Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by spuriousmonkey, Oct 5, 2007.
^Exactly, this is unjustifiably disproportionate whether you consider it theft of not.
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I don’t know what’s happening where you live, but the cinemas in North America are making less money with each year that passes. Most people would rather watch movies in the comfort of their own homes. The image quality of the average film projection is horrible compared to a HDDVD movie that is shown on the best HD televisions. High quality front projectors are also more affordable than they were in the past. There are many people than can afford to buy a home system that is just as good or even better than the average cinema experience.
I would be willing to spend up to $50 to watch a good movie in the Imax dome format, but I don’t think that I should have to pay anymore than $10 - $15 to watch a movie at a cinema that uses DLP projection.
I agree, I think it was excessive amount to charge her, but I believe that she also racked up around 60k in laywers fees, when she should of just paid the grand or so that they wanted to fine her in the first place.
So, putting a CD on your iPod is illegal? I don't think so.
That's not so "plain and simple" because passing copies around is like free advertising. I maintain that the artists make money from this "stealing." Any sane entity would encourage stealing as long as it made money for the alleged victim of the alleged theft.
Read-only I'm going to have to disagree with you. These corporations are monopolies and are so big it's really hard for someone to get into the music business even if they are blessed with talent.
The music industry could care less about talent for example (Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, and Ashley Simpson....etc). These people don't have a musical bone in their body but have made millions in the industry.
The music industry has the power of advertisement which means they can sell just about anything.
Plus what's the difference between watching just about any music video you want for free online of youtube? The format? That's just about it. Just shows how stupid our society is when most don't already know that you can watch whatever music video you want for free on youtube. And then the same people punish someone for everything they own and more! just for sharing 24 songs.
If they don't have the money they are sent to jail. Then who pays?
Everyone because everyone pays taxes. if I'm paying for someone to be in jail they better have earned their sentence and if you havent noticed. The US prisons are already crowded by non-violence criminals that have done petty crimes.
We don't have the money for this. The U.S. is already in debt what are the people that are running this country thinking?
Definitely excessive. There's no doubt about that. Sure, it's illegal, but the punishment should fit the crime. Nothing further to discuss, really.
People don't get punished this badly for actually stealing 24 CDs.
I think that it's entirely fair that if the recording industry wants to punish someone severely for giving it free advertising, then the people who are their usual customers should deny them any form of advertising. For each singer who is a name I am certain that an organization that works on different principles could find ten other singers who are at least as good, who have personalities, who are not druggies or perverts, who will work in a more consumer-friendly environment. The bottom line here is that the recording industry has chosen to be horribly vicious and controlling towards its customers. It should be eliminated.
I think the main thing with this gal is that she was using the Kaaza file sharing network, which is kind of a black market for widespread bootlegging of material, including music. I still think the fines are excessive though.
But if I have a cool mp3 from my own music collection & want to share it with a friend, why should I have to have him come over and press play? If he says it's cool, I can dub the song for him, or he can wait for a radio station to broadcast it, and press record himself. Why do I have to say, "yo, you're my buddy, but go pay for the thing yourself!"
To me personally, the internet simply makes acquisition and sharing too simple. That's why record companies forced certain provisions of the DMCA in Congress. But in my personal opinion, the internet is like me calling up my favorite radio station, asking them to play a song, and then waiting for it to come up so I can press record. (Which is still legal). It's a bit of a hypocrisy.
maybe that is just progress.
Sharing is not stealing. Stealing is cracking into a site that you have no permission (like a web bank account) or cracking a software program to bypass registration. If people (friends & peers) allow you permission to their computers & servers, then that should be legal (it's morally right anyway).
Anyway, they can sue whoever they want. They will never stop it. If people have free access to something they want, they'll take it and use it. The industries should evolve and use the technology to their benefit and use other ways to make money.
Btw, If there was a legit fund to help out Ms. Thomas pay out her fine, i'd donate a few bucks.
Hang 'em high
The advent of compact discs presents two important problems to consider:
(1) Lowered sound quality
(2) Digital signal
The first is a consumer's problem, and near to the heart of why I think the RIAA could best serve humanity by simply going away. When CDs were introduced to the market, many people complained that this was just the record industry's way of compelling people to buy an inferior product. True, there is less noise on CDs than on cassettes, but the reality is that, compared to vinyl, sound quality on CDs is poor. During that period, the industry made certain statements and promises. CDs were durable (false), had better sound quality (false), and (this is the kicker) would become cheaper over time. There was the comment that you could accidentally drop a CD in your driveway, and it would survive the rain overnight. Well ... okay, if it was a very light rain. And if anyone remembers the advert a few years back with "the trucker and the black dude" for plastic shields to protect your CDs from the inevitable scratching, did anyone else notice that the guy put the shield on the wrong side of the CD? The whole point is that as CDs get more expensive, the people are getting sick of broken promises. Add to that ongoing payola scandals, radio consolidation, and megamarketing schemes (funded by increased CD prices), all of which lends to active suppression of independent artists, and many people have absolutely had it. The recording industry has consistently conducted itself in bad faith, and hiding behind the argument about hurting artists is just another example of corporate sleaze. There are a couple of articles I post whenever I find myself in a discussion of music file sharing:
Albini, Steve. "The Problem With Music". See http://negativland.com/albini.html
Ian, Janis. "The Internet Debacle". See http://www.janisian.com/article-internet_debacle.html
Ian, Janis. "Fallout - A follow-up to The Internet Debacle". See http://www.janisian.com/articles-perfsong/Fallout - rev 11-23-05.pdf
I would like people to think about three seemingly disparate concepts: the job market, entertainment award shows, and "evil communism".
Consider, first, Steve Albini's article, and perhaps riddle me this: In what other job can you do everything your employer asks, perform above and beyond expectation, and owe your employer money for the privilege of having done so?
Think about it. You've made your employer millions, profited less than you would working at a convenience store, and owe your employer money in exchange for your labor.
Next, let's think about entertainment award shows. We can also invoke record charts, as well. But some entertainment award shows give awards for "Best ______". Others use a more appropriate terminology: "Favorite ______". Think about the idea, though, of "Best Female Vocalist". Think about the idea of "Best Record".
(Anecdotally: Nominees for the first-ever Grammy for "Hard Rock/Heavy Metal" included Soundgarden, Metallica, and Guns 'n' Roses; the award went to Jethro Tull. The chief effect among metal and rock fans, and across an entire generation of emerging young consumers? Disillusionment. Aqualung is a fine album in its own right, but come on ....)
Is the "best" really the best? Of course not. Generally speaking, it's either the most popular, or a combination of popularity and a subjective quality assessment that the award voters think they can justify. There were Grammys in the 1990s given for Best Song that went one year to Natalie Cole's heavily-engineered duet with her late father, and another to Michael Bolton's note-for-note cover of Otis Redding. Do any of us really believe there was nothing better going on those years?
And it's not just to complain about the Grammys or the charts specifically, but to suggest what those complaints represent. I remember rolling my eyes and groaning when I heard about a "new" Backstreet Boys album coming out (Millennium, I think). They actually spent money on television commercials for this album (paid for by CD purchases that have nothing to do with the Backstreet Boys). And weeks before the album (or the single) arrived, the adverts proclaimed the "new hit single".
It's not difficult to figure how the companies know which singles will be hits. They buy that status. NY Governor Eliot Spitzer took on the latest version of payola; while it might look good on his resume, it doesn't do much to help artists or consumers. Listening to commercial radio is, indeed, listening to a bunch of commercials on the radio. There are some jaw-dropping rock artists that your local rock radio station won't ever play, no matter how much you request it. Why? Because the station hasn't been paid to play the song.
And this is where the money goes. This is where your twenty dollars go. One of the reasons it was easy to trot Metallica out to complain about file-sharing was that Metallica had an unusual contract; they actually could lose money. But here's the flip-side. When touring St. Anger, the band faced questions about why they weren't playing more from the new album. Drummer Lars Ulrich actually opened his mouth and admitted that they didn't know the songs. The album had been stitched together from excerpts, an feat to be admired, I suppose, in terms of engineering. But the musical performance? My opinion is that if anyone actually wants that album, they ought to pirate it. (The funny thing is that when you're a standard of your industry, like Metallica, you generally don't play much from the latest album.)
I'm of the opinion that the RIAA is arguing in bad faith. The record companies themselves are operating in bad faith. That your favorite local band has never made it big does not necessarily suggest that they don't want to be big.
There is a reason the industry-standard contract is called a "slave" contract. Record companies could make a fortune just by letting their artists do what they will, and reaping the distribution profits, but for some reason consumers are expected to finance executive egomania in order to hear the music. And it's well enough to point out that this is the way things are, and that the downloaders ought to pay excessive and unusual penalties for stealing, but this is where the idea of "evil communism" comes in.
Of late, certain interests have taken to throwing principle out the window. I read a conservative article about the war, for instance, that invokes liberal rhetoric to support the Iraq War. The end result of that argument is that there is no compelling reason to intervene in genocide. Commercially, though, I invoke "evil communism" because some might remember, during the Cold War, when American Christians worked to smuggle Bibles into various Communist-bloc countries. It was horrible oppression, the Christians claimed. And yes, it was. But what difference does that make? The laws and rules governing the music industry allow it to abuse its employees, lie to its consumers, and perpetrate massive fraud. Should we look at those hurt by injustice and say it's their own fault for not participating in and supporting injustice?
What the hell is happening to us? If someone actually went and shot Hillary Rosen, for instance, I'm curious about how big the clemency petition would be. There would be thousands, maybe even millions of names. Skipping toward Gamorrah? Slouching toward Babylon? Whatever it takes. The investors say, "Go make us some money." And when you do, they say, "Now pay us for the privilege."
Maybe, just maybe, it isn't too much to ask that the industry clean itself up. And maybe, just maybe, it isn't too much to ask that fellow consumers shouldn't give aid and comfort to corruption.
Boycott? Sure. Steal the music? Fine. File-sharing has actually helped long-tail artists, and brought more fans out to concerts for independent band and thus increased their record sales, as well. I don't care if you take a few dollars away from Metallica, who can't even be bothered to record whole songs these days. The ultimate form of democracy is, essentially, cooperative anarchy. As a simple analogy, consider this website. We have rules around here, and your moderators occasionally enforce them. But something so simple as profanity? We've given over. The membership has insisted, for years, on using profane language. As far as I'm concerned, they've won. If people continue to push the issue with the record industry, something will eventually give. The RIAA cannot expect to keep winning victories for lies and corruption. If the massive "Fuck you!" represented by the scope of file-sharing doesn't get through, the market will eventually change tactics. Maybe the industry won't get it until label executives are being dragged out of their cars.
At some point, we the people, as a society, must make a choice. The only way, it seems, to avoid the inevitable outcome of that decision, is to convince the people that it is in their best interests to be deceived, taken advantage of, and outright abused. There's a lot more at stake than this or that file. There's a lot more at stake than this or that record company.
That's a good idea. The file sharing sites should link to some kind of a site that would accept donations to defend against this kind of suit. This whole idea of suing their customers into submission could be defeated by something like that.
I disagree with your statements, but there are many audiophiles that would agree with you.
There was a time when I owned more vinyl records than CDs, but I always preferred the sound of digital recordings. I will admit that the sound quality of the CDs that I was listening to in the 80’s and early 90’s was not as good as vinyl, but that changed by the mid 90’s. There are many people out there that would prefer to listen to a vinyl record over a SACD or DVD audio. It is probably because some people have just become accustomed to the distinctive sound of vinyl. The only time that I can say that I preferred the sound of vinyl over a CD (after the mid 90’s) is when I had the privilege of hearing the sound quality that was coming from a $50,000 turntable. The price is only $19,000 now, but I still prefer DVD audio.
The way the analog was re-mastered to CD was the problem. When music is directly mastered to CD it is much better.
All that data gets thrown out at the whim of the compression scheme, which is why most people who only listen to compressed music develop tin ears.
I have to agree that unless you have really good equipment (I don't know if it needs to be top-of-the-line) and care for your records, you'll probably be happier with the sound from CDs. A CD sounds pretty much the same played on a $100 players as on a $1000 player. A lot also depends on what kind of music you're listening to--something with digital instruments isn't going to sound any "better" (or truer to life) on an analog recording. As for the apparent improvement in CD sound that resulted from better mastering (and digital mastering). However, there is a more recent trend that is actually resulting in poorer sound in the name of increased loudness: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war
I don't really blame the music industry for switching to a new media--people want convenience more that quality anyway (hence the fact that they're listening to mp3s that have a sound quality that's poorer than any CD) but I do blame them for pushing shitty music (in some cases illegaly through thinly veiled payola), inhibting the sale and distribution of older music, ripping off artists, and then having the nerve to blame consumers for their drop in sales.
I know plenty of people who download music--for me it has become the primary way I hear new music since I can't find anything but crap on the radio--but no one who bothers to burn mp3s to cd for repeated listening. If I like the music I dl enough that I listen to it more than once I end up buying the CD. I also know plenty of people who burn CD copies of other people's CDs (something I don't do--although I do occassionaly burn CDs of lps that can't be found on CD). If the music industry is losing sales I think that's the real culprit but they can't complain about that because they already made their deal with manufactorers of cd-recorders and blank cds (and get some money everytime one is sold).
However, as bad as I think the RIAA is, I'm truly amazed at the PRS' (the British version of the RIAA) latest move:
They are actually suing an auto shop for allowing their employees to listen to the radio while working.
AAAAAAAAAGHHH! How is it that people are still actually buying into this "copying a song is stealing" BS? Copying is not the same as stealing. You are not "stealing" music when you copy a CD any more than you are "stealing" your neighbor's table when you build yourself a table just like it. The record industry says "Copying music is stealing" and everyone just forgets the definitions of english words? Why not say "Copying music is murder. You wouldn't shoot a person in the face, would you? No? Then why are you copying music?!?"
Copying music is copyright infringement if the specific licence of that musical piece prohibits it.
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Exactly. And copyright infringement isn't the same as stealing. There are plenty of laws against stealing, and those aren't the laws that people are charged with violating when they infringe on copyrights.
You see, virtually everyone agrees that stealing is wrong. Not everyone necessarily agrees that copyright infringement is wrong. If you say "Downloading music is copyright infringement!" people immediately start asking things like "Is it really immoral to violate a copyright? Why do we have copyright? Is this particular copyright beneficial to society? Am I really harming anyone if I download a song that I wouldn’t have purchased anyway?" Etc. So they want to make everyone equate copying with something that everyone agrees is wrong (stealing), even though it's not actually stealing, because being honest about it simply being a matter of copying leads to all sorts of awkward questions.
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