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Thoughts anyone?

Discussion in 'Steve Smyth' started by Steve Smyth, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. Steve Smyth

    Steve Smyth Lead Axe

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  2. Phoenix5

    Phoenix5 d3v4s7a710n

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    Ridiculous that she would download so many songs.


    Personally, I like having hard copies of my albums.
     
  3. slashvanyoung

    slashvanyoung Dopefish lives!

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    As a musician myself, I've got mixed feelings about that. There are basically two kinds of people out there the record companies are hunting down now: the people who just download everything they can get and who also don't support the artists they really admire (being it buying records or going to the shows). I can't feel sorry for them. But there are also fans out there who are extremely dedicated to music. The go to every show they can, they buy merch because they want to show that they are proud fans and they rather have the original record because they appreciate its value and the work the artist has put into it. So, if there is a student who's on a really tight budget and he tries to buy every album he likes, but he is checking out more music than he can buy, I think it's OK, as long as he isn't downloading excessively.

    An btw. I think the rating of the value of a song by the record companies is ridiculously exorbitant. Because of that there was a very important verdict made here in Germany a while ago: The sentence was one of acquittal. The judge said that there is absolutely no relation between the hight of the accusation and the actual damage that was done.

    It's just a tough topic...

    My band has gigs almost every weekend and we are already satisfied if we don't make a loss out of them because we just want our music to be heard. The same goes for merchandise. And there are also the costs of equipment, rents and so on... being in a band is extremely expensive. Most people or the so-called "fans" I mentioned in the beginning just don't realize that they are shooting in their own knee if they are just downloading everything. Of course, there are acts like Metallica or Maiden who still earn every night more than most people the whole year. But there are also the "mid-sized" acts who were able to make a good living still ten years ago and now have to struggle to survive. What are the consequences? These artists either have to seek a side job, which means that they loose a lot of time to work on music for the fans, or they have to quit the music business at all (which is a loss again for the fans). And there are many prominent examples for that.

    I bet my ass off, that it isn't easy to make a living from music even for such a renowned guitarist like Steve who has played for some of the biggest acts in their genre. Hell, even Steve Morse, the guitarist for one of the biggest rock bands all-time, says that he has to constantly tour his ass off because record sales won't feed his kids.

    So in the end, we the fans lose a lot to... and that's just sad.
     
  4. BbqBats

    BbqBats The Seventh Tongue of God

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    Good points, Slash. However, on the flip side, I'm tired of being ripped off by the music industry. When I bought the latest Ozzy cd, I paid for a full price cd and all I got was a cardboard sleeve with no lyrics or artwork. Then two months later it's re-released with a plastic jewel case, full lyrics, artwork, and a bonus track. Its that kind of griftering that makes me not want to pay for an album.
     
  5. slashvanyoung

    slashvanyoung Dopefish lives!

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    Yeah, definitely! Ripping off the last few loyal fans won't help matters in the end . I'm also really sick of the release politics of some labels. For instance, if there is a record going to be released over Roadrunner it's sometimes a really shitty situation because you want to have that record as soon as possible, but on the other hand it sucks to know that there will be a really packed re-issue just a few months later. The really loyal core of fans is suffering because they are the ones that provide the important first week sales, but have to buy the same record again if they want all the good stuff.

    But I'm not going to have a record company muck around with me anymore.
     
  6. JBroll

    JBroll I MIX WITH PHYSICS!!!!

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    I'll be the first to say that in most cases I'll give something a good, thorough try before I buy - just like I would a car, a musical instrument, a woman, or anything else that requires any time or money commitment - but I buy CDs either day-of-release, if I'm impatient and the tour will take a while, or at a concert, where from what I've been told the bands will get a better cut of the money (and I can get it signed anyway) from the sale. If she didn't help the bands out, she's either bloody clueless as to how people make a living or just amazingly ignorant. Fuck fines and sentencing, I want to see her work a year's worth of 60-hour weeks at McDonald's and then have her overtime pay 'shared' with people who want free money. And I don't often wish McDonald's on people.

    Jeff
     
  7. Steve Smyth

    Steve Smyth Lead Axe

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    Aaaaaand bump.
     
  8. JBroll

    JBroll I MIX WITH PHYSICS!!!!

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  9. Genius Gone Insane

    Genius Gone Insane http://www.¯\(°_o)/¯.com

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    I believe the entertainment industry's woes can be likened to what's happening in Iraq; it's a clash between technology and tradition, and the two are battling it out.

    It sucks because the ones who are getting stepped on the most are the lifer musicians.



    SOLUTION: Eliminate the middle man! Keep burning CDs until the record companies go bankrupt. Then, everyone starts from scratch and new business models can be had.

    Your take, Steve?
     
  10. Steve Smyth

    Steve Smyth Lead Axe

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    I want to wait for a few more opinions here....
     
  11. flying_whale

    flying_whale Rome 64 C.E.

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    If there is a law against what she did, then that law has to be respected. So the person in case is pretty much guilty and should pay a fine or do probation, or something.
    With that being said, I also believe in the libertarian principle of: if i don't like a law, i will not respect it on my own responsability.
    The anti piracy and copyright laws fit in that category in my case. I download music, and if i really like it, i buy the cd when i have some cash, go to shows and buy merch from shows. I support the artists i like. I own all Nevermore, Gojira, Sepultura, Metallica and many more records, but there are things on my hard drive i've got from other ways than the stores *cough*
    I try to buy as many records as i can, but i can't afford THAT many records with the amount of money i have as a high schooler saving money to go to college and to buy new gear. I would rather go to a show and buy a shirt than buy a record, the artist makes more money from the shows than the records anyway.
    my 2 cents
     
  12. Rebourne

    Rebourne Member

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    Obviously it's still stealing, but $30,000 a song borders on a cruel and unusual punishment.

    Also the record companies have committed many crimes of their own.

    So who is in the wrong? Everyone or no one in my opinion.
     
  13. JBroll

    JBroll I MIX WITH PHYSICS!!!!

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    30 grand is just a scare tactic. Maybe if this fucker is a notorious sharer, charge maybe twenty bucks to make up for the people who won't be buying the thing on iTunes because they found a free version.

    Christ on a carousel, thirty thousand dollars? Fuck me running, do they really think some bullshit Britney Spears single is worth as much as a year at MIT?

    Jeff
     
  14. flying_whale

    flying_whale Rome 64 C.E.

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    Any thoughts steve?
    We have pretty much exhausted the regulars of this board.
     
  15. slashvanyoung

    slashvanyoung Dopefish lives!

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  16. flying_whale

    flying_whale Rome 64 C.E.

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    i think she got away easily. She could have been convicted to pay 3 times as much per song. Now she pays a total of $222,000+trial fees+ attorney. She could have paid around 700 grand total if the court wanted to be really mean.
    No, not the court ruined her life, she did it herself.

    If I get caught with weed, I pay a huge fine, do time, and be sent to my home country without any possibility to come back to the US ever again. With that in mind sometimes I go visit the purple haze. Fair? I bet my parents would blame me, not the system first, for potentially ruining my life.
    She should have thought better, seriously, laws are meant to be respected, or are useless. I break laws i don't like, but i know the risks and I decide if i should take the risks or not. I try to be a self-governing, and responsible individual. YOU SHOULD SEE ME AS A ROLE MODEL:lol::lol: (joking)
     
  17. JBroll

    JBroll I MIX WITH PHYSICS!!!!

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    I can easily see that after she gave a copy of each of those 24 songs to every student on a medium-sized college campus and saved them a dollar on iTunes how they arrived at such a perfectly reasonable number... no, wait...

    I'd agree as far as people needing to take responsibility for their actions, and the value of property rights, but that's still way too far. No whining about ruining her life, but there is nothing reasonable about what they're getting out of her. Nothing at all.

    Jeff
     
  18. Steve Smyth

    Steve Smyth Lead Axe

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    What do I think?

    Well, I hear both sides of an argument here, but as an artist, and one who has had his fair share of industry "dealings" for quite a while now, I can see points on both sides.

    I see the record companies losing profits, and like it or not, music fans, they're still a viable part of the music industry, and will be for some years to come, just not in their present form, in my opinion. You can't take the years of experience that a lot of these individuals have in the entertainment industry and figure they're just going to roll up the carpet and shut the door. No, no, no, that's the record stores doing that!:loco:

    Artists still need someone to promote their albums, and more to the point, unless financial institutions are just going to all of a sudden give every musician out there a loan for up to hundred's of thousands of dollars to promote, distribute, and tour behind a record, the recording industry is not going to dissappear. And we all know most musicians out there are not in a position to pay back a huge bank loan at some crazy interest rate that an individual or small business would get, within the usual time frame suggested. Only established artists will get that loan. Banks do that for tried and true business models, and yep, you guessed it, that's what record companies are at this stage, having done this for some 100+ years and counting now I believe?

    http://www.soc.duke.edu/~s142tm01/history.html

    Maybe this should also support the argument back at the recording industry that there have been recording artists just as long as record companies.......


    So they're doing everything they can to regain control of a market they didn't see coming, and thought they were protected by the very laws they lobbied for some 30 years ago and longer.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_copyright_law

    (in particular, the section on Modern US copyright legislation, the rest of this still makes an interesting read of the history of copyright. Mental note to the Wiki community: You cannot rewrite history, and you've done a SHITTY job of trying to write mine on there BTW!:lol::heh:)

    Gee, so did I, and I think any reasonably ( and still) sane recording artist or musician in this industry would think the same thing. We create the works that people listen to, and buy, bottom line, and the rights are OURS TO DO WHAT WE CHOOSE WITH, under the laws given. Those rights earn us money to eat, pay bills, sustain ourselves, so we may do what is in our nature to do: Create, and entertain! Even if those rights are delegated by a record company, they are still the PROPERTY OF THE ARTIST WHO CREATED THOSE WORKS, not for someone to grab at will, and then distribute in whatever way they see fit, to as many people as possible, all for free. Though the argument from a music fan point of view in this case may be "But it's free promotion for the band." That's nice, and thoughtful of you to do, but for fuck's sake, point them to our website or My Space then! We play that shit for free on there for a reason people!:lol: And besides, a lot of bands and artists are up to their eyeballs in "paid for" promotion debt, so the "free" promotion you're trying to give is hurting the band in the long run. As in the quality of the next album for a start....

    Then there's the music fan side of this. People have so many arguments/excuses for downloading illegally, it's not even funny! "I can't afford all the CD's I want/need/have to get." "CD's are too high priced." "The record companies aren't paying the musicians anyway, so why should we pay for the music?" Insert another reason here.

    My answer to any of these reasons? Here's a few thoughts off the top of my head:

    If you can't afford it, WAIT UNTIL YOU CAN. Or sell something so you can. I have had to when I was in positions to not afford everything I wanted, so why shouldn't you? It is hurting the artist as well, as there are royalties to be collected not just from a record company, but also in the form of publishing, and these rights are not always_ in the hands of a record company...

    I agree that CD's were recently priced a little high, but have dropped quite a bit recently. Maybe not down to $2-3 over what it cost to make them, as I have seen some voice that they should be, and there's reasons for that. Everybody who worked on that album has to get paid.Even the store where you're buying it from (online or brick and mortar). Where does that money come from? You guessed it. Sales. Blank CD's are cheap for a reason. They're blank.

    True, that record companies create contracts where the artist has to recoup a budget set forth for an album, before they start to see any income from the album. They have to. For instance, if they've given you $100k for an album, and you haven't cleared more than $25k, you're not going to see any money as an artist, and that $75k is bounced off the next album's budget. Guess what happens then? Especially when you consider that the money in question has been spent on recording the album, promoting to all media, and getting you on tour (and paying your way on a tour, out of your budget,in some cases). And if you go over budget? Well, you guys answer that question.....

    While I can hear the fan side of it, and the recording industry side of it, at the end of the day, I'm a little of both really. I am a fan, and also I do record and put out records. I am about to put one out within the next few weeks here. As for how_ I intend to put this album out originally, that will be shown very soon.

    We have entered and been in a new digital age for some time now. But, it is also one that some out there consider to be a "lawless" place as well.

    Where one is free to say anything they want, to anyone they want, with no consequence. Hiding behind a screen, safe at home, in the comfort of your chair. I've seen myself on the receiving end of some things recently that support this belief out there, compromising a basic respect for human life. Anyone who is reading this now, shares that respect. You wouldn't be reading this otherwise. I have that respect for those who share that same belief, and no respect for those who don't.

    There are those who feel they are free do anything they want, to another person (in this case, illegally download and share music), with no consequence. Hey, it's over the internet, there's no harm done, right? Well, would it be cool if I came over and grabbed your hard earned paycheck, every time I needed some cash? I don't think it would be. A recording and performing artist has the same bills as you, bear in mind, especially if you've got your own business, as we all do. If you're one of those people downloading illegally you're compromising that respect I was talking about, again.....

    Getting back to the fine point, there is a new business model being tested right now, in the form of the band Radiohead's new album being sold as a "name your price" digital download, and other offers surrounding the album as well, for a set price. Bottom line: they're doing it themselves, so the money is going directly to them. (See the other thread on this forum for my response to this coming soon).

    I have heard music fans state they they would prefer to "pay the artist directly". Radiohead might not be the favorite of anybody, or everybody, on this forum. But I believe that the time is right to try this system out, and see if it works. And, if music fans really support the idea of buying directly from the artist, hopefully Radiohead's fans will show that, and support the band in their art_, by buying their latest work, and then support them by paying to see them on tour, buy their merchandise,etc. And this model will be taken on by other bands and artists out there.

    And most importantly, hopefully there will not be those who show their glowing disrespect by downloading the album illegally for free, and then sending it to as many of their peers on a P2P network (and bragging about it on some public forum:rolleyes:), scalping their tickets outside the venue, or on eBay, or Craig's list, when they come to town for double the price or worse, or selling bootleg tees in the parking lot around the corner before_ and after_ the show. Ah. but the world's not perfect, now is it?:lol: And neither are we. I think some of you see what I might be suggesting..... the line needs to be drawn somewhere on when_ the artists stop losing money for the creation of their art.

    Simply put, as a music fan, I buy everything I listen to, either in CD form, or digital downloads I pay for. If there's a free download or a stream out there offered by the band or their label, of course I'll check it out. Also, I'll check out the band's website or My Space. And everyone_ out there has at least one or the other nowadays, so there's no excuse to be had in the "try before you buy" idea of illegally downloading a song, or even an album. It's being put out there in the form of a "single" to check out. And if anything, it's usually coming from the band as far as what is released first. So, check that out, and if you like it, buy the album, don't just grab it off some torrent site. Then burn it on to a CD for somebody, or pass it on through another P2P site to 1000's of others.

    That's a fraction, and a generalization of one point of view, mine. There's much more to it then that, but I will go on later.

    Tell me what you guys think of my take on this while thing. I'd really like to hear!:headbang::headbang::headbang:
     
  19. Genius Gone Insane

    Genius Gone Insane http://www.¯\(°_o)/¯.com

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    Steve,

    Because you are a musician, I expected you to be more biased than that -- it's great to read open-minded opinions like yours. Thanks, that was a good read.

    You make a great point about Myspace and other means for fans to check out new music for free. If a fan likes it there, then s/he can go buy it. These channels are still pretty new, so I think people are still getting used to them. I know I buy CDs a LOT more (and burn a lot less) these days because I get to hear music on Myspace.

    The one thing that I kind of disagree on is your defending of the music industry. To me most of it is purely money oriented with absolute disregard for loyalty to the artists. The good thing is bands like Radiohead and others are giving it a kick in the ass. We'll see.

    Thanks again for the post!
     
  20. messiah of metal

    messiah of metal Field Marshall

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    Well said Steve and to add another note not all of the people in recording industry are big hideous beasts who all they care about is money. The people I've meet have be real music fans who actually give a shit about artists. Our labels just been bought out by another big label and the support we've had where people fight your corner when they don't have is awesome. At the end of the day if I came over to your house and took the food off your table you'd either kick my teeth in or call the cops. The test drive excuse doesn't wash with me either try going into a shop and asking if you can take a TV home to try for a couple of months and you'll bring it back later.
     

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