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Posted by J. Burns on June 20, 2012 at 11:09 AM · Report this
2
I love that the entertainment industry has spent decades, careers and fortunes to make pop music/movies/etc seamlessly integrated into everyday culture, then act butthurt when the people act like it's…their culture.
Posted by UberAlles on June 20, 2012 at 11:19 AM · Report this
3
PS - In the grand scheme of human art, the notion that you can monetize picking up a guitar, stringing together some chords & selling the resulting recording is a pretty recent idea…maybe just a blip on the timeline.

No one ever guaranteed you'd never have to work a day job ever again once you recorded a hit 45/opened for Frampton/shot a music video with Sandra Bernhardt.
Posted by UberAlles on June 20, 2012 at 11:24 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 4
i've bought used vinyl albums & CDs for over 30 years.

some for $10, some for less, many for a dollar, like at estate sales or clearance bins. the artists didn't see a penny. just like visual artists whose works are re-sold.

do i own these copies? do i own the files? itunes & gracenote seem to think i do.

Posted by Max Solomon on June 20, 2012 at 11:27 AM · Report this
5
I'm not going to pay for intangible digital files. Are you kidding me? The times they are a changin', and musicians will have to figure out new ways to make money. That's just the way with it is, old people. Deal with it. Release cool vinyl and album art that I can hold and admire. Play more shows. Do something we haven't seen before, and we'll pay money for it.
Posted by yourepretentious on June 20, 2012 at 11:27 AM · Report this
icouldliveinhope 6
I don't think she was saying she doesn't want to pay for it. She kind of says she does, but she wants a better way to pay for it. I think that's reasonable.
Posted by icouldliveinhope on June 20, 2012 at 11:29 AM · Report this
icouldliveinhope 7
Also, the links that @1 posted are also my favorite posts about this.
Posted by icouldliveinhope on June 20, 2012 at 11:29 AM · Report this
Megan Seling 8
@6 I got from it that she doesn't mind paying for the music, but she wants to pay the person who's able to make it convenient for her to listen to it whenever and wherever she wants. And THEY can figure out how to pay the artist (and she hopes it's a fair price, but she doesn't require that it is).
Posted by Megan Seling on June 20, 2012 at 11:36 AM · Report this
Megan Seling 9
@5 Sincerely curious: The only way you ever pay for something is when it's something you can physically hold and/or see? Or does that rule only apply to music? You're not the first person to make that argument. And it's a valid point. But the fact that someone made that song, and making that song didn't cost nothing, is worth considering, no?
Posted by Megan Seling on June 20, 2012 at 11:41 AM · Report this
10
From the link with Chris Randall:

"For what it's worth, from my perspective as a producer of media (as opposed to a consumer, which I also am) there is no fundamental difference between Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, et al and the chick just ripping promo copies in the back room of her college radio station. Unless you're a major artist the income from those services, by the time it gets to me (and this is from someone that owns their entire mechanical rights lock, stock and barrel), is virtually nothing.

As far as I can tell, my total income from all those services, plus my SoundExchange royalties (which largely cover streaming media, for the most part), since those services all started, is about $10. I wish I was making that up. But for a normal artist (as opposed to Rebecca Black), they're essentially the same as just giving your shit away."
Posted by johnjjeeves on June 20, 2012 at 11:42 AM · Report this
11
People should get paid for making things. If we can't figure out a way to pay them, why should they make them?

I'm certainly open to arguments that the entertainment industry is a huge part of the problem, and it won't be hard to convince me that we need an entirely new system, but the bottom line for me is that whatever new system we come up with should pay the people who put in the effort to create.
Posted by SLCamper on June 20, 2012 at 11:43 AM · Report this
12
Between buying used, swapping CDs, and using my Zune pass, I haven't purchased more than a CD or two in years. Why is everyone so shocked suddenly? You have Pandora and other online radio stations streaming. You have Spotify, Rhapsody, Zune, and others allowing you anything in their catalog, for a monthly fee. That's how they've made it for consumers. This is the corner they've painted themselves into.
Posted by jedifarfy on June 20, 2012 at 11:49 AM · Report this
13
You don't pay for "intangibles." So. Then I don't have to pay my website developers? Great! I'm going to be rich!

As predicted. This thread, like every other before it on this topic all over the internet from Metafilter to Reddit, will become yet another a laundry list of shitty rationalizations and fuck-wad justifications why people think it's okay to steal from artists.

It's one thing that the technology makes it easy to steal. And it's entirely another that the music industry has been ripping off consumers and artists for decades.

But neither of those things justify YOU taking away a living from artists. Just admit your a scumbag fucking thief already but quit making up bullshit to justify it.
Posted by tkc on June 20, 2012 at 11:52 AM · Report this
14
This is all BS. If she had wanted to pay for it, she could have paid for it. I'm sure the prices were higher and the methods less convenient than she'd prefer; that's what it's like in the real world, things you want cost money and time. She may be quite right to denounce the current system and demand a better one - but if she had principles she'd do without her stolen music until she could obtain it using that better system.

The truth is simple: she doesn't want to pay for her music, she wants to feel good about herself. And she's beginning to realize that her 11,000 song library of stolen music that she greatly enjoys makes her a thief and a parasite, someone who abuses and defrauds the very artists she purports to respect. She is looking for affirmation - in effect, for a hug - when she should be collecting a receipt.
Posted by Warren Terra on June 20, 2012 at 11:54 AM · Report this
15
Oh and her casuistry about how she "didn't illegally download (most) of [her] songs" is beneath contempt. Getting illegal copies of music by ripping friends' CDs, as a gift from your boyfriend, or by making illegal copies from the campus radio station archives perhaps demonstrates a more active social life and interesting pursuits than are required to obtain the same pirated music by download, but it is precisely the same ethically, except perhaps the part where it's actually worse, the part where she puts her campus radio station at risk of having their library confiscated for supporting music piracy.
Posted by Warren Terra on June 20, 2012 at 11:58 AM · Report this
EricD 16
In high school and college, I stole music because I couldn't afford it. Now that I have a job and a decent amount of money, I still pirate music occasionally.

If the money was going to the people involved in the creation(not just the performers, but the sound engineers, etc), I would be more willing to buy music. As it stands, I have concerns that too much of what I pay for music is going towards organizations like the RIAA and lobbyists, which are doing their best to wreck the internet.

While I haven't done as much research on the topic as I would like, my rough understanding is that the most effective way to support a band, while reducing the amount going towards the RIAA, is from attending concerts and buying merch. I read a breakdown about this a few years back, but can't find the article any longer so it might just be my imagination.

As it stands, I download music occasionally(though often times I'll just stream it for free via hypem or youtube), and do my best to attend concerts\buy merch. If the band isn't aligned with the RIAA, I'll buy their records flat out.
Posted by EricD http://www.bfhoodrich.com on June 20, 2012 at 11:59 AM · Report this
17
I don't understand how this is even a question. Someone is providing a service/talent (if not actual merchandise)... you pay people for service... be it chefs, painters, tattoo artists or waiters. Sure, I don't think we need to go to Sam Goody (remember those?) and pay $17.99 for a cd anymore... but, paying SOME money for music shouldn't even be a question.
Posted by jabberjaw on June 20, 2012 at 12:12 PM · Report this
Josh Bis 18
@8 That was my take, too. And, though it was made in a sloppy and entitled way, I don't know that it's all that crazy. After all, that was basically what people are/were doing when they bought albums at record stores -- paying what they deemed a fair price for the convenience of owning a copy without having any real idea of how much of that purchase went back to the artist.

I also agree that it's cool that people are having serious talks about fair compensation for musicians, but I'm also vaguely depressed that it took an angry rocker spewing his frustrations on a well-meaning, but not super articulate, young intern for the internet to care.
Posted by Josh Bis http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Author.html?oid=3815563 on June 20, 2012 at 12:13 PM · Report this
blip 19
I try to avoid buying files, too, but only because it's an inferior product (by which I mean if my hard drive dies, they're gone. This has happened to me a few times in the past few years). I use Pandora to find new music and then buy it, in part because I want to support the artist, but also because streaming is a self-limiting format. I download free shit when it's legit and often end up purchasing the album if I like the free singles enough. I'm probably in the minority, but this technology can and should be used to help artists reach a wider audience and make a living doing it.
Posted by blip on June 20, 2012 at 12:20 PM · Report this
20
There is a core aspect of the debate that is missing. Most people with large collections of stolen music would not be able to afford to buy the songs legally. The massive sums of money that artists deserve from all their free-loading fans just aren't there. If forced to either pay for the stolen music or give it up, the vast majority of those songs would be given up and virtually no money would change hands.

I support paying for music, especially through services that fairly compensate artists. It's out there, and a lot of musicians are joining the 21st century, but I think that most of the stolen tunes from the last 15 years just has to be written off as a loss.
Posted by Nezz on June 20, 2012 at 12:20 PM · Report this
Tovirus 21
If you want to support artists, buy their T-shirts and go to their shows. Who makes money from selling CDs these days? Vinyl and specialty packaging really only appeals to collectors, who are not stealing in the first place. I think artists need to adjust to the changing times just as much as the consumer.

I used to download before all the sites got shut down, but only things I couldn't buy for a reasonable price or to preview releases I intended to buy. Which was a massive service to the music fan. Eliminating the ability to do that in order to protect (mostly) corporate interests seems bad. If the music is good enough and the artist is smart enough, they'll find a way to make money.
Posted by Tovirus on June 20, 2012 at 12:24 PM · Report this
meanie 22
This doesn't hold water:

"My opinion on the matter hasn't changed. To assume that the music exists for the taking, so long as you have a nifty device to download it with, is much like walking into a restaurant with a basket of food and demanding a talented chef prepare your dinner, the way you want it, without having to compensate them for it. "

nope, it would be like you getting a recipe, and making it yourself.

Being an artist is tough, the notion that you should be able to support yourself while being one is relatively new.

Should music hold perpetual licenses? Is the fact its illegal to sing happy birthday because its an unauthorized performance right?

seems like we have a lot of shit to work out before we can throw around judgements on this.
Posted by meanie http://www.spicealley.net on June 20, 2012 at 12:25 PM · Report this
Daddy Love 23
I pay for my music. Not because I have to, but because you should.

And it was the 1970s that was "the Me decade." Tom Wolfe wrote that in 1976.
Posted by Daddy Love on June 20, 2012 at 12:30 PM · Report this
24
Something that must stop: comparing illegally downloading digital content to stealing physical goods.

If I steal a loaf of bread, the rightful owner of that bread NO LONGER HAS THE BREAD. That is not true of digital music.

Obviously illegally downloading copyrighted digital content is immoral. Obviously. But it is not the same as stealing physical goods. It. Just. Isn't.

Posted by pheedthemonkey on June 20, 2012 at 12:30 PM · Report this
25
"I think it's awesome that so many thoughtful posts are being written about this."

Yeah... I read some thoughtful comments here and there. (So cheers to White for bringing it up.) But it's embarrassing to read so many other half-witted responses to the article. Including Yo La Tengo's. Aside from a couple of the people who commented here, how many people actually read it?

It's pretty stupid to make judgments about the article without first addressing its contradictions and acknowledging the point White is trying to make. The title suggests that White didn't pay for anything (nice way to get people's attention!), but she's not advocating music theft. She's talking about the inconvenience for her in buying _physical_ media. When she writes that "I've never invested money in them," it's at the conclusion of a paragraph about not buying physical products (she mentions T-shirts as an exception). She also wrote that she "didn't illegally download (most) of my songs" and the copies she did make were during her job as a DJ. In addition to all the hours of labor they put into advertising other people's bands at their jobs, are college DJs supposed to pay for all of the music they use at the station?

However inconsistent that all might seem to be, the point is that she wants to support musicians and she wants a convenient way to listen to music that results in "more money going back to the artist than the present model." What's wrong with that?

For me, I prefer the sound quality (ha!) of CDs, so I'll stick to physical purchases, like the scores of YLT, Dump, Jad Fair, Velvet Underground, Lou Reed, Big Star, Chris Bell, etc. releases and rereleases and rerereleases I've bought over the years, not to mention about 1000 other CDs. These days I either order direct from the label or I wait until the band comes to town, then I'll buy a couple of CDs from the merchandise table and wash them down with a bunch of drinks at the bar. Hopefully the performers get a little bit of income that way.

But the next time Yo La Tengo releases an album I might just steal their bike instead.

Anyway, I think the bigger point of this debate is that people need to stop listening to so much music and learn how to read again.
More...
Posted by Abcdef on June 20, 2012 at 12:35 PM · Report this
26
The idea that artists should be able to support themselves is, in fact, older than capitalism. There were professional bards, poets, and painters when Adam Smith's great grandaddy was born. But why stop at capitalism? Being an artist was a profession before mercantalism, feudalism, hell, even before we had money.

So no more nonesense about this being a recent idea.
Posted by RDM on June 20, 2012 at 12:35 PM · Report this
cosby 27
@21:
Just to play devil's advocate, though I agree with you, what about artists that don't tour or play live? Should artists who do not have a live show not make any money because they are unable or unwilling to tour?
Posted by cosby http://www.myspace.com/cosbyshownights on June 20, 2012 at 12:41 PM · Report this
Megan Seling 28
@22 But when you have the recipe, you still have to put in your own time and effort to create it. Unlike when you take a song, which takes virtually no time and effort.
Posted by Megan Seling on June 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM · Report this
raku 29
I wonder how musicians will support themselves if I download their mp3's off a blog to find out if I like it?, I wrote after scrolling past 9 ads for shows to post this comment.
Posted by raku on June 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM · Report this
30
The "having a chef cook your food for you" analogy doesn't work. Illegal downloaders don't take time from the artist, the artist already spent that time once to create the music. Whether or not someone illegally downloads it 5 years later doesn't consume any time from the artist at that point. Asking a chef to cook you a meal takes time from that chef, directly relating to your action.

A more accurate analogy is taking a chef's recipe to cook your own food. You could have paid for that recipe (which you should have), and compensate the chef, but if you use a chef's recipe illegally it puts no additional burden on the chef. You did not steal his (limited) physical property or (limited) time.

Comparing illegal downloading to physical property theft or stealing of actual time doesn't hold up at all. The only thing missed out on is *potential* compensation, assuming the thief would have bought the item at list price had it not been available for free (which most certainly excludes a huge portion of downloaders).
Posted by d-squared on June 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM · Report this
cosby 31
I have to echo what #2 is saying. The music industry has made music ubiquitous and very very few musicians had a problem with that as long as the checks kept coming in the mail. Music lost it's value way before Napster.
Posted by cosby http://www.myspace.com/cosbyshownights on June 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM · Report this
32
( ^ basically wrote what @22 said)

@28 You have to cook meals anyway, so the amount of effort I expend following a master chef's recipe versus my own is negligible.
Posted by d-squared on June 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM · Report this
Megan Seling 33
@30 Ah, yes. Good point about chef cooking = time of their part while downloading music requires none of the band's/artist's time.

Regardless of my dumb analogy, I believe it is worth recognizing that someone at some point did take the time to create thing and you can't just have it for free whenever you want. How, when, and how much compensation makes sense, though, is something I still don't know the answer to/have a sturdy opinion about.

While I would be totally happy paying $10 for a download of an album I really love, someone else might not want to pay more than $5. Defining how much a song is worth to all people is impossible.
Posted by Megan Seling on June 20, 2012 at 1:08 PM · Report this
meanie 34
@28 Because technology makes the work trivial? careful your on a dangerous path with that one.

So I could copy any artist that uses computers, or samples, or DJs because no work was involved?

You also missed my second point, its a violation of copyright to sing the song "happy birthday" in public, and will be until the year 2030.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Birth…

Do you believe doing so robs the original artist, and their estate of income? Your certainly supporting that with your stealing bread analogy.

Again, the issue here is much much bigger than just music, its about copyright law, and separating the idea of artistic value from profitable and antiquated transaction systems.

Megan, if I copy your post, and send it to a friend via email, did I steal it from you? You wont get any ad revenue from the copy, and yet someone was able to use/read it. Did you feel a material loss? If you had to choose between people seeing your work, and always getting paid, as a writer, which would you choose?
Posted by meanie http://www.spicealley.net on June 20, 2012 at 1:12 PM · Report this
pg13 35
Wouldn't the recipe analogy work better for sheet music...rather than filesharing?

"Here are the notes, you play them."

(And the poster that most resembles my own strategy/tactics when it comes to my music collection is blip @19. I'll listen to Sirius/XM satellite radio in the car and I'll hear music that I'll then buy on CD. I like physical media. Convenience doesn't trump everything for me.)
Posted by pg13 on June 20, 2012 at 1:15 PM · Report this
The_Shaved_Bear 36
Everyone is avoiding the real issue here: Camper Van Beethoven SUCKED.
Posted by The_Shaved_Bear on June 20, 2012 at 1:17 PM · Report this
37
Music artists make money from radio (who makes money from ads), from merchandise, and from concerts. What's the problem? this is the way things are and is long overdue. The music industry only has itself to blame anyhow. Remember when CDs were supposed to be so much cheaper to manufacture than tapes that costs would decrease? Yeah, didn't happen -- the profits went into their pockets. Same story with the shift to mp3s. A CD pre-itunes would cost me 12-15 in the store. Now it's a dollar per song. eff it; they reduced their distribution costs to ZERO, and still rape the consumer. l2adapt or die.
Posted by sldjflsl on June 20, 2012 at 1:21 PM · Report this
cosby 38
@36:
True statement. I secretly hope someone who was a successful musician would chime in on their blog, but I'm sure they are too busy still making money.
Posted by cosby http://www.myspace.com/cosbyshownights on June 20, 2012 at 1:27 PM · Report this
Megan Seling 39
@34 I didn't make a stealing bread analogy. I made a stealing time/effort analogy.

And it's not that I missed your point about "Happy Birthday," it's that I don't have an answer. I don't know how long a song should be worthy of compensation. Forever? For 50 years? For 100 years? I don't know. But I completely agree that it goes beyond music.

While *I* don't feel a material loss of someone cutting and pasting my words to share them with people (assuming I'm given credit and someone isn't passing the words off as their own), at the same time, it'd be unfair of me to assume that's how ALL writers would feel.
Posted by Megan Seling on June 20, 2012 at 1:27 PM · Report this
40
Being an artist is tough, the notion that you should be able to support yourself while being one is relatively new.


Tea Party logic at it's fintest.

You know what else is a relatively new concept? Not being a slave to anybody who could hit you over the head and carry your ass off to somewhere else to work you to death. Also women having the right to not be raped and, god forbid, having a vote. That's relatively new.

What a bad argument on every level. Not only are you wrong that historically artists never sought to be compensated, or society didn't value them for their work, but this so called "newness" is irrelevant, even if it was some sort of valid argument. In fact it was artists and craftsmen that received some the first legal labor protections going back to almost Roman times.

So. Why "should" anybody be able to make a living? I mean, hell, what panel of Should Definers do we all kneel before and get our scraps so we don't all starve to death? Who decides? Is this the Mighty Market you've crafted this "should" from? When left to it's own devices the market quickly decides that MOST people shouldn't be compensated much for their labor. Welcome to the race to the bottom.

What we have is an entire country of entitled children who have grown up with a ubiquitous cheap technology that they use to feed their every whim without effort.

And now the model is breaking down and requires money or moral effort to sustain. Not to mention fix. And suddenly nobody want's to pay what things actually cost.

Posted by tkc on June 20, 2012 at 1:29 PM · Report this
41
@#25
You complain about people piping up who haven't read the essay; and yet:
The title suggests that White didn't pay for anything (nice way to get people's attention!), but she's not advocating music theft.
She isn't advocating it, perhaps. She claims to feel guilty about it. But she's not giving up her huge library of stolen content, either. Publicly bragging about your library of stolen content that you refuse to give up isn't all that far from advocating theft.
When she writes that "I've never invested money in them," it's at the conclusion of a paragraph about not buying physical products (she mentions T-shirts as an exception).
This is just not true. Yes, the paragraph does allude to the virtues of physical albums, with their artful cover designs and thoughtful liner notes - but as something she's explicitly not interested in. The antecedent of "them" in "I never invested money in them" is "artists and albums". I don't think artists are "physical products" and in the context the albums are clearly being considered as an income source for artists.
She also wrote that she "didn't illegally download (most) of my songs" and the copies she did make were during her job as a DJ
Actually, she says that much of her collection was illegally copied from friends' collections (we can hope some of those friends paid for the music) and that she spend many, many hours ripping songs off the CDs that lined the wall of the campus radio station. And, no, DJs don't have to pay for the music they play - but (1) the radio station does have to pay for broadcast rights, even though the DJ doesn't; and (2) the DJ doesn't get to take copies of the music home to keep, no more than a Blockbuster employee gets to make and keep a copy of every DVD they fancy.
However inconsistent that all might seem to be, the point is that she wants to support musicians
This may seem a little simple-minded, but one step towards "supporting artists" is not stealing their work. It's pretty much an obligatory part of "supporting artists". She doesn't really want to support artists, she wants to feel less guilty.
she wants a convenient way to listen to music that results in "more money going back to the artist than the present model." What's wrong with that?
Nothing is wrong with that. It's a shame it doesn't exist. That it doesn't exist doesn't mean the person who would prefer it is entitled to steal music.
More...
Posted by Warren Terra on June 20, 2012 at 1:33 PM · Report this
meanie 42
@40 you might hurt yourself with all that knee jerk rhetoric

clearly my disagreement proves allegiance to the tea party.

I should jerk back the opposite direction and support your socialist goal of equal pay for everyone, I mean who pays the graffiti artists, or the mimes even, its so unfair! These unjust structures that the market created are evil and need to be quashed on all levels.

let me know when you come up with a plan. In the mean time I will run out and buy a thousand dollar finger painting at my local coffee shop, to quell the injustice of me looking at it without supporting the artist. I will look for one with a bird on it.
Posted by meanie http://www.spicealley.net on June 20, 2012 at 1:38 PM · Report this
The_Shaved_Bear 43
To all those saying "it took the artist time and money to create, so it is worth something!" - that is the same fallacy that made Marxism a failed economic model. Intrinsic value is not measured by the amount of labor / passion that the creator(s) put into the product. Markets never have and never will work that way, sadly.
Posted by The_Shaved_Bear on June 20, 2012 at 1:38 PM · Report this
meanie 44
@43 SHUT YOUR FACE YOU TEA PARTY MARKET LACKY!
Posted by meanie http://www.spicealley.net on June 20, 2012 at 1:40 PM · Report this
45
Go ahead and steal music. You can wave goodbye to your favorite indie band as Justin Bieber get even bigger.
Posted by Spindles on June 20, 2012 at 1:45 PM · Report this
smade 46
What's on your player, Mr. Lowery? Pay for all of it?
Posted by smade on June 20, 2012 at 1:45 PM · Report this
47
As far as the capitalism argument goes, I posit one consider the fates of all the working live musicians who suddenly found themselves without gigs because TV and, more specifically, recorded music for play at home or by DJs at events, rendered them obsolete.

Things are changing, as they always have, & it's a bummer that not everyone could get rich the same way Paul McCartney did. Not that "Low" or "Get Off This" were gonna bring in a whole lotta dough from a NUGGETS OF THE BUZZBIN box curated by Matt Pinfield in 2020.
Posted by UberAlles on June 20, 2012 at 1:46 PM · Report this
48
@#43
People aren't saying the artist deserves money for their effort, because of the worthy toil involved; they're saying the artist labored to bring forth something you would and do enjoy, and if you want to have that enjoyable thing you have to pay the market price, part of which hopefully will make it back to the artist and make it possible for them to continue creating new enjoyable things or perhaps just to feed their family. No Marxism required; indeed, it's pure Capitalism.
Posted by Warren Terra on June 20, 2012 at 1:46 PM · Report this
smade 49
Does Keith Richards feel guilty for stealing all those Chuck Berry riffs without compensating him? Pop music is theft.
Posted by smade on June 20, 2012 at 1:53 PM · Report this
dontrelle 50
@45 Really? Is Shellac sufficiently indie?

"There won't ever be a mass-market record industry again, and that's fine with me because that industry didn't operate for the benefit of the musicians or the audience, the only classes of people I care about. "

"i think music should be shared. all the time. by everybody. i think it’s pure insanity to make music filesharing illegal. and with that said, i have, for years, encouraged my fans to burn, download and share all of my music with each other and with strangers.
and i will never stop doing that. all that sharing eventually comes back to me in all forms of income and goodwill." - Albini ama on Reddit

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/2012052…
Posted by dontrelle on June 20, 2012 at 1:53 PM · Report this
51
It's hilariously aggravating to hear people/read these posts complainjng about how music files should be free. There is zero justification for your position. It is outright theft. Instead of stealing music and justifying it, why don't you give up listening to music at all. Artists devote their lives to working on a craft, they deserve to be paid, not ripped off. The question, as posited by the author of the thread, is how to monotinize it. Any excuses to the contrary are just justifications for outdated behavior. You didn't use to know better, it is what it is; but now you do. It's of course fine if some artists want to give their files away - but that should be the artists decision, not a lazy person on a laptop.
Posted by Slog Tipper David on June 20, 2012 at 1:56 PM · Report this
Megan Seling 52
@50 I missed that Albini AMA, thanks for sharing!
Posted by Megan Seling on June 20, 2012 at 1:59 PM · Report this
smade 53
Did the guys in Yo La Tengo ever record a song off the radio to learn for the cover bands they used to be in?
Posted by smade on June 20, 2012 at 2:01 PM · Report this
54
@48 Market price is based on what consumers are willing to pay for something. Apparently some consumers are saying they are not willing to pay what is being asked for the product/service. And as they have have another option they take that option.
Posted by Dirk7 on June 20, 2012 at 2:01 PM · Report this
55
@#54
The alternative to paying market price in order to own something is not owning that thing; it isn't not paying, and still owning it.
Posted by Warren Terra on June 20, 2012 at 2:08 PM · Report this
56
Music is not scarce.
Music has no intrinsic value.
I can copy an mp3 file millions of times, I do not suddenly have millions of dollars in assets.
A radio station broadcasting a song is essentially making infinite copies of that song and just throwing them out into the universe, that does not impoverish anyone, or steal from them.
No bank would give you a loan on collateral of a bunch of mp3s.
You could not trade a bunch of mp3s for say a house or a car.

How is this confusing?
Posted by Dirk7 on June 20, 2012 at 2:11 PM · Report this
57
As a musician who sells music on the internet, I have a lot of sympathy for the artists saying they deserve to be compensated for their work. However, there are some things the artists making their case for payment are ignoring.

The first is, if you're coming down on the side of some regulatory regime that looks like SOPA or whatever the latest bill is to allow rights-holding corporations to rewrite the First Amendment, you're on the wrong side of this one; Trying to shore up a particular late twentieth-century business model for compensating artists by enacting draconian measures that lock down the exchange of information on the internet is too steep a price to pay. Beyond that, it won't work.

The second is this: Whether or not it's "the right thing to do" to pay artists, there is now a free option that allows people to enjoy music in virtually unlimited quantities at the click of a mouse. Can anyone name me another business model that survives entirely on customers voluntarily paying for something they can obtain for free with less effort?

If shame is the basis for the entire business model, it just ain't gonna last. And as for what artists "deserve" to be paid, since when has deserving it had any impact on capitalism? You get paid what you negotiate, not what you deserve.
Posted by Legions of Small Time Musicians on June 20, 2012 at 2:15 PM · Report this
s.maxim 58
I'm curious about how buying used music factors into this. At least, how musicians feel about it.

These days I feel like recorded music is more of a marketing pitch, if you will. A way to further awareness and increase the sale of other items (merch, print music, shows, etc.)
Posted by s.maxim on June 20, 2012 at 2:15 PM · Report this
smade 59
We're in a transition phase. A generation from now the model will be totally different and these arguments will seem quaint and irrelevant.
Posted by smade on June 20, 2012 at 2:16 PM · Report this
smade 60
@58 In the 90s, Garth Brooks refused to allow his CDs to be sold at stores that sold used CDs.
Posted by smade on June 20, 2012 at 2:17 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 61
HOME TAPING IS KILLING THE RECORD INDUSTRY

Remember those warnings on the record sleeve of any major label LP you bought in the 80s? How did that work out again?

Unrelated thought: How much of this is a generational issue? I see lots of people talking about buying the album or CD so they can hold it in their hands. I prefer that too (or at least a pdf of the album art and liner notes - why the fuck are most iTunes albums without that?), but I wonder if Kids These Days even care about that.

@ 36, "Take the Skinheads Bowling" makes up for everything else, now and forever.
Posted by Matt from Denver on June 20, 2012 at 2:26 PM · Report this
62
@ 41 Warren Terra

"You complain about people piping up who haven't read the essay; and yet:"

And "yet" I read the essay and wrote about what it said. Were you trying to make a point here?

"This is just not true. Yes, the paragraph does allude to the virtues of physical albums,"

Uh, in other words, as you [pretend not to] admit, what I wrote is absolutely true. That statement is at the conclusion of that paragraph. Read it again if you're not sure.

In case you didn't notice, my point was that the essay is full of contradictions and problems that need to be addressed before we try to judge the author's motives . . . like you are, with your speculation about how she's sort of maybe not so far away from advocating theft, and how you claim she doesn't even want to support artists. That's bullshit. You're misrepresenting what she wrote.

"The antecedent of "them" in "I never invested money in them" is "artists and albums"."

You weren't very clear in this paragraph overall, and I don't really see how it responds to what I wrote, but I can only guess you're trying to force her statement to mean that she hasn't spent any money on music at all. And yet, as she clearly notes, she paid for tickets to shows and bought t-shirts? Did you miss that part? She obviously does not want to buy physical albums, but paying for shows and buying t-shirts is investing money in music and artists.

"Actually, she says that much of her collection was illegally copied from friends' collections"

What do you mean "actually"? How does this contradict what I wrote?

"She doesn't really want to support artists, she wants to feel less guilty."

You're putting words into her mouth. That's not what she wrote in her essay.

Like I said, a little reading comprehension goes a long way. Your comment is exactly the kind of bullshit response that is polluting what could otherwise be a productive discussion about White's essay.
More...
Posted by Abcdef on June 20, 2012 at 2:40 PM · Report this
Fnarf 63
What about when I was a kid listening to the radio? Was that stealing? At one time, in the 1940s, people said "yes" and boycotted recording for a year.

How much do artists get paid from radio play, anyways?

I guess I'm just glad I don't have to worry about this too much. I have paid for many, many metric shit-tons of music over my life, including many times over for a lot of records, and I'm still doing it. I've spent something like $2,000 on records just this year, and I'm about to go plop down a bunch more at Amoeba next week. New and used, LP, EP, 12", 7", CD, 78, even the occasional download. Christ, I might even buy a cassingle just for the hell of it. The only thing I'm not into is wax cylinders -- I don't have a player.

The real problem for musicians these days is that music isn't very popular. To have a hit record you hardly have to sell any copies; people just don't buy music anymore, and they don't listen to it all that much, either. Not intently. A lot of people really only listen to the music on video games (which is a big business now). And music licensed for TV, of course. If everybody who listened to a Cracker song on purpose in the next month paid Lowery a dollar, he'd be able to buy a sandwich, nothing more. This would still be true if digital music didn't exist.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on June 20, 2012 at 2:43 PM · Report this
Sam Levine 64
Home cooking is killing the restaurant industry.

Oh. Wait. No it isn't. Sorry.

I've got it, the lack of copyright protection in fashion has made it impossible to buy new clothing or get paid to design clothing!

No. Not that either. Damn it.

How about, you wouldn't download a car?

Um, no. If I could download a car I would. And so would you. The world would be a better place if you could.
Posted by Sam Levine http://levinetech.net on June 20, 2012 at 2:44 PM · Report this
Keekee 65
If'n what you are "stealing" has no monetary value, what is the issue here???
Posted by Keekee on June 20, 2012 at 2:50 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 66
@ 63, but how much of that money will the artists see? Are you buying USED records? They don't pay royalties on that, you know. (Speaking of cassingles, I found my rare Poison Idea "Plastic Bomb" cassingle just yesterday. Different than the album version...)
Posted by Matt from Denver on June 20, 2012 at 2:53 PM · Report this
67
Late to the thread, but this is more complicated than anyone is admitting. Its not a matter of buy a CD or pirate the mp3s anymore. Free music is everywhere: Grooveshark, Spotify, Rdio, *Youtube*, NPR preview streams, SoundCloud, Last.fm, Pandora, the list goes on and on... and the artists don't see a penny from any of those free music services, because the streaming royalties are laughable. Why isn't that on the same moral level as piracy? Not to mention that such streaming services are an awful way to consume music. Rdio and Spotify have no reason to serve any music beyond the n-most popular albums or songs, small market stuff will NEVER be available there. You also have to be online to stream, obviously, and the you have to deal with ads and terrible, terrible audio quality. All those services offer is the feeling of 'not pirating', they don't really help at all.

That said, piracy was supposed to have killed the record industry ten years ago, and also thirty years ago (tapes), and also a hundred years ago (the Industry fought sheet music sales tooth and nail). I think the music consumption model for people in 2012 is more like: pay for the music you like the most, go to shows, buy some merch, and then listen to a fuckton of free music online all the time, because there's no real difference between streaming and pirating in terms of artist compensation. If no one was spending any money on music, where would all this music be coming from? Look at the shear quantity of music produced right now. If we live in such an awful time for music, why do we live in such a great time for music?
Posted by algorhythm99 on June 20, 2012 at 2:56 PM · Report this
68
A whole lot of people here seem to be under the complete delusion that touring makes money for all bands. Unless you are playing at fairly large (say, small arena, 2000 and up) venues, touring is a break-even proposition at best. When you see out-of-town bands at clubs and other smaller types of theatres, they are making next to nothing after expenses.
Posted by teamcanada on June 20, 2012 at 3:01 PM · Report this
69
@#62
It is obvious that your lack of reading comprehension is pervasive, whether it is deliberate or an unavoidable and tragic defect.I see no point in arguing further, really.
Posted by Warren Terra on June 20, 2012 at 3:07 PM · Report this
pg13 70
Do we live in a great time for music?
Posted by pg13 on June 20, 2012 at 3:08 PM · Report this
71
The real problem for musicians these days is that music isn't very popular.


HAHAHAHAHAHA... Jesus. Fnarf. You and your off-the-cuff "pronouncements."

As evidenced by what?

The over 15 BILLION songs downloaded on iTunes by 2011? Or the 27 million people who went to concerts in a down economy in 2010 up from the 25 million in an up economy in 2003? The half dozen or so prime time talent singing competitions on prime time TV?

Yes. Clearly the very concept of music is in solid decline. Nobody likes music anymore. It's all going to telepathic emotive holography.
Posted by tkc on June 20, 2012 at 3:11 PM · Report this
72
If I could download a car I would. And so would you. The world would be a better place if you could.


Yes. What the world needs is more people driving more fossile fuel burning obesity machines made of scarce minerals. Future utopia established!

This thread is frigg'n GOLD for goofy pronouncements.
Posted by tkc on June 20, 2012 at 3:14 PM · Report this
73
SHUT YOUR FACE YOU TEA PARTY MARKET LACKY!


I know crazy, huh. I came up with that at the last workers collective.

But when you spout Free Market solutions like they are the end of story solution, then you should know the philosophical company you keep.

It's simple. You want something, then you get that something. But when costs are revealed don't want to pay for that something. That's the tea party in a nutshell.

But I guess that was a big sparkly distraction enough for you to not grapple with my stunning Marxist evisceration of your original idiotic premis that artists earning a living is a "new thing." Which was provably false and a stupid argument anyway.

Now if you'll excuse me I have to go wash the Workers Truck.
Posted by tkc on June 20, 2012 at 3:25 PM · Report this
74
I love how many people seem to know the "music industry" inside and out and how artists don't make any money unless you "buy their cd or go to their show".
It's bullshit argument and, as you might have notices, plenty of artists are telling you as much. You just don't want to believe it because it challenges your morals.
Posted by WFSteve on June 20, 2012 at 3:25 PM · Report this
75
By buying only used records, and using subscription streaming sites, do you know how much money the artist gets?

NOTHING. And yet somehow, these are seen as legitimate and reasonable methods of purchasing music.

Now please explain how giving money to Amazon/an ebay seller/a record store helps in the creation of music or album sales, along with how the negligible amount that the streaming sites give to artists assists with same.
Posted by johnjjeeves on June 20, 2012 at 3:29 PM · Report this
76
When I was living in Pullman, the options for buying physical CDs or tapes was, unsurprisingly, rather limited. If I didn't have my boyfriend copying music for me, new music that I wouldn't have heard about as well as old music that went under my radar 15-20 years ago, I would have been limited to listening to the garbage bullshit my peers subjected me to, or listening to the same shit I already owned. Was I poor? Oh hell yes! Am I now? Less so. Do I buy albums physically? Well, sometimes. I probably would more often if Musicwerks hadn't closed a hundred years ago.

Physical CDs are just not "worth" as much anymore. All we want is the fucking digital tracks encoded on them, since the item itself is essentially worthless to us the consumer. This is in opposition the the LP model, where the jacket and the item itself had a tangible, lasting value. If you're selling something that NO LONGER physically has value, don't be shocked when people aren't interested in spending money on it. A good example of this is the most recent release from Monica Richards. She was finding that piracy was cutting deeply into her already tiny album sales, so she put some effort into her most recent album as a physical object, binding it in a book filled with art from lots of people in and around her scene, making the CD something worth buying. If I hadn't been given/"stolen" all of the Faith and the Muse albums before this release, I would never ever ever had interest in or knowledge of this album. I bought it because of previous acts of piracy, and because it was a /thing/, worth buying for the value it had, not just the value it represented.
Posted by zobot http://wsu.academia.edu/zoealeshire on June 20, 2012 at 3:41 PM · Report this
pg13 77
It's funny. Convenience is something that someone used to have to pay for.

Now, it is the excuse/rationalization for not paying for something you want to have.
Posted by pg13 on June 20, 2012 at 3:49 PM · Report this
smade 78
@68 Not sure about rdio or Spotify, but Rhapsody has plenty of local obscurities. The Cary Fly Band, just to point out one example.
Posted by smade on June 20, 2012 at 4:25 PM · Report this
The_Shaved_Bear 79
@48 So, you are saying that you did not read or did not understand my post?
Posted by The_Shaved_Bear on June 20, 2012 at 4:40 PM · Report this
80
@52 - Just to clarify, the quote you have in your post is Amanda Palmer's; the second one in the article is Albini's.
Posted by bookworm on June 20, 2012 at 4:41 PM · Report this
81
Sorry, @50.
Posted by bookworm on June 20, 2012 at 4:43 PM · Report this
82
@ 69 Warren Terra
"It is obvious that your lack of reading comprehension is pervasive, whether it is deliberate or an unavoidable and tragic defect.I see no point in arguing further, really." [sic]

Oh how cute, you ran out of things to say (or you just didn't bother reading my comment AGAIN) so you're trying to cut-and-paste my own words against me. Touché! At least I've added a useful phrase to your vocabulary now though.

If you are determined to misunderstand what White wrote and you refuse to comment intelligently on others' responses to it, there is definitely no point in you arguing further. It's the same for anyone else who doesn't care enough to read the damn essay in the first place. At least you, Warren, have the grace and/or cowardice to retreat from your irresponsible comments before wasting any more time. I have to give you a tiny bit of credit for that.

Regardless of this minor distraction, White's article deserves a fair shake--even a fair shakedown, given its obvious inconsistencies--especially from people who claim to pay for music or claim to care about musicians' work and income and the economic health of the industry.

Nobody, including the musicians and music consumers who might benefit from this debate, is going to gain anything if you try to shut the discussion down by pretending to know what White thinks by ignoring what she actually wrote. Any illiterate idiot could look at the essay title and pick White out as a scapegoat to make a few wisecracks about how she (unlike "me"!) is a Bad music pirate. Maybe you think that makes you look smart for a few seconds. In reality it's not interesting to read and it doesn't help anyone.

That said, do the members of Yo La Tengo even have bikes? There's an obvious parallel to be made here in terms of stolen property, Yo La Tengo, bicycles (well, motorcycles actually), and Seattle. Then again maybe none of the readers here are old enough to remember . . .
More...
Posted by Abcdef on June 20, 2012 at 5:00 PM · Report this
dontrelle 83
@80 - Crap! You are correct-I mixed the two. Absolutely my mistake. Ah well, google Albini Music Piracy and you'll find plenty of quotables...

Posted by dontrelle on June 20, 2012 at 5:59 PM · Report this
84
Producing an original song costs something, yes. But each download comes at zero marginal cost to the maker. Making songs may cost, but electronic copying once it's made is completely free. So no, it's not comparable to your chef example, since the chef's labor has a nonzero marginal cost for each meal. Dealing with the upfront cost is not a nonissue, but really, time to face it: the Internet broke the recorded music business. If musicians want to make money, they need to either tour, sell merchandise, or have a day job, or all of the above. The past is past and it ain't coming back. And since there seems to be no shortage of music, and no shortage of people willing to make music even though there's a lot less money in it than there used to be, I don't think that those of us who are not musicians actually ought to care. This is creative destruction at work, and if there is no discernible benefit to the general population from protecting the interests of the few who are getting sunk, the interests of the few should not be protected.
Posted by I have always been... east coaster on June 20, 2012 at 6:41 PM · Report this
85
Never would have heard of or listened to Yo La Tengo if it wasn't for pirated music.
Posted by kersy on June 20, 2012 at 8:54 PM · Report this
86
I have lived until very recently in a third world country with absolutely no means of purchasing legal music. Itunes, pandora, spotify do not offer their services where I come from. All the music that I have been exposed to has been accessed illegally one way or the other. However, in my two years of living in Seattle I have spent a few thousand dollars (two?) on live shows and merch. My 'stealing' has not cost the musicians anything, yet my exposure to their music has certainly contributed to the music industry. This is by no means a justification of illegally downloading music but a suggestion that there is more nuance to the debate than the downloading=stealing camp would suggest.

If music is a cultural good, it is also a public good. This does not necessarily imply that music is a free public good. We as a society need to be invested in the production and projection of music. What is abundantly clear is that the current model of selling/buying music is not working either for the consumers or for the musicians. Internet is a great equalizer of our times. While it (theoretically) provides people regardless of their wealth and nationality equal access to information and data, it also provides musicians the ability to come up with more creative approaches of distributing their music.

Kickstarter is a fascinating model; if it has worked on a smaller scale for all manners of products there is no reason to believe that it can not work for the music industry. A model like that can enable musicians to raise money from their audiences before the production process starts. This 'investment' amount can include production, equipment costs as well as a 'fair' profit for the musicians. What exactly is a 'fair' profit is automatically negotiated between the musicians and their audition. The kickstarter model also enables consumers to pay both according to their ability as well as the value they hold for the musician. Once the musician releases their product, it can be a part of the global public culture without depriving the musician of a livelihood, or depriving audiences from the access. Having a direct relationship with the audiences does cut out the recording studios and the distributors who are the real parasites in the current system (as opposed to those who illegally download music). Most people who listen to pirated stuff do so because they care about that music.

I am not suggesting that this is the only model that is out there. I am not even sure that this model would work. But the point remains that there are alternative models that need to be explored. It would be a sad day indeed when music can also be a luxury that only the rich of the first world can afford.
More...
Posted by subaltern on June 20, 2012 at 9:02 PM · Report this
LEE. 87
I'm gonna try to avoid the long diatribe and just hit a few key points:

-music isn't a commodity. it's sound. you can make it into a product, but the song itself exists independently of the format and packaging it exists in. once that sound was reduced to easily duplicated data, it loses the potential to be a commodity. it still has the potential to be something ephemeral however, like a vinyl album. something a collector would enjoy owning.

-all you "Marxists" calling some of the people coming down on the side of illegal downloads Tea Partyers are precious. thank you for a real-time economics lesson in the concept of Marxism and Capitalism just being two sides of the same coin: Materialism.

-Fnarf and Matt from Denver: thank you both for continuing with the snark I made when Megan posted about Emily White's piece a few days ago.

-whoever asked if musicians who don't play live don't deserve to make money from their music: maybe. what else are they offering? how good are they at promotion? how unique is that series of loops they built in Ableton? in this day and age a musician should know they have to be a rather savvy individual to get recognition, especially if they aren't playing live. did Jandek make a lot of money?

...I don't want my music to just be a fucking product. anyone arguing that the time, work and money a musician puts into recording an album automatically justifies paying for their music is either ignoring that the musician either made that record largely for themselves, or because they cynically feel the need to create another commodity in a crowded market. we need more of the former and a lot less of the latter. it's my hope that when the dust settles around this issue, more people with genuine intentions will be rewarded for their hard work and passion, but they are entitled to it by any means. isn't that what punk rock was supposed to have promised us?

an artist needs to book a gallery to be able to have people come see their paintings and hopefully buy them. of course, you can still view the pictures in books, magazines, online...why should a musician expect anything different? because Kanye West parades around in Louis Vuitton and bangs Kim Kardashian?
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Posted by LEE. on June 20, 2012 at 10:10 PM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 88
@16: Lowery wrote about the economics of buying CDs vs paying for concert tickets in his article and concludes that artists make more money if people buy CDs than if people buy concert tickets. In fact, it's only recently that people have made any real money off of touring.

The vast majority of artists do not make significant money on the road. Until recently, most touring activity was a money losing operation. The idea was the artists would make up the loss through recorded music sales.


Instead, he says, artists need to sell 10 000 copies of a CD to earn money in a recording project.
Posted by Canadian Nurse on June 21, 2012 at 4:41 AM · Report this
LEE. 89
@88

Lowery is under the assumption that we can put the genie back in the bottle. that cost is for recording and promotion which would include assloads of magazine ads and a forst-decimating poster-campaign in bigger cities, not to mention physically mailing out promotional copies of albums to radio stations. most of these things have been replaced nowadays by viral marketing, ads on websites instead (ridiculously cheaper than printed ad space), and digital press packs sent to radio stations where the album and all it's pertinent info can be downloaded by an artist or label-controlled site.

as for recording costs, I suspect he is referring to the bad old days of record label advances, $50-100 an hour engineer costs on top of the studio rental. there's no way most artists these days could fund something like that and ever get out of the red. not if they had complete autonomy over their music. not with record sales, not with consistent and profitable touring, not with a Kickstarter and their own money. you should read this for good examples of the kind of market Lowery advocates:

http://www.negativland.com/news/?page_id…
Posted by LEE. on June 21, 2012 at 8:52 AM · Report this
cosby 90
Imma let this runaway train keep going, but I did have something to say about #67's assumptions about streaming services.

Rdio and Spotify have no reason to serve any music beyond the n-most popular albums or songs, small market stuff will NEVER be available there. You also have to be online to stream, obviously, and the you have to deal with ads and terrible, terrible audio quality.

Not really true. I have a niche record label and we're on Rdio and Spotify and a dozen other similar services. No service is perfect, no one has everything ever recorded by everyone (which it feels like some people are holding out for - including me), but most aren't bad at all. If you purchase Spotify's service, there are no ads. Also, the streaming sound quality exceeds that of iTunes downloads (Apple white knights, no need to defend the 256 AAC format in America especially while Japan's iTunes sells 320 MP3 files standard). Some artists do quite well with streaming services - even with a small label, some artists can make a couple of bucks off of one song during any one month period. They also see that money - it doesn't disappear into some kind of music label black hole unless you are on Victory Records.
Posted by cosby http://www.myspace.com/cosbyshownights on June 21, 2012 at 9:28 AM · Report this
stinkbug 91
It's always amusing that people like Emily think that everything is on Spotify.

Posted by stinkbug on June 21, 2012 at 10:23 AM · Report this
92
@87 So many strawmen. So little time.

Literally nobody has made the argument that musicians automatically deserve to paid for their precious snowflake work IF NOBODY WANT'S IT.

The argument HAS been made that artists and musicians shouldn't expect any compensation because of... history... er it's "arty"... it's intangible... or something. I dunno. It's all so stupid.

People don't seem to come back to defend their stupid arguments once they have been refuted. FI: See the stupid one Fnarf made about music "not being popular." Classic.

The issue HERE is an artist being fairly compensated for work that people DO want, as evidenced by the sharing, trading, and downloading illegally of their work. The issue is not copy rights. The issue is not music corporation models. It's paying for what you want or not having it.

This strawman that we want some Marxist utopia where everybody get's paid was never put forth. In fact we simply want simple market controls and to foster a less entitled consumer ethic. There is nothing remotely controversial about it.

But this attempt at a perverse and distorted Mighty Market justification for stealing peoples work HAS been made. Repeatedly. Which is the same cognitive dissonant logic Tea Partiers attempt when they want government services for nothing and the irony of that on a liberal blog was simply too good to pass up. If people refuse to see it it's because they want shit for nothing.
Posted by tkc on June 21, 2012 at 4:00 PM · Report this
dontrelle 93
Excellent article about how independent labels are paid under Spotify-

http://evolver.fm/2012/06/21/david-lower…
Posted by dontrelle on June 21, 2012 at 4:14 PM · Report this
LEE. 94
@92
"Literally nobody has made the argument that musicians automatically deserve to paid for their precious snowflake work IF NOBODY WANT'S IT."

wow, I don't think I said that at all. but to play devil's advocate here, ok so people want a song from a band. not a physical copy like a CD or vinyl or even a cassette...just a few MB's of data. what exactly is that worth? there's absolutely zero scarcity to it, since it can be replicated in less than five seconds. so when does the demand for something drive its price up? if an artist is giving their song away for free because no one cares and then all of a sudden BOOM, the song is everywhere, is it right to start charging money for it?

the logic that because we can charge money for something automatically means we should, full stop, is a ridiculous one. to say that because some consumers out there, especially younger ones, might view themselves as entitled for recognizing music files as essentially valueless is missing the point.

"People don't seem to come back to defend their stupid arguments once they have been refuted. FI: See the stupid one Fnarf made about music "not being popular." Classic."

what the fuck does this even mean? that post was my first foray into this discussion so how can I be defending my arguments? also, Fnarf is painfully wrong about everything he says just as often as he is forehead slappingly right about other things. his assumption that "music isn't very popular" was poorly worded and a bad way to start , but in his logic of how most younger people don't so much buy their music outright as consume it on other formats is spot on.

"This strawman that we want some Marxist utopia where everybody get's paid was never put forth. In fact we simply want simple market controls and to foster a less entitled consumer ethic. There is nothing remotely controversial about it.

But this attempt at a perverse and distorted Mighty Market justification for stealing peoples work HAS been made. Repeatedly. Which is the same cognitive dissonant logic Tea Partiers attempt when they want government services for nothing and the irony of that on a liberal blog was simply too good to pass up. If people refuse to see it it's because they want shit for nothing."

this in itself is a strawman. people don't want shit for nothing, because in this case there's no shit to be had. I can trade a vinyl copy of my record or a tshirt for a place to stay on tour so that I don't have to pony up for a motel room. try offering the same barter with a download code, and then watch as I wake up a hotel manager at 2:30am to check into a room. this is because digital files are neither goods nor services.

...I actually just reread what I wrote initially and then what you wrote and noticed something: you didn't actually address anything I said, did you? you just saw that I jokingly called you a Marxist and decided to keep riffing on that. good on you, man. you don't like being called a Marxist, just as I'm sure most people here don't like being called Tea Party members. looking over your posts here and on other things, it doesn't really seem like you're too interested in sharing new ideas with people so much as lobbing whatever you can at people you happen to disagree with. sorry, I'm not too interested in that. I have a vested interest in this matter and am genuinely curious to see how the future of music sales are going to turn out, while I get the feeling you just want to scream at a bunch of kids for stealing. knock yourself out.
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Posted by LEE. on June 21, 2012 at 7:03 PM · Report this
Keekee 95
There is no "...future of music sales..." It's all game over. That is what people do not realize. It's pretty comical actually. Capitalism in action. Good times.
Posted by Keekee on June 22, 2012 at 12:31 AM · Report this
LEE. 96
Shhhhhhhh...some people didn't get the memo. I was to gonna break it to them easy.
Posted by LEE. on June 22, 2012 at 12:59 AM · Report this

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