Neil Young sez: "Piracy is the new radio."

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Snarl 12/8
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Neil Young sez: "Piracy is the new radio."

Post by Snarl 12/8 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:41 pm

http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/31/tech/web/ ... ?hpt=hp_c2

Also sez Jobs had a plan for high def audio delivery via iTunes that's now on ice. Like Jobs' head, no doubt. That woulda been a cool part of the Jobs legacy, if you ask me.

Alright haters, blast away.
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Post by chris harris » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:14 pm

That's easy to say for someone who doesn't depend on album sales to earn a living. I agree that the internet is the new radio. But, there are plenty of legal, convenient alternatives. These days, pirating audio is just for scumbags with no fucking conscience.

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Post by Bro Shark » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:22 am

:zzz:

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Post by percussion boy » Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:41 pm

chris harris wrote:These days, pirating audio is just for scumbags with no fucking conscience.
Yep. theft is theft.

But I defy you to find anyone under 25 who agrees -- including those whose loved ones are musicians.

People will find money for beer and cigarettes, then say they can't afford to pay for recorded music. It's seen as a nice favor to "give" your friends copies of albums.

We are on our way back to a pre-1960 music economy, where gigging is how the bills get paid (or not).
"The world don't need no more songs." - Bob Dylan

"Why does the Creator send me such knuckleheads?" - Sun Ra
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Post by weatherbox » Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:12 am

I agree/think it's a drag. My entire adult life has been post-Napster era, really, so I don't have the pre-piracy experience - but how many small/struggling bands made their money on album sales pre-Napster, and in the past ten years of escalating filesharing? Was it "the way" to make a living, or were touring and licensing on equal terms?

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Post by fossiltooth » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:15 am

I'd agree with the idea that "internet is the new radio". But "piracy is the new radio" is an entirely different concept. I think Mr. Young (who I love) is in this moment, just an old guy who's not completely clear on the way the internet works.

If by "piracy is the new radio" he meant "people profiting by giving away permanent copies of others' music for free without their consent is totally legit, just like radio," I'd disagree.

On the other hand, if he actually intended it to mean: "Radio sucked because it made tons of money from playing music without paying artists what they were really worth, so it was totally lame, just like piracy," then he may have had a point. But I don't think that's what he was driving at.

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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:29 am

fossiltooth wrote:On the other hand, if he actually intended it to mean: "Radio sucked because it made tons of money from playing music without paying artists what they were really worth, so it was totally lame, just like piracy," then he may have had a point.
We don't have the whole context of what he was saying. I woke up this morning thinking "just cause he said it was so, doesn't mean he endorses it." Piracy, like radio, is a reality. You're better off coming up with a strategy to deal with it than just bemoaning it. Although bitching about it to your congressman, DA, whatever might do some good. My opinion is that cures seem to be worse than the disease when they try to write laws about this stuff. I think the whole concept of IP is pretty fucked the way we deal with it legally in this country. How often is the person (or corporate person) who makes the big money off the idea really the person who "invented" it? Even when playing by the book.
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Post by chris harris » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:56 am

Laws won't fix it because they can't really be enforced. Changing attitudes and raising children to reject the whole "it's only wrong if you get caught" mentality are the real solutions. But nobody wants to be the adult who kicks the kids out of the candy store. Nobody ever wants to say "no" to children anymore, lest we bruise their fragile little egos.

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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:01 pm

Do you have kids? Most of the kids I've met (of certain, younger, ages) are absolutely obsessed with fairness and justice. They might not care what the law is, per se, but if you make your argument in terms of fairness, most will probably get it.
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Post by chris harris » Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:09 pm

I hope you're right about younger kids. I don't have kids. But, I live in a college town. And if these college kids can rationalize it, no matter how many hoops they have to jump through to do so, they'll convince themselves that many things are "victimless" and only wrong if they get caught. The same kids who "can't afford records", or who want on the guest list because they're "broke", can always seem to whip out daddy's credit card when the bar tab is due.

I'm about to put an end to my own label, because it's pretty soul crushing to see how many people in the local scene have the records I've released on their iPods, and to know just how few physical and digital copies have sold. This is in a small, tight-knit scene, where everyone claims to love and "support" the scene. I'm in the red. It doesn't help me make my money back when kids go to shows or buy t-shirts (which honestly, they don't really do that either. they ask for guest list spots and free merch "to promote the band, man").

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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:21 pm

College age "kids" have a different brain structure than both younger kids and adults. They're less rational than both of those other groups. It kindof makes sense, biologically, since that's the age when you need to take some risks to set yourself up in the world. You're probably right that college kids are pretty much unreachable, but maybe after you close your label, put that energy into "planting the seed" about how you feel people should behave as music consumers. Those "kids" will emerge from their prolonged adolescent stupor more primed to "do the right thing." Make some t-shirts and posters with a pair of eyes on them that says "don't pirate music." Knowing (or thinking) someone is watching promotes honesty.
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Post by kslight » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:56 pm

chris harris wrote:I hope you're right about younger kids. I don't have kids. But, I live in a college town. And if these college kids can rationalize it, no matter how many hoops they have to jump through to do so, they'll convince themselves that many things are "victimless" and only wrong if they get caught. The same kids who "can't afford records", or who want on the guest list because they're "broke", can always seem to whip out daddy's credit card when the bar tab is due.

I'm about to put an end to my own label, because it's pretty soul crushing to see how many people in the local scene have the records I've released on their iPods, and to know just how few physical and digital copies have sold. This is in a small, tight-knit scene, where everyone claims to love and "support" the scene. I'm in the red. It doesn't help me make my money back when kids go to shows or buy t-shirts (which honestly, they don't really do that either. they ask for guest list spots and free merch "to promote the band, man").
Yup, this is my experience. People write on our Facebook that "we don't have money for the album, etc" but want handouts, and clearly are capable of purchasing the album. I mean I am not much older than fans, at just shy of 27 I remember when people (for the most part) paid for music and didn't really think hard about the cost of the latest CD from their favorite band/record label. How come $15 in pre-Napster money was easy to come by but today you struggle to unload an album for $10? I haven't had any significant amount of time since I was 14 where I was not at least part time employed, I could (and did) afford to buy music.

I could go on about this, but here is what bugs me about piracy the most: I don't so much care that you downloaded my album, I find it offensive though that you took it without my permission, that you think it is your right and obligation to rationalize your download because you "don't have the money."

Piracy is not the new radio, at least one gets paid for radio play. I don't make a dime when you steal my album.
I agree/think it's a drag. My entire adult life has been post-Napster era, really, so I don't have the pre-piracy experience - but how many small/struggling bands made their money on album sales pre-Napster, and in the past ten years of escalating filesharing? Was it "the way" to make a living, or were touring and licensing on equal terms?
I realize you're talking about small bands but I believe the scale applies to all bands when you compare the record sales of then versus now, look at how few bands sell platinum, how many units the top selling album in a year moved, etc.. I don't think you could say that small bands were making a living off of record sales then just as they aren't now, but it totally affects their bottom line and ability to hit the road.

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Post by chris harris » Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:21 pm

We've probably sold around 800 records (physical and digital) in the last year. In that time, 2000+ free Nice People stickers have been picked up from the local record shops. People want to be seen as supporting the scene.

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Post by chris harris » Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:36 pm

The sad part is, that attitude seeps over to the bands, too. They don't expect to make money from records. And, since it's my money that's invested, they don't care if I break even. I know for a fact that some bands play shows and don't even bother to try to sell the records that I paid for. That's why I'm bailing. I can handle being disappointed by fans. But, I've tried very hard to foster a family community vibe among the bands and they just don't care. So, why should I?

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Post by Mudcloth » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:08 pm

We've been through this so many times already. Once more around the loop couldn't hurt, though. People steal music and it makes it harder for us to make a living. People don't want to pay to hear live bands, either. How will we make money so we can make music our living? What's the real solution here? I hear crickets every time I ask that question on this board or anywhere else.

I work in Austin, Texas, the "Live Music Capital Of The World". I make the same or less at gigs now then I did 20 years ago, only, the cost of living has quadrupled.
What do I do about it? I hustle my ass off. I gig, I run sound, I record people, I play studio sessions, I fix amps, I buy low and sell high, I work odd jobs. No one is making me do this. Nobody puts a gun to my head and says "Be a musician or I shoot." It's a choice to do this and live this way.
One thing I don't do is rely on selling CDs, studio time, or any one or two things to make a living. That would be a terrible idea these days. It's absurd what we all are trying to do.
"Would you like to hear some music?"
"Why, yes."
"Great, give me some money and I will do that for you."
"Huh?".

I can tell you this. When people don't feel like paying for something, that something gets worse and worse until it disappears. That, or people get used to hearing crappy music and it becomes the new normal. I'd love to hear what Miles Davis would have said about the kind of crap that passes for music nowadays. Pay for what? If he released a new record this week I bet it would sell shit. Ringo's got a new one out. I bet he spent some pretty good dough on it. I bet it sounds fantastic. He probably hired a really good engineer. I bet he got some great musicians playing on it. He used to be a Beatle. Let's see how it does.

People have been inundated with all sorts of music their whole lives. It's usually free, minus the price of a radio. It's piped through every restaurant and coffee shop. Free. It's on in the super market. Free. It's on television. Spotify. Elevators. It's blasting at me at the freakin' gas pump and I couldn't turn it off if I wanted to.
That's why people don't want to pay for it. It's because it's everywhere, all the time. Hell, I'd pay extra to go somewhere and NOT hear music. From their perspective it's free, even if someone else is paying for it. The juke box at the bar? Free, if you weren't the one sticking the dollar in it. You want to hear a particular Doris Day song and it's not in your collection? Let's see if it's on Youtube. Yep. Free, as long as you bought the computer. I think I'll download it and email to my mom. Free. Que Sera Sera.

If you want to play, write, perform, and record music all the time, be prepared to be very, very poor. That, or do it as a hobby. Or, think outside the box and find a solution. If making money selling CDs was a sure thing, everyone would be doing it. Jeez, it seems like everybody is doing it. Maybe that's the problem.
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