrote: ...but the problem is that there's a lot of people making big money from the product of artists. And it's not the artists.

True... major labels, concert promoters (TicketMaster) are still ripping off artists (and consumers).
A lot of artists are doing ok without them though. Promoting their own work and organizing concerts etc. by taking advantage of technology such as social media & such... for example.



Haha right, they're the ones screwing artists. :roll: They're providing a service which the artist pays for, which may be too much that's certainly up for discussion. The one's I'm referring to have absolutely nothing to do with the entertainment industry except for stealing it's product.
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Re: It's a brave new world of free.

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:58 pm

macrae11 wrote:
Jef wrote:
macrae11 wrote: ...but the problem is that there's a lot of people making big money from the product of artists. And it's not the artists.

True... major labels, concert promoters (TicketMaster) are still ripping off artists (and consumers).
A lot of artists are doing ok without them though. Promoting their own work and organizing concerts etc. by taking advantage of technology such as social media & such... for example.



Haha right, they're the ones screwing artists. :roll: They're providing a service which the artist pays for, which may be too much that's certainly up for discussion. The one's I'm referring to have absolutely nothing to do with the entertainment industry except for stealing it's product.
This!... or at least helping in the act of stealing.
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Re: It's a brave new world of free.

Postby Jef » Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:27 am

There are as many arguments for file sharing as there are against... with research & documentation supporting both views. So I'm going to leave that one alone.

But what about the YouTube phenomenon? Nearly any music you want to hear can be found there. There is no cost to the listener other than a bit of an advert you may have to put up with. This is a legal media source and even the 'Big Names' are using it, collecting revenues from the advertisements. Wouldn't this be an example of using the technology instead of fighting it?

I know I use YouTube on my smart phone to listen to music all the time. I have an unlimited data plan and I can plug my phone right into my car audio with a male to male 1/8" TRS cable. There is also an app that you can use to set up YouTube play lists.

I think trends like this (and other innovative ideas) is where the future of the industry should be heading.
Give the downloaders what they want... collect revenue from the advertisers, it's a win/win situation.
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Re: It's a brave new world of free.

Postby macrae11 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:46 pm

I don't think there are an equal amount of legitimate arguments for and against file sharing at all. I think there are far more arguments that people make for file sharing as opposed to against file sharing but the vast majority of them are self aggrandizing bullshit.

I've got no problem with a YouTube type scenario. As you pointed out the content owners are the one's receiving the advertising royalties. Also artists have the choice to take there content down via DMCA takedown notices. It's not great for smaller artists because the barrier to entry is a little too high IMO, and drafting DMCA notices can be a full time job, however it's better than nothing. Sites where the creators have no say, no pay, no choice are not at all in the same ballpark and this is where the majority of pirates are getting their content from.
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Re: It's a brave new world of free.

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:17 pm

macrae11 wrote:I don't think there are an equal amount of legitimate arguments for and against file sharing at all. I think there are far more arguments that people make for file sharing as opposed to against file sharing but the vast majority of them are self aggrandizing bullshit.
Precisely. Not even close. Unless you are an ISP, or Google, or a manufacturer of hardware to playback your downloads, you have no reason to be against content creators having control of what happens with their works.

If music really is $.99 a song, why does a kid need an iPod that can hold 40,000? Because they, *nudge nudge - wink wink*, know where the files really are coming from.

macrae11 wrote:I've got no problem with a YouTube type scenario. As you pointed out the content owners are the one's receiving the advertising royalties. Also artists have the choice to take there content down via DMCA takedown notices. It's not great for smaller artists because the barrier to entry is a little too high IMO, and drafting DMCA notices can be a full time job, however it's better than nothing. Sites where the creators have no say, no pay, no choice are not at all in the same ballpark and this is where the majority of pirates are getting their content from.
Sites like YouTube are not where the majority of pirated music downloads are coming from. It's the full service, torrent and "file sharing" providers where you can get the latest Daft Punk album in your choice of file type, all at the price of a Google search, which they claim filtering out would cause irreparable damage to the interwebs.
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Re: It's a brave new world of free.

Postby Jef » Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:45 am

Malcolm Boyce wrote:Sites like YouTube are not where the majority of pirated music downloads are coming from.
It's not where any of the pirated music is coming from. It is sites like this that are a legitimate alternative to "stealing" material.

Malcolm Boyce wrote:...get the latest Daft Punk album
...yup, did a YouTube search, they got that too.
Don't you think that when people are offered a (somewhat free) site to listen to virtually any music they want, the majority of them will abandon the pirate sites? I mean, why download and store files on your device when you can stream the music in real time from nearly anywhere... legally?


Also, there is another way that artists are getting money from YouTube.
Anybody can upload to YouTube. If it is someone else's copyright material, there are a couple things that can happen..
- The offending material can be removed by YouTube.
- The material can be left there, but with advertisement slapped to it (that gets paid to the rights holder).

So even when somebody likes your song and does their own (usually amateur) version of it and puts it up on YouTube and gets a million more hits than the original, you can still get paid for it.
This is one of the alternative ways of getting paid, when I referred to "thinking outside the box".
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Re: It's a brave new world of free.

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:41 am

Jef wrote:
Malcolm Boyce wrote:Sites like YouTube are not where the majority of pirated music downloads are coming from.
It's not where any of the pirated music is coming from. It is sites like this that are a legitimate alternative to "stealing" material.
Is everyone who's using one of those YouTube to .mp3 things not doing anything wrong? So everyone I catch giving me music converted from YouTube clips for events isn't doing anything wrong? Some dance events I work would pay more for one pair of shoes than to purchase proper copies of their music, but instead continue to use these workarounds because it's easy.

Jef wrote:Also, there is another way that artists are getting money from YouTube.
Anybody can upload to YouTube. If it is someone else's copyright material, there are a couple things that can happen..
- The offending material can be removed by YouTube.
- The material can be left there, but with advertisement slapped to it (that gets paid to the rights holder).

So even when somebody likes your song and does their own (usually amateur) version of it and puts it up on YouTube and gets a million more hits than the original, you can still get paid for it.
This is one of the alternative ways of getting paid, when I referred to "thinking outside the box".
The monies being paid from YouTube are paltry in comparison to the profits being generated for YouTube and the service providers selling devices, and the bandwidth to get the content to the end user. No amount of "thinking outside the box" will fix that until some changes are made. People are talking about YouTube/Google as thought they are so fragile, they can't be regulated the same way broadcast has been for decades. The fact is, it's a fabricated bit of BS to keep their profits on the rise.
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Re: It's a brave new world of free.

Postby Jef » Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:10 pm

Malcolm Boyce wrote: Is everyone who's using one of those YouTube to .mp3 things not doing anything wrong? So everyone I catch giving me music converted from YouTube clips for events isn't doing anything wrong? Some dance events I work would pay more for one pair of shoes than to purchase proper copies of their music, but instead continue to use these workarounds because it's easy.
:roll: That doesn't sound like a big industry making unlawful money by pirating Billions of dollars worth of revenue at all. It's more like private individuals making personal copies of music that was legitimately obtained (from YouTube via advertisers). I think you and Andrew are speaking of two separate things.

Malcolm Boyce wrote: The monies being paid from YouTube are paltry in comparison to the profits being generated for YouTube and the service providers selling devices, and the bandwidth to get the content to the end user.
"They're providing a service which the artist pays for, which may be too much that's certainly up for discussion." (quoting Andrew's answer to another scenario, but it works here too)
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