Copyright vs Copywrong

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Steve Barber
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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Steve Barber » Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:40 pm

FrankChurch wrote:Does anybody have the stats on how many books are illegally downloaded a year? My question would be would they buy them if they could not steal them?


Not sure that's a relevant question. It's one that is often asked, but embedded in it is the assumption that "I wouldn't pay for your book so I downloaded it. At least you're being read." The value, of course, to the artist is less than zero.

I will repeat something I've said before: "If you can't afford it, you cannot have it."

It's true for me, and it's true for the punk-ass kid who thinks it's okay to illegally download music.

If we, as a society, decided that people only need to pay for services and products when they have the money (but otherwise it's free to them) is the day our entire society decides it doesn't have the money.

Think of it this way: you bring a box of candy bars into an office of well-healed lawyers. Every one of them makes a million bucks a year. You put the box of candy bars on the table and tell everyone that it's "on the honor system". If the person taking a candy has money, they must pay a little extra for a bar -- but if they're broke they can just take one. Someone else will make up the difference.

In short order your candy will disappear, and you'll be lucky to have a dollar or two tucked into the box.

It's not a sustainable business plan, and ultimately it's you -- the person who made the box, bought the candy, and brought it into the office -- who will lose the most. Everyone else gets free candy.

That's what you're suggesting, Frank.
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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Douglas Harrison » Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:22 am

FrankChurch wrote:Does anybody have the stats on how many books are illegally downloaded a year? My question would be would they buy them if they could not steal them?

They would if they valued them; they just wouldn't end up with a library's worth. For that they could visit the library. (They'd have to pay for shoes, though. And maybe a bus pass.)

Acquiring what you want without some sort of cost is like eating too much cake. It diminishes the experience.

D.

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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Steve Barber » Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:25 am

I don't have stats for book, but here are a few for the recording industry, courtesy RIAA

Q: What is the scope of the problem?

Music theft is a real, ongoing and evolving challenge. Both the volume of music acquired illegally and the resulting drop in revenues are staggering. Digital sales, while on the rise, are not making up the difference.

Consider these staggering statistics:

-In the decade since peer-to-peer (p2p) file-sharing site Napster emerged in 1999, music sales in the U.S. have dropped 47 percent, from $14.6 billion to $7.7 billion.
-From 2004 through 2009 alone, approximately 30 billion songs were illegally downloaded on file-sharing networks.
-NPD reports that only 37 percent of music acquired by U.S. consumers in 2009 was paid for.
-Frontier Economics recently estimated that U.S. Internet users annually consume between $7 and $20 billion worth of digitally pirated recorded music.
-According to the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, the digital theft of music, movies and copyrighted content takes up huge amounts of Internet bandwidth – 24 percent globally, and 17.5 percent in the U.S.
-Digital storage locker downloads constitute 7 percent of all Internet traffic, while 91 percent of the links found on them were for copyrighted material, and 10 percent of those links were to music specifically, according to a 2011 Envisional study.

While the music business has increased its digital revenues by 1,000 percent from 2004 to 2010, digital music theft has been a major factor behind the overall global market decline of around 31 percent in the same period. And although use of peer-to-peer sites has flattened during recent years, other forms of digital theft are emerging, most notably digital storage lockers used to distribute copyrighted music.


One credible analysis by the Institute for Policy Innovation concludes that global music piracy causes $12.5 billion of economic losses every year, 71,060 U.S. jobs lost, a loss of $2.7 billion in workers' earnings, and a loss of $422 million in tax revenues, $291 million in personal income tax and $131 million in lost corporate income and production taxes. For copies of the report, please visit www.ipi.org.


http://www.riaa.com/faq.php
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Mark Tiedemann
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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:17 am

Confession time. In my youth I was one of those who made tapes of albums borrowed from friends. I had racks of cassettes. I paid for not one of those albums before making the recordings. Why? Two reasons---I couldn't afford to buy all the records I wanted and I thought it was cool. Indefinably cool. Not the theft part, but the "getting away with something" part.

This was something indulged in by enough people that by the late 70s labels began appearing on albums declaring Home Taping Is Killing Music. Bullshit, we thought, because soon after there were stats showing that sales were increasing. In point of fact, those albums I recorded that I listened to a lot I ended up buying later. Ethically what I did was wrong, but it wasn't a disaster.

The difference between that and what we're discussing here is one word: distribution. I was making a tape for my own personal use. One copy. I wasn't ripping dozens or hundreds to hand out to friends (you still had to buy the blank tape, and maybe an argument could be made there that something at least was being paid for, and I seem to recall Maxell had a program of contributing a small amount to ASCAP). I wasn't involved in the Market. What's going on with downloading is fundamentally different because in the days of cassettes almost no one on my level had the mechanism to bypass the normal distribution machinery and do any injury to marketshare. While in some ways the two acts are comparable, the difference in degree has become a difference in kind.

In my day, the answer to Frank's question would have been "I would have bought them if I could have" and in many instances eventually did. The answer to this current problem is, "probably not because why should they?"

Solutions need to be found in the face of this technological reality, but again those solutions should not require the artist to give up or limit his/her rights to their own product.

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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Steve Evil » Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:02 am

In the old days, one could only make as many copies as tapes one was willing to buy. It was a time-consuming process - one actually had to play the album all the way through (even with high-speed dubbing you had to sit through the whole thing). And someone had to actually own the record. So to seriously damage an artist's income would have required a mini-cottage industry.

With downloading, the whole world can own it with the click of a button.

I often made copies of records I already owned, because I didn't have a turn table at college, and so I could listen to them in the car. Friends did make me compilations of course, but as I recall, there were very few instances where I didn't have to buy anything.

The situations are similar only in theory. . .

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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby FrankChurch » Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:50 pm

I never ever trust anything the RIAA says. They are the lobby arm of big media.

The other site Barber posted is a right wing think tank. On another page they are against Obamacare. They also support big tax breaks. See, I told you all your views on this were conservative.

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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby FrankChurch » Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:52 pm

If people made more money they could afford more books and cds. The vast internet makes it easy to just download. They also think cds and books are too expensive. Twenty something dollars for a book is expensive.

A lot of the cd overhead is greedy record companies. The artists tend to get shitty deals.

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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:18 pm

The average price of a hardcover is about $25.00, but the fact is the price has not kept up with inflation. If it had, you've be paying on average closer to $40.00 for that book. Given how many books never earn out their advance, publisher really is done on the margins, and the price is low compared to most other things.

But so what? The return for the artist is written into the contract. As irritated as I am about my own career, I can't think of a fairer way to do well. You only make good bank if people like the book and buy it, one copy at a time. It's about as democratic as you can get in the marketplace.

I keep telling you, your real problem seems to be with distribution and marketing, not copyright.

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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby FrankChurch » Thu Oct 23, 2014 3:05 pm

Mark, you are with me. The system that makes money for publishers but not for writers also lobby for the laws. My point: They are linked.

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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Moderator » Thu Oct 23, 2014 3:57 pm

FrankChurch wrote:I never ever trust anything the RIAA says. They are the lobby arm of big media.

The other site Barber posted is a right wing think tank. On another page they are against Obamacare. They also support big tax breaks. See, I told you all your views on this were conservative.


FrankChurch wrote:If people made more money they could afford more books and cds. The vast internet makes it easy to just download. They also think cds and books are too expensive. Twenty something dollars for a book is expensive.

A lot of the cd overhead is greedy record companies. The artists tend to get shitty deals.



FrankChurch wrote:Mark, you are with me. The system that makes money for publishers but not for writers also lobby for the laws. My point: They are linked.



Frank, I'm banning you for a week. I've warned you repeatedly, on several threads, about changing topics and red herrings. Once again you thoroughly ignore specific points and instead simply dismiss valid arguments by taking issue with source or ignoring them completely. Even if some of us are directly involved in an industry -- music and publishing -- you blithely assert we know nothing of what we're talking about.

In this case, you deliberately post a comment you know will annoy me, and anyone else who might agree with me -- which is everyone here but you. In your second paragraph above you cross a line into misleading patter as if it's relevant to the topic of copyright. You attack the politics of a second site -- I only posted one -- as politically biased. As if this explains and justifies your argument, without you having to do more than just sling mud at it.

You ignore any number of other posts and examples by several people, only referencing Mark's position when you think he's agreeing with you (he was not).

See you in a week. Maybe next time you'll pay attention to what is posted and respond intelligently, not just doing whatever you want. Any post prior to next Friday will earn you a month-long ban.

See you in a week.
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Rick Keeney
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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Rick Keeney » Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:55 am

Not to beat a dead horse because I think it's a bad thing that the Moderator is forced to take action instead of Frank simply changing his behavior.

I think it's useful to point out right here that this last instance is a perfect illustration of Frank's most egregious forum behavior: baiting.

-Ask a leading question. (Which appears to be conversational.) "Does anybody have stats on how many books are illegally downloaded a year?"

-Wait for the answer.

-Pounce on whoever replies.

It looks like a conversation has been created. Perhaps so, but not the kind we'd prefer. Not most of us.

See the current line of conversation in the "God vs. Science" (or whatever) thread for pretty decent, if lively, conversation.

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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Rick Keeney » Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:17 am

The cruel irony of this situation in terms of pirated music is that it's always been the musicians on the losing end of the deal. Underpaid, even ripped off back in the days prior to the internet, and now simply ripped off by everyone.

I remember the 70s, feeling ripped off when I'd scrape together the bucks for an album with one good song on it. I should've started reading Rolling Stone much earlier than I did.

That was an era with a lot of good music. There was no way I was going to be able to afford even a percentage of the music I liked.

I never felt like I was getting by with anything when I taped my friends albums. I'll admit there was a false sense of entitlement.

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Steve Barber
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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Steve Barber » Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:30 am

I think Mark hit the nail on the head. Copying an item you purchased for use, say, in the car is one thing. I make CDs of songs I downloaded from iTunes all the time. I paid for them, and am entitled to copy them for my own use.

The key is the change in technology which allows a single user to make virtually unlimited copies available to people by posting a single file online. This means there is no such animal as a "small user", no "little guy" -- virtually everyone is capable of having distributed thousands of copies illegally by virtue of a two minute upload.

There is a vast difference between being able to make a single copy, a'la cassette recorder, versus posting something on the internet and letting anyone and everyone make free copies. Both are technically illegal, but one is the equivalent of nabbing a candy bar in a 7-11 (who would not hesitate to nail you to the wall for your theft) and getting the keys to the warehouse and leaving the doors unlocked and unguarded for anyone to come by and take as much as they like. Any kid with an online account can do the electronic equivalent of the latter within seconds.

I dislike when people download single copies for their own free use. But I openly revile the person who posts it there for people to steal.

And yes, both are indications of an entitlement mentality. Somehow we've grown up thinking we deserve things, even if it means stealing them from people who labor hard to produce them.
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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Rick Keeney » Fri Oct 24, 2014 2:27 pm

Rick Keeney wrote:I'll admit there was a false sense of entitlement.



I'll also admit it was a damaging thing to do.

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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Lori Koonce » Fri Oct 24, 2014 3:19 pm

Steve

Not to muddy the waters any but a question. I am the proud owner of not a few CDs made for me by people who know my finincir situation. Where do you stand on that? Part of me says that someone paid for the original, so why should I feel torn up over it. But, a small part of me feels as if I shouldn't have accepted them because of the issue under discussion.


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