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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 18:03 
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I remember some time ago we had a lengthy discussion here (mostly t.a.j., arthur dent, rider of rohan and myself) about whether it is justifiable or not to illegally download music as opposed to buying it, if the bands get any profit out of it if you do buy, and whether or not it is reasonable to think that going to concerts and buying merchandise helps the band more than buying cd's, justifies downloading the albums, or generally, qualifies as an "excuse" to do so.
I say excuse here because most people who do download still wouldn't tell the artist to his face that they like to (excessively) listen to their music without paying for it, much less expect the artist to be happy about it.

Anyway since I know some more recording artists today I got interested in the topic again, and also over time I stumbled upon the views and experiences of some bigger artists. The interesting thing about the old topic we had (you can see it here) is that it completely lacked any statements made from artists regarding the issue, even though their statements are the most important ones when discussing this topic. We may have our divergences when it comes to labels, music in digital media, sharing culture and the value of hard copies in these days, but as music lovers we all are interested in the economical well-being of the artist whose music we like, at least up to that point that he is able to get enough money out of it so that he has time and means to create the music we want to listen to. (this holds true even from a completely egoistic viewpoint, since I won't have the pleasure of listening to music I like anymore once the artist runs out of time or money to make it)

So here are some interesting opinions of artists I'd like to share with you:

http://www.innerviews.org/inner/wilson.html
Interview with Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree). Scroll down to the question "You surprised people by taking out first-rate production and a group of A-list players on your first solo tour. Describe the risks and rewards of that approach." to get to the relevant stuff. Some quotes:
"The obvious risk is financial. I lost a lot of money on the first tour, but I knew I was going to lose a lot of money. And I’m going to lose a lot more money on the next tour as well. In a sense, that’s the least of my considerations, although I have to be a little bit careful. I’m not a bottomless pit of money."
"I just announced a live CD from the first tour, which is an attempt to get back some of the money I lost on it and also to finance the upcoming tour."
"I’ve made some good money over the last couple of years doing the remix work[he remixed albums of other bands] and through Porcupine Tree. The last Porcupine Tree album cycle did very well for us."
"The simple answer to your question is that merchandise and live CD sales are going to help. I do believe the project will reach a point at which it’ll begin to break even, which is exactly what happened with Porcupine Tree. We toured for about five years losing money left, right and center. It wasn’t until the second Deadwing tour that we looked at the books and realized we actually broke even. I guess people might not believe that, but it’s true. We were losing colossal amounts of money. "
"However, if you can sell 3,000-4,000 of those[Special Editions] directly to fans mail order, without any record company or distributor in between taking their cut, you can effectively finance projects that way. Marillion has been doing this since the late ‘90s. They get 10,000 fans to buy their album in advance, directly, and then they finance the whole thing."


http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/gen ... music.html
Short interview with K K Downing, ex guitarist of Judas Priest:
"we would never have made the records we did without the professionals"

http://www.br.de/radio/bayern2/sendunge ... ew100.html
Interview with German musician Sven Regener (unfortunately German only)
Some quotes:
"We don't make contracts with labels because they're so uncool and we're so stupid, we do it because if we wouldn't we couldn't make[distribute, live off] our music"
"It's like pissing in our faces, like saying: >>You're music is worth nothing, we want to have it for free, we don't give a shit if you want to be paid for what you do<<"
"Thinking we could abandon labels and still have a music scene like we had twenty years ago is a big fallacy"
"Copyright today is not cool. For Indie-bands like us, being uncool is deadly. Thus, nobody dares to speak out about the situation, all the bands shut up"
"Youtube is owned by Google. Google is a multi-billion dollar concern, which is not willing to pay the musicians for the clicks they get [with the money they make through advertisements]"
"The Gema is us. the composers and poets. And we say no. No, it can't be that Google makes billions of volume with youtube and advertisements, and the songwriters get no cent out of it"
"All the young people should really thing about whether they really want to become lobbyists for a company like google, a company that is much bigger and more powerful than the record industry"
"Even the name "pirate party" is intellectual property. If I found a company and call it "pirate party" their lawyer is going to be at my doorstep in no time. The president of our local pirate party is programmer and writes apps for a living. If I now crack such an app and put it on the internet for free, what do you think how he's going to react? It's hypocritical.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwAiLICevc4
Youtube video of artist Mike Lombardo, showing how he makes money with record sales, how the label pays for the production costs (or at least lends him the money), and how he could not go on distributing his music without either.

Then there are other examples without links that tell me that at least some of the record deals seem to be quite good nowadays. Phi, a great band from Austria, told me that they were asked by an indie label that wanted them to sign them with the following conditions: The band gets the full profit from 100 out of 500 sold albums, while all the rights for the music remain with the band. Sounds pretty good to me.
Notice also that in some of the links above the point is not that the band makes much money with a label, but needs one anyway for various reasons (promotion, touring etc.). Some other didn't concern the label stuff, but only the selling music directly part.
After all the fuss we had in the previous thread about whether labels are good or not and whether the artists profit from them and how much the band gets for a sold cd, I would like to see the (potential) discussion not about that points (i think we had enough of that), but rather around the following two assumptions, based on the points from the links above:

1) Artists want to sell their music and apparently get something in return. Sometimes they couldn't continue making music (of that quality) without getting paid for that. Why deny them that, or, is it wise to do so (even for the listener)?
2) Some artists chose to go with labels, and apparently get something out of that (otherwise they wouldn't work with one). Is it good of us to work on or hope for the downfall of such, when the artists want to keep them?

I think it would be nice if we would focus on the momentary situation, without drifting off to some "maybe" scenarios about what could happen if we had a different business situation and so on. We have what we have and I think we should accept that and support the artists that we like in the ways that they want to be supported.

I hope those interviews were interesting.

So Long,
Desert Storm

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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 18:49 
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Great post, Alfons! :) It's certainly a very important point of discussion, especially considering how, in the debate between the pirates and the authorities, you rarely hear a thing from the artists.

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But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
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PostPosted: 06 May 2012 18:27 
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I'll be glad to pick this up again and I'm happy about your great post. I'll take some time to reply in full, but there is one short remark, I'd like to make.

You stated that the opinions of musicians are the most important ones and I disagree with that. As a very simple example: take a sports event. Are the opinions of the players about the event more important than the opinions of the audience of the opinions of critics and analysts? It seems to me that just because something involves you intimately, you do not automatically get a privileged position of the criticism and analysis of what the matter. And much like artists are not usually the best authority for the quality of their art or workers for the structure of the labor market, musicians might not be the best authority on the music business. In fact, having an internal point of view might give you biases that you might not have as an outsider.
So all I'm saying is that artists should not be the sole authority for how the music business, market and all the social practices around are best structured.

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PostPosted: 06 May 2012 19:44 
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Quote:
You stated that the opinions of musicians are the most important ones and I disagree with that. As a very simple example: take a sports event. Are the opinions of the players about the event more important than the opinions of the audience of the opinions of critics and analysts? It seems to me that just because something involves you intimately, you do not automatically get a privileged position of the criticism and analysis of what the matter. And much like artists are not usually the best authority for the quality of their art or workers for the structure of the labor market, musicians might not be the best authority on the music business. In fact, having an internal point of view might give you biases that you might not have as an outsider.


You cannot compare players and musicians. Players (afaik) get a regular salary based on a fixed contract (even if it is only a few months).
Musicians get payed for each record they sell, if they don't sell, they don't get payed. Before earning a single dime the cost of the production, that they were given in advance (if they're lucky that is), has to come in. You get sth like 1€ per CD (+/- 50c (depends on contract) plus Gema and the likes if you're a part of it) and a cheap production in a professional studio(this is one reason why there are so many home studios and so many crappy sounding records, despite the possibilities of modern technology you still need to be able to use them appropriately) costs sth like 4k€, you do the maths. That doesnt even include the other costs of a musician (instruments, rehearsal room, strings, sticks, skins etc. etc.).

This unfair for artists, but still they depend on the labels if they want to see their albums released and want to reach a certain fanbase.
You can make money with gigs in some cases, but not nearly in all (especially the small bands suffer from it, as usual), and you pay for the event, not for the music (in a theatre you pay for the event, not just the drama). With a CD you should not only think of the production costs, but also the hours of work it has required to make, not only recording it, also composing it, during that time you normally can't tour if you really want to focus on doing it right.

Speaking as a musician(very underground, small label, no distro apart from mailorder), I don't care if somebody downloads my music to check it out. I don't want anyone to regret buying my music and it is ok to use You-tube(horrible sound quality everytime I want to listen to sth) and the likes for that. But I don't make a living of it and honestly haven't even covered my expenses with the cd-sales (even though I didn't have to pay for the production). Unfortunately I cannot give concerts, but I'd have to invest quite a lot of money beforehand.
What I find unfair though, is when somebody listens to my music on a regular basis, claims to enjoy it, but refuses to buy anything related to it (be it merch or cd's), because it is too expensive or he doesn't pay for music, but than has enough money to get wasted every weekend or buy other shit.

That being said I do not want to interrupt your conversation and would like to add, that whatever product you buy, try to buy directly from the band (at gigs or if they offer a mailorder), it really makes a difference.


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PostPosted: 06 May 2012 21:43 
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Just a quick post, but Sertil: could you please link me to some samples of your band/project? I remember you being into neofolk and the likes, so I'm quite interested!

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You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

::.: Homepage .::. last.fm .::. Facebook .::. Flickr :.::


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PostPosted: 07 May 2012 09:19 
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Well, I'm glad you liked it, I was not sure if I should expect a "not that again" ;)

t.a.j. wrote:
You stated that the opinions of musicians are the most important ones and I disagree with that. (...)
So all I'm saying is that artists should not be the sole authority for how the music business, market and all the social practices around are best structured.


You're right about that. Maybe I should have phrased it differently.
My point is, that in the previous discussion, I found nobody that explicitly stated that he wanted recording artists to extinct. I would go further and say that it's probably common ground too that the musician (along with anybody else) should be paid for what he does [edit: if there are people who want to listen to his music and he wants to have money for it], but I won't even get as far as that because then probably someone will disagree with that and we'd have to start over again ;)

Anyway, my premise is that
Quote:
as music lovers we all are interested in the economical well-being of the artist whose music we like, at least up to that point that he is able to get enough money out of it so that he has time and means to create the music we want to listen to. (this holds true even from a completely egoistic viewpoint, since I won't have the pleasure of listening to music I like anymore once the artist runs out of time or money to make it)


Much of the argument in the last thread was centered around the question whether it hurts the artist (financially) to download and not to buy. We discussed that back and forth but apparently didn't have any artist's opinion about it, which is probably like two doctors discussing the well-being of the patient without asking him how he feels. Now of course the doctors are qualified to make decisions and analyze the causes of his pain, probably more so than the patient himself. It is of little use, though, to discuss what to do about it if they don't know what it is, i.e. whether the patient is in pain. In this first point, the patients opinion is certainly the most important, how to treat it is another matter.

Now I give you the opinions, even facts, by some recording artists. Yes, it does hurt us. Yes, we do bleed. No, we won't be able to continue making cd's and touring if our records don't sell.

The question for us now - whether we see ourselves as mere spectators (as I do), as involved ones or as the "doctors" from the analogy above - is if we want that to happen. Under the premise above I think it's save to say no. And apparently the first thing to help is to buy records (of music that we want to listen to) again. That does not mean that we shouldn't discuss alternative business models and the like, but as long as we don't have them I think we should support the artists in a conventional way. They have a product to sell and want to be paid for it, if I want the product I buy it. The app comparison by Sven Regener is really a good one I think, no one expects the programmers to work for free, I mean it's nice if they do, but they aren't obliged to and they have to pay their bills.

Regarding my bias: I'm not a recording artist, the only thing I ever put on a CD was a homemade demo with my band when I was seventeen, and I don't expect(recommend) anyone to listen, much less pay anything for it :) I am a musician, true, but I mainly perform classical and teach, which are both different worlds. I'm not even in a band at the moment, and when I am again, I don't expect any big things to happen ;)

@ Stetril:
Thanks for the comment. I would rather leave the "You get like 1€ and the costs are 4k€" out of the general discussion though, since clearly some artists get (much) less and others (much) more.

Quote:
That being said I do not want to interrupt your conversation


Having the conversations "interrupted" by others interested is kind of the point of a forum, isn't it? ;)

So long...

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PostPosted: 07 May 2012 16:20 
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Setril wrote:
You cannot compare players and musicians. Players (afaik) get a regular salary based on a fixed contract (even if it is only a few months).
Musicians get payed for each record they sell, if they don't sell, they don't get payed.


Actually, this is not true as a blanket statement. There are musicians that get paid a fixed sum for a particular recording performance or live performance. The money made from exploitation of copy rights goes to the holder of the rights, usually the record company and the composers (depending on the contract).

Quote:
Before earning a single dime the cost of the production, that they were given in advance (if they're lucky that is), has to come in. You get sth like 1€ per CD (+/- 50c (depends on contract) plus Gema and the likes if you're a part of it) and a cheap production in a professional studio(this is one reason why there are so many home studios and so many crappy sounding records, despite the possibilities of modern technology you still need to be able to use them appropriately) costs sth like 4k€, you do the maths. That doesnt even include the other costs of a musician (instruments, rehearsal room, strings, sticks, skins etc. etc.).


Yes, making and producing music costs money. So does everything else in a market society.

Quote:
This unfair for artists, but still they depend on the labels if they want to see their albums released and want to reach a certain fanbase.


It's part of what labels do, but that doesn't mean nobody else could do it.
Quote:
You can make money with gigs in some cases, but not nearly in all (especially the small bands suffer from it, as usual),


"Small band" just means that you are not making money with music.

Quote:
What I find unfair though, is when somebody listens to my music on a regular basis, claims to enjoy it, but refuses to buy anything related to it (be it merch or cd's), because it is too expensive or he doesn't pay for music, but than has enough money to get wasted every weekend or buy other shit.


Well, everyone usually has to pay for housing and food and stuff, but that is not the point. But more to the point, I don't believe that enjoying something entails a duty to pay for it. I of course agree with you, saying that it's good to show your appreciation of what someone is doing by supporting them in one way or anther and, speaking only for me, I go to a good number of gigs and when I have the money and the stuff is nice, I like getting merchandise and pretty shiney editions for my shelf, in particular, as you too recommend, directly from the band.

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They say that life's a game, then they take the board away.
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Then leave you all to improvise their vicious cabaret...


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PostPosted: 07 May 2012 17:04 
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Quote:
Actually, this is not true as a blanket statement. There are musicians that get paid a fixed sum for a particular recording performance or live performance. The money made from exploitation of copy rights goes to the holder of the rights, usually the record company and the composers (depending on the contract).

That's true, but than we have to distinguish between musicians and composers. When it comes to metal (I actually was limiting my utterences to that), in most cases the bands are the composers, or rather the composers are part of the band.
How the bands divides the money among the members is a different story. The composers and lyricists in most cases get registered at Gema and the likes and thus get an additional amount of money for every record that is sold and every time their music is performed; this process is highly selective and outdated though.
Session musicians get paid for the job they get done and in many cases do not get royalities (there are exceptions of course and it all very much depends on the situation) and with composers it depends on their status and whether the composition has been ordered by sb. (e.g. movies) or he simply is trying to "sell" his composition to a artist (that's pop music practice).
My fault, should have made it clear, I was refering to metal music.

Quote:
Yes, making and producing music costs money. So does everything else in a market society.

Thus this should be financed by the labels, who act as the producers, not the bands, as it has been in the past. It's not fair that bands get the same amount of money as they did before but take a higher financial risk.

Quote:
It's part of what labels do, but that doesn't mean nobody else could do it.

True, but nobody would do it for free (besides, promotional work is nothing a musician likes to do and to do all duties a label does would require a full time involvement of at least one bandmember, who pays for that and who is willing to take that risk?).
I'm not a fan of labels, not at all, and I think that a change in the music business is needed, but a working solution has yet to be found, in which the artists get what they deserve instead of business man, that exploit them - I assume that this will be the case in the next 20 years though.
Plus it is quite hard to get the attention of anybody nowadays, as there are far more bands, substyles and everybody is just a click away from releasing their music. That's great, but it also means that it is harder to get attention - it is, believe me. DIY works only in very few cases and established artists that go that route do not count, as they did profit from labels in the past.

Quote:
"Small band" just means that you are not making money with music.

No, it means they earn money, but not enough to make a living of it. That's true for more than 50% of the metal scene.

Quote:
Well, everyone usually has to pay for housing and food and stuff, but that is not the point.

True, musicians as well, just like everybody else.

Quote:
I don't believe that enjoying something entails a duty to pay for it

We might differ here, in my opinion it is like getting served by a waiter/waitress in a country where they get their money from tips (but customers aren't legally bound to give them) and than refusing to pay for it, as you have payed for your meal and everything else, so no financial damage has been done. Might be not the best example, but the best one that comes to my mind right now.

I agree though, that there shouldn't be a duty connected to it and people should not be forced by law to pay for music (especially those who cannot afford to pay for it, that is unfair). The problem in my opinion is not about laws or punishment, it is about morals. I want people to appreciate music enough to be willing to pay for it willingly and realize, what efforts and expenses have been made to create that music and not to think that all artists are rich.

I don't think our opinions differ so much here, T.a.j.

Quote:
Thanks for the comment. I would rather leave the "You get like 1€ and the costs are 4k€" out of the general discussion though, since clearly some artists get (much) less and others (much) more.

Fine with me, I just wanted to point out the fact that CD sales are not (only) a musicians salary, but more often than not depend whether the artist will be allowed to record another album (or get dropped by the label).

Quote:
Just a quick post, but Sertil: could you please link me to some samples of your band/project? I remember you being into neofolk and the likes, so I'm quite interested!

Didn't think anybody in here remembers me, been quite a while and nick changes and everything:-).
PMed you (what the hell, since when does this forum have pm's, I guess it ain't 2002 anymorre :D)


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PostPosted: 07 May 2012 18:00 
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Quote:
I remember some time ago we had a lengthy discussion here (mostly t.a.j., arthur dent, rider of rohan and myself) about whether it is justifiable or not to illegally download music as opposed to buying it, if the bands get any profit out of it if you do buy, and whether or not it is reasonable to think that going to concerts and buying merchandise helps the band more than buying cd's, justifies downloading the albums, or generally, qualifies as an "excuse" to do so.


In a later post you also state that most of the argument we had was centered around the question wether downloading hurts artists, but I don't think that that is the central issue at all. It really comes down to a question of structure, about how we want to deal with art and cultural content and form in general.
In fact, the argument, to my mind cannot be: It doesn't hurt the artist, so let's do it, but rather the other way round. First the argument against file-sharing must be made that artists are hurt by it and to that the proponent of file-sharing should answer: only some and then only a bit and not in a devastating way and only in so much as it's a price worth paying for the benefit of cultural content free from the powers that seek to control it.

Quote:
I say excuse here because most people who do download still wouldn't tell the artist to his face that they like to (excessively) listen to their music without paying for it, much less expect the artist to be happy about it.


This kind of interpersonal argument is misplaced. Habit or being cowed into a certain behavior or even empathy is not a final arbiter on moral questions.

Quote:
Anyway since I know some more recording artists today I got interested in the topic again, and also over time I stumbled upon the views and experiences of some bigger artists.


I'd just like to say here, that, at least I, have been very explicit, that “bigger artist” are the ones must hurt by this development.

Quote:
but as music lovers we all are interested in the economical well-being of the artist whose music we like, at least up to that point that he is able to get enough money out of it so that he has time and means to create the music we want to listen to. (this holds true even from a completely egoistic viewpoint, since I won't have the pleasure of listening to music I like anymore once the artist runs out of time or money to make it)


To perfectly honest, no, I don't have a particular interest in the economical well-being of artists whose music I like that extends beyond the interest I have in everybody's economical well-being. I'd like for all people to be able to lead a rich and fulfilled and productive and creative life, not merely a handful of artists. In fact, some artists have made excellent music while being horribly off financially, many have made great music that they never could even hope to see any financial profit from. Not that I want to advocate poverty among artists, my point is merely that the argument, that only well-fed artists make great art is flawed. A lover of great art (as opposed to a lover of great artists) should find it their self-interest to further such conditions as are conductive for great art, not such conditions that provide economical well-being for artists.
It is thus not self-interest that could get such an argument off the ground, but an appeal to the emotion of thankfulness. As in: We should be thankful to artists if we enjoy their art and therefore reward them.
I would agree with this, but I would also think that for the vast majority of artists, supporting the content reproducing industry is not a good way to show that thankfulness in our day.

Quote:
So here are some interesting opinions of artists I'd like to share with you:

http://www.innerviews.org/inner/wilson.html
Interview with Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree). Scroll down to the question "You surprised people by taking out first-rate production and a group of A-list players on your first solo tour. Describe the risks and rewards of that approach." to get to the relevant stuff. Some quotes:
"The obvious risk is financial. I lost a lot of money on the first tour, but I knew I was going to lose a lot of money. And I’m going to lose a lot more money on the next tour as well. In a sense, that’s the least of my considerations, although I have to be a little bit careful. I’m not a bottomless pit of money."
"I just announced a live CD from the first tour, which is an attempt to get back some of the money I lost on it and also to finance the upcoming tour."
"I’ve made some good money over the last couple of years doing the remix work[he remixed albums of other bands] and through Porcupine Tree. The last Porcupine Tree album cycle did very well for us."
"The simple answer to your question is that merchandise and live CD sales are going to help. I do believe the project will reach a point at which it’ll begin to break even, which is exactly what happened with Porcupine Tree. We toured for about five years losing money left, right and center. It wasn’t until the second Deadwing tour that we looked at the books and realized we actually broke even. I guess people might not believe that, but it’s true. We were losing colossal amounts of money. "
"However, if you can sell 3,000-4,000 of those[Special Editions] directly to fans mail order, without any record company or distributor in between taking their cut, you can effectively finance projects that way. Marillion has been doing this since the late ‘90s. They get 10,000 fans to buy their album in advance, directly, and then they finance the whole thing."


Note that this is direct distribution, we are talking about here and 3000-10000 people is a rather small number of people, much smaller than the number of people listening to Porcupine Tree regularly, I would suppose. So in fact, this actually seems to support my position that the reproduction industry is outdated and unnecessary. Bands can deal with fans directly, even in the presence of extensive file-sharing.
Quote:
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/gen ... music.html
Short interview with K K Downing, ex guitarist of Judas Priest:
"we would never have made the records we did without the professionals"

No doubt about this. But keep in mind that Downing's career took place during an age when reproduction and distribution of music was still firmly in the hands of those people who could afford the very expensive means of production and could organize complicated physical distribution of the records. It is perfectly understandable that this appear as natural and right to him, given that this career has been very good to him.

Quote:
Sven Regener (unfortunately German only)

I'm not gonna bother commenting on Regener any more, he was just yelling and ranting and long and strong replies have been made.


Quote:
Then there are other examples without links that tell me that at least some of the record deals seem to be quite good nowadays. Phi, a great band from Austria, told me that they were asked by an indie label that wanted them to sign them with the following conditions: The band gets the full profit from 100 out of 500 sold albums, while all the rights for the music remain with the band. Sounds pretty good to me.


I have heard other things. A band on century media (that are big enough to do headliner club tours), in which a friend of mine plays gets exactly nothing from any record sales.
So anecdotal evidence goes both ways, I guess.

Quote:
Notice also that in some of the links above the point is not that the band makes much money with a label, but needs one anyway for various reasons (promotion, touring etc.). Some other didn't concern the label stuff, but only the selling music directly part.


Again, none of these functions require labels or the control of reproduction rights.

Quote:
1) Artists want to sell their music and apparently get something in return. Why deny them that, or, is it wise to do so (even for the listener)?


I don't think that all artists want to sell their music. I don't want to sell mine (and I think the rest of my band agrees), but perform it and have it enter the larger musical discourse that is part of this global culture of metal. But I think we can safely assume that some artists want to sell their music. (Selling something implies getting something in return, though, doesn't it?)

Next premise:

Quote:
Sometimes they couldn't continue making music (of that quality) without getting paid for that.


Sometimes, maybe. But again, this is nowhere near certain as I've said before. There does not seem to be a strict positive correlation between economic success and artistic success. In fact, a number of people will tell you that bands tend to make worse music, the more economically successful they become, in part because of the influence of labels' interests on the sound. And there are a number of good examples of this, in particular concerning 80ties bands. I'm gonna name drop Metallica and leave it at that.

Quote:
Why deny them that, or, is it wise to do so (even for the listener)?


There is no reason to deny them that and why would one want to do that? The problem is not with artists being rewarded for their art, the problem is with the control of content and the kind of power such control would require.

Quote:
2) Some artists chose to go with labels, and apparently get something out of that (otherwise they wouldn't work with one).


The conclusion in parenthesis doesn't hold. In fact, many artists might go with labels, because that used to be “how it's done”. You get a band, make demos, get a record contract with a label. But even in bad old days, this wasn't the only way to do it. People might just have labels out of habit or out of misinformation, not because it is in their actual interests or even benefits them in a significant way.
Quote:
Is it good of us to work on or hope for the downfall of such, when the artists want to keep them?


Yes. Because the artists are not the sole or even most important arbiters on what is a good way to structure the reproduction and distribution of art. Again, that is because they are subjects to habit and misinformation, too. If it is better to have de-centralized reproduction and distribution that empowers the music lover and turns him from being a mere consumer into someone actively involved in that cultural process – and I would argue it is – than having a handful of businessmen control who can listen to and reproduce what and when and distribute it among whom, than that arguments holds regardless of the opinions of artists on the matter.

Quote:
I think it would be nice if we would focus on the momentary situation, without drifting off to some "maybe" scenarios about what could happen if we had a different business situation and so on.


The momentary situation: file-sharing has been around for 15 years, no one has stopped making music, barely any labels have shut their doors, concerts venues are filled, people are running around in band merch all the time, the music that is out there has not gotten worse, if anything it has gotten much more diverse and interesting and great masterpieces keep on coming, hundreds of people have been convicted to pay horrendous fines for the mere act of enabling others to also enjoy something they like, many of whom having been ruined by these proceedings, lawyers specializing in copy-right infringement law-suits have grow rich by scaring people into paying them and companies they represent money without due process, some people have even started to use this as a business model, releasing bogus software, spreading it in file-sharing communities and then suing people. At the same time, many bands have started to use the internet to directly market their merchandise (and sometimes their music) to their fans, oft times are lower prices and higher quality than third party distribution.

Is it good to support artist? Certainly! It is bad to share and enjoy art, even though one has not – for whatever reasons – supported the artist financially? No.

Quote:
We have what we have and I think we should accept that and support the artists that we like in the ways that they want to be supported.


Here's how I would like to be supported: 1500 Euro a month, tax-free, to my bank-account with no strings attached. Everyone who enjoys my poetry or music should support me in the way I want to be supported.
How about instead: Artists should let their admirers support them in the ways they want to support them?

tl;dr: Is it good to support artist? Certainly! It is bad to share and enjoy art, even though one has not – for whatever reasons – supported the artist financially? No.

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PostPosted: 09 May 2012 11:37 
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Just a quick notice, I'm looking forward to write a reply but probably won't have time until weekend. So long!

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PostPosted: 09 May 2012 23:38 
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As long as downloading music & movies is as easy and in 99,999999 % without legal consequences as it is now I'll keep doing just that. If robbing a bank was as easy as this I'd do that too, for sure.

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PostPosted: 10 May 2012 07:37 
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Frozen within wrote:
As long as downloading music & movies is as easy and in 99,999999 % without legal consequences as it is now I'll keep doing just that. If robbing a bank was as easy as this I'd do that too, for sure.


The question is whether it is morally wrong, allowed or even right.

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They say that there's a broken light for every heart on Broadway.
They say that life's a game, then they take the board away.
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Then leave you all to improvise their vicious cabaret...


Still the goddamn Batman.


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PostPosted: 04 Jun 2012 21:18 
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I'm really sorry, the weekend passed some time ago and I still haven't had time to finish my reply, it's probably going to take some more weeks until I have the time - see you in summer ;)

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PostPosted: 14 Sep 2012 03:55 
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Frozen within wrote:
As long as downloading music & movies is as easy and in 99,999999 % without legal consequences as it is now I'll keep doing just that. If robbing a bank was as easy as this I'd do that too, for sure.

It's actually refreshing to see someone admit this. I know very few who do. And at the end of the day, that's why most people do it. Because they want something, and they can get a lot more somethings if they don't have to pay. Not because they're paragons of justice fighting a corrupt industry. I'm calling bullshit on people who say that. That's just the rationalization, and it's a lie they're telling themselves.

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