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A Composer's-Eye View of the Copyright Wars

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the so-you're-saying-there-are-living-composers dept.

Music 973

bonch writes "As an experiment, composer Jason Robert Brown logged onto a site illegally offering his sheet music for download and contacted hundreds of users, politely asking them to stop listing the material. Most complied, some were confused, and a few fought back. Brown chronicles a lengthy exchange he had with a teenage girl named Brenna, which provides an interesting insight into the artists' perspective of the copyright debate. He also responds to several points raised in comments to the article and says, 'I don't wish to be the enemy; I'm just a guy trying to make a living.'"

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973 comments

Oops... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795334)

Ooops... Sorry for that smell guys. I dropped an Obama in my pants!

"I'm just a guy trying to make a living." (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795422)

Then get a fucking job. If you're trying to make a living by selling information and you wind up going broke, then you have nobody to blame but yourself.

Proud To Be An American? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795652)

Not really.

July the 4th
In the year that has passed, I haven’t seen cause to change my mind about anything I said last year. I’m still not proud to be an American.

I am a secessionist. I want to “opt out” of the alien society surrounding me.

Here are a few reasons why:

1.) Barack Hussein Obama is President of the United States.

2.) Eric Holder is Attorney General.

3.) Sonia Sotomayor, the “Wise Latina,” now disgraces the Supreme Court.

4.) Elena Kagan, a lesbian Jewess from New York, will soon be appointed to the Supreme Court. Sotomayor and Kagan will join the ridiculous Ruth Bader Ginsberg in having the authority to “interpret” the Constitution.

5.) The Obama administration refuses to secure our borders and protect the states from invasion.

6.) The Obama administration is suing Arizona for having the audacity to protect the lives and property of its citizens.

7.) The ACLU is suing Fremont, Nebraska to block the anti-illegal immigration ordinance that was recently adopted there.

8.) The Obama administration ignored the Nashville Flood.

9.) The Obama administration is allowing the Gulf Oil Spill to destroy coastal Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida.

10.) Barack Hussein Obama and House and Senate Democrats denounced Arizona in solidarity with Felipe Calderon, the President of Mexico.

Any of those reasons could be cited as causes that justify secession from the United States. A few trivial taxes on tea and stamps sparked the American Revolution. If you are not convinced your state should secede by now, allow me to entertain you further, dear reader

11.) American culture is filthy, rotten, and degenerate. The virtues and vices have traded places; vicious behavior is rewarded and lauded in the media, virtuous behavior is denounced as nativism, racism, xenophobia, heterocentricity, sexism and so forth.

12.) America is ideologically bankrupt: we are promised “freedom,” but we don’t have the “freedom” to create exclusive businesses and associations; we are promised “equality,” but we face discrimination in employment and public accomodations because we are White; we are promised “tolerance,” but are the subject of ritual denigration by public officials; we are promised democracy, but when we pass laws unelected judges strike them down.

13.) In America, Whites are denied a positive racial identity. We are discriminated against for daring to defend our interests. In contrasts, Jews, Hispanics, Blacks, and Asians get massive subsidies from government and corporations to promote racial and ethnic chauvinism.

14.) Whites are demonized by our cultural elites in every conceivable way. Non-Whites are romanticized and glorified.

15.) Whites have to put up with outrageous levels of violent crime that our ancestors would never have tolerated.

16.) Whites are forced to participate in integration and multiracialism. Every business is integrated by law. There isn’t a single public place in all of America reserved exclusively to us.

17.) Whites are forced to hire incompetent non-Whites.

18.) The wealth of Whites is transferred and redistributed to non-Whites through various government programs.

19.) White children are forced to subsidize and attend government schools with the “progressive” social engineering that comes along with that.

20.) Whites are sent to their death to fight in foreign wars for a regime that despises us and yearns to displace us in our own country.

Did I mention that the only reason that we are “Americans” in the first place is because the Confederacy was conquered by the U.S. Army? The South has been a vassal province of the United States for 145 years.

What does America have to offer us? Nothing at all. In America, we are a degraded and stigmatized for daring to defend our interests and entertain a positive identity, whereas whores, rogues, and white trash are worshiped as celebrities. In America, a negro can make a billion dollars for dribbling a ball.

America has nothing to offer us but degeneracy, discrimination, and ultimate dispossession. If your goal in life is sexual dissolution or making money in a “global marketplace,” then I can see why you would be proud to be an American.

If you want your rights to be “interpreted” by Ginsberg, Sotomayor, and Kagan, your laws enforced by Barack Hussein Obama and Eric Holder, your culture produced by Hollywood Jews, your neighborhoods invaded by Mexicans, and your jobs provided by Wal-Mart and McDonald’s, well, by all means, continue to pledge allegiance to Washington’s imperial flag.

It lost its appeal to me a long time ago.

It's not "trade" (1, Flamebait)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795342)

It's share. And we have that right, should we decide to enforce it. Or we can placidly give it up, like so many of our other rights.

Re:It's not "trade" (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795392)

I like how you have the right to share other people's material.
HEY DUDE IM SHARING UR SAMMICH THX MAN DONT WANNA GIVE UP MAH RIGHTS EITHER

(Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.)

Re:It's not "trade" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795408)

If you can make a 1:1 copy of my sammich without degrading the original, then please, share away.

Re:It's not "trade" (4, Insightful)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795420)

You fail to grasp what the word "copyright" is: The right to copy. The capability to copy something easily does not automatically grant you the legal right to do so.

Re:It's not "trade" (5, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795590)

Copying is a right. Just one that is restricted by law.

Copyright law is a misnomer, it would be more appropriate to call it copy restriction law.

A right is something you can do without the hindrance or the requirement of assistance from another. Copying information available to you is such an act.

Copyright restriction is not a right of the creator, but an entitlement bestowed temporarily in exchange for publishing creative work. Once information has been handed to another, only physical force can stop that person from making copies.

Re:It's not "trade" (3, Insightful)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795432)

what if making that sammich took you several weeks' (months? years?) of work, as is probably the case with most musical compositions?

Re:It's not "trade" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795460)

No biggie. I didn't make the sandwich with the intention of being a gigantic twat and keeping it to myself or gouging people for copies of it, I was just hungry.

Re:It's not "trade" (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795574)

(I'm OP)
No, instead, you didn't even MAKE a goodamn sammich. You don't even know how.
You just talk about it as if you could, and take other people's sandwiches because you're too lazy to make your own.

Re:It's not "trade" (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795612)

Presumptuous, are we?

I'll have you know, I make sandwiches on a regular basis.

Re:It's not "trade" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795708)

I mean AC not OP.

Trying to make a living doesn't make you a twat. Sure the RIAA is greedy to sue people for millions, that's not what I'm referring to. I'm referring to you taking without paying ninety nine cents.

Do you even think, or do you just imagine everything the way you want it to be?

Re:It's not "trade" (5, Insightful)

mrcaseyj (902945) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795556)

I like how you have the right to share other people's material.
HEY DUDE IM SHARING UR SAMMICH THX MAN DONT WANNA GIVE UP MAH RIGHTS EITHER

Nearly all the value of nearly all copyrighted works comes from ideas that the author learned from people who came before and who the author didn't pay. If you got the ingredients to your sandwich from a charity, and you begged for someone else to assemble it for you, and somebody else invented the methods of producing the ingredients, and some volunteer soldier protected you from having your sandwich stolen by invaders, and all you did was specify the layout of the ingredients between the the bread, I still wouldn't steal it from you. But if I did I would feel a lot less guilty about it. I support copymonopoly, but only for the minimum length of time needed to incentivise people to produce it. Fifteen years, like our first congress authorized, is plenty for the vast majority of works. Even less would be appropriate for most works. To let copymonopoly extend for 150 years like current law is a violation of the constitution's requirement that copymonopoly not go on forever. More than 100 years is forever for all practical purposes and is totally unnecessary to incentivise production. It's very damaging to humanity to restrict access to all that old information.

Re:It's not "trade" (5, Informative)

matzahboy (1656011) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795406)

You are allowed to share, as long as it is the original copy. That's how libraries work. You are allowed to buy a piece of sheet music and give it to a friend. But you are not allowed to buy a piece of sheet music and give your friend a replica. Then there are 2 copies and you only paid for one. Without DRM, it is nearly impossible to share music or sheet music legally on the internet. To share it legally would mean deleting your copy when you send it to a friend.

Re:It's not "trade" (3, Insightful)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795494)

You are allowed to share, as long as it is the original copy. That's how libraries work. You are allowed to buy a piece of sheet music and give it to a friend. But you are not allowed to buy a piece of sheet music and give your friend a replica. Then there are 2 copies and you only paid for one. Without DRM, it is nearly impossible to share music or sheet music legally on the internet. To share it legally would mean deleting your copy when you send it to a friend.

With DRM, its nearly impossible to share music or sheet music legally amongst your own friends/family, original or not.

Re:It's not "trade" (3, Insightful)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795654)

With DRM, its nearly impossible to share music or sheet music legally amongst your own friends/family, original or not.

Quite so. And your point would be, what? That this inconvenience justifies the theft of IP? That's just stupid. Not quite as stupid as punishing people who have legally paid for a DRM encumbered work, but stupid nonetheless.

Re:It's not "trade" (2, Insightful)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795710)

With DRM, its nearly impossible to share music or sheet music legally amongst your own friends/family, original or not.

Quite so. And your point would be, what? That this inconvenience justifies the theft of IP? That's just stupid. Not quite as stupid as punishing people who have legally paid for a DRM encumbered work, but stupid nonetheless.

My point would be that it's not justifiable to purposefully cripple a product just because someone can do something wrong with it. It would be like making sure no car can go over 10mph because someone could get drunk and kill someone if allowed to go faster, you can't allow a knife to be sharp because someone can kill with it...

Re:It's not "trade" (1)

matzahboy (1656011) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795662)

DRM usually works on a license. You can copy the file as many times as you want, but you can only authorize a finite number of copies. If that number was 1, you can give a copy to your friend and then deauthorize your own. Then it is legal.

Re:It's not "trade" (1)

cacba (1831766) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795534)

Unless they put a clause in that prevents you from sharing, as they usually do. An online library would destroy demand.

Re:It's not "trade" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795542)

So, how about if I go to the library, check out the sheet music, learn the song, and perform it? Return the sheet music for the next singer to check out? Have I ripped anyone off? I don't need the music anymore, I've got it memorized. In perpetuity. So will the next singer. But only one copy of the score was ever paid for. What is the "morality" here?

Public Performance (4, Interesting)

adam (1231) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795678)

Actually, what you describe falls under the category of "public performance." To quote ASCAP (one of the two major music rights management orgs),

"Rental or purchase of sheet music or the purchase of a record does not authorize its public performance."

Not saying I agree with that, but there are a lot of intricacies to public performance. See also: NFL threatening suit against bars that have Superbowl[tm] parties and show the game to their clientele. They also tend to sue (or threaten to) people who use the word "Superbowl," which is why all the radio stations promote their "BIG GAME PARTY!" in January, and not any sort of party having to do with bowls that may be super. But that is trademark law and outside the scope of what we're talking about here.

The point is whether he has the right to control what is done with his work. Whether people can make copies of it. Generally, I think the answer is yes. However, I think the real question is: do we want to live in a society where money is what motivates art? The true genius filmmakers, composers, they aren't doing it for the money, and if they are, well, I'll be disenchanted with their work when I find that out. Make art for art's sake. Artists and doctors, two professions that should be about sharing with your fellow humans, about the common good, not about profit. (*imho, of course — and my money is where my mouth is, I'm a filmmaker and people openly pirate my films. Huge pieces of them are on YouTube. I'm okay with it.)

Re:It's not "trade" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795488)

Well, there is something being exchanged. Two people are exchanging bandwidth when they trade files. It's a limited resource.

Re:It's not "trade" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795620)

That would mean they're trading bandwidth, not files. So they're still file *sharing*. Thanks for the clarification, nitwit.

Re:It's not "trade" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795664)

It's share. And we have that right, should we decide to enforce it. Or we can placidly give it up, like so many of our other rights.

Wrong!

What makes you think you have a right to "share"? You can lend the physical printed sheet music, but you can't make a copy of it and give the copy to someone else. That's not sharing. That's copyright infringement.

This is one of the many excuses people make for ripping off the creative talents who make the music.

Please do try to "enforce" your "right" to "share" - let me know when and where, because I'd enjoy seeing you get slapped down.

How I Learned to Start Thinking and Hate the Jews (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795352)

There are two types of people in the world: people who think there are two types of people in the world and people who don’t. I’m among the first type and I think the world is divided into people who recognize the Jewish problem and people who don’t.

In other words, the world is divided into smart people and dumb people. If you’ve got an IQ of 80, have difficulty operating a can-opener, and recognize the Jewish problem, you’re smart. If you’ve got an IQ of 180, have already won a couple of Nobel Prizes, and don’t recognize the Jewish problem, you’re dumb.

I’ve been dumb for most of my life: it took me a long time to recognize the Jewish problem. I didn’t think for myself, I just accepted the propaganda and conformed to the consensus. Jews are good people. Only bad people criticize Jews. Jews good. Anti-Semites bad. But then, very slowly, I started to see the light.

Recognizing Jewish hypocrisy was the first big step. I was reading an article by someone called Rabbi Julia Neuberger, a prominent British liberal. I didn’t like liberals then, so I didn’t like her for that (and because her voice and manner had always grated on me), but her Jewishness wasn’t something I particularly noticed. But as I read the article I came across something that didn’t strike me as very liberal: she expressed concern about Jews marrying Gentiles, because this threatened the survival of the Jewish people.

That made me sit up and think. Hold on, I thought, I know this woman sits on all sorts of “multi-cultural” committees and is constantly being invited onto TV and radio to yap about the joys of diversity and the evils of racism. She’s all in favor of mass immigration and there’s no way she’s worried about Whites marrying non-Whites, because “Race is Just a Social Construct” and “We’re All the Same Under the Skin”. She’s a liberal and she thinks that race-mixing is good and healthy and Holy. Yet this same woman is worried about Jews marrying Gentiles. Small contradiction there, n'est ce-pas?

Well, no. Big contradiction. She obviously didn’t apply the same rules to everyone else as she applied to her own people, the Jews. She was, in short, a hypocrite. But not just that – she was a Jewish hypocrite. And that’s a big step for a brainwashed White to take: not just thinking in a negative way about a Jew, but thinking in a negative way about a Jew because of her Jewishness.

After that, I slowly started to see the world in a different way. Or to be more precise: I started to see the world. I started to see what had always been there: the massive over-representation of Jews in politics and the media. And I started to notice that a lot of those Jews – like Rabbi Julia Neuberger, in fact – gave me the creeps. There was something slimy and oily and flesh-crawling about them. And it wasn’t just me, either: other Gentiles seemed to feel it too.

Politicians often attract nicknames based on some outstanding aspect of their character or behavior. Margaret Thatcher was “The Iron Lady”. Ronald Reagan was “Teflon Ron”. Bill Clinton was “Slick Willy”. But these are Gentile politicians and their nicknames are at least half-affectionate. Jewish politicians seem to attract a different kind of nickname. In Britain, Gerald Kaufman, bald, homosexual Member of Parliament for Manchester Gorton, is nicknamed “Hannibal Lecter”. Peter Mandelson, now Britain’s Euro-Commissioner and Tony Blair’s suspected former lover, is “The Prince of Darkness”. Michael Howard (né Hecht), the leader of the British Conservative Party, is “Dracula”.

When I noticed this kind of thing, I started to ask questions. What was going on here? Why did Jews attract nicknames like that? And why had Gentiles reacted to them like that not just now, but a long way into the past? Shakespeare seems to have felt the same kind of repulsion when he created the vengeful lawyer Shylock, and Dickens when he created the parasitic master-thief Fagin. Classic “anti-Semitic” stereotypes, but I knew that stereotypes aren’t always wrong. If anti-Semitic stereotypes aren’t always wrong, then there’s an obvious conclusion: neither is anti-Semitism. Gentiles are sometimes right to dislike and distrust Jews.

After all, at the same time I was noticing something else: the massive over-representation of Jews, not just among politicians and journalists, but among crooked businessmen too. In fact, among very, very crooked businessmen, the ones responsible for really big frauds at Gentile expense. Men like Robert Maxwell (né Hoch), Ivan “Greed is Good” Boesky, and Michael Milken. And, on a slightly lesser scale, Ernest Saunders, who finagled an early release from prison because he was coming down with Alzheimer’s, that well-known incurable brain disease from which no-one ever recovers. Only Saunders managed to confound medical science and recover from it.

Slimy. Hypocritical. Crooked. In a word: Jewish. But I didn’t take the final step, the step to full recognition of the Jewish problem, until I watched the reaction to Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. I’m not a Christian and I have little sympathy with modern Christianity, but I had a lot of sympathy for Mel Gibson as I watched the hysterical campaign against him. The hysterical, well-organized, international campaign by the slimy, hypocritical, crooked Jew Abe Foxman, Head of the Anti-Defamation League, and his fellow slimy, hypocritical, crooked Jews around the world. They didn’t like something and they were moving heaven and earth to get it stopped.

And what was it they didn’t like? A movie about an event at the heart of European art, literature, and culture: the crucifixion of Christ. So here was another obvious conclusion: Jews hate European art, literature, and culture. In other words, Jews hate White civilization and the White race who created it.

After that, it all fell into place. I finally recognized that Jews weren’t just slimy, hypocritical, and crooked, but actively dangerous too. If I thought of something harmful to White civilization and the survival of the White race – mass immigration, feminism, multi-culturalism, anti-racism, gay rights – I realized that Jews were behind it, were promoting it through their control of the media, and had been doing so for decades.

Finally, I had seen the light. Finally, I had gotten smart and recognized the Jewish problem, the problem that even dumb Gentiles subconsciously recognize when they give nicknames like “Hannibal Lecter” and “Prince of Darkness” and “Dracula” to Jewish politicians. Jews really do want to eat us, and steal our souls, and suck our blood, and it’s about time we started firing a few silver bullets.

Glynn Moody commented on this days ago (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795356)

An (Analogue) Artist's Reply to Just Criticism [blogspot.com] . Glynn Moody commented on this days ago

Re:Glynn Moody commented on this days ago (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795378)

Did you think no one would know that you're shilling your own blog, Glynn?

Re:Glynn Moody commented on this days ago (4, Insightful)

smpoole7 (1467717) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795566)

For those who don't want to click the link to Glynn Moody's reply, the gist of it is this: the young girl in question argues that:

1. Yes, she downloads the sheet music (illegally).

2. But she then performs the song, exposing it to a lot of other people.

3. These other people then go out and buy the albums, or other sheet music by Mr. Brown, or buy tickets to Mr. Brown's shows.

Therefore, the argument is made that Mr. Brown should just ignore the trading/sharing (whatever you want to call it), because he comes out ahead in the long run. "Spot on," says Ms. Moody.

What she misses is that Mr. Brown owns the copyright, and it is HIS CHOICE whether to permit it or not. If he chooses to miss these sales, then maybe he's worse off for it, but that's his decision.

Copyright is copyright. The *reason* why the GPL has standing in court is because someone has copyrighted that code, and chooses to permit usage and distribution under the GPL. Copyright is copyright, and if I choose to distribute under some free and unencumbered license, or if I choose to make it so restrictive that only one copy will ever be sold at auction to the highest bidder, it's MY choice as the copyright holder.

One cannot consistently argue for one, but not the other. (And I say that as a full-fledged supporter of open standards, open software, and the elimination of so-called software "patents.")

I know he's just trying to make a living (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795360)

Ever since I heard Kid Rock starved to death [theonion.com] , I've been really sympathetic to musicians. I promise not to ever download anything by this guy.

simple math (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795374)

3.99 for sheet music to song....
0.99 for mp3 of song...

hrmm

Re:simple math (3, Informative)

matzahboy (1656011) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795426)

But you can't substitute an mp3 for sheet music. You use an mp3 to listen to a song. But if you want to perform a song for a talent show, you need to know all of the notes and rhythms. Unless you have a very well trained ear, you will not be able to easily play all of the notes just from listening to the song (unless you listen to it quite a lot).

Re:simple math (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795462)

Yes, so shouldn't the sheet music be cheaper?

How many people does it take to make sheet music? One, maybe two. How many people does it take to make an MP3? About 5 or more. With sheet music do you need to hire a bassist/keyboard/vocalist/guitarist/etc. along with an editor and producer? No. Does making sheet music take days of editing to get it to sound just right? No.

Sheet music is basically a one or two person affair, it takes a lot more people (and a lot more equipment) to make an MP3 even for "indie" bands.

Re:simple math (3, Insightful)

rekoil (168689) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795528)

Sheet music is basically a one or two person affair, it takes a lot more people (and a lot more equipment) to make an MP3 even for "indie" bands.

Economies of scale. Far, far more people will buy the mp3 than will buy the sheet music.

Re:simple math (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795630)

Still, economies of scale can't really justify a huge price increase for something that is essentially a by-product of making the MP3s. Yes, I know that not every band writes down the sheet music, but surely the transcription process is quite easy for any talented musician.

If you play a song in a band, and are a decent musician, the sheet music is just a minor inconvenience, a bit like writing out the steps to a math problem that you've done in your head. Why would a by-product be 400% higher than the finished product? Does it make any sense that the nails, boards, etc. in a shed would cost 400% more than the finished product?

Re:simple math (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795576)

Price is not a function of what it takes to make a product. Price is how much someone is willing to pay for something.

I'm a smoker. I'll pay about 20 cents for a single cigarette in my home country. If I spend a few days in a place that doesn't sell cigarettes I'd buy them for a much higher price.

Sheet music allows someone to perform music and earn money, doing this performance. A mp3 does not. People are willing to spend more for sheet music.

I rest my case.

Re:simple math (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795656)

According to this guy though hes starving because not enough people are buying his sheet music1!!!11!!11

If this is really an issue, then they need to realize that they are losing sales due to the high prices of what is really a byproduct of musical production.

So either the price is too high and people like him are suffering (Ha!) because of people who are downloading it, or the price is right and this guy has no reason to complain.

Re:simple math (1)

raving griff (1157645) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795698)

It's not a question of how much the material costs to produce in this case, but rather, what use the material gives.

MP3s give purchasers the ability to listen to a song for their own personal enjoyment while sheet music offers purchasers a chance to learn the song and perform it themselves. One is for personal entertainment and the other is for providing a performance tool.

Re:simple math (1)

Peaquod (1200623) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795712)

folks who are able to generate original artistic material are much more rare than those who are able to perform it, who are in turn much more rare than those who are able to record/edit/package it. the value of a product really shouldn't be posed in terms of the number of people required to produce it. ostensibly, since you are posting here, you're a relatively highly paid technical professional - do you expect to compensated just as the bag boy at the grocery?

Re:simple math (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795510)

$10.99 for the book...

$25.99 for the DVD...

Normally the print version is cheaper then the preformed version, same has always been for things like books/theater plays, ect... Why should it be reversed if its music?

Re:simple math (1)

rxmd (205533) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795454)

3.99 for sheet music to song....
0.99 for mp3 of song...

hrmm

Well, what are you actually trying to say?

If you can take the $0.99 MP3 and use that to perform a song yourself, go ahead. I'm sure the composer won't mind.

As for the price difference, the target market for sheet music is much smaller than that for MP3s, so it's not really surprising that the price is higher, as there are fewer buyers to offset whatever initial investment there was.

Then again, I'm not sure if a $3 price difference between completely different products entitles anyone to anything. But that's already a question of ethics, not one of "simple math".

Re:simple math (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795706)

If you can take the $0.99 MP3 and use that to perform a song yourself, go ahead. I'm sure the composer won't mind.

You owe the composer the statutory royalty of about 9.1 cents per track per copy sold. You don't owe the performer or the record company anything.

"Trading" is one of the problems... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795382)

I think people that actually own it as well as are offering the digital copy to the world are confused about what they can do with the owned copy. They're listing it because they want people to buy the physical copy from them or they want to trade it for something else.

Perhaps if he told them to stop letting people download his stuff? That's what he actually wants and it's still not aggressive.

No. (-1, Flamebait)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795384)

No, I will not content myself with legal options when it's about something so nebulous as information and IP. I simply will not - the benefits to me are huge, compared to your losses from my activity. This does not mean I don't feel sad if a hundred thousand creativity leeches like me lead to your ruin, or that I somehow think that you should feel flattered and content with me "snacking on your soul" - but the responsibility for your aggregate ruin isn't mine, and I can't really manage to feel guilty about it.

Re:No. (3, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795470)

"I'm a part of the problem, yet since I'm not the only one, I don't feel bad about screwing you over."

-Securityemo, paraphrased

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795482)

...says the guy who's never created anything in his life.

Re:No. (2, Insightful)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795504)

This does not mean I don't feel sad if a hundred thousand creativity leeches like me lead to your ruin

No, you are wrong, that is exactly what it means. That or you are just an evil, selfish, sadistic asshole.

You are like a person who says "Don't hate the player, hate the game". Well, skippy, the game doesn't exist without the players.

Climate change similarity? (2, Insightful)

ben_kelley (234423) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795626)

The same argument goes for climate change presumably.

Why should I inconvenience myself by paying higher prices for green electricity just to save your planet?

Indeed (1)

OopsIDied (1764436) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795402)

As a 17 year old, I must agree with Eleannor or w/e on the fact that credit cards are often required to purchase things online. I would have loved to get TF2 and HL2 through steam when they were like $10 each, but I don't have a credit card and they require one, and my parents don't like using them online due to keylogger concerns (with which I agree). Sometimes access is restricted in such a way that acquiring it through legal means is simply not possible. another example, $100 "concrete mathematics" book, nvidia's gpu gems books...there's just no way my parents are gonna pay for that. although there's always getting a job...

Re:Indeed (4, Informative)

pgmrdlm (1642279) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795410)

A previous poster made the point was made that you can get prepaid credit cards from walmart.

Hell, from strictly a security standpoint that would be the best way to purchase anything from the web.

Lack of a credit card is not an excuse, you can get prepaid ones.

Re:Indeed (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795694)

That is a fairly recent phenomena, I have only seen those in the last year around here. But I have not looked into them to see if it would be practical (mostly because at this point in my life I already have plenty of regular credit cards).

Re:Indeed (2, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795418)

You can walk into any supermarket, 711, etc and get a pre-paid credit card. Sorry, the "its just to hard to bu a legal copy" excuse doesn't fly.

Re:Indeed (1)

areusche (1297613) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795500)

I had my first debit card at 14. One does not need a credit card to buy things online. Also with you being 17 you can open a bank account under your own name very soon. I used to pirate a lot of music, nowadays with my steady job I don't mind paying for albums any more. I listen more to Pandora than my own mp3 player.

Re:Indeed (2, Insightful)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795558)

I had my first debit card at 14.

You most likely had your parent's or other guardian's authority to have one.

I'm not sure if this is regulated at the state or federal level, but kids under 18 need either the primary cardholder's approval or in the case of a youth checking/savings account, the parent's.

The girl in the article (Eleanor) didn't have her parents' approval for her musical activities and probably restricted her spending for the purpose.

Re:Indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795602)

Yeah. What he said.

(oh except for the kid hitting part)

Re:Indeed (2, Informative)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795474)

You can buy a prepaid credit card at the local drug store. They cost $5 plus the face value, though I think you can recharge them.

You need a credit card number to buy from steam, but AFAIK, they don't require that you have an actual line of credit..

The books you described are priced inline, I'm sorry to say, with your typical college text book. Which, as a side note, I suggest that you do not sell back to the school bookstore at the end of the semester. If you have a good professor, the books are chosen to supplement your education, and make a great start to your personal library.

While I'm not sure the books are worth the $100++ that they charge, I'm confident that giving them up is not worth the $5-$20 you'll get for them at the end of the semester. Go ahead and buy the used books if they're available, but don't bother with the buy-back unless you're sure you don't want the book for your library and you need the pittance for something.

Re:Indeed (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795546)

The books you described are priced inline, I'm sorry to say, with your typical college text book. Which, as a side note, I suggest that you do not sell back to the school bookstore at the end of the semester. If you have a good professor, the books are chosen to supplement your education, and make a great start to your personal library.

I take the opposite view. Try getting college textbooks used, or get the cheap international edition sent to you from India, or -- best of all if you can -- check it out of the school library and keep renewing it until the end of the course.

Consider that if the book really does turn out to be that important to your future career you'll know by the end of the course. You can always buy a used copy at that point for next to nothing from one of your classmates.

-=Steve=-

Re:Indeed (2, Insightful)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795490)

Why do you deserve it if you can not pay for it? If you were to get a job and do work for someone, you would expect him to pay you right? What would you do if he refused to pay you saying he couldn't afford it?

Basically, that is what you are doing every time you make an unauthorized copy. You are telling the person that did the work that he does not deserve to get paid because you can't afford to pay him.

Re:Indeed (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795560)

When you take a job, the person agrees to pay you. That makes it his obligation to do so. Copyright is a government granted privilege, and society has "agreed" to a limited copyright, not to extended copyright worked out by corrupted politicians and big business. The system is broke due to a complacent public, so fuck 'em. People can give up their own freedoms all they want. Just stay away from mine. If I have to perform every time I need a dollar, so does everybody else. No more special treatment.

Re:Indeed (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795536)

As a 17 year old, I must agree with Eleannor or w/e on the fact that credit cards are often required to purchase things online. I would have loved to get TF2 and HL2 through steam when they were like $10 each, but I don't have a credit card and they require one, and my parents don't like using them online due to keylogger concerns (with which I agree).

If your worried about security, then use a Linux Live CD. Or if your parents won't give you their credit card, just buy a prepaid gift credit card [visa.com] . They are found in many big chain stores. [visa.com] When the card is done, get rid of it.

Path of least resistance (2, Interesting)

gringer (252588) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795436)

I'm not convinced JRB has addressed one comment that seems to have been explained the best by Eleanor, and only lightly touched on by other comments attached to that blog post (e.g. voideka, clovis lark, george).

Put simply, people choose the path of least resistance, which is usually the path of least cost.

If Eleanor needed some music for an audition, any reasonable music would do. She wouldn't pay money if a popular work were available for free (but might pay a small amount of money for a popular work if it were easy to do that). If the creator of a particular work didn't choose to distribute a one-off version at no cost, Eleanor would probably search elsewhere for a gratis piece of music (possibly by a different creator). People do distribute sheet music for no cost, so this stuff will be around somewhere, even if only legal avenues are chosen.

It reminds me of a discussion about the costs of cellphone plans that I looked at recently. Someone compared costs of different networks, assuming a person sent around 3,000 text messages per month. They ended up with some costs on the order of $300-$500 per month, because their analysis didn't include limited-time plans. The reality is that no one would choose to pay that much for text messages, it just wouldn't make sense given that cheaper plans are available (around $10-$15 per month, maybe a bit less). Often, people in my country will keep two prepay cellphones (or two sim cards), so that they can take advantage of the best offer at a particular time.

Argh, the examples suck (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795438)

This composer clearly believes that when someone downloads a copy of his music, it somehow deprives him of something by the examples he gives.

NEWSFLASH: Not having a screwdriver or a book is not the same as having a copy of your music pirated at all.

To make his example work, here's how you'd have to phrase it:

A friend is building a house. He needs a screwdriver. I know a store with only one left at 80% off. I also need that screwdriver. I face a dilemma:

  - Do I let the friend know where he can get that screwdriver for 80% off so he can save the money?
  - Do I buy the screwdriver for myself first, then let him know and lead him to believe he "just missed" it?
  - Do I lie by omission and tell him he'll just need to buy it at full price at a different store?

You see, that's the problem with suggesting you are deserved future profits. You can't get blood from a stone, and this girl schooled you on that.

That being said, it is your right to deny her your music. I'm certain she'll find a different composer to idolize (one who either gives away their sheet music free, or one from whom she can pirate) and there's only a small likelihood her "career" will take off so you really don't need to worry that in the future you might have just cut yourself off from an even bigger revenue stream. She obviously isn't going to buy your stuff, because she can't.

Of course, if you were a little bit smarter, I think you'd have offered to email her a copy if she sent you $4 in an envelope (or even a money order). But your ego is bruised. So sad. In business (and that's what copyright is therefore) there's absolutely no room for feelings; hell, there's barely even room for MORALS nowadays.

A Little Too Late (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795450)

The problem is that small time composers/musicians/artists want to play both sides. They align with the large distribution channels when it suits them. They don't speak out when the RIAA sues everyone and their brother. They don't stop licensing their music through ASCAP. They don't get involved when their historical distributors fail to adapt to changes in technology. They continue to feel they "own" their creation (vs. actually owning a very specific, limited, license granted voluntarily by governments). They don't stand up against DRM. They don't stand up for consumer's rights.

So, essentially, I don't believe for a second, that he is "just a guy trying to make a living." He is manipulative; he is self-centred, and, now that is suits him, he is trying to play the role of the innocent bystander.

You made your bed, now lie in it. You had a chance, back when Napster was new, to change things. You failed to act then. Now, you are reaping the rewards -- or lack thereof -- of you short-sightedness. You (in collaboration with your fellow musicians) could have made easy, legal, inexpensive, distribution of music the standard. Instead, you chose to split it between expensive, legal, and restrictive and cheap, illegal, and easy.

So, in summary, fuck off; where were you 10 years ago, when you could have *actually* changed things.

Re:A Little Too Late (2, Interesting)

drosboro (1046516) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795624)

So, essentially, I don't believe for a second, that he is "just a guy trying to make a living." He is manipulative; he is self-centred, and, now that is suits him, he is trying to play the role of the innocent bystander.

Heh... I'm doing a show by JRB right now (The Last 5 Years), which is an autobiographical sketch of his failed marriage. It was, in fact, so autobiographical that his ex-wife sued over it. Interestingly, the male character in the show is completely manipulative and self-centred.

So, at least he knows it! :)

Eleanor is breaking the law (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795458)

This website is not even technically illegal. Since the music is never actually uploaded onto the site and is sent via email from one user to another, I'm breaking no law by participating in it.

While the website is not breaking the law, Eleanor is breaking the law when she sends a copy of the sheet music via email. She is making an unauthorized copy, which is a violation of copyright law. There is no fair-use defense for what she is doing.

Re:Eleanor is breaking the law (1)

lolbutts (1638867) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795532)

I think the issue is that she is distributing an "unauthorized copy", not that it is being made. (At least in the US, she would be free to email the music to herself. It's the willful act of giving it to someone else that is the problem.)

Re:Eleanor is breaking the law (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795584)

No, she is both creating and distributing an unauthorized copy. While she could legally email it to herself, that is not what she is doing. She is creating an unauthorized copy for distribution and then distributing it to the other person. She said as much.

Re:Eleanor is breaking the law (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795682)

She is making an unauthorized copy, which is a violation of copyright law.

Actually, the important bit is that she's *distributing* an unauthorized copy. She's perfectly free to make and immolate as many copies of the sheet music as she would like. However, the minute she hands one of those copies to a friend, she's violating the law.

We need a better way of compensating creators. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795464)

What tends to get lost in this debate, is where does the money go? No one seriously disputes that the creator has a right to be compensated. In fact he/she should be be able to set his/her own level of compensation. But where does the number $3.99 come from? If Mr. Brown really is all that popular why not $39.99 or $0.99? How much of the $3.99 goes to Mr. Brown and how much to the dead tree outfits that print his stuff?

In arguing about how to protect the $3.99 price we overlook the main issue which is not how to protect the publisher of the $3.99 sheet music, but how to protect the creator of the song.
If there were a foolproof way (Apple iTunes like?) that Mr. Brown could publish his music in digital format and be certain of getting paid for it, we would not need to rely on publishers and libraries.
Mr. Brown could charge whatever he wanted for his music; he could adjust the price up or down depending on demand; HE could be in control of how, when, and for how much his music sold for, and not rely on publishers.
But the discussion never seems to get to that point. In most peoples' minds there are only two choices; obey the RIAA/MPAA lobby or steal it.
We need something better.

short story: (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795484)

Amazing. slashdot is of course a tough crowd for proprietary IP advocates. Here's my own story. My ten year old got a CD from a friend who is a record producer in Hollywood. He liked it and wanted to make copies to give a few friends. I advised that he ask the producer for permission to do so. The producer, bein' from Hollywood an' all, of course said no. If they wanted a copy they could go to the music store and buy one. So my son, disappointed, did not share it with his friends, stopped listening to it, and no additional copies were ever made. OR SOLD! The fallacy seemed to be the belief that the kids would rush out and buy the CD if they couldn't get it for free. Of course they didn't. They went home and played with their Wii. The album died on the junk heap of history, as most do. And without at least a half a dozen potential ardent young fans.

Re:short story: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795684)

So, according to your "logic", free copies should be given to everyone. Then you can have tons of "fans" while making no money whatsoever. You've obviously never created anything original.

He's using debunked analogies (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795492)

The screwdriver and book stories are way off base as they involve the only "copy". If you borrow either, then I don't have them. If you copy either and leave me the original, it's all good. We both have what we need. Same old story we've heard before. They are not applicable to the issue.

Re:He's using debunked analogies (0, Flamebait)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795530)

If you get the work for free from someone else, how does the person who created the work get what he needs? Or, is it fuck the guy that actually did the work because you have a copy and your friend has his copy?

This guy makes his money selling copies of his work. He makes a copy and sells it to your friend. Your friend makes a copy and sells it to you. The person that actually did the work now makes no money off of the copy you have. The money he has made from the existent copies of his work is now half of what it was before your friend made you a copy. Then, you make a copy and give it to someone. Now, his profit is cut to a third.

Get it now?

Re:He's using debunked analogies (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795702)

Now lets extrapolate this.. suddenly his work is copied by 80% of the population and they didn't pay him a dime.

Now someone wants to go to a rock show, or hire someone to make a new musical score for his movie.. or perhaps he wants original music for his wedding... well guess who they hire?

Not the guy that copied the music, but the one that created it.. THAT is how he makes money.. he has to work for a living. I know.. I know... its so unfair making people work almost 40 hours a week to survive. I don't understand why these artists can't just work once and get paid for 150 years.

SooOooOo unfair.

Re:He's using debunked analogies (0, Flamebait)

pgmrdlm (1642279) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795646)

You never answered the point about taking someones work(key word here) without reimbursing him for it.

But I NEVER EVER see an illegal down-loader address that. They ALWAYS say they are not taking anything from the owner because its electronic.

Um, buckwheet. It took work to produce the electronic file.

Truthfully, I think we should adopt ancient ways to punish people like you. http://www.milism.net/romanarmy.htm [milism.net]

Common criminals, such as thieves, were stoned. The wronged population exacted revenge.

http://www.historicallocks.com/en/site/hl/Articles/Theft-and-punishment/ [historicallocks.com]

In the Middle Ages, fines were the most common punishment for theft, and one that was not considered dishonorable. More severe cases could be punishable by flogging, the cutting off of one or both ears or a hand, or death by hanging. Even the loss of an ear made the perpetrator’s shame permanently visible.

Flogging is a good punishment for thieves.

I have been robbed, so people like you do not think my opinion counts.

I have had scum bags take my work to further their own carrier, or at least tried to. No difference then what you are doing.

You download without paying, your a thief. Harsher punishment should be applied. I was looking for an example of disfigurement. Ie, cut your fucking balls off you mother fucker for taking something that wasn't yours.

I just wrote this guy an email: (5, Interesting)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795508)

Hello there Jason.

Let me explain a few things to you, since you seem to have wrong information regarding "copyright" and other fictitious concepts.

Copyright isn't an inalienable right. It isn't real property. It is imaginary property. Copyright is a recent concept. As recent as the Renaissance. Before that, you could own physical property, but Ideas were free. If you created a magnanimous work of art, that work of art belonged to the human kind. Then, you could earn a living by performing live, doing work for hire, etc. During the Renaissance, the catholic church, in their unstoppable hunger for power, tried to control the output of printers. They already had a very tight control on scribes, and they wanted to extend that control over to the modern press. The motive: To ban unwanted books. In a word: Censorship. This concept of owning ideas and controlling what you did with them was nothing but lies, just like the rest of christianity.

Later, governments jumped in on the boat, trying to control the press, for mostly the same reasons. Many, many years later, with the church mostly obsolete, and government under the control of corporations, our beloved corporate overlords wanted to hold the almighty power over free speech. So they were the ones that wrote the modern copyright laws.

Nobody owns ideas. Nobody owns art. They belong to the human kind. Period. Any attempt to control ideas is nothing but another fascist atempt at control of this Orwellian society.

But I do understand the POV of the creator. I do, because I am a creator too. And yes, we need to make a living just like anyone else. Now, there is a hugI de difference between the NEED to make a living, and some stupid god-given right to be given money just because we create. That won't work because a) there is no god and b) we have no such right. We decided that we wanted to create. Great. That doesn't allow us to control ideas. I do believe, like many other creators, that our creations are like our childs. You don't own your children. You have to feed them, care for them, and protect them until they are mature enough to have a life on their own. And then they are gone. They are as free as you are. Our need for food and shelter (read: money) doesn't change that basic principle.

You CAN profit from what you do, but always remember, you DON'T own your creations.

P.S: Regarding your screwdriver analogy, it doesn't work. It's been debunked several times before. Basically, your screwdriver is a physical object. A more valid analogy here would be if you made a house that was a replica of the house your friend was building. And it would be totally ok.

Sincerely,
Sebastian.

Re:I just wrote this guy an email: (2, Insightful)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795562)

Sebastian,

No, copyright isn't an inalienable right. It is a legally granted right. It is therefore, still a right and only the government granting said right can revoke it. You nor anyone else besides the owner of a copyright, has the power to revoke a copyright.

The rest of your post is now irrelevant because you are reasoning from a fallacy, namely that you somehow have the right to violate other people's legally granted rights.

Re:I just wrote this guy an email: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795598)

that you somehow have the right to violate other people's legally granted rights.

This is exactly what the civil rights movement did (Rosa Parks anyone?). Just because you have a "legal" granted right doesn't make it morally or ethically right.

Re:I just wrote this guy an email: (4, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795604)

There is a difference between morality and legality. Learn it.

Re:I just wrote this guy an email: (0, Troll)

JanneM (7445) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795692)

"There is a difference between morality and legality. Learn it."

The difference being, it's the legality that counts.

Re:I just wrote this guy an email: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795650)

Who gives a fuck about the law?

The law has been written by the top 1% to keep the rest of us in line while they go to the bank.

Drugs are illegal. Sharing art is illegal. Not paying outrageous taxes is illegal. Crossing an imaginary line in the land. Taking photographs. Being naked. Anything can be made illegal. illegal has nothing to do with right and wrong.

If this guy's question was "Why are you violating the law? Pay me my government-approved art-tax so I can buy a Mercedes!" I would have replied "Fuck off, go and sue me, motherfucker".

But he approached this from the "Why do you copy my stuff? That is wrong! I need you to pay me so I can get food" POV. Therefore, I explained why it is not wrong to share art.

Copyright is imaginary property. Your argument is invalid.

Re:I just wrote this guy an email: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795672)

You nor anyone else besides the owner of a copyright, has the power to revoke a copyright.

If every citizen of humanity ignores copyright, then the copyright has effectively been revoked, irrespective of what the government of the day claims. Not revoked in theory, perhaps, but in reality, where it counts, copyright ceases to exist.

You must know this is the end game of copyright. This is where it all finishes. The copyright lobbies can kick and scream all they like. Humanity inexorably moves towards a society which does not concern itself with them, and copyrights will exist only in very weak form, if at all. There is no other conclusion.

Just because the government says something does not make it The Truth. Just because the government tells you not to do something does not mean You Can Never Do It. Just because a paid copyright lobbyist whinges and barks instructions at you does not mean you must follow.

Let me know when you regain the ability to hold independent thoughts.

Re:I just wrote this guy an email: (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795686)

The rest of your post is now irrelevant because you are reasoning from a fallacy, namely that you somehow have the right to violate other people's legally granted rights.

Nowhere did he assert that he had the right to violate a legally given right. He was arguing against the legally given right being somehow inherent or inalienable or such. If you read any defense of violation of copyright, please point it out. I didn't see it.

Re:I just wrote this guy an email: (5, Interesting)

matzahboy (1656011) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795636)

Copyright isn't an inalienable right.

There are very few inalienable rights. I do not see why this is relevant

Copyright is a recent concept. As recent as the Renaissance.

For someone trying to cite history in your argument, you sure know little about it. All of the inalienable rights as we know them today derived from the Enlightenment which was centuries after the Renaissance. The term "inalienable right" was coined in the 1600s.

Before that, you could own physical property, but Ideas were free. If you created a magnanimous work of art, that work of art belonged to the human kind. Then, you could earn a living by performing live, doing work for hire, etc.

Yes, and the playwrights were dirt-poor.

The motive: To ban unwanted books. In a word: Censorship. This concept of owning ideas and controlling what you did with them was nothing but lies, just like the rest of christianity.

Yes, the Catholic Church wanted censorship. But copyright has nothing to do with censorship. The Catholic Church was trying to stop the spread of new ideas, ideas that might threaten them. Copyright law allows the spread of new ideas, but does not allow the unauthorized replication of old ideas.

Nobody owns ideas. Nobody owns art. They belong to the human kind. Period. Any attempt to control ideas is nothing but another fascist atempt at control of this Orwellian society.

It is true that no one can own ideas like they can own a screwdriver. That is why copyright law was invented. The idea is to give incentive to create. If no one paid for ideas, then no one could make a living off coming up with those ideas. The only composers would be rich people who could live off of their savings. The music industry would be tiny. Etc.

Now, there is a hugI de difference between the NEED to make a living, and some stupid god-given right to be given money just because we create.

Wow. I don't even have a response to that. Just wow...

I do believe, like many other creators, that our creations are like our childs. You don't own your children. You have to feed them, care for them, and protect them until they are mature enough to have a life on their own. And then they are gone. They are as free as you are.

Yes, you are right. And that is why copyrights expire, just like children grow up.

A more valid analogy here would be if you made a house that was a replica of the house your friend was building. And it would be totally ok.

Your friend put so much work into making that design for the house. He spent hours and hours. Time that he could have spent building houses and making more money. Now you come along and take his design without compensation. You didn't have to spend all of those hours creating the design. It doesn't cost you a penny, but it cost him a lot (remember, time is money). Now is that fair?

Fuck the law and copyright is not a good one. (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795514)

I'm going to reply with my infamous trolly reply and get ignored in the wash of babies crying in the night because Alderan (or however u spell the star warsy planet) got blowed the fuck up.

A. No one consulted me when they put into effect copyright law.
B. I don't like how they enforce it and don't deem it fair.

Rights are something humanly innate, and I am not denying anyone any of their "right to do " when I copy the shit they provided to the public.

If you don't want your shit copied it should be 100% on the producer of the work to provide it in such a way and be wholly responsible for it to not get copied if it does, TOUGH SHIT, life happens produce something else.

Bards and minstrels and many more performance artists existed and did just fine before the U S of motherfecking A got raped by the British and copyright law existed.

And lets do some further studying of what Catholic monks copied back in the day at the dawn of the printing press.

Enforcing arbitrary laws on people for the benefit of a minority (very rich corporate executives) because the individual artists are fucked either way is not the way to go.

So ... FUCK YOU and your goddamn western civilization based on fucking lawyers and pencil pushers.

All misspellings and poor grammar is intentional.

Of course there are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795538)

from the so-you're-saying-there-are-living-composers dept.

Of course there are, silly. The dead ones are decomposers.

Self Justification (3, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795544)

Eleanor is justifying her own behavior, clearly. I enjoyed the "I'm not saying you're not right but you're totally wrong" line. I actually though his "photocopy my book" argument was quite compelling.

I will say, I understand Eleanor a bit. Sheet music seems amazingly expensive to me. Why does it cost $4 to download and print sheet music?

I can buy a large orchestration of a song, made with 100 musicians and a 50 person choir, for $1. But the sheet music, which is reduced to be played on one or two instruments, costs $4? That just seems off. The only good argument I could see would be to make up for people performing the music, but that requires a separate license payment (doesn't it?), so that can't be it. Actually, a song for Rock Band often costs ~$3. That's a full, high quality 5.1 sound, in 5 tracks, translated into 4 note custom note charts in 4 difficulty levels. That's a ton more work than went into the sheet music, but it's still 25% less money.

Then there's the fact that the sheet music is a byproduct of the process of making music. To make the "easy piano" version of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" takes extra work, but the full version of the guitar part was already written for the song. By the same token, do you think Elton John never would have produced sheet music for "Candle in the Wind" if he didn't want to sell the sheet music? He would have made it either way.

I like tinkering around on my keyboard, and playing simple songs. But sheet music is expensive, when you can find it. Can you even find piano arrangements of video game themes/music in stores?

He certainly deserves to be paid, I'm just not sure the price is in line with the relative value... which is why I don't buy much sheet music (and when I do, it's usually large collections).

he talks abtou a site that has sheet music (3, Interesting)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795550)

and lots of it for share-able download. WHERE? Sheet music goes out of print faster than stamps from Fiji. What I have I hold onto like gold. Example: Diamond Dogs by David Bowie. I bought the sheet music in 1975. Still have it. Haven't seen it since. Same thing with Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's Dazzle Ships / Architecture and Morality. Bought the book in 1983. Haven't seen it since.

And then there's these composers who are TOTAL PRICKS, like (cough) Philip Glass (cough) whose work is simply not for sale. You have to RENT the score to his work with the assumption of public performance, and renting a score of his is like $4000. No. shit.

so if I want to sit down and learn that crazy keyboard part from Einstein on the Beach, I have to fork over $4k! What a bunch of bullshit.

I would LOVE to find a sheet music sharing site. If anyone knows of some good ones, please let me know.

RS

The same old fallacy (0)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795564)

This quote sums up his position nicely, and really demonstrates why the underpinnings of his entire rationale are flawed:

that doesn't mean I surrender my right to get paid for providing the sheet music.

Unfortunately, there's no such thing as a "right to get paid".

He tries to hide it, but ultimately he still reveals himself to be a dick. Honestly, I'm not sure why he even bothered posting his "experiment". I guess he has no shame.

Shows how stupid "IP" really is (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795592)

This guy can't even give coherent examples on why "piracy" is bad because he treats them like physical property.

Friend of mine is building a house. He drew up the plans, he chopped down all the trees, he's got it all together. He doesn't have a screwdriver. He calls me up, says, "Dude, I need a screwdriver." I happen to have a screwdriver, so I give it to him, but I say, "Hey, I need that back later today, I have some work to do." He looks incredulous. "I have to build a house, my man. I'm not going to be done in a day. And what if someone likes my house and wants me to build one for them? I'll need the screwdriver to build their house too, yo." So I suggest he get his own screwdriver. "Why can't I just use yours?" he says. I tell him he can use mine, but then I need it back, it's my screwdriver, after all. He insists that he has the right to take my screwdriver, build his house, then keep that screwdriver forever so he can build other people's houses with it. This seems unfair to me.

But when I copy something, I'm not depriving someone of an original. If someone said "Hey, can I take your screwdriver for a few seconds, scan it in my computer and have my 3-D printer make me a replica?" I'd say sure. That is the closest thing to "piracy" in the physical world.

The screwdriver he wants is a tool that he is using to further his own aims. I went out, I bought a screwdriver, now I should just give it away to someone? Now let's say I wrote a song - it took a lot for me to write it, and it has been my full-time job for over twenty years to make sure that the songs I write go out into the world to be heard and sung. The way I support myself and my family is through the sale of those songs, on CD's, in sheet music, in tickets. Sheet music represents almost half of my yearly income. You seem to be saying that you should be able to take that song, that screwdriver, just take it for free, and go build your career and your happiness without ever compensating me.

...And to that I say, don't release it if it is -that- valuable to you. Seriously, there used to be a time not too long ago that if you published something it automatically pretty much became part of the public domain. One only needs to study where Shakespeare got the ideas for his plays to see that (and the majority of his stories would -not- be in the public domain today that he adapted)

If you don't want people using your stuff, don't release it. Don't write it down, don't publish it.

I collect first edition copies of the works of Thornton Wilder. I've been doing so for a long time, he's my favorite author in the world. Friend of mine comes over to the house, sees my collection, and says, "Wow, I've never read any of this stuff. This one looks cool." He takes down "The Bridge of San Luis Rey." "Can I read this?" Sure, I say. It would be rude of me not to let him borrow my book to read, after all. You might even say it would be "nasty." Two months go by; there's a big hole on my bookshelf where "The Bridge of San Luis Rey" is supposed to go. I call my friend, ask him for my book back. He comes over and says, "I love this book, yo. Make me a copy!" I look at him strangely. Why would I do that? He can just go to the bookstore and get a copy of his own. "No, dude, I love THIS book, you should just make me a copy of it." But the publishing company won't be able to survive if people just make copies of the book, I say, and the Thornton Wilder estate certainly deserves its share of the income it earns when people buy the book. He says I'm a jerk because I won't make him a copy of this genius book that I shared with him. I tell him he's a prick and he should get out of my house, and that's the last time I see him for years.

First off the guy is wrong in saying that the estate "deserves" to get a share of the profits. The book in question was published in 1927 just a decade or so shy of 100 years old. You don't "deserve" to live off of "royalties" of a book that your great-grandpa made.

Secondly, why shouldn't he get a copy? There isn't a single possession I own that I would be opposed to my friend having a copy that didn't deprive me of the original. Only a dick would prevent that.

I bought a fantastic new CD by my friend Michael Lowenstern. I then ripped that CD on to my hard drive so I can listen to it on my iPod in my car. Well, that's not FAIR, right? I should have to buy two copies? No. There is in fact a part of the copyright law that allows exactly this; it's called the doctrine of fair use. If you've purchased or otherwise legally obtained a piece of copyrighted material and you want to make a copy of it for your own use, that's perfectly legal and allowed.

Yes, but what this guy doesn't understand is that the DMCA forbids this! yes, its perfectly fair that I should be able to play a legally bought Wii game on a Wii emulator on my PC but yet since I would be removing DRM it isn't allowed! Format shifting is a basic right, but thanks to the DMCA and the like you can't do that.

In short, this guy is a greedy, idiotic bastard, I really hope everyone boycotts him and urges others to do the same. He has no clue what he is talking about and as such will probably never achieve fame because hes obviously doing this simply as a profit motive and doesn't care about anyone else or about restoring sanity to copyright.

context of use not considered? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795608)

I make my living writing software that retails for approx $1000 per license... and done fairly well at it... recently I was directed to a hacker site that had cracked copies of my code... I lurked for a few days to get a sense of the place and give myself time to think about how to react. The site's users were in two camps... those who use the software in an educational (usually self education) and those who are using it as a tool in their professional arsenal. Once I revealed myself I found that neither group said they would be willing to pay or stop using, even when edu discounts were offered... but the students were really cool about it and asked lots of informed questions and pointed out that when they moved to professional life they would recommend the tool... the others were really abusive.

In the end I decided to give the students my blessing as long as they didn't come seeking support... no lost sale, no money changing hands, no big deal and a potential for future sales. The love-wave that came back from those guys felt almost as good as actual sales.

The so-called professionals were anything but, their attitude was that in business it's all fair and if using cracked software gave the a competitive edge then it was crazy to do otherwise... no love-wave.

Yeah, anecdotal I know but this composer chappy has got the wrong end of the equation and 'elenor' is on the right track... I for one will be telling my musical friends how much of an a-hole this guy is and hopefully he will have more lost real sales.

When the **AA are at war with their customers (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795614)

When the **AA are at war with their customers, its the artists that suffer. A big part of the issue here I feel is that with all the crap the **AA's have done, people just don't care as much about whom it hurts. The **AA's have spent so much time and money showing people that they are the face of the artists that when people think of illegally downloading they don't have the real makers of the music come to mind and how that will hurt them, all they see in their mind is just a giant, faceless corporation that doesn't give a shit of them and will sue anyone and everyone they can just for a few more dollars. No one really has any sympathy for the **AA's, and in turn they don't care if they hurt the **AA's. The hidden issue though is while the illegal downloading does hurt the **AA's (which most people don't care about) it also hurts the artists too.

Thomas Macaulay, as always (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795634)

At present the holder of copyright has the public feeling on his side. Those who invade copyright are regarded as knaves who take the bread out of the mouths of deserving men. Everybody is well pleased to see them restrained by the law, and compelled to refund their ill-gotten gains. No tradesman of good repute will have anything to do with such disgraceful transactions. Pass this law: and that feeling is at an end. Men very different from the present race of piratical booksellers will soon infringe this intolerable monopoly. Great masses of capital will be constantly employed in the violation of the law. Every art will be employed to evade legal pursuit; and the whole nation will be in the plot. On which side indeed should the public sympathy be when the question is whether some book as popular as Robinson Crusoe, or the Pilgrim's Progress, shall be in every cottage, or whether it shall be confined to the libraries of the rich for the advantage of the great-grandson of a bookseller who, a hundred years before, drove a hard bargain for the copyright with the author when in great distress? Remember too that, when once it ceases to be considered as wrong and discreditable to invade literary property, no person can say where the invasion will stop. The public seldom makes nice distinctions. The wholesome copyright which now exists will share in the disgrace and danger of the new copyright which you are about to create. And you will find that, in attempting to impose unreasonable restraints on the reprinting of the works of the dead, you have, to a great extent, annulled those restraints which now prevent men from pillaging and defrauding the living.

- Thomas Macaulay, 1841 [baens-universe.com]

This fine composer is the victim of the theft of the commons. He seems a reasonable guy. Unfortunately for him copyright is no longer a square deal and since people are now ignoring all copyrights, they're ignoring his too. That's not fair, but what is there to do? We as individuals have no power to make copyright back into a square deal again and to research every author and contributor to a work for each use to determine if there's net sanity there is just too high a burden. The public seldom makes nice distinctions. His loss is no greater than ours: he's lost some potential income; we've lost our culture.

Finally (1)

acalltoreason (1732266) | more than 3 years ago | (#32795680)

I'm glad someone is finally taking the high road and acting like an adult. Instead of making threats, he politely asked them to stop, and it seems it worked. The fact is, piracy IS illegal and the fight for piracy isn't about committing crimes, its about fighting racketeering groups like the RIAA. I hope other artists learn from this.

FUCK DIRECTV THIEVES (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32795718)

Fucking Directv is a bunch of deceiving thieves-- be warned
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