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Thread: iPod and Limewire...

  1. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (LLeopardGGecko @ Nov. 27 2006,12:59)]Doesn't really work, but I try. I'm a rabid legal music download advocate. But you know, I don't have trouble with people who just use Limewire (or any other P2P program) to sample music and then legally buy what they like.
    I think this is a better tactic to focus on. Asking your average netizen to stop downloading free music will not likely change the behavior of a single person. I prefer to remind them that these artists are entrepreneurs fighting to make it in the real world like the rest of us. Asking downloaders to either purchase the albums they like and use the most after-the-fact, or at least donate to the band, will go a lot further in my opinion.

    There's nothing wrong with that last option (morally, not legally). The artists themselves often see a small percentage of any given sale. The rest goes to agents, distributers, and all the other 'middle men'. Downloading a CD and using the 'donate' link on an artists website to send them $5.00 will probably net the band more than if you purchased that same CD legally. It also increases material efficiency of the industry as you're cutting out unneeded material production and physical distribution channels.

    Just my $0.02.

  2. #18
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    The internet isn't the reason that I don't buy albums. I've always shared music with my friends via tapes and CDs, so really, pirated music only expands my selection of choices. I don't think that music piracy really hurts artists, either - with almost every concert I've gone to, it's been a band I found out about through recordings that were given to me. Any tiny loss of sales is made up by word of mouth. If it weren't, then don't you think radio and cassette recorders would have killed the recording industry a long time ago?
    A lot of people, especially young people, can't afford to buy new CDs all the time - they certainly can't afford to both purchase albums and attend concerts. The way I see it, the bands I want to support only get a fraction of my dollar, no matter what I do; either 99.9% of my money goes to record companies, or 90% goes to TicketMaster. Concerts are more fun, anyways. If you look at albums that smaller bands produce and distribute at or near cost, you'll realize that record companies are turning over 1000% profit on most albums, and vastly more for popular artists. Bands around town here make good money selling their albums at $4 a pop, even when they're only producing CDs 500 at a time.
    Besides all that, fandom has become kind of detached from the profitablity of mainstream bands. The amount of money coming in to popular bands directly from fans is likely a pittance compared to the profit to be made on advertising endorsements and soundtrack deals.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  3. #19
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    I'm sorry if britney has to do without her Gulf Stream IV private jet and settle for a Gulf Stream III. Poor Spears, I hear the GSIII doesn't even have a remote for the surround sound HD entertainment center!

  4. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (JustLikeAPill @ Nov. 27 2006,4:45)]I'm sorry if britney has to do without her Gulf Stream IV private jet and settle for a Gulf Stream III. Poor Spears, I hear the GSIII doesn't even have a remote for the surround sound HD entertainment center!
    I'm sure there are a plethora of people poorer than you saying the same about some of the luxuries you enjoy, if not in this country then in many others. To imply that any elitist or elitist group has the right to determine what each person is deserving of is the hallmark of a communistic economic system. While sound in theory, such a system has never produced positive results in practice and to force such a system on unwilling participants is morally questionable.

    Put another way, Britney can afford a private jet because she deserves it. If she didn't do something of enough value to deserve it then demand would be less, pricing would need to be reduced, and she would receive a smaller compensation. Anger at the way her fans spend their money does not justify theft.

    However, I was not aware she had a Gulf Stream IV private jet. Do you have a citation for that? In my experience musicians tend to be a lot less wealthy than the general public believes.

  5. #21
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    Yeah, you'r probably right.

    the GS was just an example lol. I don't know what she has.

  6. #22
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Nicholas_Bostaph @ Nov. 28 2006,6:27)]Put another way, Britney can afford a private jet because she deserves it. If she didn't do something of enough value to deserve it then demand would be less, pricing would need to be reduced, and she would receive a smaller compensation.
    Are you totally sure about that? I can see where you're coming from, but that conjecture is as much theory as the success of communism. Did Southern Pacific deserve to run hundreds of thousands of farms into the ground just because they held a monopoly on shipping lines? Should I be able to sell dirt-filled gelcaps as a cure for cancer?
    There's a lot more to the record industry than net sales, and simply because an artist appears on the Top 40, it doesn't mean that they did any work to get there. Ever notice how a lot of pop singers nowadays are totally awful live? It's because a vast portion of them simply can't sing - their albums sound good because recording technicians go in with audio mastering tools and tweak the vocals so that they're on beat and in the proper key.
    So, if I had any interest in stealing the music of Britney Spears or the Backstreet Boys, I really wouldn't feel any remorse whatsoever, because most of those types haven't even taken the basic steps it takes to become a musician. If you ask me, they're just packaging for whatever spew the record companies think will sell this quarter.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  7. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (seedjar @ Nov. 28 2006,3:51)]Should I be able to sell dirt-filled gelcaps as a cure for cancer?
    Provided you provide details of the ingredients and honest scientific assessments of the efficacy, yes. I would have absolutely no problem with that. People have the right to buy them if they so choose. Maybe they will use them for something else; maybe they will serve some sort of religious purpose; maybe some new medical breakthrough will show that they really work and why. It's not my place to judge that.

    Of course, you can already do this now without my aforementioned requirements; just call it 'alternative medicine'.



    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (seedjar @ Nov. 28 2006,3:51)]Are you totally sure about that? I can see where you're coming from, but that conjecture is as much theory as the success of communism.
    Well, morality, and to some degree ethics, is all based upon a subjective philosophical viewpoint. There is no objective way for me to prove that I am any more right than you on what is morally or ethically justified. However, the economic and social success rate of communism vs capitalism do speak to which may be preferable, regardless of underlying ethics. That was where I was coming from, though you are right that my comments are only valid in one specific moral paradigm.



    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (seedjar @ Nov. 28 2006,3:51)]So, if I had any interest in stealing the music of Britney Spears or the Backstreet Boys, I really wouldn't feel any remorse whatsoever, because most of those types haven't even taken the basic steps it takes to become a musician. If you ask me, they're just packaging for whatever spew the record companies think will sell this quarter.
    I guess that's my point. The stuff DOES sell. If it was not providing more value to the customers than that same money spent elsewhere it would not be selling. Whether you, as a privileged elite, feel that an artist 'deserves' income due to their skill, experience, age, gender, race, nationality, political affiliation, personal hygiene, religious affiliation, eye color, choice of friends, family history, physical characteristics, or any of the other hundred things you could arbitrarily decide makes them worthy, you cannot change the fact that they have provided value to consumers.

    I understand where you're coming from; I really do. I have very little in my music collection from bands like the ones you mentioned. Heck, for a while I wouldn't even listen to music unless both the lyrics were written by the lead singer and the lead singer actually played an instrument. However, using your debate tactic that any consumer can decide who is worthy of their money and who can be stolen from I can easily rationalize the theft of just about anything on some subjective basis. I know some of the items I listed in the first paragraph sound facetious, but I've had the displeasure of knowing real people who would feel the theft of Britney's music is morally justified because 'she's just a woman'. I am very sorry, but although your reasoning sounds better I cannot objectively see any difference between "I am justified in theft because the item owner has not met the requisite skill levels I think they should have" and "I am justified in theft because the item owner is a Protestant/Mexican/Blonde/etc".

    The job of Britney Spears is not to record high difficulty vocal tracks with unmatched grace and skill, it is simply to entertain. Actually, not even that is correct, most simply her job is the same as everyone else’s: to provide something of value to society. The fact that the CD produces adequate value for consumers to purchase it is proof that the production company deserves the income for that record. The fact that Britney was able to enter into a contract with the company has given her the right to her share of that income. None of this would happen if both sides weren't providing adequate value to the other; how could it? That she and the record label do not deserve your money because of her skill level is a viewpoint I can respect, and you can show them your dissatisfaction by not purchasing their product and encouraging others to do the same.

    Out of curiosity, would you feel justified in stealing the music I have written (assuming I didn't make it available free)? I composed all the tracks but have my computer's midi synthesizer play them. I have spent my time honing my skill in composition, but am as unskilled as the artists you mentioned above in playing most of the instruments in my songs. Regardless of how they are written, if you enjoy them and gain value from them why would I be unjustified in asking for something of value in return?



    Just to clarify, in case you didn't notice, I take this stance grudgingly; not because I think the current situation is optimal, but because I truly believe the downloading of music illegally is immoral. Perhaps I am wrong, and I will change my viewpoint if presented with a valid argument I had not considered, but I don't feel most of those presented so far are justified. Note I didn't debate your earlier post; I agree with your reasoning there in a way.

    I did suggest earlier to download the music to sample it and send the artist a small donation directly if you like it and simply delete it if you don't. It costs the consumer less and the artist that actually worked to produce the music receives as much payment as they may have otherwise. This works to push the middle man (or men) out of the equation leveling the playing field for all artists to compete using only their own skill. Centralizing access through an online store that allows all artists to submit music and set their own pricing would also improve the entire situation greatly in my opinion.

    So as you can see I'm not taking a completely hard set position here.

  8. #24
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Well, I'm not trying to justify theft... I don't personally think that music piracy is theft, because it causes no real loss. You're only losing potential profits - it's not like pirates are taking the money directly out of these people's pockets. The only loss is in potential sales, and in many cases people pirating music aren't in a position to purchase albums to begin with, so in these cases the artists literally aren't losing anything.
    Besides that, privately distributing copies of copywritten material is legal in the US as long as it's restricted to personal acquaintances and not-for-profit; the audio industry lobbied that law into action back in the 80's to sell cassette recorders. They've only changed their minds now that consumers are no longer willing to pay their inflated rates for albums. I'm making a practical, economical argument here; there is no loss of holdings, and you can't really quantify the loss in profits because there are undisputably legal channels for freely distributing music, so is it really theft? Of intellectual property, maybe, but I think we both know that intellectual property law is a very slippery slope, both economically and morally.
    Additionally, there's a bit of a double-standard at work. If I were to go and freely distribute recordings of a small local band, I could easily get away with it. Pirate recordings of a name on a big label would be much, much harder to do, because they have a lot of money to throw around and make things go their way.
    As for stealing music from you - if it were just the composition, I don't think I would feel too immoral to do that, although it would be out of character for me, personally. Like I alluded to above, I don't believe in intellectual property is an enforcable (or philosophically sound) concept. I would draw the line at calling the music my own, distributing it for profit, and possibly copying recordings of your performances. The fact of the matter is that it's entirely possible for me to compose exactly the same song as you without ever knowing you or that song had existed before; what happens then? I have an exceptional memory for things I've heard and sheet music, so when I don't have a music player around and I run through tracks of Pink Floyd in my head, am I illegally pirating music because I don't own all of the albums I know by heart? Or what about when I go to play guitar at a bar or a party, and I play music that I memorized and deciphered from hearing it on the radio or reading it back in middle-school band; people pay me to play guitar, so is that theft? Legally speaking, I don't think it is - it certainly isn't enforcable. In the real world, things happen whether they seem fair or not. Laws are meant to maintain order and safety, but I think it's beyond the domain and purpose of law to decide what is and isn't fair compensation for items like intellectual property, which are not quantifiable.
    My objection is perhaps the opposite of yours; I would like to see artists credited for their work, but in that case, it's the recording technicians and ad agents who should be recieving millions in dues from the sales of Britney Spears' albums - not Britney, and certainly not the recording executives - because the techs make that music sellable, and the agents bust their butts marketing it. Intellectual copyright law is unpragmatic; it's costly and time-consuming to enforce, and no matter what you do, there will always be new ways of circumventing not only the means of protection, but the very legal notion of copyrights. I simply don't see it as a matter which can be resolved by law. And, since no law will fix this supposed problem, I'm willing to bet that the problem is in the laws themselves.
    I agree that one should patronize artists if they're appreciated. Paying for recordings is a relatively recent development in the history of music and I think it is an unneccessary feature of the musical system. Record labels really don't offer anything that makes music better; they're merely middlemen who happen to have enough economic and political sway to force people to give exorbitant amounts of money for things that were once almost entirely free. I think music as a whole would benefit from the dismantling of the recording industry, and that's why I believe music piracy is a negligible offense at best.
    ~Joe

    PS - Here's a relevant personal anecdote. Roughly 90% of my parents' music collections are dub tapes made for them by friends. This is far, far more 'pirated' music than I have in my possession. So are things really getting any worse for record labels? I know that mine is just one instance, but it really seems to me as though not much has changed.
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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