You still call them freetards, despite the fact that so many of them downloaded from the official site (which cost 45p) rather than from a torrent. Should that be 45p-tards?
As you may have heard earlier today, Radiohead's Thom Yorke says the band won't be repeating the band's digital deal which allowed users to download a version of its most recent album for free. "I don’t think it would have the same significance now anyway, if we chose to give something away again," he said, describing it as a …
Good analyse of RadioHead marketting strategy.
On the other hand, "And the real money, you'll note, is in the CD, and getting fans to pay twice. Which looks a lot like the Old Business Model to me" is completely preposterous. The crowd of freetards use "free" downloads as a preview for most of them, and they DO pay twice for the same stuff: download (Bandwith is not free, nor is storage, as anyone with half a brain should understand) and then hardcopy if the music is good. So what RH did was to allow freetards to legally do what they would have done illegally otherwise. And guess what, it worked out pretty well: they got more money, and reinforced their fan's loyalty. The "Old Business Model" that you mentioned is about trying to prevent the freetards from downloading music, and guess what, it doesn't work at all: the majors still make gazillions (though they go on crying about how much more potential money they might be doing if everyone was forced to buy their shite, like it or not), but they're loosing any form of respect or loyalty from anyone. Which ends up in "honest" people beginning to be reluctant about buying from them.
From where I'm standing there wasn't any publicity-buzz around Radiohead's last online nocturnal-emission: there was more like a resounding and pervasively noncommittal shrug.
One-hit-wonders who try to manipulate the new generation of fickle, promiscuous music-purchasers for publicity are doomed to failure.
Face facts: Radiohead are not the Stones or Pink Floyd.
No, but they do knock out some good indie-rock stuff.
Nothing to add to this debate really - I appreciated the chance to get In Rainbows on the cheap, but I preferred the NIN release from a purchase standpoint - it was in FLAC, rather than MP3, so worth it IMHO [especially as I am rather enjoying it to kill the commuter hubbub on the tube].
There's definitely a model that can be exploited in here with regards to ultra-low cost 'teasers' in MP3 format, and then paying slightly more [say, min £3] for a FLAC version or going out and getting a hard copy.
And if they only include the 'full' versions [FLAC/high bitrate MP3/hard copy] in the charts, then all the schoolkids paying £1/album of 128kbps Pete Waterman/X-factor toss might not control the top 10 all the time - and that would put a completely irrelevant, but fun, smile back on my face.
Mines the leatehr jacket with "Rock is dead" scrawled on the back in tippex, and the Shure E110s hanging out the collar :-)
hi Pierre -
"The crowd of freetards use 'free' downloads as a preview for most of them, and they DO pay twice for the same stuff"
I think you mean "pay once". Well, some do, but many don't. And why "should" they?
Never having to pay for music and only using the torrents saves you money which you can spend elsewhere. I've always argued that this is an entirely rational economic decision for people to make.
I also think its mean spirited - and if we all do it all the time, and our creators don't get paid, our world is a lot worse off.
So my definition of "freetard" is not someone who downloads now and again, I think most people do. It's someone who pretends there are no consequences, or that the consequences don't matter. This creates a sense of entitlement that becomes self-reinforcing, and culminates in the view that art doesn't matter, it's just another compiler switch. You can read that viewpoint pretty much everywhere.
I found the original story:
so I guess not.
When the hype started, it was download /or/ luxury edition. So I paid a couple of quid for the download & felt a bit ripped off when the (normal) CD was announced. Only purchasing from a Hong Kong based retailer prevented the total cost exceeding what I would have paid for a CD anyway a few years ago.
Incidentally I have noticed now that as I am buying more limited edition vinyl singles/EPs from small labels, I then get the (drm-free) download from iTunes+ because I can't remember how long it is since I've had a record player!
Martian 'cos maybe he has a rational explanation for this behaviour.
"I think you mean "pay once""
No, twice. One (small) sum for the bandwith and storage needed to get the ripped version -the artists don't get the money, right, but they don't get much from the CD sales either, to be honest) . And one, often ridiculously large, pile of cash for the hardcopy. Some probably don't, but many do. Why do they do that? Because it's nice to get the artwork, a reasonably safe support, and a good sound quality. All things that you don't get from a ripped mp3. Some also do it out of loyalty of course.
But because it's quite obvious that the money you pay for a legal CD mainly DOESN'T go to the creators (and the larger the label, the worst the situation), less and less people think that they should have to pay at all. Which is a pity, but the situation was created, and is worsened every day, by the MPAA, RIAA and the like.
Who can feel guilty when the people who try to make you feel guilty for "stealing" music are the same who stopped bothering about music or art 10 years ago and are now only making big bucks out of it, like they would do with cotton, cacao and coffee, with the same results for the actual creators? The "and if we all do it all the time, and our creators don't get paid, our world is a lot worse off." argument will stand when the big labels who are making all this huff will actually pay the artists, sell the music at a price reflecting their costs, and -one can dream- allow new talents to bloom instead of "producing" only preformated crap and recklessely trying to crush indie labels and autoproduced artists by blocking the distribution channels.
Disclaimer: I do own around 500 legally bought CDs, many of which I wouldn't even know about if I hadn't dowloaded them (legally and -shame- illegally sometimes).
"So my definition of "freetard" is not someone who downloads now and again, I think most people do. It's someone who pretends there are no consequences, or that the consequences don't matter. This creates a sense of entitlement that becomes self-reinforcing, and culminates in the view that art doesn't matter, it's just another compiler switch. You can read that viewpoint pretty much everywhere."
But you're making a rather strong assumption that it also isn't harmless.
Prior to MP3s coming of age I only ever listened to the radio and bought a mere 2 music CDs, since MP3s came of age (a vastly shorter time period) I've bought 5 CDs. I'm not suggesting that MP3s made me more than double my CD purchases or anything, I'm just saying that I don't really ever pay for music at all anyway.
Many of us simply wont pay for music no matter what, if the RIAA managed to whipe MP3s off the net tommorrow I'd simply go back to listening to the radio be less inclined to hand them money for CDs than ever before.
It's not like I even download music much now anyway other than the very rare odd track I'm quite content with a lot of my music dating back to the 90s.
Perhaps I'm a special case but really, do you honestly think that everyone that downloads would pay for music? When we have so much free access to music via the radio, TV and so on and always have do you truly think every downloader is a potential purchaser did they not have the option to download? Downloading isn't some alternative way of saving money as you're suggesting, it's just a way to get music free that I'd get anyway in a slightly more convenient form, I'd rather lose the convenience and go back to the radio than keep the convenience and pay money to a horribly corrupt industry regardless. Even then I'm not going to pretend that I'm not willing to pay them due to some moral crusade against their corruption, at the end of the day music just simply isn't that important to me and that's what it comes down to - nice to have if you can get it, but not worth paying for.
I really do doubt very much that I'm alone, I believe the number of others with this indifference to music are probably quite numerous and well represented in the set of people that download music and if that's the case then again I'd question the validity of the argument that there's ever going to be any way of making money from music out of people like me. A better choice is to focus on those that would pay, the real fans who are willing to go to concerts, and here's a novel idea, rather than work only a few days a year and do only a few concerts perhaps musicians should consider performing a little more frequently to rack up their profits and at the same time solve the age old problem of ticket touts by making sure there are enough tickets and events available to void the ability to tout in the first place.
Honestly, if I really wanted some music and had no other choices than to pay at very least I'd just fire up guitar hero and actually interact with the music.
Regarding the freetards thing I completely agree with the above posters about how stupid a term it is. Should we start referring to you as Regtards each time The Register posts an idiotic story which in recent years has become ever more common?
"So my definition of "freetard" is not someone who downloads now and again, I think most people do. It's someone who pretends there are no consequences, or that the consequences don't matter."
That's fair enough, but the way you use you give the impression that your referring to anyone who doesn't swear allegiance to the RIAA. How about this - Paytard: someone who happily pays a vastly inflated price to a dodgy cartel who will quite literally sue your grandmother.
The difference between In Rainbows and the NIN model is that Trent Reznor is actually offering a range of products at different price points. Radiohead just managed to find a crafty way to scam people into paying for their advertising.
Even with so called "free" downloads on offer, I preferred the physical product for £8 or less, DRM free with artwork and that I can rip to lossless FLAC at the best quality I can get short of SACD/DVD-A or some HD audio format that no one bothers with (or dare I say even Vinyl!). Stick the FLACs on my server to stream around the house, and convert to MP3 at best quality (way in excess of the usual poor 128kbps downloads) for use on a non-Apple based MP3 player (free from iTunes crud).
Give me downloads at cheaper than £8 CD prices, at FLAC quality, together with some kind of digital packaging to make up for the lack of physical packaging (sleeve notes in PDF format perhaps?), and DRM free then I'll consider it. Until then, it's CDs for me until the iPod sheep get their way and drive all music down the quality bin with low bitrate crud to feed through their crap headphones.
Freetards is a little bit evil but it really sums some people here up so well, PLEASE keep using it.
To posters who say they are offended: you're completely missing the point - aren't you making yourselves out to be victims a bit too easily?
I find it offensive that you take offense to be honest. You can stop being a Freetard quite easily - just stop making stupid arguments, like you deserve free music, free internet etc. I'm sure you can think clearly like any one else. That's a choice you have that handicapped people (I look after one myself) do not have.
Stop comparing yourself to people who have no choice about their circumstances, and really need help to do the basic things in life.
If that's the best you can do, it's pathetic.
I hate to say it guys but the whole "Freetard"/"Paytard" jingoism is a tad spasticated for such a reputable e-paper such as yourselves. This aside though the past five years we've been tracking the pirate trend has thrown up some useful conclusions.
Firstly people principally don't pay because they either find the cost of the product too expensive, i have ability to get things for free and therefore of course arn't going to bother paying (human nature) or they don't have the disposible income required to buy expensive cd's or even pay-per download music.
Secondly we all agree that technology has been the principle driver behind the "Freetard" revolution, even though we all also agree that we all used to copy tapes and cd's in physical form and that for most of us such a thing was not morally bankrupt. However the circumstances of the principle demographic have changed significantly. The majority of those downloading are usually firmly between the 16 - 30 and well educated age/social gap. This perticular demograhic which once had a fair amount of disposible income no longer does. Principally students which now incur huge debts and increasing rent, food prices can no longer afford to pay £16.99 a CD.
These are your typical muso's and they are not going simply give up music because they can't afford it. Seeing as they can't just pirate beer the only other thing they would tend to spend what disposible money they have on it is obviously easier to pirate music therfore thats the option. The sensible solution for music companies is to obviously give away free Homebrew alcohol kits and possibly Cannabis seeds. This would obviously then allow thier principle demograhic to re-invest in physical music sales.
Thirdly in response to this loss in its traditional demographic the music business has become paedophilic and is concentrating on churning out rubbish manufactured pop tripe to sell to the "little children" (o how they danced around stone henge). In tandem with this increase in pop tripe circa 1997 (i admit the internet didn't come into its own until circa 2000) onwards the Music labels have become increasingly belligerant towards the so-called "Freetards" this liturgical pressure upon the once prime now ex prime demographic of the labels has further alienated the labels from thier now disconnected ex prime demographic. Thus adding fuel to the "Freetards" fire.
Finally in order to squeeze as much money as possible from consumers the record companies lowered the royalty cut for all but the modonna's and u2's and and increased the high street pricing of CD's. when a cd costs 3 hours worth of earnings (based on the 5.00 - 6.00 minimum wage of the past decade) who in thier right mind would buy a CD, the truth is one artists CD is not worth 3 hours work, and for a part-timer/student (classic music lover) this is an untenable pricing scheme that has been imposed therefore further compelling them to free alternative. In this case both the consumer and the artist are getting screwed, and now also the record labels because they've gotten too greedy.
The only real solution as there is no point in crimanlising millions, but at the same time a real need to protect artists own wages we need to come up with a more community based system. The truth is people are not paying because of price and because there is a technologically simple way to get what you want for free without feeling guilty. So the solution for the artists is ride the wave, ditch the record companies start webpages, buy cheap home grade sound recording gear and instrements, get some ad banners ask for donations and see where it goes, they my not be able to drive Dodge Rams to the convience store but they will be a lot closer to thier fans, well economically anyways and then maybe they'll understand that music is not about making money. In all honesty if people have the urge to be creative they'll find away, most bands and musicians never get the fame-cash-money they just make music for the love of it. To be fair there is no way to stop the "Freetards" so the musicians will just have to join them and see if they can come up with a model tha will make sure though don't have to have day jobs.
If anyone can think of a way of stopping Downloads/Physical copying that is uncircumventable (bar murder/sociocide) then im sure the record company reps would love to hear from you !
If anyone has any idea how we can reconcile the appitite for free music and muscians rights i think all of us but the record comanpies would like to hear from you :)
"this is a group of canny businessmen with offshore bank accounts. And so they make hard-headed calculations, as canny businessmen should."
Explains their music, in my opinion. But there's a taste for everything...
Ah, the good ol' times when musicians were just that, and didn't waste their time doing "business"... They wasted their time doing sex, drugs and rock'n'roll (or their other genre), which was much more conductive to good creativity, it seems... <\joke>
Anyway, why the hell is the comment section open to begin with!? :-)
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How soon we forget the baby boomers paid upwards of three times for the same piece of music and Jazz lovers paid even more( from old Shellac 78's to Vinyl to Compact Cassette and then the CD version) in those halcyon days before the arrival of powerful home and portable computers could convert the music and transfer it in any form they chose including generating ring tones for their other mobile toys at the mere push of a finger !
And yet still the industry dragon was never sated , forever hungry and kept demanding more then their fair share of blood out of stone whilst figuratively allowing what seems to be cat and dog whipping grunge of singers out of tune or C! Rap to masquerade as the next generation of music to escape from the zoo as if it was a good idea at the time(didn't our parents say the same thing long ago too) ! Little wonder the market for music has declined for a number of well documented reasons reaching well over two thirds less in sales in real terms since the turn of the new century as other forms of amusement have accelerated past these old obsolete dinosaurs unable or unwilling to move with the times controlled by mindless trolls and bean counters and the push to extend copyright term limits and reach into every corner possible for the only source of income left as the lean industry killing winter looms in the closing autumn of their years !
What price a choice indeed ? , when they chose to ignore the only viable option at the close of the last century unable to see beyond their pile of beans or insatiable greed !
NIN was artless with what they were doing and I think it'll pay off in the long run as well. I dished out $5 for their album and I'm not even much of a fan -- but I certainly didn't regret it.
I just hope that they continue on with this method -- I think that more people will use this form of purchase as it becomes more well known, offsetting the 50/50 divide between freefuckers* who refuse to pay anything, and those who are willing to pay a fair fee for their music.
*Yes, I realize many of them probably are kids who do not have credit cards. Still, there is probably a good fraction of them who aren't kids and have the money, but still refuse. Fuckers.
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hi Pierre -
"The crowd of freetards use 'free' downloads as a preview for most of them, and they DO pay twice for the same stuff"
I think you mean "pay once". Well, some do, but many don't. And why "should" they?
Just one couple more point:
"So my definition of "freetard" is not someone who downloads now and again, I think most people do. It's someone who pretends there are no consequences, or that the consequences don't matter."
Seems quite fair, but very easy, as you exclude a very large proportion of the "free download" users -and I maintain that no download come for free. But at the same time you use the preformatted RIAA-like argumentation, which is that DRM-free dowloads (and especially P2P networks) are robbing the artists. Which is wrong at so many levels. It should be obvious now that a few experiments by several bands (RH, NIN, and others) proved that they actually make more money with this kind of distribution. Sure, unknown artists still need a label to "launch" them, but the big guys in the music industry stopped doing that ages ago. And they are the ones suing everybody on dubious bases. And if you're wanting to download an album by an obscure band, well, I wish you luck, you'll need it. I must also say that I don't "downloads now and again", as you put it, but very heavily, legally most of the time (from Jamendo amongst others) but also illegally (though my "illegal" downloads are almost exclusively albums that I already own, as I've been moving a lot, and 480+ CDs are not precisely easy to carry around by plane. Sure, I could have encoded them, but my employeer was not willing to give me an extra holiday week for that purpose, surprisingly).
"You can read that viewpoint pretty much everywhere."
How is this supposed to prove anything? I couldn't explain shortly why I'm reading El Reg, but you can be assured that it's not to find "viewpoint[s that I could see] pretty much everywhere".
Now enjoy your scotch, lucky Brit, for as soon as the technology's available, I'm downloading entire casks of scottish amber delight. (for a proof-of-concept preview, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRL1SeTJ1rk&feature=related ).
Jesus wept, you'd think that NIN, RH and now bloody Coldplay were the only bands to ever put any music out for free! I have become so sick of reading "Yeah well I got the RH album but I liked NIN better." or vice-versa.
WAKE UP NOW! There is a wealth of music from dozens of genres other than the premiere shoe-gazers cum Richard Bransons or some burk with a sequencer, a PC/Mac and too much time on his hands! Yes I appreciate that with their clout they are trying something slightly above a few free tracks on MySpace, but if you really want this stuff to work get out and contact struggling bands directly, ones who will receive the money directly and will actually use to provide you with more music you really enjoy, you get the genuine satisfaction that your money is actually making a difference.
If you genuinely like the work of people like Mr Yorke and Mr Reznor, please pay them, good on you, but if you want to help free the music in the long term, start at the grass roots, get on the band sites and go to the gigs, buy the merchandise directly, please don't keep falling for gimmicks.
"Honestly, if I really wanted some music and had no other choices than to pay at very least I'd just fire up guitar hero and actually interact with the music."
You seem to forget - radio is a promotional medium to try and allow you to listen to a record before you go out and buy it. A bit like the 30-second samples in iTunes, or the last.fm playlist function.
It would be like you working for a company who perpetually pays you peanuts and tells you that it's cos you're being 'tried out' - essentially what radio is doing for the music. The artists involved in making that music make virtually nothing from radio airplay - if anything it probably costs them to plug the record - essentially it's just a big advert. Ok, there is royalties for airplay, but it's nothing compared to the money made from a live show or a CD.
So justifying not paying for music 'because it's freely available anyway' is a bit like me walking into your house and stealing your TV because you left the door open, or taking your car keys and driving off in your car because 'it's freely available'.
Imagine if you put on a concert and sold tickets, except loads of people got in for free and saw your hard work without you being rewarded for it.
I don't agree with the record companies who mint huge amounts of profit out of the music industry, the end person who has made the music is the artist - who has sat in a recording studio or wherever, painstakingly putting this music together for you to hear.
What most people don't understand is that when you buy a CD you don't automatically get the copyright of the music - you buy a 'personal licence' to listen to that music when you want to. Just read the copyright blurb on the outer edge of the CD. The artist shares that music with you, and it's your personal copy. But you don't own that music - the artist does. When you rip it and bung it up as a torrent, and let the rest of the world copy it for free, you're essentially ripping off the artist who originally made the CD, and denying them some of their income.
For those of you who say 'Boo-Hoo - they make enough anyway' - some of them do. But that doesn't make it morally right. It would be like me dipping into your bank account and taking £20 every so often because 'you make enough anyway'. Is that morally right?
Put yourself in the shoes of the fledgling artist (ignoring Radiohead for a second who did it for ego reasons cos they needed to raise their profile - the album's shite even if I did buy it on CD!) - you don't have a job, apart from your passion to write music. You decide you want to share this with the rest of the world, but you have to make some money somehow, so you sell your CD via a small distributor and you make a couple of quid. Except you realise that one of your customers has placed the album on a torrent site, and it's being downloaded by the bucketload on the net by people, but for that you don't make a penny. So you may be popular, but totally penniless because you haven't made any money.
Ok, so that's an extreme example, but it does happen.
The problem here is that this attitude has caused people like the RIAA to get nasty with the end customers, which is a bit like biting the hand that feeds you. However, if we don't buy it one way, we'll get stung in another way. The French have put a tax on blank CD-R's which goes into a pot and gets shared amongst recording artists - almost a tax on copying. More and more issues like this will pop up unless we all play fair, which probably won't happen because at heart the world's full of selfish bastards who want everything for free. Shame the economy is totally fcuked.
Note - I don't work for the music industry any more, but have loads of friends who are in bands, and I just think it's a bit shitty our attitude towards freely stealing music.
Sorry. Rant over. As you were!
For a long time now people have copied and shared stuff. They always have and they always will. You can call them freetards but one way or another people will always fall into one of three categories:
1. Won't pay for owt
2. Pay for some stuff if they feel it's worth it, download some stuff that they're not that passionate about, sometimes buy stuff that they downloaded and liked.
3. Pay for everything
From my experience of talking to friends, family, work colleagues, and the odd person down the pub, most people fall into category 2.
So forget about the 1's as they won't change no matter what. And who cares about the 3's - let them spend their cash as they see fit. Oh and leave the 2's alone too as branding them criminals actually causes resentment that leads to less buying of stuff that's been downloaded.
Things are the way they are and this isn't going to change. Over and out.
Remember that MOST of the music we hear offline is "free" - yet ALL of it is paid-for.
Just because we don't put a coin in a slot every time, doesn't make us freetards and it doesn't mean the supply side isn't being rewarded.
Beware of anyone who wants you to focus solely on paying/not paying for chunks of digital music. They obviously don't want you to think about other methods of payment.
We all have big dreams in life, most of us end up working in small offices, or in manual labour, music is a hobby not an occupation. Music *was* only commercially viable when the rights holders still held the means of production and repoduction.
They no longer hold the means of repoduction and unlike the days of the tape we can now easily share millions of tracks in seconds thus pandering to the simple human need to have things for free.
The best thing for muscians to do is to do what the majority have always done, hold day jobs play for local audiences and above all get thier stuff on the net and and start there own digital distributions sites and hope people who can will donate.
I hate to be marxist about this but once you lose control over the rate and means of repoduction especially digital repoduction as a market/industry your in BIG trouble, but this economic darwinism for you, and it seems the "Freetards" are so technologically advanced and the industry can't counteract it, so in the long run its game over for commercial music. However this may mean an explosion in creativity and new music rather than the end of music if you think about it all the industry as been doing for years is restricting the range and genre of music for years and funneling crap through the to the consumer, maybe without the industry musicians will find themselves freed from commercial consideration,
On another point you made about muscians, do you think muscians that have "Made it" stop and think about how the majority of people (those who work for less than £20,000 per year) live and that one CD could mean 3 hours of thier lives in some god awful job they've ended up in ? You do of course realise the majority of muscians themselves work such jobs, as the majority of musicans arn't signed and probably never will be, they do it for the love the music and performance.
In the software world we've seen it proven that the free-software writers are more creative, more hardworking and generally produce better software when they are not restricted by protectionist companies who refuse to interoperate.
Finally why are you all soo worried about this, nature will play itself out and hopefully both artists and consumers will be better for it. Even if the industry side of music dies out there will always be music people :).
There has just got to be a "middle way" that has somehow not stabilised yet amongst people who are interested in acquiring music. Nobody wants to pay artificially high prices to the labels only to see artists getting none of the money. However I don't believe most people are cynical enough to use this as a justification for freetardism in its purest form; I believe most people do care about musicians' economic welfare even if only selfishly to ensure a continuing supply of the music they like.
It would help if major talent merely published an address at which they would accept money if you cared to send it (say paypal for those that like it.) Having then downloaded the latest by Whoever you could then send them a couple of quid to ease your conscience and they would still be up on the deal in comparison to their fraction of the purchase price if you had bought their CD.
The worst impact of freetardism is upon artists other than famous musicians. I'm a dancer and it's been common for instructors to teach a routine in a class then dance it themselves at the end allowing students to video that on their phones for freeze-frame review later when practicing the same steps. Recently I've found big-name teachers are still OK with this but with more reluctance and pleading with people not to load the video onto YouTube in case it ruins sales of their instructional DVD. As cam-phone video quality improves how long before they just won't do it anymore and we have to go back to making written notes after class :(
Personally I find it's all about convenience and speed not about cost - click-download-listen beats the hell out of trying to find the CD somewhere, is it in stock, wait for it to arrive, etc. etc.
because although I have downloaded a few tracks (way back in the Napster days), I always, always buy stuff on CD if I care about it (and if I don't care about it, I don't buy it or download it).
I do this for three reasons; firstly because I care about how music sounds and don't want to buy an already degraded album, secondly because I want a robust full quality archive copy of my music and finally because I do care that the artists I care about continue to earn a bit of money from their art and can afford to make some more (note that I *don't* care about Radiohead).
The trouble with the freetard mentality is that the art stops to matter, it's more a case of 'I can get it for nothing, it's available, so I'll have it'. I'd bet that vast majority downloaded tracks just spend their life transiting between peered hard drives, never actually getting played.
Andrew's beloved industry can't see the wood for the trees.
To get people pay you money you need to offer some value in return and target your product at people who have the money in the first place. The mass-produced talentless "oompa-oompa-oompa-pa" which is called "music" by the music industry is anything but. Especially in compressed, and/or DRM'ed form, injected directly into the brain through a pair of cheap disposable earphones. Neither the students and school-kids are the most affluent customer group.
If the ass.es of this world wanted to design a real business model as opposed to attempting to extort moneys on mass scale by manipulating the legal system they would have concentrated on quality of their own product.
The resources wasted on chasing grandmothers and underage downloaders would been much more effective if spent on educating kids on why a high quality recording sounds much better through a high quality system than through a boombox. Or why playing a lossy compressed MP3 on iPod connected to a pair of matchbox single-driver speakers cannot qualify as Hi-Fi.
Then, when these kids grow up and get a job they will go and buy the good quality copies of the stuff they've previously heard and liked as a freely downloaded MP3s.
But this is clearly too complicated for the simpleminded thugs from the ass.es, isn't it?
"once you lose control over the rate and means of repoduction especially digital repoduction as a market/industry your in BIG trouble, but this economic darwinism for you"
No, creators lost this control 100 years ago when electricity was invented. They still get paid, and it still feels like free to the audience.
You're deploying the argument-from-inevitability that Freetards use. (They do so because when they're honest, and argue that artists must lose the ability to be paid, most people tell them to sod off).
But there's nothing inevitable here - so using Marxist teleologies or psuedo Darwinian metaphors is just a way of kidding yourself.
This might help -
...and leave out the record review. A music critic you aren't.
On topic, clearly it was a marketing exercise. Who would ever think otherwise? Even new bands playing in the back of pubs only give away their music as a marketing exercise, so that the fans they build up will one day buy their albums, and more importantly pay to see them play Wembley and wear their t-shirts, as there's more profit in that these days.
I see nothing wrong with downloading In Rainbows for nothing, since they were clearly happy for people to do that. I would also have paid for it, if that was the way to get it.
The new business model is not in free music. It can't and it shouldn't be. It's in making that music accessible, maybe it's the NIN model of giving some but not all away. Maybe it's the Coldplay model of giving the singles away and selling the album. Maybe it's the Radiohead way of scrapping labels, then selling an album for £3. But then, who'd pay for the promotion and the stadium-filling video and flashing lights audiences demand?
I suspect the future is, in fact, with record labels selling music online and in record shops and the minority getting it for free. Like they have since the dawn of cassette.
is why artists have some divine right to be paid for being able to play a musical instrument in a way that doesn't sound (too much) like a cat being strangled. All previous examples of technology making an entire industry redundant are seen nowadays as inevitable, but obviously we haven't learned from history.
How many people get paid lots of money as scribes, copying books? The music companies are largely unnecessary in the era of the internet; rather, the current incarnation of the music industry is unnecessary. What will happen is that internet-based companies will start popping up as 'music brokers': a virtual marketplace where small artists offer their music. This system allows as many people as want to enter the market, and therefore the price of music will drop considerably. (The only reason that music is so expensive now is the system of high barriers to entry that the music industry imposes.)
In conclusion, I see no reason why someone who's decent with a guitar deserves a Ferrari, whereas someone who's an expert spoons-player doesn't. The answer will of course be 'because more people want to hear <insert random useless pop group here>'. The obvious response is that this desire was artificially imbued in people by a music cartel, that controls the music on the television, the radio, and in the shops.
Disclaimer: I own about fifteen music CDs, about thirty classical CDs, and about 400 movies. If CDs cost £3, I'd buy more.
The record company says so.
@Chris: "Categoricalimperativetards... ". No. Just read what you quoted - philosophy is not rocket science, it's free for all (sic). There are respectable objections which say the Categorical Imperative doesn't specify what is ethically right or ethically wrong to do, so it isn't itself a principle of moral conduct. The CI is a necessary condition of judgment, namely that what you decide must be something that any other rational being could also decide (to do or think) - but not itself a sufficient condition, i.e. it doesn't justify anything. Quoting Kant against the Freotards just gives them an excuse for some silliness.
@AC: "Perhaps I'm a special case but really, do you honestly think that everyone that downloads would pay for music?"
Hail to the Thief! The problem is that those who do not "honestly do" may also not "honestly think" - and may in fact do the former because of the latter. What you don't tell us is if you go to concerts, or you just think you should (firing up Guitar Hero does not count; firing up the stage would).
@Steve: "Paytard: someone who happily pays a vastly inflated price to a dodgy cartel". Robinson Crusoe, I presume. I wonder if there is a connection between nihilist miserablism in music and any such attitudes on the part of its consumers (neither "proponents" nor "enthusiasts" seems right) - the kind which sees the enemy's enemy as a friend, ergo Vulture Central supports the Rec Ass of Am. But, no, such an idea is quite unfashionable. I guess you never saw Kermit the Frog sing "Green", you got Crazy Frog instead.
@ Kirk Bannister: "So the solution for the artists is ride the wave, ditch the record companies start webpages, buy cheap home grade sound recording gear and instrements,..."
And progressively rock backwards about 80 years. Arghhhh. Sing the pain of the myth of progress - lots of mileage there.
"...get some ad banners ask for donations and see where it goes,.."
Nowhere possibly, if the Orphan Works Act is going to be abused. To emulate your rhetoric, one useful conclusion we can draw from recent history is that if an opportunity exists for Big Business, someone will step forward in the confidence that regulations on their activities are honored more in the breach than the observance. If Big Business is ready to act dishonorably, people can hardly be expected not to take steps to redress the balance of power.
I still think the Radiohead album was excellent. But then, I merely used the download as a more legal way to let the physical release fall off the internet in advance of being properly available, just as I did with the previous few 'head albums. And, indeed, the NIN one where I exploited the CC license to legally make it fall off the back of a Usenet feed until the CD was out there.
So Orlowski is absolutely correct about this, even if I disagree with his use of language and taste in music.
Spot on comment. Radioplay (and NIN, Coldplay) can afford to do this marketing exercise because (1) they are already wealthy (2) they already have a fanbase (3) they can make considerable money from touring anyway. The problem is for smaller bands, who if the "freetards" have their way is all we'll have left once the conventional music industry goes bust. This will mean no decent size live music venues as bands will not be able to get big enough to draw a large enough audience to fill them. You'll end up with a few amateur outfits playing in the backroom of your local pub, with the shite soundsystems and bugger all sense of occasion that currently entails.
Having been in a semi-pro band, it annoyed the hell out of me to see our CDs on Napster. We streamed songs on our website, so it wasn't as if people couldn't hear what we sounded like without buying the CDs (this was before Myspace, which has countered that freetard excuse for why they download even more). What we saw was a drop in our CD sales at gigs - something that was too dramatic a change once Napster took off for it to be coincidental. Before we had just about broken even on touring with merchandise sales, of which the CDs were the major earner (T-shirts didn't have a decent profit margin as we ordered them in smallish batches of 500, and on supporting tours the headliner often demanded a cut of our merchandise sales). It got to the point where we simply didn't have enough of our own money to cover the difference in what we were paid by promoters and earning from declining merch sales versus the cost of touring.
>Something I don't understand... is why artists have some divine right
>to be paid for being able to play a musical instrument
Something I don't understand, is why when people like something so much that they form massive groups doing back flips to get it without paying, yet bafflingly they also claim that it's worthless...
If you want it then it has value, and the maker should be rewarded for it.
If you don't want it, then it has no value and this wouldn't be an issue.
But you're still stuck in this way of thinking that music has some inherent value attached to it.
From the minute were born to the minute we die we frequently encounter music without paying for it and music is something that's been in existence and part of human culture for almost as long as man has been man.
The only thing the international record industry does is standardise the music we listen to across the entire world, simultaneously destroying local musical culture.
There is this idea that we need RIAA studio produced music, that it's somehow essential to our lives and as such we must protect the RIAA studios and the artists as they stand now. That's rubbish, if the RIAA and all it's bands died tommorrow we wouldn't suddenly have a world without music, we'd have local bands playing to local people, those with some talent nowadays have the option of having their music spread worldwide via the internet. Rather than have the RIAA mandate what we should listen to we'd instead be listening to music that people as a whole feel is worth listening to. That's not to say some of the RIAA bands wouldn't still be good enough to get out there but they'd be doing so through their own hard work.
Do people really think that old "Think of the aspiring artists" sob story really has any kind of influence on the rest of us? God no. I'd love to be an academic science/maths researcher and I accept that if I ever make it to that goal that I'm going to be doing it because I love it and certainly not for the money when it's so relatively low paid!
Artists really believe they have a god given right to work only a total of a few weeks of the year and become millionaires as a result? They think they shouldn't have to work hard 37hrs a week whilst pursuing their long term goals on the side like the rest of us? Get a grip, life aint easy, don't expect anyone to make it so for you and don't expect anyone to hand you your dream job on a plate.
"If anyone has any idea how we can reconcile the appeitite for free music and musicians rights i think all of us but the record companies would like to hear from you :)"
Well, what about moving away from the whole recorded music sphere, and paying to go and see a band play live. Seeing a half-decent band play - especially one you haven't seen before can often be incredibly satisfying and moving, and give you much more musical 'payback' than listening to the best produced recording from a plastic band from the corporations.
The financial transaction is a nice local one, the experience is a personal one and everybody's happy.
It needs some of the bands/stars to spend less time promoting themselves on telly/radio etc, and more time actually singing and playing there instruments to people...and at smaller venues where the punter doesn't have to fork out £80+ for a ticket plus the train fare to the nearest big city.
Let's get it back to basics.
I'm as guilty as the next man of not seeing as much live music as I used to, but for me that's because there's a huge empty space between your pub-blues-band and your Wembley-Crusty-Reunion gig....and that empty space is where the sort of gigs I want to see should be happening.
Regardless of your views on marxist macro-economics the truth is the simple law of supply and demand comes into play here, basically if you can get a totally free supply of music the demand for paid music is going to dwindle, paid-for cannot comepete with free.
Infact those that are buying CD's and such like now are doing so not because of free/pay but because of emotional or aestetic reasons, As long as the demand for the "Feeling" of physical music exists people will pay for that feeling but don't kid yourselves that they are paying because its a moral choice, it's the feelinfg of owning it.
Although nothing is inevitable if the record companies do not change thier tac and sale with the wind rather than into it what do you think will be the outcome ? surely if they continue to make themselves look like money grabbers people will discontinue thier support.
When it comes to the Artists i think in the long run they can only benefit from the market changing, afterall the majority of the musicians in the 21st century cannot make money out of thier hobby because of the record industry not inspite of it. If people can get something for free and it's easy to do then people are always going to do that, simply put the abundance and ease of supply means people are going to gorge themselves.
I know using Darwinian and Marxists meta-narritives is a tad 1970's but it's a nice framework to work in and there are parrelles with the Darwinian explantion for obesity in countries with an over-supply of food. It's simple enough i think and explains it rather well. I'm not saying that artists should give up an go home, what im trying to say is don't piss into the wind.
Dav i think your pretty much right on this, as with most things in the Corporate age PR is the driver behind much of the demand.
I also think that for me alot of music has always been about the social aspect, going to the gigs, talking about bands, talking about sounds, finding friends through musical taste, the feeling of being part of a thing thats what makes me pay £12 to get into a club or £5 to go see small local bands down the pub. Traditionally bug music labels have only served to stifle the creative endevours of the vast majority of musicians. I think one things is clear an industry centered around artists having full control over distribution and equipment and a real free market system where bands can mark up prices and fans can the decide to pay or make a concession is a far better system. What would be really interesting is some kind of Stock-Exchange system based around artists they could float themselves on the exchange, people could by shares in the band, and the music could be free? anyone else see that as viable ?
"But you're still stuck in this way of thinking that music has some inherent value attached to it."
Only in the same way that a house has a value, because someone designed it, took time and skill to build it, you need somewhere to live, and had a preference for the look and location of the house you chose to live in above the cheaper and inferior houses you could have bought.
>But you're still stuck in this way of thinking that music has some
>inherent value attached to it.
If it didn't you wouldn't want it!
>Rather than have the RIAA mandate what we should listen to
They don't, they produce something, and you want it, or you wouldn't have to justify nicking it... Although your rant appears to be more that you don't like them because they earn more money than you, and that you think your chosen career has a greater value to the world?
As has been pointed out if it had no value no-one would be trying to steal it, let alone actually pay for it. But they do, so it must.
Unless you are all being philosophical in which case nothing has any inherent value as such. "Value" is simply an arbitrary concept placed by the purchaser based on supply and demand metrics.
As for music being all around us for free, that is true to a point. And yet it is not really true. OK, you can listen to music on the radio whenever you want. Even ignoring the electricity and hardware costs you certainly don't have free (as in freedom) music as you are limited to the music the DJ chooses to play and you may have to listen to many adverts as part of the "deal".
However given that the radio station is funded through either a license fee or adverts you don't get free (as in beer) either. You pay the fee or you pay the advertising through increased costs in other areas.
The same is true for "free" music in shopping centres (have to be costed somehow), or any other secondary broadcaster.
The only time you will get to listen to music completely cost exclusive is when the chav on the bus / in his plastic Nova has his iPod / stereo volume up so high that you have no choice but to hear it.
I buy very little music (mostly old songs from my youth from iTunes when I am drunk), mainly because there is little good music being made nowadays, and I object to the prices being charged. I don't think this gives me the right to download for free though.
Anon, is kind of right it has no inherent value. It does have a market value, that is that it has been commoditised. Tribal music in 17th Century Africa was not a commidity in modern terms, it had no fixed monetary value.
Houses are much the same if i build a mud hut it has no intrensic value, if i give it a financial value based on what i think i deserve for it thats a market value. The difference with housing is that it has practical value it offers shelter form the rain and is an aid in survival, this is why people still in principle fight over land. Diamonds are minerals with no intrinsic value, without anthropoligical valuation Diamonds have no value and are worthless. Badger warrens have practical value and badgers will fight over them but as far as i am aware there is no anthropological monetery valuation of them.
the real point is <and give me a second to remember it> that when the consumer doesn't control value fluctations based on REAL demand and the Corporations in that perticular market are activly creating artifical demand and also activly price fixing you are bound to get a situation in where the consumer will ultimatly turn to an alternative. It's not just in the music industry, the housing industry in England has for the past 20 years artificially upped the value of houses, many estate agents have been doing this for years which has created a sort of pricing bubble which will invetibly burst. The point is companies are meant supply what the consumer wants not to artificially control what should be a free market .
Music should have a five year copyright, then beocme public domain, Thats another thing we've let people get away with for too long. No more goddamn trashy compilation cd's, my god ! i mean how many more hits of the 70's do we need? Or it just me or does 70 year copyrights seem totally wrong .
@Kirk - That's the third time you've repeated yourself. It doesn't make your argument any better, your spelling and logic get worse each time.
"that perticular market"
"was not a commidity"
"no intrensic value"
Please use a spell-checker.
"the real point is <and give me a second to remember it>"
Take your time, kiddo. Take your time.
I'm afraid the arguments here as pointless, as freeloading downloaders specialise in justifying having their cake and eating it too.
Apparently we are to comprehend a scenario where copies of music should be free, because they have no value in themselves, but should be also on their ipod because they like it and, may, maybe, possibly, pay to see the band live one day, or buy a t-shirt or something, or buy it for real; honest.
At the same time we have the personal opinion that most modern music is rubbish anyway, and that's not the fault of the people *forced* to buy it, but the fault of the eeeevil music industry who are suppressing the good music through their actions. So it's ok for everyone to take the rubbish music without paying. Exactly how or why either side would be doing this is never quite explained. The music industry would appear to me to have a definite incentive to make music that people actually want to buy of their own free will, and why would people want to take music that's rubbish anyway?
It's totally shifting justification that can't ever be pinned down and lacking any attempt at honesty. The bottom line is "Everyone likes something for nothing, and I take free music because I can. Let someone else pay. Now, what web of justification can I weave to make this appear to be fair?"
This may be a touch abstract, but what the hell.
>Badger warrens have practical value and badgers will fight over them but as
>far as i am aware there is no anthropological monetery valuation of them.
We value badgers though, because money is spent studying and protecting them despite the fact that they contribute to disease in farm animals (varying assessments of that aside). We could calculate this cost in monetary terms and state that this is the value of a badger and since badgers require sets their sets have a value to people as well as to badgers.
That you don't put coins or notes into badger sets does not mean that badgers are free or that they are worthless.
The music business is all about marketing. it's about getting people to like your product. Faced with an insurmountable barrage of wannabes, with varying amounts of talent, instead of selecting the most talented, the business instead goes looking for what it thinks that people want, then tries to match up what it has to that perceived demand.
This is why we're faced with endless derivatives. Do you really think that Kate Nash would have made it big if Lily Allen hadn't got the ear of a biz exec? Nash has an uninteresting voice with which she says nothing, and yet _because_ Allen has apparently demonstrated a market, the execs start releasing anything that sounds vaguely familiar. As it is also with other "followers": Westlife from Boyzone, Busted from McFly (or was it the other way around? Who can tell?)
Yes, I've picked on pop trash for my examples, but it's repeated everywhere, through the indie sector, with the legion of identikit rappers, R&B artists, wherever you look, there's a trailblazer followed by imitators, all chasing the same few bucks.
I don't think that the "freetards" vs "paytards" argument has any real weight, and in perpetuating it, we as consumers are allowing the business to avoid the issue. It's not about people "stealing" music, it's about there being a genuine lack of good new original music to choose from. Consumers are inspired to steal music because they've had their fingers burned too many times. Travis's record label are masters of this: release a catchy single to sell an album of dirge, and I for one have had enough of it. Again, the distribution technology isn't important here, it's the quality of the product.
I'll pay for something good. I've got over 700 CDs, and more than 150 DVDs. So, give me a lo-fi version for me to check, and then I'll buy the product. If you want my money, you have to give me a compelling reason to buy your product. THAT is what marketing's about, not institutionalised bandwagoneering.
Make people pay before the content is produced.
Here is an example:
Before a band makes an album they need to build up a following. They do this by playing clubs and bars and pub and whatever they can get their hands on. If they're good people will like them.
So now you have a following. these are people who will pay to hear your stuf (e.g. entry to a gig).
Some kind soul sets up a website and charges a nomial fee (to pay for hosting, etc.) for bands to sign up to it.
Your band that has a following signs up. The website allows bands (and movie makers and games companies) to put up a project page that allows people to donate money to enable the project to be made.
People donate money to your band. You use the money to get studio time and produce a single or album.
The album can then be released under some licence that says you can use the music for personal (so not for broadcast or advertising, etc.) use without charge, and has a torrent set up for it.
The band gets paid, and the freetards get their music.
Marillion get people to pay up front. I've never knowingly heard their music, but they seem to be doing ok.
Also this means that there are no more labels producing music like breakfast cereal.
Yes there are obvious security flaws here, and there are other ways of doing this. But the best way to get money to artists is to give it to them directly, and the people who pay for the music are the people who want to hear it. If you don't want to hear it you don't pay for it. That's a more realistic "dawinistic" (yuck) approach.
Sorrying due to state-education my spelling is dire, and spell-checkers are just a cheat, as long as you understood me, then the cycle of communication was successful, I maybe repeating my points, but i think they are valid enough, and you havn't attempted to add anything to the debate about new models of funding for artists. Also i don't think i've repeated myself really that much i've just been replying to comments.
Gav i don't dispute the idea that Freebooters will use any excuse for "getting something for nothing and thier chicks for free". I've sold most of my CD's but kept the ones i actually liked, all of my MP3's are rpiied form my CD collection. Overall i have about 400 MP3's from those CD's which i listen to. I find the majority of commercial music to be of no value to me, but i'm just one consumer we all have a free choice. If people are freely choosing to download for free and we have no real way of stopping them technologically or legally what do you suggest we do?
There are two seperate concerns here, one is regarding the mass piracy and how that will eventually have detrimental affect on people who make music. The second concern is that Record Companies and thier associated bodies and organizations that support them have monopolised the market, manipulated the consumer and legaliesed thier way into exploiting the artist.
Even if the record industry was all flowers and hippies if people can get music for free they would, whats to stop them, people have a much easier time of stealing off people who they don't know or who they percieve to be unfairly well off. We talk about fairness and how these artists are getting nothing for thier hard work. It seems to me that we are missing the idea of social justice here, there are people out there who do critical jobs who are low paid, i'm thinking about "Waste Disposal Engineers" without them we all be dead of disease by now i mean look what happened in Milan when they went on strike. Yet we don't see the need to pay them millions are year for a job that arguibly is up there with nursing and teaching and way above musician. Now if only PR companies could make celebrities out of bin men lol. However in reality music has become a massive industry based on the simple fact that music makes people happy which is also i pretty important job !.
Maybe the solution is to have somekind of stock-exchange/market run buy the artists, but maybe also a big part of the solution is to remove the big labels all together and have small local labels, get the people who are freeloading the music to actually meet the artists get to know them, you'd feel way more guilty for stealing off a friend ! of course that all depends on how nice the band members are :D.
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4 Quotes I've enjoyed so far & then 4 points from me:
1/ "...the headliner often demanded a cut of our merchandise sales." - by MattW
2/ "The only thing the international record industry does is standardise the music we listen to across the entire world, simultaneously destroying local musical culture. [...] if the RIAA and all it's bands died tommorrow we wouldn't suddenly have a world without music, we'd have local bands playing to local people, those with some talent nowadays have the option of having their music spread worldwide via the internet." - by AC Thursday 1st May 2008 11:04 GMT
3/ "Seeing a half-decent band play - especially one you haven't seen before can often be incredibly satisfying and moving, and give you much more musical 'payback' than listening to the best produced recording from a plastic band from the corporations." - by Spbmssen
4/ "As long as the demand for the "Feeling" of physical music exists people will pay for that feeling but don't kid yourselves that they are paying because its a moral choice, it's the feelinfg of owning it." - by Kirk Bannister
1/ I'm 29. I've got approximately 1000 CDs, 100-odd LPs, 100-odd 7"s + x amount of tapes in a box. All paid for. I've got lees than 10 copied CDs, less than 10 allofmp3 DLs + x-amount of copied tapes from way back when. I've not downloaded a single track from p2p, thepiratebay or wherever so my conscience is clear. Even if that does make me a paytard. I'm the on with racks of CDs not the one with a crashed HDD and a bunch of lost music files that were never listened to anyway.
2/ The allofmp3 downloads model is the only one that can work. Price based on audio quality makes some sense. But the whole thing was a faff. id3 tags, artwork images, proper filenames etc were all an arse that I'd rather not have to worry about. Play.com was similar, but more expensive. I will continue to buy my £5CDs for the forseeable future (mostly AmazonMarketplace or via my Fabric subscription) with the odd £5+ purchase splurge at an independent shop. Just being in HMV/Zavvi for more than 5 mins is a truly horrible experience these days.
3/ One of the best performances for me lately was Dave Acari at the basement of Nice And Sleazy's. Less than a fiver entry. Blistering performance. Good choice of drinks at sensible prices and served in a glass. The biggest live disappointment for me lately has been Smashing Pumpkins at the SECC. £40-odd for a ticket. Soulless half-full venue. £3.50 for a can of beer (one choice of lager) served in a plastic tumbler. And unneccesarily-abrasive-toward-the-audience 'banter' in between a laclustre performance.
4/ I see normally go to at least one gig a week. Maybe a third are never to be seen again sub-£5 jobs. A third will be established but not especially 'mainstream' £5-15 gigs. The other third are established acts (often past their prime) with tickets at £15+. The £15+ concerts are normally much larger and as a consequence, unless you can hack getting crushed at the front, the experience is nowhere near as immersive as the basement club gig.
Now for the flame:
>"Only in the same way that a house has a value, because someone designed it, took time and skill to build it, you need somewhere to live, and had a preference for the look and location of the house you chose to live in above the cheaper and inferior houses you could have bought." - by censored
Nope. I draw houses. The houses get built. There's nothing I can practiucally do to stop someone taking a copy of the design and building another house, without me getting a cut. For "design" read "song". For "house" read "CD".
Make of these points what you will but one fact should stand tall: AS LONG AS MTV CRIBS EXISTS, THE RIAA WILL BE SEEN TO BE CRYING WOLF. End of.
The 'Music Indusrty' needs to get it's own house in order and the rest will follow. My first quote (MattW) makes this abundantly clear. I mean fookin 'ell - I wouldn't asking our office cleaner for a cut of her wages!
Andrew: "Even the most inventive major label marketing genius with the biggest budget would have struggled to get such an indifferent "product" to the top of the charts on both sides of the Atlantic."
It's one thing to have an opinion, it's quite another to make such sweeping assertions based on your own personal tastes. You sound like an overweened NMEer.
I bought the "low-bitrate version" for £8, 128Mbps is quite sufficient for me, and I rate the album as only minutely inferior to "Kid A", which IMO makes it a bit of a masterpiece. I suspect the more likely reason it achieved such success is that many people felt similarly, rather than it being down to a canny marketing lark fooling massed ranks of simpletons.
It's a pity Radiohead aren't continuing with the experiment, I thought it was a fantastic idea, far preferable to CD purchases from which the band get a pittance while financing their record company to subject us to G4, The Pussycat Dolls, etc.
People only have a limited amount of attention. Most of the people who have heard our band (Tinyfish) have said "Hey, that sounds really good!" - but you need something like a record company if you want more than a few hundred people to hear it. Or spend all your time promoting it to the world (I'm reminded of the Blues Brothers driving around with a loudspeaker on top of the car...)
It's just a shame the record companies don't take more chances rather than just slavishly capitalise on their few successful happy accidents.
'So my definition of "freetard" is not someone who downloads now and again, I think most people do. It's someone who pretends there are no consequences, or that the consequences don't matter. This creates a sense of entitlement that becomes self-reinforcing, and culminates in the view that art doesn't matter, it's just another compiler switch. You can read that viewpoint pretty much everywhere.'
Sorry but isn't having a sense of entitlement to a living because you are an artist, so you are going to lobby politicians to impose insane restrictions on everyone else's natural right to copy your work self reinforcing ? As far as old and new business models are concerned, when recording was invented artists made their living from live performances and saw expensively recorded and distributed music as a means of promoting live performances. Then there was a brief few decades before everyone was able to copy recorded music for zero cost during which selling recorded music became worth more to musicians than selling performances. During this brief period, putting on subsidised performances was used as a means of promoting the sale of recordings. And so the wheel has turned full circle.
Call those like myself who campaign for preservation of the ancient right of everyone to copy what we like for non-commercial purposes "freetards" if you wish to insult our intelligence. But some of us have thought through the consequences, and dispute your apparently arbitrary assumption to perpetual entitlement in respect of the manufacturers of buggy whips.
This isn't just about whether art matters as you claim, an assertion with which I happen to agree. It's also about whether freedom matters; the freedom to share music you like with family and friends and the freedom not to have your personal computing equipment and network connections arbitrarily spied upon and acting as agents in a copyright-police state against you. If you don't understand this just look into the internal design of the Vista operating system until you do understand, and start following the proposals being made to engage your internet service providers as active agents in spying upon your online activity.
Musicians can't control the distribution of their recordings; that battle was lost long ago. But providing access to lucrative live performances is a market inherently within their control.
>Call those like myself who campaign for preservation of the ancient right of
>everyone to copy what we like for non-commercial purposes "freetards" if
>you wish to insult our intelligence."
I doubt it's possible to insult your intelligence.
"everyone else's natural right to copy your work"
What "natural right" do you have to someone else's work!
Do I have a natural right to pinch everything you've ever done? Have you even done anything I might want?
"the freedom to share music you like .."
The freedom to make money out of your own work and not have some sponging freetard just pinch it, because he apparently believes he has some "ancient" right to it?
"What will happen is that internet-based companies will start popping up as 'music brokers': a virtual marketplace where small artists offer their music. This system allows as many people as want to enter the market, and therefore the price of music will drop considerably."
Do you mind telling us which horse will win the next Grand National, too?
Seriously, the internet favours big businesses. I often buy from sites like Amazon, but rarely buy online from small specialists.
The internet doesn't support small businesses, because People Don't Trust Small On-Line Business. And sadly that's understandable -- the net is crawling with fraudsters, phishers and other scum.
Internet music supports... iTunes and eMusic. And that's about it.
All we'll end up with is new big players with new small artist payout, as the photography community has already discovered. (see also: Getty)
To quote from another of your articles - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/05/01/ascap_aol_real_yahoo/
"Yahoo! had reached an agreement with the four biggest RIAA members - but stalled when it came to paying the composers and songwriters."
Looks like there are bigger "freetards" than filesharers that are ripping off artists!
'What "natural right" do you have to someone else's work!'
The same right that I have to read my Bible. Because my Bible would not be available to me if the early Christians who copied it had not assumed such a right existed, i.e. to copy it without having to ask permission. All ancient literature that is still available to us has been made available by means of copying, because papyrus and paper rot and disintegrate with time and information on perishable materials has to be copied for it to remain available.
"Do I have a natural right to pinch everything you've ever done? Have you even done anything I might want?"
The programs I write are all made available for free download through my website under a copyleft license. If you want to setup a community currency you might want to use them. I have a Sudoko solver as well if you want. As you don't deprive me of the copy I use and which is of value to me by taking another copy for yourself, you do not take anything from me by copying one of my programs and using it yourself.
The value of my programs to me is primarily my own use of them and the fact my students can learn from them and from my having written them. The more people who use them the more this helps my ideas spread, and the greater the value my programs have to me.
'The freedom to make money out of your own work and not have some sponging freetard just pinch it, because he apparently believes he has some "ancient" right to it?'
You have not established that copying is the same as stealing. Did you start believing this because those who want you to imagine that copyright has a moral as opposed to a pragmatic purpose claimed that these two clearly very different things are the same ? The seventh commandment "thou shalt not steal" doesn't cover copying, because copying isn't theft as it doesn't deprive the owner of the original copy of anything they have. Those who don't want to let anyone else copy their work are welcome to keep this secret if what they want is to keep it just for themselves.
The ancient right to copy I refer to existed because laws denying this in some circumstances are very recent. I'm not opposed to all copyright, but the current copyright laws, by going so far beyond their original stated purpose of encouraging creative work to the point of discouraging this*, have brought the concept of copyright into widespread public disrepute.
* Copyright doesn't generally need to be any longer than 5 years to encourage creative work, (with arguable exceptions for very narrow classes of work up to a maximum of 20 years). No artist has ever claimed to me that they created financially motivated work only on the basis of expected sales more than 5 years after publication. Much creative work is discouraged by overlong copyright periods, e.g. in connection with local history, because the copyright holders of essential photographs etc. can no longer be traced, but might still object to reuse and sue reusers and historical preservers.
Richard, I can see why you're being purposefully obtuse: your argument is a fundamentally selfish and negative one. You're asking creators to give up a right. Any more rights you'd like people to give up? How about habeus corpus, or the right to a jury trial? I'm sure Nu Lab can arrange it for you.
In this thread you can't seem to decide whether to turn the clock back to 1850, or 50BC.
First off, if you want to draw flimsy moral authority from history, go for it, I wouldn't but thats just me.
I'm a paid developer for a large consumer electronics firm, the right of s/copy/theft/g you claim would put my employer at commercial disadvantage leaving me less able to support myself, in effect you *steal* my job security.
Secondly, you have no *right* to the fruits of my labor.
As an unpaid GPL developer, I've chosen to *gift* my time to the project because I can, and gift my work *gratis* to man+dog because doing that costs nothing and feels good.
Without the creator having ownership and a means to exploit that ownership, there is no way to altruistically donate the created work.
" your argument is a fundamentally selfish and negative one. "
But I'm happy to make my own intellectual property freely available. My students pay for my courses and anyone can download my programs and notes gratis based on libre copyleft licensing. What I'm pointing out is the lack of moral purpose behind the idea of copyright. I accept a more limited pragmatic purpose behind commercial copyright, but this doesn't extend to non-commercial copying, or copying after the short time period required to meet the pragmatic purpose of copyright.
For a journalist, how long is it before yesterday's news loses its economic value ? And you imagine I will buy the idea that you need copyright protection of 70 years or longer for yesterday's news ! It's not as if your business model isn't similar to mine. I don't have to make incremental payments to read your Register articles and you don't attempt to sell them to me this way. Your creative outputs are supported on the back of site advertising revenue. Mine are supported on the back of student course fees.
Recording companies can whine about the Internet as long as they like, just as buggy whip manufacturers could whine about the automobile until they decided to give up whining long enough to rethink their business. I've been listening to a lot more live music recently. Listening to recorded music just isn't the same and never will be. All it takes for musicians to be able to work professionally is for geeks and journos and others like me and you to get out a bit more and be willing to pay to see good music live at a price which can no longer be subsidised by the sale of recordings.
As to asking people to give up a right, how about my right to privacy ? My right not to have my computer and network connections spied upon because someone thinks their claimed copyright overrides my right to privacy ? Until a few years ago you had to be the owner of a significant technical investment (a printing works or record pressing plant) to be able to reproduce printed work or recorded music at reasonable cost. Copyright law affected the activities of so few people that everyone else took very little notice. The rest of the population who couldn't afford printed copies of written work continued to copy as much as they could be bothered non-commercially using ink on paper, and if we couldn't afford pressed records then we could still copy a song by remembering it and singing to and with our friends entirely legally.
And so you are now claiming that the artist's moral right to income creates an obligation, no longer upon just a tiny number of printing and record press owners, but upon the entire population, to discontinue what we have done non-commercially since the dawn of history ? I dispute your view that the rest of the population are under any such moral obligation. This isn't as you claim because my "argument is a fundamentally selfish and negative one" . It is because the rest of the population has not been persuaded to give up the fundamental human right to engage in non-commercial copying within our abilities and means which we have always done and will always continue to do.
"Any more rights you'd like people to give up? How about habeus corpus, or the right to a jury trial?" Andrew - it's you that is arguing for everyone to give up fundamental human rights by stopping doing what we have done since time immemorial, not me. The thing that surprises me is that you clearly are not even a beneficiary yourself of the rights you are arguing that we should all give up in exchange for assumed moral rights that benefit a much smaller group of more privileged people.
Please allow me a fair use quote from Eric Clapton's "The Autobiography" (Century 2007): "The music scene as I look at it today is little different from when I was growing up. The percentages are roughly the same - 95% rubbish, 5% pure. However, the systems of marketing and distribution are in the middle of a huge shift, and by the end of this decade, I think it's unlikely that any of the existing record companies will still be in business. With the greatest respect to all involved, that would be no great loss. Music will always find its way to us, with or without the business, politics, religion or any other bullshit attached. Music survives everything, and like God, it is always present. It needs no help, and suffers no hindrance. It has always found me, and with God's blessing and permission, it always will". Thanks Eric, for making my point with far more eloquence than I ever could.
Andrew, if I have not yet succeeded in persuading you that there is a sound moral, artistic and economic case to the opposing side of your argument, perhaps you could investigate and write an article on why it is that so many of it's greatest beneficiaries so dislike the only part of the music industry that is threatened by non-commercial copying ? I for one will be very interested in what you have to say about this when you have looked into it to the extent I know you to be capable.
>What I'm pointing out is the lack of moral purpose behind the idea of copyright.
There's the "I made it it's mine, not yours" one.
>I accept a more limited pragmatic purpose behind commercial copyright, but this
>doesn't extend to non-commercial copying,
What's non-commercial copying? You mean they don't charge for it? It still erodes the value of the work.
Or do you mean they wouldn't have paid for it anyway so no loss?
The problem there is that if everyone can get a copy for free why would anyone pay for it? The point where you can safely say I wouldn't pay that much for it is gradually lowered.
>or copying after the short time period required to meet the pragmatic
>purpose of copyright.
Now you're in a hole, there is a time period, you just feel that it should be shorter.
Why even your 5 years? Why not 5 minutes?
That's like the bunch who object to price saying "if it were 1 pound I'd buy it rather than nick it" why do they stop at a pound?
Your argument is selfish, you attach no value to the work of others despite the fact that you obviously want them to make it, you don't want them to make money from it.
"What's non-commercial copying? You mean they don't charge for it? It still erodes the value of the work."
Work only has value based on the commerce that can occur around it. Buggy whip manufacturing ceased to have commercial value with the invention of the car and music distribution is ceasing to have value due to the existence of the Internet. The moral posturing of buggy whip manufacturers didn't change the economic realities on the ground either. This doesn't mean music has no commercial value, because various other rights (e.g. use of music played on the radio, in live performances and in shopping malls etc.) are still capable of being packaged and sold.
"Now you're in a hole, there is a time period, you just feel that it should be shorter."
It's not me that's in the hole. It isn't musicians if Eric Clapton's belief in the future of music is worth listening to. Those who are in the hole are the recording companies who are no longer needed to distribute what the musicians choose to record. No-one is arguing for free entry to live performances and those with exceptional talent who create content many people enjoy will continue to find a way to make a living doing what they do best.
"Why even your 5 years? Why not 5 minutes?"
5 minutes would not be long enough an incentive to encourage anyone to create new work. No artist ever chose to create new work because of sales they expected to make more than 5 years after publication. Few artistic works are of any commercial interest more than 5 years after publication. The few creators of works which are of interest for more than 5 years are in an exceptionally privileged position. They will have consequently earned enough so that the public who gives them this privilege by tolerating limited copyright in law can expect something in return for forgoing their ancient right to copy when the copyright period is over.
Copyrights have no existence outside law. This law only affected the behavior of a tiny minority until a few years ago. All law is a political compromise reflecting the balance of power between those who have an interest in the matter as opposed to a moral absolute. Since when did the majority who used to have to pay for content which they can now very easily distribute for themselves have no interest in the form this law takes?
"Your argument is selfish, you attach no value to the work of others despite the fact that you obviously want them to make it, you don't want them to make money from it."
If you intend to enforce the disputed rights you claim to exist by spying upon other people's private communications your argument is despotic. If you don't then you are howling at the moon. Why should being an artist give someone a right to make a living independently of the market conditions surrounding their work and balanced rights granted by democratically acceptable laws ? And In what sense does being granted a special legal privilege give the minority beneficiaries of this privilege the right to spy on the computer and network connections of the majority to enforce special privilege granted by politicians to the minority ?
Answers on a postcard please - obviously if you use an envelope it's because you must have something to hide.
Whether you think copying music is right or wrong, jonB, Richard, Andrew the simple fact is that people are doing it and there may never be a technical way to stop them.
We should move past the "Stop the Pirates" bullshit and try and find someway to reconcile peoples hunger for free recorded music with peoples right to make money off thier creation.
Horse > Barn Door > Bolted
A few off-topic humorous (well, supposed to be) comments of mine didn't make it past the iron-fisted moderation. I guess I'll have to behave this time.
I'm really opposed to the "paytard" approach, because the money doesn't go anywhere near the artist's pocket, but is mainly used to buy luxury yachts and to thwart independent artists and small labels. But as a (hobbyist) musician and composer myself, I take lines like "you can play an instrument, doesn't mean that you desserve being paid" pretty bad. Hey, you can use a computer, doesn't mean that you desserve to be paid for that. You can code in a few languages, doesn't mean that you desserve to be paid for that. You can add up numbers on an Excel (barf) spreadsheet, doesn't mean that you desserve to be paid for that. Some of you might even be able to manage a network, but it doesn't mean they should be paid for that. How does that sound now? I can use a computer, I can use a spreadsheet (though I prefer reliable software), I can code (quite simple) things in a few "real" programming languages (plus a few script languages), I can manage a network quite well (though I'm probably not up to keeping a large world-facing network totally safe by myself) and I can also play an instrument (several, actually, and nothing easy). I get paid for my (limited) computer skills, I get paid for other skills as well, I don't usually get paid for my music. But if I were to issue a record or something, I sure hope I'd be paid for that! Music do require a lot of work, more work than the typical office position actually. And thousand times more work than the typical RIAA exec does.
Music sharing has nothing to do with not paying the artist, so here is my message for the "music has no intrinsic value" crowd (including the very few real freetards, the major labels, the RIAA, MPAA, and the like): go rot in hell. Please. You're just polluting the debate.
"I bought the "low-bitrate version" for £8, 128Mbps [sic] is quite sufficient for me"
128kbps is sufficient for you to pay eight pounds? While I appreciate that there is listening to music from a technical standpoint, [worrying about bitrates etc], and enjoying music [just ignoring the technical side and getting your groove on] but I can tell the difference between 128kbps and FLAC through a pair of crappy desktop speakers. It's shocking, clear as day, and it pisses me off when I'm trying to *enjoy* an album. Which is why I still buy CDs of stuff I can't get in FLAC online that I have 'auditioned' in MP3.
And you paid eight quid for what is, quite literally, an seriously inferior copy of the original work? Would you pay £100,000 for an copy of a Ferrari 355 based on a Toyota MR2, with panel gaps a mile wide and a weeping head gasket? Because that's basically what you have done here.
For the record, get a FLAC [or CD, or other lossless media] copy of In Rainbows, you'll be astounded at how much richer, deeper and wider it sounds - it utterly fucking tranforms it through good headphones or speakers - the soundscape is quite diverse and 128kbps does it no justice at all.
And I think [personally, subjectively, etc] that In Rainbows, lossless, with lots of media content included, *would* be worth eight quid.
And that's what the record industry needs to wake up to, fast, if they want to retain their fat profit margins.
In Rainbows wasn't an especially cohesive work compared to past Radiohead efforts. There was stuff on CD2 ($old $eparatley) that ought to have been A-list tracks on CD1.
The eagle-eared amoung you will have noticed that Mr. Reznor has recently released a new Nails album, The Slip, wot is downloadable from the man himself fo' free, and will be made available of buying commercially later this summer.
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