20 April, 2010

The Music Industry is going ok its just the labels having a hard time

I have just seen a video from the PRS care of CFF, who worry about distrubutions of royaltes in the UK, and they basically saying this part of the music is fine and 2009 revenues is up on 2008. So basically confirms what I said in my pervious blog post that it is the labels who are having issues. And the US Market is tanking while the UK Market is fine. One problem why the US is having issues is that they have less records stores and the hold less different albums and albums have less shelve time before they are no longer in store. When there is no supply there is no demand hence people going to other sources and not buying physical albums.

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.

03 April, 2010

Three strikes and you are out

One of the things that ACTA seems to what introduce is the cutting of people's internet with some type of three strikes system. But we may be getting a three strikes law before that stuck in through the back door (http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/3377967/Three-strikes-downloader-bill-welcomed). This bill is better than the infamous Section 92a Law as it goes to tribunal or court before you have the internet cut off which is a nice change. I don't condone the piracy but cutting off the internet is a little hash. A recent study by the BBC Study shows that 79% believe that the internet is now a human right. Currently I don't see any laws where people have their right to send and receive letters or make a phone call cut off if they do something that someone doesn't like. CDs and DVDs can be sent through the post or data sent through a direct phone link between two computers. So this being the case shouldn't they be clocking all ways that you could exchange data?

Cutting the internet off maybe a little harsh as it may affect people's ability to work. Stopping the internet will stop people working from home, using a VPN to remote in or just checking emails to collaborate with people from work.

Now that more people are moving over to VoIP instead of of regular phone lines. This means cutting the internet may mean that people can not call 111 and given the recent press about Telecom not being able to provide 111. The government mightn't like the look of the press the first time someone can't call because they have had there internet cut off.