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benj1
May 5th, 2009, 06:05 PM
i have been thinking about this for the past few days, but haven't seen any discussion on the subject.

This is my reasoning:
music is a lot like software, in that it is essentially data (intangible), the economics is similar too, there is a relatively large fixed cost upfront with the creation of the software or music and a variable cost made up almost entirely of distribution costs.
Classical economics states that the price of some thing will fall close to its marginal cost (the cost of making one extra unit), and with the internet the marginal cost of distributing something is basically zero. You could argue that free software (or at least the popularity of it) is a response to this (we can't make money from it so lets work together on it), is the future of music something similar?
music being given away for free (legally) and money being made from gigs and merchandise which I suppose is analogous to SAAS with open source software.

Thoughts?

billgoldberg
May 5th, 2009, 06:15 PM
i have been thinking about this for the past few days, but haven't seen any discussion on the subject.

This is my reasoning:
music is a lot like software, in that it is essentially data (intangible), the economics is similar too, there is a relatively large fixed cost upfront with the creation of the software or music and a variable cost made up almost entirely of distribution costs.
Classical economics states that the price of some thing will fall close to its marginal cost (the cost of making one extra unit), and with the internet the marginal cost of distributing something is basically zero. You could argue that free software (or at least the popularity of it) is a response to this (we can't make money from it so lets work together on it), is the future of music something similar?
music being given away for free (legally) and money being made from gigs and merchandise which I suppose is analogous to SAAS with open source software.

Thoughts?

The music doesn't have to be open-source, just free. It can be closed-source in the sense that you can't use parts of it in your own songs.

pwnst*r
May 5th, 2009, 06:17 PM
i gladly pay for a good album. also, open source composing software has a LONG way to go, so not yet.

billgoldberg
May 5th, 2009, 06:18 PM
i gladly pay for a good album.

I never "gladly" pay for anything.

benj1
May 5th, 2009, 06:31 PM
The music doesn't have to be open-source, just free. It can be closed-source in the sense that you can't use parts of it in your own songs.

true, but you aren't losing anything by letting other use your work, it could even increase your popularity as an artist.
eg when eminem sampled dido.

also we already have covers bands etc, i don't think thats illegal currently (not in the uk anyway), and it certainly doesn't harm the original artists.



i gladly pay for a good album. also, open source composing software has a LONG way to go, so not yet.

im not saying you couldn't buy an album, im sure many people (me included) like to have a physical cd.

its just at the moment the music industry seem to view CD sales as its main income, whereas i see that as a bit outdated, bands can still put money into producing a high quality album, using closed source software if they choose, its just the money will be made from gigs etc, music downloads will basically be advertising.

geoken
May 5th, 2009, 06:57 PM
I don't think this would work.

As people move to the internet for music their tastes will become more diversified. You already see this happening with independent artists gathering relatively large followings via LastFM or similar. The problem is that this fan base is so spread out that it can't really support an economically viable tour.

I also don't really see why you would want your favorite musician to get into the t-shirt and mug business?

pwnst*r
May 5th, 2009, 07:00 PM
I never "gladly" pay for anything.

**golf clap**

billgoldberg
May 5th, 2009, 07:00 PM
I don't think this would work.

As people move to the internet for music their tastes will become more diversified. You already see this happening with independent artists gathering relatively large followings via LastFM or similar. The problem is that this fan base is so spread out that it can't really support an economically viable tour.

I also don't really see why you would want your favorite musician to get into the t-shirt and mug business?

There are a sh*tload of companies and websites that do nothing but sell music related merchandise.

sydbat
May 5th, 2009, 07:05 PM
I don't think this would work.

As people move to the internet for music their tastes will become more diversified. You already see this happening with independent artists gathering relatively large followings via LastFM or similar. The problem is that this fan base is so spread out that it can't really support an economically viable tour.

I also don't really see why you would want your favorite musician to get into the t-shirt and mug business?I guess Radiohead are failures then.

maybeway36
May 5th, 2009, 07:20 PM
You can use OpenOffice.org instead of Microsoft Office, but you can't do the same with two different songs. There is always a different product to offer.

geoken
May 5th, 2009, 07:28 PM
I guess Radiohead are failures then.

I guess the green pen on my desk prevents tiger attacks.

geoken
May 5th, 2009, 07:33 PM
There are a sh*tload of companies and websites that do nothing but sell music related merchandise.

I want my favorite artists to spend time making more awesome songs and not figuring out ways to increase their t-shirt revenues. I'm not saying there aren't people making money selling shirts, I'm saying it would be a waste.

Why would you want someone to give something away for free and instead make their money on an unrelated product. Won't that by definition force the thing you want them to give away be of lesser quality then if they just spent all their time working on that.

Spiritous
May 5th, 2009, 07:36 PM
I Agree, This will never work, Try going up to a lorry driver and saying: "Hey, Stop driving a big *** vehicle and carry the cargo, its better for the environment." It won't work.

LowSky
May 5th, 2009, 08:12 PM
The OP sounds like someone who just took a Micro Economics course. LOL
fact is most artist see little from CD sales, most of that money goes to paying producers and the techns who help in the creation. they make the real money on tours and radio singles (only if they wrote the song). The real money comes from the Appearances, shows, and merchandise.

monsterstack
May 13th, 2009, 12:05 PM
Open source music is already here in the form of creative commons-licensed music. There are plenty of success stories with musicians toying with the idea of giving their music away for free. Downloading music for free is one of those things that isn't going to go away, and complaining about it is not going to help.

I understand the argument for open-source music completely. Music stored as ethereal ones and zeros on a hard drive is not a tangible good, costs nothing to replicate, and it is infinite; so why should anyone pay for it? People can argue the case for music costing money to initially produce till the cows come home, but it doesn't change the fact that the mp3s on your hard drive cost nothing. But I know some people are going to completely misunderstand me so I'll put it in nice big red shiny text:

Music production costs money; distribution is free

Personally, I think the concept of giving away your music for free is a great idea. You'll have many more listeners and thus more fans. People will create remixes and all sorts of fun things. If you have enough fans, they will take care of the of distribution, and maybe make a video or two for you. They will do all of that pesky promotional stuff for you.

Whether or not you can get them to actually buy anything is up to you, or at least up to your manager. If managers can figure out a way to make a profit with this method (and many already have), then there every reason to expect this trend to continue.

Some reasoning:

Say you make 1000 copies of an album. It costs you $100 to make and print the discs and all of the artwork. Let's assume you are somehow really popular and your album is awesome and you manage to sell every copy at $5 profit (another $5 goes to whoever distributes them). In total you make just under five thousand dollars. So far so good.

You make an album and put it online for free. Additionally, you also have some limited edition signed vinyl boxsets and other trinkets available at your site. About 200 of them, each selling for about $100. Your music is downloaded over a hundred thousand times. Meanwhile, 100 people take you up on your special offers. That's a download-for-free:pay-for-stuff ratio of 1000:1. And yet you make ten thousand dollars, and gain 100,000 fans. The chances of getting gigs is massively increased, and the chances of selling the rest of your loot increases likewise.

An ideal example, sure, but you can see why some artists are trying this method. Good luck to them.

geoken
May 13th, 2009, 02:15 PM
Open source music is already here in the form of creative commons-licensed music. There are plenty of success stories with musicians toying with the idea of giving their music away for free. Downloading music for free is one of those things that isn't going to go away, and complaining about it is not going to help.

I understand the argument for open-source music completely. Music stored as ethereal ones and zeros on a hard drive is not a tangible good, costs nothing to replicate, and it is infinite; so why should anyone pay for it? People can argue the case for music costing money to initially produce till the cows come home, but it doesn't change the fact that the mp3s on your hard drive cost nothing. But I know some people are going to completely misunderstand me so I'll put it in nice big red shiny text:

Music production costs money; distribution is free

Personally, I think the concept of giving away your music for free is a great idea. You'll have many more listeners and thus more fans. People will create remixes and all sorts of fun things. If you have enough fans, they will take care of the of distribution, and maybe make a video or two for you. They will do all of that pesky promotional stuff for you.

Whether or not you can get them to actually buy anything is up to you, or at least up to your manager. If managers can figure out a way to make a profit with this method (and many already have), then there every reason to expect this trend to continue.

Some reasoning:

Say you make 1000 copies of an album. It costs you $100 to make and print the discs and all of the artwork. Let's assume you are somehow really popular and your album is awesome and you manage to sell every copy at $5 profit (another $5 goes to whoever distributes them). In total you make just under five thousand dollars. So far so good.

You make an album and put it online for free. Additionally, you also have some limited edition signed vinyl boxsets and other trinkets available at your site. About 200 of them, each selling for about $100. Your music is downloaded over a hundred thousand times. Meanwhile, 100 people take you up on your special offers. That's a download-for-free:pay-for-stuff ratio of 1000:1. And yet you make ten thousand dollars, and gain 100,000 fans. The chances of getting gigs is massively increased, and the chances of selling the rest of your loot increases likewise.

An ideal example, sure, but you can see why some artists are trying this method. Good luck to them.

Potential fans can already freely listen to your music on LastFM, your myspace page and your own website. Allowing them to download the song to their hard drive would have minimal (if any) effect on your fanbase.

Also, your example doesn't take into account the cost of producing these trinkets which brings us back to the argument I made earlier, namely, you're asking the artist to get into the trinket selling business to make up for the fact that you want them to give away their music. So now, not only does the artist need to worry about producing quality music, but they need to make sure they're running a profitable 'trinket' business so they can support recording costs, equipment costs and the general costs associated with making your music your profession (aka not having a job on the side). Instead of spending his time composing songs you want him to be on the phone with clothing vendors, shipping companies, customers awaiting their products, etc. Talk to someone who owns an ebay store and see what kind of time they need to put into maintaining it.

To me, it sounds like people are hoping they can get something for free (the music) while simultaneously hoping that someone else will foot the bill for the unavoidable costs. Similar in many ways to the problems facing the open source community in general.

calrogman
May 13th, 2009, 02:45 PM
What was that? I couldn't hear you over this illegally downloaded music.

monsterstack
May 13th, 2009, 02:55 PM
Also, your example doesn't take into account the cost of producing these trinkets which brings us back to the argument I made earlier, namely, you're asking the artist to get into the trinket selling business to make up for the fact that you want them to give away their music.

The question I have is why not? Music is not a tangible good, only the physical medium it appears on costs money to produce. People have been quite happily producing open source software without any monetary recompense for years. If no one ever made any money from making music, that music would still get made. The point about it being open-source is also important because it allows people to go off and do stuff to the music that they otherwise wouldn't be allowed to do: make mash-ups and remixes and all sorts of things.



So now, not only does the artist need to worry about producing quality music, but they need to make sure they're running a profitable 'trinket' business so they can support recording costs, equipment costs and the general costs associated with making your music your profession (aka not having a job on the side). Instead of spending his time composing songs you want him to be on the phone with clothing vendors, shipping companies, customers awaiting their products, etc. Talk to someone who owns an ebay store and see what kind of time they need to put into maintaining it.

That's what managers are for. Managers have always traditionally taken care of those things. If all music eventually gets distributed digitally, then managers' roles will only become marginally different. As far as equipment costs go, how do you think bands start out in the first place? Before they've made and sold anything at all, how do they get the money to pay for all of those things? It doesn't really matter how, but you can't say that artists require money from sales of their albums to buy these things. Once the music has been produced and they start making money, then of course they can go off and buy as much kit as they want. How are artists going to make money if everyone is ripping off their music for free? Well my point is many of them are doing just that. The only thing that's changed is how they make that profit.



To me, it sounds like people are hoping they can get something for free (the music) while simultaneously hoping that someone else will foot the bill for the unavoidable costs. Similar in many ways to the problems facing the open source community in general.

Sure I want stuff for free. Who doesn't? If the trend for people downloading stuff without paying for it continues, and there is no reason to suggest it won't, then some other means of making money are needed. I'm not trying to advocate piracy: but I do realise fighting it or complaining about it will achieve nothing. We need other solutions. Artists need other solutions. There is just no way of avoiding that. I very much want people to make a profit. The thing is that a lot of people already are having some success with open-source music. I admire attempts to do this, and I hope that they continue. If artists can make a buck despite giving their music away for free, then everybody benefits.


What was that? I couldn't hear you over this illegally downloaded music.

The thing is, unauthorised downloading, or piracy, or whatever you want to call it, has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion.

geoken
May 13th, 2009, 03:54 PM
The question I have is why not? Music is not a tangible good, only the physical medium it appears on costs money to produce. People have been quite happily producing open source software without any monetary recompense for years. If no one ever made any money from making music, that music would still get made. The point about it being open-source is also important because it allows people to go off and do stuff to the music that they otherwise wouldn't be allowed to do: make mash-ups and remixes and all sorts of things.



That's what managers are for. Managers have always traditionally taken care of those things. If all music eventually gets distributed digitally, then managers' roles will only become marginally different. As far as equipment costs go, how do you think bands start out in the first place? Before they've made and sold anything at all, how do they get the money to pay for all of those things? It doesn't really matter how, but you can't say that artists require money from sales of their albums to buy these things. Once the music has been produced and they start making money, then of course they can go off and buy as much kit as they want. How are artists going to make money if everyone is ripping off their music for free? Well my point is many of them are doing just that. The only thing that's changed is how they make that profit.



Sure I want stuff for free. Who doesn't? If the trend for people downloading stuff without paying for it continues, and there is no reason to suggest it won't, then some other means of making money are needed. I'm not trying to advocate piracy: but I do realise fighting it or complaining about it will achieve nothing. We need other solutions. Artists need other solutions. There is just no way of avoiding that. I very much want people to make a profit. The thing is that a lot of people already are having some success with open-source music. I admire attempts to do this, and I hope that they continue. If artists can make a buck despite giving their music away for free, then everybody benefits.



The projects produced without monetary compensation are notably different from the projects that do have it. Most of the apps in a base Ubuntu install we're produced by paid developers.

Your second point is exactly what I'm afraid of. I fully expect that musicians, when not able to directly profit independently, will turn to another entity who will manage their affairs. Does that arrangement sound familiar to you?

Also, are you suggesting that someone who pirates a $1 song would buy $100 worth of trinkets had the artist given that song away?

sydbat
May 13th, 2009, 05:25 PM
monsterstack - ignore geoken. This person is from Toronto (as identified in their signature). This means that they have no idea how business works in the 21st century because Toronto business ideas are stuck in the 19th century.

This is the Toronto business thought process - Economy slowing down in Toronto/Ontario? Shut down offices/retail stores/everything else outside of Toronto that is doing OK financially, and consolidate to the weakest position (Toronto). This will induce economic crisis in those other locations and allow Toronto to regain economic supremacy.

However, the situation has changed. No longer are other regions effected by this type of antiquated business thought process. Therefore, Toronto (AKA Hogtown) remains the weak economic area while the rest of us simply laugh.

How does this relate to this discussion? It relates directly by pointing out that antiquated business practises are detrimental to the advancement of business. New ideas are frowned upon because the few formerly in control are now 'out of the loop' and are flailing around trying to understand the new concepts that are beyond their grasp. This is evident in the reply given by geoken
I guess the green pen on my desk prevents tiger attacks.to my comment
I guess Radiohead are failures then.From what I understand, Radiohead made LOTS of money (http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/general_music_news/radiohead_make_10_million_from_in_rainbows.html) by basically giving away In Rainbows. Also, Nine Inch Nails is actually making their music "open source" (via a Creative Commons license (http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/8267)) and making tons of money too. The idea that geoken is perpetuating is out of date and one that will (hopefully) lead to the end of entertainment monopolies.[/rant]

monsterstack
May 13th, 2009, 06:27 PM
The projects produced without monetary compensation are notably different from the projects that do have it. Most of the apps in a base Ubuntu install we're produced by paid developers.

Your second point is exactly what I'm afraid of. I fully expect that musicians, when not able to directly profit independently, will turn to another entity who will manage their affairs. Does that arrangement sound familiar to you?

Also, are you suggesting that someone who pirates a $1 song would buy $100 worth of trinkets had the artist given that song away?

Having a manger doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. As far as Record Labels go: zombies. That's a dead business model. Not everybody feels the need to have them, though. If an artist wants to manage himself: great.

As for pirates paying. Why on earth not? If you are lucky enough to have hundreds of thousands of people downloading your tunes, is it then not madness to think that one of them might want to buy something a little more worthwhile? When you release stuff online for free, the size of your audience is potentially millions, so even if just one lousy per cent pay for a limited edition signed record, or some t-shirts, mugs, live shows, or any other thing, then you will stand to make a lot of money.

I pay for gig tickets, and plenty of them. Musicians are performance artists: they get paid to perform. If they can find any other way to boost that income, then great. But why on earth any musician should want to limit his possible audience in this day and age is beyond me.

geoken
May 13th, 2009, 11:02 PM
Having a manger doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. As far as Record Labels go: zombies. That's a dead business model. Not everybody feels the need to have them, though. If an artist wants to manage himself: great.

As for pirates paying. Why on earth not? If you are lucky enough to have hundreds of thousands of people downloading your tunes, is it then not madness to think that one of them might want to buy something a little more worthwhile? When you release stuff online for free, the size of your audience is potentially millions, so even if just one lousy per cent pay for a limited edition signed record, or some t-shirts, mugs, live shows, or any other thing, then you will stand to make a lot of money.

I pay for gig tickets, and plenty of them. Musicians are performance artists: they get paid to perform. If they can find any other way to boost that income, then great. But why on earth any musician should want to limit his possible audience in this day and age is beyond me.


I guess you just pinpointed the great divide between us. I don't consider musicians to necessarily be performance artists. I know a lot of my favorite songs would have never existed if studio only musicians didn't exist. I see independent digital sales as a way for them to thrive and I'm excited about that.

joey-elijah
May 13th, 2009, 11:24 PM
The music industry can easily adapt to the new world but it's adamant on preserving it's decaying and out moded model because that's all it knows.

The simpel solution would be some form of small fee/tax broadband users pay on top of they're connection, and in return they can download whatever they like. They're trailing this in some off shore British Isle currently and bizarrley, if extrapolated, the Music Industry would make much more money this way than it currently does.

I have an issue with paying 13.99 for a single CD album knowing that a) the disc costs less than 25p to manufacture and the artists get a pathetic 40p or some-such from each sale. The rest goes to the big wigs to pay for extravgant "marketting" campaiigns that (usually) do sod all unless you're already established.

geoken
May 13th, 2009, 11:32 PM
monsterstack - ignore geoken. This person is from Toronto (as identified in their signature). This means that they have no idea how business works in the 21st century because Toronto business ideas are stuck in the 19th century.

This is the Toronto business thought process - Economy slowing down in Toronto/Ontario? Shut down offices/retail stores/everything else outside of Toronto that is doing OK financially, and consolidate to the weakest position (Toronto). This will induce economic crisis in those other locations and allow Toronto to regain economic supremacy.

However, the situation has changed. No longer are other regions effected by this type of antiquated business thought process. Therefore, Toronto (AKA Hogtown) remains the weak economic area while the rest of us simply laugh.

How does this relate to this discussion? It relates directly by pointing out that antiquated business practises are detrimental to the advancement of business. New ideas are frowned upon because the few formerly in control are now 'out of the loop' and are flailing around trying to understand the new concepts that are beyond their grasp. This is evident in the reply given by geoken to my commentFrom what I understand, Radiohead made LOTS of money (http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/general_music_news/radiohead_make_10_million_from_in_rainbows.html) by basically giving away In Rainbows. Also, Nine Inch Nails is actually making their music "open source" (via a Creative Commons license (http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/8267)) and making tons of money too. The idea that geoken is perpetuating is out of date and one that will (hopefully) lead to the end of entertainment monopolies.[/rant]

Your post makes no sense. I'm arguing for the independence of artists by empowering them to sell their music and profit without needing to rely on labels or cafe press or live nation. I have no clue how you misconstrue this to mean that I support centralization.

As for my comment, it was just a silly way of saying correlation != causation. Radiohead is not a success because they gave their album away for free (even if it was for a limited time and called a publicity stunt by Trent Reznor). They are a success because they are an established band. Trying to attribute their success to In Rainbows is extremely disingenuous. Also, although they never released the figures from their 'experiment', the fact that they already said they wouldn't do it again says something. Your Trent Reznor example seems to support my point. He gave away some of Ghosts but also sold the full release. Also, Reznor is a big touring artist, how does his business model apply to independent studio producers?

PhoenixMaster00
May 14th, 2009, 12:14 AM
Artists see so little music from cd sales they may as well give them away for free anyway...

As the internet becomes more central to our music production and consumption i think we shall see more artists forgoing the current business model for music.

Either that or music stores are going to have to charge smaller prices. Their charging similiar prices as they do for cds and that is a lot more effort than putting an mp3 on a website.

Xbehave
May 14th, 2009, 01:03 AM
Weird that this the top topic now, i just spent the afternoon on jamendo. I think Creative commons licensing is the equivalent of opensource for music and slowly but surely its taking off.
Artists on jamendo make money by donation and 50% of ads (also by the conventional ways that bands make money like gigs, etc) [The site iteslf makes money from commercial licensing ]
There is also mangnatune, where the artists get 50% of sales.

There are a fair few similar sites, given that the main reason i don't purchase albums is that almost none of the money goes to the artist, (instead i go and when a band i like is in town i will pay for a gig from which big bands make much more money), I am much more likely to give money to these bands.


Also, are you suggesting that someone who pirates a $1 song would buy $100 worth of trinkets had the artist given that song away?
I suggest, for every 100 pirates who download a $15 album (of which artists get would get ~$50) 1 will go to gigs that will pay them ~$5-20 (depening on size of band). So i just admited pirates cost a band $30-45? Not quite, that only holds if you assume that everybody would have paid instead of pirated, its safe to assume unless an album is EPIC, most pirates wouldn't have bothered to download it, 1 in 20 is a fair guess, so that $50 goes to just $2.5 much less than signed* bands make from gigs. To further discredit the theory that piracy hurts artists, consider the fact that if those 100 pirates didn't go out and pirate music and show their mates the songs nobody would have heard of the band in the first place ("piracey" is nothing new, people used to illegally tape songs off the radio and show their friends).

*unsigned bands are known to get screwed by club owners and make much less than signed bands, so your mates band that get paid $100 for packing out a venue don't count.

I don't know what is going to happen to the music industry, but:
I sincerely hope, the big 5 die quick painful deaths (they don't even invest in new music with their profits anymore they just wait till stuff gets big on the internet)
The copyright attitude goes back to that of a nicer era (much like software) and even if most music doesn't go copyleft, that sharing and remixing become actively encouraged.
Money in the system is more evenly distributed, i like big bands but the influx of money to big bands often has negative effects (too many drugs/too much greed/crappy music/Courtney Love/etc), while many smallish bands go under before getting picked up.

While 5 years ago the "libre music" scene simply wasn't as good, I'm currently listening to "brad sucks" and can honestly say its better than most of the stuff i hear on the radio (even the music in genres i like)

In a world of libre music perhaps
Nivarna would still be around (instead of the mast produced rock that is the foo fighters)
RATM would never have gone away (the split over creative differences (e.g some wanted to just sell an album and make money, others didn't)
Greenday would still be punk (deep down they want to be fleet foxes, but the money from putting out american idiot is just too tempting)
There would be more epic bootlegs (mediocare bootleg (http://www.mashup-charts.com/rage-against-the-machine-vs-the-prodigy-pendulum-remix/) as epic ones are really hard to find (i mean i heard some truely epic stuff on radio1's black hole, in the last im yet to here anything that great, i couldn't even find "when you were starlight" or "supermasive rainbow" even "50c vs Thomas the tank engine" had been taken down!))

phaed
May 14th, 2009, 01:49 AM
Somewhat tangential, but back in the 1930s, when artists wanted to produce vinyl records, it was all done analogue. They went into a studio and a microphone split the signal 16, 32, maybe 64 ways, recording simultaneously onto 64 records, but they could only record 64 albums at a time. In order to produce thousands of albums, they had to go back to the studio repeatedly to re-record their music. The work justified the cost of the album. (Also, as you can imagine, not every recording was the same, so people ended up with slightly different versions of the album.)

The cost of producing an album today, amortized over thousands or millions of copies, is essentially zero. Album sales should be pure profit. Artists get very little because of the structures that have traditionally controlled the flow of their work: production of the media that carried the work, distribution of that media, record companies. With the internet, all those barriers are gone. Artists can directly sell to consumers through the internet, charge less and make more (more than 50% of 16-24 year olds buy music online instead of traditional brick and mortar stores already). I don't know why record companies still exist.

Some artists have made progressive moves in the direction of the new media zeitgeist, like Radiohead. I don't know why more aren't stepping up.

phaed
May 14th, 2009, 01:52 AM
The music doesn't have to be open-source, just free. It can be closed-source in the sense that you can't use parts of it in your own songs.

In the dance / techno world, artists routinely remix each other's songs and more mainstream songs. Usually the remixes are better. Artists enjoy this collaborative process, but they also want to make money.

pwnst*r
May 14th, 2009, 02:08 AM
In the dance / techno world, artists routinely remix each other's songs and more mainstream songs. Usually the remixes are better. Artists enjoy this collaborative process, but they also want to make money.

right, but that's a small slice of a big pie considering all the genres of music.

Xbehave
May 14th, 2009, 02:20 AM
right, but that's a small slice of a big pie considering all the genres of music.
Other genres do covers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cover_album#By_genre) too ( one of my farovite albums is renegades (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renegades_%28album%29)).
Before you point out that covers != mashups (which are somewhat rarer in live genres), the legal issues that are a royal PITA also affect them (it took years to get radio 1s cover compilation out because so many people had to ok it).

when 50c vs Thomas the tank engine gets pulled for copyright infringement, something is very wrong with the current system!

pwnst*r
May 14th, 2009, 02:25 AM
Other genres do covers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cover_album#By_genre) too ( one of my farovite albums is renegades (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renegades_%28album%29)).
Before you point out that covers != mashups (which are somewhat rarer in live genres), the legal issues that are a royal PITA also affect them (it took years to get radio 1s cover compilation out because so many people had to ok it).

when 50c vs Thomas the tank engine gets pulled for copyright infringement, something is very wrong with the current system!

covers != mashups :)

there's nothing wrong with the outcome of your example if it was used without the owner's permission.

monsterstack
May 14th, 2009, 02:57 AM
covers != mashups :)

there's nothing wrong with the outcome of your example if it was used without the owner's permission.

What would you say to somebody like Girl Talk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girl_Talk_(musician)) [wikipedia.org]? Here's the artists he sampled for one of his songs, "Here's the Thing":


* 0:01 - 0:28 Chicago - "Saturday in the Park"
* 0:01 - 1:05 Quad City DJs - "C'mon N' Ride It (The Train)"
* 0:15 - 0:36 The Jaggerz - "The Rapper"
* 0:29 - 0:36 The Bucketheads - "The Bomb! (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind)"
* 0:36 - 0:36 Tommy Roe - "Dizzy"
* 0:36 - 0:36 Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - "Going to a Go-Go"
* 0:36 - 1:05 ? and the Mysterians - "96 Tears"
* 0:50 - 2:07 Egyptian Lover - "Egypt Egypt"
* 1:04 - 1:33 The Zombies - "Time of the Season"
* 1:05 - 2:04 Kelly Clarkson - "Since U Been Gone"
* 1:16 - 1:34 Nine Inch Nails - "Wish"
* 1:45 - 2:03 MC Hammer - "Too Legit to Quit"
* 1:47 - 2:03 Tone Lōc - "Funky Cold Medina"
* 2:08 - 2:19 Blur - "Song 2"
* 2:13 - 2:20 V.I.C. - "Get Silly"
* 2:19 - 3:14 Elvis Costello - "Pump It Up"
* 2:20 - 3:14 Shawty Lo - "Dey Know"
* 3:01 - 3:14 Peter Bjorn and John featuring Victoria Bergsman - "Young Folks"
* 3:14 - 4:04 Rick Springfield - "Jessie's Girl"
* 3:19 - 3:21 The Prodigy - "Firestarter" (which samples elements from "Close (to the Edit)" by Art of Noise)
* 3:21 - 3:47 Mike + The Mechanics - "All I Need Is a Miracle"
* 3:21 - 3:47 Chris Brown featuring T-Pain - "Kiss Kiss"
* 3:48 - 3:48 Veruca Salt - "Seether"
* 3:52 - 4:12 Nelly Furtado - "Maneater"
* 3:52 - 4:18 Three Six Mafia - "I'd Rather"
* 4:12 - 4:46 Looking Glass - "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)"
* 4:15 - 4:18 Rare Earth - "I Just Want to Celebrate"
* 4:34 - 4:46 Dude 'n' Nem - "Watch My Feet"


All of his songs sample a great many artists. And he has lots of songs. It is fair to say he has sampled lots of other people's tunes. He doesn't ask for permission to mix the songs, either.

If the RIAA ruled the world, this guy would be in jail for about a million years.

PhoenixMaster00
May 14th, 2009, 04:11 AM
Somewhat tangential, but back in the 1930s, when artists wanted to produce vinyl records, it was all done analogue. They went into a studio and a microphone split the signal 16, 32, maybe 64 ways, recording simultaneously onto 64 records, but they could only record 64 albums at a time. In order to produce thousands of albums, they had to go back to the studio repeatedly to re-record their music. The work justified the cost of the album. (Also, as you can imagine, not every recording was the same, so people ended up with slightly different versions of the album.)

The cost of producing an album today, amortized over thousands or millions of copies, is essentially zero. Album sales should be pure profit. Artists get very little because of the structures that have traditionally controlled the flow of their work: production of the media that carried the work, distribution of that media, record companies. With the internet, all those barriers are gone. Artists can directly sell to consumers through the internet, charge less and make more (more than 50% of 16-24 year olds buy music online instead of traditional brick and mortar stores already). I don't know why record companies still exist.

Some artists have made progressive moves in the direction of the new media zeitgeist, like Radiohead. I don't know why more aren't stepping up.

Spoken for truth. And the reason record companies still exist is because they offer nice sign on fees and then make unsigned artists believe its impossible to promote without them. Like other companies that will soon be heading in the same direction (mobile phone carriers like T Mobile), they will hold onto what they have for as long as possible.
With the internet and programs such as Ableton and Cubase, Artists can make music with minimal fuss just allowing them to be creative. They can then distribute it for a small fee/for free for themselves.

Xbehave
May 14th, 2009, 01:24 PM
when 50c vs Thomas the tank engine gets pulled for copyright infringement, something is very wrong with the current system!there's nothing wrong with the outcome of your example if it was used without the owner's permission.
Copyright is supposed to protect the producers of content, a mashup of 50c & Thomas the tank engine in no way harms either. IMO audio-mashups clearly fall under fair use and the problem is the current copyright climate, not the actual law, in this case. The terms on copyright are also FAR too long, something like 10 (automatic)+10(claimed and paid for) would allow artists to get their dues and still foster an atmosphere of creativity.

The fact that we are not getting closer to a sane copyright system suggests that the only sane way forward is CreativeCommons
CC-BY-SA -allows artists to get their music out their and then make money from their fanbase (Gigs,trinkets,donations,CDs,etc)
CC-BY-SA-NC -allows them to do the same and charge for commercial use (shops, radio, etc)
The only problems are:

Few people know about them
People are under the impression that mainstream is the only way to make money
The mainstream has a current monopoly on what people are exposed to

Remind you of anything

OTish:When reality and the law, get out of line, it seams that IMO reality is always the winner (prohibition, drug laws (slowly), etc). The mass "piracy" of music for non-commercial use, suggests that the current laws don't reflect, the chance that mass "piracy" just stops is ZERO, so either copyright laws will become sane, or people will use copyleft licenses.

maybeway36
May 14th, 2009, 02:12 PM
Yay for Jonathan Coulton.

Phreaker
May 14th, 2009, 02:18 PM
All Art should be under a CC license.
That would be fair for all

phrostbyte
May 14th, 2009, 03:11 PM
Yes, it's certainly possible if we go back to the early enlightenment methods of creative production. Some of the best "songwriters" like Mozart lived in a world without copyright law.

geoken
May 14th, 2009, 03:53 PM
I suggest, for every 100 pirates who download a $15 album (of which artists get would get ~$50) 1 will go to gigs that will pay them ~$5-20 (depening on size of band). So i just admited pirates cost a band $30-45? Not quite, that only holds if you assume that everybody would have paid instead of pirated, its safe to assume unless an album is EPIC, most pirates wouldn't have bothered to download it, 1 in 20 is a fair guess, so that $50 goes to just $2.5 much less than signed* bands make from gigs. To further discredit the theory that piracy hurts artists, consider the fact that if those 100 pirates didn't go out and pirate music and show their mates the songs nobody would have heard of the band in the first place ("piracey" is nothing new, people used to illegally tape songs off the radio and show their friends).

*unsigned bands are known to get screwed by club owners and make much less than signed bands, so your mates band that get paid $100 for packing out a venue don't count.



I never claimed piracy hurts artists. My personal belief is that piracy figures should be completely ignored as the group is almost completely detached from legitimate customers and their ability or inability to pirate would have no effect on actual sales. The poster I was responding to was citing the vast amounts of piracy and suggesting alternate business models could turn them into paying customers. I was simply suggesting that the vast majority of them will never be paying customers and any effort spent deterring them is wasted (My opinions are very much in line with those of Stardock)

I also disagree with 'spreading via piracy'. The reason people used to tape songs of the radio to share with their friends is because they couldn't give their friend a direct link to the song on lastFM or the artists mySpace page or the entire radio broadcast's podcast feed. I used to tape 5hrs worth of drum and bass every week between 12am and 5am to show my friends new songs, then Drum and Bass Arena came around and it was a lot easier to just link them to the real audio stream. Now days, people don't even bother with the radio, unless you feel like listening to top 40 you're radio is likely a podcast which can be shared completely legally. My point is that music discovery via giving your friend a Metallica garage tape has been usurped by various methods which are easier, legal, and more tailored to the individual.

geoken
May 14th, 2009, 04:00 PM
Yes, it's certainly possible if we go back to the early enlightenment methods of creative production. Some of the best "songwriters" like Mozart lived in a world without copyright law.

Not everyone wants to live in a world that says 'either you perform, or you make no money' to it's artists.

WatchingThePain
May 14th, 2009, 05:20 PM
Things are changing.
Musicians probably make more money from stuff like videos and merchandise now.
I was surprised to learn that at a lot of gigs the musicians are lucky if they get beer money for the night so they play for free to promote themselves.

phrostbyte
May 14th, 2009, 06:17 PM
Not everyone wants to live in a world that says 'either you perform, or you make no money' to it's artists.

Isn't that how it is now? Or I am not understanding you?

phrostbyte
May 14th, 2009, 06:24 PM
Pre-copyright days it was common for artist like painters or musicians to carve a living by gaining sponsorship - usually from rich individuals or aristocracy. The modern equivalent of this is the government funding art and music, via taxes or levies - which actually does occur in some countries (Canada for instance). I personally prefer this system.

monsterstack
May 14th, 2009, 06:27 PM
I guess the chap means that he would prefer a world where a guy can make a tune, and use it as an excuse to get a free ride for the rest of his life. Not only that, but his children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren get one too.

PhoenixMaster00
May 14th, 2009, 06:51 PM
Pre-copyright days it was common for artist like painters or musicians to carve a living by gaining sponsorship - usually from rich individuals or aristocracy. The modern equivalent of this is the government funding art and music, via taxes or levies - which actually does occur in some countries (Canada for instance). I personally prefer this system.

I would prefer that to. Studios just pressurize artists to release album after album with little time for proper creative thought. Thats why music normally sounds good until it goes into mainstream.

With instruments and recording equipment getting cheaper, plus programs like Reason and Logic and the internet allowing a multitude of different advertising ventures i think we will see a big change soon (hopefully anyway). Maybe as the cd gets rarer so will the traditional album as well.

pwnst*r
May 14th, 2009, 06:54 PM
Maybe as the cd gets rarer so will the traditional album as well.

i WANT cd's to rip as i see fit. nothing wrong with albums either.

benj1
May 14th, 2009, 07:19 PM
i WANT cd's to rip as i see fit. nothing wrong with albums either.

theres nothing to preclude an artist releasing an album open source and selling physical albums, you can still buy dvds and cds of open source software, im sure most people would like to buy physical albums either cds and vinyl, and you wouldn't have drm issues either

PhoenixMaster00
May 14th, 2009, 07:35 PM
i WANT cd's to rip as i see fit. nothing wrong with albums either.

I didnt say there was anything wrong with them. I meant it more culturally than technically its going to change. The traditional album and the cd go hand in hand and as more people just download straight from the internet we are going to see some big changes.

pwnst*r
May 14th, 2009, 07:49 PM
I didnt say there was anything wrong with them. I meant it more culturally than technically its going to change. The traditional album and the cd go hand in hand and as more people just download straight from the internet we are going to see some big changes.

yes, which sucks :/

monsterstack
May 14th, 2009, 08:00 PM
yes, which sucks :/

Not necessarily. I still listen to albums from start to finish, despite my collection being entirely digital. I think there will be a decent market for people who also enjoy music this way for some time. It's not all about people using iTunes to download one or two songs from each artist they happen to like.

pwnst*r
May 14th, 2009, 08:43 PM
Not necessarily. I still listen to albums from start to finish, despite my collection being entirely digital. I think there will be a decent market for people who also enjoy music this way for some time. It's not all about people using iTunes to download one or two songs from each artist they happen to like.

you took that wrong.

it sucks people just snag singles. i think it tends to sway some artists to just have a couple of good songs per album and filler for the rest.

i'd rather listen to a good album, than a good single any day.

geoken
May 14th, 2009, 11:45 PM
I guess the chap means that he would prefer a world where a guy can make a tune, and use it as an excuse to get a free ride for the rest of his life. Not only that, but his children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren get one too.

If you can't make your argument without going to extremes then you probably don't have an argument to make.

I'm talking about a person composing music, selling it independently and making an average wage.

geoken
May 14th, 2009, 11:50 PM
Isn't that how it is now? Or I am not understanding you?

In most genres, yes. But their are genres were it isn't like this.

geoken
May 14th, 2009, 11:52 PM
you took that wrong.

it sucks people just snag singles. i think it tends to sway some artists to just have a couple of good songs per album and filler for the rest.

i'd rather listen to a good album, than a good single any day.

Totally disagree.

It was the inability to buy singles that prompted artists to make a single good song that will get heavy airplay + 11 filler tracks. If people were buying singles then the artists would be forced to make decent albums because they wouldn't sell otherwise.

t0p
May 15th, 2009, 12:05 AM
Before it became possible to record music, musicians made their living by playing live. That's honest labour, and selling tickets to a concert or passing the hat around the crowd is perfectly fair.

What isn't fair is the way musicians sell CDs, then claim they still own the content. If I buy a CD, I should be allowed to do whatever I like with it. Including copying it and selling those copies.

"Intellectual property" is a massive scam. I just can't believe no one else can see that the emperor's butt-naked.

pwnst*r
May 15th, 2009, 01:43 AM
Totally disagree.

It was the inability to buy singles that prompted artists to make a single good song that will get heavy airplay + 11 filler tracks. If people were buying singles then the artists would be forced to make decent albums because they wouldn't sell otherwise.

except they ARE selling more singles now i would imagine with the easy access of itunes and others.