Response to one of Larry's Bogs / I got kinda PO'd!

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Stablenet
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Post by Stablenet » Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:48 am

You seem to be stuck on the fact that I think this is an OK practice. What I'd like to make clear is it doesn't matter anymore whether or not it's "OK." I've given this a lot of thought and trust me, there are things about it that don't sit well with me.
However, this is the world we live in, it won't change, and our only choice is to decide whether we want to discuss it in terms or morality, which is all fine and academic, but gets us nowhere, or try to make something good out of it.

I'll maintain that not giving a damn about an industry that has treated it's customers poorly makes the whole endeavor much easier, but again, it doesn't matter anymore. Whether we agree on that or not will change absolutely nothing. Petrol based vehicles are one of the worst things that have happened to the planet, but they aren't going away until the next paradigm shift.

The only question that matters, in my opinion, is what are going to do now? My answer is find other ways to monetize. That's all we can do, and frankly some of those never before available options are pretty great. Very few things are absolutely good or bad, and I choose to find the good that has come from this. I've already listed them so there's no need to do it again.

So I'll ask you, what can be done to stop this practice? Please don't tell me it doesn't matter, that it's just wrong, etc. There is a lot of wrong in this world but complaining out it gets nothing done. Give solutions.
Also, were you once making a good living off of selling your music whereas now you are not? I'm curious about that.

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Alex Maiolo
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Jon Nolan
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Post by Jon Nolan » Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:12 am

alex,

regarding solutions: no matter how we monetize music in the digital age, it will always require this...

in?teg?ri?ty
   /ɪnˈtɛgrɪti/ Show Spelled[in-teg-ri-tee] Show IPA
?noun
1.
adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.


there's a difference between cash register honesty and integrity. having it means that I act in an ethical manner even when nobody is looking or is there to pat me on the head and tell me I'm a good boy when I do good. Even when everybody is doing it.

beyond the music debate, when I watch the news I see this same conversation happening in a bunch of different ways. it has a different face, but it's the same thing. software, the written word, TV & Movies. the fact that you seem to understand that it's bad, but do it anyway totally makes me sad.

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Jon Nolan
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Post by Jon Nolan » Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:16 am

Alex,

You seem to have a studio, no? Do you charge anything? How long is it until musicians don't call upon your services when they find out they can't justify paying for a service when they cant monetize the end product?
solutions? how about educating people about how it hurts people other than lars ulrich, and then asking the people who know better to "put down that TV" because it doesn't matter if "the store is already being looted."

it hurts people like me, Jon Nolan, small time nobody in newmarket NH. father of three, mortgage payer, singer of obscure tunes in various small ponds, music lifer. **I** am losing money. And no, we're not talking about riches here in my case. But we ARE talking about the difference between my being able to afford to continue to make music and present it in a way that serves the music - and not in a gratuitous ways.

Lets say it's a thousand dollars I lost from illegal downloads last year. And, even in my case, I don't think it's a stretch to to say this is likely a conservative estimate. That $1000 is mastering for my next record and a couple of bucks left over. that's the difference between being able to pay my band members the huge sum of $50/man in a new market where i want to branch out and might not make dough for six gigs (me getting paid not included. gas, tolls and a pre-gig pizza for my band members not included. Five if i generously allow myself $50 also. it's a friendly pizza or two and a six pack at one of our rehearsals not included). thats the duplication cost for a humble packaged run of a 1000 cds for my older fans who still would likely buy 'em. (i sold 1000 in six months without touring last time out, just fyi)

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Post by Jon Nolan » Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:25 am

Then, there's my humble studio! I charge $300/"day". BAM! I'm rich! Nope. My dad, the business genius that he is, has been shaking his head at me for years. He loved pulling out the calculator and telling me how much money i'd be making if i somehow worked every single workday of the year. Well, guess what, I'm not in this to get rich. I am in this because music calls to me and it always has. I must admit however, on a bad day, when I have to have conversations with musicians and recording engineers (WTF?!!!!) about the value of music I feel like getting out. But back to the original point - how long can I expect musicians to pay for a service when it's becoming increasingly impossible to recoup the expense?

It affects the music too! never mind affording the studio time alone. what about the kind of players a songwriter can afford to bring along? or the kind of players a band wants to supplement their own sound with on the recording? how should they pay for that too?
artist in my studio: i want cello on this song, do you know anybody?
me: yep. what can you pay?
artist: uhhhh...
me:
option a> kick ass one taker awesome player who costs $50 hour and will do whatever the hell you want. there will be high fiving. she rules.
option b> a totally cool, but definitely a less capable player who will play a bunch of takes, but might not be able to do exactly what you're looking for. she'll come for a sandwich and $100 and stay all day
option c> my friend steve who is a bad ass musician, plays the upright, but can fake it on cello. his skillz are very limited, but it might work. i've got autotune anyway.

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Post by Jay Reynolds » Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:41 am

Isn't it high time in this thread that one party accuse another of being an RIAA shill? That's how these arguments unfold, right?*


*As stale as this discussion can be, it's nice to see it happening without the usual ad hominem BS.
Prog out with your cog out.

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Post by Jon Nolan » Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:45 am

dick sidechainey wrote: *As stale as this discussion can be, it's nice to see it happening without the usual ad hominem BS.

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Stablenet
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Post by Stablenet » Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:07 am

Well, thanks for not going all Godwin on me and calling me "Hitler."
That usually happens well before the fourth page, right?
I promise to show the same restraint. :^)

While I appreciate the integrity definition, it doesn't play into where this conversation has turned. Integrity hasn't been common in the Music Industry up to now and anyway, we're not going to change anything because this is Pandora's Box stuff at this point.

As I've been saying, when a chaotic door opens, and upsets the "way of things," it can be the most regrettable thing in the world, but cursing it won't make it end. A new strategy is needed lest one suffer the fate of the (actual) luddites. Personally, I've worked this out. I'm OK with it and see the opportunities that have emerged.

While I appreciate that you are personally seeing a financial shift, my experience is quite the opposite. I lived through the 90's seeing every one of my friends make no money or get dicked by their labels. Now, as music gets passed around freely, bands that had albums that were taken out of print or who were stuck in legally awful positions are finally harvesting fruit they didn't even know was growing.
Off the top of my head I'm thinking of Polvo, Slint, Archers of Loaf to name a few. Then there were bands that worked with good people, like Mission of Burma, who are playing shows and their stuff has become available again - because people who finally got a chance to hear it decided they wanted to buy it, so it went back into print.

So when you request that I educate people as to how this hurts people, I can't do it for two reasons:
It's Sisyphusian
I don't see it hurting people. As I've indicated more than a few times, I see it actually helping.

Jon, you say that this is costing you money. If you don't mind disclosing, because I know it's a personal question, what were your sources of revenue that have dried up directly because of file sharing, etc?
Recording was destined to suffer in this Pro Tools/Garageband/Guitar Center world, so I consider studios hurting for business to be an extremely small part of the equation.
Are you seeing a decrease in royalties from something? Did/do you make music that sold enough, erm... "units" (sorry) to put some real spending money in your pocket?

The bands I've listed above, and I could name 20 more without thinking much about it, are doing better than they ever have, and they are 40, maybe 50 year old musicians.

New bands both enter the playing field knowing the new rules, and often times get to enter it in the first place because of those new rules, so I don't feel like the rug has been pulled out from under them the way you feel it has for you.

Sincerely,
-Alex Maiolo
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Post by JGriffin » Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:58 am

Warning: Extreme slippery-slope content ahead.

I wonder how long it will be until, because no one can make any money at it, "musician" is simply a hobby, or something that people do for kicks on vacation...the entire music industry is wedding singers and Rock and Roll Fantasy Camps where Mick Mars and Rudy Sarzo teach 35-year old MBAs how to play "Born To Be Wild."
"Jeweller, you've failed. Jeweller."

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All the DWLB music is at http://dwlb.bandcamp.com/

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Post by Stablenet » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:16 pm

dwlb wrote:Warning: Extreme slippery-slope content ahead.

I wonder how long it will be until, because no one can make any money at it, "musician" is simply a hobby, or something that people do for kicks on vacation...the entire music industry is wedding singers and Rock and Roll Fantasy Camps where Mick Mars and Rudy Sarzo teach 35-year old MBAs how to play "Born To Be Wild."
I'm optimistic.
Naturally I don't want that to happen, and don't think it will. That's not how painters live, so I doubt it will be the fate of bands.
No matter how cool painting gets, it won't be as cool as a live rock show.

Also, I'm not familiar with any merch, box sets, or ticket sales from painting concerts. Except for commercial art, it's not likely to be placed in movies, and even if it does, there won't be any synch rights, or mechanical royalties. Remember that scene in Ferris Buehler where Cameron stares at La Grande Jatte? I don't think Seurat's family gets anything for that, but that piece of music that's playing during the scene? Someone is still getting a check for that.

When you monetize all other types of art it's usually a one-off transaction:
You sell the painting to a patron, and then it's gone.
You sell the design to Campbell Soup.
You don't make a painting and take it clubs all over the country, charging 8 bucks a pop so they can look at it, selling shirts along the way.

I doubt anyone will get filthy rich the way things are now, but I'm OK with that. I like that the pie will be sliced into smaller pieces and more people will get opportunities.

Best,
Alex Maiolo
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Post by JGriffin » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:45 pm

Stablenet wrote:Except for commercial art, it's not likely to be placed in movies, and even if it does, there won't be any synch rights, or mechanical royalties. Remember that scene in Ferris Buehler where Cameron stares at La Grande Jatte? I don't think Seurat's family gets anything for that, but that piece of music that's playing during the scene? Someone is still getting a check for that.
Primarily, I was being facetious. But to this point: I do a lot of video projects that incorporate famous works of art. Our producers negotiate and pay royalties for all of them. Even if the original copyright holder is long dead, and has no heirs, and so forth, someone owns the rights to the image and someone gets paid.
"Jeweller, you've failed. Jeweller."

"Lots of people are nostalgic for analog. I suspect they're people who never had to work with it." ? Brian Eno

All the DWLB music is at http://dwlb.bandcamp.com/

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Stablenet
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Post by Stablenet » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:54 pm

dwlb wrote:
Stablenet wrote:Except for commercial art, it's not likely to be placed in movies, and even if it does, there won't be any synch rights, or mechanical royalties. Remember that scene in Ferris Buehler where Cameron stares at La Grande Jatte? I don't think Seurat's family gets anything for that, but that piece of music that's playing during the scene? Someone is still getting a check for that.
Primarily, I was being facetious. But to this point: I do a lot of video projects that incorporate famous works of art. Our producers negotiate and pay royalties for all of them. Even if the original copyright holder is long dead, and has no heirs, and so forth, someone owns the rights to the image and someone gets paid.
So using my example, when they showed that painting in the movie, George Seurat's estate received a royalty?
That's interesting! I wonder who owns the rights to the works of childless, heirless, died-penniless-in-a-gutter painters. The owner of the painting? If the owner is a museum collection do they get it?

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-Alex Maiolo
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Post by JGriffin » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:59 pm

Stablenet wrote: So using my example, when they showed that painting in the movie, George Seurat's estate received a royalty?
I believe so.


Stablenet wrote: I wonder who owns the rights to the works of childless, heirless, died-penniless-in-a-gutter painters. The owner of the painting? If the owner is a museum collection do they get it?
Good question.

I do know that the rights to old-time radio programs have often changed hands several times.
"Jeweller, you've failed. Jeweller."

"Lots of people are nostalgic for analog. I suspect they're people who never had to work with it." ? Brian Eno

All the DWLB music is at http://dwlb.bandcamp.com/

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Post by chris harris » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:13 pm

You're Hitler. Can we be finished with this 2001 episode of Back To The Future, now?

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Jon Nolan
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Post by Jon Nolan » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:28 pm

subatomic pieces wrote:You're Hitler. Can we be finished with this 2001 episode of Back To The Future, now?
ha.

alex -

we disagree. i think when someone downloads one of my songs for free when i did not intend for it to be free is stealing my song. you do not see it as stealing. i believe it is unethical, and therefore, lacking integrity.

this thread is starting to rent too much free space in my noggin, and so, i bid it adieu.

good luck...
jon

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Post by JGriffin » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:39 pm

subatomic pieces wrote:You're Hitler. Can we be finished with this 2001 episode of Back To The Future, now?
WTF, was that directed at me?
"Jeweller, you've failed. Jeweller."

"Lots of people are nostalgic for analog. I suspect they're people who never had to work with it." ? Brian Eno

All the DWLB music is at http://dwlb.bandcamp.com/

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