[LAU] ASCAP Assails Free-Culture, Digital-Rights Groups

ailo ailo.at at gmail.com
Fri Jul 2 09:35:25 UTC 2010

>>> Regarding copyright, have you guys heard of Spotify? It can be used for
>>> free (but with annoying commercial breaks). I've heard that artist are
>>> beginning to earn some money from that now (it was a bit slow in the
>>> beginning).
>> It's a nice idea, but the money flowing back to the artists from 
>> these streaming services is depressingly small:
>> http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2010/how-much-do-music-artists-earn-online/ 

Ever increasing, though still probably not adequate for most artists. I 
don't know if the numbers you have on that web page is up to date. 
Remember reading about Spotify, that its' revenues had surpassed radio 
royalties. I may be wrong.

>>> I could imagine having a system like Myspace, where anyone could set up
>>> an account, and earn money from the traffic amount. Sort of royalty
>>> based income, no middle hands needed. This would at least ensure total
>>> freedom from the artists perspective (especially if one has a lot of
>>> freedom with the web design, using both audio and video). The artist
>>> that wish to make it into an enterprise will no doubt keep working with
>>> producers and managers, even without the traditional record company.
>> It doesn't give you any freedom with the web design, but Youtube does 
>> this to a degree -- if your video gets enough plays you can begin to 
>> get a share of the revenues it brings in. I don't know a lot about 
>> this though, so it's entirely possible that the revenues are just as 
>> depressing as the streaming music services!

I think web design is an important part, though only indirectly related 
to financing.
The web is what MTV used to be. A web site is like a combination of 
different things. One of those things is the artistic representation of 
yourself, as musics video sometimes aims to be.
Thankfully a web site is cheap to create, which makes it easier for 
smaller artists to represent themselves. Too bad so few artists make the 
most of it.

> And I assume that if the revenue stream is depressing either way, 
> perhaps the music being streamed hasn't enough of an audience to 
> generate the desired income stream? It seems to me that could mean the 
> stream needs more publicity/marketing - or needs to be made more 
> interesting to more people.

This is what they say about services like Spotify, that they need large 
customer pools in order to make good money.

> I hate attempts to force everyone to pay for music/video/etc (via fees 
> charged for storage media such as blank CD/DVD/memory cards/bandwidth) 
> whether or not they actually listen to or watch the media.

One way to get the money in, is of course aiming at media hardware 
products, which are made for playing the media that the artists want to 
be paid for.
I could accept such a system. It makes it cheaper for poor people to get 
access to free media (if media in such a case is free). Even connecting 
to media may be free if your city decides to have wireless internet for 
everyone. This way, you would only need to buy a used laptop in order to 
get legal access to every work known to man (in theory).

> Perhaps if you don't want to pay for my music, I haven't done a good 
> enough job of making music you want to pay for?
I agree, though, who would want to pay 10 $ for one CD of music, when 
ones' appetite for music may require you to buy 5 CD's a week, or more. 
This I think is the Achilles heel when it comes to 'pay per product'. 
Paying a membership fee is better, but in my view the prices need to be 
really low in order for it to seem reasonable.

When it comes to copyright and patent control, where do the lines go?

I remember reading about North American Native music, how the songs 
changed a little from mouth to mouth and someone would make up their own 
song, using virtually an identical melody of a another known song. No 
body cared about who made up the song. I guess since no one was making 
money off of it. They were only interested in the song itself. So...

The problem with Copyright and Patent Control?

It's easy to say it's about money, and of course it is. If you take away 
the money, there is no need for Copyright and Patents, unless you have a 
moral reason to keep your work intact, which is a different 
philosophical question entirely. Then it's like religion, where you 
can't allow someone else to make their own flavor of a religious text, 
because it's holy.

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