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The Musician’s POV: Occupy Artist Rights, Part 1
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The Musician’s POV: Occupy Artist Rights, Part 1

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Nice spin.
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How is an artists personal experience spin?
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Ha I just mean with the whole "99%" thing, I'm not saying it's bad; well done chrisso.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unitymusic View Post
Nice spin.

It's purely personal experience.
I originally wrote in response to a technology journalist's blog, where he set out his view on music piracy, making all kinds of claims about the music industry, something he clearly had little understanding of.
So I wrote my response from the point of view as a full time musician.
On the 99% thing. My piece was written at the height of the 'Occupy' publicity (late 2011) and many people who commented on the original tech journalist's blog had lashed out at 'entitled' artists, and millionaire rock stars wanting more money.
It seemed to me there was a disconnect in the knowledge base of ordinary people who had sympathy for 'Occupy' but no sympathy for ordinary musicians trying to earn a wage in the music industry.
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Honestly I have only skimmed the article, maybe my previous post will clarify what I meant by "nice spin". I'm not disagreeing or agreeing with anything you wrote, I'll read it over and get back to you.
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The above quote was before you explained your two word post. (Just for the record).
I've amended my response accordingly.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unitymusic View Post
Ha I just mean with the whole "99%" thing, I'm not saying it's bad; well done chrisso.
sorry, misunderstood you.
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Sorry for the confusion before; I think it's a well written piece that draws some important parallels. There are a few points that I would like to see some clarification on, but maybe I'll come back to that. I do agree that the average musician has more in common with the average citizen than they do with rock stars, and I certainly agree with the idea that you are not entitled to be entertained by another person.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unitymusic View Post
There are a few points that I would like to see some clarification on, but maybe I'll come back to that.
Interesting.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Interesting.
Just one example:

"...but relatively little has been contributed by creative people working in the music industry.."

How important to that statement is "working in the music industry"? And what does that mean exactly? You go on to say many young up-and-comers stay out of the debate, but if they're young and up-and-coming, they might not be already established and working in the "music industry". Perhaps being more specific with who you are actually talking about would help.
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Nice one, Rack. Let's do this thing....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unitymusic View Post
How important to that statement is "working in the music industry"? And what does that mean exactly? You go on to say many young up-and-comers stay out of the debate, but if they're young and up-and-coming, they might not be already established and working in the "music industry". Perhaps being more specific with who you are actually talking about would help.
It's very, very simple in my mind.
I've read dozens of these blogs, and the comments sections are always identical..... rich rock stars, entitled musos etc.
What the online debate needs is some balance brought by average working musicians.
If you aren't a working musician (ie in the industry), you aren't negatively impacted by piracy, because your income comes from elsewhere.
So i think your point about 'up and comers' is moot. Whether you are young, touting a debut release, or an older, experienced pro like me, you are 1) impacted by piracy, and 2) not having your voice heard in the debate.
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Thanks for your thoughts Chrisso.

Quote:
Originally Posted by from the link, ie: Chrisso
...The reader comments section of any blog discussing the issue of music piracy makes for depressing reading...
No kidding...
It's mostly after reading those types (and seeing my quarterly statement...) that makes me depressed and have thoughts of hanging it up.
If people only knew...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
It's very, very simple in my mind.
I've read dozens of these blogs, and the comments sections are always identical..... rich rock stars, entitled musos etc.
What the online debate needs is some balance brought by average working musicians.
If you aren't a working musician (ie in the industry), you aren't negatively impacted by piracy, because your income comes from elsewhere.
So i think your point about 'up and comers' is moot. Whether you are young, touting a debut release, or an older, experienced pro like me, you are 1) impacted by piracy, and 2) not having your voice heard in the debate.
and another voice... and hopefully soon there will be even more!
David Lowery Speaks Up for Artists |
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
It's very, very simple in my mind.
I've read dozens of these blogs, and the comments sections are always identical..... rich rock stars, entitled musos etc.
What the online debate needs is some balance brought by average working musicians.
If you aren't a working musician (ie in the industry), you aren't negatively impacted by piracy, because your income comes from elsewhere.
So i think your point about 'up and comers' is moot. Whether you are young, touting a debut release, or an older, experienced pro like me, you are 1) impacted by piracy, and 2) not having your voice heard in the debate.
I don't really read those blogs so I'm unfamiliar with how the comments go.

As far as average working musicians, all of the ones I know are not "having their voices heard" because in the real world piracy is just not as big of a problem for the little guy as it is portrayed to be here on this website and elsewhere on the internet. I'm not saying it's not a problem at all, but it is just not worth dedicating all of your time to.

The average musician is more concerned about writing a good song, or getting people out to a show, or just getting a good recording of a song, or finishing a new album...

Now if you are talking about musicians who have a team working for them, have label support, etc.. it is a little different. You have overhead, and salaries to pay; piracy becomes more of a concern. Those people do not represent the average working musician though. The average working musician is just doing whatever they can, and at the end of the day there are more important things to worry about than if someone has listened to your song without paying for it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unitymusic View Post
I don't really read those blogs so I'm unfamiliar with how the comments go.

As far as average working musicians, all of the ones I know are not "having their voices heard" because in the real world piracy is just not as big of a problem for the little guy as it is portrayed to be here on this website and elsewhere on the internet. I'm not saying it's not a problem at all, but it is just not worth dedicating all of your time to.

The average musician is more concerned about writing a good song, or getting people out to a show, or just getting a good recording of a song, or finishing a new album...

Now if you are talking about musicians who have a team working for them, have label support, etc.. it is a little different. You have overhead, and salaries to pay; piracy becomes more of a concern. Those people do not represent the average working musician though. The average working musician is just doing whatever they can, and at the end of the day there are more important things to worry about than if someone has listened to your song without paying for it.
but what you are saying is that the average musician is not a professional full time musician? artists rights are important for all artists, but yes, they're more important for professional musicians and those who aspire to be.

many times these threads are derailed by hobbyists, and being a hobbyist is fine, but the issues take on different dimensions when the conversation is in the context of professionals and those who aspire to careers in the creative arts and not just content to be part time hobbyists. In the extreme, these are the "Freehadists."

I believe Artists Rights are an issue for the average working musician who is part of the recording industry ecosystem because the earnings from recorded music is how other aspects of the artists career is financed be it DIY, Indie or with a Major Label. Removing the revenue from recorded music disrupts the entire ecosystem for artists to make a professional living. Of course there are exceptions to this, but exceptions are just that.

The idea here is that there is a real level playing field where artists are empowered with more choices for their career path. Removing revenue from recorded music removes choices. I would put forth that many of the DIY and Indie artists struggling would be far more empowered with their rights protected and the ability to earn their fair share from recorded music revenue instead of all that money going to the tech companies who are ripping the artists off.

Unfortunately an entire generation of artists have come of age, literally not knowing what they are missing, having not been around in the 90s when artists at all points on the food chain were making more money.

The only people doing better now than in the 90s are the hobbyists who may make a few hundred bucks a year (as per tunecore stats), and the tech companies who are making billions from the illegal exploitation of artists work.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unitymusic View Post
As far as average working musicians, all of the ones I know are not "having their voices heard" because in the real world piracy is just not as big of a problem for the little guy as it is portrayed to be here on this website and elsewhere on the internet. I'm not saying it's not a problem at all, but it is just not worth dedicating all of your time to.
That's fine.
But I don't see that as a criticism of my article.
Like i said, it couldn't be more simple.....
We hear a lot of high powered executives damning piracy, then we hear technology journalists slamming the music industry, and typically on the net we see a lot of ordinary people music consumers, not content creators) slamming the music industry. So it's clear we rarely hear from average working musicians.
That's exactly why I linked to the occupy movement, because it's clear the ordinary music consumer thinks the majority of musicians have a care free life, simply counting the dollars as they are delivered by Mac truck.
I don't have any hit records to my name. I don't have anyone working for me, let alone a team. I regard myself as an average working musician. That's why I wrote what I wrote, because our opinion isn't being voiced.
I don't really see 1) what's wrong with speaking up, or 2) why that rocks your boat? Yeah, average musicians don't have teams working for them, and don't have time to enter the political debate. So what ? So they shouldn't be mentioned ever, or shouldn't be represented?
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Coulton was a 'software engineer' for 8 years before going full time in music in 2005.
Secondly, I keep saying that the biggest beneficiaries of the new music scene are single entities, with super low (DIY) overheads.
Do we want the music scene to devolve to individual artists working alone, either with an acoustic guitar, or a laptop and some sample software.
In a diverse scene, I don't think we do.

But yeah, lets here all the opinions out there.
I find this opinion extremely hard to reconcile:
Quote:
Coulton: There's no rule that says a creative person is entitled to be paid for their creative work. In fact, for most of human history, music and art was not something that people got paid for at all.
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Quote:
Coulton: There's no rule that says a creative person is entitled to be paid for their creative work. In fact, for most of human history, music and art was not something that people got paid for at all.
You are mistaken, sir, artists were paid by the ruling class:

Artisans of ancient Egypt - Australian Museum

And later:

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Quote:
Originally Posted by unitymusic View Post
I don't really read those blogs so I'm unfamiliar with how the comments go.
It only took a minute reading comments on Coulton's blog to find the archetypal post I hate reading:
Quote:
I personally believe that piracy is a completely vicimless ‘crime’. For intance, I go online and download an album by Kanye West or something. I didn’t pay for that. So thanks to me, he’s gonna have to make do with with a solid gold mansion and millions of dollars. Poor Kanye.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
It only took a minute reading comments on Coulton's blog to find the archetypal post I hate reading:
And that's the root of the problem for "blue collar" musicians, the stigma that we all live in mansions. But surely he already knows that most of us do not. It's just an excuse to steal, to make himself feel better about something he already knows is morally wrong.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
That's fine.
But I don't see that as a criticism of my article.
Like i said, it couldn't be more simple.....
We hear a lot of high powered executives damning piracy, then we hear technology journalists slamming the music industry, and typically on the net we see a lot of ordinary people music consumers, not content creators) slamming the music industry. So it's clear we rarely hear from average working musicians.
That's exactly why I linked to the occupy movement, because it's clear the ordinary music consumer thinks the majority of musicians have a care free life, simply counting the dollars as they are delivered by Mac truck.
I don't have any hit records to my name. I don't have anyone working for me, let alone a team. I regard myself as an average working musician. That's why I wrote what I wrote, because our opinion isn't being voiced.
I don't really see 1) what's wrong with speaking up, or 2) why that rocks your boat? Yeah, average musicians don't have teams working for them, and don't have time to enter the political debate. So what ? So they shouldn't be mentioned ever, or shouldn't be represented?
I was not criticizing your article, I just said I wanted some clarification on a few things; I like the article. There's nothing wrong with speaking out about something you believe in. I was just trying to point out why you will never amass an army of the average musician to fight a battle against piracy.

@rack gear, I'm not talking about hobbyists making a beat a few people will hear, I'm talking about people ranging from playing covers and originals in clubs 5-6 nights a week, to touring acts that may work a job here and there but do 100+ shows a year, to the talented conservatory grad who is making money doing session work. people who are making money for actually being good at music. The record industry should be irrelevant in a discussion about artists rights.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
It only took a minute reading comments on Coulton's blog to find the archetypal post I hate reading:
Quote:
I personally believe that piracy is a completely vicimless ‘crime’. For intance, I go online and download an album by Kanye West or something. I didn’t pay for that. So thanks to me, he’s gonna have to make do with with a solid gold mansion and millions of dollars. Poor Kanye.
which is also usually followed by...

"Record Labels don't pay artists anyway, so if I don't pay for music, it's not like the artist is being hurt."

yet, that contradicts Kanye's "solid gold mansion" theory... dunnit?
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Gang up on him here, maybe you can shut him up or get him banned from the internet:

Jonathan Coulton
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"Make good stuff, then make it easy for people to buy it. There’s your anti-piracy plan."

This will never work for anyone. I think instead of doing that, musicians should spend all day whining.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frednurk View Post
Gang up on him here, maybe you can shut him up or get him banned from the internet:

Jonathan Coulton
That guy is an excuse generator.

Quote:
This will never work for anyone. I think instead of doing that, a musician should spend all day whining.
And you're on here everyday whining too, so what's your excuse?
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