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RIAA, Kazza, Napster, the law & you - views of an artist with a BA Mus & PSCI watch

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    That a boy, you keep on barking on command. lol
    Caz, I read your post and I don't see any logical arguments offered, just speil about revolutions and me. By every other reader who has participated in this thread, you stand out as the only one with nothing to offer the subject at hand. You make the odd claim without any qualification backing it up, not a single thread of substantiation as to why you feel the may you do on the issue. You can't even support how you feel about me in any way that makes sense - which is why I describe what you say as how you feel and not as how you think. I see you agree with zizero, great - but you never said any of what he did. So you can pretend to be this self-important glory seeker all you want, but everyone else here has one thing in common: you've been out-classed because you have no class.

    Fighting is the last resort to debate, and the only resort for a weak mind, according to Sun Tzu. You admit to arriving here on the attack, so what does that say about you?

    If you want respect for how you feel here, you better analyze it so you can substantiate it. Otherwise, all you do is clutter the air with meaningless words, waste space, and entertain me. Woof.

    Now go get that ball, silly dog.
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    (Original post by Dragon_Amor)
    That a boy, you keep on barking on command. lol
    Caz, I read your post and I don't see any logical arguments offered, just speil about revolutions and me. By every other reader who has participated in this thread, you stand out as the only one with nothing to offer the subject at hand. You make the odd claim without any qualification backing it up, not a single thread of substantiation as to why you feel the may you do on the issue. You can't even support how you feel about me in any way that makes sense - which is why I describe what you say as how you feel and not as how you think. I see you agree with zizero, great - but you never said any of what he did. So you can pretend to be this self-important glory seeker all you want, but everyone else here has one thing in common: you've been out-classed because you have no class.

    Fighting is the last resort to debate, and the only resort for a weak mind, according to Sun Tzu. You admit to arriving here on the attack, so what does that say about you?

    If you want respect for how you feel here, you better analyze it so you can substantiate it. Otherwise, all you do is clutter the air with meaningless words, waste space, and entertain me. Woof.

    Now go get that ball, silly dog.
    Is it just me, or does this guy sound like Michael Jackson? Michael please stop making devil faces in the camera with your pointer-fingers. You are scaring children.
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    Ok, I think it's best I comment straight away what you say. Easier to know what I'm talking about then.

    (Original post by Dragon_Amor)
    zizero,
    finally. A very well constructed case. You certainly covered a lot. Caz, take notes from this guy. This is what intelligent criticism looks like. He's stated how he understands my views, and stated his own views with explanations on why he feels the way he does. He's done it in an organized, coherent manner. It's very effective writing. Thanks zizero, for the fresh air in here. Ok, where do I start.
    Well, thank you very much, but let's not suck each other's dicks just yet...

    1) I don't doubt that record companies feel they are losing money. I do feel that they "bend the truth" when they claim any loses due to drops in grosse sales. The fact is that the total number of CD's sold per year has risen. Where they lose their money most is in their top 40 acts for two reasons. Reason number one: This is where they spend the most money on recording, post-production, advertising, marketing, touring, special promotions, merchandising, distribution, and of course, these are the bands that have the most CD's pressed, printed, shrink-wrapped, and shipped. Reason number two: Their marketing research essentially dictates for them what kind of project they want to make into a top 40 band. Essentially, the marketing precribes who will be in the top 40. I don't mean marketing in the sense of promotions, like I meant in reason one - here I mean by marketing the results from collected statistics when they want to discern what things are popular and could be promoted with the highest propable success.

    So even if gross sales of CD's go up, they could lose money through the fact that their top 40 ventures hadn't made the return on investment they expected to make, and they could lose money in the sense that they realize their ability to predict "what types of bands will enjoy predictable returns on investment" has been diminshed to some degree. If they want to claim that these two reasons are why they have not made what they used to, they are free to say so. My problem with the industry on this point is simply that they do not say so, but instead claim overall CD sales are down, which is actually untrue. Because I believe that filesharing has allowed people to explore music on their own before they spend any money with greater freedom than radio, tv, and advertising could ever facilitate, I conclude that filesharing must be a contributing factor to why top 40 sales have gone done while gross CD sales have gone up. You may be right to think I'm an idealist for thinking that at least more than half of the people who download music also buy some. I very well could be wrong. I guess I base it on comparing an overall rise in grosse CD sales to that astonishing 5,000,000 odd users online I see all the time on Kazaa. I admit, I make an asumption there and maybe even base that asumption on my own behavior. You absolutely right to point out that I can't substantiate the claim that downloaders are buyers as well. For the very same reason I can't prove a connection here, record labels also can't attain the kind of data critical they need, namely who liked what songs (and where do they live, age, sex, etc.), for effective marketing.
    Supposing you were right about more records getting sold. Why should the industry not like it? You say that they would lose out because the 'wrong' artists would sell more records.
    But the industry isn't stupid. They have not intrinsic interest in selling cheesy pop. They wouldn't mind promoting decent music if they found out there was a stronger demand for that than for cheesy pop.
    So, if you were right about the 'wrong' kind of music being sold (from the industry's perspective), record labels would be quick to react and invest more in this kind of more profitable music.
    Also, they would not mind file-sharing if it brought in more money or if it offered them the possibility to earn more money.

    An increase in gross record sales is always good for the industry.
    File-sharing does not offer artists the possibility to just bypass record labels.

    As for your claim that record sales are rising because of P2P, I would be interested to know your source.

    Certainly these stats say the opposite:
    http://www.riaa.com/news/marketingda...r_end_2002.pdf

    You will notice that sales have slumped drastically since 2000.

    If for any reason you think these stats are flawed (other than they come from the RIAA; I don't think they actually faked them just to prove me right )I'd be glad if you could provide stats to back up you criticism.

    2) Actually, it would surprise most people just how little money an artist recieves based on record sales. For every $25 CD sold here in Canada, the average band recieves approximately 50 cents. 30% of the $25 goes to the store you bought it (so, in this example, the store gets $7.50). 30% to 40% of the remaining $17 gets taken by distribution (so between $5.10 to $6.80 - let's assume the higher rate for now). The rest is broken down into executive and legal fees, production, recording costs, and the standard 30% the "manager" gets for "discovering you" (read: signing you and making sure the "right people" get paid for the work you did). This is why myself, and many artists/bands of similiar mindset strive to become successful independant acts. It makes more career sense to make a studio for about $40,000, do your own recording, handle your own copyrights, do your own mastering, and in the end make $10.70 per $25 CD sold instead of 50 cents (we still need distribution and the retailor still wants his 30% markup). The real money for signed acts is in the live shows. Even for unsigned acts, it's the real "I make a living" end of the job. I know what's involved in the jobs of those at labels who make MUCH more money off of bands and their art than what the whole band gets paid collectively. I know this from experience with labels. In my opinion, it's not the label that brings us music, it's the artist. On paper, the cashflow behind the music we love is akin to the vampire keeping the girl alive for as long as she can give more blood. Reality is that most artists are poor - record exec's at labels are not, not by a long shot. I guess I favour the source of music over the promoters. In my opinion, genius lay with the artist - yet money goes to the goon. Also, it is very common that in the case of a signed act, copyrights are retained by the label and legally are taken away from the creator of the song.
    If artists really get so little out of their records, why do most of them choose to go to record labels? If going independent is really more profitable, than it's the artists fault if he does not do it. In a free country, artists are free to do with their music whatever they like. They are therefore also responsible for what they do with it; if they **** up, and give their music to the wrong people, they are the ones to blame!
    It's not like they are not told beforehand that they will only earn very little per record.

    It's not because some artists agree to sign record deals which you consider to be unjust towards the artists, that you are entitled to steal his or her intellectual property.

    BTW, could you please provide the source of your claim here as well? Thanks.
    Finally, I personally do not see downloading songs as theft, so of course I do not endore people stealing it in any way. I see filesharing as the ultimate marketing tool that has no label steering it. I see it as a free forum that has the potential to give equal access to those who want to hear songs from any artist, famous or not. It's the only forum that has no record label steering attention to certain acts, and it's possibly the only forum that isn't easily bribed. In essence, I see mp3 filesharing as the ultimate "trial", the "like who you want to like and make your own decision" forum. I see filesharing as being the best thing to ever happen to CD sales in the long run - but of course, part of that reasoning is flawed because one of my arguments that support this view is an assumption that those who fileshare will also buy some CD's - but hey, someone had to buy a copy of every song you find on any network somewhere down the line - how else was that mp3 made in the first place?
    YOU may see P2P filesharing as 'free forum that has the potential to give equal access to those who want to hear songs from any artist, famous or not'. But what counts is not what you think, it is what the artist thinks, whose intellectual property you are consuming without his consent.

    The crunch point here seems to be whether downloading songs that are copyrighted without the artist's consent and for free is theft

    Artists have among other things the exclusive rights about his work's
    reproduction in various forms, such as printed publication or sound recording

    Source: http://www.wipo.org/copyright/en/faq/faqs.htm

    Downloading by definition is reproduction. If you download an artist's work without permission you violate his right to intellectual property. That is theft.
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    (Original post by Dragon_Amor)
    3) History has shown that the law that cannot be enforced becomes obsolete. How many people get arrested for jay-walking or spitting on the side-walk even though these are still laws technically in effect? We all do it. How many times has Canada's gun registry been modified to encourage acceptence? It has been a law for 4 years, originally requiring all gun owners in the country to register their firearm into a national database that would track where all the guns in Canada were - and compliance to do so was required by law within 6 months of it's passing. When next to no one did so, they dropped the $400 registration fee to $200 - six months later to $75 - a year later to $20 - and now it's free - but still only a very small percentage of gun owners have registered (and no, no one was refunded at any time). This law is now being considered for a repeal. Many laws that do not recieve public consent nor have viable mass enforcability go through this kind of maturation period. The pressure is on for compliance to the laws against filesharing because it is in danger of going through this cycle as well. The random law-suit is a testament to both the fact that no court can handle the volume of suing 5 million people, and to the fact that voluntary compliance derived through fear of persecution is the only means by which this law can be saved from the fate of being nulled. This is the power the citizenry has in law, and is it any wonder this is not advertised or brought to our collective attentions

    It's not so much that I think the law should be nulled - it's not even so much that I disagree on a moral ground with that law. It's just that this law could easily be defeated if the public chooses to see that be the case and expresses it in mass - and coincidentally, it would please me personally to see filesharing continue to carry the kind of "equality among artists where fame is based on talent and a public choosing to listen (as opposed to fame based on label attention telling us what we like for us)" potential that I suspect it does.

    You are right to say that the government could VERY EASILY monitor my online activity and prosecute, privacy rights be damned. I agree completely. My argument was never trying to deny this, though. My argument was just that even if privacy rights never existed, a government would be required to police and prosecute every offender when it comes to this type of "crime" (and I use the term "crime" loosely here) before the government could claim the law enforcable. Speeding is different because all highways will always have traffic - but to outlaw filesharing, and specific networks used for filesharing, they would need to achieve a "no-traffic at all" state of affairs. They would need to substantiate that those prosecuted are not singled out by ethnicity, creed, religion, etc, etc, etc... Enforcement is met when the majority obey - they hope deterence will work since prosecution can't handle the overflow.
    'Speeding is different because all highways will always have traffic - but to outlaw filesharing, and specific networks used for filesharing, they would need to achieve a "no-traffic at all" state of affairs.'

    I think your argument is flawed here: It is not driving, but speeding that is prohibited. So, even if they achieved an imaginary target of stopping all speeding, traffic would still take place on highways.
    And no, for filesharing you would not need to achieve a "no-traffic at all" state of affairs. Let's not forget: Filesharing in itself is not illegal, sharing copyrighted files without the author's consent is.

    For the law to be enforcable you do not need to be able to catch all offenders and stop all outlawed activity. It is enough to catch some offenders and make it clear to people that they run a certain risk of being caught. They do the same with speeding.

    So, I still think the law is enforcable. The proof is, that under the impulse of the RIAA, they are enforcing it.

    [NOTE: I had to cut your quote out, because my post would have been too long...]

    a) and d) I was asking, because your position on filesharing is in my view only reconciliable with a certain set of beliefs.

    The main argument in your camp is that illegal filesharing is not wrong, because it does not harm anyone (or at least anyone that does not deserve to). People upholding this argument clearly judge the morality of an action by its consequences (or its intended consequences as you put it)

    That philosophical view is not reconciliable with most major religions that judge the morality of an action on their essence. Breaking the Ten Commandments is not justifiable for a Christian, no matter what consequences are. A sin is a sin, no matter what the consequences are.

    I was basically just testing the coherence of what you were saying... You passed

    Many people claim to be religious and at the same time uphold utilitarian arguments to justify illegal filesharing. That kind of argumentation is not valid.

    b) As I said before, record labels don't 'strip most artists of the rights to their own works'. By signing the record deals, the artists (consenting adults who are entitled to free choices and bear responsibility for their actions) give part of those rights to the labels. That's their choice and we have to respect that choice.

    Let's not forget that most artists are opposed to people illegally sharing their intellectual property. So by doing so, you are acting against their wish. You justify such action by arguing that you are not harming the artist's interest. Yet the artist thinks differently.
    So, you are pretending to know better what's good for them than they do themselves! That rather patronising, isn't it?


    c) Radio stations, MTV etc. pay for the music they are playing. They are acting with the artist's consent. They are not acting illegally and they are not violating the artist's rights.
    Yet, that's what you do when you do illegal filesharing.

    It's up to the artist how he chooses to promote his work. If he thinks that giving up his copyrigthts is not the way to go about it, you are not entitled to violate his rights just because you happen to think that the artist is wrong about the way he promotes his work. The way an artist chooses to promote his work is not your problem, it is not something you have the right to decide about.

    The fact that the music you steal is not of good quality does not justify stealing. Just because the BMW I just stole has a flat tyre and I have to repair it, does not make the stealing right!!!

    ________________________________ _____________________________

    Happy holiday to you as well! I liked your 'pedestrian' thing BTW. I enjoy arguing with you. Though remember, that people here generally don't bother reading lenghty arguments, so if I were you I would try to compress my points a bit...
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    Thanks zizero, this is debate material. This is what I'm looking for. Thanks but no thanks on the ****, but if my door swung that way, I'm sure I would be flattered. lol.

    I admit that I haven't seen this report from the RIAA that you posted, and it does indeed show a drop in sales for the end of 2002 compared to figures for 2001. Of course I'm skeptical due to the source, but let's assume they are 100% correct. My info was based on my research I did on the RIAA vs. Napster trial that began in 1999. In that trial the RIAA used sales figures indicating a dramatic drop in grosse CD sales for the end of 1999 compared to 1998 sales, and Napster's rebutal figures that showed the opposite to be true were deemed inadmissable at the time. Isn't it interesting that this report from the RIAA confirms Napsters case evidence now? This report from the RIAA shows that in 1998 they sold 847,000,000 CD's, and that in 1999 they sold 938,900,000 CD's. This does not show the increase to be as large as Napster had claimed at the time, but it does totally contradict the highly publicized losses they claimed at the time, does it not? Even in 2000, at the height of the tial, this report from the RIAA indicates that sales went up yet again to 942,500,000 CD's. Does not a source that contradicts itself undermine its own viability as a source? In any case, I stated in my opening that I was citing figures from the 1998 compared to 1999 period. You are right to note that this report indicates losses of less than 2% since 2000 to 2002, yet still considerably higher than 1997 levels. What a climb in sales from 1993 to 1998, though - 1998 sales nearly double 1993's.

    Declared losses to the industry seem to me to pivot around their ability to ascertain accurate investment risk. If they sell 1,000,000 Led Zepplin IV albums this year, great. But if they invest 4 billion into N'Sync and only make 5 billion back when they were expecting 10 billion, then they have a problem. All the stats that serve as the basis of their investment decisions become undermined - what I mean is that the stats become less reliable to them. What they thought would sell so great hadn't - and ya, lately they have thought cheesy pop is a big selling formula. They are trying to adapt, sure, look at all the new metal bands in the last few years that have suddenly come out like a flood of talent, look at all the techno artists - they are diversifying and that's good. But none the less, when you invest at this level, nothing has more intrinsic value than statistics and marketing providing a means to calculate accurately the risk, and I think this is really what the RIAA is fighting for because filesharing compromises it dramatically. Maybe I'd feel differently if the RIAA was honest in the first place.


    I don't mean to sound patronising to state what I think is best for artists, it's just that I am one and have put a lot of effort into trying to determine what's best for me - maybe I assumed that what's in my best interest would be in other artists best interests also. It's just that I've seen a lot of people overwhelmed with the idea of fame and finally getting a chance to record songs with quailty results you can be proud of - I was like that when I was younger, too, but I didn't know much about the law then, I had people telling me to trust them, just sign here, these are just the standard forms, etc, etc, and I paid ofr my ignorence and naivity - and ya, it is my own fault for signing. Absolutely. That's why I got interested in pursueing a law degree. After seeing "professional studio's" and comparing what a "company sound-tech" can do with gear compared to the experience I already had with the same or near equal equipment, independant just seems the way to go for me and many like me that I've met. There are some famous success stories like the Tragically Hip, and thousands of less-often-heard-ofs having a great time making ends meet doing this for a living. I just wish I had always had this aim from the start, but retrospect is 20/20.
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    hey zizero, if you ever wanted to start a thread on ethics or even utilitarianism as understood by JS Mill I'd be all for taking part in it. Sounds fun.
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    (Original post by Dragon_Amor)
    hey zizero, if you ever wanted to start a thread on ethics or even utilitarianism as understood by JS Mill I'd be all for taking part in it. Sounds fun.
    You are so weird dude. People aren't here for popularity, stop acting like everything's about you
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    the guy who has yet to offer a single substantial statement toward the filesharing debate that bears as much as even a semblance of intelligence now has an opinion on how I ought to act on this thread. Isn't that just wonderful...

    Do you never tire of having nothing relevant to say?
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    ok, I have a little more time, and no one threw any new topics out, so I'll addressthe part zizero brought up to counter my stance on TV and radio broadcasts.

    Basically, when you are in a band or are a single artist signed to a label, part of the recording fees go to paying certain groups in the TV and radio broadcast industries that ensure you get on TV or the radio at all. Essentially, it's a pay to get played atmosphere. It's much more developed within the United States than in Canada - while recording at Wee House of Music in Pictou, owner and engineer Dave Gunning was still attempting to position his studio into relations that would even allow him to offer contact (read: the option to pay) a single person who heads the management of the entire affair here in Canada. So much rests on who you know, and unfortunately I must admit that I can't remember his name specifically right now - it has been three years since we talked about it - BUT Dave has moved his studio from Pictou to New Glasgow, not more than a few blocks from where I am right now, so I will go ask him for more detail on the who is who and price averages of it all. If only I had a photographic memory... lol. But ya, anyway, that's the essence behind the whole advantage to recording under a label vs independant studio route - the contacts and what those contacts can provide for the right price. If I remember right, it's about $30,000 CAD to get into a position where you can mail your CD to radio's and they won't just throw it out - you might not make rotation, but you will get played a few times, and your CD doesn't go in the garbage. The same is true in the Music Video end - Dave's first video cost $28,400 to make, looked fantastic, was very marketable, sounded great, met all the broadcast spec requirements, was made to back an album - but no one would play it except for two or three exceptions on Much Music, where one was a Indie Video segment, and two times were on the Much On Demand video's by request segment. Hasn't been on since. His second video cost over $150,000, didn't look nearly as good, but got steady rotation on Much Music for 4 months. This is why I do not see TV or radio as an "equal opportunity for talent" forum the way I think filesharing could possibly serve as.

    I'll get back on that guy's name though...
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    Christ Almighty! Talk about some long posts, took ages to read this entire thread, and somewhere the topic was lost and now it is just more insults. Sad *shakes head* very sad.
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    Hey Sire - flattered you took the time to read it, thanks. I agree about things getting off-topic and into childish lewdness. I think a lot of this stuff people added here was fantastic, too though. We have a fairly strong thread here, and would have a stronger one but for the sake of one person...

    But the good news is that the overwhelming majority contributed to some great debating.
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    (Original post by Sire)
    Christ Almighty! Talk about some long posts, took ages to read this entire thread, and somewhere the topic was lost and now it is just more insults. Sad *shakes head* very sad.
    the guy is weird he keeps trying to act optimistic as if people posting here means good fortune
    eat a **** dragon_armandhammer
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    caz, you just kep proving my point over and over, don't you. For a little kid like you, there must be nothing more exhilarating than trying to point out fault in others. Does it make you feel good? Does it make you feel clever? Does it make you feel like you are intelligent or superior? Well, if you are so elite, why do you waste your time on threads discussing topics you know nothing about? If you think you know anything on topic here, why can't you form a single idea or argument, let alone back one up, like everyone else here? I think you must believe that if you read something that was written well enough for even you to understand, you confuse it for something that's obvious because your frontal lobe managed to process it. But where have you ever used you brain to come up with an idea on your own? You don't seem to have any logical, rational intelligence at all - you are emotional resposes and nothing else. That's all your posts here ever demonstrated. You are like an angry child throwing a temper tantrum because he didn't get the toy he wanted. You probably lash out at so many people because you have some self-image issues that need to mend, if they ever will. And if you are not a kid, god help you. That would just make you living proof that some people just grow old instead of growing up. How old are you anyway, you big sook? I'd like to know if you are 12 and acting your age, or if you are really just pathetic, you know? ****ging Sire like you just did is in a lot of ways worse than ****ging me - I'm just a guest here, but he is one of the people responsible for this sites existence, the same site you like to use to try to demean others in an attempt to satisfy your self-rightous ego trip when you use this site. At the very least, you could thank him for the opportunity he has provided you to type to your cold hearts content about how much you hate people. You got no clue, you got no respect, you got no ideas, you got no arguments, you got nothing to offer this thread, you make no sense, you don't know when to shut up, you got no class - all you got is your temper.

    Good luck in life kid.
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    and speaking of life, don't forget to go get one
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    i am an immature little **** but you just proved the point of how much of a piece of **** you are too lol

    keep it up tough guy
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    ya, sure I did. Sure I did.
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    maybe to you in your little world...
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    good one, ******
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    I think I've demonstrated some pretty incredible patience with you. I don't have it today. Your big come back is the equivalent of a "I know you are but what am I". Real mature. And believe me, if I was a ****** you'd be crying. Seems to me you may already be. Short for words because I'm close to the truth you try so hard to avoid? Am I disrupting your desperate fight for distraction from your issues? You replied in under 5 seconds, so how much time do you spend in here lurking? You spending all day just waiting for the next word out of my mouth or what? It seems like you have great interest in me, as disturbing as that may be - so I can only assume that you are calling me gay with high hopes. Sorry to disappoint you, but I won't be making you my ***** no matter how much that may interest you. Not only are you not my gender or type, I could never date a girl as ignorant as you. So if you think I'm just being a tough guy, you go ahead and think what ever you want. It doesn't concern me. Let me make it clear - in the grand scheme none of us are relavent - in my immediate world, you are among the completely irrelavent. So unless you just can't help your fixation with me, go spank your ego somewhere else.
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    (Original post by caz)
    good one, ******
    now now,

    We don't want a flame war here. Again.
 
 
 
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