Alright enough for today, you have to pardon me if I was too aggressive or anything, I have been drinking some alcohol, it always make me more "open" and straight forward, so do not take it personally.
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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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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 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:
Here it is: The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less
Obviously, personal limits come into play, too. Do I really "need" 2500 sci-fi paperbacks? Why, yes, yes I do.
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.
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.
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.
...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.
I think the same about you.
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?
And you clearly want the world your way ?
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...
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...
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.
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.
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?"