P2P is only "illegal"
Since when is P2P file sharing illegal? I must have missed parliment passing that law.
Everytime El Reg use that line a kitten dies.
Legalising P2P is a sea change for the music business: instead of trying to end or control file-sharing, executives realise they merely have to make a profit from it to stave off oblivion. Now Korea's biggest P2P operation Soribada has gone legal, finally obtaining government approval for its Orgel file-sharing service. Orgel, …
Sure because isn't it the case that CD sales make stealth profits from overstated breakages which are subtracted from the MCPS (?) payout to artists and 'promo' copies and other ways of shifting CD units which have no payback to the artist's recoup?
God forbid the CD cash cow should flounder... artists might get paid more.
Or did I just dream that...
If the music industry is more worried about about losing CD sales, which have a much larger overhead expense, to pay-per-drink downloads, then the executives, managers and principals should all be rounded up and shot.
The amount of money it takes to duplicate, pack, ship and distribute a cd, vs. the money it takes to set up a server farm and get sufficient bandwidth, I'm convinced that the most PROFITABLE method of getting the music to a fan is the latter.
I would hazard to guess that it costs a label a million or two, per album, for a fairly popular artist. Mind you, I'm excluding any mastering costs or money paid to the artist, so they have to sell a lot of physical inventory to recoup their "investment".
Now, when you compare the investment in server hardware & reoccurring costs associated with electronic distribution, and the company spreads the initial costs across every file downloaded, you're talking pennies per individual song, leaving the rest as gravy. My guess that if we had access to iTune's books, apple may have invested 5 or 6 cents for each song downloaded, leaving .94 to .95 cents to be split between them, the label and the artist. That's pretty f-ing profitable, if you ask me.
If A&M, BMI or some of the large european labels banded together and offered that as an alternative to physical media, not only would they save an absolute fortune, but they'd be raking in the money.
So, as I've said countless times before, they (US and European recording industries) have nobody to blame for their lack of vision and their inability to meet consumer demand, but themselves.
If Universal don't want to play. you need just enough DRM to distinguish their products from the rest. And I can't see a legal P2P distribution system letting just anyone add a set of files.
If the contracts are there between the P2P system and the rights holders, it's legal for the products covered, and if Universal try to stop that, we might have another name to add to the list headed by SCO and Microsoft.
Dave, there are many unique complications to legalising P2P, but the wrinkle you suggest isn't one of them.
There's nothing to stop you putting out a CD today, and selling it. If you want the benefits of collective licensing, you simply register it (cheaply) with the collection societies. Most people find it's worth it, and there's no compulsion. With P2P networks, you'll just register it and release it.
We've written about this many times over the years. You'll see why there's no economic incentive to use DRM. When you're paid more the faster the music flows, it's not in your interest to impede those flows.
Like the BBC there is a certain lack of understanding of the potential in the internets. I vote George Bush should go in and shoot every one of the buggers.
What I would do if I was sock puppet to the USA in chief is tell the bloody fools in the BBC to join forces with the other TV barons and all the UK/EU/World wide ISPs have a joint server pushing P2P with adverts.
Then anyone who wants to make a digi-song can sign up with them or go it alone or whatever subtle fork there can be to this.
And then any strain on the bandwidth, or whatever any particular ISP finds, can be mitigated with some other work-around.
When the hell will that happen?
So buggerem hand and shrimp. Let's hear it for the pirates.
You don't need iTunes' books, the info is already out there. E.g. Tom Robinson's website, where you can (a) read about where iTunes money goes (b) download Tom's catalogue, for free, and free of DRM infestations.
"iTunes downloads cost 79p per track. Writer/publisher get 6p, Performer 6-8p, Visa/Mastercard 7p, Apple 12p, and Record Company almost 50p. Sod that. Help yourself to my songs & share them with your friends" (http://www.tomrobinson.com/records/music/index.htm)
You can find the same details for a £7.99 iTunes album (2006 prices) at http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/tom_robinson/2006/06/post_149.html - in summary:
Download album at GBP7.99 inc VAT
Credit card company: 59p
Record company: £4
Cheers for the info, Tom.
Anyone (other than El Reg's resident musicbiz lawyer) got a problem with any of that?
You can see why the record companies might not want things to change too much, can't you?
Why? Because going by previous stats that 6million people use P2P to download music that's £60million per month or £720 million a year or roughly $1.4 billion a year from the UK alone.
I'm not convinced the music industry makes that much now so I'm not sure why they feel they should deserve this much when they wont even be having to pay for distribution and such due to the system being peer to peer.
I'm not opposed to a "P2P license" that's similar to the TV license in that if you opt in and pay for it you're allowed to legally download music/films/whatever from P2P but it has to be reasonably priced. Realistically if it went legal and judging by more recent stats there is/would be more than 6 million P2P users in the UK, as such this would only increase the above figures.
I don't even have a problem with £10 a month to be honest - I pay more than that for my mobile phone, my internet access and so on, but I do have a big problem with increasing the music industries profits when it's profits deserve a tumble for screwing both artists and consumers for so long and for fighting this kind of system so long. Had they embraced the internet from the start I'd be a lot more willing to part with more money. Currently I think £2.50 a month is more than fair and it's the most I'd be willing to pay until artists start receiving a bigger share - that's still £180 million a year for them from the UK alone with the rather outdated figure of 6 million P2P music downloaders in the UK.
The fact is the music/movie industry could implement this kind of P2P license today and end up better off than ever, the problem is they're just not satisfied with that, not only do they want to be much better off than ever they want to take that increase in profit and quadruple it. Well tough, I aint willing to cater to that kind of greed and I'm sure there's millions more who feel the same. Until they grow up and accept that they're going to have to agree to at best a good increase in profits rather than the disgusting increase they're hoping for they can sit and not enjoy any increase in profits as piracy continues regardless of their threats, infringements of privacy and their corrupting of the legal system to prevent people gaining a fair trial, even the truly innocent.
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As AC noted above, very little of the money spent on a record goes towards the artist/songwriter. This is why I love Magnatune; 50% goes towards the artist, straight - you choose how much to pay. I feel much better paying for music when I know I'm actually supporting the artist. It seems to me that most online downloads of music cost more than buying the cd, when the distribution costs are obviously less.
This completely misses the point on two counts:
1. Everyone in Korea has already moved away from Soribada to the Edonkey network. This is about as significant as Napster going legal - no significance at all.
2. Korean companies have explored ways to make money from music which don't require CD sales for a long time - it's the only way they could survive. People download free MP3s and so don't buy CDs, but they WILL buy "background music" for their cyworld homepages (the Korean equivalent of myspace/facebook), coloring for their phones (when you phone someone, you hear music instead of "ring ring" - not the same as a ringtone). There are mobile and web based subscription music sites which allow unlimited DRM free downloads already, such as Melon. This is not new. It's just like another music subscription site.
The only issue I have with fixed fee, and a regulator/industry body distributing it, is that they'll probably hideously fudge the way the money is distributed.
They will make assuptions and if the big record labels have the biggest clout (which they'll lobby their way to one way or the other) Then they will of course assume that most people are swapping their music and not say Imogen Heap.
They have a levy system in Canada to compensate rights holders for educational, library and other such things. They recently released a report analysing how it works and the upshot was that no one knew how it did work, the content creators were being paid peanuts and the distributors got the bulk of the haul.
Anyways, if they get it to work and if they distribute the money fairly then I'm all for it. I'm just scared that the majors will by hook and crook set up a system which nets them a large monthly cheque without them needing to do anything other than taking certain people on nice junkets...
"Fixed fee" or "flat fee"
"I'm just scared that the majors will by hook and crook set up a system which nets them a large monthly cheque without them needing to do anything other than taking certain people on nice junkets..."
No one gets paid if no one exchanges the music. There's far more economic risk for the majors in trying to drive dross down channels they can't control, than channels they can control. But you have a very legitimate concern, there. The "counting", whatever form it may take (probably several) needs to take account of all kind of demographics and regions, and should not be set by the majors today.
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