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Comment Re:My how have the tables turned (Score 1) 194

And this is where you're mistaken in a whole lot of things. First, Spotify's revenue is about $200M US a year. It's actually posting a loss, meaning there's no profit at the end of that.

It is you who are mistaken in a whole lot of thigns. Spotify's revenue in 2015 was $2.18B -- about 10 times higher than your number and 80% higher than the previous year. Yes they posted a loss, but that is common for startups in growth mode. They will likely make a tidy profit this year

Ek's worth is based off what investors think Spotify is worth as a company, which really has little to do with what you're paid, which is a function of revenue they bring in minus musicians payouts, which appears to be a sizable portion of what they're bringing in.

The worth of Spotify as a company has everything to do with what it pays artists. To Spotify, artists represent a cost. The goal of any business is to reduce costs as much as possible while maximizing income. Spotify is no different than any other music lable/aggregator/distributor. They acquire content rights and monetize it. But let's not get into the weeds. Is Elk's contribution really worth $400M? Seems kinda unfair to me.

I was going to respond to your last paragraph but I'm not even sure where to start. It's just a smattering of dubious, contradictory, and speculative assertions. For instance, you claim that OSPs (e.g., Youtube) are "not currently really profiting from your efforts" while previously you accused me of wanting to destroy youtube by denying them music. I cannot rightly apprehend the confusion of ideas that would lead to such posts.

Comment Re:My how have the tables turned (Score 1) 194

He's actually an afterthought in why you're getting screwed.

Respectfully, you don't know the particulars of my personal situation. The record label has been quite ethical. There are other entities in the money collection chain that make it difficult for them to get pair properly. In particular, Youtube and Spotify seem to be raking money hand-over-fist. Daniel Elk, founder of Spotify comes to mind as someone benefitting disproportionately from other people's work. But that's tricky. He is arguably helping artists. I'm not sure he's helping us to the tune of $400M dollars, though.

The labels are the primary, and until artists realize it nothing will change. However, they hold such a monopoly on things these days that even an established artist with a large fan base cannot really go it alone.

This has pretty much always been the case and a source of lamentation for artists since the concept of a record label was created. I think it is a fundamental aspect of capitalism that the people with the power and the money keep both the power and the money. The only thing that can tip that balance is either some kind of revolution or collective bargaining (which I could totally get behind) OR legislation. At the moment, the safe harbor provision prevents anyone (artists, record labels, etc.) from suing an OSP (online service provider) for any customer/member hosting one's music without permission. Think for a moment about who the OSPs are and you might realize that they are not your favorite companies either.

Comment Re:My how have the tables turned (Score 1) 194

And just as an aside... have you considered beating them at their own game? Taking their videos (with your music) and reposting them for your own monetisation? It's not as if they can claim copyright, since it's all derivative work...

This would only dilute the monetary stream further. The key, from an artists perspective, is to make sure the material is on every platform, but only in one place. Otherwise, all of the analytics, everything is diluted.

Comment Re:My how have the tables turned (Score 1) 194

It won't. It can't. But it won't get any better either. Safe harbor didn't make that happen.

I think there is a case to be made that safe harbor does in fact make this happen. To wit: if the Cypriot guy wasn't siphoning off the royalties we receive from Youtube with his own competing video on Youtube, then our record label might reach a particular recoupment threshold and then the accountant would start sending me more money. I think the original article linked in this thread (which I haven't read) is trying to make this same point. The Cypriot guy is protected by the safe harbor provision, which says I cannot seek legal relief from Youtube in a civil court because Youtube is not only allowing some other guy to upload my music, but is also paying that dude money. Removing the safe harbor provision would allow me to put legal pressure on Youtube and maybe claim the money paid to that guy.

I'm not intending to insult you, but the facts as you presented them show that some how, some way, the label got legal first dibs. That is not youtube's fault and it's not because of safe harbor.

I appreciate your politeness here and it's not my intent to attack you, but collecting money from music is crazy complicated. There are various types of royalties (songwriter, publisher) which are collected by ASCAP or BMI and paid directly to me, there are others that go through the record label -- depending on one's own contracts with labels, bandmates, distributors, etc. The whole process is byzantine AF. It's hard enough chasing down legal revenues. Filing DMCA against a whole other collection of bandits (not just enabled by Youtube but literally hosted and paid by them) one at a time would be unnecessary if things were just a little different. Safe harbor provision of DMCA prevents me from bringing any legal action against giant, wealthy ISPs to modify their practices. As you can imagine, it just adds to the frustration.

The guy from Cypress shouldn't be making money off of the work, but apparently he isn't why you're not making any money from it.

I'm glad we agree that he shouldn't be making money off it. I don't think you are aware of how he contributes to what is already a difficult problem for recording artists. He's not the only reason I'm getting screwed, but he's definitely part of a larger picture.

Comment Re:My how have the tables turned (Score 1) 194

There's a big question mark there. If safe harbor were removed, perhaps Youtube would just kill all videos with music (and you still get nothing). Or they might find a way to monetize the tracks and send the money to the label (and you get nothing). I'm not seeing the scenario where you get anything there, safe harbor or not.

Perhaps, but I think that Youtube and artists would work it out. There's too much money at stake and the solution seems pretty easy to me: find some way to demonstrate ownership of copyrighted matieral. I would point out that youtube requires you to demonstrate ownership of a musical work in order to even file a DMCA takedown notice. Why not move this proof of ownership to the front end. It might mean you have only one video of my song instead of several hundred, but the music would still be there. In fact, youtube and the big labels seem pretty cozy to me. As for the label taking all the money and me getting none, that is alreayd happening now. I fail to see how that would get any worse.

The central problem is that you agreed that the label gets the money until their accountant decides they've made enough.

Things are considerably more complicated in that in my case. Oversimplifications like this are kind of insulting, and not especially helpful IMHO.

Comment Re:My how have the tables turned (Score 2) 194

hmm... stealing. Taking something that doesn't belong to you. So, are they taking credit for your music or are they creating links to what you already put on line so that you still get credit?

They are taking music from a CD -- or scraping it directly from youtube, etc., they are uploading it -- not for personal enjoyment but to monetize it on youtube. Note that I've already uploaded it there myself.

What specifically are they taking that belongs to you?

I think I know where you are headed with this. I believe they are taking my right to profit from my music. It's not fair use IMHO, it's a cynical appropriation of something they did not create for the purpose of profiting.

Obviously they can't take what you haven't made available. The assumption that people 'should' do often times varies depending on country and culture.

Obviously. And if I don't make my music available? Aside from the crushing loss the world will suffer (sarcasm), what would be the point in making any music. I don't want to encourage these (rather poor) attempts at philosophy, but I would point out that if artists did not make their art available, then art itself is likely to disappear--at least in any public or social sense.

'Copywrite' is a type of 'virtual' property the exits only because of certain western laws. It has a long and complicated history and I'd say that it is at more then debatable weather there is a philosophical / natural right to control what happens to the art you create once it has left your hand.

First of all, it's called Copyright. Second, as a once-and-future recording artist, I'm abundantly aware of the implications of releasing recorded music into the world in a really florid and extravagant way that a lot of folks will never understand. Releasing music is an experience fraught with anxiety, excitement, potential embarrassment, etc. Art theory has a lot to say about this kind of thing. I'm well aware of it. But rather than getting lost in the philosophical weeds, I'd like to focus on the safe harbor provision.

Copywrite exists as a kind of carve out by western government to promote the arts and industries by allowing them to control the sails of copies of their art as a way of generating income. Historically no such 'right' existed before the 19th century.

Again, it's Copyright, not "copywrite." And yes, I know this too. You can see the relative lack of copyright/trademark protection in places like China where everyone was creating counterfeit iphones and apple stores that had no connection whatsoever to the Apple Corp that we all know and love/hate. While it is certainly arguable that copyright law is a mistake, I think it might be worth comparing the cultural output of nations that protect copyright versus those who don't. I might be culturally myopic and maybe I'm totally missing the next big thing, but I'm not really aware of any tremendous musical movement emanating from countries who do NOT respect copyright. And as long as we're talking philosophically, do you feel that it is moral for someone to profit from someone else's labor when they did nothing at all to assist? When people wax philosophical over copyright and fair use and such, this often gets overlooked. I strongly feel that some dickhead in cyprus ripping CDs and uploading songs to the internet not for enjoyment but to sell them is an asshole -- especially if the music is already there and available for a free listen on youtube or SoundCloud or something. Remove of safe harbor provision would introduce market conditions that would discourage this type of bottom feeder.

So, if someone is not in the united states and not subject to it's laws saying they are 'stealing' by not following laws that don't exist in their country is kind of like saying the Chinese government impinges on your freedom of speech by not allowing you to say what you want in their country. You would actually probably have a better claim, philosophically to the later, as there is a lot better argument to be made for the freedom of speech as a natural / moral right then there is for copyright.

Ignoring for a moment the exact letter of the laws in respective countries, I think there is a moral case to be made internationally that distributing someone else's music for profit without giving any of that profit to the original creator is in fact immoral. It cannot be questioned that artists will benefit less if people don't break them off a piece of the profits. Do artists suffer if they don't get a cut of money made off their music? That's a harder case to make. I'd love to buy a house and start a family with my wife but I can't afford it. Apparently I spent too much time making music and I have fallen behind in the rat race. I do other stuff to pay the rent,

I'd also like to clear up one thing about the Safe Harbor provision. This provision denies me of my right to sue any online service provider when my music is uploaded to their system. We're not even talking about criminality here -- and I'm not advocating for any criminal statutes. I might like to be able to take my case to court and sue Youtube for letting some Cypriot asshole profit from my music.

Comment Re:My how have the tables turned (Score 4, Interesting) 194

>Looking back, was there anything your record label did that you couldn't have done yourself? The song was featured in a flim that had a wide release in many theaters. Our record label paid the recording costs -- it was done by some really good engineers and mixed by Tom Lord-Alge. I'm a decent engineer myself (ahem, self promo) but there's no way I could achieve that kind of sonic quality. And the promotion we received was worth a LOT. I could never afford that kind of promotion. >As for the losers on youtube ripping you off, it sucks that you're a little guy. The big guys have the resources to search and get YouTube to take that stuff down. You can track down and stop some guy in Cyprus from using your music, but he'll just go rip off some other small artists, he's not going away. I'm not saying you should accept the futility of it and do nothing, but that you may have to accept that what you have to do for yourself probably won't change things in the grand scheme.

I hope you'll acknowledge the impact the safe harbor provision has on little guys like me. Our label was a little guy too and has since folded as a functioning record label. I've filed a lot of DMCA notices. I can't put a song up on youtube without some bot scraping the audio and offering MP3 files for download. It's whack-a-mole from hell. If there was no safe harbor provision, I could sue a company (e.g., Youtube) that lets the cypriot asshole post my music and profit from it. Then, they might be motivated to help me profit from my music instead of criminals. I'm pretty sure you'd still get your music affordably. Removal of the safe harbor provision would not prevent you from making playlists of your favorite songs on youtube. I'd still put my music on youtube. It'd have no impact whatsoever on iTunes or Spotify or Rhapsody, etc. Safe harbor provision sucks IMHO.

Comment Re:My how have the tables turned (Score 1) 194

In my case, I'm being robbed both by my record label and by random assholes on the internet. My music is available where I've uploaded it on youtube, but I never see any revenue from it. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been paid to my record label and I've seen none of that money. What the original article about is how armies of random assholes will post music they didn't write and don't own any rights to, monetize the account via youtube, and collect money from it. Given that my music is already up, that also seems like stealing to me. Why should some dickhead in cyprus make money off my music?

Comment Re:Yeah (Score 2) 278

in norcal it's illegal to capture the rain that falls on your property due to water rights regulations that go back 150 years

WHAT? Surely you jest. Please cite your source.

Personally, the idea of drinking toilet water doesn't bother me so much because of the e.coli or whatever but rather because of the residues of birth control pills, antidepressants, painkillers, etc. that are already found in our waterways. One can only imagine that recycling wastewater will result in higher concentrations of these substances that cannot be filtered out. I'm imagining some kind of mad-cow-type disease except that instead of working on individual cells in your brain, it works on the individuals in your society, causing weird, unpredictable changes in social behavior.

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