> but I am more concerned about the artists than the industry.
Fair point. But the Industry needs the artists so it will have to find other ways of paying the artists therefore other ways of generating revenue to continue making money. Setup a download site, give away the tracks but sell me something else is a possibility I have heard mentioned.
Also here's an example of how it works for me:
I have never heard of Prince Alla so what do I do now? I type his name into Soulseek and download some, probably, low bit rate mp3. I like it but it wont go on my iPod* unless it's "whole" and at least 128kbps. But if his album appears on eMusic.com (or had have appeared on karmadownload.com) then I buy. Without Soulseek he would have got nothing from me.
Somebody else downloads it, likes it, has no intention of buying it and, if it wasn't available by other means, wouldn't buy it anyway.
A lot of my friends like music but they dont buy it. The constantly copy or borrow. They probably would download but they have enough trouble sending an email. They dont spend money on music.
Music lovers buy music. I buy more than I steal. In fact I barely steal anything as it's so tedious. low bit rate, films that purport to be LOTR but are actually gay porn (just make sure I got that the right way round!) and incomplete albums. Yuck. Where I tend to frequent the p2p underworld is for stuff that cant be bought. Unlreleased tracks, tracks from daysgoneby, old Eminem MC battles. In short things I would buy but can't.
Amazons new DRM free downloads could be interesting but as a consumer I want high bit rate non DRM and possibly a choice of file format. Allofmp3 is an example of what I want but unfortunately the selection of music is crap. I would happily buy illegal music from allofmp3 as they give me what I want as a consumer. Pay a few pence for a low quality mp3 or a few quid for CDA and plenty of options inbetween.
I am a paid up subscriber to eMusic.com for much the same reason. Quality music, good bit rates, cheap. Plus unlike the tragedy that is the iTunes store if I lose my Music or am simply on another PC and want a copy of an album I have purchased I just download it again.
Boomkat are a bit short on mp3 releases but again offer the high level of service.
Finally, Napster led me to eMule, eMule led me to Grime, Grime led me to Dubstep. P2P and the way that it vastly increases your awareness of music has a direct correlation to my increase on spending on vinyl, CD and mp3 in the last two years.
Whatever your opinion downloading copyright material is against the law. But so was nicking StayPress trousers from Millets when I was 13. Hey ho!
* I am not proud I own an iPod and previously I owned a sonically superior iAudio X5 but iTunes (the music management not the store) is what is behind the success of Apple not the iPod in my opinion. It is certainly the reason I now own an iPod and the reason that I would not consoder switching. You get some decent mp3 players, iRiver, Sony, etc but the music management software is rubbish. Sony's SonicStage is even worse than Rubbish! Why dont the manufacturers see this? If they concentrated on a replacement for iTunes they wouldn't need to try and make pretty iPod clones. IMHO etc. Sorry, but it winds me up!!
Last edited by blubeat; 16-05-2007 at 09:28 PM.
and the above is the other problem ^^^^^ Everyone thinks everyone does as they do - be objective not subjective.
I'd guess most people here are music heads and respect artists and do try before they buy. However, to believe that this is the case for everyone is pointless and holds no water. There's two generations below us, that don't pay for anything and do see why they should, they don't know what an LP is nor care, they talk about gigabytes not amazing basslines, they borg the fuck out of thousands of pounds worth of music, 500gig a time. Trust me, it's going to get so much worse because the major corps don't know what to do, it's fucked.
Allofmp3... what weasels. Somewhere between Soulseek and algae on the moral evolutionary ladder.
Though I imagine making/stealing a living in Russia is no joke.
Originally Posted by bleep
True enough, most of what they sell seems to be off soulseek to start with. When I worked in the games industry the Russian distributor use't to pay the local mafia to keep our products off the local copy stalls - very dark indeed.
To know if that would work, you would have to know the contents of an artist's deal with their label.
Originally Posted by john eden
If the money is going directly to the artists, or there appears to be a good deal, as per Calabash, or they are on an indie I know something about, fair enough.
But many artists make nothing off royalties, some even lose money by album sales! - no joke, check it out here:
This study (also by the Future of Music coalition, a very cool group of folks) suggests that at best, the artists they studied were divided on downloading, with 35% saying file sharing is not bad for them because of the marketing and promotion advantages (I know it was a biased sample of 2700 people, but it is significant anyway).
that said, I agree we should support artists (although I wish the US had a social system to prevent starving and homelessness, rather than relying on the market to do it as badly as it does).
But to support artists, you have to do a bit more work to know whether you actually are.
I also don't support propping up a system that makes it easy for labels to rip artists off, especially major labels.
okay off my hobbyhorse now
Well... and what if sometimes its really impossible to get music anywhere else but download from inet and such programmes as soulseek are rather convenient for this. So why not use it )
As for the answer to the question, i use flashget by myself but you will find some more soft on this subject on this resource
My position is that downloading of soulseek (apart from the caveats above) is a bad thing. I see this as an opening point for discussion and it's good to see some people justifying their other positions.
The main issue is of course that in most cases this does not get discussed, people just take it for granted that they can gorge themselves on free music without thinking about the consequences. So as a benchmark I think my postion is the best starting point.
Most people just don't want to do the research into which labels are paying their artists and which are not.
I'll try and read the study later but would be interested to know which countries the artists were from and the way in which they were sampled (email?). Even setting that aside it seems that 65% of artists think that file sharing is bad for them.
Originally Posted by ripley
lots of labour of love tiny labels i know are shutting shop or releasing less music, its funny how in some ways instant gratification of taking music for free has meant smaller labels having to act like bigger ones, working on marketing etc so their commodity is more visible and has more value, it's rather gloomy, esp as a strong underground is essential to music developing.
Originally Posted by john eden
It's simply wrong to not pay people for the work they put into to music you enjoy.
Also its a real shame, maybe nostalgia wise for me when everyone has a record b4 its actually out on mp3, that rush people have to get it, it destroys something precious about timing, that first time you get something and open it and listen to it. There is a real value to that those times are very memorable.
Is part of the problem that there is still a myth among the general populace that any artist with a recognisable name is making the big bucks and can afford to lose a few sales, thus making the wholesale gorging on P2P largely guilt free?
I use soulseek but mostly for unavailable and public domain stuff - which it is amazing for. I also use it to check out music I haven't heard. I buy anything I really like and intend to keep listening to (if I can find it that is), partly to support the artists and partly to satisfy my acqusitional hoarding urges. I realise not everyone does but then I suspect that most of those people wouldn't have bought the music anyway.
I think the real trouble is the big record / marketing companies use their financial power to ensure that only 'their' artists ever get really noticed on a large scale.
Anyone operating in non-mainstream areas of music will generally accept that they will have to get by selling a few hundred vinyl records or by playing live shows - even then you are up against timid distros, nasty promoter rackets and a music press in the pocket of the biggies.
Bloody hell - good job I don't make music to make money.
I won't reiterate this again, after this post. But I did just suggest it, and I'll restate:
Originally Posted by mms
that's an argument that works equally well against giving any money to the big record labels, because they do that all the time (not pay people for their work) and buying stuff off them perpetuates that system.
besides, some people put work into things because they want you to enjoy it and don't expect payment. is it simply wrong to respect their wishes?
regarding later comments:
I agree the industry is changing in lots of ways. As far as the middlelman goes.. When it's a middleman we like, like indie records shops and labels, there are some interesting issues:
I really love record shops and it's sad to see them going out of business.. that said I have 2000 records in my house and can't really pay more rent to store more of them, plus I already destroyed my back touring with a 75 pound box of vinyl.. my health insurance isn't good enough to cover that.
other middleman issues: I know many people who run small indie labels that they make no money on. Of course, lots of their costs used to be pressing vinyl/burning cds, storage, and distribution.. all of which are lowered by digital media and the internet.. for the ones who ARE doing for love, seems like they could do ok as a clearing-house marketing group, event promoter, other experience-based services. And there's always merchandise..
the question of how are artists going to get paid is the biggie. I just urge people to see that the status quo is NOT that all artists get paid via royalties.
And as soon as it's less than all, you're making an argument that is weighing costs and benefits to different groups of actors. If you're going to do that, do it consciously. It doesn't make sense to lump them all together. And that's how the majors, who really and truly do rip people off, get by, because they profit from that elision.
Ripley, most of that doesn't make sense to me but lets deal with the first part.
It's OK to steal because they do, is that what you are saying?
no, that is absolutely not what I am saying, in any way.
Originally Posted by Martin Dust
If an artist literally loses money off every sale, because of how their record contract worked out, you are literally costing the artist money whenever you buy a record. Don't know how to make that any clearer.
they do not receive money from it, they lose money from it. What's more, your money contributes solely to the engine that perpetuates this cost to artists, by making the labels richer and the artists poorer.
however, in terms of law, this is not "stealing" because it's all done under cover of the legal contract. So to you, is it perfectly ok, and you are not complicit even though it's your act that takes money away from the artist?
(and takes money away much more directly than downloading, since downloads are not 1to1 replacements for sales)
Clearly the larger issue is that you should not use the word "stealing" sloppily. Do you mean it as according to the law (which includes no protection for people who are bamboozled by people with more power from them)? According to law, which is politically and locally defined, and which can change according to political pressure? Before 2002 in the US it wasn't stealing to download materials written in 1978, and now it is stealing to do so. Does our outrage over theft simply switch on after 2002?
I think the main argument here is a moral one.
I hear "stealing is bad" but I'm not sure what people mean by stealing, because rules of ownership for the results of creativity are culturally (and subculturally) defined. This is so clearly obvious with respect to different norms in jazz, dub, dancehall, hip-hop, trad irish music, etc etc that it shouldn't even be up for debate. At some point, those definitions may be in conflict, and I don't think it's self-evident which side you are going to pick unless you just keep your personal definition regardless of the effect on others or their own wishes.
being in law school, i'd just say that taking a strong moral stand on "the rule of law" with respect to copyright law would be ridiculous.
I think some people are confusing a moral argument based in a certain vision of ownership with the admittedly convoluted realities of the industry.
other people are confusing the interest of record labels with the interest of the artist. there are lots of different issues, depending on who the artist is and who the label is.
for example, in many cases: 95% of the money from a CD sale supports the label so they have the power to (among other things) have their lawyers write shitty contracts that forces artists to make only 5% of CDs, force artists to change their style in conjunction with corporate interests etc etc etc. If you want to make a strong moral stand against harming the artist, how do you measure all of those harms? does the 5% you give to the artist outweigh all the other stuff?
with indie labels, it's more complicated, as I wrote above. But it's simply silly to bring it all down to "stealing" or "not stealing." How you measure the harms and benefits is obviously more complicated than that.
if you want to simply not go against the artists' wishes, that's great. But that too is a basically moral decision (especially as artists can be wrong, misinformed, or malicious). And I'd reiterate that the morality of participating in a larger system of exploitation is worth a thought as well.
I'd like Ripley to defend me in court, when that inevitably happens.