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Amazon Shop: Pink Floyd, Shpongle

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OfflinePed
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Music, Art, and Capitalism
    #4229537 - 05/28/05 11:33 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

I've started this thread because it seemed to be a topic developing in the "new Shpongle" thread. Lest that thread be bogged down by an ethical debate, I figured it was a topic which deserved a thread of it's own here at MA&L.

Many people see Art and Capitalism as a bit of a dichotomy, with art being the humanistic essence of free expression and sharing, and capitalism being the life-draining rigidity of process and order. Some people download mp3's with the feeling that they are rescuing art (if you'll pardon the dramatics) from the clutches of capitalism's cold and unforgiving bosom. Oh, how doth the black, wretched milk spill forth like venom from the putrid green nipple of lady capitalism's bloated and wrinkled breast, spoiling into morbidity the hearts and minds of all those unfortunate ones who should be deceived by their desire to suckle. Vomit-soaked is lady capitalism's belly, as those who drink from her unholy tit uncontrollably wretch and spew the stinking mess of greed-soured labour and creativity. Again, please pardon the dramatics.

Some people have ordered the new Shpongle CD and eagerly await for it to arrive in the mail, while others are already listening to it in mp3 format. Those who've downloaded the album seem to feel content and justified, stating that they don't have jobs at the moment and therefore don't have the funds to purchase the CD and support Simon's music, as though that's all the explanation necessary for reaping the benfit of somebody else's hard work.

Don't get me wrong, I'm as much of a socialist as the next drug-taking hippie with a single bedroom apartment, but isn't it the very essence of capitalism to get a job and contribute labour to a society in return for the priviledge of reaping the benfits of that society's development? Shpongle is one of the innumerable benefits of many, many people's hard work: many people contributed their labour to the society which ensured that Simon and his group had -- from birth -- food, clothing, shelter, technology, and all the other conditions necessary for their creativity and genius to flourish. The society that birthed and continues to sustain the magic of Shpongle is the same society of which you and I are an integral part. Why should we reap all the reward from that? Isn't that robbery? Isn't that.. gasp.. piracy?

Anyway please don't think I'm trying to lecture anybody here, or that the RIAA bought the new Shpongle CD for me in exchange for my services as their operative. By no means do I advocate the action taken against P2P sharing, and by no means do I believe that any "artist", whose motivating factor is greed deserves monetary reward for the garbage they vomit on to the airwaves from that greedy, self-absorbed mindset. I suppose that's the difference: Simon Posford wants to make wonderful music for wonderful people to hear, and he wants to make his living with that as his contribution to our society. That's an extraordinary (and far too rare) ideal, and I don't think anyone is justified in detracting from that.

Of course, that's just my opinion; I could be Dennis Miller.


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


:poison: Dark Triangles - New Psychedelic Techno Single - Listen on Soundcloud :poison:
Gyroscope full album available SoundCloud or MySpace


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Invisiblevampirism
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Re: Music, Art, and Capitalism [Re: Ped]
    #4229554 - 05/28/05 11:51 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Regardless of their work, why should you pay a decent amount just to listen to it? I see no one requiring you to pay when you take photos at a museum. Their hard work gave them their songs, which they can do whatever they like with them. If someone really likes them and wishes to *Distribute* them ( or play them at a public event ), then they should be required to pay. But for personal use, I see no good reason that listening to songs is bad or immoral.


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InvisiblePenguarky Tunguin
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Re: Music, Art, and Capitalism [Re: vampirism]
    #4230135 - 05/28/05 03:33 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Morrowind is right.

In the long run, what is more worthwhile, getting paid for your work or having thousands of people listen to your music, music that will last far far longer than you will be around. I think it should be taken as a great honor that of the millions of albums that have been made, you are taking the time to listen to an hour of music that said artist took the time to make. Not to mention the fact that many people listen to Shpongle while under the influence of certain substances. How great an honor is that? Of a 6-7 hour trip, you're going to take over an hour of that time to listen to one of my albums??? I could care less if you paid for it or not. The fact that you chose to listen to my album while tripping is an amazing thing.

I see nothing wrong downloading an album, seeing if you like it and then purchasing it. Whats the difference between that and test driving a car? Nothing.


Good thread Ped. I look forward to the responses.


McKennaDMT


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Every mistake, intentional or otherwise, in the above post, is the fault of the reader.


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Offlineemptywisdom
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Re: Music, Art, and Capitalism [Re: Penguarky Tunguin]
    #4230322 - 05/28/05 04:56 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

McKennaDMT said:
Morrowind is right. 

In the long run, what is more worthwhile, getting paid for your work or having thousands of people listen to your music, music that will last far far longer than you will be around.  I think it should be taken as a great honor that of the millions of albums that have been made, you are taking the time to listen to an hour of music that said artist took the time to make.  Not to mention the fact that many people listen to Shpongle while under the influence of certain substances.  How great an honor is that?  Of a 6-7 hour trip, you're going to take over an hour of that time to listen to one of my albums???  I could care less if you paid for it or not.  The fact that you chose to listen to my album while tripping is an amazing thing. 

I see nothing wrong downloading an album, seeing if you like it and then purchasing it.  Whats the difference between that and test driving a car?  Nothing.


Good thread Ped.  I look forward to the responses.


McKennaDMT




Damn

I wanted to give a good, educated response to this, but McKennaDMT beat me to the punch. This is more or less what I had to say, precisely. I may have used different words, but the point has been made.  :thumbup:

:heart:


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OfflineViveka
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Re: Music, Art, and Capitalism [Re: Penguarky Tunguin]
    #4230850 - 05/28/05 07:23 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Great post, Ped.  Supporting the artist is a very good thing.  File sharing, music downloading is a fascinating topic beause the only thing that regulates it is one's own values.  Anybody can be a pirate, or choose not to, and personal integrity is the deciding factor.  When it comes to this topic, I see more rationalization for one's choices than anything else, something like this for example:

Quote:

I see nothing wrong downloading an album, seeing if you like it and then purchasing it. Whats the difference between that and test driving a car? Nothing.





That seems all fine and good, but it's a pretty empty statement when the paragraph that preceeds it is a rationale for why you shouldn't have to pay for music. :smirk:

I'm not condemning anyone.  Im just pointing out that the critical factor in this modern battle is you.  Any and every Jane or Joe with an internet connection.  We can all rationalize our choices but are we operating with integrity? 

Back when Napster was free, in 2000, I dowloaded a good deal of music, but none of it was full albums or new releases and the majority of it was stuff you couldn't even find in a record store.  Live tracks, remixes, oddities, weirdness.  If I want an album, I'll go buy it, provided I've got the spare income.  For me, the incentive to pay for an album is the included artwork and liner notes.  I've got a mild addiction to tearing open a new jewel case and cheking out what's inside while I give that shiny new piece of plastic a first spin.

I still make rationalizations.  Recently, I downloaded the new System of a Down, a Joni Mitchell album, Some Alan Parson's Project and I'm trying to find some late Pink Floyd since I never bought anything past The Final Cut.  Here is the rationale I use when I feel that annoying prick of conscious:  I have had hundreds of albums stolen from me.  When I was a sophomore, I had an entire case ripped off with thousands of dollars worth of music taken.  I was on the edge of murderous for about a week.  Now does this justify music theft? Not clearly, but it does balance my own sense of righteousness which is ultimately what matters. 

I could break down the social experience in the terms that it's all one big emotional exchange and in the big picture, "right and wrong" hold no meaning, it's all pure experience and we are blessed by it.  Of course, this doesn't help a musician who is trying to earn a living from his craft and who is being slighted by anonymous people with no sense of personal accountability or integrity. 

I hypothesize that the biggest problem is those individuals who download an incredible quantity of complete albums and then share their entire thoughtlessly collected archive, without discretion, with the entire world over high bandwidth.  The point is that every choise and file sharing interaction you make holds weight and should be considered as such, even if it only affect you.  When I choose to burn an album for someone it is because I know that that individual is generally a supporter of art and I wish for them to experience that particular album.  I won't just burn or share any quantity of music with anyone just because they want it.  If I did, then, not only would I be compromising my own personal integerity, but I would be an enabler for anyone who choose to compromise their personal integrity as well.

Supporting artists is incredibly important.  Back in the Renaissance, (you know, that historical period where the concept of creating and sharing art was born?) people with money were patrons of the arts and without their help, many artistic visions never would have been realized.  In our quasi-capitalist society, we have become the patrons and our choices as patrons and consumers of art are important, despite whatever line about corporate greed or "art for art's sake" we choose to feed ourselves.

But in this topic of seemingly endless questions, here's an interesting one:  If I purchase an album, according to the RIAA I am theoretically purchasing the right to enjoy that "intellectual property".  So if I buy a CD, does my license to that enjoyment only exist for as long as the material on which it is printed holds up?  If that CD breaks or is scratched into oblivion, am I entitled to another copy free of charge?  Why not?  I thought i purchased the right to enjoy that "intellectual property" with my $10 or $15 bucks?  I don't remember reading or signing an agreement that puts limits on that license.  If my purchase constitutes such an explicit license, why were the terms never discuessed?  It's why I love this topic so much, so many questions!


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OfflinePed
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Re: Music, Art, and Capitalism [Re: emptywisdom]
    #4230932 - 05/28/05 07:47 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

>> If someone really likes them and wishes to *Distribute* them ( or play them at a public event ), then they should be required to pay

Since we cannot receive music unless someone else is distributing it, in supporting those who distribute special music for free, we are circumventing the ethical requirement you have just identified.


>> In the long run, what is more worthwhile, getting paid for your work or having thousands of people listen to your music

Of course it is more worthwhile to have the honor of knowing thousands of people's lives have been touched by your music. That is much more important than the amount of money that comes in.

Nonetheless, music is Simon Posford's entire life. He doesn't have a day job at the local Drug Store; he doesn't mow lawns or clean old lady's houses. Making a living from those things would detract from his career, and he would not be the musician that he is. That being so, Simon Posford depends on his music to generate an income sufficient to sustain his present standard of living and his future artistic ambitions. If everybody decided to opt for the free download over the $20 hard copy, Simon Posford would not be making music because he would not be able to pay for a music-making lifestyle. Making music is very expensive.

If I were a carpenter widely renoun for making sturdy tables, I would not be thrilled to hear that every home in the country has a piece of my furniture if the reason I was still unable to purchase the tools I need to become a better carpenter was that all those who profess to love my work are not willing to share for it some of what they have earned from their own line of work.

Now, I'm not saying that the new Shpongle's online availability threatens Simon's career or his livelihood. Of course there will always be enough people willing to pay for the music to keep Simon quite wealthy. However, in paying for the music, that is saying to the artist "I appreciate this gift and would like to support what you are doing." It's a matter of respect for the artist. Simply taking and enjoying the music that so many people worked so hard to create is, in my opinion, selfish.

Besides, if I were to imagine myself a successful and very famous musician, I wouldn't be able to derrive a tremendous sense of flattery from those thousands of people who proclaim to love my music, but are unwilling to scrape togther twenty lousy dollars to own it legitimately. A single CD can bring a person years of enjoyment. It can shape their lives and encapsulate life-long memories. Isn't that worth a measly twenty bucks?

There are two principles at play here:

1) That paying for good music keeps good music alive. If nobody paid for good music, there would be no good music anymore. When people pay for good music, they are contributing to the assurance of more good music for themselves and future generations.

2) That paying for good music demonstrates sincere appreciation for it. It does not matter of the good music enhanced your life-changing trip. Although it is an amazing honor to have had such a positive impact on somebody through something you created, it is nonetheless disrespectful that such a positive experience was taken from the artist without regard, especially considering that the cost is so little compared to the overwhelming cost of composition and production which gave rise to the monumental experience in the first place.


>> I see nothing wrong downloading an album, seeing if you like it and then purchasing it. Whats the difference between that and test driving a car? Nothing.

There is a pretty big difference. A car costs somewhere in the range of $10-30,000. People are cautious about spending that kind of money, and want to make sure that they are making the right decision. If someone purchases an album and doesn't like it, that is $20 lost. Even to poor people like myself, twenty dollars is an inconsequential loss, especially considering that it's quite easy to pawn off a CD at a second-hand music shop, and comparably quite difficult to sell a malfunctioning automobile.

Regardless, I don't see anything wrong with downloading an album and then, if you like it, buying it. When someone downloads an album, enjoys it, and then purchase it, not only are they honoring the artist by extending him a monetary "thank you", they are playing a small part in all his future work. In fact, it's an even greater respect for the artist to download his music and then pay for it. Since there is no necessity to pay for it, doing so anyway is saying "I think this is really quite worth it."


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


:poison: Dark Triangles - New Psychedelic Techno Single - Listen on Soundcloud :poison:
Gyroscope full album available SoundCloud or MySpace


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OfflineAnisotropic
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Re: Music, Art, and Capitalism [Re: Ped]
    #4231123 - 05/28/05 09:16 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

I do it this way.

I download mostly live sets from my favorate DJs, because they have already gotten there money for playing that set.

Also sights like www.hybridized.org where the artists post there own sets.

Also I like things like Junkie XL sells 2 of his CDs from his webpage for like 5 dollars each. Cheaper then the store and it goes RIGHT in to his pocket.

There, I spend less and he gets more of it, the only people that lose are the people that don't need anymore. (The middle men)

I also go to see my favorate artist live. And listen to internet radio stations.

But that's just what works for my morals mostly.


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Amazon Shop: Pink Floyd, Shpongle

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