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Music Media

The Culture of CD Burning 820

An anonymous reader points to this "good article from the Boston Globe about the culture of CD burning, and how hard it will be for the RIAA to stop it. Some interesting quotes: 'There's a "sex appeal" to burning CDs, says [Sheryl] Crow, adding that it is a social event for young people, just as listening to 45s was once a social event for their parents.' An interesting one from Hilary Rosen: "I ask them, 'What have you done last week?' They may say they wrote a paper on this or that. So I tell them, 'Oh, you wrote a paper, and you got an A? Would it bother you if somebody could just take that paper and get an A too? Would that bug you?' So this sense of personal investment does ring true with people." Seems like at least one musician thinks his A paper is being peddled all over town.
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The Culture of CD Burning

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  • by qurob ( 543434 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:09PM (#3396063) Homepage

    Lets say you buy a 50 pack of CD's....

    I might burn 5 music CD's from that.
  • Hmmm.... (Score:3, Funny)

    by L-Wave ( 515413 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:11PM (#3396071)
    'Oh, you wrote a paper, and you got an A? Would it bother you if somebody could just take that paper and get an A too? Would that bug you?'

    So is hilary saying that we are allowed to burn CD's of crappy artists?
    • Re:Hmmm.... (Score:2, Funny)

      by Kierthos ( 225954 )
      No, no, only artists that don't get A's. Oh wait, that's like 90% of music out there now.

      Can we copy artist's term papers? What if it's just photocopies, not burning the file to a CD?

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

      by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:21PM (#3396173)
      I have to say that's a horrible analogy on her part. If you copy music you are not passing off the music as your own and I sure hope yuo aren't reselling it. A more accurate question would be

      'Oh, you wrote a paper, and you got an A? Would it bother you if somebody could just take that paper and read it without paying you? Would that bug you?'
      • Re:Hmmm.... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by PlatoShrimp ( 562704 )
        Funny, isn't that exactly how record companies make their money? Taking someone else's "A Paper", making copies of it, and selling it? I realize it's semantics here, but come on, can't she even get decent analogy to illustrate her point?
      • Re:Hmmm.... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Deanasc ( 201050 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @03:09PM (#3396620) Homepage Journal
        I agree it's a horrible analogy. I wrote a paper last semester that directly related to some work some other students are doing this semester. I freely gave them my research thesis as a starting point for theirs.

        It doesn't bother me that they get an easier start for their projects. It doesn't bother me because I learned a lot preparing my paper. It's not going to teach me any more sitting on my hard drive.

        Are they shortchanging themselves by taking my paper? The professor knows they've seen my paper. She expects them to "carry the ball a little further". Then I get to see my project continued in a way I couldn't.

        Perhaps this is off topic now. I just don't think Hilary Rosen knows how to share in an academic environment. Bad analogy.

        She was probably the kind of kid who hid library books so no one else could get the information she was using so she could blow the curve for the rest of us.

    • Re:Hmmm.... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by garcia ( 6573 )
      I have an "A" paper that I wrote displayed on my website for all to see/copy/plagiarise/get sources from as they see fit.

      Obviously this comment doesn't apply to me nor does it apply to most others. Who the fuck cares if the paper you wrote got taken by someone else? If they are going to take it and get a good grade on it, there is only one person losing out here, that's the "theif".

      Even if the paper I wrote gets published and recieve royalties for it does it bother me that these people used it for themselves?
      • If they are going to take it and get a good grade on it, there is only one person losing out here, that's the "theif".

        Actually they don't lose out at all. They get an A grade. I'm not advocating cheating, but an A grade is an A grade and 99.9% of people aren't going to know they cheated.

        You lose out because there is now one more person in the world with a A grade that they shouldn't really have. Which, once people find out how clueless they are, will significantly devalue your own grade A.

        If I gave my grade A work to everyone so they could all get grade A then I'm giving to people who shouldn't really deserve that grade. Two things happen here:

        1. If they all are exposed as clueless, then i'm unfairly assumed to be just as clueless
        2. They end up being a challenger for jobs that they wouldn't have normally got based on the grades they should have had

        Of course, you can argue that they should be found out at the interview process, but a lot don't. And when that happens, the chances of that dream job that you've rightfully worked hard on and got those A's fades away ...

        Subnote: Having said this, I do advocate helping individuals but not just spoon feeding them the answers by allowing them to plagurise your work.

  • Meanwhile, artists of all stripes, from Byrd to Sheryl Crow, are challenging the status quo.

    Sexy and a rebel.
    • ...while she takes credit for the work of Kevin Gilbert who was the one who actually had the talent.

      • It's the shaming of the true, I guess. :)

        It's really sad to see her get credit for the musical genius of Kevin Gilbert. While reading through the "Storytellers" liner notes (a VH1 compilation that I got the jewel case from. No disc, though), all of the other artists talk about what they were feeling or what was going through their minds when they wrote their songs... All of them except for Sheryl, who talked about how cool it was to work with Stevie Nicks and be on the cover of Rolling Stone. This is the artist that's going to tell me to stop burning CDs? I think not!

    • Re:Sheryl Crow (Score:4, Insightful)

      by IanA ( 260196 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:56PM (#3396529)
      The cries are getting louder from many artists and record companies. Sheryl Crow calls it ''shoplifting.''

      She's jumping on a bandwagon which includes the RIAA. How is that a rebel? It's like saying a citizen in the Colonies that decided to help the English is a rebel. She isn't a rebel in any way, shape, or form -- she's siding with the record industry.
  • by kneeo ( 10487 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:11PM (#3396079)
    this is a lame statment.

    I can buy 50 recordable cds for $19.99(b4 a 10 rebate ;) 1 music cd costs from $9.99 to $20. So of course recordable cds will out sell music cds, even if people were not using them to "pirate" music.
    Recordable cds dont even come in 1 packs do they?
  • by qurob ( 543434 )

    It's not the's the music!

    We don't have the bands of the 90's anymore....

    We've got a couple big sellers, one hit wonders, trendy bands....nothing 'classic' lately

    Go ahead, flamebait, redundant, offtopic
  • I guess you can see what The globes position on this is....

    Right next to the article, there's information on how to burn cds, ripping software, etc...

    It would appear they are on our side.
    • Re:Yowzah! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by quantaman ( 517394 )
      I have to agree that the information on the side did perhaps suggest that it was perhaps biased to the general /. point of view. However upon reading the article I found this perception to be false, what struck me moreover was the fact that the content of the article, rather than taking sides, seemed admirably objective as opposed to the CNN article in this recent story [] that I outlined here []. This is the first intelligent objective report I've seen of this issue in the mainstream media and it makes me hope that perhaps they may be starting to wake up to the reality of digital rights.
  • Stop, thief! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mblase ( 200735 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:12PM (#3396083)
    I ask them, 'What have you done last week?' They may say they wrote a paper on this or that. So I tell them, 'Oh, you wrote a paper, and you got an A? Would it bother you if somebody could just take that paper and get an A too?'

    That would be an accurate comparison if people were copying music and then selling them for profit, rather than giving them away for free.

    She should have replied: "Would it bother you if somebody could just take that paper and show it to all their friends as an example of what they think is good writing?" To which I'd reply: Hell, yes. Anything that gets more people to read my columns, articles or books is a good thing for me as an author.
    • Re:Stop, thief! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Dephex Twin ( 416238 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:19PM (#3396155) Homepage
      Right. If somebody thought my "A" paper was really great, and made photocopies of it so they could read it in their car, home, office... yes that would be fine. Even if they shared copies with friends.

      That's one thing that's kind of strange. As I was reading her quote, it immediately jumped out at me that her analogy was fundamentally flawed. This took no time at all.

      It makes me wonder, has she heard the flaw in this analogy pointed out, and ignored it? Or has she not had a real conversation with someone who is on the other side of the fence? Or is she trying to deliberately give a shoddy analogy in the hopes it gets by people?

    • Re:Stop, thief! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PunchMonkey ( 261983 )
      They're not talking about "showing" your friends an example of good music (playing the album or even lending it to them), they're talking about making perfect digital copies and giving them away. It hurts the artist's sales.
      • Outdated model. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Lemmy Caution ( 8378 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @03:07PM (#3396603) Homepage
        Music must become a verb again, not a noun. It's a service, not the production of a good. If we don't realize this soon, we are going to have more and more draconian efforts to enforce the fiction that a "copy" of a song is a unit for sale.

        Musicians should get paid - before they start playing. Not everytime someone new hears it.

        • Re:Outdated model. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rnd() ( 118781 )
          "program" is both a noun and a verb. you program in a particular language and the result is a program that you can sell or give away, etc.

          musicians create their music, and they create one or several renditions of it that they record. they sell these renditions because people want to buy them (it's called a market).

          musicians are allowed to choose whether they desire to sell or give away their music, just like programmers are allowed to decide whether to sell or give away their software.

          if the musician didn't want to sell his/her music, then he/she would be a local bar act somewhere or even more likely a music teacher collecting $7.50 per lesson.

          music on mp3 becomes soft like software... in other words it is intangible. It is just as intangible as the different expertise of a Doctor vs. a Nurse. Just because I can't touch it and feel its weight in my hand doesn't mean that I won't pay the few extra bucks for a doctor if I happen to get sick.

          You pay for services every day. Music, whether you define it as a noun or a verb, a product or a service, still has value to people and will therefore be bought and sold in a society that permits such things.

    • Re:Stop, thief! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by swm ( 171547 ) <> on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @03:37PM (#3396883) Homepage
      I ask them, "what have you done last week?'. They may say they wrote a law on this or that. So I tell them, "Oh, you wrote a law, to benefit your constituents?"

      "Would it bother you if some other legislature--say, the N.Y. state assembly, or the U.K. House of Commons--could prevent you from passing that law, because they wrote one like it last year, and now they own the statuatory language, the legal mechanisms, and underlying ideas?
  • by t0qer ( 230538 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:14PM (#3396107) Homepage Journal
    I think the author is out of touch with today's kids.

    I'm trying to remember the last time I burned a CD for music, I think I only did it when a friend came over and asked if I could copy CD xyz for them. For the most part, I've just about allways ripped to MP3. Pop a disk in, click start, wait about 5 minutes and presto, with ID3 tags provided by CDDB i've just added their music to my collection.

    Most of the kids I know with some computer skills (ages 12 and up) do the ripping thing more often than the burning thing. From a price standpoint you never have to use media other than a little hard disk space. With CD's you have to pay out 50cents for a blank every time you want to make one. Don't forget canada either, i'm sure with the new tariff's imposed on recordable media, MP3 ripping will get even more popular over there than ever before.
  • by nicwolff ( 91386 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:15PM (#3396121)
    Hey, kid, what if you found out that your school has made millions of dollars selling your A paper in stores all over the country, and you got nothing except a contractual obligation to write more papers?
  • It will continue with more and more people burning DVD's as well as CD's, as the technology progresses and hardware becomes cheaper. I don't see how the RIAA can stop people from burning CD's for their own personal use.

    As for burning CD's and selling them, I think that is clearly illegal, but the same problem is how to curb that, while still allowing people to burn CD's for themselves (only).

  • At one time artists were funded by voluntary money from rich patrons. The public enjoyed the art for free. Why hasn't a similar modern system been developed? Perhaps artists should publish their work (whatever the medium) free and redistributable, with embedded linkage/instructions for donating money to the artist. If simple payment infrastructures on the net made this completely painless for the end user, they would probably contribute a dollar or two to the artists they like... and those with more money might donate more. Artists with enough worth and/or popularity would probably make their fair share, and trash would simply die away penniless.


    1) A lot of popular and/or good artists are entrenched in the current scheme, leaving only the small-fries to try this method, and a majority of them will fail to make money this way, seemingly proving that it just doesn't work.

    2) Even if it worked very well, the high end artists would probably bank less than they do now, so they don't have much incentive.... but then again maybe I underestimate the cut of the production/distrubtion monopolies. Perhaps by going direct from studio to consumer and reaping all the money themselves, the actual net intake of the artist would remain the same.
    • Re:Artists (Score:3, Interesting)

      by horza ( 87255 )
      You mean a system that retro-fits into the current P2P distribution and MP3 format? That enables people to reward the artist directly cutting out the record label middle-man, whilst being reasonably fraud-resistant? Feel free to post your comments below on the following essay:
      Peer-to-peer in profit []. Feel free to copy it if you think it will give you an A.


      • Yeah your paper is fairly close to a what a real hashing out of the ideas in my 30-seconds-of-thought comment above would have been. The difference is that you seem to have an emphasis on payment being kinda automatic and built-in, with it left to the user to "hack out" the system if they dont want to pay. I prefer an opt-in setup where people continue to get their art/music completely for free, but there's an obvious and easy method for them to donate if they like doing so, tagged into the media much like your scheme.

        • Re:Artists (Score:4, Interesting)

          by happyclam ( 564118 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:36PM (#3396346)

          (I couldn't get the paper... must be slashdotted)

          Similar to the "donate $1 to odd todd."

          Is it time for a nonprofit recording label?

          Or perhaps it's time for a complete shift: News publishers, who already have mass market distribution mechanisms and brands for digital media (e.g., NYT, SJMN, etc.) could easily "publish" local bands and provide a payment mechanism for them. The cross-marketing possibilities and cross-selling of products becomes interesting, and most local metro papers already have people familiar with the local music scenes, so the best artists would float to the top more democratically.

  • what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NickRob ( 575331 )
    But record-label representatives say that home taping was never as prevalent as CD burning

    Um... Sure. Try to find somebody who never taped something off of the radio or other medium. Most CD players came with a tape deck so you could tape off the CD to a tape to give it away or play it in your car or something.
  • to burn online demos onto. Not one was used for music. That is 1000 v. the 10 mix music cd's I made at home from my legally purchased music CD's.

    I bet CD's used for data distribution and storage push these numbers way up. Lies, damned lies.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:16PM (#3396135)
    I'm waiting ladies! Big spindle o' 100 CDs just waiting to be burned.
  • Mix Tapes, etc... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PhunkyOne ( 531072 )
    Burning CDs are just like in the 80s when we made mix tapes. It takes music we generally already have and makes it personal. You have mix tapes (now CDs for your different moods). The industry wants to say and prohibit burning CDs that's just dumb, if I have a song it's because I really like it and I would've bought it because I really want that CD quality.

    This brings me back to the buying CD Quality music by the track []... But their greedy, etc etc...Heck I just throw away the cases and liner notes anyway so it's waste of money for me to have that junk anyway.

  • by ancarett ( 221103 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:19PM (#3396158)
    Seems like at least one musician thinks his A paper is being peddled all over town.

    Ptui! Read the article at Salon and you'll see that Byrd isn't claiming lots of people are swapping and burning his songs. He's irked at Sony because he hasn't seen a penny of artist royalties on either of his two albums which are still in the catalogue (though he started getting composer royalties after he was contacted to let another artist record one of his songs). He'd rather have the music available freely if the artist is never going to see any payment.
  • RIAA lies (Score:3, Informative)

    by rgmoore ( 133276 ) <> on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:20PM (#3396162) Homepage

    Of course the big point that's missed in all of this is that the RIAA continues to mislead people and lie outright about the legality of copying. Non-commercial duplication of CDs is specifically allowed under current copyright law, and the CDs used in stand-alone CD copiers even include a royalty payment in their cost that goes to the RIAA. But Hillary Rosen continues to make it sound as though copying for your friends is illegal. But the mentions of the fact that it actually is legal gets only a short mention down at the bottom of the article.

  • Copying tracks off a CD and burning a compilation is not analagous to copying a friend's term paper and turning it in with your name on it. You're not representing that you created the music, hence you're not plagiarizing the music. It's a stupid analogy.
  • So I tell them,
    -Oh, you wrote a paper, and you got an A?

    -No sir, I wrote a paper and got Slashdotted.

  • Bogus. What if I use the CD's for data backup for photos etc... That has nothing to do with Music.
  • 'Oh, you wrote a paper, and you got an A? Would it bother you if somebody could just take that paper and get an A too? Would that bug you?'

    The difference there is that someone is getting credit or compensation for that paper they "took." If I download an album off <favorite spyware fileshare app> and listen to it, that is in no way analgous to plagiarizing someone's paper/song/whatever. I'm not claiming I wrote the music, or that I performed it, or anything like that.

    Nice try, Rosen, but that analogy is pretty damn flawed. Next!

  • Let's see. Copying someone's A paper and calling it your own is plagarism. Copying a CD is sharing.

    A better analogy would be "How would you like it if somebody took your A paper, and made a photocopy of it for his friend to enjoy".

    Gee, that analogy is *way* more accurate, but doesn't set off alarmist bells. Wonder why it wasn't made..
  • This is the dilemma (Score:3, Informative)

    by dipfan ( 192591 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:24PM (#3396220) Homepage
    Yet even [Elvis] Costello acknowledges that, at least in terms of the big record companies, ''They've loaded the game so the house has been winning for a long time. Now it's time maybe for the house not to win for a while. Maybe they have to take some losses.''

    Actually it looks like they are taking some losses now - there's a very interesting (but long and a bit heavy on the piracy angle) article from the Observer newspaper in the UK [], that used a net monitoring company to track how many downloads of music and movies are being done through KaZaA and similar. The article has a table of the top 10 downloads: number one was Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory with more than 5 million in a month - that's how many copies the album sold retail last year in total. You may not like the music industry, or agree with their tactics, but they gotta be hurting. Get ready for copy-protected music CDs, coming soon to every store near you.

    From the article:

    Top 10 downloaded movies
    1 Black Hawk Down 169,000
    2 The Fast and the Furious 168,000
    3 The Lord of the Rings 165,000
    4 Ocean's Eleven 154,000
    5 Harry Potter 147,000
    6 Monsters Inc 146,000
    7 Collateral Damage 134,000
    8 American Pie 2 126,000
    9 A Beautiful Mind 125,000
    10 Ali 100,000

    Top 10 pirated albums downloaded last month
    1 Linkin Park -Hybrid Theory 5,300,000
    2 POD - Satellite 2,800,000
    3 Creed - Weathered 2,600,000
    4 Sum 41 - All Killer No Filler 2,500,000
    5 Britney Spears - Britney 2,000,000
    6 Nelly - Country Grammar 2,000,000
    7 Nelly, et al - Training Day Soundtrack 1,800,000
    8 Creed - Human Clay 1,600,000
    9 Usher - 8701 1,500,000
    10 Incubus - Make Yourself 1,500,000

  • by FatRatBastard ( 7583 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:24PM (#3396221) Homepage
    Burning CDs is really no different that making mixed tapes (culturally, at least for me). Only the technology has changed. I'm not going to get into the legality of the issue, but its not like this type of activity is now somehow new. I make tapes (and burn CDs) for other people for much the same way I lend out books I like: because I want to share with them something I like, give them something that makes them happy (or impress them enough to let me get into their pants).

    What's the upshot of all of this (other than trying to get laid)? I've discovered a whole lot of new music from tapes others have given me. Sure, a huge chuck of it gets listened to once or twice, but a lot of the time I end up discovering something special. And I figure the same thing happens to people to whom I give tapes to.

    Now, the record companies can do their best to squash this, and in a very abstract way I can see their point of view (lets ignore the fact that they screw over artists and want to destroy fair use in the country), but in the end they're just going to hurt themselves. Casual sharing of music (as opposed to outright, high volume piracy) I think is a bigger marketing tool than radio and MTV combined. How did Metallica (or the vast majority of bands who aren't marketed to the hilt the second they're signed) get so big in the 80s/90s? They had little to no radio airplay, no presence on MTV, and as far as I can remember no huge push from their record company? I'd wager mostly from social sharing, whether it be listening to it in your bud's car, or a tape your friend threw at you that he made. I know I've bought just as much (if not more) music due to stuff I've heard on small webcasts, friends apartments and mixed tapes as I've ever heard from commercial radio and marketing.
  • by Raetsel ( 34442 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:25PM (#3396224)

    The Salon article is quite interesting...
    1. Joseph Byrd records two albums in the late 60s
    2. They're released on vinyl
    3. They're re-released on CD
    4. It's 35 years later, and he has yet to receive any royalties on it!

      (Part of the trouble stems from a missing contract.)

      Sony, having bought out Columbia Records ignores his requests for sales figures of his material -- no denials, no "we're looking into it," silence!

    JWZ had this interesting little bit
    • "In case you're unclear on how RIAA, ASCAP, BMI, etc. work, it's like this: everyone who comes anywhere near any kind of music is expected to pay them. They'll sue you into oblivion if you don't. Then, regardless of what music you were playing, they take your money, keep most of it for themselves, and then divide the rest statistically based on the Billboard charts. That means that no matter what kind of obscure, underground music you played, 3/4ths of the extortion money you paid goes to whichever company owns N'Sync; and the rest goes to Michael Jackson (since he owns The Beatles' catalog); and all other artists (including the ones whose music you actually played) get nothing."

    • Dammit, I missed the "Preview" button by a couple pixels!

      I wanted to point out, after establishing the point of the Salon article, that Mr. Byrd is appealing to the RIAA vs. Napster judge to free his music. "Since Sony is stealing it, everyone should be able to!" is his basic point.

      JWZ is railing against [] (and rightfully so!) the fact that the royalties he pays never go to the artists who actually (wrote | recorded | etc.) the music he's playing in his club!

  • by infinite9 ( 319274 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:26PM (#3396234)

    Would it bother you if somebody could just take that paper and get an A too?

    That should read: Would if bother you if someone copied your paper instead of paying me for the paper I coerced you into giving me?

  • ''This is a sociological problem and we have got to work it out,'' adds Galuten. ''I find it incredibly ironic that some people will spend an extra $1,000 on their hard drives just so they can store more music, but they won't pay for the music.'' What kind of hard drive are they talking about?
  • by The Cat ( 19816 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:27PM (#3396246)
    Taking someone's work and calling it your own is "plagiarism." Benefitting commercially from a copyrighted work is called "copyright infringement." They are two entirely different things.

    How much does she make again? There seems to be a basic disconnect with the simplest elements of intellectual property laws here, and this isn't the first example.

    sigh... 90% of debates seem to be teaching the ABCs of logic, argument and the definitions of words.
    • It's not meant to persuade logical people who think about it carefully, it's a soundbite for people who don't want to think about it.

      Anyway, this isn't a legal argument, it's an appeal to emotion: "This thing which involves copying information produced by the artist upsets the artist. Would you like it if someone did a thing which involved copy produced by you which upsets you?" There is a consistent theme: that copying information without the producer's consent is wrong.

      They (the distributors) know perfectly well that they can't make copying impossible, so they are doing everything possible to make it inconvenient and make people not want to do it.

      People know they should pay the artist, that it's the right thing to do. The distributors' strategy then is to make them equate "paying the artist" with "buying the CD." It's their only choice, really; if they even admitted there are other ways of paying the artist that don't require the distributors at all, such as a busking model, they'd be cutting their own throats.

      If your argument against them consists of pointing out the logical flaws in their argument, you'll just end up looking like a nitpicker to anyone who doesn't already agree with you completely. If you really want to help promote the move away from obsolete, expensive distribution systems, it would be better to point out other ways to support the artists.
  • The problem of course, is complicated by the fact that the music companies are not providing fair exchange with the artists. It is sort of like watching the mafia whine about missing profgits in a court of law.

    The Artist's royalties should go to the artists, or to an artists trust fund, separate from the record companies.

    Then at least we can deal with the issues of copying with the problems of crooks getting in the way.

    they muddy the water too much.

    I think we could all agree on some sort of fair exchange for the artists, if nothing else.

  • Seems like at least one musician thinks his A paper is being peddled all over town.

    Poor guy. But there are two ways to prevent that kind of thing from happening to you:

    1)Always enter into a favorable up-front royalty aggreement with any record company in contracts. Always. Even if you think the contracted work will come to nothing.

    2)Join ASCAP [] It is a lot easier for a record company to brush off the royalty statement requests of a burnt out hippie than a powerful organziation representing him. Generally speaking.

  • by Guiri ( 522079 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:29PM (#3396262) Homepage
    I wonder if anyone has ever seen someone making copies of a newspapers, and giving them away to its friends. The answer is NO. If you want today newspaper, you buy it, because is cheap, and people don't care to copy them to save some cents. And my question is, why are music CD's so expensive? Are musicians more qualified/important than journalists? The answer again is NO.

    My question then is who is stealing here?

    • by Stonehand ( 71085 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @03:31PM (#3396841) Homepage
      Newspapers make most of their revenue from advertising. Some newspapers seem to devote practically half their space or more to advertisements...

      Music CDs, on the other hand, aren't sponsored, and they're advertised one HELL of a lot more aggressively than most newspapers -- probably has to do with the audience being more subject to faddish obsessions. You don't see people wantonly swithcing newspaper subscriptions that often.
  • by ivan256 ( 17499 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:29PM (#3396265)
    Hilary Rosen: "I ask them, 'What have you done last week?' They may say they wrote a paper on this or that. So I tell them, 'Oh, you wrote a paper, and you got an A? Would it bother you if somebody could just take that paper and get an A too? Would that bug you?'

    'What have you done this week?' She might say she bought a sweater because she liked it. So I'd tell her 'Oh, you bought a sweater? Would it bother you if you had to pay for that sweater again if you wanted to tie it around your waist when it got too warm to wear it? Would it bother you if you couldn't tie that sweater around your waist too? Would that bug you?'
    • by Vegan Pagan ( 251984 ) <deanas AT earthlink DOT net> on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @04:45PM (#3397364)
      Hilary Rosen: "I ask them, 'What have you done last week?' They may say they wrote a paper on this or that. So I tell them, 'Oh, you wrote a paper, and you got an A? Would it bother you if somebody could just take that paper and get an A too? Would that bug you?'

      She's assuming that music listeners want to be moral when they're being entertained. They don't. Much music is meant to help people unwind, or even bring out their darker feelings that they accumulate in life, where it's taboo to discuss. The same goes for movies, video games, Slashdot, and other entertainment. Entertainment often glamourizes theft, sex and murder, so it should be no surprise that so many music fans enjoy the much milder crime of CD ripping and burning. Yet if she tells her artists to make morally correct music, she'll lose her customers.
  • I'd be pretty darn brought if I found out that people were copying my A paper so they could get A's..
  • by gvonk ( 107719 ) <slashdot.garrettvonk@com> on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:30PM (#3396271) Homepage
    ''These type of people perceive the risk of getting caught as being nonexistent. It's like a hacker mentality. If there's a way you can hack it, then you should just be entitled to it. It goes with the hacker ethic.''

    This makes me so mad. I am not even much of a hacker, but I'd like to be, in the real sense of the word.
    I take stuff apart.
    I make my computer do what I want it to, even if it wasn't originally intended to do those things.
    The hacker ethic is several orders of magnitude more beneficial to society than the RIAA.
    Hackers got us on the moon.
    Hackers made The Matrix [].
    Hackers made slashdot.

    I, for one, hope the hacker ethic is here to stay, no matter what this prick has to say about it.
  • From the linked Salon piece: Byrd's failure to earn artist's royalties stems in part from his inability to find a copy of his contract. "I've looked everywhere," he says

    The moral is obvious: Save the paperwork. Make copies. Get a safety deposit box and/or fireproof safe, etc. You never know when may need it.

  • same old stuff (Score:3, Insightful)

    by terrymr ( 316118 ) <terrymr&gmail,com> on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:37PM (#3396349)
    Hilary rosen speaks about her love of money and desire to roll around naked in a big pile of money ... (as said in a previous /. article).

    I don't believe that anybody thinks that the record industry has the best interests of the artists at heart - if they did they'd incorporate as non-profit corporations and divide the profits among the artists.

    The industry is there to make money - why can't they just be honest about it instead of claiming to be the best friend of the recording artist?
  • by The Cat ( 19816 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:41PM (#3396382)
    I, for one, certainly hope that *if* the tide does turn, and copyright law is interpreted to give the market exactly what it seems to want:

    1. Downloadable music/video/software/games
    2. The freedom to burn CDs
    3. The freedom to share (to a certain extent)
    4. The freedom to switch formats and time/location shift
    5. More reasonable prices ($.25 a song or so)

    and so forth, that the people who enjoy this music/software/games/video etc. respond IN KIND and don't take that opportunity to deprive musicians/developers of the means to make a living by refusing to pay under any circumstances.

    I think the loosening of the current restrictions is probably very likely. I also think people are basically honest and are willing to pay a fair price for a good product. I also think if people were able to do business on-line reliably enough to support themselves, we could very easily see an unemployment rate of 1%-2%, and an economic advance that would make the dot-com era look like the mid 70s, but without the bubble.

    I certainly hope the net doesn't just become a warez wasteland, or we will have insulted the potential of the Internet and in the process wasted a spectacular opportunity to improve a lot of things.
  • by gdyas ( 240438 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:41PM (#3396389) Homepage

    From the article:

    Last year, recordable discs outsold CDs for the first time.

    I've seen this statistic before, and it's misleading as hell. The conclusion made in the article cited and previous articles I've found in the LA Times & NY Times, is that CD copying is exploding, with the recording industry losing out on what could have been a boost in sales. This, however, is a lie, and a wonderful example of using statistics to mislead people.

    It's a lie because all the statistic shows is the number of individual blank CD-Rs sold. There is NO USE INFORMATION associated with this number. As is well-known on /., people burn CDs to back-up their work, store pictures and video, copy CDs they already own to reduce wear on their purchased CDs, burn ISOs of downloaded programs, etc, etc, etc. The use is limited only by the imagination of the person with the burner. Yet, RIAA would have us all believe that 90% or more are used to copy CDs. I don't buy it, and they don't have the information to prove it.

    Lastly, there's this nugget:

    Even Harvard Law School students are getting into the act. When Hilary Rosen, the head of the Recording Industry Association of America, lectured at Harvard last week, she asked how many of the law students had illegally downloaded music. About one-third of them put their hands up. But when she asked how many had burned CDs for friends, the vast majority raised their hands.

    ''And some of these people are thinking of going into the entertainment industry,'' Rosen said afterward, shaking her head in disbelief. ''This is what we're up against.''

    What Rosen is "up against" is called FAIR USE. The sort of CD copying for a friend is exactly what is protected, even under the current DMCA-clouded copyright landscape, under the home audio & recording act. You ARE permitted to copy & share your music, burn CDs for friends, etc. The law that allows you to make tape copies makes no differentiation between analog & digital media. So Rosen's head-shaking is so much dross & corporate lobbying. I agree on targeting people who sell copies, that's dirty. But sharing with friends & family? Gimme a break - that's free advertising.

  • "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway, where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- Hunter S Thompson

    I like this quote, but I think that Thompson was a little too positive. Maybe he was having an excessively good day.
  • by necrognome ( 236545 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:49PM (#3396469) Homepage
    ''This is a sociological problem and we have got to work it out,'' adds Galuten. ''I find it incredibly ironic that some people will spend an extra $1,000 on their hard drives just so they can store more music, but they won't pay for the music.''

    That's because hard drive business has a better relationship with its customers. I don't recall Western Digital or Maxtor suing a customer because he tinkered with his drive. You could say that IBM screwed its customers with the DeskStar saga, but you can't blame Big Blue for N'Sync, 98 Degrees, etc. People are willing to spend a pretty penny for storage; they aren't willing to drop $18 for two singles and filler.
  • by peter_gzowski ( 465076 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:53PM (#3396500) Homepage
    for the first time, more blank CDs (1.1 billion) were sold last year than prerecorded CDs (968 million).

    How can you draw any conclusions from comparing a product that costs $0.50 per unit to a product that costs $18 per unit? The above sentence shows that people are spending $550 million on blanck CDs and $17.4 BILLION on prerecorded CDs. This is a factor of 32 in favour of prerecorded CDs!

    Why do I see everyone saying that piracy is the reason for the drop in record sales? I'm sure most /. readers are familiar with the great article [] that showed how silly this belief was, and this Boston Globe article has a very interesting statistic that relates:

    It's also notable where the people who still buy music are buying it. Chains like Tower and Virgin are down 8 to 9 percent, according to SoundScan, while mass merchants such as Wal-Mart and Target (that is, stores that sell many other products besides CDs) are up 6 percent.

    Imagine, CD sales UP in stores that sell them cheaply!

    Albhy Galuten, vice president of new media for Universal Records: "I find it incredibly ironic that some people will spend an extra $1,000 on their hard drives just so they can store more music, but they won't pay for the music."

    Where does this guy buy hard drives? Seems to me that a 40G HD is $150 Canadian. That's enough to store about 10000 songs, or about 1000 albums. That would cost $18000 dollars to buy those albums new, though, so even if you were paying $1000 for your hard drive, I could still see why you were doing it.

    I haven't gotten to the Salon article yet... maybe it will cheer me up.
  • "Ironic" (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gambit3 ( 463693 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @03:11PM (#3396637) Homepage Journal
    "This is a sociological problem and we have got to work it out," adds Galuten. "I find it incredibly ironic that some people will spend an extra $1,000 on their hard drives just so they can store more music, but they won't pay for the music."

    this just shows how out of touch these people are.

    1. I didn't pay $1,000 for a hard drive, I paid $200.

    2. I did it because the Hard Drive is a good deal. Selling us shitty music at $19.99 is not.
  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @03:12PM (#3396658) Homepage Journal
    Hell lets even forget net distribution for the moment. The technology is where it needs to be so that I should be able to go down to the local music superstore, select a dozen or so tracks I want, burn them to CD and pay a set rate for each track. Likewise, I should be able to, for example, burn all the existing Invader Zim episodes (Commercial free, thank you) to DVD, for a price. The industry won't even meet us that far, and then they whine when we come up with our own solution? The buggy whip manufacturers whined a lot when the automobile industry started to replace them too, and they didn't even have an evolutionary path they could follow to give the consumers what they want.

    Sure, some piracy is there because of the price (Only the industry's illegal price fixing to blame for that) but a hell of a lot more of it is simply due to the fact that the consumer can't get what he wants any other way. And the industry is clearly not willing to provide it.

    You know what the industry wants, what it really wants? It wants to control your entire listening and viewing experience and it wants each person to pay every time he listens to a song or watches a movie. And they want the $30 up front charge which they insist is just for the media and not for the right to view or listen.

    They wonder why their sales figures are dropping. Maybe it's because more people like me are becoming unwilling to pay those greedy pig fuckers a single god damned cent. I can't even remember the last time I bought a new CD for my collection (I don't download MP3s off the net either.) I can remember the last time I went to see a movie; Brotherhood of the Wolf (Sucked, but at least it sucked in French) and Mullholland Drive (Kicked ass) before that. Didn't see Harry Potter. Didn't see LOTR. Probably won't see Attack of the Clones. The industry can blow me!

    I'm not inclined to be the least bit sympathetic until those whiney fucks get with the technological program and start offering consumers some choice, and I don't mean "Should I buy the latest Britney Spears album or the latest Backstreet Boys album?" They're here to serve us. Not the other way around.

  • ''Obviously, something is being done with those blank CDs,'' says Mike Dreese, owner of the Boston-based Newbury Comics record chain and prophetic coauthor two years ago of a widely distributed essay, ''Disc burning equals death.

    Lets see. 100+ CDs I've burned in the last year to distribute reports and large files that were too big for email. 3 CDs I've burned in the last year to make mix-tapes for my freinds.

    Sorry to burst that bubble, but from where I sit, a lot of the CD burning that goes on is for legitimate, business applications.

    But if you listened to them, the CD burners we have at the office are tools of evil. And.. I'm supposed to pay additional taxes to cover the losses to the recording industry?

    "Hey boss... the price of CD-Rs just went up." 'Why?' "Well, aparently our business has to pay Madonna and N'Sync because of some high school kids".

    Lunacy. Pure Lunacy.

  • by hondo77 ( 324058 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @03:54PM (#3397012) Homepage

    I was an active music consumer when CDs first came out in the USA. At the time, they were priced several dollars more than LPs (actually, the price, in some cases, was nearly double). The price increase, we were told by the labels, was due to low sales volume compared to LPs and lack of CD production facilities in the USA (the first CD production facility in the USA came online around 85 or 86, I believe) and that CDs would get cheaper once these factors abated.

    Like idiots, we believed the labels and waited for the prices to come down. They didn't. They didn't come down when CDs overtook LP sales. They didn't come down when CDs overtook cassette sales. In fact, they kept going up. The labels liked the fat profits they were making with no effort when CD production costs plummetted and their prices remained the same.

    Here we are 18 years later and the record labels are getting exactly what they deserve. They got fat and stupid off of their CD profits and were too slow to respond effectively once digital music became a force to be reckoned with. Did they make individual songs available for purchase and download so people wouldn't have to fork over $20 for a CD that contained one or two songs they liked? No. Did they make cheaper MP3 versions of albums available for people who didn't care about the quality, expense, and packaging of a full-priced CD? No.

    The labels didn't respond to the market and so the market is running all over them. It's sad that the artists are the ones being screwed, though. The labels sowed the seeds of discontent and now the reaper has come to call.

  • by wurp ( 51446 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @04:01PM (#3397077) Homepage
    Hilary Rosen reminds me of a dog that pisses on the food that's left over after it's done eating.

    "I ask them, 'What have you done last week?' They may say they wrote a paper on this or that. So I tell them, 'Oh, you wrote a paper, and you got an A? Would it bother you if somebody could just take that paper and get an A too? Would that bug you?'"

    Well, disregarding the fact that taking the paper and getting an A devalues As and punishes the person who is doing the cheating (neither of which is pertinent to this discussion), my answer is "No, that wouldn't bother me at all. I would be glad to have helped someone."

    If I get an apple and Johnny gets an apple too, that's a good thing, not a bad thing. For me to get an apple then burn the tree so Johnny can't get one is not helpful, it's not wise, and it's not right. It's also not terribly important right now while the apples are pop-music, but when we're talking about medical software that could save someone's life, or, in the not so distant future, code for a nanofactory that makes food or housing, it becomes very important.

    The day is not so far away when these laws, which we make to satisfy piss-ant small-minded corporate drones who imagine that they have a right to profit by punishing others, will affect how many children in the world die of hunger and exposure, or how many people live in squalor and die of malaria.

    That we should treat their arguments as anything other than the temper tantrums one would expect of a two year old is inexpressibly infuriating. Have we really learned nothing from millenia of two-bit dictators suppressing the masses for no reason other than it makes them feel important?
  • fraud vs. IP (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MoNsTeR ( 4403 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @04:12PM (#3397152)
    If someone takes my A-paper and represents it as their own work, then that's /fraud/ and it does bother me. (Note that I'm refering to fraud in the abstract/conceptual sense of what fraud really IS, not the concrete sense of what /legally/ constitutes fraud). However if someone takes my A-paper, says "someone else wrote this", and they get their A, then more power to them, because quite simply, that paper is not my property.

    Similar reasoning can be applied to CD burning. If I burn a CD for a friend, and scrawl the title on it with a Sharpie and slip it in a paper sleeve, that's one thing. It's another thing if I make a master, and start running them off at a pressing facility, with perfect copies of the CD art and liner notes as well, and pass these off (for sale, in the market) as legit. Now, I'm not going to say here that one is moral and one isn't (although you can guess what I think), I'm just saying that on a certain moral level, these acts are /DIFFERENT/.
  • An interesting one from Hilary Rosen: "I ask them, 'What have you done last week?' They may say they wrote a paper on this or that. So I tell them, 'Oh, you wrote a paper, and you got an A? Would it bother you if your professor only gave you a 2, even though you made a 100? Would it upset you that the other 98 points went to his daughter? Would you like it if that professor could just take that paper and give it to anyone else who wanted to get an A too? What if he could do that, but you couldn't. What if you could no longer write papers for your other professors. In fact, what if you could no longer even sign your name in the presence of other professors? Would that bug you?' If not, then you understand exactly how the artists feel when working for us. So this sense of personal investment does ring true with people."
  • by Wavefront ( 104048 ) <> on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @04:46PM (#3397370) Homepage Journal

    Let's look at this metaphor more closely:

    Would it bother you if somebody could just take that paper and get an A too?

    On the music side, this is equivalent to taking another artists' music and passing it off as your own. However, this is not what's happening. The "problem" is that people are copying artists' music for free so they can play it at their convenience. The "A paper" equivalent to this would be:

    Would it bother you if somebody could just photocopy your paper and read it whenever they want without having to pay you for making the copy?

    I don't think many people would have a problem with this. In fact, most people would probably be honoured that their work is so respected. I am not saying that these artists do not deserve to be paid for their work, but this metaphor is poor.

  • by MsGeek ( 162936 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @06:23PM (#3398037) Homepage Journal
    Need I remind you of this:
    Salon: Courtney Love Does The Math []
    And the essay that inspired the speech:
    Negativland Official Site: The Problem With Music by Steve Albini []

    The only people whose ox is getting gored from "the culture of CD burning" are the Five Families of the Record Business and the RIAA. The artists already get it up the butt, with no vaseline and definitely no reach-around.

    If Sheryl Crow and Elvis Costello want to see more return from their music, then they should go indie and set up a site where people can download their music legally for a fair price. Unfortunately it's not so easy to get out of a record really is like indentured servitude at the moment [].

    So yeah, let Hilary Rosen, Vivendi, Sony, AOL-TW/WEA, Bertlesmann and EMI weep in their beer all they want. I have no sympathy for those bastards.

    I will continue to buy my music used because I don't want them to make money off my musical tastes. If I want to rip my own mix CDs from CDs I bought, then that's my own damn business. I don't do P2P...I am naturally paranoid about my network and am not into opening up holes in it lightly.

    Until artists get the fair shake they deserve, I do not see my actions as hurting them. They are suffering enough as it is at the hands of the same people who cry buckets of crocodile tears about "the poor artists" in the media.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972