Illegal downloading

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Post by FredProgGH » Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:56 am

Remember this- whatever you decide you think about music copyright you must also think about the patent process. So if I can't have an assurance I can own my compositions and license them, the designer of a new method of efficient room temperature cold fusion can't own and license that either. And they might not be in an altruistic mood, especially considering the money it would probably cost to develop such a thing.

BTW as a result of this discussion I am seriously considering the ramifications of even releasing a new cd. I plan to talk to Steve about a different idea...
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Post by mflorio » Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:00 am

Alatar wrote:
If I download your music I am not necessarily depriving you of anything. It is impossible to prove that I would ever have bought the album had I not downloaded it.
It's like drugs, man ! You're paying for the experience, not the pill !

You have stolen the experience of hearing the music and have deprived me my compensation. Same as if you sneaked into a concert to hear your favorite band.
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Post by Alatar » Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:33 am

mflorio wrote:
Alatar wrote:
If I download your music I am not necessarily depriving you of anything. It is impossible to prove that I would ever have bought the album had I not downloaded it.
It's like drugs, man ! You're paying for the experience, not the pill !

You have stolen the experience of hearing the music and have deprived me my compensation. Same as if you sneaked into a concert to hear your favorite band.
Just to reiterate lest someone take this quote out of context, I am not arguing that it is right to pirate, I am just trying to explain here why people find it easy to ignore the argument that "it's stealing".

To be pedantic a lot of people would say that to steal is to take something and deprive somebody else of that same thing. You can't steal an experience. You can however experience something without the creater in the stipulated fashion. That's more like not paying to have your roof fixed. Hmm, not sure there. Can somebody with a legal brain tell me if not paying for a service provided is theft?

Just to re-reiterate, I am arguing about definitions here and not about downloading unauthorised material without compensation, which I think is wrong. Let me know if I am getting anyone's back up and I'll stop arguing. Although I might blame Sam.
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Post by mflorio » Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:11 am

My American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines the word 'steal' firstly as this:

"To take without right or permission, generally in a surreptitious way".

It says nothing of depriving ownership of the same.

Certainly you can take without right a service or experience. (As long as the law gives the owner the right to grant permission in the first place - which is why the roof fixer can probably sue for damages if he is not paid).

This thread has evolved to the point of ridicule. Now do you care to define what "legal", "service" or "paying" means ? We could go on forever here. It all goes to show that the human mind does whatever it can when trying to rationalize improper behavior !
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Post by mflorio » Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:26 am

Upon reflection, I'm glad that the definition is what it is from a Christian point of view.

Stealing is not wrong because I have been deprived of something I owned. No, it's wrong because my brother has violated my trust and that causes me pain. That's why God told us not to steal.

I came out to my car one morning to find the windows smashed and the radio torn out (but not gone - apparently there were too many wires to snip). I wasn't deprived of ownership of anyyhing, but the sense of having been violated hurt very much. It wouldn't have made any difference to me if they got the radio out and taken it.

That's just the way I see it.
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Post by spaceman » Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:59 pm

Steve, Fred, rest assured that 'I' and my family and friends WILL purchase Glass Hammer's CD's and DVD's. I love your music and you guys are starting to gather a bit of a cult following here on the other side of the mountains. We'll also travel long and far if need be to see you guys play live. This whole downloading thing worries me as well since we are in the process of recording our first CD. We've been writing music and playing together for many years but are just now recording our first 'official' disc. But we are pressing on. Glass Hammer is well on its way to being truly established and possibly 'stars' in the music business. (you already are IMHO !!!) So, my advice is to keep on keeping on. The Lord does look out for his children. Even with illegal downloading going on just remember that if the Lord can multiply the loaves and fish, He can also multiply the sales of the CD's. I'm looking forward to the release of the new disc! I've already got my money out!!

BTW, sorry I haven't posted in awhile. There has been alot going on for me. But I'm back in action now, so I'll try to post more often.

Thanks for all you guys do!!!
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Post by Rumpska » Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:28 pm

Although... if downloading music like that isn't illegal, why does everyone call it that? Sounds like evidence enough for me.
Last edited by Rumpska on Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Sam Gamgee » Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:25 pm

Sorry it's my fault!! I think I confused everyone. Remind me never ever to procrastinate with the forum in the middle of writing a paper, because then it all comes out with the pointedness of a brain that knows it needs to be analyzing something but is too tired to tackle someone like Kant.

Regarding following the law: no, following the law absolutely is silly. I'm a fan of Aquinas' argument which is basically that human law has moral weight and we ought to follow it unless it contradict natural law, in which case it ceases to be a law. Therefore we are not bound to follow it. (and also human law is not the extent of the moral code we should follow, but that gets more complicated)

And mflorio, I'm not advocating downloading at all.

I totally understand the feeling of injustice of people not giving the artist credit. I was just wondering out loud more of *why* we don't think it's right, in a more objective sense, where specifically that idea comes from, and if there were any kind of overarching moral principles we could break it down into, since it's a lot less clear than the legal case.

I'm sorry guys, this is just me not thinking - I forget these kinds of conversations aren't standard fare. Too much influence from a school whose unofficial motto is "it's all very well and good in practice, but how does it work in theory?"

(Alatar gets where I'm going though.

What would Nietzsche say? Probably something like "You all are a bunch of pansies failing to exhibit your will to power out of your aescetic sickliness. But who cares? I've slept with more woman and I have the syphilis to prove it!";) Silly Nietzsche.)

Er... I'll just go sit back here in my corner... *cough*
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Post by FredProgGH » Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:44 pm

I was on the way to the studio today and I had a thought:

Downloading music is exactly like premarital sex. It's easy to do and it's fun. You can rail against it and many do, for various reasons, but you won't stop it. The only reason, in fact, that will keep anyone from doing it is a personal moral conviction not to. Some will refrain from doing so and find a certain pleasure in adhering to principles. Some will refrain from doing so a lot of the time but do it occasionally in moments of weakness and experience various pangs of guilt and remorse according to their nature. Many will just do what comes naturally and have a blast, unless the FBI, like governmental VD or pregnancy, pulls their name from a hat and makes an example.

So, where does that leave us??

Well, Capitalist that I am, I say what is the good in banging your head against the market- if that's how it is, that's how it is. You have to find a creative way to work within the new paradigm. I was not kidding in a previous post when I said that if it were up to me this new album would NOT get released- in the conventional way. It could be released in a way that could make us and the youth (and some older folks as well) who are products of the new music entitlement generation happy. It just takes some thinking.


It's probably too little time left this go-round to pull something like that off; I expect things to go the usual way for now. But the next album, it may be a different approach. And that might not be a bad thing. We shall see!


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Post by Alatar » Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:03 am

mflorio wrote:My American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines the word 'steal' firstly as this:

"To take without right or permission, generally in a surreptitious way".

It says nothing of depriving ownership of the same.

Certainly you can take without right a service or experience. (As long as the law gives the owner the right to grant permission in the first place - which is why the roof fixer can probably sue for damages if he is not paid).

This thread has evolved to the point of ridicule. Now do you care to define what "legal", "service" or "paying" means ? We could go on forever here. It all goes to show that the human mind does whatever it can when trying to rationalize improper behavior !
Sorry about that, Sam and I are engaged in navel gazing at the moment. The fundamentals of your argument hold up, its just that my experience of arguing with pro-downloaders sees them wriggling through certain cracks. We were just trying to find a water-tight argument.

I will say this about word definitions. I looked up the OED (the pompous man's dictionary of choice), and it had several related definitions. The first was specifically to do with depriving somebody of an item, and the second was closer to your American Heritage Dictionary's definition. The point is that words are not as precise as we wish them to be, and sometimes when arguing a point you will find that the person you are arguing with is using a different definition, generally because it suits their argument better.

On the subject of the definition of paying, I downloaded the latest Brittney Speares album and listened to the whole thing. Haven't I paid enough already? Err, only kidding. :D
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Post by Flo Paris » Fri Jun 08, 2007 12:07 am

I'm exhausted, so I'm pretty sure none of this will come out right.
Also, this might be pulling the conversation in a totally different direction, and for that I apologize, but here it goes...

I really, honestly, truly wish, AS an artist, that people could download my music for free, and I could still make a living.
I'm sure a lot of musicians feel this way.
It would be great if I could make all of my money off of ticket sales or something, and people could just get the music how they want to.
Although this is unrealistic, there are alternatives.
There are many bands that I listen to that allow fans to share files of live concerts, but not recorded CDs.

For small independent artists like myself, this makes sense. CDs cost a lot to produce, so I would like to make money <i>off</i> of them after I <i>make</i> them.
If I am already getting paid for a concert, why not let people share video or audio? Especially if it means more exposure.
Most people STILL want to see their favorite band in concert (again and again and again) even if they have a bootleg copy of a performance.
(A bootleg copy of a concert wouldn't replace the concert for most people, as a pirated copy of songs off a recorded album would replace that album)

I realize that this does not really work with Progressive Rock , because of the intricacy and complexity of the musical compositions that are indicative of the genre.
That is, it is much harder to sit and listen to an amateur recording of a live progressive rock performance and get all the nuances of the music, than it is to listen to a recording of...just about anything else.
Of course this changes a little, if you can plug a device straight into the mixing board (some artists allow this), but I think a lot of die hard prog rock fans (like this lovely bunch of posters:) would still rather buy a professional quality recording (either video or audio). Maybe I'm wrong.

Something else to ponder:
I guess I <i>would</i> care if I lost significant record sales due to illegal downloading.
BUT - even though I am technically supposed to be upset, for some reason it doesn't bother me when I find out someone has burned my CD.
Probably because my music isn't our family's primary source of income.... and I'm NOT being affected by it.
But maybe someday that will change.

So, do I not care because at the moment it doesn't affect me?
If I care only when it affects me, I am not living by any higher standard than those who download illegally - in other words:

It is wrong for you to download my music if it affects me.
It is right for you to download my music if it doesn't affect me.

So I guess that is another reason we need a law that just tells us if it is wrong or right. Hmmmmm just like the Israelites had a law...that they couldn't keep.... ha ha ha...just kidding.
You all have NO idea how many crazy turns this post just took in my own head.

*Apologies for the rambling post with no resolution (hey just pretend it's a foreign film!), and any grammatical or spelling errors, but I just spent 15 hours watching my best friend give birth (to a NINE pound baby boy named Sören) and I have been up for 36 hours. I am a little loopy.
I am going to bed or passing out, whichever comes fir--
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Post by MayorOfLongview » Thu Nov 15, 2007 7:24 pm

I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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Post by FredProgGH » Fri Nov 16, 2007 12:48 am

The PE thread on that is actually rather interesting.

Bottom line: time to get out of music unless it's a hobby. It's over as an occupation.
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Post by Shadoshi » Fri Nov 16, 2007 6:31 am

FredProgGH wrote:The PE thread on that is actually rather interesting.
Bottom line: time to get out of music unless it's a hobby. It's over as an occupation.
I unfortunately do not disagree with that statement.

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Post by theHermit » Sat Nov 17, 2007 7:10 pm

I'm an utter newb when it comes to the music business, but the last time I saw the wonderful indie band Yo La Tengo at the Fillmore in San Francisco before moving to NY, I actually got to chat a bit with Ira, Georgia and James, who are YLT. I asked Ira how the new record was doing (Summer Sun, ftr) and he told me he thought it was doing alright, but that the band made most of their money by touring and this had always been the case with YLT. Now his band has been around for a long time now and all of their albums have been released on the relatively small Matador label. They tour a couple of moths a year, maybe more with a new release, but they always play relatively small houses like the Fillmore or Warfield (SF). I wonder how true this is for bands in general, that the bulk of their income is earned on the road as opposed to sales through traditional record company contracts?
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