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Microsoft study says CD (music) anti-copying measures doomed
"computer technology evolving too quickly"
Robert Charlton




msg:282407
 7:06 am on Nov 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

Story here. [abc.net.au]

According to Microsoft's researchers computer technology is evolving too quickly for the music business to keep up.

The research team thinks there is only one way to beat the file sharers - by competing on their terms, making music cheap and easy to buy.

I'm posting another story on MS software profits here [webmasterworld.com]... The MS study didn't comment about software profits. Releasing buggy software is probably not a bad anti-piracy strategy... you've got to register to get it to work. ;)

 

1milehgh80210




msg:282467
 3:42 am on Nov 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

In many businesses technology is making middle-man type firms less and less relevant.Record co.s are simply middlemen, i.e. they don't -create- anything ...only buy rights.In the future I see artists hiring agent-types who will look after the interests of their client exclusiviely(unlike record co.s), handle marketing etc.

Eric_Jarvis




msg:282468
 6:18 am on Nov 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

there is a LOT of wishful thinking going on in this thread and a lot of entirely invalid assumptions

you can't take the existence of the music as a given...it needs to be created and that takes time and effort...and if there is no reward for that effort then many musicians will do something else instead...those of you who simply consume music might like to think that it makes no difference whether it's been done by somebody in their bedroom using the latest small scale equipment, or in a recording studio with the full back up of a record company...I've recorded both ways...there is simply no comparison...which doesn't mean the world doesn't need stuff creatde both ways...but it does mean you are going to lose quality

people are also blithely claiming that there is no sign of any negative effect of file sharing...others are complaining that there's too much mass produced pap...in fact the latter is the direct result of the former...the big labels are dropping all their marginally profitable artists...that is fact...all their effort is going into making stuff they can promote aggressively to mass market radio stations and sell to teenage kids in large numbers...the rest of you aren't profitable

once upon a time I could guarantee that if a band was really good I'd hear about them within a year or so of them first releasing a record (often before)...now they are releasing the record independently...it has damn all distribution...nobody hears it on the radio...half the time it simply disappears without trace...it's getting tough to find good and challenging new music

I also know some who are giving up recording at all...this includes some who used to release an album nearly every year...if you can't make a living at it then music is a hobby...if it's a hobby then there is no point busting a gut when you can play five or six gigs a year and have loads of fun whilst doing something else for a living...fine for the musician...but it means there is less music out there

it will have to change to fit the new technologies...mass theft is not the most constructive way to achieve that change

SsZERO




msg:282469
 6:44 am on Nov 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

there is a LOT of wishful thinking going on in this thread and a lot of entirely invalid assumptions
you can't take the existence of the music as a given...it needs to be created and that takes time and effort...and if there is no reward for that effort then many musicians will do something else instead...those of you who simply consume music might like to think that it makes no difference whether it's been done by somebody in their bedroom using the latest small scale equipment, or in a recording studio with the full back up of a record company...I've recorded both ways...there is simply no comparison...which doesn't mean the world doesn't need stuff creatde both ways...but it does mean you are going to lose quality

There is some misguided thinking going on here, but the facts are pretty evident. Thanks to the rapid rate at which technology is progressing, more people can do more for themselves. A few years ago, you'd need some pretty expensive equiment to put together a quality CD. Today, you need only software such as CakeWalk SONAR, which combines MIDI, sampling and multi-track mixing into one package. It includes high quality realtime effects, and pretty much all you'd need to make a "retail quality" CD. Sure, it might not be perfect, but it would certainly be good enough to be sold to the public. The gap between pro studio and what you can do with "hobby" gear is pretty narrow.


people are also blithely claiming that there is no sign of any negative effect of file sharing...others are complaining that there's too much mass produced pap...in fact the latter is the direct result of the former...the big labels are dropping all their marginally profitable artists...that is fact...all their effort is going into making stuff they can promote aggressively to mass market radio stations and sell to teenage kids in large numbers...the rest of you aren't profitable

You make it seem like if it isn't something with a big record label stamped on it, it isn't music. Quality musicians will always find away to get their music out there, and now that they don't need the backing of big labels to be heard, they have an even greater opportunity for exposure.


once upon a time I could guarantee that if a band was really good I'd hear about them within a year or so of them first releasing a record (often before)...now they are releasing the record independently...it has damn all distribution...nobody hears it on the radio...half the time it simply disappears without trace...it's getting tough to find good and challenging new music

Then you are looking in the wrong places, my friend.


I also know some who are giving up recording at all...this includes some who used to release an album nearly every year...if you can't make a living at it then music is a hobby...if it's a hobby then there is no point busting a gut when you can play five or six gigs a year and have loads of fun whilst doing something else for a living...fine for the musician...but it means there is less music out there

Not all people share this mentality. There are plenty of people who put a full effort into creating music, regardless of its profitability. Once again, the problem here is confusing something that should mainly be a hobby with a highly marketable product. People never wanted to pay for music, it's just that up until now, they really didn't have a choice.


it will have to change to fit the new technologies...mass theft is not the most constructive way to achieve that change

I could only view it as theft of the people who were downloading this music tried passing it off as their own work (not gonna happen) or if they started using it in some kind of revenue-generating production.

This is a simple matter of the force of change and an old, increasingly more useless industry trying to hold onto the past. It is time to phase out the obsolete record labels and replace them with independent musicians.

-= SsZERO =-

transistor




msg:282470
 7:45 am on Nov 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

Interesting thread, really.
Here in Mexico the situation is really scary, physical piracy is many, many times worse than the online piracy experienced in the US and some EU countries.
As a matter of fact, we have the disgraceful 2nd place, after Russia (I believe) in piracy in the world.
It has been said that last year, 2001, more than 50% of all the records sold in Mexico were pirate and this is truly affecting record labels (particularly small and medium ones as well as independent artists), bands that aspire to make a living from music and record stores.
I know, I was one of them and I've been studying the situation along with associations and labels for several years now.

This is no one way street and everyone needs to find their place and assume their responsabilities:

- Intellectual property NEEDS protection. Independently from who ownes or creates it, which format it is created, reproduced or commercialized, it needs protection.
Protection meaning that:
a) no one else may pass as it's creator/owner
b) if destined to commercial use, the owner/creator has the right to get paid.
Why?
Ideas are transformed by some kind of work into something that can be traded for something else, you name it: Design, software, web-content, books, music, painting, sculpture, engineering, architecture... almost any human thought/feeling can be transformed into some kind of "goods", some more tangible than others. This effort of conceiving and transforming is hard work and deserves protection, don't you agree? This is where laws and technology come in handy.
BTW, Laws are created by the people we choose to represent us, so if you don't like the way laws work, then you might be voting for the wrong representatives.
I know, yet another controversial issue.

- The Music Industry NEEDS to lead and adopt changes to satisfy more efficiently the demands of consumers. This includes reviewing pricing schemes and cost structure.
Why?
Have you ever heard of a Record company doing Re-engineering? Kaizen? or any other major reestructuring other than downsizing? I haven't.
While many other industries have struggled to adapt, change and survive for the better, the Music industry hasn't really tried.
They need to go deep in their structure, weed out what they don't need and redesign their processes.
Unfortunately for them, Napster and the other P2P networks have gone where Labels feared (or never cared) to go and sure they have trouble catching up.
I'm glad to a certain point of the existance of P2P networks, because they have proved that distributing music on the Internet works and Record Labels might finally give the step to embrace it (and they should too).
The problem with P2P networks IMO, is that it is OK if some unknown artist uses it to promote his work, but it is not right when someone shares something he doesn't own or doesn't have permisson to do so, see the difference?
If I make a record and want to sell it, why should it be available for free?

Lemon curry? ;)

- No matter how hard you try to protect the media the music is stored in, the moment it can be heard, it can be pirated. The problem with too much control is that you step on the toes of "consumer rights" and I say this: I don't want YOU to tell ME where and when I can listen to my music.

- Consumers need to understand that producing music has a cost that has to be payed for (unless it is offered otherwise by it's owner/creator and this is very important). Consumers need to understand that they are no "Robin Hood" (or should I say Dennis Moore?) that by stealing music from the Music Industry, "labels get what they deserve", don't do that.
If you think prices are too high, then organize some kind of "consumer movement" that can build enough power to get something actualy done, just crying out never made anything happen.

- Musicians should really try harder to view their work and themselves more as a business, because, once you have finished writing a song, the art is over and there's nothing wrong with that.
With the tools and technology available today (and a lot of work, of course), there's no reason to think a fine band can make it pretty well without a major Record Label, but many fall to the glamour of "signing a deal".

Anyway, I guess the bottom line should be something like "You like it? find a way to retribute the artist/author: buy the track, the album, donate or go with some friends to a concert, oh... and DON'T SHARE THEIR STUFF ON THE INTERNET WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION!" :)

feeder




msg:282471
 10:09 pm on Nov 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

Unfortuanately, the moralistic/legal argument creates a dense fog.

The clear reality is that you cannot stop downloads and there is huge consumer demand for same. That is the new world. The old world assumed that the distribution channel was controlled by the manufacturer.

Of course musicicians should be paid. I'm one myself. Arguments against paying musicians are ridiculous. But that's not the same thing as saying downloads necessarily have to lead to a loss of income. It could be viewed as marketing. Actually, we've all been "downloading" from the tv and radio for years.

Sign people up to legitimate subscription services and cut the price per unit. Make up in volume and lower costs of distribution what you now lack in margin. And musicians, go on tour and stay there. That's your paying job.

It's not that difficult.

lawman




msg:282472
 10:29 pm on Nov 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

Make up in volume and lower costs of distribution what you now lack in margin.

My motto when I was in retail:

Sell below cost and make it up on volume

lawman

feeder




msg:282473
 10:41 pm on Nov 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

Sell below cost and make it up on volume

Is that why you're now a lawyer ;)

Go2




msg:282474
 11:44 pm on Nov 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

Information wants to be free, and in the digital age this seems to be truer than ever. I'm a software author and as such I have some experience of providing digital intellectual property to consumers over the net. First of all, the only way to get any people interested is to provide the software as a shareware, i.e. meaning that you can try it for free, and then pay if you liked it. Secondly, even if people like it they still don't have to pay because they can always find a cracked version somewhere, or keep on reinstalling the program...

It all boils down to the willingness of the consumer to pay for the product that he or she just downloaded from the net. Like hinted at earlier in this thread, may be the revenue mechanims for products in the digital age will be based on donations? Maybe music, just like software will become shareware and people will only pay if they like it...

Of course, the revenues in a donor economy will be much less than in the old economy. Pop stars, film stars, record companies, software publishers, etc will not make as much money as they have done in the past, and they will have to find new sources of revenue. Sources which probably will be based on providing services to people, rather than products. For example, giving concerts, holding seminars, consulting etc... In the long run, it is not inconceivable that providing a product will just become a way to get enough attention or fame to be able to charge for services at a later stage.

snowman




msg:282475
 2:43 am on Nov 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

What a thread!

As a musician, I gotta say that having free publicity, via software like Napster, etc....CAN be really helpful!

I've met people who use nothing but Napster, etc.... and yea, if people use ONLY these file sharing services, it can hurt
us.

But like anything else, when used in moderation, it can be really useful and fun.

As far as the record companies go, well, they've had their gouging for too long.

lgn




msg:282476
 12:31 pm on Nov 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Ok the US courts has determined that file sharing is illegal. The USA does not make the laws for the rest of the world. What if you live in a country that says file sharing is ok, or has not brought the issue before the court, or has no plans to bring the issue before the court.

Any lawyers out there, to comment on this.

Eric_Jarvis




msg:282477
 1:06 pm on Nov 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

I believe there is an international agreement on copyright...whilst I'd guess the USA is one of the few that have tested it with regards to file sharing I would doubt that there are many countries where it will end up being legal when challenged

chris_f




msg:282478
 1:10 pm on Nov 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

You will NEVER be able to stop people copying music

Anyone, who can play the music and has a microphone, can record the music. Therefore, why do they waste money trying?

Chris

Fiver




msg:282479
 9:32 pm on Nov 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

i was just going to make that argument chrisf... but since you already did lets see if I can counter it instead.

ummmm, microphones often suck, and people are a little slow & lazy in general, so unless it's point and click it's not a problem for the record industry.

I've been downloading songs since '95, but nobody cared one lick until what was it, three years later somebody made the act of downloading a song simply searching, pointing and clicking. before that you often had to copy and paste an ftp address, log in with a name password and (oh the complexities) port number. So the music industry knew it was too many steps, and never wagged a finger.

of course I'm an ethical thief, and only steal songs from already rich artists, so the only people im hurting are all of the artists who will never get a record contract because the industry doesn't bother to help devolop artists anymore and only signs ppl who have a hit ready to go.

I think ppl should just be more like ani difranco. don't go into music unless you're absolutely incredible at it, and if you are, you'll be able to work hard and get by without a major label - just hope that you appeal to the kids who swap files regularly, since the increased exposure will result in more record sales.

so the increased exposure increases sales of an independent artist, but decreases sales of a signed artist (according to the industry) --- so what does this mean? It means the industry only exists to market and distribute a product, and when someone else can distribute it freely, and market it on their own, the industry becomes much less meaningful to the musician.

Of course, you couldn't have a decrease in sales of a record due to increased exposure unless: we the downloaders know that the album is 99% crap, and the single is the only thing worth paying for. OR the record industry is capable of achieving total market penetration with its own marketing efforts, and so any market covered by the internet, which has the potential to convince someone to not buy a full album, should already by covered by their other means, and is only ever degraded by p2p (could be true, who knows).

tourist




msg:282480
 4:41 am on Dec 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Eric Jarvis would lead me to believe:


people are also blithely claiming that there is no sign of any negative effect of file sharing...others are complaining that there's too much mass produced pap...in fact the latter is the direct result of the former

Oh... Horsesheet!

Mass produced crap, like boy band "New Kids On The Block," certainly existed before what's-his-name-that-wrote-Napster had hair... I'm not an expert & I haven't checked, but I'll wager the crap existed before Napster-boy was even a gleam in his father's eye.

Next you'll have me believe that record company payola is a hoax...


once upon a time I could guarantee that if a band was really good I'd hear about them within a year or so of them first releasing a record

Whose definition of "good?" Are you talking on a global scale? All genres of music? (Brazilian grindcore? Japanese polka? Belizean punta? Finnish surf? Ukrainian rap? God forbid - Canada's Celine Dion?)


I also know some who are giving up recording at all...

Hmm, I bet they all sucked, too. Music made for money isn't music at all. (Hello? Brittany?)


...but it means there is less music out there

I'd rather a selection of a half-dozen hobos singing from the heart than a million knobs singing for their pocketbook. (Time to dusty off that Boxcar Willie 78...)

snowman sez:


As a musician, I gotta say that having free publicity, via software like Napster, etc....CAN be really helpful!

Funny you should say that... About twenty years ago, I got a cassette tape. It was a demo of some California metal band called "The Four Horsemen." The tape had a real muddy sound with no high-end, having been duped who knows how many times. But, despite the quality of the tape, I became an instant fan. Over the ensuing years, The Four Horsemen became increasing popular and I spent what I now consider an insane amount of money of fan merchandise - albums (then CDs), concerts, videos, t-shirts, rarities & collectibles. Certainly the band didn't get ALL my money - we're all aware of the record companies' greed - but because of that cassette tape, they did walk off with a fistful of my pretty pennies... They gave me a few free songs, and I gave up thousands of dollars.

Oh, did I mention that a long time ago The Four Horsemen changed their name to "Metallica?" Ya, that Metallica - the same ones that helped rip down Napster. I personally thought the band's actions to be hypocritical, so one day I amused myself by dancing around a big Metallica merchandise bonfire. My only regret? That "musicians" that are only in it for the money got so much of mine...

I don't think any answers will come out of this thread... Too many people seem to see in only black & white. ("Theft IS theft & the law IS the law..." That attitude scares me. Guess we should lock up folks with AIDS using medicinal marijuana, 'cause, after all, they aren't anything but low-life junkies... Marijuana is illegal and "the law IS the law," whether right or wrong.)

Nick_W




msg:282481
 10:12 am on Dec 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Oh, did I mention that a long time ago The Four Horsemen changed their name to "Metallica?"

Actually they changed the song title. It was "Mechanics" but Dave Mustaine got all upset as he wrote most of it (he split to fomr MegaDeath)...

Just some useless stuff I remember ;)

Nick

lgn




msg:282482
 1:29 pm on Dec 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Somebody mention that mp3 are perfect copies a
while back, and was using it as example why the RIAA did never care about the copying of records to cassette, but are now up in arms on MP3 because it gave a perfect audio copy.

Well MP3 is lossy format, and is not the same quality as the original CD.

Found this during my surfing

[www-personal.engin.umich.edu...]

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