As a musician/composer heavily reliant on copyright as a means of at least some form of power in relationship to my clients (tv production companies and tv stations mostly) and as a tech lover (since my days on the C64 who never really went into science, coding or engineering because music was the bigger love for me) for the past 10 years I’ve experienced the “wrath of the internet” first hand and in painful personal attacks. And what hurts most was, that I felt the dreams painted by the geeks where my dreams (open culture, removing the middle men, direct access) but then the geeks started to actively destroy my professional field (the one that lets me provide for my family) and at the same time ignored the writings on the wall (the steady decline in revenue and the loss of the middle class musician/composer due to piracy).
There was mockery, victim blaming, talk of a “new business model” that nobody really defined. Not even the really smart people in tech managed to come up with a “new model” that actually works for the lower and middle class musicians. For them, the best solution is still to sell an album (digital or physical) for roughly ten bucks.
Throughout those last 10 years the “ignoring outsiders and believing in ourselves” that I deeply admire and that I feel I`m a part of in my field has built up such a high barrier between otherwise like minded people (nerds and musicians are always visionaries, they recognize things that most people don’t). Even though I have built up a strong resistance for it, it still hurts the sensitive side in me.
We’re building a special guitar tuner that indicates in which direction the string has to be tuned via certain patterns. The pitch recognition and pattern generation of the program works now and I’m very proud to having created the patterns with only about 40 lines of code.
I have to get something off my chest that has bothered me for quite some time. To start I have to mention that my cousin wrote the fantastic book “Albtraum Sicherheit – Interessen und Geschäfte hinter der Sicherheitspolitik” (nightmare security – interests and business behind the politics of security). The book was available on Amazon from day one and also from day one there were offers for € 0,99 cents of used copies of the book. Leaving the question aside where those used copies came from I want to focus on a more capitalistic aspect of those used books.
Let’s suppose a book costs € 12.99 on the day it is published. Right next to it, Amazon allows a third party store to sell used books. These used books typically start at € 0.99 + € 3.00 shipping.
Why does the used book seller not operate with the following equation in mind:
€ 12.99 cost of the new book
– € 3.00 shipping
– € 3.90 (30% discount towards the price of the new book, assumed a mint condition)
This means that even with a 30% discount towards the original price of the book the used book seller could have a 5 times higher revenue to the tune of € 6.09 – € 0.99 = € 5.10
Can someone please explain to me, how it makes sense financially to leave this money on the table? You would still undercut the new version of the book. You would not even have to share the extra revenue with the author or the publisher (which I personally think is a shame, but that’s a different story).
Please leave a comment to get me to understand the thinking behind this!
Today I was wondering how fast my old MacPro (my main production machine) really is compared to the MacMini that I recently bought. And here are the results:
Now I’m not the biggest hardware geek but I do understand that architectures vary quite a bit and have a substantial influence over computing performance. But a 6 year old machine beating a 2 year old machine by such a big margin may be part of the reason why hardware development feels stalled: We have reached machines that are incredibly powerful.
Granted: for real-time things such as music production we would still like to squeeze every CPU cycle that we can, but hey: at least in my case I still get by with that machine and it doesn’t slow me down too much.