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The 10 "Inconvienient Truths" of File Sharing 587

Posted by Zonk
from the how-the-burn-turns dept.
54mc writes "The IFPI, an international recording industry organization, has released a list of Ten "Inconvenient Truths" of file sharing. Though the group has a vested interest, it's still an interesting read as it tears apart some of the most common arguments in favor of file sharing. Ars Technica follows up with a more thorough explanation of some of the points. 'Point five is an attempt to turn the "innovation" argument on its head. For years, pundits outside the music industry have accused labels of pandering to teens through boy bands and "manufactured" celebrities instead of being concerned with finding, producing, and releasing art. The IFPI suggests that the labels could (and would) be doing exactly that if file-swapping went away. And then there's point seven, which isn't an "inconvenient truth" at all but more of a rant against those who prefer giving copyright holders less than absolute control over reproduction rights. An "anti-copyright movement" does exist, but most of the critical voices in the debate recognize the value of copyright--and actually produce copyrighted works themselves (Lawrence Lessig, etc.).'"
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The 10 "Inconvienient Truths" of File Sharing

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  • by Lockejaw (955650) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @01:31PM (#19399779)

    For years, pundits outside the music industry have accused labels of pandering to teens through boy bands and "manufactured" celebrities instead of being concerned with finding, producing, and releasing art. The IFPI suggests that the labels could (and would) be doing exactly that if file-swapping went away.
    What did it take to make them start producing "manufactured celebrities"? As far as I can tell, they were the norm before file sharing became widespread, so it must be something other than file sharing that induces this manufacturing.
    • by nuzak (959558) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @01:35PM (#19399845) Journal
      > What did it take to make them start producing "manufactured celebrities"?

      The fact that they were wildly successful doing so. In fact, it's not entirely new and represents something of a return to the patronage system of protegees. The best at their art were not necessarily the most famous then either.

    • by Zanth_ (157695) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @01:37PM (#19399879)
      One such group or perhaps a few do come out of the woodwork and it is part of their "act." They become popular, because they are "cute" and can sing and can dance. The labels observe the popularity and decide that the market can tolerate 100 of these bands. Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

      It is the same with any popular act. Instead of trying to discover some fresh artists they go with the "safe bet" and mass produce the over-produced clones in order to pad their wallets. As a business strategy is may seem sound. Some may argue that it even works. The problem is that because they are not going out and really cultivating new and different acts and are using other methods to exclude such music on our airwaves (payola, Clear Channel monopoly etc) we don't get to know if other acts would be as profitable for them or even more so. So their safe bet may be slitting their throat and many observing the trend in declining music sales points to this.
      • by svendsen (1029716) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @01:47PM (#19400089)
        Another theory is the purchasing power of teenage gets is greater then adults. This can be for many reasons (less bills, higher allowance, whatever) but overall teenagers have tons of disposable cash on hand. Also teenagers are a billion times more likely to follow fads to be cool then adults. So if band A is hot, doesn't matter if they don't like band A because they better pretend to be cool.

        And being the free market the point of a company is to maximize shareholders profits and not too bring the next great artist to the spotlight. Sometimes being the minority in market (aka your taste vs the rest of the population) leaves you only the selection of fried burgers when you really want a great steak. It sucks.

        But unless every adult in the world is going to start blowing all their money on stuff the teenage demographic will reign supreme!
        • by Grishnakh (216268)
          What's with all these bad parents who give their kids so much money to waste? I don't remember having much money to waste when I was a teenager; I had enough to hang out with my friends and get a pizza maybe, but not to spend on a lot of crappy music at $15/CD (what it cost back around '90 when I was a teenager).

          Maybe these stupid parents should keep their money and spend it on reducing their debt, or buying themselves a CD or two, instead of handing it all over to their spoiled kids.
          • by svendsen (1029716)
            At the mall the other day saw 8 year olds with cell phones. My fiancé says what does an 8 year old need a cell phone for? I agree with you. Not sure why a teenager needs so much disposable cash. That's not going to cause problems for society when they become adults...ya right.
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by gerrysteele (927030)
              I think the prevalent present argument is for the sake of "safety".
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by LordVader717 (888547)
              Try to think out of the box. Just cause you got by without a cellphone when you were 8 (it wouldn't have been an option for you anyway) doesn't mean that kids change along with technology. "What does the man on the street need a cellphone for?" might have been a question asked 20 years ago when brokers used them.

              Communication is of increasing importance to newer generations, and if you refuse to accept it you'll just become an old fogey.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by ResidntGeek (772730)
                Everyone who doesn't die young becomes an old fogey. Doesn't matter anyway, because old fogeys are perfectly capable of being right in their opinions of social trends. Communication was important to older generations too - that's why the FSM gave us mouths and legs.
            • what does an 8 year old need a cell phone for?

              To call mommy or daddy without talking to a stranger.

              To call 9-1-1 when they are in danger.

              For mommy or daddy to call them when they are lost in the mall.

              Any child old enough to use a telephone is old enough to use a cell phone. And any parent with the means to provide their child a cell phone should. And those cell phones should be locked down to reference only a few numbers.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Zanth_ (157695)
            Did you have a job when you were a teenager? I did, and so do many many teenagers. If they work for their money should they not be permitted to spend it on what they want? Perhaps with some gentle parental guidance they may want to save some or a good bit of it, but spending money on things like CDs (and comics as I did) was good part of the reason I did work as a teen. I worked to buy myself stuff so I would not be a burden on my parents and moreover because I knew they would never give me enough money
        • by X-rated Ouroboros (526150) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @03:24PM (#19401743) Homepage

          "The point of a company is to maximize shareholders profits and not too bring the next great artist to the spotlight."
          And the point of copyright is to promote the progress of science and useful arts. Seems to me that if a corporation is using the rights we grant it to perform in a way that abuses and undermines the reason we grant them their rights, revoke their copyrights.

    • by mc6809e (214243)
      What did it take to make them start producing "manufactured celebrities"? As far as I can tell, they were the norm before file sharing became widespread, so it must be something other than file sharing that induces this manufacturing.

      In the past 40 years kids and the generally stupid have seen a big increase in disposable income (though maybe not total income).

      The music industry are simply going after all that money.

    • by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @01:50PM (#19400149) Homepage Journal
      Precisely. It's all logical fallacy: appeal to sympathy, appeal to authority, complex cause, begging the question, etc. The whole terrorist thing is hasty generalization.

      The IFPI is essentially just trying to mindfuck people into believing that nothing needs to change in the music industry and everything needs to change with P2P file sharing. The truth is likely somewhere in the middle -- the music industry needs to learn a better model for making money and P2P file sharing networks need to develop methods of revenue generation that repays artists and producers, while at the same time allowing relatively free exchange of music for casual sharers.

      If someone can come up with that solution, they will not only make everyone happy, but they will likely make themselves rich in the process.
      • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @02:27PM (#19400825) Homepage Journal
        P2P file sharing networks need to develop methods of revenue generation that repays artists and producers, while at the same time allowing relatively free exchange of music for casual sharers.

        Two questions for the Peanut Gallery:

        1) What do you think the payment compliance rate would be if it were voluntary?
        2) Would you pay per play? 2 cents? 5 cents? How about if there were a cap at a dollar?

        I had a framework for doing this worked out but never did any of the market research.
        • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @02:46PM (#19401151) Journal
          This is how I would like to pay for music:

          Pay a fixed rate per month. I'm not sure how much this should be, but not a huge amount. Have iTunes (or whatever) record a play count of each track each month. At the end of the month, the money should be divided amongst that artists I listen to (assuming any are still alive), with a percentage determined according to the play count. If I don't upload a play count, then it should be distributed amongst the most popular artists of the month (for the privacy nuts), or according to my history (if I have one). In exchange for this, I want to be allowed to listen to any music that has been created.

          This system would reward artists who create pieces which I want to listen to again and again. People who release an album that people buy, listen to once, and then decided they didn't like would get hardly any money. People who make music that finds its way into a lot of peoples default playlists would make more. I would be able to copy music that I liked to my friends, and if they listened to it then it would benefit the artists.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Rei (128717)
            My preferred solution, which I know the libertarians here would hate, is to take a page from the past. Throughout most of history, art in all forms was sponsored by the government. All of the Rennaisance greats -- musicians, artists, sculptors, etc -- had government sponsors. Of course, the art world was limited by the fact that it was the tastes of the few who were being reflected then, but that's easily remedied in modern society: a democratized system, where the more music is being downloaded / the mo
      • by Grax (529699) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @03:00PM (#19401337) Homepage
        The ifpi news release is labeled "Music piracy - ten inconvenient truths"
        http://www.ifpi.org/content/section_news/20070531. html [ifpi.org]

        Either it has been relabeled or the discussion of file sharing was not directly addressed in the title.

        That being said, it reads more like an opinion/rant rather than any piece of truth.

        Pirate Bay, one of the flagships of the anti-copyright movement, makes thousands of euros from advertising on its site, while maintaining its anti-establishment "free music" rhetoric.
        If it is so profitable, why can't the music industry put up an ad-supported free download site?

        AllOfMP3.com, the well-known Russian web site, has not been licensed by a single IFPI member, has been disowned by right holder groups worldwide and is facing criminal proceedings in Russia.

        Organized criminal gangs and even terrorist groups use the sale of counterfeit CDs to raise revenue and launder money.
        And Phil Spector may have used his legitimate music money to purchase a weapon that he allegedly used to shoot Lana Clarkson

        Illegal file-sharers don't care whether the copyright-infringing work they distribute is from a major or independent label.
        According to the last item in the list they actually do care, expressing a preference for major labels. But psychoanalysis of their motivations can hardly be called "truth"

        Reduced revenues for record companies mean less money available to take a risk on "underground" artists and more inclination to invest in "bankers" like American Idol stars.
        How dare they make such a mean-spirited threat
        Guess we'll have to look underground for our underground music.

        ISPs often advertise music as a benefit of signing up to their service, but facilitate the illegal swapping on copyright infringing music on a grand scale.
        Which ISPs? Will their helpdesk help me set up my p2p program so I can download some tunes?

        The anti-copyright movement does not create jobs, exports, tax revenues and economic growth-it largely consists of people pontificating on a commercial world about which they know little.
        Pontificating is actually big business these days. Bloggers, politicians, talking heads all do it.
        However, this hardly counts as a truth. As mentioned elsewhere, it is more of a whine, or a rant.

        Piracy is not caused by poverty. Professor Zhang of Nanjing University found the Chinese citizens who bought pirate products were mainly middle- or higher-income earners.
        Important to understand this. Among poor people who don't own computers or cd players, there was a surpisingly low amount of file sharing or purchasing of pirate CDs. Go figure.

        Most people know it is wrong to file-share copyright infringing material but won't stop till the law makes them, according to a recent study by the Australian anti-piracy group MIPI.
        Most people have this idea that it might be wrong because of the paid ad campaigns but they don't really feel it is wrong or they would have stopped by now.

        P2P networks are not hotbeds for discovering new music. It is popular music that is illegally file-shared most frequently.
        If unpopular music were traded most frequently would it still be unpopular? or would it then be popular? I've just gone cross-eyed.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by oatworm (969674)

          Organized criminal gangs and even terrorist groups use the sale of counterfeit CDs to raise revenue and launder money.

          Also, in other news...
          Organized criminal gangs and even terrorist groups use computers running Microsoft Windows to track their resources and finances.
          Organized criminal gangs and even terrorist groups use oxygen as part of their metabolic processes.
          Organized criminal gangs and even terrorist groups use explosives to blow things up.
          Organized criminal gangs and even terrorist groups us

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by shark72 (702619)

          Actually, a lot of their points seem to be direct responses to many of the Slashdot/digg memes.

          "Important to understand this. Among poor people who don't own computers or cd players, there was a surpisingly low amount of file sharing or purchasing of pirate CDs. Go figure."

          Believe it or not, this is lost on lots of people. Just a few weeks ago when an article about software piracy in India came accross Slashdot, a common retort was that the average income in India is something like $2,000 a year, and

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by gsslay (807818)
          If it is so profitable, why can't the music industry put up an ad-supported free download site?

          Dumb question. It's so profitable because Pirate Bay has zero production costs. The music industry doesn't because it actually pays the producers of the music and invests in its production.

          And Phil Spector may have used his legitimate music money to purchase a weapon that he allegedly used to shoot Lana Clarkson

          Dumb analogy. Phil Spector legitimately purchased a weapon using legitimate money. Organized

    • by Himring (646324)
      Exactly. Blaming file-sharing for the practice of manufacturing celebrity is total crap. I grew up in the 80s. I hated the music of the 80s. I hated what they did to zztop, the police, on and on. That is, when legitimate, underground bands were discovered they were so re-manufactured that the music was disgusting. The era just before file sharing is the best example of marketers controlling the art.

      As Tom Petty once said, "I like rock because just about the time it start to suck, something shakes i
    • #5 was my fave:
      "Reduced revenues for record companies mean less money available to take a risk on "underground" artists and more inclination to invest in "bankers" like American Idol stars. "

      Think about that a sec. The suggestion is that they put a certain amount of their revenue toward sure things, and a certain amount toward high-risk, high reward speculation. This is the right way to invest.

      But you don't change the % devoted to each kind of investment based on the size of the portfolio, do you?

      Ye
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      What did it take to make them start producing "manufactured celebrities"? As far as I can tell, they were the norm before file sharing became widespread, so it must be something other than file sharing that induces this manufacturing.

      In fact, near as I can tell manufactured celebrities were the norm *before* computer networks existed outside of the educational laboratories. I seem to even remember a Brady Bunch episode about the subject- from what, 1972?
  • by brunascle (994197) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @01:33PM (#19399797)
    it is entirely possible that my actions are unfairly hurting the recording and/or motion picture industry. and i couldnt care less.
    • by paladinwannabe2 (889776) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @01:43PM (#19400015)
      If the MAFIAA provides a valuable service to you, and expects money in exchange, it seems reasonable that you should give them money. If they aren't providing a valueable service, then don't pirate their garbage. Jerks like you give the rest of us who oppose the current copyright regime a bad name.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by brunascle (994197)
        i pay when i feel it is deserved. every song on my MP3 player was legally purchased. i bought the DVD of Prestige recently, because i loved the movie. i do have plently of other downloaded movies, though, that i watched once and will probably never watch again. i'm not playing $20 for a movie i dont know is worth it yet. and i have no idea where the closest rental place is.
        • by MontyApollo (849862) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @02:01PM (#19400351)
          >>i'm not playing $20 for a movie i dont know is worth it yet. and i have no idea where the closest rental place is

          Netflix and Blockbuster online have all the movies you can watch for about $20 month. You only have to walk to the mailbox.

          You can find trailers and movie reviews online as well to help you decide how to spend your money.

          Laziness is kind of a lame excuse.
      • by Sciros (986030) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @01:57PM (#19400271) Journal
        That's the thing, though, isn't it? That the SERVICE THEY ARE PROVIDING isn't very valuable. It's crippled by DRM, it has even gone so far as to prevent people from creating guitar tabs by ear and sharing them. Such service might be worth *something* monetarily, but far less than consumers are being charged. It is not that they are providing garbage per se, more that the *manner* in which they are providing music/film/etc. is unsuitable for many people.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @02:38PM (#19401005)
          Absolutely. I will sometimes find myself in a situation where I will purchase a legal copy of some content X on medium Y only to find that I need to use that content in a way that's inconvenient. I will then go download an "illegal" copy from t3h internets which I will then use in the way that's convenient. Not everyone downloading is "stealing" (I know, I know, it's NEVER stealing, but you get my point)... some people just want a more convenient format.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Arterion (941661)
        I think the GP has it right. Why should I care if a parasitic industry whose owners live like kings on the hard work, ingenuity, and art or a few talented individuals loses money? If I like something, I'll buy tickets to the tour, or I'll buy some merchandise from the artist. Then the artist gets the compensation. The record companies call the shots, have all the money, and decide which artists we get to hear. They take advantage of laws they've lobbied extensively for in order to maintain their power.
      • by Fozzyuw (950608) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @02:52PM (#19401233)

        If the MAFIAA provides a valuable service to you, and expects money in exchange, it seems reasonable that you should give them money. If they aren't providing a valueable service, then don't pirate their garbage.

        Interesting point. However, what your point lacks is quantity/quality. If it's worth money, how much is it worth? Pirating isn't being done by the masses to give the F-You to the record company and "the man" just because they are a big company, but because they do not believe the product/service they supply is not worth the value they're presenting it at.

        Simply put, if pirates could buy brand a new movie on a standard DL-DVD without a box (toss it in a paper slip) for $4-$5, pirates would probably buy it oppose to copying. However, $15-$25 for a new DVD film is not worth it for most people. They probably already paid $10 to see it in the theater or can pay $2-4 to rent it and watch it as many times as they want in the week they have it.

        A long time ago, I mentioned this 'dream' of mine. Big box retails (Wal-Mart, Best Buy, etc) getting a high quality DVD burning machine. You walk up to the counter, ask the person for the film you want, they'll punch in the movie id into their computer and the machine plops out a fresh high-quality burned DVD with sticker art. The clerk tosses the DVD into a paper slip and charges you $4. Maybe you rested a DVD case, and he charges you an extra $2 and prints out the DVD case insert, pulls a plastic DVD case off the shelf and inserts the slip art.

        The consumer walks out the door with a $6 DVD, the store doesn't need to bother about inventory space, besides the machine and computer containing the DVD image catalog. Movie houses don't need to spend the time and money running DVD making machines, paying truckers and shippers to drop it off at distribution centers, etc. All they do, is download it into their customers DVD Making machine computers on release day. They can even setup a distribution network (hello bit-torrent), so they only have to upload it into the central Big Box Store system and Big Box Store can be responsible for the band-width for uploading it into all it's stores.

        The cost is still more than DIYers but low enough to entice those who might pirate to just buy instead. They don't have to go out and buy a stack of DVD media. They probably get better quality DVD since they're not compressing the image, or removing audio tracks to fit onto a non DL-DVD. They also get a nice fancy art-work sticker, instead of just scrawling the name on with a sharpie marker.

        The only way to fight the pirates is to offer the service at the value that it's worth. I think that, in general, people feel the cost of watching a movie isn't what it use to be in a world where entertainment is at your finger tips anywhere you go, from portable video game players, to cell phones, to the internet.

        Movie theaters are not the only place one can go to 'escape' reality, anymore. Since the prices continue to climb along with entertainment competition, it's only natural to see demand drop off. It goes for saying that I often won't see a film in the theater anymore (unless it's a blockbuster or I'm a fan) and even then, I make every effort to go the the cheaper matinée. It's now 'wait until DVD' because I can rent it for $1-3. The same philosophy probably goes to those who use to buy DVD's for their collection. However odd it is, that such a crime is fairly socially acceptable.

        Cheers,
        Fozzy

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TheRaven64 (641858)
        According to the record labels' logic, every time someone might have bought something from them, but didn't, they have lost money. According to this, they have lost £7.99 as a result of my actions while reading this article. A tune came on Radio Paradise that I liked. I checked the album, found it had a few other tracks I'd enjoyed hearing, and went to iTunes to buy it. It wasn't available on iTunes Plus, and so I didn't buy it.

        They lost a sale, but not due to piracy. I didn't decide to download

      • by nEoN nOoDlE (27594) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @03:09PM (#19401491) Homepage
        If the MAFIAA provides a valuable service to you, and expects money in exchange, it seems reasonable that you should give them money.

        The mafia does provide a valuable service. They give me protection for my business. It's just that if they weren't around, I wouldn't need the protection. Oh, you were talking about the RIAA and MPAA... what's the difference?
  • Downloading. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rustalot42684 (1055008) <fake@noSPaM.account.com> on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @01:33PM (#19399801)
    If I had a way to buy music online with no DRM and no credit card (I don't have one), on any platform (i.e. Linux), I would. But I don't. That said, I personally don't download illegally much anyways, because it eats up my connection. So I end up going to Best Buy, and buying CDs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Grishnakh (216268)
      So I end up going to Best Buy, and buying CDs.

      Great, so you're passing on supporting one form of evil (overpriced DRMed downloadable music) and supporting another evil (Best Buy) instead.

      Stop supporting evil and buy music from someplace non-evil, like your local used CD store (or an online one like secondspin.com).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jason Levine (196982)
      I buy my music online from Amie Street [amiestreet.com]. They give me my music with no DRM and it should work on any platform. (Their website works in FireFox, so I don't see why FF-on-Linux shouldn't work and the songs themselves are plain MP3 format.) The no credit card thing would be an issue almost anywhere you shop online though. And no, Amie Street isn't "big name celebrity singers" (except for Barenaked Ladies), but they have a bunch of smaller groups who have great sounds. Personally, I'd recommend Beats Workin
  • Great post.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mockylock (1087585) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @01:33PM (#19399819) Homepage
    It would actually be nice to see actual numbers of sales and correlation between Newer and unknown bands becoming popular due to file sharing. The people actually cursing copyright infringements are usually those who are already millionaires. The rest know they had become famous because of it, and they can rely on concert sales (the real skill) for income.

    I'm not for ALL filesharing for music, but rather using it for recognition and buying albums to support their cause.
    • by Aladrin (926209)
      I think there's too much else going on to make those statistics mean anything in regards to 'file sharing'. There's the new-found hatred of the RIAA, there's new services like Rhapsody that make listening to unknown music easier, there's world-wide communication... And those are just the things in favor of Indie bands.

      As for it helping the Indie bands... It would help them more, not less, if artists had to specifically give their music away, instead of people just sharing whatever they like. Indie bands
  • Word fogging (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kpau (621891) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @01:35PM (#19399857)
    first issue is that "file sharing" is not automatically the illegal sharing of copyright violated files. More credibility may be had if one uses "copyright violation" or "illegal file sharing" ... as I sit here torrenting a blizzard game patch and torrenting some linux packages I note that driving a car does not equal "hit and run". But then murk and word-fogging seem to be standard ops for people who equate copyright violation (civil) with piracy (mayhem, murder, etc).
    • by Cutriss (262920)
      "Illegal file sharing" muddies up the water just as badly. It may be qualifying the term "file sharing", but continually using it paired with "illegal" will make the two synonymous.
  • Quick responses... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pla (258480) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @01:36PM (#19399875) Journal
    1) PirateBay has ads. So what? So does Slashdot.
    2) Previous Russian law allowed AllOfMP3. It no longer does. So?
    3) Copying a CD from my friend doesn't (yet) count as terrorism, guys.
    4) Very few people care about the label behind their music, pirated or not.
    5) So the labels can't afford small artists - Good thing they don't actually need labels anymore!
    6) That would break the law. File suit, if you actually believe such BS.
    7) Boo-hoo, I don't generate tax revenue. Hear the violins?
    8) "Bought Pirate Products" - Change the subject, much?
    9) The law already disallows piracy. Most people just don't care.
    10) I've discovered over half of the artists currently on my playlist via questionably-legal means.
    • by ducman (107063) <slashdot@realit[ ... m ['y-b' in gap]> on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @01:42PM (#19399973)
      9. Most people know it is wrong to file-share copyright infringing material but won't stop till the law makes them.

      Copyright infringment may be illegal, but "illegal" is not the same thing as "wrong."
      • by svendsen (1029716)
        But getting caught doing something illegal (whether you think it is right or wrong) can still screw your life up.
    • by dave420 (699308)
      #2 isn't file sharing. It's commercial copyright infringement, which is a criminal offense in countries that have even slightly strict copyright laws. P2P for personal use is usually only a civil offense in those countries. It's taring P2P with a bad name by proxy. It's a completely different thing, yet this cocknozzle seems to think it's cool. Also "Piracy", which implies the same thing, but again is completely different to copyright infringement. I don't remember tales of the pirates of old boarding
    • by mstahl (701501)

      1) PirateBay has ads. So what? So does Slashdot.

      Yes! Right from the start they lost me with this one. The only thing that it means is that they're upset about that money not going to them. Honestly though, PirateBay offers a service that people want, and the recording industry is not efficiently providing that service right now. I don't think it's such a shock that other organizations are stepping up—even illegally—to the plate to take over, and making money from that decision.

      4) Very few people care about the label behind their music, pirated or not.

      I do, but not in that same way. I'm much more likely to try o

  • Some random observations.

    It's a very interesting how they managed to sneak in terrorists.

    But I don't understand how counterfeit CDs and filesharing have to do with each other.

    I don'g get number 4. Can anyone explain to me what the inconvenience is?
  • Point 11 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rlp (11898) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @01:38PM (#19399895)
    They left one out:

    11) So all that justifies:
        a) A legal vendetta against a disabled single mom, children, dead people, etc.
        b) Treating out customers like criminals
        c) Trying to extort money from and/or destroy any channel the industry does not
              control (like Internet radio).
        d) Bribing lawmakers to extend copyrights ad infinitum.
        e) Attempting to eliminate the legal concept of 'fair use'.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Alioth (221270)

      public void Ballmer(Developers developers) throws Chair

      No! It's

      public LegalThreats Ballmer(Developers developers) throws Chair
  • Only ten? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @01:40PM (#19399931)
    ... the list was actually 20 long, but they condensed. Here's the rest:

    11. Illegal filesharing puts puppies in blenders.
    12. Illegal filesharing makes the baby jeebus cry.
    13. Illegal filesharing leads to people removing the tags from their mattres.
    14. Illegal filesharing causes male-pattern baldness.
    15. Illegal fileshreing can make you teh ghay.
    16. Illegal filesharing can make you teh straight.
    17. Illegal filesharing killed Chuck Norris.
    18. Illegal filesahring fills the tubes.
    19. Illegal filesharing caused Pangea to split.
    20. Illegal filesharing makes international trade groups release incredibly stupid 'top ten' bullshit like this, only cementing people's desire to fileshare further.

    Seriously. Fuck these people and their little top ten list ...
  • Wow... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @01:40PM (#19399933) Homepage
    that was an incredibly thin piece of propaganda if I ever read one. They did not even try to explain truths about file sharing but only regurgitated the same old lines that you hear from the undereducated executives that talk to the media.

    They ignore the inconvienent truths such as....

    If the product was available in a form and at a price people were willing to pay, they would buy it.

    Record companies are refusing to adopt new standards and ideas that people want. Mp3 players are things that people really really like. They also want to be able to play that song anywhere. DRM music files do not allow that so they either rip the sings or pirate them.

    song trading has went on forever. Mix tapes, trading Records or CD's etc.. has happened as long as audio tape existed. I traded Reels with friends of albums. (reel to Reel tape, way before casettes.)

    Most P2P file sharing is garbage. Most people are not happy with the quality of the music they download, the id3 tags are wrong, the music is ripped with a crappy ripper (itunes or Media player) etc....

    • Re:Wow... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ScentCone (795499) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @02:09PM (#19400531)
      If the product was available in a form and at a price people were willing to pay, they would buy it.

      But, they used to buy MORE than they do now. And the form in which you usually buy it (say, on a CD) remains available. What's changed is that people are no longer willing to pay what the artists ask for their recordings because they've found an easy way to rip it off, instead. The number of people who really, actually, thoughtfully are downloading pirated copies so that they have a more flexible version of something they've actually purchased ... fractional, compared to the kids to just grab it because now they can, without having to actually pay for the entertainment they want.

      Record companies are refusing to adopt new standards and ideas that people want. Mp3 players are things that people really really like. They also want to be able to play that song anywhere.

      Unless, of course, you take into account the publisers that ARE starting to sell non-DRMed files for that exact reason. When you say "record companies," you say it like you're describing all of them accurately, and that you know exactly what they're all collectively going to be doing for the next 12 months. They're not a homogenous group, and they're busy working on it, and on retaining as customers the very artists that every seems to be happy to rip off.

      song trading has went on forever. Mix tapes, trading Records or CD's etc.. has happened as long as audio tape existed. I traded Reels with friends of albums. (reel to Reel tape, way before casettes.)

      And did you really have hundreds of thousands or millions or anonymous friends with whom you shared bit-accurate exact copies? Really?

      Most P2P file sharing is garbage. Most people are not happy with the quality of the music they download, the id3 tags are wrong, the music is ripped with a crappy ripper (itunes or Media player) etc....

      Oh, well, then that makes it OK, I guess, to rip off the really good quality stuff from someone else, then. Yeesh.
  • by acidrain (35064) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @01:42PM (#19399989)

    Reminds me of that spoof RIAA poster when you pirate mp3s you're downloading communism [museumofhoaxes.com].

  • 93% of counterfeit CDs and DVDs comes from China? Funnily enough, I'm pretty certain 93% of all my stuff that isn't food comes from China.
  • by VE3OGG (1034632) <[ac.car] [ta] [GGO3EV]> on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @01:48PM (#19400097)
    1. It encourages the distribution of art. That is what music is -- art. It isn't a product that can be bought, marketed, packaged and sold (though some people would love to believe so). The band, well maybe they could be a product, but the music itself can never be.

    2. It encourages innovation. While it might sound less than ideal from a public relations standpoint, file sharing encourages programmers and problem solvers to think of more interesting and innovative methods to circumvent the measures put in place, and it furthers the study of peer-to-peer technology. You went from Napster, to Kazaa, to bitTorrent, with massive leaps at each step.

    3. It opens music to a much wider audience. Let's face it, most stores will never carry certain artists and one wants to know that they like the artist before they shell out the cash for a CD from Amazon or eBay. And lets face it, the radio stations will seldom, if ever, play bands like Screeching Weasel, Cara Dillon, Celtae, R.A.M.B.O., or even some fo the more popular people like Jann Arden or Sinead O'Conner and Sarah Brightman. In fact, case in point: Rage Against the Machine. I called a local radio station when they said, "ok, the lines are open, tell us what you want to hear, because this is a radio station powered by YOU!". I called and requested RATM, what did they say? "Oh, sorry, that is too hard for our listeners. I just said okay, and turned off the radio. Barely ever play it anymore.

    4. It helps gain artist recognition and exposure. Had file sharing come along, how many of you might know who BoA or Ayumi Hamazaki are?

    5.It forces artists to be more creative, and less like the Back Street Boys and Spice Girls. If everyone of the bands sound the same, it forces more people to look elsewhere for the music that fits their tastes.

    6. It breaks the copyright holder's regime. I'm sorry, this is going to piss off a lot of individuals around here, since a lot of people pay lip service to the "benefiot" of copyright, but the system is fundamentally flawed. Ever since the Bono-act, the fact that you could "extend" an artificial monopoly is just plain WRONG.

    7. It also helps bring artists that would have no exposure form the record labels to break into the mainstream (or at least get a few more listeners and feedback).

    8. It exposes people to more than the drivel that comes off the radio today. I like to equate most music on the radio and that is being produced by the big labels as "dime store fiction". In other words, a waste of plastic. Now there is some music (in every genre) that isn't produced by the big name labels that is VERY good. This allows people not "in the know" about the "scene" to become exposed to it.

    9. For the love of all that is HOLY, file sharing does not only mean music. Lots of stuff (that is public domain or otherwise free) is distributed via filesharing. Not to mention the amount of pr0n.

    10. ??? & Profit! (sorry, I couldn't resist)
  • pro copyright (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Rotworm (649729)
    At least in the case of Lessig he's stated he is not anti-copyright, he is pro-copyright-reform.
  • by glwtta (532858)
    I can't believe I kept reading past the "supports terrorism" Gowdinning, but I am curious about how they determined that "Illegal file-sharers don't care whether the copyright-infringing work they distribute is from a major or independent label". (well, I'm curious about how they came up with any of those "truths", but that's a different point)

    For me, what label an album is released on is the major criterion in determining how it will be procured - surely I am not the only one?
  • by gold23 (44621) <org,slashdot,2&oolong,com> on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @01:51PM (#19400163) Homepage
    Copyright infringement, however terrible it may be, does not deserve to be placed on the same level as the climate change problem. These "truths" may be inconvenient to them, but they are hardly a global crisis.

    See items 5 and 10 (paraphrased here): File sharing forces record companies to devote resources to big-name marketing vehicles rather than "artists" [item 5]; You won't find new music through file-sharing because it's mostly "popular music" [item 10]. It sounds to me as though they're playing into the hands of the infringers, then, by continuing to produce and promote exactly those things that are the bread and butter of their nemeses.

    However, I will concede that point 3 is correct. In fact, I purchased a bootleg Britney Spears CD from a poorly-disguised gentleman calling himself Mr. "Lin-Baden" last week.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @02:01PM (#19400347)
    For the "questions", RTFA.

    1. Besides the obvious "so?" answer, they, too, gotta pay their ISPs. Given the traffic they got, that bill could be a tad bit more than the average person can earn with honest work (for the IFPI, this is usually less than 3000 bucks a month).

    2. AOMP3 has a license from the Russian equivalent. Care to tell me why globalisation is only good if it works for the company and against the customer?

    3. I don't respond to arguments based on terrorism or child porn. They get old and are usually based on thin air. Like in this case. Care to show me ANY kind of proof (or at least a forged statistic) where Ozzy has been buying his AKs with money he got from selling bootlegs?

    4. A quite blatant generalisation. Fact: It's often impossible to get a "honest" version of some out of print indie song. Many would buy it, if they could. Though, if you take a look through the various "old school" musicians who took their time to build up a support base, you'll see that their CDs sell quite well, often despite (or maybe because?) they refuse to use DRM or other crippling means, despite their fans being able to get the material easily through P2P means. Yet still, they buy the song because they want to show the artist their support. Check album sales for reference.
    I can understand, though, that it's hard to sell some overhyped crap of a noname that you'll drop the next month.

    5. Yes, and since the internet has been your bane since the New Kids on the Block (that was in ... 1990? Earlier? Don't remember, look it up), this is certainly the reason why you refuse to support new artists and instead go for castbands. Anyone who believes that might want to take up my offer of a nice bridge with a perfect view on L.A.

    6. Car ads praise the maneuverability and speed of their cars, are they now liable for bank robberies and their cars being used for getaways? Phone services offer pre-paid phones where you don't have to go through the hassle of filling out forms, are they now liable for those phones being used in kidnapping calls? And don't make me start about guns.

    7. The copyright world doesn't either. It outsources jobs to sweatshops and siphons money off our youth. With the difference, that they DO know how the commercial world runs. Unfortunately, though, they know little about art.

    8. No, it usually is caused by people not wanting getting their computer infested with spyware or other unwanted "goodies", or that the content simply doesn't work on their system because the industry fails to conform with a standard, and so they have to resort to other means to get to use what they bought. Not buying because one is not able to afford the content is rarely if ever a reason. Maybe ignoring students.

    9. Most people realized that it's near impossible to navigate the copyright laws and that they're guilty of breaking a law anyway if they don't live like a hermit. So many thought, why bother trying? More laws will only make this effect worse.

    10. Actually P2P software is a tool. I use it to get (and spread) new versions of Linux. MMORPGs spread their updates through them. Others find music in it, decide that it's good and go buy the CD. And of course there are those that don't discriminate and download simply everything there is, hunting and gathering is a strong impulse in the human. Generally, though, P2P tools are simply that, a tool. You can use it for good, you can use it for bad, it depends on the person using it. Like the cars, the phones or the guns.
  • But #5: Reduced revenues for record companies mean less money available to take a risk on "underground" artists and more inclination to invest in "bankers" like American Idol stars.

    Are they still promoting the fallacy that every copy equals a lost sale?

    I do believe they are losing money, but nearly so much as they say. I think we all know this to be true. I also think that there is going to have to be some acceptable level, or the restrictions will be so severe as to only hamper legitimate use.

    Now, you'll
  • 3) Organized criminal gangs and even terrorist groups use the sale of counterfeit CDs to raise revenue and launder money.
    8) Piracy is not caused by poverty. Professor Zhang of Nanjing University found the Chinese citizens who bought pirate products were mainly middle- or higher-income earners.

    if you are buying a hard copy, it isnt file "sharing"...

  • Is that the only way to stop global warming is to dramatically increase the number of pirates. Were it not for these valiant File Sharing buccaneers, we'd already be hip deep in the Ocean. Who are we to deny them their religious freedoms under the 1st Amendment? The recording industry is not only areligious, but also anti-Constitution.
  • by 91degrees (207121) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @02:13PM (#19400587) Journal
    1. Pirate Bay, one of the flagships of the anti-copyright movement, makes thousands of euros from advertising on its site, while maintaining its anti-establishment "free music" rhetoric.

    Yes. We know. We can tell because there are ads there.

    2. AllOfMP3.com, the well-known Russian web site, has not been licensed by a single IFPI member, has been disowned by right holder groups worldwide and is facing criminal proceedings in Russia.

    This is more of an inconvenient mistruth. i.e. it's technically true but highly misleading. AllOfmp3 had the money availalbe to rights holders. The rights holders refused. "Facing criminal proceedings" is very weaselly. It doesn't mean they're guilty. Reputable copyright maintaining companies such as Microsoft and Sony have also faced criminal proceedings. MS were found guilty. Sony settled over the rootkit fiasco, I believe.

    3. Organized criminal gangs and even terrorist groups use the sale of counterfeit CDs to raise revenue and launder money.

    This has nothing to do with file swapping. There is considerably less sympathy for commercial pirates.

    4. Illegal file-sharers don't care whether the copyright-infringing work they distribute is from a major or independent label.

    And we don't care that we don't care.

    5. Reduced revenues for record companies mean less money available to take a risk on "underground" artists and more inclination to invest in "bankers" like American Idol stars.

    No it fucking doesn't! That's a filthy lie and they know it. The finances don;t work like that. It's not about money recieved it's about return on investment expected.

    6. ISPs often advertise music as a benefit of signing up to their service, but facilitate the illegal swapping on copyright infringing music on a grand scale.

    Ehhmmm... They provide a network connection. Are we ghoing to charge the labels with selling CDs to pirates?

    7. The anti-copyright movement does not create jobs, exports, tax revenues and economic growth-it largely consists of people pontificating on a commercial world about which they know little.

    The FSF is generally considered part of the "anti-copyright movement". Free software creates a lot of jobs. 8. Piracy is not caused by poverty. Professor Zhang of Nanjing University found the Chinese citizens who bought pirate products were mainly middle- or higher-income earners.

    No. It's caused by a general ambivalence about the rights of considerably wealthier foreigners.

    9. Most people know it is wrong to file-share copyright infringing material but won't stop till the law makes them, according to a recent study by the Australian anti-piracy group MIPI.

    More weasel words. What does "wrong" mean in this context? Most people know it's illegal. They form their own opinions on the ethics of it. Some people evidently consider it a greater "wrong" to spend money on stuff they don't have to.

    10. P2P networks are not hotbeds for discovering new music. It is popular music that is illegally file-shared most frequently.

    Wow. An actual truth. What went wrong there?
  • Total PR BS. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PriceIke (751512) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @02:18PM (#19400673)

    Anything referred to as "an inconvenient truth" automatically sets my BS meter going. This list of "truths" is pure PR bullcrap.

    1. Pirate Bay, one of the flagships of the anti-copyright movement, makes thousands of euros from advertising on its site, while maintaining its anti-establishment "free music" rhetoric. This is the same industry who argues that listening to the radio is free, but makes millions if not billions of dollars on radio advertising. They run commercials in my market talking about how radio is and should continue to be free, and to please patronize the businesses being advertised, because YOU WOULDN'T WANT US TO START CHARGING YOU NOW, WOULD YOU??

    2. AllOfMP3.com, the well-known Russian web site, has not been licensed by a single IFPI member, has been disowned by right holder groups worldwide and is facing criminal proceedings in Russia. Er ... so? What's that got to do with the price of eggs?

    3. Organized criminal gangs and even terrorist groups use the sale of counterfeit CDs to raise revenue and launder money. This one's really pathetic. Playing the terrorism card? That's just the bullshit cherry on the bullshit sundae. The point's been made already but it bears repeating: what does the sale of bootleg CDs have to do with file sharing on the internet? Furthermore, SOME TERRORISTS have used BANKS to launder their money. Guess we should all get rid of our savings and checking accounts, cause *gasp* we might be supporting terrorism!!! This kind of argument has no credibility because the whole "ohnoes terrorism!" argument has been overused so much that it no longer has any weight .. not even when it should be considered seriously.

    4. Illegal file-sharers don't care whether the copyright-infringing work they distribute is from a major or independent label. Loaded language much? This list is replete with very badly biased language. Let me rephrase it: 4. People who share music digitally don't care what labels the songs they trade are. And all that is is a boo-hoo for the record industry. No, we don't particularly care about labels. We care about music. DEAL WITH IT.

    5. Reduced revenues for record companies mean less money available to take a risk on "underground" artists and more inclination to invest in "bankers" like American Idol stars. HAHAHA! Ohh, so THAT'S what they did with all the obscene profits they made from the illegal overpricing of CDs all those years. They invested them in REAL TALENT! OMG where do I sign up to let them gouge me some more?

    6. ISPs often advertise music as a benefit of signing up to their service, but facilitate the illegal swapping on copyright infringing music on a grand scale. Again, spin city supreme. ISP often advertise music as a benefit, and then let their users use them as they see fit. I fail to see how this is an argument against me wanting to share digital music with my friends and family. Try again.

    7. The anti-copyright movement does not create jobs, exports, tax revenues and economic growth-it largely consists of people pontificating on a commercial world about which they know little. Very few political movements create jobs, exports, tax revenues or economic growth. They exist to fight to enact change in laws or government. "Pontificating". "about which they know little". This is an ad hominem attack on people they disagree with, nothing more.

    8. Piracy is not caused by poverty. Professor Zhang of Nanjing University found the Chinese citizens who bought pirate products were mainly middle- or higher-income earners. Err, real piracy is caused by criminals who attack ships at sea, pillage, rape and murder victims (or sell them on the slave market), and this is a product of pure criminal greed and amorality. What, you meant file sharing? Oh, well yes, this is correct. People do not share music because they can't AFFORD it. They do it because it is FAIR USE and, if they're doing it on p

  • Point 3 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cal Paterson (881180) * on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @02:20PM (#19400717)

    3. Organized criminal gangs and even terrorist groups use the sale of counterfeit CDs to raise revenue and launder money.
    Only because it is illegal. 1930's mobsters made quite a good living out of the illegality of alcohol. Career criminals will profit from whatever is currently illegal. This isn't a particulary convincing moral arguement as to whether copying is morally right or not, it simply states a negative effect of a prohibition. Any prohibition of something (be it violence, restricted substances whatever), will always have some negative effect. Counterfeit CD's might as well be heroin for all they care.
  • by Peter Simpson (112887) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @02:20PM (#19400725)
    The "recording industry" is an anachronism. Bands can (and do) record, mix and publish their own music. They still need to get airplay and concert dates, though. The web (and inexpensive Asian disk manufacturers) has allowed them to bypass the traditional record companies, should they desire to do so.
    Predictably, the "media" companies are attempting to resist this change in the balance of power by making an issue of just about anything that erodes their market share. Thus, the increased interest in DRM and file sharing.

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