Music piracy

Discussion in 'Internet and Technology' started by zappaDPJ, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

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    I find it unethical when people copy and/or profit from my song writing and studio recordings (although I do encourage people to record live sets, warts and all).

    I've been away for a week recording a number of new songs which will eventually find their way into the public domain. I hired a recording studio for a week, an engineer and a number of session musicians. I will be paying for art work & layout, CD manufacture & printing, booklet printing & rear inlay, shrink wrapped jewel cases and distribution to retailers. I will also incur costs getting my stuff uploaded to around 150 streaming sites.

    All of this will cost me far more than the average yearly wage. So tell me, if I see my stuff being downloaded for free should I dismiss it as simply copying and not feel I'm being robbed? On the other hand if someone actually likes my stuff enough to pay for it (there's no accounting for taste) why would that be 'highly unethical'?

    I'm not out to shake your tree, I'm just genuinely intrigued by your reasoning which I'll freely admit is probably shared by the majority.
     
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  2. sbjsbj

    sbjsbj Adherent

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    Are you a DJ by any chance, because it would be highly ironic? And I agree with you, that is also unethical.

    As I said, this topic needs to be discussed in detail, otherwise you miss parts just like now. I don't think it is okay to copy someone else's work for profit.
    If profit is involved, then it is no more a thing which I agree with.

    If they get downloaded just simply to listen to it, yep, I think you should dismiss it as simply copying and not being robbed. However it doesn't mean that you should work for free. Again, the system in the society needs to change. It must allow you to make profit and allow the user to download stuff for free IF there is no profit involved (or fair use etc.).
    If people wants to pay for your stuff, that is not the unethical part.
    The unethical part is that you get paid for the copying of the bits and bytes. Because of this IT companies dominate heavily all industries.
    Yes, there is an initial cost to develop the stuff, but once developed, you can create endlessly a revenue out of it. There are no boundaries.

    So you can get paid for your work for concerts. Live music is how artists should earn their money in case of music. Just like any other normal worker, you have to be physically there to earn your living. Not make 1 recording and sell to millions of people from the couch in your livingroom.
    The input -> output is unbalanced, when copying bits and bytes is involved.

    Offtopic rant:

    Sorry but I feel 0 empathy with musicians in general. I have a very distinct musical taste and seeing how the music industry evolved from the 1920s to today, I am in shock how people can listen to garbage. I say garbage not because of my dislike of the genres, but because of objective criteria. Such as people cannot sing. Autotune is the king. I want to hear the range of the voice of the people who sing. I want to hear the clarity of the tone they produce with their voices. I want to listen to improvisations to see the virtuoso of the instruments. Playing the same riffs every 8 measures is a very low skill. Seeing how people compose their songs, using the same generic harmonies and formulas, I don't care for most of the musicians honestly. But this is besides my point about piracy. Just a side rant.

    Compare it to basketball. Anyone can take the ball and shoot it. Anyone, you, me, male, female, kids etc. But what makes the difference between a professional basketball player and me is, that they can perform the skill on a much higher level. So if the game is to hit the basket, I can measure how often you make the basket and compare it with me. Objectively you can say who is the better player statistically, obviously with the goal to win a game.

    So, any of us can also sing. But what makes the difference is how you perform, on what level? For example how long you can hold the tone, or if you know which tone to hold at all. Most "singers/rappers" can't sing the notes they see, it is pathetic. So we can measure objectively, how many notes they "hit", how many they "miss", what voice range they have, how many breaths they take between a given period of time. And many of them make millions with 0 skill. Fooling people.
    And those talentless artists make money by abusing the system a.k.a. copying bits and bytes. Since the beginning of vinyls, the predecessor of copying bits and bytes.
    So the society adores amateurs whereas real professionals are unpopular and nobody knows their names.

    It is okay, all fine. It is a controversial topic so the discussion can get heated but I don't think it will. However, I don't want to spend my days with writing explanations about the philosophical aspects of copying information. Even writing this message took me 20 minutes, because to respect you, I want to take my time to respond, but taking that time every time takes up too much of my time. Hope it makes sense :).
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Administrator

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    This is just wrong in so many ways.

    That's all I wanted say, a hornets nest is all this discussion is.
     
  4. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

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    No they are just the initials printed on my birth certificate :)

    I don't really see that as economically viable unless you've created a master work that will stand the test of time. That obviously does happen in some art forms but realistically software needs constant development in order to maintain sales.

    When I first started playing live professionally I had to pay the headlining act for the privilege of appearing before them. While things are different today I know plenty of musicians who play for peanuts because ironically live music started to die the day digital downloading became a thing.

    Again, this is largely the result of digital downloading. I've been in the music business in some capacity or other almost all my life. There's still a lot of talented musicians around but they are being silenced by poverty and technical innovation which allows garbage to win the day. Scary thought; in the next 5 years there will be no one left worthy of headlining any music festival.
     
  5. sbjsbj

    sbjsbj Adherent

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    Well, 2 more reasons then why I don't pity musicians in general. If we are at a point where musicians don't do live music anymore and have to rely on the bits and bytes, well, exactly my point. The system which we have pushes you to do that because if it wasn't exploitable, people would do live music to earn a living, wouldn't they? With so much little input you can generate so much outcome. You don't even need skill to be a musician today.

    Let's see, I don't follow the charts but to prove my point let's have a look if I am right.



    Not sure how representative this is but this is the top 100 this week. If I am not mistaken 100 out of 100 have autotune in it. From country to rnb. The number one pick has so much autotune, like it is a woman with 10 pounds makeup on her face. That kind of thick layered autotune. So, I have absolutely 0 empathy with todays music industry. How they abuse the system so blatantly, I feel no problem not contributing to them. Anyway, before this topic gets more offtopic, I'll stop here and I won't comment any longer about this topic.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
  6. sanction9

    sanction9 Enthusiast

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    LoL, no offense to you Lil Nas X Feat & Billy Ray Cyrus fans, but WTF. Most of the rest of it isn't much better, if at all. Is this the result of iHeart/Cleat Channel owning too many radio stations and promoting this stuff? Maybe I'm just getting old. :cowboy:

     
  7. Anton Chigurh

    Anton Chigurh Ultimate Badass

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    I mean, same thing the old timers used to say when rock-n-roll first arrived.

    Of course I am in full agreement with you guys on the music front. One of the classic rock stations locally uses the tagline, "Classic Rock 98.9, Because new music sucks!"
    Live music is very much alive and well though, in all the small towns, medium-sized towns and cities, and all the big cities too like Nashville, Austin, Branson. To name a few.
    I shall ask the staff for a thread split, because I think this is a really good topic that is worthy of discussion and I'd hate to see it prematurely stopped.
     
  8. mysiteguy

    mysiteguy Devotee

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    Live music isn't alive, what a load of horsesh*t. We just had a massive music festival this weekend in our town, people from all over the USA (and the world to a lesser extent) come to it every year.

    MCR_3929-e1559497948342.jpg

    This was in a town with 17,000 people. The festival had 65,000 attendees.
     
  9. sanction9

    sanction9 Enthusiast

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  10. Anton Chigurh

    Anton Chigurh Ultimate Badass

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    Paul McCartney... Gonna pack Lambeau Field with a concert in a coupla weeks.
     
  11. Anton Chigurh

    Anton Chigurh Ultimate Badass

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    Interesting article seems to suggest streaming services stump piracy, but piracy boosts concert and music festival sales.
     
  12. sbjsbj

    sbjsbj Adherent

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    It is not the same thing though. Yes, every generation says something like this like how good/cool their "time" was and how everything is now bad.
    But in this case, it is not the nostalgia kicking in. I know you agreed with me but still I want to make it clear for everyone.

    I'm from the newer generation and when I say that you don't need even skills to be a musician today, than it has nothing to do with nostalgia. It is a straight up fact. No matter what genre you like or which period of music you like, let's forget the past and the future.
    Just concentrate on the billboard. That billboard shows what the most popular songs are right now. We can also take a chart from other months or weeks, if you wish.

    My point will stand the test. And the test is, that all of them (besides exceptions) use autotune.
    Auto tune. Literally the name gives it ayway. It tunes the voice for you automatically. So you literally don't have to be able to sing, the program corrects your pitches.
    So literally you don't need any talent at all, they don't have any talent at all besides showing their naked body parts or maybe entertaining people with their music clips. They can't sing. Or if they do, their skill level is just low. Singing is literally the act of being able to hold a pitch. That is the difference what makes the difference between talking and singing. The skill of holding the RIGHT tone for the RIGHT period of time is singing. The talent level depens on how good you do this and how powerful your voice is doing that and what range you have.

    So it has nothing to do with nostalgia or not (in my case I can't even have nostalgia because I wasn't alive back then). It is a simple fact that those artists can't sing. Or maybe they do, but since they use autotune, we can not know. But the benefit of the doubt goes definitely not to them as they use autotune all the time.

    Let's give an example:



    Now of course not all popstars are like this. Exceptions always exist. And even the most terrible ones should have a higher skill level than normal people do, because they are in the industry and have voice coaches or whatever. So, if we say normal people would be in the first class of primary school, those autotune artists would be like in 4th grade maybe. Real singers would be in college/university however. Depends on who.

    So, let me show an example of a good voice range for a pop/rnb/soul artist:


    For a classically trained artist, what the peak could look like is this recording from 1912 by the famous Caruso:


    So many examples I could give here. Choosing Caruso is not the best pick actually, as it is like comparing LeBron James with a highschool player.

    Don't let me start on the Beatles and that guy. Plagiarists to the bones. They became famous by imitating black artists. If the US wasn't such a racist place back in the time and the white people themselves so much racist in the West, they would have never made it far. Copying for years black musicians for 2 decades almost. To this day people praise them, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and what not without noticing that all of them thank their fame to the black artists who invented all of the genres in that time period and who developed a distinct music from before. Yet white men earned the fame and money and to this day they stayed mainstream.


    PS: Since the posts got seperated into a new thread, I could write about this without being off-topic.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
  13. Anton Chigurh

    Anton Chigurh Ultimate Badass

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    You're welcome. I asked them to do it for this very reason.
    What I'm pointing out wasn't based on nostalgia, it was technology. Electric guitars, double-tracking, technica, synthesizers and so on - these were the tech advances which yes, the old timers WERE saying "you don't even need talent to make music anymore." Autotune is just another such tech advance we of this generation point to when we say "they don't have/need talent." Because more and more as technology marches on, they don't.

    But hell, you're other point is quite valid, Patsy Cline - great singer wonderful voice. Wouldn't make it today because she would be considered too homely. Probably THE most prolific songwriter of the 20th Century, Diane Warren who soundtracked the 80s, 90s and 00s, couldn't get it on as a singer for that very reason. (She told me this herself when I met her in an airport bar in Chicago, between flights. Yeah, looks never were her strong suit.)
    Well, their main influences they have said, were Bob Wills, Hank Williams, Buddy Holly and then Elvis. It can well be argued that what we today call "rock-n-roll" started with Bob Wills' Western Swing, which introduced the "backbeat rhythm" which is essential to "rock-n-roll." Heck, Jimmie Rodgers was highly influential to rock artists who came later, as well.

    It's fair to say that Hank, Buddy, Elvis and the Beatles were ALL influenced by what was/is called "black music" but it certainly wasn't the only influence, and clearly isn't plagiarism. That's like saying John Williams is a plagiarist because he was influenced by Korngold and Holst. Hell, Williams' "Darth Vader" theme is highly similar to Holst's "The Planets." It's influence, not plagiarism. You're painting with far too broad of a brush.

    You're influenced by what you're raised on and what you find appealing. Your style as a musician gets defined by that.
     
  14. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

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    The way I see it is this. I grew up listening to progressive rock, that's what inspired me and influenced me. Then along came the Sex Pistols which completely destroyed the genre, swapping technical excellence for a three minute cacophony of anger and energy. I hated it until it dawned on me that the Sex Pistols had actually stopped the music I love from becoming karaoke. By confining it to history it gave the genre everlasting life and that gives me some hope for the future.
     
  15. overcast

    overcast Enthusiast

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    I can see a lot of youtube voice talent like that these days that won due to autotune softwares lol
     
  16. mysiteguy

    mysiteguy Devotee

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    A person who stereotypes an entire race is a racist bigot. In this thread... that person would be........
     
  17. sbjsbj

    sbjsbj Adherent

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    I agree on the statement that more and more as technology marches on, they don't (need talent)."
    But I disagree about electric guitars being a good example of that. Because it doesn't lessen the skill you need to play the guitar. It enhances the volume you can create though, but you still need skill to play as same before. Double-tracking on the other hand would be an advantage which would lessen the skill you need as you can cover up your mistakes.
    But autotune is on a different kind of level. It literally makes singing obsolete. Like literally you don't need to be able to sing at all. The previous technological advancements may gave you an advantage but never would be able to cover how talentless you are. Today, you can cover that and in future this will be more and more advanced.

    I am pretty sure that they said somethign about Chuck Berry. I wouldn't put Bob Wills as Rock and Roll. It is country for me. Also we could go back to all of the roots to the Blues, but it wouldn't be very usefull. For me, the first Rock and Roll artist is Big Joe Turner.
    And this one the first Rock and Roll song. from 1938.


    Later you can see how fleshed out it gets with this performance for example:


    All other dudes came later than Big Joe. All copied his style and style of black people and became famous. Big Joe is the unsung hero and he is not just a one-hit wonder. His whole body of work spans years. The true father unlike Chuck Berry, which is said to be the one.


    Well I called Beatles plagiarists, because they are. They literally are.
    There are multiple articles about this if you are interested, such as this one or this one or this one.
    If you are interested in more. there is also a whole book about it called "The Beatles Extraordinary Plagiarists".
    We are not talking here about 1 single case. They have multiple songs like this. They even admitted taking other people's work, and changing the bassline or making it faster etc. Also they did do a lot of covers before they got really really famous - without acknowledging that they covered a song. Only after they became they did that.


    Yes, for John Williams you could say that. Although people also accuse him of stealing, his stuff can be defined as "influenced". Without doubt Beatles' case is just another level of "influenced", it is stealing. They take sth. away without the permission of someone and take the ownership of it. So, we are not talking about copying, it is stealing.

    And for both cases, being influenced is okay but if you are too much influenced, then one can criticize the level of talent you have. Because it shows that one is not capable of original work and has to get "influenced", whereas the big daddys create original work, such as Holst.


    Not sure what your problem is.
     
  18. Anton Chigurh

    Anton Chigurh Ultimate Badass

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    I didn't mean to say I believe electric guitars are a good example, but the old timers we're talking about did believe that - and they had a case. Before the EG, you really had to know how to play extremely well. After? Not so much. The instrument lends itself far more to "freestyle" playing, to where really all you needed to know was a couple or three chords, to make hit music with it. You didn't have to be virtuoso. Those guys came later for the EG.
    And neither did I. It isn't "country" in any event, it is Western Swing and it WAS influential to the rockers who came after it. For the reasons I mentioned.
    John did. But of course, Berry was influential to many, especially with his EG work - which showed what it's like when someone who can actually play the guitar, did so with an electric.
    Yep I'd read that book, and it talks of five or six of their songs tops, that could be categorized as partially plagiarized, intentional and/or otherwise. To my recollection only John and George ever got into any troubled waters over it, for two of their songs that clearly were in almost whole, plagiarized. As to the covers? Every one ever published on Beatles records acknowledges the writers.
    Five or six questionable songs out of the entire catalog which is massive, puts that argument to bed. Not excusing anything, just putting it into perspective.
     
  19. JQP

    JQP Dork

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    I don't have a problem with musicians being paid for their work but I do have a problem with their descendants being paid for it. I heard in an Anthony Boudain (RIP) show about the Lower East Side in the '70's that the Ramones estates make more money on royalties from sports stadiums using the "Hey. Ho. Let's Go" chant than the band made from their record sales. I thought that was great until "estates" clicked in my head. Why should people make money for something they had nothing to do with? I don't get commissions from my dad's old accounts - I don't even get them on my own, now that I've retired - why should "creative" work pay in perpetuity?
     
  20. Anton Chigurh

    Anton Chigurh Ultimate Badass

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    That's not copyrightable material. It's not intellectual property.
    It's a completely different venue. Copyrights can outlive the authors, and when so are passed on to the estate of the author. What you need to do is, make accounts in sales and service, copyrightable! Petition the government where you live, start a "movement." Hell, Willy Loman could have taken care of Biff, his other son and his widow too if they had copyrights to sales and accounts! Think of the tragedy!
    I'd really like to see this claim substantiated.
     
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