Author Topic: Downloading Music and Rights  (Read 71909 times)

APK

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Downloading Music and Rights
« 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
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APK

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #1 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.
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APK

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #2 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.

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APK

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #3 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?
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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #4 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? 

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APK

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #5 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.
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mgriffin

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #6 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.
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APK

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #7 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.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2009, 06:59:47 PM by APK »
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cromag

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #8 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!"
« Last Edit: April 19, 2009, 03:26:10 PM by cromag »
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APK

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #9 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.
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APK

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #10 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.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2009, 03:40:27 PM by APK »
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mgriffin

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #11 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?
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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #12 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. :)

mgriffin

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #13 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?"
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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #14 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.
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michael sandler

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #15 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.

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #16 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.
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Scott M2

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #17 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.

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #18 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...
« Last Edit: April 20, 2009, 12:16:14 AM by 9dragons »

judd stephens

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #19 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?