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OfflinePhluck
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"Long live file sharing, death to bland culture"
    #1950829 - 09/25/03 12:51 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Here's a column from today's Globe and Mail:

Long live file sharing, death to bland culture
By RUSSELL SMITH
Thursday, September 25, 2003 - Page R3

It's not just because of their lead-footed public relations that I have little interest in mustering sympathy for the Recording Industry Association of America. It's not just because they sued 12-year-old Brianna LaHara for downloading such songs as the theme from Friends and If You're Happy and You Know It. The fact is, I feel a certain glee that the pop-music industry -- the source of so much painful irritation in waiting rooms and taxis and on telephones and on television, the sausage plant for aural spam -- is being told by young people that it is unnecessary. I hope it crashes and burns and we never have to listen to Nickelback again. File-sharing is a rejection of the social power of bland culture. Why should we pay for crap?

It's not that I don't want artists to get paid for their work. This is not about artists: It's about crap. File-sharing of pop music reflects a refusal of price-gouging for crap, for what is largely a disposable product anyway.

Anyway, it's not the artists who are taking these supposed losses in the first place. Unless you count megastars such as Britney Spears as artists, which is a tough exercise in classification, since she doesn't write her own songs and the product manufactured and distributed by her industrial team is more precisely a form of advertising for a line of merchandise. No, it's not artists who are opposed to music sharing: For them it's excellent publicity and fan-base building. It's the record companies who are upset. They make far more profit on CDs than artists do: Most of the artists' share of CD sales goes to "reimbursing" the record companies for elaborate videos and other promotions anyway. And record companies like to control what we listen to and who we drool over in magazines: They like to control what we know about and what we don't.

Most real musicians feel that they are excluded from the major channels of attention and remuneration. We live in an age of such constant exposure to music that we feel music -- or noise, as it becomes when inescapable -- is literally everywhere, and yet with our 500 channels and the radio in every taxi and stairwell, we still have very little choice of entertainment. If you listen to pop-music radio and watch the music-video channels, you are going to be exposed to an extremely narrow band of culture. You are going to see a few hits repeated everywhere, endlessly, and those hits are going to be of such a stupefying banality that you might guess that they are manufactured as ambience for a 7-Eleven store somewhere in suburban Des Moines.

This non-selection does not represent what is desired or created by anyone I know. I do not know anyone, of any age, who is not dissatisfied by the range of music that is offered by the mass media. (This is yet another example of how a supposedly free market can end up affording remarkably little freedom.) And if you're in a band doing something interesting, it is unlikely that you will find representation in the front window of that new HMV store that has just opened in your local strip mall (which is now the only place to shop, since the little downtown record store run by the long-haired nerd closed).

Without a radio station playing you, without a major record label wasting all your profits on videos directed by Steven Spielberg and Coca-Cola, you have to find a way to spread the word, get well known, allow your fans to communicate with each other. The Internet does exactly this: It publicizes your work by allowing millions of virgin ears to hear a sample of it. If they like it, they will eventually buy something of yours, whether it's your next CD (because they haven't figured out a way to hook up their I-Pod to their car stereo, and they want to hear it while they drive) or a $15 ticket to your live show. The more fans you reach, the more likely you are to profit in very concrete ways.

I say this as someone with something to lose if my own artistic products are not paid for. Interestingly, the publishing industry has not collapsed because of photocopying or even because of the possibility of uploading e-copies (even rewritten e-copies of novels, as have circulated). Nor have libraries -- where free copies of published works are available for sharing, exactly as they are on Kazaa -- lost any writers any money. I am delighted, as an author with several books for sale in bookshops, when I hear of someone borrowing one from a library. I do not regret the loss of a sale. I am pleased that someone is taking an interest -- someone who might, if she likes the book, tell someone else about it who might also borrow it and tell someone else. This is all good for me.

The only thing the publishing industry hasn't done -- yet -- is get itself hated the way the music industry has. Books, so far, aren't quite as saccharine and omnipresent as Celine Dion is. The rebellion against record companies is an aesthetic one: It reflects a dissatisfaction with what's on offer.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
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Invisibleafoaf
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Re: "Long live file sharing, death to bland culture" [Re: Phluck]
    #1950966 - 09/25/03 02:07 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

true dat


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All I know is The Growery is a place where losers who get banned here go.


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InvisibleDoctorJ
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Re: "Long live file sharing, death to bland culture" [Re: afoaf]
    #1951125 - 09/25/03 02:56 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

That sums up a lot of my opinions, as both a music fan and creator.

The music machine in America is broken.

I went to a rave in 2000 called Transit. 20,000 people showed up to hear artists like Paul Oakenfold, Armand Van helden, Mixmaster Mike, Adam F, Jmajik, and many many others.

But was any of this music on the radio? or MTV? Hell no, they were pushin crap like Limp Bizkit and Britney Spears. Coporate owned radio and television doesnt ask what people want, it tells them what they want.

Hell, most of the music I steal I cant even buy anyway... Blockbuster Music doesnt carry it. And if they do, its $20+. I buy blank CDs at $5 a 50 pack. Blank tapes cost more- they have moving parts. So why are CDs more expensive than tapes? Price fixing and racketeering, thats why.

I would gladly pay for CDs if 2 conditions were met:
1. A huge price drop that reflected the actual worth of the CD instead of being a huge inflation due to monopoly
2. Record labels recognized naturally occuring good music instead of trying to manufacture it with marketing.


Pretty bitches like Britney Spears are a dime a dozen. A&R agents need to focus on finding self-made musicians with an origional product that needs promotion- too many of these people are languishing in the gutter while talentless bitches get rich.

and yes, as a musician, file sharing is very demotivating... but so is knowing that I will never be signed to a major because my music doesnt conform to the narrow specifications of "pop music"


--------------------
peace, pot, and microdot!


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Anonymous

Re: "Long live file sharing, death to bland culture" [Re: Phluck]
    #1951126 - 09/25/03 02:56 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

The fact is, I feel a certain glee that the pop-music industry -- the source of so much painful irritation in waiting rooms and taxis and on telephones and on television, the sausage plant for aural spam -- is being told by young people that it is unnecessary. I hope it crashes and burns and we never have to listen to Nickelback again.

yep.

File-sharing is a rejection of the social power of bland culture. Why should we pay for crap?

of course we don't have to pay for crap. typically, we don't download it either. so what music is it that we're taking without paying for here? the non-crap stuff that we like. already the author illustrates a lack of reason.

It's not that I don't want artists to get paid for their work.

but... you're not willing to pay for their art?

is not about artists: It's about crap. File-sharing of pop music reflects a refusal of price-gouging for crap, for what is largely a disposable product anyway.

unfortunately, the crap is quite popular, and as a result profitable. if you think it's worth less than they're willing to sell it for, don't buy it.

i don't go steal a pair of jeans because i think they're crappy jeans anyway and cost too much for their quality. jeez...

Anyway, it's not the artists who are taking these supposed losses in the first place.

this guy apparently is a little out of touch with economic realities.

No, it's not artists who are opposed to music sharing:

perhaps it's because they've already sold that which is being stolen to someone else.

And record companies like to control what we listen to and who we drool over in magazines: They like to control what we know about and what we don't.

please.

Most real musicians feel that they are excluded from the major channels of attention and remuneration.

if they'd like to put out free downloadable demos, more power to them.

We live in an age of such constant exposure to music that we feel music -- or noise, as it becomes when inescapable -- is literally everywhere, and yet with our 500 channels and the radio in every taxi and stairwell, we still have very little choice of entertainment. If you listen to pop-music radio and watch the music-video channels, you are going to be exposed to an extremely narrow band of culture. You are going to see a few hits repeated everywhere, endlessly, and those hits are going to be of such a stupefying banality that you might guess that they are manufactured as ambience for a 7-Eleven store somewhere in suburban Des Moines.

mostly true, but totally irrelevant.

This non-selection does not represent what is desired or created by anyone I know.

which is justification for copyright infringement how?

I do not know anyone, of any age, who is not dissatisfied by the range of music that is offered by the mass media. (This is yet another example of how a supposedly free market can end up affording remarkably little freedom.)

well somebody's buying it. does the prevalence of crap make less-pop-y music unavailable? there's tons of music out there... i'd even go so far as to say that if you were to judge by sheer volume of material, "pop" is but a small fraction of it. it's just the most popular. again... how is this cause for theft?

And if you're in a band doing something interesting, it is unlikely that you will find representation in the front window of that new HMV store that has just opened in your local strip mall (which is now the only place to shop, since the little downtown record store run by the long-haired nerd closed).

again, if artists wish to offer free, downloadable demos, fine. i know of many lesser-known artists that do this.

Without a radio station playing you, without a major record label wasting all your profits on videos directed by Steven Spielberg and Coca-Cola, you have to find a way to spread the word, get well known, allow your fans to communicate with each other. The Internet does exactly this: It publicizes your work by allowing millions of virgin ears to hear a sample of it. If they like it, they will eventually buy something of yours, whether it's your next CD (because they haven't figured out a way to hook up their I-Pod to their car stereo, and they want to hear it while they drive) or a $15 ticket to your live show. The more fans you reach, the more likely you are to profit in very concrete ways.

see above comment.

I say this as someone with something to lose if my own artistic products are not paid for. Interestingly, the publishing industry has not collapsed because of photocopying or even because of the possibility of uploading e-copies (even rewritten e-copies of novels, as have circulated).

downloading and burning a CD can be done easily with common equipment and little loss in quality.

who wants to buy a copy machine and photocopy a book from the library? who wants to stare at a computer screen all the way through an entire book?

if you could log onto kazaa, select any book, and have your computer spit out a bound, paperback copy in ten minutes, the publishers would be going nuts.

Nor have libraries -- where free copies of published works are available for sharing, exactly as they are on Kazaa -- lost any writers any money. I am delighted, as an author with several books for sale in bookshops, when I hear of someone borrowing one from a library.

sharing is not the issue, reproduction is.

what a load of crap.

if the author was merely expressing his discontent with pop music, and his satisfaction for what file sharing was doing to the pop-music industry, then i'd agree with him. he goes one step further, making a few false inferences, and says that this means that copyright violation is a-ok. this i don't agree with.

let's use the clothing industry as an analogy. if we are dissatisfied with the more popular, trendy styles of clothing, is this a justification to steal clothing?


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InvisibleXochitl
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Re: "Long live file sharing, death to bland culture" [Re: ]
    #1951159 - 09/25/03 03:16 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

I think it is importatnt to address the fact that file-sharing will not be going away anytime soon. Napster was shutdown, and then Kazaa popped up. Now that Kazaa is underfire, multiple P2P programs that are even more secure and efficient are taking its place. I think it is safe to say that the technology and programmers will always be a step ahead of the industry; ending P2P programs is a lost cause. Get used to it :thumbup:  The corporate industry needs to adapt to the times, not sue 12 year olds and broke college students.


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As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know.

-Donald Rumsfeld 2/2/02 Pentagon


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Anonymous

Re: "Long live file sharing, death to bland culture" [Re: Xochitl]
    #1951167 - 09/25/03 03:21 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

yes, and it's a rather sad statement about morality in our society.

if you could steal something, and knew that not only would you get away with it, but that it was socially acceptable, would you do it?

do most people even think twice about it?

i really don't know how it can be dealt with. if they had started enforcing against copyright violation when file-sharing was just starting up, then maybe they could have kept it down. i don't see how it can be put back into the box now, short of some seriously unpopular cracking-down.


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OfflineLearyfan
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Re: "Long live file sharing, death to bland culture" [Re: Phluck]
    #1951179 - 09/25/03 03:25 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Yeah baby!

Down with the record industry.




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--------------------------------


Mp3 of the month: Johnny Price- Marijuana, The Devil Flower



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InvisibleXochitl
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Re: "Long live file sharing, death to bland culture" [Re: ]
    #1951182 - 09/25/03 03:26 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Some artists do not think that file-sharing equates to "theft," rather they liken it to promotion and/or previews of their work. I know the band members of semi-popular, semi-underground indierock band, and they couldnt be more thrilled that people are downloading their songs off Kazaa.

Your "morality" does not apply in every circumstance.


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As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know.

-Donald Rumsfeld 2/2/02 Pentagon


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InvisibleDoctorJ
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Re: "Long live file sharing, death to bland culture" [Re: ]
    #1951215 - 09/25/03 03:34 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Imagine an unlocked, unguarded coke machine in the middle of nowhere. There are no other coke machines or any other place to buy drinks for 10,000 miles. The sign on the coke machine says: Cold Coca Cola: $20.

would you pay that ridiculous amount for a coke, or would you just take it?

record labels have a monopoly on the artists they sign. If you want to hear Nirvana, you have to go through Geffen. There is no competition, and thats why the prices are so high.

again, I would not have a problem paying for CDs if they were resonably priced. Also, I would like to see CDs that I actually want for sale in Major distributors like Sam Goody and Warehouse Music. And not with a "rare import" price tag. If the music I listened to were readily available for sale at a resonable price, then I would not have to steal it.


--------------------
peace, pot, and microdot!


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: "Long live file sharing, death to bland culture" [Re: ]
    #1951227 - 09/25/03 03:38 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

"Anyway, it's not the artists who are taking these supposed losses in the first place.

this guy apparently is a little out of touch with economic realities. "

Actually, it isn't the artists who are taking a large part of these losses. Most artists, especially lesser known ones, make far more money from live shows than from record sales, and even the ones who are lucky enough to be signed to an RIAA associated label hardly see any of the profits.

"And record companies like to control what we listen to and who we drool over in magazines: They like to control what we know about and what we don't.

please. "

How is this inaccurate, exactly? Why would record companies spend so much money arranging interviews for their most musicans? Why would they pay so much for advertising? Why would they fund music videos if they didn't want to shove these "artists" in our faces? It helps make them money, does it not? By the way, "please" is not a valid argument for anything.

"We live in an age of such constant exposure to music that we feel music -- or noise, as it becomes when inescapable -- is literally everywhere, and yet with our 500 channels and the radio in every taxi and stairwell, we still have very little choice of entertainment. If you listen to pop-music radio and watch the music-video channels, you are going to be exposed to an extremely narrow band of culture. You are going to see a few hits repeated everywhere, endlessly, and those hits are going to be of such a stupefying banality that you might guess that they are manufactured as ambience for a 7-Eleven store somewhere in suburban Des Moines.

mostly true, but totally irrelevant. "

I'm not sure how this is irrelevant at all, the whole point of his article was that corporate control of music is stifling the public's exposure to progressive, interesting new music, and that file sharing is changing this.

"let's use the clothing industry as an analogy. if we are dissatisfied with the more popular, trendy styles of clothing, is this a justification to steal clothing?"

Well, that depends. Are the large clothing companies making it nearly impossible to succeed as a small, independant clothing producer? Have their methods of distribution been rendered obsolete by a new system?

By committing copyright infringement, I am not depriving anyone of any property. There is a difference between making a copy, and keeping that, and actually stealing something.

I don't have a whole lot of money, but I occasionally buy music (only from non-RIAA labels now). If I didn't download music, I wouldn't be buying very many more CDs, if any more at all. Now I just have the ability to be exposed to a much wider variety of music. Not only that, but I have access to a far more interesting selection of music than any of the big chain music stores carry. File sharing may in fact be creating a far more musically diverse and intelligent generation than we have seen before, which will result in far more intelligent and diverse music being produced in the future, and I think that is a hell of a lot more important than giving money to record companies.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: "Long live file sharing, death to bland culture" [Re: ]
    #1951243 - 09/25/03 03:46 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

"i really don't know how it can be dealt with. if they had started enforcing against copyright violation when file-sharing was just starting up, then maybe they could have kept it down. i don't see how it can be put back into the box now, short of some seriously unpopular cracking-down. "

How about a complete revolution in the way music is marketed and sold? I think that's what we're seeing now. People are fed up with the shit being crammed down their throats, they're fed up with paying ridiculous prices, and they're excited by the vast new frontiers of music available to them.

If every corporation in the RIAA went bankrupt, I'd giggle with glee.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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Anonymous

Re: "Long live file sharing, death to bland culture" [Re: Xochitl]
    #1951256 - 09/25/03 03:55 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Some artists do not think that file-sharing equates to "theft," rather they liken it to promotion and/or previews of their work.

why do they go through the legal steps of obtaining copyright then?


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: "Long live file sharing, death to bland culture" [Re: Phluck]
    #1951266 - 09/25/03 03:59 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)



--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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Anonymous

Re: "Long live file sharing, death to bland culture" [Re: DoctorJ]
    #1951267 - 09/25/03 03:59 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

would you pay that ridiculous amount for a coke, or would you just take it?

you know... there is a third possibility.

record labels have a monopoly on the artists they sign. If you want to hear Nirvana, you have to go through Geffen. There is no competition, and thats why the prices are so high.

your right. this is because nirvana has a monopoly on nirvana. that's how it works.

you create a work of art, you share it with the world... but you make one stipulation... it cannot be copied without your permission. you are an artist with a copyright.

again, I would not have a problem paying for CDs if they were resonably priced.

if you don't think the price is reasonable, don't buy it. don't fucking steal it though.

If the music I listened to were readily available for sale at a resonable price, then I would not have to steal it.

:lol: jesus, you guys are a hoot.


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: "Long live file sharing, death to bland culture" [Re: ]
    #1951268 - 09/25/03 04:00 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

"why do they go through the legal steps of obtaining copyright then?"

A lot of the time, the record company does that, not them.

Also, it prevents others from passing off the music as their own, or from having people SELL pirated music, which is another issue altogether.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: "Long live file sharing, death to bland culture" [Re: ]
    #1951273 - 09/25/03 04:02 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

"if you don't think the price is reasonable, don't buy it. don't fucking steal it though."

If you don't buy it, but you do download it, how has the company/artist lost any more money than before?


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: "Long live file sharing, death to bland culture" [Re: ]
    #1951289 - 09/25/03 04:06 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Are people who earn more money entitled to be exposed to a more interesting and wider variety of music?

The idea behind a library was to allow even poor people to be exposed to information and culture, there is no equivalant for music. Yes, some libraries do offer CD's, but I've yet to see one with a wide and up to date selection.



--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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Anonymous

Re: "Long live file sharing, death to bland culture" [Re: Phluck]
    #1951313 - 09/25/03 04:15 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Actually, it isn't the artists who are taking a large part of these losses. Most artists, especially lesser known ones, make far more money from live shows than from record sales, and even the ones who are lucky enough to be signed to an RIAA associated label hardly see any of the profits.

artists sell partial rights to their work to a record company. just because the material is no longer completely owned by the original creator doesn't make it open season on it.

"even the ones who are lucky enough to be signed to an RIAA associated label hardly see any of the profits"

and ripping them off on kazaa helps this how?

How is this inaccurate, exactly?

accurate or not, it's irrevevant.

I'm not sure how this is irrelevant at all, the whole point of his article was that corporate control of music is stifling the public's exposure to progressive, interesting new music, and that file sharing is changing this.

it's irrelevant to the discussion about the morality of file-sharing. i suppose i jumped the gun a little.. the article itself is not really making any direct statements about the morality of file sharing, i am.

Well, that depends. Are the large clothing companies making it nearly impossible to succeed as a small, independant clothing producer? Have their methods of distribution been rendered obsolete by a new system?

how are large record companies doing this, and why should that matter? how does stealing clothing from the small distributers help them?

if the size of the large distributers makes it difficult for small distributers to compete, then stealing from the large ones, cutting their profits, may help the smaller distributers. how is it right though?

By committing copyright infringement, I am not depriving anyone of any property. There is a difference between making a copy, and keeping that, and actually stealing something.

you might not actually be taking something from someone, but you are copying something without permission.

a copyright is a stipulation placed on art by the creator. it says, 'i have created this and i will share it with the world, but with one condition: it may not be copied without my consent'. without this, the artist's original recording is worth no more than the copy some 13 year old kid burns. you could actually call it worthless.

should artists not have a right to place conditions on their work before sharing it with the world?

File sharing may in fact be creating a far more musically diverse and intelligent generation than we have seen before, which will result in far more intelligent and diverse music being produced in the future, and I think that is a hell of a lot more important than giving money to record companies.

a good point... does it make it right to violate the artist though?


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Offlinelysergic
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Re: "Long live file sharing, death to bland culture" [Re: Phluck]
    #1951320 - 09/25/03 04:18 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

I'm not sure that sharing files is "stealing" anything. Lets use "warez' as an example. How many of us have Photoshop? Illustrator? Programs like that? I'm not taking any money fromAdobe, because I'd never spend how ever many hundreds of dollars they want for their program. Same with CD's, I'd NEVER buy a Cd, no matter what, so my file sharing isn't preventing me from buying CD's.


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In response to an attack killing 15 American Servicemen
PsiloKitten said:
Just give em a little more time, the iraqis are making great progress. And this is unorganized. Wait till they get organized.


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: "Long live file sharing, death to bland culture" [Re: ]
    #1951359 - 09/25/03 04:33 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

"a good point... does it make it right to violate the artist though? "

Listening to music that I probably wasn't going to pay for hardly violates the artist.

"if the size of the large distributers makes it difficult for small distributers to compete, then stealing from the large ones, cutting their profits, may help the smaller distributers. how is it right though?"

It is right because it is changing our musical culture for the better. Some artists may be suffering financially as a result, but others are much better off due to the fact that their music is being better promoted. The industry is going through drastic changes right now, and I'm sure in ten, fifteen years, things will be completely different, and much better, all thanks to file sharing.

The fact that filesharing is making the world a better place culturally far overshadows the fact that a few artists and record executives are generating less revenue.

We have three options, we can buy CDs at a regular price, we can share music, or we can not listen to music at all. I don't know of anyone who doesn't want to listen to music, or to be exposed to new and interesting sounds. I do, however, know quite a few people who cannot afford to purchase music. Should they be deprived of music?

There's no legal alternative. The record industry has a monopoly.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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