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

Feedback on the current issue, ideas for articles, questions about Tape Op

Moderators: TapeOpJohn, TapeOpLarry

Post Reply
TapeOpLarry
TapeOp Admin
TapeOp Admin
Posts: 1626
Joined: Thu May 01, 2003 11:50 am
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Post by TapeOpLarry » Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:39 am

PS: Alex, the Mission of Burma catalog was always in print (thank you Rick Harte) and even more albums came out after their demise (Horrible Truth..., the Taang demo stuff). I think keeping an artist's catalog in print is highly important and adding to the legacy is important (see my work with Elliott Smith's family). Ask Joe boyd about Nick Drake. One of his contingencies when selling his Hannibal Records was that Nick's albums stay in print forever. It worked, finally.
Larry Crane, Editor/Founder Tape Op Magazine
please visit www.tapeop.com for contact information
(do not send private messages via this board!)
www.larry-crane.com

chris harris
speech impediment
Posts: 4270
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 5:31 pm
Location: Norman, OK
Contact:

Post by chris harris » Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:51 am

Stablenet wrote:So, Subatomic, the answer to the question is "call people out" when you find out they obtain music for free?
I said that's one thing we can do. I specifically said that it isn't "THE ANSWER".
Stablenet wrote:And that "the Industry should do more?"
I did not say this.
Stablenet wrote:I don't think that's going to get anything done. What I'm asking about is how do you propose to change people's mindsets and what are you personally doing about it?
And, I answered these questions in some detail.
Stablenet wrote:I don't think a strategy of trying to reason with them is going to work, but I absolutely support your right to try.
Meanwhile, you're working the other side, defending something that is wrong.
Stablenet wrote:Your claim that the new paradigm isn't benefitting people; that there are no facts to prove this is flat out incorrect however.
This is a distortion. In fact, it's an outright lie. I didn't claim that the new paradigm isn't benefitting anyone. In fact, in keeping with your poor debating skills, you floated this lie without even defining what the "new paradigm" is. Is illegal downloading the new paradigm? If so, it's obviously benefitting people who want something for nothing and who don't care how it impacts real people.
Stablenet wrote:I'm not saying that some people aren't losing money too, by the way. I think the examples Larry and I have given are irrefutable though.
I'm not sure exactly what examples that you and Larry have given. Are you talking about the fact that bands like Arcade Fire and The Decemberists have taken advantage of the internet to further their careers? That's indeed irrefutable. But, it has nothing to do with illegal downloading.
Stablenet wrote:Perhaps record labels, like whaling ships, are becoming irrelevant as we've traditionally known them. I have great memories associated with record labels I love(d), so of course I find this sad. Just as a whaling ship, with a little thought, could probably be repurposed, the smart labels will pull through. However, I think there's plenty of evidence that smart bands are making money, and bands that were all but done (Polvo, etc) have benefitted greatly from the digital era, and are enjoying a new career, new fans, and for the first time ever, making money.
Again, you're equating "the digital era" with illegal downloading. This is a false equivalency and yet another red herring. Do you understand what that means, and why it's invalidating your position?
Stablenet wrote:How do you dispute this and how do you dispute that this is a byproduct of the free exchange of music?
I don't. I'm disputing that it's a byproduct of illegal downloading. The "free exchange of music" (maaaan...) is great. But, the free exchange of music that's been so beneficial to independent artists is not equivalent to the illegal downloading of an artists music, against their wishes. It simply isn't.
Stablenet wrote:Once again, we can yell and scream all day long about how unfair free/"free"/stolen/"stolen" music is, but perhaps the better way of looking at it is definitions and morals have changed, the people rightly or wrongly have spoken, and we need to figure out how to work with that.
But, see... that's not how we do things. That's not how things work in the adult world. You don't let the criminals write the new rules. You don't just accept that because someone is willing to do something, that it's intrinsically an ok thing to do.
Stablenet wrote:The world was supposed to end when the player piano was invented. "Home Taping Is Killing Music" was the cry of the Industry when I was a kid, now apparently we're all going to hell because of this new thing - it's the worst yet!
Oooh! You're setting up more false equivalencies! Fun! But, not an effective argument.
Stablenet wrote:No, we'll survive this one and what always happens will happen:
The people who adapt will make it, and the people who don't won't.
Of course. I'm definitely not in the sky is falling camp. But, why should honest people have to adapt to the whims of the unethical? I'm sorry, but that's just not acceptable.
Stablenet wrote:At 42 I'm nostalgic for the ritual - and let's face it, that's a big part of it - of the album release, buying it, taking it home, and deciding whether I would keep this precious band a secret or tell the world. I'm also nostalgic for pre-Reganomic America, and being the only kid in town to know who SST records were. That time is past though, and as sad as that is, we hang onto it at our peril.
Oh, look! More red herrings! I'm not nostalgic for the ritual. And, I never cared to keep anything a secret. I buy lots of digital files from iTunes, eMusic, and bandcamp.
Stablenet wrote:I think the important thing to figure out is how am I going to spend my time, futilely trying to "fix this problem," or staying ahead of it and using it to my advantage. How am I going to live in a world where released music has been devalued as a purchasable product, but the appetite for it is stronger than ever because access to it is now unlimited.
You acknowledge the demand, but dismiss the value. Which brings me back to my point.... there are tons of products that people feel are overpriced. Why aren't these products devalued and stolen? The answer is, because most people are only willing to commit a crime when they know they won't get caught. People steal music because they can. They don't do it to make a statement. That's just how they justify it when they can't be bothered to THINK about it. When people are downloading music illegally, I'm sure it's about the rush of getting a shitload of stuff, that ordinarily would be an expense, for free. I'm sure they're not laughing a sinister laugh thinking about sticking it to David Geffen.

Anyway, this aviary of red herrings aside, the reality is, any artist who wants to take advantage of all of the access that the internet provides, can do so. I've put my music where my mouth is. But, I respect that some artists don't want to do that. If an artist has chosen to sell their music, and then you steal it, make no mistake, it's a slap in the face to that artist. It doesn't matter how many shows you SAY you'll go see, or how many t-shirts you SAY you'll buy from the band. If you're stealing their music, against their wishes, it's a dick move. Twisting it into some misguided belief that you're somehow helping the band is just comically inaccurate.

So, in this "new paradigm", what products are fair game for deciding that they cost more than I'm willing to pay and deciding to just steal them?

User avatar
JWL
deaf.
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:37 pm
Location: Maine
Contact:

Post by JWL » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:01 am

Interesting discussion, I just read the entire thread (admittedly skimmed through a few posts.... heh).

A few thoughts:

Regarding Jon's use of "integrity" -- I would point out that the root of the word integrity is integrate. And I agree with Alex's point that filesharing (I prefer this terminology to "stealing") is here to stay, therefore it behooves us to integrate this bit of facticity into our behaviors and strategies as music people.

"Stealing" is problematic. Up until the RIAA/MPAA used this word to describe Napster, "stealing" meant to take a tangible object away from its owner, without permission. This left the owner bereft of the stolen object. This is obviously not the case with peer to peer networks, which imho is better described as "sharing", more akin to hearing a song on the radio or checking a CD out from the library.

I think history will view commodified music recordings as a brief anomaly of the 20th century, and not an enduring feature of music as a cultural or even economic phenomenon. Throughout the vast majority of human history, music has been something that was primarily shared freely, and not as a focal point for economic exploitation.

I think the current climate of music and music production is much more suitable for independent artists to make a good living now than it ever was in the 20th century. The biggest roadblock to this by far is that the noise level (lots of sucky music to wade through to get to the good stuff) can be daunting, in terms of connecting an artist to their audience.

chris harris
speech impediment
Posts: 4270
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 5:31 pm
Location: Norman, OK
Contact:

Post by chris harris » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:12 am

Larry,

I agree that the cost for legal downloads could and should be better. But, it's not totally the labels, or iTunes' fault. Most artists who sell their own downloads on sites like bandcamp follow a similar price model of $1 per song or $10 per album. It's still dirt cheap compared to most forms of entertainment. And, it's one of the only forms of entertainment where that modest investment will return entertainment yields for years to come.

But, again, in a civilized world, you don't protest what you see as high prices by stealing. You protest by NOT purchasing.

As far as Lala.com goes, I wouldn't be so quick to chastise Apple for this. We still don't know what they plan to do with this. I'm confident that it'll (as rumored) appear in some form in iTunes eventually. Apple may be very protectionist in their business dealings. But, they haven't exactly shown themselves to be an enemy to the new paradigm. In fact, they were the first big company to jump on board and make legal digital downloads a common format for enjoying music.

eMusic does suck now. I agree with everything you said about them and I cancelled my plan this year. But, I'm not likely to replace it with illegal downloading just because eMusic dropped the ball. There are still plenty of other outlets where I can obtain legal downloads conveniently and affordably.

I also agree that labels have contributed to the devaluation of music by their shady actions. That has made it very difficult for everyone. But, the demand is still obviously there. People still want the music. And, when I suggest that educating people can help restore the value they once placed on something that they still obviously want, it's because I believe that I, as an artist, should not be punished for something that Atlantic did 30 years ago, or 20 years ago, or something that the RIAA did 10 years ago.

I also agree that there IS a new paradigm. And, I agree that we all have to work harder to find our place in it. I just think that equating this new paradigm with illegal downloading is inaccurate and gives a pass to people who cheat simply because they can.

Look, we're all gonna be giving away a lot of free music. That's what the new paradigm says. But, that doesn't excuse when some shitty, entitled brat at some university is filling his $2000 mac book pro that daddy bought him, with illegal downloads, so he can spend his allowance stuffing beers into sorority girls at some dance club.

chris harris
speech impediment
Posts: 4270
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 5:31 pm
Location: Norman, OK
Contact:

Post by chris harris » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:22 am

JWL wrote:Regarding Jon's use of "integrity" -- I would point out that the root of the word integrity is integrate. And I agree with Alex's point that filesharing (I prefer this terminology to "stealing") is here to stay, therefore it behooves us to integrate this bit of facticity into our behaviors and strategies as music people.
Well, people expect that they can hear and enjoy music without paying anything. That is true. And, that is possible without illegal downloads. I agree that we all need to be prepared to give some music away in the 21st century.
JWL wrote:"Stealing" is problematic. Up until the RIAA/MPAA used this word to describe Napster, "stealing" meant to take a tangible object away from its owner, without permission. This left the owner bereft of the stolen object. This is obviously not the case with peer to peer networks, which imho is better described as "sharing", more akin to hearing a song on the radio or checking a CD out from the library.
"stealing" is only bad because it is much more negative than a feel-good word like "sharing". But, the reality is, if someone creates something and decides to sell it, and you instead choose to take it without paying, then you're definitely stealing. It's strange that people are so willing to accept a criminal paradigm shift, but then so rigid with defining words and semantics.
JWL wrote:I think history will view commodified music recordings as a brief anomaly of the 20th century, and not an enduring feature of music as a cultural or even economic phenomenon. Throughout the vast majority of human history, music has been something that was primarily shared freely, and not as a focal point for economic exploitation.

I think the current climate of music and music production is much more suitable for independent artists to make a good living now than it ever was in the 20th century. The biggest roadblock to this by far is that the noise level (lots of sucky music to wade through to get to the good stuff) can be daunting, in terms of connecting an artist to their audience.
I agree with this. But, human history aside, we live in a world now where it costs money to survive. Unless we're willing to go back to benefactors or willing to accept that all music will be made between shifts at the mill, then there needs to be a way for musicians to make a living from creating music. And, there have to be better solutions than empty promises that people who've already displayed a lack of respect for the artist will somehow go to tons of shows and buy lots of t-shirts.

User avatar
Stablenet
ass engineer
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:46 am

Post by Stablenet » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:09 am

Subatomic, you keep saying that I defend people who file share. I don't - I'm far past having an opinion about it because there's nothing I can do about it.

i don't use file sharing agents. I briefly used Napster because it was fun and I could get digitized version of albums I already had by Pink Floyd, the Stones, early punk stuff, and most of all, things that were out of print that I couldn't find. That was almost 10 years ago and I haven't used one since. I do, however, trade discs with people from time to time. Probably once or twice a month people hand me things they think I'll like. I find this no different than what we used to do with cassettes, except it's quicker and sounds better.

I probably spend around 50 bucks a month on iTunes, Amazon, etc. I buy about a CD per week on average in addition to that.

Receiving burned CDs from people and a single emailed MP3 has resulted in 80% of the purchases I have made recently. Crocodiles and Wye Oak got some money from me this week and I will go see the former next month. I wouldn't have known about them at all if someone hadn't given me a CD, which I ultimately bought. I don't think I'm the enemy here.

You don't accept free discs from people? Ever? If you don't, then I respect you for walking the walk. I honestly mean that. If you accept free discs, ever, I don't understand how you can argue your point.

My younger friends are so inundated with music that they obtain music through various means. When they like a band they go see them live. Often times that results in a band they weren't even familiar with a few months prior in sleeping on their couches, getting breakfast, and setting up a show with a built in audience the next time they are in town. I've put up two bands myself in the last month. Fed them both, took them to the farmer's market for doughnuts, and then to the best BBQ in town. These people are now my friends and we're already talking about their next visit. I found out about both bands because their music was given to me

All of these so-called red herrings you bring up are things I see daily, in action.
You don't seem to understand that I don't defend the practice of downloading, I accept it because it's here to stay.

Instead of getting 10 cents for a song that's purchased, my friends are getting ticket sales where there would have been none in the past. If a band is lucky, they will make $6 from an $8 or $9 ticket. At 10 cents a song, that's 60 songs. I doubt they would have sold 60 songs, but if a few hundred people hear the song, a buzz starts, and tickets sell, they actually make money, directly from the fans. If they are lucky they sell some merch too. If they had just put their songs up for sale they wouldn't have sold enough to make a difference. And, of course, people like me do actually buy their songs as well. You know why? Because people hear the song, go to the show, some of them then buy the song, tell their friends, and the cycle starts over, growing in exponents as long as the music is good. Of course this doesn't work if the music is bad, but that song probably wouldn't have been purchased anyway.
This explains the middle class income of Malkmus, Modest Mouse, S-K and the other bands Larry listed, but it also explains the living wage of many others.

Naturally I agree with JWL. I'll take it one step further and say there is more opportunity to make money, in the current climate, then 99.9% of all musicians have ever had in the past. Painters should be jealous. As JWL implied, recorded music will become a calling card to sell tickets and other things.

You are intent on stating why all of this is wrong. OK, I've heard you. You think it's wrong and I just think it is what it is. Meaning, what I think doesn't matter in the greater scheme of things, so I do my part as a fan, and it's never been easier for me to be a fan.

There probably isn't any call for criticizing my debating skills. It's not like I'm doing this to antagonize anyone and I really have thought out my position. I haven't brought up any points to fool anyone because I'm not advocating any of it, just trying to see the sunny side of something I was worried about a decade ago.
I don't know why I'm surprised that the relegation of people who get *in the way* of music while ostensibly "promoting" it has turned out well, but from where I'm standing, things are looking pretty good.
As a music fan this all really matters to me. I think a pretty good discussion has come out of this, in fact.

Sincerely,
Alex Maiolo
Alex Maiolo
Carrboro/Chapel Hill, NC
My studio is Seriously Adequate

chris harris
speech impediment
Posts: 4270
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 5:31 pm
Location: Norman, OK
Contact:

Post by chris harris » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:52 am

Stablenet wrote:Subatomic, you keep saying that I defend people who file share. I don't - I'm far past having an opinion about it because there's nothing I can do about it.
Nearly all of your entire first post was dedicated to making excuses (most of them irrelevant) for illegal downloading. Defending it, then saying you don't defend it, isn't the same as not defending it.
Stablenet wrote:i don't use file sharing agents. I briefly used Napster because it was fun and I could get digitized version of albums I already had by Pink Floyd, the Stones, early punk stuff, and most of all, things that were out of print that I couldn't find. That was almost 10 years ago and I haven't used one since. I do, however, trade discs with people from time to time. Probably once or twice a month people hand me things they think I'll like. I find this no different than what we used to do with cassettes, except it's quicker and sounds better.

I probably spend around 50 bucks a month on iTunes, Amazon, etc. I buy about a CD per week on average in addition to that.

Receiving burned CDs from people and a single emailed MP3 has resulted in 80% of the purchases I have made recently. Crocodiles and Wye Oak got some money from me this week and I will go see the former next month. I wouldn't have known about them at all if someone hadn't given me a CD, which I ultimately bought. I don't think I'm the enemy here.

You don't accept free discs from people? Ever? If you don't, then I respect you for walking the walk. I honestly mean that. If you accept free discs, ever, I don't understand how you can argue your point.
Cool. More false equivalencies. This is less and less fun each time. Surely you can recognize the difference between legitimately "sharing" something with a friend, in order to turn them on to new music, and large scale, wholly anonymous, mass "sharing" of an entire music collection?!?! Surely you can see that these are two entirely different things. i'll concede that the personalized sharing with friends is still technically illegal and morally ambiguous. But, it's not as clearly wrong and ill intentioned as file sharing in it's most common forms.
Stablenet wrote:My younger friends are so inundated with music that they obtain music through various means. When they like a band they go see them live. Often times that results in a band they weren't even familiar with a few months prior in sleeping on their couches, getting breakfast, and setting up a show with a built in audience the next time they are in town. I've put up two bands myself in the last month. Fed them both, took them to the farmer's market for doughnuts, and then to the best BBQ in town. These people are now my friends and we're already talking about their next visit. I found out about both bands because their music was given to me
But, you didn't discover them combing through the illegally shared wholesale collection of the 300,000 mp3s on Johnny Doesntgiveashit's server somewhere.
Stablenet wrote:All of these so-called red herrings you bring up are things I see daily, in action.
You don't seem to understand that I don't defend the practice of downloading, I accept it because it's here to stay.
First, I'm not claiming that the red herrings don't exist. I see those things every day, too. The point of a red herring is to distract the conversation with something that's true, but unrelated to what we're discussing. We're discussing illegal file sharing. Your red herrings are mostly about how great the internet can potentially be for the independent artist, something that nobody disagrees with, but that's not really relevant to the topic.
Stablenet wrote:Instead of getting 10 cents for a song that's purchased, my friends are getting ticket sales where there would have been none in the past. If a band is lucky, they will make $6 from an $8 or $9 ticket. At 10 cents a song, that's 60 songs. I doubt they would have sold 60 songs, but if a few hundred people hear the song, a buzz starts, and tickets sell, they actually make money, directly from the fans. If they are lucky they sell some merch too. If they had just put their songs up for sale they wouldn't have sold enough to make a difference. And, of course, people like me do actually buy their songs as well. You know why? Because people hear the song, go to the show, some of them then buy the song, tell their friends, and the cycle starts over, growing in exponents as long as the music is good. Of course this doesn't work if the music is bad, but that song probably wouldn't have been purchased anyway.
This explains the middle class income of Malkmus, Modest Mouse, S-K and the other bands Larry listed, but it also explains the living wage of many others.
Of course. These are all truths. Red herrings. But, truths. None of what you typed here REQUIRES illegal downloads. Illegal downloads aren't necessary to get music to people for free. And, they're not necessary for promotion. You act like it's an either/or choice between selling records or touring. You might be surprised to learn that the situation that you just described has been playing out for years, even before Napster.

I've said it over and over and over and over... but, if an artist wants to give away their music, as a promotional tool to get people out to shows and to build goodwill with their fans, they're perfectly capable of doing that. Illegal downloads are unnecessary in this new paradigm.
Stablenet wrote:Naturally I agree with JWL. I'll take it one step further and say there is more opportunity to make money, in the current climate, then 99.9% of all musicians have ever had in the past. Painters should be jealous. As JWL implied, recorded music will become a calling card to sell tickets and other things.
More truths! More red herrings!
Stablenet wrote:You are intent on stating why all of this is wrong. OK, I've heard you. You think it's wrong and I just think it is what it is.
"it is what it is" is the most bullshit, nonsensical phrase to ever be popularized by the kind of idiots who make careers of appearing on reality television. It's basically saying, I don't want to think about this too hard. I concede. That's fine if that's your point. But, that's not your only point. You've done quite a bit of actually doing what you claim to not be doing. Between red herrings that everyone agrees with about the wonders of the digital age, you've not only said "it is what it is", but you've made plenty of excuses as to why people download illegally. You've been defending them, regardless of whether or not you will admit to it.
Stablenet wrote:Meaning, what I think doesn't matter in the greater scheme of things, so I do my part as a fan, and it's never been easier for me to be a fan.
If you believe that what you think doesn't matter, then you wouldn't spend so much time rationalizing the unethical behavior of others.
Stablenet wrote:There probably isn't any call for criticizing my debating skills. It's not like I'm doing this to antagonize anyone and I really have thought out my position. I haven't brought up any points to fool anyone because I'm not advocating any of it, just trying to see the sunny side of something I was worried about a decade ago.
You're obviously defending the act of illegal downloading. You spend a good deal of time arguing the "genie is out of the bottle" side of the argument. But, you also dedicate plenty of time to defending peoples' decisions to do something unethical. But, more than either of these things, you've spent most of your posts talking about the parts of the digital music business that can be great for artists, but that are completely unrelated to, and not dependent on illegal downloading.
Stablenet wrote:I don't know why I'm surprised that the relegation of people who get *in the way* of music while ostensibly "promoting" it has turned out well, but from where I'm standing, things are looking pretty good.
As a music fan this all really matters to me. I think a pretty good discussion has come out of this, in fact.
I'm not disagreeing about how wonderful things are now for independent artists. I'm just making the case that illegal downloading is completely UNNECESSARY for these benefits to be realized.

You can make great use of the internet, while still expecting fans to pay for your music. Case in point: Arcade Fire, The Decemberists, Polvo, Archers of Loaf, Mission of Burma, etc....

User avatar
plurgid
gettin' sounds
Posts: 135
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:02 am
Location: Huntsville, AL
Contact:

Post by plurgid » Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:36 pm

at the risk of once again wading into this shark's nest ...

Subatomic ... I think you're really missing the larger point.
"right" and "wrong" have got nothing to do with it at all.

It's true that your moral outrage over copyright infringement on file sharing networks is justifiable.

But it's equally true that this human behavior, by and large, is simply not changeable. You can litigate, and agitate, and pontificate, my brother, but you will never mitigate. Most people do not view music as a commodity, we have many hundreds of thousands of years of human cultural development to thank for that.

You might as well stand on the beach and try to cut the waves down with your razor sharp katana.

So getting bent out of shape over it, does nothing but get you bent out of shape. Like a boat sailing against the wind, you have to find a way to work with an opposing force. And like that ... it's possible but tricky, and not always successful.

Bro Shark
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 653
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:22 pm
Location: SF

Post by Bro Shark » Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:36 pm

Not a bad debate. To this point I've heard Alex say "this is the way it is; here's a possible solution wherein artists can leverage the situation to their benefit" and SAP's response is "you're advocating crime! That's wrong!" while offering no practical solution or way forward.

I'm kind of leaning towards Alex's side at this point. I'd like to hear SAP's practical solution to solving the problem. I don't think "you're wrong/unethical" is helping much or offers anyone any hope or anything they can actually do (arguing on a message board is not, and never will be action).

User avatar
Stablenet
ass engineer
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:46 am

Post by Stablenet » Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:48 pm

subatomic pieces wrote:
Stablenet wrote:i don't use file sharing agents. I briefly used Napster because it was fun and I could get digitized version of albums I already had by Pink Floyd, the Stones, early punk stuff, and most of all, things that were out of print that I couldn't find. That was almost 10 years ago and I haven't used one since. I do, however, trade discs with people from time to time. Probably once or twice a month people hand me things they think I'll like. I find this no different than what we used to do with cassettes, except it's quicker and sounds better.

I probably spend around 50 bucks a month on iTunes, Amazon, etc. I buy about a CD per week on average in addition to that.

Receiving burned CDs from people and a single emailed MP3 has resulted in 80% of the purchases I have made recently. Crocodiles and Wye Oak got some money from me this week and I will go see the former next month. I wouldn't have known about them at all if someone hadn't given me a CD, which I ultimately bought. I don't think I'm the enemy here.

You don't accept free discs from people? Ever? If you don't, then I respect you for walking the walk. I honestly mean that. If you accept free discs, ever, I don't understand how you can argue your point.
Cool. More false equivalencies. This is less and less fun each time. Surely you can recognize the difference between legitimately "sharing" something with a friend, in order to turn them on to new music, and large scale, wholly anonymous, mass "sharing" of an entire music collection?!?! Surely you can see that these are two entirely different things. i'll concede that the personalized sharing with friends is still technically illegal and morally ambiguous. But, it's not as clearly wrong and ill intentioned as file sharing in it's most common forms.

I might argue that it's more destructive. I don't know people who spend time just grabbing music randomly, knowing nothing about it. People I know seek it because they've heard something about the band and want to know more.

When you, Subatomic, turn a friend on to something they might like by giving them a CD, you've targeted a potential buyer. It's somewhat vetted. You've given music to someone who very well could have bought it, unlike these people who apparently just go harvest music. Does that friend of yours go buy it or have you just given them the means to not have to?

To me, this is more likely to represent the loss of a sale then someone who just randomly grabs music. The latter person might accidentally stumble on something and become a fan. They probably won't, but they were probably not a potential buyer anyway. If this option didn't exist they would probably just listen to shitty radio, unlike your music fan friends.

You yourself said it's wrong and morally ambiguous to give away burned CDs. Not as "clearly wrong?" How so? You've given away music without the permission to do so! By your standards this is stealing. Some "stealing" is OK while other stealing is not? What allows you to set this bar?

When music is put in the hands of people who haven't paid for it, without the artist's position, it doesn't matter how it got there, it's there. That's going on every day, so the best we can hope for is that goodwill and fandom will grow from that.

You're obviously defending the act of illegal downloading. You spend a good deal of time arguing the "genie is out of the bottle" side of the argument. But, you also dedicate plenty of time to defending peoples' decisions to do something unethical. But, more than either of these things, you've spent most of your posts talking about the parts of the digital music business that can be great for artists, but that are completely unrelated to, and not dependent on illegal downloading.
I'm not "obviously" doing anything and haven't spent "a good deal of time" on that. I, and others, have stated that I understand how we got here, but that has not been my focus by any means.
No, the bulk of my writing has focused on:
- There's no turning back.
- How do we make the best of it?
- I'm surprised and pleased at how this is working out for bands.
- If you are against it, how can it be stopped?

Subatomic, you insist that I'm defending file sharing when that's not what I've been primarily discussing. Perhaps you think it's a tacit defense of the action even when I repeatedly focus on these points, I've listed above. I've done so because they can actually stir up conversation, provide solutions, and possibly create a positive outcome for musicians.

We can bitch about all sorts of things. If I understand that 13 year olds are going to have sex, no matter what I think about it, even though they don't understand the emotional power of the act, do I promote or defend it? No, I just live in the real world, unlike the bulk of the GOP. Knowing that a fair number of them are going smoke pot too does that mean I think it's a great idea? Of course not.
*I'm all for sex and pot when people are ready for it, whenever that is, but I can't say that I see the decreasing age in these activities as also producing positive results. Sometimes "bad" stuff comes along and some genuinely great things happen as a result, as with music sharing.

Best,
Alex Maiolo

*(the existence of this statement on this forum thus guaranteeing I will never be able to run for office)
Alex Maiolo
Carrboro/Chapel Hill, NC
My studio is Seriously Adequate

chris harris
speech impediment
Posts: 4270
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 5:31 pm
Location: Norman, OK
Contact:

Post by chris harris » Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:55 pm

plurgid wrote:It's true that your moral outrage over copyright infringement on file sharing networks is justifiable.
thanks.
plurgid wrote:But it's equally true that this human behavior, by and large, is simply not changeable.
Nonsense. You may not be able to completely stop it. But, the idea that you cannot even possibly change peoples' behavior by educating them about the consequences, or pointing out the flaws in their justifications is just pure nonsense. You can. And, we have many hundreds of thousands of years of human cultural development to thank for that, too.

chris harris
speech impediment
Posts: 4270
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 5:31 pm
Location: Norman, OK
Contact:

Post by chris harris » Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:03 pm

Bro Shark wrote:Not a bad debate. To this point I've heard Alex say "this is the way it is; here's a possible solution wherein artists can leverage the situation to their benefit" and SAP's response is "you're advocating crime! That's wrong!" while offering no practical solution or way forward.
my solution, and way forward, is to help minimize the illegal activity by educating people to the consequences, and by helping to point out the flaws in the rationalizations. It's much better than Alex's "solution" of ignoring it and even justifying it by repeating the flawed logic.

I jumped in when Napster first happened. It was a beautiful, glorious free-for-all of magnificently gluttonous proportions. Somewhere along the way someone schooled me on the realities of what was happening and I realized that taking something that someone chooses to sell, and not paying for it, was clearly wrong, no matter how badly I wanted to believe that I was sticking it to the man. I've also had several friends who realized that what they were doing was wrong and stopped doing it.

Why is it so hard to believe that this can happen when you stop believing bullshit and look at reality?!?!
Bro Shark wrote:I'm kind of leaning towards Alex's side at this point. I'd like to hear SAP's practical solution to solving the problem. I don't think "you're wrong/unethical" is helping much or offers anyone any hope or anything they can actually do (arguing on a message board is not, and never will be action).
I don't just argue on message boards. I share my feelings on this topic, as a musician, every time the topic comes up. Education is DIRECT ACTION. The scenario that was mentioned earlier where someone asked for a copy of a computer program, happens to me ALL THE TIME. If it's not Cubase or DP that they want, it's the new album by so and so.... It's not easy of fun to tell someone that you like that what they're asking you to do is wrong and illegal. But, it's something that people of conscience SHOULD BE DOING.

User avatar
plurgid
gettin' sounds
Posts: 135
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:02 am
Location: Huntsville, AL
Contact:

Post by plurgid » Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:08 pm

subatomic pieces wrote: You may not be able to completely stop it. But, the idea that you cannot even possibly change peoples' behavior by educating them about the consequences, or pointing out the flaws in their justifications is just pure nonsense. You can. And, we have many hundreds of thousands of years of human cultural development to thank for that, too.
We can agree. The idea that in general people's behavior's can't be changed through education, laws, etc IS silly.

But I'm not talking about in general, I'm talking specifically about people "learning" to treat music as a product (like say a book), rather than like spoken thought (like everyday speech).

You can't, and never will be able to change that.

but hell if you're on a crusade ... rage, my man ... rage against the dying of the light.

User avatar
Stablenet
ass engineer
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:46 am

Post by Stablenet » Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:14 pm

But on a grander scale, Subatomic, what are you doing? Yes, it is something to work on a local scale, but you're talking about desiring change on a big scale, and that it's possible.
How so?
How are you doing your part?

My big issue is promoting wellness in the musician's community, and advocating for a national health system. I travel the country doing this, sit on panels, moderate other panels, run an advice line, work for a non-profit that features this, and devote large parts of my day to it, even though I have another job that pays the bills. I do this for free. I barely make a dent, but it's grand effort.
Are you willing to go to the mat on this level for this issue? I ask not to throw a gauntlet, but because I think that kind of action is the bare minimum one can do if they genuinely want change.

If you're not engaged on a pretty big level, then you are letting file sharing happen only a hair less than I am, and that won't change anything. You won't shift any paradigms that way.

Cheers,
Alex Maiolo
Alex Maiolo
Carrboro/Chapel Hill, NC
My studio is Seriously Adequate

chris harris
speech impediment
Posts: 4270
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 5:31 pm
Location: Norman, OK
Contact:

Post by chris harris » Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:26 pm

Stablenet wrote:I might argue that it's more destructive.
Of course you would...
Stablenet wrote:I don't know people who spend time just grabbing music randomly, knowing nothing about it. People I know seek it because they've heard something about the band and want to know more.
Yes, and these people used to be known as people who would buy the record. This kind of shoots your whole "illegal downloading is a great way for people to discover your band" argument in the foot, no? If people have heard of a band, and want to know more, there are plenty of legal ways for them to get the information that they want. And, in 2011, there are plenty of legal ways for them to hear and see the band for free before deciding if the investment is worth the $10.
Stablenet wrote:When you, Subatomic, turn a friend on to something they might like by giving them a CD, you've targeted a potential buyer. It's somewhat vetted. You've given music to someone who very well could have bought it, unlike these people who apparently just go harvest music. Does that friend of yours go buy it or have you just given them the means to not have to?
I've never given someone a copy of an entire CD. When I give my friends music in order to turn them on to something that I like, it's in the form of mix CDs that serve a very similar function as a link to a free download on a band's website. In fact, it's been years at this point since I've actually given anyone a mix CD. These days, I take advantage of the band's/artist's preferred method of promotion and just point my friends to the website where they can sample the music legally and honestly.
Stablenet wrote:To me, this is more likely to represent the loss of a sale then someone who just randomly grabs music. The latter person might accidentally stumble on something and become a fan.
Wait a minute. I need to collect the pieces of my blown mind. You literally JUST SAID that this doesn't happen. People don't randomly grab music. They seek out artists that they've heard of already. They CLEARLY represent the loss of a potential sale.
Stablenet wrote:You yourself said it's wrong and morally ambiguous to give away burned CDs. Not as "clearly wrong?" How so? You've given away music without the permission to do so! By your standards this is stealing. Some "stealing" is OK while other stealing is not? What allows you to set this bar?
Uhhh... common sense. As I said, they're both wrong. And, these days, especially with the ready availability of free, legal options for checking out a band, there's really no excuse for giving away burned CDs of someone else's music.
Stablenet wrote:When music is put in the hands of people who haven't paid for it, without the artist's position, it doesn't matter how it got there, it's there. That's going on every day, so the best we can hope for is that goodwill and fandom will grow from that.
Goodwill and fandom are much more likely to grow out of a personal recommendation from a friend, than from anonymous downloading on file sharing sites.
Stablenet wrote:I'm not "obviously" doing anything and haven't spent "a good deal of time" on that. I, and others, have stated that I understand how we got here, but that has not been my focus by any means.
No, the bulk of my writing has focused on:
- There's no turning back.
Like speeding, it cannot be completely stopped. But, it doesn't have to be accepted.
Stablenet wrote:- How do we make the best of it?
See, here's where you're confused. You've been addressing how to make the best of the wonderful world of the internet. NOT how to make the best of illegal file sharing. I agree with most of what you've said about how to make the best of the opportunities that the internet provides. I'm not sure how you're recommending that we "make the best of" illegal downloading, though... Encourage it? Ignore it?
Stablenet wrote:- I'm surprised and pleased at how this is working out for bands.
How what is working out? The internet?!?! Yeah, I'm pumped as shit about that, too! But, you haven't even properly defined how illegal downloading is "working out for bands".
Stablenet wrote:- If you are against it, how can it be stopped?
Like speeding, it probably can't be stopped. But, it can be minimized through education.
Stablenet wrote:Subatomic, you insist that I'm defending file sharing when that's not what I've been primarily discussing. Perhaps you think it's a tacit defense of the action even when I repeatedly focus on these points, I've listed above. I've done so because they can actually stir up conversation, provide solutions, and possibly create a positive outcome for musicians.
As I said, I fully support bands using the internet to promote and market their band. But, "these points" have very little to do with illegal downloading. Plenty of artists, including myself and all of the artists on my label, are doing the things you suggest to possibly create a positive outcome from the use of the internet, while at the same time, opposing the illegal distribution of their music.
Stablenet wrote:We can bitch about all sorts of things. If I understand that 13 year olds are going to have sex, no matter what I think about it, even though they don't understand the emotional power of the act, do I promote or defend it? No, I just live in the real world, unlike the bulk of the GOP. Knowing that a fair number of them are going smoke pot too does that mean I think it's a great idea? Of course not.
But, what you're doing here is equivalent to saying "I know you kids are going to have sex. There's nothing I can do about it. Some of you may have children who go on to do great things, though. So, let's focus on that." Sure, you can't stop kids from having sex or smoking weed. But, even a radical liberal like me will still at least take time to try and minimize the potential damage.

*I'm all for sex and pot when people are ready for it, whenever that is, but I can't say that I see the decreasing age in these activities as also producing positive results. Sometimes "bad" stuff comes along and some genuinely great things happen as a result, as with music sharing.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest