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Why Game Software Publishers Don’t Fear Piracy = why the music biz fails. Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 2nd September 2011
  #31
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdme_sadie View Post
What reason do you give then for the music business steadily losing revenue this past ten years?
Large scale piracy obviously.

Other factors play a role, bad economy, competition for the leisure dollar, but no business can survive large amounts of product walking out the door unpaid for.

And it's not about individuals here making money, or even solely about making money as an end, but unfortunately the reality is that artists and labels need to earn money to keep functioning.
The smallest labels and the most innovative artists are usually the ones already on the brink of insolvency. All that piracy does is wipe out those sectors.
So it's actually about financially supporting artists and labels, specifically artists who don't have perfume contracts and don't sell out 6 months worth of baseball and football stadia.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #32
OK, so why do you think this happened?
Old 2nd September 2011
  #33
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdme_sadie View Post
OK, so why do you think this happened?
Because it became much easier, and instead of hours recording to tape or CDR, widespread mp3's with no cost and no negative consequence became available to the average consumer that owned a computer and web connection, from Tokyo to Timbuktu.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #34
So, lets think about how that happened. Starting out with - why did it happen at that particular time? Why did it become easier?
Old 3rd September 2011
  #35
Come on man....
I just explained it to you.
Widespread piracy coincided with greater internet access, faster speeds, mp3 players and the mp3 file becoming the default for music consumption.

capice?
Old 3rd September 2011
  #36
No, you just stated that there were some technologies floating around. That's in itself is not really an explanation for the sudden drop in revenue or an apparent surge in piracy.

MP3 was about ten years old by that point, the internet had been publicly available a little longer, actual connection speeds for the majority of the world really hadn't changed for 10 years either for most people still largely being on dialup with the odd company having ISDN lines. This is the heyday of AOL, ADSL was just being rolled out in a few select locations.

Piracy itself we know had been going forever, and had been easy as pie since tape at least up to a level of fidellity that was acceptable for music playback to the majority of consumers.

We could well be asking - Why not sooner? The question is once again What changed? What was the tipping point? What brought all these elements together and why was it as successful as it was?
Old 3rd September 2011
  #37
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdme_sadie View Post
So, lets think about how that happened. Starting out with - why did it happen at that particular time? Why did it become easier?
Seriously?

Are you really that dense? Or do you just not read very well?

It happened at that time because suddenly there were technologies that made it possible for anybody to replicate and distribute music virtually instantaneously and law enforcement dropped the ball on prosecuting the early perpetrators. If law enforcement had gone after the early internet pirates the present situation would never have happened. Prior to that time the feds had been busting pirate BBS systems on a fairly regular basis, mostly working in co-operation with the Business Software Alliance and certain game companies such as Electronic Arts. But they totally dropped the ball when it came to the internet and music piracy.

I've already explained all this and why I believe the feds dropped the ball at that time.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdme_sadie View Post
No, you just stated that there were some technologies floating around. That's in itself is not really an explanation for the sudden drop in revenue or an apparent surge in piracy.

MP3 was about ten years old by that point, the internet had been publicly available a little longer, actual connection speeds for the majority of the world really hadn't changed for 10 years either for most people still largely being on dialup with the odd company having ISDN lines. This is the heyday of AOL, ADSL was just being rolled out in a few select locations.

Piracy itself we know had been going forever, and had been easy as pie since tape at least up to a level of fidellity that was acceptable for music playback to the majority of consumers.

We could well be asking - Why not sooner? The question is once again What changed? What was the tipping point? What brought all these elements together and why was it as successful as it was?
You really DON'T read very well, do you?

Ok, here it is one last time, 2 factors happening at roughly the same time:

1.) Nearly instantaneous duplication of music files

followed by

2.) Mass distribution over the internet in a way that had not been possible with single line BBS systems.

If this wasn't bad enough (and it was) the situation was exacerbated by a third factor:

3.) The proliferation of MP3 players, especially the iPod, which was not tied into any proprietary format such as RealAudio or Liquid. The iPod can play Apple's proprietary format but isn't limited to it.

Got all that? Better read it again to make sure.

Napster was the one that put it all together. Before Napster the industry had been working on proprietary, DRM laden legal online formats from Realnetworks, Liquid Audio and others. They were not interchangeable, required proprietary players, and were limited to the content they could negotiate licenses for, which, while extensive, was by no means all inclusive. These companies either morphed into other business models or went tits up when Napster hit, proving that proprietary, DRM laden formats don't cut it in the marketplace.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #39
Lives for gear
 
XHipHop's Avatar
spotify = steam.

edit: and turntable.fm

nobody is going to download mp3s soon. the music model you guys are discussing is the video game model pre-steam and pre-zynga, etc.

online and possibly social music is the future.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #40
Well done John Eppstein, give that man a cigar, I knew we'd get there in the end.

Now, do you believe there was anything music industry itself could have done at the time to mitigate, change or divert the course or was it an inevitability?
Old 3rd September 2011
  #41
Lives for gear
 
AwwDeOhh's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdme_sadie View Post
Well done John Eppstein, give that man a cigar, I knew we'd get there in the end.

Now, do you believe there was anything music industry itself could have done at the time to mitigate, change or divert the course or was it an inevitability?
Instead of dancing around, trying to get the answers you want -to set up your point... why don't you just give us your point?

To answer your question: yes and no...
sure, there's things that could have been done differently knowing what we know now.. but the change happened largely because of legislation being 10 years behind the technology. (and of course.. Al Quaeda. Any movement in law enforcement [copyright infringment is a FEDERAL offence], was soon quashed when the towers came down).

The piracy sites (giving near-instantanious, bit-perfect copies to the entire world a click away) didn't have to bother getting licenses.. something a legit site, no matter how 'convienent' to the end-user it may be, is required to do. There's no 'central depository' of licenses, each band is basically their own company... making it a very large undertaking, negotiation with enough of them to get any interest by the public takes years. Pirates don't do this because they are criminal enterprises, and should be treated as such. period.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #42
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdme_sadie View Post
Well done John Eppstein, give that man a cigar, I knew we'd get there in the end.

Now, do you believe there was anything music industry itself could have done at the time to mitigate, change or divert the course or was it an inevitability?
That is a very good question.

On a technical level, no, probably not. Generally when it's time for a technical innovation to come it will happen, regardless of who does it.

On a business level, maybe, somewhat. If the industry had not been so hung up on protected formats legal music would not have been at quite as bad a disadvantage. Whether or not this would have made a difference is anybody's guess.

On a legal level, definitely. The federal government should never have been permitted to ignore the problem and foist the burden of enforcement off onto the industry. That it happened is inexcusable. Would you require a rape victim to find and build the case to prosecute her rapist?

Copyright infringement has been a federal felony for decades. The nonenforcement of the law is a travesty.

Napster should have been squashed flat as soon as it raised its nasty little head, If that had happened piracy would most probably have been contained to the level of the early '90s, when it was a private game for an "elite" in-crowd, not a mass phenomenon.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #43
Gear Maniac
 

I am one of those small artists from underground scene. The day my vinyl came out someone ripped it same day and put it over several big torrent sites and some Russian forums. 7 days later, it has been downloaded over 10000 times, I stopped counting and investigating after that number hit me in face. I've spent so much money on software, synths, etc, nothing came back. Thank God I finished university and I have a job at bank office, otherwise, I would be hungry if I would try to live only from music. Now, I make music for myself, release it and that's it. Who steals steals. I simply cannot do anything about it. But I sincerely hope that some new model of selling and protecting music will be presented soon to the world.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #44
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdme_sadie View Post
No, you just stated that there were some technologies floating around. That's in itself is not really an explanation for the sudden drop in revenue or an apparent surge in piracy.
Well, unchallenged research shows that increased piracy occurs in areas of high internet usage with broadband speeds.
So yes, pretty much everyone is agreed that you can link the new technologies of broadband and mp3 with widespread piracy.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #45
Lives for gear
 
Warp69's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AwwDeOhh View Post
Or we could just start enforcing laws that have already been written,
or better yet.. change them to resemble todays' reality.
I think we all agree that this should definitely be our plan A, but what should happen if that fails? If the Obama administration loose momentum? Any suggestions for plan B?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
People don't like proprietary formats.
Are those the same people that pirates?

STEAM is a proprietary format, that apparently represent everything that people don't like

Everything in the mobile business consists of proprietary formats and the same is true for the console business.

Clarification : When I talk about a proprietary format/platform for the music industry - it's preferably a single format/platform for everyone in the music business. Right now the power lies with the distribution channels : youtube, itunes etc. I believe this has to change.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #46
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdme_sadie View Post
Well done John Eppstein, give that man a cigar, I knew we'd get there in the end.

Now, do you believe there was anything music industry itself could have done at the time to mitigate, change or divert the course or was it an inevitability?
go back a bit further. Don't make CD burners a consumer and computer format. THAT is the route of the problem.heh
Old 3rd September 2011
  #47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warp69 View Post
I think we all agree that this should definitely be our plan A, but what should happen if that fails? If the Obama administration loose momentum? Any suggestions for plan B?
Nuclear war? The end of quality recorded music? I don't see any practical plan B - all the other plans have failed and we're left with plan Z - enforcement.

Quote:
Are those the same people that pirates?

STEAM is a proprietary format, that apparently represent everything that people don't like

Everything in the mobile business consists of proprietary formats and the same is true for the console business.
How many time do we have to tell you - games are not music. Solutions that are workable for games - complex multimedia productions incorporating audio, video, personal interactivity, and group participation tied to specific hardware platforms and which are used largely in the digital reaqlm - do not work for music which is a simple single medium with a simple, two dimensional data stream that can be easily transposed between many different platforms, both analog and digital, and which must be decoded to analog to be useful.

The mobile business is based on the fact that the devices are, first and foremost, phones. All the media stuff is secondary to the phone function. This allows an amount of proprietary function that is not possible in a general music format. However, despite the proprietary stuff, all the media phones I know of play one lowest common denominator - MP3. UNPROTECTED MP3. Because if they didn't it would be a tremendous negative selling point.

Quote:
Clarification : When I talk about a proprietary format/platform for the music industry - it's preferably a single format/platform for everyone in the music business. Right now the power lies with the distribution channels : youtube, itunes etc. I believe this has to change.
That can't work. The cat's out of the bag, Sparky - you can't force everybody to use a proprietary format they don't want at gunpoint, which is about what it would take. You'd need to force everyone to give up their legacy systems. Simply not releasing music in legacy format wouldn't work - that's a formula for zero sales.

And even if you did force all sales into your new format pirates would simply do an analog rip, redigitize, and replicate the now unprotected files. The only real change you'd see would be an increase in "group releases" of pirated music similar to the "group releases" in the software and movie areas, rather than the large amount of individual ripping and uploading we have now.

The elephant in the room here is the ease of doing an analog rip. While there is a technology used in Blu-Ray audio that can prevent playback of a copy, allegedly even through analog, it only prevents playback on another device that contains the protection chip - it does not prevent playback on aq standard computer drive, CD player, or MP3 player. So it's effectively useless for protecting anything except game and movie audio. And it's reportedly been broken already.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #48
Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
go back a bit further. Don't make CD burners a consumer and computer format. THAT is the route of the problem.heh
No, don't give computers the capacity to record audio. THAT is the root of the problem.

Of course then most home recording would still be stuck at the level of the cassette portastudio.

You don't need CDs to pirate music. Ever heard of a VINYL RIP?
Old 3rd September 2011
  #49
Lives for gear
 
Michael E's Avatar
Valve did it.
Blizzard did it.

But we still don't have any music in Russian iTunes store!

Of cause it's possible to make US account and pay by pre paid cards... but it's a too much for people with average salary (in 2 major cities) equal to 700-1000 bucks.
Old 4th September 2011
  #50
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael E View Post
But we still don't have any music in Russian iTunes store!
I'm not surprised!!

the Russian royalty collection is in a mess, not endorsed by the gov correctly and riddled with criminal pay offs.
Old 4th September 2011
  #51
A friend worked with a Russian band recently.
They make all their record sales income in the first two weeks after release, after that the pirated copies swamp any legal sales. As a result bands are poor and recording budgets tiny.
Old 5th September 2011
  #52
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AwwDeOhh View Post
... [copyright infringment is a FEDERAL offence] ...
This is a common copytard canard. If you were to say that morally, copyright infringement is theft, you would be right. But legally, you're not. To be exact, copyright infringement can be a federal offence, but not all copyright infringement can be prosecuted as a federal offence. The Supreme Court said so in Dowling v. United States:

FindLaw | Cases and Codes

Although the case was brought under interstate transport laws, the Supreme Court reiterated at length the general prerequisites which have to be met before a copyright infringement case can be prosecuted under Federal law. Basically, you have to be able to prove it was done wilfully and for commercial advantage or private financial gain, and there are quantitative thresholds which must be met. This is before you get into the higher standard of proof of infringement required for a criminal case, and the generally lower penalties even if successful.

In summary, while there may be a visceral satisfaction in "making a Federal case of it", there are good reasons why the vast majority of cases are brought under civil law.
Old 5th September 2011
  #53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Hills View Post
This is a common copytard canard. If you were to say that morally, copyright infringement is theft, you would be right. But legally, you're not. To be exact, copyright infringement can be a federal offence, but not all copyright infringement can be prosecuted as a federal offence. The Supreme Court said so in Dowling v. United States:

FindLaw | Cases and Codes

Although the case was brought under interstate transport laws, the Supreme Court reiterated at length the general prerequisites which have to be met before a copyright infringement case can be prosecuted under Federal law. Basically, you have to be able to prove it was done wilfully and for commercial advantage or private financial gain, and there are quantitative thresholds which must be met. This is before you get into the higher standard of proof of infringement required for a criminal case, and the generally lower penalties even if successful.

In summary, while there may be a visceral satisfaction in "making a Federal case of it", there are good reasons why the vast majority of cases are brought under civil law.
No, you don't.

There was recently a case where a person copied a movie and put it out on Bittorrent and was convicted in federal court.

Furthermore there were a number of cases in the late 80's/early '90s where federal agents raided pirate BBS systems and obtained felony convictions against the operators and in some cases brought charges against people acting as co-sysops. Penalties against the operators involved jail time and heavy fines.

Furthermore, the Dowling case which you cite does not deal with online copyright infringement, but actually with a case of physical bootlegging and it not applicable to the issue at hand. It involves an alleged physical "interstate transport of stolen merchandise."

As far as doing it "willfully", please explain how you could pirate something and NOT do it willfully?
Old 5th September 2011
  #54
Lives for gear
 
AwwDeOhh's Avatar
 

Thanks John, i was going to (try to) explain that Don was in fact incorrect.
Even though he tried to bait me with the "copytard" comment.. i will not call Don Hills a FreeTard...
..ahem.
Old 5th September 2011
  #55
Quote:
Originally Posted by AwwDeOhh View Post
Thanks John, i was going to (try to) explain that Don was in fact incorrect.
Even though he tried to bait me with the "copytard" comment.. i will not call Don Hills a FreeTard...
..ahem.
And well you shouldn't, because he isn't, really. He's an apologist for (and employee of) the tech industry, which isn't the same thing.
Old 5th September 2011
  #56
I've NEVER used the term 'freetard'.
If GS'ers are going to start saying 'copytard' it's just lowering the level of discussion.
I know, I know..... it was a nudge, nudge, wink, wink joke

Still, I'd prefer the 'tard' style name calling to end, not proliferate.
Old 5th September 2011
  #57
Lives for gear
 
tvsky's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Because it became much easier, and instead of hours recording to tape or CDR, widespread mp3's with no cost and no negative consequence became available to the average consumer that owned a computer and web connection, from Tokyo to Timbuktu.
and the same is true for games . Widespread piracy , little time and effort required and no consequences

yet their industry grows and the music industry collapses further.
Old 5th September 2011
  #58
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvsky View Post
and the same is true for games . Widespread piracy , little time and effort required and no consequences

yet their industry grows and the music industry collapses further.
Not true.

Yes, the ONLINE portion of the gaming industry is growing admirably - but the rest of it is getting killed, just like music.

The online part is more than enough to carry the big gaming companies, but when was the last time you heard of a small company making it big with a non-online product?

For a short time small companies were making money with single player phone games. It took less than two years for the pirates to come in and suck out all the profit.
Old 5th September 2011
  #59
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tvsky View Post
and the same is true for games . Widespread piracy , little time and effort required and no consequences

yet their industry grows and the music industry collapses further.
The games industry is not growing. It's under going the same economic cut backs of any other. Business strategies and piracy combatting in games is completely different to the pure data content of CD audio and DVD based movies. Updates, developer connection and product registering make any comparison utter folly. Oh - and further to poke holes in the argument - the music industry is not in collapse; the SALES of music is in collapse. I can assure you other sectors have grown vastly year on year.

It also doesn't suffer from "widespread" piracy. It suffers from SOME piracy - same as music used to do before the internet. The difficulty in getting most console games to work from downloads precludes piracy from being a major factor - it IS still significant but it certainly is not "download and play"..... Even the mechanism of copying a game in the first place makes piracy something that is done by tech savvy buccaneers (ho ho !!) rather than any Joe with a computer CD device.

Secondly - even though I say it doesn't suffer from piracy as much as music - the main reason the PC game industry is not a money spinner is just about 100% due to piracy.

Thirdly - just about ALL modern games now have some further download content from the publisher or developer via the playback mechanism. If we had that in music it'd be a very different world!!
Old 5th September 2011
  #60
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
Thirdly - just about ALL modern games now have some further download content from the publisher or developer via the playback mechanism. If we had that in music it'd be a very different world!!
it's only in the console world where you have to get DLC from official sources, you can still get pirate versions of content and unlocks.

didn't we already see this with enhanced CDs and the like, giving you features like interviews, music videos and access to b-sides and stuff? that might have worked before YouTube took off... in any case, there's nothing stopping you downloading the special edition cd with all of its extra content or even just the content itself.
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