Do you download music? (from sites like napster)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by audiokid, Sep 18, 2003.

  1. Dave Nyberg

    Dave Nyberg Guest

    If i write a song and produce it inside of Cubase. Isn't the Cubase file my absolute evidence? I always wondered about this.
  2. TheRealWaldo

    TheRealWaldo Guest

    'twould be evidence, yes, but absolute is nothing unless it's registered.

  3. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member

    Jun 8, 2003
    Central Village, CT
    Home Page:
    And yet another thing we can agree on 100%... the best policy is always to register... the fact that one owns a technical copywrite does not change the fact that it could take a very expensive legal battle to prove that..........

    The cost of registering is so very little (in comparision to the time effort and costs associated with a lawsuit) that i cannot see it making sense to chance it.


  4. missilanious

    missilanious Guest

    Rod , I know this is late but have you ever dubed a tape or vinyl from your friends? When you dub an album you are making it availible to one person, the person you dubed it for; also you can asses your friend deciding not to give it to them considering you never see them buying Cd's and figure there cheap bastards. On the other hand on a peer to peer networks make it availible to anyone who has an iternet connection.
  5. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member

    Jun 8, 2003
    Central Village, CT
    Home Page:
    OK - i looked back and realize that i have never actually answered this. SO here goes,

    I do not use peer to peer services..... for a variety of reasons......

    I do not make copies (for myself or anyone else) of someone elses music. I will borrow a CD to listen to and then buy it if i liked it - i have also (unfortunately) bought things like "Sweet Potato Pie" by Robert Cray - just because it was him - only to find that i had to choose between losing it in a landfill or giving it away....... I did find a sucker to take it off my hands......

    I do download mp3's of any artist that i like who has allowed me to do that legally.... and (seeing as they have made it free) i will have no qualms sharing that with friends to introduce them to the artist.

    I do make copies of anything i buy........ for my own purposes - and store the original away for future copies in the event of damage to my copy..... I only intend to buy something once.

    The only thing i do that could be considered illegal (although i do not consider it immoral) would be the fact that i will make copies of a song to distribute to my band-mates in order for them to have a chance to practice at home.

    However - this is a song at a time - not entire cd's - and i am not about to pay for 5 or 6 cd's everytime i want to play a song off someone's album.

    However when i play out BMI (or whomever) is already collecting for us having learned that song.

    I am not trying to justify this to anyone - tis my conscience....... and i have no problem looking myself in the mirror...... ever.

    I would point out however - if a cd was stolen from me - i would not be reluctant to download it - knowing that i had already paid for my right to have a copy of the music (which is what i AM paying for) - but only if insurance did not cover the loss. If insurance covered my loss then i would just buy it.

    So now you know - the rest of the story..........

  6. jroberts

    jroberts Guest

    Sorry, but that is just not true. It has to be in tangible form. You have either misunderstood your lawyer friend or he has misunderstood you.

    Most countries do not require a tangible copy to be filed in order to register copyright. The U.S. requires it. Canada, among others, does not.

    Had it not been scribbled on a napkin though (or otherwise reduced to some tangible form), there would have been no copyright.

    No, no, no, no. TANGIBLE FORM! It has to be TANGIBLE for copyright to attach. It is very clear in the act.
  7. OlympicPhil

    OlympicPhil Guest

    hmmmn... this thread seems to have gone off-topic...

    in response to the original question....

    (The opinions expressed hereafter are mine, and in no way reflect the views and opinions of my employers, the EMI group).

    I personally use P2P downloading as a way of auditioning music. I have very specific music tastes which aren't catered for particularly on radio stations or tv in England.

    I got sick of buying albums on the basis of a single I'd heard at a nightclub, or on a late-night tv show etc., only to get it home and find that I hate the rest of the album and get sick of the single pretty quick, certainly not getting my £17(GBP)-worth of use out it.

    By downloading an entire album that I think I may like, I can verify whether or not it's my 'cup of tea', and if I like it, I go out and buy the CD, if not, I delete it from my hard drive pretty quickly.

    I have bought MANY MANY CDs this way, and have a completely clear conscience about it.

    CDs are very expensive in England, old budget albums are around £6, chart/new albums are up to £17, and if you have to have the album imported because it's not been released in England due to the A&R guys having their heads up their backsides, up to £22 for an album!

    I believe this is roughly double the price they are in the USA. Is this fair? That's another issue, but regardless, it's certainly as unfair that people can't trust labels to release albums that are worth listening to from beginning to end, and pay through the nose to get screwed.

    If I were to add up the amount of albums that I've bought, then only listened to once or twice because on getting it home I discover they suck, it would be well into the hundreds of pounds.

    Is it possible to return these albums to the record companies on the basis that the music is rubbish, and get a full refund?
    I severely doubt it.

    When we tune in to a radio station to be fed the music that the promoters want us to listen to, yes the band gets paid, but Joe Public doesn't pay per song they listen to. The music police doesn't follow radio waves around, forcing the man on the street to cough up for the latest Coldplay single that they happen to catch an earful of through the window of someone else's car, so why should it be a big deal that people choose to listen to music they WANT to listen to?

    If you want the inlay card, the nice box, the info about the band, then you buy the cd / dvd.
    If you like a band enough to download their songs, then chances are, at some point you're going to go and see the band live, maybe buy a t-shirt, at any rate, you're still supporting the music of an artist you like, and in the end, the band won't lose out.

    We all watched (and some of us laughed) at how the music-loving public turned on Metallica after the Napster fiasco.

    When will the executives of the industry learn to butt-out of this arguament? The labels are alienating themselves from the public with this anal viewpoint.

    Quality Assurance levels need to rise considerably in the industry if the labels are going to win back the public. Until that happens, I for one will continue downloading music as my own personal answer to rubbish radio.

    This trend of lowest common denominator, formulaic crap that's being churned out constantly by the majors is dragging the unfortunately musically-uneducated public into a gutter of blandness.

    The sad fact of it is, that the world is in musical poverty. The standard of musicianship in the industry has declined horrifically over the course of the last 30-40 years. Attitude and looks have replaced talent and hard work as the reason for signing an act.

    What we now have is an industry full of karaoke glamour models.

    Until the labels shape up, they won't win back public confidence.
  8. swanmusic

    swanmusic Guest

    *// Quality Assurance levels need to rise considerably in the industry if the labels are going to win back the public. Until that happens, I for one will continue downloading music as my own personal answer to rubbish radio. //*

    This is just ridiculous!! Do you go out to the clothes store and steal just because you don't like the designs of the shirts? It's a subjective matter, you can't judge it on your own. Who the hell do you think you are?

    *// The standard of musicianship in the industry has declined horrifically over the course of the last 30-40 years.//*

    The standard of music has improved 100 times. Now, this is again a subjective matter but complexity in music has definately gone up. You can hear it objectively if you really listen to music. And to make anything complex, you need more creativity.

    The music industry is going thru a phase. People said the same things when radios were first introduced. Downloading has kind of become a norm now. I have heard a lot of people who get frustrated because they have to wait for long to download the song they want to listen to from illegal websites and end up buying for 99 cents or something from legal websites. This will become even more common. More people buy music as downloads instead of going to the music stores to get CDs. Some people are going to still download from illegal websites and not pay for it but it's all part of the business.
  9. OlympicPhil

    OlympicPhil Guest

    I'm sorry to contradict, but regarding the levels of musicianship, that's just rubbish, as anyone that knows any music theory would tell you. Production standards have improved VASTLY, and that's probably what you mean when you say music's "better" nowadays but the industry is using this improved sound quality to hide the fact that the bands are rubbish.

    With the exception of a minority of acts like Incubus and Tool, most musicians that the industry are promoting are 4-chord, 4 beats to the bar wonders.

    Are you telling me that you've never bought an album on the basis of a single you've heard, only to discover that the rest of the album's utter crap?

    Like I said, I'm not STEALING their music... I'm auditioning it... creating my own personal radio station on my hard drive because the established radio stations don't cater for people that actually understand music (both the theory and the production side), and then I go out and buy the albums I actually DO want. I have over 300 legitimate bought CDs in my collection... that's about £4500 of my money I've spent on CDs.
    Your analogy simply doesn't fit.

    Who do I think I am? Someone that's been a musician for 24 years and has been getting more and more repulsed by the crap that's been forced down my throat by the media.

    We live in a society where mediocrity is deified. Probably because the vast majority of people in the world are never going to be much more than mediocre at anything themselves.

    In sports, if someone trains themselves to the peak of their potential, pushes the boundaries, and goes one step further than the rest of the pack, they get the gold medal, in music, the majority will say "it's too widdly, put some Oasis on".

    Is it fair that the likes of Oasis have made millions from being not much more than dodgy pub bands with an attitude whereas the likes of Steve Vai, arguably the best guitarist on the planet, is virtually unknown (relatively)?

    Does that make Oasis better than Steve Vai? Or does it just mean that the majority of the media-hype-sheep that buy the CD's that MTV tells them to buy are just too stupid to know good music when they hear it?

    Complexity in music hasn't gone up. Complexity of the sounds available with synthesizers has gone up, so if you hold down a single note on the latest synth, it can sound more complicated than
    a Jon Lord Hammond organ solo. Does that make the music better, or does it just promote lazy songwriting?

    The technology that's so widely available nowadays has made real creativity completely unneccesary to become a famous musical act. (I don't want to use the word musician, because if you can't play an instrument to a reasonable standard, you aren't a musician).

    I'm not saying that all electronica is rubbish, as the pseudo-indie pop-rock world is just as guilty of relying on attitude for sales as the electronica world relies on the latest synths. That's not creativity, it's accessibility.

    Creativity is about pushing the boundaries of songwriting, and any band that follows the "Intro-verse-bridge-chorus-verse-bridge-chorus-middle8-chorus-end" pattern that has dogged the pop world for the last 2 decades simply isn't being creative. Some of them don't even bother with the bridge! Tell me that's creativity not laziness... go on...

    With the technology we now have available, we should be in a musical rennaissance, and yet almost every song we hear has an almost identical structure because the people that generally end up in bands are just actors and karaoke glamour models, not musicians... these people don't even REALISE that they're just pumping out the same crap over and over again.

    If you want a song to judge all the rest by, try Bohemian Rhapsody. This song is arguably one of the best chart songs ever written (25 years ago I might add). Look at the structure... the key changes... the tempo changes... the variety of genres it encompasses... the musicianship... the quality of the vocalists (REAL SINGING TOO - they hadn't invented ANTARES AUTOTUNE* at that point). Tell me that Crazy Frog is a better song.
    That song has set a standard that simply hasn't been matched in the pop world.

    *for those of you that don't know - Antares Autotune is a plugin (and now also a hardware device that can be used LIVE) which takes your vocal line, and puts it PERFECTLY in tune... taking away the need for a vocalist that can even hold a tune... [surely my favourite bands don't use this???] Yes, they will... you can hear it's more extreme uses in Cher's "Life After Love" and that Posh Spice single that she did with that dance producer, and if you have a trained ear, you'll hear it everywhere... "I'm Outta Love" by Anastasia... she's got a great voice... until you realise it's been Autotuned.

    Most songs that hit the charts over here don't even have a single key change in them, let alone (god forbid) a time signature other than 4-4.

    Where are our "Stairway to Heaven"s? Our "The Wall"s?

    Yes, we have Steve Vai, Dream Theater, Satch, and various others that CAN actually play, and DO put SERIOUS effort into their songwriting, but because they choose not to buy in to the "attitude is more important than talent" frame of mind, they're virtually unknown! These sorts of artists simply don't get anywhere near the airplay they deserve.

    The public are being cheated. Most of them don't even realise it. If this sort of thing is OK, then why the hell shouldn't people download? Hell, some of these artists even go into studios to record their LIVE parts, because they know that they'll never hit the notes when they're in concert.

    If anything is a miscarriage of justice, it's that... not the public downloading the music... ESPECIALLY NOT WHEN THEY GO AND BUY THE ALBUMS THEY LIKE ANYWAY.
  10. swanmusic

    swanmusic Guest

    God! I don't have as much time to write such long posts but I will tell briefly what I think. You are right when you say that production quality has improved but I also feel the overall quality standard of music is still awesome. Music doesn't become interesting just by making it complex, sometimes the songs with just 3-4 chords sound unbelivably appealing. It's all a very subjective matter. I might hate what you like listening to or vice versa. Just to give you an example, a lot of pop/rock musicians hate opera music and classical pianists hate rock. It's not that general but I have seen that being the case a lot of times.

    I have bought CDs where I liked only 1-2 songs but that doesn't mean I could just download those from illegal websites. I could in fact get those singles from the legal websites for as cheap as 99 cents. That's peanuts for anybody! I have been a musician for 15-17 years and I have bought about a 1000 CDs.

    Public is not cheated, musicians are.

    *//Hell, some of these artists even go into studios to record their LIVE parts, because they know that they'll never hit the notes when they're in concert.//*

    It is not about playing (or hitting notes) as much as it is about conceiving an idea. You don't need to be a virtuoso to produce quality music.
  11. OlympicPhil

    OlympicPhil Guest

    OK, we're having 2 separate discussions now I think, one about the morality of DLing and the other about the decline/rise of music.

    Music first:

    It's true that the chords don't necessarily have to be complex to be interesting, and that you can have a really interesting song that has only a few chords... a look at Pink Floyd's later works backs that up, but in those cases, there's an underlying talent and subdued virtuosity that sets bands like Floyd apart from the likes of Coldplay, who only play a few chords because they CAN only play a few chords. Floyd had amazing musicians on every instrument and it showed. It didn't matter that The Great Gig in the Sky only had 2 chords for the vast majority of it, or that there were no lyrics as such. The song was amazing because amazing musicians were playing interesting dynamic music, and amazing vocalists were expressing their inner-pain through "oh"s and "ah"s.

    You just don't see that from the likes of The Verve, Cast, or Coldplay. What you get is 4 or 5 avarage (at best) joes that you could've picked up busking at any train station, stick them in an expensive studio with a big-name producer/engineer and get a collection of avarage, badly-played-but-corrected-by-a-very-patient-pro-tools-operator, cheesy pop-rock tracks that sound like everything else that's been released in that genre over the last 10 years.

    Like I said, nowadays the media (speaking for the british media - can't speak for the rest of the world) deify mediocrity whereas in years gone by, the best were known for being the best. Jimi Hendrix didn't become famous for 3-chord songs, he became the 'Rock God' he was through being amazing at his instrument, pushing the boundaries of what was possible with music. He wasn't trying to sound like the other artists that were selling the most records at the time, he was creating his own sound, a sound that set him apart from the rest.

    Anyway, briefly on to the downloading issue:

    I have specified in both my previous posts that I don't use this as an excuse to download albums for free that I will listen to more than a few times.

    I download an album, listen to it once or twice, then if I like it, I buy the CD.

    (Surely no different from going to a friend's house and listening to their copy?)

    If I don't like it, I delete it. Nobody loses out.

    Back to the music issue:

    All I'm saying is that our radio stations in the UK have literally nothing to offer me in terms of music, our "chart shows" are essentially rigged, as people can only buy the latest things they hear on the radio, and (as we now know since it emerged in the papers a few weeks ago), record companies PAY the radio stations to include their latest releases in their A-List airplay... which essentially means that the radio is a 24/7 advert break / infomercial for bands that are about as inspired as any you can see playing in pub gigs around the country.

    I can hear well-played 3-chord music at the Dog and Duck (hypothetical random pub name), I don't need it shoved down my throat by the radio and TV. I certainly don't need some Top Of The Pops bimbo telling me that the latest Oasis album is the best album ever written. I find this kind of subjective fascism from people who know nothing about music (apart from how a song or genre makes them feel) to be insulting.

    Whether or not you like a piece of music is subjectivity. As a musician, you must be able to hear when a band is practiced and technically proficient, as well as being able to "catch a vibe". Yes, there's quite a lot of music out there that satisfies JUST the technical ability question but seems to have no soul at all.

    I personally feel that for a band or artist to be given the full A-list airplay treatment, they should fulfill all sides of the equation, not just be the record companies' latest trend-based cash machine.

    A band should a: be physically able to play complex material whether they choose to or not, b: be able to express more than just a single emotion through their music. Otherwise, what exactly have they got to say to us?

    It's unfortunate, but nowadays it seems that record companies aren't concerned with either of these two ideas, and are more concerned with how the band looks, and how it fits in to the current trendset.

    In my opinion, that's a fashion show, not a gig, and our radio and tv presenters should be knowledgable about the subject matter and be able to comment on it in an intelligent manner, not be leading the public astray by conditioning us to like the latest thing that's come out of the money camp by playing it over and over.

    "...and then play it again and again and again, until your mind is locked in... believing all the lies that they're tellin ya, buyin all the products that they're sellin ya, they say jump and you say how high" ( Rage Against The Machine, 1992 )

  12. Rider

    Rider Guest

    last i checked, bands write music, not record labels. maybe a band wants to make it big so they write mainstream music, maybe the labels only pick out mainstream bands, depends. killswitch engage isnt really that mainstream, and i would hear them on the radio plenty of times (how i found out about them), even though it was their calmest song. to me it seems not as much the labels weakening music as much as public taste. the general public likes music thats easy to listen to and that is catchy, always have.

    over the past year ive wrote a lot of different types of music, from idustrial to happy hardcore to death metal, but the one i was writing for a while was more alt metal, stuff on the radio, because thats just what i felt like writing.

    theres always internet radio stations (itunes has a decent list). want to listen to more intelligent metal, try snakenet. they usually play what the radio stations dont. lot of music ideas on them without having to actually pirate a song.

    as for me, yes and no. i have because im very poor and was studying other genres, also replacing CDs ive lost over the years. but im not the type to just download thousands of songs a year. i usually end up deleting all my songs every few months anyway. a lot of bands put their main songs up for download or at least to listen to on their website, especially mainstream, as well as music videos. the industry knows how powerful mp3 is and they are trying to use it creatively, instead of conntinue to fight it.

    from an artist standpoint, its just more publicity, which = more shows. you may lose like 10 cents off of that sale, but gain a few bucks from the shows you do in their area.
  13. I try to stay away from downloading music because i know it hurts bands and record labels andi plan on eventually having my own record label but downloading does do alot of promotion because someone hears you play live and they want to hear it they can download the song listen and if they really like your band they will most likely buy the cd. But their are a**holes who will just download the whole damn thing.
  14. OlympicPhil

    OlympicPhil Guest

    I agree, there ARE a lot of arseholes out there that download lots of music and never buy CDs. Whenever I meet one I try to convince them that what they are doing is harming the industry and ultimately, hurting MY job security.

    I truly hope that more people that just DL and DL and DL without ever buying will start just using it as an audition medium like me. No doubt CD sales would rocket if everyone that does it changed to my system.

    How I feel about the state of the industry and the music the labels put out is largely irrelevant to this arguament, but as an employee of EMI, I get a monthly allocation of 6 free CDs or music DVDs anyway, and after working here for 18 months, I find that I've run out of 'good' (imho) modern music and am stocking up on old 80s stuff that I never got round to buying when I was a child. Now for one of the world's top 3 labels, that's a distinct lack of 'decent' music.

    I think one of the main problems is that you don't have to know anything at all about music* to work in A&R.
    (* where 'music' means music theory and classical composition methods and how they relate to modern music).
    As such, the majors just end up signing new bands that sound as close to existing big-sellers as is possible, then they spend all their money promoting these acts, saturating the marketplace with middle-of-the-road dross (which the public laps up because most of them don't realise it's uninspired pap) as oppose to TEACHING the public by giving them more challenging and more classically intelligent music. How will the 99% of the public with little or no knowledge of music theory ever know they're listening to crap if it's all that gets played on Top Of The Pops or CD:UK or Radio 1.

    It's not just irresponsible, it's CRIMINAL.
  15. maybe we need to define "good music"

    With technologies like satelite radio, internet webcast, and the fact that basically anyone with a phone line and a pulse can promote music online, there are more avenues than ever to discover amazingly talented and creative new artists. I'm personally thankful that MTV and ClearChannel have a 24 hour stream of musical feces to satiate the masses (most of which really don't care enough to even have an opinion on the quality of today's artists) In fact, I would argue that music is less an artform and more of a commodity for most of the modern world. People that listen to, and buy the mass-produced garbage buy it because they've heard it a million times....the same way they order a Coke at a restaurant, and don't notice when the waiter brings a Pepsi. It's all the same to them.

    Bring on the filesharing! That's my opinion. The fact of the matter is, the music that the RIAA is trying to hard to protect, ISN'T the music that's getting swapped at the highest volume or with the most regularity. With sites like myspace, purevolume, and the extensive list of others that have been listed in this post it's obvious file sharing will never go away. While it's unfortunate that bands like The Arcade Fire or Bright Eyes may never be played on mainstream radio, these acts along with a host of others have made successful and profitable careers by putting out music that their fans with enjoy and promoting it in ways that would reach their target markets. All in all, a great album is a great album regardless of which corporation foots the bill. Ignorance is bliss, so let's all just let the fans of mainstream radio and MTV enjoy themselves. If all else fails....just buy a Beyonce CD and act like you really do like it.....
  16. OlympicPhil

    OlympicPhil Guest

    At last.... a sensible viewpoint.

    There should be a law against the mass-brainwashing of the unknowledgable public by the industry.
    We are essentially letting the major labels "educate" the masses with well-polished nursery rhymes.
    It must stop!

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