Nunc Fluens "moving present" - Discuss the events of our time that are shaping the world around usen-USCommunityServer 2.0 (Build: 60217.2664)Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale, 05 Nov 2007 21:08:48 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:31325Resurrected0

I usually make myself wait a bit before replying to something I have an opinion on, mostly because I'll have something a little more concrete and realistic to say.  My knee-jerk reactions to things usually tend to be idealistic and abstract, and therefore while they may be a little entertaining and occasionally thought-provoking, they are otherwise not all that useful =P

In this particular case, it's more than just greed, as I said in my previous post.  I mean, I think the concept is valid, but short of changing people from the inside out right now (ha!), we need a few safeguards in place so that we're not all forced to be as vain and greedy as the culture we live in just so we can survive as authentic human beings.

I think the direct-to-the-public approach will probably have a lot to do with how things go in the near future.  Just the simple fact that it is possible to distribute music yourself via download gives new acts an outlet for their music, and gives established bands a bit of leverage with the big distributors.

Corey, I think you make a good point when you say that anything "new" draws upon the culture from which it arises, and so in a sense owes its existence to what came before--as you say, we are standing (hopefully not shitting) on the shoulders of giants.  So for a time we own the publishing rights to what we create, and then it becomes public property, with a few caveats.  I think it should be a right in perpetuity, even after it enters public domain, to decide if your artistic creation can be used to hock some new soft drink or promote Nike.  I also don't think it unreasonable that copyrighted material doesn't enter public domain until well after the death of the artist, at least in some cases (I used to know a bit about copyright law, but I never used the info, so my memory of it is a bit fuzzy).

To put all that together with the conceptual approach I took earlier: if, by publishing and distributing via download or other means that does not include middlemen, artists can retain ALL rights to their intellectual property, we would all be free to be as reasonable about it as we like without having to let some mega-distributor hijack the art and... and do all the greedy crap we've been talking about here.

But it's more complicated than that, unfortunately.  The Beatles signed away their publishing rights for tax reasons, of all things, and now have to stand back and watch their own music get commercially exploited.  Granted, they are cashing checks from that exploitation, but if it were me I would rather maintain the integrity of my art.

It's kind of a ridiculous world we live in.  Every time I try to get a handle on how to solve one issue, I find threads that tie into other tapestries that ultimately all tie together into one picture, and eventually I come back 'round to the same conclusions.  I guess that's why I tend to look at things abstractly, because as far as I can see, all our problems tie into the same basic overarching problems, and until we solve those as a culture, as a planet, all we're doing is rearranging the same old game.

But maybe that's a bit pessimistic.  Maybe if we can institute the right systems, people will gradually come around.  Yeah.

Forgive me if I remain skeptical...




Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale, 05 Nov 2007 18:35:11 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:31317Resurrected0

Hi all,


This is an interesting topic, one whose time has most definitely come.  To my mind, it ties into much larger cultural and evolutionary issues that, well… I think are being addressed and progressing towards an integral mode in a subtle kind of way, while on the surface it’s just business as usual.  I guess that’s my way of summing up what you guys have been saying.  The thing Radiohead did (and other artists have done in similar ways) with their new CD is fantastic, in my opinion.  It’s an indication that people are sick of all the bullshit in the music industry, and bullshit concerning copyright law and intellectual property rights in general.  And that, in my opinion, signifies a move towards change.  “Yes,” I can hear you saying, “duh, that is what we’re talking about here,” and I know this, but my view on this is that the impetus to change is the important part, and that impetus is already gathering momentum; what forms the changes will take is almost inevitable, to be determined largely by the need for change itself, if that makes any sense.  In any case, it will be handled by more industry-savvy heads than mine, and I’m content with that.  For now.


That said, I have a couple of things I want to address regarding the whole copyright thing.  First, as far as downloading (stealing) music goes, I admit it, I download (steal) music sometimes, but I don’t think I’m hurting any of the artists, and here is why: if it is music I’ve never heard, and I like it, there’s a very good chance I will go out and buy it.  If, on the other hand, I hear a good song on the radio and am thinking about buying it, I’ll see if I can download other tracks to see what I’ll be getting for my money.  If the non-radio tracks are garbage, I don’t buy the CD.  As I see it, songs on the radio are a lot like today’s elaborate movie previews: they’re polished and exciting, but the movie itself never quite delivers on the promise. So in that sense, file-sharing is a kind of defense against the music industry’s radio propaganda. 


I also occasionally download music for nostalgia purposes.  Iron Maiden, for example.  I used to be a huge Iron Maiden fan as a teenager.  Now, I like to hear some of their old stuff occasionally, but I’m not into their new stuff at all.  But in the past, I had bought all their music, so in the present, I don’t feel like I’m ripping them off by downloading a few of their old songs.  I don’t say this to justify all music file-sharing, just to point out that it has (in my opinion) legitimate uses.


Next, we all know how fucked up the record industry is, in terms of producing new music.  The real music-makers, as far as mainstream goes, are the producers.  They teach the artists how to make music that sells rather than music that is good, and the producer makes the final decisions (with a few exceptions—Tool, for example) about what goes on the album and what doesn’t.  It’s all about the almighty dollar.  And that’s really what drives all this, right?  It’s why Disney wants to keep Mickey Mouse out of the public domain, and it’s why artists like Metallica sue file-sharing networks like Napster—even though Metallica had otherwise shown seemingly impeccable integrity as regards the music industry and the whole idea of “selling out.”  Disney not only wants to continue to make money from the Mickey Mouse icon, they also want to reserve the right to sue the pants off of anyone who might sully the Mickey Mouse image, and by extension the Disney image, thereby possibly hurting sales.


The point I’m getting at with this is that the basic underlying problem here, as with so many other things—most things, if you want my honest opinion—is greed, that general and enduring American acquisitiveness that keeps things unequal, and keeps our culture generally shallow and fake.  Let them eat cake, right?  Everyone needs to make money to survive in the so-called ‘developed’ world, and so struggling artists need every dime they can get from their music, just as all of us who don’t get to do what we love for a living and instead settle for ‘having a job’ strive to make as much money as possible without selling our souls to get it.  So we’re kind of stuck in a vicious circle; we need money to survive, but I think the culture we’re experiencing right now is the result of that.  In other words, what we put our collective energy into determines our experience.  Money is just a marker, a ticket, a transitory note held in the stead of goods and services.  But if only it remained so!  Instead, it makes the artificial amassing of wealth possible, and from there we have… the ten-million problems that overshadow the ten-thousand things, and leaves a holistic, earth-bound Zen buried beneath piles of gold.


For what it's worth...






Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale, 05 Nov 2007 04:25:11 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:31277tamgoddess0 says:
...meanwhile, in another part of the kosmos...

Great news from Boing Boing:

Rucker's Postsingular is a free, CC download!

Rudy Rucker has posted his kick-ass, weird-ass post-cyberpunk novel Postsingular to the net as a free, Creative Commons-licensed download. I reviewed Postsingular when it came out earlier this month:
In Postsingular, a mad scientist creates a race of nants -- nanites -- that digest the planet and turn it into a computational simulation of Earth, called Vearth. However, an autistic child memorizes a long string of numbers that poisons the nants and causes them to reverse themselves (luckily, they're engaged in reversible computation) and put the planet back. That's the setup.

Some time later, another race of benign nanos are released on the earth, the Orphids. Orphids are mezzoscale computers that organize themselves into an intelligent global network, tapping into every human brain and giving people access to outboard cognition facilities, so that anyone can drop out, tune in, and become hyperintelligent. The orphidnetters are haunted by spooks from a parallel dimension, who seek to prevent them from using the smarts of the orphidnet to develop interdimensional travel.

This is one of the most fun, strangest, most thought-provoking sf novels I've read, and it's fantastic to have it show up on the net, ready to be copied and shared. Link


Whoo-hoo!  This Creative Commons thing is really catching on.  Rudy Rucker is one of my favorite writers, too - I love his brand of zany mindbending weirdness. :)

spiral out,

Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale, 17 Oct 2007 16:52:01 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:30174tamgoddess0
I don't want to sound like i am CC-bashing here at all; i'm definitely not.  I think the CC is an absolutely fascinating and exciting development in copyleft culture, but i don't think it has all the answers.  It's a wonderful start, and seems damn effective at the grassroots level.  But i also find it interesting that, after a handful of years intensively pushing the CC agenda forward, it still hasn't made the sort of cultural impact that, say, Radiohead's new album has.  Of course, the candle of revolution must burn at both ends, so maybe that's what we are starting to see here.

I feel like i have much more to say, and haven't done the topic justice at all, but i guess these will have to pass as my preliminary thoughts on the subject.  Perhaps there will be more, as it comes to me ^_^

Arthur/adastra says:

The Radiohead phenomenon you mention (as well as even more radical moves by others, e.g. see my previous post on Jane Siberry) I see as part of a widespread evolutionary process of which CC is one of the more organized aspects.  The actions of artists such as Jane Siberry or the much more well-known Radiohead - or the indie bands who are coming to wider attention by doing an end-run around the music industry -  help to create momentum for change and criticize by creating.   But it seems to me that CC or something like it will be needed in order for society to collectively move forward into a better way of doing things (and one that better matches the current technological infrastructure.) 

Strayform sounds like an interesting and innovative project.  From the Creative Commons website:

Featured Commoner: Strayform

Cameron Parkins, October 15th, 2007

Continuing with our Featured Commoner revival, we are pleased to present an interview with Brandt Cannici, founder of Strayform, a “creation network” that uniquely helps artists fund their works by utilizing Creative Commons licensing.


1. What’s Strayform all about? What’s its history? How did it come about? Who’s involved?

Strayform is a new model for digital content. With the internet, distribution of digital goods is practically free; the true value is in their creation. Strayform allows people to pay for creation and lets distribution happen naturally and without restriction. Furthermore when you cut out middlemen who act as distributors, something amazing happens. Creators and consumers can now interact naturally as partners. No longer are you a passive recipient of a CD or film. With Strayform, you helped fund it, you watched it grow, you worked with the creator, you had input and could affect the final product. I believe because of this interaction the future will be full of all sorts of creative media projects that are not even imagined today.

I am the founder and I got the idea while working in Japan. My sister and I used to argue about piracy. She claimed that it hurts the artists while I said every dollar you pay to the big distributors is used to force artists into unfair contracts. About that time my friend’s band signed a multi-million dollar deal with EMI. But EMI sat on the contract and my friend went bankrupt. So I came up with an idea that cuts out the distributor, lets artists get paid more, and lets consumer use and file-share freely. I moved back to Texas and made the product, afterward moving to San Francisco to launch. In comparison to our competitors we are a tiny, boot-strapped team - a couple of guys in a coffee shop eating ramen to stay afloat. However, the site is quite sophisticated in what it does.
Read More…

spiral out,

Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale, 14 Oct 2007 18:13:22 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:29992tamgoddess0 says:
Todd Norman Guess, a spiralific integral artist who's been  featured on Integral Naked (and whose beautiful art appears in Ken Wilber's new book The Integral Vision) - has just licensed digital copies of his work under a Creative Commons licence.  You can see the attribution at the bottom of his gallery webpage.

In a PM conversation I sent him a link to the Creative Commons webpage;  upon realizing how easy it isto do he posted the notification on his webpage.  Presto!  Instant CC license!  It's pretty easy actually.  Big Smile [:D]

spiral out,

Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale, 13 Oct 2007 16:21:35 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:29922tamgoddess0

Arthur/adastra says:

Hi Corey

Thanks for wrenching yourself away from your joystick long enough to share more of your perspective(s) on this topic.  Big Smile [:D]

I feel like i have much more to say, and haven't done the topic justice at all, but i guess these will have to pass as my preliminary thoughts on the subject.  Perhaps there will be more, as it comes to me ^_^Off to play Warcraft!

Arthur/adastra says:

There was a significant part of my post that may have gotten lost in your ruminations on the generalities of the topic, so to reiterate: does I-I collectively feel - or what is the diversity of opinions - on Creative Commons (CC) licensing schemes with regards to integral material?  Do you know of any integral authors who are using CC or Founder's Copyright for their material?  Has there been any speculation on licensing AQAL Journal, the What Is Integral? PDF, or other basic material under CC?

I thought it was a great move to make some of the I-I video material available on Youtube – it's a great way to get some of the basic ideas out there, and draws attention back to the Multiplex, probably resulting in some people signing up to get access to lots more material. Making some of the I-I material available through Creative Commons licensing would likely have a similar – if not greater - effect. Think for example of the authors who released material under CC and saw greatly increased sales of their product as a result. Cory Doctorow is one author who has used this technique a lot to good effect.

From a CC licensed interview with Doctorow:

Doctorow has discovered that liberal licensing can make good business sense. Despite Down and Out being available as a free download, he boasts, "that sucker has blown through five print editions, so I'm not worried that giving away books is hurting my sales."

In other words, Doctorow has demonstrated that providing free electronic copies of creative works is an excellent publicity strategy, and can lead to higher print sales...The point, says Doctorow, is that he is not some "patchouli-scented, fuzzy-headed, 'information wants to be free' info-hippie", but an entrepreneur seeking new business models.

"I believe that we live in an era where anything that can be expressed as bits will be. I believe that bits exist to be copied. Therefore, I believe that any business-model that depends on your bits not being copied is just dumb, and that lawmakers who try to prop these up are like governments that sink fortunes into protecting people who insist on living on the sides of active volcanoes. Me, I'm looking to find ways to use copying to make more money and it's working: enlisting my readers as evangelists for my work and giving them free eBooks to distribute sells more books."

Is this something that I-I is interested in exploring in some form? Is it being considered? Has it already been considered and rejected – and if so, why?

spiral out,

Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale, 10 Oct 2007 23:22:25 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:29777inmanagingeditor0, i just got called out in the video game thread by Arthur, who insists that i shall not have *any* wind-down time at all, and that all eighteen daily waking hours available to me should be fully occupied with various integrally-informed minutia.

Damn you Arthur, can't a kid just play some Halo in peace?

Creative Commons--i think this movement represents a great start toward "enriching the media landscape" as you put it.  I love the idea of giving the artist as many options as possible, and let him/her decide what the world should be allowed to do with the artwork.  Creative Commons greatly expands the legalistic possibilities, and i think CC is to be commended for this.

But the question wasn't whether i think it's good that CC exists--to most people reading this forum, it would probably be pretty obvious that it is.  The question is whether i think it's enough to make a difference within the industry-at-large.  And here i am not so sure.  As always, i need to do more research, but from here it's not looking so good.

For one thing, CC feels like a reaction to the status quo of the industry, which it obviously is.  But i am not sure it is doing something that is necessarily novel--it is certainly expanding the options of copyright law, but it is still working within the bounds of that law--in other words, i am not convinced that CC represents a higher-order solution to the problems we currently face.  And so long as those boundaries aren't being redefined, i can't help to think the current cultural monopolies will retain their control.

Also, much of the spirit of CC feels (to me) somewhat cold and legalistic.  This is to be expected, anything that has an actual chance of affecting the larger system is bound to feel like radio instructions.  But it is just interesting to me that, when considering the overall feeling of the movement, neither the words "creative" nor "commons" spring to mind, such that it feels less like a movement and more like a contract. 

Here's a critique i found pretty interesting
.  An excerpt:

"The paramount claim of Lessig’s prognosis about the fate of culture is that we will be unable to create new culture when the resources of that culture are owned and controlled by a limited number of private corporations and individuals. As far as it goes, this argument has appeal. But it also comes packaged with a miserable, cramped view of culture. Culture is here viewed as a resource or, in Heidegger’s terms, “ standing reserve ”. Culture is valued only in terms of its worth for building something new. The significance, enchantment and meaning provided by context are all irrelevant to a productivist ontology that sees old culture merely as a resource for the “original” and the “new”. Lessig’s recent move to the catchphrase “Remix Culture” seems to confirm this outlook. Where culture is only standing reserve it can be owned and controlled without ethical question. The view of culture presented here is entirely consistent with the creative industry’s continual transformation of the flow of culture, communication and meaning into decontextualised information and property.

This understanding of culture frames the Creative Common’s overall approach to introducing a commons in the information age. As a result, the Creative Commons network provides only a simulacrum of a commons. It is a commons without commonalty. Under the name of the commons, we actually have a privatised, individuated and dispersed collection of objects and resources that subsist in a technical-legal space of confusing and differential legal restrictions, ownership rights and permissions. The Creative Commons network might enable sharing of culture goods and resources amongst possessive individuals and groups. But these goods are neither really shared in common, nor owned in common, nor accountable to the common itself. It is left to the whims of private individuals and groups to permit reuse. They pick and choose to draw on the commons and the freedoms and agency it confers when and where they like."

I don't want to sound like i am CC-bashing here at all; i'm definitely not.  I think the CC is an absolutely fascinating and exciting development in copyleft culture, but i don't think it has all the answers.  It's a wonderful start, and seems damn effective at the grassroots level.  But i also find it interesting that, after a handful of years intensively pushing the CC agenda forward, it still hasn't made the sort of cultural impact that, say, Radiohead's new album has.  Of course, the candle of revolution must burn at both ends, so maybe that's what we are starting to see here.

I feel like i have much more to say, and haven't done the topic justice at all, but i guess these will have to pass as my preliminary thoughts on the subject.  Perhaps there will be more, as it comes to me ^_^

Off to play Warcraft!
Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale, 16 Sep 2007 02:14:45 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:28547tamgoddess0 says:

The Fair Use Network looks like a great source of information on how fair use actually works (for those who really want to get into it).  From their main page:


Why the Fair Use Network?

How much can you borrow, quote or copy from someone else's work? What happens if you get a “cease and desist” letter from a copyright owner? These and many other questions make “intellectual property,” or “IP,” law, a mass of confusion for artists, scholars, journalists, bloggers, and everyone else who contributes to culture and political debate.

The Fair Use Network was created because of the many questions that artists, writers, and others have about “IP” issues. Whether you are trying to understand your own copyright or trademark rights, or are a “user” of materials created by others, the information here will help you understand the system — and especially its free-expression safeguards.

If you have received a “cease and desist” letter from a copyright or trademark owner, or a notice from your Internet service provider about a “takedown” letter, you'll also find useful information on this site.


Of particular interest, the section on fair use of copyrighted works

spiral out,

Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale, 16 Sep 2007 02:12:53 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:28546tamgoddess0 says:
There are directories of work licenced under Creative Commons, as well as a way to search for such material using search engines like google (to find out more about how the latter works, click here).

spiral out,

Creative Commons : To find out more, visit the Creative Commons webpage.  

Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale, 13 Sep 2007 17:16:11 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:28461tamgoddess0 says:
Corey, I've been interested in this subject before, and been exposed to these issues in the past - through my interest in netagivland, the open source movement, posts and blogs by Rommel, etc., but this thread has helped to spark my current semi-obsession with the subject - thanks for that.  Big Smile [:D]  I believe it is one of the most important issues of our times.

I've been reading up on various aspects of this topic, in particular the use of Creative Commons licensing schemes.  Under CC you - the owner of any copyrighted work - can choose to give up some rights to your work (hence the phrase "some rights reserved").  For example, you can specify that you automatically allow unlimited copying of the work, as long as it is copied in unchanged form and you are attributed authorship.  Or you can explicitly allow people to modify the work, as long as they allow other people down the line to modify the resulting work ("share alike").  You can forbid use of the work for commercial purposes, or allow that.  (My understanding is that CC licenses are non-exclusive, meaning you can have a non-commercial general license and also use your work commercially or negotiate a commercial contract with someone.)  These practices enrich the media landscape for all of us.

Just last night I found out - by watching the entertaining and informative short videos at the Creative Commons website - that in the United States, the creator is automatically the copyright holder of their work the moment they make or record it (I had assumed that some process had to be gone through to establish such ownership).

This is very cool.  It means that the instant someone writes or records something, they own that work with full copyright protection; and if they register under CC (a quick and simple process) - can choose to retain/relinquish various rights as suits their purposes and intentions.

Since you have been following these issues for some time, Corey, I'm wondering what you think about the CC scheme?  Do you feel that CC licensing - which is evidently growing in leaps and bounds - will force change in the way copyright is handled in general?  That is, if large numbers of people are consciously choosing to relinquish certain rights in ways that are much more flexible and permissive than the practices of the powerful corporate content providers currently in "inquisition mode," might this cause a sea change in the way the whole system operates?   Founder's Copyright - in which people voluntarily retain copyright for 14 years and then release it into the public domain (in other words, the way copyright originally functioned) - is another infectious idea which might shift the playing field if it is widely adopted.

Also, how does I-I collectively feel - or what is the diversity of opinions - on CC licensing schemes with regards to integral material?  Do you know of any integral authors who are using CC or Founder's Copyright for their material?  Has there been any speculation on licensing AQAL Journal, the What Is Integral? PDF, or other basic material under CC?

I'm specifically asking Corey these questions, but of course I'm interested in what others have to say as well.

Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale, 08 Sep 2007 03:58:18 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:28257tamgoddess0 says:
Crossposted from the IIzaadz thread inspired by this one (Integral Approach to Copyright/Fair Use?):

I'm continuing to study the Creative Commons licensing schemes, and two I find particularly interesting are the Founder's Copyright, in which you retain full copyright protection for 14 or 28 years, after which point the material becomes fully public domain (this is closer to the way copyright originally worked), and the Developing Nations copyright:

Developing Nations

The Developing Nations license allows you to invite a wide range of royalty-free uses of your work in developing nations while retaining your full copyright in the developed world. For the detailed terms, see the Commons Deed and Legal Code below.

The Developing Nations license allows, for the first time, any copyright holder in the world to participate first-hand in reforming global information policy. The fact is that most of the world's population is simply priced out of developed nations' publishing output. To authors, that means an untapped readership. To economists, it means “deadweight loss.” To human rights advocates and educators, it is a tragedy. The Developing Nations license is designed to address all three concerns.

Read more about the history of the Developing Nations license.


I love this idea, it could be such a powerful force for good in the world.  It made me think immediately of what Moses has been telling us about how expensive and hard to get integral books are in Africa.  How wonderful it would be if integral material were made available using a Developing Nations licence, so that it might become cheaper and more readily available for those in developing nations who are ready for it.

spiral out,
Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale, 26 May 2007 19:05:10 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:23350tamgoddess0

Jane Siberry's "you decide what feels right" pricing Matt May 18

20 comments Latest by Benjy Stanton

Sex, Drugs and Updating Your Blog describes how some small-scale recording artists are succeeding on the web. One interesting bit mentions the “pay what you can policy” used by Jane Siberry. The result: People wind up paying more than they would at iTunes.

The Canadian folk-pop singer Jane Siberry has a clever system: she has a “pay what you can” policy with her downloadable songs, so fans can download them free — but her site also shows the average price her customers have paid for each track. This subtly creates a community standard, a generalized awareness of how much people think each track is really worth. The result? The average price is as much as $1.30 a track, more than her fans would pay at iTunes.


Choose an option and you see stats on what other customers chose:


Her store provides an open letter that explains the policy:

Like many, I’m restless and impatient with living in a world where people are made to feel like shoplifters rather than intelligent peoples with a good sense of balance. I want to treat people the way I’d like to be treated. ‘Dumbing UP’ (as opposed to ‘dumbing down’)....You decide what feels right to your gut. If you download for free, perhaps you’ll buy an extra CD at an indie band’s concert. Or if you don’t go with your gut feeling, you might sleep poorly, wake up grumpy, put your shoes on backwards and fall over. Whatever. You’ll know what to do…This is not a guilt trip. Feel no pressure. The most important thing is that the music flow out to where it could bring enjoyment. And THAT is the best thing you could give me.

The current pricing statistics listed at the site:
18% Gift from Artist
18% Standard
05% Pay Now
58% Pay Later

Avg Price/Song $1.17
07% Paid Below Suggested
80% Paid At Suggested
14% Paid Above Suggested

Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale, 26 May 2007 17:43:59 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:23344tamgoddess0's voice:

Wow, that was an awesome video!  Don't fuck with a mermaid or you'll be cast down into the firey pits of bankruptcy....

Hi Corey

Glad you like the Negativland mermaid video.  I posted some other Negativland video links here for your edification and amusement.

spiral out,

Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale, 26 May 2007 17:40:43 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:23343tamgoddess0's voice:

Oh, man - I posted here last night but must have made an error because my post is not here.  Probably I closed the window instead of hitting the "post" button.  D'oh!  Anyway...sheesh.

Basically I was saying that since about 2003 in Canadawe've been legally allowed to download music from the Internet through P2P services because we pay a surcharge on all recording media which is somehow distributed to artists (I'm not sure how the details work).  The media companies wanted to have the surcharge AND to be able to sue people who download music, but here (unlike in the US) the courts basically said, "No, you can't have that kind of double dipping - since you're already charging everyone for storage media under the assumption that they will be downloading music etc. without paying for it, you can't also sue people for doing so."  I'm sure the situation is imperfect and could be improved, but it is - hell, just about anything would be - better than the current situation that exists in America.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a webpage that lists various alternatives to the existing system:


The Usual Suspects
Music to our ears

Making P2P Pay Artists

Online music distribution is here to stay. And although it presents a challenge to old business models, artists and copyright holders can make a living with these new technologies. Online distribution lowers costs and increases exposure; all that is needed are new ways for music lovers to support and pay the artists they love.

Join EFF
Subscribe to EFFector
Below are short descriptions of several potential payment methods, with links to detailed analyses and examples. To simplify these descriptions, we use an economic metaphor: imagine all the dollars spent on music as a large pie. Until recently, each artist or copyright holder's slice of the pie was defined by the number of copies of physical recordings sold primarily through retail outlets. With the advent of high-quality, low-bandwidth digital recordings, slicing the pie becomes much more interesting - and potentially more rewarding for artists, copyright holders, and consumers alike.

The key is finding a new system for music lovers to compensate artists and copyright holders.

Voluntary Collective Licensing

It sounds obvious: major labels could get together and offer fair, non-discriminatory license terms for their music. This is called ”voluntary collective licensing,” and it has been keeping radio legal and getting songwriters paid for 70 years. It protects stations from lawsuits while collecting payment for the songs they play.

The record companies could solve the payment problem tomorrow, without changing any laws. Napster asked them to do it in 2001. Kazaa has also tried to get licenses in the past. Both requests were rejected by the major labels at the time, but it's not too late to start the dialogue.

Individual Compulsory Licenses

If artists, songwriters, and copyright holders were required to permit online copying in return for government-specified fees, companies could compete to painlessly collect these fees, do the accounting, and remit them to the artists. The payment to each artist need not directly reflect what each consumer pays, as long as the total across all artists and all consumers balances.

Anyone could start such an intermediary company. Some companies might charge a flat rate per month, some might charge per song or per bandwidth, some might offer a single lifetime payment. Consumers would have the option to sign up with whichever of these services was most convenient or least intrusive for them. Consumers who don't download music, or don't mind the risk of a lawsuit, would not be required to buy a license.

Ad Revenue Sharing

Sites like the Internet Underground Music Archive,, and provide an online space for fans to listen to music streams, download files, and interact with artists. In the meantime, these fans are viewing advertisements on the site, and the revenues are split between the site and the copyright holders.

Like radio, the money that funds the pie comes from advertisers, not consumers. But unlike radio, artists are rewarded directly. And since these sites often host a page for member artists, other payment methods are possible at the same time. IUMA, for example, compensates artists for both ad views and song downloads.

P2P Subscriptions

P2P software vendors could start charging for their service. Music lovers could pay a flat fee for the software or pay per downloaded song. The funds could be distributed to artists and copyright holders through licensing agreements with studios and labels or through a compulsory license. In 2001, Napster and Bertelsmann AG were considering such a subscription service. Although Napster's legal battles with the recording industry removed it from the playing field, recent attempts at a subscription service (such as Apple's iTunes Music Store) show that consumers are willing to pay for downloaded music.

Digital Patronage and Online Tipping

Direct contribution from music lovers is a very old form of artist compensation, ranging from a simple passing of the hat to the famed patronage of Florence's Medici family. As content has moved to digital form, so has the form of payment. With an online tip jar such as the Amazon Honor System, artists can ask for donations directly from their websites, in amounts as small as one dollar. Patronage sites such as MusicLink have also emerged, which allow consumers to seek out the musicians and songwriters they'd like to support. Either way, consumers are given an easy, secure method to give directly to the artists they admire.


As a twist on online tip jars, Brad Templeton introduced the interesting idea of making “opt-out” the default for paying for copyrighted works. The system, called ”microrefunds,” would collect small fees for each copyrighted work accessed and total them into a monthly bill. Upon reviewing the bill, charges that seemed too high or were for songs the consumer did not enjoy could be revoked.

Instead of making a purchasing decision every time they want to hear a song, consumers could review their charges periodically. The billing could fit into a P2P subscription system, or as part of a music service such as the iTunes Music Store.

Bandwidth Levies

Several people have nominated ISPs as collection points for P2P. Every Internet user gets web access from an ISP, and most have a regular financial relationship with one as well. In exchange for protection from lawsuits, ISPs could sell “licensed” accounts (at an extra charge) to P2P users. Alternatively, they could charge everyone a smaller fee and give their customers blanket protection. The latter model would, however, charge people whether or not they download music.

Media Tariffs

Another place to generate revenue is on the media that people use to store music, also known as a ”media tariff.” Canada and Germany tax all recordable CDs and then distribute the funds to artists. In the U.S., we have royalty-paid recordable CDs and data CDs. It's difficult to pay artists accurately with this system alone, but other data (statistics from P2P nets, for instance) could be used to make the disbursement of funds more fair.


Tried and true, concerts are a huge source of revenue for musicians. Some, like the Grateful Dead and Phish, have built careers around touring while encouraging fans to tape and trade their music. P2P dovetails into this model nicely, providing a distribution and promotion system for bands who choose to make money on the road.


There are many options available to make sure that artists receive fair compensation for their creativity. Today, convoluted and outdated copyright law is being used to claim that 60 million Americans are criminals. It's time to look seriously at the alternatives and start a dialogue with Congress to bring copyright law in tune with the digital age. Click here to read more about making P2P legal.


- Join EFF
- Making P2P Legal
- Making P2P Pay Artists
- Read more about the Morpheus case
- Ask Congress for public hearings on P2P
- Full page ad. For a print quality size TIFF please e-mail
- Stealing and Sharing by Jessica Litman
- Send this page to a friend

Media Coverage:

- Recording Industry Withdraws Music Sharing Lawsuit (Sept. 24, 2003)
- File sharing must be made legal (Sept. 12, 2003)
- 'Amnesty' for Music File Sharing Is a Sham (Sept. 10, 2003)
- Why the RIAA's “Amnesty” Offer is a Sham (Sept. 9, 2003)
- Recording Industry Announces Lawsuits Against Music Sharers (Sept. 8, 2003)
- Recording Industry Plans “Amnesty” for Music Sharers (Sept. 5, 2003)


Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale, 25 May 2007 02:02:00 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:23265inmanagingeditor0, that was an awesome video!  Don't fuck with a mermaid or you'll be cast down into the firey pits of bankruptcy....

Tim--I agree with your point that the artists themselves need to be more sensitive, or at least just more aware, to these issues.  So does the consumer.  And so do the courts which are allowing such legal precedents to be made.  However, in light of the fact that this just might not happen (we can't seem to figure out that whole stage-transformation-in-pill-form yet...) this is again an area which will require some sort of enlightened leadership in the arts.  At the same time, just as the result of Bush's War on Iraq policy is filling the Al Queda recruitment halls with a whole new generation of potential suicide bombers, maybe the current administration's War on Art could help catalyze a new generation of artists--ones who are not only disillusioned enough with the current state of a music industry that has demonstrated quite clearly that it doesn't really give a shit about the consumers OR the artists--but who are also passionate and intelligent enough to actually do something about it

Man, i am big on war metaphors today.  Damn sublimated masculine aggression... =)

Speaking of masculine aggression, here is a relevent  interview with one of my all time musical heroes, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.  If y'all haven't heard his newest album, it is absolutely amazing--it is a very complex concept album, complete with it's own ARG (Alternative Reality Game) decyphered from binary codes in the album, font styles on concert t-shirts, patterns encoded in white noise found on USB cards after NIN shows (!!!), and various other forms of digital esoteria.  It basically tells the story of a future dystopian American society dominated by a fundamentalist amber military/religious regime and rendered complacent by drugs in the water supply, the realities and illusions of terrorism, and a mysterious awe-and-fear-inducing entity known only as "The Presence" that takes the form of a giant hand reaching down from the sky.  It's essentially a brilliant 21st century post-industrial Web 2.0 upgrade of A Brave New World, and i cannot fucking stop listening to it!  Talk about the evolution of album art....  Here's a compilation of all the album-related webpages that have been found, which is presumably all of them.

Anyway, the interview with Trent:

Q & A with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails

May 17, 2007 12:00am

Article from: Herald-Sun

Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails lets rip at ignorant record companies to NEALA JOHNSON

It must be an odd time then to have a new album, Year Zero, out?

It's a very odd time to be a musician on a major label, because there's so much resentment towards the record industry that it's hard to position yourself in a place with the fans where you don't look like a greedy asshole. But at the same time, when our record came out I was disappointed at the number of people that actually bought it. If this had been 10 years ago

I would think "Well, not that many people are into it. OK, that kinda sucks. Yeah I could point fingers but the blame would be with me, maybe I'm not relevant". But on this record, I know people have it and I know it's on everybody's iPods, but the climate is such that people don't buy it because it's easier to steal it.

You're a bit of a computer geek. You must have been there, too?

Oh, I understand that -- I steal music too, I'm not gonna say I don't. But it's tough not to resent people for doing it when you're the guy making the music, that would like to reap a benefit from that. On the other hand, you got record labels that are doing everything they can to piss people off and rip them off. I created a little issue down here because the first thing I did when I got to Sydney is I walk into HMV, the week the record's out, and I see it on the rack with a bunch of other releases. And every release I see: $21.99, $22.99, $24.99. And ours doesn't have a sticker on it. I look close and 'Oh, it's $34.99'. So I walk over to see our live DVD Beside You in Time, and I see that it's also priced six, seven, eight dollars more than every other disc on there. And I can't figure out why that would be.

Did you have a word to anyone?

Well, in Brisbane I end up meeting and greeting some record label people, who are pleasant enough, and one of them is a sales guy, so I say "Why is this the case?" He goes "Because your packaging is a lot more expensive". I know how much the packaging costs -- it costs me, not them, it costs me 83 cents more to have a CD with the colour-changing ink on it. I'm taking the hit on that, not them. So I said "Well, it doesn't cost $10 more". "Ah, well, you're right, it doesn't. Basically it's because we know you've got a core audience that's gonna buy whatever we put out, so we can charge more for that. It's the pop stuff we have to discount to get people to buy it. True fans will pay whatever". And I just said "That's the most insulting thing I've heard. I've garnered a core audience that you feel it's OK to rip off? F--- you'. That's also why you don't see any label people here, 'cos I said 'F--- you people. Stay out of my f---ing show. If you wanna come, pay the ticket like anyone else. F--- you guys". They're thieves. I don't blame people for stealing music if this is the kind of s--- that they pull off.

Where does that extra $10 on your album go?

That money's not going into my pocket, I can promise you that. It's just these guys who have f---ed themselves out of a job essentially, that now take it out on ripping off the public. I've got a battle where I'm trying to put out quality material that matters and I've got fans that feel it's their right to steal it and I've got a company that's so bureaucratic and clumsy and ignorant and behind the times they don't know what to do, so they rip the people off.

Given all that, do you have any idea how to approach the release of your next album?

I've have one record left that I owe a major label, then I will never be seen in a situation like this again. If I could do what I want right now, I would put out my next album, you could download it from my site at as high a bit-rate as you want, pay $4 through PayPal. Come see the show and buy a T-shirt if you like it. I would put out a nicely packaged merchandise piece, if you want to own a physical thing. And it would come out the day that it's done in the studio, not this "Let's wait three months" bulls---.

When your US label, Interscope, discovered the web-based alternate reality game (ARG) you'd built around Year Zero, were they happy for the free marketing or angry you hadn't let them in on it?

I chose to do this on my own, at great financial expense to myself, because I knew they wouldn't understand what it is, for one. And secondly, I didn't want it coming from a place of marketing, I wanted it coming from a place that was pure to the project. It's a way to present the story and the backdrop, something I would be excited to find as a fan. I knew the minute I talked to someone at the record label about it, they would be looking at it in terms of "How can we tie this in with a mobile provider?" That's what they do. If something lent itself to that, OK, I'm not opposed to the idea of not losing a lot of money (laughs). But it would only be if it made sense. I've had to position myself as the irrational, stubborn, crazy artist. At the end of the day, I'm not out to sabotage my career, but quality matters, and integrity matters. Jumping through any hoop or taking advantage of any desperate situation that comes up just to sell a product is harmful. It is.

Is the Year Zero ARG something labels will copy now?

Well, their response, when they saw that it did catch on like wildfire, was "Look how smart we are the way we marketed this record". That's the feedback I've gotten -- other artists who've met with that label ask 'em about it: "Yeah, you like what we did for Trent? Look what we did for Trent". They've then gone on to try to buy the company that did it to apply it to all their other acts. So, glad I could help them out. I'm sure they still don't understand what it is that we did or why it worked. But I will look forward to the Black Eyed Peas ARG, that should be amazing.

Year Zero (Universal) out now.