Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Another nail in the coffin of music DRM

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  • robbery,

    That is an utterly ridiculous comparison.

    its not a comparison

    I think it's a dumb system too, but I hope you tipped. They don't get a living wage otherwise.

    is it my fault that they chose not to install the drm equivalent in their choice of employer. if they want guarenteed income they can get a job in a factory like everyone else.

    under the piracy model I should be able to sneak out the door without leaving a tip and hold my head up high, right?

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    I would be willing to lay money that a band with no DRM that gets its music listened to by lotsa folks will earn way more than one with the strong DRM solution, so only folks who pay get to hear the music.

    you'll be able to research your theory now cos there's been plenty of time to test it.
    I think the DRM or not has nothing to do with popularity. its promotion and hype. weather its easily stealable or not is beside the point. if your audience is people who routinely don't pay for the product then you better get another audience, or stop them taking it without payment. put a security guard on the door of the dairy, so to speak.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    you're hoping there is some long term benefit, that some decent person somewhere down the line is going to buy a copy, but realistically its like someone sneaking into your gig and letting everyone they know sneak in too, and all the people they know,

    Actually my advice to a band last year was to take your best song, put it on p2p networks, burn a couple of thousand cds, give them away at school gates with a note asking them to give it to as many people as possible...and this was after we'd just recorded their album at some cost. The major record company involved couldn't get their head around it, but they are all, the majors that is, very short term these post Idol days.

    Like I said earlier, its all about currency, about careers. If you are smart P2P is your friend.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3208 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    Actually my advice to a band last year was to take your best song,

    was this a new band without a profile trying to get their name out there.
    There's a difference between that and an established act.
    also of note its a move back to a singles way of consumption. my partner bought up in a recent discussion on paid downloads was that it enabled her to avoid getting an album of filler when all she wanted was the one song. if you've already given your best song away you better hope you're not one of the bands that people only like you for your one hit

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    its not a comparison

    Yes, it is. You're saying that societies are more or less ethical than other societies (problematic in itself), and drawing an equivalence between starting an unjust war and music piracy, by saying that they're part of some sort of continuum. I call bullshit. Sorry.

    under the piracy model I should be able to sneak out the door without leaving a tip and hold my head up high, right?

    I suppose the point is that you can, in fact, choose not to tip. But most people don't stiff a waitress, because then she starves and she's really pissed off with you. Then again, waitressing is a service, and you go into a restaurant expecting to pay for service. Is music a service? Hrm. I don't really know how apt that comparison is either, but at least it's not totally nuts.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    was this a new band without a profile trying to get their name out there.

    doesn't matter. Especially in this current you are only as good as your last hit minefield now. There is so much chaff with YouTube and every other Web 2.0 network out there, its impossible to cut through.

    Prince realised that last year.

    And its scary to watch record companies run away from acts whose second album isn't an immediate hit. The best thing James Blunt could do right now is give away a million albums on a newspaper.

    If you are only a one hit wonder then chances are its back to Ford factory before long anyway and any real money you make is going to come from Sync and performance, not record sales. That's where 90% of the OMC money came from. And I bet its where The Knack made their money.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3208 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    its not a comparison

    Yes, it is. You're saying that societies are more or less ethical than other societies (problematic in itself), and drawing an equivalence between starting an unjust war and music piracy, by saying that they're part of some sort of continuum. I call bullshit. Sorry.

    I'm not comparing digital piracy to invading a country, I'm saying that we are influenced by other societies through our media, and america is one of those societies.

    its all part of the bigger picture though. if america was still the 50's america of smiling geeks and rescuing puppies I'm sure we'd be a little different in our society too.
    As it is they're presently setting the example in a number of fields that leave a little to be desired. one of those is invading countries they want something from (oil). The more you see people doing things uncheck you used to think were wrong, the more you allow yourself to adopt those guide lines.

    in our music piracy model - if more people said, "hey, its totally reasonable for music creators to want to stop the wholesale copying and distribution of their music by attempting to create a Digital rights management system" instead of pushing the "people who try to manage digital rights are evil mega corps" angle then maybe we'd have more respect for people who create the music, films etc, and it wouldn't be an issue that is threatening to shut down production above home enthusiast level.

    also it was partly bullshit too, what,... you think I'm working from a script here, I'm making this up as I go along just like you.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    But most people don't stiff a waitress, because then she starves

    or she has to get a real job where the income isn't a lottery

    or her employer will stop skimping on the wages and reflect the cost of the whole meal service in his prices,

    or most people will think of it as an acceptable risk and not pay a tip it cos their friends don't either and cos media commentators say its the done thing now etc,

    could go one of a number of ways.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • David Hamilton,

    I think the DRM or not has nothing to do with popularity. its promotion and hype. weather its easily stealable or not is beside the point. if your audience is people who routinely don't pay for the product then you better get another audience, or stop them taking it without payment. put a security guard on the door of the dairy, so to speak.

    Your audience is already people who routinely don't pay for the product. Stopping them taking it without payment will just stop them taking it. Until someone gets a non DRM version and then they will go back to taking it. As many people have said, the chicken has long ago flown the coop. DRM is not the answer - you may as well stop at after the first word of the acronym, after "digital" the chances of effectively managing the rights in regards that piece of media are slim indeed.

    I've been enjoying reading other possible approaches to rewarding artists and labels for their efforts. The licensing fee idea, where you treat it like a venue or radio station and people pay for it by virtue of having the internet is an interesting one. Although the metric you use for parceling out the $$ might be hard to agree on. Certainly you wont know the number of plays without lots of draconian big brother software. There is downloads and streamed plays like I believe APRA uses, but then there's P2P and leeching screwing that one up.

    Hamiltron • Since Nov 2006 • 111 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    if america was still the 50's america of smiling geeks and rescuing puppies

    That's a misconception. The US in the 1950s was actually quite an anxious place, simmering with paranoia, violence and discontent. The US has also been invading places it wants something from since before it was even a country: manifest destiny. 'Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.' </derail, sorry>

    Anyway, I strenuously disagree with your assertion that music piracy is 'all part of the bigger picture' of accepting wrongdoing, up to and including warmongering. 'Downloading mp3s' isn't going to overlap with the 'killing people' section of my ethical Venn diagram at any point. Ever.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    Downloading mp3s' isn't going to overlap with the 'killing people

    me either but I didn't say killing people, I said invading and taking stuff.
    and I also said it was partly bull shit (your words), a notion a concept not yet formed if you will, feel free to toy with it as you will.

    and regardless of how 50's america might have actually been, maybe we should talk about 50's nz, back doors unlocked, keys in the car, jumpers for goal posts etc, you can't deny that there is a trend toward less respect for others property, unless you're under 20 and don't remember such times.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    under the piracy model I should be able to sneak out the door without leaving a tip and hold my head up high, right?

    People are amazingly bad with analogies.

    Piracy, in terms of coffee shops and their employees is like ... you stay home and make your own coffee with these fancy new machines people sell that let you make good coffee at home; while ignoring the weird old law that says you have to pay some dude in a shop to do it for you, and even inviting your friends around for a cup.

    Respect for the law? Not all laws are equally worthy of respect, especially the ones that are out of touch with how most people live their lives.

    Since Nov 2006 • 480 posts Report Reply

  • samuel walker,

    Piracy, in terms of coffee shops and their employees is like ... you stay home and make your own coffee with these fancy new machines people sell that let you make good coffee at home; while ignoring the weird old law that says you have to pay some dude in a shop to do it for you, and even inviting your friends around for a cup.

    except that with the coffee, it is YOU that are creating it......therefore you are not depriving the waitress of income any more than if you simply chose to go to another coffee shop....or buy a cola.



    please do give my regards to wally and beaty too.

    Since Nov 2006 • 203 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    Piracy, in terms of coffee shops and their employees

    but stealing the ingredients, ie not paying for the coffee.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    Respect for the law? Not all laws are equally worthy of respect, especially the ones that are out of touch with how most people live their lives.

    which is one of the themes we've been discussing.

    how society as a group have decided that its ok to use the product of someone elses effort without compensating them for their time and expense,

    its still against the law but through mass hysteria about evil mega corps and the artist doesn't get any money anyway and various other anarchist concepts that people are prepared to apply to the music model but not the petrol supply or banking, real estate or any industry they work in model,

    a little consistency would be a good thing. i'm happy to go for the free access to everything model if everyone goes along with it with the stuff they make.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    And how would you have felt if 25 ppl paid to get into one of your raves and 5000 just snuck in?

    ROFL (literally)....Dudes, raves started and got popular 'cos lots of people and a handful of speakers snuck into empty warehouses and fields and danced to music all night long.......FOR FREE!

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 728 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    ROFL (literally)....Dudes, raves started and got popular 'cos lots of people and a handful of speakers snuck into empty warehouses and fields and danced to music all night long.......FOR FREE!

    Really? who paid for the massive sound systems and lighting rigs or did you all huddle round a ghetto blaster and a 60 watt light bulb back in the day?

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Lyall,

    The big thing about Album sales these days is most people don't actually buy anything. Sure half the people here have thousand CD/Record collections but the average person only buys one of two albums a year according to the RIANZ figures.

    So one option would be to charge everybody around $5 per month and then let them share, download and keep as much music as the like. The amount of money coming in would be the same and going off the complaints from all the musicians just about any new method of sharing the money around would give them more than they get now.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    Really? who paid for the massive sound systems and lighting rigs or did you all huddle round a ghetto blaster and a 60 watt light bulb back in the day?

    Back in the day, the electric gypsy's and the crusties owned the sound systems. They made their money from ....__other commodities__... The lighting was usually a mixture of trad DJ colour switching and the odd colour wheel. On a good night someone would rig up some pretty cool oil work using an OHP and a switching pot. I remember the night one of the guys from trans global turned up with a $40,000 rig but nothing to power it with. The biggest problem was undeniably power generators, which had a habit of carkin it at the wrong moment and the lack of stepped voltage regulation on some had interesting side effects on gear.

    Even the legendary Ibiza scene often carried on for days in abandoned villas.

    Two lessons that the rest of the music industry could learn from:

    i) It is about the punter because its supposed to be entertainment.
    ii) Investment sometimes means giving something away and patiently watching what comes back.

    Yes there were paid gigs but the MO revolved around value for the punter. This meant cutting out a lot of the middle men, doing your own promotion, your own flyers and trying to give a bit more for less. Reputation and word of mouth meant a great deal. Not a shareholder in sight. The original Payback gigs were parties spending the profits of the previous gigs entertaining loyal punters. The growth of rave was fuelled by innovation and very lean production values. Compare that to a mentality that represents its customer base is a bunch of potential thieves and which is prepared to waste profits on punitive and pointless protectionism.

    As an aside I seem to remember that the only reason why the fences went up at Galstonbury was because of overcrowding and the council told them to.

    You might also want to think about how this guy does his business....<shameless plug> he's touring here next week, sold out except for the BDO. I first saw him performing for free in a small college cafeteria in 1984 as part of Red Wedge supporting the UK miners strike.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 728 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    Simon -

    I note that the RIANZ figures deliberately exclude digital formats. I would be very interested to see the churn/uptake for Emusic etc.

    Hands up who would pay more for an emusic subscription if the catalogue grew ?

    me me me me !

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 728 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    but the MO revolved around value for the punter.

    they changed that pretty quickly though didn't they. when someone figured out how much money they could make. It still amazes me how much people are prepared to pay for a dj gig which has less production costs ad people to pay than a full band. guess some punters can't do the math.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    What changed was the law forcing dance back into the clubs that used to be Discotheques and Ballrooms before that; Run I might add by some very familiar entrepreneurs who weren't at all like Tony Wilson. What survives exists in the form of free/squat parties and of course burning man. I confess that you are on pretty slim pickings in NZ though.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 728 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    </aside>

    And here at home, more people have been killed as a result of angling related activities than party pills. But recreational fishing is still legal ...

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    <sigh> But what moral panic is there to be found in recreational fishing ?

    That is of course unless you are being dangled by your feet in order to catch a picture of a shark.....

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 728 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    Back in the day, the electric gypsy's and the crusties owned the sound systems. They made their money from ....other commodities...

    sweet so your loss leader was the cover charge and the organisers made their money off selling other 'substances'

    how'd you go about filtering money back to the music artists that you played?
    did you get apra licenses for each venue or were you allowed to have a mobile license?

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

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