Music Industry

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Knight, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. Knight

    Knight New Member

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    What do you guys think? One of my idols just had this to say:

    E: Total bullshit. It is simply not fair. How am I and other working musicians going to survive? Am I just a fucking puppet? Do I just entertain the kids for free now? People have got to think about that when they download a song. It’s our livelihood. We are here for you! Be there for us.

    He has one of the best voices in rock www.ericmartin.com

    I download music but only because the music I like doesn't get released over here. And even when it does, no shops I've ever been to stock it, because it's not 'mainstream' or well known. But it is high quality. Ask Naughty about the Richie Kotzen song ;)

    Anyway what do y'all think? He wrote the song in my sig btw :D
     
  2. Lex

    Lex
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    This whole issue is an example of the Music Industry trying to price gauge in the face a cheap technology. They give artists shitty contracts and then say *we're* killing them by downloading their music. Then the Music Industry tries to seel you a CD for $15 dollars when they know it took about $2.50 to make. But downloaders are the crooks. It's bullshit.
     
  3. Dr Rock

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    some factors that need to be considered here:

    a) ultimately, theft is theft no matter which way you look at it. if I sit up all night writing or recording a song, and you go to bed, then I get paid and you don't. contrary to popular belief, professional musicians also gotta eat, buy clothes, get laid and all that other shit. if you like the music enough to own a copy of it, you like it enough to make some contribution to the wellbeing of the musician(s) themselves ... otherwise they die, and that can often have a very harmful effect on the quality of their work thereafter.

    ... however ...

    B) record companies and distribution companies (which are often the same things now) charge stupid bullshit prices. nobody can argue about that (except the company executives themselves, and they do). THOSE are the cunts who're ripping off both the musicians AND the fans. musicians who whine about kids getting their music for free might be better advised to think about who's making it prohibitively expensive for them to get it legally.

    ... that said ...

    c) the vast majority of the people who download music for free are people who wouldn't be at all likely to buy said music even if they COULDN'T get it for free. most artists and bands don't make a big deal out of this issue precisely because they know it isn't affecting the sales of their records to any great extent anyway. some bands even make mp3s freely available themselves, cos they figure it's economically much the same as hearing the music on the radio - fans will buy the music cos they wanna support their favorite musicians (even though most of it is actually supporting greedy fat bastards in suits, see above).


    thus there are three oft-overlooked things to bear in mind when you think about this:
    1) anyone who claims that downloaders are cheating musicians out of anything like what the record companies are cheating them out of, is full of shit.
    2) anyone who claims to be a fan when their music is all downloaded mp3s, is also full of shit.
    3) if you download music you enjoy and then don't buy it, you are a dirty scumbag, and should probably be running for public office (or running a record company).
     
  4. mindseye

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    Knight -- I don't know the legal details in the UK, but as a former musician myself, here's my long-winded take on the matter. (If you don't want to read it, the short version is: Illegal downloaders suck, but the record companies suck more.)

    In the US, the authority of Congress to pass copyright laws is vested in the constitution. Article II, Section 8 reads, in part (emphasis mine):

    Copyrights were intended to be of limited duration; creative people ought to have the right to make a living off their work, but the work ought to belong to the people after a while. Copyright was not intended to last forever -- and the constitution makes that clear. Indeed, why should Elgars's great-great-grandchildren get rich every time Pomp and Circumstance is played at a graduation? They didn't have anything to do with the piece, apart from being distantly related to the original composer.

    The first copyright law, signed by George Washington on May 31, 1790, set the term of copyright at 14 years. Between that time and the 20th century, that law was modified only one time. During the 20th century, to circumvent the "limited times" requirement of the Constitution, so that for example, Mickey Mouse never enters the public domain, the recording and motion picture lobby has gotten Congress to pass successive extensions to copyright durations, so that before a copyright on a major work was about to expire, the length of the copyright term would be extended.

    Today, the duration of a copyright held by a corporation is 120 years. That means, for example, that Nine Inch Nails' newest album, With Teeth will be legally protected until at least 2125.

    I maintain that since Congress is deliberately circumventing their constitutional requirement to limit the term of copyright, that copyright laws ought to be challenged. One way to challenge these laws is in court -- although no case has yet been brought forth; the downloaders that the RIAA sues are consistently people who have downloaded current and recent works, and not people who limit themselves to downloading works from 15-20 years ago, so no defense has ever been mounted on the basis of the limited terms authority. (I'd love to see a well-funded defense on this basis, though.)

    Another way to challenge the laws, of course, is through non-violent civil disobedience. I believe that the people who code stealthy P2P file-sharing systems are practicing a form of civil disobedience. For the people who merely use these networks, though, the motive is just to get something for free.

    In short, I think both sides -- the record companies and the downloaders -- are in the wrong. But given that the record companies' own hands aren't clean in this matter, I don't at all support them using their million-dollar lawyer to smackdown ordinary people, nor do I support their high-road moral attitude and their insinuation that music fans are all criminals.
     
  5. BobLeeSwagger

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    You should make a distinction when you say "downloading MP3's," since you can do that legally from many sites.

    Anyway, in principle I'm against stealing music. While it's true that the music conglomerates screw many artists over, by not paying for a song you're still depriving the artist of money that is rightfully theirs. You're cutting off your nose to spite your face, as they say.

    I've made several exceptions to this, however, in circumstances that I think are fair, even though they're still technically illegal:

    1) Some songs just can't be found here at music stores. These are pretty rare, at least within my music preferences.

    2) Live bootlegs that aren't commercially available, but have been distributed on tape for many years are fair game, in my opinion. They're a lost cause as far as the artists are concerned.

    3) Songs that I already legitimately purchased in the past, but either no longer possess or only had on cassette. I know the media corporations would love for me to pay for it again on CD, but I've done plenty of that already.

    I've used this reasoning in the past, but I haven't downloaded an illegal song in years. Pretty much just use the iTunes music store now.
     
  6. steve319

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    For me, this one is a complicated issue and one that I wrestle with, but I know that a few things seem clear. You guys have cut to the heart of the issue for me too.

    In my book, downloading songs without paying for them is ripping off the artist. It's just wrong. I couldn't say it any better than you guys already have. Besides the money issue, there's the moral one.

    Second, it's true: the recording companies are evil. They reap tremendous monetary benefits by shortchanging the artists and trapping them in bad contracts. They often interfere in the musical integrity of the artist by pushing for compromised standards so as to sell zillions of albums to top 40 listeners. (Yeah, I know, musicians should be competing in a free market like everyone else, but sometimes there are reasons to support the arts beyond just what is a popular cash cow. With music education yanked out of our schools, we need all the support we can get for "quality" music.)

    Recording companies spend no time, effort, or money on developing artists for long-term careers or artistic improvement--only out for the quick buck. Plus they've slapped that ugly FBI warning on all of my new cd's. :grr:

    Dr. Rock hit that issue dead center. Illegal downloading is criminal, but it's a misdemeanor compared to the felonious actions of the music industry.

    Maybe it's an easier choice for me. I always prefer to have the full package when I purchase a cd--the case, the booklet, lyrics if I'm lucky, the whole deal. I suppose it's the neat freak in me. So downloading a whole album for free doesn't appeal to me for that reason either.

    Now having said that, I must admit that I have certainly copied songs to share with friends now and again--a pretentious "mixtape" of tunes from various artists (isn't that the height of self-importance?). But, honestly, my intention with that practice is to encourage my friend to go out and buy the whole album if he/she likes a particular song. If I can turn someone on to the left-field artists that are my obsession at that moment, then it's good for the artist in the long run. I don't copy and distribute whole albums outright. (But I've certainly purchased multiple copies of albums to give to friends if it's one that deserves attention.)

    Now, out-of-print material....that's a shady issue. On the one hand, it's sharing music that is otherwise unavailable. Conversely, copying and distributing unavailable material is undercutting any potential demand in the future that might cause the material to become available. Tough one.

    How do you guys feel about this one:

    Record company is sitting on the latest album from a moderately successful artist and refuses to release it, claiming that there are no radio-friendly singles to be found. In additon, the company refuses to release the material back to the artist for release though other means. Now the album has "leaked" and is available for download all over the place. Rumor has it that the artist made this happen in order to get the music "out there." Is it wrong to download that album? Is this rumor of the artist purposely leaking the material just wishful thinking?

    (Or, if you're jaded like me, is it all just a record company ploy to drum up interest in the album before releasing it down the line?)
     
  7. madame_zora

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    For me it's a simple issue. I only download music I've already previously purchased or spent money on the band in some way, like concert tickets. If I like a band, it's not unknown for me to buy five to ten copies of their cds to give to friends, I like feeling like I'm helping fellow starving artists eat. Musicians add too much to my life for me to ever want to detract from theirs. Now, I have downloaded songs from a band's site, but those are freely given and if I like them I'll go see them and/or buy the cd/t-shirts.

    Oh, anyone not being able to find copies' of a band's cds should check out that band's website, most of them sell their own stuff. Indie music will only be here as long as we who love it support it. If we don't, we'll all be stuck with Britney Spears and horseshit like that.
     
  8. MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK

    MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK Well-Known Member

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    Myself, i find the prospect of downloading without paying reprehensible, and wouldn't do it on a bet.
     
  9. hippyscum

    hippyscum New Member

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    i tend to download music to see if i like it, if i don't then no big deal, if i do, i'll go out and buy some of their albums (i'm currently in this position with ALOT of artists, Harry Nilsson, Nine Inch Nails, Tool, Frank Zappa, The Wildhearts, etc) I do not download entire albums, i only download enough to get a taster, so the album is still going to surprise me once I've bought it.

    And hey, even though i do download music, at least i'm not copying them onto cd's and selling them on a corner for 2 quid a time.
     
  10. mdvc149

    mdvc149 New Member

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    Music companies need to embrace the technology first off! take a look at the cable companies and on demand vieiwing! they know you can just download a movie so they are all trying to couple up with distrubutors to have media for on demand viewing. Then they seel that in the pricce of the cable service or a la carte.

    Been to your local library recently? borrowed soemone's notes at school, or photo copied them? neighbors newspaper or magazine from a friend? let anyone borrow a dvd or video tape? who got paid for this?
     
  11. ashlar

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    Exactly what I was going to say.

    I download a LOT of music, and if I really like nearly everything I hear by a band, I buy tons of their shit. I'm not going to pay for an entire CD with one song I like on it, and I don't need a CD single with the song I like and 5 crappy disco versions of it.
     
  12. jonb

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    Personally, my downloads aren't even the type the major record labels sell anyway; they're stuff I can't get locally. If I can get it locally, I'll buy it, but if I can't, I won't.

    Plus, fifty bucks says whatever anti-file-sharing laws are passed will be worded in such a way that they can be interpreted so as to make prosecution of indie artists legal.
     
  13. madame_zora

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    Here's an idea- download whatever you can find and send the band directly the cost of a cd and a letter explaining why. I doubt they'd be mad about that!
     
  14. ashlar

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    I liked something I heard Tori Amos say about how she feels on this topic. It was something to the effect of ..."If you don't have the money, then I can understand ... go ahead and download all you can, because I would rather you have it .. than not have it. But if you really like an artist, and you have the money, then buy the album and help support them so they can continue making music for you"

    And then from the cover of Ani DiFranco's album Not A Pretty GIrl it reads "Unauthorized reproduction, while sometimes nessicary, is never as good as the real thing.
     
  15. absinthium

    absinthium New Member

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    I am also one of those people that will download a song to either get a taste of the band, or try and remind myself of a band I may have forgotten but used to listen to. Nine times out of ten, I will buy the album. Because of a download, I scoured the world for the Sigur Ros EP Svefn-g-englar. I paid Ten bucks for thing just so I could play one song, "Nyja Lagid", whenever I wanted. (I'm not griping, either - to this day, I still feel it was a good purchase.) Also, because of downloading their songs and videos, I've bought three of their other CD's, a shirt, a concert ticket, and turned a number of my friends on to their music, who in turn have thrown money at them. I also made Jonsi a painting, but that's beside the point. (It's late, and I'm probably a little tipsy right now.)
    What was my point? Ah, yes, on the one hand, I could feel bad about being the mp3 pirate that I am, but I do usually wind up supporting the band after I rape their souls.
     
  16. jonb

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