this thread is for those who have been personally effected by piracy to tell their story... studio closing, software developer layoffs, your bands (or clients) music on pirate sites the day after (or before) it's released commercially, etc.
piracy is about real people, real lives, real jobs...
I'll go first, here's a true story... one point of view...
I have a varied career of over 25 years on both sides of the glass as they say, working with and for indie, major and diy artists and labels.
I run an indie label. I'm also a film industry music exec (and music supervisor), a mainstream film producer, a musician, remixer and album producer.
I have a pretty robust career history with a large view of the field from many different perspectives as described above.
It's been a rockin' good time. I have no regrets, and most people only dream of the experiences I've actually lived - with artists, in music studios, on tours, on movie sets, etc... A one of a kind life, I've been blessed. Thank you.
In the world today, whatever project I invest in, be it a band, album, artist or film - the investment is marginalized by piracy.
As soon as there is a commercial release (and sometimes even before) the product is pirated and available without cost to consumers, without consequence.
This is a product that I paid to invest in so that artists, musicians, filmmakers, and creatives can pay their bills and support their families.
Real people, real labor, real investment in real lives.
The label I run has a staff of three people (down from five a year ago). That's two real people out of work. Two hard working, passionate music lovers who cared about developing the careers of working musicians.
No matter what happens next - I'm going to be OK. I can cash out and retire or do something else. So, it's not me I'm worried about - it's the people I invest in who don't have the benefit my earnings history, investments, skills or relationships.
Due to piracy, I have less and less money to invest in new projects, less people I can hire and less that I can pay them when I do. The effects of piracy ripple all the way down the line. I've had to lay off 1/3rd of my staff a year ago.
I release an album on tuesday and by wednesday its available for free via a google search. tell me how on earth that is a good thing for anyone but the people stealing it?
I believe fundamentally in enforcing the existing laws we have, to protect the livelihood of many creative artists and the creative community as a whole and this expands into software, videogames, movies, books and music.
I see the following potential outcomes from where we are now.
1) Better Enforcement of existing laws which will change behavior and help to reduce piracy to manageable levels.
2) Adapted Legislation to encompass and govern new technologies with better protection of copyright, and enforcement which will help to reduce piracy to manageable levels.
3) No change in legislation or enforcement, which continues to erode the ROI until eventually smaller labels and companies fold and/or are sold for pennies on the dollar to large multinational corporations with more financial resources.
4) foolishly and desperately chasing devalued unsustainable business models for recorded music (and digital media) to such a degree that is essential free, which continues to erode the ROI until eventually smaller labels/companies fold and/or are sold for pennies on the dollar to large multinational corporations with more financial resources.
wow - either better enforcement or there's no little guy and only major corporations.
that's pretty much it. we may or may not get adequate legislation, I think we will, but how much and when remains to be seen.
I've spent a lot of time with a lot of really smart people, and as yet there is not a single new model that is able to create a return on investment that can sustain current recorded music business models.
There is no model that works against piracy that I have seen. This is simply because every new model is still competing with illegally free.
It's that simple - I pay to create it, and some one else steals it and gives it away for free (and in many cases they actually profit - YouTube). This shouldn't be that hard of a concept to grasp. I can't keep paying to create something that people can take for free. At some point I have to stop investing and make something else that can't be stolen.
And if I'm going to make t-shirt and mugs, I'm not going to waste money developing bands so I can have an expensive money loosing logo.
As for the professional recorded music industry, I believe this ultimately leads to the end of professional recording musicians except for those who are corporately sponsored by pantex, pepsi and the like.
The majority of the world of professional music will be marginalized to essentially creating music for marketing campaigns and the rest will be the best of the bedrooms without the infrastructure to support artist development.
I could be wrong... but really... I either see enforcement of copyright to bring piracy into manageable levels, or I see a lot of creative businesses failing with the only survivors being directly corporately sponsored in the worst way, by the worst people possible - Madison Avenue.
If it goes that way, pirates will have won and will have all the free corporately sponsored music they want. Joy... that sounds like an awesome world... here's what you get:
I have no story to share. However, if the government really cared about fighting piracy they would shut down Youtube (Or fine it heavily, set up strict regulations and take away the ill-gotten wealth of the founders) and set an example, that NO ONE will ever, profit from piracy, no matter how "culturally appealing" the tool/item/product is. Until such an act happens, pirates all over the world will resist and continue to pirate for the mere fact that if they got rich doing it, so can I.
I was an avid user of Youtube for a year until I found out all the evils that brought it to existence and I have not used it in over a year and a half plus. I guess I have some morality and ethics in me after all.
That all good an all. BUT, again, as court documents and their own internal memos indicate, piracy and copyright infringement was the main driving force to gain the hearts, minds, and eyeballs of consumers as well as big companies such as Viacom and Google. Its like not punishing a criminal for his or her past activities because now they are doing "good". This is not justice. This is corporate favoritism. Thats why, Piracy will not stop unless an example of the highest order is made. Rules must be followed. Laws must be enforced. Else what we have is anarchy and the break down of civilization.
Also, what is the difference between industrial espionage and commercial piracy? Why do the populace favor one, but is fearful and condemn the other? Do you think the WEST, favors having the Chinese, Indians, Koreans,etc stealing their IP and industrial secrets. The answer is a resounding HELL No!. To me it is the same thing. Why should the Chinese obtain the secrets to the Stealth bomber F-117 or B2 Bomber? These same secrets can be used to harm the west. They were not smart enough to develop the technology, so why should be "Profit" from it. Same as with YouTube. They did not create the content, so why did they profit from it. And thus the pirate says, "****, yeah I want to get rich as well. To hell with hypocrites (Government, media companies now partnering with YouTube)"
But, hey long live corporate favoritism and piracy. (Just Joking)
Dear John, you counter another person's argument by attacking the argument/position, not by attacking the individual. If your counter argument cannot hold weight or if you are ignorant of the facts I presented and dislike the way I presented it, that's does not excuse your condescension and elitist attitude. Anyhow, I apologize for hi-jacking this thread.
I'll go first, here's a true story... one point of view... ... I release an album on tuesday and by wednesday its available for free via a google search.... It's that simple - I pay to create it, and some one else steals it...
Seems like perhaps maybe once you realize that's going on, you're going to possibly do things differently with the next album?
The definition of doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result is: philanthropy.
No, I meant it - what the hell are you babbling about? The post is incomprehensible to me. What does industrial espionage have to do with music piracy?
Well John, let me explain since you did not comprehend the relationship that exist between the two. However, before I explain, what I stated in my first post is 1000% factual. Ready? Lets go....
Industrial espionage - Economic or industrial espionage takes place in two main forms. In short, the purpose of espionage is to gather knowledge about (an) organization(s). It may include the acquisition of intellectual property, such as information on industrial manufacture, ideas,techniques and processes, recipes and formulas. - Source Wikipedia Yes it is a credible source.
As stated in the preceding paragraph, one of the facets is the ACQUISITION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, ILLEGALLY!. To be used to gain economic advantage, thus to PROFIT from an ILLEGAL Act. Piracy is the acquisition of Intellectual Property illegally, without PAYING for it. Youtube, obtain illegally intellectual property that DID NOT belong to it, whereby YOUTUBE profited immensely.
Now most individuals probably don't have much against piracy and copyright infringement, since it is so rampant and since they freely use Youtube - The world largest, most famous, thief of intellectual property. Basically, their view is lacks on the issue. However, I can guarantee that most would vehemently be against Economic and industrial espionage if they new that other countries would gain ECONOMIC advantage (Profit) to one day compete with the country that they live it, and thus potential cause them economic hardship due to lost of jobs.
Facts John, Just the fact. And I have presented them to you. If you can't comprehend my logic in forming a relation between the two then that really telling about you. You are sincerely welcome.
Some link that will allow you to gain a better perspective on the issue.
Re-orient your thinking to consider the possibility that the recording you're crafting, in and of itself, is not going to return its investment absent a larger interest/obsessiveness with the underlying band?
In plain English: the recording is one tool to promote the band, and the instantaneous transmission of it to any interested parties, world-wide, is what they used to call "free advertising." Specifically, what you're "advertising" is not the recording, but the opportunity to see this band perform live on tour.
Espionage, industrial or otherwise, is conducted in a highly organized manner by a specific governmental or industrial entity against a specific (also governmental or industrial) target for the express purpose of diverting intellectual assets to their own use or to gain and advantage so as to damage their competitor financially, militarily, or politically.
None of this has anything to do with music piracy, which is the wholesale looting of an industry as a whole (NOT a target corporation), causing untold damage to all individuals working in that industry, by an amorphous, unorganized mob composed of individuals who often claim to support the very people they're robbing.
Aside from the simple fact that intellectual property is involved in both cases there is NO SIMILARITY WHATSOEVER.
This is bullshyte. At this time Youtube is engaging in profit sharing with content owners.
A couple of years ago you would have had a case. But times, and corporate policies, change.
And don't talk to me about Viacom. I have no sympathy for that bunch of ripoff a-holes.
Thank you John for the lively debate. I guess we have differing perspective and views on the issue and neither one of use will convince the other otherwise it seems. Thanks again.
You may think that it's cool sitting back in your little industry niche doing event recordings and making snarky comments about everyone else while the music industry as a whole is crashing and burning...
I not only think it's cool, I think it's the vengeance my personal God is wreaking on anyone and everyone who ever put me down, ignored me, dissed me, or questioned my potential or my abilities.
See, that's the one advantage of following the irrational, senseless instincts that got me where I am today-- the absence of any need to cry out to the Heavens to rescue me from the cruel Fates or the bitter march of Progress. And believe me-- I faced a whole Greek chorus of naysayers who were determined to convince me I was insane and would end up groveling and broke.
So, maybe gloating is not the most graceful posture, and I am sympathetic to you guys... but I say hand me the marshmallows.
I simply accept it that I am powerless to affect the huge, seismic changes sweeping over the industry and the larger world of today-- the genie of digital transmission is out of the six pack, the lacing of telephone wires into every hamlet and crossroads is accomplished. The props have been kicked out. The iceberg of technology has riven the ocean liners of old with perforations and the old systems that kept them afloat have lost their buoyancy.
Call me a prophet of doom or a clear-eyed realist. Nothing we can do or say will change any of this.
John> Re: Youtube. I was under the impression they just ripped everyone off? How does this revenue sharing work, I have seen vids with 500,000 views but I am guessing the artist got 50 pence if anything at all..I haven't been able to find anything about artists being paid properly for their songs on their..How does it work? one of the posters above said his work is on youtube and he gets nothing..
Well, Youtube only does videos anyway. Granted, some of those "videos" just show a shot of the album cover of the record playing.......
Ahhh, I thought they meant actual videos as in people moving etc..professional videos...thats cool. I think only big shots can get paid though from what I can gather reading their partner thing..you have to have x amount of subscribers etc etc..so when you first start out you aint getting paid on there..
No, anyone can get paid I think if you have enough traffic.
Yeah, but whats the level of the traffic? Big shot level? Surely you should get paid for ANY traffic if its your work...Your stuff might be obscure and too tasteful for the ga ga lovers but you should get paid nonetheless if your work is being viewed..
Its ok, I just had a further look myself, its not that great even the bigshots wont get much out of it, but its better than a slap round the chops..
Probably earn more if you could just have a donation button on your vid's imo..A lot more..
I've run my own studio for 15 years and I've seen the devastation that piracy has wrought on musicians, studios, labels and anyone associated with music being created for people to consume.
I came up with this list; it's not copyrighted, so take or use it for whatever you wish
Canard: You never lost revenue from a sale that never existed.
Reality: Unless you can say that you never would have bought every song you illegally downloaded, you're just rationalizing. There are plenty of ways to audition music on the web. You don't need to illegally download an entire record to your ipod from rapidshare to decide if you like it or not.
Canard: I'm only taking digital bits. 0s and 1s.
Reality: When someone shoplifted a record, were they only stealing plastic?
Canard: It's not theft, because when I take it, you still have it.
Reality: When some one counterfeits money, you still have your money, but it isn't worth as much. They've stolen the value of your currency.
Canard: Going after illegal downloading is whack a mole.
Reality: All law enforcement is whack a mole.
Canard: If bands made better music we would buy more.
Reality: If the music is so bad, why are you downloading it?
Canard: The majority buy the stuff after downloading it.
Reality: No, they don't. Music sales have been in a steep steady decline since Napster was first introduced.
Canard: Bands make most of their money on touring and merch.
Reality: And that's not much anymore. And it's because people take their music without paying for it. Bands used to make money selling records. Now many can't afford to tour or even make records anymore.
Canard: Record labels need to figure out a new business model.
Reality: Record labels have been trying for the past 10 years to figure out a solution. But there is no business model that can be based around theft.
Canard: Art is not business.
Reality: Nothing is free. Everything takes time and/or money to make.
Canard: We're dreaming of the major record companies going bankrupt.
Reality: And then what? You'll stop taking music illegally? No, then you'll take it from indie labels. And then just the bands themselves.
Canard: What about all those poor buggy whip factories that went out of business when the automobile came along?
Reality: Music making hasn't been replaced. It's still for sale. It's just that you can illegally take it without fear of being caught. The analogy makes zero sense.
Canard: The war on illegal downloading is like Prohibition or the drug war.
Reality: The analogy makes zero sense. Those were items that were illegal to sell. It's not illegal to sell music.
Most importantly, hopefully you understand that illegal theft hurts the musicians and those, like me, that try to make good music for you to enjoy.
OK, so your true attitude to piracy (regardless of Sony Music) is starting to emerge. tutt
I beg your pardon. I have no idea what 'whack a mole means' dont be so assumptive. I have made my view on piracy clear a number of times..If you have money to buy music, buy it. My view on sony is clear too..Dont assume things..I have never heard the phrase 'whack a mole' it sounds amusing and I dont know what it is..
Hence me asking what it is and saying it sounds funny.
where does online free content , online radio shows , people sharing usb sticks of music between them , a general trend of people not buying music mbut comsuming it in realtime come into this ? do many people i know just do not buy music now at all , they consume it via live online radio ? boom...i really dont think piracy is half the problem with music.With software ? 100% !
personally i am down to 30% of the income my music generated from cd sales in 2005 now and distributers have just dropped their prices or forced me to.I dont put this down to piracy though but 'trends' and we cannot effect those.
Take down all the online radio stations music if you want to , close goods blog sites , close rapidshare and the other lot , seriously the problem is much deeper , the biggest problem is mp3 was the final step toward music as consumer commidity and has now helped erode the idea of music as art and personal , its now ' file on drive' , like burger in bun .
Thats the real issue.I guess it worked out well for steve jobs .If you really want to address the pirates look at who employs them or has a vested interest in them.Apple and the rest of big business and look at what motivated this.The turning of music into just another transient product for consumption which resulted in digitization and then online radio and then ' real time piracy ' .
Yeah but they ARE big shots as far as YouTube is concerned. They may be an 'indie act' but their videos regularly get several million views, and they have 190000 channel subscribers. They are a great example of a band that was absolutely born for YouTube - but not everyone fits that model.