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Thread: Pirated Music and Intellectual Property

  1. #11
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    Re: Pirated Music and Intellectual Property

    From a historic perspective, musicians have never really considered records to be a good source of revenue. The records themselves are the property of the record company who initially footed the bill for production and distribution. They take the financial risk, and they in turn are the primary beneficiary of the profits. Musicians traditionally employ recordings as a means of advertising in order to draw customers to performances (their primary means of revenue).

    To say that piracy hurts musicians is a bit misleading the vast majority do not see much in the way of profits from record sales, and free distribution of the material creates greater awareness and interest in attending performances. There are exceptions, but they are not common.

    The primary victim in piracy is the record company. I consider piracy to be inappropriate, but the means employed to combat it are worse. For the most part the traditional entertainment industries have failed to adapt to the new distribution medium and instead attempt to legislate and litigate their way to profitability.

    The primary motivation to pirate is not cost, but availability. The cinema is an obsolete model that only maintains its existence through special deals of exclusivity. Were major film producers to immediately release their product online (for a fee) piracy would drop, profits for the producers would increase, and the cinemas would bankrupt unless they dramatically adapted their business model.

    The only adaptation I see is in smaller firms which fully embrace digital distribution (my favorite example is when Freddie Wong endorsed the Pirate Bay torrent of his VGHS series).

  2. #12
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    Re: Pirated Music and Intellectual Property

    Those who really want to reward artists and be anti-DRM should vote with their wallets.

    Know a musician who's getting a fair cut from the recording industry (i.e., has a well-negotiated contract) or has her own record label? Buy tracks from that artist the traditional way (MP3, CD, etc.).

    Know a musician who's getting screwed over by the recording industry (the percentage royalties is way skewed), donate to the artist directly.

    I found a free album on Jamendo that I loved. I went to the band's website and donated (via PayPal, I think), and the band was very grateful and sent me a personal email of thanks. I didn't donate much, but that little bit meant a lot to the band.

    I know there are people with principles here, and I hope they live out those principles.

    My guess, though, is that a lot of these people who claim to be against the recording industry are also freeloaders who don't want to pay musicians money... just because it's so easy to get the music for free. I don't know what percentage these people are, but I know they exist.

    More details here:
    Are you sure the music you’re downloading isn’t hurting the musicians?

  3. #13
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    Re: Pirated Music and Intellectual Property

    That was a very interesting read, aysiu! It's really amazing how far from black and white music piracy is, just when I thought I understood the situation as well as I thought anyone could.

    Quote Originally Posted by eriktheblu View Post
    From a historic perspective, musicians have never really considered records to be a good source of revenue. The records themselves are the property of the record company who initially footed the bill for production and distribution. They take the financial risk, and they in turn are the primary beneficiary of the profits. Musicians traditionally employ recordings as a means of advertising in order to draw customers to performances (their primary means of revenue).

    To say that piracy hurts musicians is a bit misleading the vast majority do not see much in the way of profits from record sales, and free distribution of the material creates greater awareness and interest in attending performances. There are exceptions, but they are not common.

    The primary victim in piracy is the record company. I consider piracy to be inappropriate, but the means employed to combat it are worse. For the most part the traditional entertainment industries have failed to adapt to the new distribution medium and instead attempt to legislate and litigate their way to profitability.
    The same can apply to novel authors as well, since the publisher takes the risk of mass-producing and distributing copies of the author's work, so they rightfully get the larger cut for operating costs. While these writers still get a royalty check now and then, they obviously don't publish for the money; it's all about geting more exposure for their works, and maybe the prestige of having published a book. Anyone who wants a larger cut of the profits can opt for self-publishing instead.

  4. #14
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    Re: Pirated Music and Intellectual Property

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzingrobot View Post
    Here's my take:

    If I make something -- a song, a book, a painting, an apple pie, whatever -- then I, and I alone, get to decide if, and how, anyone else has access to it. In other words, I hold all the rights to the thing I created. No one else has any rights to it unless and until I transfer those rights to them.
    Why? Why do you get to own anything? What is ownership?

    This question is more rooted in philosophy than politics, so I think its well within the rules here.



    Nothing mystical exists that gives anyone else a creator's rights in something he or she has made.
    What about a mystical force that allows a person to own things? Where does that come from?
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  5. #15
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    Re: Pirated Music and Intellectual Property

    Piracy is wrong. Fair Use is not. If I buy a DVD or pay for a digital download I should be able to make as many copies of that as I wish. All this bull about piracy being some sort of freedom or a right is sophomoric, at best.

    What really ticks me off is when DRM subverts Fair Use. Which it does.. in new, exciting ways every day..
    clear && echo paste url and press enter; read paste; (youtube-dl $paste) | zenity --progress --title="" --text "Downloading, please wait" --auto-close --pulsate && ans=$(zenity --file-selection); gnome-terminal -x mplayer "$ans"

  6. #16
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    Re: Pirated Music and Intellectual Property

    Quote Originally Posted by johnluke728 View Post
    The same can apply to novel authors as well, since the publisher takes the risk of mass-producing and distributing copies of the author's work, so they rightfully get the larger cut for operating costs. While these writers still get a royalty check now and then, they obviously don't publish for the money; it's all about geting more exposure for their works, and maybe the prestige of having published a book. Anyone who wants a larger cut of the profits can opt for self-publishing instead.
    Most of the writers I've known are considerably more interested in money than they are in exposure. Exposure doesn't pay the mortgage. Advances and royalties do. Exposure is only a means to that end.

    Analog means of production and distribution required amounts of capital and staff that were, and are, out of range for almost everyone, especially wanna-be authors and musicians. Even in those circumstances, a successful and profitable artist can leverage his or her popularity by, for instance, threatening to move to a different publisher or recording corporation.

    Digital reproduction and distribution removes publishers and recording corporations from the mix. Hence, DRM and other distortions. It's only natural that a corporate culture that emphasizes maximizing profit -- requires it in the case of publicly held businesses -- would take that route.

    Artists who are financially dependent on the proceeds of marketing their work also have an interest in maximizing profit. I suspect the biggest roadblocks they face in marketing and distributing digitally are, one, lack of access to advertising in traditional mass media, and, two, the notion apparently held by many that they ought not to have to pay for anything distributed via the internet. For all the enlightened discussion of this issue, an awful lot of people are only interested in the costs-me-nothing part.

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    Re: Pirated Music and Intellectual Property

    Quote Originally Posted by WinterMadness View Post
    Why? Why do you get to own anything? What is ownership?

    This question is more rooted in philosophy than politics, so I think its well within the rules here.

    What about a mystical force that allows a person to own things? Where does that come from?
    I think the philosophical spin on this is not very interesting or important. But, I'd argue that rights to something come into existence only when that thing comes into existence. It seems to me that it is considerably less "mystical" that the person who made the thing also controls all the rights inherent in the thing.

    If I bake a pie tonight, it's my pie. It doesn't belong to any of the other several billion people on the planet.

    Also, reasons other than profit sustain an artist's interest in retaining rights to his work. E.g., ensuring that a play or music is performed correctly, making sure that when people buy a book with his name on the cover that he is, in fact, the author.

    The ease with which digital products can be copied illicitly, altered, or simply faked means people have even more reason to carefully guard their rights to control their work.

  8. #18
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    Re: Pirated Music and Intellectual Property

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzingrobot View Post
    Most of the writers I've known are considerably more interested in money than they are in exposure. Exposure doesn't pay the mortgage. Advances and royalties do. Exposure is only a means to that end.
    Ah, I was only thinking of the novelists doing that in a part-time sense. I never gave much thought to the authors who write full-time and need the money to pay the bills. Didn't know about advances either, interesting. ^^ Thanks for the correction.

  9. #19
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    Re: Pirated Music and Intellectual Property

    I find it interesting how many people insist that artists don't make money on royalties. I don't know where you guys get this, I have several friends in RL who do quite handsomely from royalties from books, music, etc. Even my incomprehensibly obscure and short-lived recording career provides me with the occasional royalty check.

  10. #20
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    Re: Pirated Music and Intellectual Property

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzingrobot View Post
    I think the philosophical spin on this is not very interesting or important. But, I'd argue that rights to something come into existence only when that thing comes into existence. It seems to me that it is considerably less "mystical" that the person who made the thing also controls all the rights inherent in the thing.
    Philosophy is how we discover what is true. All knowledge comes from philosophy. Science is a philosophy of empiricism, mathematics is a philosophy of rationalism. Beliefs that reject these two are also philosophies. Even political science and such are forms of philosophy. Philosophy is not a group of hipsters sitting around talking about how subjective everything is. The only way, I repeat, the only way to justify property ownership is through philosophy. If the philosophy of it doesnt make sense, then property ownership doesnt make sense, and society should abandon the idea. There is no philosophical spin here, this is a philosophical discussion in its purest sense, and the philosophy of the matter is of the highest importance. Every right that anyone has ever talked about came from philosophy, because its a philosophical topic.


    If I bake a pie tonight, it's my pie. It doesn't belong to any of the other several billion people on the planet.
    Prove it. Also, I'm fairly keen on logical fallacies, so I'm just going to let you know that if you ever say "because the government says so", I will jump all over that.

    Also, if you're in an argument about whether or not property ownership legitimately exists, why on earth would your opponent say that YOU dont own something and everyone else does? If someone is saying property rights dont exist, they dont exist, they arent saying they exist for groups and not individuals, or for some people. I dont understand how you could take what I said to mean everyone ELSE (or a subset of them) owns your pie but you dont.

    Also, reasons other than profit sustain an artist's interest in retaining rights to his work. E.g., ensuring that a play or music is performed correctly, making sure that when people buy a book with his name on the cover that he is, in fact, the author.


    The ease with which digital products can be copied illicitly, altered, or simply faked means people have even more reason to carefully guard their rights to control their work.
    Why does an artist have a right to say how works are played, even if the artist "invented" the work?
    Last edited by WinterMadness; May 29th, 2013 at 11:01 PM.
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