Author Topic: US Copyright rant  (Read 8882 times)

Wayne Higgins

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US Copyright rant
« on: April 02, 2009, 07:48:13 AM »
You know, I like to think I'm up on things, but I went to the US Copyright website today and they have totally redone everything.

A:  to submit things by mail, it's $45, and you can't do group copyrights.  one work at a time

B:  you can do songs electronically, it's $35, and send it in as an MP3 file.  BUT...songs are limited to 3 minutes long.  3 minutes, what an insult.  Why don't they make it "Songs must be 3 minutes long, have a verse, then a chorus, then a verse, then a chorus, then repeat the first verse, and then repeat the chorus and fade out.  BTW, the song must be about LOVE."

I'm going to register everything as Creative Commons and formally copyright nothing.

There has to be a better way.

 >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(
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mgriffin

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Re: US Copyright rant
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2009, 08:21:41 AM »
There is a better way -- stop wasting your time and money with these filings.  Your work is protected by copyright whether or not you submit anything to the US Copyright office.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

Wayne Higgins

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Re: US Copyright rant
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2009, 08:29:56 AM »
Yeah, I know.  I haven't sent them anything since they started loosing my discs after they cashed the checks.  It just pisses me off.
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Altus

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Re: US Copyright rant
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2009, 06:40:14 PM »
Creative Commons is the way to go in my opinion... although I have a feeling you were being sarcastic.  ;)
Mike Carss -- Altus : aural journeys for the mind's eye
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Wayne Higgins

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Re: US Copyright rant
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2009, 11:10:59 AM »
Not at all.  I have been reading their site, appears to be close to my view on music rights and licensing.
I found quite a few different opinions on the subject at the music conference I attended in Nashville recently. 
After much deliberation, I'm planning on doing it.
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LNerell

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Re: US Copyright rant
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2009, 09:59:11 PM »
Creative Commons is the way to go in my opinion...

Yep, pretty much the way to go if you don't plan to make any money or want to give up most of your rights to your music.
Take care.

- Loren Nerell

Altus

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Re: US Copyright rant
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2009, 07:26:38 PM »
Curious.  Why would you think releasing through CC would mean giving up the rights to one's own work?
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ffcal

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Re: US Copyright rant
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2009, 09:29:39 PM »
CC doesn't seem like a great way to go if you want to be compensated for the copying or distribution of your work.  On the other hand, it probably is useful as a form of viral marketing.

Forrest

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Re: US Copyright rant
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2009, 04:23:50 AM »
No, CC is not about compensation or money, just sharing.  Distribution?  I would imagine freely distributing your work to anyone and everyone gets your music out there quite well.  And yeah, I agree it can be used as viral marketing by the big boys, such as Radiohead and NiN.  But the plus side of having well known artists use a license they really don't need, I think it legitimizes the whole CC concept and in turn helps people like me.

Anyone have any other thoughts on this?
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Wayne Higgins

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Re: US Copyright rant
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2009, 06:19:13 AM »
The cons I have heard are:
1:  You might as well sign out all of your music as public domain
2:  It's socialism (not kidding, I heard a publisher say that).
3:  You are giving it away, you will never make anything off of your music.

The pros are:
1:  Your music will get more exposure, no licensing removes the fear of playing/lawsuits.
2:  The whole copyright/licensure principle is set up by and for big record companies.  It's the only way to get around the stranglehold large corporations have on the industry. (Here's a scary rumor:  Warner and ATT may merge.)
3:  It's not like people really make a lot of money signing with the big guys, anyway.
4:  (This is my favorite.)  In the present day, there are many more ways for a musician to make money, other than royalties or selling cds or downloads.  The sales are dropping on all fronts, even theft is down.  The point is to find other avenues.

Besides, if I was in this to make money, I'd play in a country band. 
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ffcal

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Re: US Copyright rant
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2009, 08:06:41 AM »
No, CC is not about compensation or money, just sharing.

Unfortunately, this is the same argument that filesharers use to to justify the illegal dissemination of music.  It is only sharing if the musician voluntarily decides to give the music away.  The CC concept obviously has some appeal to both novices and veteran musicians alike.  Posts to this board about the availability of their free CC music are as much a form of viral marketing as what NIN and Radiohead do, just on a different scale.  But not everyone wants to give their music away.  I personally like what APK does with his label; use a free EP to entice the listener to try more by buying the album.  I don't think CC is an either/or proposition; it is just one of many options available.

Forrest

petekelly

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Re: US Copyright rant
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2009, 08:19:33 AM »
I have to say I don't get the 'appeal' of this CC thing.

Could someone explain to me how it might be a good thing for an ambient artist?
I don't understand how it increases an artists exposure, the Radiohead route obviously doesn't apply
to the niche ambient scene, for one thing.

cheers
Pete K

Wayne Higgins

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Re: US Copyright rant
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2009, 08:59:49 AM »
How could it hurt, is my question.  I mean, how much does anyone here make off royalties and sales anyway? 

As far as viral marketting as free posts on this board, don't make me laugh.  Hell, most don't even get a response on music posted here(good or bad), let alone a sale. 
I just did some quick math.  Based on the fist pages of the Music, specifically part of this forum.
Hypnos Artists, CDs, and the label: views 50742, comments 247 (0.49%)
Non-Hypnos Artists and Labels:  views 7858, comments 93 (1.2 %)
Listening Booths:  views 15965, comments 57 (0.36%)

Of course I'm not in the NiN/Radiohead niche, but then again, I'm not in the George Straight/Cannibal Corpse niche either.  :D Point is, going back to the original post in this thread, even the US Copyright office has ripped me off.  So, I'm going to give away everything for free and play at coffee shops and shishi bars to make my lunch money. 
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mgriffin

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Re: US Copyright rant
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2009, 09:08:40 AM »
Many people are able to sell ambient music CDs and downloads for money.  It's not an all-or-nothing scenario, either Radiohead or no sales at all.  Some of us are in between Radiohead/NIN sales figures, and zero.

I don't have any problem with an artist electing to release their work under a Creative Commons license, but it shouldn't be shocking to anybody that there are some ambient artists who are able to sell enough of their music (whether it's hundreds of sales, or thousands) that they don't want to give that up.
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LNerell

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Re: US Copyright rant
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2009, 09:25:47 AM »

4:  (This is my favorite.)  In the present day, there are many more ways for a musician to make money, other than royalties or selling cds or downloads.  The sales are dropping on all fronts, even theft is down.  The point is to find other avenues.

I don't buy any of your pros (pun intended), particularly this one. What other ways are their to make money off of our music that didn't exist in the past? I think the opposite is true, even your second sentence contradicts that first sentence. I just don't understand why one would want to cut off a potential income stream in this day and age when its harder to make any money off of your music.

Besides, if I was in this to make money, I'd play in a country band. 

Why does one have to make popular music to make a bit of money? Why can't I be compensated for my hard work?


2:  The whole copyright/licensure principle is set up by and for big record companies.  It's the only way to get around the stranglehold large corporations have on the industry.

I think I could just as easily argue that CC was set up by big radio so they don't have to pay royalites to artists whenever they play a song. It would be a huge benefit to large radio corporations if they didn't have to pay out mechanical royalites. So who is right here, you for spreading a rumor you picked up on some internet site, or me for starting a new rumor that makes as much sense as yours?
« Last Edit: April 07, 2009, 11:26:02 AM by LNerell »
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mgriffin

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Re: US Copyright rant
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2009, 09:38:44 AM »
I agree with Loren -- the notion the copyright was set up to benefit "big record companies" is absurd.  Copyright is not specific to music, but covers all form of creative work.  Also, there are many, many indie artists and small labels who have benefited from having rights to their own work.

Where does this idea come from that you either make money from your music on the scale of Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails, or you don't make any money from your music at all?  Isn't it possible that some moderately successful artists might make a bit of money, maybe not enough to constitute a living wage, but enough that they feel fairly compensated?  If some ambient artist spends 20 hours in the evenings over the course of a month or two recording and editing an album, and he makes let's say $600 from selling CDs and downloads, then he's made a pretty good "wage" for the time he spent, even though the $600 isn't enough to live on. 

Would he be better off shrugging off the shackles of "the man" and giving the album away for free?  Maybe, and he also might decide the $600 or $1500 or $3000 he might make is a lesser consideration than the possibility of getting 5,000 people to hear his work as a free download, rather than just hundreds who might have bought it.  Either decision is valid, in my opinion, but I disagree strongly with the argument that if you're not making superstar money then copyright doesn't do you any good.
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LNerell

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Re: US Copyright rant
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2009, 11:33:43 AM »
I have to say I am one of those artist that makes a small amount of money from royalites and sales but not enough to live on. And for the last couple of years when I have been struggling just to pay the bills, the few hundred dollars I have gotten from my music has been greatly appreciated and has actually helped me out of some dire times.
Take care.

- Loren Nerell

Altus

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Re: US Copyright rant
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2009, 06:52:25 PM »
and he also might decide the $600 or $1500 or $3000 he might make is a lesser consideration than the possibility of getting 5,000 people to hear his work as a free download, rather than just hundreds who might have bought it.
Exposure is the main reason I release through CC.  Sure, a lot of people might download my stuff casually, listen to one track and just delete it afterward.  But at the same time, I know that there's a lot of people downloading it, enjoying it and keeping in their library.

Loren, I may be reading you wrong, but you seem very defensive on the subject.  I hope you understand that these are my personal opinions and certainly don't think my way is best.  It's just what works for me.  :)  I'm just glad to see other artists take the same approach.
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LNerell

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Re: US Copyright rant
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2009, 08:46:55 AM »
Mike (Altus), nothing personal, I have no problem with you or anyone else going the CC route. You have to follow the path that is best for you. Just realize that not everyone will follow your example.

I am all for better ways of doing things, I just don't think CC is the answer in its present form, and my comments were mostly directed at Wayne's pros and cons post which came across to me as rather one sided. I can certainly understand his frustration with copyright laws on one level. On another I think he's throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Take care.

- Loren Nerell

Wayne Higgins

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Re: US Copyright rant
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2009, 09:17:56 AM »
Oh man, I'm truly sorry.  My pros and cons may actually appear one sided, but that is due to my present slant on the issue.  I DO post things to get arguments going so I can base my decisions on differing opinions.  I also agree with quite a bit of what you said.  (except the rumors read on the internet bit, the rumors I spoke of I heard at the conference in Nashville I recently attended).

I have nothing against anyone making what eve they can off of their music.  I would take anything for mine, believe me.  It's just that I am once again questioning my own actions, failed they may be, and trying to find a better way.  The reason I may do some CC experiments is to "test the waters".

So...I'll be the first to admit I am over the edge when it comes to expressing my cynasism.

BTW, my gig went well last night. 8)
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