[ Hypnos Forum ]

OTHER THINGS IN THE WORLD THAN MUSIC => Everything and Nothing => Topic started by: APK on April 19, 2009, 12:51:09 PM

Title: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: APK on April 19, 2009, 12:51:09 PM
MOVED from the Steve Roach new release thread.

Immersion said:
This is an philosophical debate, I respect your opinion I hope you respect mine. Even though we live in an capitalistic market economy I think, no music holds an financial value, I do not agree with the thought that you must "pay" to hear music. It might have been so in the past when labels did not gives any other choice,  but now and in the future the music will flow free thanks to internet and file sharing, and I see this a good thing to let culture and information flow free.

I have no interest to protect Hollywood or the MTV top 100 mass produced crap industry. I only care about independent music which is not made to gain financial profit but only inner satisfaction and pleasure. We live in an time where almost every person can create music, build their own home studio and record music, you no longer need expensive studios to record music. Anyway, I have no respect for artists who "demand" money in return to listen to their music, it is something very wrong about that.

Maybe you are unaware, but the cd format and physical music media is dying a slow death. In future, we will need no labels or middle hands...who steals the artists income... And remember, the cd sale has always been a very little part of the income for artists, since the labels take everything, unless you have your own label of course... you get the most of the income by doing live shows and sell shirts etc
--------------------------
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: APK on April 19, 2009, 12:52:19 PM
SiF responded:
__________________________

still bullshit. if you want to eat a muffin you need to buy one. if you steal it, its fucking illegal.
if you want to listen to music that was released on a cd or vinyl record, you need to buy it.
if you download it, its stealing which means its illegal. its that simple. thats no question of
personal opinions. its a simple fact that you need to understand. do you go into a cd store
and steal some cds just to check them out at home and see if you are into them? i doubt
that.
_____________________________
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: APK on April 19, 2009, 01:46:53 PM
Immersion said:

------------------------------------

DO not compare music with muffins thank you.

You need to learn the difference between stealing and copying.
There is a huge difference to go into a cd store and steal a physical cd, then to go into a cd store and copy the cd out from nowhere.

I am aware that it is illegal upload, actually it is not illegal to download but to upload, at least here in Sweden.
However the big mass does not really care, the younger modern generation have grown up with file sharing and free music, and we have no plans to change our behavior.
We see it as a human right to download and listen to what music we like. On internet you as artist have no rights you have only an responsibility of what you share, if you do not want people to hear your music...you should simply keep it for yourself, but to blackmail people and force them to PAY to hear the music does not work anymore since we have internet. Music is not about money, if music is about money you are part of the entertainment industry and mass produced crap. I really do not care to protect Hollywood and MTV TOP 100 and other mass produced crap, I only care about real independent music which is made to for stimulate your own being.

Only the old generation that does not use the file sharing technology is against it, most politicians in the parliament is the old generation.  There is really only two choices, either we shut down the whole internet and go back to stone age, or we accept and embrace this new times and make our $$$ in other ways. You can say all you want, but file sharing is hear to stay and it is our future.

My vote goes for the Piracy Party hear in sweden, PP has in the last day become the 4th biggest party here in Sweden (no joke) we are damn tired of politicians that want to supervise internet and our digital lifes only because to safe us from "Terrorists" and Usama bin Ladin , we refuse to take this crap. Also the Pirate Bay verdict have made a lot of people pissed off... a real revoltution is taken place the last few days...if it it does continue like this PP will go into the Swedish Parliament in the next election.

http://www.piratpartiet.se/international/
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: APK on April 19, 2009, 01:52:07 PM
Hey Immersion:

I take it that you think its ok to pirate movies and any software as well ? Basically anything that is digital?
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: mgriffin on April 19, 2009, 02:20:50 PM
Immersion, has it occurred to you that if nobody pays for music any longer, many of the music-makers whose work you've enjoyed may stop releasing music to the public?  I suppose you'd say any music-maker who wants to receive any money in return for their work is "greedy" and "corporate," right? 

Why is it that you think someone who makes muffins deserves to be paid for the muffins, but someone who makes music has no right to make a deal with people who want to buy CDs from them for a fair price? 

Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: APK on April 19, 2009, 02:26:41 PM
Music is a commodity ... and is no different in that regard from other commodities.
Some people happen to like music, other people like betting on horses or going hiking in the country.

Music isn't a special class of thing that needs to be free. You enjoy it. You also enjoy fruit juice, but juice is also a product of labour, and as such is not free. Thinking that you can take the product of people's time and labour and believe they should be yours for free is stupidly pretentious ... not to mention cheap.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: mgriffin on April 19, 2009, 02:47:55 PM
Immersion, it's not up to you to decide whether or not musicians should be allowed to charge for their music.  Some musicians are happy to give it away for free, and others want to charge something for it.  Some listeners are happy getting a bunch of mp3 files via bittorrent, while many others want to purchase a CD with printed artwork. 

Your choice of the Robert Rich live archive perfectly illustrates my point, not yours.  You'll notice Robert did not release the live recordings on CD, though he has released live recordings on CD in the past.  The reason his new live archive was released as download-only, rather than on CD, is because the music market has changed so much that Robert feels pressing CDs of these live recordings would not be worth the cost, given how many copies might sell.  Ten years ago, this would be an easy decision to make -- we sold plenty of copies of Humidity, for example, a collection of live Robert Rich recordings.  Now, Robert believed and I agreed with him, the live archive recordings would be hard to sell in sufficient numbers to justify putting them on CDs.  And this is one of the most popular and most established artists in our genre!  The effect of file sharing, and the "music must be free" mentality, has made it harder for artists to sell enough CDs to pay for the cost of pressing the discs, let alone any big profit.  So the Robert Rich live archive recordings are download-only, even though Robert would like to have them on CD and there are many listeners (though probably not enough) who would like to have them on CD too.

You keep saying people should "get a job" and that's ignorant of you, because most of us DO have jobs -- label owners and ambient musicians alike -- because there is not much money to be made from selling our music.  I understand that in your idealized utopian vision, all artists would gladly work hard to buy equipment and record music to be released for free, but the reality, not the dream, is that many artists will not participate in the vision you propose.  If artists must bear the cost of buying all their own equipment and instruments without any possibility of getting something in return, some of them won't bother, and all of us who would have been willing to buy their CD will have lost out on that artist's work.

The thing is, it's not up to YOU to decide whether or not an artist or label can charge for their work.  The work belongs to them, not you, and they get to decide.  If you assert that you can overrule their decision, that's just because you want something for free and you're inventing a rationalization after the fact to justify your own selfishness.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: APK on April 19, 2009, 03:00:03 PM
"Muffins is an physical object which cost actually money to create, you need the ingredients and work time to create a muffin, for such service you could expect money..."

Music is also a physical object, when produced. You need ingredients (synths, effects, and most importantly SKILL and TIME), and you certainly need WORK. And for such services you might expect money (as in other lines of work).

The only difference (from muffin to music) is that music is also amenable to digital reproduction.

And yes, I run a label. A very small label (in Canada). But it is a label created primarily to release my own work and work of a very few artists whose work I enjoy and seriously respect. I put a LOT of time and WORK into these releases. Its not some grandiose capitalist western enterprise. It is just a few individuals who put a lot of time into creating works they enjoy and that other people might also enjoy. But it certainly takes a lot of time and work. I only have this time available because my wife supports me with her job.

I don't think music is more important than food ... yet we rightly pay for food.

Thinking that because something CAN be shared is reason for it being justifiably shared is rubbish. Not even radical socialism would be so stupid as to say that.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: cromag on April 19, 2009, 03:21:48 PM
I am torn by this issue.

Unfortunately, the actions of the "music industry" have sabotaged the artists' interests, IMHO.  They have lectured me about morality while installing viruses on their customers' computers.  They pick and choose people of limited means to sue for huge sums of money for illegally copying music files, while simultaneously providing advance copies of music for bloggers to disseminate in order to build "buzz."  Payola (bribery, financed by their paying customers) is still a problem in the broadcasting industry.  They have deliberately tried to pervert existing copyright laws into something they are not, and were never intended to be.  I don't believe that home taping ever seriously threatened the record business, in spite of the industry's claims and lawsuits.  I do believe that the home CD recording market was sabotaged by the industry and their needless distinction between "Music" and "Data" CD-Rs.  I believe I have the right to record music for which broadcast fees have been paid.  Etc., etc.

They also manipulate the market.  For example, you can legally pay for and download the album Evergreen Vol. 2, by the Stone Poneys -- If you live in Europe.  If you live in America, even if you want to pay for it they won't sell it to you.  (You can now buy an Australian import CD, but shouldn't I have the legal choice?)  Etc., etc.


It's easy to feel "ripped off" by the music industry, and that turnabout is fair game.


But that isn't fair to the artists.

All people deserve to be compensated fairly for their work.  Very talented people should be able to earn enough from their music to quit their day jobs -- this benefits us because it frees them up to create more music.


The "Music Industry" is changing.  The ease of distribution over the internet -- legitimate as well as illegitimate -- means that we don't need the kind of music distribution infrastructure that grew up over the last century.  This was the sector of the business that was pretty much viewed as a license to print money -- no one involved wants to see it go.  It also means that a lot of lawyers, sales reps, managers, etc., will likely lose their jobs.  They are trying any tactic they can find to prolong the "good old days."  As someone who was an employee of the old "Bell System," and who went through the divestitures of the 80s and 90s, I sympathize with them.  That was a bad time to work at AT&T or an operating company -- but it had to happen.  Life as I knew it back then was very good, and the world is a better place for it, but those days are gone.


Today, even though the market is dwindling, I still prefer real CDs.  I believe that they provide the most permanent form of music storage available.  Besides, even if I download music I immediately burn it to a CD-R for archival purposes -- I've had a hard disk fail, and last year suffered a dramatic virus attack.  That means I still need some kind of music company (in addition to the artists) -- but I don't need a behemoth like Sony-BMG.  I think fewer and fewer people do.

Most of the CDs I've bought in the past year have come from Hypnos, Spotted Peccary, and other small outfits.  I'll still be buying CDs as long as I can.

I would also like to buy (legally buy) David Wright's latest, Dreams and Distant Moonlight, on CD.  I can't find anyplace in the US that has it, and overseas S&H is expensive, so I might wind up (legally paying for and) downloading it from someplace like Musiczeit.  Either way, I want artists to keep making music and I'm willing to pay a reasonable amount in a fair transaction for the privilege.


EDIT:  And while I was typing that I was notified of seven new replies.  It's a "hot button!"
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: APK on April 19, 2009, 03:33:15 PM
"The driving force should come from your artistic will and desire to create, not the because of the opportunity to earn some $$$."

The driving force of the people I release, and my own work, is the artistic will and desire to create, not financial opportunity. But that does not exclude the WORK being worth something. Do you expect to get sculptures or paintings for free because they are the product of "the desire to create". That is a ridiculous argument.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: APK on April 19, 2009, 03:37:53 PM
I should mention that we are not dealing here with some monolith called  "the music industry" ... we are only dealing with a few ordinary ambient label guys (rather like yourselves) who happen to have no connection at all to this "music industry" and who put a lot of time and energy into releasing  what they see as worthwhile products for people to listen to.

Putting all labels into this "music industry" bucket is just a way of justifying abuse.
Rather like saying ALL movies you download are in the "hollywood industry" even if they were actually from a small startup company in Stockholm.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: mgriffin on April 19, 2009, 03:50:57 PM
Anthony's right.  It's a little shocking to see what we do described as "greedy" or "commercial" or "arrogant." When Hypnos releases a CD, I'm not trying to sell a million copies to make myself rich.  I'm trying to sell enough copies to pay to get the next CD made.  When an artist or label can't sell 100-200 copies of a CD release, that artist or label will probably stop making CDs soon -- something that has happened many times with some really interesting labels, and it's only been worse since filesharing has made it so easy for people to grab the music without supporting the scene.  Is the music scene really better off if all the little labels vanish?  Sure, there would still be some DIY "come and get my free download" musicians around, but if that was ALL there was, is that better somehow?
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Bill Binkelman on April 19, 2009, 03:52:02 PM
So, I take it none of you have anything better to do on a Sunday afternoon than indulge in a circular, unending debate which cannot possibly be "won" by either side because the parties are diametrically opposed?  ;D  ;)

(just kiddin'....well, sort of, kinda serious, too....carry on...I'm going back to watch the rest of Scanners, which I DVR'd from the IFC channel...

...but really, I mean, what's the point? you're not going to change his mind and, Mike,I think you made your (very good) point by deleting the website in his initial post and also stating why you did it...as for Immersion's "human right" statement ( ::) ::) ::) ), I think there are enough REAL human right violations going on these days that this one is fairly insignificant.

Peace, out. :)
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: mgriffin on April 19, 2009, 03:54:48 PM
How much your work is worth is up to the consumer to decide, so it is very relative, . It is not up to an label to decide a "price". 

This is incredibly naive.  The music is made by the artist, but the consumer is the only one who has control of it?

I agree that the consumer has the right to decide to buy or not buy music at a given price.  The idea that the person who made the music has no say in the matter is ridiculous.  It's just something you tell yourself so you'll feel better ignoring the rights of creative people whom you claim to respect.

Do you seriously believe that listeners will voluntarily send "donations" for music they've obtained illicitly?  This happens very, very rarely.  I know that Hypnos has never once received one of these "I downloaded your album via bittorrent and enjoyed it so much I wanted to send along the $6 I feel the recording is worth" donations.

I do believe that sometimes, a person downloads an album and really likes it enough to purchase the CD legitimately.  But far, far more often, human nature takes over and they think, "well, I already have the recording, so why should I go pay for it?"
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: SunDummy on April 19, 2009, 04:44:49 PM
Music and movies are unique among the arts in they don't really 'exist' unless you're actively listening/viewing them.  Sculpture is always there; paintings are always there; books sit on a shelf.  But other than the physical CD, a piece of music is not really anywhere until someone plays it.  In the days of LP's/cassettes/CD's, this was irrelevant, since you had to buy the medium to get the sounds - but now that the sounds are digitized, you don't really need to own anything (other than an ipod or pc) to possess the ability to reproduce the sounds.  This leads many folks to assume these sounds are just "information", like news.  Photographers use watermarks on their online pictures to help control theft; ebooks have never taken off.  Musicians used to rely on the poor quality of cassette copying (and the small size of social networks) to keep copying and bootlegging to a minimum.  With the internet, that's no longer possible.  But to say that this is inevitable "progress", and unstoppable, is not the same as saying that it's right or fair to the musicians.

I find it interesting that most folks who take the "it's just information, and information should be free" position are rarely content providers, they're mostly content consumers.

Quote
But With your logic , if I buy an Steve Roach album I should also pay for his studio equipment and his time ?
If I buy an album I would in that case need to know how many hours he have spent to create the "product" and what studio equipment (ingredients) he have used
to create the final form otherwise how should I determine it's financial value Huh
And how much is his time really worth ?

The artist has decided what his time and creativity are worth; that's why you pay for the CD.  If you're not willing to pay his asking price, then you should not expect to get his music.  And yes, maybe Mr. Roach thinks the actual value of his latest CD is $3000 per cd; however, he's also smart enough to know that no one will pay that, so he agrees to a more reasonable price.  That's how markets work.  Driving the price down to zero just because the technology exists to get it free does not mean that this is right.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: michael sandler on April 19, 2009, 05:36:01 PM
MOVED from the Steve Roach new release thread.

Immersion said:
This is an philosophical debate, I respect your opinion I hope you respect mine. Even though we live in an capitalistic market economy I think, no music holds an financial value, I do not agree with the thought that you must "pay" to hear music. It might have been so in the past when labels did not gives any other choice,  but now and in the future the music will flow free thanks to internet and file sharing, and I see this a good thing to let culture and information flow free.

I have no interest to protect Hollywood or the MTV top 100 mass produced crap industry. I only care about independent music which is not made to gain financial profit but only inner satisfaction and pleasure. We live in an time where almost every person can create music, build their own home studio and record music, you no longer need expensive studios to record music. Anyway, I have no respect for artists who "demand" money in return to listen to their music, it is something very wrong about that.
...


I can't think of a delicate way to put it, so I'll just go ahead and say it: this sounds like a sense of entitlement.

MikeS
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: LNerell on April 19, 2009, 06:21:11 PM

Sure the production is a physical process, however what you buy is the experience...
But With your logic , if I buy an Steve Roach album I should also pay for his studio equipment and his time ?
If I buy an album I would in that case need to know how many hours he have spent to create the "product" and what studio equipment (ingredients) he have used
to create the final form otherwise how should I determine it's financial value ???
And how much is his time really worth ?

For Terraform it was about 15 days of work, about 10 hours a day, so that comes to 150 hours. At the bargin basement price of lets say $50 an hour for studio time that would come to $3000. You can send me that amount as a check or via my paypal account, I'll make sure to give Steve his half the next time I see him.  ;D

But as I said, I do not agree with your statement, that artists release less music because of internet.  Look at Robert Rich for example he did just release an 8CD live archive.

You still have to buy them.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Scott M2 on April 19, 2009, 06:23:27 PM
Immersion - It sounds like you believe that Mr Roach should have a day job too
and make music in his spare time - and that, therefore, works like "Mystic Chords"
should not exist.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: 9dragons on April 19, 2009, 09:23:34 PM
Wow. This topic really gets me riled up. I have some things to say, but for the moment I would like to add that it is in our best interest that Mr. Roach stay away from a "day" job. Picture the man selling insurance, or flipping burgers. It just seems damn silly when we all know this man was born to make superb music. It is so much better for our favorite artists to be wandering around in the desert dreaming up the next sounds they are going to put on their album, than getting wasted away at a tiring day job. And to achieve this, they need the patronage of our funds, or a very selfless spouse. It seems insane (damn, it is insane) to be too cheap to spend $10-$15 bucks on a product you will enjoy for years to come. What can that get you today, a beer and a burrito, if even that in most cities!

But the sad thing is, we have to look at the facts. Regardless of how we feel about people who take advantage of the ease with which digital media can be shared, they will continue doing it. We can look to people like Immersion (and though I disagree with what you are saying, I respect your candour about the matter, and the fact that you actually did buy the cd) as lessons in how to adapt in the future.

This means making a package that creates absolute added value to an album release.

And this is where I very slightly, in a very small way, can sympathize with Immersion. I have bought so much shitty music in tha past, in the search for the "gold", music that I thought was good at the time, be it from muddy samples or whatnot, music which has since been jettisoned for pennies at the local record store, that I sometimes wonder about all that money, and wish it were back in my pocket. So many artists put so little effort into their packaging and presentation, and the cd format and jewelcase are so lame in and of themselves, that I sometimes do wonder if it were not better just to get the damn thing off the internet to check it out first.

So there basically is no way to remedy this situation other than to create value added packaging.

I'd like to talk more on this in a bit...
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: judd stephens on April 19, 2009, 10:35:38 PM
This is going to veer just a bit off the beaten topic here, but I may have found a way to legally rip off some artists' music, and I don't know what to think of it. 

Amazon.com's download site is full of artists work that is surprisingly cheap.  Many of the download albums go for just 99 cents per song, so if the album is one or 2 long tracks, it's just a buck or two.  For example, Brian Eno's Neroli album is just 99 cents.  Many of Thom Brennan and Mathias Grassow's work goes for under 3 bucks per album.  Even a new release like Robert Rich's Zerkalo is just around 6 bucks, and the download costs almost 10 at cdbaby!  What's so surprising is that these prices seem to be well below market value, not just for your average ambient download album, but for the same album as compared to another website.

The list goes on, so I'm wondering how they get away with doing this, and if the artists are in agreement with Amazon's cheap prices.  Maybe they are, and other artists choose not to be so generous.  Steve Roach's material, for example, does not follow the trend mentioned above, with his catalogue costing a consistent 9 dollars or so.  Maybe it has something to do with relative demand?
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: judd stephens on April 19, 2009, 10:45:05 PM
Whoa, hold the phone!

Amazon even has Robert Rich's new Live Archive for a lot cheaper than Music Zeit ???

Here's one of them

http://www.amazon.com/Due-Acque-Umbria-Italy-April/dp/B0026GKI58/ref=sr_shvl_album_32?ie=UTF8&qid=1240206117&sr=301%5F32
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: ffcal on April 20, 2009, 12:08:22 AM
Maybe it has something to do with relative demand?

My guess would be that this is the unfortunate result of having to go through a middleman for digital distribution and losing all control over the terms ultimately reached with the digital retail company at the other end.  EMusic's monthly subscription plan is by the number of downloads, and not by track length, so you could probably download several longform ambient albums for the price of, say, a digital Nick Lowe album.  I don't know what the net royalty would be from the sale of a longform album on Emusic, but my guess is that would be less than what the artist would have received on Itunes.

Re Immersion's comments:  I have paid for Robert Rich's mastering services and the licensing of Mark Mushet's professional images for the cover of my next CD.  This comes directly out of my own pocket, and I hope to at least break "even" (and by that, I am not even thinking about any of my own time spent, which is considerable) on the CD through sales, physical and digital.  I could not even hope for that to happen if everyone adopted Immersion's attitude that all digital music should be free for the taking.

Forrest
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: SiF on April 20, 2009, 12:23:41 AM
Sorry to say that, but Immersion is full of shit. His whole arguing is so incredibly naive and stupid
that it almost hurts. But in the end its bullshit to even argue with him. I stopped arguing on the
internet, since the last time it was a monkey who was in front of the other pc.

Just one last question. Did Immersion ever released his own Cd? If not, then he is certainly
disqualified to discuss this thing here. Plain and simple.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Seren on April 20, 2009, 01:11:20 AM
Immersions comment that listeners/consumers have rights but artists do not is the basic assumption that throws everything out. Despite the possibility of language misunderstandings and the difference between 'younger' and 'older' generations I add my twopenny worth.

No One has any rights, rights are just agreements between 'civilised' people and when societies are basic and violent the concept does not exist. A right has no physical reality, Christ! it's only a few years ago that we would have all been sweeping chimneys or down mines at 7 years old - no time for rights then (I only mention this as evidence of statement, not wishing we were 'back' then or anything).....and within Immersions arguments anything that has no physical reality can be ignored. The 'right' to have music for free can be taken away as easily as the 'right' to life - just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Music may not hold any value because the internet, big companies or listeners devalue it, but just because the flow of information makes it so easy does not make it right. If someone managed to organise the flow of our belongings out of our homes that would not make that right either.

my disagreement is simple. I don't think things (music or otherwise) should be taken for free - if someone chooses to give something for free that is different...
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Wayne Higgins on April 20, 2009, 07:29:18 AM
Damn, I go home for a weekend and Monday morning WHAM!!!

There have been quite a few threads on this topic in many different forms.  I'm upset with copyright laws and confused about licensing.  This argument seems to be a buy or not buy argument.  Greed of musicians?  If we musicians were greedy, we'd be something else.  Gene Simmons says that the only reason one becomes a musician is to get laid.  I have always said that if you are running a restaurant and someone is stealing money, the person who comes to you (the manager) privately everyday with new information on who may be responsible for the disappearance is your thief.  In other words, those who accuse are the ones who are guilty.  There is a lot of finger pointing here, please, lets tone it down.

Here's my take on the issue.......

We make music, we own the copyright.  No one can take that away from us, but we can sell it.  We can sell the copyright off to a record company, giant or inde, and they can sell of the liscense to anyone who pays.  If I write a little tune and Miller want's to use it for a beer commercial and gives me enough to make a house payment, cool.  If I write a boss hit bound single which is sung by the latest winner on the American Idolatry show, there is a vast number of options for the royalties to be received.  It's how you write the contract. 

Take a step back to our world.  We are not making music here that sells millions.  Some of us work quite hard at organizing and establishing an independent label that will provide our own music as well as the music of others to the public.  If it makes grocery money for that slow month at work, or provides a bit of money to buy a bike for the kid a Christmas, I personally cannot define this as "greed".  The point is that I think makes this a heated issue is based on the idea that if the pop music industry can make millions producing the same crap year after year, why shouldn't we make $25 producing a work of art?  That's what I felt when I started the Oenyaw, LLC kingdom in cyberspace, and that's how I still feel even after slitting the throat of Oenyaw and throwing the kingdom in a vat of sulfuric acid.  Basically, if the money's there, I'd like a slice of the pie and would be happy with the crumbs.

The reality facing us in the 21st century is that the technology of music availability is changing constantly.  Once upon a time, musicians made records for record companies, the records were played on the radio and sold in stores.  The investment and risk was on the shoulders of the record company.  Then came cds, and the record companies cashed in big time on selling the same records over again but now in a different format.  Then came the ability for the public to burn their own cds, as well as the ability to download music for free off of the internet, and the shit hit the fan.  There is a huge difference between sitting in your room with a portable radio and cassette player, waiting for your favorite song to come on so that you can record it without buying it for $1.  Now you can find the song, download it in a few seconds, and then burn it on to a cd with close to the same quality as buying it in the store for $20.

My problem with the present situation is that the copyright, royalty, licensing laws are more and more apparant to be written and enforced on the side of the companies, and that the notion that they are "protecting the artist" is ludicrous.  Furthermore, the balance is on the sides of the biggest companies.  The attitude of the big three is no longer "here's a record you kids will really dig"; it's become "hand me the pliers and pry that little bastard out of his corner cyberspace and crucify him!"  The record companies have never been on the side of the buyer, no company is.  But in recent years, they've become zombies eating the flesh of anyone that gets in the way.  Sadly, this doesn't only apply to the big three, but to many of the indes as well.

SO.....

The whole notion has arisen that the music can be free (notice, I didn't say should be).  Humor me on this one before you rise in defense.  Let's say I start a website that offers the music as free downloads.  All 80 hours of it.  Each work as a Non-derivative Creative Commons license.  This translates to I  "I let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it".  It becomes "some rights reserved" instead of "all rights reserved".  My music is there for free download, only stipulation is that they register on my site and provide me with their e-mail address.  If someone wants to hear it for free, let them.  They are going to find a way anyway. (I had a piece released on a free compilation disc that accompanied a magazine in Italy.  There were torrents for pirated downloads of the disc on the internet before I received my copy.)  I make hard copies of the discs available for sale.  One of the things I am considering is the "make your own disc" option.  Send me a list of the tracks you want, send me a picture, and a title and you'll get a custom cd.  Hell, I may sell two or three of those!  Other options, send my your Ipod and I'll fill it up for you.  Just a couple of ideas I plan on offering.  If I make enough money to cover the cost of the website, I'll be doing better than Oenyaw, LLC did.  If not, so what.  I plan on getting a cheaper site anyway.  Just my idea on a different way of doing it.  Two things I don't want on my "products" are UPC bar codes and FBI warnings.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: lena on April 20, 2009, 11:07:47 AM
Sheesh, kids these days... ::)

It's funny to me how just because we now have the technology to be able to do so, that it makes it somehow "okay" to steal music from artists. It IS stealing, though, no matter how much you try to put a "music is, like, ethereal, man- you can't hold it in your hands, so you shouldn't have to, like, BUY it" spin on it.

I'm all for technological advancement and being able to download music from the internet, (after paying for it, of course), but it's still someone's work and it's still someone's product, just as much as the aforementioned muffin man's product.

Somehow, since being able to download music and no longer having a physical product that goes along with it which you can hold in your hands, the artist's work been cheapened and made to seem almost worthless. Well, it's not worthless. It's still just as important as if you walked into a music store and bought a physical CD. Just because there's no little disc, paper booklet and plastic case, that doesn't make it any less important or real. And just because my art form happens to be music rather than painting or sculpture, how dare you tell me that it can have no monetary value? It is real, it is mine, and people who take it for free are thieves, plain and simple.





Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: SiF on April 20, 2009, 11:40:17 AM
Am i'm the only Person that is still into Vinyl? Most of my Music Collection exists only on Vinyl.
Probably 80% of every Music i own. There is nothing better then getting a Mailer with a new
Vinyl in it. Unpack it. Open it slightly. Get the Vinyl out and put it on the Turntable. Enjoying
the Music while looking at the Sleeve in its big Entity.

A few Days i received my "Jimi Hendrix Experience" 8xLP Box and i felt like a little Child (and i
am not even that old, 22).

Technology wont safe me from that Feeling. Fortunately. :)
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Wayne Higgins on April 20, 2009, 12:35:27 PM
I get most of my vinyl at antique stores, flea markets and Goodwill.  I bought about 10 cds in 2008, and about 200 vinyl lps.

Last week for example:
Wednesday at Goodwill
Vangelis Opera Sauvague
Tomita Kosmos
Jean Luc Ponty  Enigmatic Ocean

Saturday at the Flea Market
The Monkees Headquarters
More Of The Monkees
The Beatles Let it Be
and.........
Meet The Beatles (AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

I love vinyl and the product, and most of all I love the sound of vinyl.

I agree with Lena that a product is a product, no matter how big or small.  (Dimensions of length, width, height, duration, popularity included.)

Are we getting upset with those that steal as much as those that steal and then throw it out on the net for free with out our permission?  Hopefully the later.

A question prevails:  "When did $0.99 become the accepted cost of a song?"
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Seren on April 20, 2009, 12:41:15 PM
I think CD is as likely 5to dissapear as vinyl was supposed to - mind you it is still impossible to make an vinyl in your 'office' or 'bedroom'

And I agree with Lena - just because we can do it does not mean we should - guns are getting easier to get hold of, but should we all have them?, let alone get them for free..... ;D

My last comment on this is that I respect Immersions 'right' to listen to free music, as long as he respects the 'rights' of those artists who don't want theirs available for nothing on the internet.....
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: APK on April 20, 2009, 02:00:07 PM
Adding a new slant to this topic:

The cost of downloadable albums has been steadily rising. I've even seen on some sites the same price for the physical and the digital album (with added shipping for the physical). One thing that will promote illegal downloading is this trend of rising download costs. People are not stupid, they know you put the album up once and it can be downloaded a million times with no further work involved on the part of the seller or artist. Sure there are still web costs involved and maintenance, but does it justify the kind of prices that are becoming common?

I've noticed the same trend with VST audio plugins over the years (and I've followed them from the beginning). The prices have been rising until they have begun to match, in many cases, the cost of similar hardware units. And yet they clearly lack that added hardware cost factor. And there have certainly been cases of questionable quality plugins being sold at high prices (and with pretty graphics) because in people's minds the higher price (and nice interface) must mean higher quality.  Some free plugins out there are still quite a bit better than many of the costly ones. 

Software is getting itself in the corner where it must charge more and more for the product to earn a living (because of pirated versions), but there is so much pirating precisely because of the excessively high prices. They should (in my mind) reverse this pricing trend and sell at a more reasonable cost where people will be prepared to pay for the legitimate software.

Anyway, interesting stuff.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: 9dragons on April 20, 2009, 03:12:27 PM
I have often thought that paying $9 or $10 to download an album when I could get the physical copy for $15 is lame. After all if I don't like the album, it can be sold back on Ebay or the record store to make up the difference in cost. I am old fashioned to the point of fetishism when it comes to music and art. I think I have actually purchased only one download release in all my years of music buying, and that was because the album was unavailable in hard copy. And even though that album is a completely legit download, I find that I don't listen to it as often, because I have this weird sense that it's not quite real. Usually, when I sell an album of which I have the hard copy, it means I need money or I dislike the album. I usually do burn the album for future reference. But I find I don't often change my mind, and end up never listening to those albums again. This actually could be another wrinkle in the problem. Is it wrong to keep a burned copy of an album you sold back to the record store? I would say no, but it's something to consider.

I find that more and more, I am refusing to buy any cd in a jewel case, unless it's an artist I really really want, or know already. I'm gravitating to digipak and digisleeve now, and much more boutique packaging, because I want that extra tactile step, that ritual. I even enjoy waiting in the mail, and excitedly checking the mailbox every afternoon, when I know a new album is arriving.

Last night I was tempted to buy a download of one of those recently released Rich live albums. That Due Acque one was just sounding so good to me. It is damn cheap on Amazon, almost a crime. But the thought of instantly getting it, and putting it through my lame Windows media player (I have no Ipod or Itunes) and then burning it so I could listen to it actually (and I am being a total whiner here) dampened my spirits and made me not want to get it. Just another burned, faceless disc going into the burn pile.

So, is the music buying public, or at least for our corner of the music realm, by necessity going to be narrowed down to the collectors and packaging fetishists, and those with the good conscience and common sense to want to give back to the artist?
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: 9dragons on April 20, 2009, 03:15:54 PM
I also want to add that I feel special about buying an album from an actual record store. I love the idea of the different hands it has had to pass through to get to the actual building. It somehow makes that copy more magical, an object infused with magic, and I will pay a fuller price for that experience (in addition to the immediacy of it). We have some really nice record stores here in Seattle, with choice selection, so I guess that makes it easy. What fun to be going throughout the rest of one's day, knowing that album is sitting in the top pocket of the backpack, waiting to be taken home...
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: michael sandler on April 20, 2009, 05:44:41 PM
This is going to veer just a bit off the beaten topic here, but I may have found a way to legally rip off some artists' music, and I don't know what to think of it. 

Amazon.com's download site is full of artists work that is surprisingly cheap.  Many of the download albums go for just 99 cents per song, so if the album is one or 2 long tracks, it's just a buck or two.  For example, Brian Eno's Neroli album is just 99 cents.  Many of Thom Brennan and Mathias Grassow's work goes for under 3 bucks per album.  Even a new release like Robert Rich's Zerkalo is just around 6 bucks, and the download costs almost 10 at cdbaby!  What's so surprising is that these prices seem to be well below market value, not just for your average ambient download album, but for the same album as compared to another website.

The list goes on, so I'm wondering how they get away with doing this, and if the artists are in agreement with Amazon's cheap prices.  Maybe they are, and other artists choose not to be so generous.  Steve Roach's material, for example, does not follow the trend mentioned above, with his catalogue costing a consistent 9 dollars or so.  Maybe it has something to do with relative demand?

Apparently they're counting Neroli as a single because it is one continuous track. But I also have an hour-long continuous track for sale on Amazon, and it goes for $8.99. The difference would, I suppose, be attributable to the decisions of distributors. (I have nothing to do with the pricing at digital outlets). Why an unknown like me costs nine times what Brian Eno costs is an interesting question, but I doubt the low price of Neroli amounts to ripping off Eno. I would think a mainstream outlet like Amazon plays by the rules, and a pro like Eno knew whatever he was signing when it came to digital distribution rights.

So IMHO, anyone who doesn't already have Neroli should take advantage of this.

MikeS
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: judd stephens on April 20, 2009, 08:56:53 PM
People are comparing pottery, paintings and muffins to music.  Well I think all are a little different in their own right.  When it comes to food, sure if it's your 1st trip to this bakery, you don't know what to expect.  Maybe they're offering free samples, but it's a risk you take, at least the first time.  Yes, there's many things on the menu, but once you tried the things you like, you can return confidently to the bakery or restaurant, knowing that you can expect the exact same thing as what you ordered last time.  And if it's completely botched, well I may get my meal compped, or at least remade to satisfaction. 

None of that is like a musician, whose work constantly changes from album to album, and once it is bought, the outcome (as in the quality of the "experience", which has been eloquently described earlier) is up in the air and irrelevant to the transaction that just took place.  I may think I know what to expect from a musician, then they try a new style or edge... but regardless each effort is a different creation from the previous- it's not like ordering the same chocolate muffin you had last week.  In other words, it's a risk, albeit modest sometimes, each and every time you buy an album.

Music, next to Movies and theatre, is a medium which you gamble that you will find the art appealing to you.... unless of course you saw the dvd at a friend's, or listened to another's cd before the act of buying.  You can look at a vase, observe a painting in a gallery, and perhaps touch a sculpture, long before deciding on whether you want to buy it or not.  Of course you don't know exactly how it's going to look in your house, but you still get a full preview of the work of art, before dropping any money down. 

In that sense I sympathize with Immersion to the point that musicians ought to have generous streaming music that is not downloadable.  I've noticed Steve Roach's sound samples have become very long- minutes, it seems like for each track.  Somehow I doubt the generosity is hurting his cause.  Some consumers will appreciate the artist putting the music out there, on their site in streaming form, which will save them from that "ripped off feeling" that Immersion, 9Dragons, Cromag and others mentioned on this topic.  In the long run that strategy might actually benefit the artist.  Now I know another side of the argument is that there's music that grows on you, and aren't you just as well off taking the risk without hearing it?  Certainly it happens, but it's nice to give the listener that ability to decide beforehand, to at least make a more informed decision.  I still don't mind the gamble, personally, but I do like it when the artist streams the album or nearly all of it without feeling that his work has been compromised.

I'm wondering now why most artists don't see it that way?   Why not just stream the whole album, or everything but the last minute or 30 sec. of each track?  I've heard a lot of words like arrogance and selfishness thrown Immersion's way, but is the musician arrogant to expect money from someone who listens to their work, whether or not it is enjoyed?  Is it because the mystery, the anticipation, sells the music just as much as the actual music itself?  Maybe there are other factors.  I don't mean that to sound like a patronizing question, so please, it's not.     
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: judd stephens on April 20, 2009, 09:39:41 PM
Thinking that because something CAN be shared is reason for it being justifiably shared is rubbish. Not even radical socialism would be so stupid as to say that.

Oh yes they can... well, maybe not say it... ;D
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: ffcal on April 20, 2009, 10:11:23 PM
I'm wondering now why most artists don't see it that way?   Why not just stream the whole album, or everything but the last minute or 30 sec. of each track?   

I don't think there is a "one size fits all" solution to this issue.  Two labels I have worked with (Projekt and Cuneiform) have made sample tracks available through sampler compilations.  Another label (Foundry) embedded two tracks from my album with Carl Weingarten (Invisibility) in a podcast interview, which I thought was a pretty creative approach.  One problem I have with streaming is that it is too easy to capture the stream digitally using software.  If the stream is hi-fi, it is too easily captured and rendered into MP3.  If the stream is lo-fi, it degrades the listening experience and may not be representative of what the track actually sounds like.  (Try listening to Thomas Koner at 128 kbps!)

Forrest
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Brian Bieniowski on April 21, 2009, 06:05:59 AM
Over the years I've met a lot of big music fans who only download their music and never pay for any of it.  The trouble, aside from the obvious piracy/copyright issues, is that we've moved into a society where most people really don't care about the effort it takes to produce a memorable product—it's the instant gratification of something new, which is quickly shuffled away to be replaced by the next new thing, and so on.  It's a problem, and one that widespread access to the internet has only exacerbated: absolute access to whatever you want, generally for free.  It will almost certainly get to the point (perhaps we are already there) where people expect quality product (whether it be news, books, music, movies, etc.) for free, and will resent the honest artist who cares to make a little money by selling his or her work. 

I don't know what the solution to this issue is, but I'm pretty sure the creative-commons based viral meritocracy approach I see bandied about now and again by people like Cory Doctorow and the like is not going to be it.  I'm glad when stuff is given away for free by the artist (though I prefer to possess quality reproductions intended to last beyond the limited life of my hard drive), but, as we see with things like the current state of YouTube, I'm not convinced that this Free Art society is necessarily going to get the best work into the hands of the people who are looking for it, and still earn profit for the more marginal artists and creators.

For my own part, I do use the various "music blogs" (better we should call them pirate sites!) to sample music I can't already sample elsewhere, or to possess music that is unavailable/out of print (I'm really tired of limited edition CDr releases).  My feeling is that if the album is something I will listen to more than once or twice, it's worth the $12 or so dollars for a physical copy.  Otherwise, I delete the files from my hard drive.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Brian Bieniowski on April 21, 2009, 06:19:24 AM
Another label (Foundry) embedded two tracks from my album with Carl Weingarten (Invisibility) in a podcast interview, which I thought was a pretty creative approach.

I really like the promotional potential of podcasting and homespun mix-sharing (and not just because I do my own).  It's a little bit like what radio used to be like before it went into the pockets of major media corporations.  It's a creative medium, and not a piratical one like blogs with whole albums available for download.  I've found a ton of great electronic music from various podcasts (the Ghostly Int. one is great, and the Foundry one Michael was doing was extremely entertaining, not to mention the efforts of Dave Michuda/Undershadow/Rick Leon, among others), and much of it lead to me buying music I didn't previously know about.  I think it would be great if more labels and music fans created these.

Oh, and on the note of the topic at hand:   ;D

http://www.arcamax.com/nonsequitur/s-531723-422328 (http://www.arcamax.com/nonsequitur/s-531723-422328)
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: jkn on April 21, 2009, 07:57:23 AM
A lovely circular argument... have to agree with Bill... we'll never change Immersion's mind so what's the point?

edit:   decided not to say what I said...    I'll leave the rest though.   John K-N

..................................................

Regarding pricing of downloads at the big stores like iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, Rhapsody, etc...  again - we're kind of back to the artists and labels at our level of the music industry - our little tiny niche of awesomely cool music that most people don't buy...  well... we can't really drive those prices.   They're set by the digital provider.   If you want to get your music into those sites to get the additional exposure - that's the price you pay - losing control.   iTunes can choose what to price it, whether to sell tracks individually or make them 'album only' etc...   

At AtmoWorks we've been looking very hard at all these types of sites and how to get into them in the best way that works for us - and we've found it... but yes - ultimately it means we lose some control over the release.   Our ultimate goal with getting our releases into iTunes, etc... is not the additional revenue that will come back - but hopefully reaching some casual fans of ambient and electronic and getting them to come directly to our artists and our store.   It's more about marketing/promotion.

Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: bunkdata on April 21, 2009, 08:28:36 AM
I love this topic!  Very current and appropriate for the times!  I agree that music in any medium is REAL and up to the artist to decide if money should be charged for the work.  If they decide this, and someone doesn't pay, then in short, it's stealing plain and simple.  With that said, I found this article online that I thought I would share as it seemed appropriate for this topic.  Flame on!

Study Finds Pirates Buy 10x More Music Online than Non-Pirates
http://i.gizmodo.com/5219587/study-finds-pirates-buy-10x-more-music-online-than-non+pirates

Best,
Nathan
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: michael sandler on April 21, 2009, 12:39:49 PM
Over the years I've met a lot of big music fans who only download their music and never pay for any of it.  The trouble, aside from the obvious piracy/copyright issues, is that we've moved into a society where most people really don't care about the effort it takes to produce a memorable product...

By coincindence, the other day I saw a documentary about the 1970 Festival Express tour. What amazed me was that at each show, gangs of hippies showed up demanding free admission. Never mind the cost of putting on such a shindig or the fact that the musicians and promoters depended on that admission fee to make a living.

Same as it ever was.

MikeS
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Stellar Auditorium on April 21, 2009, 03:36:36 PM
That's an excellent conversation here, I've been very concerned about this matter lately, as anyone else who has even a small place in the music industry. It's obvious that everyone here is talking from their own perspective, and I don't see, in the responses to Immersion, a wilingness to understand the way of thinking that is the current, especially for the young generations, who are more accustomed to "music piracy" than anyone else. 

I believe art, thought, and intellectual property in general is something which is too much important to be treated like a simple commodity. Obtaining the essence of a work (the actual music of a cd, the text of an e-book) does not constitute theft according to my ethics, and that comes from someone that is a musician and a label owner at the same time (I have financed about 7 releases in total, some mine, some of other people). While all the arguments made in favour of the intellectual property holders are no doubt correct - one should not produce something without receiving back something, again) I believe the cultural benefits attainted by the "liberation" of art and information are way more important. I've been a part of the generation that grew up with music piracy (I'm 25 years old) and I just own a 10% percent of all the music I have ever listened; being totally honest with myself, I have to say that I could never have enough money in my life to attain the same amount of musical knowledge. And I own about 800 cds, Lps, and cassettes altogether... I have also produced a great part of my music with the help of pirated music software (I know talking about these things in a public forum is a taboo, but I feel it's very important for this conversation). I would never have made the music I've made or have the knowledge I have without internet and file sharing. And exactly the same happens with most people in my generation, who I noticed have became people with quite high knowledge, character and artistic thought because of this situation.

It's also very important to be realistic; it's not music piracy that financially kills musicians, it's that people don't buy cds anymore. I would have bought exactly the same amount of music hadn't piracy existed, because the amount of money I spend in music has more or less stayed the same throughout these years, listening to a much wider amount of music has only allowed me to select much more carefully and attain only the pieces or art that are the most important to me, which I want to experience in the best audial and visual quality available. This, need to have a physical representation of something I love, and the knowledge that this system can only continue to function if the music producers receive back financial support, is what drives me to still buy music to this day, and this is exactly what I believe we, as the "music industry", should propagate to the music listeners and the world. Not the stern, conversative approach that considers downloading some music a theft, and will do everything it can in order to punish it, as all corporate labels do at this moment. The problem, of course, is that very few people think in the way that I have described, essentially because the majority's approach to art is much more superficial comparing to people in this forum, for example. The again, this is a bonus for small, specialized labels and genres. In any way, the tide has definitely changed and, independently of everyone's opinion, it doesn't seem to be going back in the immidiate future.

Musicians and labels got to find new ways in order to survive. I have personally given for free all albums of mine (as a musician, I mean) as a download to everyone that asked me; mainly because I believe that art is personal communication and this is what I was seeking at the time; however, I also provided the link to some mp3 blogs, and in result, while my work was practically unknown at that time, I recieved an influx or orders for some cassettes and cd-r I had released then. This proves that, unless the music is actually heard first, it can't be expected to sell, and that more and more people are buying music nowadays in the way that I have described: not as to listen to the music, they have already done so, but in order to attain it in the best quality available, and as a physical object which by "owning" represents their adoration towards it. Of course, it doesn't always work that way: there's a fine line between availability that helps and hurts an album. It's a very complex issue, but just think of the following: some blogs have more hits per day than a medium size ambient/drone/experimental label's website...

Finally, musicians and labels should always try to provide to the public new things that can't be reproduced. It really hurts when I see some cheap jewelcase releases with a 4-page booklet and mediocre layout: why would anyone want to own that? Also, live performances: that seems to be the only certain source of income for musicians at this time: the experience of a performance can never be really reproduced. I'd love to see performances of ambient artists but there are so few, especially of the Hypnos type, not the drone bands that are all over nowadays. And the list should definitely go on...
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: APK on April 21, 2009, 04:10:25 PM
This is like starting the thread all over again.

Its a shame, buying an album used to be about the music, but now it's apparently all about the packaging :-\
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Stellar Auditorium on April 21, 2009, 05:08:19 PM
Is it? I don't know, I'm not sure that everything I mentioned has been adressed before.
 
I don't think it can be just "about the packaging", even if file sharing continues to be thrive and be practised. Mp3 files that are available in blogs range around 256 kbps, which is a rather mediocre quality, at least regarding to the audiofile's needs. Also, a new digital format, that would would surpass the 44.1 khz 16 bit quality would be of great use to the industry, to do the same thing that blu-ray does to the dvd (don't forget that cds are falling and vinyl is rising because digital formats never actually surpassed true analog quality). Generally, I feel that physical media's biggest capacity for quality and immidiate access will always give them an edge over downloads, but then again, that only concers people that care about these things in the first place.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: 9dragons on April 21, 2009, 07:32:29 PM
This is like starting the thread all over again.

Its a shame, buying an album used to be about the music, but now it's apparently all about the packaging :-\

I'm 36, my earliest intensive music buying time was mainly in the tape era, so I can't say this for sure, but it seems to me that with the first vinyl era, packaging played a huge role in people's enjoyment of music. Look how lavish and awesome, and how much care went into most vinyl album covers, not to mention the added value of the large image space itself. I think the death of the cd could in part be attributed to this downshift in packaging ethics. Really, we are getting much less for the same price these days. And cds certainly don't have the longevity of vinyl either. As a hyper visual and tactile person, the packaging is very important to me when I consider paying the little money I have to spare on an album. So, though I don't do the illegal download thing (I could count on one hand the amount of stuff I've downloaded, and of those albums, if I were to really like them, the real object would be purchased), the only way I can see to really fight it is to include something with your product that cannot be as easily reproduced as the musical data.

I'm just looking at the hard facts, and how small labels could perhaps overcome them.

I also see, that along with the vinyl renaissance, tapes are coming back! This is great for me, brings back some magic. How long has it been since our music had miniature screws holding its body together? Tapes used to pack a killer amount of art in such a small package. I particularly remember the multiple foldouts of those Derek Riggs cassette covers for Iron Maiden! That stuff was great. It shows me even more how depressing cd packaging has become in general. Again though, I am not saying this justifies downloading, from my personal perspective. But it may be what is driving some to take part in it.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: ffcal on April 21, 2009, 09:31:27 PM
I, too, have a fondness for vinyl and cassette, though I have to admit it's much more pleasant experience listening to Klaus Schulze and Eno on CD, as opposed to vinyl.  No more snaps, crackles and pops.

I think the decline of the CD has more to do with the fact that you can't really compete with "free."

Forrest
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le) on April 21, 2009, 10:10:27 PM
I really think Mike nailed it when he was talking about the false "noble" perception of this whole art & music being a right thing...

I am so sick of the whole "entitlement generation" with its, I deserve attitude.

All the arguments are just...justifications.

Almost every artist in history wanted to get paid and their end game goal was to SELL their work, (yes I am sure you can all state one or two who you think didn't). If not sell it then they looked for patrons to support them, even early jazz musicians did this.

Everyone needs money to survive and keep doing what they do.

So then on most forums (not this one so much as many ambient/space folks don't play live) everyone says, give the music away and then make your money by touring and merchandise. Ahhh ok, but then these same people bitch about ticket prices and the bands being greedy.

The bottom line is give me my music, make it great and give it to me cheap or free. You are trying to dictate the market based on your own values, not that value of the music or performance.

...now on to Mr. Immersion (I am proud you held your tongue John, but I cannot) you come off as self righteous and authoritarian in so many of your posts, and yet to many of us you have no clue.

You clearly want the world your way. According to you: Musicians do not deserve to get paid, we should all use cheap low end gear as that is all that today's music requires, anyone who uses a Mac is a rich, elitist idiot, we should never use compression to master and you want the secrets of creating depth of field floating...which for me raps up your clueless and arrogant package in a neat little bow. Did I miss anything?

You love to praise Steve Roach and how his music is the best there is and then you proceed to steal from him as you are not patient for the mail to arrive? (I am only borrowing this car for tonight officer, I have one on the way tomorrow). The ridiculous part is, why don't you e-mail Steve, tell him how much you love his music and then demand he give all of it to you for free as he does not deserve to make a living at it or recoup the cost of his studio gear, as you feel he should probably just use cheap software anyway...how dare he have a real synth and hi-end gear...oh wait aren't you saving up for an Eventide H-8000FW so you can have your floaty black hole reverb?

Sorry man, your arguments do not hold water or value. You just want what you feel you deserve. You need to think of an economic model in your new world order which offers, food, gear and housing to artists and musicians. Most artists and musicians I know do a better job with better tools and more importantly the free time to create it and living on ramin noodles and working a crappy 50 hr a week job may be great for a few years, no artist will sustain them selves forever in that model...but it sounds truly like you do not care.

You and your generation are not Robin Hood stealing food and money from the rich overlords to give to the poor, you are stealing works that someone else put money, blood, sweat, emotion and time into and that is something my friend that you and the world do not deserve as a right! If an artists choose to give away their craft, it is their right to do so, not the other way around.

...Mike and moderators, if this is out of line and too personal, feel free to delete it. I have vented and I will retreat again into the shadows...

Paul

Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: judd stephens on April 21, 2009, 11:30:21 PM
I've long been on the side that downloading music without the artist receiving money was unfair, or theft, bad karma, whatever the name shall be.  This thread makes me think about it deeper though.  Admittedly I don't know if I've formed this thought completely, but to what extent should the musician, or the law, decide that people can share? 

Seems like the main arguments against downloading are the artist loses money and the offense of feeling someone has stolen one's art and work.  Music has been compared to a commodity, an experience that one pays for.  Well, if I pay for that "experience", what exactly is mine, as the consumer?  And who are you to tell me who I can share that "experience" with?  I know that's a tough question to ask, trust me, but it begs the question, to what extent? 

If I share a dinner party with 10 guests while ambient music is playing, have those guests stolen something from a musician because they listened and enjoyed an experience without paying for it?  If no, why not?  Find that ridiculous, well what if I burned a few discs for some of them as a gift?  Let's say myself and a forum member have an e-mail discussion where we trade some music, as in burn it for each other.  Have we stolen something? 

Is there something deep down that judges "well sharing music is okay, as long as it doesn't affect my sales in a big way"?  Why would anonymity and ease of file sharing make that more immoral than trading tapes with friends back in the 80's?  If somehow the internet was regulated so that file-sharing was completely erradicated, wouldn't many people mail each other cd-r's and exchange that way?  Would that be less frowned upon, because it wouldn't be as prevalent and affect the artists bottom line as much?

People are saying "stealing is stealing" like that's an actual argument, and I do understand the feeling.  But if music is a commodity and experience, well they can be traded and shared.  If music is a product like so man are arguing, and I guess that's a fair argument, then tell me exactly what I own by purchasing "it".
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: judd stephens on April 22, 2009, 12:12:10 AM
I'm wondering how many people who say "taking something from me that I did not freely give to you is stealing" also disapprove of the income tax?   ;D 


Oh wait that's right... that tax money just goes back to help the poor people of society... right. 
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: ffcal on April 22, 2009, 12:52:54 AM
I'm wondering how many people who say "taking something from me that I did not freely give to you is stealing" also disapprove of the income tax?   ;D 
Oh wait that's right... that tax money just goes back to help the poor people of society... right. 

Sorry Judd, not really following you on this one.  The analogy I would make is the person who sneaks into a concert that others paid for.  The logical extension of your argument would be that that's OK, too.  But why stop there?  Why not sneak onto a flight that others paid for?  No harm, no foul?  Sounds like way too much relativism for me.

Another thing.  At various times, we pay for services that may be intangible, like medical advice.  It has value, though not a physical form.

Forrest
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Brian Bieniowski on April 22, 2009, 05:55:05 AM
I believe art, thought, and intellectual property in general is something which is too much important to be treated like a simple commodity. Obtaining the essence of a work (the actual music of a cd, the text of an e-book) does not constitute theft according to my ethics, and that comes from someone that is a musician and a label owner at the same time (I have financed about 7 releases in total, some mine, some of other people). While all the arguments made in favour of the intellectual property holders are no doubt correct - one should not produce something without receiving back something, again) I believe the cultural benefits attainted by the "liberation" of art and information are way more important. I've been a part of the generation that grew up with music piracy (I'm 25 years old) and I just own a 10% percent of all the music I have ever listened; being totally honest with myself, I have to say that I could never have enough money in my life to attain the same amount of musical knowledge. And I own about 800 cds, Lps, and cassettes altogether... I have also produced a great part of my music with the help of pirated music software (I know talking about these things in a public forum is a taboo, but I feel it's very important for this conversation). I would never have made the music I've made or have the knowledge I have without internet and file sharing. And exactly the same happens with most people in my generation, who I noticed have became people with quite high knowledge, character and artistic thought because of this situation.

I thought I'd respond to this one, because I'm ostensibly almost part of your generation (I'm 32) and because I find this kind of talk of alternate ethics and cultural/technical appropriation sneakily narcissistic and worth bringing up.  I'm not going to harp on the ethics issues because this part of the argument is clear: if you don't conform to common laws, even if you're right (and I don't believe you are), you are still "jumping somebody else's train" so to speak.  You shouldn't steal what doesn't belong to you, and the end does not justify the means.  The art you are creating and the enjoyment you are having are based on somebody's labor—labor they expected to get paid to do, to feed families and pay taxes and drive compact cars to work to support their art.

I think the more interesting thing to discuss is a not-so-subtle implication of entitlement (which is absolutely generational), and also the argument that these things should be made free (software, the world's music supply, etc.) so that you can create art with total freedom and artistic abandon, and thereby advance art and human culture through your own efforts.  Am I misreading what you're typing there?

Ignoring the fact that protecting intellectual property (and I'm not talking RIAA here) has undoubtedly benefited more artists over the years than it has suppressed (first example that springs to mind is the terrible case of the creators of Superman), there is the plain fact that all artists prior to today's generation managed to somehow create great art, music, films, and culture without every part of culture at their disposal (and ignoring that limitations might create better art than a lack of limitations would).  Perhaps we are moving more toward an art culture of synthesis, where you take preexisting things and make new things from them ... somehow, I don't think so.  Guys who sample old records are still making rap and techno, etc.  Not exactly great leaps forward in terms of advancing art now that both have been around for 20+ years.

What baffles me a bit is the implication that this New Art to be created is so Necessary and so Important, in this age of cultural overproduction (let's admit it—do we really "need" as much ambient music as we already have?), that it is somehow okay to overthrow the current structure where people are able to earn money for their artistic pursuits—which may not work, since the advent of the internet, but which is able to change to work better over time, if run properly—to have that imaginary art to come that will change the earth?  And you need 8000 LPs and 15000 books to do it, and you need them for free?  Surely, with talent and effort, 8 LPs and 12 books would be enough ... how much did Picasso have?  And how much of those 8000 and 15000 can you truly digest and use, given that you, like most of us, are probably not a genius?

Really, it just sounds, to me, (and I don't know you guys at all, of course), that you only want to do what you want to do, you want instant gratification, and you don't want to have to take the necessary steps (paying for music and software and media) to do so.  I think this magical future art is just an excuse—I'm still waiting to see it.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Bill Binkelman on April 22, 2009, 06:07:59 AM
My post has been moved - by me - to a new thread - thanks to APK for the suggestion/prodding...
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: APK on April 22, 2009, 06:18:31 AM
Bill: you could start your own topic on this if you want to get clear feedback.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: APK on April 22, 2009, 06:20:22 AM
"Really, it just sounds, to me, (and I don't know you guys at all, of course), that you only want to do what you want to do, you want instant gratification, and you don't want to have to take the necessary steps (paying for music and software and media) to do so.  I think this magical future art is just an excuse—I'm still waiting to see it."

Well said, Brian.
And as you also pointed out this future is not just about "freeing music" but pretty much freeing anything that can be taken for free digitally -- including movies, software, and books ... and in the latter cases it probably includes non-art works ('cause, hey, its all pirated). This isn't a utopian vision, its not a rational vision at all, its just taking stuff for free in the name of sticking it to the man .... even if "the man" is actually just a guy in the street like you and me, and not some capitalist cigar smoking rich git.

I also suspect that the internet of the future might vary quite a bit from its current very open trajectory.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le) on April 22, 2009, 06:27:34 AM
I also resent the woah is me attitude of, if I did not "steal" software for free, I would not be able to create music. Boo Hoo, if it is that important to you, get a second job for 6 months and save up to buy the software. If someone wants to play guitar is it ok to steal one as it is their fundamental right to be a musician? You are right, this is 100% generational. A generation who has grown up never being told no, or that there are rules or boundaries or ethics other than your own. In know this is a generalization, but sadly not far from the truth.

...and Bill please start a new topic as I am very interested in your discussion.

PV
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Wayne Higgins on April 22, 2009, 07:02:51 AM
I really like threads like this.  Everyone jumps in and I get lots of ideas.  I also start researching things on other sites to see what is going down elsewhere. 

I'm not sure how generational it all is.  I usually agree with PV, but I seem to remember from the 1960's that there were quite a few people that seemed to confuse freedom in life with free without payment.  If you want something, you have to pay for it.  If you take it without paying for it, it is stealing.   It's rumored that God wrote that one down on a stone tablet a few years back.  It's up to you to offer something for free.  I don't think it hurts anyone to offer something for free that isn't being bought anyway.

OK, I'll humor the generational idea, but I will have to throw in the geographical one as well.  For example Paul is American, Immersion is Swedish.  In America, most of us work.  Some of us love money, some of us love things.  Some of us collect things for the sake of collecting.  I have never been to Sweden, and can't say anything about the place or the people.  I will only comment on Immersions statement of young people who don't want to work, that want to live in freedom.  What?

The idea that there is already enough ambient, rap, books, art, in the world, you might as well put a gun to our heads and put us in the work camps to dig ditches until we die.  I have never read more bullshit in one statement in my life.  Sorry if I come off as strongly opinionated on that one, but hopefully, there will NEVER be enough art in the world, let alone too much.

An argument that was discussed at the conference in Nashville consisted of one side saying that work should be protected, while another side said that the current licensing system was constricting the artist.  I can't answer that one myself.  Yes, currently, it is nearly impossible for a collage artist to do any work.  Rap, hip hop, mixing has become a question of is it theft or art.  I don't appreciate any talent in slicing and dicing other peoples art to make something new, but that's just my opinion.  The scary part is that it is getting to the point that if a jazz musician is improving and throws in a bar from previously written music, that musician is liable.  Ouch.

ditto for me too, Bill, start a new thread!

One more thing, http://www.hypnos.com/smf/index.php?topic=1842.0
Last nights live performance.  Free, no t-shirts were sold.  I even bought my own diner there.  The person responsible for playing there sent me a nice note about it this morning.

Keep at it guys. ;)
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Brian Bieniowski on April 22, 2009, 07:12:50 AM
The idea that there is already enough ambient, rap, books, art, in the world, you might as well put a gun to our heads and put us in the work camps to dig ditches until we die.  I have never read more bullshit in one statement in my life.  Sorry if I come off as strongly opinionated on that one, but hopefully, there will NEVER be enough art in the world, let alone too much.

I figured that might rankle a few folks on a board populated by many ambient musicians. ;)  Still I think it's a facet to the topic worth considering.  Not that you SHOULDN'T be able to create music, etc.—that's not something I'm suggesting.  But I am interested in thinking about the effects of endless choice and endless variety on beings who are not necessarily psychologically equipped to "handle" or process either.  Is having 30 different styles of jeans to choose from in a store "healthy" or "necessary" to be a happy human?  It may be an uncomfortable topic, but it's one to consider.  I believe there was a book written about this very topic recently—I'll try to find the title.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Brian Bieniowski on April 22, 2009, 07:20:14 AM
Here it is: The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less

http://tiny.pl/zc8v (http://tiny.pl/zc8v)

Obviously, personal limits come into play, too.  Do I really "need" 2500 sci-fi paperbacks?  Why, yes, yes I do.   ;D
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: APK on April 22, 2009, 07:21:51 AM
Stuff is more precious & special when there is less of it.
Proliferation is not necessarily a good thing.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Wayne Higgins on April 22, 2009, 07:31:08 AM
Brian Bieniowski
Quote
Not that you SHOULDN'T be able to create music, etc.—that's not something I'm suggesting.  But I am interested in thinking about the effects of endless choice and endless variety on beings who are not necessarily psychologically equipped to "handle" or process either.  Is having 30 different styles of jeans to choose from in a store "healthy" or "necessary" to be a happy human?  It may be an uncomfortable topic, but it's one to consider.  I believe there was a book written about this very topic recently—I'll try to find the title.

Oh, OK.  I got it.  Sorry for putting the gloves on.  (I rode the Vulcan to work this morning, brings out the beast in me.) 8)

I will have to agree, considering that the biggest dilemma in my dad's inhieritance was "What the @#!$ am I going to do with 800 Hot Wheels cars?!?" 
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Stellar Auditorium on April 22, 2009, 08:15:06 AM
I have to say that these last responses were the kind of responses I was expecting while writing that first post, I knew it wouldn't make me exactly popular here, but I think it is important that the "other side" is represented in this argument. I do not primarily consider art as labour, but as an expression, that does not "demand" back anything of material nature, except communication and an exchange of ideas, perceptions and experiences. I'm not infuriated when someone "illegaly" downloads my music, but I am on the opposite very glad, in that it succeeds in finding an audience, in that it succeeds in affecting human beings even in such a small ways. That reflects my personal opinion on how art "should" be, but, of course, the problem (and I acknowledge that) is that not everyone shares it. I wrote in the first post that when someone offers something, then one is entitled to demand "something" back. This "something" is a financial compensation for a lot of people, which is something that even though I don't share, I try to respect, and that's why I still continue to buy (a lot of) albums to this day, as I have clearly stated in the first post (this also applies to software - I have donated to and registered some plug ins that I regularly use, and will soon buy the DAW I have came to use more after a period of experimentation). Is listening to some music that you're not going to end purchasing because you didn't find it good enough that much of a crime? It could be considered as a "spiritual crime" perhaps, but if some guy meets Steve Roach tommorow and tells to the man "Hey, I've downloaded most of your music and I was deeply affected by it, it changed the way I see music" do you think he'll be mad at him? I don't know, I can't speak for the man. But I know that this fan will eventually buy some of Steve Roach's music, because he'll eventually understand that art except expression IS also labour, and if the musician doesn't get back at least of portion of what he gives back to the public, he'll soon cease to do so. And if one doesn't understand this, he should be made so. Not with lawsuits, but with reason. Does this sound idealist and idyllic? Perhaps it does, but its realization constitutes a world that is culturally, artistically and ethically much more advanced, in my personal opinion. Brian Bienowski is correct in that it is not necessary to have everything at your disposal in order to create great art (or, as a "consumer", to be affected on a personal and cultural level) but I think it is obvious that a greater availability only widens these potentials, it doesn't hurt them. It is not necessary to digest all of this art, one can tell soon enough if something's worth your attention (downloading some music works kind of like a preview anyway, like listening to some streaming songs off myspace - if it's not your thing, you'll delete it right away). Of course, all of this has negative aspects as well, overconsumerism being the most obvious one. As Paul Vnuk also said, the amoralism of the generation that has learned to take and never give back is another one. These are major problems that deserve to be fought however, rather than working as an easy excuse to revert to the previous situation.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: bunkdata on April 22, 2009, 08:18:38 AM
Still at it, huh?  ;)

Well, if any one on this forum would like to dialogue off-line about this topic in a tangential way (or I can open a new topic), I am making a formal presentation at INATS (Intl New Age Trade Show) at the end of June with Suzanne Doucet, titled "How to Sell CDs in a Download Society." I'm starting to piece together my data and will also be contacting some folks via email asking if they want to participate in a survey monkey about sales of physical CDs versus digital, etc. My presentation will focus on what store owners (who make up the bulk of the audience) can do to compete with downloads, e.g. atmosphere, service, etc.

Anyway, if this is of interest to any of you, I'd welcome your opinions, feedback, including your thoughts as a CONSUMER of music (e.g. what would entice you to go to a store to buy music), I'd love to have some of your time between now and the early part of June.

Until then, carry on, chaps. This isn't the most entertaining reading in this topic (so many points repeated over and over) but I can't blame you all for your passion. At least you guys are worked up about something. :)

Very interesting Bill!  Speaking of the whole Store thing, what does everyone think about the used record store concept?  This has always intrigued me in regards to this topic.  So everyone is concerned with piracy and the record labels and artists losing money from the sales, but once these discs are sold to the Used Record Store, those profits cease to exist for them yet people make money off the sale of the disc!  Now days, you can even sell used MP3 online that were legally purchased!  I have had friends who were are real purists and always want to make sure that the artists get their fare share, but then turn around and buy all their discs at used record stores!  Make to sense to me!  Since Bill brought up the physical store into the topic, I thought I'd see what others had to say.  Do you buy used CDs?  Do you send money to the artists for their cut?  Probably not...  Again, as we have seen, there are so many dimensions to this issue!

Best,
Nathan
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: mgriffin on April 22, 2009, 08:32:39 AM
I don't disagree with the suggestion there's a sort of glut of ambient music in recent years.  I really can't keep up with everything coming out recently, so I mostly  try to keep track of the work of artists in the following order:

1. Current Hypnos artists
3. Prospective Hypnos artists
2. Former Hypnos artists who are still active
3. Artists whose work comes highly recommended, usually on this Forum
4. Artists whose work is on labels I respect
5. Everybody else

#5 is such a huge category that I barely have a chance to dip a toe in that water, and concentrate on keeping up as much as possible with the first 4.

I don't know how radio DJs or music reviewers sort through all the stuff.  Every time I log into myspace I have another dozen inquiries from people I've never heard of saying "I make ambient music, maybe you'd like to release my CD?  Please listen to my myspace jukebox clips." 

In the old days, it was a P.O. box full of DAT tape demos from people I've never heard of... then after that, a P.O. box full of CDR demos from people I've never heard of.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: mgriffin on April 22, 2009, 08:48:14 AM
Is listening to some music that you're not going to end purchasing because you didn't find it good enough that much of a crime? It could be considered as a "spiritual crime" perhaps, but if some guy meets Steve Roach tommorow and tells to the man "Hey, I've downloaded most of your music and I was deeply affected by it, it changed the way I see music" do you think he'll be mad at him? I don't know, I can't speak for the man.

I can't really speak for Steve, but I feel pretty certain he would be shocked to have someone tell him this.  If someone told me they were "deeply affected" by my work, but they had never bothered to purchase a single CD, I'd think here's a pretty selfish person who not only doesn't purchase most of their music, but doesn't even support the work that really means something to them.

I honestly CAN see how people can rationalize pirating the newest Britney Spears album or whatever... she's already a millionaire, how much of a difference will it make if I buy one copy, the major labels are giant evil corporations anyway, etc. 

I can even see how people can take a "try before you buy" attitude, downloading a lot of material and buying legit copies of the stuff they like most.

But the idea that people can rationalize pirating the music of an indie artist or label that's bringing in so little money as to barely break even, one of their favorite artists or labels... how does that rationalization go, exactly?  The $12 is more important to me than it is to him, besides they didn't actually SEE me download it so there's no proof, anyway the record industry is so corrupt you have to fight against ALL commercial releases, or what?

I know you were just offering an example, but I'd say you probably shouldn't walk up to Steve Roach or anyone else and say "Your work deeply affected me but not enough that I was willing to sacrifice anything at all in order to obtain it."
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Wayne Higgins on April 22, 2009, 09:15:58 AM
Buying a used cd is like buying anything used.  Should Ford get a share of the money made off the third sale of a 1978 Mustang?  I buy used vinyl because you can't find Canned Heat in the new vinyl section of the store.  As far as used cd's, I have complained many times about going into cd stores and finding 10 different versions of The Doobbie Brothers Greatest Hits, but not one copy of "The Captain and Me", which I have to find on new vinyl.  The old fashioned Wayne would rather buy music in stores that searching the internet for a download or even finding the disc on Amazon.  Which is the reason why I stopped buying cds over the past year.  There is nothing to buy.

What infuriated me was to know that I went through the effort to send my discs to CDBaby, paid the money for the bar code, did everything the way they wanted me too, because they seemed like "cool guys pulling for the musician", and then found that when Mirko bought his copy, they sent it to him without the jewel case.  So, what did they do with it?  Ok, so it's only 10 cents, but...WTF?  The thieves are everywhere.

 5. Everybody else.
I sometimes think that the only people who listen to ambient music make ambient music.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Stellar Auditorium on April 22, 2009, 09:18:51 AM
I know you were just offering an example, but I'd say you probably shouldn't walk up to Steve Roach or anyone else and say "Your work deeply affected me but not enough that I was willing to sacrifice anything at all in order to obtain it"

Well, the biggest problem is that this rationalization doesn't happen in the first place, because young generations have little or no interest at all in the concept of intellectual property, as they've come to consider downloading as something that's totally natural. My example was deliberately extreme (well, let's consider that this poor fan messed up, being in awe while meeting such a great musician  ;D) so as to portray my belief that personal communication can be sometimes a much greater reward than album royalties and so on. Of course mr. Steve would get shocked, but I would like to believe that he would gently suggest the guy to go buy some actual copies of his albums "because it's the right thing to do, and you know, I have to pay my bills" not tell him to f*** off or something. Then, perhaps all would go in the right way.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Brian Bieniowski on April 22, 2009, 10:08:03 AM
I sometimes think that the only people who listen to ambient music make ambient music.

I know the feeling.  It's like that with science fiction readers, though I have to admit that I generally only hear from the self-avowed writers so I may be biased.  There was definitely a moment where everybody seemed to say, "Hey, I can write this stuff too!"

In regard to buying used CDs: I have to admit it's occurred to me that this digs into artist profits, yet I buy used CDs on a regular basis and used books almost exclusively unless it's comic books/graphic novels.  Oddly enough, for me, it seems to hinge on the price point of the item.  If the label sells the single-disc for $12-$15, I always purchase directly from a label or online shop (I never go to record stores any more, but that's only because they hardly carry what I want to buy).  Most of the stuff I've purchased used over the last five years was stuff that was out of print or on major labels (like a Tim Buckley or Nick Drake album, for example).  If indie labels decided that the price point for a new disc was $18 or more (and I'm extremely skeptical of this trend toward special packaging, limited editions, and collectors sets justifying inflated prices for single albums), I'd probably be more inclined to buy used when available in good condition.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: SunDummy on April 22, 2009, 10:15:32 AM
Buying a used cd is like buying anything used.  Should Ford get a share of the money made off the third sale of a 1978 Mustang?

I think used CD's are in a grey area.  If I spent $10 on a cd, then didn't like it, I should be able to resell it to someone else who may appreciate it.  But what if I make a copy for myself, then resell it?  A strange aspect of all this is the experience of hearing the music.  It's like seeing a play; if it sucked, do I get my money back?  I can't "resell" my experience - I saw the play, and can't "unsee" it.  Isn't that part of my risk going into it?  Places like Soleilmoon have a money-back guarantee - if you buy a disk, then don't like it, they'll give you a refund.  But what if I like it, then get bored with it in two years?  If I paid for the music, didn't I get two years of enjoyment out of it?  Am I now entitled to sell the medium, because I'm bored with the content?

Did I buy the medium, or the music?  
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: mgriffin on April 22, 2009, 10:16:35 AM
I don't have any problem with people buying or selling used CDs.  I don't feel listeners should be forced to hold onto CDs they no longer enjoy.  I've certainly sold CDs of my own that just don't get played lately, more to clear out room than to raise a lot of money.

Of course, ripping a CD to your iTunes library and then selling the CD used is no different from just pirating it in the first place, without ever having bought a copy.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: lena on April 22, 2009, 10:23:59 AM
Quote
Steve Roach is one of the very few people who create ambient music who sell so many cds albums and can survive on his music.

But don't you understand? If more and more and more people start stealing his music instead of buying it, there will come a day when he WON'T be able to survive on it anymore.



Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: bunkdata on April 22, 2009, 10:58:57 AM

I think used CD's are in a grey area.  If I spent $10 on a cd, then didn't like it, I should be able to resell it to someone else who may appreciate it.  But what if I make a copy for myself, then resell it?  A strange aspect of all this is the experience of hearing the music.  It's like seeing a play; if it sucked, do I get my money back?  I can't "resell" my experience - I saw the play, and can't "unsee" it.  Isn't that part of my risk going into it?  Places like Soleilmoon have a money-back guarantee - if you buy a disk, then don't like it, they'll give you a refund.  But what if I like it, then get bored with it in two years?  If I paid for the music, didn't I get two years of enjoyment out of it?  Am I now entitled to sell the medium, because I'm bored with the content?

Did I buy the medium, or the music?  


I agree, the used media sales are in a grey area as well.  While I think it's safe to say that the internet and the wide availability of free, illegal media on the net has increased piracy in general, I still think that the people that will pay for music will continue to pay for it and those that want shit for free will continue to find ways to do so.  As stated in other posts, people who buy used CDs and books mostly likely will continue to do so due to the overall savings they can achieve.  While prices a lot of online media has become more reasonable, there will always be the cheap-asses who wouldn't even pay even $5 for a Steve Roach exclusive MP3 release!  Not much we can do about it I guess but make the media reasonable for those that WILL pay for the media, and THANK YOU to those that do!
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Seren on April 22, 2009, 11:13:44 AM
I think there are lots of aspects and sides to the discussion and I have to admit I'd not thought about second hand CDs in that way....so lots to learn from.

I think my issue with the 'everything for free' comes from the perception that only by taking from others can everything be free and only in a wealthy and 'civilised' society are things organised in ways that make it possible to act on. Immersion said himself that if everyone in his country chose not to work it would collapse (I think thats what you meant).

Take it right back to basics - you find yourself on a desert island - how you going to survive? You've got to put your arse into it cos nothing is going to come for free. Even in modern society, someones effort has gone into making everything that might be taken for free - even the torrent websites need someones effort to exist.

There is an anarchist philosophy of (cant remember the exact quote) each from their means and according to their needs - but this was always based on co-creation. Some people grow food, others eat that food so they can make the clothes the farmers wear while working type of thing. The idea never envisaged swathes of society just sitting around and eating food made by others, wearing clothes made by others because they can. Accepted response of general population to such people was not pleasant....

I suppose, across generations, we may be talking about different ideas of respect, freedom, utopia - and I have had a long history of this type of discussion, including direct action/court cases and prison sentences based on those beliefs and even now they inform my work in that I put a lot of energy to help disadvantaged people left behind by the capitalist society.

I know I could not survive on my own and I would prefer not to take from people unless they are giving something away out of respect for them.

Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: 9dragons on April 22, 2009, 11:34:32 AM
Of course, ripping a CD to your iTunes library and then selling the CD used is no different from just pirating it in the first place, without ever having bought a copy.
Mike, this statement doesn't quite make sense to me. A cd bought new is around $15, including tax/shipping, which brings us close to $20. When it's sold, a record store might give $1-$4, or do a trade in type of deal. A bit more money might be made on Ebay, but the point is that one will certainly not make the money back that was put into purchase. Now, if that cd is burned onto the computer before selling the hard copy, in my opinion that can't be equated with piracy. After all, the person did actually buy the album, thereby increasing album sales. If they sell it back, whether it is because they don't like it, or to recoup a bit of money, and also decide to burn it, I can see no wrong in that. I mentioned this whole nuance earlier in the thread, and I'm still not fully decided on whether it is "right" or not, but I am beginning to think it is pushing the limit of what is "right" to be afraid to burn an album before one decides to sell it, for whatever reason. As I mentioned before, when I sell a cd, I often burn it, just in case, but rarely ever listen to it again, and usually delete it, because it no longer feels real to me.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le) on April 22, 2009, 11:45:12 AM
Unfortunately, it is true however. According to the law, the minute you sell a cd, you no longer have the rights to own said CD and it is actually illegal to burn it to your library and sell it. Again, it does not matter what you think or feel is right, the law is the law.

PV
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: SunDummy on April 22, 2009, 12:22:37 PM
This is the distinction between buying the medium (disk, tape) and buying the music on that medium.  What, exactly, are we buying?
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: SunDummy on April 22, 2009, 12:36:33 PM
Of course, ripping a CD to your iTunes library and then selling the CD used is no different from just pirating it in the first place, without ever having bought a copy.
Mike, this statement doesn't quite make sense to me. A cd bought new is around $15, including tax/shipping, which brings us close to $20. When it's sold, a record store might give $1-$4, or do a trade in type of deal. A bit more money might be made on Ebay, but the point is that one will certainly not make the money back that was put into purchase. Now, if that cd is burned onto the computer before selling the hard copy, in my opinion that can't be equated with piracy. After all, the person did actually buy the album, thereby increasing album sales. If they sell it back, whether it is because they don't like it, or to recoup a bit of money, and also decide to burn it, I can see no wrong in that. I mentioned this whole nuance earlier in the thread, and I'm still not fully decided on whether it is "right" or not, but I am beginning to think it is pushing the limit of what is "right" to be afraid to burn an album before one decides to sell it, for whatever reason. As I mentioned before, when I sell a cd, I often burn it, just in case, but rarely ever listen to it again, and usually delete it, because it no longer feels real to me.

What if you paid $10 for the cd, and can now re-sell it on eBay for $50?  Does that change the equation?  Is it still ok to keep a burned copy?
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Stellar Auditorium on April 22, 2009, 12:37:20 PM
Unfortunately, it is true however. According to the law, the minute you sell a cd, you no longer have the rights to own said CD and it is actually illegal to burn it to your library and sell it. Again, it does not matter what you think or feel is right, the law is the law.

PV

No, what we feel and think is important. The law isn't some god-given commandment that people should accept a priori, it is a social contract made in order to hold society together. But, law is always imperfect, because society progresses and changes every minute. I believe we should debate rather than blindly accept everything that is imposed towards us, because either these things that the law is supposed to protect by supressing certain actions now might be invalid (hypothesis) or need to be reconfigured to fit recent developments. In our case, we all know we're "breaking" the law by illigally downloading music, but when someone ends up buying it shortly thereafter, how is any damage done? Why should we conform to the status quo when essentially our actions do not harm anyone, and instead offer us roads towards self-expansion? Would it REALLY cause any problem to anyone if we download an album that is our of print and can't be found anywhere else, rip a cd that we have bought from the artist (and then sold for an equal price), or download an album that we have already ordered from the artist as a preview (I think that was the case with Immersion, if I'm not mistaken?) I'd like an honest response concerning this...  
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: mgriffin on April 22, 2009, 12:52:18 PM
In our case, we all know we're "breaking" the law by illigally downloading music, but when someone ends up buying it shortly thereafter, how is any damage done?

If illegal downloads usually led to the music being purchased soon after, there would be no controversy and none of us would be complaining about the technical illegality of the downloads.

The reason there's a problem is that far more often, the illegal downloads PREVENTS a sale of the music afterward.




Quote
Would it REALLY cause any problem to anyone if we download an album that is our of print and can't be found anywhere else, rip a cd that we have bought from the artist (and then sold for an equal price),

In this situation, you have 2 listeners enjoying the recording as if they "own" it, and yet only 1 copy has been purchased from the artist.

And if an album is out of print, and yet freely available as an illegal download, then there is little chance that sufficient demand for a re-release will ever occur.  Prior to file sharing, there would be significant demand for reissues of certain out of print recordings (remember the early FAX label releases?) which usually led to a legitimate reissue.  If no such demand ever builds back up (because everyone who wants the recording just downloads it on bittorrent), then such reissues will not happen, and in that sense also, the artist and/or label has been harmed.



Quote
or download an album that we have already ordered from the artist as a preview (I think that was the case with Immersion, if I'm not mistaken?) I'd like an honest response concerning this...  

Again, I don't think that the artist or label would complain about downloading in this situation -- the person willingly purchased the recording, so the download while technically illegal did not harm the artist/label or cost them any revenue.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le) on April 22, 2009, 01:00:17 PM

In our case, we all know we're "breaking" the law by illigally downloading music, but when someone ends up buying it shortly thereafter, how is any damage done?

Well, yes it is ok to question laws and even work to change them. Every democratic society is based on this. You work to change the law and voice your opinion, not break it because you disagree. It not like you are homeless and stealing food for your very survival...you are stealing music because you think it is somehow intrinsically owed to you. The reason it is wrong is that now you are keeping something which you have sold the rights too. If you want it cheaper...you go buy it used and save some money. But the fact that you paid $15 new and could only sell it used for $5 is unfortunately irrelevant. Again you are simply justifying your actions to fit your own paradigm and thus telling me you are entitled to keep the music, even though you are selling the hard copy CD. If you just wanted it digitally in the 1st place...buy the download.

This just keeps coming down to: I want to own what I want, I deserve it and it should fit my personal model economy.

PV
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: APK on April 22, 2009, 01:09:38 PM
Of course it is easy to justify downloading when you say you are going to buy it if you like it. Treating the download as a big sample. And some people no doubt do act this way. But it would be seriously wrong to think you can trust the majority of people to act this way. For them a free download is just that... the album for free. Just like software for free.  At least software is programming, so certain safe-guards can be built in for getting it working (which of course people still crack), and it can still have hidden viruses/malware. But music can't be protected the same way, and so is vulnerable to easy copying and sharing.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: APK on April 22, 2009, 01:16:28 PM
REMEMBER THIS:
The BIG winner in this downloading p2p (etc) frenzy is the BIG internet companies who simply sell access to downloadable files by bandwidth. They are the new capitalists. They of course WANT plenty of free stuff available to download. It's straight money to them.   

Same for chinese and russian music download sites that charge a dollar or two per album ... they are riding on the backs of other people's labour. They are what the modern internet leads to and they are the scammers -- they are getting paid for the "free" albums and programs you download
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: mgriffin on April 22, 2009, 01:19:49 PM
Nothing like an intellectual property debate to get the Hypnos Forum humming again!

 :)
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: SunDummy on April 22, 2009, 01:31:42 PM
I would bet that there's not one person involved in this conversation who has not made a copy of a disk (or made a mix-tape) for a friend, downloaded some rare obscure out-of-print LP, or otherwise broken copyright laws.  We've all broken a law at one point or another, some of us more often (and severely) than others.  But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try aspire to a higher standard.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: mgriffin on April 22, 2009, 01:36:21 PM
Right Sundummy, and the point isn't to be holier-than-thou and say nobody must EVER violate copyright in the slightest way.  The point is to affirm that artists and copyright holders do have rights, and if listeners/consumers all completely ignored those rights, we'd end up with a situation that was worse for everyone.

It may not be "fun" to pay for music (or books or art or software) but it does help support the scene and ensure that more of the best-quality material keeps being released.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le) on April 22, 2009, 01:49:34 PM
Amen brotha Mike!
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Stellar Auditorium on April 22, 2009, 02:01:06 PM
If illegal downloads usually led to the music being purchased soon after, there would be no controversy and none of us would be complaining about the technical illegality of the downloads.

The reason there's a problem is that far more often, the illegal downloads PREVENTS a sale of the music afterward.


I know, but I am not talking about this case, am I talking about the, perhaps, unfrequent case that I'm describing, which applies to me, as someone who still continues to at the same time, download and buy music without a decrease in volume. The real question I believe, is not if illegal downloading affects the sale of cds (we know that it is a negative affect) but if it is worth propagating against it and persecuting the people that are carrying it out. For all of the reasons that I have described, I do not share this opinion. 

In this situation, you have 2 listeners enjoying the recording as if they "own" it, and yet only 1 copy has been purchased from the artist.

I see no problem about this. The artist has been paid for this very copy, and what happens is that the act of buying (sorry if I'm not not making sense, but neither English or law is my forte) is transferred to some other man. The seller, has accomplished his due towards the artist and does not hurt anyone if he keeps a rip of the cd certainly. The buyer however, should have bought a copy directly from the artist rather than buying this used cd. He's much more liable than the seller for the problem, in my book.

And if an album is out of print, and yet freely available as an illegal download, then there is little chance that sufficient demand for a re-release will ever occur. Prior to file sharing, there would be significant demand for reissues of certain out of print recordings (remember the early FAX label releases?) which usually led to a legitimate reissue. If no such demand ever builds back up (because everyone who wants the recording just downloads it on bittorrent), then such reissues will not happen, and in that sense also, the artist and/or label has been harmed.

I'm unsure that this happens in all cases. Sometimes, an unheard album at its time will be "re-discovered" through the file sharing networks and get hyped up, which will end up in the record being re-released. I'm aware of many such cases, especially in the rock/metal underground, which has been among my main "fields" in the past. In any case, personally I'd be glad to buy a re-release of a long out of print record that I have once downloaded, as with any other music.

This just keeps coming down to: I want to own what I want, I deserve it and it should fit my personal model economy.


Please try not to attribute to me things that I never said. I don't know if I deserve it, but I want it, that's certainly true. And in fact, what I'm trying to do is to compromise my desire as to not allow it have a negative effect on the world. Essentially, to provide my final argument, I believe that this approach only strengthens good art: taking into consideration that the amount of money I spend on music has remained stable because of my economic needs as a human being, illegal downloading has allowed me to make a much better selection of the records I was going to buy, in comparison to buying blindly or relying on short samples, thus providing with financial support artists that consequitively deserve it more. Essentially, as pretty much everything, downloading is a tool that can be used for a good and a bad purpose. I know that its hard for everyone to comply with this and that currently it is abused rather than used, but one can only hope, and try to actively change the world by voicing his/her opinion.   

REMEMBER THIS:
The BIG winner in this downloading p2p (etc) frenzy is the BIG internet companies who simply sell access to downloadable files by bandwidth. They are the new capitalists. They of course WANT plenty of free stuff available to download. It's straight money to them.


Very correct, this is why I never was a rapidshare premium member or any other websites of that sort. There are file sharing programs that do not demand subscription, have ads, or any sort of commercial attributes though. Uhh, enough for today...
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: mgriffin on April 22, 2009, 02:13:14 PM
In this situation, you have 2 listeners enjoying the recording as if they "own" it, and yet only 1 copy has been purchased from the artist.

I see no problem about this. The artist has been paid for this very copy, and what happens is that the act of buying (sorry if I'm not not making sense, but neither English or law is my forte) is transferred to some other man. The seller, has accomplished his due towards the artist and does not hurt anyone if he keeps a rip of the cd certainly. The buyer however, should have bought a copy directly from the artist rather than buying this used cd. He's much more liable than the seller for the problem, in my book.

I agree the problem is a little hard to see when we talk about one person buying a CD, then keeping a copy and re-selling it to a second person.

In order to more clearly illustrate the problem, imagine a situation where a CD is released and Citizen #1 buys one CD, duplicates it, and sells the original to Citizen #2, who also duplicates it, and sells it to Citizen #3, and so on. 

Eventually, every citizen in the country has a copy of the music, and every single one of them can say "but I paid for a copy," and yet only one copy has been purchased new, generating revenue for the artist, label or rights-holder.  Does this make clearer how duplicating the music before passing it along is just as detrimental to the artist, as if everyone just downloaded it illegally and never bought anything?
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Stellar Auditorium on April 22, 2009, 02:26:06 PM
Of course, I was well aware of that when I posted, and actually the answer to that is in my previous post. The problem isn't that the original buyer makes a copy of the album after selling it, the problem is that the 2nd buyer is actually buying a used cd! It's not a play of words, but the problem seems to be more on the action of selling a used cd a priori, than the actual duplicating of the album. To illustrate this better, I'll tell you the following: even if the original buyer never made a copy/rip of the album, the EXPERIENCE of listening to the cd would still be there. It's the same type of argument that someone used when saying than playing a record for your friends might samely constitute a problem, in the same vein of thought. So, basically I conclude that the only real problem is in the buyer not getting the album directly from the artist, which is way more harmful than the 'duplication' of the copies. That is almost irrelevant, which is perhaps something that can be said about downloading as well.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Brian Bieniowski on April 22, 2009, 02:28:21 PM
I would bet that there's not one person involved in this conversation who has not made a copy of a disk (or made a mix-tape) for a friend, downloaded some rare obscure out-of-print LP, or otherwise broken copyright laws.  We've all broken a law at one point or another, some of us more often (and severely) than others.  But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try aspire to a higher standard.

I got arrested as a teen for shoplifting, you guessed it, Fax records CDs from a local chainstore.  I like to think the revenue I've sent Fax (and almost every other damn ambient label on the block) since has made up for my few youthful mistakes.

The problem is not so much buying and selling used hard copies, the way I see it.  In the magazine business we always imagine that a single copy of the magazine makes its way into several more hands than the original purchaser's or subscriber's.  I suppose it technically cuts into possible profit, but we prefer to think of it as a kind of promotion—maybe that person given a used copy might be more inclined to purchase stuff from us in the future if they liked what they saw.  I think people have a kind of right to share their hard copies of things like books and DVDs, etc.  Perhaps it's less of a right and more of a case of knowing that it will happen and being comfortable that a single copy can't propagate as furiously as a digital file will.

The trouble with P2P software and the like is that it's so far beyond the second-hand markets, or record stores selling promos used, or people lending each other books and music, that the two ideas almost can't be considered in the same sentence.  I mean, look at the shit they were offering on that Deleted Scenes, Forgotten Dreams blog a few months back.  And that's just one of many hundreds of such sites!  If just 200 people downloaded each release—not an unreasonable number to assume, and perhaps even an understated figure—it's an incredible amount of piracy and clearly there has been an equally incredible impact on labels and artists because of it, with no original sale to back it up.  Half the time these albums are leaking onto the 'net via promos, etc., and the labels/artists could be losing thousands as a direct result.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: judd stephens on April 22, 2009, 02:29:31 PM
I'm wondering how many people who say "taking something from me that I did not freely give to you is stealing" also disapprove of the income tax?   ;D 
Oh wait that's right... that tax money just goes back to help the poor people of society... right. 

Sorry Judd, not really following you on this one.  The analogy I would make is the person who sneaks into a concert that others paid for.  The logical extension of your argument would be that that's OK, too.  But why stop there?  Why not sneak onto a flight that others paid for?  No harm, no foul?  Sounds like way too much relativism for me.

Well it's another topic altogether, but when your labor, the money that you earn, is taken in the form of a tax and applied to someone or something else, let's say to fund a war, or support "mandatory pre-school for all", subsidizing the oil industry, or something you generally don't agree with, can that be called fair?  Could it be called stealing?  I think many of the founders of our country thought so, and reading their quotes on taxes in general is pretty enlightening- we didn't have an income tax before 1914 if my history's correct.  I'm not trying to veer the conversation in the direction of taxes or government anyway.

You say the "logical extension of my argument" is that sneaking into a theatre is okay, and I've gotta say, I'm not sure I follow you either on that one.  What part of my argument extends to that?  When you say there's too much relativism, that's what in effect I'm asking you guys.  To what extent can one share one's experience when one purchases music, and what is it that I own?  I'm asking how relative is burning a cd for a friend to uploading music to the anonymous user?  

It is interesting that people are putting most of the responsibility on the downloader here.  It's like they know it's a grey area when someone purchases the music as to the extent of what they can do with it once they buy it.  

The thing about sneaking into a theatre or an airplane:  If I purchase a ticket to go to one of these, it's not like buying a cd.  I cannot share that ticket, otherwise it's "sneaking", not the same with music.  Forrest, when I allow others to share or partake in the music experience that I have bought, let's say invite them into my living room where we enjoy the music, I have not "snuck them in" to my experience, have I?  Yet I'm the one who bought the experience, and it is easily shared with others.  That's why I see this as a very grey area as to what extent the musician, or the government can mandate how I share what I purchased.  

As to the doctor selling the "intangible" advice:  yeah, no question information can be sold, but it can just as easily be shared.  Same with intangibles too- Vegas wouldn't exist if it weren't for selling intangibles  :P I can buy a cookbook and share a recipe, I can obtain info. from a doctor that could generally help anybody- in fact my chiropractor has given me some invaluable exercises during doctor's visits that I in turn have shared with my massage clients- does anyone think this is stealing?  What if I posted some of that information online to help someone?  

I believe that conscience and goodwill is and should be very alive and well- this forum is the perfect example where people are stressing the importance of compensating the musician to the benefit of us all.  There is a model of complete donation or compensation that is controversial, but it has worked before... anyone ever heard of Patch Adams?  If everyone took advantage of his "free clinic", he wouldn't exist, but it does.  I'm sure someone could tell Patch one of these hypothetical vacuumed ideas of "well if you didn't charge for your services, and no one paid or donated, then you couldn't continue to run your clinic...", and well I guess they'd be right.    


Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: LNerell on April 22, 2009, 02:53:31 PM

it is now cheaper then ever to create your own music, since the digital studio almost everyone can afford and home studio. People like me can't afford nothing, no cds at all almost, and no software. So in my case I would not be able to record any music at all if it wasn't for piracy.

You contradict yourself here, you say its so cheap but then claim that you can't pay for it so the only way to get it is to steal it, there is another alternative. When I was your age (I am assuming you are in your early 20s) I also could not afford all most anything, CDs, musical instruments, etc. So what did I do? I took classes at the local school to learn and use the instruments they had. I went to our local library to listen to music that I couldn't afford. Finally I did what many others have done, I got a job to buy the gear with money for said job. You obviously had some money as you have a computer to run the software on. If you continue to steal software and not pay for it then myself and others who do pay for it will have to pay more for our software in the future to make up for your selfishness. Or, the software might come with some form of dongle device (like a big hardware box) that requires it to work. In other words you'll have to buy hardware again like I had to when I was your age.


And when we are talking about pirate copies and financial losses, it is very important to clearly we are talking about an POTENTIAL loss,

You seem to be assuming that all downloads are from people who would not buy a CD in the first place. If this was the case then CD sales would not have tanked like they have with the introduction of high quality downloads. There is enough empirical evidence to indicate there is a connection between the two. As a personal example, when Terraform was released on CD the sales were much lower then expected based upon previous sales of my own releases and Steve Roach's normal sales for a new release. We found shortly after the album was released that someone had made high quality mp3s (320kps) of the tracks, had scanned all the artwork including the front cover, inside foldout, the extra postcards, and the CD itself. All were then zipped into a file and uploaded to a bittorrent site. This was the first case any of us has encountered of this kind. You could argue that no one was interested so they didn't buy the CD, well thousands of people were interested enough to at least download it. I won't argue that all of those thousands of download were potential sales, but sales have been so low that the label has yet to recoup its costs, and this has made it difficult for me now to release any new material.


I have tried to explain to you that to live and survive on making independent music is very hard and for 99,9% only a dream.

It’s always been hard but that's no excuse for being selfish and making it harder then it needs to be. Downloading at artists music and not paying for it turns that dream into a nightmare.


I have not interest to support labels in the future, we need to get rid of this middle hand, since the money gets in the wrong pocket, the artist is the one who should get the most part of the profit.


I think getting rid of labels is a bad idea, not all labels are bad. Good labels work with the artist, they provide services that help them and work more as an artist collective then a monolithic machine. One thing they can provide is a cheaper way of producing product. If they come to a replicator with several projects they can get a cheaper rate. If they have several artists they can get better distribution, etc. I think the irony of this whole free download thing is it’s made the large labels even bigger. They have slowly bought each other out to the point their are only 2 or 3 big labels which in the long run has hurt music with less competition. Less competition means less chance for interesting music to be heard. Its also forced the large labels into a corner like posture, which has fueled the whole attack on p2p sights. I think the piratebay people are seeing this first hand.


We have about 15% unemployment in Sweden, but that is already changing, since the young generation do not want to work at all, they all want to live in freedom.

Freedom to daydream all day long, to daydream about all the great art they could make if they weren't too busy daydreaming.


However, as I said, unless you have talent like Roach and do not own your own label, these is no way you can survive on cd sells, that is the reality. Some pocket money from cd sells will not help. If you have your own label and release many cds

Just so you know Steve's label is actually a joint project with Projekt Records for many of the reasons I stated above.


I advocate copyright, in the sense that if a person have done something he or she should be associated with the work and no on else, I see this is an fundamental right and important. This protection is important since it gives you the right to own the rights to your work.

If you believe this then you should allow the artist to control how they wish to have their art consumed. If artists wanted to have their music downloaded freely then their is nothing stopping them from putting it up on a website and letting any one download as they wish. Since most artist don't do this, or do this on a limited basis then they have made a choice that they do not wish to have unlimited access at such a high level.


I would rather see something like PROUT http://www.prout.net/ in the future, http://www.thevenusproject.com/ have a lot of interesting ideas as well

In my youth I had a great interest in utopian societies, I've read quite a few books on all kinds of utopias (including a few distopias), had endless debates, some friends and I even considered the possibility of starting a small commune. I should also point out that I am not a strong believer in that capitalism is the best of all worlds and am open to the possibility that their maybe something better. Having said that most of the utopian projects that are currently out there will probably never see the real light of day in our lifetimes. They are at best --  like the Venus project -- centuries away from even a remote possibility of reality. So I think its very unfair to us musicians (who make the most affordable of all the arts) to have to bare the burden of dragging everyone into these utopian dream worlds. Its not going to happen in one little corner, it’s going have to happen in a broader forum.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Stellar Auditorium on April 22, 2009, 03:22:49 PM
I would bet that there's not one person involved in this conversation who has not made a copy of a disk (or made a mix-tape) for a friend, downloaded some rare obscure out-of-print LP, or otherwise broken copyright laws.  We've all broken a law at one point or another, some of us more often (and severely) than others.  But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try aspire to a higher standard.

I mean, look at the shit they were offering on that Deleted Scenes, Forgotten Dreams blog a few months back.  And that's just one of many hundreds of such sites!  If just 200 people downloaded each release—not an unreasonable number to assume, and perhaps even an understated figure—it's an incredible amount of piracy and clearly there has been an equally incredible impact on labels and artists because of it, with no original sale to back it up.  Half the time these albums are leaking onto the 'net via promos, etc., and the labels/artists could be losing thousands as a direct result.

Or some ones could be actually winning! I'm well aware of that blog, and in fact (hold deep breath now...) I have even sent them an album we've released! (of course, with the agreement of the artist) I know it totally sounds absurd, but this is a perfect example of an alternative internet promotion that I wanted to point out. I did this at a time when sales of that particular album were totally frozen, and weeks had passed without any order. As a result, the album had been download by over 300 people just a couple of days (probably much more, not all bandwith provider websites show stats and it was uploaded in many sites) and I got three new orders in the following days. So, it seems that not only the downloads did not negatively affect the sales of the album (it still sells, although ahem very slowly as the rest of our stuff) but it gave a wide exposure to the artist, and essentially did promotion and helped him reach an audience that might be interested to check out more future works of him, and as we all know, all promotion is essentially cashes-in sometime.

Now, I'm not trying to be smart and say that something like this can apply to labels as Hypnos as well (it probably doesn't). In fact, there are just two ways, you either try to bring down any kind of file sharing thus not allowing the album to "leak out" to the internet and relying just upon the artist and label's name and promotional appeal in order for it to reach its audience, or you can go along with the tide and allow this whole situation and even use it. I can't provide a definite answer about this right now, but personally I find much interest in this new way of things, and I suggest everyone, musician or producer to study it in order to understand it, and see how it can help him or not, accordingly to each one's situation.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: ffcal on April 22, 2009, 04:43:07 PM
I think reading the comments is here is making my head spin...We do currently have taxation with representation (gripes from the right notwithstanding), so I'm not sure I'd put that it in the same category as the decision of an individual to copy or upload his CD for his friends without the consent of either the artist or the record label.  I think the notion that "if is on the internet, it must be free" is what is causing newspapers and other traditional media to go out of business, or at the very least, be starved for cash.  If I read a story on the Washington Post or Wall Street Journal website that is subscription only, I don't the legal right to copy that text for someone else to read, any more than I would have the right to convert a Kindle novel into a text file and post it on the internet.  Even a recipe is not necessarily free if it comes from a subscription-only website.  I don't think anyone is taking the position that playing a CD for your friends or including music on a mixtape or podcast is piracy.  Making a copy of a entire CD freely available in digital form to be enjoyed on another person's iPod or to be burned to CDR, though, is a different kettle of fish.

I agree that the discussion should gradually move towards trying to develop a sustainable model.  Clearly, what has been in place has not been working.  One thing I plan to try as an experiment is to make freely available a standalone track created from raw elements of my upcoming CD as a form of promotion.  I thought that what rock musician Jill Sobule did with her last CD project was kind of cool; she had enough of a fan base that she was able raise money from her fans to record and press her CD.

Forrest
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le) on April 22, 2009, 05:18:56 PM
Take some time and read this:

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/pirate-bay-verdict/384186-i-steal-music.html

PV
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: 9dragons on April 22, 2009, 05:36:27 PM
So are we saying that it is actually illegal for me to sell a cd to my local record store? Or just illegal for me to copy it before I sell it?

What about the guy who runs the cool used record store? He is making a living, and promoting the music as well. I've found out about a lot of labels and artists that I otherwise would not have, if not for some of the fine record stores here.

Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le) on April 22, 2009, 05:37:37 PM
No its just illegal to copy it and then sell it. In theory if you sell it and want it again you need to re-purchase the cd again or buy the download.

PV
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: 9dragons on April 22, 2009, 05:45:45 PM
Very interesting. I guess that makes sense on a strict legal /copyright level. It somehow seems weird though. It feels (there is that word again) as if one should own the data for oneself if one legitimately purchases an album, even after the hard copy is subsequently sold. This really cuts to the heart of the matter: what is the cd? the object, the data, both, or neither?
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: 9dragons on April 22, 2009, 05:49:52 PM
And that is one of the main reasons I like to buy an actual cd. If I don't like it, I can at least sell it and make back a few bucks. When you pay to download an album, you don't have that luxury, and are basically left with air that you don't like. I like having that escape hatch. Plus the money you make from selling the cd usually makes up for the difference between price in the hard copy and download.

I have spent a lot of money on music...
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: LNerell on April 22, 2009, 06:00:40 PM
Very interesting. I guess that makes sense on a strict legal /copyright level. It somehow seems weird though. It feels (there is that word again) as if one should own the data for oneself if one legitimately purchases an album, even after the hard copy is subsequently sold.

If you don't like the CD enough to keep then why would you want a copy of it? ??? From my understanding when you purchase a CD and you make a copy of it to another format you are media shifting, which is legal. The idea is you make a copy so you can play it in the car or your ipod. If you then sell the CD or vinyl, or cassette, then you are not entitled to have that shifted copy of it because you no longer have the original media.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: judd stephens on April 22, 2009, 06:48:29 PM


In order to more clearly illustrate the problem, imagine a situation where a CD is released and Citizen #1 buys one CD, duplicates it, and sells the original to Citizen #2, who also duplicates it, and sells it to Citizen #3, and so on. 

Eventually, every citizen in the country has a copy of the music, and every single one of them can say "but I paid for a copy," and yet only one copy has been purchased new, generating revenue for the artist, label or rights-holder.  Does this make clearer how duplicating the music before passing it along is just as detrimental to the artist, as if everyone just downloaded it illegally and never bought anything?

Assuming that the intention of citizen 1 is to have a copy, and recoup part of his money, if he can't duplicate it, then he probably won't sell it.  Hell would he even buy it then in the first place?   And if he can't sell it, what makes citizen 2, who's obviously looking for a bargain, buy the new cd? 

What about this cool used record store 9dragons mentions... how many cd's and labels would he have found and consequently supported if people decided to keep that music rather than sell it, knowing they shouldn't copy it? 

What if I buy a new Hypnos cd, copy it, resell it so I can use that recoupped money to help finance the purchase of another new Hypnos cd?

It looks like if anything downloading is much more detrimental in that people aren't going to wait for the used cd they want to come down the pike.  Unlucky citizen # 2000 is probably just going to download rather than wait for that process to unfold...maybe you're talking about if this existed but the other didn't kind of hypothetical here...

Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: judd stephens on April 22, 2009, 06:52:38 PM
Very interesting. I guess that makes sense on a strict legal /copyright level. It somehow seems weird though. It feels (there is that word again) as if one should own the data for oneself if one legitimately purchases an album, even after the hard copy is subsequently sold.

If you don't like the CD enough to keep then why would you want a copy of it? ??? From my understanding when you purchase a CD and you make a copy of it to another format you are media shifting, which is legal. The idea is you make a copy so you can play it in the car or your ipod. If you then sell the CD or vinyl, or cassette, then you are not entitled to have that shifted copy of it because you no longer have the original media.

Hmmm, so if I lose the original copy or it's stolen, or wears out, then I have to erase the shifted copy?  Guess so...
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: michael sandler on April 22, 2009, 06:56:07 PM
Is listening to some music that you're not going to end purchasing because you didn't find it good enough that much of a crime? It could be considered as a "spiritual crime" perhaps, but if some guy meets Steve Roach tommorow and tells to the man "Hey, I've downloaded most of your music and I was deeply affected by it, it changed the way I see music" do you think he'll be mad at him? I don't know, I can't speak for the man.

I can't really speak for Steve, but I feel pretty certain he would be shocked to have someone tell him this.  If someone told me they were "deeply affected" by my work, but they had never bothered to purchase a single CD, I'd think here's a pretty selfish person who not only doesn't purchase most of their music, but doesn't even support the work that really means something to them.

I honestly CAN see how people can rationalize pirating the newest Britney Spears album or whatever... she's already a millionaire, how much of a difference will it make if I buy one copy, the major labels are giant evil corporations anyway, etc. 

I can even see how people can take a "try before you buy" attitude, downloading a lot of material and buying legit copies of the stuff they like most.

But the idea that people can rationalize pirating the music of an indie artist or label that's bringing in so little money as to barely break even, one of their favorite artists or labels... how does that rationalization go, exactly?  The $12 is more important to me than it is to him, besides they didn't actually SEE me download it so there's no proof, anyway the record industry is so corrupt you have to fight against ALL commercial releases, or what?

I know you were just offering an example, but I'd say you probably shouldn't walk up to Steve Roach or anyone else and say "Your work deeply affected me but not enough that I was willing to sacrifice anything at all in order to obtain it."

I recall a fan asking Neil Peart a question in Modern Drummer magazine, and in the course of the question the fan said he had bootlegged a concert, and Neil blasted him with both barrels. He did answer the question though.

Just my 2cents on the meaning of art and what that has to do with any of this: nothing. Steve Roach's music is product. That's not a bad word. It simply means something produced with the intent of generating financial profit. So it is no different than a box of cereal. You have to pay for Froot Loops, and you have to pay for The Magnificent Void.

I hope no one takes offense that I refer to Froot Loops as "product."  ;D

MikeS
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: judd stephens on April 22, 2009, 07:05:35 PM

I recall a fan asking Neil Peart a question in Modern Drummer magazine, and in the course of the question the fan said he had bootlegged a concert, and Neil blasted him with both barrels. He did answer the question though.

Just my 2cents on the meaning of art and what that has to do with any of this: nothing. Steve Roach's music is product. That's not a bad word. It simply means something produced with the intent of generating financial profit. So it is no different than a box of cereal. You have to pay for Froot Loops, and you have to pay for The Magnificent Void.

I hope no one takes offense that I refer to Froot Loops as "product."  ;D

MikeS

Nope, it's far more offensive that you compare The Magnificent Void with Fruit Loops... ;D
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: michael sandler on April 22, 2009, 07:16:34 PM

I recall a fan asking Neil Peart a question in Modern Drummer magazine, and in the course of the question the fan said he had bootlegged a concert, and Neil blasted him with both barrels. He did answer the question though.

Just my 2cents on the meaning of art and what that has to do with any of this: nothing. Steve Roach's music is product. That's not a bad word. It simply means something produced with the intent of generating financial profit. So it is no different than a box of cereal. You have to pay for Froot Loops, and you have to pay for The Magnificent Void.

I hope no one takes offense that I refer to Froot Loops as "product."  ;D

MikeS

Nope, it's far more offensive that you compare The Magnificent Void with Fruit Loops... ;D

I knew I was gonna get it for that...
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: jkn on April 23, 2009, 07:05:59 AM
But what about Fruity Loops?   Oh - wait - they changed it to FL to sound more legitimate at some point... ;-)
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: LNerell on April 23, 2009, 09:18:05 AM
Hmmm, so if I lose the original copy or it's stolen, or wears out, then I have to erase the shifted copy?  Guess so...

Good point, I have no idea. Lots of gray area here.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: mgriffin on April 23, 2009, 09:32:55 AM
Hmmm, so if I lose the original copy or it's stolen, or wears out, then I have to erase the shifted copy?  Guess so...

Good point, I have no idea. Lots of gray area here.


I would say no -- in Judd's example, he purchased a copy and owned the rights to it.  If the physical disc is lost or stolen but he still has the mp3 rip, I'd say he retains the right to keep listening to it -- even to burn an audio CDR from the mp3 files if he wants.  Why not?

That's very different from selling the CD used, but keeping a high-quality rip or a CDR copy.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: cromag on April 23, 2009, 10:22:30 AM
Hmmm, so if I lose the original copy or it's stolen, or wears out, then I have to erase the shifted copy?  Guess so...

Good point, I have no idea. Lots of gray area here.


I would say no -- in Judd's example, he purchased a copy and owned the rights to it.  If the physical disc is lost or stolen but he still has the mp3 rip, I'd say he retains the right to keep listening to it -- even to burn an audio CDR from the mp3 files if he wants.  Why not?

That's very different from selling the CD used, but keeping a high-quality rip or a CDR copy.

I am not a lawyer, but this is an area of some interest to me.

First, the RIAA has, in the past, argued that you don't have the right to "media shift."  That argument was moot -- they already fought and lost that battle in the '70s, with cassette recorders -- but a major part of their market was (re-)selling CDs to people who wanted to "upgrade" from perfectly good LPs, so they gave it a try.

In an interview on NPR last year (I think -- I can find it if I have to) they argued that if you had made MP3 or other copies of a CD, and the CD was subsequently lost or stolen, then you should have to destroy your copies.

I think that copyright law trumps them on this.  In this case it seems to me that "media shifting" is the same as making an archival copy.  The purpose of an archival copy is to safeguard your investment if the original is lost.

In the case of theft, it's even more clear.  You cannot lose title to property through theft.  If you bought the CD it's your CD -- even if it's stolen, it's still your CD and you have a right to the music.



As a hobby (which I haven't had time to pursue nearly as much as I'd like) I record LPs to digital files, clean them up, and burn them to CD -- and some songs wind up on my MP3 player.  I keep the source LPs safely in my basement, just in case.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Wayne Higgins on April 23, 2009, 11:06:06 AM
So, if I buy a CD for $18, copy it to a blank disc, sell it for $3, keep all of the receipts, can I keep 5/6 of it? ;D

OR....
If I buy a cd($22), burn it and then sell it($6), and then buy it on vinyl($28), should Eric Clapton send me $16.

You know I have owned in my life time (2 examples) Grand Funk Railroad "Closer to Home" on cassette, cd, and now the three copies on vinyl and King Crimson "Larks Tongues in Aspic" on 8-track, cd, remastered cd, cassette, and now the three vinyl copies.  I could argue that if Capitol records and Atlantic (WEM, EG, ect) would have gotten the pressings right the first time, I wouldn't have to keep buying them.  Nick Mason once said that a possible reason for "Dark Side Of The Moon" selling so well was that many people who bought it wore it out and had to buy a second copy.  Should they all get their money back?

Besides, it's not like Mark, Don and Mel got more money from the multiple copies.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: 9dragons on April 23, 2009, 12:09:03 PM
I am curious to ask the musicians out there, which of the following two situations do you think is preferable (if you had to choose one):

1) I buy the hard copy release when it comes out, new, paying full price (direct from the artist or otherwise), decide I don't want to keep the hard copy for whatever reason, then rip it and sell the hard copy.

OR

2) I pay for a legitimate download from Itunes, Amazon, etc.


I don't know what it's like to be a musician with an album out (though I am working with a musician to put an album out, so I will get an idea very soon), but from the perspective of the musician, I think I would prefer option number 1. It gets somebody buying my actual physical album, then subsequently gets it into a place where it might not normally be found (like a used record store or someone buying off of Ebay thousands of miles away), thus hopefully sparking more awareness of and interest in the product. Like a mini advertisement.

To answer Loren's question, I usually sell and album when I no longer like it or listen to it, or if I am in need of money (and sometimes in need of money because I spent too much on music). There are occasions however when the packaging is so crappy, so little effort has gone into it, that if I like the music enough I might rip it and sell the original. In this case, the artist has put so little effort or care into the packaging, why should I care? And why should I keep such an ugly thing around? I could have just bought the download but at least in ordering the hard copy I gave myself the choice. After all, on the net, we don't get to really see the packaging before hand.

Again, I just don't see this resell thing affecting ambient or underground music in a big way.

From the consumer perspective, I most definitely prefer number one. I have bought a maximum of two downloads in my life, and though I like both albums, I never listen to them because a download just isn't really real to me, as I listen to my music on the stereo, so like to go through the ritual of touching the actual album, opening up the packaging, instead of just looking at an anonymous burned cdr. The way I see it, I pay somewhere around $15-$20 for a hard copy cd, including tax and shipping and whatnot, and if I sell it for whatever reason, I get $1-$4, which means I have "lost" $10-$15. So if I ripped from the original, then sold it, I am still paying more than if I had bought the download. Now, Mike's dystopian vision of everyone buying everyone else's used copies and the artist getting nothing kind of made sense to me, but needs further clarification (and since Mike is a label owner and distributor, I should probably defer to his experience...), because  in the case of ambient or other underground music, I see the extra promotion of the cd going back into the retail stream as outweighing the detriment that another person buying the used cd (thus no more money for the artist) would cause.

I have actually sold some of my ambient cds to the local record store, and there are a couple specific ones that still haven't sold after I think two years. I think most people buying ambient or underground music are buying it from the online distributors.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le) on April 23, 2009, 12:24:00 PM
Well...#2 is legal, #1 is not. I guess I don't understand why everyone is trying to look for loop holes and justification.

If you want a hard copy buy the CD...if you only want a digital copy buy the download. Seems pretty simple to me. When it is ambient music or something I consider that sound quality is worth it, I buy the CD. If it was something like say the new U2 or Depeche Mode album, I BUY the 256k files from Amazon or iTunes.

Paul
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: ffcal on April 23, 2009, 12:58:36 PM
I don't have a problem with #1, and could see how it might be a form of indirect advertising.  I think there is danger that putting too many restrictions on what consumers can do with their music may ultimately backfire by leading to even more declining sales (e.g., the DRM debacle).  I agree, though, that it is a trade-off in that having more used copies of your CD circulating around may ultimately put a dent in your CD sales.  Still, I think the greater risk of lost sales comes from the circulation of unauthorized digital copies.

I am fortunate that there are great record stores in the Bay Area like Amoeba, and still like go there to look for obscure CDs.  I think it's somewhat impractical to expect someone to hang onto a CD if they only like/want to keep a single track or two (and/or dislike the actual packaging).  Also, what if they simply want to throw the CD away and go digital?

Forrest
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: judd stephens on April 24, 2009, 12:04:07 AM
Well...#2 is legal, #1 is not. I guess I don't understand why everyone is trying to look for loop holes and justification.

If you want a hard copy buy the CD...if you only want a digital copy buy the download. Seems pretty simple to me. When it is ambient music or something I consider that sound quality is worth it, I buy the CD. If it was something like say the new U2 or Depeche Mode album, I BUY the 256k files from Amazon or iTunes.

Paul

This is gonna be one of those crazy posts...  if you hate math, you're gonna hate this for looking complex and boring.  If you're a mathmetician, you're also going to hate this because it's gotta be flawed somehow ::)  enjoy  ;D  Just read the bottom little paragraph if nothing else.

You already mentioned that it's okay to question a law in a democratic society, and looking at the consequences of breaking the law is one way of doing that.  Where is the harm being done of breaking this law?  Who can benefit from breaking the law?  Can they be compared in any way?  Those are some of the scenarios that being touched upon. 

There are other musicians here who seem to have a more nuianced opinion than just "the law is the law and it should never be broken unless it's life or death".  Some have conceded that if it doesn't harm the musician, as in affect their sales of music, or "doesn't hurt the scene", it's okay, and the intent of the law is not betrayed. 

I'm still not sure if ripping a cd and selling it is harmful.  There seems to be so many unknowns and variables that it's hard to assume one way or the other that it's good or bad. 

To make a really simple math equation- this is going to be difficult for me, but simple in terms of trying to solve the bigger problem, please bear with...  Let's say I as Citizen 1 have  90 dollars to buy cd's, and I decide to buy new cd's, rip them, then sell them.  For simplicity, let's say each new cd costs 12 dollars, and every time I re-sell, I gain 6 dollars back - sometimes it really would be more, or less, but probably more.   In this case I also reinvest the 6 dollars back into new cd's- I had 90 dollars to start with, and any money from sales go back to buying new music. 

On this model, I can buy 14 new cd's, until I run out of money.  Now let's say I follow the law and don't rip the cd's, and therefore I don't sell them (because if I can't rip and sell, I have to hold on to the cd in order to archive).  If I only buy new, without recoupping money, then I can only buy 7 new cd's with my budget.

Okay now to citizen 2, who has bought some of my used cd's.  Let's say citizen 2 likes bargains, and has a smaller budget, so every other cd he buys is a new, then a used, and so on.  His budget is only 60 dollars (this is over a period of time most likely- I'm not sure that part matters right now).  In the buy-rip-then resell model, citizen 2 resells both the new cd's and used he bought, recovers 6 dollars for the new, and 4 dollars for the used, so he gets 6 dollars back on his 12 dollars, and only 2 dollars back for the used.  Based on this he's able to buy a total of 7 new cd's (and 6 used).  If he didn't rip and consequently didn't re-sell, his budget would allow him to buy 5 new cd's.

As you can see the 2nd tier was a much lesser margin of new cd's bought, and the "further down you get", the situation maybe reverses itself, so that following the law generates more new cd's?  I can't really fathom that part.

Basically the bottom line is this:  if you follow the law, your budget can afford less new cd's, but there's less used cd's in the market, which encourages a higher percentage of new cd purchases.  However, breaking the law by ripping a newly bought cd and reselling it generates money to buy more and more new cd's, but also fills the market with more used cd's.  Which is worse if any? 



 
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Wayne Higgins on April 24, 2009, 06:41:34 AM
 :D

As a musician who did put out an album, and then find a copy of it in a used rack:  the first feeling was, "Damn, I guess they didn't like it that much", followed by "I'm glad they didn't just throw it away", finally "I hope someone else buys it."  Once, I even autographed the used copy so that the guy in running the used store could tell people it was autographed and sell it.  So, from this musicians standpoint, once it was bought, it was bought.  If they copied it before they sold it, so what.  What pissed me off was to find that the guitar players little brother made a few cassette copies of it and gave it to his friends.  I ate his diner one night before he came home for that!

One more question.  Lets say you buy a record from the SST label (let's say Husker Du "Zen Arcade", produced by Spot (who never received any money for his work and lives in a mobile home outside Austin) and sell the cd after burning it.  The SST label no longer exists due to those "four guys from Ireland" who decided they didn't like a particular single that was released by Negativeland on the SST label, consequently putting SST out of business.  Do you send the money to Negativeland, Spot, or those four guys who used to live in Ireland but decided to move out of the country when the laws of the country changed so that royalties were subject to taxation.  Why do I put up such a ridiculous post, because it's a ridiculous subject.  Believe it or not, people who buy cds faithfully sometimes have horrific money problems and are in a situation where they need money for groceries, and they have decide to sell a bunch of cds.  Before they sell the discs, they make copies so that they can listen to the music at a later date and then, by some good fortune, they get a bit of money, get out of the bad financial situation and buy back hard copies of the discs that they loved but were forced to sell.  Jesus Christ, its the record companies that are going to make the money anyway.

While I'm ranting, why don't the companies offer the people who bought the cd when it came out a percentage buy back policy when they remaster the cd because the first printing sounded like shit?
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Stellar Auditorium on April 24, 2009, 03:36:48 PM
Immersion, I think I'll write a few words in response to your posts, mainly because I think the gap (generational, ideological, etc) between the rest of the people that post here and yours is so huge, that is seems impossible for a conversation to happen at this point. You're mistaken in some things you try to present as facts: it's very rare that musicians get such a low percentage of the sales, which is actually the policy of corporate labels and not small/medium size independent labels such as Hypnos. These kind of labels treat the artist in a much fairer way, because they want to give incentive to the artist to sign with them. Besides that, the size of the independent scenes is so small, that BOTH artists and labels can hardly make a living, the earnings are pocket money comparing to a "real" job, and very often these people spend equal and perhaps even more hours per day to this than they would (and they do, of course) at a regular job (do you think that an ambient 1000 copies cd release gets sold right away? It might take even years, if ever). So, I think you should perhaps re-think the concept of "charity" that you seem to look into with contempt: spending 10-15 euros or dollars to buy a recording of an artist (or even label) you are very fond of not only achieves you a personal connection to them, but it ensures that they'll be motivated to continue to produce excellent art in the future, as so many times we have said in this thread. Of course you can't buy everyone's album, but at least try to support these that are truly "important". Which should perhaps also include the labels that made their music known to you, and spent a lot of money (which might not get back) manufacturing the product and promoting it. And all of this hardly has to do anything with illegal downloading.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Stellar Auditorium on April 24, 2009, 04:11:11 PM
I think if you start as an artist, you could not expect anything in turn, you ask how the artist is going to survive on music, I think maybe you have wrong expectations, to survive on music is only a dream, and a reality for a very few.  To be a musician is not a work, it is not a way to make money as I see it. If you need to pay the bills and get food on the table and still want to be and free/independent music you should take some part time job, maybe a few days each month. Or come up with some other idea.
If you accept to live in an lower living standard you really do not need an full time job, a full time job would of course be an total disaster for every creative musician, freedom I think is an important element for every music, as I have said before, it is an lifestyle.



The problem is that the quality of the music we are listening today is a product of this "capitalist" system, or the commercialization of music, in other words, and will be deeply affected if the current system collapses, and professional musicians stop to exist. It's not so much about the artistic impulse, I'll actually agree on you on that most musicians do not create their art under the basic premise that they want to make a living out of it (which is still a great factor, let's not forget). There are also many things that come between the process of creating the art and you, listening to it at home. Professional studios for example, will vanish; why should someone pay a huge amount of money at a professional studio when it's impossible to get the money back? Or why should someone continue to massively produce expensive hardware processors and consoles if everyone's working with free, low quality vsts? Or actual instruments? Or pretty much everything that is a part of the music industry? Everything will dwindle or even vanish, and without professional musicians, the quality of the music will never be the same. We'll have instead of one Steve Roach, a million of Steve Roach wanabee composers writing mediocre music in their bedrooms with mediocre means in their free time, and exchanging mp3 files via myspace or something. Think about it.

That is why I am saying we need no labels in the future, we need no labels in the future that will steal the money from the artists. The artist deserve the big majority of the money, the labels are the real thieves in my opinion. I would feel way more motivated to buy music If I did know the money did get the the artist, If I buy from Steve Roach and Robert Rich I can feel kind of confident that the money goes directly to the artist.  This is why I recommend every artist on this planet, to create their own label...

Oh, and about the evil-label thing. Just remember that not all artists have either the money or the time to produce and promote their releases. That's what a label is supposed to do: to take in their hands all the menial work that has to be done while the artist is left to do what he/she does best: create art: It would be much better if the relationship between artist and label was improved, rather than totally severed. I feel a lot of independent labels are actually going in the correct direction concerning this, most of these people are working hard and receiving much less in return. Which means that what they're doing is very helpful to the artist, and at the same time there is a fair relationship economically between them.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Stellar Auditorium on April 24, 2009, 04:41:10 PM
I do not understand the logic why because of no money is involved the product quality would be low ?....there is no evidence for that.  your logic must be based on an short-term perception... In the future the whole humanity will work together in open source projects on an non-commercial basis, this has been proven that this is the most creative and best way to create software....prove me wrong... I think is the right path to go.

Ι definitely have my doubts about that, although I see it as an interesting perspective, that still hasn't grown up so much as to convince me that it's a viable solution for the future. Profit has been the deciding factor for the formation of the whole western society, including the arts, and in the presence of capitalist economy, will continue to do. Music is not exactly operating systems anyway... as for the rest you've written, it will have to wait for another day, goodnight for now.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: APK on April 24, 2009, 07:25:22 PM
REMEMBER THIS:
The BIG winner in this downloading p2p (etc) frenzy is the BIG internet companies who simply sell access to downloadable files by bandwidth. They are the new capitalists. They of course WANT plenty of free stuff available to download. It's straight money to them.   

Same for chinese and russian music download sites that charge a dollar or two per album ... they are riding on the backs of other people's labour. They are what the modern internet leads to and they are the scammers -- they are getting paid for the "free" albums and programs you download

You make it sound like the only reason why internet exist is because of illegal file sharing ?
Internet can be used to other things aswell.

Luckily I do not live in usa, so I do not pay for what I download, we have no traffic limit etc.
In Sweden we have actually very reasonable price for internet access, to call them greedy or capitalists in not right.

I pay like 40 dollars each month for 100 mbit internet connection, it is worth every penny.... Next Year I got 1000 Mbit :)

That was a lot of posting today !    :D

Just a quick note on this particular post.
(BTW, I pay about the same as you per month for internet in Canada.)
You misunderstand me. My point is not that the internet is bad, but that a large sector of the internet is concerned with charging people for content they themselves do not produce, but merely make available and charge access to. Like newsgroups or other ftp sites for example, where the "free" content is not actually free because there is an access charge (plus the initial internet monthly charge). And where there is not an access charge there is a sign-up and advertising revenue to be made by whoever is allowing access to the content. Much of the growth of the internet is via supposedly offering stuff for free ... when its not actually free. To think this model will continue indefinitely is probably naive and very short-sighted.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: Seren on April 25, 2009, 03:59:12 AM

I think if you start as an artist, you could not expect anything in turn, you ask how the artist is going to survive on music, I think maybe you have wrong expectations, to survive on music is only a dream, and a reality for a very few.  To be a musician is not a work, it is not a way to make money as I see it. If you need to pay the bills and get food on the table and still want to be and free/independent music you should take some part time job, maybe a few days each month. Or come up with some other idea.
If you accept to live in an lower living standard you really do not need an full time job, a full time job would of course be an total disaster for every creative musician, freedom I think is an important element for every musician, as I have said before, it is an lifestyle.

You misunderstand my words here. I was not asking how would a musician survive on music, I was pointing out that living off the work of others is neither respectful nor freedom. In a way it is the ulimate expression of capitalism - which grew out of the idea of 'benefitting myself at the expense of others'. You may choose to live a less 'luxurious' life but if you do nothing to put energy or life into the society that feeds you are no better than the fatcats that make huge profits out of the labour of others...I know as I have lived that less luxurious life and worked with homeless people, vitims of rape and abuse, animals being experimented upon etc etc. As I explained in my post the anarchistic principle which is the end version of what you describe as the way to be, did not include people living for nothing. It allows for everyone to do what they can and recieve what they need without laws, financial exchange or any form of 'control' - everything could be free in the sense that you had whatever you needed and this works because you give everything you can.

I do not expect to survive on music, partly because my creative drive is neither towards money nor a genre of music that might make me that sort of money. But your perception on music and art is only half the story. I don't know how many people become musicians to become rich or famous, but many musicians do see it as 'work' if it is something they spend a lot of time working at. I doubt there is a session musician or soundtrack writer in the world who regards their music as not work and which should be free to everyone.

I may be being generational here but my experience is that usually musicians have to work bloody hard to make their music known and heard. Perhaps the ease of technology and internet know makes that less the case and I am living in the past - but many of the big bands that still play gigged and played and recorded like fuck to get where they are. I always had huge respect for such artists, and include early blues etc musicians who became maestros at their art through long hours of practice, living as bums if necessary, but very open to making money if it came their way. I have respect because I know how much effort it takes to become even competent on a musical instrument. becoming a musician and making a go of it - especially if you are gigging etc takes a lot of determination and commitment - perhaps even obsession, putting everything else second - and at present I don't have the sort of Life I could make that sort of choice to do, nor, perhaps more telling, would want to if i could.....

I do agree that a full time job can be very detrimental to making music - I have one and have to carefully juggle everything to give myself the time to make the music. I also know that without it my wife (who has been unable to work following major surgery) and I would have gone down the pan without it and I would not have been able to afford the equipment to start making music again.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: judd stephens on April 25, 2009, 09:25:59 AM
Unfortunately, it is true however. According to the law, the minute you sell a cd, you no longer have the rights to own said CD and it is actually illegal to burn it to your library and sell it. Again, it does not matter what you think or feel is right, the law is the law.

PV

I would say no -- in Judd's example, he purchased a copy and owned the rights to it.  If the physical disc is lost or stolen but he still has the mp3 rip, I'd say he retains the right to keep listening to it -- even to burn an audio CDR from the mp3 files if he wants.  Why not?

That's very different from selling the CD used, but keeping a high-quality rip or a CDR copy.

Making a copy of a entire CD freely available in digital form to be enjoyed on another person's iPod or to be burned to CDR, though, is a different kettle of fish.
Forrest

I'm sorry I keep coming back to a side-point of the discussion, but it's really a part that bothers me.  Now I know you guys aren't holier than thou, based on the discussion.  So I have a question for the musicians here, (if you're still reading this at all). 

If you truly think ripping a cd before selling it is detrimental to what you do, would you prefer that people not buy new music from you at all, if you knew in advance that's what they're going to do?   This is more of a question for Mike and Forrest, because the above quote Paul says "ufortunately" this is the law... maybe Paul you don't see it as a negative, but then again, maybe the question is for you too, for the reason that these people are going to break the law once they buy your cd.

Again, if you'd say no, I understand it's not from a self-righteous position, but only if you really contend that it's detrimental to the scene, or the musician.  So would you take their money?

Not trying to trap you guys... just seein' where your principle is...
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: mgriffin on April 25, 2009, 10:04:37 AM
Obviously if I had to choose between someone NOT buying my CD, versus buying the CD to rip a copy and then resell it, I would choose the latter.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: APK on April 25, 2009, 10:17:38 AM
My 2 cents. As has been said, this second-hand issue is a very grey area.
There are second-hand stores and plenty of avenues on the web. I've not heard big labels complaining much about second-hand sales (but I'm not particularly listening either). I'm sure there are lots of people who buy physical albums knowing full well they may just rip it and sell the pristine copy. And with the price of downloads getting higher at many stores, you might as well buy the album, rip then sell it if the price is right ... you might actually get the album cheaper than buying the download.

I think the real legal issues are actually very similar to commercial software. You own the right to use the software, you don't own the program. And selling the software can only be done if the company allows the registration to change ownership ... which means you no longer have the right to use the program if sold because it is then registered to someone else. This is of course enforced to some degree with various copy protections schemes available to programmers. With music the enforcement is pretty much impossible, so is largely ignored.

I don't have any stated restrictions on my DataObscura site about selling albums you have bought (and keeping a ripped copy), and not sure I've seen one on any other web label either. It would be unenforceable, and a bit of a put-off to some buyers I'd imagine.

Especially with selling downloads, which are so easily shared, you have to trust the integrity of the buyer. Some of them certainly do respect a kind of unspoken law on these things. Others clearly don't.
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: ffcal on April 25, 2009, 10:25:42 AM
I hadn't realized how ambiguous my comment was that Judd excepted above.  I was referring there to file sharing an entire CD with others, and not to burning the CD for one's own use.  I agree with Mike's position.

Forrest
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: LNerell on May 06, 2009, 09:16:53 AM
You seem to be assuming that all downloads are from people who would not buy a CD in the first place. If this was the case then CD sales would not have tanked like they have with the introduction of high quality downloads. There is enough empirical evidence to indicate there is a connection between the two. As a personal example, when Terraform was released on CD the sales were much lower then expected based upon previous sales of my own releases and Steve Roach's normal sales for a new release. We found shortly after the album was released that someone had made high quality mp3s (320kps) of the tracks, had scanned all the artwork including the front cover, inside foldout, the extra postcards, and the CD itself. All were then zipped into a file and uploaded to a bittorrent site. This was the first case any of us has encountered of this kind. You could argue that no one was interested so they didn't buy the CD, well thousands of people were interested enough to at least download it. I won't argue that all of those thousands of download were potential sales, but sales have been so low that the label has yet to recoup its costs, and this has made it difficult for me now to release any new material.

I just wanted to add a postmortem to this thread as related to my quote above. I got an email last night from my label informing me that Terraform is now out-of-print for the reasons I stated above and it will not be repressed.  :'(
Title: Re: Downloading Music and Rights
Post by: ffcal on May 06, 2009, 10:12:21 AM
I just wanted to add a postmortem to this thread as related to my quote above. I got an email last night from my label informing me that Terraform is now out-of-print for the reasons I stated above and it will not be repressed.  :'(

Sorry to hear that, Loren.  I must have picked up one of the last copies of that disc from Soleilmoon a week or two ago.  A very nice disc and package that deserved a better fate.

Forrest