Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby darwinwins » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:32 am UTC

i don't see how or why this is an issue. you can buy songs from amazon drm free. just buy the fucking song. if you don't feel like buying it, don't fucking download a copy that is obviously not legit. crime. pay fine. get the fuck over it.
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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Soundwave Guy » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:51 am UTC

The Reaper wrote:I'd just like to point out that a CD of songs costs 15$, which is well above the cost to make the CD, so the RIAA needs to be firebombed.


How much does it cost to pay the studio, the sound mixer, the sound engineer, licensing? Oh, not to mention, the cost of packaging, art for the cover/back cover, paper and printing, labeling the CD...

I think there's a lot more cost into pressing a CD than most people consider.
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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:08 am UTC

Adding to what Soundwave Guy said both EMI and Warner Music, the only two big stand alone music companies with easy-to-access balance sheets, have been in the red for some time. Also, it's fairly dishonest to say that purchasing habits are completely unaffected by piracy, being able to get large amounts of something for free will naturally taper the need for it, making you less willing to spend money on it (this point is amply demonstrated by the fairly deep decline in CD sales).

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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby luketheduke » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:14 am UTC

Hey Bubbles McCoy. Look at this: http://xkcd.com/552/
Then think again.
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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:17 am UTC

Correlation can mean causation, I tend to think that a huge market for free alternative goods makes a pretty convincing case for that being so here.

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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby GoC » Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:04 pm UTC

darwinwins wrote:i don't see how or why this is an issue. you can buy songs from amazon drm free. just buy the fucking song. if you don't feel like buying it, don't fucking download a copy that is obviously not legit. crime. pay fine. get the fuck over it.

1. Person A is near bankrupt. Person A would benefit from copying music. Company B would be unaffected. Thus it is a net gain for society for Person A to copy this music.
I feel most people who pirate things couldn't afford it any other way.
There's also the fact that 90% of the time you can't tell whether a particular album is any good until you buy it, thus wasting money.
2. The punishment doesn't fit the crime. Even stealing 30 dollars is not a crime worth 150,000.
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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Ixtellor » Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:10 pm UTC

1) If you download a song for free, your a fucking thief end of story. (Unless the song is available for free by the artist or label).

2) You can't prove causality, but there is a DAMN strong correlation between the ability to download music and diminishing record sales.

3) You can try to justify your thievary all day, but in the end there is not difference between a dumbass teenage who fills up their i-pod for free, and an identity thief who goes shopping with another persons credit card.

4) I hope there is a special place in hell for people who delude themselves into believing they aren't doing anything wrong by dl'ing music for free. (I don't believe in hell so maybe I should give Islam a go)


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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby luketheduke » Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:11 pm UTC

Yeeeeah Ixtellor.
I am so glad your world is properly black-and-white. Otherwise you'd have to stop and think about things.
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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Delass » Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:29 pm UTC

Except there is a difference. A pretty huge one. When someone steals a credit card, and buys say a boat, the person who they stole it from has to pay for the boat, or the charges might be able to be disputed, in which case the credit card company would pay for the boat. I dont know exactly, I dont need or want a credit card, but I do know someone loses a ton of money.

However, when a copy of a song is downloaded, no one loses anything. .

Demand for a product is made up of people willing and able to buy a product. The people pirating it clearly arent either willing to spend $1 a song, or able to spend a $1 a song, or neither willing nor able. Ergo, they dont lose sales.

Also, about the same time that downloading became available, the industry decided to be dicks about it and lobby and started sueing everyone. That might effect sales.

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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Endless Mike » Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:04 pm UTC

Soundwave Guy wrote:
The Reaper wrote:I'd just like to point out that a CD of songs costs 15$, which is well above the cost to make the CD, so the RIAA needs to be firebombed.


How much does it cost to pay the studio, the sound mixer, the sound engineer, licensing? Oh, not to mention, the cost of packaging, art for the cover/back cover, paper and printing, labeling the CD...

I think there's a lot more cost into pressing a CD than most people consider.

Movies cost millions to make. I can buy a DVD of a movie for $5. The soundtrack for this movie with a handful of original songs, plus some sunk cost catalog songs costs $15. Explain this to me.

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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Shivahn » Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:09 pm UTC

Delass wrote:Demand for a product is made up of people willing and able to buy a product. The people pirating it clearly arent either willing to spend $1 a song, or able to spend a $1 a song, or neither willing nor able. Ergo, they dont lose sales.


Er, don't lose sales compared to what? The argument is that if no one pirates, some of those those pirates may be willing to pay 1$ for a song. They just aren't in this environment when it's free. Compared to that world, they may be losing sales (not many, probably, but some).

...I don't honestly know enough about the topic to debate it in depth and intelligently, however. I doubt a world with no piracy would have exceedingly higher record sales, though I could be wrong.

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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Ixtellor » Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:34 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:$5. The soundtrack for this movie with a handful of original songs, plus some sunk cost catalog songs costs $15. Explain this to me.


You have no clue how much the rights to music are.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/16/movies/16rams.html

Jonathan Caouette's "Tarnation," (A documentary)- was widely reported to have cost $218. In fact, after a distributor picked up "Tarnation," cleared music rights, the real cost came to more than $460,000. Clearance expenses were about half the total. (The other half being editing.)


So the rights to music in this unknown documentary were $230,000.

So when some thief downloads the movie for free, can you understand why the company that produced it is pissed off?

Delass wrote:However, when a copy of a song is downloaded, no one loses anything. .


Wrong, they lose the money that person would have (might have) spent to legally purchase the song.

Its like saying when you buy a 60" Plasma from some guy in a dark alley, for $200 bucks that nobody lost money.

Or like saying that when Chinese and Russians make copies of Microsoft Windows, MS doesn't lose money.

Delass wrote:Demand for a product is made up of people willing and able to buy a product. The people pirating it clearly arent either willing to spend $1 a song, or able to spend a $1 a song, or neither willing nor able. Ergo, they dont lose sales.


So, if you had a choice between buying food at a store, or having it delivered to your home for free, and you choose to get the free home delivery that you have ZERO demand for food?

WRONG. They do have demand for Music. But the market is unable to establish a price, because your STEALING it.

luketheduke wrote:Yeeeeah Ixtellor.
I am so glad your world is properly black-and-white. Otherwise you'd have to stop and think about things.
Yeeeeah Ixtellor
.


I have thought about it a great deal. When you illegally download music, your stealing it.
It'ss why its illegal... you get fined if they catch you because... its illegal, because your stealing... because you stole money directly from the artist and the record label... no different than a car jacker.

Just because its intellectual copy writed material and not a tangible object does not change the reality.
My guess, is that you are addicted to stealing music, and so you need to justify it.


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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby segmentation fault » Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:37 pm UTC

Delass wrote:Two top lawyers in President Barack Obama's Justice Department are former RIAA lawyers
What...the...hell...?


well...they must be good...
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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Soralin » Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:08 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:Its like saying when you buy a 60" Plasma from some guy in a dark alley, for $200 bucks that nobody lost money.

No, it'd be more like saying, getting for free a 60" Plasma that some guy in a dark alley was able to magically create out of nothing, that nobody lost money. Which makes it fun to imagine the insanity from corporations that would result, if star-trek style replicators became available. :)

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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby crzftx » Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:08 pm UTC

You people still aren't getting it
crzftx wrote:...
Stealing implies one person gains at another's expense.
If I would normally buy a product, it seems reasonable to call that theft.
If I would not normally buy a product, I don't see any loss. I actually see gain, since I have now become a commercial for their product. My logic breaks down when you use it against me saying something like "but you're also being a commercial for piracy to those that would normally buy the product."
If I tell someone I have CD X, without saying I've pirated it, and I don't seed, assuming I would not normally buy CD X, I'm really more of a help to CD X than an expense.


You can try and argue that I would buy more music if it wasn't free, but the fact is, it will ALWAYS be free. I can go to last.fm or Yahoo music and legally stream any song i want. If that goes away I'll listen to the radio waves. I have never purchased music, and hold that I never will. If I were to share music with other owners, I'd be doing no one harm. I'd be gaining at no one's expense.

Do I need to throw in a bunch of "fucking"s and other related catch-all words to imply force? That way everyone will see how incompetent angry I am and surely think less of my post listen to me.

EDIT: damn. a lot of posts didn't show up when i added my reply...
P(-1) has it right. It's not stealing a TV, it's taking an excess of carbon, iron, silicon, and whatever else to make a replica of the TV. No one lost a tv, X Appliances just sold 1 less than expected. If enough people have the excess elements it really starts to hurt the store. But nobody stole anything.
Last edited by crzftx on Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:18 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby luketheduke » Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:14 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:I have thought about it a great deal. When you illegally download music, your stealing it.
It'ss why its illegal... you get fined if they catch you because... its illegal, because your stealing... because you stole money directly from the artist and the record label... no different than a car jacker.

Just because its intellectual copy writed[sic] material and not a tangible object does not change the reality.
My guess, is that you are addicted to stealing music, and so you need to justify it.


...I am addicted to stealing music. Of course. Do you think that's some kind of kleptomania? No, it's not stealing. If I steal a tangible object then the object is gone. The owner doesn't have it anymore. If I "steal" music, I haven't taken it away from the owner.
That's why there's no copyright on tangible things.

Copyright is just a rather poorly implemented measure to make intellectual property comparable to a good, or a service. Because inherently, it is something completely different. It is in essence pure information. It is conserved entertainment. How do you quantify that? How do you assign a pricetag to it?

And even following your logic, explain to me how stealing a song that is sold for $1.99 on itunes or amazon can lead to owing $150,000 in damages?

By the way, for the record. I pirate games I want to play, movies/shows I want to watch, and sometimes music I want to hear. Actually, I think I only ever pirated a single album of music. None of them tend to be new. I also sometimes buy games and movies if they are just that awesome. I don't think I'm doing anything out of any addiction.
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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Gunfingers » Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:41 pm UTC

The pricetag on it comes from the same concept that sees in increase in value from "potato, grease, and salt" to "french fry". Someone put labor into creating intellectual property, and expects you to compensate them for that labor. How could any abstract industry survive without it? If musicians can't charge more than the cost of a CD, how can they afford to keep making music as anything but a hobby? There would be no major films, because you would only pay for the cost of the disk. Can't even make up the money at the theatres, because the theatres have free access to the film too. Suddenly the only way to make money is with live, physical appearances such as plays or concerts. And that's not even getting started on the effect on the video game industry.

I dunno, i've never really gotten the "I'm entitled to the fruit's of another's labor without compensating them" thing. The sense of entitlement that goes into it is kind of beyond me.

What's always seemed weird to me is that it only became a big deal with software, especially music. No one bothered taking books to kinkos and giving everyone copies, nor has it ever been popular to take the Colonel's secret recipe and open your own store with it. It's logically the same, in that you're not taking anything away except business, and yet there's a huge intellectual disconnect.

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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Endless Mike » Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:56 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:
Endless Mike wrote:$5. The soundtrack for this movie with a handful of original songs, plus some sunk cost catalog songs costs $15. Explain this to me.


You have no clue how much the rights to music are.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/16/movies/16rams.html

Jonathan Caouette's "Tarnation," (A documentary)- was widely reported to have cost $218. In fact, after a distributor picked up "Tarnation," cleared music rights, the real cost came to more than $460,000. Clearance expenses were about half the total. (The other half being editing.)


So the rights to music in this unknown documentary were $230,000.

So when some thief downloads the movie for free, can you understand why the company that produced it is pissed off?

...Which is paid for by the movie production crew and is part of that millions of dollars to make a movie which ideally makes it back in theater tickets and DVD sales. Again, why does the soundtrack CD for a movie cost me twice as much as the DVD of the movie?

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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Ixtellor » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:39 pm UTC

luketheduke wrote:Copyright is just a rather poorly implemented measure to make intellectual property comparable to a good, or a service


Incorrect. It allows them to sell their creation at what the market will bare. Supply and Demand should be dictating the prices for these goods and services.

Should authors be able to copyright? Should software developers be able to copyright?

luketheduke wrote:How do you quantify that? How do you assign a pricetag to it?


Supply and Demand. Or maybe you think you wrote the best short story ever written and decide its worth $5 million. If you don't want to sell it for less, thats your business because --- ITS YOURS - you created it, you have all the rights to it.

What you are doing is saying "Hey Metallica, I saw you want to charge $17 bucks for a CD, well fuck you, I am going to take it and there is nothing you can do to stop me" "I don't think its worth $17, and even though I really really want it, I decided for myself you charge to much, in fact I am going to pay you ZERO $'s for it, because thats what I decided, without regard to your talent creativity and work ethic, or the long hours you put in the studio perfecting the song I can't live without."

luketheduke wrote:By the way, for the record. I pirate games I want to play, movies/shows I want to watch, and sometimes music I want to hear.


No worries, whats the harm, every bodies doing it...

Its a moral decision. Do you steal from that artist or don't you.

I personally think stealing is wrong, so I dont' steal... real simple. If I like a song, I pay for it.
I think I have spent about $1200 bucks on i-tunes now.

Just because you come on and brazenly admit your a thief and lots of other teenages do as well, doesn't make it ok or not theft.

crzftx wrote:You can try and argue that I would buy more music if it wasn't free, but the fact is, it will ALWAYS be free.


No this is a modern phenom. Because a bunch of spoiled kids grew up in the age of easily pirated music, they think its normal.

As far as if you will always be able to easily steal music, no one can say.

Ixtellor

P.S. I wonder why this site doesn't just give away all the merchandise for free. Why buy an XKCD T-shirt when you can just copy the stuff and put it on your own T-shirt or mug or poster. Actually everything about this website is intellecutal property. I wonder how its owners would feel if some chinese kid was making $10million per year copying it and selling it to chinese kids.
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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby RickStain » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:59 pm UTC

Smart people of XCKD forums:

plz continue to find smart reasons why music downloading isn't wrong, because I'm pretty much going to do it regardless.

Thx,
Rick

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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Delass » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:01 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:
Wrong, they lose the money that person would have (might have) spent to legally purchase the song.

Ixtellor

Prove it? Oh right, you cant, because its just not true.

Ixtellor wrote:
luketheduke wrote:Copyright is just a rather poorly implemented measure to make intellectual property comparable to a good, or a service


Incorrect. It allows them to sell their creation at what the market will bare. Supply and Demand should be dictating the prices for these goods and services.

Should authors be able to copyright? Should software developers be able to copyright?

luketheduke wrote:How do you quantify that? How do you assign a pricetag to it?


Supply and Demand. Or maybe you think you wrote the best short story ever written and decide its worth $5 million. If you don't want to sell it for less, thats your business because --- ITS YOURS - you created it, you have all the rights to it.

What you are doing is saying "Hey Metallica, I saw you want to charge $17 bucks for a CD, well fuck you, I am going to take it and there is nothing you can do to stop me" "I don't think its worth $17, and even though I really really want it, I decided for myself you charge to much, in fact I am going to pay you ZERO $'s for it, because thats what I decided, without regard to your talent creativity and work ethic, or the long hours you put in the studio perfecting the song I can't live without."

luketheduke wrote:By the way, for the record. I pirate games I want to play, movies/shows I want to watch, and sometimes music I want to hear.


No worries, whats the harm, every bodies doing it...

Its a moral decision. Do you steal from that artist or don't you.

I personally think stealing is wrong, so I dont' steal... real simple. If I like a song, I pay for it.
I think I have spent about $1200 bucks on i-tunes now.

Just because you come on and brazenly admit your a thief and lots of other teenages do as well, doesn't make it ok or not theft.

crzftx wrote:You can try and argue that I would buy more music if it wasn't free, but the fact is, it will ALWAYS be free.


No this is a modern phenom. Because a bunch of spoiled kids grew up in the age of easily pirated music, they think its normal.

As far as if you will always be able to easily steal music, no one can say.

Ixtellor

P.S. I wonder why this site doesn't just give away all the merchandise for free. Why buy an XKCD T-shirt when you can just copy the stuff and put it on your own T-shirt or mug or poster. Actually everything about this website is intellecutal property. I wonder how its owners would feel if some chinese kid was making $10million per year copying it and selling it to chinese kids.


Metallica doesnt know the difference between someone who doesnt buy their music and forgets about it, and someone who pirates it. They chose to price their songs at $1 a song, and ergo produce the quantity demanded at a price of $1. Again, the people not willing or able to buy metallica arent considered.

If its a moral decision and everyones doing it, wouldnt that kinda suggest its not too bad a thing? Its not a fullproof argument, but still.

Actually, as far back as the 60s music was easily copyable. 30 years before these evil, rambunctious, spoiled teenagers were born. Oh, didnt the music industry thrive then? So the music industry thrived even though people were copying music?

Actually, xkcd is registered under creative commons, which means that you can just copy the stuff and put it on your own T shirt or mug or poster.
You can not compare it to a chinese kid making 10 million per year selling it because...well duh?
The people who buy from the pirates are willing and able to buy it, and ergo it costs the producer money because they bought it from the pirates, not the producer.
The people who get it for free from the pirates are not willing/able to buy it, and therefore dont hurt anyone.

Pirated music is not sold.

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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Chen » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:17 pm UTC

Delass wrote:The people who buy from the pirates are willing and able to buy it, and ergo it costs the producer money because they bought it from the pirates, not the producer.
The people who get it for free from the pirates are not willing/able to buy it, and therefore dont hurt anyone.


This is an absurd argument. People buy from pirates because its cheaper. If buying at a reduced cost from someone else hurts the company how can stealing it possibly not? If I pay $1 for some pirated CDs instead of $15 how is it worse than if I spend $0 on it instead of $15?

Just because you don't like the market price for something doesn't simply justify you stealing it.

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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:03 pm UTC

luketheduke wrote:And even following your logic, explain to me how stealing a song that is sold for $1.99 on itunes or amazon can lead to owing $150,000 in damages?

Range damages are there for a reason, the $150,000 fine would only apply in particularly egregious schemes of profit-making off of others works.

Delass wrote:Metallica doesnt know the difference between someone who doesnt buy their music and forgets about it, and someone who pirates it. They chose to price their songs at $1 a song, and ergo produce the quantity demanded at a price of $1. Again, the people not willing or able to buy metallica arent considered.

This isn't a particularly challenging concept, to put it in econ 101 terms pirated music is a free substitute that is reducing the demand for purchased music. While the amount of pirated music is more then the amount that would be purchased if piracy didn't exist, the fact that free alternatives drives inevitably drive down the demand for the purchased good is undeniable. A fraction of the pirates of Metallica would have bought their albums, and while they do not technically "know" the loss they are receiving less money then they would without piracy.

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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Delass » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:22 pm UTC

I dont see how its significant, because copying music has been around since the late 60s, and the music industry was a huge success then.

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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Princess Marzipan » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:25 pm UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:
luketheduke wrote:And even following your logic, explain to me how stealing a song that is sold for $1.99 on itunes or amazon can lead to owing $150,000 in damages?

Range damages are there for a reason, the $150,000 fine would only apply in particularly egregious schemes of profit-making off of others works.

Where exactly is that stated? It doesn't follow from how the RIAA has acted in the past - bankrupting people who merely downloaded music. This isn't a crusade against people who SELL copied music; they hardly even mention that. Their targets are ANYONE who has downloaded a pirated song EVER.
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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Malice » Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:49 am UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:Adding to what Soundwave Guy said both EMI and Warner Music, the only two big stand alone music companies with easy-to-access balance sheets, have been in the red for some time. Also, it's fairly dishonest to say that purchasing habits are completely unaffected by piracy, being able to get large amounts of something for free will naturally taper the need for it, making you less willing to spend money on it (this point is amply demonstrated by the fairly deep decline in CD sales).


It's a lovely correlation, but it makes about as much sense causally as the increase in the number of (music) pirates causing the increase in global temperature.

It's not only unproven, but studies have shown that piracy has no significant effect on the sales of specific albums; so how could it affect the entire industry?

Why are music companies doing badly? Because they're not putting out enough good music; because they're not advertising it properly; because people don't have the money to afford it; and because digital distribution changed the basic "unit" of music from a $15 album to a $1 song.

--

Ixtellor wrote:1) If you download a song for free, your a fucking thief end of story. (Unless the song is available for free by the artist or label).

2) You can't prove causality, but there is a DAMN strong correlation between the ability to download music and diminishing record sales.


Here, "damn strong" is code for "I don't understand statistics but it LOOKS like it matches my preconceived notions".

3) You can try to justify your thievary all day, but in the end there is not difference between a dumbass teenage who fills up their i-pod for free, and an identity thief who goes shopping with another persons credit card.


The difference is that the dumbass teenager is helping the music industry by discovering and sharing new artists that they will eventually support with their money. Free music is advertising. Free anything is advertising. That's why they give shit away in the supermarket.

--

Endless Mike wrote:Movies cost millions to make. I can buy a DVD of a movie for $5. The soundtrack for this movie with a handful of original songs, plus some sunk cost catalog songs costs $15. Explain this to me.


One possible explanation is that more DVDs are sold for a particular movie than a particular CD, so the prices have to be adjusted accordingly in order to make back costs.

One certain explanation is that the public accepts $5 dollars as a price point for a low-end/cheap/older DVD and accepts $15 dollars as the price point for a CD. The market isn't consistent, possibly because the two media are perceived differently.

--

Ixtellor wrote:
luketheduke wrote:Yeeeeah Ixtellor.
I am so glad your world is properly black-and-white. Otherwise you'd have to stop and think about things.
Yeeeeah Ixtellor
.


I have thought about it a great deal. When you illegally download music, your stealing it.
It'ss why its illegal... you get fined if they catch you because... its illegal, because your stealing... because you stole money directly from the artist and the record label... no different than a car jacker.


Uh. The record label doesn't own my money until I give it to them. By your logic it's stealing to say, "I think I'll buy that new Coldplay album. No, wait, I'll read a book instead." (Illegal crime bolded.)

Just because its intellectual copy writed material and not a tangible object does not change the reality.


Actually, it does.

My guess, is that you are addicted to stealing music, and so you need to justify it.


Do you really expect anybody to turn down free music simply because it might hurt a big, faceless, evil corporation?

--

Gunfingers wrote:The pricetag on it comes from the same concept that sees in increase in value from "potato, grease, and salt" to "french fry". Someone put labor into creating intellectual property, and expects you to compensate them for that labor. How could any abstract industry survive without it? If musicians can't charge more than the cost of a CD, how can they afford to keep making music as anything but a hobby? There would be no major films, because you would only pay for the cost of the disk. Can't even make up the money at the theatres, because the theatres have free access to the film too. Suddenly the only way to make money is with live, physical appearances such as plays or concerts. And that's not even getting started on the effect on the video game industry.


Ah, the intellectual property apocalypse theory. We can get into it if you want, but basically there are other business models than "make product, sell to customer" which could comfortably sustain the entertainment industry.

What's always seemed weird to me is that it only became a big deal with software, especially music. No one bothered taking books to kinkos and giving everyone copies, nor has it ever been popular to take the Colonel's secret recipe and open your own store with it. It's logically the same, in that you're not taking anything away except business, and yet there's a huge intellectual disconnect.


But people have been sharing their entertainment freely forever, and considering it to be perfectly ethical. I think the huge intellectual disconnect comes between saying, "Here, borrow this book and read it even though you didn't pay for it" and "No, you can't borrow this file and watch it, you didn't pay for it!"

--

Ixtellor wrote:
luketheduke wrote:Copyright is just a rather poorly implemented measure to make intellectual property comparable to a good, or a service


Incorrect. It allows them to sell their creation at what the market will bare. Supply and Demand should be dictating the prices for these goods and services.

Should authors be able to copyright? Should software developers be able to copyright?


Copyright is an excellent idea. It is currently poorly executed; I doubt we'd have as big a problem with piracy as we do now if there was a massive public domain, like there should be. Imagine if just about everything produced before 1980 was free and widely available! Instead, copyright has a stranglehold on creativity and personal entertainment.
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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:58 am UTC

Delass wrote:I dont see how its significant, because copying music has been around since the late 60s, and the music industry was a huge success then.

Being able to get reduced quality mix tapes from friends who already have copies of an album through slowly copying things on a series of machines doesn't really rival a virtually infinite library that can be obtained with but a click at no cost and no effort; they really aren't comprable in terms of scale and effect on sales.

Princess Marzipan wrote:Where exactly is that stated? It doesn't follow from how the RIAA has acted in the past - bankrupting people who merely downloaded music. This isn't a crusade against people who SELL copied music; they hardly even mention that. Their targets are ANYONE who has downloaded a pirated song EVER.

I'm speculating, but most of the fines I've heard of the government/RIAA slapping on people range in the $1,000's. The only time I've ever heard of a case where the fines exceeded $100,000 was where a women already on the verge of bankruptcy was provided with legal counsel from an outside source failed to win, and a court awarded the RIAA damages outside conventional fines. In any case, this statute has stood for some time, there might be sizeable counterexamples but everyone so far has contented themselves by saying how outrageous a fine could be rather than provide evidence of outrageous cases.

Malice wrote:The difference is that the dumbass teenager is helping the music industry by discovering and sharing new artists that they will eventually support with their money. Free music is advertising. Free anything is advertising. That's why they give shit away in the supermarket.

Free advertising doesn't count for a whole lot when the product is free.

Malice wrote:It's a lovely correlation, but it makes about as much sense causally as the increase in the number of (music) pirates causing the increase in global temperature.

Why are music companies doing badly? Because they're not putting out enough good music; because they're not advertising it properly; because people don't have the money to afford it; and because digital distribution changed the basic "unit" of music from a $15 album to a $1 song.

Seriously Malice...? You're incapable of seeing that the huge exapnsion of an obvious substitute for free will inevitably affect the primary market? Correlation can mean causation, simply because Randall and the Church of the FSM have made a few jokes about it does not somehow invalidate that the two can go together. Music sales declined some 30% from 2001 to 2005, digital sales did not exist in that period and it's a very bold claim (i.e. one that needs damn good evidence) to say that music got so much worse so suddenly to reverse continuing sales gains made in the prior decade. (link, sorry for using such an old and crappy graph but I have had no success at finding a good one made more recently). I'd certainly agree that net sales will decline when people no longer have to get full albums for the five or so songs they want, but that does not explain such a precipitous drop before the advent of widely available purchaseable digital music.

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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby GoC » Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:28 am UTC

Few people actually do a cost vs. benefits analysis for piracy.
Person A puts value $A on the piece of IP (intelectual property) and it gives him utility #A (I will be using the # sign to represent utility).

If $A is less than the market price of the IP then if A pirates it then society gains a net utility of #A.
If $A is greater than the market price of IP then if A pirates then society loses #F($Market_Price,sum of all $X for $X>Market_Price for X in {People who have pirated this IP})-#A-#G($A). This could be negative, in which case we have a gain.
Here #G($a) is the amount that society would gain if A spent his money on something else.
Here #F($x,$y) is the total utility derived from that extra $x going into the industry if the current industry state is y.
Let's look at F.
If piracy is banned in all forms and perfectly enforcable then the #F($x,$y)=total #A value of all IP that would be produced with an extra $x given industry currently has income $y for all A in {People with $A>Market_Price}
If piracy is allowed then #F($x,$y)=total #A value of all IP that would be produced with an extra $x given industry currently has income $y for all A in {People}

Now for a few facts.
{People with $A>Merket_Price} is less than 1000th of the size of {People} and less than 10000th of the size for 99% of IP.
As $y goes lower #F starts to grow faster for $x.
#F will get very close to 0 for certain types of IP if $y goes low enough.
Person A's #A gets lower the more IP he has.
There is a correlation between $A and #A but it is far from perfect. Things like uneven income distribution and imperfect information make #A's lower than expected.

A brief glance will show that perfectly enforced anti-piracy is so far from optimal that it's not even funny. This kind of market failure is completely off the scale. To the best of my knowledge no perfect anti-piracy situation exists.
Perfect piracy is the current situation with webcomics. It is generaly considered to be highly sub-optimal for things that require large budgets such as blockbuster videos.

Complicated so far? It gets better. A exchanges Time_A for #A when he uses an IP. When #F is high the #A/Time_A factor is high and vice versa. The actual thing we are trying to maximinize is sum_of_#'s/total_Time. What's more the $A value depends heavily on a certain $Work/Time_Work and a #Work. More #Work then smaller $A, more $Work/Time then larger $A. This is the reason why higher and higher #F's see rapidly diminishing returns.

So what's the best solution? The answer is in fact semi-enforced anti-piracy! :shock:
Figuring out a feasable way of doing this is an excercise for the reader. :P

Feel free to compile these half-baked ideas into a more legible post. I may actually make that entire essay on piracy I've been thinking about... Don't hold your breath, though. I'm very lazy. :P

EDIT: Said essay would include several other factors and flesh out the ones listed here.

EDIT2: Mostly the facts section would get several paragraphs explaining each one and how they are affected. It'd also include a few more such as people getting a bit of extra #A' from buying as opposed to pirating due to "feel good" feeling and related factors.

EDIT3: I'd also add in the numerous extra costs that come with attempting piracy enforcement. These costs will likely include many utility costs such as loss of privacy, loss of use, loss of interoperability and corporate corruption (defined as increasing personal or corporate gains at the expense of society as a whole).

EDIT4: Hmm... Just thought of a method for semi-enforced anti-piracy. A government sponsored game/music/video company. This may be one of the few cases where government's inherent inefficiencies are less than the ones caused by the market, due to the "price=0" distribution and production costs (the invention cost is the only one left).
Even better if it was some type of world sponsored company! It'd be a beurocratic nightmare getting funding though.
Last edited by GoC on Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:54 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Delass » Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:41 am UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:
Delass wrote:I dont see how its significant, because copying music has been around since the late 60s, and the music industry was a huge success then.

Being able to get reduced quality mix tapes from friends who already have copies of an album through slowly copying things on a series of machines doesn't really rival a virtually infinite library that can be obtained with but a click at no cost and no effort; they really aren't comprable in terms of scale and effect on sales.

Malice wrote:It's a lovely correlation, but it makes about as much sense causally as the increase in the number of (music) pirates causing the increase in global temperature.

Why are music companies doing badly? Because they're not putting out enough good music; because they're not advertising it properly; because people don't have the money to afford it; and because digital distribution changed the basic "unit" of music from a $15 album to a $1 song.

Seriously Malice...? You're incapable of seeing that the huge exapnsion of an obvious substitute for free will inevitably affect the primary market? Correlation can mean causation, simply because Randall and the Church of the FSM have made a few jokes about it does not somehow invalidate that the two can go together. Music sales declined some 30% from 2001 to 2005, digital sales did not exist in that period and it's a very bold claim (i.e. one that needs damn good evidence) to say that music got so much worse so suddenly to reverse continuing sales gains made in the prior decade. (link, sorry for using such an old and crappy graph but I have had no success at finding a good one made more recently). I'd certainly agree that net sales will decline when people no longer have to get full albums for the five or so songs they want, but that does not explain such a precipitous drop before the advent of widely available purchaseable digital music.



AFAIK, you put a blank cassette in one part, and the cassette you want to copy in the other, and hit copy. Its very similar to putting a CD in, putting the other CD in, and hitting copy.

Personally, I think music sales declined because the RIAA was being such a dick about everything. And itunes store opened in 2003, so that could be the reason too.

You cant honestly tell me that the teens and college students with full ipods are willing and able to buy so much music.


Edit: If I understand GoC correctly, hes right. The poor college student with 1$ can spend it on a song, or he can spend it on bread. Spending it on bread is better for society, because its still spent, and most importantly: positive externalities.
So if hes not going to buy it anyway, because bread is more important, it doesnt hurt anyone if he has both, but benefits him, ergo its a good thing.

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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:15 am UTC

I was presuming LP -> cassette (not that it really matters), but having one machine instead of 2/3 really wasn't the crux of the issue.

Digital music was not a terribly popular until recently, it does not explain a steep drop originiating around 2000 (digital music market share).

And I'm not saying that the quantity of pirated music is equal to the amount that would have been bought, but piracy does noticably reduce music sales.

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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Delass » Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:30 am UTC

Question about your first graph...it starts in 2000, so how does it show that it hasnt been going down before that?

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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby GoC » Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:33 am UTC

Bubbles McCoy: What do you think of the idea that partial piracy is socialy optimal?
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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby psyck0 » Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:35 am UTC

Ixtellor wrote:
luketheduke wrote:How do you quantify that? How do you assign a pricetag to it?


Supply and Demand. Or maybe you think you wrote the best short story ever written and decide its worth $5 million. If you don't want to sell it for less, thats your business because --- ITS YOURS - you created it, you have all the rights to it.

What you are doing is saying "Hey Metallica, I saw you want to charge $17 bucks for a CD, well fuck you, I am going to take it and there is nothing you can do to stop me" "I don't think its worth $17, and even though I really really want it, I decided for myself you charge to much, in fact I am going to pay you ZERO $'s for it, because thats what I decided, without regard to your talent creativity and work ethic, or the long hours you put in the studio perfecting the song I can't live without."

Ixtellor, you really strike me as a petulant teenager whenever I see things you write. You're abosolutely in love with your own ideas and everyone else is an idiot.

The way I see it, piracy is the free market deciding that a good isn't worth the price. We want a free market, right? Well, the free market is saying "$20 for an album?! No way!" and they're not buying. A few things could happen here. The RIAA could dip into their millions of dollars of profit and cut prices to induce more sales. They could not give a damn, because hey, they're still making millions of dollars in profits. Or they could try and scare everyone out of doing it, which is clearly NOT working.

Piracy is a crime. I'll agree with that. Only a few nutcases won't. It's still a very, very, VERY minor crime. You don't get thousands of dollars in fines for misdemeanors. You shouldn't get them here.


Also, Ixtellor, I would like to see your response to the FACT (properly documented study as opposed to trend observed by yourself) that piracy does not decrease the number of sales of albums.

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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:43 am UTC

@Delass- Sorry about that, I ran into this graph while trying to find something to present and ended up not posting it since I think the digital numbers of the other graph are useful (even if half the other graph is just speculation... oh well, what's not is still useful) and kinda forgot that I hadn't posted anything about sales prior to '01.

@GoC - complete agreement, really. It's hard to know what is perfect, but a socially optimum solution is reached through partial piracy. Doesn't really answer questions of morality, but I'd wholeheartedly agree that from a practical perspective piracy has added a useful dynamic to the whole thing by making the industry rethink things. However, considering that they're going into the red now I feel it has gone a bit too far though.

Edit-
psyck0 wrote:Also, Ixtellor, I would like to see your response to the FACT (properly documented study as opposed to trend observed by yourself) that piracy does not decrease the number of sales of albums.

Sales of an item decreasing provided a free alternative is the expected outcome in purely economic terms, the burden would be on you to demonstrate that the statistical decline is due to other factors. Economics dictates that CD sales would decline provided a free alternative; observation has henceforth supported this. The market obeying the textbook needs no extraordinary explination, we only need that when claims are made about why it isn't.

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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Delass » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:12 am UTC

The new graph looks like typical market changes. This graph: http://www.culturaleconomics.atfreeweb. ... 0Cycle.jpg

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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Sockmonkey » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:52 am UTC

What % of listeners buy fewer CDs because of independant artists putting their stuff online for free? I think that's a significant factor.

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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Princess Marzipan » Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:27 am UTC

Sockmonkey wrote:What % of listeners buy fewer CDs because of independant artists putting their stuff online for free? I think that's a significant factor.


Well, me for one. I also haven't liked anything I've heard on the radio since the '90s. (And I still actually buy CDs now and then, but only older music.)
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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Malice » Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:07 am UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:
Malice wrote:The difference is that the dumbass teenager is helping the music industry by discovering and sharing new artists that they will eventually support with their money. Free music is advertising. Free anything is advertising. That's why they give shit away in the supermarket.

Free advertising doesn't count for a whole lot when the product is free.


The product isn't free. Ignoring the idea of people buying CDs they've already stolen just to support the band, the band's music is just one part of their revenue, including concerts, merchandise, sponsoring (using a band's popularity to sell something else), etc. Then there's the fact that people spread music, and that there will be situations where Person A pirates music and shares it with Person B, who likes the band but doesn't pirate and instead buys the albums.

Malice wrote:It's a lovely correlation, but it makes about as much sense causally as the increase in the number of (music) pirates causing the increase in global temperature.

Why are music companies doing badly? Because they're not putting out enough good music; because they're not advertising it properly; because people don't have the money to afford it; and because digital distribution changed the basic "unit" of music from a $15 album to a $1 song.

Seriously Malice...? You're incapable of seeing that the huge exapnsion of an obvious substitute for free will inevitably affect the primary market?


I'm incapable of assuming that that is inevitable. I think it's equally possible that:
-People care about artists that they like, so they will support them monetarily even if they pirate;
-People don't substitute free music for paid music; they just listen to more music all around.

I think the real truth is that piracy reduces some sales and helps others, and that the net result is small enough to be negligible in either direction.

Correlation can mean causation, simply because Randall and the Church of the FSM have made a few jokes about it does not somehow invalidate that the two can go together. Music sales declined some 30% from 2001 to 2005, digital sales did not exist in that period and it's a very bold claim (i.e. one that needs damn good evidence) to say that music got so much worse so suddenly to reverse continuing sales gains made in the prior decade. (link, sorry for using such an old and crappy graph but I have had no success at finding a good one made more recently). I'd certainly agree that net sales will decline when people no longer have to get full albums for the five or so songs they want, but that does not explain such a precipitous drop before the advent of widely available purchaseable digital music.


1. Do you have data corresponding to piracy that you can put over a graph like that? Are they inverses of each other?
2. Do you have data reaching back further before piracy? Your second graph (this one) shows that in the mid-90s music sales were about as low as they were in '05--was that the tail end of a decline? If so, what caused it?
3. The thing about assuming correlation means causation is that you can apply any theory. Judging by that graph I could say "As terror attacks have increased post-9/11, people were inclined to spend less money on music" and you can't prove me wrong.

I agree that this could simply be a part of the business cycle--maybe the growth from '97 to 2000 was simply unsustainable, and the bubble popped.

--

Princess Marzipan wrote:
Sockmonkey wrote:What % of listeners buy fewer CDs because of independant artists putting their stuff online for free? I think that's a significant factor.


Well, me for one. I also haven't liked anything I've heard on the radio since the '90s. (And I still actually buy CDs now and then, but only older music.)


To me that goes back to the quality issue. Presumably if you liked what you heard on the radio, you wouldn't choose between listening to the radio and listening to independents--you'd just listen to them both.
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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Brooklynxman » Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:34 am UTC

RIAA gains nothing from this except to prove they are assholes and make some people go bankrupt attempting to pay fines well beyond their means.

Obama, you are starting off on the wrong foot.
We figure out what all this means, then do something large and violent

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Re: Obama sides with RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Song

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:44 am UTC

Sockmonkey wrote:What % of listeners buy fewer CDs because of independant artists putting their stuff online for free? I think that's a significant factor.

First off, this doesn't really pan out as if free music from independent artists was indeed driving down demand for CD's piracy would undeniably have the same effect. While I don't have much science to back up this next point, I think people getting free tracks from independent artists cannot make a notable impact as such a behavior is exclusive to hipster trash like ourselves, it is not pertinent to more commonly consumed musical genres. I'd like to back this up with more, but I'm failing at finding any good numbers of genre taste and sales in the nineties.

Malice wrote:1. Do you have data corresponding to piracy that you can put over a graph like that? Are they inverses of each other?
2. Do you have data reaching back further before piracy? Your second graph (this one) shows that in the mid-90s music sales were about as low as they were in '05--was that the tail end of a decline? If so, what caused it?
3. The thing about assuming correlation means causation is that you can apply any theory. Judging by that graph I could say "As terror attacks have increased post-9/11, people were inclined to spend less money on music" and you can't prove me wrong.

I agree that this could simply be a part of the business cycle--maybe the growth from '97 to 2000 was simply unsustainable, and the bubble popped.

Well, Napster peaked in '01 before shutting down and I never really got the impression that piracy ever really slowed down since. I'm sure I could get some hard numbers, but in all likelihood they have been created by the RIAA and you will (somewhat rightfully) dismiss them as exaggeration. No matter how you look at it, piracy is an incredibly hard activity to quantify though; yet we do know that services were attracting millions of users by '01 and by all appearances it has just grown since.

There are longer term graphs, CD's still weren't ubiquitous in the 90's. The idea that this is a bubble is absurd, bubbles are results of overspeculation and people not invest in CD's. While CD sales would probably decline in recession, that does not explain why they did not recover after '03 with the rest of the economy despite digital purchases still being negligible at the time.

Correlation means causation when the market is expressing itself in predicted ways. Economics predicts the market will behave as it is, statistics backs up economics theories in this case. Unless compelling evidence is shown that other factors are gumming up the works, there's no reason to presume basic models that imply piracy costing the industry money are incorrect.


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