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Author Topic: The whole downloading music thing...  (Read 26074 times)

StaedlerMars

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The whole downloading music thing...
« on: 14 Oct 2007, 06:36 »

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Quote
We have sold around 200k records across 3 releases. We’re not ‘huge’ by any stretch but do alright and live off (and ON subsequently) the road. Fans and friends ask me all the time how I feel about "stealing music." I just told someone yesterday "I have a hard time seeing it as stealing…when I don’t see any money from cd sales to begin with. What are they actually TAKING from me?"

If you want to squeeze an opinion on theft out of me, ask me about the dude that grabbed our tshirt off the table tonight in Detroit or better yet.. ask me about record contracts.

I encourage our fans to acquire our album however they please. The philosophy I’ve adopted is that if you’re supporting disc sales, you’re keeping the old model around longer…the one that forces dudes like me to tour 9 mos/year if they want to make ends meet with a career in music. If you wanna really support a band, "steal" their album….help bury the label….and buy a tshirt when you show up at their show and sing every word.

See, I always figured that small-time bands don't make that much money of records sales. And that it was their shows that most bands really make money off, but I've never been in a band that actually produced something, so I'm not sure.

If a band is telling me to download their music illegally, what's stopping me?
How much do bands rely on cd sales (big bands and small bands?)
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RockabillyLove

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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #1 on: 14 Oct 2007, 06:54 »

All I have to say is that I really don't give a shit. I download anyway, if that is what I get arrested for, I will just laugh at fate. You know, the bands that make the biggest fuss about downloading are bands like Metallica. As if they need the extra cash from a few post-craze cd's being sold. The bands that could actually use the money know that they're going to make more money off of selling t-shirts and stickers than their CD's at shows anyway.

Besides, if I like a band enough, I still buy their cd.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #2 on: 14 Oct 2007, 07:37 »

That's probably the best argument I've heard for music sharing.  Although, one could argue that you're taking revenue away from the record industry by downloading, so someone still loses even if it's not the band.
People that argue this show the fact that the RIAA is slowly making less and less money as the years drag on. It was something like 13 billion dollars in the '90s, now it's down to 11 billion. They ask, can we send an industry into the ground in the name of progress?
Are self-producing bands (over the internet) the music industry of the future? I can see music becoming something like the art industry, where people could have steady jobs and make music in their free time. Perhaps record labels, simply because of their concept, are doomed to failure soon in the future.
No one can get around the fact that online music sharing is unarguably illegal. We can justify it by stating some of the RIAA's more ethically questionable practices, but recieving a digital copy of the music without permission from the artist (when you don't already own a copy, and you're not just sampling it before you buy the album) is against the law. I may be a hypocrite because I'm listening to illegally downloaded music right now, but I do have to point out that no matter who condones it, by US law music sharing is illegal.
For more on this, try reading Lawrence Lessig's Free Culture. Ironically, it's available for download online if you just google it.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #3 on: 14 Oct 2007, 08:19 »

People already do have steady jobs and make music in their free time. I know a lot of musicians but I don't know any that make money from it and only a couple who ever hope to or have, and in most cases wouldn't even if the opportunity arose. DIY bands have been self-producing and distributing their music for about thirty years now, long before the internet came along. That's just made it even easier.

Bad as the music industry is, the art world is not a good model to follow. With the art industry in order to make a living you have to produce work which appeals to certain narrow groups with a large amount of capital. Since the production of art is so time-consuming and only certain kinds of pieces lend themselves to mass production artists don't have the luxury musicians do of being able to appeal to large amounts of individuals with little capital.

I've never had a problem with downloading music myself, I have little respect for the idea of property anyway. If it has a knock-on effect of destroying the music industry then so much the better.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #4 on: 14 Oct 2007, 08:32 »

I make music because I want to, just like I write and draw because I want to. I don't make money from any of it. Doing any of it for a living would be great, but the majority of people don't make much of a living off it and so work as well.

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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #5 on: 14 Oct 2007, 08:48 »

If EitS want to put one of their EPs up for download, and I don't have the money to go to a show and buy it from them, damn right I'm gonna download it.

I think my whole excuse for downloading instead of buying is "I AM A BROKE COLLEGE STUDENT".
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #6 on: 14 Oct 2007, 10:07 »

I love that that quote is from Throwdown.  I don't think I would even bother stealing an album of theirs (it is a very well worded quote, though).

Anyhow, a friend of mine for a 400 level course made a documentary on music piracy, and it pretty much stated the same thing.  Who's really losing in music piracy?  Not anyone that you give half a shit about.
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tommydski

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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #7 on: 14 Oct 2007, 11:05 »

This is worth discussing again I think, in light of a few things that have happened since last time. I've given this some thought and here's how I think of music today, at this specific moment. I'm not saying "this is correct" or "this is definitely the right way to think of it and if you disagree you are an asshat" - this is literally my own personal two penneth at this moment in time. Feel free to disagree!

A few weeks back, a musician whose work I have enjoyed for a good long while sent me his new band's new record. He did it because he knew I am a massive fan and he is just an incredibly decent person. It was a nice gesture and the spirit in which it was made was literally "isn't this great, we all got to hang out in a studio and make a record in our spare time. We enjoyed making it and you might like listening to it so here it is!" The band is four guys and between them they have around six kids. They all work hard for a living but they managed to get together and make a great record because they like making music as a hobby. Between them they are experienced enough to appreciate that nobody owes them a living because they happen to be extraordinarily good musicians. They have day jobs that earn enough money to support their dependants. It's one of the best records of this year too. You can buy it from their website for a very reasonable amount, essentially enough to cover how much it made to make print the vinyl and the artwork. For a while I wondered how I could show my support for their band and how I could get some other folks to go the extra mile and actually buy this new record from their site. In the end I just decided to buy ten records so I could just give the records to other folks who might want to hear it also. This exchange made me think about the whole downloading music situation quite a lot.

I think that if you are in music to make a living, you have maybe missed the point. I don't think anyone ever wrote a song while thinking "this song is for people with X amount of money only". If they did, I don't think any of us would be too interested in hearing their music anyway. Art is separate from commerce for a number of reasons that are so obvious that I don't want to insult people by reiterating them again. You can't judge a musician by how many records they sell or a person by how many records they can afford to buy. I understand that making music can be expensive, which is why people are going to have to come up with new ways to justify charging people however much they can afford to spend. The system works much better when the audience is asked to contribute but not forced. The example I use time and time again is that of Questionable Content itself, which I consider to be part of the independent music community. Jeph has found a way to give people his art for free but has also managed to think of novel and non-intrusive ways of allowing people to support his work if they choose to do so. I know it's favouritism to use this analogy on his forum but you can change the name Jeph Jacques to John Allison, Chris Onstad, Mitch Clem or anyone you want to. The point remains - there is a way of making money from art without the interest or blessing of the mainstream. The proof is right here on this forum, in this community.

The gentleman quoted in the original post is correct. The old system of selling over-priced CDs in megastores was only benefiting the industry itself, not the artists (aside from a tiny minority). Forcing artists to find new ways to make money from their art independently of gigantic corporations can only be a good thing. I think bands should seriously consider just setting up a Paypal account on their website and making money purely from gigs, merchandise and donations. It won't make you a millionaire but that's probably because the point of music is not to make you stinking rich. The music itself is the end result, anything else is tertiary. Honestly, what good did it ever do anyone anyway? How many bands made better albums or became more productive after they became financially solvent? Not as many as you might assume, that's for sure. Less income also means that bands wouldn't be able to make such costly, over-indulgent albums, which can only be a good thing for the state of music as a whole. By nature, we all like to assume that everything is always like it has been in the past and will continue to be. We like to think that because U2 and Metallica were able to become incredibly rich men, everyone should be able to make their pile in exactly the same manner. The way the music industry operates is changing and people are going to have to change with it. The assumption that somehow your audience owes you this living is arrogant and misguided.

With regards to the downloading music phenomena, I still think it's essentially a good thing because it is going to kick those purely interested in profit out of the music scene. When the corporations realise there is no money to be found conning people into buying their over-priced coasters, they will up sticks and leave. At the end of the day, it's not quite the same as stealing because nothing physical is being taken off the shelves. If you want the artwork and the discs, you still have to pay because you are actually gaining something tangible. A mess of binary representing an album? I still don't really understand how that can be considered the same. If it was my music being downloaded, that's the way I'd think of it. Surely, surely it's enough that people are taking an interest in your art of all the billions of people in the world. I'd be flattered and encouraged to continue, not indignant that someone not as financially fortunate as other folks was getting to hear your music. Like has been already mentioned, you can support bands by going to shows.
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pilsner

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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #8 on: 14 Oct 2007, 14:35 »

Everyone who thinks that we should band together and find Tommy a job where he gets paid by the word, say "aye".  I think copy this well worded deserves to be on the music blog *ahem* especially if I get to do a point/counterpoint with Harry as my proxy.  Harry, you don't know me, but I'm a superb debater and an excellent ventriloquist.

There have been a number of studies that have shown no correlation between music downloading and the decade long decline in CD sales that the industry has been suffering through.  (Source: CNet; Ars Technica; MSNBC citing conflicting studies with the RIAA commissioned study showing, unsurprisingly that downloads do hurt and that you should go out and buy 20 copies of the new J-Lo album right now.)

Nevertheless, I respectfully differ with Tommykins over the right and propriety of musicians to expect to be paid for their art on a per album business and to want to make a living from their music.  Paying someone to amuse, entertain, challenge or educate you does not devalue the amusement, challenge or education in itself.  Wanting to be paid to amuse, etertain, challenge or educate doesn't mean you can't mix art with the craft.  Believing that your audience owes you the lifestyle of U2 or Metallica is arrogant.  However, believing that your audience owes you a certain quantum of money in return for the privilege of listening to your art, that's  not arrogant.  If you feel obliged to pay the plumber, the electrician and the locksmith for their services, why not the people who just provided you with a pleasurable, meaningful and inspiring bunch of sounds?  Just because it's art doesn't mean that it can't also be a (very, very important) service.  If it helps, think of musicians as people making food for your soul.  You pay for food, right?

Furthermore, I am very dubious of Tommy's implication that bands tend to worsen when they become financially solvent.  Personally, my top 20 favorite live musicians are all professional.  They make a living doing what they do.  They all sound awesome (to me).  And with only a few exceptions, I got into each of them when they after they had become professional musicians.

I think we as a community of music hobbyists have to distinguish between our dislike of the Big Music/Big Label business dynamic and our opinions about our moral obligations to buy the albums of the musicians we like and listen to.  Sure, buying an artist's CD at Virgin doesn't put much money in their pocket.  Perhaps this is a reason to not buy the CD at Virgin, but it is not a reason to decline to buy the CD at all.  Personally, I try whenever possible to wait to buy the CD at a concert and download after the album leaks.  If I can't go to the concert or the merch table is ridiculous, I order off the (indie) label's or the artist's website.  I definitely have not paid for every album I own, but I hew to this system as strictly as I can, especially for live and touring musicians.  My goal is to, whenever possible, put as much money as I can in the artist's pocket.  Frankly, beefing up merch tables at concerts could really help.
« Last Edit: 14 Oct 2007, 14:41 by pilsner »
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #9 on: 14 Oct 2007, 15:25 »

Most (if not all) statistics and 'facts' published by the RIAA and other such parties are VERY exaggerated, twisted and distorted, assuming they're not outright lies in the first place.

Tommy and Pilsner talked very well about the artist, so I'm going to talk about the industry, and specifically, lawsuits.

A common misconception is that filesharing is 'music piracy' or 'theft'. Now, I don't pretend to keep up to date with the english language, but in order for a theft to occur, property has to exist in the first place right? Theft is taking something physical from it's original owner and thus depriving them of that object, or profit they might make from the object. So, filesharing is not theft. Yet people are still afraid of 'stealing' music? Well...no...they're not...
You see, one argument for the lawsuits that people keep getting hit with is that they are an effective deterrent from illegally downloading music. Much like the idea that filesharing is theft, this is also a lie.
Every single day, more and more people are logging onto filesharing networks. The more people log on, the less likely you are to be slapped with a lawsuit. While the RIAA, IFIAA or whatever will likely say 'The lawsuits have vastly reduced the number of filesharers in the US and worldwide' the opposite is true. Infact, since the lawsuits started, the number of filesharers has increased from around 2 million to 15 million worldwide, with more than half of these people living in the US.

Now, the recording industry is reporting a steady decline in sales each year since filesharing became the 'big thing'. They're attributing this loss of sales to filesharing. What they don't publicize is that they distribute less and less CDs to stores worldwide each year. Nearly up to 150 million CDs worldwide. It is this 'loss of sales' that has been blamed on p2p networks.
Apparently filesharing is KILLING the music industry, which lets be honest, is an industry that *should* have died  back in the 80s, like the British RIAA equivalent the BPI promised back in early 80s with this advertising campaign:


The recording industry is reporting a loss of "billions" in sales, and quite frankly, this is so absurd and ridiculous, mostly for reasons already stated in this thread, and indeed in this post that I'm not even going to address it.

Filesharers are not criminals, they have not done anything wrong. There is not a single person worldwide who has been found guilty in a court of law for "filesharing" or even "illegally downloading music". Why is this? Well...it's not illegal. It's frowned upon, but none of the things that the RIAA is slapping lawsuits on people for seem to be illegal. They HAVE however broken many laws regarding people's privacy and invaded on a lot of people's rights in order to get money from these alleged "criminals".

It's a well known fact, the major label music industry is comprised of nothing but complete and utter bastards, and they are doing nothing to change my mind. Actually, I read a report that since parents have been wisening up and stating they can not be held accountable for their children infringing copyright laws, the recording industry has now started targetting children.

That's right. After suing the poor, the elderly AND the deceased, encouraging people to drop out of school to pay up and using scare tactics and harassment in order to get money from people, they are now directly suing minors.
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tommydski

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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #10 on: 14 Oct 2007, 15:31 »

Everyone who thinks that we should band together and find Tommy a job where he gets paid by the word, say "aye".

I wrote this at work! I write everything at work, so I am being paid. Thanks though. It's nice of you to humour my bullshit.

If you feel obliged to pay the plumber, the electrician and the locksmith for their services, why not the people who just provided you with a pleasurable, meaningful and inspiring bunch of sounds?  Just because it's art doesn't mean that it can't also be a (very, very important) service.

The plumber only has one reason to fix my pipes and that is because he expects to be paid for this service. Presumably, people create art everywhere without expecting to be paid. I wrote a song last week and I will never be paid for it. I think I did it to expel a complex emotion from my system and afterwards I felt a lot better. The plumber does not plumb unless he is being paid in some way. It is a functional act as opposed to a creative one.

You pay for food, right?

Yes but If I could download it for free I would.

Furthermore, I am very dubious of Tommy's implication that bands tend to worsen when they become financially solvent.  Personally, my top 20 favorite live musicians are all professional.  They make a living doing what they do.  They all sound awesome (to me).  And with only a few exceptions, I got into each of them when they after they had become professional musicians.

I think they happen to be good musicians, regardless of their profession. Nothing will change when music ceases to be such a lucrative career except for weeding out those who are in it for the money. If you can eek out a living playing music, that's neat. Nina Nastasia does this and I can't think of anyone I hold in higher regard as an artist. She does it by touring extensively and recording for independent labels. Her lifestyle is modest and thus she can survive on the relatively small amount of money she earns from playing out. Fair play to her. She had been playing for a decade before friends insisted that she should make a record. I think she's a good example of how an artist can make a living without an artistic compromise. I guess I wasn't very clear that I do believe it can be done correctly. Nastasia will suffer not a jot from the demise of major labels/the CD format because she's never been part of that world.

I think we as a community of music hobbyists have to distinguish between our dislike of the Big Music/Big Label business dynamic and our opinions about our moral obligations to buy the albums of the musicians we like and listen to.  Sure, buying an artist's CD at Virgin doesn't put much money in their pocket.  Perhaps this is a reason to not buy the CD at Virgin, but it is not a reason to decline to buy the CD at all.  Personally, I try whenever possible to wait to buy the CD at a concert and download after the album leaks.  If I can't go to the concert or the merch table is ridiculous, I order off the (indie) label's or the artist's website.  I definitely have not paid for every album I own, but I hew to this system as strictly as I can, especially for live and touring musicians.  My goal is to, whenever possible, put as much money as I can in the artist's pocket.  Frankly, beefing up merch tables at concerts could really help.

You're settling though. Why should we accept that an artist will be shat upon by a major label? I don't think we should. I want artists to forgo major labels entirely and sell to me directly. The means to do so now exist. I buy albums direct from bands quite a lot these days. You can always email them and ask. If they decided to buy into the current system, I regret that I suffer from an incredible lack of sympathy that people are downloading their music rather than lining the pockets of a huge corporation. I want change and I think the best way to do it is to force the majors out of business.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #11 on: 14 Oct 2007, 15:47 »

If they decided to buy into the current system, I regret that I suffer from an incredible lack of sympathy that people are downloading their music rather than lining the pockets of a huge corporation. I want change and I think the best way to do it is to force the majors out of business.

Are you making the assumption that all bands on majors decide that they're going to get fucked? I have a lot of sympathy for a lot of artist because face it, most are pretty much tricked into signing horrible contracts that guarantee they'll end up owing money to their label. It doesn't mean I'll put money into the corporation's pocket, but I don't feel somewhat bad for the artist who's been thoroughly screwed right in the ass, it doesn't matter if they asked for it, they definitely didn't expect it to be that big. In cases like this, I doubt the artist cares at all about people downloading their music, most would be encouraging it, they'd just be angry at the label. Not their fans.

(Remember folks, not every band that's on a major is in it to turn a profit. Majors really can help to create a better album or help you reach a wider audience. Remember who the 'enemy' is, it's not the bands on the major label)
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tommydski

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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #12 on: 14 Oct 2007, 16:03 »

Take a job eating bees....
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #13 on: 14 Oct 2007, 16:21 »

You're settling though. Why should we accept that an artist will be shat upon by a major label? I don't think we should. I want artists to forgo major labels entirely and sell to me directly. The means to do so now exist. I buy albums direct from bands quite a lot these days. You can always email them and ask. If they decided to buy into the current system, I regret that I suffer from an incredible lack of sympathy that people are downloading their music rather than lining the pockets of a huge corporation. I want change and I think the best way to do it is to force the majors out of business.

As well as buying directly from bands there is also the wonderful world of DIY distros. I always marvel at the fact that there are people out there kind-hearted enough that they will put massive amounts of time and effort into making sure that the music they love can be heard by other people too. They make no money from it, in fact they usually lose it, but many keep at it year in year out. There is so much music that I love that I would never have been able to hear if it wasn't for those excellent, unsung individuals.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #14 on: 14 Oct 2007, 21:35 »

I download music.

That's all there is to it.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #15 on: 18 Oct 2007, 03:55 »

A common misconception is that filesharing is 'music piracy' or 'theft'. Now, I don't pretend to keep up to date with the english language, but in order for a theft to occur, property has to exist in the first place right? Theft is taking something physical from it's original owner and thus depriving them of that object, or profit they might make from the object. So, filesharing is not theft. Yet people are still afraid of 'stealing' music? Well...no...they're not...

Sorry to get technical but, in english law at least, property dosn't have to be tangible. So it IS theft.

But like the joke says: "I wouldn't steal a car but if my friend had one and he could make me a free copy I would take it".

I think it is perfectly reasonable for any musician to expect a fair living of music. If they want to be mega-rich then they are most likely deluded but it is fair to receive money for something you create, tangible or not. Just because there are many people on the internet giving away their music for free not everyone should be expected to do so.

Personally I think it is fair if you download a band's album for free, that you enjoy and will listen to it again, as long as at some point you give them some sort of money for it. Either you buy the album, go to a gig or buy some merch whatever. I just think morally it is the decent thing to do.

Perhaps some people on this board would prefer music to be more like the art world: lots of art produced, very little recognised or rewarded. If this were the case in music you would essentially only have small bands playing local bars and nothing more. I don't think I'm the only one who can appreciate both this and bigger bands.

Basically what I think is this:
Downloading music is illegal but IMO as long as the artist gets some money for it its not immoral
I don't dislike bands just because they can perform to more than 2,000 people at a time
I don't dislike bands for wanting money for their art but I do if they want excessive amounts
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #16 on: 18 Oct 2007, 05:19 »

Well, that's all filesharing is. Making a free copy. Theft is the removal of property whether it's tangible or not. Theft is taking something away from a person.. But with filesharing, no property is removed from anywhere. Most studies (all studies not conducted my the majr labels) show that there is almost no loss at all from filesharing. Sure, maybe it affect one of two album sales. But it takes 5000 downloads to negate one album sale apparently.
It is much like your friend making you a photocopy of a magazine article. An mp3 is a shitty compressed poor sounding digital copy of a recording. Put simply, mp3s are not worth money.

And it is NOT theft. Theft is illegal. There are currently no laws against filesharing and downloading music.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #17 on: 18 Oct 2007, 05:26 »

On the legal issue: Filesharing is definitely not theft. Downloading and uploading is a civil matter (there is a contract forbidding unauthorised sharing in there somewhere), not a crime, although selling pirated material is a criminal matter.

EDIT: Just to clarify, this is (as far as I know) the legal status in the UK and Ireland.
« Last Edit: 18 Oct 2007, 06:59 by supersheep »
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #18 on: 18 Oct 2007, 06:16 »

Depends on where you are.  As far as I know, in some jurisdictions, it is an offence to distribute unlicensed copies, in others it is an offence to receive unlicensed copies.  In many jurisdictions there is no criminal offence relating to copyright at all.  Problems can arise in terms of conflict of laws: where is the offence or breach of contract or tort committed when you download something from the internet hosted in a different country?  Is it where the server is, or is it where your computer is, or both?  Does a person who uploads onto the internet commit an offence in every place where somebody downloads?

I don't know the answer to these questions because I haven't studied conflict of laws or intellectual property law.  But it's definitely not theft: theft involves physically moving some property belonging to somebody else.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #19 on: 18 Oct 2007, 07:25 »

Personally I think it is fair if you download a band's album for free, that you enjoy and will listen to it again, as long as at some point you give them some sort of money for it. Either you buy the album, go to a gig or buy some merch whatever. I just think morally it is the decent thing to do.

Why should my appreciation of something be morally reliant on a financial transaction? And can can I really be said to have downloaded a band's album when all I have is a few digital files? Is it possible to really claim ownership of a sequence of sounds?
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #20 on: 18 Oct 2007, 10:27 »

Just as much as it is possible to claim ownership over an idea, and people do that all the time.

I think he meant that, instead of buying the album, you can sponsor the band in ways that actual affect them. You're not morally responsible, but it would be a nice gesture. The artists did put some work into it, and you can show some appreciation. Whether this is by sending them an e-mail with 'you guys are great' or by buying one of their shirts - if the band is making music just to make music - they'll be glad to accept both.

and as an update,

according to Forbes people are still more likely to rip the album than actually get it for free of the website.

I figure it's not actually accurate because people probably just assumed that they wouldn't pay anything anyways, but apparently more radiohead albums were downloaded through filesharing/torrents than from the actual website.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #21 on: 18 Oct 2007, 11:20 »

Reporter: "How do you feel about people downloading your music off the internet?"

Dave Grohl: "I don't care. I'm already rich."

Now, that's a man who's got his priorities straight. Perhaps.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #22 on: 18 Oct 2007, 11:33 »

I'd hesitate to download an album from a local band whom I know to have fronted the costs of their own EP/album. Also, at most shows, the CDs on sale were purchased by the band (for cost, or near to it as possible) for resale. They end up seeing a few dollars more, more often than not from those sales.

In the end, do your part and help support the bands you love, otherwise they may not make another album of music, downloadable off a torrent or otherwise.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #23 on: 18 Oct 2007, 13:29 »

In my case, it's a simple question of whether a band benefits more from my ten dollars spent on iTunes, or from me telling ~150,000 people that their record is really good and they should check it out. But that's obviously a fairly unique situation.

Really, just look at webcomics. It is totally possible to give your work away and still generate a living income off of it. Not everybody can do it, but not everybody can release an album a hundred thousand people would enjoy, either.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #24 on: 18 Oct 2007, 14:05 »

And it is NOT theft. Theft is illegal. There are currently no laws against filesharing and downloading music.

More than that, theft in its very nature is intended to do damage to someone while helping the thief.

I have not talked this year to a single performer opposed to filesharing. The common theme is, "It definitely brings people out to our shows, buying our merch, etcetera." It is very rare that theft is beneficial to all involved.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #25 on: 18 Oct 2007, 14:29 »

[...] but apparently more radiohead albums were downloaded through filesharing/torrents than from the actual website.
I torrented it, but only because I heard something about having to have a cell phone and I don't.
If Radiohead had just provided a torrent or something, I wouldve downloaded it from them.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #26 on: 18 Oct 2007, 16:59 »

Just as much as it is possible to claim ownership over an idea, and people do that all the time.

Oh I know people do that, but is it justified? Personally, I'd argue that we'd all be a lot better off without intellectual property rights but that's a whole other story.

Quote
I'd hesitate to download an album from a local band whom I know to have fronted the costs of their own EP/album. Also, at most shows, the CDs on sale were purchased by the band (for cost, or near to it as possible) for resale. They end up seeing a few dollars more, more often than not from those sales.

In the end, do your part and help support the bands you love, otherwise they may not make another album of music, downloadable off a torrent or otherwise.

Supporting bands financially is great since it's an expensive business, but speaking as a musician myself I'd much rather people downloaded my work and enjoyed it than avoided getting it because of some moral uneasiness about obtaining something for free. If someone downloads my music they've stolen nothing from me, I'd just be immensely flattered somebody liked one of my shitty bands enough to want to have my songs. They're certainly not obligated to support me in any way.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #27 on: 18 Oct 2007, 19:19 »

Why is there the whole thing about whether or not filesharing is theft?

I thought it was just copyright infringement.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #28 on: 19 Oct 2007, 03:08 »

It's probably something to do with the ridiculous "You wouldn't steal a car" bit on the front of most films, basically saying that downloading a film is theft. On that note, this is funny.

My own personal way of doing things is this. I will download an album. If I like it, not only will I rant about it to my friends (even if they don't listen), I will also attempt to purchase it on vinyl (cos this is prettier), and go see the band if they ever come to Dublin (which is rare enough).
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #29 on: 19 Oct 2007, 08:25 »

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More than that, theft in its very nature is intended to do damage to someone while helping the thief.

Exactly. I hate all those idiots that say I "steal" music. Excuse me, is somebody missing their CD? Show me the person who's missing the CD I supposedly stole from them, and I'll gladly give it back.

"But it's stealing because you didn't pay for it." No, it was free, out there for the taking, so I took one. No one has lost anything in order for me to gain. If anything, the net something of the world has gone up, not down, due to my actions.

"But the band has lost the money they would have made when you bought it." Wrong again. I wouldn't have bought the CD anyway, because I don't have money for new CDs. They never would have gotten my money anyway, and thus have lost nothing.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #30 on: 19 Oct 2007, 09:23 »

No matter how you slice it, the music on a CD is copyrighted. No one except the copyright owner has the right to give it away in whatever form they choose. Saying it was out there for the taking does not mean it's LEGAL. If a car has its doors unlocked with the keys in the car, does that mean it's LEGAL to get in and drive to Mexico with it?

No, it's theft. Laws embedded in copyright law itself mean it's illegal to give something away you don't legally own. No matter how you slice it.

"But it's different, mp3s are DIGITAL. It's not like I'm stealing a hard copy CD". CDs are just a conduit for the digital files embedded in them. Same damn thing, just compressed which makes it, well, quicker to take. The whole "stealing a car" analogy, while played out, is only repeated because theft is theft, whether it's a piece of solid property or whether it's intellectual property. You can walk into a store, grab a candy bar and then when the owner says "Hey, you didn't pay for that!" you then say "But it was there. It was right there. If you didn't want me to take it, why didn't you put it behind locked glass?"

Regardless of who gets the cash, be it the band, the publisher, the distributer, etc, intellectual property is just that, SOMEONE'S property. Theft is almost NEVER just for the sake of doing damage to someone or something. It's almost ALWAYS about someone getting something they want without paying for it. You don't rob a bank because you don't like their hiring policies, you rob it 'cause you want a shitload of money.

Now, I'm not saying that I'm any better than anyone else. Lord knows my I didn't buy about 70% of the music on my mp3 player. I'm just saying everyone should quit kidding themselves and admit to what they're doing. If you don't purchase the album in some way, then find another way to support the band. Buy a t-shirt or two. Go to their concerts. If Jeph tells people on QC to go listen to the latest Modernboys Moderngirls EP (which is awesome), and everyone downloads it but then never gives the band a dime in some way shape or form, then it doesn't matter at all that the band got a nice feature if they are dependent on their art for their living.

It's all well and good when the band isn't deriving their primary income from their music, like A Pack of Wolves a few posts above me, but that's not the case for all bands. Anyone who thinks intellectual property laws should be eliminated obviously doesn't make their living with their intellectual property. If people couldn't make money off their intellectual property, be it music, inventions, art, etc, then there'd be very little incentive to do so and we'd be going down that wonderful (in spirit) road of Communism, which if you hadn't noticed royally sucks ass in practice.

In hindsight, writing such a post with almost no history on these boards could be the death of me. Virtual suicide ftw!
« Last Edit: 19 Oct 2007, 09:26 by Ninja-bot »
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #31 on: 19 Oct 2007, 09:47 »

Nah, Ninja-bot, your post was clearly well thought-out and informative.

Quote from: a pack of wolves
I'd argue that we'd all be a lot better off without intellectual property rights but that's a whole other story.

I'd love to hear your argument for that, because in my mind I cannot fathom what the world would be like without intellectual property rights.

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No one has lost anything in order for me to gain. If anything, the net something of the world has gone up, not down, due to my actions.

Unless you downloaded a Metallica or Slip Knot album - the net something of the world would go down, definitely.
« Last Edit: 19 Oct 2007, 13:01 by mberan42 »
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #32 on: 19 Oct 2007, 11:23 »

If you don't purchase the album in some way, then find another way to support the band. Buy a t-shirt or two. Go to their concerts.

That's pretty much my theory on it.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #33 on: 19 Oct 2007, 12:08 »

Quote from: Johnny C

What the cockshit?
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #34 on: 19 Oct 2007, 13:02 »

Whoa, sorry. My browser at work is all wonky - won't let me quote using the links, so I have to do it manually from the post reply page. Orbert quoted you in the post he said what I quoted, so I saw your name and missed his. Sorry JC. I fixed it.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #35 on: 19 Oct 2007, 13:11 »

Quote from: Ninja-bot
If a car has its doors unlocked with the keys in the car, does that mean it's LEGAL to get in and drive to Mexico with it?

No, because I would be taking the car. If I download a copy of a CD, have I taken something from someone? As I said, if someone is missing their copy and I took it, I will give it back.

People keep saying "Stop trying to justify it, stop trying to fool yourself, it's wrong." The fact is that I've given it a hell of a lot of thought, and I'm fine with it. I would not take someone's car, I would not take anything away from someone. They would be deprived of it, and that is wrong. But if I make a copy of something, and the original's still out there, no one has been deprived of anything.

Again, if you want to convince me that what I'm doing is wrong, don't fall back on "it's illegal" because there are things that I do which are illegal and I'm fine with it. Show me how I've deprived someone of something. Show me how I have taken something away from them and they do not have it now. Otherwise, I haven't stolen anything. It's still there. I just have a copy now, too.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #36 on: 19 Oct 2007, 14:01 »

Perhaps here's a slightly better analogy.
If I had a magical device that could duplicate anything I want, and someone left their car unlocked with the keys in the car and I used my device on it, did I steal their car?
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #37 on: 19 Oct 2007, 14:07 »

Here's a quick question: Has anyone been prosecuted for filesharing anywhere in the world? I've heard of lots of civil actions, but no prosecutions.

Ninja-bot, to the best of my knowledge, no country believes that downloading music from the internet is theft. As a matter of fact, in Canada, downloading music for personal use is legal (see BMG Canada vs John Doe, 2004 FC 488. Copying music illegally is copyright infringement, not theft.
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a pack of wolves

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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #38 on: 19 Oct 2007, 14:35 »

I'd love to hear your argument for that, because in my mind I cannot fathom what the world would be like without intellectual property rights.

Well, this probably isn't quite the right thread to go into too much detail (or indeed the right forum). But in brief, intellectual property is a means by which wealthy individuals and organisations maintain their wealth at the expense of the rest of us. Personally I think this, and the general economic system it's a part of, are a poor way of running the world. A mix of anarcho-communism and anarcho-syndicalism would, in my view, be a lot better.

Quote
Anyone who thinks intellectual property laws should be eliminated obviously doesn't make their living with their intellectual property. If people couldn't make money off their intellectual property, be it music, inventions, art, etc, then there'd be very little incentive to do so and we'd be going down that wonderful (in spirit) road of Communism, which if you hadn't noticed royally sucks ass in practice.

I know quite a few people who make their money from their intellectual property but nonetheless would like to see it done away with. I used to work in the banking sector, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't have been happy to do away with banks even if they were temporarily providing my income. And if you make things because of the monetary reward then what you make will no doubt be very shoddy. I'd much rather have the music of people who do it for the love of it and might possibly make money as a side-effect of that.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #39 on: 19 Oct 2007, 14:48 »

Here's a quick question: Has anyone been prosecuted for filesharing anywhere in the world? I've heard of lots of civil actions, but no prosecutions.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071004.wdownloading1004/BNStory/Technology/?page=rss&id=RTGAM.20071004.wdownloading1004
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #40 on: 19 Oct 2007, 14:54 »

That's a civil case, once again. I'm wondering if there have been any criminal cases. I highly doubt it.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #41 on: 19 Oct 2007, 16:07 »

Well, this probably isn't quite the right thread to go into too much detail (or indeed the right forum). But in brief, intellectual property is a means by which wealthy individuals and organisations maintain their wealth at the expense of the rest of us. Personally I think this, and the general economic system it's a part of, are a poor way of running the world. A mix of anarcho-communism and anarcho-syndicalism would, in my view, be a lot better.

Pssht. Market Anarchism and crypto-anarchism are the way forward I say!

But then again, as far as I see it, if there was a genuinely anarchic society, then the various strands of anarchism could easily exist together.

Then again, wrong forum.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #42 on: 19 Oct 2007, 17:18 »

I'm kind of new here, but I'll throw in my 2 cents.  A lot of the music I listen to just isn't available in stores without special ordering it.  I listen to a lot of death and black metal, and stores just don't sell much of that.  The Heavy Metal section of my local FYE is about 20 feet long, and is populated by mostly pop metal garbage (Linkin Park, etc).

So I download much of my music, essentially at random to see what I like.  If I really like what I hear, I'll go out and buy a CD (or vinyl, if I can find it, but that's not so easy) for the better sound quality, even if I have to special order it, or get it secondhand.  I buy for two reasons: 128kbps sounds like crap much above a quarter maximum volume, and because if I have the money (which I usually do) and don't pay for what I've gotten, I am depriving someone of what they've worked to create.

Downloading music and never compensating the artist IS stealing based on the definition of "to appropriate without right or acknowledgement."  If a local artist says "go ahead and share my music with your friends, he has given you the right to appropriate and share his music, but otherwise, copyright law says that he (or maybe his record company) has the sole right to distribute and reproduce his music.  An mp3 is a real, physical thing: it is a series of magnetic impulses that encode the music in question.  If you copy that mp3, you are infringing on copyright law.

I care a lot about copyright because I'm a writer, and it would annoy the heck out of me if I wrote a popular book, only to sell about a dozen copies of it because everyone else just got a photocopy, or PDF.  What would be my motivation to continue to write, an activity that takes up a lot of time and effort, if I could not expect to be compensated for it because some jackhole said "It isn't like I'm STEALING from this guy, I'm just not paying him for using something he created!"?
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #43 on: 19 Oct 2007, 18:03 »

Wouldn't you want to write in order to create art? No offense, but if your only motivation really is monetary compensation I can't imagine your books would be of any interest so your stopping writing wouldn't be much of a loss. And the same goes for musicians who only create for the money (not that downloading necessarily hurts their incomes in any case).
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #44 on: 19 Oct 2007, 18:15 »

Sure, I enjoy writing because it creates something for others to enjoy, but if I intended for them to enjoy it for free, well, I'd distribute it under a different license than Copyright, like Creative Commons or something.  But I don't usually. Sometimes I have.  But putting a huge amount of effort into something with the expectation that I'll be compensated and then watch others deliberately deny me wat I'm due is just... very annoying.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #45 on: 19 Oct 2007, 18:25 »

But why would you be due it? You weren't involved in the creation or distribution of the copies, and it didn't cost you anything. If people enjoyed your work then maybe they would compensate you for it if they could afford it. Just because you do something expecting to make money doesn't mean you will.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #46 on: 19 Oct 2007, 18:54 »

CryoSilver, what's your position on libraries then?
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #47 on: 19 Oct 2007, 18:55 »

  I think there's an important difference between things like writing and things like music though, in that a writer cannot generate money through means of touring and performing live.  With bands which tour, the main means of income is certainly not the sale of CDs in stores.  For a writer, it's the only source of income, unless they are fortunate enough to win prizes.  I don't think one should go into writing expecting money, but in order to create a well crafted novel, a huge amount of time and effort must go into research, editing, and the like.  Certainly, the same is true of music, but the recording of the music is only part of that experience.  An author, if they aren't compensated for their work, only have the option of working another job to support themselves.  Nothing wrong with that though, and if someone is truly passionate about their art, then I believe they would be more than willing to work full time and write on the side.

  I know people who've done both things.  My mom writes, but works a full time job, writing on the side, not relying on sales of her work for any sort of money.  My grandmother though, made her living purely as an author.  It's something that's really rare, for certain, but I believe that a person should be able to make money at an art; the ability should be there.  No one should go into writing expecting to make money though, and that definitely shouldn't be the ultimate goal.

  Also, with writing, I don't think you're likely to see .pdf files or digital copies replacing books as a medium of choice anytime soon anyhow.  Neither are half as convenient as a book format.

EDIT:  Libraries are pretty much one of the most wonderful institutions we have around.  The ability to spread art like that is pretty unparalleled, and I'd like to see an author of any sort who protested against them.
« Last Edit: 19 Oct 2007, 18:57 by Dark Flame »
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #48 on: 19 Oct 2007, 19:01 »

Quote from: a pack of wolves
But why would you be due it? You weren't involved in the creation or distribution of the copies, and it didn't cost you anything. If people enjoyed your work then maybe they would compensate you for it if they could afford it. Just because you do something expecting to make money doesn't mean you will.

It costs me the premium charged by the publishing house, assuming I retain the rights to what I write.  If it were otherwise, it'd be all profit to me, above the cost of the materials and time used to produce the copy.  If I get something published, it's because I can't afford to buy a printing press myself. That doesn't make the product any less MINE.  If someone can't afford to have something that I produced, copy or no, then they can't have it.  That's the entire premise of capitalism, and that's the "All Rights Reserved" clause of copyright.  If they acquire it by illegal means, they've committed a crime, simple as that.  I don't always agree with the law, but that doesn't give me the right to break it.

Quote from: Johnny C
What's your position on libraries then?

A library is a public borrowing house.  I don't object for a couple reasons.  One: someone paid for the book (the town, most likely).  Two: whoever borrows it can't keep it (well, they could keep taking it out again and again, but eventually the librarian yells at you).  Three: There is still only one book; unless someone illegally scans or photocopies the book, there is only the one book, which has been paid for.  If a library let you take a free copy of the book to keep, which they produced without compensating the author, I'd object, but they don't.  They have one book, which they lend out.  If your buddy lets you borrow his CD, but you don't rip it, you just listen for a week and give it back, that's basically how a library works.
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Re: The whole downloading music thing...
« Reply #49 on: 19 Oct 2007, 19:12 »

That's the entire premise of capitalism, and that's the "All Rights Reserved" clause of copyright.  If they acquire it by illegal means, they've committed a crime, simple as that.  I don't always agree with the law, but that doesn't give me the right to break it.

In order: Maybe that's the problem with capitalism, if it was that simple we wouldn't have a thread about it right now, and why the hell not?

Quote from: Johnny C
What's your position on libraries then?

A library is a public borrowing house.  I don't object for a couple reasons.  One: someone paid for the book (the town, most likely).  Two: whoever borrows it can't keep it (well, they could keep taking it out again and again, but eventually the librarian yells at you).  Three: There is still only one book; unless someone illegally scans or photocopies the book, there is only the one book, which has been paid for.  If a library let you take a free copy of the book to keep, which they produced without compensating the author, I'd object, but they don't.  They have one book, which they lend out.  If your buddy lets you borrow his CD, but you don't rip it, you just listen for a week and give it back, that's basically how a library works.

Nobody paid for the CD at one point?

Beyond that your argument is logically sound, I suppose. Except I can keep borrowing the book. I can lend the book, once I have it, out to my friends - and I do on a pretty regular basis. The art gets around. Maybe one or two of them buy a copy, and that's one or two more than otherwise would have.
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[02:12] yuniorpocalypse: let's talk about girls
[02:12] Thug In Kitchen: nooo
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