How much would your iPhone be worth to you if the only music it could play had been bought on the device itself, from Apple? If your answer is "a lot less" or "not very much", then you're not alone. New empirical research has attempted to measure how much we value the ability to copy our music across formats and devices – and it …
Yah. And I loved that the pre-recorded tapes were of such crap quality too. I switched briefly to buying pre-recorded cassettes when I came to the US and was still under the impression I was going to return Blightside (this was the infancy of the CD era and portable CD players were a joke and cost a fortune). I picked up "Brothers In Arms" when it was a contemporary hit and was astounded that the distributor was crowing about using "high quality tape" to match the digital master. The tape in question was Chrome Dioxide, superseded by various proprietary formulations (TDK's Super Avalyn was my personal favourite) a decade before.
It's no wonder they can't find much sympathy in the buying public even without the "freetard" lobby's input (using that word in the culturally accepted sense, not to insult anyone in particular).
Ahh, yeah; I remember them...
an unlimited supply
and there is no reason why
I tell ya it was all a frame
they only did 'cos of fame!
sales commission yes, control over use no
If musicians increase the value consumer elecronics has to consumers then give the musicians a share of that increase in value, to encourage product designers and manufacturers to increase this utility. This approach also shows up DRM as of negative value, for the value destruction it entails. Encumbered hardware should receive no such share, as the consumer is inherently prevented from using content so delivered for non-commercial purposes as the consumer sees fit. In exchange for these moneys, format shifting is no longer technically legally restricted by unenforceable rights. It's much easier for the content rights holders to go after commercial beneficiaries anyway, as these are relatively very few in number compared to non-commercial beneficiaries.
It's also in keeping with the original intent of copyright law that it should only require changes in the behaviour of a few commercial businesses (in the original form it meant a few printing press owners) while consumers benefitted by there being more cheaply books available in preference to expensive hand copied books. Non commercial lending and sharing of books then wasn't regulated.
The same goes for Internet. How many of us would purchase connections offering better than a very small monthly cap unless we could use this for sharing content, Internet radio or various other media uses, whether within our homes or with our neighbours or further afield ? Rights of privacy, expression and freedom to communicate of everyone must take precedence over control of distribution benefiting a minority, especially given the infeasibility and unpopularity associated with attempts at mass behaviour control. Again it's the commercial beneficiaries (in this case ISPs) who should pay a sales commission in exchange for content rights holders losing unenforceable rights to control distribution.
If it's possible to figure out the increase in value of an Internet connection in the same way as suggested in this article, the real arguments here then concerns what share of the added value of ISP service the content industry as a whole (including movies, books, music, and software ) should obtain, and how these proceeds should be divided up.
There will be a few folk who object to paying towards content rights as a small part of the normal cost of a net connection which they mainly use to download 3 different Linux distributions every week, but who never use it to hear any music or watch any films. That's a bit like those who only watch commercial TV in the UK complaining about the license fee which goes to the BBC.
Interestingly, those like my son whose chosen music license allows free non-commercial distribution but with rights reserved over commercial distribution would qualify for part of the revenue obtainable by this means.
Re: sales commission yes, control over use no
If consumer electronics increase the value of music then the musicians should have to give a share of the revenue to the consumer electronics companies.
I mean how often would you listen to music if you had to be at home with heavy/fragile speakers/playback device compared with a lightweight portable device.
I'm one of a few who own a standalone CD recorder, which is handy for transcribing LPs but crippled requiring so-called Audio or Music CDR blanks. These are identical to data CDRs but have a sort of spoiler code on them and cost around 40p more per disk than data CDRs. That's if you can find them.
The extra cost is, in part, a levy to the record industry to appease their panic that CD Recorders would be used to copy their artists' CDs. Of course, nobody uses them for that because it's as easy to do it on a computer you already have and you save paying £200 for a CD recorder and a 40p tax on every blank disc.
The irony is that the only other people I know who use CD recorders are musicians recording their own work. So most of the people paying the levy are musicians, effectively being taxed for recording music to which they already own the copyright.
Re: "Audio" CDR
I have to admit, I often wondered why people bought the 'Audio' CD-Rs when the data were cheaper (and could do the same thing). I guess you've just answered that for me!
Re: "Audio" CDR
Stop me if I'm wrong, anybody, but as I recall, there was really no difference between the data CDRs and audio CDRs besides labeling. I used just regular old CDRs to burn my mix discs for years before somebody had the bright idea of labeling "data" and "audio" CDRs, and they still play fine.
It's been some years, but I seem to recall something about complying with some country's tax law revisions regarding copyright and blank digital media... or maybe it was just marketing.
A way forward
This probably wouldn't work with popular music, but if one of the large music companies offered me a way to listen to anything in their entire classical catalogue whenever I wanted for a monthly subscription fee in the Sky-TV ballpark, I'd jump at it. If it used DRM to prevent me making copies I'd still take it. I'd rather listen to a different performance every time, than revisit the exact same one I'd bought.
Provided - PROVIDED - it was an uncompressed or losslessly-compressed bitstream hitting my DAC.
It'll never happen. Well, not unless the world's musicians get their tech act together and tell Sony et al to go jump in a volcano.
What is needed to keep everyone happy (except the music thieves) is for all suppliers of playback equipment to agree to ONE format of DRM protected file format.
That way when I move my music from my old iOS device to my new 'Droid I could still play these files. If I bought a file online I could play it on any device I own. Won't happen as they can't agree and even if they did, how would you manage backups and such?
Realistically, if they'd gone for this 15+ years ago they might have managed it, but the music industry dragged it's heels and the world blew past it and now it is desperately trying to stay afloat.
Short term not much will change except that the sensible musicians will market their wares themselves online, and will price their product such that they make a decent living.
The years of the super-rich musician is nearly over and y'all better get used to the idea.
The protectionism by the music corporations is just their long drawn out death-rattle.
how would you manage backups and such?
They'd say, not our problem! That I can almost guarantee.
The problem with using DRM is it means you're reliant on a single technology. 20 years down the line, if I want to listen to a track I bought today, will I still be able to do it? I'd still be able to listen to Vinyl or CD (if I can find a player), but what about a DRM solution? With everything going into the 'cloud' you can guarantee that your player would need to speak to the DRM server, which may not be there anymore.
Whilst it is a minor consideration, I do like to know that I'll be able to listen to what I've paid for whenever I want, no matter how far in the future that may be.
DRM is not the answer.
Firstly the DRM control servers may not be there forever as Mr Tasker above pointed out.
Secondly a music collection represents a significant investment in terms of time and money. Only an idiot is going to let that investment exist only at the whim of a hostile entity.
Third...who the hell wants to be forced to connect to the net in order to play a song?
Fourth. If the media industry has you over a barrel; maybe in the future they'll force an advert or facebook 'like' on you before the song will play. This is an industry that has traditionally started by taking the piss and then devolving from there.
DRM is definitely not the answer and will only inconvenience paying customers. 'Freetards' will have already stripped out the DRM at the time of acquisition.
These days, music is generally not sold in DRM protected formats. Apple sells it as unprotected aac files which will work in a few third party media players. Most other shops such as Amazon sell it as mp3 files which will work pretty much anywhere.
"The years of the super-rich musician is nearly over and y'all better get used to the idea."
Not at all. The days of the super-rich record executive are nearly over, but musicians don't need record companies anymore. In this day and age it's entirely possible for an indie band with a $1000 soundboard and a studio in one of the members' basements to make a killing selling their tracks online. Once they hit a critical mass of popularity, they, or an independant manager working for them, can set up tours and make even more.
Mark my words: the day is coming very soon when some band is going to bank seven digits of income per year without any of the big name record companies. When that happens you'll know that it's the beginning of the end for the record labels. From that point on every time they try to sign a new artist they'll be met with "X got rich without you, so why should we give you the rights to our music and accept a pidly percentage of the sales in return?"
That's the nice thing about the states... we have fair use laws. I can make a copy of the cd that I bought for my own use. Doesn't matter if it's another cd, cassette tape, 8-track, reel to reel or computer file. We already pay a 'fee' on all recording media (cassettes, vcr tapes, blank cd's and dvd's) to cover for copyrighted works regardless if the media is to ever be used for such.
Personally, even if the law changed to make format shifting illegal, I'd do it anyway. I own over 1500 cds, 1000 dvds and 500 bds which I rip for my home theatre set up. I'm not going to pay for the shift, just like the music companies aren't going to pay me for the labor that went into the shifting. Those 'poor' musicians who may cry foul over it can suck it up.
You dont pay for all recording media
your hard disks are exempt.
I don't think you should have to - I believe the recording industries steal more money from the musicians than the public ever do.
I'd advise you to but direct from musicians wherever possible even if the thought of a copy of your local musician on CD is in fact supporting Justin Beiber makes you quiver.
I would be paying considerably more for DRM-free media
Considering how much time and effort it costs me for ripping DRM encumbered formats, I'd be willing to pay twice as much for a DRM free copy.
However in reality the DRM free copies usually are cheaper, either via Bittorrent or television.
CDs? They still sell those?
Everyone I know has bought all their music online for years. Given that I hang out with a bunch of geeks that may not be representative of the general population, but still 20% sounds really low for a percentage of people who only buy online.
Re: CDs? They still sell those?
CD's tend to get given as birthday/christmas presents in my family. Seems weider and weider as time goes by.
"Look, I got you this, it cost me £20, so you know how much I care about you!"
"You spent £20 on something I could've easily got for half the price or even free? Thanks!"
Re: CDs? They still sell those?
CDs are great. Couple of quid secondhand from Amazon, rip them to a lossless format, file them away as a backup / occasional use.
If it doesn't support FLAC forget it.
If iPhone supported FLAC I just MIGHT buy one.
Hmm... the Nokia Maemo devices could run mplayer which supports FLAC.
iPhone supports Apple Lossless and you can convert between FLAC and Apple Lossless very easily without any loss.
I'd be happy to agree that composers and performers are entitled to royalties from copies of recordings made. The amount of money per recording that a copier should be expected to pay should be identical to the amount of money the recording industry pays to the same composers and performers for republishing works under one format or another.
Per copy made of course--not per copy sold, since that wouldn't be the same thing.
Of couse, the bitch is enforcement.
Copying is a crime. Or at least it should.
Everyone knows that the only way to stop actors and musicians staving to death through poverty is to pay full-price each time you want to listen to a song/watch a movie on different digital media. It's only fair, each time you hear/watch the media you are uplifted/comforted/entertained; so why should you not reward those involved.
Allowing consumers to copy media from one device to another will destroy businesses and send millions of people on to the streets. Imagine the streets thronging with malnourished thespians. This is the future you seek dare you copy anything!
And what of the musos children? Oh dear god! Won't someone think of the children?
And all the industries that rely on music and film. And all the industries that relies on those. And so one.
By god, copying would destroy Western civilisation as we know it!
So do not copy. Be a patriot. Support you country! Stand proud! Say "Nay! I shall not give into temptation and steal from my fellow man!" Pay full-price for each item and rejoice in the knowledge that you are saving us all from 'pirates' who are probably no more than trainee kiddy-fiddlers anyway.
ALWAYS THINK OF THE CHILDREN!
Ehh, I get nothin'
My digital music collection is not a big deal at all, it is ALL replaceable without re-purchasing.
Literally the least of my worries.
No shit, Sherlock!
No shit, Sherlock!
That is all.
Re: No shit, Sherlock!
That guy Sherlock is the MAN ! No body ever gives him any shit.
Will someone confirm that the blank media levy in the UK no longer exists ?
Also the right to make copies "for personal domestic use" ?
AIUI Cyprus, Ireland, Malta and the United Kingdom all lack a "blank media levy".
In the USA personal copies are allowed and this is where the confusion arises. In the UK, however, copying for personal use is illegal (although the various media companies have said they will not pursue anyone). The Digital Economy Act may make it legal in the future, but until such times if you want to obey the strict letter of the law, you must get express permission from the copyright holder to make the copy (or but it again on the different media).
Citations: Mostly Wikipedia, but even the most basic of web searches will get you some answers.
Obviously Format Shifting Should be OK
The format it comes in is 1's & 0's - unless I can "format shift" it into moving air & nerve impulses it's no use!!!
Unless I can transmit it (wirelessly or wired) from my player to my speakers it's also no use.
Personally I won't buy music unless I can also copy it from my PC to car to phone to player so I can listen to it wherever.
I only listen to one copy at a time so I can't see I'm breaking MORAL laws - except when my phone goes off when I'm listening to the album I took the ring tone from!
Pay again - as long as there's value added?
The film industry gets consumers to "double dip" by adding material to a new release or even by releasing it in a new *better quality* format like blu-ray. Unfortunately they'll also hold back "full" versions of films to try to force the double dipping, like with LOTR.
The home cinema market appears to be of a different generation to the majority of music purchasers. Unfortunately, many of the music buying public, most of which are probably younger than me, seem happy with a (relatively) poor quality MP3, often played at full volume through poor quality mobile phone speakers, further distorting the sound. It's a shame really, when you consider that at that age, your ears are so much better than at mine.
I only buy a handful of albums a year these days, Britpop was my era and this generation seems to be about RnB, which isn't generally to my taste, although there have been a few with high production values and funky 8bit computer samples in the last few years that I didn't mind so much. The stuff I hear on the radio that I actually like is played often enough that I don't feel the need to buy it.
I mostly listen to my old losslessly ripped original CD's on my nice hifi at home, losslessly on my old iPhone with decent headphones on the move and new music on the radio at work. I won't pay for anything that's less than CD quality lossless, so when I was looking to buy the Gotye album, I was pleased to find it on their official site (hopefully cutting out as many middle men as is possible these days) in a 24bit digital master copy with JPG / PDF album art, which I bought (my first non-physical paid-for album download and my first at higher than CD quality).
Perhaps that's one way of adding value to a purchase, particularly for those that appreciate quality - on my setup the difference really is noticeable and more important than printed album art (perhaps the best of both worlds would be to release 24bit albums on a physical medium like blu-ray with album art).
The price of stupidity
The price of stupidity and denial is prison.
Andrew, here's the problem with your suggestion.
While on the surface, it may seem reasonable because it follows from existing law and past practices, there are entirely too many people like me in the general populace.
While I despise the freetards who pirate crap even more than the record companies who have raped me for years on the price of music and having to repurchase it when formats shifted or media wore out, that doesn't mean the record companies don't live in the basement of the outhouse as far as I'm concerned. If you are selling me a LICENSE to the music, I damn well expect it to be a full license, with full transferability to any media I choose, and that you are going to provide me with replacement media at the cost of manufacturing the replacement media if it breaks or wears out.
Unless that happens, they're just another highwayman. Okay, a highwayman with a special dispensation from the government to steal, but theft it remains.
How about zero?
A pound? A fiver? To copy music I've already purchased, all by myself, onto a device I own? How about zero.
The fact of the matter is, in countries with these royalties regimes, the money doesn't make it to artists -- it either goes to the record companies (who don't distribute it) or with some rights agency (who again doesn't distribute it.) Best case, the top few artists get the money rather than the ones you are actually listening too getting anything. As a bonus, with this type of system your money is pulled straight out of your pocket and sent to the record company if you burn Ubuntu CDs for people, or make local backups -- blank CDs, DVDs, and usually even USB memory sticks are levied under this kind of scheme.
As a songwriter and musician with songs posted globally through many digital distributors, I think that we (the artists) should be compensated for the file transfers. In some instances I have songs on sites that stream music and for those song plays I only get pennies. In other instances I get .49-$1.29 per download. People who purchase the songs get a 1 time download to listen to on whatever device they want. If they want to put it in a cloud, fine put it there in the first place. If they are new to the technology then they should have to purchase it. It's just a form of media change, and you can't put an lp or 8 track in your cd player or your mp3 player (literally). Yes with the right equipment you could transfer and convert the music to a digital file ect. But that is stealing the music and violates the copyright. In today's digital age we are able to drop our change into the guitar case of our favorite artists directly instead of passing a few bills through labels, managers and executives. So what is the big deal in paying the person who actually wrote/performs the music you love? Isn't that both more respectful and honoring to both the musician and the listener. After all didn't all of this come about as a way of representing good music and showing appreciation for it?
- Geek's Guide to Britain BT Tower is just a relic? Wrong: It relays 18,000hrs of telly daily
- Product Round-up Smartwatch face off: Pebble, MetaWatch and new hi-tech timepieces
- Review: Sony Xperia SP
- Geek's Guide to Britain The bunker at the end of the world - in Essex
- Dell's PC-on-a-stick landing in July: report