back to article Filesharers petition Downing Street on 'three strikes'

A petition urging the Prime Minister not to introduce "three strikes" legislation against illegal filesharing has made its debut on the 10 Downing Street website. In their campaign for digital freedoms, peer to peer users are demanding that the government doesn't force the issue. But ironically, they are inadvertently wishing …

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Make our own honeypot

Who's for setting up our own honeypot tracker? Plonk a few hundred files on it with names like 'Madonna - Sexist Stereotype, Beyonce - Sell My Body For Cash, Spice Girls - Another Money Making Scam' etc Well maybe not those names but names of existing recordings. But make the files be something entirely. Music from the public domain. Make a nice website linking to those files.

Have hundreds of filesharers with their torrent clients open until some RIAA/BPI etc bites. Then sue them en masse.

I don't see why people cannot sue the record industry reps anyhow. Why do you have to sue your ISP even if they are the people that cut you off? You can sue an individual who uses an ISP to defame you so what's to prevent doing the same to the recording industry?

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@Ed - not that easy?

there is simply no way a IP on a "swarn" can constitute a crime (or Civil whatever). And what proof do we have that the evidence is real? With long record of criminal activities record labels don't have any credibility of any kind.

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er... doesn't this "proof" all rely on the **filename** ?

So lets see... you download a file called "apache2.rar" and there is NO "evidence" of any "wrongdoing" whatsoever... or have I missed something?

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No Proof at all

a log file (witch is a plain text file most of the time) and a picture is not a proof of anything. With long records of criminal activities, no court of law should take any so called proof from any organisation linked to record labels reriously. A text file or a picture is simply to easy to fake.

Want to solve piracy? Shutdown the RIAA, MPAA, BPI (the RIAA's UK branch) and give huge fine (AKA Microsoft sized fine) to record studio for price fixing.

Force labels to sell cd's for what they are: PROMOTIONAL TOOL FOR ARTISTS and as such should be sold 2$ or 3$.

last but not the least: make DRM illegal.

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@Mectron

the pint is that the is going to be NO cort date or things like that just letters form your isp and then no connection on your line

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Re: read the article...

That isn't necessarily illegal.

Small excerpts has been legal to download. That the copyright hasn't caught up is in exactly the same league as it not having caught up with patenting changes or legal manhood for corporations.

There's also a legal reason to allow someone to upload the entirety: they already have a license.

The last problem to overcome is that allowing someone else to copy isn't a crime: otherwise AllOfMP3 would not be being choked off: what they do is legal in russia, and they are the ones making available (legally in russia).

Try to ignore the propoganda of the pigopolists: legal doesn't mean "the license says you can" it also means "copyright doesn't control that". Ignoring that last one is how the EULA got its tenuous teeth.

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Re: Leeches & Hijacking

Here's an idea, Paul M: do what the buggy whip manufaturers did: go out of business.

Find a productive job that guarantees payments.

Continue to play for your friends but don't expect to be paid for it.

And if you've been increasing the "value" of culture more than you've hindered it, the public (the leeches and hijackers) are being punished.

So go out of business. Work somewhere else.

That's what I'm told as a normal worker when I get screwed over: if I don't like my employer, go somewhere else. Or if I bemoan the lack of work and excess of pay of a manager: well stop being a programmer and become a manager.

You do the same. Find another job.

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"that change could be the end of recorded entertainment"

Then it ends.

You don't get rag and bone men any more.

You don't get minstrels any more.

You don't get tinkers plying their wandering trade any more.

You don't have court jesters any more.

Try making a living flint-knapping.

Many businesses have been lost because technology or society passed them by and made them obsolete. Why must this business be saved when we didn't save any of the others?

If it's because it brings in money, then why did we let our production to be outsourced? Those manual jobs brought in money and unemployed factory workers can't afford the cars they used to make any more.

Why this one?

Because they control information and therefore they punch FAR above their weight because of it.

Don't believe me? Ask why, as one AC says, shell makes 5x the money of the recording industries yet shell can't get new laws passed making it illegal to use an electric car without paying them.

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Anonymous Coward

@Paul again

"Typical of Freetards not to see this. In Leechland no one takes responsibility for anything, and when caught, people like Ian will bleat that somebody hijacked their Wi-Fi."

Your preferred solution to illegal filesharers not taking responsibility for sharing: "anyone with wi-fi should potentially take responsibility for sharing" seems somewhat sub-optimal. I take it you are not a proponent of Blackstone's ratio?

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Freetard logic (again)

@Mark: "but don't expect to be paid for it."

So musicians lose the right to get paid from recordings - just so you can keep leeching.

@Brian: "How about earning some money by actually performing your music?"

Artists already have this right. You're asking them to give up another right - to be paid from recordings. Just so you can keep leeching. Meanwhile honest people pay more.

@Mark "Try to ignore the propoganda of the pigopolists"

So we only listen to Freetard "propoganda" (please learn to spell) ? --> Musicians + public must subsidise leeching.

I just don't understand why Freetards think creators now have to be poorer just because a few greedy leechers want free music. That's as a revolting as anything from the BPI and RIAA.

The party's over, Freetards. You just don't realise it yet.

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Joke

"You don't get minstrels any more"

Once the selfish Freetards and the greedy Leechers have made earning money from records impossible - being a minstrel might be the only option left.

Sorry, Mark. But you walked right into that one.

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@Paul M. Clueless

Creators and artists should get paid the way it was supposed to be...Concerts. 99% of artists don't make a descent living because the Records labels (the real freetards here, but freeturd sound better) are leeching so much money out of them.

In Today's world. Record Labels or criminal cartel (BPI, RIAA Etc..) are of no use. as artist can make more money by publishing songs online and doing concerts.

I have no problems paying 15$ for a CD from the artist. but i have will never pay (not even 1$) for a CD from a know criminal organisation. i fact i think it is illegal to buy something from organise crime....

Last thing: Once making money from records is impossible, the record labels and illegal cartal (RIAA, BPI) will die and artists will rediscover freedom.

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Alert

Amazing they allowed this petition

I wrote a similar petition (which can be seen here:

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/process4pirates/

), but they wouldn't let anyone sign it as it allegedly contains "potentially libellous, false, or defamatory statements".

Democracy in action...

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@Tom - they did allow my petition to shorten copyright

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/ShortenCopyright/

If you are a UK citizen and agree with one or more of these statements:

1. Copyright as currently enforced is oppressive.

2. Copyright terms are longer than needed.

3. Copyright lasting too long makes it difficult to create new work which reuses old copyrighted material.

Please sign it. This petition requests copyright be limited to a maximum of 20 years. This would have the effect of placing a greater proportion of materials currently exchanged on P2P networks into the public domain.

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@Mectron the mean

"Creators and artists should get paid the way it was supposed to be"

I think what you mean to say is: "Creators and artists should get paid no more than what I want to give - which is F*CK all".

Mectron, can you explain why we all have to pay higher prices for music, just so you pay nothing?

@Tom: "Copyright as currently enforced is oppressive."

More Freetard bleating - from leechers who expect art for nothing.

There are only two groups of people being "oppressed" here - creators foolish enough to publish music digitally, so leechers like Mectron, Mark etc download it for free - and the honest public who pay higher prices to subsidize music leechers.

It's quite simple, really.

@Tom: "This would have the effect of placing a greater proportion of materials currently exchanged on P2P networks into the public domain."

Great - more leechers, then.

Give yourself on the back. You dun good.

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@Paul - we don't expect art for nothing

>>Copyright as currently enforced is oppressive.

>More Freetard bleating - from leechers who expect art for nothing.'

This ad-hominem attack does not establish any connection between the view that current copyright laws and enforcement are oppressive and "expecting art for nothing". Most artists are paid by means other than selling copyrighted information packages. Copying has gone on since the invention of the written word. The reason we have access to ancient literature, including the Bible, is because people copied freely without asking permission from dead or otherwise untraceable rights holders. If the ancient right freely to copy is to be limited by law then it had better be limited no more than is needed to achieve the desired incentive for authors to create work which would otherwise not be created. If denial of the natural right of anyone to copy anything goes any further than this, laws denying this right become unjust and oppressive.

Copyright might serve the public at large to the extent it adds to the stock of work within the public domain. It does not do so by privileging a minority at the expense of rights taken away from the majority.

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Government vs Technology

A small hotel that I stay in offers free internet access.

Where do they stand in all of this? If guests abuse the system and they have their service removed by their ISP it could have a serious impact on their business. One of the main reasons I stay there is because the wifi is hassle free and reliable.

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@ the Moral Superiority

Yes, people break the laws regarding copyright. Why? because it is a damn stupid law that is there to facilitate the making of money from the actions of others. You may believe a monetary incentive is required for the creative process but oh my, not everyone agrees with you.

If musicians want to make money then let them make money by performing and composing, not by recording. You cite the 'honest' people paying for the privilege of listening to a recording, I would substitute the word honest for either charitable or gullable. Being law abiding does not make you honest.

Copyright is only a problem because there is a law for it, is that really what laws are for? to personal choices for us? In other crimes there is a victim before the law.. if you attend a concert without paying then you are potentially depriving someone else of their enjoyment because space at a venue is finite. If you steal something you are depriving someone of something. Before copyright, if you copied something for your own enjoyment you deprived the person you copied it from of nothing, so why is there a law against it? Do people really believe it is their god given right to make money from every copy of something they write down? Or do they believe that they have given themselves the right by accepting copyright laws? Copyright was introduced because people using the printing press were greedy and decided that they should be able to make money through no effort of their own.

I look forward to the day the music industry collapses and artists are forced to rethink their lives. It is my hope that people who love music will be in for a treat as a result of it.

So, yes people who break copyright law are being unlawful. Immoral or dishonest however? Pot, Kettle, Black.

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@PaulM

Well, I don't like Snoop Dog. So I don't pay him anything.

Oddly enough, he has not right at this moment to get paid. And I don't.

Artists can stop producing and do something they will get paid for. If the artists are not leeching off the public's gant of copyright, then the public (whom you accuse of leeching) will be hurt. If the artists are leeching, then they will no longer be hurting society by banning free exchange of ideas (free as in freedom, not in beer).

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Happy

It's an unworkable proposal (Petition Author)

I'm the author of the petition. Firstly I'd like to say I don't imagine this petition will do much, or create much of a response but its one way to get some interest in the matter and anything is worth a shot.

I don't imagine ISPs will implement anything more than the QoS, filtering and throttling. I expect the RIAA, MPAA and others will probably add more honeypots and so on.

What this petition is about is ISPs being able to disconnect your internet because of cease & desist letters without legal proof. I know its completely up to the ISP whether they continue your contract at present when it comes to an unsubstantated claim, but this could make it a standard policy.

Whether or not you are a sharing copyrighted files or whatever is not the point, its that these claims don't have to be substainted and in a standard policy even a few emails to one of these ISPs might be enough to have you disconnected. If so, then we're at the stage of having problems with disgrunted employees and enemies causing this kind of problem with fake emails and so on.

There's plenty of reasons why this isn't a good policy. If we can make more people aware of this then hopefully something more sensible can be done, like treating the ISP as a common courier and preferably overhaling the whole copyright system to something more sensible that works.

I don't really want to get too personally involved with any arguments but its definately interesting listening to others' comments. If anyone has any great ideas or would really really REALLY like to contact me, you can find my address on my website.

Thanks for the interesting discussion.

Dug Stokes

frag.co.uk

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@What's the New Business Model?

This business model is to _compete_ with the pirates rather than trying to fight them.

This means changing music and film from a high-margin, low-sales, into a low-margin, high-sales product.

One way of achieving this would be to lower the price for online dowloads. If listeners could buy a song for 30p instead of 99p, 90 % of them would no longer bother with the hassle of p2p, which suffers from quality control issues, viruses, and slow download speeds when compared to the legal product. Yes, the music industry would make less money from their existing customers but they would win millions of new customers who used the pirate product in the past.

Another way would be to offer unlimited downloads from a large catalouge on a subscription basis, say, for £10-20/month. Some cable companies are already offering this, even if the catalogue is limited.

Yes, the music and film industry might make less money with this new paradigm (or it might not), but in that case it will just need to adapt to the 21 century and accept the fact that 6-figure wages are a thing of the past.

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Joke

Breathe easy

" overhaling the whole copyright system"

But won't "overhaling" leave the copyright system hyper-ventilating?

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@Richard - stop attacking the creators

" If the ancient right freely to copy "

Where did you read that Richard, the Ten Commandments? It's not in my version. Maybe Freetards have their own copy.

You haven't addressed my main point: that widespread infringement is a cost born by the law-abiding public.

You don't get something for nothing, someone has to pay for it. So leeching either makes the price of goods go up, or fewer works are produced, or both. It's basic economics.

Now explain to me why law-abiding citizens should subsidize leechers?

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@paul

>>If the ancient right freely to copy

>Where did you read that Richard, the Ten Commandments? It's not in my version.

Most systems of law make something not specifically legislated about legal by default. Copyright is a legislative invention going back a mere 300 years or so at most. No legislation from ancient times covers this so copying is an ancient right by default of no known ancient legislation preventing it QED.

The 10 commandments were formulated between 3500 and 4000 years ago. "Thou shalt not steal", the seventh commandment, very clearly concerns illegally depriving someone of something they legally owned so they no longer have it. This commandment does not cover copying something because copying does not deprive the original owner of anything they already have and every child copies what they see around them naturally from birth.

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@Cambrasa

"This business model is to _compete_ with the pirates rather than trying to fight them."

So how do you compete with free stuff? If it were legal to steal cars, would you ever buy a car? Maybe the auto industry should reduce its prices to compete with car thieves?

"This means changing music and film from a high-margin, low-sales, into a low-margin, high-sales product."

I think that would be "no-margin" rather than "low-margin".

"90 % of them would no longer bother with the hassle of p2p, which suffers from quality control issues, viruses, and slow download speeds when compared to the legal product."

As soon as copyright is destroyed, the pirates will be giving away the full-quality stuff with impunity - they won't be pirates any more! All the issues about viruses and quality will go out of the window if they can set up a "legitimate" p2p service and build up a solid catalogue, they could even make money out of it if they sell advertising on the site!

"it will just need to adapt to the 21 century and accept the fact that 6-figure wages are a thing of the past."

The six-figure income is limited to very few artists; see El Reg's interview with Feargal Sharkey for a taste of reality.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/02/29/bmr_feargal_sharkey/

"Another way would be to offer unlimited downloads from a large catalouge on a subscription basis, say, for £10-20/month. Some cable companies are already offering this, even if the catalogue is limited."

This is still avoiding the issue: if you make sharing legal, then anyone can get any music or film content for nothing! Why bother paying £120-£240 a year for stuff I can get for free. That's just honest suckers subsidising Freetards; and as time marches on there'll be fewer and fewer honest suckers to do this, until eventually there is no new content (or maybe one eccentric billionaire paying £10m-£20m a month so that Freetards will be entertained - good luck with that).

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Pirate

Re: @Cambrasa

Quote: "So how do you compete with free stuff? If it were legal to steal cars, would you ever buy a car? Maybe the auto industry should reduce its prices to compete with car thieves?"

You seem to be missing the difference between a car and information. If you were to build a car from looking at someone else's car (who said yes, you can look at my car) using your own materials then you would not be stealing. You may get into trouble with the car manufacturer if you then sold that car or claimed the idea was your own but you would not be accused of stealing it for your own enjoyment.

As for how to make money.. if the oh so smart business people of the record industry can't work out how to make money without copyright then give them a Darwin award and forget about them.

Quote: "The six-figure income is limited to very few artists; see El Reg's interview with Feargal Sharkey for a taste of reality."

Yes, because that interview is such a balanced point of view that it encompasses all calling itself reality. Music is an art. It does not exist to make money. Musicians do not have to record music. Want to make money from music? Teach it, perform it, commission it. I think the real problem with the idea of not making money from copyright is there are far too many musicians who view recording as some sort of career choice. I prefer quality over quantity and I believe quantity is what copyright brings, not quality.

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Leech Logic again

@Ian Rowe: "Music is an art. It does not exist to make money. Musicians do not have to record music."

And doctors do not have to perform operations. And engineers do not have to build bridges. Gee - maybe everyone can all work for the sheer love of it? Maybe we can all go back to sitting around in caves, too.

Er. Do you realise how stupid you sound?

"I believe quantity is what copyright brings, not quality."

Copyright actually provides a mechanism for both quality and quantity. You might be happy with a future that offers us nothing but the amateur crap we get on YouTube - but this is not one I want.

By removing economic incentives, and ensuring that creators cannot get compensated except by charitable donations, this is what will happen.

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Re: Leech Logic again

You are comparing musical recordings with medical surgery and tell me I sound stupid? Doctors get paid in proportion to the work they do. I fail to see how that compares to making money out of nothing.

"Copyright actually provides a mechanism for both quality and quantity. You might be happy with a future that offers us nothing but the amateur crap we get on YouTube - but this is not one I want."

Obviously you're not a classical music fan.

I wonder if you can even begin to qualify your statement that copyright provides quantity and quality. I stated my view on copyright clearly as a personal belief. You seem to state your view like someone who had to be explicitly told right from wrong. You exude certainty with your words.. with certainty tends to come ignorance or fanaticism. I may be wrong, maybe you make derogatory comments on a whim in which case I look forward to your downfall in the face of someone with a short temper.

Regardless of legislation however, the fact remains that the choice is there for individuals to make. Unless there is a commercial interest then a copyright 'theft' is akin to Schroeder's Cat. Until the police start working on a quantum level then you have no clue as to whether anyone has lost anything and the morality will be ambiguous. You mock the idea of charity but it seems to me the record labels business model already relies on it.

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@Ian

YOUR ASSERTION:

"Music is an art. It does not exist to make money. Musicians do not have to record music."

MY RESPONSE:

"And doctors do not have to perform operations. And engineers do not have to build bridges. Gee - maybe everyone can all work for the sheer love of it? Maybe we can all go back to sitting around in caves, too."

You seem to be unable to follow the consequences that follow from your logic. Perhaps your musings on cats and quantum theory are a way of distracting yourself from these consequences?

If artists cease to be remunerated from the popular enjoyment of their art, then art will not stop being made. We'll just get a lot less of it, and we'll get a lot more rubbish.

If producers cease to be remunerated for curating and maintaining archives of great old music, and find nuturing and promoting great new music, then we won't stop getting music. We'll just get a lot less of it.

"I wonder if you can even begin to qualify your statement that copyright provides quantity and quality."

You might care to open your eyes a bit. You're obviously not a music lover.

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@Ian

"You seem to be missing the difference between a car and information. If you were to build a car from looking at someone else's car (who said yes, you can look at my car) using your own materials then you would not be stealing."

You seem to be missing my point: if an industry (music, film, automotive etc.) has its products rendered valueless (i.e. you can't sell cars if they can be legally obtained for nothing) then the industry will cease to exist.

"You may get into trouble with the car manufacturer if you then sold that car or claimed the idea was your own but you would not be accused of stealing it for your own enjoyment."

"In your world this wouldn't happen; copyright and patents are intellectual property. In your world there is no IP so the car manufacturer has no legal redress if you copy their ideas.

I don't want to get into patents (and misuse of patents) and IP, but copyright is very similar to a patent; if there is no legal protection for IP then many industries go down the tubes. Most of the technology industries rely on IP protection laws to prevent competitors from freely copying the IP they've paid to develop. Who's going to bother developing any kind of technology if someone with lower overheads (i.e. no R&D) can legally copy it for less?

"Unless there is a commercial interest then a copyright 'theft' is akin to Schroeder's Cat."

Every copyright theft is a "commercial interest"; you seem to be asserting that if the victim doesn't immediately notice the crime then it's alright? What if someone "shares" your car every night? If they replace the petrol and fiddle the odometer you might not know anything's happened, so it's OK then?

There is a basic bottom line to this; either we give legal protection to IP or we don't. Society has to make this decision and then live with the consequences, but Freetards live in a world where, essentially, everything is just "free" with no real ideas as to how this might actually be paid for. At the moment, because "sharing" is illegal the ratio of Freetards to paying punters is low, so the existing economic model can cope (a bit like shops and shoplifters), but as soon as you legalise "sharing" then that model vanishes and we either get a new way of paying for content production (maybe state funded music and film; terrific comrade!) or accept that content production stops.

"Music is an art. It does not exist to make money."

But musicians and producers and sound technicians and all the other people involved in turning art into something that can play on an MP3 player do need to make money (do you work for nothing Ian?).

"Regardless of legislation however, the fact remains that the choice is there for individuals to make."

I think you don't understand human nature; if "sharing" isn't illegal then almost everyone will "share", rendering IP valueless. Will you be paying for digital recordings if someone is willing to "share" them with you?

I think, Ian, that you just want free stuff but don't want to be labelled a criminal by the law. Why not? I would have more respect for someone who steals "honestly" and doesn't whinge for the laws on theft to be removed; at least they have accepted the risks associated with crime and aren't trying to portray it as some kind of revolutionary act for the freedom and benefit of all (All intellectual property is theft comrade!).

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@AC

>>You seem to be missing my point: if an industry (music, film, automotive etc.) has its products rendered valueless (i.e. you can't sell cars if they can be legally obtained for nothing) then the industry will cease to exist.

Why is it a problem if the music industry or recorded music ceases to exist as a mainstream occupation? Its not as if music is an essential product, the supply of which is vital to human life.

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Flame

And now declines the way of western civilization...

Just because people don't have the RIGHT to steal music. Music is art... blah blah blah, so is painting, sculpture and photography, and those artists are expected to give their hard work away just because you feel its your right to download something just because you can? Last I checked, I can't walk into the Louvre and walk out with a copy of the Mona Lisa, just because I want it...

With all due respect, whether something is physically tangible or not, if its protected by international laws, then theft is theft, regardless how its acquired.

As for artists making vast sums of money off of giving concerts... Uh huh... Do you have any concept of just how expensive it is to tour? Why do you think most artists are resorting to corporate sponsorship? Tour buses, hotels, food, equipment, fuel and promotion costs vast sums of money... Do you honestly think a relatively unknown band could afford to front those costs, in order to earn a living?

The reason your logic pisses me off Ian is that I am a photographer (hobby) and I try to sell my works and give the majority of the profits to charity (they get 80% and I keep 20 to pay down the cost of equipment and supplies). Recently, I've found unauthorized copies of my work on other peoples websites, complete with my digital watermark. Hell, some of those bastards didn't even bother to change the file names. I don't know if you know anything about photography, once you graduate from the little point & shoots, stuff gets tremendously expensive and when someone steals a piece of my work, I feel it in the wallet and the charities I contribute the money to, are deprived.

While I think the tactics of the MPAA and RIAA are draconian and due to poor planning, got themselves in the position they are in, they are well within their right to protect those they represent. If they have to use the ISP's, then the ISP's should just throttle users who insist on p2p. Simple as that...

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@Richard Read

>> Why is it a problem if the music industry or recorded music ceases to exist as a mainstream occupation? Its not as if music is an essential product, the supply of which is vital to human life.

The question should be asked the other way: why is it an *advantage* to destroy the ability to be paid for creation of music (or software)? Obviously there's a short-term advantage to the freeloaders, but only so long as the same volume/quality of music continues to arrive, which is not guaranteed.

After all, you're free right now to limit yourself to non-commercial music only, or only listen to classical music played live (e.g. in concerts) or played yourself in your own home. But right now this is not what's happening, based on all of the commercial material on torrents.

And in general, society seems to have decided it's useful to have a legal system that allows artists or commercial software publishers to have a career/business getting paid for producing what is apparently valuable output (based on the fact most people pay, historically). At least, this is better than paying these people unemployment benefits, and has the useful side effect (historically) that only the materials that's of value (i.e. any good) generates money, so the less good producers go out of business.

And as for "Its not as if music is an essential product": the problem is *not* that people have decided they don't want music any more (compare to the usual "buggy whip" quotes, or any of the many computer companies that could not keep up and whose customers went away). Instead there's no shortage of people who still seem to want the same music, but don't want to pay for it. And the rather long history of music in most cultures also points away from the "music not essential" quote.

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@Richard Read

"Why is it a problem if the music industry or recorded music ceases to exist as a mainstream occupation? Its not as if music is an essential product, the supply of which is vital to human life."

Since when has creating art been a mainstream occupation? Has anyone actually ever tried to sell or market an original work of art? It's the most disheartening and monetarily unrewarding pastime you could choose. Even "successful" acts you see on television and radio would be lucky to break even.

I earn a 100 bucks an hour if I go to work tomorrow, or I could record music and give it away for free.

It's pretty much too late already. The mob has spoken. Turn on your telly and see what people consider entertainment: watching fat people try to lose weight or a house full of boneheads talking about tits and drinking. The essential products of life.

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Anonymous Coward

Excuse me, but.....

I write and record music for others to download for free, whilst working in a daytime job that produces material things (which thankfully I also enjoy). I love the recognition of people downloading and listening to my music for free. It gives me a buzz which makes me write and record more music. I'd do it for nothing, and indeed I do do it for nothing. In the same way I wouldn't want to ask people for money after having an interesting conversation with them, or telling them a fascinating story.

I think that this philosophy only really applies to music though, as there's pretty much zero material cost to making music these days. Films and video games on the other hand can cost huge amounts of money to create, and people who produce them should therefore at least be able to recover these costs.

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Anonymous Coward

other options

why cant they do something sensible like slapping a tax on cdr/dvdrs?

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Flame

Pieces of eight. Pieces of eight.

@Paul M

Quote: "You seem to be unable to follow the consequences that follow from your logic. Perhaps your musings on cats and quantum theory are a way of distracting yourself from these consequences?"

It must be because as a freetard I am somehow incapable of logical thought, maybe I should bow down to your superior reasoning. Or maybe I'll just accept the fact that our opinions differ and let you mock me some more out of a sense of i-don't-give-a-crap. Perhaps your mocking of freetards is a way of distracting yourself from your inability to properly articulate your own opinion.

Quote: "If artists cease to be remunerated from the popular enjoyment of their art, then art will not stop being made. We'll just get a lot less of it, and we'll get a lot more rubbish.

If producers cease to be remunerated for curating and maintaining archives of great old music, and find nuturing and promoting great new music, then we won't stop getting music. We'll just get a lot less of it."

So you've said already. As I've already pointed out, I don't mind there being less music because frankly we're drowning in the stuff at the moment. Maybe you could expand on your point about it getting more rubbish by explaining how/why.

Quote "You might care to open your eyes a bit. You're obviously not a music lover."

Ok, I am a masochistic music listener then if that pleases you.

@AC

Quote:

"You seem to be missing my point: if an industry (music, film, automotive etc.) has its products rendered valueless (i.e. you can't sell cars if they can be legally obtained for nothing) then the industry will cease to exist."

Again with the car comparisons, I shall sum up my disdain for the comparison with one phrase: Apples to Oranges. Cars are not intellectual property. No one is suggesting that stealing cars becomes legal. As for the industry ceasing to exist.. that is the point of the exercise. Thoughts have become a commodity. You may like that, I don't.

"Every copyright theft is a "commercial interest"; you seem to be asserting that if the victim doesn't immediately notice the crime then it's alright? What if someone "shares" your car every night? If they replace the petrol and fiddle the odometer you might not know anything's happened, so it's OK then?

There is a basic bottom line to this; either we give legal protection to IP or we don't. Society has to make this decision and then live with the consequences, but Freetards live in a world where, essentially, everything is just "free" with no real ideas as to how this might actually be paid for. At the moment, because "sharing" is illegal the ratio of Freetards to paying punters is low, so the existing economic model can cope (a bit like shops and shoplifters), but as soon as you legalise "sharing" then that model vanishes and we either get a new way of paying for content production (maybe state funded music and film; terrific comrade!) or accept that content production stops."

I knew the commercial interest compromise was going to bite me back. Fine, if you don't like compromise then I shall drop that comment and instead assert that all intellectual property is bad and that we should live in a world perfected by me.

Back to the point, by your logic I should probably get arrested for sneezing because it might cause a hurricane the other side of the world. 'sharing' a car every night is certainly a better analogy than stealing a car but still kinda misses the mark. What makes someone borrowing your car without your knowledge a bad thing? It isn't the lack of revenue afforded by the fact you could have been renting your car out.. because chances are you wouldn't rent your car out at night anyway. It is because it is your property and you don't trust someone else with it for fear of loss. That is where cars differ from information. Information doesn't HAVE to be property, you stand to lose nothing by sharing it unless there is say.. a law in place to make it into property. Which brings us back to round abouts square one which is where I say I don't like the idea of intellectual property and you say it is essential.

Woah I'm getting dizzy with all this going around in circles, next stop please.

Quote: "But musicians and producers and sound technicians and all the other people involved in turning art into something that can play on an MP3 player do need to make money (do you work for nothing Ian?)."

Yes I do work for nothing, it is called voluntary work. Which has nothing to do with the issue at hand anyway.

Everyone needs to make a living. How they make it is up to them. I feel the words burning into my retina as I type this again but.. copyright has been around 350 years. Art has been around a lot longer. I am well aware of the fact that special effects marvels that are currently two a penny would be a lot rarer without copyright but as much as I liked the matrix I can't say I'd miss it any more than I'd miss a good book. To be honest, books would be a better argument than music or film for copyright. Books were where copyright originated and where it is most relevant. It is interesting that no one pro copyright has brought up books yet, if I was playing devils advocate it would be central to my argument. If I was going to consider a form of copyright for anything books would be at the front of the queue.

Quote: "I think you don't understand human nature; if "sharing" isn't illegal then almost everyone will "share", rendering IP valueless. Will you be paying for digital recordings if someone is willing to "share" them with you?"

Human nature is not determined by law. The fact that otherwise 'lawful' people flaunt copyright because they disagree with it is an example of that. It is only about what you can get away with if you are being treated like schoolkids (don't get me started on that can of worms). Tell me, do you require murder law to prevent you from going around killing people? You may be insecure in your ability to make responsible choices but I am not. You may not trust other people to make responsible choices but in an issue such as this it should be none of your business as any harm done is pure speculation anyway.

Quote: "I think, Ian, that you just want free stuff but don't want to be labelled a criminal by the law. Why not? I would have more respect for someone who steals "honestly" and doesn't whinge for the laws on theft to be removed; at least they have accepted the risks associated with crime and aren't trying to portray it as some kind of revolutionary act for the freedom and benefit of all (All intellectual property is theft comrade!)."

This brings me to my free gift to all who use the word freetard, it is a rant. You are bigots. You act like being lawful makes you right. You make what might otherwise be serious statements while insulting complete strangers. You automatically presume a complete strangers intentions to be selfish. I wonder if you are so obnoxious in person too, as much as I enjoy banter it does tend to get in the way of the actual issues when you can't tell someone to be polite or bugger off.

@Richard Read

I think it is the fear of the unknown, maybe people can't or don't want to imagine what life was like before copyright. It boils down to personal choice in the end though.

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Flame

@ Paul M and the rest of the cartel sheep

Film and music has always been pirated and distributed, what is your point? So now we have a digital era that makes piracy easier, its still the same situation as in the past. Are you so stupid to believe that the cost of purchasing recorded material is affected by piracy? Are you really nieve enough to believe that if piracy was eliminated that the cost of films and music would drop?

That’s like believing the congestion charge is funding better transport in London, or tax hikes are contributing to better healthcare. (remember the war were paying for, enforced on us by another well know "cartel" ?!)

Even if you completely eliminated piracy tomorrow, you wood still be paying the exactly same extortionate prices for music and film in the future. You would only be making the fat cats fatter.

If you don't believe me, you only have to look at the cost for the same material in other countries to see that the industry here is fixed by a cartel who have had it their own way for a long time. Now they are desperately trying to cling on to this power, and in doing so are trying anything they can to keep this balance in their favour. People like you who support this are part of the root cause of the problem.

If you had any clue as to what you are preaching you would note and I really do mean NOTE that from a £14 music CD only a small amount goes to the artist, the rest is "supposedly" to cover the other costs. This is where the real crime is. The vast proportion is being sucked into the cartel and retailers pockets.

So, if this argument is about the digital era and how the consumer, the artist and the "cartel" co-evolve.

What you are forgetting here is that there are so many new ways for artists to be discovered within this digital era, many of the traditional business modes are being made obsolete, thus there are new factors to consider:

- The money the industry would historically require to promote, produce and distribute is no longer needed to be spent.

- There are more radio stations and other digital broadcastings of media that pay license fees contributing to overall income.

- The internet promotes music for free in many instances, there are tons of free sites for music/film fans to get the low down from etc....all of which the "cartel" does not pay a penny to. For instance, YouTube has successfully launched musical careers for a number of new artists.

These all equate to savings for the industry, so, why haven't retail prices dropped in relation to this? Because they are Fixed. Surely earnings for the artists should go up too? I bet you they haven't! The artists are still getting pennies.

To summarise, the cartel who fix prices, complain that they are loosing out (this has always happened, nothing here has changed), now they want to stomp over our rights to use our internet connections and invade our privacy, they blame P2P all because they are loosing ground to a business mode that is changing and they are unable to adapt or control it, and it is the control that is the big problem for them because this will eventually stop them from fixing the prices and (hopefully) put them out of business.

Well... if they go bust, maybe the Artist, the real talent, will get a better deal. Maybe we're better off without huge cartels running things? Maybe a digital era made up of artists under self-control and under the hat of smaller labels and world wide electronic distribution means would equate to a better deal all round. Maybe people wood buy more and P2P less if they didn't feel like they were being butt F*****D by the current system.

So when bleating sheep like you come here mindlessly blurting out support for the "cartel" and inspiring them to rip us off even more with no actual thought as to what good this change in business mode may actually bring in the end, one has to put you on the right track and remind you that you have been conditioned to believe what the cartel want you to believe and all along you are being ripped off, you are being led to believe that the "lechers" are in the wrong and are the cause of the high costs for film and music when in fact it is the cartel who have traditionally set these prices and it is the cartel who have the ability to lower them at their discretion.

They choose not to, like you choose not to see the reality of it. Now drop your pants and bend over, the "cartel" have some business to attend to.......

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Alien

Blame Elvis

The recording industry exists in a bubble that started in the fifties and still exists to this day. It starts with pop music. Sure, there were artists before Elvis, but his impact on the music business is a legacy that stays with us, creating an unsustainable belief in the power of music as a media and as a business. It's a background to our lives and colours our emotions.

It's built on fallacy and dreams and it's beautiful and crap all at the same time, because it speaks to our emotions.

And it cannot continue to exist in it's current form, simply because it is bloated beyond it's means to support itself.

The emotional baggage of music haunts us all to some degree, even politicians, who will not want to see the music industry die because secretly, some of them still want to be pop stars. Does this make sense? I'm trying to explain why there is such an attachment to music, why it's important that artists are allowed to make money, even shitloads of money.

It would be nice if Simon Cowell drove his Maybach into the Thames tomorrow, but it isn't going to happen as part of the model means people like him, moguls, as it were, are a part of the pop story. You can probably draw a line from Col Tom Parker, via Brian Epstein and Pete Waterman, all the way to Cowell. It would probably be a line made of glitter some of the way, rhinestones for part and almost certainly some of it would be made of cocaine.

How does this relate to piracy? Well, I think all the heartstring tugging will inevitably bring the worst kind of legislation against us, one that for all it's good intentions will penalise people that didn't do anything, while the so called freetard get away with what they're still getting away with.

I liked the idea that was banded about a while back of subsidising music downloads by adding a few quid a month to the fee you pay to an ISP. ISPs that sign up for this could advertise the fact that their users can download prosecution free, while other ISPs that don't sign up have to cut off users that download.

A fee like that would become invisible to most users, paying at the point of internet access. How you pass that money onto the artist is another problem.

Oh blimey, I haven't mentioned films and other stuff. Oh well. I'm sure someone will sort it all out, for the worst. Wibble.

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What if...

You could buy different packages from your ISP, one where the required ports for bittorrent were closed and one where they are open but it cost you more per month and that money went to a pot for artists. You might say what about legal uses of P2P, but is there really that much? If so, what is it all and can't it simply be downloaded from a proper source?

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Jobs Horns

-What?

"So how do you compete with free stuff?"

Ask bottled-water manufacturers. Ask printers of the bible. Ask the owners of any web-site that makes money but doesn't charge for what it does.

Content as a commodity is worth exactly what people are prepared to pay for it, no more, no less. There's no supply-and-demand at play.

I've made the point before: folk and jazz musicians make handy professional livings despite having minuscule sales. My favourite band make more money than I do as an IT professional just by gigging. They don't expect to make enough money to retire on from one album (though they do make them and sell them direct, thus keeping what profit is there for themselves), because they know their market isn't big enough, so they treat it like a job and put the hours in. They'll probably retire about the same time as me, only with more money. And they LOVE performing, whereas I only tolerate IT, so what's wrong with that business model?

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Ian
Black Helicopters

I wouldnt buy the stuff I download anyway!

Actually thats a lie, I have seen a couple of really good films that normally I wouldnt have bothered with and as a result went out and bought them. However, as for music, by the time I have been hit with the same song over and over on the radio theres no way i would buy it, plus the majority of modern music is just churned out pulp thats supposed to be attached to some 'image' class dreampt up by a hippy in a boardroom.

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@elkor

>>Since when has creating art been a mainstream occupation?

We aren't talking about creating art. We are talking about turning art into a profitable mass-market product that is advertised worldwide. There will always be a (comparatively) small market for music-as-art in the same way as there is a small market for paintings-as-art. However what I was referring to was the industrial production of music by an industry employing many thousands of people and expecting to earn millions in revenue in return.

One of the things that you see constantly in this debate is assertions like "if people don't pay for music then there won't be any recorded music" as if this is a big deal. What I am trying to understand is why this is a problem. Cultural products come and go as fashion and technology changes and the industries that rely on those products rise and fall in turn - just ask the sheet-music industry.

If the cultural environment changes such that people are not prepared to pay enough to keep the current music industry going then inevitably it will decline and there will be less recorded music available, both for paying customer and for freeloaders. There is no way to prevent this except by changing music so that people value it more. Legislation is, at best, a delaying tactic.

While this is bad for some people in the music industry I don't see why it matters overall. There was a time before recorded music and perhaps there will be a time after recorded music. Perhaps there will be a time when there is no recorded entertainment of any kind. Life goes on.

I simply don't see the need for special measures to protect one small and non-essential industry, let them rise or fall on the merits of their products and business plans like every other industry.

From my personal perspective the biggest problem with music is simply finding anything that I like. I've purchased 2 tracks this month and would have bought many more if only there had been anything for sale that I had liked. As long as I can remove the DRM from tracks that I have purchased I see no need to use illegal methods to get my music.

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Change the laws to reflect the view of the majority.

If downloading music illegaly is only a problem because it's illegal maybe we should make it legal?

There are probably more downloaders than there are music creators and therefore, in a democracy, where the majority supposedly gets what it wants, it should be made legal.

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Thumb Up

Please *can* I buy art?

>> "One of the things that you see constantly in this debate is assertions like "if people don't pay for music then there won't be any recorded music" as if this is a big deal."

It really is. I like recorded music, novels, photography, computer software and hardware, comics, movies, and television. If they went away, I would be sad.

Now, I'm willing to pay some money to make that sadness go away. I pay a bit to consume, and someone is willing to invest time to produce. I can have art in my life, because art-makers can afford to invest time making art.

File sharing makes that much harder. If ten people are willing to pay £10 for a piece of art, then the producer gets £100. If nine people decide not to pay, then that one remaining person must pay the £100. They're probably not willing to do so, so the artist doesn't get paid, he quits his job and pushes excel spreadsheets forevermore. And that one guy does not get his art.

File sharing makes it actually impossible for me to pay the producer, except in limited ways. *File sharing effectively deprives a community of the ability to patronise artists.*

Now, there are always people willing to put time in around the edges of their lives -- musicians who record at weekends, people who make little videos in their spare time, amateur photographers -- and that's valuable and interesting and can produce decent stuff. Some forms of art (say, novels) can be produced entirely by one person in a matter of months. Some works, though, require the cooperation of hundreds of people, or tens of man-years of work, or both (movies, tv shows, recorded music, orchestral concerts, etc.) These people are brought together and cooperate because of monetary incentive. How do we fund these cooperating artist-groups? If their products are given away free, CAN I fund this group?

We're not talking about the "current music industry" per se, or "the film studios". We're talking about the ability of anyone to make any money from any digitisable media -- images, music, video, code, blueprints, prose, whatever. Basically, from art or design. If these things can be digitised, and everyone copies them, then their producers simply cannot justify the time they would have invested. Art and design, as a set of professions, may not be supportable.

So what your statement really should look like is this;

>> "One of the things that you see constantly in this debate is assertions like "if people don't pay for art then there will be no art in the world" as if this is a big deal."

That's a big deal.

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Anonymous Coward

Art != product

Ask any rock star why they got into music and they'll likely say it was to get girls, not money.

Artists will always produce art, irrespective of whether or not they get paid for it - they always have. A true artist *has* to produce art. If they don't have that drive, then their art will very likely not be worth seeing or hearing. I've known so many artists in my time, and every one of them was only concerned with getting their art seen or heard, not making any money from it, just to get it in peoples faces and to hear their interpretations of it and to get a kick out of them liking it. Especially the visual artists, who never even entertained the idea they could make money out of their work - it would almost be distasteful to make money from it in their eyes.

The only reason you people keep speaking so disrespectfully of 'amateur' art is because you have been conditioned into thinking if something is free it cannot have value. When in reality the only art that makes money is the end result of an extensive marketing campaign, just like for the latest washing powder. Westlife are not artists, they are essentially jobbing actors working for a factory owner.

If piracy rids the world of the likes of xfactor-winner-103 then please do us all a favour and keep downloading.

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@ Art != Product

@ "Ask any rock star why they got into music..."

And ask any rock star if they'd like to go back to being on the dole, or working in a dead end job, and you'll get told where to sling your skinny latte.

So it sounds like both envy and snobbery are why you so mean-spirited towards paying artists.

What I want to know is why I have to subsidize leechers. Almost all the answers I've read in this thread are ones like yours, Ian, etc that argue the art isn't worth subsidizing. Which is a fancy way of parading one's ignorance, but not a practical proposal.

@ Andy Turner

"You could buy different packages from your ISP, one where the required ports for bittorrent were closed and one where they are open but it cost you more per month and that money went to a pot for artists."

Wouldn't it be more fair to honest internet users if the leechers paid more - and that went into a pot for artists?

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Art = Things made by people investing time in exchange for reward

> "Artists will always produce art, irrespective of whether or not they get paid for it - they always have"

No, they didn't. Great art is often created by having someone pay for it. From the wikipedia article on patronage; "From the ancient world onward patronage of the arts was important in art history. It is known in greatest detail in reference to pre-modern medieval and Renaissance Europe, though patronage can also be traced in feudal Japan, the traditional Southeast Asian kingdoms, and elsewhere"

And which artists got paid for their work? "Artists as diverse and important as Chrétien de Troyes, Leonardo de Vinci and Michelangelo, William Shakespeare, and Ben Jonson all sought and enjoyed the support of noble or ecclesiastical patrons."

I'm not interested in supporting the x-factor. What I'm interested in is how we support modern Shakespeares and Beethovens. How do we, as a society, reward these artists for their investment of time? Or do we declare that their investment is literally worth nothing, that they should expect no direct reward for their work?

> "The only reason you people keep speaking so disrespectfully of 'amateur' art"

I said "that's valuable and interesting and can produce decent stuff," which is hardly disrespectful. I'm a fiction writer myself. If someone paid me for my work, I could write a lot more and a lot better, because it takes time to create art, and some artworks, like the cistene chapel, take many man-years.

The question remains, though.

- Great art is commissioned for, and bought by people who like it. Beethoven wrote his symphonies on paid time. Homer was almost certainly a paid court poet. Michelangelo only worked on commission.

- Buying copies of art (CDs, posters, etc) is one mechanism allowing folks like you and me to choose which artists to support. It's a kind of 'micro-patronage' system.

- Filesharing reduces the income from selling copies of art.

- This means artists can produce less art for the people, and must either stop, or turn to other sources, like corporations, for patronage.

I suggest that filesharing, then, will have the following effects;

- Normal people lose an ability to 'vote' for art they like -- they can no longer put their money where their mouth is.

- Some artists will become part-timers, producing less art with fewer resources

- Some artists will get patrons; that is, they will turn to corporations, who will commission more McArt.

All in all -- less freedom to choose, less art that you like, more artists working for corporations.

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Art = the results of investment

> "Artists will always produce art, irrespective of whether or not they get paid for it - they always have"

No, they didn't. Great art is often created by having someone pay for it. From the wikipedia article on patronage; "From the ancient world onward patronage of the arts was important in art history. It is known in greatest detail in reference to pre-modern medieval and Renaissance Europe, though patronage can also be traced in feudal Japan, the traditional Southeast Asian kingdoms, and elsewhere"

And which artists got paid for their work? "Artists as diverse and important as Chrétien de Troyes, Leonardo de Vinci and Michelangelo, William Shakespeare, and Ben Jonson all sought and enjoyed the support of noble or ecclesiastical patrons."

I'm not interested in supporting the x-factor. What I'm interested in is how we support modern Shakespeares and Beethovens. How do we, as a society, reward these artists for their investment of time? Or do we declare that their investment is literally worth nothing, that they should expect no direct reward for their work?

> "The only reason you people keep speaking so disrespectfully of 'amateur' art"

I said "that's valuable and interesting and can produce decent stuff," which is hardly disrespectful. I'm a fiction writer myself. If someone paid me for my work, I could write a lot more and a lot better, because it takes time to create art, and some artworks, like the cistene chapel, take many man-years.

The question remains, though.

- Great art is commissioned for, and bought by people who like it. Beethoven wrote his symphonies on paid time. Homer was almost certainly a paid court poet. Michelangelo only worked on commission.

- Buying copies of art (CDs, posters, etc) is one mechanism allowing folks like you and me to choose which artists to support. It's a kind of 'micro-patronage' system.

- Filesharing reduces the income from selling copies of art.

- This means artists can produce less art for the people, and must either stop, or turn to other sources, like corporations, for patronage.

I suggest that filesharing, then, will have the following effects;

- Normal people lose an ability to 'vote' for art they like -- they can no longer put their money where their mouth is.

- Some artists will become part-timers, producing less art with fewer resources

- Some artists will get patrons; that is, they will turn to corporations, who will commission more McArt.

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