Art? Data? Information? Profitable Product?


(Waffler) #1

After reading about three pages of the Do you think copying music to give away free, is okay? thread I got a really bad headache. I think it is more contributed to having to read off of the screen than to what was being discuessed, actually.

Anyhow, it got me wondering. How exactly should certain things/ideas be concidered? They were talking about music in particular. Many were saying that all you are buying, when you buy a CD, is data. Some said information, though I have always concidered information as something helpful to others in accomplishing other goals. It is difficult to see how a bunch of 1’s and 0’s (really they are microscopic notches or dots on a reflective surface) forming structures for recreating sound patters could be especially useful in producing something new. Insperation? Listening to anything could spark some form of inspiration.

I’m trying to figure out what exactly would be concidered art. Not art as in the intelectual sence, a work of creativity with the power to convey emostions or ideas. I more mean in a physical sence.

Artwork could be viewed freely, especially on the artist’s personal web-site. Painters want people to recognize their ability, so works are viewable. Of course, the actual physical painting is what is really concidered to have some monetary value. People pay big money for original art work.

I’m sort of wondering why music isn’t seen the same way. Wouldn’t a live concert be concidered where the musician’s real valuable work would be? In all actuality the majority of money a famous musician earns does come from live concerts. I cannot remember exactly the percentage, but I think it was near 80% of all profit (I may be wrong).

What I am saying is, wouldn’t a musician want people to listen to his/her work freely? I suppose there is the radio, of oppose to p2p file transfers. The problem with that is that rich recording studios are much more likely to have their music played on the radio. They pay stations large sums of money to play their music over and over again (I cannot exactly remember what the term is called, but I saw it on TV, I think it was 20/20). Normally it is the artists best work that is played too. It’s all about advertising and giving musicians loads of recognition. Wouldn’t it then be beneficial for people to download music? For recognition purposes? If somebody does record music off of the radio they would be getting the artist’s best music anyway. That is something anyone could easily do.

What about all of the not-so-famous musicians that very likely produce much better music? Wouldn’t it be good if someone could listen to his/her music for free? For recongnition? I’m a little weary about buying CD’s from musicians I’ve never even heared. It seems to be a risky way to spend money. Wouldn’t being able to listen to music before buying it be comparative to seeing a painting before purchasing that? Who would buy a painting without taking a look at it first? Or borrowing a book from the library before deciding to take a trip to the book store?

I don’t listen to music often, actually. There just seemes to be more controversy concerning music than anything else. Actually, the mentioning of books seems to bring out an interesting point. More money seems to be earned on music than writings, but they have always been availible for free at any local library. What about all the authors losing money from people reading their books without ever concidering to buy them?

Then there are people who think software should be free. That is a very interesting idea, and maybe should be the case with many applications. Some things are simply necessary. A computer needs an opperating system and several utilities. People like to play around with fun tools, such as graphics software, so they should be allowed the oppertunity.

Even still, as my personal opinion as a programmer, if I worked on a project for six months, or even maybe a couple years, and I made something truly unique from anything that currently exists (very unlikely) then, even though it doesn’t phycally exist, I would still want to get something back from my hard work. A lot of time and effort needs to be put into programming projects. As much, or more, effort and knowledge is needed than many other jobs. I’m not a very materialistic person, so I wouldn’t concider charging too much for anything.

Of course, there is a problem with this way of thinking too. The only way to make money would be to create the best, but big companies that already have a lot of money would be a lot more likely to accomplish such a task. Afterall, there would be more people working on the project.

Anything that exists only as bits and bytes on some storage device could easily be distributed for free by anyone. Does that make data, even if human generated, something impossible to really concider an actual sellable product? Or is it?

Maybe people are much to preoccupied by turning a profit. I know that I earlier said I would like to get something in return for my work. Many people think this way. I’m wondering if people just take it to much of an extreem - patenting portions of the human genome to restrict others from scientific research seems to come to mind. The writing of unnessarily buggy applications because people pay for features instead of stability also seems to bring out the extent of greed. Hey, lately there have been a bunch of business men trying to profit off of illegal actions.

Is that really how it is? People end up thinking too much about themselves instead of who the company is trying to serve? Instead of focusing on people’s health and well being, cooporations look to control genetic research for their own gain? Businesses buying software should lose unreasonable amounts of time and money so more software could be developed quicker? An individual can fool with the budget and lie about expences as long as he is never cought?

Maybe it doesn’t matter what anything is, because it all becomes, at one time or another, a profitable product. Rocks sold as pets. Wouldn’t it seem to make sence, for a more healthy environment, that others people should be concidered before one’s self? If so, then, of course, music, art, and software should have free forms. The motivation for trying to create the best would be for other’s benefit, instead of one’s own - to live to help others.

Man, I think I really got side-tracked with this. What happened? … What was the original point I was trying to make? Staring at the monitor for too long gives me a headache. I don’t really remember. Sorry if anything seems hard to understand.


(Turrin) #2

I think you made some good points. And it made perfect sence to me. Thanks realy all I have to say right now.


(acasto) #3

You make some very good points here. It seems the media companies don’t get it sometimes. You have two plans, the perfect one, in which no one copys the music, and everbody buys CDs. Then you have the real one, that exsists i the real world. Would a business plan written for the real world not be that much easier to do business with?


(blengine) #4

/me hands you some ice for your tired hands :wink:

u have some great points, i agree almost fully too…

its all about the money… thats the world for you, if anyone can make a profit, most likely they will try it…that is whats considered “normal” for ones future, even with music, your doing it for the future(money)…too bad we cant be a society of free art, self expression, and work together as one so money wouldnt be needed or strived for…hmm, i think thats a kind of communism :wink:


(overextrude) #5

The media companies get it just fine - they’re still in business, aren’t they? It’s not they who are stealing from consumers, is it? It’s consumers who don’t get it, because despite the availability of a very easy and very legal way to communicate dissatisfaction with the media companies (in a way that can have serious ramifications), no one seems to be willing to exercise the small amount of self-discipline required to make it work.


(acasto) #6

Are you stalking me or something? I can not even post an opinion with out the ‘all-knowing’ overextruded running his mouth (i mean keyboard). You’ve stated what you think by telling us all that were criminals, so how bout this…quit being a prick.

Tell us this:

Do you think you are perfect?


(ilac) #7

Hey Waffler - that’s an awful lot of writing! :smiley:

I’ve given up on the other thread and stopped following it and I don’t really want to start here - but I would like to point out one thing about your thoughts, if you don’t mind.

You mentioned people being too preoccupied by profits. It is first about covering costs before making a profit. What are your overheads when you program or even write a book(on-line)? Even if you make only a little money it’s almost all profit (unless you’re taliking about a printed book which is very expensive due to the constant rise in the cost of paper, etc). That is not the case in the music industry so you cannot compare them. The costs involved before the code, text or music become easily distributed bytes are enourmous. People have tried to justfy copying a cd as ok because it doesn’t show up in the accounts. The truth is that the hole left by the making of that piece of music is already present in the accounts and by copying it you are distributing without helping to fill up that hole yet enjoying the music that caused the hole. Musicians might want their audience to listen to their music for free but until it becomes cheap to record music, that cannot happen - unless they want play live performances for free (or just charge for the time they spend playing - which is what can be compared to programming or writing a book)

Music and film are some of the most expensive forms of artistic expression to have IN A FIXED FORMAT (ie. on film or tape etc). until it becomes cheaper to fix these forms of artistic expression it cannot be possible to distribute them for free. If you want free(or cheap) musical and film-like artistic expressions then you have to make do with live concerts and theatrical performances but most of the time even these cost more for the consumer than a cd or film ticket! Luckily underground, pub performances, etc, etc are not all that expensive and can be often considered more genuine artistic expression than some of the commercial stuff we sometimes have to put up with! :o)


(overextrude) #8

I agree with your point regarding the cost of creation, but with respect to a book, what about the time it takes to write it, and the experience, imagination, or research behind it? These aren’t direct costs, but the end result is still something of value, isn’t it? This is where people get tripped up with respect to digital media, in my opinion. They reason that because the cost of reproduction is so low (next to non-existent), they who rightly own the information are not entitled to profit from it. Yet, they continue to overlook the fact that whether or not it is free, it still provides value, and it’s that value that people are expected to pay for. I do not think this is unreasonable, and it’s why I think the reasoning behind the “information wants to be free” mentality is flawed.


(ilac) #9

I agree with your point regarding the cost of creation, but with respect to a book, what about the time it takes to write it, and the experience, imagination, or research behind it? These aren’t direct costs, but the end result is still something of value, isn’t it? This is where people get tripped up with respect to digital media, in my opinion. They reason that because the cost of reproduction is so low (next to non-existent), they who rightly own the information are not entitled to profit from it. Yet, they continue to overlook the fact that whether or not it is free, it still provides value, and it’s that value that people are expected to pay for. I do not think this is unreasonable, and it’s why I think the reasoning behind the “information wants to be free” mentality is flawed.[/quote]

True, i don’t disagree with that - I was pointing out the difference between mediums (at least on the physical level) whereas you have just pointed out what is common to all artistic mediums, book or otherwise (including the design of software). Time, creativity etc are things of value and the Artist should be rewarded for them but some people brought up the issue that “What if the artist wants his music distributed for free?” or the “making a copy wont affect the accounts”. Unless the artist can afford to pay for the recording which is unlikely -except amongst already established artists - it is just not possible! People look at how cheap it is to copy but are not aware of how much it costs to make the original.

I definitly agree that an artist should be compensated for his/her work regardless of how cheap or easy it is to copy, or how intangable(sp?) this expression of ideas and emotions is. They are, after all, giving us a service. Just because it’s ‘information’ instead of ‘repairing my car’ or ‘waiting on me in restaurant’ doesn’t make it any less of a useful service to me, which should be duly compensated. Copying is receiving the service without giving due compensation to the person giving me the service.

(It’s really late over hear so I hope I said what I meant to say! Screens looking a bit blurred … me… needz … zleeppzzzzZZZ!!! :wink: )


(valarking) #10

o…k. your true colors are shining here.
maybe he just voices his opinions (which on the most part agree with), mostly disagreeing with you, and just because he posts in the same threads doesn’t give a reason for this uncalled for four year old flame fest. geez. grow up, you only make it worse by doing this.


(rivenwanderer) #11

flames are bad for you :stuck_out_tongue:

mp3.com is fun {and you know that the artists wanted you to listen to their stuff. In fact, some artists want you to use their music in your productions for free, simply for the publicity}

that’s all I have to say for now.


(Eric) #12

Mp3.com is great, my band is using it, and my dad is too :smiley:


(acasto) #13

o…k. your true colors are shining here.
maybe he just voices his opinions (which on the most part agree with), mostly disagreeing with you, and just because he posts in the same threads doesn’t give a reason for this uncalled for four year old flame fest. geez. grow up, you only make it worse by doing this.[/quote]

Valarking, I’m sure you haven’t seen all the thread and all the posts. Those are not really my true colors. You know how people get when someone comes in here and tell them if they don’t beleive in God they’re going to hell? Well, that’s what he does to people basically, but in lawyer jargon. He never posts something as HIS opinion, but as a direct opression of someone elses.

Posting your opionon is one thing, but he constantly, every time, has to post a judgement on someone, again, like he is better then everyone.

How can you disagree that in modern day, trying to fight the internet and technology is not a real world business goal? Wouldn’t going along with it, and offering selective downloads for a charge be a more ‘real world’ plan? I have said, I only listen to a few songs here and there, if they were to offer a way to buy just those few, I would gladly do it. But I (and I’m sure many) don’t want to spend over $100 just to get a few songs. But see, they have to keep their record sales up. Because that’s what gets them on the charts and those little awards. And if people stopped buying the CDs full of filler songs…that would be bad for them. It is no 2002, almost 2003, I think it is safe to say the record companies are not up on the times, and this is working to their disadvantage. The reason microsoft can exert such control and charge what they do, is not because of laws, but because they try to stay ahead of the market. This give them an advantage. The market has done ran away from the media companies, and I think they are now starting to realize this.

I am not advocation all free music or big pirating rings. I beleive free music can be an excellent form of marketing and a good way to get exposure. You can never get rid of pirating. That is why just calling everyone criminals does NOT work. But if the record companies were to adapt a little to the time, I think the situation would take a turn for the better.

Now what’s so bad about that!


(ilac) #14

Nothing! :smiley: I don’t think that goes against any of my points. As long as it is the artists and producers that are the ones making it available for free. The other thread was about whether the end user had a right to make it free regardless of what the artists or studios wanted.

What I would disagree with is your concept of judgement. An opinion is a judgement and a judgement an opinion. It’s not really easy to separate the two. Feeling threatened by another persons opinion is more a matter of personal perception. At least, I think so!! (ps. I’m not trying to start a fight here!).


(acasto) #15

The title of thread around here usually don’t hold too much menaing to the thread content :wink:
Sometime they can take quite quick turns either way. But I agree on the artists choice.

I don’t feel threatened by others opinons. I’ve just had thread were they totally ignore what you write, they rip it apart, and twist it just to get something adverse to argue about. Or no matter what you say, they ask questions that they know can’t be answered, just to turn them around to try and make you look dumb. I think most can relate to what I’m saying in some situation or another.

On the topic of the artists choice, I remeber one band, I think it was the Offspring, who liked people listening to their stuff and actually put their record online for download from their official website. But it was their record company I think, who got all over them and made them take it off. I have also read several cases where artists absolutely despise the recording companies because they are just basically using them. I know the individual albums are affected in rank by record sales, but does anyone know what the recording label gets for total number of sales? I’m just wondering.


(ilac) #16

Can’t help you there. At uni I had some credits on sound engineering and recording and the setting-up of studios etc. We never went into the commmercial aspect. That’s why I based most of my arguments on the costs of studio set-ups and recording because that was where I had an idea of what I was talking about. When I tell you that the jaws of my classmates and I hit the floor everytime the price of even the smallest piece of professional equipment(of which there were MANY) was mentioned… :o It really kept coming as a surprise to all of us. If any of you are doing a communications (or similar course) in their university and can take credits related to sound engineering and recording, I would highly recommend them. Prepare to learn a lot of really fascinating and interesting stuff (assuming that’s your sort of thing :wink: ) They were amongst the most interesting credits we had and the lecturer was really enthusiastic in his delivery - even when he was just talking about binary, hex and midi !! :smiley: If only more lecturers adopted his attitude! :frowning:


(overextrude) #17

Well, that’s what he does to people basically, but in lawyer jargon. He never posts something as HIS opinion, but as a direct opression of someone elses.

You’re wrong. I have expressed my opinion on various issues, but I try to support them with factual information when I can. This is the difference between an informed opinion, and one that isn’t.

Posting your opionon is one thing, but he constantly, every time, has to post a judgement on someone, again, like he is better then everyone.

I’ve judged no one. If I say that copying someone else’s music and distributing it without their permission is illegal, this isn’t a judgement, it’s a statement of fact.

How can you disagree that in modern day, trying to fight the internet and technology is not a real world business goal? Wouldn’t going along with it, and offering selective downloads for a charge be a more ‘real world’ plan?

This isn’t their problem. They aren’t doing anything illegal.

I have said, I only listen to a few songs here and there, if they were to offer a way to buy just those few, I would gladly do it. But I (and I’m sure many) don’t want to spend over $100 just to get a few songs. But see, they have to keep their record sales up. Because that’s what gets them on the charts and those little awards. And if people stopped buying the CDs full of filler songs…that would be bad for them.

BINGO! Don’t buy it. And I might add that outside of buying it, no one has a legal right to possess it- so copying (stealing) it is not an option.

It is no 2002, almost 2003, I think it is safe to say the record companies are not up on the times, and this is working to their disadvantage.

When enough consumers stop buying their product, they will get the message and change their approach accordingly.

The reason microsoft can exert such control and charge what they do, is not because of laws, but because they try to stay ahead of the market. This give them an advantage. The market has done ran away from the media companies, and I think they are now starting to realize this.

I disagree. Microsoft can exert such control for many reasons, but one of the most salient, I’d argue, is that many customers are simply locked into using Microsoft products. This unfortunate situation will exist until Microsoft is forced to publish ALL of their (now proprietary) document format specifications. People have no practical choice. But I’m not sure how this relates to copying music.

I am not advocation all free music or big pirating rings. I beleive free music can be an excellent form of marketing and a good way to get exposure.

This is true as long as it is a choice made by the rightful owner of the material in question.

You can never get rid of pirating. That is why just calling everyone criminals does NOT work.

Nor does illegal copying, apparently.

But if the record companies were to adapt a little to the time, I think the situation would take a turn for the better.

It will. All it takes is letting the market work.


(acasto) #18

First of all I would like to thank you for your resonable reply :wink:

In this situation yes, but in topics such as evolution it is merely your opinion, informed or not, there is no final right and wrong in the debate.

You speak from a technical standpoint on the legality. I speak from a realistic standpoint. Technically it is illegal, and technically that would make us criminals. But realistically, comparing regular people to what we consider criminals is non-sense. That will only work to piss people off, because in reality, everyone alive has broken some law no matter how minute.

Ahhh… but this is were reality beats out technicality. My background in business would also make my opinon on this part, as you would say, informed. When you are writing a business plan, you have two, one for the investors, and one realistic. This is were many many companies get themselves into trouble. Although it is technically not there problem, it is in their best interest, profit wise, to make it their problem. After all, if it wasn’t for the consumers to purchase your end products, then you would be broke. So taking realistic market and public ‘trends’ into consideration is only a smart thing to do. Also, trying to look ahead to the futre, especially in this technological day-in-age, can also be a smart thing to do.

But the reason the customers are forced into using the products, is because they saw the opportunity of the future market and took it. By being the fisrt there in the beging to allow even regular people to use the computer, they we able to lock the market. What if the recording industry had of beaten Napster to the punch of online downloads (at a cost of course) :wink:

This is also true, but the danger today in this, is that we don’t let it infringe on our personal freedoms and privacy. Trying to protect ones work is good, but not at the expense of looking over every consumers shoulder.


(acasto) #19

Can’t help you there. At uni I had some credits on sound engineering and recording and the setting-up of studios etc. We never went into the commmercial aspect. That’s why I based most of my arguments on the costs of studio set-ups and recording because that was where I had an idea of what I was talking about. When I tell you that the jaws of my classmates and I hit the floor everytime the price of even the smallest piece of professional equipment(of which there were MANY) was mentioned… :o It really kept coming as a surprise to all of us. If any of you are doing a communications (or similar course) in their university and can take credits related to sound engineering and recording, I would highly recommend them. Prepare to learn a lot of really fascinating and interesting stuff (assuming that’s your sort of thing :wink: ) They were amongst the most interesting credits we had and the lecturer was really enthusiastic in his delivery - even when he was just talking about binary, hex and midi !! :smiley: If only more lecturers adopted his attitude! :([/quote]

Oh, ok, you were referring to the cost of equipment. :wink:

Yeah, I’ve seen many of the prices on that stuff. Even some of the KORG workstations are outrageous. I’ve worked for a little time with supercomputer setups and the different typs of hardware that has gone into them. I think the two fields are pretty comprable in that the advent and complexity of the average computer is rising. In supercomputing, you once also had to buy much expensive hardware and propreitary applications. But now with linux clustering type set-ups, you can build a relatively powerful and scalable machine, for a fraction of the cost. I have also talked to many people who have gone to school specifically for music studio type work. I live just about 20 miles down the road from Brevard College of Music, a wonderful school for it. They talk about all the mixers and stuff that are just out of this world in price. But the funny thing is, one of their most valuable tools, was something like a PowerMAC. :slight_smile:

When I was talking about them must wanting to sell records, I was referring to their wanting to sell masses for their own good and not the consumer and possibly not even profit, but the awards.I am willing to bet that as soon as they do get in the market of selling downloads, there will be an award for silver, gold, and platnium downloads. Maybe well even have another event to watch them accept more awards!


(ilac) #20

And associated costs: technicians, repairs maintenance, replacements (busted speakers and mics), legal fees etc, etc. All this is paid for by the studio and not the artist, and that is why they can exert so much control (sometimes abusive) over the artist. But without them the artist wouldn’t be able to get the same level of quality in terms of recording. What surprises me is how there isn’t any difference in price between comercial cd’s recorded by different studios. ( at least locally)

I can do one better. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it…
Atari !!
Apparently they are incredibly reliable (used for midi) and are a common piece of equipment in Studios. You’ll find them sitting proudly, strutting their stuff, next to mega bucks modern hardware! If you’re a computer and you’re an Atari - you should be very proud! :smiley: :wink: