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Peter Gabriel Wants You to Re-Shock the Monkey 312

PreacherTom writes "The party line for the music industry has been clear: discourage music downloads at all cost. However, singer Peter Gabriel is taking things in a different direction. In order to promote his own label, he is actually encouraging people to not only download his music, but also adapt it into something more modern. In doing so, he actually posted a sample pack of Shock the Monkey consisting of vocals and other pieces of the original multitrack recording. Some in the music business would call this the commercial equivalent of hiring kidnappers to babysit. In actuality, Gabriel is pleased with the results."
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Peter Gabriel Wants You to Re-Shock the Monkey

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  • HIM! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 19, 2006 @12:43AM (#16497117)
    So HE'S the one behind those insipid "shock the monkey" banner ads that inspired me to write AdBlock! I am calling upon all wise men to boycott Peter Gabriel. It shouldn't be hard, considering he's just some stupid blogger.
  • by acomj ( 20611 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @12:43AM (#16497119) Homepage
    Nine inch Nails put out a track and allowed it to be remixed..

    see html?tid=141&tid=3 []
    • by atomicstrawberry ( 955148 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @12:49AM (#16497175)
      NIN is also mentioned in TFA, but this is slashdot so you're excused for not actually reading it.
    • by $lashdot ( 472358 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @12:49AM (#16497181) Journal
      NIN was late to the game. Peter Gabriel put out two CD-ROMs in the mid-90s that allowed for remixing of his tracks. Even before that, I remember that when The Shaman released the CD-single for their "Move Any Mountain" track, it included all of the tracks and samples that made up the recording.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Steve001 ( 955086 )

        In the 1990s Todd Rundgren released a disc for the CD-I system called "TR-1" that allowed you to modify the mix. You could choose change the producer, the mix, and the speed of the album on the fly.

      • I remember the Shamen one - 3 x 12inch singles with about 20 remixes and all the components. Cool! Prior to that though there was a Jean Michel Jarre 12inch (Zoolook maybe?) that had many of the samples as seperate elements so you could do your own version and that would have been about 1985.
        • I just remembered an earlier one. Can't remember the specifics but on the back of the early 80's rash of bands in the UK and 'cheap' home recording gear, someone thought it would be a good idea to release singles as 4 track cassettes for all those masses (?) of 4 track recorders people were buying (Fostex etc) for their home recording/mixing. The idea was you used your 4-track cassette system to mix the 4 different tracks, add reverb or whatever to create your own version of your favourite single. It only l
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        In the long lost times of 1996 Pitch Shifter [] released Infotainment? [], which shipped with all the samples used in the album's songs. So it isn't that uncommon.
    • I was thinking about doing a Peter Gabriel vs Nine Inch Nails... That could be fun.
    • He put out a CD quite a while ago, like 10 years or something, called "No World Order" that encouraged people to remix it.

      Anyone remember that?
    • ... and actually used the track on the disc.

      For Revolverlution Public Enemy not only had a remix contest, but it was before the album was even released. They had a couple tracks on their website, including the title track Revolverlution. The winner of the remix contest was put on the album. The cool thing, it's really a different track, the guy has a totally different flow than Chuck D., and definitly falls into the "using current song to create a new song" rather than just simple copying (like the label
  • i'm going (Score:5, Funny)

    by dubiousmike ( 558126 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @12:44AM (#16497125) Homepage Journal
    to remix Peter Gabriel and Paris Hilton's new song and call it Shock the Junkie
  • by atomicstrawberry ( 955148 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @12:44AM (#16497129)
    ... do I "win $20"?
  • If you compress a single track of a song into an mp3 (or ogg or whatever) does it compress better than compressing multiple tracks mixed together? It's my understanding that the first step of compressing a wav to mp3 is to seperate out all the sound tracks. This being an imprecise process, wouldn't you get better results if the sound tracks were already seperated? So when musicians are making mp3s do they do it with seperate tracks or do they mix the tracks together and then encode an mp3 from the result
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mabu ( 178417 )
      An mp3 is just another audio format. It's not a step in a process. An audio file can be represented as a single track, or a multitude of tracks, and then is stored in a particular format, which may or may not be compressed or lossy.

      Anyone distributing tracks in mp3 format isn't releasing top-quality material. If you really want the real deal, you distribute non-lossy formats like .wav or shn.
      • by QuantumG ( 50515 )
        Yeah, you totally missed the point of my question. Does lossy compression work better on single instrument tracks than it does on multiple tracks mixed together, i.e., songs?

        • by mabu ( 178417 )
          no. audio is audio, whether it's a single instrument or more.... maybe mathmatically, some instruments can compress better than a wider frequency spectrum of audio, but it's not worth mentioning.
        • There would probably be more "space" so you'd have a higher compression ratio, especially for VBR. Consider a hypothetical string quartet - the output mix would have quite a large bandwidth (from bass up to the upper registers of the violin). Each individual part would compress rather better than the final mix. Of course, they'd still add up to a larger set of files.
      • by Keith Russell ( 4440 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @12:59AM (#16497267) Journal
        If you really want the real deal, you distribute non-lossy formats like .wav or shn.

        Somebody just spoke of losless audio on Slashdot without mentioning Ogg FLAC. What is this world coming to?

    • The track gets "mixed down" into a stereo track, then encoded into an MP3.
      • by QuantumG ( 50515 )
        Yeah true. Just seems to me that if you were to compress each track individually and do the down mixing in the music player you would end up with much better compression and a better experience because:
        • there's a lot less entropy in each track
        • you can tweak the variable bit and other parameters of the compression for each track to balance sound quality and size appropriately
        • there's plenty of spare cpu cycles on the client side anyways
        • some people have better than stereo output (dolby/whatever)
        • people can reuse
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by plastik55 ( 218435 )
          The heart of music compression is exploiting masking [] effects - a loud sound obscures quieter sounds that happen near the same time and frequency. When compressing a mixed together song, the encoder will not bother to encode the sound of e.g. a clarinet at he moment a cymbal crashes, because you wouldn't be able to hear it anyway. This is one of the ways mp3 saves information, and encoding tracks separetely would prevent this from happening.

          Re: your first point about entropy -- the entropy in a downmixed tra
          • by hdparm ( 575302 )
            Thank you. I got really confused with contradictory answers to original poster's question. Now I know!
    • by jmv ( 93421 )
      Sorry, your understanding of MP3 is entirely wrong. The closest MP3 does to what you're talking about it trying to discriminate between tones and noise (each instrument usually contains both) when computing the psychoacoustic masking curve. In all cases, only a single signal is processed and there no separation (which is BTW impossible outside of "toy problems" when you only have a single channel) taking place.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by 7Prime ( 871679 )

        Alright I fucking HATE this description (and I've heard it before) that notes consist of "tone" and "noise". That's just a really detremental way of looking at sound. Most of that "noise" consists of harmonics, as well as other resonating frequencies thrown into the mix, so many that it "appears" to be random. Fuck, how simple do you want to get? is anything that's not a pure sine wave, "noise"? Take my 20% pulse wave, that's pretty fucking "noisy". God, I had a first year electronic music professor use thi

        • by dabraun ( 626287 )
          Bah. From a compression point of view the approach to storing well defined waves and relatively random data is very different. If you can effectively subtract out all the well defined waves, store them very effeciently, and then be left with a 'noise' track that is considerably lower in terms of it's dynamic range - you can then effectively compress the noise track and end up using a lot less space. How many of the discrete waveforms you can actually extract and how large the remaining dynamic range of t
          • by QuantumG ( 50515 )
            Extracting those discrete waveforms is called modelling, and how good your model is defines how much you can extract. So, for example, if you have a guitar model and you apply it to a track that has nothing but guitar on it, your model is going to match a hell of a lot better than if you have vocals on the track with the guitar. Even if you apply your guitar model, subtract the resulting approximation to get the error and then apply your vocals model, you're still not going to get as good results as you w
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by kfg ( 145172 )
      It's my understanding that the first step of compressing a wav to mp3 is to seperate out all the sound tracks.

      Your understanding is incorrect. Once mixed, track info is lost. You have a single stereo mix. Seperating out tracks would like trying to reconstruct a banana from a smoothie.

      You can, however, run a soothie through a sieve to sort what's left by size. Lossy compression seperates out frequencies into those that can and "cannot" be heard.

    • by TheCouchPotatoFamine ( 628797 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @01:18AM (#16497425)
      They are facinating in how they work, but let me provide a quick laymen explanation:

      First off, your idea that tracks are "seperated" is an understandable mistake! But, the deal is that it's not the tracks that are seperated, it's the component audio frequencies that compose the sound that make up the song that are.

      Let's skip the boring stuff and get right to it. If this interests you, i'm sure that wikipedia will have a full explanation. Imagine three people are whistling (and that this makes up the whole, if somewhat boring, song. Person 1 is whistling at 700hz (hertz, or cycles per second. Human hearing is approx 20-20000 hz, rather like the specs you see on headphones, no coincidence). Person 2 is whistling at 703 hz (NOTE this is close to person 1 on purpose) and person 3 is whistling at 900 hz. So you hear, uncompressed three whistles. There are two things that happen to make an mp3:

      1) If I can analyze this sound to find it's frequency components for a given "window" (or in mp3 speak, frame) of time, i can just record that. It would be easier (smaller) to say Persons 1, 2, 3 are whistling at 700, 703, and 900 then it would be to record the full sound of them doing it (think about that)

      Still, music can be complex, and there are different qualities of MP3 you can make too (usually refered to as bitrate, like 128, 160, 192 Kbps (kilo bits per second) so we have

      2) A principal not unlike optical illusions called Psychoacoustics. It basically says that if you have two signals A and B, and A is louder then B, and A and B are close enough in frequency, a person will only tend to hear A. Common sense time, if a headphone speaker is making a sound, and a big loudspeaker is making the same sound, you'll only hear the big loudspeaker. The question is, how much different will the headphone have to be before you hear it?

      This is the science of psychoacoustics. Basically, the more compressed an mp3 is, the more will be "stripped" out - that is as the bitrate gets lower, the amount seperating A and B is allowed to increase. On the flip side, if the bitrate is high enough, there is no practical difference to the human ear, because you just can't hear such a small difference anyway That's why a high bitrate mp3 is STILL five times smaller then a .wav file with equivalent (for most humans -some one might disagree - i don't) quality.

      Check on fourier transforms, psychoacoustics, and mp3 on wikipedia for more (and if anyone has a better example, well, typed this pretty quick, go for it!)

      • by QuantumG ( 50515 )
        Thanks! Relating this back to my question, if you have three tracks and at time X there is a 700hz sound on track 1, a 703hz sound on track 2 and a 900hz sound on track 3 and track 1 is louder than track 2, then isn't it going to be really easy to determine that you can drop the bits from track 2? Easier, than say, trying to detect that a particular waveform in the mix of tracks 1, 2 and 3 was created from three seperate tracks and then determining that that you can drop the sound from track 2 and represe
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Actually, although it may not make sense at first, it's MUCH better to mix them all first. Why? Because you'd have to anyway! That is, if Track A has a frequency at 700 (a blowin sax) and Track B has a frequency of 701 (Jiving flute) but the flute is very soft (for that frame - a very short amount of time, so you can see it might happen alot as the instruments get louder and softer at different times together) then you'd be basically stripping out the 701. The kicker:
          If they aren't mixed together, how wou
          • by QuantumG ( 50515 )
            All I'm saying, is that if you were to combine the mixing process and the compressing process, wouldn't the compressor have more information to play with? Mixing throws away information that the compressor could use, doesn't it?

            • I'm pretty confident that compression would not be improved if the original tracks were available during the compression process. To prove this, think about how MP3s primarily store waves as cosine functions. If one wave is cos(x), and the other is 2cos(x+1), the combined wave will be approximately 2.6cos(x+0.7). If an MP3 encoder encountered 2.6cos(x+0.7), would it benefit from knowing its components? No. The combined wave is what's heard by listeners, and no improvement could be made by considering t
      • Your example of two people whistling at 700 Hz and 703 Hz is misleading. I believe you're assuming that since the difference is 3 Hz, and the human ear can only hear Hz greater than 20, that the difference would be inaudible and one could be dropped. But what actually happens is that the two waves will alternatingly compliment and destruct each other, with the net result of a sound around 701.5 Hz coming in and out every 1/3rd of a second. It would basically sound like 3 beeps a second, though more like a s
        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 19, 2006 @08:09AM (#16499571)
          You are all complete idiots and do not know how MP3 compression works. I cannot belive this trash got modded up.
          You in particular have just mixed up HZ and KHZ and injected more bullshit like "It essentially tries to fit a curve to the master waveform".

          Perceptual encoding is much more complicated than that.
          It actually performs an FFT analysis and split the sound up into it's component sine waves.
          Then, two methods are used to discard data.
          Both known as perceptual masking. The first method deals with frequency masking, the second with time.
          Human auditory perception cannot hear a quiet frequency when there is a louder one within a few hz of it.
          So, you can discard all of them.
          Humans cannot hear a quiet sound when a louder one immediately follows it. (Think of a bass drum, you do not hear the squeak of the pedal just before the beater hits.)
          So you can discard all those too.

          The watery effect of heavy MP3 compression is from too many transients being discarded by the second method, so the transients appear spread over time. The thin lack of depth is due to too many frequencies being discarded.

          "the net result of a sound around 701.5 Hz coming in and out every 1/3rd of a second. It would basically sound like 3 beeps a second, though more like a siren than a beep. If the waves were at different amplitudes, the same phenomenon would still exist but there would not be complete silence during the destructive phases."

          This is crap. The cancellation has ALREADY HAPPENED when the waveforms were mixed before you do the MP3 compression. So you just need to compress the result, not the individual tones.
          Also, it will sound like an amplitude tremelo, not a siren which would imply pitch modulation.
    • by Skippy_kangaroo ( 850507 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @01:32AM (#16497531)
      Others have provided useful aspects of the answer to your question but I don't think anyone has boiled it down yet.

      In short - No. A single track compressed will work better in mp3 than individual tracks mixed together.

      The reason is that mp3 is designed precisely to compress single multi-instrument tracks and makes use of psychoacoustics to do this. The gist of which is, the more complicated a sound is (multiple instruments/frequencies) the less of each individual instrument (frequency) you are likely to be able to perceive. Thus, with all the instruments together in the one track, the mp3 algorithm can work better to strip out the subtler elements you don't perceive. If you are just compressing a single instrument there is less of that compression that can be done because, for example, it doesn't know that the rhythm guitar is being drowned by the kick drum at that point in time. Or as a corollary, compressing a single instrument will have to remove stuff you can hear just to hit the same bitrate as the compressed single track. So, combining individual tracks will lead to a worse outcome, all other things being equal, than compressing the already mixed track.
    • I'm not going to add anything useful here, but I do want to know:

      Who told you this, and can you hit them for me? It would make me feel better.

      Maybe I should create a Snopes Clone just for computer tech... unless someone has already done it.
      • by QuantumG ( 50515 )
        actually I just thought of the coolest way it could possibly work and went with that :) Nah. I obviously misread something 10 years ago when I was interested in this stuff and it's just festered in my mind since then. I can do a similar thing for video if you like. How I really think video compression works: every X number of frames emit a keyframe, find the differences between the next two consecutive frames, use the current motion vector model to predict those changes, calculate the error, modify the
  • by Noginbump ( 146238 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @12:47AM (#16497157)
    Where's PETA when you really need them?
  • I really don't like the visual [] that's giving me.

    (NSFW link)

    • We came up with the "Mr. Nice Guy" which is to fold your pinky down, really giving a half-shocker...

      More like surprise the monkey.
  • by charlesbakerharris ( 623282 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @12:52AM (#16497209)
    I'm not downloading pirated music... I'm babysitting kidnapped music!

    I feel better already.

  • So? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by svunt ( 916464 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @12:55AM (#16497239) Homepage Journal
    Real musicians (ie not Britney etc) love having their music remixed & worked on by other musicians. If you listen to hiphop, you'll know that everyone lets everyone else play with their beats, lyrics, etc. Honestly, BFD.
    • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Salvance ( 1014001 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @01:17AM (#16497411) Homepage Journal
      Sure some artists love it, because they often get paid when the music is used, or at least get credit for the riff/sample. The courts have ruled multiple times that unlicensed sampling is a violate of copyright (for example: Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. Demsion Films, 2004 []). Plus, I don't think most artists have access to all the master tracks when sampling "illegally" ... which is partly why contests/experiments like those of Peter Gabriel and Nine Inch Nails were so interesting.

      Claiming that all "Real" musicians love having the music sampled is a bit overstated ... particularly since the practice seems most common in Rap and Hip Hop.
      • by svunt ( 916464 )
        You mean rap, hiphop, IDM, electronica in general, basically any form of music that lends itself to sampling. Really, aside from the very money-laden end of music, artists are pretty happy sharing ideas, just like scientists not caught up in the highly commercial end of their field are happy to share information, or programmers not caught up in the very commercial world of proprietary software. At the end of the day, creative people who aren't making a crapload of money are a very different bvreed to those
  • While I agree with most commentors that Peter Gabriel didn't exactly pick his shining accomplishment for the amateur mixers to work with, there were a few "gems" amongst the entries. Here was one of my personal favorites [] ... who would have thought Carmen and Shock the Monkey would go together so well?
    • by 7Prime ( 871679 )

      Well, I wouldn't completely be satisfied unless he was able to go back and license Lamb Lies Down on Broadway... but that would mean getting through to Phil Collins, which would be a nightmare.

  • It's a well-known song by a well-released artist. Sure, the RIAA could dig some plain-old selling-CDs value out of it, but they've gone to that well plenty of times. So this is as much publicity stunt as artistic endeavor, and it's reaffirming exactly what the RIAA does: promote big acts.

    What the major labels provide to an artist is massive promotion, and this artist has already been promoted. If you want to take down the RIAA, find some ways to connect to brilliant-but-obscure bands that don't have the mo
    • Re:Whatever (Score:4, Informative)

      by kfg ( 145172 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @01:56AM (#16497653)
      Sure, the RIAA could dig some plain-old selling-CDs value out of it, but they've gone to that well plenty of times. So this is as much publicity stunt as artistic endeavor, and it's reaffirming exactly what the RIAA does: promote big acts.

      Peter Gabriel is British. He has converted a garden shed on his own property into a recording studio where he produces for his own label. He actually runs his own website.

      Yes, he's a big act, but since leaving Genesis he's been as much as possible an independent big act publicly at the forefront of not paying too much mind to copyright issues.

      When his "people" came to him all upset that people in India were pirating his records his response was (paraphrasing):

      "You idiots, book me. If they're not paying for what we're trying to sell they're at least demonstrating a demand for what we can sell that they can't pirate."

      He has a long, personal history of being the good anti-Metallica.

  • by IANAAC ( 692242 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @01:19AM (#16497429)
    ..the commercial equivalent of hiring kidnappers to babysit...

    Uh, no. It just letting listeners remix already recorded segments into something they like.


    Journalists are stupid. Sometimes.

  • Not the first (Score:2, Informative)

    by Brenky ( 878669 )
    As much as I love Peter Gabriel, he isn't the first to release tracks for fans to mix. Barenaked Ladies [] have also been offering songs from their newest album for people to mix (some of the newly-mixed songs will go on an EP, the proceeds going to charity). Anyways, I think it's great that more popular artists are sticking it to the man, so to speak, and disregarding everything the RIAA wants you to believe. More power to 'em, and if it means rehashing old songs in order to get attention, then so be it.
  • Music + Video? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheStonepedo ( 885845 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @01:34AM (#16497545) Homepage Journal
    When I think Peter Gabriel my mind is instantly driven to the video for "Sledgehammer" with the stop motion animated food. With all of the Photoshopping talent online, why should the remix project stop with music alone? Music videos would likely be impressive as well.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by pimpimpim ( 811140 )
      Put I pray to god, if there is one, that any user-made video will not consist of screencaps of someone's favorite anime movie, dammit there are too many of those around! :)
      • What about screencaps of someone's favourite hentai?
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          Open Source Development: The irrational belief that a group of script kiddies can produce a working program.

          Closed Source Development: The irrational belief that ineffectual middle-management suckups can produce a working program.

  • Maybe, just maybe... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PsychicX ( 866028 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @01:38AM (#16497573)
    You can see that the actual artists -- the people the RIAA pretend to be protecting -- have repeatedly fallen on our side, supporting file sharing and music communities. They are above the petty business interests and sheer greed that has driven the RIAA to attempt to destroy the music industry.

    With any luck, more artists will start taking these kinds of steps, and eventually the RIAA will not be watching their own dinner from last night being digested.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Please stop with "Internet rebel/outlaw" crap! It's getting boring...

      If you download music without paying for it, you are breaching copyright, end of story.

      If you want to do something *POSITIVE* against the RIAA, then don't give them the justification for putting DRM on everything (which they say are anti-piracy measures). Don't copy it and don't buy it, unless you *TRULY* feel that the product is worth the money being asked for it. Or buy all your music in second-hand shops.

      All the "file sharers" and

      • by dylan_- ( 1661 )
        and over-priced CDs that subsidise your theft
        Are you under the impression that CD prices would fall if piracy was impossible?

        They would rise, of course. Think about it.
      • by WilliamSChips ( 793741 ) <full DOT infinity AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday October 19, 2006 @06:23AM (#16498989) Journal
        If you download music without paying for it, you are breaching copyright, end of story.
        Mostly true.
        All the "file sharers" and "music communities" do is make it worse for honest customers like me who have to put up with copy-protection and over-priced CDs that subsidise your theft.
        Untrue. DRM is something the companies want in order to force you to pay for the same thing multiple times and filesharing is just the excuse.
  • by A beautiful mind ( 821714 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:37AM (#16497853)
    Freedom to create derivative works. Freedom to distribute. Freedom to use as you see fit. No copyright nonsense.

    The good thing: it is inevitable that we deal away with copyright. Modern exchange of information demands it (read, networking in the sense of distributing information based on the network model, as opposed to the broadcast model). The information exchange is much more powerful than the copyright law, and it is only bound to get stronger as networking is more and more part of everyday life. The first signs are already apparent. We've got a company called Google who is most likely among the biggest copyright infringers on the world, operating freely. Why? Because Google provides an essential service. To index information, thus make information accessible. Furthermore not only it is an essential service, but it is _good_ for content creators aswell. The fundamental clash is this: copyright and networking is incompatible. Networking/nature is not aware of copyright and can't be made aware of, because copyright itself is a fuzzy, arbitary and ultimately conflicting view on information. Copyright is the 8 ton gorilla. Networking is the 8000 ton meteorite. Networking is simply so useful that we're not going to give it up and networking cannot be fixed to obey copyright law. Copyright is not only detrimental to an information society, it is not needed and ultimately incompatible with future technological advancement. Networking implies free flow of information and creating derivative works. So like it or not: copyright goes away.

    The bad thing: it is likely to be a long, slow process and change is only going to come when the situation becomes really, really unworkable.

    The outcome: content creators will get paid for creating the given work, but won't be given a tax and monopoly on distribution for x amount of time. This is how most people would expect to get paid for a job. After all, why is it that while creating and printing a book in the 18th century was much more expensive and longer, the copyright law guaranteed less benefits for the authors than it does now. We're simply rewarding content creators too much for too little work.

    Of course you could argue that copyright provides incentive. But this is a false argument. The correct way to phrase that is: copyright provides income, which is the incentive. Now, you might argue that in the 18th century, copyright was the most straightforward way to provide that income to content creators, but today it ain't so. Again, our wonderful networking age obsoleted copyright on that field. It is now possible to setup a worldwide micropayment system on the internet (it is just a matter of time until someone implements it), to sponsor the creation of most works. Still, you could say, what about big budget movies? Well, what about them. There will be companies willing to finance the creation of the movie just like now (of course actors would be paid fixed sums of money as royalties won't exist) and they'd make profit not from the copyright fees coming from distributing the work, but from using the given content to sell their product. Tv stations already do this, they give away movies for no financial compensation so that you watch the advertisements their income is from. Just from now on, your movies ticket would pay for the experience you're given in the cinema, not the copyright fees. People would still go to the cinema, but cinemas would actually have to compete on the best viewing experience, not at what you're actually able to view.

    It might sound strange, but from a certain viewpoint, advertisements have it right: they are the means, not the end. As in, they exist as means for companies to influence you, not because they want to make a profit on advertisements. The profit is indirect. If all content would be used like that commercially: to help sell a product (cinema seets, a book, etc), as in not as advertisement, but as a necessary component, then we wouldn't have to pay outrageous profits to media cartells, just what they des
    • I sincerely wish that this was something which could be solved so easily.

      Your argument is interesting, but after further examination, somewhat akin to early Communist and Socialist economic models. It looks good on paper, but might not really manage to create a situation where many content creators would be motivated to do so, or even in a position where they could make the commitment of both time and resources necessary for them to come up with the music at the level of sophistication that a Peter Gabri
    • I am not a lawyer, but I am a published author and a professional writer. And, while there's a lot wrong in the post one branch above this one, getting into a pissing match over it isn't going to help, particularly when most of this tends to be over a misunderstanding about what copyright is and why it is there.

      So, instead of arguing, I'm going to educate - this is copyright 101. So please pay close attention, and you'll understand what is going on a lot better. I'm going to start by describing what copy
  • Same on the dedicated website [] ; you can upload your remixes, which are then made available inline with the Creative Commons licenses.
  • The Afro-Celt Sound System - also on Real World records - did something similar several years ago, although the tracks were distributed with a Flash remixer so I'm not sure how open they actually were.
  • by petrus4 ( 213815 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @05:28AM (#16498777) Homepage Journal
    I know it's been said before, but Gabriel and other artists who opt to do this are smarter than it might initially look.

    As in the terminology of the open source software market, in this context Gabriel's music constitutes what they call a "loss leader."

    He puts his entire discography online, free for the taking. He doesn't make a cracker from that, and presumably he wouldn't plan to. He also lets people do the mashy thing as Bowie did. This generates enormous positive PR for him that he supposedly "gets the open source revolution." Then after a while, he either decides he's got bored sitting at home, or he wants to make some additional he decides he wants to do a comeback series of concerts. He'd use his site with the free music as a point of sale for the concert tickets. Let's also say hypothetically that in the meanwhile, a particular one of the mashies of his music has become unusually popular. So he arranges for the author of this particular mashy to play at the concerts with him as a supporting act...Mashy Kid either does his thing solo, or better yet, he and Gabriel do a duet of sorts. Gabriel could also do something like a "very limited" run of autographed photos or CDs to sell at the concerts...which given the infinitely replicable nature of the music files, would hold particular appeal as unique objects.

    Mashy Kid gets professionally discovered, so he's very happy...Gabriel's positive public image would be through the roof by this point...and he could also more or less surf home after the concerts on the tidal wave of cash that would have been forthcoming. (Assuming he still has a large fanbase of course, which I'm assuming he does...not to mention the additional demand that would have been raised by the chance of seeing Mashy Kid play)

    This of course is only one of an infinite number of possible scenarios by which he could make a fortune with this.

    So...yep, it's a crazy move, all right. Crazy like a fox. ;-)
  • Holy crap. All I have to say is: fuck yes.
  • by pandrijeczko ( 588093 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @06:50AM (#16499107)
    At the grand old age of 44, I believe that I have finally discovered what is missing from the lives of the 16-25 year old crowd...

    ...they don't have "a nice cup of tea" anywhere near as frequently as they should.

    For example:

    1. Interactivity - Why does those youngsters need a plethora of widesceen/surround sound/commentary/frappuchino options on every bloody DVD that comes out? By the time you've worked out what bleeding settings you want, you've changed your mind about what you wanted to watch in the first place! BUT, make a nice hot strong cup of tea first, sit down in your favourite chair, take a sip of your tea and it *DOESN'T MATTER* what sound/screen/moccachino options are set, you WILL just relax and enjoy your movie whatever way the screen or sound is!

    2. Remixing - What's this constant need to "fiddle about" with music with that lot? Why have they got to take "this bit from that track, that bit from this track" and then, *WHEN THEY'VE FINISHED* fiddling with it, they get some big black American bloke to do so much talking over it that you can't hear it anyway! BUT, if they just had a sip of a nice strong hot cup of tea first, they'd put all the CDs they want to listen to in a little pile next to their comfy chair and just *PLAY EACH ONE IN ORDER* while listening intently in a relaxed mood.

    3. Coffee - What's all this business about "iced mocha laccamaccachino with marshmallows and little umbrella in the top" in, for example, Starbucks? You get a coffee because you are thirsty, you stand in a queue for 30 minutes and when you finally get to the end of the queue, you order something that takes a further two days to manufacture from start to finish... and then you wonder why you're miserable??? How simple is a nice hot cup of tea to make - teabag, hot water and milk and sugar if you want it, what's the big deal? And you can put it in a thermos flask and carry it about with you so you can have a nice, hot cup of tea whenever you want one.

    4. Fashion - What's all this business about wearing jeans where the gusset is dangling down round by your knees? If we'd have worn those in my day, friends would have laughed at you for looking like you'd dropped a "brown trout" or two in the back of your Levi's! And how do you run??? Is this planet eventually going to be entirely inhabited by people in "sensible, cheap, elasticated waist jeans" because all the fashionable ones weren't able to run away quick enough from falling buildings, crashing airliners and raging infernos? BUT, before making those clothing choices, have a nice, hot, strong cup of tea and the caffeine entering your system combined with the warmth from the hot liquid, and "terminal clothing" will be a thing of the past!

    Tea, nice and hot... that's the answer.

    • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @08:37AM (#16499799) Homepage
      I get that "tea" is your code for marijuana, but what are "milk" and "sugar" supposed to be?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by muellerr1 ( 868578 )
      I started to read your post but then it was too long and I couldn't figure out what to do with all that plain text (not one single flash file in your whole damn post!) so I ran off to Starbucks to get a nice Grande No water Extra Chai Chai (because chai is like tea, right?) but on my way I tripped in my baggy pants (looked pretty damn good while doing it, too) and by the time I got back there was a new lead story on /. so I read that instead. So what was your point again? And be sure to sum it up in four
  • EVE cd-rom (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mccoyspace ( 590866 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @11:15AM (#16501879) Homepage
    Peter Gabriel is a real pioneer in thinking about how music, technology and communities come together. And this action is just the latest step in a long road. He realized early on the power that labels had over his music, so in the '80s and early 90's he bought back the rights to his catalog from the labels that had originally published it. (It is standard practice in contracts for the musician to sign over copyright to their songs to the label). Once those rights were secured he began to explore new ways of using his music. Two very early efforts were the Xplora and EVE cd-roms (see the site here [].
    In the summer of 1994 I was hired by the Starwave Corporation in Seattle to be part of a small team developing EVE. The idea was pretty interesting -- pair the work of different contemporary visual artists up with songs from Gabriel, treating each as raw material, then create a framework in which people can explore, share and remix that material to create an integrated audio/video hybrid that is greater than the sum of its parts. I had just finished a graduate art program [] that had similar ideas, so I felt right at home.
    We used the work of artists Helen Chadwick , Yayoi Kusama , Cathy de Monchaux , and Nils-Udo -- using high rez scans of their work as starting points. They were paired up with Gabriel's songs 'Come Talk To Me' , 'Shaking The Tree' , and 'In Your Eyes'. We had the equivalent of the sample packs that he has made available on-line for Shock the Monkey. These were professionally produced loops from the multi-track masters. Gabriel's recording process usually involves dozens and dozens of tracks, so these samples weren't mix-downs, but elements from a single track.
    We created something called the Interactive Musical Xperience to bring these elements together. It was a kind of audio/video sampler that you could play with your keyboard, triggering sound and animation loops against a rendered landscape background. The software quantized everything so you would always be in time and you could work improvisationally or with a simple graphical timeline. The team developing it had a diverse background in software development, fine art and filmmaking. My job eventually became to create functional mockups of the interaction using Director 4....! The production team eventually relocated to the Real World studios in Box, UK which was an incredibly intense creative environment -- musicians, engineers, filmmakers, photographers, designers all working together in a bucolic 'campus' made from an old mill complex.
    Although I eventually left Real World and Starwave to pursue my own artwork, it was a really great experience. The fact that the rest of the world has started to catch up to the ideas Peter Gabriel has been thinking about since the early 90's only reaffirms how resonant those ideas continue to be.

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.