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RIAA Bits 319

Posted by michael
from the no-drm-required dept.
HardYakka writes "The New York Times writes that record industry executives who are adamant that file sharing is stealing are not above stealing themselves." The NYT also has two other stories on file-sharing today: one with emphasis on musicians, and an opinion piece about the internet. Also floating around: this humor piece and an EFF petition.
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RIAA Bits

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  • Irony... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mgcsinc (681597) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @07:14AM (#6956224)
    While I like the irony implied, of the music industry's hypocrisy in accusing file-sharers of stealing when they, in fact, are stealing themselves, I think the two ideas of intellectual property stealing do not mesh quite so easily. The file-sharing theft usually committed is one of profit-deprivation; users download and share for personal enjoyment, depriving the industry of sales money. The theft committed by artists, publishers, recording studios, authors, and the like in unauthorized use of other's works in their own, as much as it may be argued to be a form of innovation, aims to boost one's own profits. This difference, while alleviating some of the irony of the situation, does not paint the industry in any better of a light...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 14, 2003 @07:17AM (#6956240)
    Between the RIAA and SCO, plus ongoing Microsoft FUD, I think we're starting to see the fraying edge of a maturing "Internet Economy", and some companies are clinging to really ancient buisness models that will not work in this era.

    The RIAA member companies failed to get together to innovate a new buisness model when the InterNet came along, and transferred this problem to the RIAA, which became their personal pitbull. Everyone's blaming the RIAA for this latest round of should-be-RICO-prosecuted behaviour by this company, but let's not forget at the same time the recording industry labels support these chuckleheads - where's the boycott against the labels?

    SCO is *really* the leading edge of "my buisness model failed" along with Microsoft - the pair of them are like the old IBM of the 90's, except instead of the hardware buisness, they're in the software buisness. Remember PS/2's, proprietary hardware, and IBM almost incredulously holding on to a market that was churning out clone PC's by the millions?

    SCO & Microsoft are like this - dinosaurs in the software industry that think you can still lock a customer in with a proprietary product and control their innovation path. Take a fresh look @ Microsoft as the IBM of the new millenium and it starts to become clear - Microsoft is nothing more than a proprietary product with a lot of market share trying to protect that marketshare with intimidation and borderline legal tactics.

    There's another two boycotts we should tell the Anti-Trust folks about in California & New York enforcing the decree on Microsoft anti-trust actions. Tell them the TCPA and security certificate scheme Microsoft is developing along with LongHorn represent another way Microsoft is trying to deny people access into their code - that "trusted code" argument is reeking all across it.

    And could someone please expose how much the US Government spent this year on inferior Microsoft product? I'd like to know how much insecure RPC crap my Congress-critters managed to purchase this year...
  • by hkmwbz (531650) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @07:23AM (#6956251) Journal
    The EFF petition is a move in the right direction, but does it really make a difference? What is it that keeps the RIAA going? It's the fact that people still buy music from its members. Why do people buy this music? Because they want to listen to it. Because there is a demand.

    Breaking the law is bad. But so is working to take away our rights. The RIAA is an organization which exists to work for record labels, in order to maximize profit. It is basically an organization which works for the industry, against the customer (or "consumer" which we are today).

    Perhaps it is time to take matters into our own hands and really strike them where it hurts the most. If they don't make any money, they can't afford lawsuits and lobbying to take away our rights as individuals and as customers. They cannot spread lies about P2P and other useful technologies.

    If as many people as possible spread music for free as much as possible, fewer would buy music. That's right, we are fighting this fight by breaking the law. We are trying to force the RIAA out of business.

    A normal argument from RIAA apologists is that it is "morally wrong" to "steal music". I would say that the only morally right thing to do is to fight for one's rights! And this fight must be taken on a number of levels. From nice petitions that most likely will not make a difference, to breaking the law. Standing by and accepting that one's rights are taken away is a true sign of a "morally challenged" individual!

    With several angles of attack, maybe the RIAA will eventually disappear.

    RIAA should realize that tor many people, this is war. And wars are dirty. But it would benefit everyone except the RIAA members if it died, including the artists!

    Would it be a good thing to form an organization with a single purpose - distribute as much as possible for free to prevent money from ending up in RIAA members' hands? The RIAA is already spreading lies and deception, so we don't really have much to lose do we?

  • by polished look 2 (662705) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @07:28AM (#6956258) Journal

    In my opinion, the RIAA has every right in the world to see that their material is not passed around illicitly and quite frankly I don't see why anyone has a problem with what they're doing.

    Take a hint: pop music sucks. Go on with your lives and stop listening to it so much.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 14, 2003 @07:34AM (#6956272)
    Maybe we need to spread lies about the RIAA

    This method has a proven track-record in the war against drugs (and terrorism).

  • by hkmwbz (531650) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @07:39AM (#6956287) Journal
    The RIAA is a cartel set up to protect the interests of the music industry. It exists only to push on those in power to make sure more money flows into the industry. It spreads lies and deception, such as trying to link P2P and child pornography.

    The RIAA exists for the music industry, against the customer. It sees us as a means to increase profits, and rather than adapting to a new world, it tries to lobby for laws that take away our rights.

    That they are right in protecting what they can according to the law, they are not right when they fight to take away our rights and use FUD and scare tactics to keep an outdated industry alive.

    The RIAA was convicted of illegal price fixing wasn't it?

    Those with a sense of common decency have a problem with what the RIAA is doing. The RIAA is trying to become the judge, jury and executioner. It is trying to take away our rights.

    As I wrote elsewhere, it is time to go to war. The RIAA fights dirty. Well, so can we.

  • by Sphere1952 (231666) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @07:40AM (#6956291) Journal
    "...but let's not forget at the same time the recording industry labels support these chuckleheads - where's the boycott against the labels?"

    For the most part, the people doing the boycotting know very well that the RIAA is a stand-in for the Big Five labels. There is a lot of talk in the various fora about buying from unsigned artists and independent labels.

    Some are even pointing out that Sony et. at. sell other things besides CDs, and suggest boycotting the entire company.

  • by dirk (87083) <dirk@one.net> on Sunday September 14, 2003 @07:41AM (#6956294) Homepage
    Let's look at these "thefts, shall we.

    They steal outright from musicians, in the form of low royalties or in the form of music copyrights.
    Which the artists willingly agree to. If you agree to give me your money, how is it theft? The artists know what they are getting into, and yet they still sign the contracts.

    They steal outright from consumers, in the form of exorbitant prices for albums that are mediocre at best.
    Which, once again, the consumers agree to pay. If the prices were so incredibly exorbitant, then consumers would not buy the CDs. Music is not a necessity, people can live without it. Some people find the price for a "mediocre" CD (which just means one you don't like, apparently other people do like it, since they are willing to pay "exorbitant" prices for it) to be a fair price. This is shown by the fact that they are willing to pay for them.

    They steal from the distributors, in the form of very low margin on CD sales.
    Last time I checked, the music industry has no say in the margins of distributors. They set their own margins. In fact, when the music industry tried to force distributors to set higher margins (which would keep place like Best Buy from selling CDs at cost and hurting the music only and small mom-and-pop shops), they were sued and lost.

    I fail to see the RIAA stealing from anyone. They are doing what anyone in business does, they are taking what they can. If the artists would stop being so incredibly greedy and signing bad contracts because they think they might make billions of dollars, they wouldn't be locked into bad contracts. If the consumers really though the cost of a CD was outrageous, people wouldn't buy them.
  • by besfred (699432) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @07:44AM (#6956301) Homepage
    A problem might be that people get that pop music shoved down their throats everywhere they go.
    It is really hard to avoid getting brainwashed by that easy-listening music.
    It starts from early ages (think "Barney's Dino Dancin Tunes"), you get used to simplistic melodies.
    Later, you being a teenager, everyone at school talks about the latest top hits, ... You will become an outsider if you can not talk about these topics.

    Sounds abit like conspiracy theory, but theres some truth in it. Also think brands in clothing.
  • by KDan (90353) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @07:57AM (#6956335) Homepage
    They steal outright from musicians, in the form of low royalties or in the form of music copyrights.
    Which the artists willingly agree to. If you agree to give me your money, how is it theft? The artists know what they are getting into, and yet they still sign the contracts.

    That is only part of the story. The musicians have little choice about it, seeing as the big labels have a practical monopoly on distributing music - hell, they own most of the small labels too...

    They steal outright from consumers, in the form of exorbitant prices for albums that are mediocre at best.
    Which, once again, the consumers agree to pay. If the prices were so incredibly exorbitant, then consumers would not buy the CDs. Music is not a necessity, people can live without it.

    Yes and no, again. The consumers have no choice to go and buy xyz CD from another label who doesn't charge exhorbitant prices. If they did, maybe they wouldn't be downloading so many songs off the internet... fyi I don't buy CDs (haven't bought one for about 4-5 years). Saying that music is not a necessity is irrelevant. Who gave the record companies the right to decide who can listen to what? WE did. And we can take it back. And we are taking it back. And they can sue all they want, that's the way it is and they'd better get on with it.

    Daniel
  • Very dim person (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nagora (177841) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:04AM (#6956357)
    From the article: "Somehow everybody seems to be making out," she said. "I don't see any poor rock stars. I don't see any poor designers."

    From the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Everyone was rich and nobody wass poor. At least, no one very important

    How does this idiot woman think she would ever hear of the poor (ie, failed) rock stars? In this month's "No Longer Rolling Stone"?

    TWW

  • Re:Irony... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Snaller (147050) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:34AM (#6956474) Journal
    The file-sharing theft usually committed is one of profit-deprivation; users download and share for personal enjoyment, depriving the industry of sales money.

    File sharing is not theft, precisly because it is not a given conclusion that anyone is loosing money. Filesharing is a copyright violation.

    Most people just treat it like radio, and just like you don't buy EVERYHING you hear on radio, they don't play to buy everything here. Money lost is insignificaiton.

    The theft committed by artists, publishers, recording studios, authors, and the like in unauthorized use of other's works in their own, as much as it may be argued to be a form of innovation, aims to boost one's own profits.

    While they are not stealing either, and also violating copyright law, it is somewhat closer to stealing since they are directly profiting by it.
  • Double standard? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:50AM (#6956527)
    What kills me about every RIAA article is that I then turn on my TV to see an ad for a new MP# player from SONY. I wonder how their marketing people are making out with the balance of "Stealing music is bad" and "Buy an MP3 player to listen to Stolen Music" directions that Sony and other companies seem to be taking...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 14, 2003 @09:33AM (#6956712)
    RIAA aside, it was this line in the article that soured it for me. That was an uncalled for attack purely to cater to the crowd, and has nothing to do with the article subject.

    If you have to resort to that to get your article printed, you've got bigger troubles than the RIAA.

  • by muonman (162064) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @09:50AM (#6956786) Homepage
    is that with all the sanctimonious condemnation of file sharers as thieves, so far no one has dwelt opon the truly egregious thievery going on by the RIAA. That is, that they stole and continue to steal CONGRESS from the American people. (Not to mention the executive and judiciary, I mean come on people, Dubya? Scalia? Thomas? Ashcroft? Rumsfeld?)

    They effectively take you and me out of the loop and expect us to have any respect for the laws they pass? Check your local copy of the Declaration of Independence for a take on what a "Good American"'s reaction is supposed to be to that.
  • by Squiggle (8721) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @10:49AM (#6957120)
    Ms. Frank, the MTV executive, noted the limitations of unlimited customization, even amid unlimited access. For young Americans, she said, "because of the way they've trained themselves to use media, they never have to be exposed to an idea, an artist, or anything that they did not select for themselves."

    I call BULLSHIT! Obvious this person is either lying straight out, misquoted, or an complete asshat if she works at MTV and doesn't understand what is going on. First, I'm willing to bet that kids (just like me) do research to find artists they like: especially the trend setters. Those that don't spend the time finding the good stuff are the sheep: they follow the trend setters. Thus, peer influences are going to be the biggest factor - and yes, MTV tries very, very hard to pass itself off as a peer, or at least showing "peers" watching and listening to the crap they play on MTV.

    Thirdly (and most importantly), what the f8sck is wrong with people listening to the artists they choose themselves? The quote is implying that the kids aren't listening to what we told them to! "Whaaa! How can we use marketing to control people that make their own decisions!?" This is a great example the NYTimes doing what it does best. Here is an example of something really positive - people chosing what they like - and the Times spins it like it is some sort of terrible limitation. Unless the Times has replaced The Onion [theonion.com]...

  • by Sphere1952 (231666) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @11:10AM (#6957230) Journal
    Your're getting warm, but the fact is that the RIAA is stomping upon our constutional rights in order to accomplish something which is illegal anyway.

    The only people who have any sort of fundamental right here is the people who are attempting to use P2P in order to reach willing listeners.

    The RIAA is attempting to prevent P2P from becoming a conduit for artists reaching the general public without going through them. That is to say, they are attempting to restrain trade.

    The right to be heard by willing listeners is a fundamental part of the right to free speech -- not to mention the right to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances. Since we cannot tell which music is released to P2P as free speech and which music is protected by some sort of limited commercial copyright protection, it is only reasonable for us to assume it to be free speech (a fundamental right) until proven otherwise.

  • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @11:40AM (#6957391) Homepage
    "While you're online, visit a blog with links to published movie gossip and use your pirated e-mail program to send tidbits to your hundred closest friends."

    Who uses a pirated email program? Web novices use a preinstalled Outlook Distress or equivalent, while experts use Mozilla or derivitaves. And corporate users use whatever the corporation installed.

    Maybe some of the other allegations are true, but this one is just silly.
  • Re:Irony... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by K8Fan (37875) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @11:52AM (#6957483) Journal

    The copying of the Forrester report is much more harmful to Forrester than thousands of downloads of the latest Top Ten single could ever be to the record company in question. Forrester sells a small number of copies of the reports from their various analysts like Josh (who get a bonus for every time they get quoted in a mainstream magazine). The average reader of a Forrester report is a vice-president of a Fortune 500 company - an obviously limited market. The executive at the record company could and should have bought his own copy of the report.

    This is triple-layer, double-fudge death-by-chocolate irony!

    Disclaimer: I used to work for Forrester. Unofficial Company Motto: We only have to be right more than half the time!

  • by Wylfing (144940) <brian@wyMOSCOWlfing.net minus city> on Sunday September 14, 2003 @11:59AM (#6957521) Homepage Journal
    People have already pointed out the one interesting paragraph in the article (i.e., the music exec stealing a Forrester report). The article should have stopped there. I despise this kind of "culture analysis" article that aims to shed light on those rascally inscrutable teenagers. It reminds me of Better Off Dead [imdb.com], where the father reads a book called "How to Talk to Teenagers" and tries out slang but screws it up, e.g., "Right off!"

    Here some great lines from the NYT article:

    use your pirated e-mail program to send tidbits to your hundred closest friends. Uh, what? Who the hell pirates an email program?

    If this is the democracy of the copy, it is enough to make one long for the elitism of creative genius. This is annoying in oh so many ways. OF COURSE people copy what artists create. It's normal behavior. In fact, it's normal for artists to copy other artists too. I'm really getting fed up with this idea that "creative genius" pops out of nowhere and isn't itself somehow a copy or a derivative.

  • The real crime... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ruiner13 (527499) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @12:59PM (#6957839) Homepage
    "The New York Times writes that record industry executives who are adamant that file sharing is stealing are not above stealing themselves."

    You mean like artificially keeping CD prices high by using your power as a monopoly to steal more money from people who like music? I'd say the record industry has been stealing from all of us for many, many years. I will not shed a tear about their tiny loss of profit that is probably more due to their inability to put out good music and alienating their customers than file "sharing".

  • by euxneks (516538) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @01:05PM (#6957864)
    Personally, I'd like to hear more specifics about alternative systems, and less about how the RIAA is the Great Satan

    I don't understand why _we_ are the ones that are supposed to come up with a business model for the RIAA...? Do we have to come up with a business model for every failing business that sues us when they lose money? That's _their_ job, not ours.
  • After all, copyright protection is mandatory for great art to be produced.

    No copyright - Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert. Copyright - N'Sync, Britney Spears, Eminem.

  • by turnstyle (588788) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @01:45PM (#6958058) Homepage
    "No copyright - Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert. Copyright - N'Sync, Britney Spears, Eminem."

    Fine, but don't forget Copyright also protects -- Jonny Cash, Ween, Marvin Gaye, The Clash, Brian Eno, Funkadelic, Charles Mingus and countless great people.

    Just because you don't like some music doesn't really make your point. If you dont like N'Sync, Britney Spears, and Eminem just don't listen.

    Back in Mozart's time, only a very tiny minority of artists could support themselves by being an artist, and that generally meant finding a rich benefactor. Are you telling me that's better?

  • quote (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lonesome phreak (142354) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @01:50PM (#6958081) Journal
    Ms. Frank, the MTV executive, noted the limitations of unlimited customization, even amid unlimited access. For young Americans, she said, "because of the way they've trained themselves to use media, they never have to be exposed to an idea, an artist, or anything that they did not select for themselves."

    Yes, because people that d/l music and such live in a cave and never come out. Thy must make their own food and clothes too, because they are never exposed to an idea they did not select. I can't walk outside my house without being exposed to ideas I did not select. My neighbor's clothes, billboards, branding on food at the store...I am forced to look at these things just to survive. I don't really want to at times...

    I think she should have said "They haven't been exposed enough to our ideas, our select artists, or all our other marketing campaigns because they feel they have freedom of choice."
  • Pie in the sky (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 14, 2003 @01:53PM (#6958097)
    Yeah, another "solution" that no-one will use or agree to.

    I'll bet you a wheelbarrow full of Flooz and a pocket-full of micro-payments on this one.
  • by ImpTech (549794) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @04:09PM (#6958662)

    I agree with most of the parent, but as for this:

    I for one am still waiting for the following. Every "record" store gets a computer with a couple of outlet points (cd burners firewire connections and such), some terminals, a big HD array say 1 terrabyte (very cheap if you use IDE, it doesn't have to be fast) and a connection to a central network (doesn't have to be the internet for security). Then all that is needed is for every music owner to catalog their music and make it available on the central network. I then browse the catalog in the shop and make my selections. Popular songs are already locally available while others are taking from the network, perhaps stored in a cache, and my selection is then burned or put on an mp3 player etc. I then pay the shopkeeper the fee.

    This still sounds like I've got to go somewhere to get my music, which IMO is half the problem that filesharing (or buying from iTunes) solves. It could be good for record stores, giving them lower operating costs, but for the customer its lousy. You've got to do all the work you had to before, and you're getting less for it (don't try to tell me that getting mp3s on your iPod or a burned CD-R is even close to getting the actual CD!), though I guess cost passed onto the consumer would drop. Still not much of a competitor to internet-based solutions.

  • by FreakinHippie (636913) <{spam-slashdot} {at} {voidgate.org}> on Sunday September 14, 2003 @04:10PM (#6958668) Homepage
    The fact that they served coffee that hot to someone sitting in a CAR makes them partly responsible.

    McDonald's is absolutely NOT responsible AT ALL! If the drive thru clerk spilled the coffee on the patron that would be a different story. However, if it is dangerous to have hot coffee in a CAR, then the lady should have had the sense not to purchase it in the drive through. After all, it is dangerous to simply hold a cup while driving, or anything other object for that matter.

    Are you one of those people that think that bars that serve people who are obviously MORE than drunk are not partly responsible for that persons actions?

    They most certainly are not! This whole argument is utter bullshit. The patron should be responsible for themselves! Blaming everyone else who is nearby for your own actions is a complete cop-out.

    If you sell something to someone, you have certain responsibilities as a result of that action.

    It has been said before, and I mostly agree that analogies are bad to use in an explanation. However, by this rational, the dealer of your car (if you own one) is responsible (at least partly, right?) when you get into an accident. This is patently absurd.
  • by Hatta (162192) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @06:12PM (#6959586) Journal

    Sept. 12, 2003 | As the record industry prepares hundreds of lawsuits targeting people suspected of illegally copying music over the Internet, a broad coalition of leading academics and civil libertarians is standing up for "file sharing" with the intention of ushering in a new copyright system.

    Case in point: The Electronic Frontier Foundation, longtime defender of free speech and privacy online, is sponsoring an advertising campaign with the slogan "File Sharing: It's Music to Our Ears." Seeking to recruit new members who are "tired of being treated like a criminal for sharing music online," the ad's message is clear: It's cool to copy music, regardless of the copyright status.

    The EFF's goal, like that of many legal scholars, software coders and media pundits, is a new system of compensation for copyright holders that would legitimize file sharing, generally through some new tax on Internet use that would be redistributed to content creators.

    But the tacit endorsement of copyright violation seems intended to force the change rather than open it to debate: The more people engage in file sharing, the stronger the case that it can't be stopped, and that our current system of copyright must therefore be scrapped.

    This is a bad idea propagated in bad faith. Rather than cheering on file sharing, the EFF should be presenting us with the details of its alternative so that we can measure it against our current copyright system, and collectively decide which system we prefer.

    The major record companies -- mostly in the guise of their lobbying group, the Recording Industry Association of America, or RIAA -- have been widely criticized as being heavy-handed in their response to file sharing. But the tactics and goals of those leading the charge against them have generally avoided scrutiny. It's time to take a closer look.

    Music industry critics would have us believe that their objective is to rein in an evil cartel, but there's much more to it than that. Their intention is to dictate new terms to all digital authors, regardless of whether they are working for an oligopoly or toiling away in a garage.

    As an independent software developer, I don't much appreciate the effort to recast copying others' work as a cool and revolutionary act. What's worse, civil liberties advocates are promoting alternative systems that compromise free speech and privacy, bedrock principles that we have traditionally relied on them to defend.

    The first thing to note is that this debate isn't just about music, it is about copyright in general. All leading file-sharing applications are designed to copy any kind of file. If the goal is to legitimize the activity over these peer-to-peer (P2P) networks through a new tax, then we should expect such a system to apply to all digital works -- not just music, but also movies, software, photographs, ebooks and so on.

    So how is free speech compromised?

    Under these alternative systems, compensation for cultural expression is shifted to governmental control -- the government collects the tax, divides it up, and pays the artists. But this is also the same government that has a long record of denying public funding for "offensive" art.

    As a simple example, consider that pornography makes up as much as 40 percent of file-sharing traffic. Are we to believe that those copyright holders would receive their proportionate share of the P2P tax? It seems far more likely that the government will instead decide to exclude "adult" works, drawing a line between art and offense.

    This isn't just about porn. The FCC regularly censors the infamous "seven dirty words" from public airwaves, and it's a safe bet that the trend will continue with P2P payouts -- certain works will be deemed not worthy of compensation by public funds.

    There is no reason to believe that the First Amendment would apply here -- after all, nothing would

  • by Sphere1952 (231666) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:45PM (#6960557) Journal
    I think you'll like this:

    A SPEECH DELIVERED IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS ON THE 5TH OF FEBRUARY 1841 [yarchive.net] by Thomas Babington Macaulay

    Here's the best part: "I will only say this, that if the measure before us should pass, and should produce one-tenth part of the evil which it is calculated to produce, and which I fully expect it to produce, there will soon be a remedy, though of a very objectionable kind. Just as the absurd acts which prohibited the sale of game were virtually repealed by the poacher, just as many absurd revenue acts have been virtually repealed by the smuggler, so will this law be virtually repealed by piratical booksellers. At present the holder of copyright has the public feeling on his side. Those who invade copyright are regarded as knaves who take the bread out of the mouths of deserving men. Everybody is well pleased to see them restrained by the law, and compelled to refund their ill-gotten gains. No tradesman of good repute will have anything to do with such disgraceful transactions. Pass this law: and that feeling is at an end. Men very different from the present race of piratical booksellers will soon infringe this intolerable monopoly. Great masses of capital will be constantly employed in the violation of the law. Every art will be employed to evade legal pursuit; and the whole nation will be in the plot. On which side indeed should the public sympathy be when the question is whether some book as popular as Robinson Crusoe, or the Pilgrim's Progress, shall be in every cottage, or whether it shall be confined to the libraries of the rich for the advantage of the great-grandson of a bookseller who, a hundred years before, drove a hard bargain for the copyright with the author when in great distress? Remember too that, when once it ceases to be considered as wrong and discreditable to invade literary property, no person can say where the invasion will stop. The public seldom makes nice distinctions. The wholesome copyright which now exists will share in the disgrace and danger of the new copyright which you are about to create. And you will find that, in attempting to impose unreasonable restraints on the reprinting of the works of the dead, you have, to a great extent, annulled those restraints which now prevent men from pillaging and defrauding the living."
  • by nobody69 (116149) on Monday September 15, 2003 @10:50AM (#6964548)
    Back in Mozart's time, only a very tiny minority of artists could support themselves by being an artist, and that generally meant finding a rich benefactor. Are you telling me that's better?

    A thought just popped into my head (insert joke here). That's really not that different than what we have now. Most of the people who are musicians do not support themselves full time in that manner and probably spend more on their career/hobby than they make. Most of the few who do have contracts with record companies (of wildly varying sizes), giving them in effect, rich benefactors (who may be trying to screw them). Sony == Emperor of Austria, while indie label == Prince of Tinyhaven. Of course, irking the Emperor means you may lose your head, while irking CEO of Sony means No Contract For You. Just a thought anyway.

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