Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Public Good

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  • Russell Brown,

    APRA did very well out of that little bit of extortion. To the tune of $75 per business per year. Oh and plus GST.

    It's not extortion. It's a reasonable exercise of performance rights granted under the law.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    It's not extortion. It's a reasonable exercise of performance rights granted under the law.

    Exactly, no-one's forcing you to play someone else's music in your shop.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1130 posts Report Reply

  • TroyHoward,

    Yeah, fair enough I guess....but the radio as well? Isn't that 'paid for' already?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 78 posts Report Reply

  • Hamboy,

    The first time I used P2P to illegally download a song, was because a CD (I owned) had copy protection. I just wanted to rip it to my mp3 player.
    Then I found digirama and payed for some of my favourite nz songs. I am one of those that only ever likes one or two songs on an alburm, so I wouldn't have bothered buying the CD.
    I tried burning them to CD so I could listen to them in the car, but my DVD write was acting up and used up the three allowable burns trying to get it to work. (eventually brought a new DVD writer.)
    Of course I have rebuilt the PC since then and can't get the licenses to work, so sort back on to limeware.

    I have no issue paying for music, I don't buy that many CDs and haven't downloaded a song in ages. But if they make it too hard and are such an ass about what device I play music on, then I feel less guilty about illegal downloads.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Yeah, fair enough I guess....but the radio as well? Isn't that 'paid for' already?

    APRA and PPL derive their respective rights income by means of an agreed percentage of commercial radio stations' income, depending on the amount of music used in schedules (with a separate deal for Radio NZ). It's always a bunfight when they come to re-negotiate, but the system has simplicity as a virtue.

    The larger stations log their playlists to help with distribution of the fees, and smaller ones such as bFM have an "APRA week". At b, that's the cue to play a lot of NZ music that week.

    Supporting a big-name concert act - ie, playing your songs to a lot of people - can also be very beneficial to a songwriter's APRA receipts.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    If there was some sort of technologicay breakthrough and it were somehow made absolutely impossibly to illegally download music, would people start buying more CDs and/or legal downloads?

    I don't think so.

    I reckon people illegally download music they're curious about ("Hmm... I hear the new Bloc Party CD is awesome"), as a sort of preview system, music they can't buy locally ("Japan only?! WTF?!), and music that they wouldn't consider worth buying ("Meh. Fall Out Boy sucks, but that one song is OK, I s'pose")

    And here's something else to consider - how much revenue is being lost because with iTunes people are now able to buy any album track for a mere $1.79, rather than shelling out $35 for the whole album?

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1869 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    You can buy CDs of music which have a public performance license included (The performers have signed their rights away, and either it's out of copyright classical etc, or it was composed for the purpose). It's called lift music or muzak. See http://www.royaltyfreemusic.com/ for instrance.

    If you wish to anaethetise your customers in this way, you can avoid paying APRA.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4480 posts Report Reply

  • TroyHoward,

    So is APRA a worldwide outfit? Would streaming in web radio from Poland get around them? How do they police it? What if you don't pay?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 78 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And here's something else to consider - how much revenue is being lost because with iTunes people are now able to buy any album track for a mere $1.79, rather than shelling out $35 for the whole album?

    They've belatedly just moved to address that. I've baulked at buying an album on iTunes because I don't want to pay again for tracks I already have. They're introducing a "complete my album" option where you get credited for the tracks you already have.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I have no issue paying for music, I don't buy that many CDs and haven't downloaded a song in ages. But if they make it too hard and are such an ass about what device I play music on, then I feel less guilty about illegal downloads.

    Your post demonstrates exactly what's wrong with onerous DRM.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Robyn: I don't think everyone fits into one of your three categories, nosiree, not by a long shot. I think there are an absolute shitload of people -in fact I'd say a majority- who illegally download music they want, because they'd rather have it for free than pay for it. Simple.

    The fact that its so removed from theft in some people's minds was nicely illustrated by Dave from Elemeno P, who told me about all the young kids coming up asking for him to sign their burnt CDs! Of course they could all just be format shifters...

    Everyone has their own justification for doing it - from Russell's "it was available for purchase in the UK but not here" (so are many things, dare you to steal them too) to your "preview system" - if you discover you like it, do you really go out and buy the CD so you can retrospectively legitimise the copy on your iPod? Most people I know don't, even if saying they like to makes them feel better.

    My personal justification is that as most of my music is to play on my radio show, I'm really doing the band a favour by downloading it, and saving the record company (and the artist) from shelling out to send me a promo CD, as they generally do if I ask - see, I'm doing them a favour by stealing...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1130 posts Report Reply

  • TroyHoward,

    Just had a thought? What stand does APRA have in regard to dvds and the like?

    Does Bond and Bond have to pay for screening Monsters Inc over and over and over again to demo a plasma telly?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 78 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    I reckon people illegally download music they're curious about

    It's also a good way to scratch a musical itch. If you've got 'Life in a Northern Town' stuck in your brain then I don't see anything wrong with downloading it since I'm highly unlikely to shell out $30 for a best of Dream Academy compilation album.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 902 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    There was an American guy on Kim Hil a few weeks ago who's idea was to make all music, books, software, movies etc... free of charge and for governments to give us a tax break (say $1000) that could only be used for supporting artistic endeavours. That way we could all vote with our feet re the stuff we wanted to support giving funds directly to the content creators while burning away with abandon.

    Not sure how that would go down with the RIAA...

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 892 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Robyn: I don't think everyone fits into one of your three categories, nosiree, not by a long shot. I think there are an absolute shitload of people -in fact I'd say a majority- who illegally download music they want, because they'd rather have it for free than pay for it. Simple.

    Oh, um, I meant apart from that.

    But it'll be interesting to see what the teenage downloaders and burners grow up to do. Will they buy or will they continue to download?

    Having said that, now that I'm a grown-up with money to spend on music, I no longer make C90 dubs off my friends.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1869 posts Report Reply

  • Hamboy,

    Gee, thanks Danyl, now I have Life in a Northern Town stuck in my brain. lol

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    One of the guys off Fat Freddys was interviewed on Kim Hill a few weeks ago and gave the theory that patriotism does indeed play a part with NZ listeners. We don't feel too good about stealing NZ music so we're more likely to buy it.

    He stated that this obviously wasn't the case in Europe as they'd play to big audiences every night on tour while the accompanying CD sales were always minimal.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 892 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Do you think the Freddy's relative immunity to file sharing might have less to do with a connection through their live shows, and more to do with the fact that even with broadband and a 128kbps sample rate, it's a lot slower/harder to share a 20-minute dubbed-out jam than 3 minute pop song? :)

    Nope. I think it has to do with the fact that it is a fine album that appeals to an affluent audience.

    Kids in my day recorded everything, damn the quality. As soon as they had the bucks to buy their favourite album they did. Not because they didn't already have it taped but because of the kudos that came with owning the "original".

    Then, when we get haircuts and jobs we pour money into the "Best Of" collections of artists we couldn't afford in our youth.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1616 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    We don't feel too good about stealing NZ music so we're more likely to buy it.

    There's always been this "support NZ music!" attitude, but that only goes so far.

    If a local band is rubbish, they shouldn't expect an audience just because they're local. Likewise, a good band shouldn't feel like they're only popular because they're Kiwis.

    While I'm sure FFD's popularity here was helped by them being from around the way, but their raw talent and hard work counted for more, and earned them success overseas.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1869 posts Report Reply

  • zkarj,

    This is nonsense. I'm not aware of a single New Zealand podcast made available on a paid basis, and few that are produced in New Zealand contain musical elements - because RIANZ almost always denies permission.

    As a citizen of New Zealand and a producer of a podcast for the last 8 months, I have personally 'spun' over 150 songs. All songs have been entirely legally played and a small number have been by New Zealand artists.

    PLEASE remember that the RIANZ are only a part of the music scene. Many, many artists world wide are avoiding or releasing themselves from the draconian powers of the RIAxx organisations and taking their lives into their own hands.

    Check out the following (with which I have no financial relationships).

    Bum Rush The Charts

    The PodShow Podsafe Music Network

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    There's always been this "support NZ music!" attitude, but that only goes so far.

    And that I completely agree with. I've always been of two minds about our (voluntary) quota. I'm supportive, in that radio in NZ would not play any New Zealand music if they did not have to, we know that...you need to have a stick there, but I have always had the underlying feeling that the quota system, driven as it is by radio and record companies pandering to those radio hitmakers, has done enormous damage to what is being made by the majors, and the failure of so many NZ albums in recent times my be indicative of that. It certainly has nothing to do with piracy as a quick look through the p2p sites would indicate...you simply can't download any of it APART from Fat Freddy's Drop...who have sold 7 times platinum n NZ..

    NZ music sells abroad when it leads, when it is odd & different, when it stands out....hence the FFD success, and How Bizarre and Don't Dream Its Over (which sounded like it came from another planet in 85, and radio in NZ would not touch it)..its why student radio in the US bought into Flying Nun...because it was weird....when you pander to radio playlists and follow the whims of programmers in NZ, it simply doesn't.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3209 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Say for example that I like singing Metallica to my kids when I put them to bed at night. Or that my wife enjoys my rendition of Walk this Way by Aerosmith and Run DMC when I'm in the shower (Word Up - My rapping is dope).

    Man, you deserve to get fined for doing that to your kids. Guaranteed to cause nightmares!

    Since Nov 2006 • 6217 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    I would have thought that $35,000 worth of lawyering would have procured a little more accuracy.

    Well, it probably would have if that was the goal, but clearly it isn't. The fact that RIANZ would make such propagandist submissions to a Parliamentary committee is disgraceful. Equally disgraceful is that most, if not all, committee members are probably too ill-informed to recognise it for what it is.

    One more "equally disgraceful": those Bic-bashing dickheads on "Your Views". I'm no huge fan, but what kind of person is mean and nasty to Bic Runga?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Envy is ugly. I met Bic once and for a brief moment I was transported to this other better world and I will admit to having really bad thoughts toward her male companion (sorry about the stink eye fella). Bic knew my stuff, and I am about the most obscure person on this planet (backhanded self-plug, sorry RB), thanks Bic!
    Most anyone who cares to do anything of themselves for themselves is going to do it anyway, money and recognition would be nice, but hey, no-one tells me how to punctuate, when to change chords or to use oils.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Clarke,

    The big fly in the RIANZ ointment is that the academic studies on file sharing simply don't support their contention that it hurts musicians - the study from The Journal of Political Economy noted that "the effect of P2P on legitimate music sales is not statistically distinguishable from zero".

    An overview of the study can be found here: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070212-8813.html

    The problem with the RIANZ position is that they have completely failed to prove any harm to their industry.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 78 posts Report Reply

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