Marty Friedman -Ex Member of Megadeth
Hello everyone! This week I will reply to this site I found about music piracy, simply titled ‘Music Piracy – Ten Inconvenient Truths.’ I found this on the ‘IFPI’ site, which represents the worldwide recording industry. Here are the 10 inconvenient truths it listed:
1. Pirate Bay, one of the flagships of the anti-copyright movement, makes thousands of euros from advertising on its site, while maintaining its anti-establishment “free music” rhetoric.
2. Allofmp3.com, the well-known Russian website, has not been licensed by a single IFPI member, has been disowned by right holder groups worldwide and is facing criminal proceedings in Russia.
3. Organised criminal gangs and even terrorist groups use the sale of counterfeit CDs to raise revenue and launder money.
4. Illegal file-sharers don’t care whether the copyright infringing work they distribute is from a major or independent label.
5. Reduced revenues for record companies mean less money available to take a risk on “underground” artists and more inclination to invest in “bankers” like American Idol stars.
6. ISPs often advertise music as a benefit of signing up to their service, but facilitate the illegal swapping on copyright infringing music on a grand scale.
7. The anti-copyright movement does not create jobs, exports, tax revenues and economic growth – it largely consists of people pontificating on a commercial world about which they know little.
8. Piracy is not caused by poverty. Professor Zhang of Nanjing University found the Chinese citizens who bought pirate products were mainly middle or higher income earners.
9. Most people know it is wrong to file-share copyright infringing material but won’t stop till the law makes them, according to a recent study by the Australian anti-piracy group MIPI.
10. P2P networks are not hotbeds for discovering new music. It is popular music that is illegally file-shared most frequently.
Now, I wish to to dispute a few of these comments, and add my own. Of course, I have no numbers to back me up, unlike the IFPI, and this is merely my opinion. If I’ve said anything that’s blatantly wrong, let me know in the comments and I’ll take it back. So here are my 10 inconvenient truths:
- (Point 1) The Pirate Bay making money through advertising has little to do with the “free music” it provides/advocates. Advertising companies pay the Pirate Bay for advertising space, and therefore Pirate Bay can afford to provide free stuff. Webcomics such as Ctrl-Alt-Del sell advertising space so they can afford to continue writing their comics and hosting them. The Pirate Bay making money in such a way means that they aren’t making money at anyone’s expense.
- (Point 3) Sure, counterfeit CDs can be sold to make money for criminals. But what money can they possibly make from free file-sharing?
- (Point 5) Reduced revenues for record companies and therefore reduced interest in underground bands just forces these underground bands to find other ways to get in touch with the people which these record companies are further alienating through their brutish attempts to control them. An example is the Arctic Monkeys, who, although now a huge UK band, started off gaining mainstream popularity through MySpace. Underground bands don’t need record companies to get popular if they’re good. ‘Bankers’ do.
- (Point 7) Anti-copyright movements mostly consist of the consumers who are getting more and more fed-up with the methods of organisations such as the RIAA. They may not know much about the economical aspect of the music industry, but they know a lot when it comes down to how their rights are being treated, hence the backlash.
- (Point 10) Anti-piracy campaigners often claim that it is the underground and small bands that suffer, yet how is this true if it is mostly the popular music that is downloaded?
- And if it is the popular bands that receive the most attention from pirates, surely they are also the ones most able to handle it financially?
- The most money a musician or band makes is rarely from album or single sales. Merchandise and Live performances are the true money-makers for most.
- Due to the way the consumer is being alienated by these organisations and record companies, musicians are finding other ways to get in touch, and those that don’t are losing popularity. Look at what happened to Metallica when they took on Napster. And now look at bands such as Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead, who are finding new ways to bring their music to the masses.
- Record companies and copyright organisations are, on the whole, still not realising the potential that the Internet provides financially, and therefore, rather than embracing it, they are trying to fight against something which is impossible to control. Again leading to the alienation of the consumer.
- The customer is always right ;)
Yeah, that’s all. Again, if I’ve made an incorrect claim, let me know. I have no agenda, just playing devil’s advocate :)
Rock on! \m/
Today is May 5th, and the leader singer of Nine Inch Nails really takes it up a notch by releasing a new CD for free download (available in 4 different formats) for fans and the like to download. Trent Rezor has always been a badass, and he really is a symbolic artist in the music industry. He was even part of the file trading website Oink! where people illegally shared music, even Trent himself.
More details on this release:
“Nine Inch Nails founder Trent Reznor released a 10-track, 43-minute studio recording, “The Slip,” through his Web site, nin.com, on Monday. It was made available for immediate download in four digital configurations, each of them free.
“Thank you for your continued and loyal support over the years – this one’s on me,” Reznor wrote on the Web site shortly after midnight as he made the music available. He encouraged downloaders to share and remix tracks.
A CD and vinyl version of the album will be made available in July.
“The Slip” represents the fifth set of new material Reznor has released this year. In March, he released a four-volume set of instrumental music, “Ghosts I-IV,” through his Web site, at five different prices, including a free download of some of the tracks. After a week, he reported more than 700,000 orders and downloads, and revenue of $1.6 million.
The “Ghosts” announcement, also made without advance warning through his Web site, produced an avalanche of visitors and briefly crashed nin.com. Orders for “The Slip” appeared to go more smoothly. After submitting my email address, I received instructions and was able to download the disc within minutes.
Picking up where the reflective “Ghosts” left off, “The Slip” starts off with an atmospheric instrumental before veering into hard-rock territory. A string of tracks driven by live drumming and shrapnel-tossing guitar allow Reznor and his band to blow off some steam. The assault eventually gives way to contemplative piano atmospherics (the somber, nearly whispered “Lights in the Sky”) and eerie instrumentals (“Corona Radiata,” “The Four of Us are Dying”). The album has a raw, unpolished feel that suits the circumstances of its sudden release.
The self-release strategy has renewed interest in Nine Inch Nails’ career, and presents a striking vision of how artists may operate independently of the music business in the future.
Last October, Radiohead experimented with officially sanctioned free downloads through its Web site by offering its latest studio album, “In Rainbows,” at a price of the fans’ choosing. Radiohead did not announce the results of its digital experiment, then released the album last January as a CD through an independent label (ATO).
Reznor has taken that download strategy a step further, which suits his suddenly prolific music-making. From 1989 to 2006, Nine Inch Nails released five studio albums. Now without a record-label contract for the first time in 18 years, Reznor has equaled that output in the last three months.”
Radiohead was the first to try this method, but it didn’t do to well for them I suppose. Radiohead refuses to release the numbers, but they claim it was good numbers. However, they pulled the online download link and went to physical CDs stating it was the only real way to make money. I guess the online method where people payed how much they think the music is worth didn’t work well for them. :P
Trent Reznor, on the other hand, tells it the way it is. More interestingly, the CD is called “The Slip”. Did you notice that Trent is “Giving Us The Slip?”. How ironic. Oh yea, the MP3 download also contains album art, and each song has its own cryptic album art imagery. Genius.
Welcome guys to the very first ever STD (Savvy Tech Dude/Dudette) post. I’m still working with logistics as to how I want to organize this, and this probably won’t become a weekly thing, just a random thing as life goes on. The STD story is my attempt to share some insight into some of my practices, as well as others as to how they are using technology to make their life better, saving money, or perhaps bettering the environment.
With topics so broad, it be interesting how varied these stories will go. As time goes along, I’m asking for people to contribute, or if you want to be interviewed (I’ll protect your identity), then we can dig deeper. I am entertaining the idea of posting this concept to other forums where techies live, and see if I can even get a larger response. If it works out right, this will become a magnificent concept.
Without further ado, here is the first story – a background of Versatile1 and his journey with technology:
There is no doubt that the advent of computers have spawned a realm of underground activity, the most profound that has hit mainstream population is casual piracy. Don’t deny it, I’m sure most households out there engaged in it without them realizing it. Do you remember the audio cassette tapes? Did you try to tape music from the radio, or maybe from CDs that you borrowed?
How about copying VHS movies from one VCR to the other? I was one of those guys who engaged in this back in the day. In my house, we had at least 2 VCRs, so it made sense to find a good movie at the library or blockbuster or one of our friends and just copy the movie. Yes, it took about 2 hours to do it, but at least I could fit 3 VHS movies onto one VHS cassette if I used EP mode.
Eventually DVDs came, and you couldn’t copy those straight off the bat because they have DVD encryption on it. Well, now there are programs that take off that DVD encryption so you can rip the movie to your hard drive and copy it or encode it to .AVI file for example. Now it is so easy to copy DVDs and encode them to .AVI files.
Now I don’t recommend this as it is dishonest, but there are people out there who have an account at Netflix, Blockbuster, Family Video, or your favorite video store and all they do is rent movies and copy them. Are you surprised? Heck, there might be some teenager kid in your neighborhood who does the same thing, or the equivalent by downloading movies and archiving them in some secret hard drive or burn them to some DVD binders.
I assure you, piracy is found everywhere whether you realize it or not. Are you a parent of some high school kids? I am sure these high school kids have MP3 Players, and you think the music they put on their iPod is legit? I’m sure at least 90% of the music they are listening to it was illegally obtained. Heck, maybe the parents are doing it to. What I’m saying is even the nicest people are casually engaged in piracy because they believe its OK.
This single song is great, the rest of the album sucks, so buy it? Or it could be the other way. I download the album and listen to it. Album is great so I buy it. Worst case scenario: I download the album, it sounds great and I”ll keep it without buying the album. There are others who are just media pack mules and just download anything because they can. Are you one of these people? You are saving a buck, but it is the artists that lose is the saying.
I’m not here to say what is wrong or right. What I am saying is there are some underground practices that people are involving themselves under the impression nothing wrong will happen. Of course, you hear stories of college students now getting sued by the RIAA for downloading music, but now more and more of the college scene are going underground. They are starting to trade music internally on the school network, a place where the RIAA cannot get into.
There is so much left I want to talk about. I didn’t even dive into the subject of P2P, or torrents yet. Maybe I’ll let leave that for the next story.
- Piracy has always been around since technology became affordable for consumers.
- People engage in casual piracy because it is convenient, and it saves them money. Individuals are starting to become tech savvy.
- VHS piracy has always been around, and now DVD copying is the new rage.
- The newest trend is downloading of music/movies from online or ripping them from the retail shop or friends. Obviously, this is wrong in terms of copyrights, but as a home user, who cares? This is the mentality that many people hold, and it will never stop.
- RIAA is evil, and people are starting to wise up and getting their music in a smarter way.
Was this story helpful? Next time, I will dive a bit into how people are getting smarter in their technological means, and perhaps give you the reader insight into how you can do the same thing. Please leave a comment, or I’m under the belief no one cares enough about the STD story. Thanks!
Hey faithful Underground readers. Normally I would post a life post, unfortunately it’s going to have to be delayed one week.
Currently, I am undergoing a project which collects the landmark events of digital history relating to piracy, laws on the electronic frontier, and the serious lack of competence and open minds in authority and political figures in today’s world.
I stumbled across this post yesterday, and felt it was my duty to link it and spread the news as much as possible. It’s yet again, a prime example of the ludicrous behaviors we see from the very people we entrust our sustenance and security to.
Essentially, Universal Media Group is [quoted] “saying that merely by putting some fine print on a CD, it can effectively ‘own’ that CD forever.”
I’ll let you read the article and decide for yourself.
Another few day old piece of news, is posted here by the magnificent crew over at Ars Technica, about some interesting RIAA developments. This adds a great outlook on the recent Andersen vs. RIAA case from a few weeks ago:
God speed, and Best wishes.
This is a news report about the popular torrent site, demonoid.com
Recently, demonoid was shut down by the CRIA (Canadian). Demonoid was down for approx. 1 week, and is now back up with a slight modification: No Canadian ip may access demonoid. The CRIA sent a letter to demonoid telling them to block all Canadian ips from the mega torrent host.
“We received a letter from a lawyer represeting the CRIA, they were threatening with legal action and we need to start blocking Canadian traffic because of this.”
TorrentFreak, another popular website quoted on IRC that demonoid was really shut down by the CRIA. After demonoid is back up, it seems like TF was really correct.
For Canadian users of Demonoid, there seems to be an alternative that is easily found on Digg.com. You can use the Demonator proxy at http://demonator.jdbeitz.com/ ; However, this has not been tested at the labs at The Underground.
Originally, BREIN, a Dutch copyright rights protection firm claim victory over Demonoid. In BREIN Claims Victory over Demonoid (http://www.slyck.com/story1512_BREIN_Claims_Victory_over_Demonoid), BREIN has apparently been after the private torrent tracker for a while. BREIN is currently trying to shut down all torrent trackers in its area.
To quote from GeeksNotNerds (http://geeksnotnerds.com/zeekay/demonoid-done-singin-bittorrent-blues):
“Demonoid.com is online again, after a few days of downtime. The cause? Legal threats from CRIA, the RIAA’s “outreach program” in Canada. This comes after the disastrous BREIN fiasco, only a few months ago, when Demonoid was forced to move their servers to Canada, in an attempt to find safe haven.
In a move that befuddles the mind, Demonoid is now blocking Canadian traffic. On a site hosted in Canada. Is this genius, or simply an absurd attempt to postpone the inevitable?”