How the Music Industry’s War on Sharing Destroys Markets and Erodes Civil Liberties

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  • Higher Fidelity, Longer Plays: A Brief History of Recording Formats (12 comments)

    • Comment by Billy Pidgeon on April 30th, 2012

      Don’t sugarcoat the way the music industry killed DAT, and don’t forget the “Home Taping is Killing Music” propaganda campaign by the industry.  This seems biased towards the industry and away from consumer rights.  “Slowing industry development” is vanilla and non-informative.  What development is necessary? For whom? Why?  What about the forced migration to CD from vinyl and then Sony’s cynical attempt to spike sales with the mini-CD?  Sony actually tried to replicate the sales spike inherent in the platform change (as realized by vinyl to CD) with another format that would deliver less value (more expensive, worse sound) to the consumer! 

      Comment by Billy Pidgeon on April 30th, 2012

      Obviously didn’t read ahead for my previous comment re minidiscs, but must comment that there seems to be much deference to the music industry and apologies for consumer behavior.  Consistent with your argument in the court and to music industry forces.  They have power and $$$ lawyers, so deference is understandable, but what about making a case to the other side, consumers and so-called pirates, who have disingenuous and specious arguments in places, but not nearly the same legal power?  

      Comment by Billy Pidgeon on April 30th, 2012

      Really? Where is the tension on the consumer appeal side?  The only tension within the industry seems to be how  much and how often can we screw over the consumer?  Or the musicians.

      Comment by Billy Pidgeon on April 30th, 2012

      And don’t paint Apple as a white knight.  Apple treats music or any media as a cheap commodity to pump up its profit margins on high priced hardware made by exploited laborers.  Apple uses DRM also.  And the whole walled garden thing, duh. 

      Comment by Billy Pidgeon on April 30th, 2012

      moving scrimmage line on a field tilted against consumers (mostly) and musicians (somewhat)

      Comment by Billy Pidgeon on April 30th, 2012

      Please add that many audiophiles and studies consider CD’s inferior to vinyl formats, citing compression, digital fatigue, etc.  Vinyl resurgence provides additional proof.   Could throw in Neil Young’s assessment of MP3s as “dogshit.”  I concur with Mr. Young.To be fair CDs do have benefit of less wear, harder to scratch, etc. 

      Comment by Billy Pidgeon on April 30th, 2012

      This is superb, nicely balanced and makes me want to know more.

      Comment by Billy Pidgeon on April 30th, 2012

      please cite books?

      Comment by Aram on May 1st, 2012

      I will! My footnotes are currently a shambles.

      Comment by Vicki Simon on August 10th, 2012

      I agree with your argument that there isn’t a teleological linear progression, but do you see the market dominance of certain audio formats over the “failed” ones as arbitrary? 

      Comment by Aram on August 13th, 2012

      Hardly. As I will discuss later in the chapter (and throughout the book), the success or failure of innovative technologies is the result of a dynamic process in which technological, social, political and economic factors are considered by industry, creative, consumer, and regulatory actors, and the outcomes emerge from these conflicting and overlapping concerns. 

      If this isn’t more clear by the end of the chapter, please let me know!

      Comment by Aram on August 30th, 2012

      Certainly not arbitrary. As I hope the rest of the chapter (and book) bears out, market developments are the results of many factors, including the competing interests of the principal actors, as well as the regulatory, technological, and economic environments, all of which are interrelated.

  • Chapter 2: Riding the Tiger: Why the Music Industry Loves (and Hates) Technology (4 comments)

    • Comment by Billy Pidgeon on April 30th, 2012

      I find it interesting to trace the music industry at least back to sheet music, and perhaps consider the relatively transient medium of player piano rolls.  Music went from something composed and performed by professionals for the various classes (before sheet music) to something composed by professionals to be played either by pros or by amateurs.  Sheet music publishing was the beginning of the modern music industry IMO.  Like all industries, the music biz is driven by profits.  Profits increased with home use of sheet music, so owning, learning and playing instruments was marketed as a positive in the home, so more sheet music could be sold.  Records and radio wielded a huge disruption on the sheet music biz (and each other — repercussions with organized musicians labor unions, copyright owners and rights management still reverberate) as did the jukebox (ditto, with more organized crime) but the music publishing business persists as part of the problem today, indicative of how difficult it has been, is and possibly will be to re-invent an industry once technology and changing consumption patterns render business models obsolete.

      Comment by Billy Pidgeon on April 30th, 2012

      Wow. “Amateur clutter” and “clear channels” are such loaded phrases, and the tonal morality implied seems off.  Public access is “amateur clutter”?  So are blogs?  “Clear channels” are corporate stations, extra loaded considering the current corporate usage of Clear Channel.  To what extent are the radical changes emergent behavior and to what extent are they corporate control.  And please look deeply into the FRC and FCC.  The latter is becoming little more than a rubber stamp for corporate industry concerns, and the lobbyists write the legislation. 

      Comment by Billy Pidgeon on April 30th, 2012

      Disagree that broadcast and recording techs weren’t well suited to distribution.  These were consistent with communications innovations and manufacturing.  Despite some minor technical issues, broadcasting and recording effectively removed power from consumers and transferred it to corporations.  Proof is in the billions of bux.

      Comment by Billy Pidgeon on April 30th, 2012

      Agree mostly, but this seems to say new tech is accepted as positive tools by labels, publishers, broadcasts and musicians.  Much tech perceived by non musician industry forces as negative, although some (DATs MP3s) could be very useful and empowering to musicians.  No mention of tech boons to consumers, which can dis-empower industry players.  Difference is industry forces have the power to stall or stop some tech (DATs perfect example) and promote only those techs that add to their economic power.  Chinese proverb has third choice with the music industry:  kill the fucking tiger.

  • Music and the Marketplace (3 comments)

    • Comment by Nancy Zager on April 25th, 2012

      I wonder about “public good”. Check that out with a political scientist to see if it has a technical meaning in political theory. Think about something like ‘shared public experience’ or ‘basic public value’. You can find a better phrase than I can, but I’m just questioning what might be an inappropriate usage. Maybe  it will not be a problem, but do find out. 

      Comment by Vicki Simon on August 6th, 2012

      This is extremely interesting, and I would love to hear more about how the Church used music to exercise control and legitimate itself as an institution. 

      Comment by Aram on August 30th, 2012

      It’s a great subject, but this isn’t the place for it. I spend a bit more time on it in the first chapter or two of Mashed Up.

  • Does P2P Hurt The Music Industry? (3 comments)

  • General Comments (2 comments)

    • Comment by DJ Axel on July 13th, 2012

      Piracy Crusade is a cool title, but the rest of the title is so loaded with opinion and anger that it’s off-putting. I know how the story ends before I start reading it.

      Comment by Aram on August 30th, 2012

      Hey Axel — now, having finished the book, I can’t imagine a more appropriate title. It describes exactly what the damaging effects of the piracy crusade are. I’m definitely open to alternative titles that get the same idea across, though.

  • Many Artists Support (And Are Supported By) P2P (2 comments)

  • Economic and Social Benefits of P2P (2 comments)

  • Part 1 - Lock and Key: Music as a Scarce Resource (2 comments)

    • Comment by Samantha K on October 1st, 2012

      I think this argument speaks exaclty to a curcial misunderstanding which is at the heart of the way we think about digital distribution of culture and piracy. I think you correctly argue that piracy today is really nothing but an extnsion of previous cultural consumption practices. However, for some reason, little attention is given to the historical framework of “piracy” into whch the culture business has found itself, especially on accont of digital technology. I am very interested in this subject matter and wish that I could read more of the work so that I could provide better and more in-depth comments. However, the work here is excellent and I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to read the rest!

      Comment by Aram on October 1st, 2012

      Hi Samantha, Thanks for the encouragement. The rest of the book is actually posted (the interface is just hard to navigate). Above the MediaCommons logo at the top of the page is the name of the section, with right and left arrows. Click on the right arrow, and you’ll be taken to the next section!

  • Anger: lawsuits, threats and propaganda (2 comments)

    • Comment by Jonathan on July 15th, 2012

      Why mention Bainwol’s part affiliation? You haven’t mentioned anybody else’s. Cheap shot.

      Comment by Aram on August 30th, 2012

      Fair enough. I’ve erased the party affiliation from my draft.

  • Conclusion (2 comments)

    • Comment by DJ Axel on July 13th, 2012

      Is the privatization of musical expression truly a relatively new development in the scope of social history? I think that as long as the concept of currency or trade has existed, people have been willing to exploit music for private gain. I imagine Moses knew a few musicians who performed for gold and silver. There were certainly minstrels playing songs for money in the temple when Jesus had his “den of thieves” hissy fit. Mozart died poor because people were happy to take his money…..were the lenders and hangers-on exploiting his musical expression for private gain? From Beethoven to MC Hammer….

      Comment by Aram on August 30th, 2012

      Good points, all. Commercial exploitation of music (and of everything else) has certainly been around since the dawn of mercantilism. But the privatization of music — the premise that it can be owned by an individual or commercial entity — is relatively recent, and represents a far greater impediment to cultural processes.

      It’s like the difference between laying bricks for money, and owning the exclusive right to lay bricks for money.

  • Bargaining: The myth of “secure” distribution (1 comment)

  • Music of the People, by the People, for the People (1 comment)

    • Comment by Nzncy Zager on April 25th, 2012

      The names in this paragraph elude me, but I am from another generation, one or two or three ahead of yours, and i’m not tuned in on the status of  who is active in this world now. However, I do want to say that your message comes through loud and clear even without knowing who these people are.

  • Chapter 5: Bubbles and Storms: The Story Behind the Numbers (1 comment)

  • The Perfect Bubble: 1985-2000 (1 comment)

  • Putting the “Play” in Playlist: Uplister (1 comment)

    • Comment by Jesse Lifshitz on December 11th, 2012

      Typo – third line down should say “even though” not “event though”

  • How does P2P work? (1 comment)

    • Comment by Frank Bridges on September 16th, 2012

      This is possible and a cool idea, but there are some rumors that this was an April Fool’s Joke because some TPB folks partake in “excessive alcohol and cannabis consumption,” as has been quoted. http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology/1112499638/internet-abuzz-over-pirate-bay-post-a-review-of-the-reactions/

Source: http://mcpress.media-commons.org/piracycrusade/all-comments/