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TechDirt's Masnick Responds To Warner's Jim Griffin On Choruss

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the bluster-is-best-powering-old-ships dept.

Music 81

newtley writes "TechDirt's Mike Masnick writes that the Warner Music Choruss licensing scheme amounts to a Bait-And-Switch operation. Not so, says Jim Griffin, the man charged to put it together. Masnick's story is 'factually incorrect in every respect,' he states. But Griffin 'refused to name a single factual mistake,' Masnick says, noting, 'He fails to address the key problems that we outlined: 1. Why is this program even needed when plenty of musicians are coming up with business models that work today and don't need a new mandatory license (er... 'covenant not to sue') plan? 2. Why do we need a new bureaucracy and won't that divert funds? 3. Will the industry continue to try to shut down file sharing sites? 4. Will the industry continue to push a 3 strikes plan?'"

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Who Says What? (1)

biocute (936687) | more than 5 years ago | (#27262425)

Wow! There are so many "says" and "states" that I almost lost track of what's going on.

Anyhoo, someone said this, maybe it was Masnick, maybe Griffin, maybe someone else:

it's just a covenant for the labels not to sue, rather than a license, it doesn't cover all of the other rightsholders, such as songwriters and the music publishers -- meaning that those who file share will still be wide open to lawsuits from those parties.

I don't think the labels care if other rightsholders get a fair share, they only care about their own pockets and as long as they get paid, they don't sue. Similarly other rightsholders only care about their own pockets, as long as they get paid, they don't sue.

So I guess the question is, will this kind of covenant work? If it will, why not extend to other rightholders?

Re:Who Says What? (4, Funny)

broken_chaos (1188549) | more than 5 years ago | (#27262529)

Wow! There are so many "says" and "states" that I almost lost track of what's going on.

No kidding. I actually had to read/skim the articles (!!) to understand the summary.

Re:Who Says What? (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27262569)

The mark of a good summary... you RTFA. :)

Re:Who Says What? (1)

broken_chaos (1188549) | more than 5 years ago | (#27262577)

Or the mark of a bad one because you have no clue what it's even talking about until you RTFA.

I was wondering what the hell a "Warner Music Choruss licensing scheme" is at first. I thought the word "chorus" was misspelt at first, but even that wouldn't make any sense without more context.

Re:Who Says What? (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27262715)

whoosh... dry humor flies fast.

Re:Who Says What? (0, Offtopic)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27265881)

Being so low, I'd rather say it dives.

Dry "humor" is not funny, and never was.

Re:Who Says What? (0, Offtopic)

neomunk (913773) | more than 5 years ago | (#27266597)

You felt the need to post on slashdot to tell someone that their (extremely common) style of humor isn't funny?

Get over yourself. Not only is it funny, but no one gives a shit if YOU think it was funny, egotistical asshole.

Re:Who Says What? (1)

Internal Modem (1281796) | more than 5 years ago | (#27267687)

Actually, I was waiting to see if Hurricane78 thought it was funny.

Re:Who Says What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27266615)

You must be great at parties.

Re:Who Says What? (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 5 years ago | (#27270593)

And fruit flies like a banana.

Re:Who Says What? (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27301701)

He who would pun would pick a pocket, sir.

Re:Who Says What? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27267397)

>>>The mark of a good summary... you RTFA. :)

Well I read the fraking article, and I have to ask - Are you surprised? They job of a Corporation, which is essentially a soulless entity, is to maximize its monetary income in any fashion it can, with no regards towards morality. Therefore this license proposal is going to result in us, the people, paying MORE money than previously.

Wow. Color me surprised. /end sarcasm

I propose that we revoke the laws the enable these corporations to exist, and return to direct ownership companies, where the owner(s) can be personally held responsible for the actions they take. For example if a Ford Pintos blow-up, and the management decides it's cheaper to pay-off dead families/relatives rather than fix the flaw, then the owners can be directly tried for 3rd-degree manslaughter and negligence.

And the management might actually feel some desire to SERVE the people rather than the almighty dollar. "It is the job of our company to provide service to our customers, even if that means a temporary loss of money. My first store was named the Golden Rule - we treat our customers the way that we would want to be treated - and still follow that policy today." - James Cash Penney, circa 1925, when his company was still privately-owned (i.e. not a corporation). Mr. Penney also refused to accept credit cards, because he felt driving his customers into debt was immoral, and akin to theft.

Re:Who Says What? (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27262755)

So I guess the question is, will this kind of covenant work? If it will, why not extend to other rightholders?

I think the right question might just be "huh?" As in, what are these people even talking about?

Why should universities or ISPs be asked to pay some kind of license fee or buy into any kind of "covenant"? It's... hell, I don't know, like Coca Cola asking a toll road to pay them part of the toll on the chance that someone might be smuggling cola from Mexico on that road. No, I don't think what I said made sense, but it makes as much sense as this plan.

I understand the record industry is in favor of plans that require other people pay them money. I'd like to propose that ISPs charge everyone a fee on top of the monthly service and then pay that money to me. That'd be great as far as I'm concerned, but why should anyone else go for it?

Re:Who Says What? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27263859)

For your analogy to be valid, music filesharing would have to be a rare incident rather than endemic. It's easily proven to be endemic, hence your analogy is wrong. How is it not evil to use obviously misleading analogies?

I would say it's more like it's glaringly evidenced beyond any doubt what so ever that enormous amounts of cola is smuggled on the road, yet the people travelling bitch and moan enough to shatter rock when Cola sends letters threatening lawsuits to those who drive transparent semitrailers with what _looks_ very much like coke cans inside.

An analogy for the covenant that Cola has proposed is that they won't send letters or care about cola smuggling on that specific road if everyone who drives on it pays a small sum. The analogy shows that you would expect more people than before to smuggle cola, because everyone who used to do so will, and the large or small number who were deterred will also.

Re:Who Says What? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27264285)

I'm not paying so you can smuggle cola, I drink tea and brew my own beer.

Enough with the crappy analogy,
I shouldn't have to pay the failed cd sales industry because it's "convenient" for them to charge everyone.
  The music I have I paid for, why should I have to pay again?

Re:Who Says What? (3, Informative)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 5 years ago | (#27264721)

For your analogy to be valid, music filesharing would have to be a rare incident rather than endemic. It's easily proven to be endemic, hence your analogy is wrong. How is it not evil to use obviously misleading analogies?

What are the criteria you use to define music filesharing as 'endemic'? The ownership of a personal computer and an Internet connection? What is your proof of all this epidemic of unauthorised music filesharing? Cites please. RIAA sources don't count.

As for RIAA claiming infringements and unauthorised downloads, they've been known to sue dead people, senile grandmothers in nursing homes that never had access to a computer in their life, and preteens. Definitely did their research there.

Nice astroturfing, btw. Now go away before I taunt you with facts again.

Re:Who Says What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27266907)

You forgot to mention that they actually sued a printer once.
I'm not joking.

Re:Who Says What? (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 5 years ago | (#27268399)

I recall seeing an article on /. about some group showing how to spoof it so it looks like a printer on the network is a file sharer, but I hadn't heard anything about the RIAA actually trying to sue the machine.

Re:Who Says What? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#27269381)

They didn't try to sue it. They just sent a DMCA takedown notice and threatened to do so. ;)

Re:Who Says What? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27267639)

Also we often hear about the negatives of file-sharing. How about boosting the positives?

- Napster pressured companies to sell their songs online, via Itunes and similar services

- Bittorrent pressured abc.com to be the first to stream their TV shows online, and other networks quickly followed.

- Filesharing is a convenient way to share your programs, like Linux. Or documents, like self-authored books or songs. In the past you needed to create your own website - now you can just dump a torrent on piratebay or demonoid, and share directly off your hard drive. It's quick and easy.

Re:Who Says What? (1)

ak3ldama (554026) | more than 5 years ago | (#27268431)

... Cites please. ... Now go away before I taunt you with facts again.

You provided no cites to back your "facts", it is nice to see that slashdot is working well this morning.

Re:Who Says What? (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 5 years ago | (#27269915)

You provided no cites to back your "facts", it is nice to see that slashdot is working well this morning.

Well, let's see, there's this report [arstechnica.com] claiming that although physical CD sales are down, music profits are UP due to the growth of iTunes, etc. (The article itself is on the front page of /. today.) Kinda like what buggy whip makers must have said when they started selling that new-fangled horseless carriage. "Nobody's buying buggy whips or saddles anymore, they must be STEALING them because EVERYBODY knows you can't live without them!!"

So, people are spending their $.99 on a single iTune track rather than dump $20 on a CD when they only want the one track. Obviously, they're downloading the remaining 8 or 9 or whatever tracks illegally.[/sarcasm]

Dunno bout you, but when we went from vinyl to CDs, I took my time. I had a couple grand in vinyl, and I didn't see the point in rebuying my entire collection just to listen to them on a $200 CD player cause I still had to copy them to cassette tape for my car. How many goddamned times did they expect me to keep buying the same music over and over and over again? Today I know that if they could figure out how to charge me a buck every time at least 3 notes hit my ears from the radio, they'd do it in a heartbeat. This is just 'vinyl to CD' all over again.

Re:Who Says What? (3, Insightful)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#27263997)

Exactly. Music sharing has NOTHING to do with universities except that it often happens there. At most, the schools might take steps to educate students and discourage this behavior. They don't owe the record companies a thing.

This is especially heinous because college is already so expensive. We need to be looking for ways to make it more affordable to those who are looking to learn. This would increase tuition and distract schools from their mission of education.

Re:Who Says What? (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 5 years ago | (#27264783)

This is especially heinous because college is already so expensive. We need to be looking for ways to make it more affordable to those who are looking to learn. This would increase tuition and distract schools from their mission of education.

Nice idea, lowering the cost of education. Doubt it'll happen, though, because it'll help narrow the gap between the Haves and the Have-Nots. If it wasn't the case, we wouldn't see 2500 students fighting over 10-15 'opennings' for students in various programs, there'd be enough professors and resources to accomodate them. High price of education is just one more way of prescreening the applicants out before telling them they'll never realise their dream of a college degree in the career path of their heart unless they're connected. And don't even get me started on the 'Montgomery GI Bill', et.al.

Re:Who Says What? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27267545)

It would be nice if renting a dorm room was more akin to renting an apartment. If you want internet you pay for it yourself, as a separate bill. And if you don't, then you don't.

In such a system I'd probably be one of those students who used his $7/month phoneline connection, or the $15/month DSL, rather than have to pay an extra $100 for the ultra-high-speed 100-BASE-T lines. I suspect a lot of students would also choose to stop downloading music rather than pay for it.

Re:Who Says What? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27269761)

Considering that colleges already have their network and phone system installed, what makes you think they'd save any money by not providing the service to students in their dorms? You're talking like colleges string individual expensive lines to each room, which isn't really the case.

Besides, they have a vested interest in fostering community, enabling communication, etc. Some of those resources may even be necessary for classes.

Re:Who Says What? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27272373)

In the same fashion that Verizon has strung FiOS lines in my neighborhood, and yet many people do not subscribe to it. Just as homes or apartments have a choice if they want to buy FiOS, or not, so too should dorm room residents have a choice.

>>>colleges have a vested interest in fostering communes

There. Fixed that for you. ;-) When I went to school, it was optional. You could rent an ethernet card and connect to the Penn State network. Or not (I used dialup). IMHO it should still remain that way - an option rather than a forced commitment.

But then I believe in individual liberty and choice, which I know is a foreign concept on today's campuses. :-)

Re:Who Says What? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27272819)

In the same fashion that Verizon has strung FiOS lines in my neighborhood, and yet many people do not subscribe to it.

That argument only holds up insofar as the purpose of college is the same as Verizon's business plan. I don't think that most people would agree that it's an apt comparison.

But then I believe in individual liberty and choice, which I know is a foreign concept on today's campuses.

You have the individual liberty and choice to not go to college. You have individual liberty and choice when you live off campus. Your liberty and choice don't necessarily extend to you deciding how colleges should allocate their resources. Pooling bandwidth is smart, and probably ultimately cheaper per-student.

Yeah, colleges often don't let freshmen living on campus have cars. They often don't let you choose your own room. They don't let you do whatever you want with college property, and they don't let you choose how professors spend their time. Don't make it sound like they're infringing on your civil rights.

Re:Who Says What? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27267441)

>>>Why should universities or ISPs be asked to pay some kind of license fee or buy into any kind of "covenant"? It's... hell, I don't know, like Coca Cola asking a toll road
>>>

Actually it's more akin to the deals Coke makes with government schools - Coke licenses the right to install machines* and the school gets a portion of the sales. The WB/university licensing sounds like a similar arrangement, albeit more complicated.

*
* I don't know why minors need access to Coke machines; we should be encouraging healthy eating, not sugary drinks that rot teeth and provide zero nutrition. But I guess it's par for the course when you have government of, by, and for the Corporations. The dollar comes first, and the corporations have the dollars.

Re:Who Says What? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27269837)

Coke licenses the right to install machines* and the school gets a portion of the sales. The WB/university licensing sounds like a similar arrangement, albeit more complicated.

Except that the schools are paying in this case. It's like if schools were being asked to pay Coca Cola because some of the students were setting up their own Coke machines... or something. No metaphor you use is going to make sense, because the plan doesn't really make sense.

Re:Who Says What? (1)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 5 years ago | (#27263173)

It wont work. I can't speak for anyone else, but I don't trust the music publishers as far as I can throw their Bentleys.

I won't ever buy music again except from iTunes. And then, only because I know the music publishers hate Apple.

Re:Who Says What? (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#27263537)

Buy used CDs, or buy music directly from the artist (either "buy a CD at the show" for local bands, or go the Trent Reznor route). That way, you don't get high sound quality, and the labels don't get a dime.

Then rip the CDs to FLAC (and get FLACs from Trent Reznor if you buy his music), and use FlacSquisher [sourceforge.net] (shameless plug) to convert the FLACs to Oggs for any portable devices you might own.

Re:Who Says What? (1)

hot soldering iron (800102) | more than 5 years ago | (#27263405)

"I don't think the labels care if other rightsholders get a fair share, they only care about their own pockets and as long as they get paid, they don't sue." But do they hold MULTIPLE rights? If so, you could pay the protection squeeze and STILL be open for a lawsuit because you didn't pay the squeeze for ALL the rights.

You ducked the left hook, but the uppercut got you...

Re:Who Says What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27269985)

I don't know.

Third base!

Re:Who Says What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27298329)

That article was really hard to follow. I'm wondering if I'll get sued for using online backup. If you use an online backup service like http://www.myotherdrive.com/ [myotherdrive.com] and you backup your music. Now since http://www.myotherdrive.com/ [myotherdrive.com] supports file sharing, am I going to get sued for sharing my files out just because they reside on in my online backup? Will the online backup companies have to make deals with the recording industry just so I can backup my music?

A Choruss (2, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27262695)

You could almost say there's a Choruss of complaints about this idea.

Re:A Choruss (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 5 years ago | (#27262969)

More like a Choruss of BOOS at your bad pun!

Three strikes plan? (-1, Flamebait)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 5 years ago | (#27262737)

Since when did produced, professional music become such a life necessity that the labels think it is important to get a blanket fee from EVERYONE? MUSIC FILES SHOULD BE FREE, PERFORMANCES SHOULD BE PAID FOR, THIS IS THE 21st CENTURY DEFINITION OF A MUSICIAN.

Re:Three strikes plan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27262845)

> Music files should be free

Because you say so?

Re:Three strikes plan? (3, Insightful)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 5 years ago | (#27263169)

Because economics says so. Or how much do you think you could charge for sunlight, the infinite good that it is?

Re:Three strikes plan? (1)

Hans Lehmann (571625) | more than 5 years ago | (#27263333)

It sure didn't work for C. Montgomery Burns

Re:Three strikes plan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27263521)

We need another Maggie...

Re:Three strikes plan? (4, Insightful)

Kethinov (636034) | more than 5 years ago | (#27262873)

YOU DON'T HAVE TO SHOUT, WE CAN HEAR YOU JUST FINE! :(

Who cares about the philosophical question of whether or not "professional" music (whatever that is) is such a life necessity that everyone should be taxed to subsidize it?

The bottom line here is the subsidization is fundamentally untenable because it's too inefficient and fraud prone. As for the three strikes alternative, that's just practically unenforceable.

So we're left with your original conclusion, but with more pragmatic reasoning. The content industry is going to have to stop clamoring "you can't compete with free" and start doing just that.

Re:Three strikes plan? (1)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#27263081)

YOU DON'T HAVE TO SHOUT, WE CAN HEAR YOU JUST FINE! :(

IN CYBERSPACE, NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM.

Who cares about the philosophical question of whether or not "professional" music (whatever that is) is such a life necessity that everyone should be taxed to subsidize it?

The bottom line here is the subsidization is fundamentally untenable because it's too inefficient and fraud prone. As for the three strikes alternative, that's just practically unenforceable.

So we're left with your original conclusion, but with more pragmatic reasoning. The content industry is going to have to stop clamoring "you can't compete with free" and start doing just that.

Not only isn't it practical, but it would be fraudulent. Let's say I

  1. Don't download music with my internet connection
  2. I already pay for a service like iTunes

If I'm already paying for the music I download, this would constitute double dipping.

If all I do is check email and surf /. and porn on the internet (the kind of stuff most grandmas do with a computer), then I'm not getting any increased value for the extra money (the line isn't faster, or more stable).

Why should I have to pay an extra fee to my ISP so they can pay the RIAA for an empty promise not to sue? It's not a covenant not to sue me, so what do I get out of this deal? A big fat lot of nothing.

If anything, this will just encourage people to download more. The mentality among those of my generation will be "Well, I've already paid for the buffet. Might as well eat all I can." And when they can't find any more to download, they will download an entire ten-pound bag of flour [snpp.com] .

Re:Three strikes plan? (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 5 years ago | (#27263143)

Most grandmas surf /. and porn?

Re:Three strikes plan? (1)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#27263243)

Most grandmas surf /. and porn?

HAHAHA! Another falls into my troll-trap!

Re:Three strikes plan? (1)

Keeper Of Keys (928206) | more than 5 years ago | (#27263871)

And there was me thinking it was an attempt at humour.

Re:Three strikes plan? (2, Funny)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#27264333)

And there was me thinking it was an attempt at humour.

That's the genius of my evil plan to take over the world. Lull everyone into thinking I'm just a cute, innocent little troll, and then when the time is right! I spring out and take over the world with my rapier-sharp wit!

Re:Three strikes plan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27262941)

Certain types of music really can't -be- performed... you'd just be watching a guy walk on stage and press play on a tape...

By the way you speak, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you must be the guy from Mondo Medicals. Amiright? :P

Re:Three strikes plan? (1)

davidbrucehughes (451901) | more than 5 years ago | (#27263415)

We issue all our text, music and video under a Non-commercial/Attribution/Share-alike CC license as a loss-leader on additional non-free, personalized goods and services. Our actual product is membership in an international online community based on certain values, and now we are starting a physical community as well. All this is going very nicely.

No one needs to make money on music or media if their creativity serves some higher purpose with real value. If they are just empty entertainers or pretentious aesthetes, then their useless 'art' is their only product. But then from our view it is also just a waste of time and a distraction from the real purpose of life. So we see no problem and indeed only good results from the meltdown of the obsolete music business model.

Re:Three strikes plan? (1)

Caesar Tjalbo (1010523) | more than 5 years ago | (#27263229)

Since when did produced, professional music become such a life necessity that the labels think it is important to get a blanket fee from EVERYONE?

You got it wrong.

To the labels, the labels are a life necessity. If they can get you to pay via a blanket fee then that's OK. If there are (pref. additional) other ways of emptying your wallet then they're OK too, provided your wallet empties into the coffers of the labels. The more you pay, the better.

Perhaps, maybe, if you're lucky, you get some professionally produced music in return. Sometimes even incredibly good stuff [youtube.com] .

Re:Three strikes plan? (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#27263267)

What "should" happen is that musicians should be allowed to choose the method of music distribution that best suits their needs, rather than the needs of the record company.

Re:Three strikes plan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27263539)

That would be called 'not signing up with the record company'

Re:Three strikes plan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27263791)

Except you bastards will still steal my music.

Re:Three strikes plan? (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 5 years ago | (#27264843)

Naw, I never download Metallica. Not worth the disk space of stealing it.

Re:Three strikes plan? (1)

neomunk (913773) | more than 5 years ago | (#27266677)

That's right, instead of selling 20 albums to friends and family only you'll sell 2000 albums to people who've heard of you through friends, and have 3000 copies STOLEN from you! That's a net loss of 1000 albums! *waves hands menacingly* boogity boogity boogity!

Re:Three strikes plan? (1)

gwait (179005) | more than 5 years ago | (#27264309)

And of course those who don't sign up will not get any of the flat tax they charge the universities, or ISP's or any other target of these clowns.

It seems even most signed artists have such a lousy contract that they won't likely see any of this potential cash either.

Re:Three strikes plan? (1)

morganew (194299) | more than 5 years ago | (#27264075)

I shall repeat:

Musicians DO choose the method of music distribution that best suits their needs! they CHOOSE to sign a contract with a studio rather than using the self publishing route. Musicians have the same inalienable rights as the rest of us, they are fully emancipated.

That some of them choose to go through a studio that has draconian DRM policies is their choice! If you feel strongly about it, then the choice of studio that the musician makes should help you decide if you want to listen to his/her music.

Nothing will work faster at changing polices like lack of money to studio artists.

Re:Three strikes plan? (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 5 years ago | (#27264883)

Musicians DO choose the method of music distribution that best suits their needs! they CHOOSE to sign a contract with a studio rather than using the self publishing route. Musicians have the same inalienable rights as the rest of us, they are fully emancipated.

No they don't. The only choice a musician gets to make is, 1) live in slavery to the labels, 2) starve as a garage band artist, 3) get a 'Real Job', or 4) Combo of #3 & #4. It all depends on whether they want to live a life with creativity or in obscurity. The labels could care less, except that they'd have less 'product' to push.

Re:Three strikes plan? (1)

The name is Dave. Ja (845139) | more than 5 years ago | (#27273631)

It all depends on whether they want to live a life with creativity or in obscurity

False dichotomy. I am living proof that you can have both creativity AND obscurity.

Re:Three strikes plan? (2, Insightful)

morganew (194299) | more than 5 years ago | (#27264045)

Since when did produced, professional music become such a life necessity that you get to dictate the cost structure and business model?

If you don't like how they distribute music, Don't BUY IT!

Why is that so damn hard to understand? The value of the music is the nexus of what the artist/studio is willing to sell it for, and what you are willing to pay for it. The "21st Century Definition of a Musician" clearly includes the ability of a musician to refuse to sign a contract with a big studio. Why do you somehow think the artist is being repressed? The artists have heard of the internet too, yet somehow, they keep doing deals with studios! I wonder if somehow, they think studios do things that they will have to spend a lot of time and money to do, like front money for big venues, pay for plane tickets, studio time, etc etc.

I am so sick and tired of the bastille storming attitude regarding music. I've decided to buy the (little) I want, and ignore the rest.

To shake your little fist in the air at the music "man" is just sad and pathetic.

Re:Three strikes plan? (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 5 years ago | (#27266933)

RTFA.

They're trying to make it so that not paying won't be an option. You'll be paying a tax to the RIAA whether you buy/download any music or not.

More than that, they don't promise anything in exchange. This isn't a "pay a tax as a compensation for filesharing", it's "pay a tax, and we still will get you disconnected/sued if we catch you". So it's not even clear what exactly is this payment for.

Re:Three strikes plan? (1)

morganew (194299) | more than 5 years ago | (#27268735)

I did RTFA, this was strictly in response to the OP who was using the phrase "MUSIC FILES SHOULD BE FREE, PERFORMANCES SHOULD BE PAID FOR, THIS IS THE 21st CENTURY DEFINITION OF A MUSICIAN."

the question of Choruss and compensation plans is a separate point. And certainly one that needs more scrutiny.

P2P isn't buying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27267271)

duh.

and copyright is a monopoly, your hypothesis that the value of music is the nexus of what the studio wants to sell it for and what you want to pay doesn't work in a monopoly: you have one choice: buy it.

NOTE you DO NOT choose "not to buy it", "not buying it" is a non-choice, like choosing not to flap your arms and fly to Hawaii.

No bailout for the music industry? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27263045)

C'mon...while we're printing money for all these other crooks why don't we offer the music industry some. $100B seems to be the going rate. Free music anyone?

Cockroaches (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 5 years ago | (#27263489)

These people are like cockroaches; when you turn on the light, they scurry, and then claim you're being unfair. If any college president agrees with this, if any ISP agrees with this, it's proof that they're not smart enough to do their job.

Here's how to "fix" the download problem:

1) Make the downloads available without DRM
2) Charge a low price ($5/album)
3) Make the downloaded version more valuable than the CD... location transparency, ability to download to any device any time, something, more, better.
4) Go back to a model where a lot of new artists can be downloaded for little cost (perhaps $2.50/album). Make albums more than a few years old just as cheap
5) Try to be fair to the artists.

My idea is way better than theirs, and there's almost no overhead, other than servers and bandwidth.

Re:Cockroaches (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27263801)

Two questions:

1. In your scenario, is there any way to prove that people will still purchase music in high amounts once high capacity filesharing is combined with user friendly programs and no threat of legal action? I am talking transparent torrents, a website like Wikipedia of band information with download links next to all text.

You certainly seem to affirm that very strongly, but I would like to see some clear evidence as well, because if it turns out they don't, it's a bit late to go back to the old model, and the music industry people who trusted you would be fucked (not that I suspect you would care). But evidence would clearly be helpful.

2. In your scenario, what would the solution be if someone places an enormous number of albums on a website and charges for it? Should this be illegal? If you respond that music providers have to compete and so lower their prices, then competition would drive the cost down to the cost of hosting plus the cost of providing a nice and user friendly site, which leaves nothing for music producers.

I'll withhold responding to the "cockroaches" label with a "retarded clown" until I've seen your reply.

Re:Cockroaches (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 5 years ago | (#27265237)

This is no different than the model that exists today, with the exception that music is readily available without "joining" or paying the apple tax or the RIAA member tax. The price is low enough that it becomes an impulse buy rather than "oh man, I've got to take 1/2 a day's pay" to buy an album.

I can't "guarantee" that this will work, but I can guarantee what the record execs are coming up with is DOA. I can guarantee that my method would have a shot at working. You want "evidence" that my idea would work, but you don't seem to want the same evidence about the record label's plan. What we know is that the plan doesn't change anything except he record company execs get more money. The artists get no more money, people are still getting sued, and the record companies are still trying to get people "kicked off the internet".

As to selling other people's copyrighted works on a website "cheaper", they're exactly the kind of copyright violations that the record companies should be going after.

The term "cockroach" is the ideal term for this behavior. When you turn on the lights and expose them, cockroaches run for cover. When the record company execs came up with a money grab, they ran for cover when it was exposed in the press. I think the analogy is apt.

And please don't hold back who you want to call "retarded clown". I live in mortal fear of anonymous comments on slashdot.

Don't pay tribute to a dying industry. (3, Insightful)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 5 years ago | (#27263783)

The "music industry" ought to be irrelevant by now, but it's not. The technology needed to make a record is CHEAP. The technology to market and distribute the music is easily available via open source software and the internet. The only thing that the music industry can provide an artist is a good producer--but at the price of an awful contract.

The music industry is an unnecessary parasitical middleman. It serves no useful purpose as it milks money both from consumers and artists. Its existence is artificially prolonged by the recent copyright amendments that extend rights so damn long and by the catalog of popular musicians that still depend upon it.

Don't help extend the life of the music industry by paying it tribute.

You can hurt the music industry the most by creating and supporting a technical infrastructure that allows musicians to directly market their product to the consumer (without itunes or amazons). Prices will drop and all sorts of new music will flourish. That is cultural support of the artist.

The parasitical music pirates have it all wrong. They just want to steal without giving back. The key idea is to create a technological garden where musicians and their audience can both profit by the creation of cool new stuff.

Re:Don't pay tribute to a dying industry. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27264395)

not a bad treatise overall, but i'd suggest thinking about the difference between the "music industry" and the shiny disc selling industry.

many many reports point to the health of the former and the dying, attack everyone condition of the latter.

Re:Don't pay tribute to a dying industry. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27264617)

Musicians want to write music, practice, cut albums, perform live. For the most part, they don't want to worry about business and would gladly pay someone competent to do that for them. A manager and a booking agent is a start, but they don't take care of the business of wholesaling the recorded music... how is the band going to clear 1 or 2 bucks per album? And who is going to promote the album and the tour? How does committed talent rise above the noise, the thousands bands and tens of thousands of idiot suburban kids posting Garage Band creations?

Chances are the industry of the future won't look much like the one of the past, but there probably needs to be an industry (i.e. middlemen). If there's still lots of money to be made, then successful bands can afford the overhead.

Re:Don't pay tribute to a dying industry. (1)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27265823)

provide an artist is a good producer

You'd have thought they could do this - until you listen to Metallica's latest offering...!

All You Need To Know (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#27263833)

The RIAA lies. That's all you need to know.

Another blind alley from the RIAA (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27264145)

Like a middle-aged person faced with the task of getting in shape, the right approach to combating rampant piracy is obvious, which is not to say that it's easy: they need to get consumers to want to do the right thing (that is behavior that is a win-win-win situation for artists, consumers, and business). They need to provide a compelling value proposition; only then can they harness peer pressure, which is absolutely necessary since people aged 26 and under are very susceptible to "social proof" (note: this is not a slag since it once described me).

Steve Jobs and Apple showed how it can work.

The record companies should experiment with sponsoring free, legal download sites in good faith. These sites would feature:

1) works of expired copyright
2) works from amateurs, fledgling professionals, and "past market prime" professionals
3) promotional works from professional artists, including items such as concert tapes
4) promotional works from the record industry, which would compensate the artists for giving away certain material
5) works from professionals who believe in sharing everything
6) works from specialized pros (like many classical musicians) who couldn't make money from selling records anyway

This will only work if the site really offers a cornucopia of good stuff, enough to keep people legitimately occupied for years. Then some people would really get into bands and genres, and would want to investigate what else they had to offer. Here's where the social pressure needs to kick in, so they would tend to buy rather than pirate.

The carrot works better than the stick. Try it guys... it just might work.

Re:Another blind alley from the RIAA (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27265023)

Sorry, but I don't buy it.

People today, virtually everyone I know, is convinced that "if it is on the Internet, it should be free". This goes for e-books, software, games, music and movies. The more clever people are good at digging out places to get stuff for free. The less clever take links and CDs from the more clever.

How are you going to convince people that they shouldn't have free stuff anymore? I don't think it can be done. Certainly not while the schools are pirating software in the classrooms.

Any comparison to iTunes is a joke. Apple needed a way to get content onto iPods for the less clever. They also wanted a way for it to be legal, citing any number of businesses founded on illegal processes that have been sued out of existance. So iTunes is legal. But it doesn't produce any revenue - between credit card processing costs and what they are paying to the copyright owners, they end up with maybe $0.10 a sale, if that. I suspect $0.01 or $0.00 is fine with them as well. Because iTunes exists to fill up purchased iPod devices and without it people (the less clever majority) wouldn't buy iPods.

So it is somewhat of a necessary evil. Certainly they are going to reduce costs (like eliminating an extra DRM step) whenever possible. But this is not a model to be emulated by anyone without an serious alterior motive. Saying Warner Brothes should take a hint from Apple is pretty much saying it is OK to lose money on every transaction as long as you make up for it in volume.

Re:Another blind alley from the RIAA (1)

koiransuklaa (1502579) | more than 5 years ago | (#27266455)

But it doesn't produce any revenue - between credit card processing costs and what they are paying to the copyright owners, they end up with maybe $0.10 a sale, if that

Do you realize $0.1 a download equals $250 million dollars a year (as of last year, the figure seems to almost double every year)?

thanks for letting me know what I think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27266863)

"If there is no copyright and the artist doesn't get paid, there will be no more artists!" is the mantra of those who DEMAND copyright remain.

Well, this would predicate that people would WANT artists to produce entertainment, doesn't it (else this is no argument why we should want copyright, is it).

But if that were true, then there would be people paying *even though they didn't ***have*** to* because without paying, the artist would produce no more.

But you say that everyone you know thinks that if it's on the internet it should be free.

A bit of a dichotomy there.

Re:Another blind alley from the RIAA (2, Insightful)

rossz (67331) | more than 5 years ago | (#27265701)

It doesn't even have to be free, just reasonably priced. The record companies are sitting on piles of old blues and jazz music that you can not find unless you frequent dusty old record stores (as in vinyl records) and garage sales. Put those up for a low price. Even at twenty five cents a track they'll make money. Even if the stuff has fallen into the public domain, people would still pay for the convenience of being able to find the music easily and already in a digital format. So what if you won't have gold and platinum volume sales. It's practically free money for them. The cost to host that kind of service is almost nothing. The biggest cost will be converting from album to digital, and that can be mostly automated with modern equipment and is a one time cost.

But, Dr Evil, that already happened... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27266385)

The record companies should experiment with sponsoring free, legal download sites in good faith. These sites would feature:

1) works of expired copyright
2) works from amateurs, fledgling professionals, and "past market prime" professionals
3) promotional works from professional artists, including items such as concert tapes
4) promotional works from the record industry, which would compensate the artists for giving away certain material
5) works from professionals who believe in sharing everything
6) works from specialized pros (like many classical musicians) who couldn't make money from selling records anyway

That already happened (just a few examples):

1. http://www.trachtman.org/rollscans/RollListing.php [trachtman.org]
2. http://garageband.com/ [garageband.com]
3. http://3hive.com/ [3hive.com]
4. http://www.apple.com/itunes/freesingle [apple.com]
5. http://last.fm/ [last.fm]
6. http://www.classiccat.net/ [classiccat.net]

Slashdotted (1)

LuYu (519260) | more than 5 years ago | (#27265331)

These stories are completely Slashdotted. p2pnet.net appears to have completely removed them even though their front page still links to them (same links as the Slashdot post).

Can someone please provide the full text of both articles? Thank you :)

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