With this in mind, perhaps the most reliable form of copy protection at the moment is to release material only on vinyl. This makes the process of uploading laborious, the quality will be dubious, and therefore it is much less likely to end up on a the p2ps. Even if it does, the amount of time taken for it to spread will be far greater than if it were in digital format.
I buy from Bleep and Boomkat digitally because I get really good emails from them detailing the new releases. It's a bit like old school record shop service, advice, reccomendations etc, and this makes a huge difference. I think if the industry can embrace this personal aspect and stop thinking about the whole thing like a game of monopoly it has a chance to benefit. Unfortunately the larger players want to centralize everything and it's just not going to work.
With respect to the latest furore over Mandelson's plans to cut the internet connections of persistent filesharers:
"Kaiser Chiefs' chief songwriter Nick Hodgson, when the last album was leaked onto the web a month before release, said it was like having his house burgled and someone was using the internet to sell all his belongings."
But Nick, your "house" is full of shit. You should be grateful someone's selling it off.
This issue seems to have gone through a period of relative quiet over the last couple of years, though i guess there's been much bigger things to be worrying about at the moment.
Post-2008, has the argument changed shape at all?
i was reading this blogpost, arguing that artists should be compensated for their effort, and that it was a form of moral failure to simply take their product for free.
I liked how the guy didnt attack the filesharers from the usual property theft angle, but went after the slightly easier sell of; you're happy to support global mega corps like Apple who make the computers you download all your shit onto, but you're unwilling to chuck in a few dollars for someone who supposedly influences your life so much - where are your priorities? OR something of that sort...
But i fail to be convinced on a few points,
1) Firstly, that music should be conceptualised fundamentally as a commodity produced by artists with the expectation of remuneration, and that the mechanism for this remuneration is to trade the product itself.
It feels like a rigid reduction of an art form which affects society on levels way beyond purely financial ones.
2) That downloading music is equal to material theft. When you download a copy of a song, you arent affecting its supply to anyone else. If i had a fruit stall with a box of apples that magically regenerated each time someone took one, could i really say that they were being stolen if everyone took one as they passed by, but the pile stayed the same size?
The argument seems to rest on the assumption that i wont be buying the song once i have downloaded it illegally. Well, if i hadnt downloaded it in the first place, theres a chance that i might not have bought it at all either. It seems to be stretching it a bit far by pointing to digital downloading as an indication of purchasing intent, and hence loss of earnings.
3) That the current remuneration model is worth maintaining. Currently, artists continue to receive compensation for their work long after they've completed it, long after they've recouped their initial outlay, even in some cases, well after they've made a killing from their product. Is this particularly fair?
If i build a toll road, incur all the costs of construction and charge people for using it, why should i be able to charge people to infinity a "rental" for the use of my road. Wouldn't it be fairer if there was a limit to my potential profit calculated that was proportional to the amount of effort involved in producing the work?
4)That artists should earn their keep by selling the product of their labour. This may sound a little counter-intuitive, but i think the system of patronage that supported so many arts and artists through the last millennium is the model to follow here. Instead of rewarding artists per unit sold, i think we should return to the model of commissioning projects, and funding them. Patronage used to the preserve of the elite, but with the internet, fan-funding/crowdsourcing/kickstarter has the potential to empower us all to be patrons collectively. This is surely a more progressive approach than a simple market reward system, where music/art can be commissioned by a group of people who hold an interest in seeing the work completed.
When victorian business barons built schools and hospitals for their communities they didnt think about the lost income they would miss out on of future generations by not incorporating rent collection schemes into their donations. Their actions were motivated by a desire to bequeath a gift in the service of a wider culture. This is how we should view the commissioning of art. Everyone wins, + the projects get discussed in a much wider social context. If it takes 20,000 people to donate $5 to make an album happen, well, that's 20,000 people involved in the process of creation. Much more than happens right now with record companies placing bets with advances, individual tastemakers taking gambles etc...
5) That "freeloading" culture is killing music itself. This seems almost too silly to warrant a rebuttal. I will if anyone can be bothered to contest it.
Let me place a caveat here, obviously i want artists to be able to live, but i dont necessarily think they have the god given right to profit like kings even if their music touches millions. (profits from touring excluded)
Nor do i think that musicians have a right to expect that they will be able to make music full time. I think that the community model would work well here. If people are willing to fund somebody then so be it - but when people cry out "oh those poor musicians actually had to think about giving up" I can't help but note how hollow the cry sounds when it comes from a position of relative luxury. There's so many people who can't follow their dreams, this is not a valid argument with which to prop up a monopolistic business practice.
In regards to practice however, i wonder if people are downloading with the same frenzy that happened a few years ago. You remember, from 2005-2007, broadband had just been rolled out properly, it was the case of music bingeing - gluttony on a hd. People were leeching GB's of music, overkill.
But now with youtube, the fact that almost anything can be streamed nowadays, i wonder how this is affecting the practice of cultural sharing. Youtube has become my main reference point for music nowadays (probably the last 18months). I don't need to bother downloading anything, because its all there. Youtube gives me whatever i want , but i have to know what i'm looking for. And judging by the numbers (almost 1million views for Ratlin-Messiah alone) plenty of other people are exploring sound this way.
i bought so many CDs pre-file sharing (mostly as a teenager) for £11-16 - it was a ludicrous rip-off and the vast majority of that money went to record companies. Seeing artists live seems like a better way to remunerate them, although maybe I should check where the money does actually go. I'd happily buy more CDs if the majority of the money went direct to artists.
From the article: "Vic (Chesnutt) was deeply in debt to hospitals" that's because the United States is an appallingly inequitable country that doesn't have free medical care, not because of filesharing. ffs.
US ISPs apparently are ready to implement a six-strikes anti-piracy policy.
i believe france has a three-strikes policy, any word on how that's working?
i still buy a lot but do DL when something is rare/out-of-print/otherwise unavailable. do you think ISPs will give me a break if i plead that the 10-year old moodymann 12" in questions was limited to just 500 copies worldwide and he never reissues on vinyl or cd??
probably time to acknowledge that filesharing blogs became the djs of the era really in terms of shaping aesthetics and disseminating information. there's a whole generation of obsessive downloaders that have 1000s of times more music and music knowledge than the most hardcore of record collectors becasue of these blogs. record collections that cost 1000s of pounds and decades to assempble can be ecilpesed in a few months of downloading. i dont think the ethics of it turned out to be half as clearcut as john eden thought it was at the beginning of the thread in as much as an inflential blog can spark a reissue or concert opportunities. youtube is perhaps going to replace this. spotify certainly wont cos theres absolutely nothing on it and the curation is too basic.
i remember when woebot done his phillips silver records post and i didnt know what the fuck it was hardly anyone had seen them. now every 15 year old with a slight interest in music has them all on a harddrive.
Excuse me the ignorance, but what are "phillips silver records"? I'm intrigued now.
^^Thursday, September 04, 2003
Ingram surpasses himself. When I saw these iridescent silver covers I almost drooled onto the keyboard. Absolutely no idea there was a whole series of these things. I actually have a Prospective 21 siecle, not one in Matthew's list. It's Pierre Henry's Voile D'Orphee/Entite/Spirale. Possibly my favorite album sleeve, least ways that's what I told Julian House for his record cover book forthcoming, the only real rivals are DJ Trax's 1 Man 1 DJ EP for Moving Shadow and 2 Bad Mice's Hold It Down/Waremouse EP ditto. Matt tells me the Henry is worth around 250 dollars. That's roughly 160 times what I paid for it. Picked it up for 1 quid at a jumble sale, the school at the bottom of Warnborough Rd, Oxford, must have been '82, '83. Didn't really know who Pierre H was, just liked the cover. There was a fair bit avant-classical floating around those days, must have been 60s type clearing out their attics. Stuff you see now on the high on the wall (out of grab-and-run reach) at Other Music, going for sixty, seventy dollars. WHY. DIDN'T. I.BUY.MORE.OF.IT.WHEN.IT.WAS.GOING.CHEAP.THEN?!?!? ! is the gritted-teeth question. I was on a grant or on the dole, is the answer.
Posted by SIMON REYNOLDS at 9:43 PM No comments: Links to this post