05 April, 2010

ACTA is about History not the Future

ACTA being labelled Counterfeiting means that most people would assume that it is about counterfeiting. When in actual fact it is more than just counterfeiting and has a lot to do with copyright infringement. So I am guessing given all the secrecy around it and the misleading name is all about misleading the public. It is also being done fully behind close doors which flys completely in the face of being an open transparent democratic process. If the government chooses to adopt this we will not know what is in it until it is too late and not public comments or select committee stages will be gone through because it is an treaty of sorts.

In reality it is being run by people like the RIAA , RIANZ and MPAA. Notice it is Recording Industry Association of America. Notice it isn't something like the Musical Artist Association of America or something else along those lines. It is the recording industry not the artists who are going after this. The recording industry claims it is for the artists they are doing all this for but in reality they are worried about their own pockets. The internet has open a Pandora's Box and is changing the way the music industry works and instead of embracing this new technology and changing their business model to adapt the new world they want to hold onto the old way of doing things. Why is this? Well their business model relies on things not changing. This Pandora's Box is scary to the existing music industry as the artists with the internet have less of a need for the music labels, so it is in there industry to scare music off the net, as artists themselves can do far better without the records labels and such in the mix. And the artists can use the net and they don't have to sue their fans.

With the advent of music mixing tools such as Audacity, Garage Band, Pro Tools and Audition and a computer and some mics you can be recording and mixing your own songs. Then with the help of My Space, Facebook, iLike they can connection with fans. With Last FM they can have their music streamed to fans and recommended to potential new fans and with Amazon's Print on Demand service bands can have there music printed on demand with no large inventory overhead.

Here in New Zealand there is Creative Freedom Foundation who are promoting the views of NZ artists who have the slogan "Not in our name" which is in reference to the music labels who are saying all this anti-piracy and suing of fans is because the artists want them to.

Artists generally aren't for suing fans (other than Metallica who are so big they can make their own record deals) as bands make sweet F All generally off the sales of CDs. Hey even back in the 60s and 70s when records were coming into being in their current form bands were wary of them as they were possibly getting in the way of them making money from live performances and the like. Even in this day and age the band members make their money from playing gigs and selling merchandise. So if you really want to support the bands you like the best thing to do is go to their gigs and by pieces of merchandise.

Before anyone starts labelling me as a pirate who wants everything for well I go to gigs, buy T-Shirts and the picture below shows that I buy CDs.

My CD Collection

I was at Pixies Gig recently and they were selling CDs of the concert as you left. It is a great time to sell stuff as everyone is on their post gig euphoric high and willing to spend money and making impulsive purchases. They are also targeting a market segment that is currently being left untapped for money which is the bootlegging scene. And here you are selling sound board quality recordings which in the bootleg community is the holy grail of recordings.

So in essence copyright protection in it current political form is for the benefit of the record labels and NOT the artists and don't let others tell you otherwise. And bands make their real money from doing gigs and selling merchandise. The music labels want to keep us in the past and not let use progress into the future as they are scared of what it could mean and to backwards and antiquated to understand and fully embrace this new world and bring the future of music to us the fans.

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