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

The Real Copyright Abusers Are The Major Record Labels

The major Record Labels own the majority of copyrights and don’t they love to overvalue their content. As soon as a product is seen making money or drawing an audience from music, the big copyright owners swoop in. And when they do swoop in a few things begin to happen;

The Product will get threatened. Think of Napster, Limewire, AudioGalaxy and MegaUpload. All gone. Pandora is constantly battling against rates of payments as they struggle to make a profit. Spotify, in order to trade in the U.S had to give the major labels a share of the company. It was either that or the labels would not license them. Google is always blamed for linking to pirated content.

The Product will get litigated into non-existenance. Mp3.com, hotfile, isohunt are three that come to mind.

The Product will move on to different areas of innovation.

The Product will get saturated with content from the copyright industries that a lot of the people who flocked to the product in the first place will just move on to another product.

Like MySpace.

MySpace was once a haven for finding out independent/underground music. The whole culture and market reach of MySpace was built around this premise. Of course MySpace got so popular that it was inevitable that the major legacy players would take notice. Eventually, MySpace was littered with content from the major players. Ads of major label artists popped up everywhere and all of the independent content that made MySpace popular got pushed further into the background, making it harder to find.

Eventually those people who made MySpace popular started to abandon the site in droves, moving onto other social media sites, like Facebook and YouTube.

Anyone heard this quote from Robert A. Heinlein.

“There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute nor common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back.”

Does it all sound eerily familiar? Does it sound like the attitude of the content industries for the last 40 years?

The MPAA and RIAA have never stopped lobbying the Government to pass laws that will protect their business models. Even Irving Azoff still blames technology for diminishing the music business profits instead of blaming the real devil, which is the GREED of the POWER PLAYERS. Someone like Azoff had a career on the backs of music that artists created.

The blame should be at the way the Record Labels/RIAA treated their artists and the fans of the artist.

The blame should be in the way the Labels creatively structured deals to ensure that most musicians never get paid a real dime.

Yes, back when the Record Labels controlled everything, artists are given advances, however the real term used should have been “loans on terrible repayment rates” in which the labels would add-on every expense that needs to be “paid back”.

Very few musicians ever “recouped” even after the labels made back many times what they actually gave the artists.

RATT sold 7.5 million albums in the U.S alone which meant total gross sales of $75 million. Even if the label gave them $1 million dollar advances for each album, that is $5 million the label would have spent on the band and in the process the Label made $70 million. I bet if the financials are made available, it would show Ratt as a band that still hasn’t recouped.

There is a post over at Techdirt that covers this in a bit more depth. The following comments are from Tim Quirk and how record label accounting relates to his band, Too Much Joy (TMJ):

A word here about that unrecouped balance, for those uninitiated in the complex mechanics of major label accounting. While our royalty statement shows Too Much Joy in the red with Warner Bros. (now by only $395,214.71 after that $62.47 digital windfall), this doesn’t mean Warner “lost” nearly $400,000 on the band. That’s how much they spent on us, and we don’t see any royalty checks until it’s paid back, but it doesn’t get paid back out of the full price of every album sold. It gets paid back out of the band’s share of every album sold, which is roughly 10% of the retail price. So, using round numbers to make the math as easy as possible to understand, let’s say Warner Bros. spent something like $450,000 total on TMJ. If Warner sold 15,000 copies of each of the three TMJ records they released at a wholesale price of $10 each, they would have earned back the $450,000. But if those records were retailing for $15, TMJ would have only paid back $67,500, and our statement would show an unrecouped balance of $382,500.

So going back to my Ratt example, it is a well-known fact that artist in the Eighties signed contracts that gave them a 5% cut of the album sold. Do the math? I am pretty sure it will come out that Ratt didn’t recoup.

As the Techdirt post pointed out;

“In other words, musicians don’t get paid anything in most cases, while the labels can earn a tidy profit for years and years, still insisting the band hasn’t recouped. It’s why a band can sell a million albums and still owe $500,000.”

The whole doctrine of “getting the government and the courts to guarantee profits in the future” is the reason why copyright trolls like Rightscorp have come into existence. It has also given rise to law enforcement working for the content industries as a pseudo “Copyright Police”, which in reality was always a civil matter, never a criminal matter.

In the end, the real copyright infringers and abusers are the actual Record Labels.

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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.

http://theconversation.com/copyright-reform-will-drive-innovation-not-trying-to-stop-the-internet-pirates-23286

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140225/12341626346/australian-copyright-reform-goes-into-reverse-fair-use-out-three-strikes.shtml

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Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy

Record Label Innovation V3.0 – The Ultimate in Vanity, Exploiting Their Supremacy

Wow, another busy week is over and record label innovation is in full swing again.

Over at TorrentFreak there is a story from Ireland about the Record Labels asking the Court to force an Internet Service provider to disconnect music pirates. Alleged music pirates that are identified by the Record Labels via the IP address. Alleged music pirates who have no rights to due process.

James Hetfield barked “Halls of justice painted green, money talking”, and how true is that. The Record Labels are cashed up and they will go back to the Courts over and over again just to get a judgement in their favour. Justice is based on who can pay the most and the ones that pay the most, twist the argument to suit themselves.

There is also a story of Comcast in the US sending out over 600,000 notices to its customers. The actual customer that owns the IP address linked to Copyright Infringement may not be the actual file sharer, however this small obstacle does not matter to the RIAA who spends a lot of time gathering solid evidence (yeah, right) on copyright infringers. Again, alledged copyright infringers who have no rights to due process.

Power Wolves Beset Your Door
Hear Them Stalking

The Copyright Alert system is just that, power-hungry and cashed up wolves, stalking for a way to get the internet under their control.

Soon You’ll Please Their Appetite
They Devour

The Copyright Alert system is a shakedown. Within 2 years, it will be dubbed a failure by the RIAA and then they will push for another SOPA style law. And that is when the “hammer of justice crushes you, overpower.”

Principle Management (U2’s Management Company) has lost money for the fourth year in a row, so when Chairman Paul McGuiness gets a chance, he is quick to blame Google for his losses. Talk about sense of entitlement. Google has no reason to care if Principle Management is not making money. Did Principle Management care when Google was not making money in it’s early days, while Principle raked it in?

The Ultimate in Vanity
Exploiting Their Supremacy

The large players in the Record Label’s are exactly that. Vain people, exploiting their supremacy.

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