Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Music Media Your Rights Online

How to Turn A Music Lover to Piracy 521

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the self-defeating-drm dept.
dugn writes to tell us The Consumerist is running a story about how a run of the mill (read non-tech-savvy) music lover was pushed to become a pirate. "I've devoted a not-inconsequential chunk of my life to collecting music; to tracking down obscure records, cassettes, 8-Tracks and CD's of all genres and styles. And now apparently that is all but over. Music has somehow evolved from tangible things into amorphous collections of 1's and 0's guarded over by interested parties as if they were gold bullion. How so very sad."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

How to Turn A Music Lover to Piracy

Comments Filter:
  • hmmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by User 956 (568564) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @01:56PM (#18432681) Homepage
    Music has somehow evolved from tangible things into amorphous collections of 1's and 0's

    What? Music has always been data. This guy isn't a music lover, he's a memorabilia lover.
    • Re:hmmm... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:02PM (#18432803) Homepage Journal

      What? Music has always been data.

      That's right. Way back in Vienna, before their falling out, Prince-Archbishop Colloredo would pay Mozart rather well for his data.

      • Re:hmmm... (Score:4, Funny)

        by kindbud (90044) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @07:39PM (#18437273) Homepage
        "I am attempting, Madame, to construct a MP3 player using stone knives and bearskins." - Spock, Music City on the Edge of Forever

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by iminplaya (723125)
        Yes he would pay for a performance of said data. A recording is not a performance, and should not be construed as such. It is an ad, like a billboard promoting a performance. And we should get paid for distributing them :-)
    • Re:hmmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RobertNotBob (597987) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:04PM (#18432817)
      For Fifteen THOUSAND Years ( I am NOT exagerating) Music was a service that people provided to each other.

      Then, some guy (named Edison) created an anomily. A peculiar quirk of technology that turned it inot a PRODUCT.

      Luckily, technology has come around to return Music to it's proper place. It is now, once again, a Service

      That's hat really bug me about the music industry. They are trying to sell a Service, like it was a Product, and then they have the audasity to blame US for their problems. RIAA, here's a free clue for you. "Contempt of Business Model" is not a crime. Your market was a fluke; an abhoration of technology that has been corrected. Just like that buggy-whip manufacturer in the oft-quoted Danny Devito flick, your time has passed. Adapt, or die. Just like every body else.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sneakernets (1026296)
        you are absolutely correct. Music is a temporal art. It's a shame those poor "Artists" are going to have to start being "artists" again, performing. That's where the money is, anyway. not the Albums.
        • Re:hmmm... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by aardvarkjoe (156801) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @05:25PM (#18435793)

          It's a shame those poor "Artists" are going to have to start being "artists" again, performing. That's where the money is, anyway. not the Albums.

          The fact that 2006 US music sales included 588.2 million albums and 581.9 million digital tracks indicates that there is perhaps a bit of money in the field of selling albums and music, and not just performing.

          When it is so patently obvious that owning music is worth quite a bit to hundreds of millions of people, the old argument that recorded music "should" just be used to draw people to concerts seems more than a little self-serving.

          • by twitter (104583) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @07:31PM (#18437207) Homepage Journal

            US music sales included 588.2 million albums and 581.9 million digital tracks indicates that there is perhaps a bit of money in the field of selling albums and music, and not just performing. When it is so patently obvious that owning music is worth quite a bit to hundreds of millions of people, the old argument that recorded music "should" just be used to draw people to concerts seems more than a little self-serving.

            Are you implying that artists somehow benefit from music sales? I was under the impression that platinum performing artists made next to nothing from those sales but were forced to tour perpetually to promote them [salon.com].

            Yes, hundreds of millions of people are willing to pay for music. The greedy pigs who own the entire history of recorded music, unfortunately are so busy both artists and fans that no one is getting what they deserve.

            The vast majority of music is still acquired on CDs, but history is all they will provide in the future. Everyone but the majors are sick of the majors. New music is being produced, promoted and enjoyed without them. Online, they are just one of many providers. The future belongs to those who meet people's need for entertainment. Lawsuits, restrictions and bad deals are not fun for anyone.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by aardvarkjoe (156801)

              Are you implying that artists somehow benefit from music sales?

              They would if they would sell their own music, or found distributors that gave them favorable terms. (And don't try the crap about there being no such thing -- there is; you just don't get the marketing muscle that the big names have.) I feel no sympathy for the poor, downtrodden artists who sign away the rights to their music in hopes of becoming multimillionaires. They played the lottery, they lost.

              In any case, I was responding to the sta

      • Re:hmmm... (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:10PM (#18432915)

        For Fifteen THOUSAND Years

        The earth is only 6000 years old, Bob.
        • Re:hmmm... (Score:5, Funny)

          by cptgrudge (177113) <cptgrudge&gmail,com> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @03:10PM (#18433801) Journal

          The earth is only 6000 years old, Bob.

          Maybe he means 15000 dog years. Then it would fit.

      • When they stopped paying the temple musicians, they went back home to provide for themselves. So they brought them all back and insisted they got paid so there would be music for the temple.

        Now the funny part is that most commercial music sucks badly, and I wouldn't miss it if it died off completely. I'm sure there would be people creating music for other reasons that just money. There's lots of reasons to make music other than just money. I'm just saying that people were being paid for music before E
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Elemenope (905108)

        Hey Bob,

        For the vast majority of that fifteen thousand years you speak of, music wasn't a service that people (regular folk, that is) provided each other at all. For the lion's share of the first 14/15ths, nearly all music was for religious purposes, so at best it was a service by people for their gods, not for each other. Music for pleasure didn't become decently commonplace until the Baroque era in the West, and even then it was a service of talented professionals for some King or Prince, not the every

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by misleb (129952)

          For the vast majority of that fifteen thousand years you speak of, music wasn't a service that people (regular folk, that is) provided each other at all. For the lion's share of the first 14/15ths, nearly all music was for religious purposes, so at best it was a service by people for their gods, not for each other. Music for pleasure didn't become decently commonplace until the Baroque era in the West, and even then it was a service of talented professionals for some King or Prince, not the everyday folk.

          • Re:hmmm... (Score:4, Informative)

            by Elemenope (905108) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:37PM (#18433369)

            Yes, I have heard of bard, troubadours, etc.. They became prominenet...in the Late Baroque era. Like I said. And most of them traveled from fiefdom to fiefdom and sang and played...for kings and lords, also like I said. It was the only way they could eat; playing for commoners (though it did happen on occassion) didn't fill the stomach until the economy could support it (think late classical period).

            And respectfully, while fantasy novels on the whole are entertaining and occasionally even thought provoking, are by and large utter shite when it comes to historical accuracy. The closest one comes to historical accuracy in a novel like that is something like "Doomsday Book" by Connie Willis. And that portrayed the late medieval period; ain't no bards there.

            • Re:hmmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

              by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:43PM (#18433465) Homepage Journal

              Yes, I have heard of bard, troubadours, etc.. They became prominenet...in the Late Baroque era. Like I said. And most of them traveled from fiefdom to fiefdom and sang and played...for kings and lords, also like I said. It was the only way they could eat; playing for commoners (though it did happen on occassion) didn't fill the stomach until the economy could support it (think late classical period).

              I think you are neglecting the quite proliferate history of an oral tradition through song amongst various indigenous peoples, which is a common pattern all over the world. It was quite commonly accompanied by instrumentation, typically percussion.

              • Re:hmmm... (Score:5, Funny)

                by edmicman (830206) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:49PM (#18433523) Homepage Journal
                But I don't want to download that. I want to download Justin Timberlake.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by MadJo (674225)
              Never heard of drinking songs? Or folk music? Childrens songs?

              I think that you'll find lots of examples of people singing with eachother... perhaps not a service perse, but still, it was done as a way to pass time and/or to pass on information. Well, actually you could say that it was a SERVICE.

              Making music is practically as old as the oldest profession known to man.

              Music wasn't limited to just the rich and famous, it belonged to everybody, EVEN to the commoners as you so put it.

              And right now, if you sing H
        • by aztec rain god (827341) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:26PM (#18433167)
          I'd say before bringing up religion, that most music around the world in the past has either been about getting laid or not getting laid, just like nowadays.
        • Re:hmmm... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:55PM (#18433615) Homepage
          It gave people for mere pennies the ability to buy a service that once took a king's fortune to procure;

          really? from what I remember of musical history most people got to listen to music for free and were encouraged to donate to the travelling bard or musician.

          Granted history could be wrong and all artists commanded millions of rupees/gold coins/diamonds per performance from the kings of the world.

          I am betting that that is not the case, most musicians worked for very little and gave away their craft, incredibly few were the "rock stars" that sold their creations for incredulous amounts of money. (Yes Mozart, Beethoven, and their likes were the exception and not the rule.)

          Also most music was blatantly stolen. Most Irish jigs are variations of other jigs, and so on. Most of music's evolution is based on the original freedom and freeness the music had.

          Paying huge sums of money all the time to musicians is a weird phenomenon of the past 50 years that is not the norm and will correct it's self. No matter what the RIAA and stars-in-their-eyes musicians want, it will change back to the way it was.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by danpsmith (922127)

            It gave people for mere pennies the ability to buy a service that once took a king's fortune to procure; really? from what I remember of musical history most people got to listen to music for free and were encouraged to donate to the travelling bard or musician. Granted history could be wrong and all artists commanded millions of rupees/gold coins/diamonds per performance from the kings of the world. I am betting that that is not the case, most musicians worked for very little and gave away their craft,

        • Re:hmmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by greg_barton (5551) * <greg_barton@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @03:08PM (#18433781) Homepage Journal

          For the lion's share of the first 14/15ths, nearly all music was for religious purposes, so at best it was a service by people for their gods

          Untrue. This was "high music," as in the music of the high culture, but the low culture (which didn't have the advantage of writing the official history) produced music as well. You're not seriously asserting that no one but priests sang a note, are you? That's like saying there was never any literature other than the bible. Of course there was. It's just that the church had the means to record what they were doing.

          Just so you know, I've been playing in renaissance music ensembles for decades, so I know what I'm talking about. (15th century music, on historical replicas of the instruments.) A lot of what we play is dance music, and they ain't dances for the gods.

          So, please. Folk were probably singing before they were talking.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Znork (31774)
          "For the vast majority of that fifteen thousand years"

          Actually, the oldest instruments are around 40000 years old, contemporaries of cave art. And considering the ease with which one can make instruments out of commonly found materials, I'd find it astonishing if people didnt play around with making things like reed pipes or drums far earlier than that.

          "Music for pleasure didn't become decently commonplace"

          Betcha music for pleasure was decently commonplace for as long as people have been bored. Or consuming
      • Re:hmmm... (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @03:00PM (#18433675)
        It MAKES Me FEEL very important to Talk in ALTERNATING Caps, even if they DON'T maKE SeNsE to reaD. Sometimes I ALSO like to randomly italiCIZE Words As Well.

        Your badly-written and incoherent ramblings just don't amount to much of anything other than uneducated, music snobbery. "Oooh, damn that Edison for recording music on a medium! He ruined it for everyone!" Fucktard.
      • Re:hmmm... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by C0rinthian (770164) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @04:44PM (#18435209)
        Good god, this is rediculous.

        We live in a world where someone can make a functionally identical recording of a performance quickly and easily, and do so in bulk. Said recordings can be played as many times as desired through relatively cheap hardware.

        In essence, a CD player and some speakers can functionally replace ANY music performer. This is very consistent and very cheap to do. With our current music culture the only thing a concert is good for is to see personalities on stage (I hesitate to call them musicians) and to see an expensive show. (Pyrotechnics, etc)

        So you tell me how a performer can compete with technology without any kind of legal protections. If someone can record my performance and play it in their nightclub every night of the week, why the hell would they pay me to do it live?

        Don't get me wrong. I disagree with a lot of things in the music industry. Especially the flagrant abuse of copyright by major labels. But thinking that you can apply a business model from 500 years ago to the current market is just as rediculous.
    • Re:hmmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by omeomi (675045) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:06PM (#18432847) Homepage
      What? Music has always been data. This guy isn't a music lover, he's a memorabilia lover.

      It hasn't always been digital data...It hasn't even always been recordable data...prior to analog recording techniques, the only way to record a song was to write it down and learn to play it yourself. And before notation, the only way to copy a song was to listen to somebody else play it, and lean to play it yourself (still the most rewarding way to learn new music, IMHO)
      • Re:hmmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by User 956 (568564) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:21PM (#18433101) Homepage
        It hasn't always been digital data...It hasn't even always been recordable data...prior to analog recording techniques, the only way to record a song was to write it down and learn to play it yourself.

        Of course, but the author of the article is conflating the information with the media. His real complaint is that the music industry is transitioning from a convenient media system to an inconvenient media system.

        Whether or not the music data is stored Digitally, or in an Analog fashion is irrelevant. Music hasn't evolved into data, just like any other kind of information hasn't evolved into data in the transition from oral tradition to magnetic storage.
    • Right and Wrong... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by simpl3x (238301) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:58PM (#18433649)
      The great thing about lots of the past music has been the tie to visual arts, both graphic design and visual experiences. The problem with a lot of the digital music now is the loss of these cues and links. As a "collector" of music, parts of this I miss. Having the whole lot that took a dozen boxes to move (ultimately to the resale shop) on my laptop, even at 128 AAC is really appealing. It was very hard to finally make the irreversible decision to get rid of it all.

      Now I have music in something where alphabetically it is really easy to find. Well, except for all of that Japanese noise! But, I don't have my visual cues, my stacks... My musical "thought" process is gone. Seeing the edge of a CD with a certain color made me think of playing it. Seeing something, made me dig for a cover. It is harder in lots of ways to find the music in intuitive ways.

      He isn't simply after the memorabilia, he's after the memory. It's that subtle difference between work and working. A task is easy to break down, and code around perhaps. But, making meaningful software and work methods is a whole lot more difficult.
  • Correction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daishiman (698845) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @01:56PM (#18432685)
    Some people want us to belive that being a pirate is contradictory to being a music lover. Such a contradiction does not exist. Some of the people that I know that have the greatest appreciation for musica pirate like mad, and still spend hundreds on concerts and vinyl and have their very own bands.
    • Re:Correction (Score:4, Interesting)

      by spyrochaete (707033) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:23PM (#18433141) Homepage Journal
      Brilliantly stated!

      It's a sad thing to admit, but I'm officially afraid of music now. Afraid and angry. I'm afraid of rootkits, embedded media player software that auto-installs, and CDs that will not play on computers. And I'm right pissed off about this because, while I am indeed a music pirate, I have an enormous collection of legitimately purchased music.

      Now I refuse to buy music. It is no longer an option. I hate the music industry and I refuse to support even my favourite artists for subjecting their fans to such hazards. I listen to music to accentuate whatever it is I'm doing, and I refuse to change my lifestyle to suit music.

      I'm done with buying music. Maybe forever. It all depends on the music industry. I want hassle-free music. I don't care what medium it comes on as long as I can transfer it to whatever media suit what I'm doing that day. I refuse to repurchase albums on other formats. I'm done buying widgets. Music is not something that fits in your hand. Sell me music or begone.

      P.s., when I hear audacious BS like the recording industry suing a restaurant for playing music in the dining room my sympathy for their pleas disappears. To empathise with an industry that cannot be satisfied is futile.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by dthulson (904894)
        Have you considered just avoiding music from RIAA labels? There are plenty of independent labels out there. I have found the RIAA Radar [riaaradar.com] to be very helpful.
  • by Mateo_LeFou (859634) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @01:56PM (#18432691) Homepage
    If (as the "content industry" would like us to believe) we do not ever actually "own" our music, but "license" it, then there can't be any such thing as a Music Pirte. It's more like Unlicensed Music Listener. Like an unlicensed driver. Your thoughts?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by heinousjay (683506)
      I think that's yet another stupid analogy.

      Sorry for being flamish, but you asked and I answered honestly.
      • ...so what's the prospect for making **AA officials and the congresspeople they've purchased stop calling unauthorized copying "theft", "piracy", etc.?
    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:12PM (#18432959) Homepage

      I think there's truth to the idea. The problem is, the media companies won't take a stance on what you're paying for when you buy a CD. Are you buying a product, or some kind of license. They won't take a stance because they want to have their cake and eat it too.

      They obviously don't want to say you've "purchased" anything, since it implies that you have some ownership. Ownership implies rights, and they don't want consumers to have any rights. On the other hand, if you've purchased a "license", then it becomes even more ambiguous. What are the terms of the license? When did I agree to it? If I'm purchasing a "license to listen" as you suppose, then what if I play my CD for a friend-- that friend has no license to listen. That friend is as much an "unlicensed listener" as if they downloaded the MP3 from the internet.

      Of course, things would be made more clear if the media companies would simply agree that the issue is simply copyright, and the problem is with mass duplication and distribution. Of course, this is really only sticky because they don't seem to want to stipulate that consumers have fair-use rights or that copyrights have limits. With "licensing", they can continually charge consumers on whatever terms they wish, making the same person pay for the same media content repeatedly (i.e. once for your phone, once for your mp3 player, again when you buy a new mp3 player), but the idea of "fair use" threatens those sorts of business models.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Phanatic1a (413374)
        The problem is, the media companies won't take a stance on what you're paying for when you buy a CD. Are you buying a product, or some kind of license. They won't take a stance because they want to have their cake and eat it too.


        Actually, they have taken a stance [boingboing.net]:

        Sony musicians including Cheap Trick and the Allman Brothers are suing the record label for screwing them out of their royalties on sales of music on iTunes and other digital music services.
        At issue is whether the music sold through these services

        • But that's exactly what I mean by "they want to have their cake and eat it too." If you want to say they've taken a stance, then the problem is that they've taken both stances, and hop back-and-forth depending on which will serve them better. Ok, so maybe they made a legal claim with legal ramifications, but that doesn't prevent Sony from trying to hold customers to "license agreements", but only that it might not stand up in court if the customer has a good lawyer. It (according to this article) doesn't

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MobyDisk (75490)
        I spot-checked my music collection and there are no licenses listed on them, only copyrights. Seems cut-and-dry to me.
    • Has anyone ever traced the origins of the term "pirate" with regard to un-licensed informational products?

      It just seems like a bizarre word to pick out of the entire English language to describe that activity. I can't imagine that it was chosen by anyone who didn't have a definite axe to grind against "unauthorized copying," since it's such a loaded term.

      I wonder if its origins have ever been really well researched, because it's probably too late now to ever change it. I suspect that the generation of young
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by grub (11606)
        Back the early 80's there was an infamous BBS named "Pirate Harbor". The misuse of the term wasn't new then.
      • by dylan_- (1661) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:40PM (#18433411) Homepage
        It's pretty old. In its entry for pirate (in this sense) OED has:

        1603 T. DEKKER Wonderfull Yeare sig. A4, Banish these Word-pirates (you sacred mistresses of learning) into the gulfe of Barbarisme.] 1668 J. HANCOCK Brooks' String of Pearls (Notice at end), Some dishonest Booksellers, called Land-Pirats, who make it their practise to steal Impressions of other mens Copies. 1703 D. DEFOE True-born Englishman in True Collect. I. Explan. Pref. sig. B3v, Its being Printed again and again, by Pyrates.
      • by bcmm (768152) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @04:42PM (#18435161)
        Almost certainly via "pirate radio stations". These were ships which would broadcast FM radio from just outside a country's territorial waters, so that they could be heard on land. They'd play music without paying any royalties, play records which were banned from the radio or not released to radio stations, etc., and were just about legal because no one had the power to arrest people in international waters for something as trivial as copyright violation.

        So you can see how "piracy" got linked to "copyright infringement" - via actual seagoing music pirates. Surprised no one else pointed it out.
  • Piracy = Freedom (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @01:58PM (#18432723)
    tee hee ... It has allowed me to listen to bubblegum pop without the scornful looks of music store clerks and no embarrassing CDs to hide when friends stop over.
  • ROFL (Score:5, Funny)

    by Grashnak (1003791) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:00PM (#18432761)

    Well" she responded, "You didn't actually purchase the files, you really purchased a license to listen to the music, and the license is very specific about how they can be played or listened to." Now I was baffled. "Records never came with any such restrictions," I said. She replied, "Well they were supposed to, but we weren't able to enforce those licenses back then, and now we can"
    And here you all thought that you owned all those 8 track tapes, when in fact you're just storing them for the company that made them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Question: If the liscencee pisses off the record company enough (vocal critic, successful lawsuits), can they void the liscences for any 'ol reason? Would be interesting if they attempted to tell large groups (political parties) they they were suddenly unlawfully in possession of copyrighted material and must immediately destroy it.
      • Re:ROFL (Score:4, Interesting)

        by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:45PM (#18433489) Homepage Journal

        Question: If the liscencee pisses off the record company enough (vocal critic, successful lawsuits), can they void the liscences for any 'ol reason?

        Did you sign a licensing agreement when you purchased the music? No? Then there is no license, and your use of the material is governed only by appropriate laws involving intellectual property, copyright, and first sale. Period.

    • "Records never came with any such restrictions," I said. She replied, "Well they were supposed to, but we weren't able to enforce those licenses back then, and now we can"

      And here you all thought that you owned all those 8 track tapes, when in fact you're just storing them for the company that made them.


      I've seen some of my grandparents' early 45s and they did indeed have a label with a license printed on them. It said things like RCA owned the record and the music on it and all you had was a license to l
  • by Otis2222222 (581406) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:01PM (#18432767) Homepage

    "Well" she responded, "You didn't actually purchase the files, you really purchased a license to listen to the music, and the license is very specific about how they can be played or listened to." Now I was baffled. "Records never came with any such restrictions," I said. She replied, "Well they were supposed to, but we weren't able to enforce those licenses back then, and now we can"
    Wow. This succinctly sums up everything that's wrong with the online music business, in my opinion. If I am going to pay 99 cents a track, the product I buy needs to be as equivalent as possible to what you get when you buy a physical product from the music store. For that matter one of my main objections to online music stores is the fact that you cannot download lossless-encoded songs (let alone DRM-free).
    • If I am going to pay 99 cents a track, the product I buy needs to be as equivalent as possible to what you get when you buy a physical product from the music store

      You fool! They're just going to raise the price of CDs now so the online track is scaled accordingly :(
    • I definitely agree, $0.99 is way to high for lower quality DRM encumbered audio files. I'm fortunate enough to have lived in urban areas of California, and have the option of buying most of my music used. Used CD's typically range in price from $1.99-8.99 for a full CD (which is often 12+ tracks). With used music you're paying much less than $0.99 per track, the quality is significantly better, you can make as many backups as you want, and you can transcode to any format you want (no DRM). Furthermore,
  • by Mr. Flibble (12943) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:01PM (#18432769) Homepage
    I love audio books, mostly because I work out, and learn stuff at the same time. I love my audible subscription, but after buying books from Audible that are DRM'ed, and running into extreme troubles playing them on one of my "non-approved" MP3 players, or running into trouble trying to convert the files into MP3 so I can actually use them in my car, I started downloading them off of bittorrent sites.

    And that is the funny thing. I have been downloading the *EXACT* same books that I have paid Audible for from bittorrent. I have no problem buying Audio Books - but when I buy them, the DRM gets in my way, and I cannot always listen to the book I paid for in the manner I want. I *WANT* to pay for the books, I have no problem with that. I just want to be able to listen to them as I choose, not as the company controlling them chooses.

    In the same way, I have found myself downloading MP3's of music that I already own on CD because it is faster for me to download the music that I already have, than to go through my CD collection and rip all the music.

    I cannot see any of these industries surviving for long when they stand in the way of what consumers who are willing to pay for what actually want. The Barenaked ladies have it right. The author of this article is correct, we are being driven to piracy. At least I have never used Rhino.
    • In the same way, I have found myself downloading MP3's of music that I already own on CD because it is faster for me to download the music that I already have, than to go through my CD collection and rip all the music.

      This is where it gets even more interesting. If as they say you are only buying a license to listen to the tracks on a CD, are you still guilty of pirating even though by their definition you're allowed to have those tracks? What's the real legal difference between obtaining MP3s from the CD

      • by MattyCobb (695086) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @03:01PM (#18433693)
        I have wondered that myself. My car was broken into about 4 years ago. I lost about 200 CDs (yeah yeah I shouldn't have my whole collection in my car...) and while my CD player and my audio system that were stolen were covered by my insurance, my CDs were not. They told me I had to file that under homeowners insurance... which I don't have... because I don't have a home... I have an apartment. Now I have 'pirated' most all of these albums back. I still have the CD cases to prove I owned them. If I really purchased a license, then this wouldn't matter... right? I mean all I lost was some plastic covered foil and I retain my rights to the audio... I think.

        On the other hand if I never owned these albums at all, shouldn't the RIAA be after whoever robbed my car while resupplying me with new copies of those CDs? :)

        All kidding aside, I have often wondered about the legality of what I did.

        Now if you excuse me I have to run before the DMCA Death Squads gets here.
        • by freeweed (309734) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @04:36PM (#18435083)
          They told me I had to file that under homeowners insurance... which I don't have... because I don't have a home... I have an apartment.

          Renter's contents insurance has been available for decades.

          You're free to not purchase it (hey, many renters don't own much), but don't make out like you couldn't have had insurance :)

          Otherwise I agree with your point completely. It's a good question, and has actually come up in insurance claims similar to yours.
  • Its sad really (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mulvane (692631) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:01PM (#18432779)
    I have a collection starting on vinyl I inherited. I have many many old vinyls, and I have cassettes and cd's of many of these as well. To think, I have media pre-dating all this non-sense about RIAA, and who owns what. If I take a digital rip of a Elvis song now, I supposedly owe the RIAA money for it. Even though I realistically own multiple copies on media of various types. It seems to me especially on older classics that I should have a right to do with the music as I wish now. Is there a grandfather clause for such old media? Can I legally just acquire a new digital format for free now if I wished as to archive and preserve my collection?
  • by John3 (85454) <john3@NospAm.cornells.com> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:07PM (#18432863) Homepage Journal
    I've also been frustrated by trying to mix and match different music listening formats in the digital age. iTunes music doesn't show up on my Windows Media Center via my Xbox 360 and some WMA downloaded songs can't be listened to on my iPod. I own about 800 LP's and nearly 1000 CD's so I too have fattened the pockets of Sony/BMG/Warner/etc. over the past thirty years. The music industry is due for a collapse of epic proportions...just read today that music sales are down 20% [wsj.com] so far in 2007. Here's hoping the entire industry falls apart and artists can start dealing with fans directly.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by stratjakt (596332)
      i have felt the same problem, it's worse for video.. Apple TV and iPod Video vs XBox 360 vs Tivo.. I really wanted to start setting up a digital library, but need 3 or 4 copies of each to play back on various devices.

      The blame isnt the RIAA/MPAA or industries, the blame is on Apple, MSFT and Tivo.

      Nobody forced DRM on any of those devices but the makers of those devices. If a 20 dollar dvd player can play DivX with no problems, there's no reason the others can't - other than companies wanting to set up th
      • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:51PM (#18433563) Homepage Journal

        The blame isnt the RIAA/MPAA or industries, the blame is on Apple, MSFT and Tivo. Nobody forced DRM on any of those devices but the makers of those devices. If a 20 dollar dvd player can play DivX with no problems, there's no reason the others can't - other than companies wanting to set up their own private distribution mechanisms.

        What a stunningly ignorant sequence of statements!

        Let me see if I can shed a little light.

        Tivo chose DRM. They chose it because they felt they would be sued into oblivion if they did not. You may have a point here, although I believe that they made the correct decision - as in, they wouldn't have lasted a month if they didn't go the DRM route.

        Microsoft and Apple both had to implement DRM if they wanted to be able to sell music. Microsoft had to implement DRM if they wanted to make Windows Media the most popular format around, even before they were selling music. The labels simply would not have permitted them to sell digital downloads without DRM. So yes, they very much were forced to use DRM - it was either that, or not compete in the industry at all. They have a responsibility to their shareholders to make money. So yes, they had to use DRM.

        A 20 dollar DVD player can play DivX with no problems. That's correct. But the issue here isn't playing non-encrypted content. The issue is that the content creators want protection. This is why they're releasing media which is encrypted. Sure, you can make a player that plays unencrypted media. It's not useful for playing mass-media content; virtually no DVD releases are unencrypted, although I have seen one example. Try selling a DVD player that doesn't support CSS and let me know how far you get!

        Jobs showboating about "I really wish we could ditch DRM" was pure bullcrap. It was his choice to use it.

        Yes, it was his choice to use DRM and make money, or refuse to use DRM, and be lynched by the shareholders. What a choice!

        Money is the root of all of this evil, but next in line is the MAFIAA.

  • Sand on a beach (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ilex (261136) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:10PM (#18432913)
    The problem with the mafiaa is that they have turned their back on the traditional physical ownership aspects of music in favour of a rental, pay to play model.

    Trying to sell digital information on the internet is literally like trying to sell sand on a beach. It's infinitely available. They're using DRM to create the illusion of scarcity, kind of like shovelling sand back into the sea, what they're really doing is just digging a big hole for themselves instead of trying to find somewhere which doesn't have any sand (improving their business model). When the tide comes in they'll just bury their heads and hope for the best.
  • by Red Flayer (890720) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:12PM (#18432945) Journal
    I'm no fan of the draconian restrictions that exist on most digital music, but this guy was not "pushed to become a pirate" or "forced to become a pirate". He downloaded material without bothering to make sure that what he was downloading was what he needed in order to play the music.

    This entire blog post should be retitled "Why I chose to become a pirate, and how my own ignorance of media formats helped it along." The guy made a mistake (downloading WMA format music to play on an iPod) and rather than deal with it and eat his $10 losses, decided that he would rather get his music for free.

    Please... if you pirate music, good for you. But don't claim it was forced on you, and don't claim that you didn't choose to do it of your own free will. Man up and take responsibility for you actions.

    Note: I am not a record-industry shill, I'm just sick of people justifying their actions in order to clear their consciences.
    • by King_TJ (85913) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:24PM (#18433145) Journal
      We're just mincing words here, but I'd say it's valid to argue he was at least "pushed" towards becoming a music pirate. He obviously wasn't originally someone who had any desire to take a free copy of an album over a purchased one. In fact, his very last purchase was supposedly made despite finding the very same songs he was seeking on the net as a free download!

      It sounds like he's simply saying he was always willing to spend his money on music, as long as he got 3 things out of the transaction. First, he expected to receive a good quality recording (better than what he'd get from some 2nd. generation copy). Second, he expected that some of his money would find its way back to the artist, to ensure they were fairly compensated for their work. And lastly, he expected the music to be playable on any device that advertised itself as capable of performing a music playback operation on that type of media. (EG. A tape player should play back ANY audio cassette he purchased. A record player should play back ANY vinyl record he purchased. And an iPod should play back ANY digital music purchases of his.)

      The current state of the industry means those requirements are no longer being universally met - so yes, that effectively "pushes" him towards looking at piracy as a more viable alternative.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Khaed (544779)
      I've downloaded albums that I own, because I didn't feel like getting around the DRM, and I want all of my music on my computer, rather than changing CDs and wearing my cupholder out. Yes, I *chose* to "pirate" the music. But I paid for it, too.

      He spent $10 on the music. He shouldn't have to check formats and DRM licenses, especially licenses that *would not download* (did you get that far?). He was trying to gain the ability to listen to the music he downloaded legally. And he couldn't do it. From TFA:

      In t
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nbannerman (974715)
      He downloaded material without bothering to make sure that what he was downloading was what he needed in order to play the music.

      CDs and cassettes have been runaway successes in the past precisely because they avoided this kind of problem; you didn't need to 'research' anything to get what you wanted. You buy the CD, it works in any CD player. Of course various companies have got egg on their face when they tried to ignore the red book standards; hello Sony.

      So a consumer assumed downloadable music wou
    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:41PM (#18433427) Homepage

      Maybe not "forced to pirate", but they definitely sent the message that doing business with record companies in a legitimate manner means throwing money away for no return. They sent the message that, if you just want to listen to music, and you're not a computer genius, you're better off downloading illegal DRM-free copies.

      The guy made a mistake (downloading WMA format music to play on an iPod) and rather than deal with it and eat his $10 losses, decided that he would rather get his music for free.

      So what? Why should Joe Sixpack be expected to track the licensing differences between WMA and AAC? If I went to a record store, spent $10 on a cassette, and then went back and wanted to exchange it for a $10 credit on the same album in CD form, you'd be able to do that. (At least, you used to be able to do that) Why not the same for WMAs? If what he really purchased was the right to listen to that music, we shouldn't he be able to retrieve whatever format he likes to exercise that right?

      It sounds more like the record company felt entitled to his $10 whether or not they provided him with anything of value.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MeNeXT (200840)
      Like him, I couldn't care less on the format. I want to play it in my car, on my cd player, on my stereo, on my iPod. Like the author I will no longer spend money on DRM'd music unless I can convert it. Unlike the author I do not consider myself a pirate. I don't sail the seas...

      The day I'll start respecting the licenses on music is the day the stop selling it as a product. Choose is it a license or a product? If it's a product stop telling me how it's to be used. If it's a license then I should be able to
  • Forget RIAA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dmm79 (1060300) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:18PM (#18433057)
    This is exactly why I don't even bother paying for music any more. RIAA can't make up their mind about licenses. If I own a CD and lose it, I have to pay for another one, which means I owned the CD that I lost. But RIAA will tell you that you don't own anything, you get a license to listen to it. Ok, then if I lose my CD give me another one for free, right?! And by the way, anybody who owns any vinyls, tapes, or any other kind of media should digitise it as many times as he wants to. At the time you bought those things there was no law about digitising music, therefore you still don't break any laws according to the old license. And why would you even think about what you can or cannon do with the music you bought, forget RIAA and do whatever you want.
  • by zappepcs (820751) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:22PM (#18433111) Journal
    is the sound of the death of an industry. The closer that death comes to us, the louder it will be, but no matter the volume of the sound, you cannot change it into anything other than the sound of death.

    IMO, that is the ONLY possible outcome of the head-on crash of the entertainment industry, technology, and their desire to control the use of content. It may take awhile, but the current entertainment industry will die. It will probably be slow, painful, and not fun to watch but it is inevitable.
  • wasted time (Score:3, Insightful)

    by llZENll (545605) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:28PM (#18433215)
    "I've devoted a not-inconsequential chunk of my life to collecting music; to tracking down obscure records, cassettes, 8-Tracks and CD's of all genres and styles."

    Perhaps part of the realization is that was wasted time, as now you can collect music from anyone who ever existed in a matter of seconds. The fun was probably not the music, but the journey, experiences, and people met in doing so.
  • by edraven (45764) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:29PM (#18433221)

    "You don't understand," I said, "These files were not copied or pirated, I actually purchased them."

    "Well" she responded, "You didn't actually purchase the files, you really purchased a license to listen to the music, and the license is very specific about how they can be played or listened to."

    Now I was baffled. "Records never came with any such restrictions," I said.

    She replied, "Well they were supposed to, but we weren't able to enforce those licenses back then, and now we can"

    This seems to be a common misunderstanding brought about by, I think, the inherently confusing nature of, let's face it, archaic copyright law in a modern context. A license grants the licensee the ability to legally do something from which normally they are legally prohibited. There are no laws that prohibit anyone from listening to music. What we have are laws that prohibit anyone apart from the author of any kind of creative work from (among other things) making a copy of that work. If you're not the author and you want to make a copy of a creative work then (with a few exceptions provided in copyright law) you need a license, because otherwise it is illegal for you to do so. When you purchase music online, you are buying a digital copy from an entity that is entitled by license to produce that copy. You are not buying a license to anything, and you don't inherit the rights which that license grants. Your buddies have just as much legal right to listen to the song you downloaded as you do, and just as little legal right to make a copy of it. That's how it works.
  • by haplo21112 (184264) <haplo@nospAM.epithna.com> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:31PM (#18433253) Homepage
    ...The tale is such. Once upon a time I heard a song on the radio. It was a good song, I liked it, it was a summer song, it disappeared after that summer, it was by a one hit wonder, and being "poor" trying to find a job, and then "poor" and "busy" because the job sucked required huge hours and didn't pay well, I never got around to finding out more about the song, or where it came from, or for that matter since it never seemed to get announced by the DJ's on the radio who it was even by.

    Well as I said it was a good song catchy, and it got stuck in my head "FOR YEARS" literally. And for a long time I just couldn't figure out how to find or get this song. Then came the magic of the internet and search engines. I could remember a couple lines of the song and from time to time I'd plug the lines I could remember into Google and Yahoo, etc...well a little at a time I started finding the song's information at forst I got a title, but no singer or band, then eventually I got the singer, however it wasn't attributed to any album, and as I said...ONE HIT wonder.

    Then the Magic Day, I found out this song only ever appeared on the sound track to a particular movie, from that summer I remembered it from...great go find the sound track. Umm...only ever produced on cassette tape, likelyhood of finding a tape copy of a silly summer movie soundtrack...LOW...VERY LOW...but OK, I'll give it a shot...the search begins.

    I checked every obscure/rare music reseller I could think of, and more that people turned me on to...NO LUCK...but you guessed that.

    So then along comes various P2P networks, and sites, etc...and yes I looked in iTunes, not there....Then, by pure luck one day on a bittoreent site I remember to try plugging in the song, and there it is...Downloaded!
  • by A_Non_Moose (413034) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:32PM (#18433277) Homepage Journal
    FTA

    the best they can do is tell me to wander the streets of Seattle looking for different internet providers who might allow me to download the music that I have already paid for, music that I have spent the better part of three house trying to listen to, and which is still unusable?


    I'm sure someone not so damn tired either auto translated (like loose/lose which this gent did (huzzah!)) or
    figured it out quickly.

    I did not.

    Thought 1: three house? Three houses? Why go to three houses? Different internet connections?

    Thought 2: Tree house? He has a tree house? WTF...makes no sense. Tree house are fun, tho.

    Thought 3: Time? Three hours? Ah, makes sense now. Odd. Funny, but odd.

    Thought 4: HEY, I'll be damned, the typed lose instead of loose! Wow, house/hours typo forgiven!

    Thought 5: I need a nap.
  • by coats (1068) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:33PM (#18433289) Homepage
    Clearly, Rhino has attempted to sell him a defective product. He should force them to refund his money; if they refuse, he should exercise his legal rights for the credit card he used to pay for the music: he has the legal right to refuse payment for the defective product, and get his credit card refunded the amount of the purchase.

    It will cost Rhino far more to deal with the credit card company's fees for his refusing payment than he paid originally for the music.

  • by bym051d (980242) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:57PM (#18433635)
    They rail against XM and say the satellite companies don't pay their fair share of royalties. I hate to break it to them, but the variety my friends and I have heard on XM has resulted in our purchasing more CDs in the year we've had XM than the previous five years of FM radio listening.
    • by Grishnakh (216268) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @06:11PM (#18436339)
      You don't get it, do you? The RIAA doesn't want you to buy a larger variety of CDs. They want you to buy the same pop CDs as everyone else, which they helpfully play on Top-40 radio for you to listen before you buy. If you buy a bunch of obscure stuff, that just means more work for them having to deal with too many artists and too many different CDs. It's a lot easier if everyone just listens to the same few dozen artists, which the RIAA can manufacture for you instead of wasting time "discovering".
  • by DrRobert (179090) * <rgbuice@mac . c om> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @03:08PM (#18433783) Homepage
    I have 6000+ albums on vinyl and CD. I don't buy DRM music online. I shop around online (Amazon etc) until I find CDs at less than 11.99, usually less than 10. I don't buy CDs with DRM. I frequently buy them used for about 5. I'm a happy customer with no issues and have not been or expect to be driven to privacy. I have no pirated CDs. I suspect the whole industry issue is not with DRM; I don't think piracy hurts them that much. What they want is to eliminate the right of resale, where people get their music.
  • by Atilla (64444) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @03:14PM (#18433843) Homepage
    ...that artists make JACK SHIT on record sales?

    We're talking less than 1% profit! What kind of crap is that? The label makes the most money, even though all they did was broker an arrangement between the artist, a studio, a media press, and a marketing outfit. They're a THIRD PARTY and they make the lion share of the profit, and then they have the balls to sue everyone under the sun because they downloaded an MP3.

    Back in the day, Steve Albini (Big Black/Shellac fame) composed a fairly accurate breakdown of who makes the most money on record sales, and the figures are really sad.

    Here's a link for your reading pleasure. [negativland.com].

    If you're lazy, to summarize: You can make more money flipping burgers than selling CDs of your music via a record label.

    Looking at the numbers, I would rather send a $10 check to the artist and download the MP3 than pay some suit for his new ferrari.

    Recently Garth Brooks made a deal with Walmart where all his new releases would be sold via the Walmart chain, with something close to 50%-50% profit sharing. I think as we get more and more artists to follow suit and tell recording labels to fuck off, RIAA and its army of racketeering criminals will pretty much fizzle out of existence.

    Artists: I will GLADLY pay you for downloadable music (DRM-free, of course) as long as YOU are getting more than chump change off every sale. I will GLADLY pay you for cover art and promo media if YOU make money on it. Of course, the offer doesn't stand if your music SUCKS.

    Which brings me to another point -- majority of the music that RIAA is trying so hard to protect SUCKS. The top 40 is a mockery of what music should be and nothing but a SHITTY rehash of somebody else's past work.

    ok, I'm done.

    -v
  • Rhino (Score:3, Funny)

    by Emperor Cezar (106515) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @04:15PM (#18434797) Journal
    So I went to this Rhino store and checked out the help section. I wanted to know if everything had DRM. In there I found this:

    What is Digital Rights Management (DRM)?

    The DRM helps protect the file from illegal copying. However, as with any 'lock', hackers may break it. Those who knowingly tamper with DRM are acting illegally. They may even wear masks and possess secret identities. We discourage any attempt to defeat the copyright protection.

  • by Digital Vomit (891734) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @04:18PM (#18434839) Homepage Journal

    How to Turn A Music Lover to Piracy

    Easy: tell him how the music industry works.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

Working...