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QLD
01-21-2003, 07:31 PM
Looks like the RIAA has won a major court battle against file sharing. They won a case against Verizon, where they were asking Verizon to turn over the name of one of their users, who downloaded more than 600 songs in one day. They obtained his I.P. information with tracking software.

Verizon fought them, and lost. Though they plan to appeal.

For those of us who like downloading music, it's a major blow. I download music, mostly because, well, I refuse to buy it, at least for the prices they sell it at. The record industry is in big trouble right now, and I personally believe, the only way to get back on track is to: A.) lower the price structure, so it isn't worth our while to download it, and B.) Increase the quality of music being released. Instead of forcing the flavor of the week down our throats, and not giving the artists ample time to create good music, dedicate yourself to the artists, the way they used to.

Anyway, this, with the announcement by RIAA CEO Hillary Rosen that she thinks Internet Providers should be charged for their users downloading material, could make things interesting. If they start charging the providers, then we could see a noticeable jump in service costs.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=575&u=/nm/20030121/wr_nm/tech_music_dc_3&printer=1

Anyway, just thought I would throw this out there.

Beast
01-21-2003, 07:40 PM
Good for them. About time that another blow was struck against this sort of thing. People always act like they deserve to steal the music, because how rich the music industry is. If you feel that way, then you should be stealing from stores, because they can "afford the loss". Of course you wouldn't do somthing like that. But this is ok?

It's even worse with the illegal copies of movies floating around there on the net. You may not be hurting the big companies, but independant filmmakers and musicians really get hurt by these sorts of things. If you like the music or movie, then you should support it by actually buying the CD or DVD.

The internet has bred a entire culture that believes as long as you steal from people, who's faces you can't see then it's cool. If you can't afford to buy the music, tape it off the radio. If you can't afford to buy the movie, they rent them at the video store. Stealing is stealing, no matter how it's justified. :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

Jargo
01-21-2003, 08:10 PM
Interestingly the music biz over here just announced plans to try to lower the price of CDs as an attempt to stop the piracy. i don't have any of the real factds handy just something a vaguely heard on the radio the other day. It's basically aimed at getting us to buy more music but to make the purchases less of a financial hoover. CDs cost buttons to press so why the high cost? I think they're asking for an abolishment on the taxes incurred during sales. Whatever, the music biz are actually finally starting to get the message that these disks are far too frickin expensive for what they are. I personally refuse to pay full whack 15 -18 on a CD that only has say eight tracks. I might consider it for a CD with added value like eighteen tracks but to be honest I'd sooner go to play.com and get the CDs cheaper than in ordinary retail outlets. But even then paying 10 for a poxy CD is too much. If the cost is reduced the mid price region as it stands now which is 8 or thereabouts I might be more inclined to buy more. That would mean the lower price end of the market would drop further on back catalogue stuff. That currently stands at 6 or thereabouts. Personally I'm skeptical of it ending up as a significant enough reduction if one materialises at all. We can only hope.

Curiosity, what do you Americans typically pay for a new release CD album? Just wondering how it compares to a UK price.

QLD
01-21-2003, 08:18 PM
Your average CD at the time of release is probably around 15 dollars. Not sure how it converts over there, but it ain't cheap. Sometimes they can be had for around 12.99, but if it isn't on sale, 16.99 or 19.99 is pretty standard.

I think 5 dollars would be about the right price. Personally, they could stop making music videos to reduce the cost of cd's, because nobody even SHOWS music videos anymore.

Just a thought.

James Boba Fettfield
01-21-2003, 08:54 PM
I've got different stands on this issue. For a majority of the files being shared, I'm usually against it. Then again, I think it's cool to download music if you want to see if the stuff is what you would want or not. I've done it before with Pink Floyd by having a friend send me songs from Meddle he ripped, I ended up loving the music and getting the album. Now for those instances when a person downloads music with no intentions of buying the music, then I am against that. Yeah, I think you should pay for what you want. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Just because you don't think it is the right price, does not mean you should steal it. And if you are going to steal the music, do it right and go down to Tower Records and swipe it straight from the shelves.

Then again, there are those files I feel people can download and be allowed to keep. Those type of files are usually live recordings not being sold as an album. What I mean, it's cool with me to download some live performances of Metallica at the EMP, but then again I don't think it would be cool to download the entire Mexico City show Metallica first did, since it is available to be bought in stores. Bottom line, I wish people would respect whoever owned the rights to the music. More often than not, I wish the artists had the final say in this matter, but they rarely own the rights to their own music. I think even if cd prices are dropped, people will still share the music free. Seriously, with them getting all of their music for free this long, why go back to buying it now?

QLD
01-21-2003, 09:12 PM
Well, the problem with music piracy now, is that it is so easy to use, that your average person does it now. Where it used to be too complicated for "mom and dad", now evern grandma can do it.

If they lower the prices, I think they will get the "regular" crowd back, who don't want to be bothered with downloading it.

The hardcore music pirates will always find a way to get it free. They did before Napster with FTP sites, and will find other ways later.

Is it ok to download files of concert performances where the atists strictly prohibited recording devices, even though you can't buy it? Is that just the same as stealing it?

James Boba Fettfield
01-21-2003, 09:16 PM
I guess I should have clarified what I meant by that live performance thing. A lot of performers don't mind that you have those bootlegs. The only live performances I have downloaded have all been Metallica, so I was mostly just speaking about their live shows which they promote the bootlegging of. Sorry for causing confusion as to what I said.

Jargo
01-21-2003, 09:32 PM
$15 is roughly equal to 10. Your taxation is different to ours but even so I think it's fair to say we pay more for music than you. Not that I'm trying to say poor us, rather poor everyone buying these CDs regardless of location. Point is they cost too much. The global economy has taken a real knock lately and if they want us to continue to buy rather than fileshare they have to drop prices. it's business common sense, sell cheap - sell more. Doesn't matter what the product is the principle is sound proven solid fact. Getting it to become a practicality is something else though because everyone wants their cut of the profit. Part of the problem lies with these superstars of music signing these multimillion dollar deals. Every artist wants in on that but it's crippling record companies so they have to recoup the money somehow and the way to do that is through higher priced CDs. So part of the anser is to stop being so ridiculous with these artist deals and golden contracts.
It's tha same thing with sports stars. the real people supporting them are the people paying high ticket prices and buying overpriced related paraphenalia like replica shirts and stuff.
Basially its a non ending circle, one things eats another and that eats another but somewhere along the line someone has to stop eating and admit they ate too much. break the chain.

That was really trite wasn't it? :D what do I care it's 3 in the morning. You expect me to make sense at this hour of the night? :crazed:

darthvyn
01-21-2003, 10:41 PM
this ruling is ludicrous... i can't believe that the courts and record companies don't realize that they are asking the cooperation of the people that are actually making a PROFIT off the piracy - the ISP's!!! they are the ones that are making money providing high-speed internet service, therefore making it easier to download music/movies...

as for the whole "stealing" thing...

since the advent of MP3's, my CD buying habits have not changed at all. i never really bought many CD's, and when i do, it's only when i know i'll enjoy the majority of the album. most of the MP3's i have are one-hits that i enjoy, but have found most of the other songs by the artist to not be worth my money.

all the artists that i really enjoy, i have on MP3, but have also bought the CD... queens of the stone age, and audioslave being two of the most recent legitimate acquisitions.

QLD
01-21-2003, 11:03 PM
I will say that well over 3/4 of the music I download, is music that I would never pay for anyway.

derek
01-21-2003, 11:36 PM
jargo,

how do you type that british dollar sign? do 'yall have different keyboards over there?

James Boba Fettfield
01-21-2003, 11:46 PM
Just use your character map, the thing is in there.

stillakid
01-21-2003, 11:59 PM
I think that the music industry has more or less fostered this "recent" (but not really) situation well enough on their own.

How come? Well, because, on any given day in the past 50 years or so, anybody with the means could turn on the radio and hear the "product" for absolutely nothing. Free free free.

This differs from movies primarily because they have mostly only been available to view after being paid for. A few of you undoubtedly still remember when a "network television premiere" of a movie actually meant something. I mean, it was a pretty big deal when CBS ran Star Wars. The only other option at that time was to buy a VCR for about $500 bucks and then the movie for around $80. One couldn't just run down to the rental store and pick up any ol' movie to watch anytime you wanted.

But music has almost always from the beginning of mass communication been essentially given away. Granted, you might have had to wait around for the DJ to play the song you wanted to hear, but I can remember myself as a young lad taping my favorite songs off the radio. Nobody batted an eye at that widespread practice.

Anyway, the point is that the genie is out of the bottle as far as "perfect" copies are concerned. For every technical blockade they invent and every legal hurdle that is thrown in the way, somebody somewhere will figure a way around it.

My feeling is this: instead of just allowing musicians and fringe leaches the opportunities to become millionaires based on recordings sold, drive their money making mechanism back to the realm of actual live performance. Instead of having the live shows be the advertisement for the albums, have the albums and songs be the advertisement for the live shows.

Live theater is done this way, why not music?

Film could run on this paradigm if not for the technical limitation that defines it (ergo, it's impossible to perform a "live" movie so they have to sell the "recording").

An even better example is the authors of books who are also limited to selling their works, as it is impossible to "perform" their work live. But their words have been "given away" freely through public libraries for years. Who's complaining about that situation?

You see, the only real reason that that the recording industry is making such a fuss is that they've become accustomed to having their cake and eating it too. They've made so much money for so long that the thought of losing one bit of profit (they're not losing money...going in the hole...they are just losing a little profit) is frightening for them. Understandably so. Who wants to lose money that they're used to?

But like I said, maybe it's time that the musicians are forced to actually head out on the road and work for their riches. If actual work is involved, it might also help clean out the scourge of music industry slime that has accumulated on the edges. (And if you don't know what I mean by that, then you haven't had the "pleasure" of having to work with them yet.) But this would put the "power" back in the hands of the musicians themselves, as they take their own careers by the horns and choose whether to perform or not (which translates to: whether to make money or not.)

It'll never happen, of course. They'll keep fighting it. "We'll" keep fighting back. Their biggest obstacle is in convincing the consumer that millionaires (musicians and executives) are truly being financially hurt by the technology (ie. "Aww, boo hoo, now The Rolling Stones are only worth $50 million instead of $100" :rolleyes: ). And it'll take a miracle for anyone to believe that to the point where they'll stop downloading whenever they can.

Jedi_Master_Guyute
01-22-2003, 12:03 AM
Eh, i have a split decison on this debate. I dl mp3's like mad, but very very rarely entire discs. Like i pre-ordered the Zwan record, but i have a few album mp3s to fuel my desire for this record. When i get the disc next week, i'll simply delete them. LIke somebody else said, i usually just dl random songs, nothing that would be on 1 single album. Unless random bands decide to put together "Mike's Random Mix" CD's and release them, i'll do my usual thing. :D

QLD
01-22-2003, 12:55 AM
Very well said stillakid. Very well said.

Exhaust Port
01-22-2003, 11:04 AM
I think there are some good points made here. The music is too expense to purchase new but the other options are limited. A popular album might be difficult to find used so you turn to electronic downloading which is now under heavy fire. I remember back in '92 there being a hugh stink over the selling of used CD's. I think Garth Brooks was one of the spokesmen for the industry saying that artists are losing out on $$ because they don't receive royalties from resold music. The also brought up the "perfect copy" argument.

I think every generation of music technology has the same reaction from the industry and artists. They all scream bloody murder and want it all to end. This newest round though is probably a real threat to their business. The answer isn't to punish the public but adjust how they do business and embrace the change, it's the only way they'll survive.

As stillakid said, its a media that is given away for free over the airwaves. The act of copying that stream of free music has been going on as long as there as been cheap recording methods. What has changed now? I think the arguement of "perfect copy" is rediculous. Does any other merchant let people take damaged goods for free but calls it stealing when they take mint condition goods? No, it's an all or nothing argument. They can't keep redrawing the line in the sand and crying thief.

I think the time of relying on albums sales alone as a source of income has passed. Stillakid was right again, roadshows are the answer. Broadway has survived for decades like this so why can't music artists. Heck, local symphonies can sell out hugh venues and they're playing music that has been around for 100 years. Why do other artists think differently? I personally think they like the instant return on their music. Put out one song that gets hugh radio play and they'll have 1 million of their albums sold. Do some other PR and squeak out another 1 million. They collect their $500,000 and they never left their home studio. Easy money, why would they want to give that up?

Of my personal favorite bands I think the reason that they've remained so for so long is their live shows. Bands like Rush, Metallica, Pantera, COC, Soulfly, White Zombie all put on some killer concerts. Rush and Metallica are 2 bands that have been putting out great work for decades now. True success should come from longevity and true showmanship.

2-1B
01-22-2003, 12:55 PM
Well, I don't have a problem buying CDs so I could care less if they shut this practice down. Personally, my tastes aren't so fleeting to the point where I find myself liking just one or two songs by an "artist" . . . I've been burned in the past by buying something too quickly, but it's not been too often. :)

I like the idea of putting DVDs in some releases, for example when the new Donnas album came out, I paid $12 for a cool CD and a nice bonus DVD. I know that isn't going far enough by the music biz, and they certainly need to do more to get more people to buy their products - but to me it means something . . .

JediTricks
01-23-2003, 02:06 AM
Radio is hardly free, it's just free to the audience - in exchange, the audience accepts a certain level of advertising or supports it through public donations or memberships. Like television, the advertising is the real power behind broadcasting music over the airwaves - in this case, the broadcaster holds all the cards and receives income from the sponsors. This is very different from the internet because here we are able to avoid advertising more deftly (which in turn creates a demand on the webmasters' end for more effective advertising which too many advertisers and sites just translate to simply mean "more intrusive") and grab the entertainment we want "on demand" from others. This is more akin to making copies on tape and sharing it with your friends, except it's at such a large scale.

There is no simple answer, but since the execs in the music industry aren't willing to take a smaller share of the pie, the only people getting hurt by this is either the artists or the audience. Ultimately, we need less recording suits and lower music prices; perhaps a time limit on shared music files so you can "try before you buy" but not keep forever or export is the most logical way to go for that - though I strongly believe that if you own a CD, you should be able to make personal copies on any medium you want for your own personal use. No matter what though, it's clear the system has to change radically.

stillakid
01-23-2003, 01:21 PM
Originally posted by JediTricks
Radio is hardly free, it's just free to the audience - in exchange, the audience accepts a certain level of advertising or supports it through public donations or memberships. Like television, the advertising is the real power behind broadcasting music over the airwaves - in this case, the broadcaster holds all the cards and receives income from the sponsors. This is very different from the internet because here we are able to avoid advertising more deftly (which in turn creates a demand on the webmasters' end for more effective advertising which too many advertisers and sites just translate to simply mean "more intrusive") and grab the entertainment we want "on demand" from others. This is more akin to making copies on tape and sharing it with your friends, except it's at such a large scale.
While what you say is very true, it's not the legalities or technicalities that are the "problem." It's the "perceptions" of the audience that are driving the situation. The audience perceives that they can hear the music for free so what they are really paying for when they buy a CD isn't so much the music...what they're buying is the convenience of hearing the music on their own schedule. (Look at books for a second. How many people reread a book after finishing it? Yet they opt to purchase it over borrowing it from the library for the pure convenience of having it around whenever they'd like it). And, based on the rumblings I've heard out in the general public, people are rather tired of paying nearly $20 for that convenience. As they say, water seeks it's own level, so as soon as this internet "hole" opened up and the necessity to purchase the convenience was removed, the public jumped at the chance.

People are more than willing to pay good money for a live performance. From Cirque du Soleil, to Shania Twain, to some contortionist out on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, people are willing to drop their dollars or change into the cup. Live performance is a proven way to make money. If they want to continue to make the same amounts of money, maybe that means doing more shows. If the artist is already booked full, then maybe it means they make less money that year. But, I'll guarantee you that they won't be starving at the end of the day.



Just one more thing. Please don't construe from this that I condone people stealing what they should be paying for or that I don't encourage everyone to make as much money as they can. I'm in that "ratrace" myself. I'm simply trying to address the actual reality of the situation to come up with an acceptable solution instead of dealing with hypothetical "what it should be" circumstances.

The Overlord Returns
01-23-2003, 01:54 PM
It's funny to note that, the artists on the "anti file sharing" debate
are almost exclusively bands and performers that rely on 1 or 2 hit singles to drive an album full of filler.

While, bands like radiohead, Bowie, oasis, Blur, Foo Fighters, are more album driven, and rely on putting out quality product overall, they also fully support the idea of file sharing. Many of these bands even have their albums available for DL on line before they are released, and it doesn't seem to hurt their sales.

Seems to me that these acts that rely on 2 singles to sell a bland, fluff filled album are the ones with reasons to be scared.....no ones going to buy an album full of 80% crap when they can go and get the 20 % in other ways...

Kidhuman
01-23-2003, 03:02 PM
I agee with Overlord on this one. I very rarely find an album that I like entirely. It is usually only one or two songs. If I like the band I will go and buy there cd. I have alot of cds. And alot of downloads. This might sound weird, but alot of the dl's I have, I already own the cd. I do it so I can hear a song without the hassel of looking for the cd, putting it in, and finding the exact song I want. I mainly listen to music when getting ready to go somewhere. Half of my cds are in the car and the rest in the house. Downloading music is piracy, no questions there. Maybe if they lowered the price to a reasonable rate, they would sell alot more. There is no way to stop piracy.

Think back to cassettes. My friend would buy one and I would buy a blank tape and tape it or vice versa. Nothing wrong there? Noone ever said anything. It was against the law, but how many times did a cop stop someone in a car and see these tapes sitting around and do nothing about it. I feel that 90% of America is guilty of pirating in one form or another.

The Overlord Returns
01-23-2003, 03:23 PM
Most of the dls I have are of obscure stuff you would never find on an album.

I have oddities, like Radiohead covering "rhinestone cowbopy" or Travis doing "hit me baby one more time " live. I rarely ever download actual album releases.

My roomates and I used to throw massive bashes, and we would actually program about 6 to 8 hours worth of music out onto media jukebox...and then record it onto vhs tape. Obviously, we would download a song or two that we needed for the night, but, we wouldn't have gone out and bought the album regardless......

I had dl copies of Kid A and amnesiac by radiohead 2 months before the albums were released, yet, release day, I was first in line for a copy....

stillakid
01-24-2003, 01:12 AM
One of the very real implications of this fight is that some CD's are being released with copy protection measures on them which (are supposed to) prevent them from being digitized. So a person's expensive MP3 player would be rendered obsolete when used with legitimately purchased CD's.

You following the logic here....

...so this will only ENCOURAGE even MORE "illegal" downloading as people flock to the web to find that copy of the album that somebody (smarter than themselves) managed to hack into. Why buy a CD that limits your playback options when you can get the same music without the limitations...and for free to boot?

Yeah, the music industry is scrambling to maintain their status quo and in doing so will only exascerbate the problem. What to do...what to do? :rolleyes:

QLD
01-24-2003, 01:13 AM
They could always try to force another format change on us.....

:rolleyes:

stillakid
01-24-2003, 02:11 AM
Originally posted by Quite-Long Dong
They could always try to force another format change on us.....

:rolleyes:

Maybe a "do it yourself" music kit? ;)

JediTricks
01-24-2003, 04:26 AM
Originally posted by stillakid
While what you say is very true, it's not the legalities or technicalities that are the "problem." It's the "perceptions" of the audience that are driving the situation. That is why I made that post. :D

stillakid
01-24-2003, 12:25 PM
Originally posted by JediTricks
That is why I made that post. :D

How large an audience does this website reach? ;)

darthvyn
01-24-2003, 01:59 PM
Originally posted by stillakid
One of the very real implications of this fight is that some CD's are being released with copy protection measures on them which (are supposed to) prevent them from being digitized. So a person's expensive MP3 player would be rendered obsolete when used with legitimately purchased CD's.

You following the logic here....

...so this will only ENCOURAGE even MORE "illegal" downloading as people flock to the web to find that copy of the album that somebody (smarter than themselves) managed to hack into. Why buy a CD that limits your playback options when you can get the same music without the limitations...and for free to boot?

Yeah, the music industry is scrambling to maintain their status quo and in doing so will only exascerbate the problem. What to do...what to do? :rolleyes:

that copyright protection was all but a bogus data track at the beginning of the cds... all you have to do is take a sharpie (the eternal friend of the music pirate...) and black out the data track...

JediTricks
01-24-2003, 08:54 PM
Originally posted by stillakid
How large an audience does this website reach? ;) All it takes is the power of one, buddy. :D

Exhaust Port
01-24-2003, 09:45 PM
I find it quite annoying that the music industry feels that they control everything that we can do with music that we purchased. Limiting our ability to copy our own personal CD? That's a load of crap. Nothing will drive up file sharing more by continuing to limit our own personal uses. If I can't buy a CD and make a copy for my mp3 player than I'll skip buying the album and go online and just download the songs I want that way.

stillakid
01-24-2003, 10:01 PM
Originally posted by JediTricks
All it takes is the power of one, buddy. :D

Rocky, Luke, George W. Bush. I suppose you're right! :)

JediTricks
01-25-2003, 04:49 AM
Yeah, but Rocky lost in that first movie, Luke only has "one" hand now, and Dubbya's power of one is a reference to a giant corporate monopoly. :D (Wow, 3 cheap shots on 3 different levels, now that is the power of one! ;))

stillakid
01-26-2003, 03:39 PM
I just saw an interesting story about John Mayer on the CBS Sunday Morning show.

Here's a guy that went to a prestigious school for music then dropped out because as he said, he'd rather "play music than study it."

He moves to Atlanta and begins playing the club scene. He gathers a local following by allowing his fans to record and trade his live performances. The story even included a shot of somebody setting up their laptop computer to "capture" the show.

Jump ahead about 2 years and he's a "star" at 28 ( I think it is ).

One thing he said really stuck out. He said that he always wanted to be one of those guys that people hear and don't just latch on to because of "a song." It's the song that draws them in, but the music makes them want to stick around and hang out a while. No gimmicks, no logos. Make it about the music.

So here he is, practically giving away his music online, yet finding success anyway. His fans still go to the shows and then go out and buy the albums.

I suppose we could debate on the reasons for that happening, but I'm of the mind that it's because he makes good honest music and puts on a good live performance. The albums support the shows...not the other way around.

What do you think?

derek
01-26-2003, 03:58 PM
What do you think?

if people have the artist's consent to copy and trade their music online, then go for it, otherwise, without their approval, it's nothing more that hi-tech shoplifitng.

Tycho
01-26-2003, 07:31 PM
This whole thing would go away if:

1) all stores had 'shrink-wrap machines' that "reseal" CD's, so that EVERYONE in every store that sells music, can go in and listen to the whole CD before they buy. My MusicTrader lets you do that on new or used CD's. They do not pass off used CD's as new ones with their shrink wrap either - plus with slightly wrinkled wrappers-books, it's not that easy to do fast, and not worth the effort to bilk your customers. It's pretty honest.

2) CD prices were lower. I used to work for Sam Goody - what are they thinking? "$19.99" for CD's? OK - their price comes from:

a) their overhead to rent space in a mall just for music products mostly.. (Wal*Mart can charge less because they pay their rent or mortgage but profit off everything else they sell too. So SamGoody loses sales of CD's when you get your music as you buy your toilet paper, SW figures, and breakfast cereal).

b) possibly their higher desired profit margin derived from impulse buying - but their prices encouraged theft as we caught a bunch of kids when I worked there that DO steal from stores.

So either - they should close their doors and go out of business, or they should operate only if profits are higher than what they lose from stealing - though I wouldn't be the theif - if you're caught you lose a lot more than the CD or a specified amount of civil money from a "Napster case."

Has anyone heard of prison time being issued for shoplifting? - yes.

Prison time for online piracy (for personal use - not selling copies of SW before the DVD comes out)? - I don't know if Napster users could go to jail or not.

But kids that steal might be able to walk to their mall, and not as easily get to a Walmart or Target, where prices are cheaper than Sam Goody, and they have unrealistic confidence in their abilities as shoplifters. So it doesn't surprise me that the "smarter of this bunch," - and ourselves after doing some cost-benefit analysis that they can't come after each one of us if we just take a little bit... all resort to online piracy.

But when we also consider the tech-head nature that is statistically more common in sci-fi buffs - it is no wonder that AOTC and Star Trek: Nemesis and more movies did more poorly at the box office than TPM (in spite of other reasons) - because pirate copies were circulating online before the movie released. That's right: I had a friend see AOTC on his PC before May 16. To me, it was worth waiting for the theater experience - but there are enough of them out there who like to download...