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How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby blinddrew » Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:06 am

DC-Choppah wrote:
blinddrew wrote:But if you are unable to provide parts B&C, or if you don't actually have a relationship with the end user - say you provide a broadcast system that aggregates content hosted elsewhere and doesn't require people to sign-in to stream content, that would presumably not make you a music provider. And therefore not subject to this bill.

It makes you not qualified for the blanket license. Therefore you don't have a license to distribute the music in the MLC. You have to be a music provider first before qualifying for the blanket license.

One must FIRST get the license to distribute.

Distribution is not a right. Copy right is a right.

The internet business model is based on the inversion of this basic principal. Time to fix that.
This is all coming back to the definition of a distributor again. Good actors will sign up, bad actors won't. Youtube and Spotify already have contracts with the record labels so I'm not sure how much difference this will make, unless, as mentioned above, there's something else in there that forces a renegotiation?
Also, I know we're in semantics here, but distribution is a right technically (or at least the right to sell somehting you have previously bought is), and the distribution of copyrighted content is covered by the first sale doctrine - but thats' not relevant to streaming I know. We need to be careful of blanket terms I think.
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby blinddrew » Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:09 am

DC-Choppah wrote:Just go here https://www.usisrc.org/

For a one time $95 fee that covers you for lifetime, you can generate up to 100,000 ISRC's per year for your music.
But I posit that most content creators are amateurs, don't give a monkeys about this, and won't do this.
It certainly wouldn't make financial sense for someone like me, copyright payments are very unlikely to ever pay that back.
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby blinddrew » Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:44 am

DC-Choppah wrote:This is a fascinating analysis of how the subscription model for streamers, with unlimited spins, yields an unbounded liability for copyright royalties.

https://medium.com/@wilkey/row-row-row- ... 177dca4edf

Since this has been going on for a while now, and since streamers have not wanted to limit the spins, the only mathematical way that the streamers can stay in business is to reduce the royalty payments to almost zero. The average Youtube mechanical royalty paid is only $.0006. That makes the payout equal to 1/1500'th of a download.

How do they justify this? It is nothing other than setting the rate as low as they want to make sure that they still make money.

Who says they get to set the rate themselves?
Well you could argue that since the unit cost of the product is effectively zero then you can't be surprised if that's what the market decides it should cost.
But this is where we get back into discussions of what the market will bear, how consumer habits are changing, and what happens if you don't provide a service that customers want.
It's also where you get into the swings and roundabouts of a global market. It's great that as a content producer I have tools that mean I can sell my product anywhere in the world. But it also means my customers can buy from anywhere in the world.
We in the west look on a dollar for a download as a pretty reasonable fee. In depressingly large parts of the world that's still a day's wages - the local market isn't going to bear western prices. As a creator you can choose a few options, a) don't enter that market, b) enter that market at western prices, c) enter that market at local prices.
If you choose a) then you can expect a proportion of people to find their way to your content anyway. If they do it via spotify or youtube you get your $0.0006. But most people in that market will simply never encounter your content at all.
If you choose b) you might get some sales from the tiny proportion of the locally rich, but you're more likely to grow resentment than a fan base.
If you choose c) then you might be able to make some legitimate sales in that market, but your profit margin from that local currency might not be much higher than your streaming rate. You also have the risk that western customers might find your product available cheaper elsewhere and start shopping there instead. This already happens in the physical world.

All of which is to say that it's a complex global situation of near infinite supply and finite demand. Legislating in one country is unlikely to create a universal solution, and if you block one mechanism the internet will likely route around it.
Maybe that'll be a good thing? The internet now, with its small number of super-providers is a long way from what its creators envisaged. Maybe losing some of these big providers will reset the clock a bit and allow for a more distributed network to come up in its wake? Maybe that will be a good thing?
But I suspect that if all the legislation achieves is making it harder for customers to get hold of legitimate content then people will either revert to finding illegitimate content or just stop listening.
We can set whatever prices we choose, but we can't make people value our content at that price. And I still maintain that for most people, most of the time, music is just background noise. There are so many other avenues of entertainment available now, and after two gobal recessions in two decades (well we're on the verge of the second), people have less disposable income.
I dunno.
I think the MLC will help artists in the middle tier, I don't think it'll do much for those at the top, and it won't do anything for those just entering at the bottom.
But I think the European Copyright Directive (and to a much lesser extent the MMA) risk making things much, much harder for any company trying to figure out a better way.
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby CS70 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:50 pm

blinddrew wrote:Well you could argue that since the unit cost of the product is effectively zero then you can't be surprised if that's what the market decides it should cost.

The relation between marginal costs and market price is very tenuous, if it exists at all. In a free market, price is set simply by the ratio of supply and demand, regardless of marginal costs.

YouTube&c (or better, their laissiez-faire policy about copyright) are part of the reason the price of recorded music is near zero, not the consequence.

A free market is set of rules where supply and demand are "free" to fluctuate at will, determining price. One such rules is that you cannot appropriate wares without cost and resell them (aka steal). If you can get an large enough supply of anything with no cost, the prices of the thing will always reach zero: anybody who wants one, has just to ask.

But this is where we get back into discussions of what the market will bear, how consumer habits are changing, and what happens if you don't provide a service that customers want.

All these trite explanations hide the simple fact that nothing has changed in human nature: when people can get something they want for free, they usually do. This is true for absolutely anything. 3/4 of society organization is about the definition of "can".
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby blinddrew » Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:59 pm

CS70 wrote:
blinddrew wrote:But this is where we get back into discussions of what the market will bear, how consumer habits are changing, and what happens if you don't provide a service that customers want.

All these trite explanations hide the simple fact that nothing has changed in human nature: when people can get something they want for free, they usually do. This is true for absolutely anything. 3/4 of society organization is about the definition of "can".
Not disagreeing with that at all, but if you try and legislate without understanding cultural change things get messy.

Anyway, here's an article that looks at some of the other challenges to creating a fairer ecosystem: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-53478809
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby DC-Choppah » Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:05 pm

Just to be clear regarding what is about to happen, the article that I linked to
(https://medium.com/@wilkey/row-row-row- ... 177dca4edf)
describes the math behind why the streaming business model is about to be unsustainable.

The key points are:
  • The illegal copyright infringement directly caused the devaluation of music (supply and demand).
  • The open ended number of spins for a stream subscription means an open ended unbounded liability for copyrights.
  • Currently streamers get to set their own royalty rate (due to outdated laws) and thus the royalty rate goes to zero because of unlimited spins. As the streamer gets more customers, the artists keeps getting less and less. That is the current system.
  • When the MMA and MLC kick in, the royalty rate goes back to a fixed value like it was set before for CDs etc. No longer will the streamers control the rate like they do now. This may be the most important part of the MMA.

So what will happen? If a stream is set and enforced at say $.006 instead of the $.00045 they can get away with now, then it means that they MUST throttle the the number of spins to stay in business. That reduces the supply of music, and thus increases its value.

For those that don't want to collect royalties, none of this is relevant. But what will happen going forward is that when you post your song, it WILL get the market rate for royalties when spun. But the payments will go to everyone streaming at that time thus effectively increasing the penny rate for everyone. You are just leaving money on the table. Your choice.
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby CS70 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:40 pm

blinddrew wrote:
CS70 wrote:All these trite explanations hide the simple fact that nothing has changed in human nature: when people can get something they want for free, they usually do. This is true for absolutely anything. 3/4 of society organization is about the definition of "can".

Not disagreeing with that at all, but if you try and legislate without understanding cultural change things get messy.

Again: which cultural change? We people like to grab thing for free, and if we can do it, we sure do. It's no change at all. :D

In my "old" life I participated to many management courses, first as an attendee and then in tutoring and coaching roles. Something that always stuck in my mind is that people - and companies - think about "culture" as if something that exists and people behave in a certain way as a consequence. It's natural and intuitive, but nonetheless wrong.

Culture is the result of behavior. You change behavior, culture changes. It is a consequence, not the cause. In corporate - and governments - the behavior of the top people, and their enforcement or not of specific rules and rewards, is the most visible and determines the overall culture. In society, it's law, enforcement and peer pressure that creates and maintains a certain culture. Read for example about Gilbraith' star model.

Culture is never a justification for any situation - because it's solely the result of what or what is not rewarded or enforced. Organizations that stagnate (or societies that don't get more fair) are exactly those where the majority thinks that culture is an unbreakable wall and whose supposed leaders do not lead.

Anyway, here's an article that looks at some of the other challenges to creating a fairer ecosystem: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-53478809

I read it - I am not sure what specifically you are thinking of, vs "fairer". Fairer for whom? If one wants to live as a musician, it's a business, and certain mechanisms are fairly structural to any business. If one wants to just make music for fun, there's no "fair" or not "fair" because there's no competitions or rewards. It's a genuine question by the way :)
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby blinddrew » Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:10 pm

This is kind of a reply to both of you as I think we're going round in circles here.
I get that culture is an emergent property of behaviour, but we've got about 20 years of the current behaviour built up now and I'm not sure that genie can be put back in the bottle.
Put another way, if the supply of music is now limited, will people pay more or will they just shift to either unlimited (illegal) supplies or just switch to different entertainment mediums altogether?

In terms of the article, I thought that it was interesting that there are still a lot of barriers to entry in the music business, particularly in the business side of it. In the boardrooms and senior echelons it's still a phenomenally white, male, arts-degree-and-business-school environment. Greater diversity in a workforce, particularly at a leadership level, correlates with a more innovative environment.
Personally I tend to the opinion that you end up with more progressive outcomes by innovating your way forward than by legislating your way backwards.

But anyway, hopefully the MMA and MLC will move things forward.

[EDIT] Oh yes, and DCC I think I may have read that article before, if not then something very similar. There's some good suggestions at the end but you do have to wade through a lot of poor me/sunk cost fallacy/entitlement stuff to get to it! :)
Also 30 plays for a song he loves over 20 years? If I find a song I love it gets 30 plays in a month! :)
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby DC-Choppah » Sat Jul 25, 2020 1:05 am

blinddrew wrote:But anyway, hopefully the MMA and MLC will move things forward.

:D
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby CS70 » Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:12 am

blinddrew wrote:This is kind of a reply to both of you as I think we're going round in circles here.
I get that culture is an emergent property of behaviour, but we've got about 20 years of the current behaviour built up now and I'm not sure that genie can be put back in the bottle.
Put another way, if the supply of music is now limited, will people pay more or will they just shift to either unlimited (illegal) supplies or just switch to different entertainment mediums altogether?

My firend, you may not realize that, but that is a truly conservative position :D

We’ve had thousands of years where the behavior was to rape women, enslave strangers and killing others because they had looked at you in a bad way. So what? Should we just have said “it’s ok”? You could take your sentence and apply it to something like racial discrimination in the US.. after all, they’ve been at it for quite a while, so we could just as well give up rectifying it? :)

It’s never easy or quick to change a culture, but that’s no excuse not to do it.

In terms of the article, I thought that it was interesting that there are still a lot of barriers to entry in the music business, particularly in the business side of it. In the boardrooms and senior echelons it's still a phenomenally white, male, arts-degree-and-business-school environment. Greater diversity in a workforce, particularly at a leadership level, correlates with a more innovative environment.
Personally I tend to the opinion that you end up with more progressive outcomes by innovating your way forward than by legislating your way backwards.

It’s easy to conflate two types of barriers: the arbitrary, discriminatory ones which I agree need to be fought away and wiped out... and the barrers that are structural to the business and any economic systems - such as th sheer numbers of paying listeners you need to reach to make music viable as. a business.

Copyright is (exactly as, say, the concept of ownership and private property) part of the scaffolding around which these businesses exists. You take it away, you aren’t removing barriers, you’re removing the business.

Like a wild west, the current behvior arose in a vacuum of underrstanding, prioritization and legislation by the people in charge (in the face of admittedly rapid change)..resulting in a jungle law and a grab-for-all situation. It’s happend before, many times, because jungle law is the natural state of things - we come from jungles. But that’s not where we wanna be, right? Leaving the situation as is, it’s truly backwards...
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby blinddrew » Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:16 pm

CS70 wrote:
blinddrew wrote:This is kind of a reply to both of you as I think we're going round in circles here.
I get that culture is an emergent property of behaviour, but we've got about 20 years of the current behaviour built up now and I'm not sure that genie can be put back in the bottle.
Put another way, if the supply of music is now limited, will people pay more or will they just shift to either unlimited (illegal) supplies or just switch to different entertainment mediums altogether?

My firend, you may not realize that, but that is a truly conservative position :D

We’ve had thousands of years where the behavior was to rape women, enslave strangers and killing others because they had looked at you in a bad way. So what? Should we just have said “it’s ok”? You could take your sentence and apply it to something like racial discrimination in the US.. after all, they’ve been at it for quite a while, so we could just as well give up rectifying it? :)

It’s never easy or quick to change a culture, but that’s no excuse not to do it.
Umm. I made the same point, using some of the same examples, upthread! :)
We, in the west, are governed and policed by consent. We have a few hundred people per police office because, by and large, we all agree to the laws.
But when society shifts and the majority of us think that those laws are wrong or outdated, well then after a while the law generally shifts along with us. Hence the abolition of slavery, segregation, apartheid etc.
But let's look at a more pertinent example of copyright in the UK.
When (music) CDs first came out, it was illegal to rip the content to your computer for your personal use. For a while this was fine really, as most people had separate CD/music players and people hadn't really cottoned onto the idea of using their computer as their music collection.
This obviously started changing and people started objecting and said, 'hey, I've already paid for a legimate copy of this music. It shouldn't matter whether I listen to it on my CD player or my computer." The people were not content, they said "Copyright is not fit".
And there was much wringing of hands, gnashing of teeth and wailing of laments but eventually the law caught up and it became legal to rip a copy to a computer for your personal use. And the people were content, "This is fair," they said, "copyright is once again fit."
Then, a year later, the law lords in their wisdom decided that they would reverse this decision and in the UK it became illegal (again) to rip a CD for your personal use. And the people were not content. In fact, they largely said, "F*&% that for a game of soldiers, I've bought this, I'm ripping it."
And so it is that pretty much everyone who buys a CD nowadays in the UK starts committing copyright infringement as soon as it pops through the postbox.
So much so that many don't even realise they're doing it. Respect for that part of the law has disappeared so much that it is irrelevant.
And that's a problem, because it provides ammunition for those who, whatever their motivations, want to abolish or ignore copyright entirely.
Let me give you another example of how normal people (not musicians or IP nerds like us) view things.
In a weird, maybe even ironic, twist of fate, I have become responsible for enforcing copyright law in large chunks of the communications my colleagues create at work. Because we're a fairly backwards organisation technically, if someone wants to share a video (or even a big powerpoint deck!) we have to arrange to have these hosted centrally and then replicated out to our branch servers overnight.
As a result, all our videos come through me. And probably once a fortnight I have to go back to someone and say, "Sorry, you need to strip that song out. It's copyrighted, we don't have a licence. Please use one of these licensed / licence-free ones instead."
And every time they come back with something like, "But it's only 30 seconds? In the background? And it's just going to 50 people on an internal server?" Some partially educated souls even try and lob Fair Use in there somewhere.
But I say "No. No licence, no play." And off they go grumbling. And the gods of copyright are happy, but do each of them go away thinking, 'copyright is fair and just and all is well in the world'? I dunno, maybe some of them do, if I've been particularly eloquent, but I reckon more of them think, 'copyright is ridiculous.'

I would suggest that as a whole, in the west, we're in a bit of a tipping point at the moment as to whether copyright regains its respect or whether it loses it. How the content industries (and obviously it's much, much wider than just music) react will have a big influence on which way that swings.
It won't be a quick swing obviously, as you say, culture change isn't.

CS70 wrote:
In terms of the article, I thought that it was interesting that there are still a lot of barriers to entry in the music business, particularly in the business side of it. In the boardrooms and senior echelons it's still a phenomenally white, male, arts-degree-and-business-school environment. Greater diversity in a workforce, particularly at a leadership level, correlates with a more innovative environment.
Personally I tend to the opinion that you end up with more progressive outcomes by innovating your way forward than by legislating your way backwards.

It’s easy to conflate two types of barriers: the arbitrary, discriminatory ones which I agree need to be fought away and wiped out... and the barrers that are structural to the business and any economic systems - such as th sheer numbers of paying listeners you need to reach to make music viable as. a business.
Absolutely, I was just lobbing this into the wider 'healthy ecosystem' debate, not making any reference to the copyright discussion.

CS70 wrote:Copyright is (exactly as, say, the concept of ownership and private property) part of the scaffolding around which these businesses exists. You take it away, you aren’t removing barriers, you’re removing the business.
Does it? Music, art, literature, etc all existed before copyright. I know most artists died starving and penniless, but actually so did most people at the time and actually, so do most artists now. So the music business has benefitted from copyright, but I'm not sure it's helped most musicians that much.

But again, for the record, I don't think copyright should be abolished. I do think it needs reforming though.

CS70 wrote:Like a wild west, the current behvior arose in a vacuum of underrstanding, prioritization and legislation by the people in charge (in the face of admittedly rapid change)..resulting in a jungle law and a grab-for-all situation. It’s happend before, many times, because jungle law is the natural state of things - we come from jungles. But that’s not where we wanna be, right? Leaving the situation as is, it’s truly backwards...
Absolutely, I'm a small, soft, unfit, fat, old guy - the law of the jungle is the last thing I want to rely on. But I think this is a flawed argument, internet law has changed and evolved hugely over the last 20 years, and continues to do so. Generally with both good and bad, and intended and unintended, consequences.
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby CS70 » Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:47 pm

blinddrew wrote:
CS70 wrote:
blinddrew wrote:This is kind of a reply to both of you as I think we're going round in circles here.
I get that culture is an emergent property of behaviour, but we've got about 20 years of the current behaviour built up now and I'm not sure that genie can be put back in the bottle.
Put another way, if the supply of music is now limited, will people pay more or will they just shift to either unlimited (illegal) supplies or just switch to different entertainment mediums altogether?

My firend, you may not realize that, but that is a truly conservative position :D

We’ve had thousands of years where the behavior was to rape women, enslave strangers and killing others because they had looked at you in a bad way. So what? Should we just have said “it’s ok”? You could take your sentence and apply it to something like racial discrimination in the US.. after all, they’ve been at it for quite a while, so we could just as well give up rectifying it? :)

It’s never easy or quick to change a culture, but that’s no excuse not to do it.

Umm. I made the same point, using some of the same examples, upthread! :)

Haha missed that. So, why do you want to be a conservative? :D

We, in the west, are governed and policed by consent. We have a few hundred people per police office because, by and large, we all agree to the laws.

Tell that to the BLM people in the US...

One-liners apart, that idea is a nice facade and most often we don't need to look beyond it.

But the reality is that the police is the only entity which can - and does - employ violence (or "force" if you like euphemisms better) towards citizens by relying, in the short term, on their own judgement and a set of guidelines.

A friend of mine and your compatriot was recently here. Based on some false tip he was accused of - all things - of being a terrorist. The local police (which can be counted among the most illuminated in the world) picked him up, sequestered him for over twelve hours, interrogated him (no physical violence of course, but nice and kind they weren't) until they - in their own time - realized that they had made a gross mistake (to say nothing about utterly ridicolous) and that my friend was as far from a terrorist as you can be. Thye released him in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere with no money, clothes or phone. I had to book an hotel for him and only the day after he was able to go pick up his luggage.

They did not ask, they did not listen to protests and explanations, there was no consent (other than the one resulting from a dozen machine guns pointed at you with little red pricks suddenly showing up on your chest), there was no "please".

Enforcing is ..enforcing. Should a mob overwhelm the local police force, reinforcements would be called and the government generally has the right - owning the monopoly of violence - to deploy it at will. If it fails to win, it ceases to exist. Overwhelming force is one (not the only one, of course) pillars of any organization, including governments - no matter how we like to sanitize the idea.

While of course most people don't need to break the law, the implied possibility of enforcement is part of what keeps them doing so.

But when society shifts and the majority of us think that those laws are wrong or outdated, well then after a while the law generally shifts along with us. Hence the abolition of slavery, segregation, apartheid etc.

That's debatable. It can be, but I am not sure about "the majority of us". I may be cynical, but imho the majority of us tends to think of their asses and their families first, then perhaps their friends and people in similar situations and so forth.

The majority of us changes meaning (or do not, but our children do) because we are compelled to do so - by enforcement and peer pressure. The ideas that became law were - and are - the fruit of a relatively small group of people who had the interest, the will and not less importantly the means to spend time thinking big thoughts (or small, as it were).

Once these ideas become law, the machinery of a well functioning government will ensure enforcement, and habits will change and after a while they will become the norm.
It's not all good, mind me: people in North Korea or China or other authoritarian and illiberal places do, for the most, adapt to a norm that is not at all nice (the ones who don't, get usually shot - which is a compelling reason for the rest).

The society has shifted (on audio copyright) simply because there has been no law or enforcement. Culture follows behavior. Why shouldn't for copyright? There's nothing in the law that has become obsolete - no more than private property has become obsolete. What there has been is simply a lack of enforcement.. which is the same reason for which you get squatters in your house if you aren't there and there's nobody protecting it.

A simple additional observation that confirm this, is that other type of creative copyrights are alive and well and not much questioned. Amazon started as a book store - and if you write a book - while a physiological degree of piracy will always exist - you expect to sell copies, physical or digital, and get royalties for them. J.K. Rowlings is not exactly poor these days. And movies do still make a lot of money and creators and actors are paid well, even if they are subject to a little bit more pirating than books.

There's nothing special with copying audio - other that it's been allowed for a couple decades. Not all change is positive (look at Trump, it's a change alright!), and it's about time to go back to a better situation for people who want to try and live making music.

Then, a year later, the law lords in their wisdom decided that they would reverse this decision and in the UK it became illegal (again) to rip a CD for your personal use. And the people were not content. In fact, they largely said, "F*&% that for a game of soldiers, I've bought this, I'm ripping it."

I get that. What is the difference with saying "f*** that, I need to go somewhere so I'm gonna take your car "? Only one: if you try to steal a car, the police comes and picks you up.

People's been pirating tapes from vinyl or tapes for ages before the internet. Nothing new there. The problem is when they don't buy the cd. That is stealing, and staying with a somewhat famous countryman of yours, stealing is stealing even with another name.

And so it is that pretty much everyone who buys a CD nowadays in the UK starts committing copyright infringement as soon as it pops through the postbox.

Well I've never ripped cds systematically, and my understanding was that if I wanted to have two - one home and one in the car - I would buy two. Generally back in the time I just picked some and kept them in the car for a while.

Respect for that part of the law has disappeared so much that it is irrelevant.

It has because it's been allowed to, and that's my point.

By a combination of lack of enforcement, unclear regulation (again, it's typical of periods of fast change, take COVID-19 and face masks..) and also a general message by well-intentioned people with no skin in the game that it was okay to steal in that case.

And that's a problem, because it provides ammunition for those who, whatever their motivations, want to abolish or ignore copyright entirely.

Which ammunition? Copyright - where it exists - is enshrined in law and laws are made or replaced in parliaments. It is simply a matter creating a culture - by stating things, behaving and enforcing accordingly (and probably having to make some example) and underscoring at all levels that it's not ok.

It's the same problem that afflicts black people in the US and elsewhere: there is a culture of acceptance for discrimination, and even worse, of justification of discrimination. No anti-discrimination law or edict can change that, until the moment when someone does something discriminatory, that someone feels the consequences. It's that simple.

And every time they come back with something like, "But it's only 30 seconds? In the background? And it's just going to 50 people on an internal server?" Some partially educated souls even try and lob Fair Use in there somewhere.

Look, any policeman would recognize that attitude instantaneously."What, it was 40mph speed limit? I was only 5mph over it.."

Ignorance of the law is no excuse and it's never been - otherwise anyone could do the f**k they want and simply claim they didn't know it wasn't allowed.

And incidentally that job of yours exists and you are paid money for it because someone in your company knows that, if copyright was systematically violated in it, it would face serious financial and legal consequences. It's not out of the kindness of their heart (I am sure they like you tough, I do :D).

But I say "No. No licence, no play." And off they go grumbling. And the gods of copyright are happy, but do each of them go away thinking, 'copyright is fair and just and all is well in the world'? I dunno, maybe some of them do, if I've been particularly eloquent, but I reckon more of them think, 'copyright is ridiculous.'

And they are wrong. Exactly like anyone speeding can think it's ridiculous to be fined for just a few mph over the limit or people who pay in black think it's ridiculous that you have to pay VAT on a small job, or them who think it's ridiculous to wear a face mask when about.. most people think that stuff they arent used to and they don't know s***t of is ridiculous :)

Something you could do to change is to explain to them the reason for which copyright exists - which is to reward the people that produce the material they want to use.

Culture is made..

I would suggest that as a whole, in the west, we're in a bit of a tipping point at the moment as to whether copyright regains its respect or whether it loses it. How the content industries (and obviously it's much, much wider than just music) react will have a big influence on which way that swings.
It won't be a quick swing obviously, as you say, culture change isn't.

I wouldn't be so worried. It's only AUDIO material that is in trouble. Most other types, beyond the physiological, small time piracy are doing just fine. And now Trump is even taking on China about that - which is perhaps the only thing that he's done that has some sense (it's obviously random :D).

CS70 wrote:Copyright is (exactly as, say, the concept of ownership and private property) part of the scaffolding around which these businesses exists. You take it away, you aren’t removing barriers, you’re removing the business.
Does it? Music, art, literature, etc all existed before copyright.

Not as businesses.. or better, that market existed but could sustain a very small number of individuals. Exactly the direction it's taken in the last 20 years.

I'm not sure it's helped most musicians that much.

Well then you have not lived in the same planet as anybody else? :D
Copyright is not a panacea that allows everyone to make a living as a musician, but it is something that enables people to - in a much larger number than before it existence. Because it allows to enforce the concept that, if you use someone else's work, he will get some compensation.

That's almost so plain that it's hard to say much about it.. I cannot see how you can mean that it doesn't help. Without it, works would have no (economic) value.

Absolutely, I'm a small, soft, unfit, fat, old guy - the law of the jungle is the last thing I want to rely on. But I think this is a flawed argument, internet law has changed and evolved hugely over the last 20 years, and continues to do so. Generally with both good and bad, and intended and unintended, consequences.

It's been a period of rapid change. It was the same when automobiles came thru, when steam engines became mainstream, it is now again with public scooters, and so on. It seems very special to us because we live in it. The pattern is often similar: discovery, early adopters, general adoption, wild west/jungle law and no regulations or poor attempts because the legislators have little idea, problems, and progressive fixing over time. We're just in the middle...

However, if something doesn't get fixed (or is attributed to "culture"), such as racial discrimination, the problems fester and one day or the other they explode..
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby blinddrew » Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:54 pm

I see all of your points but I'm coming at them from the other direction and see them as better support for my arguments! :)
I really think we've done this to death now though.
I could talk about the difference between the principle of policing by consent and the enforcement of the law at individual level,
I could talk about the fact that there is a fundamental difference between a digital copy and hard copy and pretending there isn't doesn't lead to good legislation,
I could talk about the fact that the MPAA is pretty damn adamant that movie piracy is a problem of biblical proportions, as is the Author's Guild of America,
I could talk about the fact that copyright infringement is not stealing,
I could talk about the fact that if you go 10% over the speed limit no policeman is going to charge you, and the law has always understood the concept of de minis,
I could definitely talk about the fact that the only person in my company who seems to care a damn about copyright is me :),
I could talk about the idea that more culture is made without copyright than is ever registered for it,
I could talk about the idea that I think the internet has enabled and empowered more musicians than copyright ever has...

But I think we've done all this already.
And it would have been so much better in a pub with a beer! :)
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby CS70 » Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:21 pm

blinddrew wrote:I could talk about the idea that I think the internet has enabled and empowered more musicians than copyright ever has...

Amateurs, yes. Professionals, no. And amateurs are at most empowered to become noise. But we do agree that that's nothing to do with copyright. :)

Surprisingly, however, I agree that the Internet - once the necessary technology and legislation are deployed - will empower musicians... because the extensive copyright violation that it allowed in its initial stages cracked the decades of domination of old-style record companies. Which were unquestionably a bad deal for any aspiring professional musicians.

What we need is companies that do the same thing that record companies of old did - provide significant seed money for real promotion and exposure and taking on the financial risk for a slice of the profits - but without the horrible attached string that they own the masters and everything else made by an artist. Situations a-la-Prince or a-la-Tom-Fogerty should never happen again.

A generation of musicians used to owning their own copyrights will be unlikely to agree to part with them.Once copyright protection is fixed and enforced that means that, if they are successful, they will see their money and control their art in a much larger form than before. Exactly like in most other creative industries.
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby blinddrew » Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:23 pm

On this we agree!
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