"The company that makes this sued my friend."

Brilliant! www.whatacrappypresent.com
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Current Music: Railer -- Kiss Fix ♬

41 Responses:

  1. fo0bar says:

    Ahh, downhillbattle.... the upbeat humor makes up for the total lack of coherent reasoning

    Paraphrase: "You don't get a physical cd when you buy from itunes, but the money still doesn't go to the artist, so you're better off just downloading it from kazaa"

  2. cyn_goth_prog says:

    Awesome.

    Stolen.

    [j]

  3. ex_sjc says:

    Listening to people justify file-sharing is like listening to Bush defend the invasion of Iraq. Enough with the tangential excuses, the after-the-fact justification, the phony platitudes siding with the oppressed - just fucking come out and admit you like free music/want lots of oil. Stop embarrassing yourself by justifying how being a mooch on Kazaa makes you morally superior.

    • cyn_goth_prog says:

      Ignoring for the moment the allusions to Bush vs. Iraq, how would you respond to statements like "The Recording Industry Association of America and its various counterparts are morally fucked -- they are not interested in the artists or the consumers except as screwable sources of money, and they are willing to use underhanded tactics to enforce their power"?

      [j]

      • nosrialleon says:

        welcome to capitalism?

        • cyn_goth_prog says:

          Of course, but my point is: As a consumer (welcome to capitalism!), I don't really like getting screwed by the RIAA/ARIA/whatever so they can line their own pockets. Additionally, as a fan, I don't really like seeing/hearing/reading about my favourite bands getting screwed by the RIAA/ARIA/whatever. And finally, as an amateur musician who might one day like to attempt to turn pro, I don't really like the future prospect of getting screwed by the RIAA/ARIA/whatever.

          So, in conclusion, I am quite happy that these guys are sending the RIAA a great big merry Christmas Fuckyou.

          Leeching music is pretty lame, yes. But the RIAA is neither helpless nor innocent. They deserve whatever they get, and in this case, it's a delicious hot serving of RIAA-style bullshit right back in their faces.

          [j]

          • belgand says:

            Good for you! Boycott them and put your money where your mouth is!

            The problem is that people espouse that sort of opinion and then turn around and admit that they still want the product being offered. Sadly those are the choices: don't have anything to do with it at all or accept something you dislike in order to get what you want.

            If you want real change you'll boycott them entirely. You'll ignore anything coming from a major label and try to get friends and relatives to do the same (likely by introducing them to better non-RIAA products).

            • cyn_goth_prog says:

              Boycott them and put your money where your mouth is!

              Well, that's really the hard part, isn't it...

              The problem is that people espouse that sort of opinion and then turn around and admit that they still want the product being offered. Sadly those are the choices: don't have anything to do with it at all or accept something you dislike in order to get what you want.

              It's not easy to convince people (including oneself) to drop their favourite artists.

              [j] (sellout?)

              • waider says:

                Whatever about convincing others, I've had little difficulty in not buying any CDs myself in the last year-plus-change. Most of the popular music that catches my ear (so to speak) is readily available on the radio thanks to a combination of heavy rotation and a choice of a half-dozen radio stations with near-identical playlists; some of it winds up on MTV, squeezed in between all the non-music programming; and I can keep my money for independant artists either distributing via CDBaby or playing live locally. Well, as long as they're not using TicketBastard, anyway. Every so often I catch a piece of music that I think might be nice to own, but fuck it. If the artist is on a RIAA label, no dice.

                I've found that people are interested - and understanding - if I explain to them why I don't buy CDs, or which CDs I'm willing to buy. I've extended this to CDs I'm willing to accept as gifts, which obviously has some impact around this time of year. I don't think anyone I've talked to about it has made the leap from "interested" to "converted", but *shrug* I'm not evangelising. I'm explaining a personal point of view for people to take or leave as they see fit. But, as I say, people do understand the point of view. Noone accuses me of bullshitting, probably not least because I've got a reasonable reputation for being well-informed.

                Anyway. The bottom line is that if you're willing to complain about the RIAA but not willing to do anything about it, then you should maybe reconsider your position. It's not going to change if you keep doing nothing.

              • belgand says:

                I agree, it's not an easy thing to do, but in this case those are the only two defensible positions. Stealing music just because you don't like the RIAA isn't acceptable. You're not boycotting them and trying to drive the point in that you dislike their business practices, you're saying that you really want what they have, but for whatever reason you're not willing to pay for it.

                Perhaps you could find a way to let them know that you support the artists, but not the method cd sales are handled. Try to attend concerts where the band gets a greater share of the revenue. Although this is a bit counter-intuitive when complaining about insanely overpriced cds considering the TicketMaster monopoly and their massive service fees above and beyond the overpriced concert tickets. I recall The Dead Kennedy's "Pull My Strings" wherein "You'll pay 10 bucks to see me" was still valid, wonder how much Jello's charging these days... or if anyone even cares.

                Another alternative might be to try finding this stuff used. You'll still be supporting the industry, but not as much and not in the same way. The prices also tend to be much more reasonable (locally I pay around $7-8) although selection is much, much smaller.

                • jwz says:

                  You may think those are the only two defensible positions, but I don't. For example, I find these positions defensible as well. You may disagree with them, but they are certainly consistent and defensible.

                  1. There is no way that I am going to pay Entity X for their product. Since their product is only information, not a physical object, I can make a copy of it without them having anything less. So given the choices of "don't pay them and don't use it", and "don't pay them but use it anyway", I might as well do the latter, since I am A) not costing them anything, and B) not even denying them potential profit.

                    In this view, it is perfectly moral because nobody is harmed.

                  2. I would pay for their product if it was priced properly, or convenient to do so, or if the producer was less hateful to me, or whatever. But it's not those things, so I feel no need to do as they ask, and pay them before making a copy of this information.

                    In this view, "theft" is how the free market tells the producer that their product is priced wrong: it is how the market communicates.

                  3. Information, by not being an object, cannot be the subject of property. When I buy physical objects with information on them, I am doing so only because it's convenient: not because I believe that information itself can sensibly be bought and sold. I'll do whatever is convenient, and if someone finds a way to make a business out of that, more power to them, but it's not my problem to prop up their unnatural model.

                    In this view, it is not possible to "steal" music, only to "copy without permission."

                  Also:

                  There are many venues in the world that are not controlled by ClearChannel and TicketBastard.

                  If you buy a CD for $10 from the band's merch table at a show, chances are the band actually gets to pocket $2 or $3 of that. If you buy it for $18 at a store, they might see $0.02 if they're lucky.

            • haran says:

              Good for you! Boycott them and put your money where your mouth is!

              Yes, in general, boycotting your favorite artist is not easy, but nowadays, most of the music that comes out is so lame, its not such a far-fetched idea.

              Just my $0.02

          • otterley says:

            I don't really like getting screwed by the RIAA/ARIA/whatever so they can line their own pockets.

            You don't have to buy music, you know. (No, I'm not saying you should copy it illegally either; just don't play the game. It is entirely possible.)

            I don't really like seeing/hearing/reading about my favourite bands getting screwed by the RIAA/ARIA/whatever.

            Then they shouldn't be signing the oppressive contracts that put them in that position.

            • cyn_goth_prog says:

              Then they shouldn't be signing the oppressive contracts that put them in that position.

              As the saying goes: "Hindsight is 20/20".

              [j]

              • otterley says:

                Indeed, but such contracts have been written since the 1950s. One would think that anyone considering signing such a thing would know by now.

                But record companies have easy prey; it exhibits itself as the unbridled ambitions of young 20-somethings, most of whom have egos bigger than their brains and dream of little more than groupies or the latest sweet ride, and who should know better but don't.

                • cyn_goth_prog says:

                  Sure.

                  And -- although I don't have any "inside story" -- I understand that record companies tend to make it difficult to terminate such contracts, once the recording artist does realise.

                  [j]

            • jwz says:

              Regardless of whether you find it moral, copying music without paying for it is very much "not playing the game."

              • cyn_goth_prog says:

                The problem with copying music without paying for it is that the recording artist still gets screwed.

                Possible solution: copy the music, then send the artist something like $1 per track.

                The next conceivable problem with copying music over the net (which is necessary to cover those long geographical distances) is that you run the risk of being the one caught and held up by the RIAA as "this person is a music pirate, but to prove how sorry they are, they're going to give us their life-savings (or else we rape them in court)".

                Possible solution: use something like iTunes to cover the geographical distance, then pass burnt CDs round locally. Still tip the artist for each track you copy, whether you're the one who downloaded it or not.

                And now, this leaves only two problems:
                1. MP3s sound so fucking terrible at the default compression rate; and
                2. most people are just too lazy and selfish to bother tipping the artist.

                Solutions, anyone?

                [j]

                • jwz says:

                  Something to consider: who says "musician" has to be a viable career path? For example, "painter" is not. If people don't pay for music, will there be no more music?

                  Sure, it'd be nice if people could get rich making music. That was possible for the last half of the 20th century -- let's call that 0.2% of the period of time that we've had music. Maybe that's just no longer in the cards.

                  I'd like artists to get paid for their efforts (and I'd say that I've personally done a lot more to that end than any of you have) but I wouldn't mourn the death of the music industry for a second.

                  • cyn_goth_prog says:

                    Something to consider: who says "musician" has to be a viable career path? For example, "painter" is not. If people don't pay for music, will there be no more music?

                    Oh great: Open Source Music. That's just fantastic.

                    I suppose performing live is the musical equivalent of tech support, huh? It's a nice idea -- it would certainly beat answering stupid questions over the phone all day -- but it rules out a lot of electronic stuff, which doesn't work live. Besides the fact that people can't tour 24/7, or even 8/5.

                    If people can't make a living making music, then the quality of music will drop. While it's debatable how well teams of programmers scale with size, I don't think anyone would argue that music produced by a team of volunteers across the net is going to have a hard time not sucking.

                    And -- God damn it -- I want my fucking shot at rockstardom!

                    [j]

                  • rasp_utin says:

                    If people can't make a living making music, then the quality of music will drop.

                    I think jwz's "painter" parallel negates this statement. When you consider that many of the most famous masterworks hanging in museums today were created by artists living in abject poverty, doing anything but making art to support themselves, and often enjoying no recognition, let alone fame, during their own lifetimes, the quality vs. sustainability argument holds no water.

                    The argument still falters for electronic musicians, either when recording at home or performing live. People *will* find a way to make it happen, to track down [or build!] pieces of gear and a power outlet to plug it all into... and they'll make [and currently are making] some amazing tunes, regardless of the lack of fame/fortune generated by their work. Even if it's just for gas money to make it to the next town.

                    As for musicians collaborating online, it happens on a daily basis as of late. Many of the cds I own [and make] were in some way, shape or form enabled by transferring data over the net, and it's often quite amazing stuff. ;)

                    Finally, if you really want your shot at rockstardom that badly, you might want to analyze why you're making music in the first place...

                  • cyn_goth_prog says:

                    I think jwz's "painter" parallel negates this statement. When you consider that many of the most famous masterworks hanging in museums today were created by artists living in abject poverty, doing anything but making art to support themselves, and often enjoying no recognition, let alone fame, during their own lifetimes, the quality vs. sustainability argument holds no water.

                    Hey, no need to restrict that consideration to works of visual art: just consider "classical" music, which (with a few exceptions) didn't (and still doesn't) make its composers much money.

                    If musicians can't make a living off their work, then either the quality or quantity will suffer. Many of the most talented and prolific visual and musical artists in the past had wealthy patrons who supported them. Now, obviously the fact that they were supported was in some way due to the quality or quantity of their work, but you'd have a hard time convincing me that the quality and quantity of their work throughout their lives was not increased by the fact that they weren't always guessing at the source of their next meal.

                    Finally, if you really want your shot at rockstardom that badly, you might want to analyze why you're making music in the first place...

                    Fortune and glory, kid. Fortune and glory.

                    [j]

                  • jwz says:

                    Your "open source" crack is a complete strawman. WTFever. I said nothing of the sort.

                    If musicians can't make a living off their work, then either the quality or quantity will suffer.

                    Newsflash! Musicians already can't make a living off their work! The overwhelming majority of them, in any case. The ones who are not actors in a boy-band hit-factory production, or who are pedophiles who own the rights to the Beatles catalog.

                    The point is, there has been music for the whole of recorded human history, and presumably significantly longer. It's just not going to go away no matter what.

                  • sixty4k says:

                    There are a lot of lables out there, full of quality music, that are RIAA free.

                    I've been boycotting RIAA affiliates for most of the year now, and I buy at least a $100 worth of records a month.

                    I use riaa radar to help me out. It also helps that my taste in music leans to the more independent.

                    It doesn't need to be open source music (which I agree sounds like a quick shot at suck), simply music made outside of the music industry. Which is happening more and more.

                  • gse says:

                    Something to consider: who says "musician" has to be a viable career path?

                    I don't care if it's a viable career path -- I have one -- and I don't care if I (or anyone else) gets rich doing it. But I'd like to be able to cover my expenses.

                    I started my own tiny record label to release my music, so that I didn't have to play anyone else's game. That's been one of the smartest things I've done: I control my own destiny, I have nobody to blame by myself, and I don't have to convince some other label guy that I'm cool. Yay, go me.

                    OTOH, it costs us around $2000, give or take, to release a CD (and we can cut corners thanks to a great friend network). Which means we have to sell 400-500 CDs to cover our expenses, and that's before we make press kits, mail out a single CD for review, or place a single ad.

                    And if everyone has decided that music is free, we stand a much poorer chance of seeing our money back -- which makes it that much less possible for us to release more records. Of course I can just keep losing money on each release, but I have a much better job than the average musician/band/whatever.

                    (Before someone suggests it, the digital revolution won't save us anytime soon. Nobody's going to review your record if it's only available on iTunes. In fact a lot of those online places don't want to sell digital copies of music that has never lived on CD.)

                    It seems like it should be easy to sell 500 CDs if you're band doesn't suck. But it's not, really. People need to know that you exist first. That means marketing (expensive and not something most artists are good at) and/or touring (very difficult for people with day jobs). We played for 100 people the other night and sold 8 CDs. That's actually very respectable but at that rate it'll take a lot of shows to sell 500.

                    Anyway. No solutions here really, just idle bitching because I'm avoiding work. The major-label music industry is awful, but the industry itself exists for a reason. Selling music/art/etc to people is hard. So no need to mourn the death of the music biz -- I imagine it'll always find a way to keep breathing.

                  • jwz says:

                    But I'd like to be able to cover my expenses.

                    Yes, that would be nice. But my point was, painters can't cover their expenses either, and yet, people still paint. The sky is not falling.

                  • gse says:

                    Yes, that would be nice. But my point was, painters can't cover their expenses either, and yet, people still paint.

                    Right. As it turned out, I'm not sure my goal was really to respond to your point. Your post just seemed like a reasonable jump-off.

                    To actually respond to your point: Very few people paint, compared to the number that make music. Why is that?

                    I don't know many "serious" artists that work solely because THE WORK LIVES INSIDE OF THEM AND IT MUST COME OUT. No; most people like/want/need to have their work seen and appreciated (maybe even bought!) by others. That might cheapen the purity of their art but hey, what doesn't.

                • baconmonkey says:

                  The problem with copying music without paying for it is that the recording artist still gets screwed.

                  how is that any different than making a concious decision to not buy a cd?
                  like if I download a Brtney song or if I refuse to buy a Britney cd, wither way, she gets no money from me. Even worse is if I buy a USED britney cd, because then I get hte benefits of the cover art, liner notes, and physical media, without putting any money in the pockets of the artist or label, and instead line the pockets of the parasites who make money trafficking in used media licenses.

                  See, most of the arguments abot stealing and loss of money from copying files is that there is no loss of tangible goods. the only thing gone is a potential sale, as opposed to removing a piece of merchandise and causing a n absolute loss, as the store had spent money acquiring the merch to sell. Where as copying songs MAY cause someone to not buy something they were planning on purchasing. But then again, so can hearing a CD at a friend's place and not liking it or reading a negative review.

                  Then we also get into statistics. Moral issues aside, going on the assumption that p2p folks represent an even distribution of the population, or at least the sub-40 year old population, that suggests that their p2p use will affect all sales, major and independant equally. and hey, anything that causes a few hundred thousand fewer Clay Aitken/Britney/Madonna/Manson/etc. to sell, totally gets my vote purely from an aesthetic standpoint.

                  • cyn_goth_prog says:

                    how is that any different than making a concious decision to not buy a cd?
                    like if I download a Brtney song or if I refuse to buy a Britney cd, wither way, she gets no money from me.

                    The difference lies in the assumption that, sooner or later, you will so desperately want to hear Britney's sweet, sweet, virginal voice coming out of your stereo (or playing in your club, in <lj user="jwz">'s case) that you will crack and cough up the money.

                    If you just copy the music, that conflict disappears, and you can move on to your feelings for Justin Timberlake.

                    Even worse is if I buy a USED britney cd, because then I get hte benefits of the cover art, liner notes, and physical media, without putting any money in the pockets of the artist or label

                    Yeah, but as long as the original purchaser didn't make any copies, they're now back in the original situation: they can't listen to the music anymore. If they suddenly yearn to hear Britney warble at them one more time, they have to buy another CD: either from the artist, or from someone selling their copy, which means that that person now suffers the agony of Britney withdrawal.

                    If someone breaks this chain by copying the music, the artist gets screwed.

                    and instead line the pockets of the parasites who make money trafficking in used media licenses.

                    To quote someone else in this thread: welcome to capitalism!

                    As long as those used-media-license parasites don't start trying to control and crush everyone RIAA-style, good luck to them.

                    Where as copying songs MAY cause someone to not buy something they were planning on purchasing. But then again, so can hearing a CD at a friend's place and not liking it or reading a negative review.

                    Sure.

                    And the last ten or so albums I've bought or put on my To Buy list (and I don't have the $$$ to buy many albums) appeared on that list because I heard MP3s of the songs.

                    But I decided to buy those albums for three reasons:
                    1. default MP3 quality is so much worse than CDDA.
                    2. I generally like having the cover art, liner notes, etc.
                    3. I want to support the band in some small way.

                    Most people don't care about the first two reasons. I'm suggesting they should care about the third.

                    [j]

                • fo0bar says:

                  The problem with copying music without paying for it is that the recording artist still gets screwed.

                  Possible solution: copy the music, then send the artist something like $1 per track.

                  Remember, the artist doesn't even own his own music. Evil, yes, but I doubt anybody drugged him and forced him to sign that contract. Your possible solution is illegal therefore. Just as illegal as saying "Linux gets screwed every time somebody buys Microsoft products, so I'll download a warezed copy of windows XP, then send Linus $100. And that makes it right."

              • otterley says:

                It's not so much that it's immoral as it is illegal. And unlike Thoreau, people are whining instead of paying their price.

                • jwz says:

                  Thoreau spent all of two years living in a guest-house in his mom's backyard, being fully supported by her and spending his afternoons in town. You'll need a better "tortured artist" example than that, I'm afraid.

            • haran says:

              Then they shouldn't be signing the oppressive contracts that put them in that position

              How many bands are in a position to obtain more lucrative contracts?

              Very few, I suspect.

              This is pretty much the way most of the record industry works. So far, the artists don't have any other medium to earn money for their art, except by signing up.

    • belgand says:

      I have to agree. While I don't approve of or condone piracy in any form I at least have some respect for people who just come out and admit to stealing something they want because it's easy and they think they can get away with it.

      Now, for incredibly rare, unobtainable, out of print stuff you've got a case, but I doubt seriously that's the majority of what people are dealing in. It's the difference between abandonware and warez.

    • lovingboth says:

      In my case, it's almost always that I want a copy of a track I already own, but in a format I can play.

      Not having a record player anymore, my LPs are useless lumps of plastic.

      As it's already illegal (in the UK) to do the conversion from LP to tape or MP3 or... it's much easier to let someone else do it and download it than go out, buy a new record player and do it myself.

  4. jcurious says:

  5. cessibaby says:

    you like railer huh?