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Interview with Jim Griffin

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the sound-off dept.

Music 76

mpawlo writes "I just finished a Greplaw interview with Jim Griffin. Griffin, of Pholist fame, gives his thoughts on copyright and digital distribution of music. Learn also why copyright should be renamed copy risk. Griffin was once - at Geffen - behind the online release of a full-length song by Aerosmith. In 1994! He is, however, not a John Perry Barlow School of Thought devotee."

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Jim Griffin (-1, Offtopic)

Mohammed Al-Sahaf (665285) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583138)

Isnt he the guy responsible for the muppets?

Re:Jim Griffin (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7583240)

no, that's Andy Griffith or Ron Howard, one or the other.

Re:Jim Griffin (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7583368)

Ron paid me $200 to let him masturbate to completion, but I only accepted $50. It was really an honor just being in his presence!

Re:Jim Griffin (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7583672)

Wait a minute, he jacked you off? or did you watch as he did it? I'm confused.

omg (-1, Offtopic)

preric (689159) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583144)

you lose my sound in the train stations!

Re:omg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7583258)

Hey it's that old country hit by purple rain!!!!!!!!!!!! yay microsoft?

I dig... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7583161)

I can respect any man who enjoys a good bowl of pho.

Re:I dig... (0, Offtopic)

krog (25663) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583241)

wow, the western equivalent of rav_eaters! i sure do love pho.

(pho tai nam for me)

Re:I dig... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7583253)

I fucked your father, krog bitch.

Re:I dig... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7583273)

so THATS where i got herpes from!

Is it even the same? (-1, Offtopic)

AdrocK (107367) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583176)

Now I don't like MS as much as the next guy, but I have to ask myself if they put the same haphazard programming practices that go into their OS and PC apps into their embedded OS. Can they honestly push releases out unpatched and broken, and still maintain a market? As they don't seem to have that market as cornered, and customers require stability and usability over the newest-coolest-gotta-get-it features, wouldn't an unstable embedded OS simply NOT sell? Hmmm...

Re:Is it even the same? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7583293)

I so solly I CANNO UNDAHSTYAND what yu sey!!!!!!! linux hacks

Re:Is it even the same? (0, Offtopic)

AdrocK (107367) | more than 10 years ago | (#7584502)

Um. Dunno how it happened, but this should have gone under a different article [] (If MS built cars...) Sorry.

Dear voters of Northern Ireland (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7583221)

It has come to our attention that you're too fucking stupid and stubborn to sort this shit out for yourselves. We tried to get you to work with each other and be nice for a fucking change, and what do you do? You throw it back in everyones face by voting for the Democratic Unionist Party, who have no interest in actually solving anything. It would seem that you wish to return to the troubles of the 1970's. Well thats fine with us; we have more troops and bigger guns than you can shake a fucking balaclava at.

Carpet bombing of all six counties will begin five minutes after the final results are announced. You stupid bastards.

Re:Dear voters of Northern Ireland (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7583303)

shut the fuck up you fucking jew bastard. Krog's father is watching!

Re:Dear voters of Northern Ireland (1)

krog (25663) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583349)

my dad doesn't give a horizontal shit about Northern Mickland

Re:Dear voters of Northern Ireland (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7583357)

true that, my friend. True that.

Re:Dear voters of Northern Ireland (1)

krog (25663) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583435)

p.s. I assume I know you?

He wants an "internet tax" to support artists (4, Insightful)

Julian Morrison (5575) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583234)

...which amounts to nationalizing all art. (He who pays the piper, etc.)

Unless you like Soviet hymns to tractor production statistics, that probably isn't such a great idea.

Re:He wants an "internet tax" to support artists (5, Informative)

OneHouse (151904) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583272)

Wrong. I am clearly on the record as completely opposed to government compelling such a tax. If you read carefully, I advocate voluntary negotiations that produce blanket licenses. I do not think the government should set the rate, I do not think government should collect the money, I do not think government should be involved in its allocation. I believe private negotiations can accomplish these tasks just as they have with broadcast radio and television.

Re:He wants an "internet tax" to support artists (3, Interesting)

mellon (7048) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583494)

It seems like what you're objecting to here is the idea that government would choose who would get payment, not to any givernment involvement at all, right? Correct me if I am wrong, but it looks like you want the government, wether through passage of laws or through its capacity as the enforcer of contracts, to make sure that people pay.

One of the big objections that I see to BMI/ASCAP/RIAA is that regardless of what's played, most of the money goes to the record companies, then the big artists get their cut, and the little artists get nothing. But the little artists don't have the right to opt out. At first blush, it seems like a non-obnoxious micropayment system would be fairer. How do you make your statistics-based system fair to small artists? And what about opting out?

Re:He wants an "internet tax" to support artists (1)

OneHouse (151904) | more than 10 years ago | (#7585857)

Again, I repeat: I do not think the government should have any role whatsoever in actuarial systems unless there is a complete failure to negotiate private, voluntary agreements, and even then I am not for government involvement but simply believe it will prove inevitable to resolve the stalemate.

Re:He wants an "internet tax" to support artists (2, Interesting)

swillden (191260) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583621)

I believe private negotiations can accomplish these tasks just as they have with broadcast radio and television.

And you also said:

Paying into actuarial network funds should be no more voluntary than ought be automobile insurance.

So you appear to believe the government should have a place in mandating the payments, even if it isn't involved in setting the rates or collecting or disbursing the money. Actually, the government also has a place in ensuring the payments happen in broadcast radio and television -- it's illegal for me to take broadcast content and deliver it to others (via broadcast or other mechanisms). Also with cable television, the government gets involved in ensuring that cable "theft" is punished.

So, what do you envision the government's role to be in this Internet tax?

In the other examples you mention there's an obvious way for payments to be allocated. In the case of broadcast and cable networks, private entities control the networks and control what they carry (with governmental force behind these controls). That enables them to negotiate with the producers of content and to allocate the payments based on the value the networks perceive. This only works, though, because there are multiple, competing, networks. Each network maximizes its profits by trying to get the most appealing content it can for the lowest price it can. Consumers can opt in or out based on their percepetion of the bundled value. In the case of broadcast networks, they change channels. In the case of cable, they choose which channels to buy.

How can this model be translated into the Internet? Who are the private companies empowered to negotiate with content producers and to control the delivery of content to consumers? The Internet is different in that there are no central points of control, or, at least, that there should not be.

ISPs are the end users' access into the network, and the logical place in which to collect the fees, and users could potentially negotiate the amount of the fee they pay by choosing which ISP to use. However, how would the ISPs determine how to allocate the funds among artists? And why would ISPs want to give *any* money to artists? Would ISPs give money to an artist for the "permission" to "carry' that artist's work? But... the ISPs don't control what content is carried over their wires anyway. The users decide what they send and receive.

The only way for ISPs to make that work would be for them to start taking control of what their users are and are not allowed to send/receive. Massive packet filtering. Even beyond all of the technical issues related to how ISPs would recognize which packets to filter -- particularly if the end users were actively trying to make filtering difficult -- such filtering would make the Internet vastly less useful than it is. It's the freedom of the peer to peer nature of this largest of all networks that makes it what it is, and throwing up thousands of roadblocks would destroy it. Imagine if every township stopped and searched every automobile that drove through, looking for contraband.

In the absence of a set of competing organizations with the ability to control the content made available, I simply don't see what can drive a reasonable allocation of the collected funds.

It can't be done, without government compulsion (2, Interesting)

Julian Morrison (5575) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583916)

The copyright licensing schemes only got negotiated on TV&radio because (1) the govt monopolizes broadcast licenses, so the number of broadcasters is low and easy to determine (2) it's very obvious who is transmitting what. Obviously, these don't apply to p2p.

I can see what you mean: monitor and log downloads at the ISP, pay fees to artists, spread the cost across customer subscriptions. Perhaps negotiate a blanket license for the ISPs instead of pay-per-play. Whatever. I just can't see that model working without it being universal and compelled. People would just pick the cheaper no-surcharge ISPs.

Any market-acceptable surcharge would never cover for the "lost money" of music companies. Even my cheapskate broadband can pull down ten bundled albums or a nice quality cinema movie per day. Spread that as thin as you please, and it's still a lot of $$$. Especially with everyone joining in, ecouraged by the hypothetical ISP's "all you can eat" license.

Re:He wants an "internet tax" to support artists (3, Insightful)

GospelHead821 (466923) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583281)

It isn't strictly a national industry. He compares the process to that of automobile insurance - and that is a private industry. As long as there is an accountable entity responsible for the collection and fair disbursement of the funds associated with the creation, distribution, and purchase of music, then it doesn't have to be a governmental entity at all.

Re:He wants an "internet tax" to support artists (1)

doconnor (134648) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583457)

In several Canadian provinces automobile insurance is handled by government owned companies. With the increasing costs of private insurance, other provinces may be added to the list.

Re:He wants an "internet tax" to support artists (3, Insightful)

mabu (178417) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583364)

IMO, the problem with "art" is that it becomes less creative expression and more financial transaction when money is the motivating factor.

We all want artists to be supported in their efforts, but I think part of what composes the integrity of many forms of creative expression is the lack of a clear subsidizing/transactional relationship.

In other words, true artists could care less about DRM.

Re:He wants an "internet tax" to support artists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7583588)

ah, but in soviet russia, the piper pays you.

Re:He wants an "internet tax" to support artists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7583853)

I really think the ignorant socialism == marxism == marxist-leninism == stalinism sillyness should stop. If you're incapabale of distinguishing one left wing movement from another, it would be the smartest thing to shut up until you've got at least a grasp on what you're talking about.

If you really think only idiots have socialist sympathies, perhaps you should read Albert Einstein's "Why Socialism?" [] (Warning, Einstein might reveal some shocking truths about capitalism to you, like "It is important to understand that even in theory the payment of the worker is not determined by the value of his product.")

On topic: as stated in the article, lots of European states have taxes like these yet they are not plan economies, most of them currently haven't even got a left wing government.

All socialism is equivalent (1)

Julian Morrison (5575) | more than 10 years ago | (#7584001)

It's all envy dressed up as philosophy. A way for leeches to salve their conscience. The cow is stealing from the leech collective! It has so much blood and we have so little! Unfair! Redistribute the blood, comrades!

Re:All socialism is equivalent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7584925)

By the same token Captialsim is greed dressed up as philosophy. A way for explioters to salve their consience. Gimme Gimme Gimme Gimme.

Re:All socialism is equivalent (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 10 years ago | (#7585208)

It's all envy dressed up as philosophy. A way for leeches to salve their conscience.

Socialism is based on labor. It's capitialism that is the system based on leeching, where the state defined and backed "owners" (capitalists, investors) get to leech off of workers.

Re:All socialism is equivalent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7585518)

That's just the kind of reaction I expected (I'm the same AC). If all socialism is equivalent, why aren't there constant revolutions in western Europe? (Hint, they're mostly revisionist socialists over in western Europe, social democrats to be more precise).

The essence of socialism is about getting a fair reward for what you accomplish and about giving everyone an equal oppertunity to accomplish something. These are the fundamental differences to captialism, where your oppertunities are determined by how much money you have and where your work is not rewarded for its merits but your reward is determined by the laws of supply and demand of the labor force instead, meaning: if there are a lot of unemployed who are sufficiently skilled at your work, you'll never get rich, no matter how good you are at your job any how well you perform it, because you can be replaced easily.

To put it in pratical terms: if you're an IT worker who's job is threatened by the outsourcing going on, and you're proud of being a capitalist, you should bite the bullet and request a major salary cut to keep your job.

Re Michael Robertson / Lindows / / CNET (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7583275)

Speaking of the Pho list, this was posted there yesterday: []

Has to do with Michael Robertson trying to "save" the indie music at from being deleted by new owner CNET.

DRM systems (5, Interesting)

gxv (577982) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583287)

From the interview, concerning DRM systems:
So it seems quite obvious that conditioning access on locks and keys doesn't work today, and is purely a theoretical, hypothetical suggestion that has never proven value in the marketplace.
Sounds like "information wants to be free". In this case free from strange limitations (Yes, you can play that CD on the computer, but it will only work, when it's Windows or Mac. Can you repeat? Linux? What is Linux? Ah, yes I heard something. No, sorry Sir, we don't support it. Oh, one more thing - to make it work during playback every 17 seconds you have to press Ctrl+V+F7). If the DRM-protected file is less useful and flexible than one you've just got from Kazaa, you will use the one from Kazaa. Period.

Re:DRM systems (1)

OneHouse (151904) | more than 10 years ago | (#7585867)

Yes, of course you will use the one from Kazaa or via the shortest path. And that is no problem in an actuarial system.

I dispute this quote (3, Informative)

JoeBaldwin (727345) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583308)

Europeans are accustomed to paying a mandatory annual television fee

While I for one support the License Fee, many over here in the U of K hate it, and wish it was gone. Why they would want to go for a US-alike TV system, with commercials everywhere, I don't know.

Also, by Europeans I think he means "Brits". To my knowledge, only we pay a TV License.

Re:I dispute this quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7583325)

Sweden, Denmark and Norway too. Don't know about the continent

Re:I dispute this quote (1)

FrkyD (545855) | more than 10 years ago | (#7586540)

Austria as well.

Re:I dispute this quote (2, Informative)

s20451 (410424) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583333)

Also, by Europeans I think he means "Brits". To my knowledge, only we pay a TV License.

I think there are also license fees in the Scandinavian countries. Certainly there are in Sweden and Finland. Remenber that Nokia television handset story a while back?

Re:I dispute this quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7583353)

"Also, by Europeans I think he means "Brits". To my knowledge, only we pay a TV License."

A bit off-topic: I live in Sweden, and we have this mandatory TV-license fee. It wouldn't surprise me if many other European countries have this as well.

Re:I dispute this quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7583359)

The license fee in the UK is a disgrace. Everyone with a television set is obliged to pay 100 per year to the BBC whether they watch it or not. This funding model may have made sense when they were the only channels but now with cable/satellite we have dozens like everyone else. And we patronisingly get told what 'great value' the BBC is all the time, compared with, say, Sky.

Even if you support the idea of public sector broadcasting with public money, why should one broadcaster have a monopoly on it? Others could easily match the BBC's supposed quality which in fact has been crap for 20 years at least. Supermarket celebrity pet sweep etc.

Death to the Beeb!

Re:I dispute this quote (1)

JoeBaldwin (727345) | more than 10 years ago | (#7584184)

The BBC has only been a pile of steaming horseshit because of the mess that the Tories made of broadcasting regulations, the resulting lack of standards on ITV and the consequential dive in quality at the BBC because of their perennial game of catch-up. The BBC is still a hell of a lot better than anyone else, BTW.

Want to discuss this further? Try this site. []

Re:I dispute this quote (1)

gxv (577982) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583423)

Also, by Europeans I think he means "Brits". To my knowledge, only we pay a TV License.
Wrong. There is a TV fee in all scandinavian countries, Poland and the most of former comunistic countries. These i'm sure of, probably more has it. In Bulgaria you have to pay it even if you dont have the TV set...
I have to pay this tax. They say these are money for so called "social mission" of state television. I woulnt mind if it would guarantee me something, for instance commercial ads free program. It does not. There is absolutely no difference between state television and commercial broadcasters - same crap everywhere - a lot of commercials, reality shows, stupid quiz shows. Thank you, but no thank you - the TV tax is a bad idea.

Re:I dispute this quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7583717)

How much does the UK spend enforcing & collecting this TV tax? The officers, TV detector vans, handheld units, fines & court time all cost money. How much could they save by eliminating the tax and funding the beeb out of general tax revenue? The officers could do something productive, like trying to reduce street crime.

When TVs were rare, you could understand the rationale. Why should the general public pay for the 20% that has TVs? But almost everyone has a TV these days.

Why not have a one-time tax on TVs when they are sold/imported/manufactured?

Why is there no tax on radios? You can get BBC radio for free.

Re:I dispute this quote (1)

penguinoid (724646) | more than 10 years ago | (#7584754)

Right. There is no sense in tv taxes if their intention is to remove adds. This is best done by commercial networks which guarantee add-free tv.

Re:I dispute this quote (3, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583539)

many hate here too(finland, yes we have such a thing).. but mainly because it's a crazy amount of money(165euros per year, now my rent is 170e per month so for me it is an outrageous sum) and doesn't directly go into funding the tv(you can buy canal+ for the same money basically). students&others quite regularly leave it unpaid. there's inspectors who go around sometimes asking people who haven't paid it if they have a tv but they lack all police powers(meaning that you can just tell to go fuck themselfs and there's nothing they can do about it), there's ad campaigns to get people to pay as well(but they're very fud like, mostly just meant to spread fear).

the channels have occasionally very good programming though and no ads is a _major_ plus(and they don't always care just for viewer ratings so there's occasionally good niche programs as well). digital tv is a plus too, and a reality(if you had digicard for dvr, you could do a very good digi-rips of band of brothers for example among other shows) in both terrestial and cable versions.

i haven't watched tv in the last 3 weeks at all though...

Re:I dispute this quote (2, Informative)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 10 years ago | (#7584907)

the channels have occasionally very good programming though and no ads is a _major_ plus(and they don't always care just for viewer ratings so there's occasionally good niche programs as well).
We in Holland do not have a TV license scheme. We did away with it a few years ago, now money for public broadcasts comes from general taxation.

Sound like your public stations are okay. Let me tell you what ours are like, just to prove that a blanket tax scheme does not guarantee good quality.

Commercial TV stations have ads. Our public TV stations on the other hand, have... ads! We have niche programming as well... niche meaning bizarre programming that only a few of the 'artistic' intelligentia enjoy. As for the rest, public TV feels it has to compete with the commercials, so the remainder of the programming is intellectualy devoid tripe.

I remember when commercial television was introduced here. The public broadcasting in-crowd poured scorn on the whole thing, and in particular the little logo that these stations display in the corner of the screen. Well guess what? Within our public broadcasting system there are several 'companies' that make programs, each with their own logo. Worse: some well paid consultant decided thaty not only do these companies need an 'identity', the TV channels themselves need one as well. So now there's two logo's, one for the company and one for the channel.

If you want an example of how not to provide culture from the public treasury, look at Holland. We have managed to combine the disadvantages of socialism and commercialism... and the result isn't pretty.

Re:I dispute this quote (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583549)

The TV license is something that could never happen again or be introduced to a new country, i personally dont mind it either - its just something you get used to and its cool having no adverts (even though fame acadamy sequels are really starting to piss me off). Im sure it will go one day but i dont know if that will be a good or a bad thing - all i know is that some people pay even more for channels that have adverts!

Americans pay a TV tax, too (2, Insightful)

Theatetus (521747) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583629)

Every time we buy a product that was advertised on TV, the cost of the TV advertisements is being passed on to us. Fortunately for Americans, thanks to the free market that money goes to corporate boards that aren't accountable to us, rather than to some silly "public broadcasting concern".

Re:I dispute this quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7584300)

wtf is the U of K, dickhead ?

Re:I dispute this quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7584435)

Also, by Europeans I think he means "Brits". To my knowledge, only we pay a TV License.

Then your knowledge isn't worth much, is it, ass-wipe?

Re:I dispute this quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7585089)

TV license fees do not only exist in the "United of Kingdom" - but also in Germany (and some other European countries already mentioned in the answers).

And there exist TV fees in Japan, too.

DRM application (3, Interesting)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583317)

He argues both that DRM is a concept not a technology, and that the overall costs and balances of DRM ought to be taken into account (the Cable TV argument), and that the financial value of art is in its ability to draw a crowd.

The cost of applying DRM to a given work should be factored (as a negative) into the popularity and therefore take-up of that work. I'm still not convinced that anyone "high up" in the content-protection (**IA) business has figured that out... This ought to be required reading for industry execs.


Concerns For Distribution (5, Insightful)

Ironmaus (725832) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583334)

Jim Griffin sounds very knowledgeable about this subject but he also spins some serious hippie crap that makes me doubt his theories and opinions.

I have no particular take on QTFairUse. I simply acknowledge, accept and find delight in digits -- especially those carrying art, knowledge and creativity -- bionomically finding the shortest, most efficient and effective path from source to destination.

Yeah, that's the biggest cop out to a serious question ever.

I wish he'd just come out and say it in plain English:

Our path to progress is clear: Tolerate risk, but anticipate its consequences and address them through actuarial means, by pooling fees and allocating their rewards to risk takers such as artists and rights holders. Paying into actuarial network funds should be no more voluntary than ought be automobile insurance.

In other words, everyone should pay a "music listening tax" regardless of how much music they listen to. Those who listen to a lot get great value from the taxation and those who listen to less just...shut up and pay the bill.

As fabulous and socialist as this all sounds, the part about pooling the fees and paying the "risk takers such as artists and rights holders" scares the shit out of me. Are we willing, for the sake of putting rights management out of our minds, to trust a huge payment distribution system to reward our artists? I'm not. I'm terrified that the little guys are going to fall through the cracks. This plan sounds exactly like the payment of royalties for non-profit radio stations--like the one [] I work for--where we pay a lump sum and the distribution companies like ASCAP dole out the payments based on "play statistics." Massive Habit [] and Jump Little Children [] aren't getting a single nickel from what we pay. It's my responsibility as a fan of their music to go outside the payment system that sees them as insignificant and give my money directly to them in the form of CD purchases and show attendance.

Re:Concerns For Distribution (3, Informative)

YankeeInExile (577704) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583387)

I think you misunderstand Mr. Griffin - I believe that he posits a Copyrisk pool as one method to reward artists.

There is nothing about this Copyrisk Commons Plan to stop an individual artist from collecting a revenue stream from selling artifacts (shiny discs of plastic covered with bits), performing in public (whether it be Lincoln Center, or the Harvard Square T station), or any other lawful pursuit of revenue (except buying SCOX).

Re:Concerns For Distribution (2, Interesting)

GospelHead821 (466923) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583413)

There would need to be a way to ensure that even the little guys get some share of them money. Perhaps have a small, flat rate that applies to the first 100 or 1000 or some arbitrarily small number of downloads. Any music producer whose song is downloaded a number of times below that threshhold gets the flat fee. Anybody whose music is downloaded more times gets a percentage, based on statistics, of the remaining pool, which has probably been barely touched by the amount alotted to the small performers.

Re:Concerns For Distribution (1)

rcpitt (711863) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583419)

Reading the interview leaves me feeling that maybe the Blank Media Levy [] here in Canada as well as the Proposed levy on ISPs [] are not all that bad an idea. Don't get me wrong - in their current, narrowly defined and administered fashion they tilt things as you point out, not paying the little guys at all.

But if you added a better enumeration system for what actually got played, noting that the computer systems and network today make this almost trivial compared to the current sampling system and estimation based solely upon air-play (which is itself pushed and pulled by what amounts to payolla but isn't called that anymore), then it may in fact be fair.

The other thing to note is that there doesn't seem to be any movement to make this (levy) payment the only way an artist can get paid. I expect that many (more) will resort to self-publishing and doing e-commerce in the same fashion that Janis Ian [] is doing, adding value in the form of physical articles that go along with the purchase of the (digital) art in question.

Collectors, fans, wanabees and all sorts will pay for exclusivity - either first access, unique extras, etc.

The other thing that will continue to make the artists money is appearances - live music gigs for example.

What the whole change is doing is cutting out the middle men - the publishers - and I for one am glad they're going. Today, they add nothing and take much. They are the ones that want to implement DRM - so they can get paid to do what they no longer need to do - distribute.

Re:Concerns For Distribution (1)

jafac (1449) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583750)

Can I get a Deafness Exemption?

Re:Concerns For Distribution (1)

OneHouse (151904) | more than 10 years ago | (#7585879)

Sorry you read my reaction to QTFairUse as a "cop out." In fact I have not used it. I thought it best to reserve comment until I have and simply note that I favor all shorter paths. When I have personally used it I will feel more comfortable in commenting, as I do not like to speculate where I have no personal knowledge or experience.

I don't buy it. (1)

Ironmaus (725832) | more than 10 years ago | (#7586434)

If someone said to you, "There's a new electromagnetic weapon powerful enough to disrupt the computer systems running most modern attack vehicles. It may save countless lives but it could also fall into the wrong hands. What is your take on this kind of weapon?" You wouldn't respond, "I can't render a verdict until I've fired one."

It's not necessary to have used something to form an opinion about what it does. The question was not posed to you to determine if you felt QTFairUse had a nice GUI or needed more usability testing. The interviewer gave you a basic understanding of the tool then asked how you felt about it and, by extension, it's potential uses. By sidestepping the issue he presented--"On one hand, the program may provide fair-use, on the other hand, this may in practice be the silver-bullet to the first functioning commercial alternative to more or less illegal downloading through for example Kazaa"--you left readers without an answer.

As I see it, either you consciously chose to ignore the question and didn't explain why, or you misunderstood the question and missed an opportunity to speak on one of the most important aspects of this whole debate: What about the people who, for whatever purpose, forever seem to be circumventing the plans that are put in place? We wouldn't be reading the article if we didn't think your opinion mattered, so stop hiding behind your "delight in digits" and say something concrete.

Thanks Rob (0, Offtopic)

Burt Malda (727405) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583362)

Dinner was great yesterday. Your mom and I appreciated everything, but we're still puzzled over tacos being served instead of turkey. Oh well. See you at Christmas. Love, Dad

Re:Thanks Rob (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7583374)

Worship satan. Film at 11!

In other words... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7583366)

This just in, Professer Kikestien says: "All goyim must pay additional pound-of-flesh for mind control industry. The chosen-tribe needs a new pair of (Palestinian-skin) shoes."

Slashdotters haven't been talked down to like this since Jon "Kosher" Katz's "expert" opinion on "Cyber"-[insert topic here].

How about a little diversity in our "experts"?

How many young boys does it take to get MJ hard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7583381)

Just one!

I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7587545)

Did they bleach the colour of MJ's penis too, or is it as black as the day he was born?

The Road to Hell is paved with good intentions .. (3, Insightful)

leoaugust (665240) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583393)

We can replace the entire music business worldwide for less than it costs to complain about the fee, and all media can be compensated for at a fee that integrates well with monthly wireless or wired fees. This is hardly revolutionary:

I might sound simplistic, but isn't this the road to socialism - Compensating all media when most of them deserve to die an unsung death?

  1. On this road the first step in the journey of a thousand steps is day n when it will be "at a cost less than it costs to complain."
  2. The second step is on day n+1 when some wiseguy will come up and talk about not leaving money on the table and making it "cost just about equal to what it costs to complain."
  3. On day n+m another high flyer will come and say let us test the market and make it "cost just a little more than it costs to complain."
  4. On day n+m+1 a MBA will come and say let us just "let those who can pay pay more than it costs to complain."
  5. Then the RIAA will come ....
  6. And waiting like a Vulture for his day, Darl McBride will come and say ....

DRM will never ever completely stamp out piracy (3, Interesting)

Von Helmet (727753) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583434)

It simply cannot be done. There's always ways round it, and it's kinda futile. Copy protection programs generally only work under Windows/Mac, and can often be disabled, a la the shift key debacle of recent months. If the copy protection is a bit better than that, and can't be disabled, then youc an always use a different OS. I couldn't rip the Dido CD in Windows, but Grip in Linux did it just fine. Even if they were to tighten up on things like even including blocking for Linux (and I don't know how they'd pull that off) then there'd still be ways round it. If you can hear the sound then you can record it, and that's good enough. You can hook a CD player up to a PC and record the audio, or a PC to another PC... you name it. Granted, most people aren't going to go to such lengths - the general public doesn't really care for Linux :) - but there are already systems like Kazaa in place to distribute MP3s, so it only takes one keen person to create the MP3 in the first place, and everyone else is laughing. The music industry should stop worrying about DRM and all this rubbish. The horse has bolted, the cat is out of the bag, etc etc. The only way people are going to stop pirating CDs and start buying them again is if the record companies start selling good quality music at a fair price. Here endeth the lesson.

Where there is a will (0, Redundant)

CrypticSpawn (719164) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583513)

Where there is a will, there is usually a way. Liked the article.

22khz Aerosmith File (1)

ebmedia (527536) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583690)

Does anyone have a copy of this historic file? Perhaps someone with a beefy server could host it? Or would we all get tossed in jail?

Great ideas, except for involuntary fees (1)

daveking (110208) | more than 10 years ago | (#7583765)

I favor imposing involuntary fees across network users such that the fees become so low they are hardly worth complaining about.

The size of the fee is not the problem. It would be a huge mistake to codify the current flawed network structure of 'network users' and providers into tax law.

We already have a many legally taxable networks. The telephone, cable, water, sewer, and road networks are all taxable for various reasons and with varying amounts of harm and good.

But the Internet is ideally a distributed mesh network constructed and operated by the individual owners of its nodes and links, not multinational corporations. New tax structures based on the current heirarchal model will limit our ability to migrate to a meshed peer network structure as technology allows it. And no government has the authority to prevent the construction of such networks, according to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights []

When two roomates decide to network their computers, should tax collectors be involved? Of course not. What about two neighbors? Ten? An entire city? Neighboring cities?

In some cases, taxes might reasonably fund parts of the network. Links between cities might be paid for with sales or property taxes. But that is an issue to be decided by the citizens of the respective cities. Enabling speech with taxes is fine. Limiting speech with taxes is not.

It would be absurd to limit the ability of individuals to communicate with each other in order to promote the ability of some artists and their agents to communicate to their market.

The Family Guy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7583986)

Jim? Jim Griffin? You mean Peter's brother??
I thought it was just a cartoon and now you're telling me it's real life? Crap.
This turns my whole world upside down, inside out, and well...quite frankly, I'm confused.

ps: oh yeah... "boobies" nyahahahha

Bundling (2, Interesting)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 10 years ago | (#7584267)

The arguements for bundling mostly have good counter arguements. Sure, it can make sense for a theme park to charge a single admission rather than a per ride fee. They can save a lot of administrative costs. Those who remember Disney's old A through E ticket system, where the consumer often ended up with a bunch of left over A & B tickets, and tired kids who didn't want to ride the Mad Hatter's teacup ride just to use them up, will know the feeling.
But, the LP or CD format itself is bundling. Downloading just the songs you want is a move _away_ from bundling. Paying a flat fee per song looks like bundling on the level of pop music and single tracks, but is a move away from bundling at the album level.
Example: At 99 cents a track, Mike Oldfield's Tubular bells will cost you about 2 dollars for the whole album (2 tracks). Tubular Bells 2 is about 20 dollars, and Tubular Bells 3 is about 16. So, if Mr. Oldfield releases Tubular Bells 4, it will doubtless consist of exactly as many tracks as his agency figures will maximize total return.

Rarefied Dodging of the Point (1)

Differance (448814) | more than 10 years ago | (#7584600)

# Are digital rights management systems the answer? Then what was the question

You know, Jim's asked about "DRM" and then he goes on and on about cable television and how "rare" it would be for "DRM" to make sense in "mass media," about "denying content" to "digital or analog radio" -- *without a word at all* about digital broadcast television. It's not like it's at all likely Jim doesn't know the FCC just decided to mandate the "broadcast flag."

So what's your position on the broadcast flag, Jim? Would it be only some set of "licensed professionals" who get to analyze and process digital broadcast television signals with the flag set on? Or nobody gets to without the copyright holder's say-so? Don't you think you ought to address the "rare" case of the "broadcast flag?"

Sure, if you seek to limit the audience for the content, but it is rare that there is any sense in treating mass media with digital rights management techniques. DRM, for most people, means "Did you get paid?" Essentially, you manage your digital rights best if you get paid for the digits. Are we managing our digits well if we condition their delivery on locks and keys? Of course not. Cable television has essentially no DRM. Virtually every cable recipient has a video cassette or other recorder to capture the content. Are we managing our digital rights well if we fail to sell our content into this environment on account of its obvious lack of control? Of course not. If we failed to sell it to cable, we wouldn't get paid. Are we practicing good DRM if deny our content to analog or digital radio? Of course not. If we fail to deliver content, we will not be paid. So it seems quite obvious that conditioning access on locks and keys doesn't work today, and is purely a theoretical, hypothetical suggestion that has never proven value in the marketplace.

fame? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7584646)

Griffin, of Pholist fame

Doesn't take much anymore to be called famous, does it?

Jim Griffin at July 11, 2000 Napster hearing.. (1)

thumbtack (445103) | more than 10 years ago | (#7585975)

is available at as a mp3 [] .

In a world where content managers from the MPAA and RIAA membership are screaming and whining that the sky is falling, Jim has seen the potential since beginning. His testimony at the Napster hearings, was the high point of the and actually gave me some hope. The same day, Lars Ulrich from Metallica was whining "Napster ripped me off," Jim Griffin was talking about increasing the size of the musical pie from $40 billion to $100 billion per year. Basically telling people to quit fighting over who gets what part of the pie, lets make a bigger pie, so everyone can get a slice. Every word he said that day, still applies today. It's well worth a listen.

The other testimony that day was prompted me to found the boycott-riaa website, and later after I left boycott-riaa in October this year. Jim's ideas may not be perfect but they are much better for all involved than the current situation.
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