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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  1. richard
    Thumb Down

    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.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  3. Paul Talbot
    Thumb Down

    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.

  4. Steve

    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?

  5. Mark

    "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.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    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.

  7. Jason Togneri
    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.

  8. jono

    Indeed

    Seems they have the right person for the job.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    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.

  10. Graham Anderson

    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.

  11. adnim Silver badge

    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.

  12. b166er
    Thumb Up

    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

  13. Anonymous Coward
    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

  14. alphaxion

    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!!

  15. Shakje

    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.

  16. Eddie Edwards
    Stop

    @ 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.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  18. 4a$$Monkey
    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!!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    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

  20. John

    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.

  21. Dan
    Thumb Down

    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.

  22. Kyle

    @ 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...)

  23. andy gibson

    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.

  24. Mark
    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 :)

  25. Mark

    "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.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Content vs 'IP'

    Content != 'intellectual property'

  27. Mike Richards
    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.

  28. James Gater

    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.

  29. Mark

    @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.

  30. Mark
    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?

  31. John

    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.

  32. 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.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    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!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    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>

  35. Paul

    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.

  36. Phil Antrobus
    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.

  37. Colin Jackson

    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.

  38. Ian Dedic

    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"...

  39. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  40. Andrew Moore
    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.

  41. 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?

  42. mark Silver badge
    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

  43. Mark

    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).

  44. Mark

    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.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    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!)

  46. Mark
    Paris Hilton

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

    What's been stolen?

  47. 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.

  48. Steven Hewittt
    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.

  49. Mark
    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!

  50. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Levies

    There's this idea that seems to have sprung up that there should be some kind of levy, a licence fee on an internet connection that will go to the providers in some way.

    I don't want their stuff, why should I pay?

    How is this divided up amongst the many providers?

    Can I just produce any old junk and claim a slice?

    If the levy is optional won't the file sharers just not pay it?

    How much would such a levy be?

    Are we assuming an album a month - around 10 quid/month 120 a year?

    I know people who have several hundred downloaded albums, how would any levy cover that cost?

  52. Mark

    All the Marky people...

    "Lot of Marks here..cool name!"

    It's a mark of distinction..!

    As to your point, yes, for someone to bother making 1,000,000 pressed copies of a CD, you must be able to have a good idea that you'll sell most of those million. However, you don't HAVE to press a CD You could leave your music on the internet and people will PAY to copy it for their friends and relatives. That means "making CD's" isn't profitable. But should it be? Isn't a CD nowadays mostly advertisement? Or at least it can be profitably used as such.

    So the economic need for CDs to be a profit centre don't exist.

    Now, given that, we can see that copyright (which would act to make "pressing CD copies" profitable) needs only be long enough to give a good expectation that the only reason it won't be profitable is if the content isn't wanted.

    And 120 years covers it as well as 5 years does.

    Isn't that a better place to start from, when negotiating?

    "The public" need to realise that if there's no profit, then there's going to be a lot less "content" available for them to have, at ANY price (the producer doesn't HAVE to produce, they could have another job).

    Now it could be if we set it at 5 years we'd get nothing produced. If that happens long enough, the public will be willing to "pay" 10 years if they see it as being worth while. It could be less content is produced and we're happy.

    It could be that more content is produced (since you don't have to be scared to produce something that's more than 5 years old so you can re-mix or sample without having to consult a solicitor).

    But if 5 years isn't enough, the law can be changed. We changed it before. It's just that always before it's been in one direction only.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A musician writes ...

    As a musician I agree with the sentiment somewhere above about getting paid before you sing. If I get paid for a gig, that's great, but if I get paid for a recording, I feel kind of ashamed. I mean, why not take the extra step then and charge each time the listener plays it? On the other hand, I don't mind donations from people who'd just like to give me some money and encourage me to release some more music - that's not the same thing at all (more like busking I suppose, with all the modern conveniences!).

    The right license for recorded music is something along the lines of the Creative Commons license. This works very well for small independant musicians since you get worldwide distribution for nothing; the tiny proportion of listeners who felt like making a donation could add up to almost enough to pay for studio time quite easily if you're not too extravagant. If I was popular enough as a musician, I'd be overjoyed to make a modest living from regular gigs and occasional donations - getting rich from it is just stupid (we're not curing cancer here, we're just entertainers). In the meantime, I don't mind operating at a loss; it's still cheaper than many hobbies after all and far more rewarding.

    Screw the RIAA; what do they know about music? Technology has moved on to the point where we don't need them; musicians, I hope you consider this approach and maybe we can contribute something significant. Maybe we can legally cramp this obsolete bloodsucker's style...

  54. Nigel Rook

    Pedantry:

    The Oxfort english dictionary defines the verb to steal (in this contextt) as:

    to "take (something) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it"

    So downloading a tune is stealing :(

    "steal verb [...] to take away (another person's property) without permission or legal right, especially secretly" - Chambers Reference Online

    or not...

    Regarding the comment that by downloading something you're refusing to pay for something you desire, you have to remember that desire decreases as cost increases, which is why "I wouldn't have bought it if i hadn't have downloaded it" still stands. The ludicrous prices that record companies enforce for reduced quality (flac ftw \o/), drm-encumbered rubbish mean that more often than not, someone downloading a song for free doesn't mean that a purchase has been lost.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    It is not stealing. It is copyright infringement.

    That's not an opinion.

    That's the law.

    Whether you feel it morally to be "stealing" is an entirely different matter.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Pedantry

    If I buy a car, take it home and make a replica, have I stolen the car? If I download instructions to make the replica, have I stolen the car?

    NO!

    If I go to the art gallery and take a photo of the Mona Lisa, come home, print it on canvas and stick it on my wall, have I stolen the Mona Lisa? If I download a hi-res photo of the Mona Lisa and print it out, have I stolen the Mona Lisa?

    NO!

    If I go to a library, lend a CD, take it home, copy it, take the CD back to the library, have I stolen the CD? If I download an electronic copy of a CD and burn it to a blank CD (or not), have I stolen that CD that's still in the shop that I never bought in the first place?

    NO!

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    It's a fair cop

    Yeah... I admit it... I download stuff...

    Am I a thief? I don't think so...

    I go to the cinema on a regular basis, and I have quite a large DVD collection (all originals).

    I download to evaluate, nothing more, nothing less. If I like what I am listening to, I'll go and buy the CD, if I don't, I'll send it to the recycle bin, never to be heard again through my tinny laptop speakers.

    Films, if I've missed it at the cinema, then I'll probably download a copy to see if it's worth shelling out on the DVD. If I've seen it at the cinema, and liked it, I'll probably download a copy. Once it's out on DVD, I'll bin the copy, and buy the DVD.

    As I stated at the start, most of my downloads are TV shows anyway, and I already pay for my Sky+ box, I just don't want the inconvenience of waiting for the shows to be sold to a UK channel, or run the risk that the show will never get over here.

    I don't think any of this makes me a thief, but I could be wrong.

  58. Morely Dotes
    Alert

    There's a very simple, workable solution

    P2P file sharing of music and movies can easily make money - if the producers of the content (*NOT* the record labels, mind, the actual producers) contribute that content to an "official" tracker server, which also servers advertising when downloaders are browsing for torrents.

    The producers get paid by the advertisers. It works for television, and it will work for music and video.

  59. Mark
    Thumb Down

    Re: Probably not a popular opinion

    So slavery should never have been abolished? The crown should never have been killed and parliament should never have taken power? They were all illegal changes to the law.

    If the law isn't believed to ne right by such a huge section of society their ephemeral actions are costing the business trillions of dollars each year, then the law is not just.

    And even if it IS that people just want free stuff, the artists want free money! Cliff has already been paid for "living doll" many times over yet he's still worried that the gravy train will stop.

    There are artists who think otherwise, but there are people who don't just want free stuff too. But that doesn't give you a stick to beat yourself off with, does it.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Internet is only small part of their "losses"

    Having managed a store that used to deal in both music and movies, I was always against downloading via P2P, and still am (if you like it that much then be fair and buy it, but as cheap as you can find it - oh, and selling what you've downloaded via P2P is plain wrong, full stop).

    But I personally would not buy my music/films from the current sanctioned online download services, as the prices are not realistic considering the lack of overheads they face compared to the prices they charge - I'd rather buy the original on old fashioned disc from the cheapest region until the prices become realistic.

    To expect people to pay almost the same as the physical disc for a low quality compressed copy that needs you to pay for a broadband connection to receive it is just day light robbery.

    Oh, and as for the comments on people justfying the legality or lack of it in downloading - you'd be supprised just how petty the laws actually are. According to the same laws, you cannot lend your close friends your bought copy of a DVD/CD or even play it when they come round (as this is a "public performance").

    I'm not advocating downloading for free, but how about expecting realistic profit margins? Walmart makes tiny profits on each item but has a turn over of multiple millions because people trust them not the rip people off (by much anyway). And when you do make it cheaper, don't put controls on it, so that only the correct person in the correct region on the correct player can use correctly - try seeing it as the digital "art" you keep telling us it is, and let us choose how we want to experience it - and at a price thats fair to us. If most of the "stars" you see on MTV cribs can live their life styles on their cut, the industry must be able to knock a bit of so I can afford a tin of beans AND the odd MP3.

  61. Mark

    OED definition

    However, you have to say what "taking" means. From the rest of the sentence, which says without intending to return it, a copy isn't taking. Unless it's the actual copy made by someone you've taken. I can't give back what you never had and if I take your CD, copy it and give you back the CD you had, you never had the copy to begin with.

    So, 'taint stealing.

    What it IS is infringing on your right as copyright holder to decide what terms you offer others rights to copy. And that is a civil matter. It only (and SHOULD only) be a criminal matter when significant money is made from it. I.e. your business depends on ignoring the rights of others.

    But given that the pro-copyright side demand as a right things they have no right to (installing a game you bought requires you to agree to a license to USE what you bought in the way the PRODUCED requires you use it!?!?), ignoring copyright is as bad and if we're going to stigmatise the sharers, where's the problem in stigmatising the producers?

  62. Mark
    Boffin

    On the theme of UK law

    "According to the same laws, you cannot lend your close friends your bought copy of a DVD/CD or even play it when they come round (as this is a "public performance")."

    But those laws were written when duplication was a commercial proposition, and when there was no option but to sell tickets or accoutrements to get such entertainment played in the home. Also, because this is a CIVIL infraction (infringement of a right), the accuser can only sue for damages and they cannot show losses, so the idiocy of what the black-and-white means wasn't an issue. However, now that they've managed to get statutory damages and no need for proof of losses, the idiocy of the law is obvious.

    And so we don't want to obey it.

    You also managed to fall into a trap: you're allowed what is called a turning copy. A copy for your wife. IIRC, it actually SAYS wife. Odd how that is never mentioned when the limits on what you can do with "their" content is brought up.

  63. Futaihikage

    Article is improperly titled!

    This thing should be called "Consumers should continue to assume bent over position"

    This politician is looking for some "magical" change or position take in society. It's next to impossible with the way the world is inter-connected. Society has progressed from the family sitting around the radio to millions worldwide clicking on a computer.

    The record / music companies are never gonna be pleased because their interpretation of "piracy" which means they can't make billions off of one CD anymore and the consumer market will never be happy because society is used to sharing things FOR FREE anyway. We let people borrow lawnmowers, we give people recipes, we share music, thoughts, ideas, art work, on a regular everyday basis. So consumers will NEVER take on any of those ideas fully. Sure they can crack the legal whip on some people but that will just upset the other people, who will feel now "morally" justified to continue downloading stuff for free.

    There needs to be an "This is enough money" button / limit on these items. After a song or album or whats considered "art" has reached a certain amount of money, it should be considered public domain. This forces the monopolies into a state either innovation or being crushed by the lack of it. People are only gonna want ONE copy of Blade Runner anyway.

    Everyone other field has to innovate on a regular basis, why can't these two industries do the same?

  64. richard

    Is it just me .... or does he think we're stoopid?

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/09/lord_triesman_copyright_interview/

    Can't seem to comment on the article above , but here goes - if people can copy music from their CD's ...fine; however if the cd - or any other purchased media is drm'ed for that matter it'll be illegal to 'circumvent' it anyway - rendering the 'you can copy the content you bought' bit entirely useless.

    Is it just me or are we being taken for puppets?

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Home taping is killing music?

    "Take a band like the Klaxons. They came up through the indie sector and their income was minimal until they won the Mercury"

    Well that rather negates his original point - that people downloading music for free will stop good-quality music being produced. Musicians who love to make music will always do so, regardless of whether it makes them rich.

    Why doesn't the minister propose something which would actually benefit the citizens of this country, rather than big business: for example, reducing the copyright protection period down from 90 years down to 10, or even 5?

    Musicians can have 5 years of royalties (presumably when the majority of sales are made), and then if they want to make more, well they can damned well write and record some more songs, i.e. do some work like the rest of us. Or they can play live gigs - fans will always pay for admittance.

    Of course, the Paul McCartneys of this world (and their record companies) might not get quite so mega-rich living off work they did in the 60's. Would that be such a bad thing for society?

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Price Transparency

    "But it's certainly true that people should be able to earn a living producing good and original works that people want to consume, then there will need to be a way they can earn a living."

    This emphasis on taking the food out of the mouths of artists is all very well, but if the artists are subsisting on only 10% of the price that the consumer is paying, then the real issue is the 90% that's being consumed by the "channel". By refusing to acknowledge this issue, Lord Triesman siding very strongly with the channel, and his pious comments about stealing from the creative types should be recognized for what it is - spin (or, to be more precise, propaganda).

    Unless Lord Triesman insists on price transparency from the labels, his "consultation" should be clearly understood to be cover for protecting the existing vested interests.

  67. Martin Owens
    Pirate

    Licenses and Property

    It certainly doesn't help that the makers of digital content do not take advantage of the most efficient ways to let people try out and even buy their content. In fact they make it hard to buy their content, much harder than it is to download. I think the problem is less about money and more about ease of access to that content.

    As for the licenses, we need the government to come up with a licensing scheme which separates out the physical property of a CD/DVD which is yours to use as fire lighters. And the license to the content contained there in. For instance if I buy Die Hard 2 on DVD It should come with a little card which is the license, this allows me to have Die Hard 2 and any other materials contained on the DVD in any format, I can see the license to someone else, borrow it, give it as a gift whatever. The point is that I can now legally download Die Hard 2 online since I own a license for the _content_ not for the content on a DVD. I see no reason why these cards could not be rendered in an electronic xml fashion such that they are easy to print out or store elsewilst connected to the sale to make copying suspect.

    Notice how none of this requires technical measures, people downloading content and playing it without a license are in trouble if the old bill drop round for a visit to have a peek at their content collection.

    But instead of _trying_ to come up with a useful and complete scheme for digital and old content, the government are pissing it up pandering to lobbyists from BigBiz PLC.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Mark

    You hit the nail on the head with the Cliff/Living Doll syndrome.

    A film is released and makes XX,000,000 in the box office, making multiples of profit compared to the original cost.

    Merchandise is produced (and let's face it, very few action figurines are ever copied by pirates, right? lol) and increases that profit....

    It's released on DVD and sells at (suprise suprise) multiples well above production costs...more profit.

    It goes to rental...... ooooh, profit!!!

    It goes on to cable.......... at a loss? I think not

    It hits terrestrial TV........ for free? Uh-uh........

    Yup, downloading is crippling the industry.

    And I'd LOVE someone to point out the difference between downloading a film that you missed on TV and recording it when it was on to watch later...........

  69. greg

    Government enabled racket ?

    If I hear about some music I may like, from friends or whatever source, what do can I do nowadays ?

    Go to the local official dealer, ask to hear the artist (no way I'll buy it without a little test), pay the CD. Since I paid for it, I have the right to hear it whenever and whereever I'd like, logically.

    So I happily put it in the car CD player... Doesn't work !?! I say, f**k DRM !

    I put it in my old portable CD player... Doesn't work !?! F**k DRM !

    I want to encode it and play it on my portable MP3 player ? Soon enough it won't work (without using an illegal software that is) !?! F**k DRM !

    So, today, whenever I buy a CD, I already feel that I am stolen from MY rights !

    I turn on the radio in the car. I am forced by law to pay a license fee here in Switzerland. 9 out of 10 songs I hear, on any station, are things I'll never buy, I wouldn't accept even if given for free, and I'm not ever going to get by any way.

    But because some businessmen in this world managed to make Justin Timberlake a "star" and have deals with MTV and have it played even in the shopping malls, it's number one in the charts, it's on the radio and I'm forced by law to pay for him. If I wouldn't want to pay for him, I'd have to remove the car radio, go to our government agencies to say I refuse to pay the fee, prove I removed the radio, and that would cost me even more.

    So, I pay for people I don't want to pay, because of this stupid business model and the laws that apply to it.

    2nd time I feel I am stolen from my rights.

    So, as far as I am concerned, I for once would LOVE this whole music industry being forced to find a true competitive market model, where only the artists that play something nice enough for an audience that really is willing to pay for would survive.

    Take one more example, valid here in Switzerland. Part of the tax I am forced to pay is to sponsor some artistic work. I see one huge problem at least :

    hundreds of thousands $ are given each year to make it possible to play Operas.

    Every citizen is forced to sponsor it, but at the end only the rich citizen are able to pay the remaining entrance fee, which is still way above what 90% of workers who paid tax for it can afford. So, poor people are sponsoring Operas for the rich people. I'd likely remove that sponsoring and make the rich people who like to go show other rich people that they like Operas pay the full participation due to it !

    So when I pay more than half and hour of work's money for a CD for a 20 years ago dead artist that I can't play in my car, to pay businessmen that do their jobs so well that they force me to hear Justin or Britney in shops and sponsor against my will...

    At minimum I feel I am stolen of MY rights 3 times.

    Add the blanket license fee we have on blank digital container of any sort I am forced to pay even if I never copied any copyrighted work on them...

    Add that crap implying I am a thief I am forced to see whenever I legally pay to rent a DVD...

    And then call me a fool, because I feel there's a RACKET against me ?

    Sicilians may have produce the maffia, but Hollywood is trying to enforce a worlwide government enabled racket.

  70. Ian Dedic

    @ Dan

    "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."

    We play because we love doing it not to make big bucks (though it would be nice).

    We've made CDs because people ask for them, and they haven't done more than cover the costs and give enough profit to fund making the next one -- and of course they encourage people to come to the gigs, which is why we do it all.

    But we sure as hell wouldn't make them if we made a *loss* doing so, which is what would happen if lots of people downloaded them "free" instead of buying them.

    Incidentally, the cost of physically pressing a CD is small compared to the costs of recording/mixing/producing -- if we need to sell CDs at £10 to get back these costs, a downloaded version would have to cost maybe £9 if we sold the same number, which is the case if all your fans buy one or the other. Which is why we haven't gone down that route, everyone would rather have a real physical CD with sleeve notes and artwork than save 10% and just get computer files.

    So you'd think that the only way that downloads would/should be much cheaper than a CD is if you sell many more of them by reaching a bigger market. But then the economics are very different if the volumes are much bigger -- the physical cost of a CD + artwork + case also drops to maybe 20p, so it's still only probably 10% cheaper to download...

    Ian

  71. Ian Dedic

    What are you actually buying?

    A friend who works for the MCPS (Musical Copyright Protection Society) thinks that the record (and film) companies aren't facing up to the fact of what you've actually paid for, they're trying to have their cake and eat it:

    -- if you've bought and own the physical CD you should be able do do anything you want to it so long as it's for your own use -- play it, doodle on it, put it in the shredder, copy it, take the bits you like off it and throw the rest away.

    -- if you've bought and own the material and performance stored on the CD then exactly the same applies, you own a copy of the information for your own use and you should be able to do what you want with said information.

    However the record companies' position seems to be that neither of these is the case -- so what have you actually bought? The answer seems to be neither.

    Martin Owen's point is exactly correct -- what you should be buying is a licence to obtain and play the content in whatever form you want. If you download it and then lose the copy because your iPod or PC dies you should be able to download a replacement copy free, not have to pay again. If you've bought a CD and the dog eats it you should be able to download and burn a replacement.

    All this needs is a central licence server which knows who "you" are and what you've bought, and dishes out the money accordingly -- hopefully mainly to the artists this time. Security would be needed to make sure that you are really you, but this is no different to online banking or purchasing.

    Trying out music could be done in exactly the same way that software trials are

    done -- you can download a "free" (possibly lower quality) version which expires after a short time unless you pay the licence fee, then you can do what you want with it.

    This way almost everyone wins (except the record companies) -- the artists are happy, the punters are happy, so-called "piracy" would largely disappear because most people feel they're getting their money's worth.

    This is what DRM *should* be all about.

    Ian

  72. Rich
    Thumb Down

    Does being in a band need to make you rich?

    Here in NZ only a tiny proportion of musicians (even ones with recording contracts) make enough money to live on, let alone the kind of wealth the UK and US offers. It's quite common to find the band helping out on the coatcheck and almost all musicians have day jobs.

    This doesn't mean that we don't get a wide range of recorded and live music. Musicians just have to be people who want to make music, not money.

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    P2P tax

    What most of you are overlooking is that there is a p2p tax but .gov ain't getting it .I may be wrong but don't most if not all p2pers have the top package from there isp with unlimited downloads and the fastest speed but .gov don't get any extra .

    they just see another way to get tax to give to there friends who will give them a big paying job when they quit/get kicked out of parliament .Also quoting dictionary definitions is that a breach of copyright ?.

  74. h
    Happy

    @greg

    "So I happily put it in the car CD player... Doesn't work !?! I say, f**k DRM !

    I put it in my old portable CD player... Doesn't work !?! F**k DRM !"

    Don't forget, 'Copy Protected' disc's are not CD's !!

    They don't conform to the Phillips Standard, that's why they can't have the Compact Disc logo on them. So I assume they actually count as software.

    My feeling is that not counting as CD's should mean that they are not counted in the CD charts etc..

  75. Acidbass

    Auntie should be in charge

    We should task the BBC with content distribution. They have excellent technical people and a public-service remit, as well as being a long-standing nurturer of culture (cultureculturalists?): they'd do a good job of it.

    They'd hold all the tunes, films, ebooks, etc., and supply them un-DRM'd in a variety of flexible formats (net, dvb, dab) for fair prices, which are passed to the artists with a concession for running costs.

    This would nicely complement the way we already pay them a fixed fee and they broadcast a huge variety of their own and other people's material, which we're historically used to recording on our videos/cassettes for repeat viewing/listening. And instead of trying to guesstimate how many people watched it they can just get the numbers off the backend server, straight from the horse's mouth as it were.

    Your bedroom producer can upload their stuff too, and try and get people to pay for it. If you build it, they will come. The beeb gets to trawl it for the good stuff, in a 1Xtra style (they'd have to stop shouting 'SCLUsive!' as it would be both redundant and irrelevant, so more bonuses).

    Thinking about it, they should just go the whole hog and let artists have a myspace style page to promote themselves too, it always pains me to have to go to myspace to check out a friend's tunes, but imagine if they could give you a snappy username to put into the national media portal, and you could get a flac of their latest bass extravaganza or their three-minute animated film in HD, without farting about with your usb stick and cds (i mean how oldskool is that?). Linux users will wait patiently (and silently) for this utopia, correct in their understanding of the windows implementation as a development prototype on some flaky but inexplicably popular devkit, with the real thing to follow when the concept had been proven.

    You feel far less used giving money to the beeb than to BMG et al. I'd give my bank details to david attenborough and so would you. You could roll the monies into the licensing fee somehow, or whatever, the details are something else you can probably trust them to work out fairly.

    Ooh, got a minute swelling of national pride there for a moment. Anyway as long as HMRC get the same from the whole endeavour as they currently do, and the artists get a reimbursement commensurate with their success (as defined, hopefully, by their talent as opposed to marketing funds), and the consumers get to not line the existing distributors' pockets then everybody's happy except the recording industry, and they'll either adapt to changing market conditions or just have to take it like the weavers and the blacksmiths and the miners. They're not as hard as the miners either and we can take them in a ruck if it came to it so we'll just front them out. They'll go into consultancy and the world will keep turning.

    So if you happen to know that the BBC are bastards and I need a flame-thrower aimed at my rose-tinted glasses... wait till tomorrow will ya?

    Cheers,

  76. night troll
    Pirate

    @ Ian

    <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)

    Whils't I agree with you, this opens up a whole new can of worms. People who pay this "tax" would then belive (rightly or wrongly) that they could then d'load everything they like regardless of size / content. ISPs, with their current lack of investment in bandwidth would grind to a halt. How do you answer the argument "you can't traffic shape / restrict me I've paid my tax"? I could then see ISPs wanting a cut of the "tax" then telecos then gov'ment (because dear old Gordon & Co would want their cut), where would it end? Again the poor old musician would get now't.

  77. EmperorFromage
    Pirate

    Shafted by the studios - back to piracy for me

    The last couple of months I have been waving the HD DVD fanboy flag, and bought as many movies as I could. ( Basicly anything worthwile from Amazon ) - but then the studios decided that I need region coding and even more DRM as they stabbed HD DVD in the back. Seems the studioes doesn't want my support at least, so I am back to flying the Jolly Roger instead.

    To keep things on topic: Flashing messages "Do you really want to do this", is pointless unless you also provide a legal alternative that also meets the consumers need.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: P2P tax

    I'm pretty sure the government do get some of the money that you pay your ISP, it's called VAT isn't it?

  79. Mostor Astrakan

    As a data point in the "consumer" demography:

    I don't download music, and I buy very little. (Yersterday, for the first time in years, I grabbed "Casino Royal" and "One flew over the cuckoo's nest" out of Tesco's bargain bin - for £7 and £3 respectively). When I do buy music, it's usually at my folk club, when the Guest of Honour sells the CDs, often lovingly hand-crafted by themselves, for about £10 a pop. There's something very satisfying about getting a recording of "Fiddler's Green" out of the hands of the guy who wrote it.

    I don't buy CDs out of the shop mainly because there isn't anything in the shops that I want. There is no way I will ever spend more than two quid on anything coming out of a major label, because Britney Sugababepussycatdollaloud is rubbish! Meaningless drivel suggesting that at some point I may get to sleep with them if only I'm sufficiently "with it".

    Basically, the recording industry is stuffed. They have maybe a year to find a proper job and then they'll all be bankrupt. We'll miss those money-grabbing leeches like the parasites they are.

  80. Lickass McClippers
    Boffin

    TV theft...

    Is downloading TV theft..?? I live in the UK, and have to pay a TV Tax (sry, "License Fee"). And those channels that aren't taxed are riddled with advertising.

    I already pay for my TV, regardless of whether I watch what's on. Soap Operas, reality TV, scaremongering Docu-Dramas, etc, etc. I don't actually watch this shit, but I HAVE to pay for it, otherwise I'll go to jail ... PERIOD.

    So if I download the odd TV show from the net, TV shows that ultimately will be bought by the networks and broadcast at some point on my TV, am I actually 'stealing' anything..?? Eventually, in an arse-about way, I've paid, or will have paid for it. Be that via BBC Tax, or having to sit thru advertising...

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IP Law

    The whole philosophical basis of Western civilisation is that you have to take people as you find them. Trying to change people’s behaviour by legislative fiat never, ever works, and is a recipe for tyranny. If a large sector of the population are wilfully defying the law, then the correct course of action is not to challenge their behaviour, it’s to challenge the law.

    You can argue about a person’s natural right to the fruit of their labours all you want, but property rights ultimately only exist in LAW to the extent that the community supports them. And current evidence suggests that the community doesn’t support intellectual property rights as they currently stand. After all, it’s not just the downloaders themselves that are rejecting the law. It’s also every friend/relative/associate of the downloader who knows what they are doing and has no problem with it. This is hardly surprising, given that I don’t recall the community ever being consulted as to what form IP law should take.

    If changing the law to something that the community considers to be just leads to the collapse of the creative industries as they currently stand, so be it. A legitimate industry should not need this degree of state protection to survive.

  82. Mark

    Property rights

    OK, so my house doesn't get taken away from me at some point*. But then again, I have to pay for upkeep (or I lose it, abandonment laws). I have to pay rates or lose it (lien on property to pay the fine). I have to pay tax on it. I have to insure it or risk losing it. I pay tax on it's purchase or in its' creation.

    Intellectual property doesn't have these downsides.

    So why should it get only the upsides?

    (* although private property can be taken under compulsory purchase)

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Distribution without licence

    Seems simple enough to me.

    Copyright theft or intellectual property theft means that copyright or intellectual property has been stolen. Perhaps record companies and movie studios own the copyright to the intellectual property of their artists.

    Thing is, although a P2P network does not claim that the copyright or intellectual property belongs to them.

    All they do is distrubute the material - and they even tell you the names of the artists and publishing dates associated with that material.

    So the P2P networks could well be distributing illegally (without license from the owners of the copyrights to the intellectual property being distributed) but cannot be accused of theft. They did not steal.

    Since they are not making money directly from the distribution of the material they may not be said to be recieving unjust enrichment as a result - although if people pay them for advertising space on their website then that is yet another charge against the P2P sites.

    Lastly - prosecuting people for downloading music or other copyrighted material from distributors not licenced to distribute the material by those who own the copyrights is highly dubious - they could be third parties.

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Someone needs a philosophy lesson

    An Anonymous Freeloader claims:

    "And current evidence suggests that the community doesn’t support intellectual property rights as they currently stand. "

    Perhaps you need to meet a more diverse range of people, before claiming to know what "the community" wants. The public overwhelmingly supports the idea of rewarding gifted creators for their work.

    "If changing the law to something that the community considers to be just leads to the collapse of the creative industries as they currently stand, so be it. "

    Your Freetard Paradise does not sound very attractive to me. Please don't try and disguise your mean-spirited Philistinism as a philosophy - just do the decent thing and pay up, like the rest of us do.

    You need to read Otto Z Stern today: if you insist on paying artists peanuts, you'll get monkeys.

  85. jezza

    so...

    let me get this straight, this guy is a) for real, b) in charge of changing the law in this wonderful country, and c) not just winding ppl up with his insane babble.

    i especially like this bit:

    Yet we have bandit DVDs and CDs and these are closely associated with the same gangs of people trafficking in the drugs trade, and the illegal movement or arms - these are nexuses of criminal activity that fit together. There's a raft of activities that are very damaging.

    presumably he see's everyone who downloads the odd ep of heroes as part of the nexus of evil too. I would be laughing hard if i wasnt so shocked that someone could actually believe this stuff. insane, really really insane just how clueless our government are about anything really.

    Well off to buy a new tin foil hat.

  86. Dr Stephen Jones

    BBC? WTF?

    @Acidbass:

    "We should task the BBC with content distribution. They have excellent technical people and a public-service remit"

    The BBC also spent five years and £130m on a video player nobody wants or needs.

    "Ooh, got a minute swelling of national pride there for a moment."

    I've got a swelling of a different kind, Acidbass - I think it's called a headache. No mistake, the boys at Kingswood Warren do a great job. (Look it up) But I see no need to employ a bureaucratic overspending quango where it isn't needed.

    This should not an excuse for a job-creation scheme.

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Morely Dotes buying a round of drinks?

    "P2P file sharing of music and movies can easily make money ...the producers get paid by the advertisers. It works for television, and it will work for music and video."

    Sadly, no -

    "The entire internet advertising business is just $31bn, and only a fraction of that goes back. Jupiter's Mulligan pointed out that 100 ad impressions are needed to recoup a single digital song download."

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/10/23/in_the_city_2007/

    Ad-supported music is dead on arrival.

    But then isn't this the same reader who claimed he needed his wife's permission to spend £10 on a CD at Xmas?

    Just pay up, man.

    Are you as mean in the pub as you are paying for music? What do you do when it's your turn to buy a round of drinks - hide in the loo?

  88. The Mighty Spang

    seems a bit one issue

    where are the plans for protecting photographer's rights, their work is being ripped off on the net as well.

    oh sorry they dont have a multi million pound lobbying agenda and close links with the cabinet.

  89. Simon Ball

    @AC

    Sorry, but that argument is a straw man. The AC post didn’t say “the community doesn’t support intellectual property rights”, it said “the community doesn’t support intellectual property rights as they currently stand”. It is eminently possible to support the idea of rewarding gifted creators for their work (as most people do) and yet disagree with the current legal and economic structure of the record industry. Indeed, one of the primary charges levelled at the record industry is that gifted creators DON'T get rewarded for their work.

    Most people want to see gifted artists rewarded fairly for their work, and most people are prepared to pay a fair price towards that end. The problem is that the current industry doesn’t support that – it massively overpays a minority of artists, exploits the rest, overcharges the public and churns out a considerable volume of utter dross.

    Anyway, if you add up everyone who implicitly approves of file sharing, or benefits from it - most of the teenage population, their parents, ISPs, etc - it probably IS the greater part of the community.

  90. Magnus

    Filesharing has made me buy MORE music

    I download music, my friends have sent me mp3s of bands they've liked, I've sent my friends mp3s of bands I liked.

    As a result of this nearly all of the CDs I buy these days are not from bands I've heard of via "classic" channels that the major record labels control. I've also spent far more on music than I would have otherwise.

    What file sharing has done for me is to expose me to a far wider range of music which I never got to hear before the rise of mp3s etc and enabled me to support artists whose work I really approve of and enjoy. All this with the artists getting a far larger share of my money than they would have before (since I can generally buy direct from them at a gig or via their website).

    What I see happening is the labels getting worried about them losing control of what people can listen to. Their major leverage (and the major reason why they could extract such a large cut of the money) is that they were the only people who can "make" bands. They are now frantically trying to shut down all the alternative channels that have sprung up so they can once again have a monopoly who what people get to hear.

  91. Mark

    Re:Someone needs a philosophy lesson

    Well, do you agree that 120 years is right? How about the minimum penalty (statutory damages) that are made for EACH case? When you *kill* several people, you serve concurrent terms, or a reduced single term, not one consecutive term for each one. When you shoplift, you don't get done separately for each item. Do you agree with that?

    If not, then you're showing the poster you were responding to was right. By the way, stop it with the strawman, nobody things that an artist shouldn't get paid for their work.

    Whether copying a CD is "work" done by the artist is up for debate...

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    @Magnus

    Hear hear!

    That is a theory I can go along with. Follow the money.

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Magnus, Michael

    "I've also spent far more on music than I would have otherwise."

    In economic terms, you're acting irrationally. A rational consumer maximizes what they can get for free, and the discretionary income is then spent on other goods and services.

    There is another explanation, called "consumer ignorance": you don't know where to find the music you've just found and like, for free, in high quality, lossless (FLAC) format. (Or there are technical difficulties - you don't know how to download it). But then you've already said you do, so we can rule that out.

    The third explanation is that music you've downloaded ("sampled") for free simply can't be found in the format you want anywhere on the Internet.

    So which is it? Are you irrational, ignorant or is the music unobtainable?

    Or ... perhaps it's like Schroedinger's Cat - the music exists in a quantum state where it's there but isn't there at the same time. Which means you have to rush out and pay for it.

    (Pull the other one, Magnus, it's got bells on).

  94. W
    Boffin

    Business model.

    Oi! Record company people. We paid for Allofmp3 so just get on with the legit version over here.

    Allofmp3 was a runaway success in terms of getting people to pay for downloads and the options it provided (price was based on file quality and it was DRM-free).

    If the music industry had any sense (or guts), they'd just open the UK version and have done with it. Amazon DRM free downloads are my bet for the closest thing to a successor, but only when it arrives in the UK and the price comes down to Allofmp3 prices will it be a goer for me.

    Compared to CDs, legal MP3 download sites are far too expensive and at present. As has already been said: "This emphasis on taking the food out of the mouths of artists is all very well, but if the artists are subsisting on only 10% of the price that the consumer is paying, then the real issue is the 90% that's being consumed by the "channel"."

    The AllofMP3 price point was cheap enough for people to accept as fair and also cheap enough to put a big squeeze on free P2P options or disc-based piracy. The record companies will just have to take what they can get from that avenue as far as I can see. Which could well be some quite handsome profits. Build it and they will pay.

    At the moment, I don't use P2P and I pay for all my music on CD. Yet neither the record companies or the artists get a cut because the majority of my purchases are secondhand discs from Amazon marketplace. Many, many releases are available for under a fiver within six months (my general "scoop-em-all-up-price-point").

    Patronage (as described above) is an option that certain sections of the music industry could benefit from. I like the idea, but it's not the full and final answer.

    Live performances will always sort the wheat from the chaff and are the "natural default leveller" for who should be able to make a living from music (but remember there are baddies like Ticketmaster et al out there who are not so dissimilar from the big record companies in terms of marketplace consolidation and commoditisation).

    My favourite quote from the comments so far : "If I was popular enough as a musician, I'd be overjoyed to make a modest living from regular gigs and occasional donations - getting rich from it is just stupid (we're not curing cancer here, we're just entertainers)."

  95. W
    Coat

    No "the" thank you.

    And it's simply Klaxons. Not "the" Klaxons.

    c.f. Doves.

    At least I haven't detected the Merican referring to a band as a thing. i.e. "Klaxons ARE supposedly a nu-rave band" rather than the US "Klaxons IS supposedly a nu-rave band".

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