Author Topic: Downloading Music and Rights  (Read 68620 times)

Wayne Higgins

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #60 on: April 22, 2009, 07:31:08 AM »
Brian Bieniowski
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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?!?" 
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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #61 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.

bunkdata

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #62 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
« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 08:20:48 AM by bunkdata »

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #63 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.
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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #64 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."
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Wayne Higgins

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #65 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.
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Stellar Auditorium

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #66 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.

Brian Bieniowski

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #67 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.

SunDummy

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #68 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?  
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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #69 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.
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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #70 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.



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bunkdata

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #71 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!

Seren

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #72 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.


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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #73 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.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 11:36:31 AM by 9dragons »

Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #74 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
"I liken good ambient to good poetry ... enjoyable, often powerful, and usually unpopular" APK

SunDummy

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #75 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?
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SunDummy

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #76 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?
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Stellar Auditorium

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #77 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...  
« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 12:42:25 PM by Stellar Auditorium »

mgriffin

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #78 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.
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Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #79 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
"I liken good ambient to good poetry ... enjoyable, often powerful, and usually unpopular" APK