back to article Lowery: The blue-collar musician at the eye of the copyright storm

A few days after we linked to his long, exhaustive talk about the state of the music business, musician and songwriter David Lowery hit the headlines in the USA. In a blog post replying to NPR intern Emily White, Lowery summed up how the 'don't pay for music' argument sounded to him: "Networks: Giant mega corporations. Cool! …

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  1. g e

    TLDR

    Although in fairness I got about half way down page 1 then scan read the rest.

    Is it me or did Lowery miss the point that pretty much the only route for money to reach these starving musicians is through the greedy megacorps?

    There's a huge number of talented musicians working their arses off every day to eke out an existence doing what they love best but if the only 'router' of funds to them is a massive self-interested corporation that had been greeding it in for years with adversely-worded contracts, 'breakage' and 'recoupment' then actually the megacorp is the point of failure for raising the lifestyles of the muso's, surely?

    I'd much rather send thirty quid to the Ozric Tentacles directly and download all their albums than £240 to get the same remuneration to them via a £210 kickback to a record company. At least, if I hadn't pretty much got all their stuff via the expensive route already. DOH.

    I think the root of the whole issue lies with the megacorps they're....

    Lazy - don't deserve my money

    Litigious - Aggression breeds comtempt

    Viewed as being in the 1% - general social fail at the moment

    Greedy - Permanent social fail, all the time

    Petty - If you're going to be like that I'll keep my money

    Vindictive - I refuse to support that behaviour with my money

    Prehistoric - Up your game and I might buy something

    Protectionist - Your protect your income and I'll protect mine - by hanging on to it

    If even you don't agree with all those descriptions you really only need to agree with any three of them to understand that the main barrier to well-earned revenue flowing to artists is these companies themselves. Yet no-one has yet come up with a credible alternative, either, at least perhaps one that hasn't been crushed into the dirt by these companies anyway. Sure the downloaders are denying musicians income in ways they don't realise (musicians do still get paid mechanicals on downloads, right? That's a direct financial loss to them) and many of these downloaders/rippers/seeders view it as a lifestyle if not some odd sort of career, it's also a lie to call a download a lost sale, too. While megacorps continue to behave and be perceived as they are now then they will still be the single greatest barrier to artists' income for the foreseeable.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: TLDR

      " did Lowery miss the point that pretty much the only route for money to reach these starving musicians is through the greedy megacorps?"

      Adele. Independent label.

      Maybe you've heard of her :)

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      2. Sean Timarco Baggaley

        Re: TLDR

        Adele was with XL Recordings, related to the Beggars Group. Their current roster includes Sigur Ros, Radiohead (and Thom Yorke's solo works) and The White Stripes. In the past, they handled The Prodigy, among many others, so they're not exactly unknown. They're quite big by "indie label" standards. They're also "independent" only in the sense that they're not owned outright by a major recording label, but they do have very close ties with Columbia Records.

        I do think the "Mega Corporations" get a lot of stick here and it's not entirely deserved. Yes, many industry CEOs are old, crusty and need a good ousting and replacement by people who actually "get" technology. But that's the norm in any industry that's been around this long. Transitions are painful when the very business model upon which your business is founded is being chipped away beneath you and you don't know how to solve it. All those employees have bills to pay too, you know. These corporations are just a big collection of people, most of whom are not rich and are just as much a part of that 99% as you are, all trying to earn a crust; they're not inherently nasty; their bosses are just fighting increasingly desperately to keep their jobs.

        Now...

        There are two key challenges facing musicians today:

        1. How do I make my music?

        2. How do I get my music noticed?

        Both steps originally required the assistance of those mega-corp major music labels. They paid a loan up-front to the musicians, taking a gamble that the album would make a profit. (Most did not.) This still happens today, but for a much, much smaller roster of artists who are considered more likely to hit the jackpot. Risk-aversion increases rapidly when your industry is being threatened with major disruption, so this is hardly a shock.

        Today, you still need outside funding if you're working with orchestral music, but for most genres, you can create a perfectly commercial track in your bedroom, with the only expense being that of getting it mastered professionally if your home setup isn't up to it. (Mastering is all about getting the most out of a recording and making it sound good on all the various media, in all the various supported combinations of sound reproduction, such as simple stereo, 5.1 surround, Dolby Digital for cinemas, etc. This requires seriously expensive audio kit and an engineer with very good hearing.)

        That just leaves the second stage: getting yourself [i]noticed[/i]. When the barriers to entry in any industry are lowered by technology, the industry inevitably goes through a painful phase where pretty much anybody thinks they can make a hit single—and they try and do exactly that.

        This was most obvious in the early days of DTP and website design, with any number of horrific, eye-gouging, multi-coloured, multi-font excrescences appearing overnight as people with no training whatsoever decided they could have a go at it too. Mercifully, the days of Geocities websites are (mostly) over.

        But it also meant that an aspiring musician with actual talent now had to get himself noticed in a massively expanded ocean of mediocrity and shite. Marketing and self-promotion come into play. Concerts can help, but you can't just go hiring Wembley Stadium or the O2 if nobody's ever heard of you: You need to invest time, effort and, yes, money into making people aware of you and your music first. You need to climb the ladder and keep on climbing, exposing yourself to the media, doing photo-shoots, the odd panel show, umpteen interviews, etc... despite little of this having anything directly to do with the songwriting or performing you so love to do.

        THIS is where those mega-corporations do have a lot to offer: they have connections, they know people, they can get you airtime in adverts, or even a movie if you want. They can speed the process up dramatically.

        Fundamentally, when you're running any business, your goal is to improve the bottom line. And the music industry really is an business. Artists who are happy to give away all their songs aren't in that industry: they've self-selected themselves out of it and shouldn't get to vote on how it works.

        For the remaining 99% of "lower middle class" musicians, engineers, producers, lyricists, etc. making music is how they pay their bills. These people have a right to be paid for their labours as you have a right to get paid for yours.

        If anyone disagrees with that on principle, they shouldn't get to vote either.

        1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: TLDR

          * Adele is still very much with XL Recordings, which is ONE OF the four Beggars Group labels (Matador, 4AD, Rough Trade are the others).

          * Beggars helped set up AIM and Impala and derailed the Sony BMG merger. It is fighting the Universal EMI merger.

          * Beggars is not a member of the BPI

          * CBS doesn't exist except as a brand name for Sony Music, and hasn't existed as a label since 1988.

          If you ever visit Beggars HQ or XL you will know what a small indie label looks like. "Big" in indie terms means fifty people in a crowded room, with no office for the CEO. Major labels send five times that to the Brits every year.

          Perhaps it's ignorance of the music business on tech sites that explains the politics people choose?

          Martin Mills interview: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/05/04/martin_mills_beggars_group/

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    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: TLDR

      And how do you think you know about the Ozrics? I know about them because they were promoted on a tour and I went to see them. The promotion was by the music industry.

      I have various Ozrics albums, and the ones from before they got a record label are shockingly badly produced, after this they are far better.

      I know about Eat Static because I know about Ozrics, but I know that they weren't in a position when they started to own and produce their music because of how much it cost, this was because they had a contract with a record label.

    3. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      Re: TLDR Tldr2.

      I gave up when I realised the man was talking about out of date digiware that costs an amateur about 20 to 30 pence to produce retail.

      Should an artist require a book, he will be forced to pay something like 4 quid apiece for each book because he can't hope to sell more than 3 or 4 hundred first editions.

      So if a CD by a professional musician costs say 5 pence to produce and another 5 to distribute, why the hell does the artist expect us proles to pay more than a tenner for the privilege of hearing his work?

      Said amateur author has to sell his book at willing local shops at a tenner apiece to make a couple of quid per volume.

      If the mass market available to amateurs on the internet were utilised musicians could sell their work at reasonable rates. Why is a corporation like Apple the only one to realise this?

      And why are all the others acting like yobs?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: TLDR Tldr2

        "So if a CD by a professional musician costs say 5 pence to produce and another 5 to distribute, why the hell does the artist expect us proles to pay more than a tenner for the privilege of hearing his work?"

        He doesn't expect you to do anything. He hopes that sufficient people will like his music and find that it gives them sufficient enjoyment to fork out around a tenner (often less). For those who don't like the music sufficiently to pay a tenner, then there's the option of taking your money and spending it on whatever gives you more pleasure than that CD.

        Your production cost estimates are (for smaller CD runs) wrong by an order of magnitude, but even those costs (say 50p for a boxed, sleeved, printed CD) don't cover the musician's instruments, recording equipment/studio hire, paid accomplices (session players, electricians, odd job monkeys), sleeve artwork, digital mastering, distribution, selling and distribution, remittance management, promotion and advertising, etc etc, and that's before the commercial risk in pre-ordering several thousands CDs, or the usually implicit cost of financing of such an investment.

        And as an author you're "forced" to pay a whole £4 a book. By whom? Are the Syrian regime's butchers holding author's knackers to ransom: "Pay four GBP per book for a four hundred book edition of Post Modernist Romantic Poetry by Bashar al Assad" or we cut them off!" I don't think so.

    4. toadwarrior
      FAIL

      Re: TLDR

      You did admit to not really reading the thing so it's no surprise your comment stinks of freetard fail.

  2. heyrick Silver badge

    On the other hand...

    " The digital rights groups have made themselves irrelevant by saying no to everything. "

    In a market notorious for protectionism and attempts at unjustified land grabs . . . Imagine where we'd be now if this hadn't been fought against? iTunes only for iDevices? Sony music only working with Sony kit? Music that reports your listening back to the publisher, and actively verifies your right to listen. God help you. If the system thinks you might have copied something.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: On the other hand...

      Historically speaking the early gramaphone records all ran at different RPMs, in order that the different recording companies could have their own copyright in the whole process, this was pretty quickly realised to be an undesirable situation. Most developments in recording and reproduction technology have been joint ventures between different recording companies.

  3. Gizzit101
    Terminator

    no objections

    To musicians and artists getting fair recompense for their efforts - but to portray all the advocates of SOPA/ACTA/DEA as blameless exploited victims is stretching the truth, more than a little.

    Don't misunderstand, I don't pirate - I either pay the price that is asked, or do without - but I grow weary of a predatory business model that seems to be predicated on abolishing personal ownership and substituting a license rental model. Perpetual payment for content - lovely. Especially in a country where even format shifting is technically illegal. They may not pursue individuals ( yet), but they could.

    I agree that artists are not adequately compensated - time for them to explore direct distribution - vide Louis CK.

    I won't steal from them, but nuts to big media anyway.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: no objections

        Copyright is about providing a temporary monopoly over intellectual works in order to extract economic value from those efforts in the hopes of spurring the creation of additional creative works. It must also inherently recognise the need for works to pass into the public domain (while they are still culturally relevant!) and it must contain rational fair use exceptions.

        Copyright infringement is wrong, and society needs protections against it. Putting aside the loaded word “deserved,” there is a strictly pragmatic reason for us to compensate creators: if we don’t, both the volume and quantity of new works being created will decrease dramatically. These people have to make a living too; with 7 (soon 10) billion of us, the competitive pressure for resources is so high that we simply cannot support a renaissance-era category of creators who “simply create in their spare time.”

        Nobody has spare time; to avoid destitution you either inherit enough wealth to get a great start to life, or you work 12-16 hours a day. Given the economic context; copyright infringement is unjustifiable; it directly deprives society of the talents of creators by creating an environment in which there is no realistic way for them to be able to devote adequate time to creation.

        But copyright maximalism is equally ethically bankrupt. It attempts to shift the balance the other way; making creators into a special category of individuals whose labours are valued more highly than those of systems administrators, doctors, lawyers or teachers.

        If I help build a road, I am paid for my labours per hour…but that road belongs to society. We all get to use it. Other roadworkers may come along and build on top of my work, learn from my technique or destroy it in order to lay pipes/repair faults/what-have-you.

        If I fix a server, I am paid for my labours, but that server is then used by other users who benefit from my efforts. Other systems administrators may check the logs to see how I fixed things, alter my settings, or combine my efforts with theirs to create something new.

        Neither the road worker nor the systems administrator gets to tithe their work beyond the initial payment for their labour. The roadworker does not get a toll for every person who passes over the patch he laid, nor the sysadmin a % of the ad revenue generated by each view.

        Creative works are built upon those works that went before. Nothing is created in a vacuum. The whole of human experience is built upon the tropes and memes of our antecededents, whether through genetic memory or learned behaviour.

        To suddenly claim that the labours and efforts of one category of people – intellectual property creators – is so important – that these intellectual property creators must simply be so privileged – that we must immediately reverse the whole of the human learning, experience (and yes, the creative process itself!) to protect their “moral economic rights” is beyond lunacy. It is arrogance. Arrogance born of nothing more interesting than greed.

        Creators need to see economic benefit from their creations. Most people on this planet will agree with this. But this does not translate to the either notion that for creators to see economic benefit they must have complete unrestricted control over all use cases of their works nor that they should retain this control indefinitely (and by extension that this control should be infinitely heritable.)

        Balance is required. The needs of the individual weighed against the needs of society at large. The people will no more tolerate autocratic control over knowledge and experience than we will accept that same level of protectionism or exceptionalism for any other special interest group.

        You may stone me for saying so; but the writer is no greater than the road worker. The singer no more deserving than the sysadmin.

        And if I am a filthy freetard for saying so - and for espousing the beliefs above, which appear to be both the original basis for copyright and increasingly the stance taken by post-aughties copyright legislation - then I accept the label with pride.

        PLASE NOTE:

        My opinions on this matter are mine alone, and do not represent the opinions of The Register, Andrew Orlowski, the BOFH, the Vulture logo, the copyright symbol, members of W3C, any HTML tag, or any other entity real or imagined.

        Y’all make up your own mind now, ya hear?

        1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Re: no objections

          You're waving that red herring around, Trevor.

          We *do* value original artistic work, and original inventions, more than we value holes dug in the road. We think new creations are unique and important. We value them even if they are built on previous work - what we value is the new bit added to or inspired by the old work. The new bit is what thrills and amazes us.

          That's why we have IP, to encourage more of them.

          Now you're entitled to disagree - perhaps holes in the road are pretty important to you. Whatever floats your boat.

          Your argument does not label you as a "filthy freetard", Trevor but something much worse. It indicates that you're someone who doesn't understand the value of originality and places a low value on the creation of new work. Which puts you outside the parameters of the debate.

          Sorry if this sounds harsh, you're a smashing lad, but you've laid out your case, and it's the de facto autistic/machine view of creativity.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
            Pirate

            Re: no objections

            Well Andrew, I do disagree. I hold creativity in high esteem...just like I hold the endeavours of all people who contribute to our society. I don’t happen to hold one “type” of labour in more esteem than the other without some damned good reasons. Those reasons usually are things like “saving a life, pushing the frontiers of knowledge or advancing the frontiers of human endeavour.”

            Writing a novel or composing a song – unless you happen to be at the absolute pinnacle of your craft – does not in my estimation fall into any higher esteem than building a road or fixing a computer. Mind you, a truly exceptional road builder or systems administrator deserved above-par recognition just as would a composer or writer whose works will echo through the ages. (Consider that some of those truly exceptional roads have been around for centuries, for example!)

            I value creativity, and I value originality. But no, I simply don’t believe that creators are more deserving than non-creators. And other than “because it should be so!” I have heard no remotely convincing arguments to explain to me why I should. Religions also use “because it should be so,” and yet I still believe in dame science.

            What exactly makes your version of “should” more important than mine? What exactly makes your ethics and morals so almightily important that they “should” be considered whereas mine “should” be discarded? What exactly entitles one set of beliefs to trump another; to shape society and become law?

            Because that’s what we’re talking about here…not “what is law,” but rather, “what the laws should become, and how they should evolve to meet technological changes, societal changes and so forth.” Copyright maximalism is not law. Not yet, and certainly not everywhere.

            Indeed, the pendulum has even swung the other way; popular resistance to maximalist approaches is so strong that the US has temporarily ceased exporting it, and may even be looking to export fair use.

            Once, only landowners of a specific gender and race had any rights at all. Eventually, the people rose up, and decided that this shouldn’t be so. It changed. Here, now, technology has brought us to an equally important crossroads in the definition of intellectual property. “The past” can be – and is – interpreted in many ways, depending on your bias. But what IP will be in the future is an open battleground, where there are many conflicting moral and ethical viewpoints.

            You continually present yours in a hostile and righteous manner; but I bow before neither god nor man; no preacher of faith will tell me what to believe. Science - peer reviewed evidence, preferably backed by a strong consensus amongst experts within the field - can sway me, but rhetoric never will.

            But it gets worse! Copyright maximalism – which you seem to champion repeatedly – isn’t even about the creators. It is about the exceptionalism of copyright holders, which in the modern world is rarely the creator.

            To add to this poo, copyright maximalism is built on a false premise: that creativity can occur in a vacuum. Under copyright maximalism, nothing new would ever enter the public domain. (Except possibly “orphaned works,” I.E. the works of individual creators which are not owned by media-holding cartels.)

            So each new work must be entirely original, or else derive only from those works which existed before the extant copyright scheme took hold and moved creativity into a special category.

            This limits the possible avenues of creation for new creators. If you want to create something based upon a currently-culturally-relevant conceptual universe, you must work for/with/under the aegis of the cartel that owns it.

            Let’s take a practical example:

            In the copyright maximalist world, the Bastard Operator From Hell belongs to the copyright owner until the end of time. The characters cannot be reused, even the common tropes, memes and terms could be challenged, if they were reused in a similar context by a similar work.

            So if I wanted to write a BOFH story, I would have to go get permission, have it vetted by the copyright owner and otherwise subsume my creativity to his economic interest. That BOFH story then won’t be told, and likely won’t appear in an alternate “universe,” for fear that it would be “too similar” and I’d end up owing eleventeen squillion times my mortgage in “damages.”

            Now, let’s look at how this could work in a non-copyright-maximalist world:

            The BOFH, having become a cultural icon to two generations of nerds gathers a massive following. Like-minded creatives who have similar experiences to draw on start to create derivative works. Simon and the PFY’s antics flow from a thousand keyboards and tell the tales of a thousand minds.

            Someone throws up a subReddit; the terrible ones are downvoted into obscurity, to be deleted in shame. The great ones rise up, to be considered on par with – or perhaps even surpassing – the works of the original author himself.

            A whirlwind of creativity occurs around these characters; the universe they established, the tropes, memes and terminology forming a common platform for systems administrators everywhere to tell their tale.

            Branches emerge. Before Simon worked at a megacorp, he was an SME admin. These are the tales of the SME admin. PFY1 leaves to form his own consulting company, becoming a BOFH in his own right. These are his tales, and those of his unfortunate PFY…

            In a non-copyright-maximalist world, I don’t have to first create the universe in order to make apple pie. If I want to end my systems administrator tale of woe with an ominous “kzert,” then I can do so…in the knowledge that I won’t get sued into a singularity, and my audience will understand…because the memes and tropes of the shared BOFH universe are in the public domain for all people – creators and consumers – to benefit from.

            So I do take extreme exception to copyright maximalism. Copyright maximalism puts copyright owners on a pedestal; “better” than me, the systems administrator. Based on the (usually false) assumption that they are representing “creators,” copyright maximalism demands they be given rights and considerations regarding their labour – or labour they purchased – that simply doesn’t apply to my labour.

            For me to ever accept copyright maximalism you have to first explain how the labour of a creative is deserving of more protection than that of a doctor, teacher, lawyer or systems administrator.

            And then, after you’ve convinced Trevor Pott, Systems Administrator that he is worth less than Trevor Pott, Writer…you get to explain to Trevor Pott, writer why it is that in order to tell a fictional tale of Systems Administration woe I should never be able to have a PFY or a kzert or a sysadmin named Simon who mysteriously removes floor tiles.

            But Snow White? Let’s write the HELL out of that one.

            Until then, I am going to hold fast to the idea of balanced copyright, and I will continue to believe copyright maximalists are as ethically bankrupt as any “freetard.” Neither side of this debate offers a damned thing except rhetoric, and sticks, sticks, sticks.

            I believe in the requirement for the occasional appearance of a carrot.

            Contrary to popular opinion however, my beliefs can be altered. With sufficient evidence.

            1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

              Re: Re: no objections

              Copyright is being minimalised, not maximised. Online, it really doesn't exist.

              You want proof? Here you go:

              1) As a punter, I can download any film ever made, any song ever recorded, for free, to my hearts content. Nobody is going to cut me off. Nobody is going to fine me. Nobody is going to send me to prison.

              (The only media giant that puts people in prison for non-payment is the BBC: 71 imprisoned in 5 years, 142,000 criminal cases last year).

              2) As an indie filmmaker or photographer, I have no redress against pirates. I can write take down notices all day, but the legal system does not fulfill basic social justice. The incentives are aligned to encourage people profiting from piracy.

              Situations 1) and 2) can not exist in a world where copyright is getting stronger, only in a world where copyright is getting weaker.

              Pretending otherwise is a quite dogmatic, ideological denial of reality. Most people don't, except in academia and in the tech blogosphere echo-chamber.

              (As for term extensions, they are only as good as their enforcement. Copyright terms may as well be 100,000 years for all the difference it makes. The "true" length of copyright is about five minutes - as long as it takes to get onto Rapidshare or the Torrents. But freetards love to feel victimsed - and you are adopting freetard arguments wholesale - because their politics requires a) victimhood and b) a crisis.

              Copyright is also being minimalised in other ways. Quite explicitly by ideological bureaucrats, such as the IPO, for example. All these are assaults on the rights of the creator, and investment and economic opportunity are draining away from all the cultural sectors.

              Soon we'll be back to charity and sponsorship - which never go away, because some plutocrat will want his mug painted, Coca need music for adverts, etc. Some victory against the 'maximalists', huh? Not one many people wish for kids.

          2. jake Silver badge

            @Andrew (was: Re: no objections)

            Trevor's young & idealistic. Give him some slack ... At least the kid can wright[1] a written article. These days, that's a rare talent ... Drop the irons and give him his head. He has Clues[tm].

            Eventually, he'll become just as jaded & disillusioned as the rest of us, and I'm quite looking forward to his typoing[2] over the next couple decades, even if he does hate me ;-)

            [1] No, that's not a typo ...

            [2] Nor was that.

            1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

              Re: @Andrew (was: Re: no objections)

              I think self-esteem has a lot to do with it. Cults rely on low self-esteem, 'Free Culture' (sic) is no different to any other cult. If the individual's sense of self is strong, then they'll respect individuality themselves. They'll be correspondingly less inclined to think all ideas are borrowed, there's no such thing as originality, aka "we are robots, all we do is copy"

              Also, techy people who've just discovered the "copyright cause" as a big personal crusade do go nuts for it. I wrote about it here:

              http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/11/freetard_karaoke_nurse_had_low_self_esteem/

              "A sure sign of an obsessive is a 2,000-word comment that appears below a story. With copyright-related stories, one of these can be guaranteed to appear appear within minutes. They only ever come from one side."

              That's true in this comment thread as many others at El Reg. The copyright camp makes short coherent points. The anti-copyright camp responds with massive essays, containing the Kitchen Sink.

              1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                Re: @Andrew (was: no objections)

                The idea that rhetoric as a "short coherent point" is fundamentally superior to a more nuanced discussion that actually addresses the issue is one that suits the particular style of argumentation employed by copyright maximalists. It is really no different than those who attempt to control the discussion regarding climate change, sexual preference rights, the cancer-causing cell phone boogyman or any of a dozen flavours of renewable energy fanatic.

                Regardless of if you actually bring the word God into the argument, the copyright maximalist arguments are presented no differently than a bible thumper from Westboro. You, Andrew, are operating entirely by the book.

                You strip the nuances from your opponent’s argumentation in order to present an absurdly simplified argument that is easy to dismiss. Essentially, you turn legitimate issues raised by others into strawmen by refusing to acknowledge the complexities involved.

                If I turn that exact same tactic on your arguments then what I get is “copyright maximalism matters because copyright maximalism matters.”

                Your arguments can essentially all be boiled down to exceptionalism: “creators are more deserving than others, are downtrodden, poor, underappreciated and taken advantage of. More to the point, it’s morally wrong to infringe copyright because it just is.”

                Well I don’t buy that any more than I buy anything else that was revealed to someone by a voice in their head.

                I’m neither a Borg drone nor an autistic; I make up my own mind. Based on evidence. Name calling, rhetoric and attempts to shame based on a manufactured morality are irrelevant.

                I refuse to buy the argument that we need ever more enforcement until we reach the mythical point that copyright infringement is impossible. I argue that pursing an extreme on behalf of a minority in untenable; doubly so when acceptable compromises do exist.

                Among those compromises is altering enforcement to make copyright infringement more “parking ticket” than “half a mortgage per MP3.” Once you get in that range, people will accept greater enforcement and even assist with it.

                Another compromise is acknowledging that most people who infringe copyright don’t do it because they want free stuff. Most do it because it is significantly easier than the alternatives, and comes with far fewer restrictions. If you want public acceptance – and assistance – in the hunt for copyright infringers, you need to make it a completely marginal activity by making obtaining legitimate content as easy as piracy.

                It is however a lot more profitable to simply moralise and demand the right to externalise the costs of doing business while claiming both hardship and moral exceptionalism.

                Unfortunately for copyright maximalists, the hoi polloi are starting to be educated enough to see that sort of déjà moo for what it is.

                1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

                  Re: Re: @Andrew (was: no objections)

                  You've just repeated your last comment "Maximalist! maximalist! maximalist! maximalist!" without addressing any of the points subsequently raised.

                  1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                    Re: @Andrew (was: no objections)

                    I disagree. I've answered the points raised; you simply don't like the answers. The issue is that we have a fundamentally different belief regarding the role of intellectual property in our society.

                    I do not believe that intellectual property holders have a fundamental moral right to perpetual monopoly over their works. You do. Until that is resolved, none of the rest of this really is relevant.

                    You claim we need more enforcement. I say we cannot accept more enforcement until we have assurances that we aren't walking to a society of omnipresent powerful enforcement combined with perpetual completely restricted copyright.

                    You wave the moral right of creators around as a reason to deprive the rest of society of rights (and to push maximalism.) I say that the moral all work belongs to society, and it is our job to ensure creators can earn a living, not milk the works until the end of time.

                    The fact that piracy can and does occur is not of itself reason enough to justify copyright maximalism. Not pragmatically and not ethically. Nothing you have said changes my mind in this regard.

                    Yes, I agree that more enforcement of extant regulations is needed. That said, I believe that the copyright maximalists have more than proven they do not have the best interests of society in mind; that enforcement has to come at a price. Their agreement to meet “the needs of the many” in the middle:

                    more enforcement, in exchange for hard limits on the maximalisation of copyright and the enshrining of technological neutrality regarding fair use.

                    You can argue “what good are laws that we don’t enforce” all you want. That’s a facetious argument. If the laws are on the books they can be enforced, and eventually…they will. Some enterprising fellow will come up with a way to drive the cost of enforcement down and then exactly what laws are no the books – and what punishments are attached to them – matter a great deal.

                    I will only ever support increased funding for enforcement if that enforcement is attached to restrictions on intellectual property. Rigidly defined term limits and fair use rights enshrined in laws that cannot be overturned without far more effort than mere lobbying money would ever dislodge. Multiple international treaties, if I had my druthers.

                    I quite simply do not – and can not, given the extent of my other philosophical beliefs – support the idea that intellectual property holders have a fundamental moral right to control every aspect of their works (and all potential derivatives) until the end of time. Every argument you make that is based on that premise will garner opposition from myself and those like me.

                    So yes, I have very much so addressed the issues you raised. I simply don’t find them important enough to cast aside the issues I raised. (Which you have dismissed with little more than proclamations of autism and hivemind thinking.) I still believe that both sides of the intellectual property debate raise valid issues that must find a compromise if society is to function in the modern era.

                    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

                      Boilerplate freeculture arguments, I'm afraid

                      “So yes, I have very much so addressed the issues you raised”

                      No, you haven’t even begun to.

                      Copyright is much weaker today for various reasons, one of them being that it cannot be effectively enforced online. (You seem to agree in principle that it should be, but something stops you completing the argument to its conclusion). So it is ineffective, it doesn’t work. An entire new area of life has opened up that is copyright-free.

                      In light of this, the mantra of encroaching “maximalism” you repeat is a fiction, a paranoid fantasy that exists entirely between your ears. Much like the radical environmentalists, your politics requires a “crisis”. Encroaching maximalism, evoking a new Dark Age, this is the “crisis” you need. But it has no substance in reality. You tend to reject reality where it does not suit your argument, for example, by refusing to accept that © is enshired as an individual property right in international and national law.

                      Trevor you also do something freetards do either implicitly or explicitly. Creators rights are human rights, but you make these human rights conditional on a beauty contest, based on what you consider virtuous.

                      Robert Levine has a nice rebuttal to this, in Eamonn Ford’s Q Magazine feature “Who Are The Freetards?” from earlier this year.

                      "If you follow that to its logical conclusion, you get to this idea that your rights vary according to how nice you are - which ought to scare the living shit out of anyone."

                      http://news.qthemusic.com/2012/07/column_-_how_free_is_ruining_e.html

                      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                        Re: Boilerplate freeculture arguments, I'm afraid

                        Re: Boilerplate freeculture arguments, I'm afraid

                        If you want to roll copyright law back to just-post-VCR, and then start increased enforcement, I'd support you. The issue at hand however is more complicated. Copyright enforcement in practice may not catch every infringement online, but it does get many individuals. This includes many innocents are forced to pay a significant chunk of their life's savings to defend themselves when their use of the material was clearly in the bounds of fair use. (Not to mention the practise of copyright trolling; shaking down innocents for money with the mere threat of a copyright case.)

                        Copyright law allows for harsher punishments, and it doesn't have the limitations it did before. If we allow the kind of omnipresent surveillance required to catch every copyright infringement, we're basically ruining the lives of a significant chunk of our population for a minor civil infringement. The punishments have become so disproportionate, the techniques used in enforcement so inaccurate (high % of innocents) that I simply cannot support enforcement expansion.

                        And what if we do? Now we monitor everyone all the time - guilty until proven innocent! - for infringement...but society has gotten nothing in return. Copyright holders in this future have power to ruin a man; in return, society sees nothing but the continued diminution of fair use and no new works entering the public domain.

                        You demand enforcement without any consideration regarding the consequences of that enforcement. Libertarianism for your chosen cause; the burden of externalities upon the rest of society. Your arguments are based off rhetoric and elitism. Intellectual property holders are "special" to you; their needs come before others.

                        I sense a pattern in your vitriol and ad hominem attacks, Andrew. You consistently rise up in defence of any cause in which there is a call to have an industry begin to pay the cost of something it has externalised for decades. You level claims of catastrophism at those who disagree with you. You question their sanity, their motivations, I have even seen the odd conspiracy theory article.

                        You have even come very close to saying outright in your last comment that I am incapable of critical thinking because I look at the same data as you, draw some of the same conclusions, but not all. “Your brain doesn’t work right if you don’t agree with me” is a recurring theme.

                        This is not a good look, Andrew. I have presented you with several arguments that you simply brush aside without addressing, only to assert that I am not addressing your issues because I don’t agree with you.

                        So let me be explicit here: I am presenting to you a slippery slope argument. A slippery slope argument can be a logical fallacy, but only if a mechanism by which the chain of events is to take place is not provided, nor evidence that this chain of events is likely.

                        I do thus address your issues. I believe that your concerns are invalid, because were society to follow your suggestions then I firmly believe there would be very negative consequences; ones that society would be nearly powerless to undo. What’s more, I believe there is compelling evidence to prove that these consequences will indeed occur; and a long established history to back it up.

                        My argument is backed by literally thousands of peer-reviewed papers from the top minds in their field. (Dr. Michael Geist, University of Ottawa being one excellent example.) My argument is based on experimental evidence: we have seen maximalism tried, and failed. On the other hand, societies that reject it are flourishing.

                        So you are 100% correct in that this entire debate mirrors the debate you engage in over climate change, amongst others. Where other people decry a series of likely consequences to actions, and demand that corporations pay externalities associated with their businesses in an attempt to reduce or eliminate the possibility of those consequences becoming reality, you take up the fight.

                        Even when the overwhelming bulk of scientific evidence is against you – re: climate change – you can, will and do simply dehumanise your opponents. (Catastrophists! Autistics! People incapable of “proper” thought!)

                        At the core, the debate – be it climate change or intellectual property – has the exact same fundamental philosophical divergence between us:

                        I argue that the consequences of any social policy must be thoroughly examined, tested and subjected to expert consensus. In areas where consequences for inaction are disproportionately negative for society at large, regulation should be used to ensure the welfare of the many, preferably whilst avoiding too dramatic an impact on the few. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

                        You argue that social policy should be as “hands off” as possible; that “the market” should decide. Governments should intervene only when the status quo of an industry is changed; when they can no longer externalise a cost they had traditionally been able to. The moral right of the few outweighs the needs of the many.

                        We can go around and around here Andrew. At the end of the day, I believe that the social policies you propose will have dire consequences. I believe those consequences are significantly more dire for significantly more people in our society than the extant arrangement.

                        Simultainiously, I believe that society has not yet reached the optimal balance between the needs of society and the needs of creators. I believe there are a great many changes that need to take place if intellectual property is to serve everyone in society fairly.

                        Apparently however, the changes I would see implemented – the balance between the needs of the many and those of the few – is anathema to you. You argue only extant implementation, demanding a change-and-see approach with no examination of consequences excepting as they would apply to the group you consider “more equal” than the majority. By considering the many; by examining the consequences of your approach and seeking to minimise them, I am a catastrophist.

                        If that is your view of me, so be it. I cannot continue to go round with you on this topic; we are diametrically opposed on a fundamental philosophical level. We will continue to disagree vehemently about nearly everything higher level than that.

                        What has come from this however is the understanding that I simply shouldn’t reply to your articles; our viewpoints are so divergent the conversation can lead to nothing excepting animosity and logic loops.

                        So cheers sir; we’ll have to find other topics to discuss in the future. Ones where we are less divergent in our views.

                        P.S.: regarding copyright and international law? International law recognises that it is separate and distinct from traditional property. Thus why - so far - there are time limits on it. Despite the massive push to make it perpetual. So I maintain my position that it is not "property" in the morally perpetual sense that you continually use. It is a temporary monopoly granted to ensure that a creator can see economic reward from something that – ultimately – belongs to society at large. But now we’re back to fundamental philosophical disagreements…and apparently different interpretations of extant law filtered through those philosophies...

    2. AdamWill

      Re: no objections

      Note for the record: I submitted a post basically applying with Gizzit101 which accumulated over ten thumbs up (either 0 or 1 thumbs down). Woke up this morning and it had been retroactively 'rejected', and Andrew had posted several comments. Wonder what happened there, then.

  4. Oddbin

    See this is my problem with the music and movie business. There is all the talk of lost sales and people being poor and then loads of talk of the "stick" part but very little on the carrot side. If you dont even out the carrot side the stick will just put all of this further and further underground.

    Reduce the length of copyright to a more reasonable 10-20 years and then have a proper enforcement or open up the rights side so its easier for people to get access to the products on different media or any of hundreds of other things that prove the industry is trying to meet half way. There will be people who wont be placated but the majority will be happy to meet half way.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hmm...

      I agree that the term of copyright in recordings is too long, but as by far the vast majority of music and film which is pirated is current to the last year or so, what difference do you think it will make reducing the term?

      1. Oddbin

        Re: Hmm...

        I see that as redressing the balance between copyright, which we as a society grant artists, and enforcement of that copyright. Currently no song out today will ever be out of copyright in my time. So speaking purely selfishly why would I support harsher penalties to an industry that isn't willing to play fair? By giving up that massive length of time you are showing that the industry isn't demanding or living in its own wee bubble where they can dictate what they like, as they are portrayed right now let's be honest. The return for this is that we society more rigorously defend that copyright.

        I am yet to hear anyone of the people demanding more punishment and more regulation come out with anything they are willing to give in return. Like I said more business models are needed but look at the mess of international copyright and access to music library's for services like spotify and play music.

        The same basic theory would apply to movies games and tv.

    2. toadwarrior

      The majority of peole downloading aren't going to change their minds just because the copyright has been shortened. That's not why they do it. Most peole download because it's free and easy.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: "Most peole download because it's free and easy."

          The Oatmeal's "Game of Thrones" comic resonates with nearly everyone I know who feels the need to engage in copyright infringement. Every one of them wants to be able to pay for the content they consume. Alas, we're Canadian, and the media companies often simply decide we aren't allowed. (Or they make it possible, but so unwieldy that a psychological barrier is breached, and the ethics of copyright infringement stop mattering when compared to the frustration and hatred for the publishers caused by overwhelming megacorporate derping.)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah, more whiny self-entitled "creatives". If you want to make a living out of music then fine, but don't cry about how it's no longer like the old days where record companies colluded to fix prices and created artificial scarcity our of an infinite good in order to make lots of money for very little effort.

    People were making a living by performing live music long before recorded music ever existed. I'm not saying it's going to make every artist rich, but the days of knocking out a few songs and reaping in massive amounts of cash are gone forever. If you're motivated by money then get a real job instead of expecting the rest of the world to accommodate to your desire to get rich by performing a hobby.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No problem. If you don't want to pay for music, then we won't make it. And don't start whining about how "music was so much better in the old days".

    2. El Presidente
      Facepalm

      "get a real job" ? Interesting concept ..

      Freetards don't wish to pay for music so musicians should get 'real' jobs and professional musicians should downgrade themselves to hobbyists simply to accommodate the freetards.

      Good job freetards can't download the services of other professionals, isn't it ?

      Dentistry, for example.

      Had your teeth put in for stealing music by an angry hobbyist wielding a guitar? Download some teeth!

      Broken leg? Download some surgery!!

      Being sued ? Download some defence. Need your car fixing? Download a mechanic ...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "get a real job" ? Interesting concept ..

        Yeah, the thing is the dentist/surgeon/lawyer/mechanic generally gets paid for every time he/she performs the task they're being paid to do, they don't just do something once and then make infinite duplicates of it to sell at an inflated price point. If that were the case then, yes downloading teeth/surgery/legal defence/mechanical repairs would be fine too.

        If anything you've just reaffirmed the point I was making; if you're a musician and want to make money then perform gigs and actually work for it, rather than crying that you can no longer rely on an antiquated and artificial 20th century business model that lets you sit back and collect royalties.

        1. El Presidente
          FAIL

          Re: "get a real job" ? Interesting concept ..

          "... dentist/surgeon/lawyer/mechanic generally gets paid for every time he/she performs the task they're being paid to do, they don't just do something once and then make infinite duplicates of it to sell at an inflated price point"

          Still a performance of ability though, isn't it ?

          You wouldn't pay a back street dentist £10 for a filling any more than you would pay .99p to listen to a song made by someone unable to play an instrument.

          If it were possible to digitise, for ease of copy, the services of a dentist/surgeon/lawyer/mechanic then I'm sure the freetard movement would come up with many a justification for what is, essentially, putting people out of work so the freetard can get free stuff.

          Freetardism empowers the corporations.

          Freetardism sticks it to the individual, not the man.

          1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

            1. toadwarrior

              Re: "get a real job" ? Interesting concept ..

              Why would studio time be free? That's the sort of flawed logic used by people who don't want to pay for music. Their idea is the artist should get virtually everything which is impossible because it ignores all the other people in the process.

              1. Chet Mannly

                Re: "get a real job" ? Interesting concept ..

                "Why would studio time be free?"

                OK free might be pushing it, but these days digital recording equipment is a decent PC and software, not like the old days where only full on studios had access to anything halfway decent.

                But the rest of his point is well made - the cost of production is close to zero once the initial recording costs are paid for.

                That's why in the article people say yes to hardware - its a physical product with definite costs for each individual item made.

                Also, the music industry has been fleecing people for decades - how many albums did you buy back in the day that had 3 good songs and 10 utterly rubbish fillers?

                A big chunk of the shrinking revenue is due to people being able to buy only the decent songs and skip the fillers.

        2. Sean Timarco Baggaley

          Re: "get a real job" ? Interesting concept ..

          Italian singer-songwriter Max Gazzè (who those of you outside Italy won't have heard of) is a pretty big deal in his home country. He's famous enough there that he gets recognised in the street, and he's been pretty successful as Italian musicians go over the past ten years or so.

          And, yes, he gives a lot of concerts. During the summer, he's gigging at hundreds of towns and villages around the country, often out on the road for days, for very little return—many of these concerts are benefit gigs for the likes of the earthquake-hit Emilia Romagna. I know this because he's a relative—I've even watched him recording a track. (That process takes days, incidentally. Not everyone musician has "DJ" or "MC" in their name and sits in front of a computer with a copy of Garageband, Reason, or Acid Pro, to knock out a remix or dance track in an afternoon.)

          And yet... he's made a tiny, tiny fraction—usually only five figures in any one year once everyone else has taken their cut—of what an investment banker makes for not having a fucking clue what it is he and his colleagues actually do for a living. That banker is paid ridiculous sums of money to click a few buttons that move vast sums of money around in a glorified international online casino, placing vague bets on financial "products", the contents of which appear to remain a complete mystery to all involved. Oops! We just bankrupted Iceland and brought the US, the UK and the entire Eurozone to its knees! Sorry! Can you give us some money to tide us over and keep us in the manner to which we have become accustomed? We promise not to do it again! Scout's honour!

          And yet the ire of the technorati is focused with laser-like precision on... artists. People who actually create something are getting punished, while the arseholes who created this global recession...? They're merrily spending their multi-million-dollar bailouts and bonuses. You know: the bailouts our governments unilaterally decided to pay them out of our own damned pockets. And those bonuses are apparently required in order to "attract the best talent". (Again: this is the same "talent" that has been placing billion-dollar bets on financial bullshit packages that they don't even understand. Remember that whenever you hear of more bonuses being paid.)

          Are we punishing these bankers? No. They get rewarded. Handsomely. At our expense.

          Are we punishing the politicians who blundered so badly? No. They, too, are simply re-elected and rewarded.

          There are far, far more deserving targets of your ire than people involved in an industry that's going through a painful transition. Musicians, writers, photographers, game developers and filmmakers have just as much right to earn a crust as you, or anyone else. The creative industries will adapt. What they need are viable solutions, not a horde of ignorant whiners complaining that they have to pay for services rendered.

          1. AdamWill

            Re: "get a real job" ? Interesting concept ..

            "And yet... he's made a tiny, tiny fraction—usually only five figures in any one year once everyone else has taken their cut—of what an investment banker makes for not having a fucking clue what it is he and his colleagues actually do for a living."

            That's not an argument that's going to get you anywhere with...well, almost any audience, really, but certainly not one on the Reg. Probably 99% of the people reading this get paid less than investment bankers do, for doing a lot more.

            Aside from that, though, interesting post, thanks.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "get a real job" ? Interesting concept ..

              "That's not an argument that's going to get you anywhere with...well, almost any audience, really"

              Indeed. "Oh no, only five figures a year (like almost everyone else then). The poor starving artists."

        3. Fibbles
          Facepalm

          Re: "get a real job" ? Interesting concept ..

          "If anything you've just reaffirmed the point I was making; if you're a musician and want to make money then perform gigs and actually work for it, rather than crying that you can no longer rely on an antiquated and artificial 20th century business model that lets you sit back and collect royalties."

          Lets say an album costs $20k to produce (studio time, album artwork, etc.). In the real world a musician sells many copies of this album so that the costs to an individual consumer are relatively low but the investment on the album is recouped and if they're lucky they might even make a profit*. In your world selling more than one copy is corporate fascism so the musician is forced to sell one copy priced to cover the production costs and make some profit, lets say $25k. Who the hell is going to pay $25k for one album?

          If all music is performed live and nobody is willing to pay for it to be professional recorded because they'll never make their money back, does this mean that all recorded music will be in the form of shaky smartphone videos recorded at a gigs? Bugger that for a game of soldiers.

          *Yes, the music cartels will be involved at some point taking an unreasonable cut but this is a side issue.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Sigh.

            Dear god, for a start it doesn't need to cost anything like $20k to produce an album these days. How about if you're just starting out you make your music on the cheap, and if you're successful then you can afford to splash out on expensive studio time and production - y'know like the way it already works in the real world.

            Secondly, I never suggested artists only sell one album nor made hyperbolic statements about "corporate fascism". I suggested that comparing musicians to other professionals was pointless because professionals are paid for their time and work on an ongoing basis, not for doing something once then paid multiple times for it. My main point is that it's just a ridiculous and stupid comparison to begin with, the live performance thing is an aside. But addressing it anyway you'd most likely still find recorded music available, even if it wasn't paid for, for promotional reasons alone (why do people make expensive music videos when no-one really pays for them?). I mean, Christ, plenty of artists are making music and distributing it for free because - unbelievably to some here perhaps - they actually enjoy making music and having other people here it, and monetary reward is just a bonus.

            The fact is the genie is out of the bottle now, we're never going back to the days of paying £15 for an album, music is essentially going to be free or close to free in some form or another (e.g. advertising supported, all-you-can-eat streaming services for a nominal sum, etc.) All whining from musicians is going to do is alienate consumers further from traditional music industry models.

          2. Dave the Cat
            Stop

            @ Fibbles

            "*Yes, the music cartels will be involved at some point taking an unreasonable cut but this is a side issue."

            No, the music cartels taking a disproportionate cut of the profits is THE issue.

      2. Syd

        Re: "get a real job" ? Interesting concept ..

        Actually, the upper-end of the medical profession (surgeons/ dental surgeons/ etc.) are *highly* vulnerable to being replaced by technology within the next 50 years. You will be diagnosed by a computer that scans your body, and you will be operated on by nanobots which don't even need to break the skin. It is going to be an interesting process too - I don't expect the medical profession to go down without a fight; but go down they will.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's a Deal

        Odds are your music isn't any good if it means so little to you you'd stop making it as soon as you stop getting paid. Most artists I listen to these days just stick their work up on SoundCloud and YouTube for free.

        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      4. Tom 35 Silver badge

        then we won't make it

        Sounds fair to me. If you don't get paid enough to make you happy go do something else.

        I have somewhere between 600-700 CDs but in the last year I've only bought one (and I bought that one directly from the band that was playing at a festival).

      5. Tom 35 Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: "get a real job" ? Interesting concept ..

        The Dentist, surgeon, mechanic only get paid once.

        The mechanic is not expecting to get paid every time I drive my car, and I'm sure they don't expect there grandchildren to get paid for the work they did today.

        A lot like a live performance...

        The record companies are not selling a service, they are selling a copy of something, and you can always make another copy.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "get a real job" ? Interesting concept ..

          @Tom 35 - How do you propose that a musician can earn a living if they are only paid once? Who would pay them? How much would they be paid? Who has the rights to the music after the payment?

          What about the musicians who can't or won't play live? What about musicians with families who can't do epic world tours, in order to earn a fairly small amount of money? (Only very large bands rake it in from tours.)

          1. Tom 35 Silver badge

            Re: "get a real job" ? Interesting concept ..

            @ AC - "How do you propose that a musician can earn a living if they are only paid once?"

            You miss my point. The original post that I replied to was a load of crap. It compared people who preform a service and only get paid once, to the selling of copy of something, that can it's self be copied.

            But since you asked, the same way as everyone else in the world? How do all the technicians, artists, studio floor sweepers earn a living when they only get paid once when they make a record?

        2. TheOtherHobbes

          Re: "get a real job" ? Interesting concept ..

          Getting paid once is orthogonal to the main point - which is that creative professionals are *professional.*

          Being *professional* means it takes you a long time to get good at something. You have to learn a lot, practice a lot, and then - eventually - you can start making some money.

          If you're an amateur, you are not a professional - by definition. Since no one sane is going to want to see a weekend doctor, dentist, car mechanic, lawyer, what exactly is it about working in the arts that makes people suddenly think 'Oh hey - no one needs to do this job full time. A hobby is just fine'?

          Because - you know - working 14 hour days in a studio, or on tour, or in a serial TV show, or on a movie set, is just piss easy and not real work at all.

          "The record companies are not selling a service, they are selling a copy of something."

          Where do you think the original thing that gets copied comes from?

          Here's an idea - maybe somebody actually has to take the time to make it.

          I know that's a revolutionary concept to the freetards, but there it is.

          And if you have a problem with, presumably you wouldn't mind me hacking into your bank account and copying the balance there.

          It's all just bytes, after all, and why should you care if your cash is copied all over the internet?

          Oh wait - you're going to tell me that's different, aren't you?

          So now you're saying that money should be copy protected? And you believe in copyright after all then?

          Ah. So when it's *your* stuff it's suddenly a Big Deal.

          Yeah. Whatever.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "get a real job" ? Interesting concept ..

            Trying to suggest the the work and effort (and money) required to become a professional doctor/dentist/mechanic/lawyer is analogous to becoming a professional musician is asinine. Bands like Metallica were releasing their first albums when they were teenagers, having only been playing a few years. Music for the most part is a hobby that can make money from, it's not a professional that requires the level of investment and commitment as the ones you're trying to compare it to. Oddly the exceptions, such as playing a classical instrument in an orchestra professionally are the ones where they are paid the same as doctors/dentists/ et al and paid per performance rather than in royalties. Which undermines this sense of self-entitlement coming from artists like Lowery even more.

            1. toadwarrior

              Re: "get a real job" ? Interesting concept ..

              Children can program, run servers, etc so maybe IT jobs pay should be more in line with pocket money.

              1. Mike Flex

                Re: "get a real job" ? Interesting concept ..

                > Children can program, run servers, etc so maybe IT jobs pay should be more in line with pocket money.

                My last employer was ahead of you there.

      6. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

        Music Schmoosick

        I can knock off a relatively good poem in about half an hour. Come back to it a day or two later to give it a once over, maybe change a phrase or a couple of words. Another half an hour.

        I dare say a good musician can do something similar. There are thousands of words to make rhymes with, so it is all very easy for me. There are only 7 notes and therefore not many thousands of combinations to couple. It shouldn't be too hard to knock out a newish tune, if your audience is young, silly and inept. Pop misusick isn't even concerned with four part harmonies.

        People with pimples singing about broken hearts. FFS!

        Not even that these days, just rhyming swear words. How hard can that be?

        Writing a book takes a few months. Few authors can knock out 2 an year of any merit. But musicians will all too frequently knock out shit. Even good ones such as Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, god help me what about Stravinsky and Rites of Spring?

        Any old tat can be given the Warhol treatment. The target customers are children after all.

        > If you don't want to pay for music, then we won't make it.

        Give me a break you tit.

        In every town in Britain you can find gifted musicians singing their own stuff for free, just happy to be in a groove on open mic. night. Now GTHOOI.

        1. Mike Flex

          Re: Music Schmoosick

          > It shouldn't be too hard to knock out a newish tune, if your audience is young, silly and inept.

          No need to bother for the young. Just recycle the old tunes. The teenFlex keeps finding "new" songs that I point out I heard 30+ years ago.

        2. Sean Timarco Baggaley

          Re: Music Schmoosick

          "I can knock off a relatively good poem in about half an hour. Come back to it a day or two later to give it a once over, maybe change a phrase or a couple of words. Another half an hour.

          I dare say a good musician can do something similar. There are thousands of words to make rhymes with, so it is all very easy for me. There are only 7 notes and therefore not many thousands of combinations to couple."

          You must really, really hate The Beatles then. Their early songs included such deep lyrical gems as: She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah! And the not at all trite and shallow: Love Me Do

          Both "timeless classics". Apparently.

          Personally, I can't tell the difference between those song lyrics and any of the modern teenage angst shite currently in the charts, but I appear to be in a minority shared, it seems, with yourself.

          Incidentally, there are rather more than "seven notes" in music. I can see 49 of them. Just because they're labelled here in the West using a cyclic system based on letters and numbers, it doesn't mean there are only "7" of them. Each pitch is different.

          By your logic, there are only ten numbers, and arithmetic is therefore all lies.

        3. AdamWill

          Re: Music Schmoosick

          You, sir, are an utter and total nincompoop.

          It has been implied, with downvotes, but I felt it needed to be stated clearly and straightforwardly for the record.

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Marcello...

        ... Then don't make it. :D

        I know many artists who do their work as a hobby. Most who get jobs see it as a privilege not a right.

  6. Jason Hindle

    I have no issue at all with artists being paid for their creations. However, there has pretty much always been mega corps involved and unless a band owned their own publishing company, their cut per record sale has always been small. Of course, we have models that sort of respect artists in the digital age, like iTunes (open enough, if you don't mind burning a CD) and Spotify though I'm guessing the cut the artists get from this is frighteningly small.

    The truth is, unless you're one the industry's A listers, the real money in the music business has always been made out on the road.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Jason

      "...The truth is, unless you're one the industry's A listers, the real money in the music business has always been made out on the road...."

      Complete rubbish. Small and increasingly medium popularity level bands simply can't do successful tours, it costs far to much money, they may well break even, but a couple of nights with a poor turn out can result in total loss of any profits from a tour. Also the more people in the band, the harder it is to make any money.

      Yes, I do know what I'm talking about I have gone on tour, as a lighting guy.

    2. Sean Timarco Baggaley
      FAIL

      @Jason Hindle:

      "However, there has pretty much always been mega corps involved and unless a band owned their own publishing company, their cut per record sale has always been small."

      "small" is still > bugger all. This is the fundamental point of the anti-counterfeiting argument. Those mega-corps have as much right to recoup their expenses as the artist does, and the vast majority of artists are fully aware of the contents of their contracts. They sign anyway because a little bit of a big slice of cash is still a shitload more than they'll ever get from freeloaders, who will pay the artist precisely bugger all because this—in their tiny, misguided and ignorant little minds—is apparently going to harm the big record labels. Even more bizarre is the attitude that artists are supposed to thank them for this!

      The ONLY people who are hurt by counterfeiting and the anti-Copyright movement are the artists. Google are actually salivating over the prospect of free access to every book, photo, video and music track ever created in order to sell you advertising on the back of it.

      Be very, very careful when advocating an anti-Copyright position. Follow the money. Killing copyright protection for the artists will ONLY benefit the very mega-corporations you profess to detest.

  7. Camilla Smythe

    A Dichotomy

    For Every U2 you get a million dregs left to rot... or a few forced down people's faces by Mr High Waste Trouser Band Man.

    Turn it on its head..

    For every Google/Phorm/Sony/PMSAss you get multi-multi-million people having 'behavioural advertising' forced upon them without their knowledge or consent.

    That's about the limit of my socio-mumble-bumble.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A Dichotomy

      If ever there was an good pro-piracy argument then U2's dire warblings and inexplicable success has to be it.

  8. Richard 12 Silver badge
    FAIL

    Did he proof read this?

    "I've never seen a brand like Coca Cola, a real mainstream American brand on ad networks. They censor that too."

    No, that's not censorship, it's Coca Cola deciding where to put their advertising money.

    I do agree with Lowery on one thing - "You can't argue with someone that disingenuous" - but that statement flies both directions, and to date the copyright lobbyists have been the most disingenuous of all.

    What we consumers want is to be able to purchase music at a sensible price, know that a decent portion of our money is going to the artist(s) who made it, and that we can listen to that music which we have paid for anywhere, anywhen and anyhow that we choose.

    We resent and fight against the way that the megacorps have tried make us re-buy the same music over and over again, treated us all like criminals and even got taxes applied to blank media to 'reclaim' some of that 'lost' revenue.

    We further resent and fight against the ridiculous length of copyright. When my parents were teens, their parents' music went out of copyright, and was re-used and re-generated into new works.

    When my kids are teenagers, everything my parents grew up with will still be in copyright.

    Is it any wonder people don't have any respect for the music industry?

    Personally, I no longer buy any music at all, I just listen to "MTV"-like channels and the radio. Why? Because I resent being treated like a criminal whenever I do buy music. I suspect I'm not alone.

    Finally, SOPA was written by extremists. Is it any surprise that this pushed many 'reasonable' people into becoming extremists, as that was necessary to shoot it down!

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Did he proof read this?

      Or maybe you just don't like music :)

      The angriest pseudo-masochists, people who whine the loudest about being victims of the GIANT OPPRESSIVE ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX only have a passing interest, IME.

      * http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/02/10/pseudo_masochism_explained/

      Everyone else is out shopping... or not.

  9. oioi

    This is where you lost it

    Really only the biggest players benefit - the richest, most powerful players benefit. Small stakeholders can't really compete when the market's like that..

    You are right of course, you mean the legacy big players though dont you.

    The money distributed by the monopoloy collection societies in each country only pay out to the top 50 or so artists, the ones at the top that are already rich, and even then, they screw them over by passing that money through several organisations first.

    Courtney love can tell you, shes been there, she knows.

    http://www.salon.com/2000/06/14/love_7/

    eminem can also tell you, hes there now, being screwed over by the big, rich player.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/feb/25/eminem-universal-digital-royalties-lawsuit

    Obviously with all the money going to the top artists, theres nothing for the upcoming artists, so they have to struggle. The way i see it currently, all you maximalists want every one to pay you all for the total crap you put out, and the great stuff you big, rich players don't want us to hear.

    Can't have your cake and eat it you know, no matter how much of a fit you throw.

  10. flying_walrus
    Facepalm

    Getting paid more than once for a single piece of work

    Mr lowery is from a generation raised on the 20th century expectation that a musician that records a song should be able to make a living by selling that same recording over and over. This expectation was only really true in the height of the vinyl record age (when it was technically hard for consumers to make good copies at home), and only for a small number of musicians.

    Before the advent of the recording industry, musicians expected to work (read as: perform live) on a regular basis if they wanted to get paid, and with the advent of Internet file sharing they are back to the status quo ante. - and a generation or two of them are winging because they can't expect to stay rich forever like the Rolling Stones got to.

    The strategy of bringing up the poor benighted technicians who won't get paid if we don't pay full price for the CD or BluRay is bogus: these folks get paid per hour worked. By the time the recording is on the pirate bay they already have their check. o

    One could argue that the "slump" in sales will cause the industry to make fewer records (and thus need fewer technicians) but I would argue that

    1. The industry was already making fewer recordings, preferring to bank everything on a fe manufactured icons like Britany or whoever it is today, and

    2. The fact that musicians can make good quality recordings at home on equipment that costs tens of thousands instead of hundreds of thousands means that these technicians are more at risk from inside the industry than from the consumers.

    Tldr: the changes in the industry are natural by products of the same technological trend at created the industry in the first place. Superior man looks forward to the next trend instead of winging about he last one being over.

    1. Fibbles

      Re: Getting paid more than once for a single piece of work

      You say yourself that technicians and everyone else in the production process get paid up front yet you can't see that these costs need to be recouped? An album costs a lot to produce, a single fan is not going to pay the full production cost just to own the album, therefore many copies of the album have to be sold at a price the market can bear in order to recoup these costs. It's not sodding rocket science.

      Touring doesn't make money unless you're in the top 1% of (already megarich) artists despite what freetards will tell you. Bands tour to promote album sales.

      As for bedroom producers, yes you can make something that sounds ok but it's nowhere near the quality of that produced by a professional recording studio. It also only really holds true for electro music where most of what you hear is a pre-recorded sample anyway.

      1. Tom 35 Silver badge

        Re: Getting paid more than once for a single piece of work

        "yet you can't see that these costs need to be recouped"

        How is paying the artist, his kids, and grand kids for every copy sold part of recouping production costs?

        How many more copies of Rumours do you figure they need to sell to recoup the production costs?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Getting paid more than once for a single piece of work

        And you can't see the hypocrisy of the technician being paid once for his input into a recording but the artist (and the record label) being paid numerous times forever? Why doesn't the technician get a royalty for every copy sold? You're using practical arguments against a principle one. I don't care whether or not a musician makes money by touring or performing gigs locally, perhaps if they can't make enough money from performing then they should go back to the dayjob. Or maybe they should change the business model according to market forces like every other industry does and charge more per ticket or reduce overheard. Really, it's up to the artists to find a way to monetise their work, not the consumer, and pining for the days of selling records isn't going to accomplish that. As others have said the business model of selling copies of recordings in a brief 20th century phenomena, musicians existed before record labels and will continue to exist after the death of selling music.

        1. Fibbles

          Re: Getting paid more than once for a single piece of work

          I'm not arguing against shorter copyright terms, they certainly shouldn't go on indefinitely. The idea that music shouldn't be sold though is simply a reflection that of you not wanting to pay for it, nothing else. If you don't want to pay for music then just don't buy it, if an artist can't make money from it they'll stop producing it. You're just looking for a way to justify not paying and then still listening anyway.

  11. danny_0x98

    A lot is made regarding reference to libertarian ideas, but property, as in chattel and real estate, is a faulty analog regarding song authorship. My criticism of the the ways US laws have transformed in the wake of the mp3 revolution is that large copyright holders have transferred civil disputes into the criminal courts, meaning enforcement costs have been socialized, and they are trying to minimize costs of monitoring by transferring those to ISPs and their customers.

    Lowery keeps circling around a fallacy, that recording contracts are a common way bands make money. If one thinks about the ordinary working musician, in the past big swing bands got the bookings, then the four piece rock combo. Now many would-be bands are displaced because insurance and rent costs have caused the bars to disappear, and the weddings went to djs years ago. Indeed, these latter people celebrated the iPod age because their library was more portable, but now the djs are seeing business diminish as people just bring their own iPod.

    He has made a point, that the record companies could afford to carry a band like his on their roster. Having made original music in Santa Barbara, California at the same time as he was an indie darling, I saw people get deals, such as [Redacted], Toad the Wet Sprocket, Ugly Kid Joe, and Dishwalla. Three of them had hits. [Redacted] were signed at the behest of a major label's Legendary 60s Star who, based on past accomplishments, had a deal to record and develop talent as an A&R guy. [Redacted]'s album, produced by L6S, was put in the can and shelved. L6S had a deal which included some number of signings, and the costs of the advance and the recordings fulfilled the obligations of his contract and were the extent of the major label's willingness to spend money. I suppose there was some relief the label felt that [Redacted] weren't too talented or connected and could be sandbagged. Meanwhile [Redacted] was not going to get a release and had no practical way to pay off the advance and any other label would have to reimburse the advance and recording costs, even if they signed [Redacted] on new material. I suppose the reimbursement would include what the major label paid L6S to sign and produce [Redacted]. [Redacted], and they were good guys and musicians, never got the brass ring.

    Lowery, and I hope I'm not mischaracterizing, says his band got enough attention to get further advances and release, but, never brought a profit to his labeks. If he were looking back without those Romantic Ideologue specs, he'd see a terrible inefficiency and expect that somewhere down the road the labels would rework the economics. I haven't gone there yet, but I suppose the obvious question to ask is have copyright law changes increased inefficiencies and reduced artist revenues via label consolidation. Well, I look at the situation and think that bands and musicians have to take more responsibility and risk in their careers. This, mind you, was a trend-line that started well before the Internet.

    One other point I'd make: somebody above made a fundamentalist ideological statement, specifically that without enforced property rights, there are no markets. When I hire a plumber to fix the sink, what property right was involved? Services rely on contract enforcement (though my experience is that if it does go to litigation, the profit decreases more than the probability of collection increases.)

    With that I circuitously return to an original point. Here in Hollywood, where I live, music is more a service done as work-for-hire. The aggregators of performances and composition hold the rights, but mostly in anticipation of other licensing fee sources. Some guilds have gotten the rights to residuals, but producers have gone to the ramparts to keep that form of compensation off the tables for DVDs and the web.

    There was one place where the royalties were non-negotiable. One very successful songwriter acquaintance of mine says that Nashville labels used to ask pro songwriters for material, and that was how he made a very good living. These days, no pitch requests because the labels have songwriters on staff. They are saving costs, because outside writers get 50% for a license acquisition, but far less for a statutory mechanical reproduction fees, and that iTunes or Amazon purchase is not a recording but a license.

    Truly, I am for paying the artist. The music labels are as well, but prefer that for every dollar they pass along, they collect ten. Well, who wouldn't want that? Still, don't see why a libertarian would invite more governmental intrusion into the Internet in order to effect that. I would have expected them to say that the market changed, time for old trees to fall down. Me, being one who thinks society has some ownership in its culture, has it easy. No to SOPA/ACTA and let's talk about reducing the terms for copyright.

    1. Oddbin

      Put far more eloquently than I tried above.

  12. Martin Owens

    Eye Roll

    The price-fixed game of monopoly is over, now we just have to dig the law back out of the crazy.

    Musician whines about inability to earn money for nothing, dog bites man, more at eleven.

  13. Tony Paulazzo
    Pirate

    >They don't realise how essentially working class the music business is.

    Builder gets paid every time citizen walks past his wall. Builder very happy. Builder wants status quo to continue for ever.

    Great article of misinformed opinion.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bridge builder gets hired by company to build bridge. Bridge costs company millions to build. Company sets up toll booths to collect a few quid from each person crossing. Citizens bypass tollbooths whilst shouting "up yours Big Bridge Corp". Company goes bankrupt. Bridge builder gets no more work.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Stupid Bridge Mega Corp...

        ...for building a bridge where one wasn't necessary, i.e. allowing people to 'bypass' it.

      2. Anonymous Coward 15

        Nope

        Two flaws:

        - Once bridge builder has been paid for his work he probably isn't getting a cut of each person's toll.

        - Buying a CD is not like paying a toll, it's like buying a lifetime pass to that bridge, which can be sold on if you move jobs and don't need to cross that bridge any more.

  14. PyLETS
    Big Brother

    plenty of value left in art

    Just diminishingly little from theoretical rights to stop people using the technology we're already familiar with. Rights in conflict include privacy of communications, and various freedoms of expression. Internet surveillance, collective punishments and disconnections won't stop people sending CDs and DVDs by snail mail or expanding use of privacy- respecting networks such as Tor. Are they then going to steam our snail mail open ? I think not. So these theoretical rights stand little chance of being respected until:

    a. Beneficiaries go after those with a commercial interest and leave the rest of us alone. They already do the former to some extent and could do it more (think of the sales commissions from ISPs) when they accept the need for the latter.

    b. Legislators granting these rights shorten the terms to something defensible based on incentives to create art.

    If you enjoy and want to support a band, go and see their live performances and buy their official merchandise. If you want to support film actors and scriptwriters, buy a ticket when they put on a performance at your local theatre.

    Prior to copyright, most artists depended on one-off commissions, live performances and rich sponsors. These sources of income haven't dried up, and more comes from the state in connection with the TV license and Arts Council.

  15. sinan

    How much?

    There are way too much entertainment options currently available, and music is becoming an ever smaller part of it. I used to listen to music everyday. I had 4 mega CD changers that constantly played random songs 24 hours a day. We have over 1,000 CDs(and about a 1,000 DVDs and Blu-Rays) we have bought over the years. I dismantled the whole system about 6 years ago, when it became obvious that our music listening was switching to iTunes and iPods. Then something strange happened , and I found myself not using the iPod in last 2 years. Why? Because it is a hassle. With Apple's new sync capability , I could sync my ipad, iPhone, etc.. but frankly I have lost the desire. Music is an acquired taste, and when you listen less, then you listen less.

    You talk about paying. OK, let's talk about that. We pay $350 per month to Comcast for entertainment, which includes music and movies. We pay subscription to Netflix and Amazon. We buy probably in excess of $1,000 a year from iTunes. We probably buy 30 or so Blu-Ray a year. So it is safe to say we probably pay well in excess of $5,000 a year for media consumption. Yet what do I get for that?

    Let me tell you what I think I should get. I should get the capability to listen to random music , as I used to be able to do with my CD changers, but at a much larger scale. It should be able to throw in an Enrico Macias in there once in a while. I should be able to listen to any musician from any country , and when I listen some money should go to that musician.

    I have a very limited time to listen to music, and due to roadblocks the industry has put in my way, I've pretty much given up doing it(my wife still does). It is not a matter of money. It is that the music industry has failed to come up with a plan to take what I am willing to pay. Let's not forget that in the end it is the musician's responsibility to find an equitable way to get that money. Consumer does not have the means to do that.

    But if you are proposing that I create an account on iTunes (which I already have) and pay for what I buy (which I already do), that is not a solution. The model is broke. In the old days , I could listen to the radio and when I found something I liked then I would search for it , and find a Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin from hearing it on the radio. That model was already broken, but we didn't have the resources we have today.

    So , what would be an equitable solution? I would pay $100($200?) a month, and for that I could listen to anything anywhere anytime I wanted, easily without hassle, and you distribute the money.

    So question is , how much?

  16. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    The guy might actually have had a few points but his attitude switched me off almost immediately. It seems to me he is taking exactly the stance of the people he criticises.

    Also, I'm firmly in the camp of "Give me what I want at a reasonable price and I'll buy it". But no, they don't supply what I want to hear, and what they do supply is not worth the money they demand.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I now...

    ... only pay towards indies or use opensource. Are you reading that "artists"? I pay artists directly, not middlemen. Why? Because I can choose which content to consume and I choose the one I like the most and that benefits the artists the most.

    I know, it's a strange concept, me paying artists and helping them earn a living. Oh, what's that? An accusation of copyright infringement? No, just because I don't pay for the content I don't want, does not mean I'm downloading that content. I choose not to listen or watch it at all now. I don't even listen to the other stuff.

    Oh, and to add to that I am an artist myself. I've decided it would be crazy for me to demand a price though. It's all about working with the demand not against it.

  18. lukewarmdog
    Stop

    who?

    I once worked in the industry therefore I am immensely qualified to comment on it.

    .. not really.. No idea who Lowery is but he has such a vested interest in music making him money that the whole article is pointless. Is he secretly Fergal Sharkey?

    There are lots of issues with bands making money, maybe if you're not doing as well as you wanted you should figure out if that's because you're a bit shit and maybe sell your soul to the Kylie-sampled discobeat that will make you oodles of cash.

    And for the record I've seen many bands that toured to make money. Senseless Things, Mega City 4, PWEI, Stuffies. The trick is not to have hundreds of techies sucking out all the profits from any given show. And have your own van. Turn up, play, get paid. With the corporate branding of venues of course this may change, in which case the megacorps are the nemesis of "real bands", not downloaders.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: who?

      "There are lots of issues with bands making money, maybe if you're not doing as well as you wanted you should figure out if that's because you're a bit shit"

      Indeed.

      "No idea who Lowery is"

      The fact he's best known for a shit cover of a Status Quo song tells you all you need to know about Lowery's contribution to music.

  19. Robin 12
    Linux

    Compatibility and quality.

    My biggest issue is compatibility between my devices.

    I am not a iFan boy or Windows user. We use Linux in our house on all computers. When we had a local musician trying to promote his music, I went and purchased his CD. Coming home I found it was loaded with DRM and I couldn't play it in my computer, my media center. I returned it for a full refund because the DRM was not listed on the package.

    This is the same with many bands that you can purchase their music on iTunes or some other closed source media store that doesn't cater to us "Freetards." I prefer my music in flac format.

    I download music from various sources and the music I like, I purchase the CD's. I can then rip them in flac to get a decent quality of music on my media system. I have downloaded some strange and different musice when I make random, eyes closed selections. Things I would never listen to if I had to purchase them up front of go through some strange or difficult sampling process.

    Statistics also show that the largest downloaders are also the largest purchasers of music. What a strange concept. Download to try the songs and then purchase the music you like. Support the musicians that you end up enjoying. Heck, I even purcahsed the "T" shirt to support "My Darkest Days".

    As many have said, this is a future where we want to own our media, not rent or licence it. I still have a record player for my 45,s, 33's, and 78's that I have collected over the decades. Many that have been transfered to flac.

    Another thing that Lowery missed in the fight against SOPA and other related laws is the "Spying", Big Brother aspect of the laws. Laws that give the government power and the ability to spy on all our communications without legal oversight.

    I have friends and relatives that have been or are involved in the music industry. Some have done quite well for themselves with it.

    Give some of the media executives income to the musicians.

  20. Ole Juul

    Why all the crying about popular and downright commercial music?

    I don't download "pirated" music, partly for ethical reasons, but mostly because it is generally not even remotely interesting stuff. Much of it strongly offends me by its sheer derivative gall. We're typically talking about musicians who think that rehearsing is practising. Dance steps, image, and "sounds like" efforts are not worth anything more than branding and marketing hype to my ear and pocket book. If I was interested in that kind of stuff, I'd probably watch TV. Really talented players are certainly hard to find in "download land" and I don't want to put my money there or support that kind of thing in general. I've had better luck in concert halls and at private recitals. I'm not saying popular music is wrong or useless but I personally prefer to do without, and the assumption that it has value to everybody is just plain wrong.

  21. jake Silver badge

    Strange that nobody's mentioned Janis Ian's take on this subject.

    http://www.janisian.com/reading/internet.php

    ::shrugs::

    1. newsrim

      Re: Why all the crying about popular and downright commercial music?

      I tend to see the causation as going the other way - modern pop tends to be thin-sounding, derivative and repetitive because to do more would require more resources, and in a file-sharing world that's unlikely to be rewarded.

  22. El Presidente

    It's quite clear

    Reading through the posts above, that the main reason for seeking to diminish the rights of artists is envy.

    There are those who say of creatives 'good luck to them' and there are those who say 'how dare they'

    Primarily because they have neither the wit or talent to produce something original. If they did have the wit and wherewithal to produce something original and if they did have the opportunity to pass on publishing rights to their offspring, *all* of them would. Except the ones who hate their own kids and judging by the convoluted arguments some 'tards put forward in defence of their habits I'm sure there would be a few who do!

    Ease of opportunity is the gateway to freetardism but simple *envy* is what drives freetard philosophy.

    1. PyLETS
      Pirate

      Re: It's quite clear

      "Reading through the posts above, that the main reason for seeking to diminish the rights of artists is envy."

      Most people over a certain age are likely to know a few highly artistic wannabees who expended years of their lives trying to get established but who got nowhere. No reason to envy those who got into a paying career a few years later than they would otherwise. They tend to be poorer for it, and less well pensioned. Why encourage so many down (what for them is likely to become) a blind alley, when they could have been engineers or teachers for these formative years paying taxes instead of claiming benefits ? There are some who are likely to be able to do nothing else, but these singularly driven individuals are likely to become artistically creative regardless of the existence of a market for their works.

      "Ease of opportunity is the gateway to freetardism but simple *envy* is what drives freetard philosophy."

      For some less well educated that may possibly be the case. But it's not generally the case.

      My freedom of expression as a programmer to explain how a security system works, and my privacy of letters to communicate what I choose in privacy with my friends both come under human rights legislation, which trumps copyright. Criminalising copyright related aspects of programming, Internet surveillance, collective punishments based on flawed IP address evidence and network disconnections are in conflict with these primary rights.

      There's another sense in which copyright can suppress expression in relation to historical works which require very many reuse rights and for which the latter are obtained in too limited form, or are prohibitively expensive to research. For an example of this effect, consider how Eyes on the Prize became impossible legally to be shown in public between 1993 - 2006 .

      1. El Presidente
        Facepalm

        @PyLETS

        I read all that and forgive me but I have to ask .. What's your point, caller ?

        1. PyLETS

          @El Presidente

          I read all that and forgive me but I have to ask .. What's your point, caller ?

          Good reasons for wanting copyright duration and enforcement limited include:

          a. Not wanting unsuccessful artists to claim benefits when they should be doing a regular job.

          b. Not liking it when hacker friends get locked up and intimidated by lawyers for explaining how to do something.

          c. Not liking it when local historians can't afford to do new publications on recent history because of excessive copyright clearance costs.

          d. Not liking having my net connection spied upon, and being threatened with disconnection, because someone else is claimed by copyright owners to be abusing my network address .

          1. El Presidente
            Facepalm

            Re: @El Presidente

            a. Not wanting unsuccessful artists to claim benefits when they should be doing a regular job.

            Petty and envious. Disallowed.

            b. Not liking it when hacker friends get locked up and intimidated by lawyers for explaining how to do something.

            Yes, we agree, the law is an ass but stripping content creators of their rights isn't the answer.

            c. Not liking it when local historians can't afford to do new publications on recent history because of excessive copyright clearance costs.

            New publications need new content. Why can't the local historian create that new content instead of plagiarising, sorry, heavily referencing the content of others ? Too lazy ? Deluded ?

            d. Not liking having my net connection spied upon, and being threatened with disconnection, because someone else is claimed by copyright owners to be abusing my network address .

            Yes, we agree, the law *is* an ass but stripping content creators of their rights isn't the answer.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's quite clear

      Not sure where you get that from. No-one is begrudging artists a living, people just expect them to actually work for it like everyone else rather than trying to artificially prolong the obsolete record industry system.

  23. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: Some good points, but a big mistake about "property"

      Jefferson referred to the monopoly conferred by the U. S. Constitution (Article I, Section VIII, Paragraph 8) as an embarassment. And so it is, justified only by the presumption that it promotes "the Progress of Science and useful Arts."

      Copyrighting material for a period that extends 70 years beyond the creator's death chokes off such progress.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > What we consumers want is to be able to purchase music at a sensible price, know that a decent portion of our money is going to the artist(s) who made it, and that we can listen to that music which we have paid for anywhere, anywhen and anyhow that we choose.

    I would also like a mechanism to compensate artists for the random bootlegs, out of print recordings and other odd stuff I have found on the internet but I cannot legitimately purchase anywhere.

  25. Stretch
    WTF?

    All based on one fallacy

    All this debate is moot. Its all based on one fallacy: that your efforts at putting 1s and 0s together in a certain order is somehow worth something. I make software. Its worthless. My whole industry has to trick people with "license agreements". If I can con people into paying me for worthless things then Gz to me. So everyone has realised that silly noises made by silly people in silly clothes have no value. Big woop. Get a job.

  26. Anonymous Coward 15

    He's making the argument against the users that he should be making against the record megacorps.

  27. Paul Hampson 1

    What is an "Artist" and where does the value of music come from?

    This guy is missing a few points:

    1) Prior to the digitial age he would be selling 0 music because his records would appear in so few stores, if you remember only local bands/ very popular bands and clasic albums were sold because of store space.

    2)Why do musicians feel that they should all be able to charge the same price for their product, no other area of commerce has this feature; why is it assumed all music has the same value?

    3) The word artist is an emotive word which has no real meaning, the man in the street would normally view that an artist is not simply a practioner of an art but someone who is recognised by most people to be GOOD at that practice.

    Overall I feel that the problem is that musicians have an over inflated sense of entitlement. They should not expect people to pay inflated prices for products that in many cases do not meet expectations. If they want people to buy their products they should ask logical prices and people to return the product if it is not up to expectation. Otherwise the situation will stay the same, i.e. people downloading music on a whim and only purchase music that has real value to them.

  28. Rowena Cherry

    OCILLA and Safe Harbor Paragraph 512

    I agree with Mr Lowery. The ISPs are ignoring the wording in the DMCA about "red flags".

    A federal appeals court has ruled that Safe Harbor does not protect OSPs who wilfully refuse to use common sense when they are told that their sites are being used for copyright infringement.

    http://ereads.com/2012/04/court-ruling-has-pirates-squirming-in-safe-harbor.html

    http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/appeals-court-revives-viacom-suit-against-youtube/?ref=business

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OCILLA and Safe Harbor Paragraph 512

      You seem to be confusing the difference between an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and an Online Service Provider (OSP). There is a big difference between MegaUpload/RapidShare/4Shared/BitLocker/etc, and Telus/Rogers/BT/AT&T/Bell/Sprint/Cogeco/etc.

      The first group are OSPs who offer online file hosting services. The second group are ISPs who offer internet connections.

      This is a major differentiator, particularly in regards to you linking to the "Viacom vs YouTube" suit information on mediadecoder, as YouTube is an example of an OSP (not an ISP).

  29. Rowena Cherry

    Digital Rights Groups Say No To Everything

    Legally, what else do you expect them to say publicly? They do not have the right to negotiate away or undermine non-members' copyrights.

    There's a vast difference between Joe Blowsoftly (creatorname) saying, "I don't mind if my fans share my work", and Joe Blowhard (creatorname) saying, "Creators don't mind if fans share their work."

    The laws, flawed as they are, put the duty to enforce copyrights in the hands of the copyright owners, and if those owners do not assert their rights, they stand to lose them. Or undermine them.

    Creators who want their work "shared" have the right to use Creative Commons Licenses. There are many legal ways that creators (musicians, authors etc) can "share" or try alternative business methods, such as by being paid $35 per 1,000 downloads on certain "Hosting" sites.

  30. jimtron

    It is very simple

    If someone expects to receive some money for something then there are 3 potential responses to that:

    1. Pay the money and get the thing

    2. Don't pay and don't get the thing

    3. Don't pay and take the thing anyway

    The third option is called stealing. It doesn't matter what ideology you use to try to justify it, it is still theft. The only thing that can justify stealing is absolute need, which may apply to food and shelter but not to music.

    If you don't believe in the right of the creator or provider of "the thing" to get paid for it, or if you think that their price is too high, then the only honest response to that is to ignore those creators and providers who expect to be paid, and only get things from the ones who don't expect to be paid.

    There are plenty of them out there. (I am one of them myself.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No. Just no.

      Doesn't matter how many times you say something is stealing, it doesn't make it so. In addition to that:

      a) You only specified they expect to receive money for something, not that they have the right to receive money for it. How about I decide to expect to receive money every time you breathe? Wait you're breathing right now and not paying me! Theft!

      b) You're not "taking" anything, you're making a copy of that thing. That's why it's copyright infringement and not stealing.

      People that go and cry theft really need to understand that copyright is an artificial construct and not some god-given right. It's perfectly legally acceptable for me to make copies and otherwise do whatever I like with the works of Shakespeare, since it's no longer protected by copyright, but if I do the same with the works of Walt Disney (the individual, not the corporation) then it's copyright infringement and therefore "stealing" in the eyes of simple folk like yourself.

      Falsely labelling copyright infringement as stealing is just a dishonest attempt to make it sound like a more heinous offence. Most people see the inherent immorality of taking a physical item away from its owner and therefore depriving them of it, but making a copy of something that a person is trying to sell and depriving them of the profit they would have made had you bought it instead is entirely different. I'm not saying it's acceptable, I'm just saying it's a completely different scenario which is why we have different words for things. You might as well just go a step further and call copyright infringement "rape" or "genocide" or something instead, since there's no need to have separate names for different crimes in your skewed worldview.

      1. jimtron

        Re: No. Just no.

        It is interesting that you would rather engage in logical sophistry and then accuse me of some general perceptual failure rather than consider the argument. Your own argument is weak when you state "copyright is an artifical construct". All human laws and ethical frameworks are artificial constructs, but that doesn't make murder any the less wrong does it?

        I could state a list of assumptions standing behind my basic example, regarding property ownership and rights, but this would not be very interesting. The very obvious context here is that someone has created something and that the act of creation gives them ownership over it.

        It does not matter whether or not I call copyright infringement "theft". I am not advocating any particular view in terms of law enforcement or punishment, therefore I am not trying to make it seem more "heinous". My view is that illegally downloading music is dishonest in exactly the same way that theft is dishonest. People who illegally download music or any other digital media should at least be honest about the inherent dishonesty of their actions.

        Depriving people of their physical property is one reason why stealing is wrong, but the more important element in terms of morality is the dishonest and parisitical nature of the thief's relationship to their victim.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No. Just no.

          Depriving people of their physical property isn't just "one element" of stealing along with other "more important" ones, it's the very literal definition of what stealing is. If that's beyond your comprehension then no wonder you're so confused with your terms. Your other points are woolly, and I already gave you reasoning for that in my first post. You're saying that the act of creation gives them ownership - OK, so what about after the copyright period has expired? How does that implicit ownership you are implying exists suddenly no longer exist overnight? Or are you in favour of copyright terms being extended for an infinite period? And it doesn't matter if you personally didn't imply theft was a more immoral act than copyright infringement, I was saying that's why this whole piracy = stealing fallacy is spouted in the first place. Even if that isn't your personal motivation for wrongly equating it to stealing, you've still bought into general propaganda of the argument.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Thumb Up

            Re: No. Just no.

            > I was saying that's why this whole piracy = stealing fallacy

            Indeed. The fact that people need to bang on about this whole "copyright = stealing" position implies an insecurity surrounding the strength of the argument.

            Copyright is not the same as stealing. Ironically, the fact that they need to making this association implies that they think that stealing is a more heinous "crime" than copyright infringement, otherwise why would they make the association at all?

            1. El Presidente
              Facepalm

              @skelband

              "Indeed. The fact that people need to bang on about this whole "copyright = stealing" position implies an insecurity surrounding the strength of the argument"

              Twisted logic.

              The fact that people attempt to deny this whole "copyright = stealing" position implies a paucity of coherent defence of what is, by all legal definitions, theft.

              "Copyright is not the same as stealing"

              You're right! Copyright is not the same as stealing. Copyright is the protection from abuse of original works.

              Use of those works without licence, payment or permission is *breach* of copyright which *is* stealing.

              Hope this helps :)

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @skelband

                "Use of those works without licence, payment or permission is *breach* of copyright which *is* stealing."

                No, it's copyright infringement and not stealing, as we've already established.

              2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No. Just no.

          Oh, and you also failed to recognise I used a particular real world example of where you have two long deceased creators (Shakespeare and Disney), one more recently. But using the works of one is acceptable and indeed commonplace, whilst doing the same with the other is copyright infringement and against the law. This was deliberate as an example of why copyright law is a legal and social issue rather than a moral one like theft, since both scenarios are morally identical but very different legally. I did consider your argument, I just dismiss it at ill-thought out, simplistic nonsense.

          1. jimtron

            Re: No. Just no.

            I did not say that depriving people of their property was one element of stealing. I said that it was one reason why stealing is wrong. I used the concept of "honesty" to talk about the moral aspect of stealing, but it is more illuminating to talk about treating other people as human beings, or treating them with respect for their own interests and expectations.

            If a person creates some music and would like to receive payment from people who download or otherwise consume that music, then those are the terms of exchange that they have set.

            There are 3 "honest" ways for someone who likes that music to respond to this:

            1. Purchase the music

            2. Request to negotiate the terms of exchange (e.g, the price)

            3. Decide that the music is not worth the price and walk away

            Copying the music without paying for it is not an honest way to respond, in the sense that you are not engaging with that person as another human being with interests and expectations. You are treating them as an object in the world, relevant only in the sense of enabling you to get pleasure from the music that they have created. It is similar to cheating when playing a game with someone. It is a question of morality in the sense that we are taking about issues of personal integrity and treating other people with respect. The level of material harm done to the person who created the music is beside the point.

            Of course there are also social and conventional aspects to copyright law. But that does not mean that there is no moral aspect.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: No. Just no.

              Right, not that I agree with your personal definitions of honesty, but you realise you've moved the goalposts entirely from your "piracy = stealing" argument to something far more vague, right? I completely reject your scenario that those are the only three honest courses of action, for the record.

  31. Rowena Cherry

    Directories making a fortune

    It does seem as if the "wrong" people are making money on the backs of the musicians and writers and other creators.

    Pando and ebookee are currently being auctioned on flippa.com by a broker named Latona's.

    eBookee.org - Impressive Revenue, eBook Search Engine, Downloads, Huge Traffic

    Pando.com - Massive File Sharing Platform, Product/Service Sales, Ad Income

    One expects to raise between $2 million and $6 million, the other appears to be asking $1.5 million.

    One claims to make an average of $60,000 a month, the other claims to make $14,000 a month.

    Fans aren't paying for the music or ebooks. Instead, they are paying for services to protect their anonymity and to enable them to illegally download the illegal freebies more quickly and more securely.

    Advertisers, bless their hearts, seem think that people who avoid paying for tunes and ebooks (that they could acquire legally for a dollar or two on itunes or Kindle) are somehow valuable potential purchasers of luxury products, or likely to be reliable mortgage loan candidates.

    However you look at it, there's a lot of money being made by some on the premise of **not** paying the owners and creators of the creative content.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think the underlying point remains: if you upload other people's music/books/software/pictures/designs/etc then you are boosting the fortunes of some of the largest corporates in the world - right on.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The record companies need to deal with the perception (sometimes the reality) that most of the money that they might pay for music goes to the record company and that very little goes to the artists.

  34. the-it-slayer
    Facepalm

    Aren't record companies to blame for misrepresenting their artists post-digital?

    It's quite simple really (and could be seen as a very naive view), but didn't a lot of artists boycott digital music by advise from their representative record companies around the napster era? I'm pretty sure there was a lot of confusion and artists not knowing what they were saying with not knowing the difference between napster freetard land and the dawn of downloadable music? Especially at the time was going to ruin their old money flow of tapes and CDs every week.

    Rather than try to embrace the easy way of distributing music via P2P; record companies, the music authorities and even bands alike tried to dump every lawsuit and court case going. I really don't think (by reading artcles and such) that Napster was supposed to be the opposite evil of the music industry. I cannot believe all this was carrying on back in 2000/2001! I think closing it down caused a backlash with the younger generation at the time and ever since that crowd has never understood what it's like to properly own music.

    Lowery makes some good points, but with the lack of understanding how it could of been different under a tweaked attitude with the tech that was there. Especially to overcome slow modems and the introduction of DSL tech which would of made MP3 a natural successor after CD with a different story to what we have now. Make it as sharable as CDs/Tapes in the physical way but not to restrict it so much that people will go out of their way to get it free.

  35. Oninoshiko
    Big Brother

    Lowery is as bad as those he complains about

    Rather then consider the other side, possibly even make some consessions, he accepts only what he wants. He goes so far as to declare that since they will not back EXACTLY WHAT HE WANTS, they are unreasonable and must be dismissed outright. He actually said that chunks of the population which (if he is to be belived) represent enough power to force his entire industry into being only a handful of international mega-corps should be outright ignored! This guy has testicles the size and consistancy of cannonballs, and an ego to match!

    What really blows my mind every time I hear reports like this is that I've seen many reports that, by a large margin, the public supports reasonable enforcment of copyrights. What they do not support is complete removal of due proccess.

    Let me point that out with a quote: "Almost invariably the ISPs will tell you they don't have to do anything because the repeat infringer is somebody who has not been convicted of copyright of infringement in a court of law." Yes, ISPs want you to go follow due process. There is a really good reason of this. Your industry has been cought taking down videos because they claim to own the sound of birds and taking down videos which they do not copyrights on because the content is not something they approve of.

    "Eventually you have to deal with Bittorrent on the ISP level but I would start with the advertising." That's one hell of a gem too! WHAT do you have in mind here? May I remind you there is nothing illegal about Bittorrent. It's just a protocol. A vary effecent one if you happen to have some information you want to get to a wide range of people. One that has been used by such dirty pirates as Blizzard and Conical.

    Let's look at the content creation industries' practices a bit deeper. I have a number of television shows and movies, all obtained legally. EVERY ONE OF THEM has a notice telling me the punishments for violating copyrights. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY? I got this movie legally! I've PROVEN that I'm not particuarly inclined to pirate it. All you are doing is putting a barrior between me and the contant I paid you for. Some of them go a step farther, and put non-skippable advertisements. I paid to watch the movie, not an advertisement. If you want to put ads, then you should charge me less. All of this makes only makes me wonder, "Why do I bother? I could just pull this down on BT and be able to watch only the video!"

    Maybe I'm being too harsh, grouping industries. "music" and "movies" are different you say? Well, lets look at you guys again. you've been caught trying to install malware on my computer. The United States Department of Homeland Security, had to issue an advisory on it. This hasn't happened once, your industry (I'm only counting the music industry here) has done this atleast twice to my knowladge. Frankly, I think everyone invovled sould be charged under the computer misuse laws.

    TL,DNR: YOU are as much the problem as anyone, the more quickly you recognise this, the more quickly we can move to a meaningful debate on how we can build a system which is benifical to everyone, and TRUELY discourage piracy.

  36. newsrim

    Lowery seems to be advocating - pining for, in fact - some middle ground, however. He's not carrying water for the likes of Sony, that I can tell.

  37. Bradley Hardleigh-Hadderchance
    Pint

    Game over I'm afraid..

    The genie is out of the lamp. There is the ideal world and then there is the way things are. I am an idealist still, in the face of this, but I don't pretend even to myself, that my higher aspirations for myself, and humanity as a whole, will have any *real* impact.

    Okay, not sure I can add anything to the argument that someone hasn't already thought/wrote.

    So, a little bit about me, for those bored or interested. Who knows? It may give a perspective to someone.

    <portait of the artist as an old man>

    I've been reading the reg for a few years now, decided to become a commentard about a year or so's (sic[hick]) ago. I know I'm not the only 'musician type' here. Many far more advanced than I, both career and talent wise by the sounds of it.

    I write international, best selling no.1s. As with most true songwriters I can write in a variety of genres. Pop/hip-hop/soul/dance would be the bag of the no.1s. They don't fall into any recognizable genre, but appeal broadly to lovers of these types of music, across the genres. Er, I don't want to give the impression that I have ever sold a record. Maybe in a past life I had some kind of 'success', but in my world now, I am a pure unadulterated failure. A sad case. In fact, a sad bastard, on the whole.

    My problem? I'm glad you asked...

    <reclining on couch>

    Now, let me see, it all started.......

    </reclining on couch>

    Actually, no decompiling or disassembly is needed, it is quite simple: You just can't get the staff these days.

    That goes for above as below.

    First, below:

    I need girls. I need young girls (25 is past it). I need young girls that are willing to be groomed. They may have the looks, they may have the voice, they may have the determination, they may have the persistence. But rarely do they have the 'attitude' (I'm not talking about chewing gum and being cheeky here - that is quite common). This is where the grooming is necessary. I realise the negative connotations of this word in common everyday vernacular and parlance, but for some reason, they still 'groom' horses, don't they? It is that sort of grooming. Taking what seems to be a bloody good thoroughbred (nature or nurture don't matter here), and putting in the necessary resources to bring about their actuation according to the hierarchy of needs. Boyfriends can be a headfuck. Try telling a 21 year old hormonal girl that maybe it is not such a great idea, at the moment, and you will be accused of being manipulative, of having hidden agendas, etc. etc. And that is just by her Mother, Dad just punches you in the face. Actually, I am exaggerating slightly now, but not by much. Getting the picture?

    As for above:

    Well, generally I subscribe to the Groucho Marx school of: any club that would have me as a member....

    But, I make an exception here. I've had major deals. I've had a record in the top 20. I've been seen on telly. Ooohh aren't you impressed? Not much I would wager. Anyway, as I said, that was a past life. I don't play that way no more. The problem is I tend to hate music. It is shit these days, and most people I talk to seem to agree. Don't get me wrong I still discover new artists like Bluetech and the such, so I'm cool daddio, but they swim in a sea of shit. And don't it show. Hip-hop ain't what it used to be. Before these gangster rappers (and what's worse - wannabee gangster rappers - omg) took over, Hip-hop used to be called RAP - an offshoot of disco. They 'rapped' about dis and dat, pretty much in the vein of a wordsmith, parallel to what you might find in a 'real' programmer... But I digress...

    Above. Above for me is the business. The reason I spilled my guts about my previous life is to show that I have been there to a very very small extent. Yes they were fat. Yes they were jewish. Yest they smoked cigars. I miss them. R.I.P. David Walker. They don't make 'em like that anymore. No, we now have the Simon fucking Cowherd generation. How long oh lord, how long? You get me? Like? Whatever.

    Everyone I meet is out for a fast buck, trying to live a dream that isn't real. I'm a producer. I meet other producers and I cringe. You mean you do beats in fruity loops? (not knocking fruity loops - I have their top of the range signature bundle and a few synth, fx plugins - and yes, I paid for it!) But still....

    I might live in a parallel world, but all the best music makers happen to be plumbers or horse-traders, or on the dole. They have no interest in 'making it' in the current music biz. To be honest, I have given up myself. I push the boundaries and am trying to invent new genres of music (like the grey-haired-balding and eccentric mad professor type I am). I'll give you a tip. ASMR is where it is at these days. I've said too much already. Yeah, actually I have. This has turned into a rant (again).

    If all goes well, I should have a new website set up that is beautiful, secure and a joy to use. From there you will get EVERYTHING free. You were going to steal it anyway fucktard, so I have no recourse but to appeal to your inner guilt, or god forbid, altruism. You will be able to buy stuff and you will get <frankie howerd> a bit of an extra on top. Yes you will...! ooOHHh! </frankie howerd> Do we play live? Can I book your band of merry bitches. Er no, bit difficult, still a pipe dream in the old gulliver, like. We will do T-Shirts. We will do high end fashion design made by up and coming designers that already have their boutiques in Bond St. and concessions at Harrods. No, we don't do private parties. We are not the fucking black eyed peas and you are not roman fucking abitofabitch, are you?. You can't afford it baby. But everyone has their price.

    I'd settle for a nice sandwich.

    <thick bog-trotting accent>

    Oooh mah pertaitoze 'av boiled.

    </thich bog-trotting accent>

    I think it's time to go now.

    I shut up now.

    Thanks for listening.

    </portait of the artist as an old man>

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "if you're a fan of musicians, then you should make sure they get paid"

    yeah because session musicians are paid so well by the music industy

    and don't mention the obscene term of copyright

  39. Freshp2
    FAIL

    VP

    living life offline, I go to jail for 20 years for a gram, you get probation for 8kilos. Let's not make the same mistakes online too........

  40. Jeebus

    It is great that these "radicals" keep winning the battle, it is a shame the right has resorted to painting them as such. Surefire sign they are losing at every level. Keep it up guys, we've killed these laws before and we can keep doing it when they try again, and they will.

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