Illegal downloading

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Post by Joe-× » Thu May 24, 2007 1:19 pm

mflorio wrote:I also know for a fact that others have illegally downloaded it, and while I'm not materially hurt by that fact (as I sell so few anyway)
It's good that you understand this market reality. Many artists don't and waste away hours counting the imaginary money they think they've lost from downloading.
mflorio wrote:One statement that you made:

"It doesn't have to be tangible to be marketable. Downloading (illegal and legal) has shown that many consumers actually prefer the intangible form."

I just don't understand your reasoning here.
Sorry for the confusion. I was merely responding to your statement "It is an idea that was labored upon by a craftsman in order to bring it into a presentable, tangible, marketable form."

I was merely pointing out that something not tangible could still be marketable. I didn't mean to imply that the intangible form doesn't have value. My tendency toward notwelcome-retentive English nerdery told me that you intended for these to be coordinate adjectives. Usage of the comma in this way implies an "and" relationship between the adjectives. I'm guessing that you probably didn't intend it that way.
mflorio wrote:I find your conviction that most people are of good enough conscience to actually pay anyway intriguing.
I could be completely naive about that. I guess I see giving people the benefit of the doubt as part of the whole "love your neighbor" package. I do have relatives, friends & acquaintances who do shamelessly go the download instead of purchase route. I politely decline their requests to copy my stuff. Even so, most people I know who collect music also pay for it. Maybe I just hang with the wrong crowd.
mflorio wrote:But even if you are correct, that might not be the case in another 10 years or so,
I guess I've always been the kind of person who believes that the moral conscience that God writes on the hearts of every person doesn't change with shifts in social mores. The majority of people will still recognize the wrongness of stealing music even when the cultural elite has accepted it as normal. Sort of like adultery. Every one "knows" that it is immoral, though the rest of the (western) world accepts it.
mflorio wrote:That's all well and fine, but don't expect to find much music really worth listening to, as most artists will just have to crank out low budget recordings in between their 'paying' day jobs.
Let's be honest. For the most part, the artists we talk about here don't make a living from their recorded work - major label bands with established fan bases (Rush, Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd) and evergreen catalogs are obvious exceptions. The lack of "adequate" payment to make a living doesn't deter most "underground" artists from recording. People who make this kind of music aren't motivated by money. I don't think I've ever seen evidence that the marginal value of "lost sales" from downloading doesn't push an artist from able to make a living on sales of recorded music to unable to make a living. My experience is that musicians who are in it for the money end up as disappointed with their wealth as I am their music. Given the advancements in recording technology available to the average guy, I'm not sure there's anything wrong with low budget recordings.

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Post by mflorio » Thu May 24, 2007 4:14 pm

Joe-× wrote:
mflorio wrote:One statement that you made:

"It doesn't have to be tangible to be marketable. Downloading (illegal and legal) has shown that many consumers actually prefer the intangible form."

I just don't understand your reasoning here.
Sorry for the confusion. I was merely responding to your statement "It is an idea that was labored upon by a craftsman in order to bring it into a presentable, tangible, marketable form."

I was merely pointing out that something not tangible could still be marketable. I didn't mean to imply that the intangible form doesn't have value.
Actually, that's what I was responding to. I saw it as a contradiction in your reasoning that you *do* see value in the intangible products, yet you also advocate they be free for the taking. Is the value purely a marketing one in your opinion ? Unless, as I said, you really believe the only thing worth paying for is the disc & jewel case - but not the music ?
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Post by mflorio » Thu May 24, 2007 5:30 pm

Joe-× wrote:But this begs the question - what is the "value" of music? The value of music is that amount that people are willing to pay for it. No more, no less. The idea that musicians "deserve" or are "entitled" to some sort of hourly wage for their labor is just plain silly. The notion that musicians "deserve" or are "entitled" to some amount of money equal to the costs of production plus a reasonable profit for cost of living is also silly. It's a rough-tough free market out there. If you want to make money, you have to produce music that people are actually willing to buy.
Joe, I couldn't agree more !!! But if people are not willing to pay for an artists music (for whatever reason: too expensive, music stinks, etc...), then they should be willing to do without. Where is the justification for stealing it ?

If someone deems my product is not worth my asking price, then I expect them to *not buy* it. I don't expect them to steal it ! Or should I ? That seems to me to be the case you are making.

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Post by Joe-× » Thu May 24, 2007 6:16 pm

mflorio wrote:Actually, that's what I was responding to. I saw it as a contradiction in your reasoning that you *do* see value in the intangible products
I wouldn't put it that way. I'm merely acknowledging the possibility that intangile products may have value to some people. If some black metal band offered their entire musical homage to Lucifer for a paid download, it would have no value to me. Value is subjective, not objective.
mflorio wrote:yet you also advocate they be free for the taking.
I've suggested a preference for artists to put their music out there free for the taking and rely on the voluntary patronage of those who find value (whatever subjective value - musical, spiritual, social, etc) in the music to pay. A cynical person looks at this model and assumes that everyone who enjoys music is a free rider who will take and take and never give. A person who understands people who enjoy music knows that they are (mostly) willing to compensate the artists.

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Post by Joe-× » Thu May 24, 2007 6:51 pm

mflorio wrote: if people are not willing to pay for an artists music (for whatever reason: too expensive, music stinks, etc...), then they should be willing to do without.
I agree, but it's difficult to tell if something stinks without hearing it first.
mflorio wrote:Where is the justification for stealing it ?
Clearly, there isn't one. However, one must be careful in throwing around dangerous words like "stealing." In natural & common law, the crime of theft / stealing / larceny requires an intent to deprive the owner of his possession. With downloading, the owner isn't deprived of ownership. He still owns as many copies of his music as he made prior to the act. In downloading, it isn't the downloader who violated the copyright, it's the uploader who put the file out there for others to take. Certainly with the DMCA, the owner of the intellectual property has some inferred right to file tort claims against downloaders, but the law hasn't been tested yet. It's too vague.
mflorio wrote:If someone deems my product is not worth my asking price, then I expect them to *not buy* it.
That's perfectly reasonable. Of course, the only way for a potential consumer to assess his subjective value against the asking price is to hear it in advance. That's also reasonable.
mflorio wrote:I don't expect them to steal it ! Or should I ? That seems to me to be the case you are making.
I can't speak for them. I can only speak for me. There's a strong possibility that I will preview it.

The music and movie biz says that even if you hate what you bought, you're out of luck. No money back. Sold as is. No implied warranty of merchantability.

The implied warranty of merchantability is part of the UCC. In a nutshell, it means that the seller of goods provides an (implied) guarantee that the goods sold are suited for their regular use. The house shelters. The food at the restaurant doesn't poison. The cell phone permits communication in the promised service area. A vehicle transports. An umbrella keeps out rain. Etc.

If you think that the purpose of a music CD is to provide enjoyment for the listener, you are wrong. The purpose of a music CD is to be playable in equipment that reproduces the previously recorded sounds advertised on the product label.

As a consumer in a (relatively) free market, a person can choose to deal with sellers who provide an explicit and absolute guarantee on their goods *and* services. You knows those folks who say, "If you are dissatisfied for any reason, return within x days for a full refund."

With music, the understanding is caveat emptor. Common law tells me to inform myself beforehand. Since I've never had a lot of kuck parsing the opinions of others (reading reviews) about music in many of the genres that I enjoy in a way that adequately informs me, I often (but not exclusively) choose to listen to something before I buy it. Case in point - many folks on the Internet were saying that the new Threshold (generic melodic metal with prog elements) has that death marking barking / growling crap. At a certain threshold in barking, I hate it. So I listened first. By my own dead reckoning, it wasn't as bad as I feared, so I added it to my mental to-buy list and deleted the mp3s. Without downloading, I would have never purchased the disc. I've been misled enough times from others' opinions that "the barking isn't so bad" or "it fits the music" to know that I can only judge for myself. Maybe you call this stealing. I don't know.

This, of course, doesn't justify (to me) downloading for the purpose of getting stuff for free. You'd have to ask those people who do that for their rationale.

Musicians shouldn't sell music at all. They should give it away for free and allow those patrons of the arts who like it to freely (and preferably, anonymously) contribute to the musicians' support.

Anyone can be a patron of the arts. Just because you can't individually afford to front 40K for your favorite band to record an album doesn't mean you can't convince 999 of your online bandfan nerds to chip in 40 bucks apiece. Marillion does it. If (relatively) poor people have money to blow on beer, smokes, and lottery tickets then they have money to blow on music. It's about making choices. If you believe in music, you do what you have to do to support it.

With a world full of major and minor labels with investors (patrons) taking risks every day to market new music, we don't have any compelling reason to take the risks ourselves. If downloading scares away all those investors (patrons) (and this won't happen because humans are clever enough to find new ways to keep making money in a new reality), then real music fans will have to step up and put their money where their mouths are. Some people might view that as somewhat pollyanna-ish, but I think that discounts how important music is to music fans.

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Post by esteban » Thu May 24, 2007 6:51 pm

Joe-× wrote:My experience is that musicians who are in it for the money end up as disappointed with their wealth as I am with their music.
Best. Quote. Ever.

...well, today at least...;)
Ecce quam bonum et quam iucundum habitare fratres in unum.

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Post by mflorio » Thu May 24, 2007 8:05 pm

Joe-× wrote:
mflorio wrote: if people are not willing to pay for an artists music (for whatever reason: too expensive, music stinks, etc...), then they should be willing to do without.
I agree, but it's difficult to tell if something stinks without hearing it first.
mflorio wrote:If someone deems my product is not worth my asking price, then I expect them to *not buy* it.
That's perfectly reasonable. Of course, the only way for a potential consumer to assess his subjective value against the asking price is to hear it in advance. That's also reasonable.
But aren't samples of the album enough to judge by ? I find it hard to believe that in this day and age you can't find adequate samples of any album you might be interested in buying (you can even listen to whole songs on Rhapsody for just 9 cents or something). Or if not, why not contact the artist and ask to preview more? You see, once you have downloaded and listened to the whole thing, guess what ? You have consumed it.

You seem to be forgetting that supply and demand is a two way street. You want to set the amount you want to pay without taking into account the amount the artist wants to receive. It's tantamount to going into a restaurant, eating a meal and then saying "In my judgment that dinner was worth nothing and I will not pay". You can't give the experience of eating back. The price is therefore agreed upon going into the transaction, based on the restaurant's reputation and caveat emptor. Same thing with music - you can never un-hear the song you just downloaded, you have had the experience of hearing it so you have to pay up front the price the artist asks or exercise a right to pass on the music.

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Last edited by mflorio on Thu May 24, 2007 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Rumpska » Thu May 24, 2007 8:56 pm

Heh, I've heard that getting like 1/4 of an album free isn't illegal, but that sounds kinda BS. I just wonder about individual songs from an album. Like.... artist put them up on their site and stuff...

plus if one of my siblings buys a song on iTunes and ever so selfishly doesn't authorize it on the other computers in the house, I usually just find some mp3 site to download it. I don't see that as too illegal.

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Post by Joe-× » Thu May 24, 2007 9:12 pm

mflorio wrote:But aren't samples of the album enough to judge by ?
That was certainly the case for your album. Only a few seconds were necessary to know that I'd like something that sounded like a mix of Audivisions and Vital Signs. That the actual disc was more progressive than I expected was a bonus.

Unfortunately, it isn't always that easy. Some artists are stingy with samples. Some artists think using crappy low-bit rate samples prevents piracy. Sometimes the samples aren't completely representative.

I've had a lot of luck with adventures in myspace. Most artists provide complete songs. I found Mew, Pure Reason Revolution, and Dalton there after people provided links on web boards.

It also depends on the genre. Some genres are better suited for sampling than others. I trust my sampling of AOR / melodic rock, new age, doom metal, celtic, trance, pomp rock, and some of the poppier jazz. I need to hear entire albums of prog metal, power metal, and neo-prog rock to really know if I'll like it. I'm completely lost (mostly due to ignorance) on jazz and prog rock, so I go with a combination of samples (to judge the vocals, if any), reviews, and recommendations of trusted advisors.

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Post by mflorio » Thu May 24, 2007 10:19 pm

Joe-× wrote:...a mix of Audivisions and Vital Signs.
Wow - I'll have to remember that one !
Joe-× wrote: Unfortunately, it isn't always that easy. Some artists are stingy with samples. Some artists think using crappy low-bit rate samples prevents piracy. Sometimes the samples aren't completely representative.

I've had a lot of luck with adventures in myspace. Most artists provide complete songs. I found Mew, Pure Reason Revolution, and Dalton there after people provided links on web boards.
I edited my post above so you may have missed it, but Rhapsody and other jukebox-type services are good ways to preview entire songs, and even whole albums cheap. I'm with you on the low-quality samples though. I like to hear decent fidelity. And sometimes the samples are too short as well. And sometimes both (like on Amazon.com!). Personally, in those cases, I will either take a chance and buy or just wait till I have more information.

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Post by wesman » Fri May 25, 2007 9:16 pm

In 1613, Henry Crout, whilst sailing up Dildo Arm, came in contact with the Beothuks, who were residing on Dildo Island at this time. He traded with them and left gifts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dildo%2C_N ... d_Labrador

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Post by theHermit » Thu May 31, 2007 10:53 am

FredProgGH wrote:Probably, but we're only human and a certain hypocrisy goes with the territory. As artists we have pretty staunch views on the whole idea of infringement of Intellectual Property and yet I've done it. I try and limit myself to "archival" material that is unavailable in any legitimate form. But on occasion I have succumbed to a simple "I want that" because it's just so easy to do.

One big thing in the equation is that I no longer think downloading *generally* results in a lost sale- these people had no intention of ever buying the thing they download anyway so you lost no money- or they actually go "Hey, I like this" and they DO buy it so you have actually made money. But then you get the odd cretin out there like someone who would D/L an entire catalog.
I have tended to download material that is out of print and there is no other way of getting a hold of it. As to new material, I do on occasion download something, if as Fred says it's easy to do, and this usually results in a purchase.

I see Apple has just put up the EMI catolog on the iTunes shop in a DRM-free AAC 256 format which is just about darn near indistiguishable from the original. It's what I rip my own stuff at.
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Post by Sam Gamgee » Thu May 31, 2007 10:24 pm

Have you heard of allofmp3.com? Apparently they were going to shut it down today, but the site itself doesn't seem to say anything....

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061129-8315.html
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By his blindness to see that the warmth of his being
Is promised for his seeing, his reaching so clearly[/i][/color]

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Post by Bnielsen » Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:07 am

Nearly all of the payment partners (paypal, credit cards, etc) stopped processing any new payments last month
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Post by wesman » Sat Jun 02, 2007 1:57 am

Well I believe it really boils down to basic Human nature.

Either you have the complete morals not to download copyrighted material,
Or you are grabbing anything you can get your hands on.
There is NO GREY AREA on this.
" there is no try, either get what you want or do not"
Yodas' quote edited and republished with out approval.

This issue really boils down to the freedom of the internet.
I know few of us imagined advances in bandwidth and switching
enabling any monkey with a dell to have the resources available that we monkeys do have today, BUT is a Pirate flag painted any other color any less black?

What this has meant to many bands is the realization that CD sales are almost no longer marketable by themselves and PR and Marketing have become the driving force for TOURING to become the primary source of income once again.

Won't be too long when you can pay $15. to see a hi def webcast
in lieu of a SAT FEED, but that comes later....

zero in on your Heavy Faithfull Fans!

They Will respond.

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