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Comment: Re:Don't be evil (Score 1) 472

by h4rm0ny (#35840046) Attached to: Why Google Should Buy the Music Industry

What if they just bought half the music industry, fixed it, then massacred the other half in the market place? That other half would soon change their ways to become competitive, given no other choice.

I have to ask what "fixing it" means. Because if it means making less money, then artists don't have a good financial incentive to sign on with Google's label and that would very quickly lead to the collapse of Google's music label.

Comment: Re:Don't be evil (Score 1) 472

by h4rm0ny (#35840020) Attached to: Why Google Should Buy the Music Industry
Okay. There exist "natural monopolies" which is the usual term for these things. I'll rephrase my comment to the more accurate, but less pithy: "Except in the case of natural monopolies, of which the music industry is not one, monopolies are bad."

If there were only one company that artists, sound engineers, et al, could go to for employment, that would be a seriously fucked up situation.

Comment: Re:Don't be evil (Score 1) 472

by h4rm0ny (#35839974) Attached to: Why Google Should Buy the Music Industry

True, but we already have an oligopoly (major labels) that only exists because of state-backed monopolies (copyright)

Well, copyright law and the public's general willingness to pay the asked for price for the music. Copyright law does not produce a mandatory tax that everyone must pay. The companies exist because people have considered their product something they are willing to give money for.

Also, monopoly isn't really the right word. Copyright law doesn't grant a monopoly on producing music to anyone. It limits the rights to reproduce specific pieces of music. Apple doesn't have a monopoly on O/Ss because copyright law grants only them the right to reproduce their own O/S. They can't call up Bill Gates or Linus and tell them they're not allowed to produce an O/S. A "monopoly" on reproducing a particular song is no more a "monopoly" than that given to Oracle being the only company allowed to distribute the Oracle database.

and the purposes of the acquisition would be to reverse the harm that said oligopoly has caused. In this hypothetical, Google might not even be trying to make any money off of the acquisition,

I think your faith in Google's benevolance is quite alarming if you're suggesting they might buy a major music label without the intent to make money off it. I also think you'd be very disappointed to learn that music still cost money as if Google wasn't making a decent profit of it, the artists would sign up with a different label that did make them some money.

Comment: Re:petty people (Score 1) 257

by h4rm0ny (#35839842) Attached to: Who Killed Spotify?

True...but if they are pricing themselves out of the casual listeners ballpark, yet adding restrictions to the extent that the ad-supported service is...well...useless, then they are effectively narrowing their revenue stream to only those people who do listen to music all day every day.

I consider the "if" in the above statement a pretty big one. I doubt at £5 a month, they're pricing themselves out of many people's ballpark. I'm an extremely casual listener. I mostly have the subscription for parties and dates. It's been really good to just have the World's music sitting there for anyone to pick from. I think £5 a month puts it well inside the casual bracket for most people.

Comment: Re:gold rush (Score 1) 163

by h4rm0ny (#35839810) Attached to: XXX Goes Live In the Root Servers

The owner of is going to make a fortunequote> They might make some money from selling it due to the high perceived value of the domain, but in practice, are many more people likely to visit a site their for their porn than any other site? So I doubt they'll make a fortune. The only ones going to make money out of this, are ICANN and the domain registries. It's just a money making stunt. It has very limited practical value and the potential for considerable destructiveness.

Comment: Re:Go Premium (Score 1) 257

by h4rm0ny (#35835016) Attached to: Who Killed Spotify?
Well software makes selling "different products" often just a case of enabling or disabling different features so the only way to differentiate different licensing terms is with these sorts of limitations. Market differentiation can be a good thing. Instead of everyone paying £8, some can pay £5 and some can pay £10. Nobody's paying for more than they need and nobody's free-loading off those who would be paying for features they didn't want. I'm not saying this is always the perfect case once marketing people get hold of it, but the idea is sound and a useful one. If you were buying something physical and you bought a more expensive version with extra features you needed, you wouldn't feel cheated because you'd look at the extra bits and think "this cost more to produce than the version without these features". With digital products, those limitations seem arbitrary, but it's just a matter of perception: it still took more to add those extra features and they still add value and pricing is still based on people buying that which they want.

Slight correction, btw. The £5 version is available for Linux. I know because I had it. Though I upgraded to Premium to get the better bit-rates.

Comment: Re:Go Premium (Score 1) 257

by h4rm0ny (#35833598) Attached to: Who Killed Spotify?

Well, it kind of depends on there cost and value compared to competitors

No, that determines whether they are the best deal. What determines whether or not they are worth purchasing a service from, is whether you value the service. Suzuki might offer great cost and value compared to Harley Davidson, but unless I'm in the market for a motorbike, it's irrelevant.

I wish people would stop comparing music to movies. There different things.

It's not useful to compare things to themselves! You have to compare them to something else. In order to show other things that you could get for the same money, I picked on rented movies. I could pick a lot of other examples, too. The idea is to try and gauge the value of €10 so that the cost of streaming music can be properly calibrated. Not everyone values renting movies. Some people might value beer and I could have said: it's the cost of a couple of beers. But enough people rent movies that it's a decent enough tool to use to draw a value comparison. 10 is just a number. It could be a lot or a little. By pegging other items that are found at position "10" however, we can get a feel for where 10 is on the scale of things.

Comment: Re:Go Premium (Score 1) 257

by h4rm0ny (#35833454) Attached to: Who Killed Spotify?
Okay. If you feel £5 a month is unreasonable for endless music, two questions. One, what would you say is a reasonable price for endless music? Two, do you feel that endless music is of less value than, for example, a pizza and a beer once a month, a couple of movie rentals once a month, a few pairs of socks from a department store each month?A couple of pre-packed sandwiches from a supermarket or local deli? Music is a luxury good, not a necessity, so it's easy to compare it to lots of other things and see how it rates. I honestly believe that anyone making the argument that £5 a month is too much, who isn't actually hard up for money (i.e. they spend money on other things they don't require), is really not going to impress anyone with their position.

Comment: Re:Copyright lobby won't let this stand. (Score 1) 171

by h4rm0ny (#35831226) Attached to: European Court of Justice To Outlaw Net Filtering

This is why my first sentence was a warning against conflation. You're conflating talent with knowledge.

I don't believe I am. Firstly, "knowledge" isn't a good word to use for playing an instrument. Skill would be. Secondly, I don't see this clear distinction between "talent" and skill. Do some people have a greater or lesser aptitude for music? Yes. But it's misguided to put that aptitude on a pedestal above practice and study. Do you play an instrument? Because myself and my friends who are professional musicians - I know that they would disagree with your stance. Being a great musician is a little bit raw aptitude and an overwhelming amout of study and practice. The bald statement that "talent is singular, and cannot be bought or taught" sounds very hollow to me. As I said earlier, I don't know of any really good musician that wasn't taught. I suppose there might be an example out there somewhere, but they'd be a massive exception.

If they cannot transcend the mechanical aspect of music and play (let alone compose!) in a way that connects them emotionally with their audience (which is a talent)

Actually, that is something largely learned and also a false dichotomy. I strongly suspect that you haven't played music professionally and would be interested to know what experience as a musician you have.

There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence. -- Jeremy S. Anderson