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Thread: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

  1. #1

    Default Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    This is interesting as a sidebar to the Pacers/NBA business model going in the Pacers section. David Stern tells us the pro basketball league is losing money. Well, so is the music business.


    Here's why:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...eloaders/8027/

    Quote Originally Posted by The Atlantic
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    IT’S OFFICIAL: 2009 was the worst year for the record labels in a decade. So was 2008, and before that 2007 and 2006. In fact, industry revenues have been declining for the past 10 years. Digital sales are growing, but not as fast as traditional sales are falling.

    Maybe that’s because illegal downloads are so easy. People have been pirating intellectual property for centuries, but it used to be a time-consuming way to generate markedly inferior copies. These days, high-quality copies are effortless. According to the Pew Internet project, people use file-sharing software more often than they do iTunes and other legal shops.

    This is a pity. I think iTunes is the best way to buy music ever. And I'm including sheet music, 45s, LPs, 8-tracks, cassettes, and CDs. You can sample any song you want before buying it, and you can buy one song at a time rather than a whole album of songs. I know a guy who prefers buying tunes from Amazon because they have a higher bit rate. But either way, it is a disgrace that the Millennial Generation (or anyone of any age) thinks it is OK to steal music from living musicians.




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    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

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    International Counter bellisimo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    industry revenues might be dropping in the last 10 years...but so have the quality. There is hardly any CDs that interest me - I'm only buying songs for my DJ gigs and sets and of very few other artists - its just utter crap that they are serving these days as "music"

  4. #3

    Default Re: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    The article goes on to talk about more than music. There's also problems with movies (though the numbers don't look so dismal for theaters as for music):


    These problems will even more deeply afflict the other industries that depend on IP. A smaller, more amateur music business is possible, if not optimal. But I doubt that YouTube can substitute for Hollywood in a world where “cheap” indie films can cost millions. Children’s films might be made at a loss to sell action figures—but how do you finance The Godfather? With a co-branded line of frozen cannoli?



    .
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

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    Default Re: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    Quote Originally Posted by bellisimo View Post
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    industry revenues might be dropping in the last 10 years...but so have the quality. There is hardly any CDs that interest me - I'm only buying songs for my DJ gigs and sets and of very few other artists - its just utter crap that they are serving these days as "music"

    Yes, this is part of the story, B-mo. The writer agrees and so do I. there's a drop in quality, and there's also compartmentalization. I can look at whole pages of the "What song are you listening to" thread and I've never heard of any of it.

    But the industry is hurt when someone steals music, whether it's Elvis or ColdPlay. And I don't think the volume of music being stolen reflects the dip in quality.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

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    Default Re: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    I can't buy music without the case and the physical media. I want to be able to hold the content in my hands and know that it's mine. I like to know that I have the power to manipulate the media in any form I see fit, regardless of the legality.

    Sure, I'll buy one or two songs here or there, but to me being able to hold the CD case is satisfying.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    I hate to say it, but the problem with digital sales is traditional sales. CDs have virtually non-existent encryption on them, and even so, encryption of a physical disk has proven to be just this side of worthless, as it can be hacked easily. So, you sell a CD, it gets burned and distributed 10,000 times, and you lose out on, let's say 4,000 sales.

    Record companies had the opportunity to get out in front of this, and instead of changing the paradigm, they raged against the dying of the light, so to speak. I think the answer, long term, is to completely get rid of CDs. Move the copy protection from the disk to the internet. Virtually everything is hooked in via wi-fi or USB port, so require people who would like to listen to a new album to have an account, much like iTunes, and keep a record of every album/song they "own". Require that the player be linked to the account, and make it so that over a course of years, you are only allowed to listen to songs you "own". The trick with this is that people currently still have tons of albums that they own as a physical disk, so you can't implement this type of protection currently, but you can't begin the process until you stop issuing hard-copy disks with no way to verify who owns it.

    There are other ways of implementing this strategy, like having codes with the disk, and you have to put in the code on your account to get access to the album, but the days of simply being able to pop in a CD need to go away if the recording industry is going to thrive again. For a non-music example, look at what Amazon is doing with Kindle. You buy a book on Kindle, often at a reduced price, and it's yours for life. If your display croaks, you can simply buy a new one, link the new one to your account, and download the books again.

    In summary, accounts and passwords are really the only way that the industry is going to get around this, and those who are bellyaching the hardest about these changes are likely the very people who are most guilty of stealing. It would also help if the industry would come together and agree on some sort of standard where your Zune and iTunes purchases were essentially one and the same and could be transferred between accounts to whatever device/service you were currently using.

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    Default Re: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eindar View Post
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    Record companies had the opportunity to get out in front of this, and instead of changing the paradigm, they raged against the dying of the light, so to speak. I think the answer, long term, is to completely get rid of CDs. Move the copy protection from the disk to the internet. Virtually everything is hooked in via wi-fi or USB port, so require people who would like to listen to a new album to have an account, much like iTunes, and keep a record of every album/song they "own". Require that the player be linked to the account, and make it so that over a course of years, you are only allowed to listen to songs you "own". The trick with this is that people currently still have tons of albums that they own as a physical disk, so you can't implement this type of protection currently, but you can't begin the process until you stop issuing hard-copy disks with no way to verify who owns it.

    There are other ways of implementing this strategy, like having codes with the disk, and you have to put in the code on your account to get access to the album, but the days of simply being able to pop in a CD need to go away if the recording industry is going to thrive again. For a non-music example, look at what Amazon is doing with Kindle. You buy a book on Kindle, often at a reduced price, and it's yours for life. If your display croaks, you can simply buy a new one, link the new one to your account, and download the books again.
    Sounds like big brother keeping an eye on you if you ask me.

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    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    CD sales are down because early years of CD sales were propped up by the fact that everyone kept buying albums they already owned.

    My dad had several of the same albums on vinyl, 8-track, tape, and CD. Once he bought the CD, he was done. He never bought another copy of that album.

    Once you got easy and essentially perfect format-shifting, the Industry ceased being able to sell the same product to the same consumer time after time. People were sick of it. New digital players that didn't allow previous formats (i.e., ripped CDs) just died off rather than gaining acceptance (I'm looking at you, Sony).

    Add in the fact that most of us have more music than we're able to listen to, and you've got declining sales even if you ignore the fact that quality is down and that file-sharers are more (not less) likely to spend money on music.
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    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    And as a side-note, there's less music being stolen today than at any time in the past 20 years.

    More is pirated, but less is stolen.
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    Cheeseburger in Paradise Los Angeles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    I have quite a few opinions on this subject. Here are just a few in random order:

    I am not an internet file sharer, though I am a fan of the burned CD that's passed directly to a friend who is more likely than not to really love it. Yes, that's technically an infringement on intellectual property rights, I just had to draw a line somewhere.

    Since 2000, music has been in a full renaissance period. Very few eras have equaled the diversity, creativity and ... well ... quality of music of the last ten years. (The 60's being far and above any time period for virtually every genre, of course)

    Here's the difference between this era and the ones before it: This era isn't happening on your radio or your television. The music on your radio and your television, including (but not limited to) R&B, Modern Country and the American Idol Teen Hit Machine mostly sucks donkey butt. That's an offensive image because "hit-making" has reached it's most offensive level since the Orlando mindrape of the national consciousness in the late 1990's.

    That's the music that can be tracked by national sales figures.

    HOWEVER, if you can't find absolutely great music, I say get out there and look for it. I mean that quite literally. There's likely great music being played down the street from you this very week. Do us all a favor and go find out who it is and buy a ticket. Dance, Country, Hip-Hop, whatever it is, you just might find your next favorite band.

    Interesting side-note: Average percentage "take" that a label-signed artist gets from an album sale: ~5%. The "take" an artist gets from a concert ticket: ~35%. The "take" the artist gets from a t-shirt sale: ~75%. Do the math and know that finding the music for free and then seeing the artist in concert and buying the t-shirt is worth 50 album sales to the artist.

    This is a period of adjustment. Like how buggy whip factories needed a period of adjustment. These music industry slime-balls do not need more millions. The artists do, and it's finally being revealed that "Record Labels" don't offer much more than an obscene amount of overhead.
    Last edited by Los Angeles; 04-19-2010 at 04:15 PM.
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    Default Re: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    I like this topic.

    Before going too much further, one needs to call out broadcast radio as well. It is absolutely a major part of the problem.

    As someone who spends a large portion of my day job dealing with the value of intellectual property, I think those who understate the detrimental impact of pirating and stealing artistic intellectual property are guilty of a crime against a society that supports the arts.

    The punishment for those piraters should be a lifetime of listening only to the formula-driven CRAP that dominates today's radio stations.

    (As an aside, I also view Nashville as major contributor to the problem. This is not a mainstream view but follow me down this tangent. Growing up, I listed to a lot of Christian-alternative music - most of it was a variation of surf or SoCal punk. Just as LA said, there was some good quality, personal and heartfelt songwriting and, even with a low budget, good quality recording and production... and there was plenty of crap, too. But all the LA-based labels closed or relocated to Nashville, where the entire industry became paint-by-numbers praise and worship music. Yawn. Just like popular country music has become paint-by-numbers country rock. Ever notice that they're all ripoffs of Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood but Garth and Trisha were ripoffs of the Eagles. At least Trisha would admit it. Garth - I think - really believed he was making authentic country music. I don't really listen to country any more, but the last authentic country singer I recall was Randy Travis. But everyone that listens to country says, "Ah, but he's to 'twangy'". Duh. So when I hear paint-by-numbers music I refer to it as "Nashvillized."

    /End tangent)

    Anyway, this is not a chicken and egg problem. The alleged decline in quality is a byproduct of pirating. Think about it, pirating would not have reached such a large scale if the product were already crappy.

    A number of artists have been forced to take paycuts, or in the face of declining revenue have been forced to renegotiate thier contracts or become independents.

    I'm a forty yearold father living in the suburbs. I don't have as much access to find music I enjoy as I had when I'm younger. I agree with LA that it exists if you look for it, but I'm at a stage where I need someplace or someone to help me find it. And even then, I don't have much time to enjoy it.

    WTTS used to be that source. Because WFBQ utterly failed me in the early ninties. Having been out of town for a decade, I don't konw if that is true any more or not. X103 was okay during the 1990s. They did play some new music, and some formula stuff. But there were more likely to overplay a boring new song by the Smashing Pumpkins than introduce a new song by an unknown band.

    I don't remember which artist it was during the early 90s - maybe the Counting Crows - that Q95 basically ignored. Thier formula did not have capacity to add new artists to the rotation. Then, they stopped playing new music from the artists that were in the rotation. Springsteen and Neil Young have produced some of their best work during the most recent decade. But you'd never know it by listening to the radio.
    Meanwhile, Deer Creek was booked every summer with old artists playing their same greatest hits over and over. Yawn. And when I see the Boss or Neil, there are always plenty of people compaining that they aren't just playing their greatest hits.

    There has been a perfect storm brewing against the music industry. Formula-driven radio, recordings that arer easy to pirate, arrogant, corrupt, and incompetent management at the labels, hard-to-find new music, etc. iTunes is the least of thier worries, and the freeloaders are probably not in the top-three for problems of the music industry. But they're also the easiest one to blame as the bigger problems involve a mirror.

    PS, I think Eindar makes some excellent points in his post as well. Thanks.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    Here's the difference between this era and the ones before it: This era isn't happening on your radio or your television.
    Great post overall, LA. But this line I especially liked.

    Most of the best music I've listened to this year came from the Internet... the five albums I've listened to most this year were all free (sometimes limited time) downloads from the artist's site. In each case, the artists realized that they could make a better living with free downloads than they could with a record deal.

    But the original poster isn't wrong... none of these people are "The Music Industry." The music industry is a dinosaur that's quickly becoming extinct.

    See the new tagline.
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    Junior Member The Toxic Avenger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    I'll be the first to agree that the music industry is a failure but it annoys me that so many people just steal music and think its okay because Robin Hood stole from the rich.

    Ridiculous.

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    Default Re: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    Quote Originally Posted by duke dynamite View Post
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    Sounds like big brother keeping an eye on you if you ask me.
    In this specific scenario only, what difference does it make? So long as you're allowed to listen to whatever you want, I don't really care if "they" know what I'm listening to for music.

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    Default Re: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem View Post
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    And as a side-note, there's less music being stolen today than at any time in the past 20 years.

    More is pirated, but less is stolen.
    I don't think that gives the industry a shred of comfort.

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    Default Re: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    Here's a shocker.

    After I posted that OP, I started thinking. to the best of my knowledge, I have a total of one pirated tune (taken from Limewire). I did it to see how easy it was, and because that particular artist isn't on iTunes. But otherwise, I practice what I preach and pay for the music I acquire.

    But my 16-year-old daughter just reminded me that her folder of our iTunes account is filled with songs she ripped from CDs she checked out of the library. So she's a big-time pirate. Moreover, when I asked her if she though it was right, she started giving exactly the reasons in the article, including: "Why did they make it so easy, if its wrong?" and "It would be wasteful, once you've got it there in your house, to give it back and then pay for it again!"

    Yikes! I got some parenting to do.




    Los Angeles says we should all go out and look for some new and enjoyable performers. I don't go out much at all, but last summer I discovered the Born Again Floozies doing just what he said to do. So it does work!


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    Last edited by Putnam; 04-19-2010 at 05:25 PM.
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    But they never had much use for me
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    International Counter bellisimo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    http://torrentfreak.com/is-piracy-re...try-no-100418/

    For more than a decade the music industry has claimed that digital piracy is the main cause for the gradual decline in revenues. However, looking at the sales data of the music industry itself shows that the disappointing income might be better explained by a third factor that is systematically ignored.

    After music cassettes were introduced in the mid-70s the number of sales saw a gradual increase, until the late 80s when the CD took over in popularity. Cassettes were eventually phased out as CD sales continued to skyrocket. In music industry vocabulary one could argue that CDs killed cassettes.
    Interestingly enough, this format shift was nothing new for the music industry. The exact same pattern also applied to the LP/cassette battle, with cassettes eventually taking over from LPs in the early 80s. Now, three decades after cassettes started to dominate the music business, the CD is losing ground.
    This time around there is a new enemy in town, digital piracy. For nearly a decade the U.S. music industry has seen a decline in sales of physical CDs and all this time it has put the blame on digital piracy. By doing so, the labels conveniently ignore the most drastic format shift music has ever seen – the digital revolution.
    With the growing popularity of the Internet, computers and most importantly MP3-players, music fans have started to trade in their CDs for MP3s and other digital files. Initially, the public had to convert CDs themselves, but in 2003 the iTunes store opened, selling over a million tracks in the first week.
    With this shift from physical to digital, another important change hit the industry, one that may in part explain why the labels’ revenues in the U.S. continued to decline. With the introduction of paid downloads, consumers no longer had to buy a full album if they were only interested in two or three songs. This new freedom for consumers has dramatically changed the music sales landscape.
    According to statistics taken from the RIAA shipment database, between 2004 and 2008 the number of single tracks sold in the U.S. increased by 669 percent while the number of album sales dropped 42 percent. Consequently, the income of the big labels suffered since single track sales are less profitable than full albums. As can be seen in the chart below, the number of music ‘units’ sold continues to grow rapidly nonetheless.
    Music ‘units’ shipped in the United States


    So where does piracy fit into this picture? Truth is, we just don’t know.
    File-sharing is obviously a by-product of the digital revolution in music, but its effect on revenues has been much overstated. In every annual report that comes out, the music industry blames piracy for its troubles, even though digital sales are booming and even though these are directly competing with piracy.
    We believe that the format shift from physical to digital music, and the change in buying habits that came along with it, may explain the decline in revenue more than piracy can. To back this up we’ve compared the labels’ revenues in two countries on opposite ends of the digital / physical rift, the U.S. and Germany.
    Although piracy is rampant in both of these countries, the local music consumption habits are very different according to data published by IFPI. In Germany physical CDs are still very popular, with digital sales representing less than 25% of all music ‘units’ sold. In the U.S. on the other hand, digital outsells physical with 70% of all sales.
    If the theory that the shift towards digital music is negatively impacting revenues holds up, then the German record labels should do much better. Indeed, between 2004 and 2008 the net revenue (in dollars) of the U.S record companies fell more than 30%, compared to less than 5% in Germany.
    If the data above is not convincing enough, there is also another unexplained anomaly in the sales data.
    If digital piracy is such a problem one would expect that it will mostly hurt digital sales, but these are booming instead. Many younger people don’t even own a CD-player anymore, yet the music industry sees digital piracy as the main reason for the decline in physical sales. Strange, because digital piracy would be most likely to cannibalize digital sales. This anomaly also refutes the excuse that the U.S industry could be hit more by piracy than the German.
    So what does the music industry have to say about this all? TorrentFreak asked the RIAA to comment on our findings and they released the following statement.
    “We’ve always said there are multiple reasons for the decline of the industry during the past ten years: Competition for the entertainment dollar. Diversification of music consumption and access. But we also think people being able to steal music online is the primary reason. Not the only, but the primary.”
    We obviously have to differ with the RIAA here. The digital revolution in music has changed the entire industry by altering the consumption habits of music fans. Although piracy could also be a factor, the data we’ve seen thus far suggests that it plays only a minor role, if it has any effect at all.

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    Default Re: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    The record companies and promoters make a ton of money from shows. $30 for a silk-screened t-shirt!? WTF?

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    Default Re: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    Quote Originally Posted by duke dynamite View Post
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    Sounds like big brother keeping an eye on you if you ask me.
    this is more like big brother:

    The RIAA and MPAA have submitted a plan to the Office of Intellectual Property Enforcement. It's basically a plan that they want the government to enact, and it's terrifying.

    Here are some of the lovely things that they're calling for:
    * spyware on your computer that detects and deletes infringing materials;
    * mandatory censorware on all Internet connections to interdict transfers of infringing material;
    * border searches of personal media players, laptops and thumb-drives;
    * international bullying to force other countries to implement the same policies;
    * and free copyright enforcement provided by Fed cops and agencies (including the Department of Homeland Security!).
    Uh, yeah. So we'd basically give up all of our privacy so the government could play copyright cops for the RIAA and MPAA. This is crazy stuff, and one's got to assume that it's so crazy that the government would never listen to it. But good lord.
    http://gizmodo.com/5517850/riaampaa-...-automatically

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    Default Re: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    Quote Originally Posted by bellisimo View Post
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    this is more like big brother:

    The RIAA and MPAA have submitted a plan to the Office of Intellectual Property Enforcement. It's basically a plan that they want the government to enact, and it's terrifying.



    http://gizmodo.com/5517850/riaampaa-...-automatically
    See, I can sort of take back my comment about big brother to an extent, because within my music library I utilize "Genius" playlists. Genius takes meta-data from your music library and connects it to the internet to gather songs/artists that closely relate to your song or songs you have playing.

    HOWEVER, I feel that certain restrictions from DRM need to be removed, and iTunes took a major step in doing that, by letting you do whatever you wish with your purchased 'tunes. (i.e. moving them from one medium to another, etc.)

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    Default Re: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    Quote Originally Posted by bellisimo View Post
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    this is more like big brother:

    The RIAA and MPAA have submitted a plan to the Office of Intellectual Property Enforcement. It's basically a plan that they want the government to enact, and it's terrifying.



    http://gizmodo.com/5517850/riaampaa-...-automatically
    Who, other than the goverment, is supposed to enforce the laws?

    As mentioned, its painfully easy to pirate this stuff. But its also easy to steal candy bars from the checkout line and that doesn't make stealing the right thing to do.

    Its really a shame the word "pirating" is used instead of theft/ robbery/ stealing.

    Next thing you know, the people at Dicks Sporting Goods are going to have security guards in their stores watching for shoplifters. Can you imagine the freedom being taken away from us? We won't be allowed to steal as easily any more. Call a lawyer! That's a violation of our rights!!
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


  27. #22
    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    Yikes! I got some parenting to do.
    I'm not sure that intellectual property theft is hurting the music/ recording industry as much as is alleged.

    But the notion that piracy of intellectual property is okay -- and rationalizing that it is not stealing -- is really chipping away at the foundation of our civilization.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


  28. #23
    International Counter bellisimo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    I'm not sure that intellectual property theft is hurting the music/ recording industry as much as is alleged.

    But the notion that piracy of intellectual property is okay -- and rationalizing that it is not stealing -- is really chipping away at the foundation of our civilization.
    it all comes back from the old school days when people would record their shows on VCRs and make mix cassette tapes to their loved ones - surely those were also frowned upon by the MPAA and RIAA - yet it was done and people thought it to be rather harmless...

  29. #24

    Default Re: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    Damn the man! Save the Empire!

  30. #25
    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freeloaders are Ruining the Music Industry!

    Quote Originally Posted by bellisimo View Post
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    it all comes back from the old school days when people would record their shows on VCRs and make mix cassette tapes to their loved ones - surely those were also frowned upon by the MPAA and RIAA - yet it was done and people thought it to be rather harmless...
    Sharing it with a limited number of people that you know was never the same as making it available via the internet to everyone for free.

    Sharing it as you described is not "commercial" use but would qualify as "personal" use.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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