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Psy-Ops Against Illegal Downloaders

Refer to "music pirates" as "music misers".
  (+8, -5)
(+8, -5)
  [vote for,
against]

Everybody wants to be a pirate, nobody wants to be a miser. Try it on for size.

"I've got over ten gigs of pirated music! This is my eye patch, this is my wench."

or...

"I've got over ten gigs of miser music. This is the tin cup I keep my life savings in, this is the only pair of underwear I've ever owned."

This may be a "let's all". I'm a bit fuzzy on the rules regarding that. I'll leave it to the HB court of opinion to decide.

doctorremulac3, Jul 15 2012

Horrible music is nothing new http://www.youtube....watch?v=iK_wrM8OdGY
[doctorremulac3, Jul 15 2012]

Less_20cool_20names_20for_20criminals [calum, Jul 20 2012]

Offensive_20Hurricane_20Names [calum, Jul 20 2012]

Cnut the Great http://en.wikipedia...#Ruler_of_the_waves
unable to stop the rising tide [calum, Jul 20 2012]

[link]






       Well, like I said, I think the downloading disaster thing is a bit overblown. The main reason music isn't selling is because music isn't very good. It's about where it was in the 20s, 30s and 40s. There was some good stuff but for the most part every song was a re-hash of some other song with a new artist putting their name on it.   

       Keep in mind, we only know about the quality stuff that stood the test of time, Wizard of Oz, White Christmas etc. Most of it was crap like "3 little fishies." (Look it up)
doctorremulac3, Jul 15 2012
  

       Incidentally, I have nothing against the linked song which is basically the musical equivalent of a Twinkie, but if all the stores and restaurants sold nothing but Twinkies it would start to get old quick. That's the state of modern music.   

       Ok, end of rant. Gotta get something done today besides bitching about things I can't change.
doctorremulac3, Jul 15 2012
  

       The main reason music isn't selling well is because everyone's already replaced their vinyl.   

       The fall of in music sales can be tracked more or less directly to the maturation of the CD player. A minor additional factor is that once you have a digital copy, replacement requirements go away (even if you buy CDs and someone sits on them, you probably have an electronic copy).
MechE, Jul 15 2012
  

       Well, that wouldn't explain new artists not selling as well as artists used to. Lady Gaga is probably the hottest modern act out there and she's a talented singer, but her biggest album according to the RIAA website is triple platinum and her second biggest is double platinum.   

       Compare that to an 80s rock band, Def Leppard. Not particularly respected, they didn't get a lot of press, just a popular blue collar rock band. Their biggest albums are ten times platinum. That's ten million units sold in the U.S. alone. Their greatest hits albums sell more than Lady Gaga's biggest album.   

       I'm not saying that Def Leppard and Lady Gaga are really comparable as artists, it's apples and oranges, but it illustrates the big difference in record sales between the record store era and the download era.   

       Your example would apply to so called "catalog" albums, which ironically do very well. The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd is still on the Billboard charts. It's been there since the dawn of time, in my opinion because it's a superior piece of art. You can tell it's a labor of love just by the amount of work and skill put into it. On a chart full of Justin Beeber style Twinkies, this is a 4 course gourmet banquet, but people are afraid to make the comparison because they don't want to get called old. If you're afraid to criticize, don't complain when the waiter brings you a plate of mashed Twinkies and calls it prime rib.   

       And on the other hand, that waiter shouldn't complain when nobody wants to buy his "prime rib" any more.
doctorremulac3, Jul 15 2012
  

       Lady Gaga's latest has gone 2x platinum (in the US) in slightly over a year. Individual songs (the ability to buy such being another factor in the decline of album sales) have done better.   

       Def Leppard, one of the best selling groups of all time, did get the advantage of triple sales (vinyl, tape, digital). The also have had a few extra decades for additional people to find and appreciate their music. One could also point out that they caught the trailing edge of the baby boom, an advantage Gaga does not have.
MechE, Jul 16 2012
  

       Another factor would be the increased access to sources to find music specifically to a person's taste. In the 60s through the 90s one only had exposure to what was played on the radio, or what you could find in local clubs, which was rarely available in recorded format.   

       These days, one can go online, and find five hundred groups that are more to your taste, many of whom have an album that will not show up in the RIAA sales records. One can also find legal on- line radio stations that are very specific to your tastes without having to purchase a narrower selection of albums.   

       I would also suggest that the increasing availability of video games and similar entertainments has cut into music purchase, as they are competing for much of the same money (teenager disposable income being a major factor).
MechE, Jul 16 2012
  

       Don't really buy or listen to music. it's all pretty crap.
UnaBubba, Jul 16 2012
  

       //it's all pretty crap.// You're not the only one that thinks that. I've never heard so many people saying they don't like anything out there my whole life. This is the most compelling factor in my eyes.   

       //These days, one can go online, and find five hundred groups that are more to your taste//   

       Yes, but none of them are any good. It used to be a band and it's members would spend several years honing their art playing parties, then clubs, then after 3 or 4 years, if they were lucky, they'd get a record contract and go on tour. That's a hell of a lot of practice, and the boring truth about art is that practice makes you better. Now a band gets together, says "Hey, we can probably play a song like that grunge band we all like without much practice." they learn a couple of bar chords, record their stuff at home on their computer and puts it on iTunes. It's like if NFL players were hired right out of the Pop Warner football league.   

       By the way, the one aspect of music that hasn't significantly deteriorated is singing. There are some amazing singers out there, probably by virtue of the fact that it's the one instrument that can't be replaced by a machine. You have autotune but it still sounds like an effect. In America and England singing competition shows are tops in the ratings. Well, in America anyway, don't know about England. People still like singing and music, it just has to be good.   

       Anyway, there's lots of factors effecting the decline of the business and it's a fascinating subject. I just see the Beatles going platinum again every year and new artists floundering and you've got to wonder what's going on. I'm thinking that although there may be lots of other factors, it's primarily a quality issue.
doctorremulac3, Jul 16 2012
  

       Quality? What about the very obvious quantity issue?   

       Today, we have pretty much 100 years-worth of recorded music available from artists across the globe, many of whom are now long dead.   

       Back in the 60's, music was in limited supply - and those early companies who got in early got to very much corner the market and as with such emerging industries, the execs got very rich indeed out of it.   

       Today, if a teen wants to hear music that talks to them, they can choose from Rock 'n Roll, Pop, Disco, Punk, Metal, Thrash, House, Grunge ... blah blah blah, and that's just going from the 50's to the 90's. That's an awful lot of raw material. If we were discussing the price of oil, one key factor would be its general availability (or otherwise) Back in the 60's there was no commercial radio (at least in Europe anyways) apart from Radio Luxembourg, and a couple of startup "Pirate" radio stations. Those early broadcasters were legends - a far removal from today when automatic digital djs can be set to autoplay tracks based on the contents of our own personal digital media libraries. If oil were the same thing as music, it'd be gushing out of every available drain, run down the walls of every shopping arcade, piped into our cars - it'd be everyblimming where - and the price? It'd be cheap as you like. No, the problem (if it is a problem) isn't quality. The developing situation isn't due to some dirth of talent - it's that the early wave of excitement that accreted around the explosion in the availability of music in the last 80 years is finally dying back down to "normal" levels.   

       When Gutenburg invented the printing press, he probably didn't envisage junk-mail. (That's probably not fair, as it took a great many years during which those involved in the printing industry to establish a series of traditions and protections some of which are only just being wiped away by advancing technology even today) The music industry was unlucky in that it was born into a world of rapid technological change, to the extent that these early traditions that develop around a particular craft (in this case, Audio Recording) probably haven't had time to develop.   

       But, back to the quantity thing - why do I care if a "new" singer comes along, when there have been so many great singers in the last 80 years? Sure, they can effect current slang and drop in lyrics that reference contemporary popular culture, but I don't hang in those kinds of crowds anyway. If I want to get a fix of topicality, I'll listen to a stand-up comedian.   

       I do follow a couple of musicians who are recording now, and I do that because their material seems authentic and they seem to enjoy what they're doing.
zen_tom, Jul 16 2012
  

       I'll back "The Kennedys" against Gaga any day. If you're willing to drop autotune for her, I'll definitely add in Carrie Cheron, Cheryl Wheeler, Chris and Meredith Thompson, Christine Havrilla, Colleen Kattau (want me to go out of the C's on my ipod?). All of them local(ish) singer / songwriter / instrumentals (mostly guitars, admittedly), and all of them have been at it for years (ranging from five to forty). Just because someone became a name, doesn't particularly require that they were top of the line, just that they were decent and in the right place at the right time. And just because someone isn't well known doesn't mean that they're straight from pop-warner. After all, do you happen to know who the world champion cheese roller is? It may not be to your taste, but it doesn't mean they aren't skilled.
MechE, Jul 16 2012
  

       "The main reason music isn't selling is because music isn't very good. It's about where it was in the 20s, 30s and 40s."   

       Overheard in a tavern in the fifteenth century.
normzone, Jul 16 2012
  

       Before the twentieth century, music was economically marginal. People interested in music could make music, but no-one got rich from it.   

       Twentieth century technology turned music into a cash cow. The milk from that cow sustained the sacred monsters of rock and their unsavoury entourages.   

       Twenty-first century technology is returning music to the economic margins where it was before.   

       Now, the big question is, how much damage are we willing to do to the functioning of the internet, with all its implications for privacy and political freedom, just so we can keep on sustaining those sacred monsters?   

       A related question is, have we forgotten how to operate an economy that's not built around attention-seeking?
pertinax, Jul 16 2012
  

       I think that just because we've got this cool new tool for transmission of information, there's no reason that any social compacts or laws should be tossed out the window regarding it's use. It's just an efficient vehicle for delivering stuff, that's all. A different method of getting something from point A to point B doesn't change any rules about who owns what's being moved. It might make it harder or impossible to keep people from stealing it, but that doesn't make it right to steal. The internet carries with it no inherent mandate that we change how we treat each other. It doesn't change any laws about ownership and sale of intellectual property, just the ability to enforce those laws. If we had a teleporter system where you could lock on to the money in somebody's bank and push a button to make it appear in your living room without ever getting caught, that would still be stealing.   

       I don't think we should change anything. I think we need absolute freedom to communicate on the internet or any other communications medium but we need to respect intellectual property by paying those who make it. Otherwise the best and brightest won't be wasting their time making music, they'll do something they get paid for. Wouldn't you?   

       //A related question is, have we forgotten how to operate an economy that's not built around attention-seeking?//   

       I think our economy is still based on burning and processing fossil fuels to create goods and services. We just don't hear about that much since there's nothing really interesting to say about it. It's not really worthy of attention.   

       And your absolutely right about music being returned to the state it's been in through most of history: Marginally financially rewarding. And I would argue, only marginally alluring for future generations of the best and the brightest. In other words, future artists probably won't be guys like Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson. Future versions of those guys might get into Mars colonization or whatever's making the big bucks at the time, not being rock stars, 'cause there's no money in it.
doctorremulac3, Jul 17 2012
  

       // I'll leave it to the HB court of opinion to decide. //   

       Famous last words, if I've ever heard any (which I may or may not have).
Alterother, Jul 17 2012
  

       Ban all music... and dancing... and ice cream on Sundays.   

       Change your mantra from "You've never had it so good" to "You never had it". Then you'll appreciate what you've lost.
UnaBubba, Jul 17 2012
  

       //the best and brightest won't be wasting their time making music//   

       Well... yeah; but do you think the best and brightest are making music now? I may get lynched for saying this, but if Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson had never existed, then I for one wouldn't miss them. I don't have anything against them, or any other celebrities, as individuals - I just see their apparent importance as a sort of accidental crowd psychosis, not as anything real. And if they really are/were the men of genius that you suggest, then perhaps we would have benefited more from them working on, as it might be, the colonization of Mars.   

       As regards the moral aspect of illegal downloading, you're right, [drR3] - stealing remains wrong. I don't do illegal downloading. On the other hand, I don't have much sympathy for its victims; it seems to me that the celebrity industry has the audience it deserves: it's spent decades promoting cool, and if it's now robbed blind because its fans are too cool to pay for things, that's poetic justice.   

       As regards the economy of goods and services, some commentators (sorry, I can't remember who) have observed that the "services" part has in a number of areas come to resemble the celebrity scene, with "star" lawyers, "star" bankers, etc., and courtier-like consultants hanging around them. I don't think this has been a healthy development. If the economic backbone of celebrity culture is broken, then the possible cultural side-effects are, in my opinion, quite positive. They might just save the West from itself.   

       The "goods" part has, of course, gone to China.
pertinax, Jul 19 2012
  

       Illegal downloading of music is wrong, I fully agree with that. I do think, however, that its impact on music sales is greatly overstated. As discussed above, there are dozens of reasons why music sales have decreased, but the recording industry chooses to blame it all on downloaders.   

       Without defending illegal downloads, I also feel that the recording industry has somewhat brought their problems on themselves. If they had adopted an iTunes model early on, illegal downloading would never have reached the level it did. There are plenty of people who would have been fine with paying a buck a song who still downloaded because they couldn't get the music in that format conveniently and legally.
MechE, Jul 19 2012
  

       I'm in complete understanding of the dislike of celebrities, a lot of them are scum, but if we start deciding who gets stolen from based on how un- lovable they are we run into problems.   

       I don't think the best and brightest are making music today. I think the product being produced is created for the lowest common denominator by the same dummies who would buy this crap themselves.   

       Take soul music. We had Stevie Wonder, kids today are supposed to buy Kanye West.
doctorremulac3, Jul 19 2012
  

       Fun fact: Speaking of Kanye West, here's something kind of interesting about those vocal auto-tune plugins they use in recordings these days. To those who aren't familiar with what I'm talking about, when you're listening to a singer and suddenly their voice sounds very robotic or synthesized, this is most likely an auto-tune audio processor that takes a voice that's out of tune and makes it in tune.   

       The interesting part is, for it to work you need to be singing out of tune, otherwise it doesn't kick in. So most times when you hear that, remember that the artist is actually singing out of tune, something that would have gotten a beer bottle thrown at your head from the audience back in the day.   

       Speaking of which, one culprit that might have caused music to suck now is the elimination of glass bottles from concert venues. A plastic cup bouncing off your head on stage just doesn't carry as strong a message that you should probably have better songs.
doctorremulac3, Jul 19 2012
  

       That effect is induced when the singer is deliberately extremely out of tune (and the tuner is set to its max. I don't have a particular problem with that, if it used as an effect.   

       The fact that a significant fraction of major artists always use it for the minor pitch correction (because they can't sing in tune) is what bugs me. And that doesn't neccesarily produce the robot voice effect, since the correction is more minor.
MechE, Jul 19 2012
  

       //The fact that a significant fraction of major artists always use it for the minor pitch correction (because they can't sing in tune) is what bugs me.//   

       Hear hear.   

       Know what that eliminates? The nice little "blue notes" and various deliberate de-tunings that a talented singer can use to artistic effect.   

       I also believe the human ear gets bored even fatigued by perfection. This applies to computer sequenced perfect music as well as tuning enhanced singing. The mind tents to process this as "Ok, everything's perfect, I don't need to keep listening to it. I get the idea."   

       Like looking at wallpaper with a single pattern that repeats a thousand times. Your eye/mind doesn't look at each of the fish on the wallpaper and go: "Fish - fish - fish - fish - fish... " etc. It just goes "Lots of fish." and it's done. Same with a repetitive mechanical drumbeat. It gets old after 20 bars or so and requires lots of drugs or alcohol to remain interesting. You have to poison your brain to get it like some music. Extacy helps you tolerate house music, that's why they go together. Although extacy (that's the way the drug is spelled) could probably help you tolerate getting bashed on the head repeatedly with a hammer.
doctorremulac3, Jul 19 2012
  

       //I take it you've never found yourself counting bathroom floor tiles or counting the bumps on a 'popcorn' ceiling?//   

       Not since I've discovered the HB.   

       A brain prioritizes information processing if it's functioning properly. If you hook an electrode up to an cat's brain, (let's say it's a Saturday night and you can't get a date for the evening) you'll note pulses in it's brain in timing with a metronome that you've set beside it as the cat reacts to the stimulus. If you release a mouse in the room, the metronome blips disappear as the cat's attention is drawn to the more interesting stimulus. Same with repetitive stimulus. It gets filed out of the way so the big picture can be processed.   

       //The mind is simply too diverse to generalize.//   

       No, I'm sure your'e very special but you don't look at a lawn and register every little blade of grass. You take a sample and process it. When you look at a pointillist painting you don't go "dot-dot-dot- dot" you think "People sitting by a lake."   

       There is some form of organic brain disfunction where the mind doesn't prioritize and sort information in order of importance, it simply takes everything in and processes it equally, I believe that's one symptom of schizophrenia.   

       I have no idea where I heard that so don't quote me.
doctorremulac3, Jul 19 2012
  

       I've run across that too, somewhere, in my extensive-but- disorganized study of the links between epilepsy, schizophrenia, and bi-polar disorder. Also, my cousin (who is a functioning treated shcizophrenic) has frequently talked about experiencing episodes like that.   

       I can't cite anything at the moment, but I can back the [doc] up with anecdotal findings.
Alterother, Jul 19 2012
  

       @21, Also not a shrink, but the issue they're discussing is not being able to focus on detail, its the inability to notice the gestalt. That is that you can look at each individual fish on the wallpaper, but the first thing a normally operating brain does is classify it as inanimate, no threat, wall covering, fish- covered (in more or less that order). Being able to percieve the pattern first is a survival trait, since it allows the individual to identify potential threats or food sources more quickly.
MechE, Jul 19 2012
  

       //I simply tend to pay attention to things that so- called 'normal' folks ignore.//   

       Probably hyper-vigilance disorder, not attention deficit disorder.   

       That's my based on my "think I might have heard that somewhere" based medical education.
doctorremulac3, Jul 19 2012
  

       No, I was saying what MechE said exactly.
doctorremulac3, Jul 19 2012
  

       I know what I said and MechE got it pretty clearly. Once the brain has established that there's a repeating pattern of identical items, it moves on to the next order of business. It processes information in a hierarchical sequence in order of importance. Remember the cat and the ticking metronome vs the mouse as stimulus? I said nothing about not being able to scrutinize detail.   

       You clearly didn't understand this as witnessed by your analogy of an art museum full of different paintings, or a car show having an array of completely different cars. Unless each painting or each car was identical, this phenomena would not be applicable.   

       Hey Quest, how about sharing your insights with somebody else on this site for a while. Spread the joy around a little eh?
doctorremulac3, Jul 20 2012
  

       I'll tag in if you like, [doc]. What are we arguing about?
Alterother, Jul 20 2012
  

       //I'll tag in if you like, [doc]. What are we arguing about?//   

       I haven't the vaguest inkling of a hint of a clue. I think we're playing "Look at me, I can type!"   

       Ok, bedtime for Bonzo. Good night all.
doctorremulac3, Jul 20 2012
  

       That is a very good description of where my stories come from, [bigs]. My inspiration is in what I think about when I'm not really thinking at all, just letting things bounce around in my mind and smash into each other.   

       It's like a terribly inefficient nuclear bomb, I guess.   

       You're gonna have to bring me up to speed here, [Qwest]. Show me watcha got!
Alterother, Jul 20 2012
  

       I have not yet begun to argue.
Alterother, Jul 20 2012
  

       " If they had adopted an iTunes model early on, illegal downloading would never have reached the level it did"   

       Back on topic again (What? That's a first for me), it would sound like this:   

       "Okay, so if the customer wants a wax cylinder at a reasonable price we'll send them one by Pony Express, or if they can wait a little bit we'll use a Model A"
normzone, Jul 20 2012
  

       Copyright law is corrupt, charging for downloads is rent seeking, unauthorised copying is not theft.
pocmloc, Jul 20 2012
  

       and it's so nice of the record companies to go through all the trouble of finding artists, recording them, then distributing CD's so people can upload them and other people can download them: quite charitable of them.
FlyingToaster, Jul 20 2012
  

       I can't tell you how disappointed I was that the psy-ops proposed here turned out to be so, uh, milquetoast. Instead of the schoolmarmish name-calling proposed, I was hoping for something more MKULTRA/Operation Freakout: balaclava-clad fixers, funded by major labels through a Gordian knot of Carribean shellcos and controlled through bland middlemen, each one from funder to fixer tending closer to patsyhood, yes fixers jimmying open suburban basements windows, dropping down noiselessly to the floor before the cold blows in, to creep about, planting evidence of crimes the world - the foolish world - measures more heinous than copyright infringement, for discovery by either the pirate or law enforcement, depending on the whim from on high.
calum, Jul 20 2012
  

       //Copyright law is corrupt, charging for downloads is rent seeking, unauthorised copying is not theft.//   

       So if somebody creates something they shouldn't be able to charge for it? Do you apply this to books as well? How about food? Cars? Computers?   

       And how do musicians make their money? Charging for concert tickets is rent seeking as well I assume, literally. You're charging rent for a seat at a concert venue.   

       Are you proposing the elimination of commerce all together? That's fine I suppose if you have something to replace it with.   

       Phew, nice to get back to the subject at hand. I could have sworn this had something to do with downloading music at some point.
doctorremulac3, Jul 20 2012
  

       calum, that's BA that you're thinking of.
DrBob, Jul 20 2012
  

       //Operation Freakout: balaclava-clad fixers, funded by major labels through a Gordian knot of Carribean shellcos and controlled through bland middlemen, each one from funder to fixer tending closer to patsyhood, yes fixers jimmying open suburban basements windows, dropping down noiselessly to the floor before the cold blows in, to creep about, planting evidence of crimes the world - the foolish world - measures more heinous than copyright infringement, for discovery by either the pirate or law enforcement, depending on the whim from on high.//   

       Naa, just call them names. It's easier. There's no law against leaving small tips at restaurants, but who wants to be called a "bad tipper"? Not I. I propose that name calling is the cheapest, most effective way to reduce un-authorized downloading of copyrighted material.   

       I'd like to see it used in other areas as well. I've heard it proposed that serial killers not be given names like "The Zodiac Killer" or "The Unibomber" because it encourages them. The media should refer to them with tags like "The Douchebag", "The Tubby Little Turd" or "Mommy's Little Bitch" depending on their FBI psych profile. Giving them names that sound like super-villains only serves to encourage them.
doctorremulac3, Jul 20 2012
  

       IP law in general does what it is supposed to. It provides a way for creators to live off their creation, which increases the ammount of creation.   

       I'll admit that I think current copyright law is a little broken, inasmuch as it now extends long beyond the creator's life, but...   

       //Copyright law is corrupt, charging for downloads is rent seeking, unauthorised copying is not theft.//   

       is going way to far. Copyright law is slightly broken, not corrupt. A return to a reasonable period would be plenty to fix it. Describing charging for downloads as rent seeking completely neglects the purpose of IP. The artist did create something, and you are paying for access to it. This also covers the fact that illegal copying is theft, if of rights rather than property. The creator owns the rights to their creation, and illegal downloads are violating that ownership.
MechE, Jul 20 2012
  

       //The creator owns the rights to their creation, and illegal downloads are violating that ownership.//   

       Of course. Until now, I didn't think anybody seriously questioned this.   

       I think we may be oozing into the whole area of "private property is evil" which I take as a sign that the experiment of civilization has failed and it's time to move back into the caves.
doctorremulac3, Jul 20 2012
  

       Yeah, no, but seriously, though, the fact that music piracy is something that takes place within the relative anonymity of your wet-dog-smell basement means that the "bad tipper" public shame element is dissipated entirely. Turning up the invective ("copyright dunderheads", "copyright rapists", "copyright pederasts") doesn't make that invective any more effective than do the dubious comparisons between copyright infringement and robbing a VCR off of a pensioner.   

       What we have here is a BUT FOR argument: BUT FOR the existence of technology that makes copyright infringement cheap and relatively risk-free, the economic incentive of IP law would function very nicely, thank you. The issue is that the technology does exists and is being used and in a way that is right now and to an appreciable extent fucking with the economic imperative to create music. Attempting anything to shore up copyright law as a means to protect the economic model for the recording industry is Cnut-like at best.
calum, Jul 20 2012
  

       //Attempting anything to shore up copyright law as a means to protect the economic model for the recording industry is Cnut-like at best.//   

       Is that cutespeak for "c*nt-like"?
doctorremulac3, Jul 20 2012
  

       Och, no, not least of all because if I was to use the c-bomb as a descriptor, I would use the traditional "cunty". Anyway, link.
calum, Jul 20 2012
  

       Ahh, gotcha.   

       Very good. The other thing didn't make much sense in it's context so I assumed I was missing something.
doctorremulac3, Jul 20 2012
  

       Cnut is v much part of the gestalt UK psyche re tide-commanding and I forget often that he's not so much of a thing on the far sides of those tides.
calum, Jul 20 2012
  

       Of course Cnut was actually on the right side of the argument and did it to make a point.
MechE, Jul 20 2012
  

       [bigs], I feel my reticence in that case must have been poorly worded. I apologize for torpedoing your post. I was wrong, I admitted as such, removed my rude and inconsiderate comments, and moved on. There was no intent to salvage anything. My statement "[bigsleep] is mauling me" was not intended as an accusation of bullying, but rather a humorous and self-deprecating observation that you were being clever and that I was being clumsy and thoughtless.   

       I come here for recreation; I have no concern over my reputation beyond not wanting to offend anyone (which, aside from yourself, I don't believe I have), and I don't feel that I am pressing my opinions on others, merely airing them. I have as much respect for everyone else's opinions as I do my own.   

       Yes, I am a shameless self-promoter. I say so on my profile page, on my FB page, on my blog, and on the website I am about to launch. It's the only way to get ahead in my chosen career. I try to limit it on this site, generally only responding to queries by other forum members.   

       Yes, I'm arrogant and full of myself. Who isn't?   

       If other forum members complained about the same things you have a problem with, I would think seriously about changing my ways. So far, nobody has (anyone, please correct me if I'm wrong). Furthermore, and this is _not_ an attempt to take the high ground, I don't hold the emnity toward you that you seem to hold for me, [bigs]. When you don't have your panties in a bunch, I think that you are insightful and often hilarious. After our last tiff, I have tried my best to respect the boundaries you requested (aside from the aforementioned regrettable incident, which was a mistake on my part). I shall redouble my efforts to keep out of your way, including, if you wish, refraining from commentary on your ideas and uninvited response to your annos.   

       If anyone else shares [bigsleep]'s feelings concerning my attitude andor actions, _please_ step forward and say so, either here or via email. I don't want to save face, preserve or build my reputation, belittle anyone, self- aggrandize (except in a humorous and non-serious fashion), or otherwise cause trouble. I want to preserve harmony and have fun.   

       This anno is [marked-for-expiry] if the moderators or [docrem3] feel it needs to be deleted.   

       <later note: I've also deleted my annos that were part of the now-defunct exchange, in effort to keep this anno thread from appearing totally cheesed. I was trying to have a serious conversation, but I think I understand what went wrong. Let's try again sometime.>
Alterother, Jul 20 2012
  

       Artists dont really do that well out of copyright law, it tends to be publishers who are the ones most keen on it. I think artists will get paid for what they do whatever the legal situation. It's the publishers and middlemen who stand to lose most if they don't get up to speed with the changes in the technology, and adjust their business models to suit.
pocmloc, Jul 20 2012
  

       // I think artists will get paid for what they do whatever the legal situation.//   

       If you tell me you've donated a dime to every artist you've illegally downloaded a song from, I'll believe you. Otherwise, you're right, the publishers have the advantage (although legal downloading is starting to improve that) but that doesn't mean you still aren't taking money from the artist.
MechE, Jul 20 2012
  

       In the specific case where he says "the artist will get paid anyway", yes it is the case, because he's saying they should get paid for the music he's enjoying without providing a route to do it.   

       But even the claim that "I download music I wouldn't buy" doesn't make downloading right (or legal). If you are enjoying the artist's IP you should be paying for it. If you aren't willing to pay what they think it's worth, that's fine, don't. But don't claim that not being willing to pay justifies taking it without paying.
MechE, Jul 20 2012
  

       [MechE], I am not an illegal downloader, I am a performing and recording artist.
pocmloc, Jul 20 2012
  

       <ramble>
(I like to think that) I've got it balanced: if I like a downloaded program, I tend to purchase it when opportunity arises. Still pending is the last few seasons of Corner Gas, the entire Stargate franchise (except the last one, sorry that was just crap though you could see that they were trying), "Goodnight Sweetheart" that amazingly enough ran for 6 seasons with only one totally silly episode, and "Tales of the Gold Monkey" (anything that features a Grumman Goose as a main prop is pretty much a slam dunk for me). Musicwise I spent almost 3 years sporadically trying to track down a particular classical recording before finding and purchasing (wasn't cheap either: $30). Some day I'll audit the rest of Kid Rock's "Rock'n'Roll Jesus" album to see if it's worth adding to the collection.
  

       That's why I wish they'd implement a sane policy regarding e-books: I'm tired of picking up a new author only to find out, $15 later, that their writing style and my reading style don't line up (or that they're totally crap).
</ramble>
FlyingToaster, Jul 20 2012
  

       [poc] Then feel free to make your stuff available under a creative commons license. You do have an option to opt-out of copyright protection if you feel the need (and many artists do). But begruding every creator their rights because you don't feel you need the protection is equally unjust.   

       And to clarify, I am not a disinterested party. My current livelihood is dependent on IP, although not copyright.
MechE, Jul 20 2012
  

       I'm on the beach in Lake Tahoe this weekend so I'll be with limited internet access. Sounds like there are some interesting posts to comment on later but I'm having cocktails on the beach right now.   

       I'll post something drunk and rambling later, but it'll probably be more fun to write than to read. I probably won't care too much about illegal downloads at that point so I reserve the right to ramble incoherently about something else.   

       On the other hand, the conversation's going great without me anyway. Maybe I'll just spectate later.
doctorremulac3, Jul 20 2012
  

       I'm sure Big Pharma's lawyers would.
Alterother, Jul 20 2012
  

       ^^and there's a bit of a difference between illegally downloading "Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones, and listening to "Saties Fraction" as recorded by the tribute band "The Tumbling Rocks".
FlyingToaster, Jul 20 2012
  

       //Illegal downloading is not stealing any more than buying a fake Rolex for 10 bucks is stealing, or buying generic knock-offs of expensive medicine at the pharmacy.//   

       Yes it is.   

       //It's a copy, made available at someone else's time and expense.//   

       Rubbish. [FT] has it right.   

       //If someone figured out how to replicate the exact composition of a name- brand antidepressant (say Zoloft, for instance) and gave away their homemade copy for free to needy military veterans, would you consider that theft?//   

       Yep, I sure would. The costs of a new drug are a helluva lot more than the sum of its ingredients. I bet your 'replicators' wouldn't have any intention of contributing anything towards the $10s or $100s of millions required for the R & D, years of human trials for approvals and so on it now takes to create a new drug. Then there are the costs involved for the thousands of pharmaceutical candidate compounds which DON'T make it to market because of performance, side effects, safety and so on. So I have very litte sympathy for some replicator who comes along and says "hey, these pills only cost 12 cents to make yet the inventors are selling them for $2 each..."   

       Please [21Q] do not confuse my arguments as saying that veterans or whoever shouldn't get low cost or even free treatment. That is an entirely different discussion. If the answer is "yes, they should" then the cost should be borne by the society as a whole - not by ripping off pharmaceutical development in such a way that dissuades creation of the next generation of even better forms of Zoloft (or whatever). That approach is short sighted and is actually detrimental to future veterans or anyone else needing improved pharmaceuticals.
AusCan531, Jul 21 2012
  

       I download music and movies and I feel no guilt about it. Any movie I can find on pirate bay has likely turned a profit by the time a quality rip becomes available.   

       The apple store has shown people are willing to buy safe places they can trust. Its only a matter of these companies charging reasonable prices gradually piracy will become less of an issue.   

       Im all for capitalism but the way the entertainment industry is compensated is grotesque.
bob, Jul 21 2012
  

       //But how do you justify charging the same amount for a 2 MB packet of digital data//   

       I don't. If I dislike the price of something I don't buy it either. I just don't steal it though.
AusCan531, Jul 21 2012
  

       AusCan, downloading is not illegal here, so its not stealing! You are even paying a subsidy on blank CD's for it.
bob, Jul 21 2012
  

       // Don't really buy or listen to music. it's all pretty crap.   

       You must try a quality bossa nova, the good stuff, go for the originals.
tatterdemalion, Jul 21 2012
  

       //Im all for capitalism but the way the entertainment industry is compensated is grotesque.//   

       Then the correct response is boycott, not theft. Prior to the existence of iTunes, I had gone over a decade without buying an RIAA labeled album.   

       //downloading is not illegal here//   

       Where is here? Downloading is almost never technically illegal, but violating copyright is.
MechE, Jul 21 2012
  

       Let's just say for the sake argument that there's some loophole in the universe that says the work of certain people, writers and musicians should be free. Why would anybody want to write or make music when they'd have to have a job to pay their expenses? I want my writers, musicians, mechanics and doctors doing what they do full time so the service they provide to me will be top notch. For them to do it full time, they're going to have to get paid.   

       And another thing. Why should a musician have his stuff stolen because of something iTunes does? You should have a right to steal a Jimi Hendrix album because of Apple Inc? He was dead before there was an Apple.   

       Ok, I'm going out on a speed boat on the lake today. Aus, Mech and FT can make the arguments for justice and the rule of law and logic better than I can anyway. I tend to get cranky.
doctorremulac3, Jul 21 2012
  

       //Also, when you boycott one content provider you're supposed to take your business elsewhere//   

       Why? All a boycott means is that a given provider isn't getting your money. And it's not like music is something you'll drop dead without. Besides, I said I hadn't bought a single album from an RIAA label. There are plenty of independents you are free to buy from if you must have music (check carefully, there are a lot of sub-labels out there).   

       Regarding your argument on numbers: Me boycotting a company means means at least my money isn't going to support a company or group I oppose. If I'm the only one who does it, maybe that isn't a massive effect, but it's still twenty or a hundred dollars they don't get each year. At least I'm intellectually honest enough to not say that the recording industry is evil on one hand, but still consume their product on the other.   

       I should note that with the event of iTunes, I changed this stance, since I decided that I supported the single song legal download model enough to overwhelm my dislike of the RIAA. That being said, most of my purchases are still independent label local acts. What it really comes down to is that I try to put my money towards companies I feel good about supporting. I'm not perfect about it, but I try.
MechE, Jul 21 2012
  

       Never would've pegged you for a Jordanite, [Quest].   

       Even though Ebooks will be a major source of income for me, I'm with you on this one. At $10 for a release and $7 for a mass-print, publishers and distributors could still make a killing on digital downloads.
Alterother, Jul 21 2012
  

       This argument is the same that occurred over splicing cable TV, bootlegging whiskey, tapping water pipes, and poaching on the King's land. The haves raise the price because the have-nots steal what they can't afford. The have-nots steal because the haves raise prices higher than what they can afford. That's not balance, it's equalized imbalance.   

       The difference now is that what is being stolen is not water or whiskey or meat or HBO, it's something created by an artist who only profits from their creation when it is legally purchased. Illegal downloading is not a hanging offense, to be sure, but it does hurt those who are the source of the commodity.   

       Let's put it this way: when I start publishing books, the income they generate will be very important to the survival of myself and my family. If I found out that somebody had made thousands of photocopies of one of my novels and was just giving them away, Jenny would be hard-pressed to keep me from going after that fucker with a baseball bat (or perhaps vice-versa). I would feel exactly the same about people downloading digital copies of my book without paying for them. I'm not such a purist as to say I write only for the love of writing. I'm also doing it for the same reason that I weld: because I have skill enough to make money at it. No matter how many publishers and distributors and price-gouging middlemen there are between me and the consumer, I still expect to get paid.
Alterother, Jul 21 2012
  

       You have a valid point; the prices are outrageous. That's not my argument.
Alterother, Jul 21 2012
  

       Well, I respectfully don't think that's a valid point. A song is 99 cents? An ebook is $5 to $20? Adjusting for inflation the price is plummeting. Plus you don't have to spend time and money going to the store, it's delivered as if by magic to your hands in seconds. The devices to listen, read or watch this stuff start at about a hundred bucks. A color tv when I was a kid cost $350. The average income in 1968 was $8632. "Evil" industry is what brought the price of home electronic entertainment down, not the chivalry of nobel thieves who, by the way, just transfer the cost of their theft to the other consumers.   

       As Alto pointed out, This isn't about the haves and the have nots, this is about the makers vs the takers.   

       And I'm a guy who thinks theft has it's place. If the king declares all these lands are his because he's got a goofy hat and knights that will kill anybody who disagrees, you have a duty to hunt on those lands. That's because he stole those lands in the first place by force of violence, you're just taking back. This is different, it's going into a shop, declaring that you don't like the price but like the merchandise so you can steal it because you've come up with some justification that eases your guilt.   

       I would have a lot more respect for somebody who just says "I'm into stealing, screw the people who spent time and effort making this product, I'm a thief." than somebody who thought they were clever enough to spin a yarn wherein he enjoys the benefits of stealing as well as the tag of "honest person".   

       The market place has never been cheaper for intellectual property but a society that puts no value on intellectual property will not have valuable intellectual property in the future.
doctorremulac3, Jul 22 2012
  

       //just patented "*that*,//   

       Not sure I follow. Are you saying somebody patents a small part of the process to buying something and asks for a royalty? Sorry, can you clarify?
doctorremulac3, Jul 22 2012
  

       //This is different, it's going into a shop, declaring that you don't like the price but like the merchandise so you can steal it//   

       No it is not like that, it is like going into a shop, declaring that you don't like the price but like the merchandise so you can take a photo and some measurements of it.
pocmloc, Jul 22 2012
  

       Well, but an attempt to patent a mouse click wouldn't be successful unless the person patented the mouse itself. He would have no more of a valid claim than if I were to say "Process of hitting a nail with a hammer." was my original idea. It has to be new, useful and not obvious to somebody schooled in the art. Clicking from one place to another with a mouse is quite obvious and not new, the guy who invented the mouse already thought of it.   

       I'm not familiar with Amazon's "one click" but I know I can set up a web page to sell books and click from one page to any other page on my site without paying Amazon a royalty. But if they're got some kind of search algorithm or something that betters the process, hey, more power to them. If people don't like it they don't have to use it then it's worthless.   

       I think you're talking about somebody taking a process that's already going on and saying they own it. It fortunately doesn't work that way. The only thing necessary to disallow the patent is for somebody to point out that this is already being done. Same as saying "Baked" on this site.   

       The patent process has been around for hundreds of years, it's pretty well thought out. Even if it does have drawbacks, it's the only lifeline a startup inventor has with success, otherwise the big guys would just steal it as soon as the idea was proven. It's not only guys in their mom's basement stealing Batman movies that don't respect intellectual property. It happens in the big leagues all the time as well and I think it's just as wrong when a big company does it, even more so because it's lots of people getting together to do something wrong.   

       My favorite example of what happens when a society doesn't allow the individual to benefit from their own creations is ancient China. Nobody but the emperors benefited from inventions people would come up with. You were in your stratified social caste and coming up with a better mousetrap wasn't going to change that. So as a result, a society that invented printing, the rudder, the compass (in the form of a bullshit fortune telling device) and gunpowder was nonetheless stultified and remained primitive society long after the west had entered the modern age, despite their huge head start in many aspects. The reason why the industrial revolution happened in the west and not the east was because westerners were allowed to prosper from their ideas.
doctorremulac3, Jul 22 2012
  

       Right, I hear what your saying and it of course would be wrong if I stole somebody's idea and patented it. That may be what happened with Microsoft and Xerox research park (down the street from my house by the way). Keep in mind, you can't patent something just because you "spot it". If you spot it, it's already out there and therefore not patentable.   

       But if Microsoft stole Xerox park's idea, that's wrong, however I think the reason Microsoft was able to "steal" it from Apple is because Apple stole it from Xerox park so they didn't have a valid claim of it being theirs. So I'd put the ownness on protecting that property on the people who invented it, the people in Xerox park. I think Bill Gates referred to them with the analogy that they were a doddering old man who left the window to his house open. (Hence the name "Windows" for their software perhaps?)   

       So if the process doesn't work sometimes, that doesn't mean it's not the best approach to something. Remember, the patent process is after all enforced by a court system with people running things. Hardly immune to failure.   

       Anyway, very interesting discussion but I need to start packing to go home.
doctorremulac3, Jul 22 2012
  

       Well, I think you'd have to cite an actual example of where the process resulted in something like you describe happening.   

       The thing is, I can cite lots of examples of where we have wonderful inventions that benefit us every day where the person of people who invented it utilized the patent process to bring the invention to market.   

       In-perfect though it might be, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.   

       Ok, gotta go.
doctorremulac3, Jul 22 2012
  

       Wow. All I can say. Wow.
doctorremulac3, Jul 22 2012
  

       Hmm! When I was a kid, I would never have heard half of the music that I ended up buying (and I'm looking at a couple of shelves full of 'legitimate' CDs as I type this) if me & my friends hadn't recorded tapes of what we had and passed them round to each other. In this commercial world we live in, no fans = no music.

I used to coach a football team and one cold, rainy evening I was standing around freezing my arse off waiting for most of the players to turn up and most of them didn't. This made me extremely pissed off and I started yelling at the handful of equally cold guys who were standing in front of me about how much I didn't like their mates who hadn't bothered to turn out. Of course, one of them quite rightly questioned why I was yelling at them because they were the ones who had turned up. At which point I became very embarrassed about being such a twat.

And, to me, that's what the music industry is doing. It's throwing its weight around at teenagers with little or no income who copy stuff that they can't (or won't) afford (but who tend to buy what they really like if they can) because it can't do anything about the organised criminals who engage in illegal copying purely for commercial reasons.

So, to bring this pious homily to a hasty conclusion, fishbone for the idea because its just a simplistic generalisation. Teenagers aren't 'music misers' or 'pirates' they are just kids listening to music and allowing corporations to persecute them is both a disgrace and commercial suicide. But equally, organised criminals aren't 'pirates' or 'music misers' they are thieves and should be treated as such. End of.
DrBob, Jul 22 2012
  

       There's a big scribbly line to be drawn here. I feel that making a copy or two of a CD or a book for personal use is perfectly fine. Making thousands of copies with the intent of unlicensed distribution, even for free, is wrong. I don't know if I can articulate why I feel that there is such a strong divide between two superficially similar actions, but there is.
Alterother, Jul 23 2012
  

       //...but unfortunately one of them looks a bit like the Mona Lisa and so something that would be worth 1000 times that of the Mona Lisa is blocked by custodians of Leonardo's works. Next, corporates will be claiming copyright on classical music because it contains their sound logo somewhere.//   

       There's a fundamental mis-understanding of how intellectual property law works here. You can't claim copyright on classical music because you didn't write it. You can't patent anything unless a) it's never been done before and b) you invented it and c) you can prove that you invented it.   

       There's also "fair use" clauses in the law that allow reasonable mention of or reference to intellectual property without compensation.   

       The examples you've given have never happened and would never happen.   

       //Teenagers aren't 'music misers' or 'pirates' they are just kids listening to music// I think the logic gets a little wobbly when "they're just kids" enters into it. Either intellectual property has inherent value that can be protected and used in commerce or it doesn't. I don't think prosecuting kids for downloading stuff is a great idea but I don't see the harm in calling them misers. As far as insults go, "misers" is pretty tame.   

       As far as making a copy or two of music you've bought for your personal use, it's legal and in fact I believe the legality of copying tv shows and movies on VCRs was tried in court and found to be legal as long as it wasn't re-sold. I may be wrong but that might have even gone to the Supreme Court.   

       But the interesting thing about this thread is there's only an 8/5 split in favor of even insulting somebody who illegally downloads music. That doesn't bode well for actually enforcing intellectual property laws, and that doesn't bode well for the concept of intellectual property. Unless almost half the people are saying "Enforce intellectual property laws just don't insult people who illegally download." which I suppose could be the case.
doctorremulac3, Jul 23 2012
  

       //Either intellectual property has inherent value that can be protected and used in commerce or it doesn't//

That's because you are taking an inflexible, legalistic approach instead of a saintly & moral one like me. ;o)
DrBob, Jul 23 2012
  

       //But the interesting thing about this thread is there's only an 8/5 split in favor of even insulting somebody who illegally downloads music. That doesn't bode well for actually enforcing intellectual property laws, and that doesn't bode well for the concept of intellectual property.//
There are very good reasons for not supporting an idea that won't work, chief among them being that it won't work. That doesn't mean that the individuals who think that this idea won't work disagree with the goal of the idea. Now, if the idea was not to work in a way that was interesting, I would be all for it, but the way that this won't work is the same way that me shouting on my dog in a park when my dog is in a different time zone won't work: he can't hear me and, even if he could, he's having too much fun licking his scrotum to obey.
  

       //Either intellectual property has inherent value that can be protected and used in commerce or it doesn't.//
True, yes. The problem with IP law at the moment is that it is not fit for purpose, and this is due to changes in consumer-available technlology. The law needs to be changed to reflect reality, because, as has been shown time and again, reality-based legislation is the best kind of legislation.
calum, Jul 23 2012
  

       //That's because you are taking an inflexible, legalistic approach instead of a saintly & moral one like me. ;o)//   

       Fair enough.   

       And calum, ok, I'm hoping that the bones are for the proposed "solution" and not in support of pirating. It just seems that there's at least some support the concept that poor widows and orphans are the primary illegal downloaders and therefore the laws need to be changed. This isn't food or emergency medical care we're talking about after all, it's entertainment.   

       My proposal is that rather than changing the laws which I don't think will do much, we change the attitude towards the crime, minor though it may be, and start disrespecting those who do it. I think that would be much more effective than pulling some kid out of his mom's basement and beating him with truncheons.   

       Although in some cases it might be just what the kid needs.
doctorremulac3, Jul 23 2012
  

       I'm one of the bones, because, per my early comments, I think the extent of and damage resulting from piracy is greatly exaggerated. And also that the recording industry has largely brought their problems on themselves by being slow to embrace new technologies. That definitely doesn't mean I support piracy.
MechE, Jul 23 2012
  

       //I think the extent of and damage resulting from piracy is greatly exaggerated.//   

       Well, like I said, I think the biggest problem with the music industry is bad product, not downloads. Un-original songs and artists heavy on the hype and light on the quality. It's all about doing a professional sounding version of something that's been done before with a new face so your artist can make the money.   

       Case in point: remakes that are basically karaoke versons of the original with nothing added by the present artist. This just tells me the people want to make money off of somebody else's creativity, not that they want to engage in any creativity themselves. That's not a compelling reason to buy art. What am I supposed to say as a consumer?   

       "Hey, why should I buy the Smokey Robinson version of this song when I can buy the remade version with some 18 year old doing a soul-less mechanical note-for-note rendition? And wow, they've replaced all those horrible real instruments with sequencers that sound like the assembly line on a bottling plant, count me in!"   

       Maybe modern artists need the derogatory name, not the downloaders.
doctorremulac3, Jul 23 2012
  
      
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