US Presidential Debate #2 Tonight: Discuss Here
Mitt Romney: going after birds, big and small.
Matt Smith Leaving Doctor Who Already?
I'm expecting Matt Smith to be replaced by Alex Kingston...
A Composer's-Eye View of the Copyright Wars
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. [snip]
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.
But when you copy something you're potentially depriving someone of income. Say the guy who makes screwdrivers. Not always, granted, but sometimes. And often enough for it to irk the guy who makes the screwdrivers.
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)
It's valuable to him because he can release it and make money from it. It's the way he supports his family. It's almost half his yearly income.
If you don't want people using your stuff, don't release it. Don't write it down, don't publish it.
He wants to make a living doing what he's good at. That involves writing his stuff down and publishing it. Some people are willing to pay for his material, some aren't. Your argument is that just because some people copy his material without paying him, then he should give up the opportunity for any people to do so. It's like saying, if you don't want people to break into your house, then don't put in doors or windows. Just have four concrete walls and a roof. Sure, nobody will be able to get in, but it kinda defeats the purpose. Among other things, you'll starve.
And, for the record, there are some songs that he has chosen not to publish. Chosen being the operative word.
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.
He's actually pretty famous in musical theatre circles. Not Lloyd Webber famous. Not Sondheim famous. But Jason Robert Brown famous. Say, not IE famous. Not Firefox famous. But Opera famous. And his shows and songs are pretty damn good.
And to characterise him as a "greedy, idiotic bastard" who's "obviously doing this simply as a profit motive" and who "doesn't care about anyone else" says more about your mindset than his. Does copyright need a level of sanity restored? Yeah. But this guy isn't Disney making a grab for rights in perpetuity. He's a guy trying to raise a family by doing something he has a talent for and loves doing. And the way he went about exploring an issue that affects him personally and detrimentally was, all in all, pretty cool. Did he threaten a lawsuit? No. Did he call on the *AAs? No. Did he track down the website's ISP and ask them to shut it down? No. Did he engage in dialogue with people in an attempt to make them see his point of view? Yes. Imagine that.
I should mention that I pirate music and download TV shows so I'm not coming at this from some holier-than-thou perspective. I know the arguments on both sides of the debate and it's certainly possible that the net effect of pirated material is actual to a creator's benefit. (At least in some instances and maybe many.) But that doesn't invalidate JRB's feeling - correctly or incorrectly as the case may be given his specific circumstances - of being deprived of earnings he's legally and (IMO) morally entitled to. And it sure as heck doesn't justify characterising him in such a crass manner.
Why Charles Stross Hates Star Trek
The above should not have been modded offtopic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ICpoWtFFzc
Linux Notebooks Selling Well On Amazon Germany
It's just a guess, but "Even the Germans make some bad choices" does not exactly bring out the best memories from the World's History...
Don't mention the war!!
Must a CD Cost $15.99?
In my opinion the key difference between music distribution and movie/TV distribution is that the latter has access to multiple revenue streams.
You make a movie and you show it at the theatres and get money. You sell the cable/free-to-air TV rights and get money. By the time you release it on DVD you've (hopefully) made back most of your production costs or are even showing a profit already.
You make a record on the other hand and when it's played on the radio (the equivalent of free-to-air TV distribution) you don't get any money; in fact it costs you (in marketing or other incentives) to get airplay. You have to make back all your production costs via CD sales. Granted, it doesn't cost as much to cut a CD as to make a (Hollywood) movie, but then there are only limited ways to get your money back, necessitating a higher unit-charge.
If labels would be able to charge radio stations to play their music (something highly unlikely to happen, by the way) I believe CD prices would likely fall.