Author Societies – Transfer of value explained in new GESAC brochure

Please read this short brochure to get a quick and concise overview of the current exploitative practice in the online marketplace.

Created in 1990, Gesac represents more that 1 million rights holders in the areas of music, graphic and plastic arts, literary and dramatic works, and audiovisual as well as music publishers.

Source: Author Societies – Transfer of value explained in new GESAC brochure

Owning vs. licensing: I hate to be a killjoy, Jason Snell

Also, if you’re not a fan of DRM on ebooks, you might be interested to know that there’s a plug-in for Calibre that lets you remove the DRM from books and then convert them to other formats. I maintain a DRM-free backup of most of my Kindle books, so if I ever want to abandon the platform altogether, the books I bought will come with me to wherever is next. Piracy is bad, people, and authors deserve to get paid—but if I buy a book, I’m going to feel free to load it on any device I wish.

Dear Jason,

I hate to tell you this, but when you “buy” a book on the Kindle, you are not buying an actual copy of the book. This is where owning things IRL is completely different. IRL you buy the book and then you can do with it as you wish.

But when you “buy” a book on the Kindle you are only buying a license to use that book in that ecosystem. That is what you and the author have agreed upon.

Your statement is a blatant FU to the authors even though in the same breath you try to sound good by claiming that authors deserve to get paid.

You’re breaking that agreement. Knowingly. And it’s wrong.

Source: Calibre: How I put epub books on my Kindle – Six Colors

Good writeup: Will Streaming Music Kill Songwriting? – The New Yorker

“We were emerging from this bubble,” she told me, “and I realized, ‘I have this hit. This is going to be good! Nearly three million streams on Spotify!’ And then my check came, and it was for seventeen dollars and seventy-two cents. That’s when I was, like, ‘What the fuck?’ So I called Kay.”

Source: Will Streaming Music Kill Songwriting? – The New Yorker

Steve jobs on intellectual property, copyright and stealing

“From the earliest days of Apple I realized that we thrived when we created intellectual property. If people copied or stole our software we’d be out of business. If it weren’t protected there’d be no incentive for us to make new software or product designs. If protection of intellectual property begins to disappear creative companies will disappear or never get started. But there’s a simpler reason: it’s wrong to steal. It hurts other people, and it hurts your own character.”

Source: Steven Soderbergh – The State of Cinema Video & Transcript — SF Film Society Blog

Enabling of Ad Blocking in Apple’s iOS 9 Prompts Backlash – The New York Times

There is a small revolution going on at the moment. The very successful and great content creators of the internet start to understand how their business model actually works.

These are the same people who have turned a blind eye for years at the issues surrounding music and the monetizing of music.

They kept saying: look for a new business model, look for a new business model, look for a new business model, look for a new…

I don’t mind them and their content going away. Even if it’s the New York Times.

What I like to see come back is a business model between creators and end users based on open and transparent transactions: I use your content, I pay you directly for it. Either up front and can keep the content or transparently per use.

But the new middle men are much much worse than the old labels used to be.

Apps that block all ads are threatening some web publishers’ livelihoods, which in turn could threaten some content on the web.

Source: Enabling of Ad Blocking in Apple’s iOS 9 Prompts Backlash – The New York Times

Digital Business Models Should Have to Follow the Law, Too – HBR

The article linked below is extremely sad. I know this for a fact since I`m working in the industry that`s most affected by this sort of behavior.

And what`s particularly sad is that people all over the world who proclaim to be music lovers ignore and outright laugh at the challenges and exploitation that culture creators face.

Digital Business Models Should Have to Follow the Law, Too – HBR.

Music and fruit salad

In this video (it’s around minute 35), Kerstin Jorna, Director of Intellectual Property Directorate of the European Commission brings an interesting example, and in my opinion she had the roles completely backwards.

She referred to individual creators works as

I’m selling bananas, you’re selling apple and he’s selling oranges. But you (pointing towards the audience) just want your fruit salad without buying from each and every one of us.

This way of thinking in the context of music is plain wrong. Music is not a commodity no matter how much music is out there. You can substitute an apple from vendor ABC with an apple from vendor XYZ, but you can’t substitute The Beatles “Revolution” with Prince’s “Kiss”. And thinking about it more closely it shows the ignorance that creators have to face today.

But to stay with her example: what exactly is the fruit salad in Ms. Jornas example?

  • Is it a remix?
  • Is it using the work in a different context (film, advertisement)?
  • Is it a brass band concert playing arrangements of the songs?
  • Is it the right to broadcast the work?
  • Is it the right to press vinyl of it?
  • Is it the right to distribute the work on a website?
  • Or is it the right to carry the work with you on a device such as an mp3 player?

And here lies the misconception of the example of Ms. Jorna, because she’s confusing individual uses (carry the work on mp3 player, storing it on a computer etc.) with commercial uses (in some form of a distributor).

I ask you: you’re a laywer. Your mind should be sharp enough to make these distinctions especially since you’re supposed to watch over our rights. I’m deeply disappointed.

A great win for the little guy (or girl in this case!)

UPDATE: It seems that this all of this is a bit weird, so I want to just say that I’m very doubtful about this particular case. However, I still thing a personalized creator right is a great thing as opposed to the american copyright system.

This is what copyright and individual creators rights are about: you get to have justice on your side against the sleaze-balls that are better at exploiting than creating.

Original Creator of Matrix & Terminator Wins $2.5 Billion In Lawsuit | The HipHop Consultant.

The new exploit culture

So if I’m understanding the netizens and their user-rights meme correctly, then the new business model is to become a curator on YouTube and take in all the profits from that with no regard to the creators of the content of the videos.

Check this guy out for example: he has 2.4 Millionen views on his channel. That does translate into actual money. Do you think any money goes to the composers who wrote those soundtracks? To the film studios who financed the recordings? No. To the musicians? No. And what’s worse: usually a production company takes money that they make on one project and put it into a new project, paying music copyists (you know the people who prepare the sheet music), editors, actors, musicians, technicians etc. It keeps a virtuous cycle alive. But if you disrupt this mechanism and think that disruption for the sake of disruption is always a good thing, then you’re not thinking about all the people employed in these industries and that just makes no sense. I thought all this historical progress was to empower individuals and create a better world for everyone? Oh right, individual curators but not creators.

And another thought: do you think a single individual score composer will ever reach those numbers of plays? It’s delusional to think that. It’s the exception not the rule. Or does this guy include the indie composers in his score playlists as a way to promote up and coming talent? No, he’s banking on the historical greats for his personal benefit of both money and fame.

The new culture exploits

What’s music worth to you?

I wholeheartedly agree with this Article.

Even though I also understand the financial challenges with online streaming.

I think what has to come back at some point is the willingness of the consumer to actually pay more for music than they did the past 13 years. There’s just no way around it, we need more money in the system and then we need a system to distribute the money to the correct recipient according to the usage of the music.

What’s music worth to you? | Pixelschatten.