back to article Lord Triesman on P2P, pop-ups and the Klaxons

Convincing internet users who are used to gorging themselves on free movies and music that they shouldn't do it may be like telling Pope Urban VIII the Earth goes round the Sun, but the government claims it's possible - by rejigging the copyright laws. The Reg grabbed 20 minutes with the minister tasked with this religious …

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oh dear...

“Perhaps the technologies can pop up something on people's computer which when they're downloading says, 'You don't really want to do this'.”

If this is the extent of this gentleman's understanding of the tech issues I'm very worried indeed.

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Anonymous Coward

Wow a reasonable politician

At least he seems to understand some of the issues. He's absolutely right that there are consequences to file sharing, despite the idiots I see claiming "nothing is stolen", and that people need to be educated to understand that, rather than getting the knock on the door from the RIAA.

The one thing he didn't touch on though is that copyright policy (and on the other side, the behaviour of the media companies) needs to harmonised internationally or any efforts to change consumer behaviour are doomed.

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Rubbish

Typical biased trash... Let's see:

* Concentrates on only the "illegal" aspects of P2P (no concession to the fact that it has many legitimate usages)

* Assumes that every P2P downloader is a teenager, who would pay for music if they only knew why the should (rubbish, this is just a modern version of taping songs from the radio which every 80s teenager did)

* Biased towards money and major labels (e.g. "Take a band like the Klaxons. They came up through the indie sector and their income was minimal until they won the Mercury when there was a step change.". Yeah, that's called getting public exposure and has bugger all to do with P2P either way.)

* Bandies around comparisons between physical pirate gangs and P2P downloading, which have bugger all to do with each other (hint: one involves money, the other doesn't.)

* No concessions made to other business models that involve free/cheap music (not just Radiohead, but eMusic, Magnatune, various experiments from Peter Gabriel, Michael Robertson and the like).

In other words, the same clueless rubbish we keep hearing from the major labels while they drive their own industry into the ground.

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oh dear, oh dear...

"As we open up bandwidth and other channels so that even vaster volumes of data can be put through it and mined more effectively, I suspect we'll see further changes. Changes in things people can do more rapidly."

Mined? Is he confusing his terminology or just giving away more than he meant to?

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"Stealing is stealing"

Well duh.

However, how do you steal "intellectual property"?

a) Say it's yours and not the real authors (theft of effort).

b) Deny the use of your intellectual property (theft of utility).

c) Take the money that the intellectual property owner should have had (theft of revenue).

there's no "theft" in P2P because it's not stealing the effort of others: you're still saying it's Britney Spears. There's some small effect of denial of utility, but for "art" it is worthless unless it's enjoyed, so no "harm" when it's not offered in a method acceptable. And there's no money changing hands, so no theft of revenue.

Those people who are using piracy to generate income in addition to drugs, guns, etc are

a) stupid because the profit in it isn't big enough

b) aren't using P2P because you can't P2P money

so that's another red herring. Doubly so for P2P.

And he uses a lot of weasel words when you try to nail him down on something. Witness his "Is it a crime? It's an illegality" response: breech of contract is illegal but the police don't get involved and if there's no visible damage, there's no necessary compensation. Same here. If I copy my CD, show me where you lost your sale. Show me your damages. If I'm selling dodgy copies from the flea market, it's easy to show: how much did I make from it.

Note as well he's talking about consumers. We aren't customers, we aren't involved in a market, we're here to consume and any consumption we do should be compensated. Well how about those poor bastards who watched Gigli get two hours of their life back?

By default, content producers get NO PROTECTION. The public can offer incentive (such as copyright) and if this isn't enough to make production worth doing it, you're completely and utterly allowed to NOT PRODUCE. Do something that will feed people, house people, educate people. Things that you get paid for doing before you do it, just like all the other people in the world. You don't pay your plumber for the benefit of having your waste removed each time you flush, do you. So why should you get paid each time I make a copy of your singing? Get paid BEFORE you sing.

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Reassuring

To know that the government have no clue about the internet or people that use the internet.

Good luck on the Culture change old chap.

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Gates Halo

@ oh dear...

“Perhaps the technologies can pop up something on people's computer which when they're downloading says, 'You don't really want to do this'.”

They already tried - DRM, anybody?

Personally, I think I prefer Lord Triesman's (good name, that) approach.

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Indeed

Seems they have the right person for the job.

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oh dear indeed...

Another way to sap money from the government on fruitless initiatives run by idiots. p2p networks are a fact, you can either waste your time and money getting people to try and stop using them cos the music and film industry kick up a stink, or you can tell those industries to accept them and get on with it.

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Pandora, schmandora

Pandora's withdrawal from the UK market can be looked at in another way - unable to get a royalty deal as cushy as the one they have in the US, Pandora threw its toys out of the pram and went back to the US. Last.fm has always operated under the UK licensing regime, and was able to get major backing.

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If

p2p file sharing and copyright violations causes some "musicians" to stop releasing music I'm all for it. This may well separate the wheat from the chaff. I personally would be over the moon if I never heard a spice girls, westlife, atomic kitten, take that, sugarbabes, justin timberlake, girls aloud...... the list is huge, song/tune ever again.

If it forces out those who release formulaic shit just make money then it is a good thing. I do have sympathy for whom I consider "real musicians", those who see the financial reward for their music as a secondary concern and a bonus.

Any person who is of the attitude I want to be famous, I want to be celebrity, I want to be rich. I will use music as my vehicle to achieve these goals, deserves nothing but contempt.

I do pay for music made by, what are imho "real musicians", I go out and buy CD's. Unfortunately the artist sees next to nothing of the £8 to £10 I pay for that audio CD.

There is no such thing as an altruistic capitalist, We are cattle or sheep to them. How dare this man suggest we, the consumer, be altruistic when we are pissed and shit upon by corporations and a government which protects the profits and interests of these corporations.

So all you p2p file sharers please keep up the good work, share it and put them out of business.

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Great stuff

I thought this line was dangerously ambiguous "But if I have to rank in order our priorities - the government's priorities - the first thing is the mass distribution of large scale crime." ;p and as richard says about pop-ups, oh dear!

However, Lord Triesman certainly seems keen and able to keep things open and reach as good a solution as possible, whatever that may be.

As ever, mediation is the key (rather than mob-handedly taking file-sharers to court and bankrupting them. I'm so glad we don't do things like that over here (and seem from that article to desire never to do that)). As long as things are kept fair and reasonable (we all have different perceptions of that of course), then a solution will be reached.

Interesting times indeed!

PS Good to see you out in the wild AO

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Anonymous Coward

It's all about the money

"I've been trying to develop what some of the balances might be between free to use and protectable properties. Some things are better left free to use: if you try to protect the sequence of the human genome then the odds are you'll have less economic activity and less economic benefit."

Says it all.

More money = more tax. Gov's nowadays care solely for the tax take. No mention wrt if copyrighting the human genome is actually right or wrong, simply would the gov take more or less in tax.

Ditto what is in effect gov control of the sciences, art, tech etc. i.e. human knowledge. "We're only controlling it in order to tax it..."

A) Wait for the media to realise all gov documents are copyrighted & thus any leak can be pursued under "IP" laws. e.g. introduce a "3 strikes & you're out" & how long before they take a major newspaper off the net?

B) Is it just me who thinks "Minister for Intellectual Property" is Orwellian ?

Anon

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re: indie labels

did I miss a trick? I thought that indie labels were thriving because one of the biggest prohibiter's to selling music (physical distribution and the shelf space in stores) was well and truly removed with the advent of the net.

Couple in that they are often releasing the music without the infection of DRM and you have a lot of people seeking music that hasn't been tampered with by the big labels.

Then we get the whole scene of podcasting where their efforts are starting to approach 1980's level of production values (and some are even quite contemporary) and providing a very good avenue for visual entertainment on whatever device you want without restricting it on a per territory basis.

If the big labels (both visual and phonographic arts wise) want to survive then they need to look at the root causes of their customers gripes - that of restriction (both in terms of what is accessable, how it is accessed and when it is accessed) and exploitation (read: stupidly high prices).

Get your house in order before barking your demands to the people who actually make up your markets!

pricks!!

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Maybe...

if the market was trimmed and record companies lost enough money, all that would be left would be bands that the public REALLY liked and albums with quality music throughout, instead of the toss and similar sounding bands that currently clogs up the charts.

If I buy an album, how much goes to the artist, and how much goes towards funding advertising for the next boy/girl band, assembled from newspaper ads?

Personally I don't have a huge problem with minor artists losing out, indie acts can manage to create a publicity storm all on their own, AND sell well to the internet-savvy audiences (once again, I refer you to the Arctics).

The ONLY reason that albums and singles cost so much, is due to record companies being greedy, and I have no desire to fuel that greed. I will quite happily pay for albums that I really like, and in general, about 95% of the stuff I download is already mine, as I've elaborated on in earlier posts. I don't see there being a cultural shift unless something is done to redress the joke of an industry that the record companies have built. It's capitalism gone mad.

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@ Mark

To offer a counterpoint to your NOT PRODUCE comment, you also have the right NOT TO LISTEN to CDs that you're too cheap to pay for.

Downloading IP from a P2P site is simply avoiding paying money for a product you desire. If the product has no utility you wouldn't bother downloading it, now, would you? ffs.

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Anonymous Coward

What a muppet

If the minister for IP doesn't know that IP rights infringement is NOT stealing (as defined by the law, not my personal morals), then that really doesn't bode well for his ability to do his job.

Then again, going by his obviously woeful lack of understanding of computers, the internet and those who use them, file-sharers might be better off keeping him there.

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Stop

Yawn...

Well it’s good to see someone taking a fresh look at the whole copyright entertainment industry model... oh wait no it the same 'stick with the old model' and try and persuade / prosecute people into compliance.

And

“Perhaps the technologies can pop up something on people's computer which when they're downloading says, "You don't really want to do this".”

Hmmm. Now I think about it I can see a P2P client that nags people for downloading copyrighted material would be really popular. What a Muppet!!

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Anonymous Coward

anyway

A modified version of a previous post of mine (there had been some reference to tinfoil hats so that's where those references came from). As to this guy, he just sounds like yet another political mouthpiece, it all sounds good until you realise he's said nothing of any worth.

I don't actually agree with copyright infringment if you have a viable alternative (local cd and dvd sales) If it's too expensive don't buy the stuff - go without it's not that hard, western music, films and series are tosh anyway (except firefly that was good.)

Anyway onto my point. I don't think it's at all fair to accuse people of being paranoid, wearing tin foil hats etc.

As citizens of this nation we mostly invest quite a bit (say about 50 -> 70% of your pay) in taxes and additional costs (vat, direct tax, tax built into the price of products etc.) We helped put the government where it is. We're the citizens darn it! So when a whole business sector is acting unfairly and abusing its customer base, crushing emerging businesses, refusing to modernise. When a whole secter is doing that. We'd hope that _our_ government would go "hey hold on a second, I think the public has a point here - I think you may be acting unfairly."

We'd hope that _our_ government might say "You have to provide for this need or allow emergents to provide for it, I mean you are a business and the customers want this service, so why preytell arn't you providing it?" That's the crux of why we're so tired of it, why we're all so angry and dissilusioned. We expect out dated encumbants to be unwilling to change, however we'd expect a democratic capitalist government to jump start change.

However the government allows the rights holders to strangle upstarts (web radio, forcing drm on points of sale, demanding extoritionate royalty fees making startups unviable, only allowing poor quality online release) and then supports the suppresion of the population via half hearted legislation.

Becouse _our_ politicians don't stand up for us, they don't think of us as citizens. They think of us as a problem to be solved. It's sad, and frustrating and there is nothing that we can do.

I believe in copyright, I write a bit and I'd be annoyed if someone else used my material for their own ends (never gonna happen as everything I write sucks) but copyright is there to protect artists. So that artists can benefit the public. But there's something wrong. Very wrong with the way things are now. Very wrong indeed.

Is this the kind of government we deserve, the kind of government we wanted? Tories, Labour or Lib Dem. Becouse let's not forget that the Tories want to give the music industy money to make happy songs.

I'm sure that no evidence beyond an ip address shall be used to justify these strikes.

Personally I think a wholesale boycott of such media is in order, but that'll never happen.

O well... back to apathy

Anonymous Superhero

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How about a poll..

An honest and anonymous poll to find out how much we buy, how much we download, and if we buy some stuff we downloaded, or if we don't buy much on cd/dvd because we download it.

Personally, I download a lot movies mostly and tv series that aren't over here yet.

I also buy what I think it quite a lot of DVD's, it must average one or so a week over a year. Yes I watch movies at home and not in the cinema (my wife is very disabled and unable to cinema) but if the movie is good we have frequently bought it on DVD upon its release. I dont' think we could actually spend any more on DVD's then we can actually afford at the moment, and have certainly bought DVD's of films I wouldn't have normally done.

I rather suspect that the largest majority of downloaders are to a fair extent the same, we spend what we feel we can afford on buying these things, if we can't afford to buy more, there is no loss, there is no damage. We have spent what can be afforded already. Certainly I and others don't *have* to download more there is no defense against that, it *is* greed or whatever you want to call it. Its human nature however, just like people have always swapped music on casettes in decades gone by.

If we are spending close to what we feel we want to or can afford, then the industry is wasting its time and money, it simply won't make a difference to their bottom lines, I certainly am not going to suddenly be able to afford to buy 5 movies a week instead of 1.

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Dan
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all very interesting

but totally irrelevant to most people who are file sharing.

File sharing is illegal already and nobody seems to give a stuff, making it "more" illegal isn't really going to change that, neither is the continual bleating of the media industry about theft.

Any attempts to prevent file sharing will at best just restrict internet downloads to those with the technical skills to get round whatever lame measures are put in place, and then distributed by physical media. Just like it was ten years ago before everyone got broadband.

Triesman is just a gimp for the record industry, and his clear failure to really grasp the issue despite being the governments appointed authority on this, just makes the whole thing laughable.

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@ Eddie

There are other issues, such as that highlighted by the recent Apple iTunes shift - what about region-specific pricing? Why is the same content worth more on a disc formatted for EU-standard DVD players than on a disc formatted for US players?

What about content that is not available in the country of residence at the time? (I'm thinking films here, but you get the idea). If there is *no* way for me to legally view or purchase, say, Season 2 of Heroes in the UK....where's the lost sale caused by me downloading it? It's not as simple as saying "Ah, but once you've downloaded it you'll obviously never pay for it".

Besides which, there is an abject failure of the Government to address the kind of cultural shift consumers as a whole want from media providers. The whole DRM fiasco has shown that the attempted business model of stopping you ripping a CD of music you've paid for, and then trying to get you to buy the same music again as a set of mp3s or whatever, is not acceptable. The cultural perception of art is "if you've paid for it, you should be allowed to view/listen/read it as you see fit". This does not have to involve any violation of copyright; in fact, you'd think that an industry that keeps its profit margins healthy by regularly devising new formats in which to re-sell the same product would be in a good position to devise a cross-platform standard that allowed consumers the portability of product they desire...well, until you re-read that bit about keeping profit margins healthy, anyway.

(On a separate note, it's heartening at least to see that we're not quite as screwed as the Americans with their constant re-extension of copyright...personally, I'd quite like to see the kind of cultural shift that rewards artists come into place, but only if artists also realise that they don't get to retroactively raise the price thirty years after the fact...)

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Bandit DVDs and drugs gangs

What rubbish. The guys I used to buy my DVD films and top 40 album MP3 DVDs fromdid it simply for beer money.

The argument is just as pointless as the "downloading is piracy and a crime" commercial at the start of most DVDs that you can't skip through - surely any pirate will simply remove that segment. The only people who see the advert are legitimate buyers of the product and therefore diesn't apply to them.

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Coat

Simple economics

Long winded, but

IMHO this chap seems to at least trying to be inclusive and does understand the wider implications (which some people seem to be oblivious to) of the need to provide an actual incentive to content producers to produce content (through some form of licencing or another revenue model).

If no one can be assured that they will be reimbursed to some extent, so that they will see at least some return from their efforts (be they uber record company's or small studios, bands, sound engineers and production companies etc.) through some method then a lot (not all) of the content possible simply will never be made.

Where the disconnect between the RIAA etc. and reality exists is that the simple truth is that the whole business model (based on them controlling the dissemination of content) is broken and has been for some time. Instead of engaging in 'protectionist' legal and other actions, the industry as a whole should stop alienating a large proportion of its potential customer base and innovate (as most organisations proclaim to be doing, but few actually are) a new business model.

Perhaps a realistic fee, with a defined percentage going to the artist(s) levied on those who desire it, for unfettered access would be one potential winning idea (as put forward by some).

I do agree that at present, the distribution of monies to actual artists by large record companies is at best haphazard and I completely disagree with drawing a comparison between those downloading content for personal enjoyment and those using it to produce pirated goods for sale

Maybe they need a few more techies in the boardroom :)

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"nothing is stolen"

OK, if people who say this, Mr AC, are stupid, there must be a simple explanation to the question: what was stolen.

So what is it.

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Anonymous Coward

Content vs 'IP'

Content != 'intellectual property'

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Flame

DRM?

The sleeping giant here is the whole issue of DRM and how it is not providing rights to users.

Region coding of DVDs, games and Blu-Ray distort the whole market which the government is supposedly in favour of - why isn't Triesman making loud noises about companies who continue to prevent users making a free choice?

Why is it permissible for companies to produce content that can't be transferred between devices when the user upgrades to a new machine, or their XBox 360 goes west like so many others?

If the government is serious about the issue of intellectual property it has to start fighting a bit harder for the consumer and not just be seen as helping out Microsoft and Cliff Richard.

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what happened to the public domain?

I see that the public domain and fair dealing didn't get mentioned once in this interview. It's all about financial reward for 'intellectual property' holders. Copyright is not property, and never has been. Copyright is supposed to be a temporary mechanism to increase the amount of works in the public domain for the general good, not some mechanism to provide an eternal tithe to new corporate behemoth middlemen.

Also, banning people from the internet for downloading music? How ridiculous is that? Access to the internet is far more important than just providing a profit centre to the music cartel.

Finally, does this mean that ISPs will be legally required to monitor and report on all my internet traffic? What the hell happened to my right to privacy? Bet it's not the government that's going to pick up the tab. Time to start routing *all* my traffic via a secure VPN to a less police state country, and to start learning from the chinese dissidents, since we're going to be in the same boat.

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@Eddie Edwards

I Have stopped buying (why the feck should I stop listening?) and that doesn't mean I'm getting any new stuff. My CD collection isn't large but I'm not listening to anything other than

a) the music I already have bought

b) the music I hear on the radio

c) the music I hear from other legal free sources

So this actually is WORSE than "stealing" a new artists' work. Not only do they get NO money (the costs are bourne by the artist up front as a loan, royalties from each single sale [less "breakages at 15%!!!] being used to pay off the loan FIRST) they also don't get me knowing who the heck they are, so no possible purchase from me in any form (why do you think there are ADVERTISEMENTS, where people are producing copyrighted works of art and PAYING to have them disseminated far and wide).

If I did get their stuff off P2P there's at least the *opportunity* I'll buy something of theirs. And, since the "opportunity" of selling a copy to a teen using P2P is why this is counted as a lost sale, this is as much or even more valid a loss but one that is brought on by copyright being so very one-sided.

The ONLY reason to have copyright of any length is so that people can't just wait it out to get it at the free market's evaluation of what it should cost, rather than the monopoly (which should cover the cost of production plus some more to make this life worthwhile). 120 years is FAR FAR FAR too long. And if one part of it is so very wrong, why bother with it at all?

5 years is very short (for most things, for computers, that's a whole generation), but too long to make it worth waiting five years to get it cheap. After all, how many of the songs from five years ago do you still listen to regularly? Now if you hadn't heard it for four years, would you remember the song? so if you're willing to wait five years, you probably aren't really a customer. Five years is long enough (though maybe barely) to get the track out, the remix and a collection before copyright expires if the song is popular and if it isn't, then it'd get included as filler on "Now that's what I'd call music I can't remember 3,124" (with the much lower revenues it gets for it).

And if the industry thinks 5 years too short, they won't produce anything (or that's their threat anyway) and people will either agree that they should "pay" more to get production back up or decide that they didn't really mind the reduced volume of works.

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Coat

Content v IP

I would disagree and say that the content is most definently the 'Intellectual Property' of whoever produced it and thus, is subject to whatever rights or restrictions the producer deems fit to bestow upon it and the consumers of it.

I certainly wouldn't however expect in any sane world, for my customers to be happy to purchase my content and then be required to repurchase it in a different format everytime they wanted to use it on a different device. I would expect them to do exactly what they have done, give me two fingers!

I think the point of debate is what determines fair use?

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Re: Simple economics

"Perhaps a realistic fee, with a defined percentage going to the artist(s) levied on those who desire it, for unfettered access would be one potential winning idea (as put forward by some)."

Winner!

An extra "tax" on the customer from the ISP, make it opt in so not everyone need pay it as would most people, make it entirely 'opt in' so those who only want a minimal internet connection aren't subsidizing anyone. Kind of like the tax some countries put on blank CDR/tape recording media.

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h
Happy

@ Eddie Edwards

"Downloading IP from a P2P site is simply avoiding paying money for a product you desire. If the product has no utility you wouldn't bother downloading it, now, would you? ffs."

So why when I want to buy a new jacket, don't ai just buy the first one that I see. Why do I have to try on 3-4 before I find one that feels right.

It's the same with music. Until you have listened to it you don't know if you wan't to buy it.

I have many thousand LP's / CD's / Tapes. I used to spend hours in record shops listening to tracks when I was younger. The shop assisants would recommend tracks etc.

You can't do this anymore, so the only option is to download to tryout new music, it's only now that I'm spending more and more on physical media.

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Flame

Re:Simple economics

***"the industry as a whole should stop alienating a large proportion of its potential customer base and innovate"***

You have hit the nail on the head, here. The problem with the music and movie industries is epitomised in the way DVDs make the simple task of watching the movie you have bought a pain in the ass. Usually, before you even get to the main menu, you have to battle through forced trailers that often cannot be skipped (you have to fast-forward) and FACT 'copyright is theft' bullshit (I f'ing KNOW. I don't need to see it every f'ing time I watch the f'ing film) and language selection screens. HP & the Order of the Phoenix REALLY takes the piss in this respect!!!

Get a pirate copy and you avoid all of this shit.

As long as the industry takes this 'fuck you' attitude with its own customers, they will NEVER beat the piracy problem. At the moment the 'pirates' are viewed more like Robin Hood than Blackbeard.

If the MPAA, RIAA, BPI, FACT, etc want to beat copyright theft they need to get the movie and music buying public on-side. Continually pissing us off won't work.

Don't get me wrong. I think copyright violators should be caught and punished, but pissing off thoseof us that DO pay for their movies and music is ABSOLUTELY NOT the way to combat those that DON'T!

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Anonymous Coward

solution

> "What can we do to ensure the best part of our creative industries are not driven out of existence because people can steal the content?"

Stop flogging a dead business model.

People used to only hear music live. Paying for recorded content is a relatively new concept. It's a new business, a middle man where none is needed any longer. Piracy will only get worse, and appealing to people's better nature will do nothing to prolong the life span of a dead business.

New revenue streams should be exploited to support artists. Publishers (who currently take more then their fair share anyway) will be replaced by managers. Concert tickets, merchandise, appearance money... I'm sure I could think of more without breaking a sweat. That's the future.

And don't forget, the labels/studios are not our "creative industries". The artists are. They will survive this turn-around, but unless they accept free distribution of content and adapt, the labels/studios will not.

</rant>

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Try another way?

Surely, if you want to influence a change in culture, you need to make getting music cheap and simple, and leave piracy as a risky prospect in people's minds.

If companies hadn't tried so hard to stop people copying their music illegally, by now many ppl wouldn't bother with P2P. If there had been legitimate sources of music from the start, at a good price, instead of mp3's being allowed first to infiltrate the market as copies ripped from CD's, then I doubt we'd have this problem in the first place.

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Linux

If you think it's worth paying for a peerage you'll pay for everything!

Lord Triesman doesn't have a clue, and the fact he has the title probably means he likes paying lots of money for rubbish Cds/Movies/Peerages too!

1) “if they cannot earn a living then these things will not continue” - I would like to see Hollywood shut down, and be happy never to see another Hollywood film. I did support 2 films in '07 by seeing them in the cinema – Ratatouille and Harry Potter, neither typical Hollywood shite and I hope to God my money won't be reinvested in Transformers 3!

2) “if you want the indie sector to have more vivacity” – indie music by definition makes no money, once an artist makes money from recorded music they are mainstream, not indie. Most artists always have and always will make most of their money perfoming live. I would like to bankrupt the major record labels, who get all the record money!

3) “Perhaps the technologies can pop up something on people's computer which when they're downloading says, "You don't really want to do this” – this can only be imposed irreversably on proprietry operating systems; I think this would be a great way to spur the rise of Linux and OSS ;)

4) Pandora failed because there was a more open technology with similar functionality at last.fm. last.fm compatability could thus be built into many other programs, so I among many others migrated, and last.fm has a healthy revenue advertising music to us by playing it at no cost to the end-user. Go last.fm

5) “Some things are better left free to use: if you try to protect the sequence of the human genome then the odds are you'll have less economic activity and less economic benefit” – yes, last.fm provides free music in the hope that we'll then buy some. The same happens with BitTorrent where I want to own the CD/DVD artefact for good content but without anyone able to see that effect because its taboo.

Free (both open and zero-cost) access to any digital content via P2P and its successors will not be killed off. Industry, government – put up with it and stop moaning, it'll lower your costs when you accept it.

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Yeah but...

"If the product has no utility you wouldn't bother downloading it, now, would you?"

The corollary of that argument is that if the product has so little utility I wouldn't bother buying it, then the producer has lost nothing by me downloading it.

What if the product has some minor utility, but not enough to justify the cost? I'd sit through a free download of movie x, but wouldn't dream of paying the price of a DVD for it. There's no option for me to pay what I think it's worth. I might feel it's worth £1, but the cost is £15. By me watching it for free, they've lost nothing. On the other hand, if they'd let me pay £1 for it, they'd be a quid up on the deal.

Unlike most other products, 'content' has a subjective utility. An Ipod is an Ipod - everybody uses it for the same thing. Whereas I might really enjoy a movie, or I might hate it, or I might 'quite like it'. Yet whether I love it or hate it I have to pay the same. Seems to me that that means the industry is missing a lot of sales.

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Where the money goes

The band I play for has just made our third CD, and it cost us about £7000 for studio and engineer time + design + pressing an initial run of 1000 (which may be all we ever press). If we sell them direct at gigs for £10 (usual method) we get all that; if we sell them at festivals we play at through concessions we're lucky to get £5; if we sell them through shops we're lucky to get £2; if we'd done all this through a record company we'd be lucky to get 50p...

People happily buy our CDs because they know we get -- and need -- the money, especially if they want us to make the next one. If we were only getting 50p and the rest was going to record companies, distribution and retail then you can see why people would think "it's OK to download this for nothing, the band doesn't get the money anyway".

Of course the numbers are completely different for big-name bands who sell tens or hundreds of thousands of CDs, but the sentiment is the same -- why should I pay £10 for a CD when the artist (whose "IP" it really is) only gets 50p?

The attitude *should* be "download it to see if I like it, buy it if I do" -- even with DRM it's well-nigh impossible to *force* people to buy, they should do it because they *want* to, because if they don't bands will stop producing the stuff they want.

Unfortunately due to DRM-obsessed money-grabbing organisations like the RIAA and Sony this cause-and-effect link (free download/no buy = no music in future) is broken in most people's minds, especially the ones who say "I've got the right to download anything I want for nothing"...

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Happy

A simple DVD with just a single film

When I play a CD, I place it in a player, press play and music starts.

That's what I want.

It's so anaying when I want to watch a film, I have to press play and wattch 2mins of adverts and anti piracty crap before I can watch my film.

For this reason I've copied all my DVD's without any extras, just the film that starts straight away.

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Thumb Up

Patronage...

I would like to see the return of patronage (obviously on a multi-consumer basis) that allows me to download anything my beneficiaries produce without hindrance, for a fee per year (say the price of a standard CD). This would have the effect of driving the revenue directly to the artists and will weed out the less popular as they will no be economically viable. This could work for theatre, film, music, literature, art- the works. It would also mean that self appointed "guardians" like the RIAA and MPAA would become unneeded.

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Ian

@ Eddie Edwards

"Downloading IP from a P2P site is simply avoiding paying money for a product you desire. If the product has no utility you wouldn't bother downloading it, now, would you? ffs."

You are right in a way, but it also doesn't detract from the fact it's not so desirable that I'd be willing to pay for it if I hadn't downloaded it.

I could be tempted to pay for it if it was a reasonable price but it's not.

The point is, if there was an anonymous deposit box that the music industry made available where I could pay a reasonable amount for the music I might have downloaded then I would be willing to pay some money for it. Unfortunately however the music industry has an attitude of "You will pay an extremely over the top amount of money for this cheap to produce CD and you will accept the DRM and rootkit on it or you wont get it at all" then I say no thanks, I'll pass.

The fact you can pick up a DVD containing a film which not only costs a fortune to produce but also contains some of the previously mentioned music tracks for the price of or sometimes even less than a music CD with a few decent tracks and a bunch of crappy tracks on points out the major problem with music pricing. As such I don't have quite so much of a problem with the movie industry in that respect however high-def media (HD DVD and Bluray) is still unacceptably far too expensive - as are cinemas.

The key is fair pricing, it's not a simple binary thing as to whether someone would or wouldn't have bought it, chances are they'll always buy it if the price is right.

I still believe strongly in a p2p tax similar to the TV license, it would of course have to be reasonable (I don't think £5 a month is bad) but it seems fair for the consumer and fair for the music/movie industry - certainly it's a hell of a step up from them now equating to I'd guess at least £50 million a month assuming 10million net users paying it, 50 million a month is surely plenty enough compensation when many of the users would never have bought the product even if the only way to acquire it was to purchase it at a store no?

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Coat

face it ------ it *is* stealing

well the above 60 comments sound like a bunch of whiny excuses from people who dont wanna pay for their music / video / software.

sorry.

i dont either btw

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Re: Simple economics

I am employed and I have no guarantee that I will still BE employed in three months time. I have no guarantee that I will get a pay rise that will cover the cost of living increases.

Why should artists get a guarantee?

(please note, the above is the indefinite "I", not me myself. I don't have a TV, so save on the license. I cannot agree to XP/Vista EULA so I can't buy games that require that OS. I don't buy CD's or DVDs any more because copyright is so crap. This means for me, personally, I have plenty free cash and nothing expensive to spend it on. It doesn't go on the cinema because I don't get adverts telling me what's there. I don't go to concerts because I don't get to hear any new acts to see if I like them. So I spend my money on holidays and gadgets I see in the shops).

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Subjective utility

There's also the fact that each copy of an Ipod costs so much to produce. you may be paying 100% more than this, but you can see where it goes.

What you pay for "content" is £15 where the cost of making THAT COPY is 5p. Tops.

It's a lot harder to justify the mark-up for a CD.

Now, there's the difference that the fixed cost of a CD/DVD of "content" is a far far bigger than the cost of a reasonable sized number of copies than it is with an Ipod. And THAT is why there's a copyright on such content. However, 120 years, heck even 50 years is far far longer than needed to recoup that fixed cost.

If a DVD isn't successful (as in made a profit) in its first 3 months, it's a failure. So you could say copyright of 3 months is all that's needed there.

However, it's also fairly obvious that if it were only three months then people would just wait it out. That has a correcting feedback in that the original production will not bother making copies if it hasn't made a profit. Anyone who bootlegs it will also fail to have copyright AT ALL, so wouldn't do it for profit either.

So you can see an argument in this day and age for 3 month or 1 year copyright: only people NOT PROFITING from distribution would abuse the quick loss of monopoly. OK, someone could sabotage a competitors product, but that is pretty obvious, since you'd need a large proportion of people in on the deal.

Now, if 3 months can still be seen to stop someone other than the original artist from profiting from the artists' endeavours, why is that not a possible solution? Artists will then use NDA's and other contracts to get paid for their work up-front and the distribution company knows that only THEY will be allowed to make anything other than marginal profit and the ordinary punter cannot produce enough copies to fill demand even en-mass.

In my opinion, though 5 years allows MOST of the revenue from the product, making the purchase they make of an artists' work valuable enough to pay handsomely for. Arguments can be made for longer (reprints or collections) but then again, it could be made shorter (reprints and collections are less profitable, see the bargain bin in your local boots).

It gives a starting point where the public (who bear the costs both monetarily and by being bound by law) can see they aren't "paying" much, though they can "pay" a lot less with the risk that there won't be anything produced.

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Stop

Cutting out the middle man but getting charged just as much

I think a major factor behind most people I know who don't like paying for music/films etc. is that onlines services charge unrealistic prices when you take into account that by buying online, you are 'cutting out the middle man' but still getting charged the same price.

After all, if you were to drive into town and go to a record shop, pick up a CD from the shelf and pay the member of staff you would feel that your purchase was partially justified, and that the company had still made a profit. You're money has not only paid for the CD, but also the city centre shop with all its rates, licences, energy bills etc, but also, the member of staff's wages, distribution costs and so on.

When you use your own computer to download a lower quality product onto your own computer via a mostly automated system, without a physical product in your hand, why should the price be so similar (or even close for that matter).

If you ask most people, they would like to ensure those responsible for making the products are rewarded fairly - but the fact is that such a small percentage actually reaches the talent and ends up in the record labels pockets.

The advent of broadband has done nothing to lessen this, infact, when it only takes a matter of seconds a much lower quality than CD track to download, 79p per song seams even more of a rip off.

Movies are a similar problem, but perhaps worth a little more when you consider the budgets involved in their production (but I refuse to believe Tom Cruise or any other actor is actually worth $40 million plus per film!)

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Paris Hilton

Re: face it ------ it *is* stealing

What's been stolen?

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Dan
Flame

@ Ian Dedic

"hey should do it because they *want* to, because if they don't bands will stop producing the stuff they want"

I've got lots of musican friends, most of whom make very little or no money for what they do. They do this because they love music. The only people who will stop making music if they don't get paid for it are the untalented leaches who wouldn't be missed anyway.

Small indi bands have nothing to fear from filesharing, when they get noticed and get popular, they will make their money through live performances anyway.

The recording industry is a stain on the history of music and in decades to come people will look back on the era of the recording industry as the musical dark ages.

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Stop

Business Model

I P2P any mainsteam artists songs that I have listened to on the radio that I really like for my own private use. I refuse to spend £5 for one song. That's my only choice as I like quality sound from my speakers and not this DRM-infected low bitrate crap that is on offer from iTunes. (Not that i'd ever use Apple crap anyway)

However I am personally into dance music (house, trance and some techno). So occasionally, if I want a new album I'll pop into HMV or Virgin and buy an Azuli album. I know i'll be good from past experiences, I know that I'll like nearly everything on it and that the artists get money from it.

I'm not going to give £4.50 to a major record label for a single song. And I'm not going to buy an album that's 50% filler.

The only time I will buy a single artists full album is after downloading it from BitTorrent and testing it first. E.G. Chicane.

(Although I can't always do that - Chicane had an album in 2003 that was never released. So I can ONLY get it on BitTorrent)

Technically they cannot stop P2P. I already use encryption, and I'm toying with the idea of using a VPN to Sweden for all my traffic. Legally the ISP cannot break the encryption, and to be honest how long will it take the uber-geeks to create new P2P protocols that are encapsulated in HTTPS to look like online-banking traffic?

If all P2P was stopped (although the legal uses SHOULD stop that from ever happening) then we'll just go back to doing it the old school way of spending a £5 from Bob down the local for DVD's or recording off internet radio.

Technically the industry cannot win. They need to persuade us to go out and do the right, legal thing. This won't happen until they produce fairly priced (50p a single, £7 an album), high quality (both musically and bitrate wise), non-DRM music that can be downloaded off the net.

Until then, I'll be running uTorrent.

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Coat

Economics - Artist Guarantees..

No indeed, nor do I or indeed do most of us.

I certainly didn't mean that artists should have a guaranteed income, items of content should stand or fail on its own merits.

I am simply of the opinion that if no incentive exists at all, that is for example if a band suspects as soon as it has sold 50 CD's or downloads, sales will pretty much fall to zero as everyone has copied and passed the content around, there is no incentive to spend time at something which does not pay the bills.

In this situation creative people would have to make the choice of doing something they love and are good at all the time, or eating and having a home through doing something else and leaving the creative stuff to when they couldfit it in.

The net effect would surely be to reduce the production of content. (Which may or may not be a good thing, depending upon your opinion and who it is mind..lol !!)

Lot of Marks here..cool name!

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Anonymous Coward

Probably not a popular opinion...

..., but the majority of comments here seem to be by people attempting to justify why it's ok for them to be a thief

Just because you don't like a law doesn't mean that you can break it.

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