Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Inimical to the public good

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  • Che Tibby,

    it wasn't piracy that took it down but naked competition.

    <cough>stupid investments</cough>

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    <che assumes there will still be a free market when wall st stops falling down>

    See my post this morning. It's all socialism now, baby.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Re Real Groovy:

    Yep and, at the risk of being trivial, it wasn't piracy that took it down but naked competition.

    I'm happy to take Chris Hart at his word that it was a disastrous foreign exchange deal -- and the reluctance of existing partners to tip in more cash -- that dealt the blow.

    But I wonder how many customers there are like me. I used to go in there on a weekly basis; trading old CDs for new, spending cash money.

    But I buy most of my music as downloads these days. The difference in price between buying the bits of a Soul Jazz label release on eMusic and buying the same music as a physical CD is very significant. And, actually, eMusic's more fun ...

    And, of course, there's now a JB Hi-Fi only five minutes from my house.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    trading old CDs for new, spending cash money

    Which of course also reduces the artist and record companies income. If a CD passes through several sets of hands rather than everyone buying their own, the creator sees less cash. Of course it isn't illegal to resell CDs (although attempts have been made to make it so with software).

    On the Real Groovy closure, I can't help thinking that their "attitude" might have contributed to their demise. They did have a lot of "customers must not" signs, their comprehensive stock was uncatalogued and having to line up separately for tickets and other checkout items always deterred me from buying a CD at the same time as a ticket.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4501 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    On the Real Groovy closure, I can't help thinking that their "attitude" might have contributed to their demise.

    There was an infamous incident when the late John Peel went a-shopping at Real Groovy and was treated like a silly old man by sales assistants who didn't know who he was (not that that should have made a difference in terms of basic customer service).

    So he went along the road to Gary Steel's Beautiful Music store, allowed Gary to recommend some music (including Ermehn's first album, which he later announced on his show as "New Zealand gospel hip-hop") and spent his money there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    On the subject of unintended consequences, John McCain's campaign videos on YouTube have been being pulled as a result of DMCA takedown notices served (presumably) by his opponents.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/15/youtube_responds_to_mccain/

    McCain voted for the DMCA.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4501 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    when under other circumstances they would of at least considered paying for it

    And this is where your argument falls apart. You're assuming that downloaders don't buy, and that in the absence of downloading they might actually have done so. Can you present any evidence to support that position? Or are you trying the tenuous "logical" link that runs completely counter to sales figures from the US that tracked increased music sales in line with the rise of Napster, followed by a decrease once RIAA got their way and Napster died.

    Put it this way: I'm loathe to spend $30 on an album that, on much past experience, will contain two tracks, maybe three, that are actually worth paying for, with the remainder being crap. So if I can download the music and establish that the album's actually worth buying, I will buy it. If not, in the absence of downloading I wasn't going to buy it anyway because the cost of the gamble is too high. The industry has only itself to blame for this attitude, where the price of the product is too high for it to be a disposable purchase if the customer dislikes what they've bought.

    As for the theft argument, you're being deprived of nothing except a very notional income stream. The product is still there to be bought by someone else. So if you haven't been deprived of the product for sale, and I wasn't going to buy the work, how is it theft? You have lost nothing. I know it's pointless trying to get you to stop using pejorative language in this fashion, but at least do try and understand why people like me get hacked off with you twisting English in such a fashion. You're using a possibly, maybe, might-have-been purchase that may or may not have eventuated in the absence of a download to justify calling downloaders thieves. Which ignores the evidence that those who download more also tend to spend more on buying music. Plenty of empirical evidence to back that up, too.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3934 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew E,

    On the subject of unintended consequences, John McCain's campaign videos on YouTube have been being pulled as a result of DMCA takedown notices served (presumably) by his opponents.

    Yeah, Rich, that's what I posted last night.

    174.77 x 41.28 • Since Sep 2008 • 199 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    meh... cheap electronics and advances in computing these days makes big recording outfits all but obsolete these days anyhow.

    well, yes and no. Somebody needs to tell people what to buy..98% of people don't find their music via Creative Commons sites, or Genius or scouring the net. They find as a result of marketing, hearing it on the radio, recommendations on Pitchfork, front page placing on iTunes, post on blogs and so on. All of which comes from record companies or other marketing organizations.

    The record companies only cease to matter when this changes. The death of the labels is overstated. There are many artists, especially American, who can't live outside a label system, be it indie or major.

    Real Groovy is sad, if only for the number of good people that have worked there much of their adult life, and it's history. It's the last of the second hand stores (anyone remember how many there used to be..at least half a dozen in Auckland at one time). It's the end of an era, but it's only been a shadow of what it was in recent times. Once upon a time it was known for it's killer service and truly was one of the good guys.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    98% of people don't find their music via Creative Commons sites, or Genius or scouring the net. They find as a result of marketing, hearing it on the radio, recommendations on Pitchfork, front page placing on iTunes, post on blogs and so on. All of which comes from record companies or other marketing organizations.

    it would be nice to know exactly how many people within that 98% bittorrent their music.

    my experience is that people who discover music via these more conventional means tend to purchase CDs or use itunes.

    that in turn would raise questions about how many people actually are dirty, dirty thieving pirates.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    my experience is that people who discover music via these more conventional means tend to purchase CDs or use itunes.

    If only marginal music ( the sort of odd stuff I tend to listen to) was being d/loaded I don't think the majors would be quite so worried, but it's not, it's the chart stuff, the stuff they've spent loads of cash promoting and marketing. It's kids taking top 40, fans taking Linkin Park and so on (and of course everything else). Why this stuff is desirable? Because it's been marketing to make it so. And who has done that?

    I have a 13 year old daughter and her mates are fairly typical in their 13 year old tastes but those tastes didn't come to them in a vacuum. But they never buy discs (Bella is different and takes pride in her legit CDs, as I encourage her to buy but she still sits up half the night looking for stuff to download...I think she's the only one in her peer group who has anything legit though).

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Yeah, Rich, that's what I posted last night.

    Sorry. Didn't follow your link.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4501 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    All of which comes from record companies or other marketing organizations.

    Yes, but if the record business imploded, radio stations and the like would still play music.

    Every time I walk down Cuba St, I see posters for another half a dozen new bands I've never heard of. I'm sure most of these guys will never make a bean from their music, but that doesn't seem to stop them creating it.

    I'm unconvinced that the public interest in there being a "music industry" justifies that industry being given draconian powers to protect their business model.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4501 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    But they never buy discs

    there's that generational change mentioned upstream...

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Yes, but if the record business imploded, radio stations and the like would still play music.

    Currently, as far as I know, they play music sent to them by record businesses. If there suddenly stopped being a music business. they'd have to go find their own.

    Which would be fine in theory, but they'd have to find the music, get a decent copy of it, negotiate with each band to ensure they had permission, and compensate directly?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6227 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    @ Rich,
    with all respect that's just a bit naive.

    Firstly if record companies stopped servicing radio and the multitude of other outlets (how do you think a track gets featured on the front page of Beatport or gets a review in The Guardian), then other marketing organisations would step into the breach, or the others that exist would expand.

    Most of those bands you see posters for do want their music to be heard. Hence they will sign the sort of punitive contracts that labels have long offered. Without that they sink into the swamp. People make music and they do it for a variety of reasons but one of the primary reasons is to let as many people hear it as possible (and the success that may or may not follow).

    I'm having trouble following the logic in your last paragraph. I agree that the industry must change and I'm not happy with draconian powers but I don't think the failure to allocate those draconian powers necessarily implies the death of all record labels..it does imply a drastic need to re-invent which I don't think the majors have quite come to terms with yet.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Yes, but if the record business imploded, radio stations and the like would still play music.

    Which would be fine in theory, but they'd have to find the music, get a decent copy of it, negotiate with each band to ensure they had permission, and compensate directly?

    If the big labels went away, the minors might have a chance of getting the collection societies, such as APRA, to negotiate directly. So the radio stations would just keep on doing what they're doing as far as licencing goes, which is paying the collection societies.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3934 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    but they'd have to find the music, get a decent copy of it, negotiate with each band to ensure they had permission, and compensate directly?

    bro.. just knick it off the web, it's easier.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Which would be fine in theory, but they'd have to find the music, get a decent copy of it, negotiate with each band to ensure they had permission, and compensate directly?

    Agreed. However, to be fair, much of this is already covered via various blanket agreements and rights organisations, but to think a network like, say the major networks in the US, are going to send out folks to search for cool new music to play on their top 40 stations is just silly. Or MTV ploughs through thousands of new videos on YouTube or sent every week to find the groovy ones to add (which have no budget because there is no-one to fund them) is senseless.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Tim McKenzie,

    First: sincere thanks to Stuart Coats and mark kneebone for showing up to tell their side of the story.

    Now: imagine that someone illegally copies DVDs and distributes them by mail. Scratch that. Imagine someone's accused of doing that. Should New Zealand Post be obliged to prevent them from using the postal service? Section 92A is about as feasible as this, and about as fair, too.

    Even if someone's convicted of sending death threats through the mail, we might send them to prison, but we wouldn't prohibit them from writing to their MP. Like Russell said, it's a citizenship thing.

    <><

    Lower Hutt • Since Apr 2007 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    My understanding of the argument made by Mark Kneebone above is that filesharing will (if the copyright enforcement powers sought by the industry aren't granted) undermine the economics of the recording industry and drive them out of business.

    My point really is that if this did happen there would still be music played through radio and other media. I'd assume that the record companies would not die but would move to a more viable business model (just as they did when the industry switched from publishing to recorded music around 1960).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4501 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    First: sincere thanks to Stuart Coats and mark kneebone for showing up to tell their side of the story.

    Sure, it would be nice if he answered the question about frivolous take down notice fines or showed some movement towards other peoples' POV. Right now the attempts to "find a workable solution" seem to be doing it all on his industry's terms.

    Which leads me to the following conclusion. The recording industry has a technical solution for identifying people sharing files, similar to that used in the USA. However, it is not accurate enough to really know whether the sharing is legitimate or not. Therefore, they want to be able to issue sheaves of take down notices without having to suffer any consequences.

    Could be that this is a wild and inaccurate guess, anyone care to comment?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1618 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    My point really is that if this did happen there would still be music played through radio and other media. I'd assume that the record companies would not die but would move to a more viable business model

    frankly, if the current "push" business model that identifies and makes stars out of wankers like vanilla ice or britney spears dies, then the world would actually be a better place.

    maybe we'll get more genuinely decent acts like clap your hands say yeah coming through all the noise.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    they want to be able to issue sheaves of take down notices without having to suffer any consequences.

    that's my inexpert reading of what's been sold to the minister. i see "externalising enforcement costs".

    and whoever the advisor is who created a link between 'music piracy' and "child pron"? you're an idiot who deserves to lose your job for misleading a member of the Government...

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    My point really is that if this did happen there would still be music played through radio and other media. I'd assume that the record companies would not die but would move to a more viable business model (just as they did when the industry switched from publishing to recorded music around 1960).

    eh????

    The recording industry goes back to the 1890s when Emile Berliner and Thomas Edison set up companies to sell the new fangled discs. All the majors aside from Warners derive from those companies in one way or another. The music publishers go much further back, some to the 18th century, when they used to hawk sheet music from signed writers (and plug the same with music hall etc). After 1890 they spent much of their time trying to get their songs recorded by artists signed to labels...they still do that.

    When radio arrived on the scene, post WW1, both record companies and publishers employed pluggers to tout their products and used all sorts of methods to entice radio to play their songs. Gradually over the years the publishers have been bought by the labels but tend to operate semi-independently (and make much more money these days).

    Recorded and performed (as in radio / TV) music embodies both copyrights and both labels and publishers are involved in the plugging of it quite independently of each other.

    Nobody switched from anything at anytime.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

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