Author Topic: Downloading Music and Rights  (Read 67654 times)

Stellar Auditorium

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #120 on: April 24, 2009, 03:36:48 PM »
Immersion, I think I'll write a few words in response to your posts, mainly because I think the gap (generational, ideological, etc) between the rest of the people that post here and yours is so huge, that is seems impossible for a conversation to happen at this point. You're mistaken in some things you try to present as facts: it's very rare that musicians get such a low percentage of the sales, which is actually the policy of corporate labels and not small/medium size independent labels such as Hypnos. These kind of labels treat the artist in a much fairer way, because they want to give incentive to the artist to sign with them. Besides that, the size of the independent scenes is so small, that BOTH artists and labels can hardly make a living, the earnings are pocket money comparing to a "real" job, and very often these people spend equal and perhaps even more hours per day to this than they would (and they do, of course) at a regular job (do you think that an ambient 1000 copies cd release gets sold right away? It might take even years, if ever). So, I think you should perhaps re-think the concept of "charity" that you seem to look into with contempt: spending 10-15 euros or dollars to buy a recording of an artist (or even label) you are very fond of not only achieves you a personal connection to them, but it ensures that they'll be motivated to continue to produce excellent art in the future, as so many times we have said in this thread. Of course you can't buy everyone's album, but at least try to support these that are truly "important". Which should perhaps also include the labels that made their music known to you, and spent a lot of money (which might not get back) manufacturing the product and promoting it. And all of this hardly has to do anything with illegal downloading.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 03:40:03 PM by Stellar Auditorium »

Ekstasis

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #121 on: April 24, 2009, 03:45:54 PM »
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.



I think if you start as an artist, you could not expect anything in turn, you ask how the artist is going to survive on music, I think maybe you have wrong expectations, to survive on music is only a dream, and a reality for a very few.  To be a musician is not a work, it is not a way to make money as I see it. If you need to pay the bills and get food on the table and still want to be and free/independent music you should take some part time job, maybe a few days each month. Or come up with some other idea.
If you accept to live in an lower living standard you really do not need an full time job, a full time job would of course be an total disaster for every creative musician, freedom I think is an important element for every musician, as I have said before, it is an lifestyle.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 05:19:50 PM by Immersion »

Stellar Auditorium

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #122 on: April 24, 2009, 04:11:11 PM »
I think if you start as an artist, you could not expect anything in turn, you ask how the artist is going to survive on music, I think maybe you have wrong expectations, to survive on music is only a dream, and a reality for a very few.  To be a musician is not a work, it is not a way to make money as I see it. If you need to pay the bills and get food on the table and still want to be and free/independent music you should take some part time job, maybe a few days each month. Or come up with some other idea.
If you accept to live in an lower living standard you really do not need an full time job, a full time job would of course be an total disaster for every creative musician, freedom I think is an important element for every music, as I have said before, it is an lifestyle.



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

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

Oh, and about the evil-label thing. Just remember that not all artists have either the money or the time to produce and promote their releases. That's what a label is supposed to do: to take in their hands all the menial work that has to be done while the artist is left to do what he/she does best: create art: It would be much better if the relationship between artist and label was improved, rather than totally severed. I feel a lot of independent labels are actually going in the correct direction concerning this, most of these people are working hard and receiving much less in return. Which means that what they're doing is very helpful to the artist, and at the same time there is a fair relationship economically between them.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 04:25:56 PM by Stellar Auditorium »

Stellar Auditorium

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #123 on: April 24, 2009, 04:41:10 PM »
I do not understand the logic why because of no money is involved the product quality would be low ?....there is no evidence for that.  your logic must be based on an short-term perception... In the future the whole humanity will work together in open source projects on an non-commercial basis, this has been proven that this is the most creative and best way to create software....prove me wrong... I think is the right path to go.

Ι definitely have my doubts about that, although I see it as an interesting perspective, that still hasn't grown up so much as to convince me that it's a viable solution for the future. Profit has been the deciding factor for the formation of the whole western society, including the arts, and in the presence of capitalist economy, will continue to do. Music is not exactly operating systems anyway... as for the rest you've written, it will have to wait for another day, goodnight for now.

Ekstasis

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #124 on: April 24, 2009, 05:02:53 PM »
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.

APK

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #125 on: April 24, 2009, 07:25:22 PM »
REMEMBER THIS:
The BIG winner in this downloading p2p (etc) frenzy is the BIG internet companies who simply sell access to downloadable files by bandwidth. They are the new capitalists. They of course WANT plenty of free stuff available to download. It's straight money to them.   

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

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

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

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

That was a lot of posting today !    :D

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

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #126 on: April 25, 2009, 03:59:12 AM »

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

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

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

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

I do agree that a full time job can be very detrimental to making music - I have one and have to carefully juggle everything to give myself the time to make the music. I also know that without it my wife (who has been unable to work following major surgery) and I would have gone down the pan without it and I would not have been able to afford the equipment to start making music again.

judd stephens

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #127 on: April 25, 2009, 09:25:59 AM »
Unfortunately, it is true however. According to the law, the minute you sell a cd, you no longer have the rights to own said CD and it is actually illegal to burn it to your library and sell it. Again, it does not matter what you think or feel is right, the law is the law.

PV

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not trying to trap you guys... just seein' where your principle is...

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #128 on: April 25, 2009, 10:04:37 AM »
Obviously if I had to choose between someone NOT buying my CD, versus buying the CD to rip a copy and then resell it, I would choose the latter.
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APK

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #129 on: April 25, 2009, 10:17:38 AM »
My 2 cents. As has been said, this second-hand issue is a very grey area.
There are second-hand stores and plenty of avenues on the web. I've not heard big labels complaining much about second-hand sales (but I'm not particularly listening either). I'm sure there are lots of people who buy physical albums knowing full well they may just rip it and sell the pristine copy. And with the price of downloads getting higher at many stores, you might as well buy the album, rip then sell it if the price is right ... you might actually get the album cheaper than buying the download.

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

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

Especially with selling downloads, which are so easily shared, you have to trust the integrity of the buyer. Some of them certainly do respect a kind of unspoken law on these things. Others clearly don't.
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ffcal

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #130 on: April 25, 2009, 10:25:42 AM »
I hadn't realized how ambiguous my comment was that Judd excepted above.  I was referring there to file sharing an entire CD with others, and not to burning the CD for one's own use.  I agree with Mike's position.

Forrest

LNerell

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #131 on: May 06, 2009, 09:16:53 AM »
You seem to be assuming that all downloads are from people who would not buy a CD in the first place. If this was the case then CD sales would not have tanked like they have with the introduction of high quality downloads. There is enough empirical evidence to indicate there is a connection between the two. As a personal example, when Terraform was released on CD the sales were much lower then expected based upon previous sales of my own releases and Steve Roach's normal sales for a new release. We found shortly after the album was released that someone had made high quality mp3s (320kps) of the tracks, had scanned all the artwork including the front cover, inside foldout, the extra postcards, and the CD itself. All were then zipped into a file and uploaded to a bittorrent site. This was the first case any of us has encountered of this kind. You could argue that no one was interested so they didn't buy the CD, well thousands of people were interested enough to at least download it. I won't argue that all of those thousands of download were potential sales, but sales have been so low that the label has yet to recoup its costs, and this has made it difficult for me now to release any new material.

I just wanted to add a postmortem to this thread as related to my quote above. I got an email last night from my label informing me that Terraform is now out-of-print for the reasons I stated above and it will not be repressed.  :'(
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ffcal

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #132 on: May 06, 2009, 10:12:21 AM »
I just wanted to add a postmortem to this thread as related to my quote above. I got an email last night from my label informing me that Terraform is now out-of-print for the reasons I stated above and it will not be repressed.  :'(

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

Forrest