Copyright, Music, Piracy, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Copyright In The Modern Day. It’s Not About Driving Innovation Anymore.

It’s all about stopping copyright infringement. It’s all about shaking down internet users. It’s all about a ridiculous and “out of touch with reality” penalty system. For example, if a user downloads one song, the RIAA have argued that the copyright holders are out of pocket between $20 to $10,000. It’s a huge mark-up from its iTunes price of $1US.

When discussions are had on Copyright, it’s all about the enforcement. It’s all about creating a monopoly. The ones that sit on the innovation fence are shouted down to from the ones that control/hold the Copyrights.

There is a great article over at The Conversation website. Go read it. Journalist David Glance has a lot of viewpoints that I agree with.

The thing is, people have been “copyright infringers” since day dot. Anyone that remembers cassette tapes, will tell you how they used to copy songs from recordings onto a cassette tape. James Hetfield used to copy Lars Ulrich’s record collection onto cassettes.

We used to copy songs from the radio onto cassettes. We used to copy movies from TV onto VHS cassettes. Then we got even more creative and hooked up two videos at once to make copies of the latest releases. With the advent of the CD and blank discs, we started making mixed CD’s. When Napster exploded, people flocked to it.

Richie Sambora was a guest host on “The Panel”, a TV Current Affairs/News show on Channel Ten in Australia. This happened last week. There was a segment on Spotify and how streaming has led a slump in music sales. One of the members of the panel asked Richie Sambora, how many records has he sold. Richie replied back with “about 130 to 140 million records”. Richie then further stated that piracy was big even in the days before the internet, as pirated Bon Jovi LPs, cassettes and CD’s sold like hotcakes in Asian, African and Eastern European countries.

So I did some research on this and I came across the Moscow Peace Festival. The Moscow Peace Festival took place in 1989. Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music was hard to get “legally” in Russia, however it didn’t stop over 100,000 people from attending the show to watch Skid Row, Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions, Motley Crue and Bon Jovi perform.

All of those fans of music must have gotten their music from somewhere. Actually musical sales in the USSR at that point in time didn’t even exist. Hell, it wasn’t until 2010 that the National Federation of Phonograph Producers (NFPF) was established in Russia. And they don’t even have a website. All of this shows how serious the legal music business is treated in Russia.

All of this supports the argument that we are all copyright infringers. Governments need to look at how people adopt these laws and change them to suit. Instead the Governments look at who puts money in their pocket and add more bad laws to existing bad laws.

Australian Attorney-General George Brandis has got no idea what is happening in the real world or how the internet works. His comments show that he is just a puppet for the Movie Industry Lobby Machine. Check out some of his comments;

To pirate a video or a song without paying the fee for it through iTunes, and so on, is an act of theft, it’s pure and simple.

Um, no. To infringe on a copyright is not an act of theft, as the mp3 is still with iTunes. No one has stolen it. What has happened is that multiple copies of that mp3 are in circulation right now. People pirated Adele’s 21 album, however all of that piracy didn’t stop it from moving over 10 million units in the US because no one stole anything. They infringed on an artist’s copyright. Something that fans of music have been doing since day dot.

When people, pirate “Game Of Thrones”, they don’t steal the original master copy from HBO. What they do is download a copy that someone made from the actual legal broadcast.

The ISPs, in my view, do need to take some responsibility for this because they provide the facility which enables this to happen.

Um. No. ISP’s don’t need to take responsibility for bad business sense and business models designed on controlling distribution. To provide a few different analogies, should the gun manufacturers take responsibility for their guns killing people. Should car manufacturers be responsible when their cars kill other people due to high speeds. Should the knife manufacturers be responsible when knives are used for violence. Should gas bottle manufacturers be held responsible for when their gas bottles are used in drug laboratories. Should alcohol brewing companies be held responsible for all the alcohol fuelled violence.

It is easy to lay the blame on others. However it is the record labels that need to take responsibility. They still don’t get it. People want FREE music. Spotify provides a service that is free, however it is still seen as restrictive and people still go to other torrent sites to download content. And then the recording industry claims that these sites make so much money from running ads on their site. If that is the case, then why isn’t the recording industry offering the same service and make that same money.

They don’t want to, because that would mean that their margins will shrink a little bit more and that is all they think about. The NOW. What is the plan for the future? A small return today, could lead to a greater return in 5 year’s time.

The fact is that people don’t have a right to download pirate copies of songs or movies or television programs because the people who make those programs or other items have a right of property in them. The way artists earn their living is through royalties and that’s the way they are remunerated for what they do.

Um no, artists have never made a living from royalties. The record labels have. Artists previously made a living from touring, licensing, merchandise and large advance payments. In today’s world, the main revenue streams are disrupted, however other revenue streams have opened up.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s