blinddrew wrote:It's not a 'clever distinction' it's a different set of physical properties.
It's interesting you use the word "physical". I think the final say - not on this forum, but in the world - will be exactly on these definitions.
Physics can be surprising! Due to the technicality of streaming, when you receive a digital stream, the information is
downloaded on the terminator - typically in a buffer. It resides on your phone/ipad/wireless speaker/whatever RAM, and that's an uncontrovertible fact.
It may be that it can then be deleted, but it's perfectly possible to code a Spotify client that does _not_ delete it, and in a non-sandboxed environment (such as an Android phone or a jailbroken iPhone) it can be done fairly easily.
More, because of the physics of digital transmission and error-correcting encoding - the information downloaded on the terminator can be proved to be identical to the one which was sent by the origin (Spotify).
This is an opposition to a radio broadcast, where both statements aren't true. A traditional radio detector does not need to store anything (and in general, does not) to play a signal it's receiving; and the information received is, almost always, degraded with respect to the information sent - with the amount of degradation depending on the physical conditions surrounding the receiver.
Er.. technically (as you are surely aware) when you "stream" information that is buffered on yoiure
They are different things. Desmond, Sam and I have all been through this already on this thread. You've even said the same thing. Different things with different value propositions.
Physically, they are not different, and it's not a popularity contest: a million people saying that the Earth is flat do not make it more true. :-)
What is true is that downloaded information is handled differently later in the chain (discarded by the standard Spotify/YT client, saved to disk with a traditional download). But it is physically
downloaded nevertheless. And of course the legally possible actions as discussed with Desmond.
Therefore the distinction you are making between download and streaming exists, but it refers to how the data is handled (or better, can
be handled) after
it's been downloaded on the terminating device. It's surely not physical
Once again, there might be a design that allow to make that distinction nearly as.. unbreakable as a physical one. For example (and without the gory details) if we could design a strong encryption scheme which is dependent on time (that is, with a key that expires with time in a way that can be securely checked), then it could be possible to devise a way to make the downloaded information useless after a little time. In that case, a streaming would
be structurally different than a download - so long the encryption is strong enough. But it's far from trivial to do that (or that it is even possible), and the current state of the art is not there at all.
The distinction could also be created without relying on any physical difference: for example, we could just legislate that a certain class of companies or software do streaming and another do download and apply different rules to them. It's been done before (for example, what the heck are the "sync royalties" anyway but an abstract machinery to squeeze more money from a certain type of industry?)
Who knows. We'll see. :) Here we don't decide anything, so that you or others agree or not or that I and DC are wrong is irrelevant.. it's just a pub discussion (and a fun one - no reason, I'd say, to get upset or exasperated :-D). Not even a "try to convince each other" thing , more is "these are the facts as we see them".
But I do think that exactly these kind of arguments will be the ones which determine the outcome of the situation.. which - coming back to musicians wanting to make a living - is not very sustainable right now (not because Spotify pays too little, but because of why Spotfy can exist at all).