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RIAA needs an upgrade or should car pooling also be ille

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by sonunospayasos, Jun 26, 2003.

  1. I am an IT consultant who recently read that the RIAA is trying to shut down file sharing on the internet. This, to me, seems bogus and un-pragmatic. The internet is opening opportunities for many industries, including the recording industry. Rather than waste effort and money on clamping down this type of activity, why doesn´t management at the various record companies realize that the technology is here to stay, and that there is greater profit in its use than its closure. File sharing is a symptom or a signal that the industry should pick up on and profit from rather than go against the current on this issue. These companies such as Kazaa and Audiogalaxy.com have access to a wide market audience, and I am sure they could arrive at strategic alliances with these companies rather than shut them down only to resurface in a different form later (given technology nowadays and the number of techonology savy people out there, they´ll find a way). Maybe sell individual songs at 15 to 25 cents (or whatever, the possibilites are endless) and everyone is happy. Recording companies profit and have access to an online, international market, file-sharing companies remain and also profit, and consumers benefit by customizing their own products at lower, more affordable prices. If management fails to realize that technology is here and industries are going to change because of it, and they fail to envision ways of using this technology to benefit the consumer and company, then replace them, and find more pragmatic people to run the company. The point is to take advantage of technology, not resist it. It´s the 21st century, you need people with vision at these recording companies, not people comfortable with the status quo who are far from innovators.
     
  2. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Well of course YOU feel that way...your an IT CONSULTANT from wherever.
    I on the other hand see it this waY (OH and by the way I FEED my four children by record engineering).

    YOU and all the other people who have rationalzed stealing jaut becuase you get away with it are ignorant to the fact that it costs alot of money to record and market music. I for one am glad the RIAA is taking the stance they're taking. WHatever you do for a living...how would you like it if people everywhere started dowloading for free the fruits of your labor, untill you no lomger could work?
    What if you could go down to your local car dealership at night and drive away with thecar of your dreams and not get caught? Does that make it right? And would tthe car dealers be wrong for trying to tale legal means to get it back?

    Stay an IT consultant...and ignorant
     
  3. You have a good point. I´m not trying to say that we should get free music, but I do believe you could market your product easire if you apply a marketing model similar to kazaa, but legal, charging a fee that may be substantially lower than the price of a CD, which makes it more attractive, and it could also be a customizable product one the side of the consumer. yes, kazaa and file sharing is stealing, im not arguing with that. What my point is, is that perhaps the industry needs to adapt to a changing technology. Also, to me file sharing is no different than taping a song of the radio, giving a mix tape to a friend, or selling mixed tapes or CDs on the street, I don´t see a cracking down on those activities as well, or just dubbing an album and passing it along. Anyways, contrary to what the RIAA wants us to believe, it appears that making a copy of an audio recording may be perfectly legal in the US, even if you don't own the original recording, as long as it is for noncommercial purposes. The reason for this is the Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA).

    Since 1992, the U.S. Government has collected a tax on all digital audio recorders and blank digital audio media manufactured in or imported into the US, and gives the money directly to the RIAA companies, which is distributed as royalties to recording artists, copyright owners, music publishers, and music writers:

    http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/ch10.html
    [cornell.edu]

    In exchange for those royalties, a special exemption to the copyright law was made for the specific case of audio recordings, and as a result *ALL* noncommercial copying of musical recordings by consumers is now legal in the US, regardless of media:

    http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/1008.html
    [cornell.edu]

    "No action may be brought under this title alleging infringement of copyright based on the manufacture, importation, or distribution of a digital audio recording device, a digital audio recording medium, an analog recording device, or an analog recording medium, or based on the noncommercial use by a consumer of such a device or medium for making digital musical recordings or analog musical recordings."

    The intent of Congress was clear when this law was passed
    http://www.cni.org/Hforums/cni-copyright/1993-01/0018.html
    [cni.org]

    From House Report No. 102-873(I), September 17, 1992:

    "In the case of home taping, the [Section 1008] exemption protects all noncommercial copying by consumers of digital and analog musical recordings."

    From House Report No. 102-780(I), August 4, 1992:

    "In short, the reported legislation [Section 1008] would clearly establish that consumers cannot be sued for making analog or digital audio copies for private noncommercial use."

    Therefore, when you copy an MP3 the royalties have already been paid for with tax dollars in accordance with the law. If you are a musician whose recordings are publicly distributed, then you are entitled to your share of these royalties by filing a claim under Section 1006

    http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/1006.html
    [cornell.edu]

    Napster tried to use this law to defend their case, and the court ruled this law did not apply to them because they are a commercial company. But as a consumer it seems to me you are perfectly within your rights when you make a copy for noncommercial private use.
     
  4. jwleblanc

    jwleblanc Guest

    BMW could sell (which is what I understand you actually meant by using the word "market") their product easier if they sold it for a price substantially lower than they do now.

    But the fact of the matter is I just bought one anyway, at the asking price, because I saw value in what was offered in consideration for the asking price.

    Just about any product or service could be sold more easily if the price was lowered substantially. That fact is irrelevant.

    But that fails to take into consideration three primary issues: (1) that the owner of a work has the legal right to determine the disposition of his property; (2) the costs associated with bringing a product to market; and (3) the fact that the owner of the product chooses to sell it at the price asked.

    (1) Any owner of a copyrighted work who is happy to have their work given away, downloaded, traded on Kazaa is certainly and obviously free to do so.

    But we hear every day that the vast majority of the owners of those works (which are mostly major record labels who, by contract, own the works) do not wish to have their property trafficked in that manner.

    Do you believe the wishes of the owners of those works should have any say in what happens to their property?

    (2) There's no point in going into the costs associated with bringing a CD to market. That's been covered over and over and over. A major label has costs of doing business that have to be covered before it makes a profit. Salaries, marketing, packaging for the label, and salaries and transportation costs to the downstream distributors.

    (3) As to cost, in a free economy, the seller has the option of pricing his product at whatever he believes it to be worth. Likewise, as a buyer, I have the option of determining if I believe that price is reasonable and completing a sale, or not buying the product.

    Here's where the free market and Kazaa/Gnutella/etc. separate ways: in the free market, when you think the price is too high, you don't buy. With Kazaa, you steal.

    Last I checked, stealing is wrong and immoral. Yet, I consistently see the same rationalizations made for stealing music via downloads through P2P systems like Kazaa.

    I'll tell you this, I am all for the RIAA suing a couple of random hundred thousand downloaders -- from ten year olds through old-enough-to-know-betters -- to make the point clear as can be: stealing music has consequences.

    There are two parts to laws in the USA and one of those parts is the consequences for breaking the law. Quite obviously, the degree to which a law will be adhered is in direct proportion to not only the consequences for breaking the law but also the likelihood of those consequences being brought upon the offender.

    The problem of unauthorized downloading is so completely and obnoxiously out of hand that it will take and equally extreme action to slow the train down.

    When a state of emergency exists in a state of the USA, the governor calls out the National Guard, who have the legal right to shoot to kill looters.

    The RIAA lawsuits are equivalent to calling out the National Guard.

    John LeBlanc
    Houston, TX
     
  5. TheRealWaldo

    TheRealWaldo Guest

    sonunospayasos, please keep your posts to one forum ;) Cross-posting, that is, having the same post in several locations throughout one forum, can be annoying.

    Thanks!

    W.
     
  6. RaySolinski

    RaySolinski Active Member

    I am a professional musician. Plain and Simple. I don't like stealing but I see several philosophical problems here...When I read a book from the library,
    am I stealing intellectual property since I did not purchase it? What about recording concerts from television or music from radio or sattelite receivers? The RIAA needs to stop being like the horsemen throwing rocks at the automobile at the turn of the last century. The costs associated with music production are handled much like the books at Enron or the infamous "R&D" expenses at the giant parmacueticals. Why not team up with some companies to sell downloads at a reasonable cost? There are no packaging or distribution costs and therein may lie the problem..The poor middlemen are the ones kicking and screaming.
    Actually I find it amusing and can't wait to see a ten year old on the stand. Maybe he can wear a propellor hat as they sentence him to hard labor...

    Ray

    Still chuckling...maybe some good hackers could send the RIAA on a wild goose chase or better yet we could assign the RIAA to find weapons of mass destruction :)
     
  7. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    :) Ray, either someone donated the book, or your tax dollars bought the book. Keep in mind there are hundreds and hundreds of thousands of librarys. I don't think the author or the publisher is complaining. You have a right to record a broadcast for your own personal use. The TV concerts from radio and satellite are anything but free. Free to you, because these events were payed for by a sponsor, or granting authority. In the case of a classical concert associated with a grant for the arts, once again, your tax dollars at work.

    --Rick
     
  8. Derek J

    Derek J Guest

    sonunospayasos,
    I do agree with to some extent. Yes we can not prevent technology from advancing and yes we should take advantage what is out there (eg. online song trading, etc). I know too that there is a way to profit from these types of sites and this technology, we just have to be inventive and figure out a way. There are web companies out there that do help the recording industry sell albums and songs....amazon.com is a great example.
    What I do not agree with is companies that "provide a way to share mp3's amd wav's" and such. To me it is just like steeling. You wont find any producer, artist, record label or studio putting together an "online file sharing" program that allows songs, and videos to be traded. Why?.....because it is our time, our effort and our hard work that we put into these recordings. To sit here and watch people trade songs, burn cd's at no cost, thats what hurts the industry. If I wanted, I could go download Kaza and get the entire Pink Floyd-The Wall album and burn it onto cd for no cost. If you want that cd......go buy it, thats how I see it. See what people are doing now is just like walking into a record store with 2 friends, they all take the (ex.)"californication" cd off the shelf and go to the register. The first one of the three buys the cd and the other two walk out of the store with the other 2 coppies unpaid for. WRONG!! They would be arrested for shoplifting! Its the same thing with the internet, just because someone else bought the rights to play and listen to that cd doesnt give them or anyone else the right to copy it. It is illegal.

    In retrospect what I am getting at is that it is not alright to duplicate audio or video without purchasing the rights (cd, dvd, whatever the medium). Any company that aids or assits in that process should be prosecuted just as someone steeling the cd from the store should. I also understand what you are saying about using technology to our advantage, yes that is wonderfull. If there is a way, it will be found, if it is found it will be used and if it is used PROPERLY then there is $$ to be made and everyone is happy. Like I said in the first paragraph, there are companies out there like Amazon.com that do it properly and make a ton more money than a Kaza or a Napster. Look at all of the sponsors and trade that goes on there at Amazon.com.
    I didnt mean to go on and on about this topic, but it costs lots of money to record a CD that is only going to be stolen in the long run. As an independant record label, this is what I dont want to see.

    Derek
    Dimension Records
     
  9. themidiroom

    themidiroom Active Member

    I wish the RIAA luck in their efforts. Personally, I have never participated in music downloads. For one; if I like something, I'd rather buy it and support the artists, producers, etc. Also, I don't like the sound of compressed audio. :d:
    Just my two cents to add to the discussion.
     
  10. I see the point. You are right, it is stealing from where you guys stand, I can pretty much download anything I want through Kazaa. However, I only wanted to introduce the view that perhaps it was a matter of the industry adapting to a new technology. Very similar to the backlash you get from users when you first introduce them to a new system during the first few months of its implementation. At first they reject it, but with time they adapt to it and even find ways to use it the designer never even considered when designing it. It is common in software development to see this type of rejection because it is at first perceived as threatening. It is also common to see innovation in the system´s use on the part of the user after the system has been implemented.

    Also, if I could buy my own individualized songs so I can burn them on a CD at a reasonable price that is legal, and that will lower the cost I buy a CD for, then please let me know where to find such a service. I think someone mentioned Amazon, I was unaware of this but I´ll check it out. Most of the time, I only want one or two songs off of a CD rather than buy the entire album. However, what Kazaa does is no different than if I buy a few CDs, burn it on an empty CD or dub it on tape, and pass it along to some friends for free. The tools to do this are sold everywhere to anyone, blank tapes, CD burners, stereos, empty CDs, etc. There are companies making money off of this as well. All I´m saying is the implementation of a few controls on file sharing could make an additional revenue for the recording industry if its approached with consideration, but saying you will sue 100,000 people to make an example of them for what one could argue is stealing or not seems antagonistic to the consumer (like myself). If you are going to approach it that way, then sue the developers of the software, the radio guy who plays my song on request, or the manufacturers of blank tapes, or stereo manufacturers that sell products that allow recording from one device to another (which all do). There has to be a business model that accommodates to these circumstances in a way that both parties would benefit. An affordable alternative to Kazaa is all that is being asked for since it is already possible. If I had time and money to implement such a model I would. But in El Salvador we are terribly underpaid, and so I take my piece of the pie however I can. But, out of respect to the various views and replies posted, I´ll remove the software from my system. And to that fool who called me an ignorant in his response and told me to stay at “wherever the hell you´re from”. You get the gas face. Where I´m from they´ll comb you with bullets for such insolence, so get your grip on your emotions grasshopper. Peace.
     
  11. Derek J

    Derek J Guest

    No reason to get barmy about opinions of others here. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion on the topic. I do think that it would be a good thing to "use the technology" to our advantage and figure out ways to fashion our own KAZA or similar project that the industry would profit from. Selling individual tracks isnt to shabby of an idea, seems tedious but like sonunospayasos said "Most of the time, I only want one or two songs off of a CD rather than buy the entire album." I know that a lot of people complain that they have to buy the whole album just to get one or two songs off the CD. Then they go to KAZA and download the songs for free because they dont want all the songs.


    Derek Byrd
    Dimension Records
     
  12. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    Quoted by our El Salvador brother:

    "An affordable alternative to Kazaa is all that is being asked for since it is already possible."

    How could it get more affordable than $1 per month? That's what the offer was in my e-mail.

    How do you expect that artists can be paid for their work and expenses with selling by-the-song? It isn't going to happen. Especially now-days, when most "talent" can't write/release more than a couple of good songs per album anyway.

    You see the cost of a blank CD and the cost of a burner, and consider the other $10 of a CD to be fluff. Well, the record company has to pay for the advertising, marketing, recover the artists' advance expenses, production expenses, legals, tour support, etc. The retailer has to get something for selling it, the artists need to get their $.50 +/- per copy, etc.

    To get a CD into the major radio and video markets, it takes a slew of marketing people, and an "indie" rep to pay the record companies the payola (because it is against the law for them to do it directly), so that the music will get played. It costs a major lable around $500k to make a top ten hit push.

    I am not saying that record companies don't have greed. Every industry does. Money is the root of all evil. But it takes the "big machine" to get things moving. If you want what they have, you have to pay their price, or find an alternative to the talent, not paying the price.
     
  13. Sheet,

    Thats a good point. I am unaware of the costs it takes to produce and market a CD, however, if you cannot sell individual songs, file-sharing technology could still provide a method of cost cutting. It doesn´t have to be a cut of 99.99%, but a reasonable percentage. Perhaps the notion of file sharing technology could be applied and you could sell customizable CDs or regular CDs to consumers from the comfort of their own homes through the networking the Internet provides. Security would be an issue, and, you are right, you couldn´t possibly sell songs for cents, but you could sell them through a fraction of their actual production cost. The middleman is probably the one who would really get hurt by this, but that happens throughout history when new technologies arise, and thats nobody´s fault. Perhaps you can find cheaper, more innovative ways to market that could also reduce the cost it takes to market a top ten hit. You mentioned it takes about $500,000 or so to do this, but again, it could be because traditional marketing methods are being applied (I am guessing). This would probably not eliminate file sharing completely. If it is regulated though, it could be greatly reduced, but this also requires money to do and file sharing is so pervasive it could be impossible to ever put a stop to it. Its very similar to the war on drugs which will never end, and drugs are everywhere. However, innovative marketing methods and cost cutting through similar uses of new technologies can result in better offers to a consumer than present consumer prices do. It seems the focus is on stopping file sharing and keeping things the way they are. Sure, go ahead and go after piracy, but when will the industry seriously revamp itself to allow similar technologies to better the quality of its services to the buyers, and the sellers or manufacturers (in this case that would be the musicians)? What I have found online so far is lower priced CDs, and maybe that is the beginning of the changes taking place, but I was surprised to not be able to find legal file sharing services online.
     
  14. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    If you want a legit version of Kaza, buy an iPod and download tunes by the dollar from the ITunes site. They pay the artist royalties and the songs are a buck.

    Blockbuster tried the record your own CD in their stores, but it flopped for many reasons.

    Here is the deal. The labels do research for the market, to find what sells or what will sell. They find it, or build it. They develop it, sign it, record it, etc. There are three or four major music radio networks (Cox, Clearchannel, etc). These radio networks have stations throughout the US. The networks also have contracted and/or greased the palms of civic centers across the land, to let only their events in, and not their competitors, or they pay extra points for shows for preference. One of these companies owns a huge sound reinforcement company. The same company owns an artist and engineer management company. So once an artist has a potential hit, then that radio network owner can get that artist in venues, with Class-A production and staff, and make money a second, third time. There is a monopoly. Even the US government has got their nose into it (that's like a theif guarding the bank).

    There was an article in PSN last month or so, and the labels who tried the internet sales thing said, "We quit." There wasn't any demand, and there was no way for them to cut expenses. It actually doubles expenses. Not only did they have to support the existing trade operations, but more services = more expense.

    If you want to reduce expenses, take the radio, video and marketing out of the equation. If you take radio and video playtime out of the equation, then you lose the biggest way to reach the people with product, which is also self promotion of the tours, of the merchandise and of the next release. Selling on the internet does nothing for promotions compared to the old fashioned way. You have to come to it. Radio and TV come to you.

    Perhaps, some Bill Gates type will come up with enough clout to strong arm people into a system. But I don't think that there is enough talent, or enough product out there to keep the machine moving.

    I would actually like it to become a boutique industry again. Get less artists, more quality, increase the serious productions and isolate the crap. I would like to see the production budgets go up, and have studios capture revenues spent on distribution via some new ultra-high bandwidth system that reports to SoundScan per download, or the radio networks poll their music from the studio database and pay a fee. Will this happen? No. More people will continue to use cheaper, lesser quality consumer gear, to get more garbage out into the market., decreasing the mediem's value and the ability for greater artists to make a living.
     
  15. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member

    Music downloads have been worth to me for just one thing: have a preview of something I am not sure I wana buy.
    Last week I checked a few songs of the 2 last albums from Toto via kazaa and I decided to go to Amazon.com and purchase it!
    Crappy mp3s at my hears > NO No No
     
  16. Tekker

    Tekker Active Member

    I agree with Alécio! :) )

    I personally like the idea of paying for individual songs (there's no way I'm paying $16 for two good songs, sorry!), but it would be hard to get the ball rolling in that direction....

    -tkr
     
  17. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Tekker makes a good point, much of what is on CDs sucks.. but much of what was on records often sucked also.. People would buy an album just to get a couple of songs, or they would go out (as I would) and buy the 45 single.. nowadays though, kids download the single song in mp3 and have huge files of various music stored on their computers that they got for free. They don't care that mp3s don't sound as good.. most of them can't really hear the difference. Just as a recording engineer becomes able to hear things in a mix by training their ears with years of experience, years of dumbing down has occurred with the listening public. This is one reason why producers and record companies can get away with putting out so much bad sounding stuff.

    The state of the industry is how it is, due in part to the things the industry has done to itself. RIAA is completely out of touch with the dynamics of a free trade economy.. their wanting to tax blank DAT tape sales in the early 90's is a prime example of this.. New and innovative ways of marketing are called for to deal with this question. Nothing ever stays static. The record business has a horrible track record in regard to dealing with change. When multitrack first came along, the unions all said it was the end of the business and instituted rules saying that all the musicians and vocalists had to be in the same room at the same time. People found ways to cheat, sneaking around, using "shill" vocalists on rhythm track dates and then sneaking the tapes around , falsifying track sheets and recording date documents. or in the case of Billy Sherrill, sneaking into the studio on off hours to record without the union reps catching them. The result of this is now, 30 years later we don't know who did what and we never will.

    Downloading is stealing.. plain and simple. But the record companies also need to address the situation with some innovative ways of retailing their product. They have to face it. The Internet is here and it is only going to get bigger and better (in terms of transmission quality). They need to deal with it!
     
  18. Tekker

    Tekker Active Member

    LOL! Good point! :D

    But to me, mp3's are more like a 'free sample', then if you like it, you go get the CD and experience the 'real music'. ;)

    -tkr
     
  19. Itunes is doing well, and only can be used by Mac-sters. That leads me to believe that online distribution can succeed. Transmission quality will continue tho improve, and formats like SACD and DVD-a will push the envelope for hard-product formats.
    Our system is built on laws and the necessary legal consequences. Suing people who are file-sharing is a needed step towards stemming the flow of illegal downloading. If people percieve that they can take stuff without paying for it, they will. If they percieve that there will be negative legal or social consequences for their actions they will be much less likely to do it. This whole "suing" thing is to install the perception that illegal file-sharing can earn you a trip to the big house.
    A side note- perhaps the single, as opposed to LP, is going to make a comeback. After all, there is no reason to put filler material online if people are just going to download the hit single. Artists could release a song every two months and milk the sixteen months of spotlight more effectively and reactively. By reactively, I mean that if all you have to do is track, mix, master and post a new song on Itunes, you could get a song out in less than a week. Great discussion, many good points from a wide variety of views. Doc
     
  20. I just finished reading the TIME magazine´s article on digital piracy and how the entertainment industry has been affected. It seems the industry is having a very difficult time adapting to this technology, but they have made efforts to do so. It also looks like the lack of regulation is what is preventing legal alternatives to flourish since piracy is still the most appealing alternative right now. As long as free file sharing exists, no legal business model will work. Also, legal efforts will need to cross international boundries to put an end to piracy or regulate it, and that could complicate things further. I am beginning to see the indutry´s point of view, and apologize for oversimplifying the matter. Only by applying new regulatory methodologies can the industry to take advantage of this new technology.
     

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