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Don't Stop File-Sharing, Says Former Pink Floyd Manager 243

Barence writes "The former manager of Pink Floyd has labelled attempts to clamp down on music file-sharing as a 'waste of time.' 'Not only are they a waste of time, they make the law offensive. They are comparable to prohibition in the US in the 1920s,' said Peter Jenner, who's now the emeritus president of the International Music Managers' Forum. 'It's absurd to expect ordinary members of the public to think about what they're allowed to do [with CDs, digital downloads, etc]... and then ask themselves whether it's legal or not.' The comments come as Britain's biggest ISP, BT, said it was confident that Britain's Digital Economy Act — which could result in file-sharers losing their internet connection — would be overturned in the courts, because it doesn't comply with European laws on privacy."
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Don't Stop File-Sharing, Says Former Pink Floyd Manager

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  • by Irick ( 1842362 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @04:17PM (#32905804)
    The recording industry can go burn for all i really care, though i'd rather artists just release their stuff in the public domain rather then the public making it their domain. I can completely support hurting the recording industry, but I'd rather do it in a way that respects artist's wishes, even if those wishes be that i should not have their material without paying an overpriced fee to a record company I as a consumer do not support. Though that is just my view on the matter, truly i believe that the ends justify the means when it comes to putting the recording industry out. Beyond that, consumer rights should be protected, and that does include the right to fair use of a purchased product.
  • by gilesjuk ( 604902 ) <> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @04:20PM (#32905842)

    The Somali pirates. These are the ones extorting millions out of companies and threatening to kill people.

  • by Monkeedude1212 ( 1560403 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @04:27PM (#32905918) Journal

    In Canada we have on the extremely rare occasion had Referendums dealing with important legislation. I believe the last national one we held was in 1992? And there are provincial ones every decade or so. We had one upon the subject of Prohibition in the 20's, which I think actually ended up passing, but was repealed shortly thereafter because of its unenforceable nature. Exactly what Mr Pink up there is saying.

    But I disagree when he says

    It's absurd to expect ordinary members of the public to think about what they're allowed to do [with CDs, digital downloads, etc]... and then ask themselves whether it's legal or not

    No, I don't think it's absurd at all - in Canada we may have still ended up voting in favour of it (51.2 for and 48.8 against) - but at least its not a crazy idea to, you know, ASK the general public.

  • Re:Prohibition? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @04:32PM (#32905992) Journal

    Filesharing today is a lot like Prohibition during the 1920s. I'm worried however that it will end up more like Prohibition of the 1990s-200s. That is, an endless war for which countless civil liberties are sacrificed.

  • Re:Prohibition? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shakrai ( 717556 ) * on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @04:40PM (#32906076) Journal

    It only holds in that both were laws that the public vehemently disagreed with and disregarded.

    Does John Q. Public really care all that much about file sharing? It doesn't seem to hold much sway (in either direction) outside of the geek/teenager/record-label-executive world.

  • by SnarfQuest ( 469614 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @04:41PM (#32906102)

    It might just be more creative accounting on their part. They can apply the costs of looking for these "pirates" against the artists earnings, and apply any money collected to their own pockets. They get to screw both the artists and the pirates, while getting more wealth.

  • by rpervinking ( 1090995 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @04:55PM (#32906334)

    Every Henry Fonda movie is over 25 years old. Copyright doesn't need to last that long in order for the artists to receive some reasonable compensation. The fact that a crazy long copyright period made a bunch of people richer than they would otherwise be is not interesting to me.

    From everything I've ever observed about performers, good ones, they'd do it for free if they couldn't get paid to do it. Losing a shot at retiring on the proceeds of one big hit wouldn't stop a single artist. It might slow down the creation of media personalities and blockbuster special-effects extravaganzas, but not artists. Color me unconcerned with the future of civilization.

  • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @05:00PM (#32906408)

    There will be some very talented folks that are also independently wealthy (or have gotten rich from when their music had value) that can afford to work for nothing. The rest of the world is going to do something that pays the rent and the grocery bill.

    I know plenty of people making movies, software and music that will never make them any money. I know about three million people writing novels that will never make them any money.

    I also know one person who does make money from making movies who's publically stated that he thinks P2P helps his sales because people see one of ihs movies and then buy others. Of course he doesn't pay his actors $200,000,000 for six weeks' work.

    No matter how hard you try, you aren't going to get rid of the distribution companies.

    In a digital world the only benefit that distributors provide is advertising; people see your music/song/novel on that distributor's site and buy it. Otherwise you can just sell from your own web site.

  • Failed prophesies (Score:2, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @05:00PM (#32906410)
    "If people copy this, nobody will make it anymore!"

    We keep hearing this, yet new music, movies, books, and software continue to be produced. Why do people continue spouting this crap? It is as if you are praying for it to happen just so you can say, "told you so!"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @05:01PM (#32906412)

    well I tend to disagree. The typical Artist only receives $23 out of $1000 in sales from the RIAA. I bet (and history agrees) that people will freely donate more than $23 for what would have previously cost them $1000. Also Artists make most of they're money from live shows and concerts. As far as they are concerned RIAA is just publicity to get people to the concert.

    With distribution cost down to practically nothing, releasing a song/album on your website with a donate button (paypal, ect). and a link to the torrent is the way to go.

  • by eples ( 239989 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @05:02PM (#32906444)

    'It's absurd to expect ordinary members of the public to think about what they're allowed to do [with CDs, digital downloads, etc]... and then ask themselves whether it's legal or not.'

    Ignorantia juris non excusat.

    I sympathize, and to some extent I agree, but it's not a legal defense and it doesn't legitimize breaking copyright law. Howabout just not making copies of things you paid for? How hard is that to remember.

  • Yeah, he's my hero (Score:2, Insightful)

    by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @05:06PM (#32906516)

    It's funny to me that so many most of these artists and rebels like to bad-mouth the music industry after they hit it big. But, it's strange, I never once hear them complain when they're nobodies and a big studio shows up to give them a contract and a check. Oh yeah, it's easy to shoot your mouth off now that you're famous. But what about back when you were a club band? What about all those years when the studio was paying your bills before you had even hit it big, when there was a very good chance that you wouldn't even MAKE it big? The studio took a chance on your then and helped promote you, helped MAKE you big. Now it's all-too-easy to forget the risk they took on you back then and the work they did to promote you.

    So now when these bands can can take their fame for granted they want to go indie, release their new albums on their website, and start saying that they don't NEED those evil studios after all. But without those evil studios, no one would even give a shit about their albums or concerts. Most of them would still be just another indie club band, like thousands of others who never got signed.

    Yeah, it's easy to be generous when you're already in a mansion.

  • by John Whitley ( 6067 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @05:08PM (#32906532) Homepage

    What on earth are you talking about? You're making up a random argument ("without copyright protection and enforcement") that has nothing to do with the summary or TFA. Those discuss the reprehensible and inefficient tactics of suing members of the general public for file-sharing, and warping of the law to suit the tastes of large rightsholders (e.g. the US' DMCA and similar). No mention is made of eliminating copyright or of not enforcing against corporations (who damn well should know better).

    As far as revenue in the real world, many independent artists and small labels (often a single individual) have cropped up in recent years who are successfully selling non-DRM'ed downloadable music to the general public, either directly or via intermediaries (c.f. Amazon, Beatport, iTunes, etc., etc.). For the small artists, I expect they are likely doing vastly better than they ever would through a traditional recording company contract. []

  • by Andorin ( 1624303 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @05:08PM (#32906536)

    Howabout just not making copies of things you paid for? How hard is that to remember.

    It's not hard to remember, but it's also unjust. We have fair use for a reason, including format-shifting and creating backups.

  • by Andorin ( 1624303 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @05:14PM (#32906632)
    The Internet, and therefore the issue of file sharing, wasn't around back then. Try again, please.
  • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @05:30PM (#32906824) Homepage

    He said the industry could adopt the model of sites such as Rapidshare, which offers paying subscribers the opportunity to get faster downloads. "If we can get £1 a month from every person on this island [Great Britain] for music... this is getting very close to the current level of revenue for recorded music," Jenner claimed.

    I've been saying for years that the music industry (and movie industry) should change their business model on the Internet to sell services rather than copies. Say, "For a low monthly fee, you can have free access to our super-fast servers that have all the newest releases and a huge back catalog (every piece of music ever recorded)." Divide up the profits from that service to pay royalties.

    At least speaking for myself, I'm quite sure the music industry could make more money off of me during my lifetime by offering a $X/month service of providing all-you-can-eat drm-free music downloads than... well, any other business model I can think of. Give me a bundled deal including all movies and TV shows, and I'd pay a decent monthly fee.

    You probably don't even need DRM. I know, you're thinking that people will just download the whole catalog in a month and then cancel their subscription, but that's really more trouble than it's worth. You have to go through all the trouble of downloading, storing, and backing up all that data. And then your computer crashes or a file gets corrupt, and you have to do it all over again. You quit again, but then a new song comes out that you want, so you'll have to resubscribe.

    Most people will may for a service that makes their lives more convenient. Make a service that makes it easy to find and enjoy the media you want. Add a good recommendation engine on top of it. Price it competitively with cableTV+Rhapsody. Watch the money roll in.

  • by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert&slashdot,firenzee,com> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @05:38PM (#32906922) Homepage

    The trouble is, being locked in a french/danish/us prison would probably be an improvement in quality of life for the average somalian pirate... It's not really much of a deterrent.

  • by KahabutDieDrake ( 1515139 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @07:08PM (#32907796)
    How about I copy anything I damn well please and you can shove your artificial scarcity into the nearest orifice? In fact, let me give you a simple choice. Continue this charade of an economy based on "scarcity", OR create an economic paradigm where cost+value = price.

    Everyone, including the so called "artists" has a right to make money on their works. Those that provide good works for reasonable prices with high levels of value, will. Those that rely on lying, cheating, stealing and trickery, and control of distribution... won't. The real world has shown this, time and again. Music and media is the latest in a long line of battlefields fought for rational economics. Of course, money and power tend to win out of rational thought, at least for a time. The fight is costing us far more than the shift in paradigms will, and it's not even delaying the shift. Itunes is the number 1 music market in the world. That didn't take long. How much longer before Apple realizes they can cut the middle men out and just open their own publishing studio?

    There are a lot of really talented people in the music industry. Almost none of them work with or for the RIAA anymore. Once the plaque of lawyers is done picking the bones, the RIAA, and most of the rest of the "professional recording" industry will collapse and reform, hopefully into something a little more intelligent and rational. (I know, call me an idealist).
  • Re:Prohibition? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by refrigeratorpanic ( 1832792 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @08:40PM (#32908502) Homepage
    and what if they dont want to give it away for free? but i guess you'll just take it then.
  • Re:Prohibition? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by elvesrus ( 71218 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:47PM (#32909224)

    this is different how? your points in order

    machine guns - we have uzis instead of tommy guns
    really bad nicknames - have you seen some of the nicknames used on the internet?
    dreadful musicals - high school musical, hamlet 2, etc.
    even worse Hollywood blockbusters - do i need to say more than twilight?

  • by silentcoder ( 1241496 ) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @07:13AM (#32911394)

    >Isn't the whole reason for the military to protect civilians? The only other reason is to conquer other nations but we consider ourselves to be more civilised than that these days.

    Unless they have something you want. Like oil.

    >It's my understanding that piracy in international waters has always been punishable by any nation that felt threatened by such actions. It's been pretty well established for centuries.

    Aye this is true.

    >Mind you, punishing the pirates doesn't get to the route of the problem. Deal with overfishing and illegal dumping as well. These people are pirates because they don't have any other choice. There's no way for them to earn an honest living. They become pirates or starve. The risk of being captured and sentenced to life in prison is small compared with the certainty of death. Punish them by all means, but for practical purposes we should provide an opportunity for another way of life.

    While I agree with what you're saying - both those problems were caused in their case because nobody was policing the waters. The real solution to the whole mess in it's entirety is to stabilize the country and get a real government in place. Somalia right now doesn't EVEN have anarchy. It's a bunch of feuding warlords all hoping to become a military dictator but none ever quite powerful enough to pull it off. They spend all their time fighting one another and nobody spends any time running the country, handling diplomacy or providing any kind of infrastructure, economic or other service. There is no law enforcement and even if there was, no law to be enforced.
    I am one of those people who think anarchist societies can sometimes work, that governments are usually bad -but Somalia is a prime example that merely not having a government doesn't give you a working anarchist society. Without the right kind of social structures and protections in place, you just get a shithole where life has no value and prospects are things that happen to other people.
    The only kind of business that would want to venture there is the kind who sees real value in the lack of law. Organised crime mostly. Perhaps the more ethically questionable types of genetic research. But even those guys stay away because there is no education system and whatever you build will get looted, if you put in enough security to prevent looting by the population then you'll get looted by the warlords who are always desperate for any kind of supplies.

  • by Andorin ( 1624303 ) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @03:51PM (#32918454)

    So essentially you don't care about any issues that don't affect you directly, and you're willing to buy the recording industry's propaganda as long as you continue to get your fix of music. You don't think there's anything wrong with copyright law, you don't think there's anything wrong with funding abusive and greedy record labels, and you somehow believe that you're protected from an infringement lawsuit simply because you don't pirate. You either cannot or refuse to see the basic problem with restricting the transfer of information from one computer to another via copyright law. In fact, you did a brilliant job of completely missing my point about artificial scarcity of information. You have faith in the magical forces of free market capitalism to fix the problems inherent in the entertainment industries, when the same industries will blame any lack of sales due to boycotts or people choosing to buy something else on piracy, and receive what amounts to a taxpayer bailout from governmental enforcement of their "intellectual property rights." And yet you will get onto your high horse and talk about people being honest, as though we are obligated to protect an out-of-date business model against technological progress, when it is against the public interest to do so. Have you even considered the fact that it's completely inappropriate for the music you mention, from the 70s and 80s (between 20 and 40 years old) to still be under copyright? Do you refuse to see how ridiculous the copyright circus has gotten under management of the media corporations, so that you might continue to be their customer and look down on anyone who decides that those corporations are no longer fit to control the world's media?

    You're a perfect example of how apathy, ignorance, and knee-jerk reactions to corporate BS are killing our society.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.